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The Monymusk Reliquary. 
End view. Exact size. 



Church and Priory 








The Monymusk Reliquary front and end views. 


The Common Seal of the Monastery of Monymusk, "%^th what is 
probably a view of the Priory Buildings. 

Map showing the Ancient Monasteries Facing Page 4^9. 

' MONYMUSK ' STRATHSPEY Facing Page 285. 



Tradition as to Early Origin. The Brecbannoch .. .. ... 1 

Columba and the Celtic Church 6 

The Keledei or Culdees in Scotland ... 30 

Malcolm III. and Queen Margaret 60 

The Building of the Church and Priory ... 68 


The Endowments of the Priory and the Change from Culdees to 
Canons Regular, as recognised by Pope Innocent IV. 
1078101245, (The Chartulary of Monymusk) 87 

Records from 1268 to 1500. Writs regarding the Brecbannoch. 

' The Monymusks ' 131 


Records from 1500 to the Reformation in 1560. The Decadence of 
the Old Order. The Spoliation of the Lands. Feu-duties 
from the Estate 155 


The Strife between the Forbes es and the Gordons. The Fiction of 

Archangel Leslie 220 


Ministers since the Reformation. Sir William Forbes and the 
Covenant. The Family of Urry of Pitfichie. The Poll- 
book of 1696. The Forbes Family. The Grant Family. 
The Episcopal Clergymen. The Schoolmasters of the 
Parish 234 


THESE materials were gathered together without the slightest 
thought of their ever being printed. They are the result of a 
desire to tell what could be learned about the Priory that was 
for long the central point in our district, but whose existence 
was becoming almost forgotten among us. As no ruins of it even 
have been preserved, the Culdees have no separate visible 
memorial among us, and the school-children have been playing 
on the ground they so long trod without knowing that persons 
bearing such a name ever lived and worshipped in our parish, 
and although the Church bears evidence -to every one of its 
antiquity, few among us know much about its history. The writer 
thought it might make a little variety if he delivered a few 
lectures on the subject on Sunday evenings during last winter. 
He intended simply to bind the lectures together afterwards, 
and put them among the parish records, to be looked at by 
any one who might care for such matters at any future time. 
But the parishioners were unwilling to let the information be 
lost sight of again, after being gathered from books, many 
of which are inaccessible to most of them, and without his 
knowing it, they formed a committee, and desired to have the 
lectures printed for subscribers. He felt that he could not 
refuse agreeing to this, although he did not realise how much care 
would have to be expended on them before they could be 
issued. He regrets exceedingly that the work has not 
been done by some one with a natural aptitude for such 
research, but he has tried to let the records tell their own 
story. It is often most difficult for an inexperienced person to 
translate the Mediaeval Latin in which they are written, and all 
he can say is, that he hopes that, with the help that has been 
so kindly given him, the sense and general drift have been 

vi Introductory Note. 

reached. It would have been much easier to compress many 
of the records, but as they may never again be translated, he 
hopes readers will not become impatient over any tedious 
amplifying, but may remember what a far-distant age they 
bring before us. He has never sought to express opinions of 
his own, but has been anxious to learn the facts from those 
who are best entitled to be heard on the various matters that 
are touched upon. Such a wide range of history is brought 
before us, that he can hardly hope to have avoided mistakes, 
but as he has not wished to support any preconceived ideas, 
he trusts the truthfulness of the statements may be relied on. 
He thanks the parishioners and other subscribers for their 
kindness, and trusts that in reading this little book, they 
will recollect that its purpose is simply to illustrate the history 
of our secluded locality. The books from which the informa- 
tion is drawn are of so special a class that he is grateful for 
the use of the volumes of the Spalding Club in the library of 
Monymusk House, and of a large number of books from King's 
College Library. Several friends have been most kind in lend- 
ing other books, and in affording invaluable assistance. He 
acknowledges the liberality ot the Council of the Society of 
Antiquaries of Scotland in giving, without any fee, the use 
of the two electros of the Monymusk Reliquary, the prints of 
which he thinks subscribers will be very pleased to have, and 
as the parishioners wished the lecture on the Culdees in Scot- 
land to be retained entire, he has added, by permission of the 
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, a map showing 
the ancient monasteries referred to in the lecture. 


BY ABERDEEN, September, 1895. 

IN the foot-notes works have frequently to be referred to 
under contracted titles. Among them may be mentioned 
the following : 

Dr. Joseph Anderson, Scotland in Early Christian Times (Rhind Lectures). 

The Duke of Argyll, lona (reprinted from ' Good Words' of 1869.) 

Rev. Dr. Campbell, Balmerino and its Abbey (in Fifeshire). 

Rev. Dr. Davidson, Inverurie and the Earldom of the Garioch. 

Bishop Dowden of Edinburgh, The Celtic Church in Scotland. 

St. Giles' Lectures on the Scottish Church, 1st Series, 1881. 

Mr. Cosmo Innes, Scotland in the Middle Ages. 

Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches of Early Scottish History. 

Mr. Andrew Jervise, Epitaphs and Inscriptions in the N. E. of Scotland, vol. II. 

Bishops Lightfoot and Westcott, of Durham, Leaders in the Northern 


Count de Montalembert, St. Columba. 
Rev. Dr. Reeves, Bishop of Down and Connor, Adamnan's Life of Columba, 

original edition, Dublin, 1857. 
Rev. Dr. Reeves, " On the Culdees," original edition in the Transactions 

of the Royal Irish Academy, xxiv, 1873, pp. 119-263. 
Register of the Priory of St. Andrews (Bannatyne Club). 
Dr. Joseph Robertson, Concilia Scotiae, Statuta Ecc. Scot. (Bannatyne Club). 
Dr. Joseph Robertson, Scottish Abbeys and Cathedrals, Quarterly Review, 

1849, reprinted 1891. 
Rev. Dr. Hew Scott, Fasti Ecc. Scot, part vi. (In Chapter X. it has been 

thought unnecessary to give the references to this work, as they are 

so easily found by any one who uses the ' Fasti '). 
Principal Shairp, LL.D. of St. Andrews, Sketches in History and Poetry 

(Queen Margaret, reprinted from 'Good Words,' 1867). 
Spalding Club : Collections on the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff. 
,, Antiquities of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff. 

,, Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis. 

Dean Stanley, Lectures on the Church of Scotland. 
Rev. W. Stephen, of the Episcopal Church, Dumbarton, History of the 

Scottish Church, only vol. I. published as yet. 
Rev. Dr. Temple, Forgue, Thanage of Fermartyn. 
Rev. M. E. C. Walcott, of Chichester Cathedral, Ancient Church of Scotland. 




MONYMUSK is a Celtic name, probably meaning "moor and 
river." 1 Dr. Davidson in his work on "The Earldom of 
the Garioch " says that it was " the first seat of Christianity " 
and "Celtic civilisation in the Garioch," and that from it 
as their home, "preachers travelled far and wide over Mar, 
and their stations became sacred places . . . centuries 
before there were any parishes in the country." 2 He thus 
expressed his concurrence in the tradition that has been uni- 
formly received in our district, but it is to be frankly admitted 
that no positive proof can be looked for in its support. Mr. 
Cosmo Innes writes of it in a similar manner : " In the north, 
Monymusk, a house of the Culdees, was another of those 
foundations of immemorial antiquity the institutions of the 
great preachers of the truth to whom Scotland owes its 
Christianity." . . . "Next come the Monasteries not 
those old families of missionaries, the very beginning of Christi- 
anity among us not lona, nor Deir, nor Mortlach not 
Abernethy (on the Tay), nor old-Melrose, nor old pre-episcopal 
Brechin, nor the Culdees of St. Serf and Monymusk none of 
those primeval Monasteries of whom all -we know is that 
they did their work in bringing the whole land from paganism 

1 Monadh (mona), a moor, heath, mountain. Uisge (ushge), water. 

2 The Earldom of the Garioch pp. 156, 126, 14, 26. 

Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

to Christianity. Of their manner of life and teaching, and the 
means of their support, we know little or nothing ; of their 
discipline and subordination scarcely enough to found a useless 
controversy." 1 Mr. Stuart in his preface to the "Book of 
Deer " speaks of " the history of the Culdees of Monymusk, a 
house of early tSnt uncertain date . . . placed on the fertile 
banks of the river Don in Aberdeenshire." 2 Mr. Walcott says, 
without hesitation, "we should bear in mind that as Melrose 
. . . Monymusk occupied an older site." 3 Mr. Skene, 
indeed, in his " Celtic Scotland," 4 after mentioning King Mal- 
colm's charter, says, " So far we may infer that it was not an 
ancient Columban foundation." But Dr. Reeves says, "the 
founder of the Church of Monymusk is said to have been 
Malcolm Canmore, about the year 1080. . . . The prob- 
ability, however, is that he was a restorer, not a founder, and 
that, as in the subsequent case of Deir, he revived a decayed 
Monastery and enlarged its endowments. At all events 
Monymusk was affiliated at the above date to the Church of 
St. Andrews, and partook of its discipline as an institution of 
Kelidei." He also says that, the society of secular priests, 
thirteen in number, as arranged in 1211, "was probably the 
representative of an ancient monastic foundation." 5 

On this " probability " we may be content to rest. We have 
no actual information enabling us to determine at what time 
or by whom our holy faith was first planted here. After 
Malcolm III.'s time we have abundance of authentic charters 
regarding the endowments bestowed on the " Culdee " Mon- 
astery, but whether it had been a " Columban " home long 
before, must be left undetermined. Nor need we wonder that 
we have nothing local to guide us here, for we must remember 

1 Sketches, pp. g, 91. _ 4 Celtic Scotland, II. p. 389. 

2 Book of Deer, p. cxviii. 5 Culdees, pp. 172, 173, 174. 

3 The Ancient Church of Scotland, p. 5. 

The Brecbannoch. 

what a far-distant age this brings us in contact with. " During 
the whole of Columba's life the conquest of Britain by Angles 
and Jutes and Saxons was being carried on, and it was only 
finally completed about the period of his death." 1 "In this long 
lapse of time the English Crown, the English Parliament, the 
English nation itself, have come into being." 2 

But there remains a most interesting traditional link with 
Columba in " a very beautiful and very remarkable reliquary " 3 
that has been preserved time out of mind in Monymusk House, 
and that is evidently a small casket for containing some relics 
of a saint. Dr. Anderson makes an elaborate statement re- 
garding it, and says that as far as he knows it is the only one of 
its kind and period now existing in Scotland and that, if it is 
not the Brecbannoch of St. Columba, it is one of the strangest 
coincidences that a reliquary answering so closely to it should 
have been preserved at Monymusk. Dr. Reeves says that the 
name seems to be formed from breac beannaighthe, "maculosum 
benedictum" the blessed speckled, or spotted thing. One 
Breac, that of St. Moedec, is preserved in the museum of the 
Royal Irish Academy a small shrine in the form of a box 
covered with gilt plates. The difficulty lies in the fact that 
while authentic charters remain with reference to the Brec- 
bannoch of St. Columba, it is mentioned in them simply by 
name. They naturally assume that since it was in the pos- 
session of those who gave over its " custody," there was no need 
of any description of it being given. Different lines of argument 
lead to the belief that it was not a banner or standard, but may 
have been a small shrine for holding relics, probably one or two 
small bones of Columba, and that its shape, in all likelihood, 

1 lona, p. 15. 3 Dr. J. Anderson, Scotland in Early 

2 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. 4. Christian Times, pp. 240-251. 

Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

corresponded to the one preserved at Monymusk. This is a 
small wooden box hollowed out of the solid, and covered with 
plates of pale bronze and silver. It was originally jewelled, and 
is still enamelled, and the tracings of the characteristic Celtic 
spiral ornaments that were engraved on it, are still visible. At 
both ends it had a hooked plate with a hinge, and a strap might 
readily be inserted into the hook to let it be carried on one's 
breast, but one plate is now lost. 

King William the Lion founded the great Abbey of Arbroath 
in memory of Thomas a Becket, who had been killed a few 
years before, and among other gifts he bestowed on it between 
1204 and 121 1 the custody of the Brecbannoch, along with the 
lands of Forglen that were attached to that office. How King 
William obtained possession of it is not known, but probably it 
had been kept in the parish of Forglen by the hereditary tenants 
of the Church lands. 1 One obligation attached to it, and to 
holding "the fair barony " 2 pertaining to it, was that its guardian 
should carry it as often as the Scottish army went into battle. 
Bernard, abbot of Arbroath, was present at the battle of 
Bannockburn, and, doubtless, performed the service binding on 
him by carrying it round Bruce's army, but seven months after 
the battle, with consent of his abbey, he executed a charter, 
which is dated i8th January, 1315, making over its custody, 
along with the lands of Forglen, to " Malcolm of Monimusk," 
with the provision that he and his heirs should take the place of 
the abbot in bearing it in the king's army as often as there was 
need. It remained for three generations in the care of the 
Monymusk family, until a female becoming the heiress, its 
custody and the lands were granted in 1388 to her husband, 
who was of the Fraser family. In 1411 the lands of Forglen 
were surrendered to the Convent, and about nine years after 

i Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 332. 2 Book of Deer, p. ex. 

Tradition as to Early Origin. 

they were conferred on Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum, and in 
the charters of that family in 1481 and 1483 the service in the 
army connected with the Brecbannoch is again specially 

If this casket is really the Brecbannoch, 1 it is singular how 
it found its way again to Monymusk House, and no one can 
say at what time it did so. It has been always regarded as a 
much venerated treasure, and it would be strange indeed if this 
shrine was carried round Bruce's army to give them courage for 
their victory. 

While we cannot hope to have the uncertainty removed as 
to whether Monymusk is really a Columban foundation, yet, if 
it owes its origin to some of Columba's followers, as we are 
pleased to think such an authority as Dr. Reeves says is 
" probable," it is a matter of interest to try to reproduce a 
picture of the life and thoughts of those first Christian teachers 
that our country had. Chief of all our sources of information 
is the authentic biography of St. Columba by his kinsman 
Adamnan, who was born only twenty-seven years after Columba 
died, and who, becoming ninth abbot of lona (from 697 to 704), 
"was the ablest and -most accomplished of his successors." In 
his work, " the oldest existing book known to have been written 
in Scotland" " an inestimable literary relic " he embodies an 
earlier life by Cumin, the seventh abbot (from 657 to 669), 
who was near enough in time to have seen Columba. 

i The spelling of the word varies Brecbannoch, Bracbennach, 
Brachbennoch, Brecbannach. 


MORE than one thousand three hundred years have passed 
since Columba, " Colum of the Church " " willing to be a 
missionary for Christ," as Adamnan tells us, left his native glens 
in Donegal and crossed to lona with twelve companions, whose 
names are recorded, nearly all of them his blood relations, in a 
frail coracle of wickerwork covered with hides, landing on 
Whitsunday, 563. He was then in his forty-second year, and 
through both his father and his mother he was connected with 
the ruling family of the Dalriad Scots a lineage that aided him 
greatly in the work of his life " being treated on a footing of 
perfect intimacy and equality by all the princes of Ireland and 
Caledonia, and exercising a sort of spiritual sway equal or 
superior to the authority of secular sovereigns." * lona was, as 
it were, on the border-land between the Northern Picts and the 
Dalriad Scots, and after a short time being favoured by the 
chiefs of both races he made it the home from which he and his 
followers evangelised the Picts who were still heathens, and 
taught more carefully the Scots who were already Christians, at 
least in name. His coronation at lona of his cousin Aedan, 
the Celtic chief of the Hebrides, as king of the Scots, in 574, is 
the first authentic coronation in Western Christendom. 8 There 
is abundant proof that he founded small Churches and planted 
humble Monasteries in many widely separated parts of our 
country ; so that by his enthusiasm and guidance Christianity 

*The writer intended to condense very much this chapter and the next one, as they go 
far beyond Monymusk itself, but the parish committee desired him not to do so, 
as they wished to have the information contained in them. 

i Montalembert, p. n. 2 Dean Stanley's Lectures, p. 23. 

Columba and the Celtic Church, 

was established on a firm basis to the north of the Tay and 
Clyde. The old Churchyard of Kingussie in Badenoch, for 
instance, still bears testimony to his presence when he crossed 
the Gynach on his mission in 565 to Bruidh, the king of the 
Picts, whose hill-fort stood on Craig Phadric, a commanding 
eminence two miles from Inverness its outlines visible to this 
day, though moss-grown, in parts vitrified by the action of fire. 1 
Inverness is one hundred and fifty miles from lona, but he re- 
peatedly travelled as far as that district, if not farther, covering 
the whole North Highlands with a net- work of mission stations or 
Monasteries so many miniature lonas. 2 Along with Drostan, 
his devoted nephew, he personally planted the famous Monastery 
at Deer and the Church at Aberdour about 580. His work can 
also be traced on the Tay, in memory of which the Cathedral at 
Dunkeld was afterwards dedicated under his name some 
saying that the mission there was founded by himself. Machar, 
one of his Irish disciples, undertook to preach the Gospel in 
the northern parts of the Pictish Kingdom, and settled his 
Christian colony near the mouth of the Don for its windings 
there resembled the figure of a bishop's crosier, which was the 
sign given him and founded the Church that still bears his 
name in the Cathedral. Another adventurous band pushed 
farther into the pagan fastnesses and settled on the Fiddich, 
where they must have thriven by the benevolence of the people, 
since, in the beginning of the twelfth century, the Monastery of 
Mortlach, with a bishop residing within its walls, had connected 
with it a subordinate Monastery at Cloveth (Clova), and was 
possessed of five Churches with their territories. 3 

After thirty-four years of labour in our country, Columba 
died June 9th, 597, in his own little Church, at the service 

1 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 18. 3 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 86. 

2 Ibid, p. 21. 


Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

conducted soon after midnight, and heralding the Lord's Day 
" some three or four weeks after Augustine had landed on the 
shores of Kent." * He thus occupies, in missionary history, an 
entire generation preceding Augustine's arrival. His was " the 
noblest missionary career ever accomplished in Britain." 2 " He 
was not perfect, but he was a saint, complete not in faultless- 
ness but in the unreserved consecration of his whole nature." 3 
He was a principal agent in one of the greatest events the world 
has ever seen, the conversion of the Northern Nations, and to 
have planted Christianity successfully among the people then in 
our land necessitates his having been a man of powerful char- 
acter and of splendid gifts. 4 "In that bleak, lonely island 
under his fostering care a religious house had sprung up, the 
nursery of saints and scholars, who were to carry the faith of 
Christ and the light of learning far beyond the boundaries of 
the British Isles, beyond even the lofty mountain barrier of the 
Alps, invading Italy itself with a peaceful invasion . . . 
lona was at this time the focus of intellectual light to Western 
Christendom." 5 "The 'family' of Columba reclaimed the 
pagans of the farthest Hebrides, and sent their Christian 
embassy and established their worship in Iceland, and spread 
Christianity in every glen and bay where a congregation was to 
be gathered. This is not a matter of inference, but is proved 
beyond question. We know that the first Christian Church in 
Iceland, which was at Esinberg, was dedicated to St. Columba." 6 
"Another of their discoveries was the Faroe Islands, where the 
Norwegians at a later date found traces of the Irish monks 
Celtic books, crosses, and bells." 7 

St. Gall, beside the Lake of Constance in Switzerland, still 

1 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. 6. 

2 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 81. 

3 Bishop Westcott, Leaders, p. 178. 

4 lona. pp. 49, 53. 

5 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, pp. 41, 42, 47. 

6 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, pp. i, 2, 

Middle Ages, p. 101. 

7 Montalembert, p. 101. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 

takes its name from the Celtic missionary who settled there 
about 614. From manuscripts preserved there we gather what 
was the appearance of these pilgrim Scots. They travelled in 
companies and were provided with long walking-sticks and with 
leathern wallets and water bottles. Their heads were shaved in 
a different style from other priests, and they were clad in rough 
garments, yet they were possessed of accomplishments that 
their clothes strongly belied. They were apt learners of the 
languages of the countries they traversed, and addressed the 
people everywhere with all the fervour of their native eloquence. 1 
From lona the succession of Columba's clergy was believed 
to be continued by the touching of his relics, 2 and it is easy to 
suppose that the Brecbannoch may have been made to contain 
a few fragments of his bones that were preserved, although his 
remains had to be moved several times. His followers went in 
thirteens one being "the head" with the other twelve under 
him, for they had a great desire to imitate the features of the 
Apostolic system. When showing this from various examples 
Dr. Re"eves specially mentions " Monymusk, where was a 
College of twelve Culdees and a Prior." 3 Their homes were 
" centres of civilisation " to the different districts, 4 but only in 
one or two small islands where uncemented stone had to be 
used, can there be found any traces of their buildings, for their 
Churches, " with three times of prayer by day and three by 
night," 5 were of squared timber, of hewn oak, and their 
dwellings huts of wattles, thatched with reeds. 6 Not till the 
end of the eighth century did stone buildings begin to be 
substituted for wooden ones, as a protection against the ravages 
of the Danes. 7 Wherever they founded a home, they had them- 

1 Dr. J. _ Anderson, Scotland in Early 3 Adamnan, pp. 299-301. 

Christian Times, p. 162; Mr. Skene, 4 Dr. Davidson. Inverurie, p. 14. 
Celtic Scotland, II. p. 6. 5 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 15. 

2 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 6. 6 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 15. 

and "At St. Andrews. 7 Mr. Warren, Liturgy, p. 17. 

io Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

selves to hew down the oaks and bear them from the woods 
taking those for lona in boats from the mainland build the 
Church and huts, clear and cultivate the neighbouring wood or 
moor for sustenance, and win the confidence of an untaught 
heathen people. x 

In lona the walls would doubtless be woven together with 
climbing plants, specially ivy, 2 and "probably some external 
plaster covered the timber and the wattled walls ; " 3 while the 
little settlement had a high turf embankment encircling it for 
defence. "The glory of those early buildings was within." 4 
It has been often said that the monks knew where to fix their 
habitations. The favourite situation was on the bank of a river, 
and their Churches were probably dedicated under the name of 
their original founders or of other native saints. 5 In our own 
quarter Lonmay, Daviot, Belhelvie, Monycabo (New Machar), 
Birse, and Alvah (near Forglen) were dedicated to St. Columba ; 
while the sand-covered parish of Forvie in Slains, Forglen, in 
which Church the Brecbannoch of Columba was preserved, 
and Aboyne were dedicated to St. Adamnan. 6 Dr. Reeves 
observes that both in Ireland and in Scotland the dedications to 
St. Columba and St. Adamnan keep very close together, while 
at Forglen the two saints are in a most singular manner joined 
in commemoration. If Monymusk was one of the early 
Columban homes, the site was not only beside the river, but 
also only a few hundred yards distant from what is still called 
" the Druid Field," with its upright stones such stones being 
now regarded as undoubtedly sepulchral monuments. Part of 
a large circle also stands on the high ground at Tillyfourie 
towards the farm of Whitehill and another stood on what is 

1 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. io. 4 Dr. Grub, History, I. p. 51. 

2 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 28 ; Mont- 5 Ibid., p. 14. 

alembert, p. 37. 6 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, pp. 296, 462 ; 

3 lona, pp. 90, 91. Book of Deer, p. cxxxv. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 1 1 

now the farm of Nether Coullie, on the north side of the 
river one upright stone yet remaining, others having been 

Their settlements were marked by severe simplicity, and 
were little colonies of self-denying, hard-working men, scattered 
over the country. 1 "The brethren of the community lived 
each in separate huts or 'cells.'" 2 "The Monastery was not a 
retreat for solitaries, whose chief object was to work out their 
own salvation, but the home of those whose purpose was to 
preach the Gospel among the heathen." 3 They were mission- 
aries, fervent and devout, and monks, strictly monastic, and 
without doubt celibate. "There is every reason to believe 
that the brethren were bound by the rules of obedience, 
chastity, and poverty." 4 "This exclusively monastic consti- 
tution of the Church was closely bound up with its missionary 
character, and was at once the cause of its temporary triumph 
and of its ultimate decay." 5 Bede says that " priests, deacons, 
singers, readers, every ecclesiastical order, including the bishop 
himself, observed the monastic rule." In their system "the 
continuous round of divine worship, the cultivation of the spirit 
of devotion, the study of divine truth, the practice of self- 
discipline were all duly cared for"; 6 while their self-denial was 
not for its own sake, but that they might be better able to 
spread the Gospel. 

Going forth two and two after the example of the Seventy, 
they radiated over a wide district among the different tribes, 
preaching in hamlets where no missionary had ever before been 
seen, and after spending weeks or months in this work, they 
returned for rest and encouragement and mutual help to their 
special home, which was like a strong centre from which they 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 28. 4 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, p. 127. 

2 lona, p. 91. ^ 5 Mr. Warren, Liturgy of Celtic Ch.,p. 12. 

3 Dr. Grub, History I., p. 51. 6 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, p. 83. 

1 2 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

carried the blessings of religion. Their preaching would be 
mostly in the open air, and we are told of the power of 
Columba's voice in reaching great distances as he repeated the 
Psalms or addressed large numbers of men. Of him it is said, 
that when absent from his home, he went about always doing 
good, and the same spirit would pervade those he sent forth. 

" There are passages which prove that a married priesthood 
was not unknown in various parts and at various periods in the 
history of the Celtic Church." * One point of variance in the 
British Christians from the subsequent Roman model was the 
marriage of the clergy. 2 St. Patrick, Columba's great pre- 
decessor in the Celtic Church, who went from this country to 
Ireland as a missionary about 432, cannot have been opposed 
to marriage among his clergy, for he says of himself that he was 
of "gentle blood," and that his father, who was a deacon and 
a councillor, was the son of a presbyter, all which he mentions 
as a mark of his respectability, and in the legend relating how he 
sought " the materials of a bishop " among his pupils, his words 
are, "Find for me a man of rank, of good family and good 
morals, one who has one wife and only one son." But Dr. 
Reeves says 3 that celibacy was, without doubt, strictly enjoined 
on the community of lona, and that though marriage existed 
among the secular clergy, the practice seems to have been 
disapproved of by the regulars. Montalembert says 4 that 
" marriage was absolutely unknown among the regular clergy," 
and Dr. Grub 5 remarks that " not one instance of a married 
monk or priest in the early days of lona has been pointed out." 
It is even said that Columba would not let a woman land on 
the island. 6 Mr. Cosmo Innes also says, 7 " They undoubtedly 

1 Mr. Warren, Liturgy, p. 13. 4 Montalembert, p. 149. 

2 Archdeacon Hard wick, Middle Age, 5 History I., p. 149. 

p. 7. 6 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 432. 

3 Adamnan, p. 344. 7 Middle Ages, p. 100. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 13 

practised celibacy and enforced penance and the most rigid 
asceticism. This has always been a great engine for swaying a 
simple and uninformed people. They associate such self-denial 
with the absence of all the passions to which they feel them- 
selves most addicted, and soon come to think the preacher who 
can subdue his human nature, as something raised above 

Mr. Skene, in his "Celtic Scotland," describes generally the 
paganism of the Northern Picts as a sort of fetichism which 
peopled the air, the earth, the water, and all the objects of 
nature with malignant beings, to whose agency its phenomena 
were attributed, and who were always bent on working evil to 
men, while persons named Druadh, or sorcerers, exercised great 
influence among the people, from a belief that they were able 
through their aid to practise a species of magic or witchcraft 
which might be used either to benefit those who sought their 
assistance or to injure those to whom they were opposed. 
" Savage and bloody rites to propitiate the evil powers were not 
unknown. It was indeed a religion of darkness and fear " * 
" chiefs and Druids not lessening but aggravating the evil. " 2 

Mr. Skene also points out how admirably the grouping of 
clergy in lowly monasteries was calculated for spreading the 
leaven of Christianity among the surrounding heathen. 3 The 
Church in such circumstances needed not only dissemination, 
but " strong centres," and " during the whole of the Celtic 
period this was its dominating characteristic. The Monastery 
was everywhere the home and seminary of Christian learning, 
the centre of Christian work, and everywhere, as it were, the 
military base of operations against the powers of heathen- 
dom." 4 We learn of Columba's fearless bravery in presence 

1 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, p. 22. 3 Celtic Scotland, II., p. 74. 

2 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 43. 4 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, p. 216. 

14 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

of King Brude and his Druids, and in the same spirit his 
followers " penetrated into the wildest regions, entered without 
fear into the strongholds of chieftains, receiving from them 
grants of land, and planting settlements within their territories, 
and by their dignity of character and singleness of purpose 
making themselves and their faith respected wherever they 
went. " T Such was the state of the country that when a leader 
consented to be baptised he led his people with him to the 
font. All over the country their little churches sprang up even 
in most secluded parts. There was a house for a few brethren 
at Hinba, a little south of Ipna, where the ruins of a church only 
twenty-one feet long, of undressed stones, built without lime, 
and of two bee-hive-shaped cells still remain, being preserved 
owing to the island's being uninhabited, and marking the site of 
this early Christian home. It is a very sacred spot. Adamnan, 
Columba's kinsman and biographer, tells us that Columba's 
uncle Ernen presided over Hinba, and that Columba had a cell 
there for himself when he visited it, and that there met him 
there four great founders of Irish and Scottish mission churches 
Comgall of Bangor and Cainnech of Aghaboe, who had both 
been his fellow-students at the great Monastery of Clonard on 
the Boyne, with its reputed three thousand monks, and had 
gone with him to Inverness on his first visit to Brude, Braidan 
of Clonfert, and Cormac "the far-famed voyager" who sailed 
into the Northern seas and established missions in Orkney. All 
these five heroic men worshipped together in that tiny church at 
Hinba, Columba being asked by the others to preside at the 
communion service. So distant is the time that we can know 
little regarding our first teachers beyond what Adamnan says, 
but their piety and preaching wrought a great change. Dr. 
Reeves gives a list of thirty-two Columban foundations among 

i Dr. J. Anderson, Scotland in Early Christian Times, p. 161. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 1 5 

the Albania Scots and twenty-one among the Picts of Scotland 
together fifty-three and considers the list confessedly incom- 
plete. Others give the number showing traces of early origin as 
fifty-three churches and about forty-four Monasteries, including 
St. Andrews and " Monymusk. " x 

The ordinary dress of the clergy was a garment called a 
tunic, over which was worn a cloak with a hood of rough 
texture made of wool of the natural, undyed colour. Priestly 
garments they had none the tonsure being the external mark of 
distinction of the ordained clergy. On festivals, we read of their 
going into church in a white garment. In cold weather they 
had a warmer cloak. We read of their puttting on their shoes 
of hide in the morning and preparing for their different duties, 
and they seem to have taken them off before sitting down to 
meals and of Cainnech's rising and running to the church 
with but one shoe on to pray for Columba's safety when he felt 
that a storm had arisen. They slept on beds covered 
apparently with straw, with a pallet and coverlet, but Columba 
himself slept on the hard floor or on a bare stone, with a stone 
for his pillow, " whence he would rise at the dead of night and 
spend whole hours, besides the stated one, praying alone in the 
oratory. " 2 " What the coverlets were is not recorded, but few 
probably were required, as they slept in their ordinary clothes, 
as may be inferred from the promptness with which they 
responded to the midnight bell." 3 

u Columba never could spend, " says Adamnan in his 
preface, "the space of even one hour without study or prayer or 
writing or even some manual occupation (vet etiam alicui 
operationi}. So incessantly was he engaged night and day in the 
unwearied exercise of fasting and watching that the burden of 

1 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Ch., p. 230. 3 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 357. 

2 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 29. 

1 6 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

each of these austerities would seem beyond the power of all 
human endurance. And still in all these he was beloved by 
all, for a holy joy, ever beaming on his face, revealed the joy 
and gladness with which the Holy Spirit filled his inmost soul." 

Wednesdays and Fridays were observed as fasts, except 
between Easter and Whitsunday, the forty days after Easter 
being the season of greatest relaxation in the year. The forty 
days of Lent were kept, the fast then being prolonged every 
day, except Sunday, till evening, when a light meal was taken. x 
The. special joy of Easter is several times mentioned. Sunday 
and festival days commenced after the sunset of the previous 
day. 2 Three times a day at least, but probably oftener, the 
brethren of lona met for the worship of God, and the canonical 
offices were celebrated with the usual alternations of Prayers 
and Lessons, Psalms and Hymns. 3 

The way in which they shaved their heads as the badge of 
religious vows their tonsure comes afterwards into special 
prominence. They shaved the " fore-part " of the head, from 
ear to ear, probably in the form of a crescent, allowing the hair 
to grow behind, while the monks of Rome shaved the " crown," 
leaving a circle of hair, which represented our Saviour's Crown 
of Thorns. Regarding this, Professor Rhys of Oxford says : 
" Some of the customs of the pagans of these islands may be 
detected in the observances of their Christian descendants ; 
thus among many nations a mild form of mutilation is found 
to have been the symbol of slavery, and the minimum consisted 
not unfrequently in cutting off some of the hair of the head. 
Among the Brythons we find in the Welsh romances called the 
Mabinogion, a youth who wished to become one of Arthur's 
Knights, having his hair cut off by the king with his own hand. 

1 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 348. 3 Dr. Grub, History, I., p. 147. 

2 Ibid., p. 346. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 1 7 

The tonsure usual in Britain and Ireland was the same, and 
it was merely a druidic survival." T Bishop Dowden, however, 
cannot think that there is the slightest evidence for this 
supposition. 2 

" The great body of the Columban monks were laymen, and 
were necessarily much occupied with tillage, the care of flocks 
and herds, and the varied labour connected with the mainten- 
ance of the community." 3 " Such were not required to attend 
the services during the day, and fatigue would probably demand 
unbroken sleep at night." 4 Bede remarks that though the 
monks lived by the labour of their own hands, they gave away 
to the poor all they did not absolutely need. " In many 
instances we find lands bestowed on the family or Monastery, 
but doubtless in the greater number the servants of the Church 
lived on the voluntary offerings of their flock." 5 " The brethren 
of tried devotedness were called " seniores," those who were 
strong for labour " operarii fratres," and those who were under 
instruction " juniores, alumni, or pueri familiares." They had 
all things common and personal property was disclaimed;" 6 
while hospitality was a leading feature among them. 

When a new mission centre was founded, a presbyter, well- 
grounded in faith and knowledge, was chosen to be its " head " 
" pater " or " abbas " and of his twelve associates the 
minority are said to have been presbyters, the majority being 
simply " fratres " or unordained men. It is said that these 
"fratres" were in general married men, living in separate huts or 
cottages within the turf-rampart enclosure. We read of the clergy 
reaping their own corn, grinding their own meal, cooking their 
own food, making their own variously-sized boats and becoming 
expert sailors. They were not the regular ministers of an 

1 Celtic Britain, pp. 73, 74. 4 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 346. 

2 Celtic Ch., pp. 241-245. 5 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 5. 

3 Ibid., p. 201. 6 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, pp. 342, 343. 

1 8 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

organised church, but missionaries whose object was to preach 
the Gospel and plant the Church of Christ in an almost pagan 
country. For this purpose they spread themselves over the 
land, teaching the truth of God, telling of His Commandments, 
and administering the Sacraments. 

In their lowly Monasteries prayer and praise and the reading 
of the Word formed a large part of their unvarying duties the 
" senior " brethren being responsible for the frequent services. 
'* The Bible was their daily study and constant meditation, and 
it was their business and delight to impart its sacred treasures 
to all who came to them for instruction." 1 They were unwearied 
in multiplying copies of the books of the Bible, and carried their 
manuscripts in leathern satchels which they hung on the walls 
of their huts. The Psalms were constantly repeated by them, 
and their love for the Gospels was intense. In 553 Columba, 
before crossing over to our country, founded Durrow, the 
largest and most permanent of his Irish Monasteries. Its most 
interesting relic is a MS. Gospel-book, believed to be of the 
Columban age perhaps, as some think, from the pen of 
Columba himself. " The Book of Kells " in Meath resembles 
it but exceeds it in the elaborateness of its illuminations. Both 
are now in the Trinity College Library, Dublin, and are marvel- 
lous monuments of the decorative art of the Columban Mon- 
asteries of Ireland in the seventh century. An illustration of a 
page of the " Book of Kells " forms the frontispiece of the first 
volume of the illustrated edition of Green's History of England, 
and at page 70 there is an illustration from the Lindisfarne 
Gospel-book. So beautiful are they and' so thoroughly Celtic 
in their character that we should have greatly erred if we had 
relied on what we know of their houses, as indications of their 
culture. " They were men of such acquirements and tastes that 

i Dr. Grub, History, I., p. 144. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 19 

they multiplied their books laboriously, and counted it a virtue 
to be diligent in doing so ; and the skill they thus acquired, 
enabled them to produce MS. volumes written with a faultless 
regularity and precision of character, rivalling the best caligraphy 
of the most literary nations, which they adorned with illumin- 
ations of exquisite beauty and intricacy of design." x 

" The rocks and islets all round lona swarmed with seals, 
and their oil, doubtless, supplied the light with which during 
many long winter evenings Columba pored over his MSS. of the 
sacred text or performed midnight services before the altar." 8 
The annals of an Irish Monastery state, with no doubt an 
excusable exaggeration, that he wrote no fewer than three hun- 
dred copies of the Gospels with his own hand, giving one to each 
of the churches he planted. The night in which he died, he 
was engaged in copying the 34th Psalm, his last written words 
being " They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." 

A manuscript of the Celtic Church has been preserved 
which is of special interest to ourselves. A few MSS. that had 
belonged to the monks of the Abbey of Deer, somehow found 
their way after the Reformation to the library of Bishop Moore 
of Norwich, and in 1715, at his death, to the Cambridge 
University library among them a small octavo MS. of eighty- 
six parchment folios closely written on both sides, now called 
" The Book of Deer." It is the solitary Liturgical relic of the 
Celtic Church in our country. It contains a copy of the Gospels 
in Latin, the first three in fragments, St. John's in full, also the 
Apostles' Creed in the handwriting of the ninth century, with 
a portion of a " Communion for the Sick," also in Latin, but 
having a rubric in the vernacular Celtic in a later hand. 
Written by a scribe of our own district one thousand years ago, 

i Dr. J. Anderson, Scotland in Early 2 lona, pp. 93, 94. 

Christian Times, pp. 165, 166. 

20 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

\h& facsimiles supplied by Mr. Stuart give us samples of the 
writing and illumination practised in our Northern Monasteries 
at that early date. " It also discloses something of the culture 
that existed in our remote district nearly ten centuries ago, 
showing that the clergy of Deer still followed the example of 
their first founder, and besides being expert caligraphists, 
having some skill in painting and illumination, were educated 
men, having a sufficient knowledge of at least one language 
beside their own to enable them to transcribe it intelligently and 
use it in the services of the Church." 1 " It furnishes probably 
the earliest authentic written record of Scotland, " 2 " next in 
the order of importance and of age to Adamnan's 'Life of 
Columba,'" 3 "and it is one which in few words throws much 
light on Celtic polity and social conditions throughout a long 
series of years." 

" The Book of Deer " is of special value in regard to the 
nature of the Liturgy in use in the Celtic Church, and Mr. 
Stuart in his preface 4 states that it has been shown that it 
" belongs to the Ephesine family of Offices, thus establishing 
the very important and interesting fact of the Gallican origin of 
the early Celtic Churches of St. Patrick in Ireland and St. 
Columba in Scotland." Mr. Warren also in his special work, 
" The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church," shows at length 
that its Liturgy was of Gallican not of Roman origin, follow- 
ing that of Ireland from which Columba came. It was 
derived from the East, from Ephesus, the home of St. John, 
and was quite independent of Rome. St. Patrick, while in 
Gaul, may have come in contact with Churchmen from the 
East at Marseilles, which was itself a Greek colony and had 

1 Dr. J. Anderson, Scotland in Early 3 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 195. 

Christian Times, pp. 138, 139. 4 Book of Deer, p. Iviii. 

2 Quarterly Review, Oct., 1894, p. 394. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 2 1 

continual intercourse with the Levant, and near which at the 
beginning of the fifth century Cassian established a convent. 1 
Even in Kent Augustine was left " at liberty to select a ritual 
for the English Church from the Gallican and other 'uses,' 
instead of copying the Roman rules entirely." 2 

Adamnan tells us that Columba wrote a volume containing 
hymns for the various services of the week. " The Brito-Celtic 
Church had many hymns." 3 Three Latin hymns " of consider- 
able beauty" 4 are ascribed to Columba, one of which his 
followers loved so much that they thought it was handed down 
from Heaven by one of the white-robed. " Even if a strict 
criticism throws doubts upon the authorship of the Irish poems 
which are attributed to him, these show at least what he was 
supposed to feel. And nowhere can we find more vivid images 
brought together, 'the song of the wonderful birds,' 'the 
thunder of the crowding waves,' ' the level sparkling strand,' all 
summoned before the eyes of the singer's heart that he may 
bless the Lord that is the end of all in prayer and praise 
and meditation and work and almsgiving." 5 He was himself a 
poet, the friend of poets, and fired with the love of poetry. 6 

" Columba and his followers believed all the articles of the 
Christian faith as contained in the Holy Scripture and handed 
down in the Creeds of the Church." 7 "At this time the faith 
of Christendom was substantially one." 8 The Monastery of 
lona was a branch or off-shoot of the great mother Church in 
Ireland, and there was a most interesting unity in the three 
Celtic Churches of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as regards 

1 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 26. 6 See Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, pp. 285-289, 

2 Archdeacon Hardwick, Middle Age, p. 9. and 253 ; lona, pp. 73, 74, 79. For 

3 Mr. Moorsom, Companion to Hymns a translation of the Altus see Bishop 

A. & M., p. 185. Dowden's Celtic Church, pp. 321-328. 

4 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. Ixxviii. 7 Dr. Grub, History, I., p. 144. 

5 Bishop Westcott, Leaders, p. 182. 8 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, pp. 

217, 218. 

22 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

religious spirit and doctrine and practice, making them sister- 
churches in the truest sense, and showing that for several 
centuries they were independent of the Church of Rome, and 
free to do their own work and spread the Gospel as made 
known in the Word of God. Adamnan testifies that " from his 
boyhood Columba was instructed in the love of Christ," and 
" that the foundation of his preaching and his great instrument 
in the conversion of the heathen was the Word of God " and 
another records that " he received nought but the doctrine of 
the Evangelists and Apostles." 

In Adamnan's Life of Columba some have thought that 
there is proof of the Invocation of saints, among his last words, 
for instance, being, "God, the comforter of the good, will be 
your helper, and I abiding with Him will intercede for you," 
but this is the promise of his own invocation of God, "which is 
quite a different thing." ' 

Never is there a " symptom of the worship of the Virgin." 2 
There is not even a trace of the first missionaries having 
dedicated a Church in the Virgin's name, though Churches that 
we know were founded by them, as at St. Andrews, came after- 
wards to receive this dedication. Speaking of St. Cuthbert who 
died in 687, ninety years after Columba's death, Bishop Light- 
foot says, " As we read the * Life of St. Cuthbert,' by Bede (who 
died in 735), amidst much credulous superstition, we are struck 
with the entire absence of that taint of Mariolatry which 
poisoned the well-springs of a later theology. God in Christ, 
Christ in God this is all in all to him." 3 

Columba's labours were all but ended before the writings of 
Pope Gregory the Great gave the main impetus to the belief 
that souls could be relieved from purgatorial pains by the 

1 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 107. 3 Leaders, p. 84. 

2 lona, p. 42. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 23 

prayers of the faithful, and nowhere in Christendom in the sixth 
century do we find the formulated doctrine that afterwards 
came to be known as transubstantiation, a doctrine unknown in 
all the Church until the ninth century, and then only enter- 
tained as a pious opinion by scholars. 1 In the "Book of Deer " 
there is definite and independent proof that both the Bread and 
the Wine were given to all communicants. Its " Communion 
Service for the Sick " expressly says, i( The Body with the Blood 
of the Lord Jesus Christ be health to thee for eternal life and 
salvation," and then immediately follow the words, " Refreshed 
with the Body and Blood of Christ, let us ever say to Thee, O 
Lord, Allelluia, Ailelluia." In fact there is no question that 
down to the twelfth century the Communion was given in this 

" The Columbite Church acknowledged no homage to the 
Pope." 2 " In Columba's Life there is not even an illusion to 
such an idea as the universal Bishopric of Rome, or to any 
special authority as seated there." 3 "The truth seems to be 
that since Ireland had derived her earliest Christianity from 
Gaul at a time before the Roman system had got matured or 
begun to claim for itself universal dominion, the naturally free 
Celtic spirit maintained this independence ; Columba carried it 
out to the full and owned no fealty to Rome ; and when in after- 
ages his descendants confronted the fully Romanised clergy of 
Saxon England, there were found to be between them differences 
irreconcilable." 4 "Celtic Christianity grew up a strictly native 
growth. The influence of Rome for long centuries was practi- 
cally unfelt. Long after the English Church had submitted to the 
Roman domination, the Irish Church remained essentially free. 
This independence Columba brought with him. lona became 

i Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, pp. 2 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 58. 
226, 227, 218 ; Mr. Stephen, History, 3 lona p. 42. 
p. 107. 4 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 33. 

24 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

now the light of Christendom. For many generations it was 
the centre of the great evangelistic movements of the time." x 
" Columba was the chief abbot and was looked upon as the 
head, the primate of the whole Celtic Church of his time," 2 and 
"to him, not to the Bishop of Rome, the Celtic missionaries 
owed allegiance." 3 

With reference to Episcopacy, Columba being simply a 
Presbyter, it became the rule that his successors at lona, should 
not have a higher dignity. Of the first eleven abbots who 
succeeded him, nine were of the same family as himself, and 
only one not of his kindred. " He made the ties of the clan 
the model of his own order." 4 But "in the service of his own 
Church he set the example of veneration for the bishop's office 
and disclaimed all pretensions to equality with one of that rank. 
Priests' orders were conferred by the bishop, but the previous 
imposition of the abbot's right hand was required as the bishop's 
warrant for his interference." 5 "The whole ecclesiastical fabric 
was constructed on the monastic foundation, a system that for 
ages placed the episcopate in a subordinate position. The 
essential officer was the abbot, but the presence of the bishop 
was an accident." 6 Bede says that in his own day (he died 
one hundred and thirty-eight years after Columba) "to the 
Presbyter Abbot of lona, all the province, even the bishops, 
contrary to the usual method, were subject, according to the 
example of their first teacher Columba." The names of several 
bishops who were consecrated at lona are given, "which 
manifestly proves the presence of a bishop in the island." 7 
When a presbyter was to be ordained in Tiree, where men were 

1 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. 7. 4 Bishop Westcott, Leaders, p. 185. 

2 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 22. 5 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, pp. 341, 348. 

3 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, pp. 12, 7 ; 6 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 146, 147. 

Archdeacon Hardwick, Middle Age, 7 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 348. 
pp. 7, 8 ; Mr. Warren, Liturgy, p. 29 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 25 

educated and trained for the ministry as well as at lona, a 
bishop was summoned for the purpose. There being no 
dioceses and no jurisdiction and no endowments in the country, 
it was easy for any considerable Monastery to possess a bishop 
for the performance of such offices as were confined to the 
highest order of the ministry. x A presbyter who presided over 
a Monastery, was the abbot or father of that Monastery ; and in 
cases where a Monastery by missionary labour succeeded in 
forming congregations of Christian converts in the surrounding 
country, the spiritual oversight of these congregations was 
undertaken either by the abbot himself or by some other of the 
presbyters who was named to the office, thus becoming a bishop. 
The duty of the bishop thus lay chiefly outside the Monastery, 
having to do with the congregations beyond its walls, gathered 
by the labour of the clergy who had it as the head-quarters of 
their mission. 

Dr. Reeves says it is very doubtful whether Columba com- 
posed any systematic rule, but he has drawn from Adamnan's 
Life a statement of the constitution, discipline, and arrangements 
of his monastic system. 2 " He represents one of the earlier 
forms of the monastic life which seems to have materially 
differed from that which it assumed in the great Orders of 
mediaeval times. The first of those great Orders was founded in 
his day. He was a contemporary of the famed St. Benedict. 
But rapid as was the spread of the great monastic Order which 
poured forth its legions from the sunny ridge of Monte Casino, 
as a centre, more than a century elapsed before they reached 
the distant shores of Britain. For aught we know Columba, 
though he survived him more than fifty years, never heard of 
the Rule of Benedict." 3 

1 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, p. 259. 3 lona, pp. 24, 25, 26. 

2 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, pp. 339-369. 

26 Many musk : its Church and Priory. 

The clergy of Lindisfarne were originally one with those of 
lona. Aidan came from lona in 635, and he, not Augustine, is 
the true " Apostle of England." x The third bishop was Colman, 
and in his time points of difference emerged that were fraught 
with great issues, though they were " about matters unimportant 
in themselves," as the reckoning of Easter which was " a 
question of convenience rather than of principle," and the 
matter of the tonsure " in which there could not be a right or a 
wrong," but was wholly trivial in itself. " The real issue lay 
behind all these petty disputes. It was the alternative of 
allegiance to Rome or allegiance to lona." 2 

As to the reckoning of Easter the British Church was never 
Quarto-deciman, but always kept the feast on a Sunday, and its 
" rule was probably the same with that of Rome at the time of 
the Nicene synod," 3 but in some years owing to the use of the 
antiquated cycle, the Sunday varied as much as a month from 
that observed by the rest of the Western Church. 4 The trial 
came first in the North of England. The queen of Oswio 
followed the Roman usage which prevailed in Kent, while the 
king cherished the memory of Aidan, so that while the queen 
was fasting on what in her calendar was Palm Sunday, the king 
was holding his Easter festival with rejoicing. In 665 a synod 
assembled at Whitby, the Convent of the famous Abbess Hilda, 
and the king was won over to the Roman side. " But sooner 
than abandon the traditions and customs of lona for those of 
Rome, Colman and his brethren retire altogether from the 
field, leaving the rich fruits of their labours to others at the very 
moment when the harvest is full ripe." s 

Bishop Lightfoot calls the time of Celtic ascendancy in 
Northumbria " the golden age of saintliness such as England 

1 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. n. 4 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 347. 

2 Ibid, p. 13. 5 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. 12. 

3 Dr. Grub, History I., pp. 71, 72. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 2 7 

would never see again," 1 but "a host of conspiring causes 
gradually resulted in the spread and ascendancy of Roman 
modes of thought." 2 Adamnan was Abbot of lona from 679 
to 704, and became a convert to the Roman uses and tried to 
induce the clergy to adopt them, but without success. " Roman 
direction was treated as absolutely valueless by them ; Roman 
wishes were disregarded." 3 

The conversion of the Northern Picts by Columba and his 
disciples seems to have been followed by a century and a half 
of friendly intercourse between Picts and Scots, and for these 
one hundred and fifty years the Church of Columba was the 
national Church of our country. But dark days were falling on 
the land, and the state of peace was put an end to by the 
religious revolution effected among the Picts by the Roman 
missionary Boniface, through whose efforts the Celtic Church 
was brought into conformity with the Church of Rome. About 
710 Nectan, King of the North Picts, conformed to the Roman 
usages and the clergy in lona yielded. About seven years after 
he ordered all the Columban clergy to conform in regard to 
tonsure and the keeping of Easter, or leave the country. Those 
who were unwilling to give up the ways that had come from the 
first Christian teachers in our land, were driven across the hills 
that divide Perthshire from Inverness and Argyll, and the 
primacy of lona came to an end. In the Irish annals this act 
is spoken of as " Expulsio familse lae trans dorsum Britanniae a 
Nectano rege." 4 The struggle was painful but the Columban 
clergy preferred expulsion to conforming to Nectan's decree, for 
they were "instinct with zeal and energy." The old Celtic 
customs and Celtic liturgies were rigidly suppressed and are not 
heard of after 730. 

1 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. 14. 3 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, p. 12. 

2 Archdeacon, Hardwick, Middle Age, p. 14. 4 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 184. 

28 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

In 736 the Picts conquered Dalriada, which nearly corres- 
ponds to Argyll, and for about one hundred years the Scots 
were ruled by princes of the Pictish race. From 794 onwards 
the light was trampled out in lona and the homes that sprang 
from it by the devastating Norsemen. The Irish records 
narrate in quick succession " the ravaging of Icolumkill" (794), 
"the Hebrides laid waste by the Danes" (798), "Icolumkill 
burnt by the Gentiles" (801, 802), "the family of Y slain by the 
Gentiles " (806). The wood and wattle-work Cathedral of the 
island was destroyed in 802, and in 806 sixty-eight of the 
brethren fell by the sword. The name of " The Martyrs' Bay" 
commemorates this massacre and another in 825 when the 
Church was attacked -while the Lord's Supper was being 
administered and the bishop and other clergy were slain by the 
Danes. Again in 877 it was burned by the Danes, and " when 
the calamity was overpast " the Monastery at lona being 
plundered and burned no fewer than six times " and the 
clergy towards the close of the ninth century and in the tenth 
century gathered once again to the ruined Churches and 
Monasteries, they practised no more the old austerity." 1 
" That light was put out which had shed religion and civilis- 
ation over Britain, and the harassed successors of Columba 
found uncertain shelter in the Monasteries of Ireland. Then 
comes a period of thick darkness, and when we again become 
acquainted with lona (in the reign of William the Lion) it is the 
seat of a convent of Cluniac monks of unknown foundation, and 
the memory of St. Columba and his family is gone." 2 

In 850, Kenneth MacAlpin, who was descended from 
Aedan, King of Scots, Columba's friend, had built a new Church 
at Dunkeld, dedicating it under the name of St. Columba, and 
removed some of his relics to it, making Dunkeld chief in 

i Principal Shairp, Sketches, pp. 58, 59. 2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Middle Ages, pp. no, in. 

Columba and the Celtic Church. 29 

ecclesiastical importance, and probably its bishop, Tuathal, was 
the "first" who had episcopal jurisdiction. About 903 Dunkeld 
in its turn was laid waste by the Norsemen, and probably at 
that time the relics were removed to Scone, the Capital. 1 

Whether we in this Church are worshipping or not on a spot 
where the first wooden Church in this district was built by some 
of Columba's followers, the lessons to be drawn from their 
earnest self-denying lives are our inheritance and may well stir 
our hearts. "Of these splendid traditions, of this bright 
example, of these evangelistic triumphs we are the heirs. The 
simplicity, the self-devotion, the prayerfulness, the burning love 
of Christ which shone forth in those Celtic missionaries of old, 
must be our spiritual equipment now." 2 

i Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., p. xx. 2 Bishop Lightfoot, Leaders, pp. 16, 17. 


" OF the four hundred years extending from the days of Cumin 
and Adamnan, who wrote lives of St. Columba, to the death of 
Malcolm Canmore, we possess scarcely any of those native con- 
temporary chronicles in which England and Ireland are so rich." * 
" In that long, dark blank there are names of kings and dates of 
battles, but hardly a vestige of what can be called personal his- 
tory." 2 " It is a curious fact that our knowledge of the state of 
Christianity in Scotland before the seventh century is much 
greater than during the four or five centuries following, which 
were ages of darkness and confusion." 3 Only when we reach the 
twelfth century does land come to be held by feudal charter and 
are gifts to religious houses inscribed in their registers and 
attested by witnesses. 

For one hundred and fifty years Columba and his followers 
were the evangelists of our country. The clergy who succeeded 
them differed from them in many ways, and the circumstances 
of the country became greatly altered. A name that we shall 
find frequently used in the Latin writs of the Priory of Mony- 
musk in designating the clergy who worshipped in this Church 
began to be employed, although formerly unknown the 
Latin name KELEDEI familiar to us as CULDEES. In these 
charters, from 1131 onwards, the clergy at Monymusk are called 
" Keledei," or " Canonici qui Keledei dicuntur," or " Keledei 

*Before reading this chapter, see particularly the note at the beginning of the previous 
chapter, neither being essential to our narrative. 

1 Dr. Campbellj St. Giles, pp. 65, 66. 3 Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, p. 13. 

2 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 45. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 31 

sive Canonici." Then this alternative is dropped, and in sub- 
sequent writs they are termed simply "Canonici" till 1245, 
when the " Keledei " or Culdees vanish from the page of our 
parish history, and in their stead there appear " The Prior and 
Convent of Munimusc of the Order of St. Augustine." In these 
writs we leave behind us all traditional accounts and reach the 
sphere of authentic history, and as the name is so often used to 
denote the clergy who lived here and are buried in our Church- 
yard, it is of special interest to us to gain as comprehensive an 
idea as we can regarding them. Dr, Reeves, however, the 
chief authority on this subject, says that " Culdee is the most 
abused term in Scotic Church history," x and that it " has been 
the subject of much speculative error and historical mystifi- 
cation. 2 

Who then were the Culdees? It has been fully established 
that they had nothing directly to do with Columba and his 
Church. "There was no connection between them and the 
Columbite Monasteries other than that both were of the Irish 
type." 3 The primitive Church in our country was not a Culdee 
institution. " It is certain that for nearly two centuries after 
the arrival of St. Columba, the Culdees had no known existence 
in Scotland, nor probably anywhere else." 4 " It is not till after 
the expulsion of the Columban monks from the kingdom of the 
Picts in the beginning of the eighth century, that the name of 
Culdee appears." 5 "No doubt Culdees were found in the 
tenth and eleventh centuries in Churches and Monasteries 
which had been founded by Columba and his immediate 
followers. But though "in these cases "they filled the place 
of the Columbites, they led another manner of life, and were of 
another spirit." 6 We must not fall, says Dr. Reeves, "into 

1 Adamnan, p. 368. 4 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 308. 

2 Culdees, p. 123. 5 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland, II., p. 226. 

3 Smith's Diet, of Ch, Ant. 6 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 58. 

32 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

the national error of supposing the Culdees to have been a 
peculiar order who derived their origin from St. Columba \ in 
other words, that they were Columbites, in the same sense that 
we speak of Benedictines. It is true that, after the lapse of 
centuries, Culdees were found in Churches which he or his 
disciples founded ; but their name was in no way distinctive, 
being in the first instance an epithet of asceticism, and after- 
wards that of irregularity. Among the numerous references 
to lona in the Irish Annals there is only one notice of Celi-de 
as existing there, and this solitary example is of so late a period 
as 1 1 64."' In the tenth century "almost everywhere," says 
Dr. Joseph Robertson, " on both banks of the Forth, in Celtic 
Scotland, in Teutonic England, the old monastic discipline 
died out, the name of monk disappeared. Many Monasteries 
were suppressed by lay usurpation ; many were swept away by 
the fire and sword of the heathen Norsemen. Most of those 
which survived were peopled the Cathedral and Collegiate 
Churches were served by a new order of Canon Clerics or 
Regular Clergy, who, falling away from the comparatively easy 
rule which they professed to follow, became loose, worldly, self- 
indulgent, too often neglecting the offices of religion, not 
always respecting the duties of morality. The reform or 
expulsion of these degenerate servants or worshippers of God 
'Servi Dei,' 'Coelicolse,' ' Deicolae,' ' Cultores Dei,' 'Colidei,' 
1 Culdees,' as they appear to have been called was the great 
work to which, with the characteristic impetuosity of reformers 
St. Dunstan, St. Ethel wold, St. Oswald set themselves in the 
latter half of the tenth century." 2 

The question of the origin of the Culdees has been much 
debated and there is still much that is obscure regarding them. 
They were not an order peculiar to Scotland. The name seems 

i Culdees, p. 149. 2 Stat. Ecc. Scot., pp. ccvi.-ccxiv. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 33 

to have originated in Ireland. About 790 it was appropriated 
to a specially ascetic order of monks established by St. 
Maelruain, abbot and bishop, at Tallaght near Dublin. About 
twenty-five years before this, canonical rules were formed by the 
Archbishop of Metz for the clergy of his own town, which 
became so popular that they were enlarged in order to be 
applicable to the whole Church, and in them the name of 
" Deicola " appears, and the canon clerics are spoken of as 
"servi Dei." "They were an intermediate class between 
monks and secular priests, adopting to a great extent the 
discipline, without the vows, of the monastic system and 
discharging the office of ministers in various Churches. 
Possibly the institution of Maelruain may have borrowed from 
or possessed some features in common with the order of Canons, 
for certain it is that in after ages both the Keledei of Scotland 
and the Colidei of Ireland exhibited in their discipline the main 
characteristics of secular canons." * 

The word Culdee is derived from the Irish Cele-De, "a 
servant of God," "a God-fearing man," being "a Celtic trans- 
lation of the Latin * Servus Dei ' in its limited and technical 
sense of a monk." 2 " The devotion and self-denial which 
characterised monastic life upon its introduction into the Latin 
Church procured for those who adopted it the special desig- 
nation of servi Dei, which in process of time acquired a 
technical application, so that servus Dei and Monachus became 
convertible terms. To this origin we may safely refer the 
creation of the Celtic compound Cele-De, which in its employ- 
ment possessed all the latitude of its model, and in the lapse of 
ages underwent all the modifications or limitations of meaning 
which the changes of time and circumstances, or local usage, 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 128. 2 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. , p. ccxiii. 

34 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

produced in the class to whom the epithet was applied." 1 
" Ceile D was the phrase adopted by the Scotic Church as the 
proper Gaelic rendering of the Latin ' Servus Dei.' In process 
of time and under the influence perhaps of a false etymology, 
the phrase was variously written Calledeus, Keledeus, Colideus, 
finally settling down into Culdee. The meaning of the phrase 
would seem to have been quite as elastic as the form." 2 

The name is frequently met with in Irish records, details of 
eight separate Irish Culdee homes being given by Dr. Reeves. 3 
"In some instances their head was married and his office heredi- 
tary in others they are distinctly called celibate." 4 The name is 
found at Armagh as early as 921, and there the ancient title sur- 
vived even the Reformation, existing as late as 1628. 5 But it 
was not confined to Ireland and Scotland. The officiating 
Canons of York Minster in 946 were called " Colidei,'' and dis- 
charged the double duty of divine service and charitable 
hospitality. 6 Even at Canterbury, in a charter of King 
Ethelred in 1 106, Canon Clerics are called " Cultores Clerici, 
a singular expression which seems to intimate that the col- 
legiate clergy were even then styled Culdees Cultores Dei in 
the South as well as in the North of England." 7 They were 
similarly styled at Winchester in 966, and the name also 
appears on the Continent, in Gaul. " The same indiscri- 
minate use of ' Cleric ' and ' Canon ' which prevailed at Win- 
chester," says Dr. Joseph Robertson, "prevailed generally 
elsewhere, as at Rochester, at Durham, on one side of Tweed, 
at St. Andrews, at MONYMUSK on the other. It was so from 
the beginning of the Order." 8 About 1190 the Island of 

1 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 119, 120. 6 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 177. 

2 Prof. M'Kinnon, Edinburgh University. 7 Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., p. 

3 Culdees, pp. 125-143. ccxiii. ; Dr. Grub, History, I., 229, 230. 

4 Smith's Dictionary. 8 Stat. Ecc. Scot., p. ccxiv. 

5 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 128-137. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 35 

Bardsey, on the Coast of Caernarvon in Wales, is mentioned as 
inhabited by "most devout monks called Celibates or Culdees. 
Indeed, " the Welsh word for a hermit, which is ' meudwy,' 
means ' God's slave,' " ' which corresponds exactly with the 
Celtic " C&e De," " God's servant," " Culdee." 

" Passing over to Scotland, whither the term had been 
imported with the language and institutions of the Scotic 
[Irish] immigrants, we find about the middle of the thirteenth 
century, certain ecclesiastics entitled Keledei sive Canonid. In 
fact, during the range of time in which the term is of record, 
we discover the greatest diversity in its application sometimes 
borne by hermit, sometimes by conventuals ; in one situation 
implying the condition of celibacy, in another understood of 
married men ; here denoting regulars, there seculars ; some of 
the name bound by obligations of poverty, others free to 
accumulate property ; at one period high in honour as implying 
self-denial, at another regarded with contempt as the designa- 
tion of the loose and worldly-minded. . . . When at last 
Cele De does become a distinctive term, it is only so as con- 
trasting those who clung to the old conventual observances of 
the country with those who adopted the better organised and 
more systematic institutions of mediaeval introduction, in fact, 
as denoting an old-fashioned Scotic monk in an age when 
the prevalence of such surnames as MacNab (son of the 
Abbot), MacVicar, &c., indicated a condition of clerical society 
not exactly in accordance with the received notions of ecclesias- 
tical discipline." 2 

Culdees are without doubt found in Scotland about 840, 
but by some this date is thought too late. Our earliest record 
of them is in the Register of St. Andrews Priory, 3 which contains 

1 Prof. Rhys, Celtic Britain, p. 73. 3 Register of St. Andrews Priory, 

2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 120, 121. pp. 113-118. 

36 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

memoranda of some early gifts during the Celtic period. 
One of these states that Brude, son of Dergard, by old tradi- 
tion the last of the Pictish kings, gave the little island on Loch- 
leven, called St. Serfs, to Almighty God, St. Servanus, and the 
Culdees, who are spoken of as " Keledei, hermits dwelling 
there, who serve and shall hereafter serve God in that island." 
About 950, during the rule of their abbot Ronan, on condition 
of receiving food and clothing, the Culdees gave over their 
island to the first Fothad, Bishop of the Scots, at St. Andrews, 
who was held in high repute all through Scotland and who died 
in 961. x The next writ refers to a gift by the renowned 
Macbeth, and preserves his father's name, Finlach, and also 
Lady Macbeth's own name, " Gruoch daughter of Bodhe." In 
it they are styled " King and Queen of the Scots," and it records 
a grant of lands near Lochleven still retaining the name of 
Kyrkness, which they made to these Culdees between 1037 and 
1054 the lands being given, it is stated, from feelings of piety 
and for the benefit of their prayers, and being expressly 
declared to be free from all lay services. Macbeth also gave 
them the lands of Bolgyne, and they received the grant of a 
church Markinch, Scoonie, and Auchterderran all three in 
the neighbourhood of Lochleven from each of the three 
bishops who ruled at St. Andrews between 1028 and 1093. 
" They were a small community, and preserved, even as late as 
the reign of Malcolm III., who died in 1093, their original 
character of a hermit society. They were the oldest Culdean 
establishment in Scotland, and thus exhibited its earliest 
form." 2 We shall learn by and by with what harshness they 
were treated by David I. 

" It is worthy of observation that in the early Irish notices 
of the Cli-de the superior is generally styled ' head/ not 

T See Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 243, 169, 170. 2 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland, II., 388. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 37 

' abbot ' or ' prior.' This distinction is also observed in some 
of the Scotch records, where the superior of the Keledei is 
called Prcepositus (Provost). There are two instances, however, 
where he is termed Abbas. In Brechin he appears as Prior ; 
but the term is qualified at MONYMUSK, Prior vel Magister." * 

" In considering the name of Culdee, there are two things 
which should be kept in view : (f. ) that it seems to have been 
less an authoritative, technical, or proper designation, than a 
loose popular term, as appears from the way in which it is so 
often used ' Clericos qui Keledei vulgariter appellantur,' &c. \ 
('.) that, in Scotland at least, the name is said to have been 
given by the common people to priests of all kinds, without 
discrimination." 2 

Of old the Celtic Clergy used often to seek retirement from 
their brethren for a longer or shorter time. In lona, for 
instance, a place at a little distance from the general buildings 
of the settlement was set apart for seclusion and was called " the 
Desert." This word gives its name to the parish of Dysart, on 
the shores of the Firth of Forth, where St. Serf scooped out for 
himself a cave as a " desert." 3 He is said to have usually spent 
the forty days of Lent there. " This cave was used as a Church 
up to nearly the time of the Reformation." 4 Also " close down 
upon the shore is still the tower of the deserted Church of St. 
Serf, ivy-mantled and surmounted by a quaint saddle-backed 
and crow-stepped gable." 5 Probably when the discipline 
of the Columban clergy, or of those who succeeded them 
after their expulsion, becamed relaxed, the Culdees owed 
their origin and their name to a reaction from the lowered 
tone of the monastic life and an attempt to reach its higher 

1 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 126. 4 Sir James Simpson. 

2 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., p. ccxiv. 5 Fringes of Fife. 

3 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 25. 

38 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

perfections. x " The busy life of the monastic communities 
came by some to be regarded as a state less perfect than the 
life of retired devotion which might be found in a ' desert.' " At 
first retirement to such a place was only for a time, but after- 
wards there were those who sought a life-long seclusion in 
these or in remoter solitudes. Absolute solitude seems to have 
proved, as time went on, too trying for human nature, and by 
and by groups of cells were formed, and "anchorites," 
"hermits," and Cele De (in Scotland "Keledei") were names 
bestowed upon their occupants." 2 " They were finally brought 
under the canonical rule along with the secular clergy, retaining, 
however, to some extent the nomenclature of the Monastery, 
until at length the name of Keledeus or Culdee became almost 
synonymous with that of secular canon." 3 Some, however, 
think that in all probability the Ceile De were never solitary 
hermits, but were "communities from their origin." 4 

Whatever their actual origin, the Culdees were most prob- 
ably at first severely ascetic, and they seem always to have been 
small communities. Some of their homes were widely separate, 
with few bonds, if any, uniting them. We shall find one writ 
mentioning the Prior of St Andrews and the Prior of Monymusk 
meeting at St Andrews regarding their respective money- 
matters, but this is after Monymusk has ceased to be Culdean, 
and it is to the Augustinian Prior at St. Andrews, not to the 
still-remaining Culdean Head, that account is given. At St. 
Andrews and Monymusk at least the Culdean bodies were 
thirteen in number the Prior and other twelve priests under his 
authority. When we first hear of them at Monymusk they are 
receiving endowments, being thus independent of bodily labour 
and able to devote themselves to the services in the Church and 

1 See Mr. Stephen, History, p. 310. 3 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland, II., p. 277. 

2 Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, pp. 4 Dr. Campbell, Ch. of Scot., Past and 

204, 205. Present, Vol. I. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 39 

Priory. We shall find that at Monymusk they were excluded 
from all parochial functions, and as regarded the rights of the 
Parish Church were placed upon the footing of ordinary parish- 
ioners that they were bound by no vows, and that their 
peculiarity consisted in their collegiate character and the 
absence of spiritual cure. 1 This may doubtless go far to 
account for their decay. How very different from the 
missionary spirit of Columba and his followers ! How strange 
to think of as many as thirteen Clerics being engaged in 
constant worship here, by day and night, and yet being 
hindered from helping to build up the parish and district in 
piety by labour as well as prayer ! Little wonder that we shall 
find such a quarrel raging for years in their home, that an 
appeal in regard to it had to be taken to the Pope himself! 

"Among the Cotton Manuscripts in the British Museum 
is preserved a Catalogue of the religious houses of England 
and Wales, at the end of which is a List of the Scotch Sees 
and the orders of their respective societies." It is annexed 
to Silgrave's Chronicle which comes down to 1272, and prob- 
ably records the state of things anterior to its own date. This 
List is regarded as the work of Silgrave, and from it, and 
from charter-sources as to some non-cathedral Monasteries, it is 
foundthat no "record-evidence" remains for more than THIRTEEN 
homes in Scotland where Keledei existed. 2 The notices of 
even some of these are of the most meagre nature, and all of 
them, except two of which we have hardly any record at all, 
were on the East Coast, while none of them were south of the 
Forth. Although the number is so small, the system is spoken 
of at a very early time as if it extended over all the country, and 
the " Celtic " or " Columban " Church is even in our own day 
often spoken of as the "Culdean" Church. When Turgot, 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 174. 2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 150, 151. 

40 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Queen Margaret's friend and chaplain, was elected Bishop of 
St. Andrews in 1107, it is recorded in the Chronicle of Durham, 
of which he was Prior, " In diebus illis jus Keledeorum per 
totum regnum Scotise transivit in Episcopatum St. Andreas " 
" in his days the rights of the Culdees over the whole Kingdom 
of Scotland passed to the Bishopric of St. Andrews " " a loose 
and exaggerated statement ; but there can be little doubt that 
Bishop Turgot checked the Culdees in their alienation of Church 
property at St. Andrews." 1 This also "evidently points to the 
completion of a great ecclesiastical revolution, the change from 
Abbatial to Episcopal jurisdiction." 3 "During his tenure of 
office, however, Turgot appears to have done nothing to affect 
the rights of the Culdees." 3 

The chief of their homes was at ST. ANDREWS, one of 
the earliest Celtic homes of piety in OUT country, founded, it is 
thought, by Cainnech (Kenneth), the patron saint of Kilkenny 
(which is named after him) and a friend of Columba's. He had 
a hut at St. Andrews, and died in 600. An abbot of the 
Culdees at St. Andrews is recorded in 944, and " it would 
seem that its Culdees had the privilege of electing the Primate 
of all Scotland, who was now a ' bishop,' and not a simple 
' presbyter' like Columba, although the nomination itself was 
probably vested in the king." 4 Many records of the Culdees 
at St. Andrews remain, and are given by Dr. Reeves. They 
were thirteen in number " twelve brethren and a prior, as in 
Monymusk" and among them "it is evident that the condition 
of matrimony was no disqualification for the office of a 
Keledeus, and such as were married men before their ad- 
mission were likely to have families, from which in process of 
time persons would be chosen to fill up vacancies carnali 

1 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 154. 3 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland, II., p. 373. 

2 Mr. Stuart, Book of Deer, p. cxxiii. 4 Dr. Grub, History, I. pp. 227, 236. 


Stanford^ Qeog.Estab 

The Culdees in Scotland. 41 

succession*, and their wives were excluded only from their 
official residences which they occupied when on duty." A writ 
of 1250 shows that the Keledean Church of St. Andrews was 
dedicated to St. Mary; "that of Monymusk also bore the 
same name." x So tenacious was the hold they had on their 
own separate Church, and so resolute were they against being 
transformed into Augustinian Canons Regular, that a distinct 
Priory of this Order was " artfully" planted by Robert, Bishop 
of St. Andrews, so near them as to be within hearing of their 
chants, and the little Romanesque Church and tower that 
have received the name of St. Rule " still a landmark in St. 
Andrews" were built by him between 1127 and 1144 within 
their own precinct and within a stone-throw of their altar. 
They got the option of entering the new Monastery as Canons, 
or of retaining their life interests as they were ; but as they 
severally died, Canons were to be chosen in their room, and 
their possessions were to pass to the new Order. Even then 
they were able to retain their own small Church, and also a 
voice, along with the rival Canons, in the election of the bishop. 
When a vacancy occurred in 1297, for instance, the twelve 
Culdees put forward as a candidate their own Provost, William 
Comyn, brother of the Earl of Buchan, who was strongly sup- 
ported by Edward I., but the Pope decided in favour of the 
choice of the Augustinian Canons, William Lamberton, the 
friend of Wallace. By and by " the little priestly caste," " the 
native clergy " began to pine and wither. Yet, notwithstanding 
all the efforts to dispossess them they continued as late as 1322, 
but after this the name of Culdees seems to be heard no more, 
though their little Church continued to be regarded with 
veneration until the Reformation. After this the Provostry 
became vested in the Crown, and in 1616 was annexed, 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 224, 225, 232. 

42 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

together with the appendant benefices, to the See of St. 
Andrews. * 

DUNKELD was another of the earliest Columban mission 
centres. "Both St. Columba and St. Cuthbert appear in its 
traditions." It is said to have been refounded with Culdees 
about 820, and a short time after some of the relics of 
St. Columba were removed to it for safety, and it was consti- 
tuted the " mother-church " over the Columban Churches, the 
supremacy of lona having passed away. After Kenneth 
MacAlpine made good his right to the Pictish throne in 843, we 
read in 864 of the death of Tuathal, who is called " primus " 
Bishop of Pictland and Abbot of Dunkeld. There seems no 
reasonable doubt, Dr. Reeves says, that he was the head of the 
Culdees there. Some writers make "primus" equivalent to 
"chief"; others hold the meaning to be "first" in point of 
time; while, as we have said before, 2 it may probably point 
to his being the first bishop who had episcopal jurisdic- 
tion. After this the Church lands were secularised, and the 
Culdee Monastery had a "Lay- Abbot," whose office was of 
such rank as to be hereditary in the royal family. Cronan (or 
Crinan) its lay-abbot was married to Bethoc, daughter of 
Malcolm II and was the father of " the gracious Duncan." 
Ethelred, a younger son of Malcolm III and Margaret, who 
was also Earl of Fife, became its lay-abbot. While the Abthein 
or Abbacy, together with its lands, descended to him, the 
inferior ministers retained their corporate and clerical condition 
as the officiating clergy of the Church. When the Culdees 
were superseded, and made the Cathedral Chapter by David I 
(another of Malcolm Ill's sons) its actual abbot, Cormac, 

i See also Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., pp. ccxix. -ccxxvi. ; Mr. Skene, 
Celtic Scotland, II. pp. 356-360 ; Mr. Stephen, History, p. 319 ; Principal Shairp, 
Sketches, pp. 89-91. 2 p. 29. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 


became the first bishop about 1127. The two societies of 
secular clergy and regular canons with the bishop at their head, 
co-existed for nearly two centuries, and in Silgrave's Catalogue 
they are both mentioned "Canons" and "Culdees." 1 

BRECHIN had long been a sacred spot, and its remarkable 
Round Tower still remains a striking token of its early connec- 
tion with Irish missionaries, being, " as it were, the gnomon of 
the original monastic group." It is one hundred and six feet 
high, " modernised, no doubt, at its apex, but bearing evidence 
in its general character that it belongs to about the period of 
Kenneth, son of Malcolm that is, 970-992." It stands close 
to the Cathedral built by David I, but it had not been 
actually joined as a building to any Church. A Culdee com- 
munity was added to the original Irish foundation, but "the 
place totally disappears from history till David's reign." 2 The 
abbacy was secularised, like Dunkeld, and held by a layman, 
who took the name of " Abbe," and inherited a large share of 
the Culdee patrimony, and transmitted it to his descendants, 
who soon lost even the name of abbot. 3 Leod, the lay abbot, 
signs, as a witness, the Charter of the Abbey of Deer by 
David I, and the names of his grandson and other descendants 
are known, all in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The 
prior and his Culdees became the Chapter of the Bishopric, 
founded by David I about 1145, and successive bishops speak 
of them with affection as " Keledei nostri," 4 and even after 
other clerics were introduced into the Chapter, the Prior was 
still the President ; but in 1248, the last year of Alexander II 's 
reign, the Culdees have disappeared, and we hear only of the 
Dean and Chapter. 5 

1 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 159-161. 

2 Ibid, p. 162 

3 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Chambers' Ency., 

Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 237, 238. 

4 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p, 156. 

5 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland II., 

pp. 400-402. 

44 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

DUNBLANE is named after the royal St. Blaan, Bishop of 
Kingarth, in the end of the sixth or early portion of the seventh 
century. It was an ancient Columban settlement. Silgrave's 
Catalogue mentions that the religious society of the Church 
were Keledei, but beyond this notice Dr. Reeves finds no 
express mention of their existence at Dunblane. 1 There were 
Culdees at Muthil, situated farther North, "which seems to 
have grown on the decay of Dunblane." After 1214 Muthil 
became the seat of the Dean of Dunblane, who had already 
taken precedence of the Culdee Prior. 

ROSEMARKY, near Fortrose, on the north shore of the 
Moray Firth, was, we may reasonably assume, an Irish founda- 
tion, probably belonging in origin to the latter half of the 
seventh century. It was dedicated, like Mortlach, under the 
name of Moluoc of Lismore. Of its succeeding history we 
have not a particle of information until David I revived the 
see, and made it the Cathedral town of the Bishopric of Ross. 
Silgrave's Catalogue designates the society as Keledei that is 
the representatives of the old secular college. 2 

DORNOCH, in Sutherland, became the seat of the Cathedral 
of the diocese of Caithness the most northern diocese on 
the mainland. It may be regarded as an Irish foundation 
(dedicated to St. Barr, "St. Fimber of Dornoch") "out of 
which grew, in course of time, that peculiar development of the 
ministerial orifice called Keledean. What the ecclesiastical 
process was through which it passed under Norse rule we are 
not informed, but King David accepted it as the most vener- 
able Church in the earldom, when he defined the diocese of 
Caithness, and made this its Cathedral centre. Andrew, 'Bishop 
of Catanes,' appears on record in 1146"; but, in 1222, Bishop 
Gilbert built a new Church, and established a Chapter. "He 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 164, 165. 2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 162-164. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 45 

found at his accession no more than one priest ; he left his 
Cathedral endowed for five dignitaries and three prebendaries," 1 
and with his name is to be associated the virtual extinction of 
the Keledei in this diocese. 2 

Thus "in his restorations David I merely added a bishop 
to the existing societies at Brechin, Dunblane, Ross, and 
Caithness ; while in the earlier sees of St. Andrews and Dunkeld 
he superseded the Keledei by instituting chapters of regular 
canons. The encouragement of their lax and impotent system 
would have ill accorded with the vitality and reforming spirit 
which pervaded all his measures ; and further as the represent- 
atives of the Celtic clergy, they were little likely to be acceptable 
to a prince who wished to infuse the Saxon element into the 
Scottish Church." 3 

In the West, LISMORE, an island six miles from Oban, seems 
to have been a home of the Culdees, but they can hardly be 
traced. 4 The Monastery was founded by St. Moluoc, an Irish 
bishop, who died in 592, and it "no doubt continued to exist 
through successive ages, until in the course of time, its society, 
in conformity with the progress of native monasticism, settled 
down into the condition which obtained for them the name of 
Keledei." 5 About 1200 the district was separated from the 
Bishopric of Dunkeld and formed into the Diocese of Argyll, 
and in Silgrave's Catalogue its chapter is called Culdean, but in 
1249 the election of the bishop is vested in the canons of the 
Church. The old Church lands had come to be held by a lay- 
man as his private property, who assumed the name of Abbot, 
as is still testified by the extensive district opposite bearing the 
name of APPIN, which is simply the old word Abdaine, Abthane, 
Abthein, or Abbacy, denoting the territories of the old Abbey, 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 49. 4 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland II., p. 408. 

2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, 166, 167. 5 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 167, 168. 

3 Ibid., pp. 148, 149. 

46 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

just as, widely separate from it, there is the other Appin 
named from the Church lands of Dull in Athol being held by 
the great lay-abbot of Dunkeld. ' 

These SEVEN Culdee homes became in course of time 
Episcopal seats, one reason doubtless being the importance of 
the places at the time, and another, probably a stronger 
reason, that they already possessed these corporations of Culdee 
clergy, who had endowments, and had been engaged for 
years in the constant round of divine service. * The Culdees 
became merged in the Cathedral chapters, but before the end 
of the thirteenth century they all disappear, except at St. 
Andrews, leaving the chapters composed of secular canons. 

There were only other five or six Culdee homes in the 
whole country, and they "were never raised to the rank of 
Episcopal sees. This was owing to some secular influence or 
peculiarity of position. These merely retained their con- 
ventual character, with diminished importance, as being inside 
the jurisdiction of more favoured Churches, until in the 
course of events their societies were suppressed or died a 
natural death. In fact, the generality of Monasteries, both in 
Scotland and Ireland, were in a state of decrepitude at the 
beginning of the twelfth century, and those which survived for 
any length of time owed the continuation of their existence 
either to the superaddition of a bishop and chapter, or to 
their reconstruction on a new model." 3 

ST. SERF'S, in Lochleven, was one of the " earliest religious 
foundations in Scotland, and probably owed its origin to St. 
Serf in the dawn of national christianisation." 4 We have already 
spoken of its origin. One point, however, seems incapable of 
being determined. Wynton, who became its prior, identified 

1 See also Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 147. 3 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 14 . 

2 See Bishop Dowden, Celtic Church, pp. 202, 203. 4 Ibid., p. 171. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 47 

" Brude, son of Dergard," the donor of the island, with Brude, 
son of Derili, who reigned from 697 to 706, and some 
think it may be this Brude, while Dr. Reeves x thinks this date 
too early, and considers it was another Brude who reigned in 
842 for one year, especially as the writ says he was " the last 
of the kings of the Picts." The earlier date would connect this, 
the first mention of the Culdees in Scotland, with the time 
7 10 to 717 when Nectan tried to induce the old Columban 
clergy in Pictland to yield to the Roman missionaries, and 
found not only that this was impossible, but that the two 
Churches could not exist side by side with each other, so that, 
as we saw before, he banished the Columban clergy from his 
dominions. In Ireland we find Culdees devoting themselves 
to the care of the sick and of the poor, some of their heads 
being married, as celibacy had not yet become the universal 
rule, 2 and if this self-denying charitable spirit was present 
among some in the Celtic Church, it is possible that a few of the 
old clergy who came to bear the name of Culdees may have been 
allowed to remain in Pictland by Nectan, and in this early gift 
of St. Serfs island we may have the record of royal favour 
shown to some of their body. This, however, is merely a 
supposition. Besides the gifts we mentioned before, the 
Culdees at St. Serfs about 1120 received a grant of the lands 
of Admore from Ethelred, a younger son of Malcolm III. and 
Margaret, and lay-abbot of Dunkeld. In this he followed the 
example of his father and mother in their gift of Ballechristin, 
and his deed says that " he gives the lands with more affection 
since this possession was given him by his parents while he was 
yet in boyhood." 3 A few years after, his brother David I 
and the Bishop of St. Andrews, by writs that we shall afterwards 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 243. 2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 128, 137. 

3 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 115. 

48 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

detail, gave over all that these Chelede possessed island 
and monastery, churches, lands, mill, and all pertinents, even 
the vestments in which they performed their services, and their 
little library of seventeen books, the names of which we shall 
mention particularly to the newly-founded Augustinian Canons 
at St. Andrews, that a priory of this order might supplant the 
old " Culdee " Abbey of the island. We learn that by 1248 
the same year as at Brechin and three years after Monymusk 
this change had been fully accomplished, and we hear no 
more of the Culdees of Lochleven. 1 

ABERNETHY, on the Tay, in Perthshire, was for a time the 
capital of the southern Pictish kingdom. It was a very ancient 
centre of Christianity, and an old Pictish Bishopric. It is said 
that Ninian planted the first Church here about 400, and that 
Columba refounded it about 580. The Church was first 
dedicated to St. Bridgid of Kildare, to whom were granted the 
lands and tithes which the priors and canons enjoyed from 
ancient times. Its Round Tower is an abiding record of its early 
connection with the Irish Church, and was built probably 
about 850, one thousand years ago. It is seventy-two feet 
high, and is believed to be of an older type, and earlier in date 
than the only other one in our country at Brechin, and could 
have been the work of Irish Clergy alone. 2 " In ilia ecclesia 
(Abirnethy) fuerunt tres electiones factae, quando non fuit nisi 
unus solus episcopus in Scotia" 3 Thus Abernethy gave three 
successive bishops when there was but one solitary bishop 
"in Scotia." Evidently this was after the power had passed 
from Dunkeld, and before the seat of the one bishop was trans- 
ferred to St. Andrews whose Culdees then became the electors. 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 169-171, 2 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland, II., 309 ; 
242-250 ; Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland Dr. J. Anderson, Scotland in Early 

II., pp. 388, 389. Christian Times, p. 35. 

3 See Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 251. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 49 

The statement just quoted from the writ has given rise to 
difficulty especially in regard to the form of Episcopacy then 
existing. We have seen that in the "Columban" period, there 
were many bishops throughout the country, and if there was 
only one at this time, a great change must have taken place, 
perhaps in regard to jurisdiction, and when the solitary bishop 
died, it has been asked what episcopal authority was left to 
consecrate his successor, and whether this was done simply by 
Presbyters. Abernethy became a Culdee Abbey, and Culdees 
are found in it about 1120, for Ethelred's writ, mentioned in 
regard to Dunkeld, was confirmed there, and among the 
witnesses to it are the names of two who were sons of priests 
of Abernethy, and three other priests, two of whom were 
Culdees, thus showing secular " married " clergy existing there 
side by side with Culdee priests. About eighty years after an 
hereditary lay-abbot named Orm, the founder of the baronial 
house of Abernethy, and after him his son and grandson 
appear dividing the lands and tithes with the prior and Culdees 
who performed the religious duties. " The finishing blow was 
struck in 1272, when the priory was converted into a society 
of Canons Regular." 1 

At MUTHIL, "the capital of the Earldom of Stratherne," 
near the river Earn, north of Dunblane and three miles from 
CrierT, we find Culdees with their prior from 1178 to 1214, 
charters between these dates being recorded, which are 
witnessed by three priors, whose names are given, and other 
clergy, but we know little of the early history of this Church. 2 

At MONIFIETH, on the north shore of the Firth of Tay, 
" Culdees are once mentioned, and then pass away for ever." 
Malcolm, Earl of Angus, grants to the Abbey of Arbroath " the 

1 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 171, 172 ; Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland II. pp. 397-400. 

2 Ibid., pp. 175, 259, 260 ; Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland II. p. 404; Dr. Joseph Robertson, 

Spalding Club Miscel. v. p. 58. 

50 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Church of Monifod with its chapels, lands," &c.. which is 
confirmed by King William. About 1220 he grants the land 
of the Abthein of Munifeth to the son of Bricius, priest of 
'Kerimure,' which Matilda, Countess of Angus, his daughter, 
confirms in 1242, the vicar of the parish witnessing her charter, 
and then the Countess Matilda grants to the Abbey of Arbroath 
"the land on the south side of the Church which the Keledei 
held in the life-time of her father, with a croft at the east end 
of the Church"; and finally Michael, the lord of the Abba- 
thania holds this croft in feu-farm from the Abbey. Thus the 
old abbacy is granted to the son of a priest who then calls 
himself Abbot, while the Church is served by a vicar, and a de- 
scendant appears, as in other cases, with the simple designation 
of " de Monifoth," and calls himself lord of the Abbathania 
or territory of the Abbacy, so that the ancient Monastery had 
now passed into the hands of an hereditary lay-abbot. We 
hear simply of "the expiring remnant of an ancient society, 
whose endowments were lost in part through the vicious 
administration of their secular affairs, while the remainder was 
handed over to a neighbouring Monastery, whose practice 
was considered more orthodox and its recognition of Anglo- 
Norman law more express." 1 

Here, at MONYMUSK, we shall find that the first-recorded 
grant to the Culdees was made by a Celtic Earl of Buchan 
about 1130. Details of all the other known grants will be given. 
A record of date 1211 will also be given in full telling of the 
constitution of the society at that time. " This society, which 
consisted of secular priests, thirteen in number, was probably 
the representative of an ancient monastic foundation. Its early 
connection, however, with St. Andrews reduced it to a con- 
dition of secondary importance and deprived it of the presence 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 176; Mr. Skene, Celt. Scot. II., 394, 395 ; Dr. Grub, His. I., 243. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 51 

of a bishop, whose place was to some extent supplied by a Prior 
or Master." When the Culdees made an effort to assume the 
condition of Regulars the Bishop of St. Andrews resisted it, 
and they were compelled to adhere to their original discipline ; 
but thirty-four years after the Culdees have disappeared, being 
transformed like the others, and are spoken of as " The Prior 
and Convent of Munimusc of the Order of St. Augustine," 
being still subject to the Bishop of St. Andrews. x 

At IONA, but only at as late a date as 1164, we read of 
there being Culdees, their " Head " not their " Prior " being 
mentioned last of the four chiefs of the clergy there by whom 
the abbot was chosen. Thus they evidently formed a sub- 
ordinate body, the Abbey never being Culdean, but having 
clergy of another order. The Register of Holy rood shows that 
soon after this, about 1175, even lona was wholly or in part in 
the lay-possession of the King of Scots. 2 It is singular that 
this body of inferior rank in lona and the unknown body at 
Lismore are the only Culdees of whom we have any record in 
the whole West of Scotland, where there were so many 
religious houses, showing that Columban influence had nothing 
to do with the origin of the Culdees, and that the great mass of 
Columban Monasteries throughout the country are to be dis- 
tinguished from Culdean homes. 

Unlike the seven houses we joined together, St. Serf's, 
Abernethy, and Monymusk had no local connection with any 
bishop's see, so that their Culdees were in course of time 
simply transformed into Canons Regular. The Culdee s at 
Muthil and Monifieth seem to have disappeared altogether 
probably owing to their neighbourhood to Dunblane and 
Arbroath while at lona "they probably joined the monks of 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 174. 2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 168, 169 : 

Dr. Grub, History I., 243. 

52 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

the Benedictine Abbey of which the present ruins are the 
remains." I 

It may be of interest to mention the facts we have been 
able to collect regarding the Churches at these thirteen places 
without anticipating materially what is to be said about the date 
of the building of our own Church. 

One sees the little island of ST. SERF'S when crossing Loch- 
leven to visit the remains of the castle on the other well-known 
island where Mary Queen of Scots was confined, and one is 
sorry to see " its desolate bareness," and that the ruined walls of 
the ancient Abbey are quite dishonoured. 

The site of the Culdee Church at ST. ANDREWS, once the 
Chapel Royal of Scotland, "is still visible between the 
Cathedral and the sea," 2 and of it Dr. A. K. H. Boyd writes 
"The Church of St. Mary of the Rock is now the most desolate 
among the many ruins of a city of ruins." 3 

At LISMORE the remnants of the walls of the Cathedral are 
of a later date, for the bishopric founded in 1222 had its first 
seat at Muckairn, on the south shore of Loch Etive. It was 
the smallest of our Cathedrals, fifty-six feet long by thirty 
broad, " perhaps the humblest in Britain." It has no aisles, 
and seems to have had neither transepts nor nave. 4 

The "aisle-less choir" of DUNKELD Cathedral is used as 
the Parish Church, but, " although the piers of the nave seem 
Romanesque," it was not built till between 1318 and 1337, s 
long after the Culdees were superseded. 

The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Boniface at ROSEMARKY 
or Fortrose was the finest of the few northern Cathedrals of the 

1 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland II., 417. 4 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 78. 

2 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 90. 5 Ibid., pp. 76, 77. 

3 St. Giles, p. 62. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 


Decorated age. " The style is the purest and most elaborate 
Middle Pointed ; and the whole Church, though probably not 
one hundred and twenty feet long, must have been a gem of 
the very first description." I But it was not built till the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, and the only remains of it 
are the south aisle and part of the chapter-house. 2 

At DORNOCH, Gilbert de Moravia, Archdeacon of Moray, 
became Bishop of Caithness and Sutherland in 1223, and is said 
to have built the Cathedral not only at his own cost but with 
his own hands. It was ruined by a clan feud, being given to 
the flames during a war between the Murrays and the Mackays 
in 1570. His Church survived to our time, though much 
decayed and partly ruined, and Dr. Joseph Robertson says that 
its restoration about 1837 was unhappily not entrusted to 
competent hands. 3 Bishop Gilbert's Cathedral was thus built 
after Culdee times. 

At MONIFIETH the Culdee Monastery and Church were on 
or very near the site of the present Parish Church, which was 
built in 1812. The old pre-Reformation Church which had a 
crypt underneath it was cast down, as it was worn out, a few 
of the sculptured stones being afterwards recovered and pre- 
served by the present minister, Rev. Dr. J. G. Young. 

At IONA it were vain to look for the home of the Culdees 
as we have so little knowledge of them there. " The oldest 
structure in the island is St. Oran's Chapel, a small building of 
twenty-eight feet eight inches by fifteen feet ten inches, roofless 
and decaying. It has not an east window, and its great object 
of interest is the Romanesque circular-headed west door. It 
was probably built by Queen Margaret's liberality." 4 

Thus in these eight of the thirteen places there are either 

1 See Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 74. 

2 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 272. 

Abbeys, pp. 93, 49. 

)r. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 415. 

54 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

only decaying ruins or no traces at all of the Churches of the 

The Round Towers of ABERNETHY and BRECHIN stand 
unique in their associations with the early Christian missions in 
our land. There is no question that such towers were built not 
as places of worship, for which they are quite unsuited, but to 
be a refuge for the clergy and a place of security for their 
sacred treasures against attacks by the Norsemen. At Aber- 
nethy some very primitive sculptured stones have been found 
in the churchyard near what is believed to be the foundation of 
a very ancient Church. Of the old buildings, however, 
nothing remains but the Tower. " The Cathedral at Brechin 
was built on the very old foundation of the Irish Church 
beside the Round Tower, but it dates from about the middle 
of the fourteenth century. 1 

At MUTHIL the Church is a recent one, but there remains 
a square belfry of three unequal storeys, in some of the upper 
windows of which there are traces of Norman or Romanesque 
architecture. The Cathedral at DUNBLANE has recently been 
most reverently restored. Its square tower is its oldest portion, 
and rises one hundred and twenty-eight feet high, the first four 
stages being Norman or Romanesque work of about the year 
1 140, its upper section being of later style. " The bishopric was 
restored by David I, and the tower would seem to have been 
built about that time." 2 

We can hardly include lona among the Culdee homes, with 
the square tower of its Benedictine Abbey, but supposing we 
do so we reach in this little inquiry the unexpected result that 
our own tower, in its " lower part " at least, may be united in 
our thoughts with the earlier Irish Round Towers of Abernethy 
and Brechin, and with the probably contemporary Norman 

i Mr. Stephen, History, p. 276. a Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 49. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 55 

square towers of Dunblane and Muthil, and with the tower at 
lona, as lifting up our eyes to heaven, when we come here to 
worship God, and when we look at it while going about our 
common work even as it pointed the Culdees of old to Him 
who has been our refuge from one generation to another 
while our Church itself can have only one or two companion 
" Culdee " Churches in all our land, in which worship is now 
offered within walls that heard the praises of those who bore 
this distinctive name. Even if the Culdees, as it appears to 
some, were sent to Monymusk " by the Bishop of St. Andrews 
only towards the end of the eleventh century," 1 say about 1080, 
" at which date, at all events, it was affiliated to the Church of 
St. Andrews, and partook of its discipline as an institution of 
Keledei," 2 we hope to show that " portions " at least of the 
Church that was soon afjier built for them, remain, and that we 
are worshipping on the same spot as they, although ruin has 
unfortunately been the lot of nearly all the other "Culdee" 
Churches in our land. 

In regard to the doctrine and worship of the Culdees, 
"there is no reason to suppose that they differed in any 
material point of faith, discipline, or ritual from the other 
clergy of the British Islands and Western Christendom. Their 
name was their only peculiarity." 3 " Nowhere is there the 
slightest foundation in any really authentic document for any 
supposed peculiarities of doctrine or of Church government " 4 
in their system, as has been often imagined. We shall mention 
the different manuscript books that composed the little library 
at St. Serf's, which prove that in doctrine and ritual and 
manner of worship they differed in no way from the rest of the 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Chambers' Ency. 3 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Chambers' Ency. 

2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 173. 4 Smith's Dictionary. 

56 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

Christian Church, even the vestments they wore in service 
suiting the Augustinian monks who took their place. Mr. 
Stuart, in his preface to the " Book of Deer," says " There is 
no reason for thinking that the Culdees differed in their 
doctrinal views from those which prevailed in the Church 
around them. At Monymusk it would seem that the old body 
made an attempt at self-reformation, and wished to be 
regarded as Canons without being subject to the ecclesiastical 
rule thus involved. The attempt indicates the strength of the 
current which had set in for the new institutions, and the slight- 
ness of the external difference which kept the bodies asunder." * 

Since we have "record evidence" of only these thirteen 
Culdee homes m our country, it need hardly be mentioned that 
there were also a great many other religious houses throughout 
all the provinces that had nothing to do with the Culdees as a 
distinctively named body. 2 In our own district, for instance, 
to speak only of rural houses, there were never any Culdees at 
Deer, which was personally founded by St. Columba, or at 
Turriff, which was founded by St. Congan in the next 
century, both of which retained their ancient Celtic character 
unimpaired down to the time of David I who began to reign in 
1124. Nor were there ever Culdees at Mortlach, another 
Columban house, founded by Moluoc of Lismore before 600. 
Monymusk was the only " Culdee home " of which we have any 
record between Monifieth near Dundee and Rosemarky on the 
other shore of the Moray Firth, and it is only when we remem- 
ber that " the name Culdee became at length almost synony- 
mous with that of secular Canon," 3 and also that the name 
" is said to have been given by the common people to priests of 

1 Book of Deer, p. cxxii. 3 Mr. Skene, History II., p. 277. 

2 See Dr. Grub's History I., p. 243 ; Dr. 

Joseph Robertson's Abbeys, p. 28. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 57 

all kinds without discrimination," * that we can account for 
their name being identified with the whole period in which 
their few homes are found, and for its being even trajected into 
a longer and more distant period during which they had no 
existence at all. 

When we first meet with them in our own parish about 
1130, the Culdees were already settled here and were receiving 
property as a monastic body. In our early writs the different 
grants of lands, &c., are made to the " Keledei serving 
God at the time, and who shall afterwards serve God in the 
Church of St. Mary at Monymusk," thus connecting them very 
specially with the Church which we shall find was used both 
for the parish and the priory. Although this dedication was 
unknown in Columba's time, it in no way proves that the 
settlement here was not of " Columban " origin, for the 
"Culdee" Churches at St. Andrews and Abernethy, both 
among the earliest centres of the Columban Church, came to 
have the same dedication. 

"Whatever may have been their original institution and 
discipline, the Culdees in the time of David I (1124 to 1153) 
lived in a manner that must have been inconsistent with any 
monastic or collegiate discipline." 2 "The name came to 
signify not as at first special asceticism, but precisely the 
reverse." 3 "Married men were as eligible to be Culdees as 
single ; and though they could not take with them their wives 
and children into their conventual residences, yet it would 
seem they returned to their families as soon as their period of 
service was over." 4 At least this seems to have been the case 
at St. Andrews, and an account shows it may have been the same 
at Dunkeld. The same is found at Durham and at Hexham on 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., 3 Smith's Dictionary. 

p. ccxiv. 4 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 59. 

2 Mr. Cosmo tones, Middle Ages, p. in. 

58 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

the Tyne, and also on the Continent about this time. The 
Canons at Winchester in the tenth century were married, and 
so too generally in Saxon England, and it was Margaret's 
adviser, Lanfranc, who completed the change there. 1 

" It was the fate of the ancient Columbite foundations in 
Scotland to fall before the reforming vehemence of David I, 
the most zealous of Romanists." 2 An active war was com- 
menced in his reign against the Culdee homes, and every effort 
made either to transform them into Augustinian Canons, or to 
suppress them entirely. " Although there may have been here 
and there a few convents that maintained the older and stricter 
system of Columba, and though there certainly were solitary 
hermits of severe life scattered over the country, yet the general 
religious system was in its last decrepitude." 3 

We are thus brought to the period of the introduction of 
the monastic orders of the Church of Rome, which was con- 
nected with the revival of deep religious feeling in many parts 
of Europe, leading kings and nobles to found convents and 
endow them with lands, and build for their inmates beautiful 
edifices. " A powerful motive for liberality," as we shall find 
from our own writs, " was the reward which they believed 
this would secure for them ; and benefactions were usually 
bestowed for the salvation of the souls of the donor, his 
parents and ancestors, his children and descendants, as well 
as for the glory of God and the honour of the blessed Virgin or 
of the saint to whom the house was dedicated." 4 

Thus the discipline and rule of the Church in our country 
became entirely changed. National peculiarities were abro- 
gated, marriage of the clergy, secular and monastic, was 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., 3 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 60. 

pp. ccxviii, ccxix. 4 Dr. Campbell, St. Giles',' p. 76, 77. 

2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Reg, Epis. Aber., p. xi. 

The Culdees in Scotland. 59 

forbidden by decrees of the Council of 1139, and the autho- 
rity of the Church of Rome became supreme. The close of 
the thirteenth century saw the suppression of the name and 
system of the Culdees. By 1245 the Culdees here have 
become Augustinian Canons, whose " discipline was less severe 
than that of monks properly so-called, but more rigid than that 
of the secular clergy," x and henceforth the name Culdee is no 
longer known in our Priory or Church. 

i Dr. Joseph Robertson, Chambers' Encyc. 


IN his preface to the "Book of Deer" Mr. Stuart 1 gives an 
account of the early population of our country separated into 
clans under the rule of the " Mormaer " (answering so far to our 
* Earl'), with chiefs, &c., and shows that the patriarchal polity 
had not yet given way to the feudal kingdom. But " a great 
consolidation of the power of the supreme king, especially during 
the reigns of Malcolm II and his father Kenneth, took place by 
conquests over the provincial rulers," Malcolm II reigning from 
1005 to 1034, the last and probably the greatest of the kings of 
the Mac Alpine line. " This resulted not merely in the royal 
aggrandisement in a political view but in a great addition to the 
property of the king. When the importance of the supreme 
head came to be more prominent than at an earlier time and 
his power recognised, considerable portions of land in the 
newly annexed districts were reserved for the use of the Crown. 
It is thus that we can account for the numerous estates through- 
out Pictland held in demesne by the kings of Alba which appear 
in the records of later times, out of which they founded Monas- 
teries and endowed Churches ; see as an instance the remark- 
able grant by Malcolm III of the lands of Keig and Monymusk 
to the Church of St. Andrews." 

The occasion of this grant was Malcolm's passing on to the 
Spey to quell a rebellion in Morayshire. When encamped at 
Monymusk he inquired whether there were any lands in the 
district belonging to the Crown, and was informed by his 

i Book of Deer, pp. Ixxv, Ixxvi. 

Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. 61 

Treasurer that he was encamped on such. He then vowed that 
if his expedition were successful, he would in gratitude bestow 
the lands on the Church. The Record of the gift is of later 
date, but " it is certain," says Mr. Skene, x " that Malcolm 
Canmore did make an expedition against the race of Moray in 
1078, from which he returned victorious." It is important to 
observe that the practice referred to explains how there came to 
be Crown lands in this distant part. With this gift in 1078 
begins the known history of our district, connecting Keig and 
Monymusk from the first with St. Andrews, which was the only 
see then in the country and under which our Priory continued 
to the Reformation, although the see of Aberdeen was founded 
about 1139. 

" The history of Scotland properly so-called begins with 
Malcolm Canmore," 2 more than four hundred years after 
Columba's time. He is the Malcolm of Shakespeare's drama, 
the son of the gracious Duncan. He had to flee to England, 
and "grew up into manhood under Edward the Confessor's 
benign protection standing before the Confessor's throne, 
consorting with the Confessor's knights, sitting at the Con- 
fessor's table." 3 He returned in time to avenge the death of 
his father, who had been murdered at Bothgowan, near Elgin. 
Macbeth had been Mormaer of Moray, and after slaying 
Duncan reigned over Alba for seventeen years. We have 
mentioned his gifts and Lady Macbeth's to the Culdees of St. 
Serfs. Afraid to fight at Dunsinane, he fled over the Mounth 
and across the Dee to Lumphanan, where he was slain 5th 
December 1056, "Macbeth's Cairn "still marking the spot, and 
his head was brought to Malcolm at Kincardine O'Neil. 
Malcolm's life was much occupied in wars with William the 

1 Celtic Scotland II., p. 389. 3 Palgrave's England and Normandy IV, 

2 lona, p. 54. p. 311. 

62 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Conqueror and William Rufus, and it was while engaged in one 
of these that he and his son Edward, his acknowledged heir, 
perished at the siege of Alnwick. " All through his life was a 
busy troublous one, sweetened only by the calm presence of his 
wife for his country was seething with change. He was the 
last of the old order the introducer of the Scoto-Saxon." x 

" No other event was more momentous to Scotland than 
the coming of Margaret in 1068. It marks the beginning of a 
new era. For by her own life, and through her descendants 
who followed in her steps, she changed the whole future destiny 
of the land which adopted her." 2 Margaret the Saxon but 
half-Norman princess, 3 the representative of Alfred the Great, 
grand-daughter of Edmund Ironside, niece of Edward the 
Confessor, sister of Edgar Atheling who was son and heir of 
the English King Edmund fleeing from the wrath of William 
the Conqueror, became Malcolm's second wife " in the spring 
of 1069." 4 It was the Culdee Bishop at St. Andrews, the 
second Fothad, who performed the ceremony at Dunfermline, 
which was Malcolm's chief residence, and where " the 
crumbling moss-grown walls " of the fort to which he brought 
his bride are still to be seen. 5 She was then twenty-four, and 
she died when forty-seven. Malcolm, when himself an exile, 
had received much kindness from her uncle. Her coat of arms 
is displayed on the ceiling of the Cathedral in Old Aberdeen, 
and they are the arms of the Confessor, assigned to him years 
after he died, and they show how well her relationship to him 
was remembered. She is said to have been the most beautiful 
woman of her time ; she was also of great beauty of character, 
uniting saintly piety with the domestic virtues, wise too in 
exercising "the arts of 'continental' civilisation which were 

1 Principal Shairp, Sketches, pp. 51-55. 4 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland II, p. 344. 

2 Ibid., p. 48. 5 Principal Shairp, Sketches, pp. 47-50. 

3 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p, 32. 

Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. 63 

then just taking root in England," her mother being Agatha of 
Hungary. 1 " Her portrait as it is drawn in the pages of Turgot, 
her friend and spiritual adviser, commends her to our admira- 
tion as one of the purest, the most humble and beneficent of 
women ; while, as a queen, she appears to have combined with 
her personal graces, admirable majesty of conduct and true love 
of her adopted country." 2 Sch was her influence for good on 
King and Court, clergy and people, that "her memory is 
worthy of being associated in the heart of the Scottish people 
with that of Columba." 3 She often visited the hermits who 
were found in various parts of the country, and entreated their 
prayers. Lochleven is but a short distance from Dunfermline, 
and in the Register of the Priory of St. Andrews 4 there is 
preserved a record in which she is joined by name with her 
husband in a gift to St. Serfs : " Malcolmus Rex et Margareta 
Regina Scocie contulerunt devote villam de Ballecristin Deo 
Omnipotenti et Keledeis de Lochleven cum eadem libertate ut 
prius" "the 'villa' or village probably including the gift of 
the Church, as on similar occasions." 5 

Her illuminated Book of the Gospels, valued by her as the 
most precious of all her manuscripts, its case being adorned with 
gold and gems a small volume of thirty-eight leaves of vellum, 
was once lost as they crossed a river, but was recovered, her 
biographer says miraculously. Strange to say, it has been pre- 
served to this day, and was purchased for the Bodleian Library 
at Oxford for ;6, having been sent without anyone's then 
knowing its value, in July 1887, from the Parish Library of the 
Village of Brent Ely in Suffolk, for public sale in London. A 
page of its illumination is given in Green's " History of 

1 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 38. 4 P. 115. 

2 Book of Deer, p. cxi. 5 See also Dr. Grub's His. I, pp. 190, 191 , 

3 Montalembert, p. 144. Mr. Skene, Celtic Scot. II, pp. 344, 351. 

64 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

England," x and its genuineness is put beyond question by what 
is stated in a Latin poem of twenty-six hexameter lines written 
on an old fly-leaf, and coinciding with what Turgot says regard- 
ing its loss. 

" The Church of St. Columba, sadly fallen from the days 
when it called forth the glowing praises of Bede, lived only as 
a barren and sapless branch in her time. Its chief temporal 
possessions had become the heritage of laymen. Its wealthier 
priests were an hereditary caste, living in ease and sloth, and 
transmitting their benefices to their children." 2 " The royal 
house into which she had married owed its origin to Crinan, 
the lay-abbot of Dunkeld and Dull (of whom we have spoken), 
and was enriched with other possessions of the Church, such as 
the Boar's Chase near St. Andrews, and one of her own sons, 
Ethelred, when only a boy succeeded to Crinan's lay-abbacy." 3 
" Monasticism throughout Europe and in England had been 
quickened by a fresh revival, and she had become keenly alive 
to the new fervour." 4 By her piety, tact, and energy she was 
able to accomplish great changes. The Celtic Clergy met her 
in several Councils. Once in 1074 they listened during three 
days to her reasonings, which were translated out of her Saxon 
tongue by her husband, who could speak English, French, and 
Gaelic with equal ease Gaelic being naturally the only 
language the Clergy could speak. The sacred observance of 
the Lord's Day had almost ceased, and it is to her that our land 
owes its restoration. One deeply-rooted feeling was a reverence 
rilled with awe for the Sacrament of the Supper, growing to such 
a pitch that it had almost ceased to be celebrated or was cele- 
brated without anyone's partaking of it. Combined with this 
there was " such a superstitious regard for the sanctity of Easter 

1 Vol. I, p. 356. 3 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scot. II, p. 350. 

2 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 25. 4 Principal Shairp, Sketches, pp. 61, 62. 

Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. 65 

that it was the practice not to partake of the Eucharist on that 
day." 1 Lanfranc, the great Lombard Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, was Margaret's friend and adviser, as Anselm became of 
her sons. " He was more than her counsellor he was her 
chosen spiritual father, and he claimed to be Primate not 
merely of all England but of all Britain." 2 He is said to have 
sent three of the Canterbury clergy to give her counsel in her 
resolution to reform the Celtic Church, and u it is strange to 
find him waging the same war against the vices of the Saxon 
clergy in England as she had to carry on against those of the 
Celtic clergy in Scotland." 3 The Church estates were recovered 
from their unauthorised owners in course of time, and were 
bestowed on the new Abbeys with their Canons Regular which 
her sons founded. Close beside the little " Culdee" Monastery 
at St. Andrews rose, as we have mentioned, the rich " Priory of 
Augustinian Canons," first endowed by Robert, Bishop of St. 
Andrews, about 1144. It was confirmed as the electoral 
Chapter of the bishopric by the Pope some three years after, and 
" soon took its place as the first in rank and wealth of the 
religious houses of Scotland, and its Prior with the ring and 
mitre and symbols of Episcopacy had (in James I's time) rank 
and place in Parliament above Abbots and all other Prelates of 
the Regular Clergy." 4 It was to this Priory at St. Andrews 
that the Priory of Monymusk became subordinate, and the 
Culdees here were in course of time transformed into a similar 
body of Augustinian Canons, as were likewise the Culdees of 
Abernethy on the Tay, and very specially those at St. Serfs on 
Lochleven such Canons forming a class midway between the 
monks and the "Secular" Clergy who answered in a certain 
way to parochial clergy and were not bound by monastic vows. 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot., 3 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 62. 

p. xxiii. 4 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. xiii. 

2 Ibid., p. cccx. 

66 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

It was Queen Margaret who also introduced " Roman- 
esque " architecture into Scotland, a style that would have 
been called * Saxon ' in former times and ' Norman ' some years 
ago, x and of which our Church bears traces. 

She and Malcolm both died in November 1093, eight 
hundred years ago. In the same year died the second Fothad 
who had married them, the last Celtic Primate, the last native 
"Bishop of Alban," ruling from 1059 to 1093, and with him 
may be said to date the passing away of " the Celtic Church" 
in our land. His place remained empty for fourteen years, for 
it was a time of strife and transition. Then a line began bear- 
ing the title of " Bishops of St. Andrews," and Turgot, 
Margaret's biographer, who had been her friend and Chaplain, 
Prior of Durham, was selected first to bear the title. " The 
Scottish Church had hitherto owed nothing to the see of Rome, 
and had held little communication with it." 2 It now found a 
claim made by the see of York to supremacy over it which gave 
rise to much controversy. 

Malcolm and Margaret had six sons and two daughters. 
One daughter, Maud, became the queen of Henry I of England 
in noo. Her monument is still at Winchester : " Maud the 
good Queen." The other, Mary, married Eustace, Count of 
Boulogne, who with his brother Godfrey was among the chiefs 
of the first Crusade, and their daughter Matilda became wife of 
Stephen, King of England. Three of Malcolm and Margaret's 
sons were successively kings of Scotland 'the meek Edgar' 
from 1097 to 1107, ' the fierce Alexander' from 1107 to 1124, 
and ' the saintly David' from 1 124 to 1153. They continued the 
work she began, extinguishing the remaining Celtic peculiarities 
by introducing the system of parishes throughout the country as 
had already been done in England, founding new dioceses, 

i Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. I. 2 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 241. 

Malcolm 111 and Queen Margaret. 67 

bringing in the different monastic orders, absorbing the Culdees 
into the Roman system by changing them from Secular to 
Regular Canons, all leading to a more rapid yet less violent 
overthrow of the clan system both in Church and State than 
could have been otherwise anticipated. 1 "The Church which 
they thus erected was to all intents and purposes an English 
Church in place of the old Celtic Church," 2 and "the Celtic 
Church that had grown from seed scattered by a handful of 
errant missionaries until it overshadowed the whole land, was 
now replaced by the Romanised Christianity brought from 
England by the Saxon Margaret and her three sons," 3 

i Mr. Skene, Celtic Scot. ; Book of Deer, 2 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 39. 

p. cxii. 3 ' Saturday Review,' 2gth June, 1878. 


WHEN a Monastery was founded and placed under a Bishop, 
or counted a cell of another Monastery, it became a PRIORY ; 
when it was independent, it was called an ABBEY, the Abbeys 
of the same order being subject to a Superior or Provincial. 
The Priory of Monymusk was under " The Priory of the 
Cathedral Church of St. Andrews," such Priory being founded 
by David I. and Robert, Bishop of St. Andrews, and being 
itself subject in a certain sense to the Bishop of St. Andrews. 
The other cells of the St. Andrews Priory were the Priories of 
St. Serf's on Lochleven, St. Mary's Portmoak in Kinross, and 
the Isle of May at the entrance of the Firth of Forth, about 
six miles off the coast of Fife, afterwards transferred to Pitten- 
weem in Fife. The Priory here was thus the only distant one, 
the others being within easy reach of St. Andrews. In early 
times St. Andrews was the only see in the country. "The 
diocese extended from the English border almost to Aberdeen, 
but the possessions of its Priory went even beyond this ample 
diocese, and included property in land as well as tithes in 
the fastnesses of Mar, and beyond the Grampians," x as our 
Priory was. 

If Monymusk was a Columban or a somewhat later settle- 
ment, the stone Church and Monastery would doubtless be 
built on the same spot as the former wooden ones, and here 
both Church and Priory stood within a few yards of each other. 
Thus at lona, " St. Oran's Chapel has this great interest that 

i Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. xiii. 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 69 

in all probability it marks the site of the still humbler Church 
of wood and wattles in which Columba worshipped." 1 

Not a vestige of the Priory remains. We shall find that 
it was accidentally burned down a few years before the 
Reformation, and became ruinous. In 1211 it was enacted 
that it should consist, as was usual, of an oratory, a refectory 
or dining hall, and a common dormitory, and that it should 
not have a separate cemetery. We find also reference made 
in the writs to a chapter-house. Further details are wanting, 
but there is the impression of the common seal of the Monastery 
attached to a deed in Monymusk House, that has been en- 
graved for our title-page. It shows four buildings branching 
out from a centre on which a spire is placed, the whole being 
in the form of a St. Andrew's Cross, but how far this represents 
the Monastery one cannot say. There would also be a Priory 
School, for every Monastery is said to have had a school, and of 
it there seems to remain a singular record in the now-forgotten 
name of a piece of ground in the village that once formed an 
endowment in connection with it. Dr. Joseph Robertson in 
his remarkable essay "On Scholastic Offices in the Scottish 
Church in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries," writing of 
' scolocs ' or ' scholars ' in the sense of ' ecclesiastical clerks,' 
says, 2 u It may have been its appropriation of old to the support 
of ' scolocs ' that gave name to . . the ' Scollatis-land ' 
at Monymusk in Mar, an early possession of the see of St. 
Andrews." He then gives two references to the " Inquisitiones 
Speciales " of Aberdeenshire : 

210. Oct. 31, 1628. Dom. Gul. Forbes de Monymusk 
in tenemento olim vocato Scollatis-land, olim 
vocato Forsythe's land in villa de Monymusk. 

i lona, pp. 85, 36. 2 Spalding Club Misc. V. p. 67. 


70 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

324. Dec. 15, 1654. Sir John Forbes of Monymusk. 
The tenement callit Scollatis-land, somtyme callit 

Forsyth's-land, in the toune of Monymusk. 

In the " service " of Sir William Forbes as heir to his father, 
Sir John, Oct. 5, 1702, the same land is evidently referred to, 
although its meaning had been lost, // being changed into tf, as 
" the tenement of land commonly called Scotfatis-land . . lying 
in the village of Monymusk." 1 Speaking of the early Columban 
Church, Mr. Stephen says that the l senior ' brothers, among 
other duties, "were engaged in teaching the students, the 
1 juniores ' or ' scolocs,' who always formed a wing, and not the 
least important wing, of a Celtic Monastery." 2 

There would be also the sick-room, the kitchen, and the 
guest-hall with sleeping-rooms adjoining it. At St. Andrews 
the number of guests was limited to six, while a chaplain and 
two hospitallers attended the sick. We are told that there were 
two gardens, of which the schoolmaster's is one. Until lately 
it was unusually large, owing to its origin, and was secured to 
the teacher notwithstanding a lawsuit, the Court declaring that 
while there was then " a minimum " prescribed, there was no 
"maximum." There was also a croft equal to ten bolls sowing, 
as well as pasture for six horses and fifteen sheep. The build- 
ings lay immediately within the entrance wicket-gate, in the 
plantation on the east side of the schoolmaster's garden. 

A Church remains ; everyone sees that it is an ancient 
building ; what we have to do is not only to describe it, but to 
try to learn from its structure what may be its approximate 
date. Perhaps it may be gathered from the following statement 
that, as Mr. Walcott says, 3 ' portions ' at least of the original 

1 Ant. A. and B. III. p. 504. 3 Ancient Church of Scotland, p. 26. 

2 History, p. 98. 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 

stone Church are still preserved, although the building is 
greatly altered, and that our Church bears ' traces,' to use 
Dr. Joseph Robertson's word, of being, in these ' portions,' 
one of the earliest sanctuaries in our country and one of the 
few Churches now remaining in which worship has never 
ceased being offered to God week by week, and the Sacraments 
administered, from the time the ancient Church was built, 
perhaps about seven hundred and fifty years ago, for as a whole 
it has never been in ruins. If so, its sacred associations may 
perhaps be further enhanced by the thought of there being 
some little probability that the stone Church, of which these 
' portions ' remain, may have taken the place of one or more 
oaken Churches, where worship may have been offered from a 
time perhaps not long after Columba's mission, now one 
thousand three hundred years ago. On ancient Churches 
there are never any dates engraved to record the time of their 
erection, nor are the names of founders or architects ever 
inscribed upon them, so that in the absence of rare historical 
evidence we have to gather an approximate date from various 
special indications in the buildings themselves. 1 

The Church being dedicated under the name of St. Mary, 
it is frequently called by this name in the writs that are pre- 
served in the St. Andrews Register " ecclesia beatae Mariae de 
Munimusc." It consists of a square western Tower, a Nave in 
which we now worship, and a Choir or Chancel, without any 
transepts. We shall find that the distinction between the Choir 
and the Nave was carefully observed in ancient times, the 
Choir, for instance, being specially mentioned in the record of 
the installation of one of the Priors. 

The tower is said to have been about eight feet higher than 
at present. It is now fifty-one feet three inches high. About 

i Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 47. 

7 2 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

seventy years ago it was lowered about fourteen feet owing to 
the top part's bulging outwards, and a slated spire was then 
erected, which became dangerous, and was taken down four 
years ago. The shape of the present coping is thought to be 
somewhat like the original. The west front of the tower 
measures twenty-two feet in width, and its south side nineteen 
feet at the ground, but the tower is contracted a little under the 
line of the roof of the Church in a way not unusual. Tradition 
says that Malcolm III, standing as in the middle of the floor, 
marked the four corners of the tower with a spear. Its sand- 
stone edging-stones were probably brought all the distance 
from Kildrummy quarries, as no sandstone is found nearer. 
On the two sides of the west front these stones go up only 
a certain distance, twenty-five feet on the left-hand side, and 
eighteen feet six inches on the right-hand side. It is probably 
these twenty-five feet that some persons reckon the ' portion ' 
that remains of the original tower. Some edges of the Church 
have ordinary stones, so that the sand-stone had evidently to 
be used sparingly. The granite used in the building is not the 
same as the common blocks in the fields or in recently-opened 
quarries. The tradition is that it was taken from Tombeg farm, 
and that the stones were passed from hand to hand down the 
hill, which seems very unlikely, and that the head-mason, as he 
looked back from the Tombeg hill on the finished tower, 
exclaimed that if he had received a few merks more he would 
have been properly paid. The mode of building, as seen both 
outside and inside, is primitive, the stones 'often not overlapping 
the joints in the successive courses, but depending for security 
rather on the great thickness of the walls and the strength of 
the mortar, which is said in some buildings to have been 
poured in molten, and which is often harder and more endur- 
ing than the stones themselves. Old narrow windows, with 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 73 

sandstone edgings, that have been built up, are still to be seen 
in the tower, but inside there is the usual wide bevel. Mr. 
Walcott says 1 "The original Church was erected by King 
Malcolm III . . in 1080, and was affiliated to St. Andrews. 
The Norman basement of the tower . . remains." The 
present bell, like some others in the district, as at Cluny 
Church, was made in Old Aberdeen, and bears the inscription 
"lea Mowat me fecit vet. ABD 1748. In Usum ^Ecclesiae de 
Moniemusk Sabbata pango funera plango " (I fix the Sabbaths, 
I bewail at funerals). This it has done for nearly a hundred 
and fifty years. The tower door is still called "The Civil door 
of the Church," reminding us of its being the door for the laity, 
the ' Gives,' in contrast with the Chancel Arch and the Priests' 
door. This is the reason too of there being no ornament on 
the Nave Arch. It is only recently that the vaulted ceiling and 
walls were plastered ; formerly they were in the rough-built 
state, and in the floor beside the Nave Arch there is a stone 
with a mason's mark. Immediately inside the Nave on the 
right hand there is a small recess in the wall. 

At one time there was a Priory Church dedicated to St. 
John the Evangelist. 2 This may have been the Oratory men- 
tioned in the record of 1211, for from other writs it appears 
that the Church of the Monastery was the Chancel of the 
present Church, being close at hand. The walls of the Chancel 
were originally rather higher than at present, and marks of an 
old roof are visible on the gable of the Nave, as are also marks 
of a former roof of the Nave on the east front of the tower. 
By outside measurement, as it is at present, the whole eastern 
part, including the portion that has not a roof and that is the 
burial-place of the Grant family, is one foot longer than the 

i Ancient Church of Scotland, p. 322. 2 Collns. A. and B. p. 171. 

74 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Nave, being about fifty-three feet three inches. One has diffi- 
culty in thinking that the original Chancel would be so very 
large, but we have to recollect that it was in reality the Church 
of the Priory. It will be mentioned presently that Mr. Muir 
of Leith gives as the dimensions of " the Chancel, somewhat 
curtailed, sixteen feet five inches long by fourteen feet nine 
inches wide." These are virtually the dimensions of the part 
that is now roofed and used as an entrance to the Church, 
and this would have given sufficient room for the Prior and 
his twelve associates. There is no tradition that the part 
without a roof was added in later times, and one of our oldest 
parishioners recollects that her parents used to speak of seeing 
the whole under one roof, and of there being access to the 
whole from the Nave. Although there appears to be some 
difference in the mode of building on the east side of the door 
in the north wall, the stones used are of a somewhat similar 
character to the others, while those in the modern addition to 
the Nave are quite different, except where old stones have been 
used. If the whole eastern part was actually the Chancel, it 
had been of an unusual size, for the number of square feet in 
the Nave and in such part is respectively about 963 and 820, 
the inside measurements of the original Nave being about 
47 feet by 20 J feet, while of the whole eastern part the inside 
measurements are about 53 feet by 15 J feet. The clergy in 
the Priory and the parishioners worshipped together in one 
Church, but they were separated at the Chancel Arch, and in 
the Chancel there would be frequent worship every day, as the 
Canonical hours would be observed. We shall find that the 
parish had a separate vicar or parson to minister specially to it, 
for the Culdees were not parochial clergy and had no cure of 
souls, and in the decree of 1211 they were enjoined under 
the authority of the Pope to do nothing to the prejudice of 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 75 

the parish Church. The little door in the south wall of the 
Chancel, close to the Arch, is evidently recent, but it may have 
been simply enlarged at some time, in which case its ancient 
character has been obliterated. It is the same with all the 
windows of the Nave. If the whole eastern part formed the 
original Chancel, the door in the north wall was probably " the 
priests' door," giving them direct access from the Priory, which 
was separated from it by only a few yards obliquely across the 
present school play-ground. 

This door has sandstone facings on the outside, and is not 
placed in the middle of the wall, but makes the east end five 
feet longer than the other part by outside measurement. On 
this wall there is no sign of any window, and the thick ivy 
on both the other walls makes examination difficult, and on 
the inside one cannot see any traces of windows. If the 
present division however shows the approximate size of the 
original Chancel, as Mr. Muir indicates, the Prior's seat would 
be placed at its east end beside the present window, and he 
would stand there with all the clergy on either hand, and when 
the Bishop of St. Andrews visited the Priory, as spoken of in 
the record of 1211, he would occupy this position, and adminis- 
ter the Communion. * If there was no east window in the 
Chancel, there would be an indication of great antiquity, as it 
was only afterwards that the east window became of so much 
importance in architecture. There is none in the Church of 
Birnie, or in St. Oran's Chapel at lona, which was doubtless 
built by Queen Margaret's liberality. 2 In the absence of glazing, 
the narrow windows would be fitted with moveable frames, on 
which parchment or transparent skins would be stretched. At 
Birnie the lack in the original windows of any ancient groove 
for inserting glass is very noticeable. 

i See Church of Birnie, pp. 26, 27, 28. 2 Dr. Reeves, Adamnan, p. 415. 

7 6 Monymusk: Us Church and Priory. 

There are three Norman or Romanesque arches : (i) the 
western tower door; (2) the Nave arch, which is plain because it 
admitted only the laity, and is now much decayed ; and (3) the 
Chancel arch, which is more ornamental. As it requires one 
who is acquainted with the special terms in use, to describe 
these arches, we may quote the account of the architecture of 
the Church given in a small book that is one of the works 
placed by Dr. Joseph Robertson at the head of his celebrated 
article in the Quarterly Review of June, 1849, on "the Cathe- 
drals and Abbeys of Scotland," which was published separately 
in 1891, " Descriptive notices of some of the Ancient Parochial 
and Collegiate Churches of Scotland by J.S.M. [Mr. Muir of 
Leith] London, J. H. Parker, 1848. 

" St. Mary's Monymusk. Orientation E.S.E. One of the 
few Norman examples among the inland parishes of Scotland 
between the Forth and Spey. Seems to belong to an early 
period, and consists of 

A Chancel, somewhat curtailed, sixteen feet five inches 
long by fourteen feet nine inches wide ; 

A Nave, forty-eight feet eight inches long by twenty feet 
seven inches wide ; 

A square tower of three undivided stages, seventeen feet 
three inches long by fifteen feet one inch wide. 

" Infringements and repairs have obliterated nearly all the 
details of the structure within and without. Both roofs are 
considerably underdrawn, walls of Chancel have lost two or 
three feet of their original height, and a large part of that on 
the north of the Nave is destroyed by an addition. On the 
West face of the tower under the belfry is a small blocked 
round-headed light, and below it a plain round-headed door- 
way with a trigonal hood carried immediately over the vousoirs 
and ending abruptly at the spring of the arch. Besides the 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 77 

belfry arch which is of two orders much wasted and partly 
blocked, the only feature in the interior is the Chancel Arch 
of two semi-circular orders, uniform on both sides, and singular 
perhaps in being without a hood. The exterior arch is 
moulded into a quarter hollow and a heavy three-quarter 
quirked edge-roll ; the sub-arch is square-edged and quite plain. 
Respectively the jambs present the ordinary arrangement of 
three half-round bearing shafts, the middle one being of much 
larger size and placed in front to meet the projection of the 
soffit-rib. In the character of the abaci and capitals no 
peculiarity is observable, the under edges of the former are 
turned off by a broad chamfer, and the latter have their double 
escalloped faces divided, not by the usual channel, but by a 
conical-shaped roll, the base of which unites with and dies into 
the heavy annular neck-moulding under the cushion. The 
central shaft and capital in the north jamb are wanting ; the 
bases are sunk in the flooring, and the crown of the external 
arch is concealed by the gallery. The depth of the two arches 
is two feet nine inches, and the width of the aperture between 
the responds is nine feet." 

As regards the date of building, the examples of the earliest 
Church architecture in our country are mentioned in his essay 
by Dr. Joseph Robertson, who was the highest authority on 
this subject. He says that there was "perfect sameness of 
ecclesiastical architecture on both sides of the Tweed during 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, or throughout the epochs 
of the Norman or Romanesque and the Early English or First 
Pointed styles. During these ages cathedral and convent 
church and chapel rose everywhere in Scotland fashioned on 
English models, by English hands, and under English oversight. 
St. Margaret built a church at Dunfermline, the spot where her 

78 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

auspicious nuptials with the King of Albany were celebrated, 
but of her ancient Abbey Church there now remains nothing 
but the Romanesque nave, which was consecrated in 1150 
[fifty-seven years after her death]. The little Romanesque 
Church and square tower at St. Andrews, which bear the name 
of St. Rule, have, so far as we know, no prototype in the south; 
but no one acquainted with the progress of architecture . . . 
will have much difficulty in identifying the building with the 
small 'basilica' reared by Bishop Robert, an English canon 
regular of the order of St Augustin, between the years 1127 
and 1144." . . . "The conventual Churches of Kelso 
[begun in 1128] and of Jedburgh exist but in broken ruins; 
but enough of both is spared to show that they were noble 
examples of the more advanced Romanesque. [They were 
destroyed by the English soldiers of Henry VIII in 1544, 
1545, along with others of our most beautiful Churches and 
Abbeys such as Melrose, Dryburgh, Coldingham, Newbattle, 
Holyrood, &c.] There are traces of Romanesque work in 
Dryburgh, in the tower at Dunblane, in lona, Coldingham, 
MONYMUSK. . . The Romanesque had the same duration 
in Scotland as in England, except that in the north perhaps 
only one edifice the Church built by St. Margaret at Dun- 
fermline arose before the year noo. But the date was the 
same at which in both countries the style began to show that 
change of character which issued in the First Pointed. The 
transition appears in the Choir of the Cathedral of St. Andrews, 
which was founded in ii62.' Jl 

Thus Dr. Joseph Robertson joins our Church in one 
sentence with Dryburgh, Dunblane, lona, and Coldingham, 
drawing his evidence from the building itself, without any 
reference to tradition. His reasoning may be expressed in a 

pp. 32-41. 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 79 

few words : St. Margaret built her own Church at Dunfermline, 
the nave of which, is perhaps the only existing Church in our 
country that rose before noo; of the Augustinian Priory of 
St. Andrews, to which our Priory was annexed, there remains 
the small Church of St. Rule's, with its square tower of 
Romanesque style like our own; it was built between 1127 
and 1144; and the transition to the next style, the First 
Pointed, is seen in the Chancel of the Cathedral that stands 
beside it, and that was founded in 1162. 

Does it not seem probable then that if our Church, being 
under the St. Andrews Priory, had been built after 1162, it 
would have borne ' traces ' of the later and finer style of the 
Cathedral rather than of the old Church and tower whose style 
was being discarded, and which was small compared with ' the 
vast adjacent pile, the grandest of all our Cathedrals'? and 
does it not seem natural that, though St. Rule's Tower is twice 
the height of ours, yet being the mother-church of our Priory, 
ours should be of a somewhat similar character ? and may we 
not, with some show of reason, infer that though the building 
here was on a humble scale compared with it, yet 'portions' 
at least of our Church and tower may have been built before 
1162, the date of the next style, as shown in St. Andrews 
Cathedral, and that through these ' portions ' it has ' traces ' of 
being among the oldest Churches in our country, and one of 
the few Churches remaining in it in which worship has been 
offered in an unbroken line of more than seven hundred years ? 
In addition to this evidence from the building itself we shall 
find that in the record of 1211 the Bishop of St. Andrews is 
called the founder of the Priory, and also that a gift of land 
was made to the Culdees here by the same Bishop Robert who 
built St. Rule's Church and tower. Now the Romanesque 
style, introduced by Queen Margaret, was followed for only 

8o Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

about sixty years, so that any clergy here, though their suc- 
cessors came to be the architects and builders of their times, 
must have been unskilled in a style so foreign to the country 
and so new to them, as the Romanesque, and thus either 
clergy, or master builders, or skilled workmen, however few, 
who had been employed at St. Rule's Tower, or perhaps even 
at Dunfermline Abbey Church, may have had to come to 
this distant place to instruct the local builders and, to use 
Dr. Joseph Robertson's illustration, 1 is there any " violence in 
the conjecture that the same head may have planned or the 
same hands have hewn " parts of all three ? Some of these 
builders may perhaps have been unaccustomed to hew shafts 
and arches and corner stones in our obdurate granite, different 
tools being still required, and may have had to send to Kil- 
drummy for the freestone. At a time when roads were 
unknown as we have them, and when oxen were employed for 
dragging burdens along the rough tracks or for bearing them 
on their backs, how earnest must these men have been in 
beautifying the House of God when they brought its ornamen- 
tal stones from so distant a quarry ! " It is believed," says 
Dr. Campbell of Balmerino, "that those magnificent structures, 
whose ruins now cover the land and excite so much regret in 
the mind of every lover of art, were the work of Freemasons, 
who according to the best established accounts, originated in 
the middle ages, and travelled about from one country to 
another as their services were required. This opinion is 
strengthened by the fact that many and even close resem- 
blances can be traced both in the plans and minute details of 
structures remote from each other. Wherever an Abbey or 
Cathedral was to be erected, a lodge of Freemasons, governed 
by their own laws and enjoying important privileges, settled in 

i Abbeys, p. 33. 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 81 

the neighbourhood. The designers of those splendid buildings 
were however generally the monks and churchmen them- 
selves, who were devoted to the study of Architecture as 
well as the various arts connected with the ornamentation of 
Churches." 1 

There is one parish Church not mentioned by Dr. Joseph 
Robertson, that of Birnie, within three miles of Elgin, a 
district abounding in the finest sandstone. It has a beautiful 
round Chancel Arch closely resembling ours, with very similar 
capitals, but it is in much finer preservation. It is claimed 
for it that it was built not later than 1140. It has been 
recently repaired, and worship in it has never been interrupted. 
It has not a tower, but consists simply of a Nave forty-one feet 
by eighteen feet, and a Chancel sixteen feet by thirteen feet 
almost the size Mr. Muir gives for our Chancel, though he adds 
" somewhat curtailed." In the Chancel at Birnie there is no 
window in the east end which "suggests the early basilican 
Churches of Italy, and points to a time before the east window 
became a special effort in architecture." The "Priests' door" 
in it is on the south side, there being no special reason for its 
being on the north side, as facility of access from the Priory 
might make it natural here. 2 

Of the clergy of the twelfth century, Dr. Joseph Robertson 
says, "They were the schoolmasters, the statesmen, the lawyers, 
the bankers, the engineers, the artists, the builders, the glaziers, 
the agriculturists, and the gardeners of the age." 3 

When thinking of the order of worship in the Church after 
Queen Margaret's time, we have to remember that "of the 
Scottish Bishoprics all, save three or four, were founded or 

i Balmerino, pp. 51, 52; referring to Wilson's 2 The Parish Church of Birnie, 1891, 
Prehistoric Annals, p. 639 ; Ty tier's His- p. 12. 

tory of Scotland, Chap. VI. 3 Chambers' Encyc. David I. 


82 Many musk: its Church and Priory. 

restored by her son David I (1124-1153); and that their Cathe- 
dral constitutions were formally copied from English models. 
So too St. Oswald's at Nosthill, near Pontefract, in Yorkshire, 
was the parent of Scone, and through it of St. Andrews 
and Holyrood." The "Use of Sarum" (Salisbury) arranged by 
Bishop Osmund in 1076, and completed in 1085, "obtained 
generally throughout Scotland," 1 as well as in England, Wales, 
and Ireland. Every vestige of the old Celtic Church indi- 
viduality was swept away. "The service books, vestments, 
services, and festivals, were now all in accordance with the 
Roman order. All through the mediaeval period Scotland was 
entirely dependent on England, and perhaps to a slight degree 
on Ireland for its service books, especially on Sarum, whose 
Breviary and Missal were in all but universal use." Unfortu- 
nately, "the Church services, which enshrined what were at 
once the warmest, tenderest, and most devout affections and 
aspirations of the human heart, were all embodied in Latin, 
which was entirely unknown to the people." 2 In our Collection 
of Hymns, No. 91, "Come, Holy Ghost" (which we also sing 
to an ancient tune), No. 170, "Jesus, the very thought of 
Thee," which is given in another translation in No. 190, "Jesus, 
Thou joy of loving hearts," and No. 283, " Now that the day- 
light fills the sky," are taken from Latin hymns in the Sarum 
Use. Mr. Moorsom in his "Companion to Hymns Ancient 
and Modern," 3 gives a list of those to be found there. The 
hymns were sung or chanted in Latin by the priests and trained 

In addition to the Church, there was an Oratory or little 
Chapel for the Prior, also called St. Mary's, on Balvack, a 

1 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, p. 27. 3 p. 187. 

2 Mr. Lippe, Wodrow, pp. xx-xxii. 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 83 

farm that we find belonged afterwards to the parson of the 
parish ; another near Todlochy, about two miles westward from 
the Church; 1 and a third on the other side of the Don near 
Abersnithock, now Braehead farm, the little spot close to 
Lord Cullen's being still enclosed with its beeches, which was 
dedicated to St. Ffinan. This is of great interest, for the name 
of this Welsh saint, who came from St. Asaph to help in 
spreading the Gospel in this distant district, survives among us 
in the name of a whole parish, ' Llanfrman,' now spelled 
Lumphanan. If he did not himself preach the Gospel in our 
own parish, which he may have done, his name was held in 
reverence by the early clergy here, who dedicated this Oratory 
to God under his name. Professor Rhys of Oxford says 2 
" When Columba was busy among the Picts on the Tay, his 
contemporary and friend Kentigern " [St. Mungo, the founder 
of the see of Glasgow, the founder also of the see of St. Asaph 
in Wales ; it is recorded that he and Columba met once in 
conference at Glasgow.] " appears to have gone on a mission 
beyond the Mounth " [the Grampians on the south side of the 
Dee. Mungo had been forced to flee to Wales for refuge. As 
he went south he preached in the district round Carlisle, where 
the Church of Crossthwaite at Keswick, and no fewer than 
eight others are dedicated under his name. When he was 
recalled to Glasgow in 573 or 574 by the new king, who was a 
Christian, he is said to have brought with him from Wales a 
little army of missionaries numbering no fewer than 665;] 
"and," continues Mr. Rhys, "that Welsh missionaries had 
carried on work of a lasting nature among the Transmontane 
Picts is proved by a group of dedications in the upper Valley 
of the Dee, among which are found Kentigern's own name and 
that of Ffinan, whose Church in Anglesey is called Llanfrlnan, 

i Colin. A. and B. p. 585. 2 Celtic Britain, pp. 172, 173. 

84 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

while that of his in Scotland gives its name to Lumphanan, a 
place of some note in Pictish history," Macbeth being killed 
there by MacdufT. 

There is another striking coincidence. Glengairden on 
Deeside was dedicated to Kentigern, Migvie as well as Lum- 
phanan to St. Ffinan, and Midmar to St. Ninan, a disciple, 
some say a cousin of Kentigern's. Strange to say, adjoining 
Llanffinan in Anglesey is Llaninan, so that two Welsh saints, 
Ffinan and Ninan, fellow-workers with St. Mungo, have left 
their names associated with two adjacent parishes in such far- 
separated parts as Anglesey in Wales and the Presbytery of 
Kincardine O'Neil in Aberdeenshire, while one of them is also 
commemorated in our own parish. So laborious was Kenti- 
gern in his preaching, and so long remembered that there used 
to be a proverb in our district, " Like St. Mungo's work, which 
was never done " the type of an endless task. 

A sculptured stone was found some years ago in a field on 
the farm of Nether Mains, about a mile from the Church. It 
bears the figure of a Celtic Cross the four parts of which are 
nearly equal in size, with an interlaced projection for the shaft 
at the foot. Below the cross is a figure that seems to resemble 
an open box with a kind of hinge on which it may be turned 
round so as to close the two parts, and having at the other end 
an ornamental holder by which it may be suspended. This 
may be meant to represent a box in which might be carried 
some relic or sacred treasure. Beneath this is a circular figure 
within which there is what looks like a flower, and on the right 
and left of the circle are two small rings. An engraving of the 
stone is given in the Spalding Club volume, " The Sculptured 
Stones of Scotland," plate VIII. 

The Building of the Church and Priory. 

The sculptor of the Cross may have lived earlier than the 
foundation of the Priory, and it may have been placed at the 

distance we have mentioned from " an oaken Church with its 
thatch of reeds " to indicate the privilege of sanctuary or for 
some sacred purpose, or perhaps u to mark, as was customary, 
the boundaries of lands." 1 There is no tradition of there 
having been any right of sanctuary attached to our Monastery 
a right that did not come to a religious house as a matter of 

i Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, p. 83. 

Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

course, but that had to be regularly sanctioned. " It is not 
many years since the removal of the Crosses which guarded the 
sanctuary of Dull in Athol, that venerable Church which 
numbered St. Cuthbert among its disciples, the father of our 
kings among its abbots, and within whose precinct the regicide 
was safe. Four stones, each graven with a St. John's Cross, 
still stand at the four corners of the girth which surrounded the 
Church and preceptory of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John 
at Torpichen, near Bathgate, where the girth measured a mile 
on every side. Like the girths of Lesmahago, of Tain, of Dull, 
of Torpichen, the girth of St. John of Beverly was marked 
by crosses." 1 

i Dr. Joseph Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. II. p. 262. 





1078 TO 1245. 

IN considering the endowments of the Priory we have first to 
think of the large grant of land made by Malcolm III in 1078. 
Its record was originally inserted in the Register of St. Andrews, 
and has been taken "from a paper in the charter chest at 
Monymusk House, in the handwriting of the sixteenth century, 
collated with an older but less perfect copy in the charter chest 
at Whitehaugh.' ; 

The marches of the Episcopal lands of Keig and Mony- 
musk granted to the Church of St. Andrew by Malcolm, 
King of Scots, as contained more fully in the charter above 
drawn up. Extracted from the Register of St. Andrews by 
Mr. Walter Bannantyn. 

And the said King assigned to the said Church the said 
lands by the underwritten marches and caused them to be 
reduced to writing. 

The first march begins at the brook which is called Toen 
[Ton], so called because a certain woman of the name of 
Toen [Ton] was submerged in that brook and drowned, and 
so as far as the brook called Kolcy and so by following from 
Kolcy as far as the river that is called Don, and so holding 
the Don as far as the rivulet towards the north that is called 
Fowlesy and so by following from the Fowlesy as far as 
Coritobrich, which is interpreted the valley of the fountain, 

88 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

and from Coritobrith to Lawchtendaff, which means in 
Latin, a place where a man was killed, to the turning p.oint 
of the four royal roads, and so towards the east as far as the 
top of the mountain that is called Sclenemingorne, which is 
interpreted the haunt of goats, and so towards the east as 
far as the Standing Stones near Albadanenauch, which 
means in Latin the field of sweet milk, and along the road 
as far as the top of the mountain that is between Keig and 
the Garioch, and so by dividing the separate hills into two 
parts as far as Benachie, namely one part to the property of 
the Garioch, and another to the property of Monymusk 
Likewise by dividing Benachie into one part to the property 
of Monymusk and another to the Garioch And from 
Benachie as far as Aide Clothi, which means in Latin the 
Rocky Rivulet, and from that place as far as Brecachath, 
which is interpreted a field marked by colours, on the right, 
and from Brecacath as far as the brook which is called 
Urcewy, and by following from the Urcewy as far as Cosalde 
and from Colsalde to the head of the wood which is called 
Trenechinen which means in Latin Wood extended straight, 
and towards the south as far as one fountain from which one 
rivulet flows which is called Doeli which means " Carbon " 
in Latin owing to its blackness, and so by following from 
Dceli as far as the river Don, and from the Don towards the 
south as far as the first march which began at the brook 
that is called Ton. 

And such are the marches that King Malcolm left on 
account of the victory granted him, to God and the Church 
of the Blessed Mary of Monymusk, giving the blessing of 
God and S. Mary to all who preserve the rights of that 
Church. 1 

i Collns. A. and B. pp. 171, 172. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 89 

We have seen the importance that Mr. Stuart in the " Book 
of Deer " attaches to this grant. That the lands were given in 
possession to the Church is proved by all their subsequent history, 
but the copy of the deed necessarily belongs to a later date, for 
"we have no extant Scotch writing so early as the reign of 
Malcolm Canmore. The oldest Scotch writing extant is a 
charter of David I (1124 to 1153) to the monks of St. Cuthbert 
of Durham, which is kept in the treasury of Durham, and is in 
perfect preservation." 1 Dr. Reeves however says, 2 " The place 
in history held by Monymusk is due to its connection with St. 
Andrews, for as to the story of its foundation by Malcolm 
Cennmor, it rests upon the doubtful authority of a boundary 
charter, and the more questionable assertion of Hector Boece." 

In a paper contributed in 1865 to the Proceedings of the 
Society of Antiquaries, Edinburgh, 3 the late Rev. Alexander 
Low, Minister of Keig, gave an account of the boundaries and 
localities mentioned in this charter as far as he was able to 
identify them. The lands are expressly called * the Episcopal 
lands of Keig and Monymusk,' and are intersected by the Don. 
Beginning near the Mansion House of Whitehaugh the bound- 
ary seems to run to the top of Brindy Hill, then along the ridge 
of the Benachie range, turning downwards by Braco to the moss 
of Fetternear until it reaches the Don. At this point the 
charter mentions the name of Doeli, which is still the contracted 
form of Dalmadilly, near the Kemnay Quarries. Then the 
march is said to run by the burn of Ton which is the present 
boundary between Cluny and Monymusk, and passing Tilly- 
fourie it goes by the burn of Banley, through part of Tough 
until it again touches the Don. The boundaries thus enclose a 
large part of the parish of Keig, parts of the parishes of Oyne 

1 Mr. Cosmo Innes. Middle Ages, pp. 78, 79. 3 Vol. VI. pp. 218-232. 

2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 253. 

90 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

and of Chapel of Garioch, and perhaps of Kemnay, the whole 
of the parish of Monymusk, and a part of the parish of Tough. 
They form a four-sided figure, Mr. Low estimating the northern 
line to be about fourteen miles long and the western about 
twelve miles. The charter particularly names 'the Church of St. 
Mary of Monymusk,' so that it was already in existence, but it 
does not mention the Priory, which may not have been built 
at the time. The chief part of the rental of so large a district 
doubtless went direct to St. Andrews, but the farms of Aber- 
snithock, now Braehead, Ramstone, Ardniedly, Balvack, 1 and 
Mains of Monymusk are afterwards specially mentioned as 
belonging to our Priory, and we shall also find a large number 
of farms in other parishes mentioned by name in a rent-roll at 
Castle Forbes, as belonging to the Priory down to the time of 
the Reformation. 

This Priory having been placed under the Priory of St. 
Andrews, and perhaps emanating from it, had the advantage of 
having a number of its writs preserved as they would not other- 
wise have been, and in a way that leaves no question as to 
their genuineness. They are entered in the " Register of the 
Priory of the Cathedral Church of St. Andrews," which was 
printed in 1841 and presented by Mr. Tyndall Bruce to the 
Bannatyne Club. The original MS. is preserved in the Library 
of the Earl of Dalhousie (Lord Panmure) and was produced in 
court December 22nd, 1413, by the historian Andrew of Wynton, 
who was Prior of St. Serfs, in vindication of the rights of his 
house. " The declarations of title, and the controversies which 
grew out of the relations of Monymusk with the church of St. 
Andrews, rendered it a matter of importance to have its early 
muniments preserved, and accordingly a small collection of its 
charters was transferred into the Register of the Priory, where 

i Collns. A. and B. p. 171. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 91 

they remain in a compact and separate group." 1 In his preface 2 
Mr. Cosmo Innes says, " Only second in interest to the Hermits 
of Lochleven is the Priory of Monymusk, also an ancient seat of 
the Culdees, which likewise merged in our Priory of St. Andrews, 
and brought into its possession the fruits of the munificence of 
the old lords of Mar." The writs as well as other records have 
been printed under the different parishes with which they are 
connected, by Dr. Joseph Robertson in his "Collections on the 
Shires of Aberdeen and Banff," and his " Antiquities," for the 
Spalding Club. Abstracts are also given by Dr. Reeves in his 
work on the Culdees. 3 We shall try to translate them from the 
mediaeval Latin and give them in historical order. They take us 
back to a period of which we know little, but as far as they go 
they bring us into the range of authentic history connected with 
our own parish. 

The first is a grant by Gartenach, Earl of Buchan, whose 
date can be fixed as about 1120 or 1130, only forty or fifty years 
after Malcolm's great gift, his grandson Roger confirming it 
'about 1170' (Dr. Reeves), ' probably before 1179 ' (Dr. Joseph 

Roger, Earl of Buchan . . let it be known that I have 
. . confirmed to the Culdees of Munimusc every year 
from Foedarg xx measures of barley grain, and x stones of 
cheese, and from Foleyt xx stones of cheese and iv measures 
of barley and a sheep (a wether), for perpetual charity, as 
Gartenach, my grandfather, gave the foresaid charity to 
them, and granted also that these amounts be brought to 
Munimusc by the feast of All Saints [say Nov. ist]. In 
witness, &c. 4 

1 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 253. 4 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 370 ; 

2 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. xvi. Collns. A. & B. pp. 172, 173. 

3 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, pp. 253-259. 

92 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

This is the first mention in history of the Culdees here, and 
they are simply called "the Culdees of Munimusc." 1 Dr. Reeves 
says, 2 "The opening document affords evidence of their existence 
about the year 1131." Earl Gartenach is otherwise known. A 
grant of lands for the consecration of a Church was made to the 
Monastery of Deer by " Gartnait," son of Cainnech, the mor- 
maer, the date of which is the ' ' eighth year of the reign of 
David I," 1131 or 1132, to which there were witnesses, Nectan, 
first Bishop of Aberdeen (1125 to 1154), Leot or Leod, Abbot 
of Brechin (a lay-abbot, for he and his grandson Dovenald, who 
was also abbot, alienated portions of the Church property 
there), Ruadri, mormaer of Mar (created first Earl of Mar 
by Alexander I, 1107-1124), Matadin the Brehon or Judge, 
Domongart, the ' ferleginn ' (the man of learning, the reader, or 
scribe) of Turriff, and others. 3 This grant brings together the 
mormaers of Mar and Buchan, who doubtless owned between 
them a large part of Aberdeenshire, and here we have also the 
first historical notice of the Bishopric of Aberdeen. The 
Monasteries of Deer and Turriff are also here mentioned to- 
gether, two very early Columban foundations, the scribe of 
the latter retaining his old Irish title. Gartnait, mormaer of 
Buchan, also appears in the foundation-charter of the Monas- 
tery of Scone about 1120 as 'Earl' Gartnait, and Ruadri, who 
in Gartnait's grant is styled mormaer of Mar, also appears in 
the same charter as * Earl ; Rotheri, just as in our deed Roger 
is called ' Earl ' (Comes). 4 The name Gartnait had evidently 
been handed down for five hundred years in the family of the 
Celtic mormaers of Buchan, for a portion of land that Columba 
received from the Pictish ruler had as one of its boundaries 
*the stone of the portion of Garnait's son.' 5 

1 See Mr. Skene, Celt. Scot. II. p. 390. 4 Book of Deer, p. Ixxxii. 

2 Culdees, p. 253. 5 Ibid., Ixxxiii. 

3 Book of Deer, pp. lv., cxxxiv. 

The Chartulary of Many musk. 93 

Earl Roger, Gartenach's grandson, who confirmed the grant 
to our Priory, was a Comyn or Cumin, representing through 
the female line the old Celtic chiefs of Buchan, but he himself 
was of Norman descent. In 1219 one Earl brought Cistercian 
monks from Kinloss (near Forres) to Deer, and it is the ruins 
of his Abbey that remain ; while in 1273, another Earl founded 
the almshouse at Turriff. After 1257, their party gained wide 
influence, there being thirty-two knights and three earls of the 
great race of Comyn. It was one of them, Sir John, the Red 
Comyn, that Bruce killed at the high altar of the Greyfriars 
Church at Dumfries in 1306. They paid a heavy penalty after 
the assertion of Scottish freedom, for the part they had taken 
against Bruce. They were Lords of Badenoch as well as Earls 
of Buchan, and they lost both. So wasted was the Earldom 
that soon there was no memorial left of it save "the orisons of 
the monks of Deer." 

Two words used in this grant are of much interest. 'Cudri' 
is evidently a Latin form of the Celtic word given by Dr. 
Jamieson in his dictionary "Chudreme, or cudreme, the 
designation of what is called a stone- weight." He quotes a 
charter of St. Andrews in which the word actually occurs in 
connection with cheese, viz., payments made by certain churches 
{ triginta panes decoctos, cum antiqua mensura farinas ibi 
apposita, triginta caseos quorum quilibet facit chudreme.' The 
chudreme is said to be the Irish cudthrom (the * th ' being 
quiescent) which signifies weight. Clach-ar-cudrim means literally 
a stone-weight. David I. granted to the Monastery of Cambus- 
kenneth 'viginti cudremos caseis' out of his rents at Stirling. 
The other word, "Multonem" is our familiar 'mutton' slightly 
disguised (multo, muto, and molto), and is of frequent occur- 
rence in charters strictly meaning a wether, though often used 
generally for sheep. ' Unum multonem ' is a common grant in 
charters apparently, sometimes ' multones et agnelhV 

94 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

We shall find that the farms of Foedarg and Foleyt con- 
tinued their payments to the Priory, but we are unable to say 
in what parish they lay. We learn afterwards that Wester- 
Fowlis, in Leochel, belonged to the Priory, and there may be 
a connection between it and Foleyt. One ancient name, 
however, of Fowlis was Fouellis. 

The next endowment that we know of, was made by Bishop 
Turgot's successor, Robert, who was Bishop of St. Andrews for 
over thirty years, from 1127 to 1159. We learn of it from the 
"Agreement " of 1211 which shall be given afterwards. 

The foresaid Culdees shall henceforth possess for ever the 
half-ploughgate of land by name Eglismenythok which they 
have had by the gift of Robert, of good memory, Bishop of 
St. Andrews, as freely, fully, and quietly as they have 
possessed it from the time of the said Bishop Robert even to 
these times. 1 

The local denominations, a ploughgate of land etc., are very 
early indications of some general valuation of all the lands in 
the Kingdom. 2 A carucate of land was reckoned as much land 
as a plough could till in one year equal to about one hundred 
and four acres, so that this grant would be about fifty acres 
Scots. " The Scotch plough of the thirteenth century was a 
ponderous machine drawn, when the team was complete, by 
twelve oxen." 3 'A ploughgate of land' is the amount mentioned 
in the charter of the erection of the parish of Ednam, the first 
parish of whose endowment the record has been preserved. 
The Culdees were to hold the land 'freely, fully,' etc., for 
" rents, tributes, and customs were taken by the officials from 
those over whom they ruled and were inherent in the possession 

i Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 369 ; Collns. 2 Book of Deer, p. civ. 

A. and B. pp. 175, 176. 3 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Middle Ages, p. 139. 

The Chartulary of Mo ny musk. 95 

of land, unless a special 'freedom' was conferred by competent 
authority." 1 We shall find frequent mention made of this farm. 
The late Rev. Dr. Taylor, minister of Leochel-Cushnie, was 
wont, we believe, to claim it for his parish, but Mr. Macdonald, 
author of " Place Names in Strathbogie," is inclined to think 
that it lay in our own parish and may have been near Aber- 
snithock, now Braehead. The Priory did receive grants of land 
in Leochel, but it is difficult to see how the Bishop of St. 
Andrews possessed any lands there, as it was beyond the bounds 
of Malcolm Ill's gift. There is some confusion in Mr. Skene's 
remarks in connection with this name. "The possessions of the 
Culdees at Monymusk included those Northern Churches which 
were connected with the legend of St. Andrew, or were dedicated 
to him, as Kindrochet in Mar, Alford and Eglismenythok in 
Angus," and afterwards he says that within the parish of Moni- 
fieth " was the chapel of Eglismonichty, dedicated to St. 
Andrew. 2 But Alford was not in Angus, and it will be seen 
afterwards that though Eglismenythok may have originally owed 
its name to its being dedicated to a saint who is now quite un- 
known, it came to be simply the name of a farm. 

Bishop Robert who made this grant has much interest 
centred round him in regard to the Culdees. He was an 
Englishman, a canon of St. Oswald's, near Pontefract, and be- 
came Prior of Scone in 1115. The Celtic Monastery there was 
of great antiquity, but Alexander I. changed it into an Abbey of 
Augustinian Canons whom he brought into Scotland for the first 
time from St. Oswald's. Robert became Bishop of St. Andrews 
in 1127, and in conjunction with David I. about 1144 reared 
the small * basilica ' and tower of St. Rule's for a Priory of 
Augustinian Canons whom he brought from his old home at 
Scone that they might supersede the Culdees, as we have 

i Book oi Deer, pp. Ixxxvii. Ixxxviii. 2 Celtic Scotland II. pp. 390, 395. 

96 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

mentioned before. We may, however, think of him chiefly in 
connection with St. Serfs. " The little Isle of St Servanus in 
Lochleven," says Mr. Cosmo Innes in his preface to the 
Register of St. Andrews Priory, 1 "contained one of the Culdee 
foundations that for centuries of darkness and violence kept 
alive the lamp of a civilising religion ; and we are indignant 
when the Saintly David and his friend Bishop Robert expel 
them from their quiet dwelling to make room for the new 
churchmen. The Bishop is content to give to others their 
heritage, their Church vestments, and their little library of 
seventeen Christian books. But the King insults them in their 
distress." His charter is preserved in the original Latin, and a 
fac-simile of it is given in the Register. It is witnessed by Bishop 
Robert and by Andrew, first Bishop of Caithness, of whom 
Mr. Stephen says 2 that "he was a witness to so many charters 
in different parts of Scotland that he must have been a frequent 
absentee from his diocese." 

David, King of Scots to the bishops, abbots, &c., greeting, 
know that I have granted and given to the canons of St. 
Andrews, the island of Lochleven, that they themselves 
may there institute the canonical order. And the Culdees 
who shall be found there, if they are willing to live as 
Regulars, may remain at peace with them and under them, 
but if any one of them is inclined to offer resistance to this 
I will and ordain that he be expelled from the island. 
Witnesses, &c., at Berwick. 

Bishop Robert soon carried this into effect, and made the 
possessions of the Culdees into an endowment for the new 
Augustinian Canons. His writ is of unusual interest. 3 "Their 
little store of seventeen books was evidently thought of much 

1 p. xv. 3 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. 43. 

2 History, p. 273. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 97 

importance, for the bishop distinguishes each of them se- 
parately. We have not many instances of books conveyed by 
charter, and we here learn what may have been some of the 
MS. books that were to be found in our own Priory at the time. 
Dr. Joseph Anderson 1 gives the catalogue of the Scottish MSS. 
in the library at St. Gall in Switzerland compiled about 829, 
containing about thirty-two treatises, "the earliest document 
from which the nature of the books in use in a Celtic Monas- 
tery may be inferred." 

To all sons of holy mother Church, Robert by the grace of 
God, the lowly servant of the Church of St. Andrews greet- 
ing and episcopal benediction . . Let all know . . 
that we have given . . to the Church of St. Andrews 
and to Robert the Prior, the Abbey of the island of Loch- 
leven [then he details its different Churches with their 
tithes, as was mentioned before] for instituting Canons 
Regular in the Abbey . . along with the Church vestments 
which the Chelede themselves possessed, and with the 
following books a pastoral (or ritual) ; a gradual (or anti- 
phonary) ; a missal (or liturgy book these three being used 
in the public service of the Monastery) ; an Origo (perhaps 
the popular Origo Mundi) or Origines (some of the writings 
of Origen) ; the Sententice of St. Bernard, whose title is 
given 'the Abbot of Clairvauxj a commentary on the famous 
collection of theological subtleties (he was probably still 
living, 1091-1153 ; he is called 'the holiest monk that ever 
lived,' and wrote the hymns, * Jesus, the very thought of 
Thee,' 'Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts ' ; perhaps this was 
their newest book) ; a treatise on the sacraments in three 
parts or staves ; a Bible or portion of a Bible, doubtless the 

i Scotland in Early Christian Times, pp. 155, 156. 

98 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Vulgate of St. Jerome ; a Lectionary, perhaps a collection of 
the portions of St. Paul's Epistles used at the Mass, or a 
book of the Epistles and Gospels ; the Acts of the Apostles; 
the pur Gospels after the text of St. Prosper, or it may 
be the Gospels and some work of Prosper of Aquitane, a 
follower of St. Augustine ; three books of Solomon (Proverbs, 
Ecclesiastes, and Canticles) ; glosses, or a commentary on 
Solomon's Song a work called Interpretations of phrases or 
words ; a collection of religious maxims ; an exposition of 
Genesis ; and excerpts of ecclesiastical rules. 

Among the witnesses are Gregory, Bishop of Dunkeld, and 
William, Abbot de Sancta Cruce, />., Holyrood, which was 
founded by David I., and begun to be built in 1128, for 
Augustinian Canons Regular, to whom he presented the famous 
crucifix, the Black Rood, that belonged to his mother, Queen 
Margaret, and that was supposed to enclose a part of the true 

Dr. Reeves says 1 that "the character of the books is just 
what might be expected in a small monastic establishment of 
that date, and the ritual works are those which were in general 
use " ; while Mr. Stuart says, 3 " These works were suitable for 
any religious community in Western Europe, and were accord- 
ingly transferred to the Canons Regular for their use, a 
tolerably sure token that the differences between the bodies 
were less doctrinal ones than on points of rule and discipline." 
Mr. Stephen also says, 3 " The titles of some of the books are 
the best corrective of the notion that the Culdees differed in 
any respect either as to faith or worship from the Catholic 
Church of their time. The library was probably more extensive, 

i Culdees, p. 249. 2 Book of Deer, p. cxxiii. 3 History, p. 270. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 99 

as the Lochleven Culdees had been frequently favoured 
with royal gifts." 

St. Serf was the teacher of St. Mungo and the companion 
of Palladius, who is said to have died at Fordoun in Kincar- 
dineshire. Culross on the Forth was his principal Church, 
where he died at an advanced age about the year 540.* St. 
Sair's Fair, held in Culsalmond, shows that his fame extended 
to our district ; the Fair was formerly held at Monkegie, now 

We do not know for what reason Bishop Robert treated our 
Priory so differently from St. Serfs, bestowing on it the half- 
carucate of land at Eglismenythok ; but this may have been 
simply owing to the distance from St. Andrews. 

We now come to the large benefactions of the Earls of Mar. 
" The ancient district of Mar," says Dr. John Mackintosh, 2 
" was very extensive. Commencing near Aberdeen, it extended 
to Badenoch, comprising almost the whole of the valleys of 
the Dee and Don and the territory lying between them. It 
seems probable that the whole of this district was under the 
' Mormaer ' of Mar this Celtic title being superseded by that 
of ' Earl ' in the reign of Alexander I., 1107-1124." The coat 
of arms of the old Earls is displayed on the ceiling of the 
Cathedral, Old Aberdeen. 

Gilchrist, the third Earl, was one of the principal bene- 
factors of our Priory, 1170-1204 (Dr. Joseph Robertson) or 
1199-1207 (Dr. Reeves). One of his charters still remains. 
[G. Earl] of Mar to all honourable men [both cleric] and 
lay greeting. Let all of you know that we have given, 
granted, and by this our charter confirmed to God and the 

i Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 242. 2 Hist, of Valley of Dee, p. 211. 

ioo Monymusk: its Church and Priory, 

Church of S. Mary of Munimusc and the Culdees serving 
in the same . . the Church of Leochel with all its tithes, 
privileges, oblations, revenues (ovencionibus = obventionibus) 
and with that whole half dauach of land in which the 
Church is situated, free from every secular exaction and 
service, according to the tithes there are and other offerings 
of the altar, in pastures, meadows, woods, and waters for the 
mill, and with all its rights, as divided both by marches and 
common pasture for free and pure, quiet and perpetual 
charity, from me and my heirs and my successors for the 
salvation and prosperity of my Lord King William and his 
son, and his loved ones, and for myself and all my pro- 
genitors and heirs and successors favouring this my gift. 
Wherefore I wish and enjoin that the said Culdees hold 
and possess the said Church as freely as any canons or 
monks or any other religious men in the whole kingdom of 
Scotland hold . . any Church or charity through the 
gift of baron or earl, &c. T 

In two confirmations made by John (formerly prior of 
Kelso), 2 Bishop of Aberdeen, 1199-1207, we have mention 
made of this gift and also of two other Churches presented by 
the same Earl. The first confirmation is of importance, and if 
it had given a little more information, would have had much 
historical value. 

To all sons of holy mother Church, John by the grace of 
God, the lowly minister of the Church of Aberdeen, greet- 
. ing and sincere love in the Lord. Let all both past and 
present know that we have granted and confirmed by this 
our charter that gift which Gplchrist], Earl of Mar, gave to 
his own Monastery which he built at Munimusc in the 
Church of S. Mary, in which Culdees formerly were, namely, 

i Reg. St. Andrews Priory, pp. 373, 374 ; 2 Reg. Episc. Aberdeen, pp. xix, xx. 
Colin. A. and B. p. 602. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 101 

the Church of Leochel with its lands and pertinents, the 
Church of Ruthven with its lands and pertinents [sometimes 
called Logy-Rothven or Logie-Rothman, supposed to , be 
Logy in Mar], 1 the Church of Invernochin with its lands 
and pertinents [" this grant does not seem to have taken 
effect"]. a Wherefore we will and grant that the said Monas- 
tery and the Brethren serving God in the same hold . . 
the said Churches and all their other lands and gifts which 
the said Gilchrist bestowed on them. . . We also will 
. . that the said Monastery and the Brethren dwelling 
there be subject to no house nor yield subjection to any one 
except ourselves, and yield like subjection to us and our 
successors as other houses of religion throughout the king- 
dom of Scotland arranged in dioceses, ought to yield to 
their own Bishop. 3 

The second is the confirmation of the gift of a fourth 
Church made by the same Earl. 

To all sons of holy mother Church . . John by the 
grace of God . . know that we in addition to the pre- 
sentation of Gilchrist, Earl of Mar, have given, granted, and 
by this our charter confirmed to the canons of Munimusc, 
serving God in the same, and to serve in perpetuity, the 
Church of Afford with the half dauach of land pertaining to 
that Church in which the Church is situated, and with the 
tithes and oblations and all other rights pertaining to the 
said Church . . for perpetual charity. . . Wherefore 
we will that the said ' Canons ' hold the said Church with 
all its pertinents as freely, &c., as any other Church is held 
by any religious men in our whole diocese, &c. 4 

1 Colin. A. and B. p. 217. 3 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, pp. 374, 375 ; 

2 Antiq. A. and B. IV. 467. Collns. A. and B. p. 173. 

4 Ibid., p. 375 ; Ibid., p. 588. 

102 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

A further gift of Earl Gilchrist's is mentioned in the Agree- 
ment of 1 21 1, of which we shall learn particulars afterwards. 
It contains the clause, 

The lands that the same Culdees received by the gift of 

Gilchrist Earl of Mar without the consent of the said 

Bishop namely Dolbethok and Fornathy. 1 

There are other writs making mention of the Churches 
St. Andrews of Alford, St. Woloc of Ruthven, Invernochty in 
Strathdon, St. Mary of Nemoth, and especially St. Marnan of 
Leochel. St. Marnan's death is given as in 635, and "his stone- 
chair still looks down upon the Church which bears his name 
at Aberchirder, " 2 in Banff, while "the mainland abode of 
St. Woloc > a bishop of St. Columba's time is described in the 
Aberdeen Breviary as a mere wattle hut," 3 * casam calamis 
viminibusque contextam,' and his " baths are still to be seen 
beside his ruined Church in Strathdeveron." 4 " His well in 
the parish of Glass near Huntly was till lately resorted to as a 
place of pilgrimage," 5 and there is still a burial ground at 
* Wallakirk,' with the foundations of a Church, near Beldornie 
Castle. 6 

King William the Lion, who is mentioned in the first of 
Earl Gilchrist's writs was the grandson of David I., and reigned 
from 1165 to 1214. His reign was a long one of almost fifty 
years, and it was owing to an appointment he made to the 
Bishopric of St. Andrews that our country was made to feel for 
the first time, by the terrors of excommunication and interdict, 
what it was to be under the Roman obedience. The Pope, 
Alexander, whom he defied by his choice of a bishop, was 
the same that had humbled the great Emperor Frederick 

1 Reg St. And. Priory, pp. 370-372 ; 4 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, p. 19. 

Collns. A. and B. p. 176. 5 Dr. J. Anderson, Scot, in Early 

2 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, p, 19. Chris. Times, p. 194. 

3 Ibid., p. 16. 6 Mr. Macdonald, Place Names, p. 113. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 103 

Barbarossa. " Churches were closed, sacraments were for- 
bidden, even the dead were buried without religious rites, 
and marriages were celebrated among the graves of the church- 
yard." ' 

These confirmations were doubtless made by the Bishop of 
Aberdeen, because the various Churches were under his juris- 
diction, and it is clear that the subjection of this Priory to the 
Bishop of St. Andrews u did not infer any breach of diocesan 
privileges, and we may readily believe that these were as yet 
too undetermined, and the old feelings of personal connection 
too common to render " the continuance of " such an arrange- 
ment in any way unsuitable," 2 and yet the Bishop seems to 
express a certain degree of soreness in regard to this matter 
when he says "We also will that the said Monastery and the 
Brethren dwelling there shall be subject to no house nor yield 
subjection to any one except ourselves." But his gentle protest 
was unavailing, for we shall see how completely our Priory 
continued subject to the Bishop of St. Andrews. 

It is singular to find in so early a deed the Bishop of Aber- 
deen dropping the name 'Culdees,' and twice calling the clergy 
here by the title of c Canons,' and this is probably the explana- 
tion of the word * formerly' in the first confirmation, when he 
says, * in the Church of St. Mary in which Culdees formerly 
were.' Even in his time, the name seems to have had an 
antique sound, and the clergy here were being recognised as 
Canons as if in natural course. The name Culdee is already 
dying out. 

The Bishop's words are specially to be noted when he says 
that * Earl Gilchrist made the gift to his own Monastery which 
he built at Munimusc in the Church of St. Mary.' It is as if 

i Mr. Stephen, History, pp. 335, 336. 2 Book of Deer, p. ciii. 

104 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Earl Gilchrist were the builder of the Priory, and as if our 
Church had been in existence before the Monastery was 
founded, and had Culdees previously attached to it. 1 How 
far these statements are to be pressed one cannot say. We 
must simply take them as they stand, and regret that we have 
not a little fuller information. They would fix the date 
of the Priory between 1170 and 1204, while they also imply 
that our Church was of earlier date than the Priory. 

In connection with this it has to be mentioned that Kil- 
drummy Castle was or became the principal seat of the Earls of 
Mar. We do not know whether there was a more ancient 
castle than the present one that is now in ruins, and that is 
called " the noblest of northern castles." 2 The * snow-tower,' 
its oldest portion, is said to have been built by William the 
Lion, of whom we have spoken, in 1172, the very date that is 
before us, while the extent of the building and the fineness of 
the workmanship lead to the belief that the "castle was built by 
foreign masons, who were brought over to assist in the erection 
of some of our finest buildings." 3 It is built of freestone, and 
the freestone used in the arches and edging stones of our 
Church probably came from the quarries there. 

In the writs we have frequent mention made of the half- 
dauach of land in which a Church is built. " This seems to 
have been the accustomed measure of the Church-land, settled 
long before existing records, in the dioceses of Moray and 
Aberdeen." 4 " Dabhach (davach), a measure of land, is 
originally a measure of capacity, and was applied to denote 
the extent of land which required a davoch of corn to sow it." s 

The gift of the tithes or teinds, along with the Churches, is 
to be specially observed, as uniformly bestowed at this early 

1 See also Mr. Skene, Celtic Scot. II, p. 390. 4 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 7. 

2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 79. 5 Sir Herbert Maxwell, Scot. Land- 

3 Rev. Dr. Milne, Kildrummy Castle, p. 7. Names, p. 165. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 105 

time seven hundred years ago. They were given as a matter 
quite understood, and not needing to be explained or enforced. 
Such writs prove how completely tithes originated in private 
beneficence, and that they were never a tax imposed by the 
State in support of the Church. They are to be looked upon 
as the inheritance of the parishioners, that the poorest may 
receive as their own the ministrations of the Gospel without 

We shall find other two churches afterwards given to the 
Priory, while " Danachudor " in the Deanery of Mar and 
" Kyndor," in that of Buchan, are also mentioned as being at 
some time under the patronage of the Priory. 1 

In the grant of these Churches with their tithes, lands, and 
offerings there is " the meeting of the old monastic system with 
the Latin system when parishes were erected." 2 Parochial 
Churches in the proper sense, mainly supported by tithes 
drawn from the district which they supply, were almost un- 
known till about the commencement of the twelfth century. 
Ednam, near Kelso, is the first parish of whose formation 
we possess a distinct record, the Church being built and 
endowed with * one plough of land,' and then receiving the 
tithes of the Manor, in the time of King Edgar, 1097-1107. 
" In the old rent-roll of the Church of Glasgow there were 
Churches as well as lands mentioned, though nothing approach- 
ing to the parochial divisions." 3 " The ecclesiastical system 
which obtained in Scotland before the reformation of St. 
Margaret and her sons, was monastic, not parochial. This was 
gradually displaced by the parochial system as the Anglo- 
Norman colonisation of the country advanced." 4 

The gift of these Churches to our small Priory is a sample 

1 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Church, p. 114. 3 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 6. 

2 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 18. 4 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, pp. 27, 29. 

io6 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

of what has been described as the "curse of impropriations " 
that came to lie so heavy on our country. 1 "The monasteries 
became indeed and continued for some ages the centres and 
sources of religion and letters, the schools of civil life in a 
rough time, the teachers of industry and the arts of peace 
among men who . . used to be roused only by the sound 
of arms. But even the advantages conferred by them were of 
small account in contrast with the mischief of humbling the 
parish clergy. The little village Church . . was left in the 
hands of a stipendiary vicar, an underling of the great Monas- 
tery, ground down to the lowest stipend that would support 
life." 2 "As early as our records reach, it had become the 
custom for the patron of the Churches, with the consent of the 
Bishop, to confer them in property upon the great monasteries 
and religious houses of Regulars. Thus Paisley had its thirty 
parish churches, Holyrood twenty-seven, Melrose and Kelso 
each as many, and to such an extent did this prevail that in 
some districts two-thirds of the parish Churches were in the 
hands of the monks." 3 " In the reign of William the Lion, no 
fewer than thirty-three parish Churches were bestowed on the 
recently founded Abbey of Arbroath." 4 The earliest record that 
exists of this custom is in the gift by the Celtic bishops of the 
three Churches to the Culdee Abbey of St. Serf's in Lochleven. 
It is reckoned that at the Reformation seven hundred parishes 
were served by vicars, the greater tithes of corn, etc., going to 
the monks and bishops, while the vicar who performed the 
parochial duties got only the lesser tithes. 

To return to Earl Gilchrist he is found in records through- 
out the greater part of the reign of King William the Lion, from 
1178-80 to 12 04- 1 i. s He witnesses King William's gift to 

1 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, p. 84. 4 Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, p. 67. 

2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 19. 5 Ant. A. and B. IV. p. 693. 

3 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Middle Ages, p. 132. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 107 

the Abbey of Arbroath of the Brecbannach and the lands of 
Forglen. He himself receives a charter from David, William's 
brother, giving him as serfs " Gillechrist son of Gillekucongal, 
and two Gillecrists and Gillen and Gillemar his four sons." * 
In the St. Andrews Register we find " serfs conveyed, as was 
customary, as a pertinent of the land and sometimes given away 
without the land," 2 and it records the indenture of one given to 
Earl Gilchrist's brother. 3 So too in England "the Bodmin Book 
of the Gospels records the manumissions of the serfs which the 
bishops were successfully urging upon the Lords down in Corn wall 
early in the tenth century." 4 Dr. Joseph Robertson says 5 " In 
the old laws regarding serfs and the numerous conveyances of 
them, preserved in the chartularies of an early date, we can 
trace no admission or claim of right raising any class of them 
above the rank of absolute serfs." They were the labourers 
employed not only in tilling their masters' fields but also in 
building their castles, and doubtless also their churches. 6 

We have found the Bishop of Aberdeen confirming Earl 
Gilchrist's gifts to our Priory. We now come to a higher confir- 
mation in a Bull of Innocent Ill's between 1199 and 1216. 
Innocent, etc. The Apostolic see is wont to agree to the 
pious wishes and honourable prayers of those who petition 
that a benevolent favour be granted them Wherefore be- 
loved sons in the Lord, yielding to your just requests with 
pleased assent, we take under the protection of the Blessed 
Peter and ourselves, your place and the persons serving the 
Lord in it, with all the goods both ecclesiastical and secular 
which at present it rightly possesses or in future shall be 

1 Ant. A. and B. IV. pp. 693, 694. 5 Abbeys, p. 9. 

2 p. xvii. 6 See also Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, 

3 p. xxxvi. p. 98 ; Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, p. 28. 

4 Archbishop of Canterbury, Fishers of 

Men, p. 81. 

io8 Many musk : its Church and Priory. 

able to obtain by just means by the gift of the Lord but 
specially the privileges and former liberties from the exac- 
tions of tithes and of the charges of Bishops and their 
officials And we confirm to you by Apostolic authority and 
secure to you by the title of this present writing all lands 
possessions and other goods granted by that noble man 
Gilchrist Earl of Mar as a charity to your house, and the 
Churches of St. Andrew of Alford, St. Marnoc of Leochel 
and St. Mary of Nemoth with all the lands and pertinents 
of the same as you rightly and peaceably possess them all 
And in testimony of this protection derived from the Apos- 
tolic see you shall pay to us and to our successors every 
year two shillings sterling Let no one therefore . . Given 
at Viterbium 2oth June. 1 

It was this Pope who excommunicated John of England, 
and with whom John then, two years before Magna Charta was 
signed in 1215, agreed to hold England as a fief of the papacy, 
and to pay the Pope a thousand marks a year as an acknow- 
ledgment of his position. We see how universal the Roman 
rule had become by this time in our country, when a small 
Priory like ours places itself under the protection of the Pope. 

Up to this time the Culdees here have been favoured with gifts 
and protected, but * the storm soon after burst upon them.' In 
1 2 1 1 a complaint was laid before the Pope regarding them by 
the Bishop of St. Andrews, who was displeased at some efforts 
they were making of their own accord to bring themselves into 
harmony with advancing changes in the constitution of 
Monasteries. 2 Pope Innocent III issued a Commission dated 
from Rome, 23rd Mch., 1211, the Commissioners being Adam, 

1 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 375, 376 ; Colin. A. and B. pp. 173, 174. 

2 Mr. Skene, Celtic Scotland, II. p. 390. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 109 

Abbot of Melrose, who afterwards became Bishop of Caithness, 
and was killed in 1222 owing to his too rigorous exaction of 
tithes, 1 William, Abbot of Dryburgh, and Robert, Archdeacon 
of Glasgow, who afterwards visited Rome, and dying in London 
on his return, was buried in St. Paul's. 2 " Two ancient copies 
of this valuable record are preserved, one in the Register of St. 
Andrews Priory, the other in the Register of the Bishopric of 
Aberdeen, the title of which is curious as showing the use of the 
word Kildey in the fourteenth century." 3 " This settlement also 
illustrates the much disputed constitution of the Culdees and 
incidentally evidences some ancient church dues, the nature of 
which, and the very etymology of whose names have been lost. 
The copy in the Register of St. Andrews Priory is much the 
older of the two." 4 

Adam Abbot of Melrose and William Abbot of Dryburgh 
and Robert Archdeacon of Glasgow to all who shall see or 
hear of this letter Eternal greeting in the Lord We have 
received a letter of our Lord Pope Innocent III to this 
effect INNOCENT Bishop servant of the servants of God to 
our beloved sons the Abbots of Melrose and Dryburgh of 
the diocese of St Andrews and that of Glasgow and to the 
Archdeacon of Glasgow greeting and apostolical benediction 
We have received a complaint from our venerable brother 
the Bishop of St Andrews that certain Keledei [Kildei Reg. 
AbdnJ] who profess to be Canons and certain others of the 
diocese of Aberdeen in the village of Munimusc which 
pertains to him do not fear to establish a certain Regular 
Canonry [Canonicam Reg. St. Andr. canoniam Reg. AbdnJ\ 
contrary to justice in opposition to him to the prejudice and 
hurt of their Church Wherefore we entrust to your discretion 

1 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 77 ; 3 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 255. 

Mr. Stephen, History, p. 351. 4 Reg. Episc. Abdn, I. p. Ixxx. 

2 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Church, p. 191. 

no Many musk: its Church and Priory. 

by our Apostolical writing that parties being convoked and 
what is put forward on either side having been heard you 
determine what has been canonical an appeal being reserved 
[or (?) disallowed, appellacione postposita] causing what you 
have determined to be strictly observed under ecclesiastical 
censure and if the witnesses who have been named withdraw 
through favour hatred or fear that you compel them by this 
same force and without appeal to give testimony to truth no 
letter prejudicial to truth and justice having been procured 
from the Apostolic See But if you are not all able to take 
part in the execution of this that nevertheless two of you 
should execute the commission Given at the Lateran the 
23rd March 1211 the thirteenth year of our pontificate 
BY the authority of this letter parties being constituted in 
our presence It was thus amicably agreed between Lord 
William Bishop of St Andrews and the Kildei of Munimusc 
with the consent of their archdeacons and their chapter of 
St Andrews namely That the Lord Bishop of St Andrews 
granted that the same Culdees shall have in future one 
refectory and one dormitory in common and one oratory 
without a cemetery So that the bodies of Culdees and of 
Clerics or laymen who may die while staying with them shall 
receive ecclesiastical burial in the cemetery of the parish 
Church of Munimusc as freely as hitherto they are wont to 
be buried the right of mother church being preserved in all 
cases And there shall be twelve Culdees there and a 
thirteenth Bricius whom the Culdees themselves shall 
present to the Lord Bishop of St Andrews that he may be 
their Master or Prior And on his retiring or dying the 
Culdees shall by their common consent choose three out of 
their fellow-Culdees and present them to the Bishop of 
St Andrews whoever he may be that the Bishop of St 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 1 1 1 

Andrews according to his own will and disposition may 
select one of the three to be Prior or Master who shall do 
fealty to him as the founder of the house of the Culdees 
And in the election of the Prior or Master of the Culdees 
this shall be observed for ever with the addition that it shall 
never be lawful for the same Culdees to profess the life or 
order of monks or Canonical brethren [Canonical Regulars, 
Reg. Abdn.~\ without the assent of the same Bishop or his 
successors there nor to exceed the number of Culdees before 
mentioned But when a Culdee retires or dies they shall be at 
liberty to substitute another up to the number before 
named So that every Culdee shall swear in the presence of 
the Bishop of St Andrews or the person deputed by him for 
the purpose to keep and observe faithfully and without guile or 
evil spirit as far as in him lies the terms of the foresaid 
agreement But the foresaid Culdees shall retain the half- 
ploughgate of land called Eglismenythok which they had by 
gift of Robert of good memory Bishop of St Andrews as 
freely &c They shall also have a fourth part of the revenues 
which are usually granted to Culdee Clerics persis and 
ferdys [spersis and ferdis Reg. Abdnl\ by those who choose 
burial there and the part that concerns them of the common 
gift called sauchbarian and the part that concerns them of 
the grant called the thomneon tharmund [thonneom 
thraumund Reg. AbdnJ] according as they have had this 
from ancient times up to the present times reserving in all 
cases the right of the person and of mother church The lands 
however which the same Culdees received by the grant of 
Gilchrist Earl of Mar without the assent of the said Bishop 
namely Dolbethok and Fornathy they have resigned in the 
hand of the same Bishop so. that henceforth they shall 
maintain no right in them except by his concession or that 

ii2 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

of his successors They promised also strictly that they shall 
henceforth receive no lands that are known to pertain to the 
Bishop of St Andrews by gift of the Earl himself or of 
another without the consent of the Bishop of St Andrews 
himself nor do anything that is to the prejudice of 
his dignity or of the liberty of the Church of St 
Andrews or to the hurt of the parish Church 
of Munimusc That whenever the Bishop of St 
Andrews shall happen to come to Munimusc the foresaid 
Culdees shall receive him solemnly in procession Also 
William Lord Bishop of St Andrews promised for himself 
and his successors that they will help the said Culdees and 
maintain them as their own And in order that by the security 
of the present writing this agreement may always continue in 
future times ratified and unimpaired it has been confirmed 
by the attachment of our seal and the seals of the parties 
and by the interposition of the oath of the Culdees Bricius 
and Andrew for themselves and their fellow-Culdees (eleven 
witnesses being specified). 1 

Bishop Malvoisin thus brought the highest arm of the 
Church against the poor Culdees here by his appeal to the 
Pope. They are shorn of possessions that they have enjoyed 
for only a few years, and are to have only what the Bishop 
consents to give them. They are also brought under the 
more direct control of the Bishop of St. Andrews. They are 
reminded that the ' founder ' of their house was a Bishop of 
St. Andrews, and they are assimilated to the state into which 
the Culdees of St. Andrews had been brought. Like them 
they are to consist of a Prior and twelve members, and like 
them they are excluded from all parochial functions. 2 Yet, 

i Reg. St. And. Priory pp. 370-372 ; Collns. A. and B. pp. 174-176 ; 

Reg. Epis. Abd. II. pp. 264-266. 2 See Mr. Skene, Celt. Scot. II. p. 392. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 113 

notwithstanding the displeasure expressed by the Bishop at 
their wishing quietly, of their own accord, to become Canons, 
we shall find immediately in a grant that he makes to them 
that he drops the name Culdee altogether and calls them * the 
Canons of Munimusc,' and that before the agreement is thirty- 
five years old the name of Culdee has disappeared altogether 
from Monymusk, and the Pope himself in a Bull recognises 
their home as a Priory of Canons Regular of the order of 
St. Augustine. 'This attempt at self-reformation shows the 
strength of the current which had set in for the new institu- 
tions,' and which had reached this distant part. If a Bishop of 
St. Andrews was the original founder of the Priory here, he may 
have sent some of the Culdees from St. Andrews itself to 
institute the home. Although by this agreement the Culdees 
here were precluded from taking any part in parish duties, the 
terms show that they received some share of the burial dues, 
etc., for certain dues and customs of the Church are evidently 
expressed in the words ' sauchbarian,' etc., "terms which await 
the explanation of some learned Gael." 1 In the preface to the 
Register of St. Andrews Priory 2 this agreement is called "a 
very curious transaction," and it is added, "It is probable 
that the Culdees most nearly resembled in their constitution 
the order of Canons Regular of St. Augustine, who may be 
considered as the 'reformed' Culdees of Scotland, since we 
find the Culdees sometimes styled simply Canons." 

As we have so often to speak of them, it may be well here 
to say something about the Augustinian Canons. Bishop Stubbs 
of Oxford in his 'Constitutional History of England,' 3 says, 
"The institution of Augustinian Canons which resulted from 

1 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. xviii. 3 Con. Hist, of Eng. Vol. I. p. 286. 

2 Ibid. p. xv. 


1 14 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

. . projects of reform, was not adopted by any English 
Cathedral until the See of Carlisle was founded by Henry I." 
[in 1132; his wife was Maud, daughter of Malcolm III and 
Margaret] " and this continued the only Augustinian Cathedral 
until the Reformation. Many of the Scottish Cathedrals were, 
however, made Augustinian in the i2th and i3th Centuries." 
" In England, where the Augustinians were established early in 
the 1 2th Century, they had about 170 houses the earliest, it 
would seem, being at St. Oswald's at Nosthill near Pontefract. 
In Scotland they had about 25 houses. The earliest at Scone 
was founded in 1114 and was filled by Canons from Nosthill. 
The others of most note were at Inchcolm in the Firth 
of Forth, St. Andrews, Holyrood, Cambuskenneth, and 
Inchaffray (the Island of Masses)." T There were also 
Loch Tay Priory, a cell of Scone St. Serfs on Lochleven, 
Portmoak, the Isle of May transferred to Pittenweem, and 
Monymusk, all cells of St. Andrews Inchmahome on the Lake 
of Menteith, Abernethy Abbey in Perthshire, and St. Mary's 
Isle in Galloway which was a cell of Holyrood. 

Augustinians were not always restricted like other Regulars 
to the duties of their own house, but were sometimes engaged 
as parish clergy. They lived, slept, and took their food together 
under the same roof. They assumed their title as Canons after 
the Lateran Council in 1139. Their dress was of a coarse 
substance the chief part consisting of woollen material 
manufactured often by themselves, while a cloak or hood of 
white or black indicated at sight their brotherhood. "They 
wore beards, a cassock, a linen rochet and black open cape, with 
square black caps on their heads instead of a cowl. The secular 
Canons had a surplice with a furred almuce, were without 
beards, and used a hat in travelling." 2 

i Chambers' Encyc. 2 Mr. Walcott, Anc. Ch. of Scot. p. 299. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 115 

A bell summoned them seven times in the 24 hours to 
perform together their devotional services at midnight, at 6 in 
the morning, at 9, at noon, when they dined in silence while one 
of them read aloud the Bible or other edifying books, at 2 or 3, 
about 4, and at 7 in the evening. They also assembled in the 
Chapter-house, if there was one, for discipline, and an instance 
of its severity will by and by come before us. 

All monks were distinguished by a shaven crown, and on 
admission to the different orders took the three vows of poverty, 
celibacy, and obedience to their superiors. In course of time 
all the orders became possessed of great power and wealth, and 
being exempt in many cases from the jurisdiction of the Bishops, 
their ambition became excessive. The number of the various 
Abbeys and other Monasteries in our country exceeded 100. 

There is also a letter, the words of which are of the most 
severe nature, from Bishop Malvoisin, regarding some Culdees 
here who had not been steadfast to their vows. Dr. Reeves 
says, "The same bishop, whose remonstrance led to the 
foregoing decision, soon after, at the request of the Prior and 
Keledei of Monymusk, forbade any person who had made a 
regular profession in this house to be received elsewhere 
without the Prior's license." T 

William by the grace of God Bishop of St Andrews to the 
Abbots, Priors, Archdeacons, officials, and all rectors of 
Churches, and all their subordinates both clerical and lay, 
settled throughout his diocese, eternal greeting in the Lord 
It is certain that those who under cover of religion leaving 
the secular state, assume the habit of Regulars and take the 
vow of such profession . . deprive themselves of the 
freedom of returning to the common ways of men and of 

i Culdees, p. 174. 

n6 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

regress, So that if any one [denying] the assumption of the 
habit of Regulars and the profession made in any place of 
Religion, should presume by his own rashness to retire from 
it as a dog returning to its vomit or a sow that was washed 
to her wallowing in the mire he is to be reckoned worthy of 
contempt and of abomination both of God and men 
Wherefore moved by the just supplications of our beloved 
sons the Prior and Culdees of Munimusc, we command you 
all, instructing you by these present writings that you 
presume to admit none of the Brethren of the aforesaid 
place, who may have assumed the habit of Religion there and 
made professsion, without leave and letter commendatory of 
the aforesaid Prior and Culdees, to stay among you or to 
hold communication, but rather that you reckon him as a 
heathen man and a publican until led by penitence he return 
the sooner to his own proper house and brethren, to give 
fuller satisfaction for his transgressions and to receive 
canonical discipline according to the institutes of their 
order. 1 

We have seen how this Bishop deprived the Culdees of 
some of their farms. He showed them however some kindness 
(as kindness then went) bestowing on the Priory another 
Church, that of Keig, which was dedicated under the name 
of S. Diaconianus a confessor and martyr, but beyond this, 
an unknown Scottish Saint. 

William by divine mercy the lowly minister of the Church 
of St. Andrews to all etc. . eternal greeting in the Lord We 
wish it to come to the knowledge of you all that with the 
assent and will of the Chapter of St. Andrews we have given 
. . to God and St. Mary and the Canons of Munimusc 
serving . . God there, for the soul of King William and 

i Reg. St. And. Priory, pp. J68, 369 ; Colin. A. and B. pp. 176, 177 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 117 

for the souls of our ancestors and successors and for the 
salvation of our own soul, the Church of Keig with all its 
just pertinents for free, pure, and perpetual charity. Where- 
fore we wish &C. 1 

This grant was confirmed by Gilbert de Stirling, Bishop of 
Aberdeen (1228-1239), and by Pope Innocent IV. in 1245.* 

It is singular to find Bishop Malvoisin after his appeal to 
the Pope, in this writ of his own gift, making no mention of the 
name ' Culdees,' but speaking definitely of ' the Canons of 

William Malvoisin was a native of Normandy " a French- 
man at least by education." 3 He was Chancellor of Scotland 
in 1199. "He was consecrated in France by the Archbishop 
of Lyons in 1200," 4 and translated from the see of Glasgow to be 
'Bishop of the Scots 'at St. Andrews in 1202. In 1215 he, 
as Papal Legate, along with the Bishops of Glasgow and Moray 
and the Abbot of Kelso, attended the 4th Lateran Council, 
summoned by Pope Innocent III, when the doctrine of 
Transubstantiation was adopted, though not in its final form. 
The Cup however was not withdrawn from the laity till 1415 
two hundred years after. 5 He also held a Council at Perth to 
promote the Crusades, but in 1217 a papal commission was 
appointed to enquire into a number of charges that were made 
against himself, and among other things he was accused "of 
having absolved the Culdees (of St. Andrews, doubtless) from 
the sentence of excommunication passed against them by the 
papal see on appeal." 6 The very next year, however, as shown 
by a Bull dated from the Lateran, i9th December, 1218, in 
answer to his petition, 

1 Reg. St. And. Priory, pp. 366 ; 4 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 38. 

Colin. A. and B. pp. 619, 620. 5 Mr. Stephen, Hist. p. 345. 

2 Ibid. pp. 367, 372; Ibid. pp. 177, 178. 6 Ibid. p. 346. 

3 Mr. Walcott, Anc. Ch. p. 85. 

1 1 8 Monymusk : its Church and Priory, 

he and his successors in the bishopric are received under 
the protection of the Papal see by Pope Honorius III, the 
successor of Innocent III, along with all the possessions 
belonging to the Bishop of St. Andrews. In the Pope's 
Bull granting this protection about thirty places are men- 
tioned by name, most of them within the diocese, but some 
of them far beyond it. Among them are the Island of 
Lohlevenoh with its appendages, MUNEMUSCH, Culsamuel, 
and Elon with the lands of their Churches and all their 
pertinents. 1 

This ' fiery Norman ' was * the most energetic bishop of his 
age,' and his episcopate extended to nearly forty years. It was 
he who, in 1230, introduced another order into Scotland 
Vallis Caulium reformed Cistercians, whose chief monastery 
of that name, Val des Choux, was in Burgundy. Their three 
monasteries were the beautiful Pluscardine near Elgin, Beauly 
in Ross, Ardchattan in Lome all of them Priories. 2 His 
charters, yet extant, attest how carefully he laboured to carry 
on the work of the new church of St. Andrews to its consum- 
mation. He was the first Bishop buried within the walls of his 
cathedral (1233). But it was not till eighty-five years after this, 
in 1318, four years after Bannockburn, that it was consecrated 
by Bishop Lamberton in the presence of King Robert Bruce, 
seven Bishops, fifteen Abbots, and almost all the Earls and 
Lords whom the wreck of war and revolution had spared to 
Scotland, the King endowing it with a hundred merks yearly 
from his own coffers as an oblation in gratitude for his victory. 3 
"Of fifteen prelates who were elected to the primatial 
see of St. Andrews during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
and who wrote themselves in charter and on seal 'Episcopi 

1 Theiner's Vetera Monumenta, pp. 8, 9. 

2 Mr. Stephen, Hist. p. 293 ; see also Mr. Walcott, Anc. Church, p. 46. 

3 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, pp. 46, 47. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 119 

Scottorum,' not one appears to have been a Celtic Scot ; only 
a few sprung from the Anglo-Norman houses of Scotland ; the 
great majority were Saxons and Normans from England. We 
see in the list a Prior of Durham, a monk of Canterbury, a 
Canon of St. Oswald's near Pontefract, a son of the Earl of 
Northampton, a son of the Earl of Leicester." T " Not till 
1472 did it receive for the first time a native primate the 
best of the mediaeval prelates of Scotland good Bishop 
Kennedy." 2 Of him it is said, " The spiritual interests of the 
people were at that time disregarded, and preaching was almost 
entirely neglected except by the Friars. Attempts were made 
to remedy this evil by some good men such as Bishop Kennedy 
of St. Andrews, who preached regularly throughout his diocese, 
and obliged the parochial clergy to remain at their Churches 
and attend to their duties. But such cases were rare." 3 

We now return to the gifts of the Earls of Mar. Gilchrist's 
brother, Duncan, was fifth Earl, 1214-1234, and he 

executes a writ in which he names the clergy 'Culdees or 
Canons ' and confirms to them the Church of Leochel with all 
its tithes, liberties, offerings, revenues, and with that whole 
half dauach of land in which the Church is situated in free 
charity for the soul of . . King William . . the soul of 
his father M Morgrund and his mother Agnes . . for the 
salvation . . of King Alexander . . and for his own 
salvation and prosperity as also of his wife and all his heirs. 4 
"The transition state of their discipline accounts for the 
peculiar way in which the clergy are spoken of in charters of this 
date as when Earl Duncan styles them Keledei sive Canonid" 5 
Even these repeated confirmations are not enough, for in 

1 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, p. 31. 4 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 362 ; 

2 Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 40. Colin. A. and B. p. 603. 

3 Dr. Campbell, St. Giles, p. 96. 5 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 174. 

I2O Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

the time of Earl Duncan's son, a letter has to be written regard- 
ing this same Church by King Alexander II, 1214-1249. In it 
the name * Culdee ' is dropped, and the clergy are called simply 

Alexander by the grace of God King of Scotland to all 
greeting, let all . . know that when peace was made in our 
presence and before many honourable men in full council, 
between the son of Duncan Morgrun Earl of Mar on the 
one part and David son of the Earl on the other, about 
certain lands regarding which there had long been a contro- 
versy between them, both of them at our petition and that 
of our honourable men who were present, gave the Church 
of Leochel with its pertinents to God and the Church of 
S. Mary of Monymusk and to the ' Canons ' serving God in 
the same, and each of them resigned in our hand all right 
that he had or could have in the said Church, for the use of 
the said * Canons ' And that the truth of this may not be 
hidden, we in testimony of this fact have caused this public 
letter to be written. 3 

The charter of another gift of Earl Duncan's is preserved 
and is of great interest, and in it the term Canons alone is used. 
To all . . Duncan Earl of Mar . . we make it known 
that we have given to God and S. Mary of Munimusc and 
the Canons serving God there . . the Church of St Andrew 
of Kindrouch with . . all its other just pertinents and with 
one acre of land in Aucatendregen on the other side of the 
stream which is called Alien for pure and perpetual charity 
Wherefore we will that the said Canons may possess the 
said Church of St Andrew of Kindrouch as well as . . any 
charity . . is possessed, etc. 2 

1 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 363 ; Collns. A. and B. p. 604. 

2 Ibid. p. 367. Ant. A. and B. II. p. 86. 

The Chartulary of Mony?nusk. 121 

" The inquirer," says Mr. Cosmo Innes, 1 " will have no 
difficulty in recognising in ' Aucatendregen,' the village of 
Auchendryne, now partly superseded by the modern appella- 
tion of Castleton of Braemar." Mar Castle, " the Castle of 
Kindrocht in Mar, a frequent residence and probably a hunting- 
place of our early Kings, seems to have given its name to a 
Church and parish . . forming part of the parish of Crathie." 
Dr. Reeves says " It is said of S. Regulus and his company 
that leaving Monichi, now Monikie in Forfar, 'transierunt 
montana seu Moneth, et venerunt ad locum qui vocabatur 
Doldencha, nunc autem dictus Chondrochedalvan ' (Pinkerton 
I. 460). This last name is the Kindrouch of the charter, with 
the name of the river, then called * Alien,' attached to it, the 
compound signifying * Bridge-end of Alien.' Kindrocht is the 
old parochial name of Braemar in the union of Crathie, and the 
Church stood near Castleton on the east side of the Clunie 
water, which enters the Dee from the south. ' Alien ' or 
* Alvan ' is the ancient name of the Clunie, and Auchatendregen 
[i.e., Achadh-an-draoighen, 'field of the thorn'] now Auchin- 
drain is situated on its east bank." 2 Or, as is told us in 
" Under Lochnagar," 3 " the ancient name of the parish of 
Braemar was St. Andrews, but after Malcolm Canmore, who 
had a hunting seat there, built a bridge across the Cluny, the 
name was changed to Can-drochet or Kindrochet Bridge-end." 
The parishes were united probably about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century as " Crathie and Kindrochet " afterwards 
" Crathie and Braemar." 

But while giving the Church of Braemar to our Priory, 
Earl Duncan took from it the Church of Logie Ruthven (? Logie- 
Coldstone) " giving it to the Church of St. Mary, St. Machar's 
Cathedral, and the Canons of Aberdeen for the maintenance of 

i Reg. St. And. Priory, p. xviii. 2 Culdees, p. 258. 3 Under Lochnagar, p. 20. 

122 Many musk: its Church and Priory. 

a chaplain to celebrate for his soul in that Church, where he 
vowed and bequeathed his body to be buried ubi vovi et 
legavi corpus meum sepeliendum among the venerable fathers, 
the bishops thereof." x 

The Earls of Mar had a residence, Mar Castle, at Braemar 
as well as at Kildrummy, 2 and it was there that the Earl of 
Mar, John Erskine, in August 1715, gathered ten thousand 
clansmen round him, though his own people about Kildrummy 
were very reluctant to join him in rebellion, and raised the 
standard in favour of James, the Chevalier. It was his own 
parish minister at Kildrummy, Mr. Alexander, whether by com- 
pulsion or willingly, who offered the prayer, for which he was 
deposed by the presbytery of Alford in April 1717. The 
Earl's estates were all forfeited to the Crown, and he himself 
was driven abroad as a wanderer. His signature is given in 
fac-simile in the Cartulary of Cambuskenneth. 3 

The name of the Church, St. Andrew's of Kindrouch in our 
charter, connects it with the legend of the Greek St. Rule or 
St. Regulus, and Mr. Skene 4 sees a connection between the gift 
of the Church and the fact that our Priory was under the pro- 
tection of the Bishop of St. Andrews. Bishop Dowden is 
" inclined to think it is a fruitless inquiry to ask who was the 
historic Regulus of St. Andrews." 5 According to the legend, 
St. Rule had come with his Greek brethren from Byzantium or 
Achaia, bringing with him in his sail-less and oar-less boat, what 
were believed to be some sacred relics of St. Andrew the 
Apostle, who became the patron saint of Scotland, in place of 
St. Peter, the popular saint of Pictland. They touched Scottish 
ground at St. Andrews, but were received at Braemar by 

1 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. 16 ; Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 18. 

2 Colin. A. and B. p. 643. 

3 p. xiv. 

4 Celtic Scot. II. p. 390. 

5 Proceed. Soc. Antiq. Apiil 10, 1893, p. 254. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 123 

Hungus or Angus, the Christian Pictish King, who with all his 
nobles, prostrated themselves before the relics, and gave the 
place to God and St. Andrew, and on it was built the first 
Church beyond the Mounth. 1 Then they returned to St. 
Andrews, where the King gave a large grant of land for the 
erection and maintenance of Churches, and where St. Rule 
chose a cave by the seaside for his oratory. This is thought to 
have happened about 736. Some have supposed that S. Rule 
was S. Raighall, an Irish saint. It is singular that the Church 
of Braemar so ancient in its associations, and so distant, with 
its pertinents and an acre of land so definitely named, should 
have come into the possession of our Priory. The original 
Church being built of stone and lime, was called " the white 
Church," as at Whithorn. 

Gilbert, Bishop of Aberdeen, 1228-1239, confirms the gift 
of the Church of Braemar almost in the same words. 2 

Another family now appears with benefactions. The Earl- 
dom of Mar has been the subject of many disputes down to the 
present time. 

Duncan's son, William, succeeded as sixth Earl in 1244, 
but his title was contested during the minority of Alexander III. 
The family of Malcolm of Lundy in Forfarshire laid claim to it 
through the maternal line. He was " Hostiarius " or " Door- 
ward " to the King in David of Huntingdon's time, and from 
this came his family name * Durward.' The principal claim 
was unsuccessful, but by a compromise this family obtained 
possession of large portions of the lands of the Earldom in the 
valley of the Dee and in other parts of Aberdeenshire. By the 
gift of Thomas de Lundyn, the Durward, the monks of the 

1 Dr. J. Robertson, Abbeys, p. 13 ; Dean Stanley, Lectures, p. 39. 

2 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 368 ; Ant. A. and B. II. p. 86. 

1 24 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Abbey of Arbroath obtained the Church of Kinerny, now 
united to Cluny and Midmar, while his more celebrated son, 
Alan, founded the ' Hospital ' at Kincardine O'Neil. Thomas 
was buried in 1231 at the door of the Abbey of Cupar Angus, 
as was also Alan in 1275.* 

Thomas, Hostiarius of the Lord King, executes a charter 
before 1231 1207-1227 (Dr. Reeves) to which William, 
Abbot of Holyrood, is witness, 

confirming the charity which his grandfather and his mother 
gave to the Culdees of Munimusc, namely ten bolls of 
barley and ten stones of cheese from Outhirheyclt [Upper 
Echt], and so that he who shall hold the land of the said 
charity shall forward the said bolls of barley and stones of 
cheese to the home of the said Culdees at the Feast of 
St. Martin. 2 

Thomas Hostiarius also gives anew to God and the Church 

of the blessed Virgin of Munimusc and the Canons there . . 

the Church of Afford, with everything justly belonging to it, 

which Adam, Bishop of Aberdeen confirms, the dedication 

being in the same terms, and the word Canons being used. 3 

About 1240 Colin Hostiarius confirms by charter 

. . to God and the Church of the blessed Mary of Munimusc 

and the Canons serving God in the same and to serve in 

perpetuity, the whole half dauach of land in which the 

Church of Leochel is situated . . along with common 

pasture for forty cows and a hundred sheep * cum sequela de 

duobus annis ' (? with their calves and lambs until they are 

two years old) and for four horses, the land being free from 

all secular services . . for perpetual charity for the salva- 

i See Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 148 ; 2 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 369 ; Collns. 

Skene of Skene, p. 13; Dr. Campbell, A. and B. p. 174. 

Balmerino, p. 30 ; Ant. A. and B. IV. 3 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 365 ; Antiq. 

pp. 694, 695. A. and B. IV. pp. 693, 694. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 125 

tion and prosperity of his own body and soul and of Ada 
his wife . . and for the souls of all his forefathers. 1 
Colyn Ostiarius witnesses a charter of Alan Ostiarius, 

Another charter is dated * at Leochel' probably about 1250, 
. . To all the faithful in Christ who may see or hear of the 
present writing Philip of Mount Fichette and Anna his wife, 
daughter and heiress of the deceased Lord Colin Hostiarius 
confirming for ever to God and St. Mary of Munimusc and 
the " canons " serving God in the same . . the whole rights 
. . in a certain half dauach of land in which the Church of 
Leochel is situated . . with the common pasture for the 
cows, sheep, calves, lambs, and horses as specified in the 
last charter. 3 

We have seen how Bishop Malvoisin gave the Church 
of Keig and all its pertinents to " the Canons " of Monymusk ; 
this is now followed by a further grant by charter of David, 
Bishop of St. Andrews, 1240-1253, 

. . to God and the Blessed Mary and ' the Canons ' of 

Munimusc, of two acres of our land of Keig lying round 

the cemetery of the Church of Keig between two rivulets 

namely Conglassy and Puthachin, stretching on the south 

side as far as the great river which is called Don . . 4 

The Bishop calls this land his own, being part of Malcolm 

Canmore's great gift. Every one admires the beautiful view to 

the right hand as one stands on the Bridge of Keig and looks 

toward Castle Forbes. Close beside the bridge are seen the 

ruins of an old parish Church, and round it lies the original 

1 Reg. St. Andrew Priory, p. 363 ; Collns. 3 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. 364 ; 

A. and B. p. 604. Collns. A. and B. p. 605. 

2 Dr. Reeves, Culdees, p. 255. 4 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. 366; 

Colin. A. and B. p. 620. 

126 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

churchyard here spoken of, in which the ancient church of St. 
Diaconianus had been. The two acres given to our Priory 
stretch toward the river and are within the Park of Castle 
Forbes, which used to be called " Putachie." Modern improve- 
ments have reduced the size of the brooks, but the one towards 
the bridge is very evident still. 

The same Bishop by Charter restores to his lord brother 

. . the Prior of Monymusk and the " Canons " serving God 

there . . Dolbethoc with its just pertinents to be held by 

them and their successors . . in perpetual charity for 

sustaining poor persons and travellers meeting there. In 

witness A . . of Makerstoun (near Kelso). 1 

Dolbethoc was one of the farms of which the Priory had been 

deprived by Bishop Malvoisin. Hospitality was dispensed by 

the Clergy with generous hand. " It was the business of the 

almoner of the monastery to seek out both the sick and the 

poor of the district and to minister the charity of the house to 

them. None were better friends to the poor than the religious 

houses." 2 

Bishop David of Bernhame was raised to the Episcopate from 
being only a Sub-Deacon. At his election "two of the Culdees of 
the Church of St. Mary, Kilrymont (St. Andrews), who call 
themselves Canons," voted, but their votes were received under 
protest by the Chapter. 3 He became Chancellor of Scotland 
and died of fever at Nenthorn, when attending the marriage of 
Alexander III at York Minster to the daughter of Henry III. 
He had crowned Alexander at Scone in 1249 when quite a boy. 
He was buried at Kelso. 4 

A remarkable monument of the activity in Church-building 
which prevailed in the thirteenth century is found in the 

1 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. 369 ; Colin. 3 Theiner's Monumenta, p. 67. 

A. and B. p. 177. 4 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Church, p. 86. 

2 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 301. 

I he Chartulary of Monymusk. 127 

list of Churches consecrated by him, which is written on a 
fly-leaf of his Pontificate, now in the Imperial Library at Paris. 
" His episcopate extended from 22nd Jan., 1240, to 26th Apr., 
1253. He consecrated 3 Churches in 1240 ; 9 in 1241 ; 40 in 
1242 ; 49 in 1243 ; 17 in 1244 ; 6 in 1245 ; 4 in 1246 ; 5 in 
1247; 3 in 1248, and 3 in 1249"' in all 139 in 10 years, 
within his own diocese, though there were not 300 in the whole 
of it, 234 according to one account. As became one who 
consecrated so many Churches, great stress is laid in his 
Constitutions of 1242 on the maintenance of the sacred build- 
ings, on their proper furnishing, and on suitable vessels for the 
Sacraments. A non-resident parson or vicar is to be deprived 
upon three months' warning, and fugitive monks and canons are 
to be sent back to their monasteries or excommunicated as 

Baldwin was " Parson of Monymusk " at this period, as in 
the St. Andrews Register 2 he is one of the witnesses to two 
deeds by Bishop William Malvoisin, and 3 to one by Bishop 
David Bernham, and 4 to two regarding the Churches of Cupar- 
Fife, Haddington, &c., "at Tinningham," near North Berwick, 
on the same day, i3th Jan. 1240, when there were also pre- 
sent Clergy from various quarters, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, 
Methven, &c. 

We now reach two confirmations issued by Pope Innocent 
IV within ten days of each other, dated Lyons the i9th and 
28th May, 1245. "The style in these Papal confirmations 
shows that the change from the ancient character of the Priory 

1 Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. 3 Reg. St. Andrew's Priory, p. 162. 

pp. clxxxv-vi. 4 Ibid., pp, 166, 167. 

2 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, p. 157. 

128 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

had now been formally completed," 1 and that the "Culdees" of 
Monymusk have entirely and for ever disappeared. 
The first refers to some of the lands of the Priory 

Innocent, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, to our 
beloved sons the Prior and Convent of Munimusc of the 
order of St. Augustin, in the diocese of Aberdeen, greeting 
and Apostolical benediction, It is right that we grant an 
easy assent to the just desires of petitioners and fulfil wishes 
that are not unreasonable by giving effect to them Wherefore 
beloved sons in the Lord granting youf just petitions with 
ready assent we confirm the lands of Dolbethok, of Leochel, 
of Eglismeneyttok according as you rightly and peaceably 
possess them, to you and through you to your church by 
Apostolic authority and secure them by the protection of the 
present writ, Wherefore let no human being break this page 
of our confirmation or dare rashly to act contrary to it If 
any one however presume to attempt this, let him know that 
he shall incur the indignation of Almighty God and His 
blessed Apostles Peter and Paul Given at Lyons (date as 
above), in the second year of our pontificate. 
The second refers to the Churches we have so often heard of 

Innocent (&c., as before) Wherefore beloved sons in the 
Lord . . We confirm the Churches of St Andrew of 
Afford, of St. Marnoc of Loychel, of St. Diaconianus of 
Kege, of St. Andrew of Kindrocht with their pertinents, to 
which you refer, acquired as you rightly and peaceably 
possess them to you and through you to your Church by 
Apostolic authority and secure you by the title of the present 
writing Wherefore let no one, &c., If any one however, &c. 
Given at Lyons (date as above), in the second year, &c. 2 

1 Book of Deer, p. cxx. 

2 Reg. St. Andrews Priory, pp. 372, 373 ; Collns. A. and B. pp. 177, 178. 

The Chartulary of Monymusk. 129 

Regarding this Dr. Reeves says * "It would appear that the 
Keledei of the Church of Monymusk had from the commence- 
ment of the century been endeavouring to reform their 
discipline ; and their efforts eventuated in the abandonment of 
their ancient name, and the adoption of the rule of regular 
Canons of St. Augustin. The date of the present instrument 
proves that Robert Gordon is wrong in referring the change to 
the year 1300, as given in the 'View of the Diocese of 
Aberdeen,' printed by the Spalding Club. 2 " 

One might picture the reverent satisfaction felt by the Prior 
that day in early summer six hundred and fifty years ago, when 
he received this answer from the Pope, and summoned his 
twelve brethren, the 'parson' of the parish, and the officials of the 
Priory, and with all the clergy in their vestments standing on 
his right hand and left in the chancel of our Church, read the 
two Bulls from his stall. We recall the efforts they had made to 
adapt themselves of their own accord to the advancing changes 
in the Church, and how strangely they had been checked by 
their distant Bishop, although eagerness had been shown to force 
their Culdee brethren beside his own Cathedral, who were of an 
opposite spirit to their own, to adopt the new system. Thus 
the Prior and his clergy would gratefully find security in the 
assurance of the Papal protection and benediction, and in this 
express recognition of them by the full title as now belonging 
to the order of St. Augustine. Their name of Culdees had 
come to be felt as an anachronism, and it was at last shown to be 
for ever passed away by authority that no one would gainsay, 
while the revenues from their four Churches, their tithes, 
offerings, and farms were also secured to them, so that their 
Convent could not be in want. 

These letters were probably never read before in English 

i Culdees, p. 259. 2 Collns. A. and B. p. 169. 


1 30 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

in this Church in which the Culdees so long worshipped. We 
have together revived the knowledge of their records and the 
gifts they received, and we will not forget to thank God for our 
own inestimable privileges, for the lessons of the past, and for 
the light that streams from the Gospel. We will remember 
Jesus' words that cannot pass away, and that do not admit of 
any modified interpretation, but apply to us as they never 
applied to any Christians before, breathing as we do the sacred 
influences and strengthened as we should be through the 
strugglings of all the past centuries, ," Unto whomsoever much 
is given of him shall be much required ; " and we will also 
ponder with deepening penitence what are almost the last 
words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, that the Gospel has this 
as one of the seals of the Covenant of Mercy, 

" Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 


RECORDS FROM 1268 TO 1500. 



ONE other very interesting record is preserved to us in the St. 
Andrews Register. It is placed before the other writs, probably 
owing to its having to be often referred to and as embodying 
the essentials of the others. It is fully dated in 1268, and we are 
able to account for its being drawn up. It also contains names 
that we are familiar with. 

Special returns of the Canons of Munnimusc on the arrival 

of Brother Alan the Prior, in the year of grace MCCLXVIII, in 

the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, both 

regarding lands and regarding churches. 

The sum of the church of Afford, In fee of money x merks. 

In fee of meal xviii chalders [a chalder equals 1 6 bolls,] 

The sum of the church of Loychel, without the half-dauach 

of land, xv chalders and xii bolls meal, 
The sum of the church of Keg 100 shillings, of which there 

is nothing, as it was mortgaged by (our) predecessor, 
The sum of the church of Kindrouch, by sheaves vi^ merks 
and vi shillings, of which there are the dues belonging 
to the altar (' cujus alteragium est '), 
From the land of Loychel ii^ merks, 

From Fedarg and Folayth iii merks [Earl Gartenach's gift], 
From Tulibaglagh J merk, 

From bracina (probably = brasina, the malt kiln), \ merk, 
From ' Thorn Maro ' x shillings, 

132 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

From the cottars vi shillings, 

From Eglismenigcott nothing because it is mortgaged [Bishop 
Robert's gift], 

From the kain [rent in poultry, &c.] of Houctireyht [Upper 
Echt] x bolls barley and x stones cheese [Thomas 
Hostiarius' confirmation], 

From the kain of Mukual [perhaps connected with the old 

name of Castle Fraser] \ chalder of barley. 1 
Monymusk Church itself is not included in this return, no 
doubt because it was separate from the Priory. The cottars are 
here mentioned. They were the dependants of the Priory, 
and " their social scale was higher than in modern times ; they 
lived in the hamlet, each family possessing a cottage and from 
one to nine acres of land." 2 

Popes Innocent III, Honorius III, and Gregory IX were 
zealous in preaching the sixth Crusade, and levied forces and 
money over all Europe. Scotland, richer in soldiers than in 
gold, sent at first her share of crusaders to the Holy Land. 
The Crusade failed, and the best blood of France and of all 
Europe was shed in Asia in vain. To promote the last Crusade 
greater exertions were made, and some of a nature which we 
should think not only objectionable but little likely to be pro- 
ductive. In 1254, when Alexander III was King of Scotland, 
Pope Innocent IV, whose letters to our Priory we have given, 
actually granted to Henry III of England^ provided he joined 
the Crusade, a twentieth of the ecclesiastical revenues of 
Scotland during three years, and the grant was subsequently 
extended. In 1268 Clement IV renewed this grant and in- 
creased it to a tenth, but when Henry attempted to levy it, the 
Scotch clergy resisted, and appealed to Rome. It is not 

1 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 361 ; Collns. A. and B. pp. 178, 179. 

2 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 299. 

Records from 1268 'to 1500. 133 

probable that Henry succeeded in raising much of the tenth 
in Scotland, though the expedition of his gallant son, afterwards 
Edward I, to the Holy Land both supported his claim and 
rendered the supply more necessary. 1 

Is it not singular that owing to this ' taxation ' for the last 
Crusade, there should be preserved the valuation roll of our 
distant Priory for the very year in which this strange grant 
was renewed? 

There is another similar record. "A provincial Council met 
at Perth in 1273. An encyclical letter was read from the 
Pope summoning the Bishops of Scotland to the General 
Council which was to assemble at Lyons in the following 
spring. The Bishops of Dunkeld and Moray were appointed 
to remain in Scotland to watch over the Church and serve the 
offices. One of the first acts of the Council of Lyons was to 
impose a tax of a tenth part of all Church revenues during the 
six following years for the relief of the Holy Land." [" It is 
remarkable that in all these devices for procuring funds for the 
Crusades, it was chiefly the stipends of the Clergy prelates 
and priests that were assessed." 2 ] "Pope Gregory X. wrote, 
i yth September, 1274, to the Scottish Bishops . . exhorting 
them to preach the Crusade, and appointed Boiamund of Vicci, 
a canon of the Cathedral of Asti in Piedmont, to collect the 
subsidy in Scotland. Hitherto taxes had been levied in the 
Scottish Church according to an old conventional valuation 
called the 'Antiqua Taxatio.' But the new tax-gatherer pro- 
posed to assess the clergy according to the * true value ' * the 
Verus Valor' or actual yearly worth of their benefices as 
ascertained by their oaths. They reclaimed against the pro- 
posal, and at a Council held at Perth in August 1275, prevailed 

i Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, pp. 23, 24. 2 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 387. 

134 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

on Boiamund by large payments and larger promises to return 
to Rome and entreat the Pope to levy the subsidy according to 
the Ancient Valuation, and spread its payment over seven years. 
His journey was in vain, and he returned to complete a 
valuation roll that still retains his name, and served for the 
apportionment of Church taxes until the Reformation a roll that 
was long known and hated among us. It evidently gives the 
valuation in round sums according to a roughly graduated scale, 
and there are entered in it 

The Priories of Fyvie and of MONYMUSK each at ^"133." x 
" Churchmen were careful of their ' Old Valuation.' It is 
found engrossed in the Chartularies both of seculars and of 
regulars, and the parts preserved give us the state of Church 
livings as at the beginning of the thirteenth century, and but 
little altered probably since the period that followed im- 
mediately on the great ecclesiastical revolution under David I." 2 
The * Antiqua taxatio ' of four dioceses is preserved, and in 
the St. Andrews Register we have what refers to our churches. 
There begin the taxations of Churches and ecclesiastical 
benefices, divided separately by Deaneries, and first by 


The Church of Kyndroucht iij /ID a \ 

The Church of Keg - x 

The Church of Afford xviij 

i The Church of Loychel - x C$& (of which 

the vicar receives iiij mar. 3 ) 
/Iftunimusc xxx /|fta 

The sum collected in the diocese of Aberdeen in the first 
year was ^298, being the tenth part of ^2980. 

1 Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Eccles. Scot. 3 Collns. A. and B. p. 219. Reg. Epis. 

pp. Ixiv-lxx. Abdn. II. p. 52. 

2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 24-26. 4 Reg. St. And. Priory, p. 355, etc. 

Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. p. 52. 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 135 

" Of the great valuation of the benefices of the Scotch 
Church that took place about 1275 under Baiamund, fragments 
applicable to particular districts are scattered through most of 
the Chartularies of Scotland. As generally the oldest materials 
of parochial history, these valuations, constructed for assessing 
in due proportion the taxes to be raised from the Clergy, 
whether for Rome or for domestic claims, are of considerable 
importance." 1 

The record of the taxation given in the Register of 
the Bishopric of Aberdeen, is followed immediately by 
a statement of the "Procurations due to the Lord Bishop 
of Aberdeen" from the various parishes in the diocese. 


Kyndrocht paid vj sh. 

Keyge xx sh. 

Afford - xxvj sh. viij d. 

Loch ell ,, xx sh. 

Munimousk xl sh. 2 

" These 'Procurations' were dues paid to the Bishop, in lieu 
of the ancient burden borne by the rural clergy, of entertaining 
him and his suite during his visitations. They seem to have 
been put upon the footing which they finally maintained all 
over Scotland, by the legate, Cardinal Ottobon, or by the 
Council which assembled soon after his unsuccessful inter- 
ference in Scotch affairs in 1268 '." 3 

As showing the difference in the value of money about this 
period, Dr. Joseph Robertson says that in 1326 King Robert 

1 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. Ixxvii. 3 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. Ixxvii. 

2 Ibid. II, p. 55. 

136 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Bruce granted to Melrose Abbey " for the fabric of its new 
Church, all the feudal casualties and crown issues of Teviotdale, 
until they should amount to ^"2000 sterling, a sum equal to 
more than ^50,000 in the present day." 1 " It is reckoned that 
a merk at the time of the Old Valuation would purchase fourteen 
bolls of oatmeal." 2 Dr. Davidson says 3 "The merk maybe 
rendered into ten times the number of pounds sterling," 
while for its value about 1740 we may refer to Rev. Dr. Walker's 
Life of Bishop John Skinner/ 

In 1286, on the evening of March i6th, the stumble of a 
horse on the crags of Kinghorn in Fife, brought to an end 
the direct line of the ancient dynasty of our Celtic Kings, for 
this untimely death of Alexander III left his grand-daughter, 
the Maid of Norway, heir to the throne, and she died in 1290 
in Orkney on her voyage to Scotland. It was followed by forty 
years of anarchy or war, from about 1286 to 1328. "The tide 
of civilisation which for two centuries had flowed northwards 
without check, was now to be stayed was even to be rolled 
back. Regarding the country only in a material point of 
view, it may safely be affirmed that Scotland at the death of 
Alexander III was more civilised and more prosperous than at 
any period of her existence, down to the time when she ceased 
to be a separate kingdom in 

We now reach a date to which we referred when we men- 
tioned the Brecbannoch i8th January, 1315, seven months 
after the Battle of Bannockburn, at which Bernard, Abbot of 
Arbroath, had himself been present. On that day he executed 
a charter making over the lands of Forglen, which the Abbey 

1 Abbeys, p. 72. 4 p. 5. 

2 Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, p. 23. 5 See Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, 

3 Inverurie, p. 35. pp. 67, 68. 

Records jrom 1268 to 1500. 137 

had enjoyed for a hundred years as Custodian of the Brecban- 
noch,to 'Malcolm of Monymusk.' Before giving the Abbot's deed, 
we may give that of William the Lion (1178-1211), by which 
the Abbey itself received the guardianship, a deed that also 
contains a name with which we are familiar. 

William by the grace of God King of Scots to all 
honourable men of his whole land whether clergy or laity 
greeting Know all men present and to come that I have 
granted and by this my charter confirmed to the monks of 
Abyrbrothok the custody of the Bracbenoch, and to the 
same monks I have given and granted and by this my 
charter confirmed along with the said Bracbenoch the land 
of Forglen, given to God and to St. Columba and to the 
Bracbenach Wherefore I will and ordain that they have the 
said land and the custody of the Bracbenach freely and 
quietly Doing henceforth the service which is due to me in 
the army in respect of that land with the said Bracbenoch 
Witnesses G. Earl of Mar, Oliver my chaplain, Wm. de Bosco 
my scribe, Herbert de Camera at Aberdeen 28th June. 1 
Gilchrist, Earl of Mar, is the benefactor of our Priory. 
William de Bosco and Herbert de Camera [doubtless Herbert 
Chamberlain, or Herbert the Chamberlain] are mentioned in 
the Cartulary of Cambuskenneth 2 about the year 1201. 

We now give the Abbot's deed, which is embodied in a 
writ by Malcolm of Monymusk. In it we meet with a de- 
signation that we shall frequently find in our records, the title 
'dominus,' which has to be translated variously according to the 
context. With 'miles' which is equivalent to 'knight,' it is 'Sir.' 
With priests who had not the University degree it is also ' Sir.' 
'Magister,' Master was in mediaeval times very rigorously confined 
to those who had actually taken their degree at a University. 

i Colin. A. and B. p. 510. 2 pp. 92, 93. 

138 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

1 Dominus ' or ' Sir ' was singularly enough a lower title of 
honour, given to bachelors and to priests generally who had not 
taken the higher or any degree. * Dominus Bernard ' in this 
deed may be translated ' the lord Bernard, Abbot of . .' or 
' Bernard the lord Abbot of . .' In the case of Benedictines 
the word would be rendered * Dom/ a title which they still 
keep up. 

To all who shall see the present letter Malcolm of Moni- 
musk son of the late Sir (dominus) Thomas of Monymusk, 
knight (miles) greeting in the Lord Know that I have been 
infeft by my superiors (dominos) the lord (dominum) 
Bernard by the grace of God Abbot of Abbyrbrothok 
and the convent of the same place with the land of Forglen 
in these words Let all both present and to come know that 
we Brother Bernard, by Divine permission Abbot of Abbyr- 
brothok, and the Convent of the same place, with the 
express consent and approval of our whole Chapter, after 
diligent consideration given to this matter and having 
regard to the advantage of our Monastery, have given, 
granted, and by our present charter confirmed to Malcolm 
of Monymusk the whole of our land of Forglen which 
pertains to the Bracbenniach, with all its pertinents along 
with the right of patronage of the Church of the same land, 
to be held and possessed by the same Malcolm and his 
heirs, of us and our successors for ever freely &c. We 
have also granted to the same and to his heirs ('curiam 
suam/ probably) to hold his own court over the people 
living on the said land in respect of all manner of decisions 
and complaints that can happen within the said land along 
with the penalties and forfeits thence justly accruing, re- 
serving to ourselves and our successors the moving of 
decisions in respect of four complaints that pertain to the 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 139 

crown of the Lord King in all cases But the said Malcolm 
and his heirs shall perform in the army of the Lord King 
in our name the service for the said land that pertains to 
the Bracbennach, as often as there is need, Rendering 
nevertheless thereafter for every other secular service and 
claim to us and our successors, himself and his heirs, at 
Abbyrbrothok yearly forty shillings sterling in name of 
fee &c And to us and our successors and our Monastery 
both he and his heirs successively shall render the oath of 
fidelity In testimony of which the common seal of our 
Chapter has been cordially appended to our present charter 
our said Chapter being witness In testimony of which I 
have affixed my own seal to these presents Given at Abbyr- 
brothok the Thursday immediately preceding the feast of 
the Chair of St Peter the Apostle in the year of grace 13 14." 
Who "Malcolm of Monymusk" was is a matter one can 
hardly venture to speak of. " It was already the thirteenth 
century before fixed surnames became prevalent north of the 
Tweed. The larger number of Scottish family names, though 
by no means all, were taken from lands which the family 
possessed." 2 Some of the lands of Monymusk, given originally 
to the Church, may have come to be held under the Church 
by a manorial tenant, who may thus have adopted the name 
" de Monymusk." By a charter the original of which is preserved 
at Buchanan Castle, Malcolm's father ' Thomas of Monymusk,' 
who is mentioned in our writ as deceased, granted to Sir 
Patrick Graham the lands of Cuyl in the Earldom of Strathern. 
The charter is without date, but was granted about the year 
1285, the first witness being "domino Johanne Abbate de 
Cambuskenneth"; 3 and also in 1299, fifteen years before our 

1 Collns. A. and B. p. 511. 3 Cartulary of Cambuskenneth p. li. 

2 Principal Shairp, Sketches, p. 88. 

140 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

writ, Malcolm's father, ' Thomas de Monymusk miles/ is men- 
tioned in the Chartulary of Arbroath. 1 

King Robert Bruce died in 1329, leaving his son David II, 
only eight years old. David II was taken prisoner at Nevil's 
Cross by Philippa, Queen of Edward III, in October 1346, 
two months after Crecy, and was ransomed in 1357 (after 
Poictiers), in the eleventh year of his imprisonment. 

'Henry of Monymusk,' probably Malcolm's son, fell under 
royal displeasure, and forfeited the lands of * Petfethik and Bal- 
nerosk in the barony of Monymusk,' thus leading one to think 
that ' Pitfichie ' had been the family residence, for David II 
granted a charter of these lands to David Chalmer, as shown in 
Robertson's Index of Missing Charters. 2 By the following 
deed however the attainder was reversed, and Henry of Mony- 
musk got a new gift of all his lands in the sheriffdom of 
Aberdeen and Banff, 3rd June, 1357, the very year in which 
David II was ransomed: 

David by the grace of God King of Scots to all honourable 
men of his whole land greeting, Know that since we of our 
special grace stayed all our Royal action and prosecution 
against Henry of Monymusk which we had adopted toward 
him on account of his protracted delay in England while 
adhering to our enemies We have given and by this our 
present charter have confirmed to the said Henry all his 
own lands belonging to him by hereditary right within the 
viscounty of Banff and Aberdeen to be held by the said 
Henry and his heirs with all liberties and their just pertin- 
ents whatsoever on his performing the due and customary 
services thereupon In testimony of which we have made 
our seal be attached to this present charter Witnesses the 
venerable fathers in Christ William Bishop of St Andrews 

i Chartulary of Arbroath, p. 20. 2 p. 48. n. 8. 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 141 

Patrick Bishop of Brechin Robert our Marischal of Scotland 
Earl of Strathearn Patrick Earl of March and Moray 
Thomas Earl of Mar William of Livingstone and Robert 
of Erskine Knights (milites) and many others at Edinburgh 
3rd June the twenty-eigth year of our reign. 1 
Two years after this David II must have come on a visit to 

Monymusk, for in the Exchequer Rolls 2 there is the following 

entry : 

Account of Robert Bullok burgess of Aberd. with the 
Chamberlain 2ist April 1360, Aberdeen 
. . and to William of Coryne, burgess of Abyrden, for 
one large jar (or cask) of wine bought for the use of the 
Lord King and carried (usque) all the way to Monymousk 
vi Lib. xiiis. and iiiid. And to Laurence of Garvok for 
fodder bought from the same for the use of the Lord King 
and carried all the way to Monymousk uis. \\i\d. 

A charter of this period is preserved, 3 in which * Andrew de 
Berclay, dominus (owner) de Garntuly,' in the parish of Gartly, 
near Huntly, gives and confirms to Janet de Berclay, widow of 
the late Sir (dominus) John de Monymous knight (miles) 
his " whole land of Melros with its pertinents, &c. within the 
viscounty of Banff, as concerns his rights to all the lands which 
had been acquired by his father, to be held by the said Janet, 
and Mariot and Elizabeth daughters of the deceased Sir John 
of Monimous aforesaid," and by whichever of them survives, 
and by their heirs. Mr. Macdorrald in his " Place Names in 
Strathbogie," 4 gives an account of the Barons of Garntuly and 
Berclay, the first being John de Barclay, whose charters range 
from about 1351 to 1357 and the second, his son Andrew, 

1 Ant. A. and B. III. p. 573. 3 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. pp. 281, 282. 

2 II. p. 32. 4 pp 82 94. 

142 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

whom we have just mentioned, and whose charters run from 
1360 to 1385. 

The unworthy David II. died in 1371, and was succeeded 
by his nephew, Robert II, the first sovereign of the Stuart line, 
being the son of Walter the Steward of Scotland and Marjory 
the eldest daughter of King Robert Bruce. In 1355 Robert had 
married as his second wife, Euphemia Ross, Countess of Moray, 
daughter of Hugh, Earl of Ross (1320-1333). It is mentioned 
that Queen Euphemia's sister, Lady Jannet, married first, Sir 
John of Monymusk, and secondly Sir Alexander de Moravia 
(Moray) of Abercairney, but our information is too meagre to 
allow of our understanding about her marriage with Sir John 
of Monymusk. 1 Sir John had gone to the Continent, for in 
February yth, 1369, he signs as a witness to a deed and seals it 
at Konigsberg in Prussia, along with others from this country. 2 

The family * de Moravia ' (of Moray) was rising into great 
power. In 1196 Hugh de Moravia, the chief of the family, 
had acquired that vast territory the ' Southern Land ' of 
Caithness which now gives the title of Duke to their lineal 
descendant. Gilbert de Moravia, archdeacon of Moray was 
in 1223 appointed Bishop of Caithness and then built the 
Cathedral at Dornoch, as we mentioned before, and it was his 
kinsman, probably his nephew, Bishop Andrew de Moravia, 
who about 1224 laid the foundations of the grandest of all the 
northern minsters, 'the lantern of Moray' at Elgin, on the 
opposite shore of the firth. 3 

Michael of Monymusk whose relationship to Sir John we do 
not know, but they may have been brothers was canon of 
Brechin in 1349.* On the loth February, 1362, he subscribes 

1 See Mr. Monday, From the Tone to_the 3 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, 

Don, pp. 33-35. pp. 48, 50. . 

2 Ibid p. 31. 4 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Church, p. 396 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 143 

himself on a charter at Aberdeen, as 'Michael de Mom- 
musk Dean,' another subscriber being ' Richard de Moravia 
Subdean.' ' We shall find immediately that he was Dean of 
Glasgow in 1366. He was Bishop of Dunkeld from about 
1367 to March 1376, and was buried in the choir of the 
Cathedral there. 2 He held the office of Great Chamber- 
lain of Scotland for a short time about 1364, and he sat in the 
Parliament at Scone 3rd April, I373- 3 The Scottish Parliament 
consisted of only one house, as all the representatives prelates, 
peers, and commissioners sat and voted together as a single 
house, while its grand committee was styled ' the Lords of the 

Two interesting notices of him are preserved in the Public 
Records of the reign of Edward III. In the thirty-seventh 
year of his reign, in a paragraph with the title ' Safe conduct for 
the Earl of Mar and others,' there is given the letter of Safe 
conduct to England for " Magister Michael Monemusk of 
Scotland coming peaceably with one companion and two 
servants of his retinue and four horses and other things such 
to continue for one year. Given at Westminster, 2oth day of 
February, 1362." Four years after, under date, Westminster, 
2nd July, 1366, another entry occurs " Magister Michael de 
Monymusk, Dean of Glasgow, has a letter from the King of safe 
conduct, permitting him to come whether by land or sea into 
the kingdom of the King of England for the sake of studying 
in the University of Oxford or elsewhere as he wished, with six 
horsemen and two footmen, to stay there and study and thence 
return to Scotland this protection to last for one year." 4 It 
must have been very unusual for a Dean, travelling in such 
state, to go to the University of Oxford for the sake of studying. 

1 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. 93. 3 Bishop Keith's Cata. of Scot. Bishops, 

2 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Church, p. 84. 

pp. 191, 213. 4 Rotuli Scotiae, I. pp. 870, 871, 904. 

144 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Yet what a spirit was stirring Oxford at that very time, when 
" Wycliffe was the champion of a great party in the University 
and in the Church, and honours, dignities crowded upon him ! " r 

For three generations the family of the 'Monymusks' owned 
the ' fair barony ' of Forglen, and when a female became 
heiress, her husband, John Fraser, received the lands by charter 
in 1388. 

To all who shall see or hear of this charter John by the 
divine permission Abbot of the Monastery of Aberbrothok 
and the convent of the same place eternal greeting in the 
Lord, Know that we by consent of our whole Chapter after 
a diligent consideration of the matter, have given to John 
Fraser and the heirs of his body to be lawfully begotten, 
our whole land of Forglen which pertains to the Barch- 
bennach along with the right of patronage of the Church of 
the same land for homage and service to us and our 
successors and for doing in the army of the Lord King in 
our name for the said land what pertains to the Brac- 
bennach as often as there may be need Which land indeed 
Gilbert Urry and Johanna his spouse, heir of the late 
Marjory spouse of John Fraser, daughter and heiress of 
the late Sir John of Monimusk knight, at Forglen the third 
day of the month of August in the year of our Lord 1387 
before very many men worthy of faith viz. Sir Robert of 
Dunbar, John son of Nicholas, John Boners, monks, Alex- 
ander Skyrnich of Aberbrothoc our marischal, Thomas 
Fraser of Kornton, William of Dissynton son and heir of 
Sir William of Dissynton knight, Andrew Melvyn, John 
Seton, burgesses of Aberbrothoc, John Conan of Conan- 
sythe and many others, restored and resigned &c to us by 

i Dean Milman, Latin Christianity, VIII. pp. 161, 162; 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 145 

staff and baton To be held and possessed by the same 
John and his lawful heirs of us and our successors for ever 
freely &c And if it happen that the said John and his 
lawful heirs fail of lawful heirs Andrew son of the said John 
for himself and his lawful heirs shall possess freely in the 
same manner the aforesaid land And if it happen that 
the said Andrew or his lawfully begotten heirs depart 
into the fates no heir surviving as is set forth William Fraser 
his brother and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten shall 
possess well and peacefully the said land of Forglen in the 
way in which it is expressed above, Preserving always to us 
and our successors the Regality in the same land Preserving 
also the right of every one Rendering thereupon to us and 
our successors yearly xl shillings sterling at two terms of the 
year &c But the said John and his heirs and also Andrew 
and William and their sons and heirs as is set forth before 
shall none the less do homage to us and our successors The 
said John also and his heirs &c shall in no manner sell or 
mortgage the said land or in any ways alienate it without 
our special leave or that of our successors sought at the 
same time and obtained In testimony of which transaction 
we have affixed our common seal to our present charter 
drawn up in form of manuscript while to another part of 
this charter the seal of the said John has been openly 
affixed our said Chapter being witness at Aberbrothoc 2nd 
of March, the year above stated. 1 

Pitfichie seems thus to have gone to the Urry family through 
Joanna Fraser, the daughter of Marjory of Monymusk and 
John Fraser. We never hear again of * the Monymusks.' 

After being only twenty-three years in the Fraser family the 

i Colin. A. and B. pp. 511-513. 

146 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

lands of Forglen were restored to the Abbey of Arbroath 

in 1411. It seems very singular self-denial. 

To the venerable father in Christ and his lord Superior in 
this part lord Walter by the grace of God Abbot of the 
Monastery of Aberbrothok and to the Convent of the same 
place John Fraser lord of Forglen, due reverence with 
honour, I John Fraser aforesaid, not compelled by force or 
fear nor fallen in error nor seduced by deceit or fraud but 
moved by my own mere and spontaneous will, restore into 
your hands and for myself and my heirs by staff and baton 
absolutely and ' simpliciter ' resign all and singly my lands of 
Forglen with all their pertinents which I hold of you ' in 
capite ' along with the whole right and claim of right which 
I or my heirs have, had, or shall be able to have in the said 
lands with their pertinents in whatever way so that you 
my Lord Superior in this part may be able freely to dispone 
the said lands with their pertinents, according to the good 
pleasure of your own will so that neither I nor my heirs nor 
any man nor any woman in our name shall be able to claim 
or in any way defend any right or claim of right possession 
or property in the same lands with their pertinents or in any 
part of them In testimony of which thing I have placed my 
seal to these presents At Aberdeen nth December, 14 n. 1 

As was mentioned, the kindly intercourse between England and 
Scotland was fatally interrupted by the War of Independence, 
which was also injurious to religion. Owing to the long Civil 
War few gifts were bestowed on the Church, but it was some 
time before 1357 that the famous 'Chapel' at Chapel of 
Garioch was founded by Christian Bruce, Lady of the Garioch, 
the sister of King Robert, 2 who was married to Sir Andrew 

i Colin. A. and B. p. 513. a Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 80. 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 147 

Murray of Bothwell, a brave and valiant soldier, afterwards 
Regent of Scotland. 1 

In 1333 an inquisition was made at Aberdeen in regard to 
the ' second tithes ' from all returns and forfeits falling to the 
King of Scotland, and among others there is a memorandum to 
the effect that from the lands of the Bishop and Church of St. 
Andrews, lying within the vicecounty of Aberdeen and of Banff 
when that See of St. Andrews is vacant, the second tithes are 
due to the Bishop and Church of Aberdeen, namely from 
Monymuske, Kynkel, &c. 2 In regard to this we find in 1385 a 
letter from Robert King of Scots directing his chaplain, Walter 
Bell, rector of Dumberny, to give satisfaction to Adam, Bishop 
of Aberdeen, respecting the second tithes due to him from the 
lands of Monymusk and others on account of a vacancy in the 
See of St. Andrews. 3 

In 1365 Andrew was Prior of Monymusk and witnesses a 
deed by Thomas, Earl of Mar, who is mentioned in David IPs 
deed reversing the attainder of Henry of Monymusk. He was 
the tenth and last earl of the Celtic line, succeeding in 1332 and 
dying before 1377. St. Machar's Cathedral, Old Aberdeen, was 
begun in 1366. 

In 1373-4 Symon de Katness was rector of the Church of 
Menymous, also spelled by him Monimous, witnessing two deeds 
at Edinburgh, January i4th and i5th. 

In the Exchequer Rolls 4 there is the following record, 

Account of Sir (dominus) Walter of Byger, rector of the 

Church of Erole [Errol in the Carse of Gowrie] 

Chamberlain of Scotland, rendered at Perth, Feb. 17, 1374. 
Contributions of the Clergy . . And of xxx Lib. of 

the contribution of the bishopric of Aberdeen. And of 

1 Cartulary of Cambuskenneth, p. xlv. 3 Reg. Epis, Abdn. I. p 171; 

2 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. pp. 54, 58. 4 Exchequer Rolls, ii. p. 457. 

148 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

vs viiid of the lands of Monymousk which belong to the 
Bishop of St. Andrews, in the Bishopric of Aberdeen. 

Alexander Stewart by murder and enforced marriage seized 
on the Earldom of Mar. He was leader at the battle of Harlaw 
near Inverurie, in 1411. He was a son of Alexander Stewart, 
Earl of Buchan, the Wolf of Badenoch (a son of Robert II.) 
who burned Elgin and its cathedral in 1390. Dr. Joseph 
Robertson * gives an account of the lawlessness of the time, 
while the Register of the Bishopric of Moray speaking of the 
burning of the cathedral says, " There was no law in Scotland, 
but the great man oppressed the poor man, and the whole 
kingdom was one den of thieves ; slaughters, robberies, fire- 
raisings, and other crimes passed unpunished, and outlawed 
justice was banished from the realm." Mr. J. R. Green says 2 
" the victory of Harlaw saved the Lowlands from the rule of 
the Celt," and Mr. Hill Burton 3 estimates it as "a more 
memorable deliverance than even that of Bannockburn." 

We now come to a ' remarkable ' letter that would be read 
by the Prior with due solemnity in the Chancel of our Church 
to the canons and clergy. In 1424-5, March iyth, James I, 
4 the flower of the Scottish kings,' ' the ablest and most 
accomplished sovereign of all the Stuart line,' the year after his 
release from captivity in England, having summoned his second 
Parliament to meet at Perth, wrote the following letter to the 
Benedictine and Augustinian Abbots and Priors in Scotland, 
being ' evidently bent on the reformation of the Church as well 
as the State.' 

James by the grace of God King of Scots to the venerable 
fathers in Christ the Abbots and Priors of the orders and 

i Stat. Ecc. Scot. p. Ixxvii. 2 History II. p. 752. 3 History II. p. 394. 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 149 

rules of SS. Benedict and Augustine, greeting, with prayer for 
your advancing to greater heights of perfection. The some- 
what precipitate fall and threatening ruin of our sacred 
religion, declining daily from the primitive basis of its 
institution, urge us to attempt to stir up rather sharply your 
torpid spirits and their sleepy slothfulness. Wherefore it is 
fitting that you should awake and take to heart how in our 
kingdom the perfection of monastic religion has been as far 
as possible relaxed, how prelacy tends to extinction, every- 
where defamed and reduced to disgrace; just as formerly our 
mother Jerusalem contemned by her degenerate sons and 
repudiated by their ignoble fathers, herself, doubtless, as we 
painfully recall, repressing her bitterness, prostrates herself 
flat on the ground as defamed. Against her piteous nay 
pitiable fall, the holy Church of Zion, His daughter, cries 
into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, because her regular 
discipline, formerly shining with angelic brightness, terrible 
as an army drawn up for battle, deprives us of her likeness 
owing to her dissolute fathers and untamed sons, so that by 
your pernicious doing and example she, most squalid and 
worthy of compassion, is left covered with reproaches and in 
affliction. On this account and owing to the matters afore- 
said, our inmost mind being wounded unto death, and we 
being affected with pain of heart, desiring that the foresaid 
matters should be thoroughly reformed as soon as possible, 
require and admonish you, Religious Fathers, exhorting you 
in the bowels of Jesus Christ, to put away all excuses for sins 
and neglects, and to be zealous to meet, at a suitable place 
and time, for the reformation in this manner of your sacred 
religion, degraded too deeply as we stated, and using diligent 
consideration and matured thought, to strive to resume 
fitting ways in accordance with God, especially in celebrations 

150 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

of the Chapters General, in order that the fervour of 
religion may be able more easily to breathe in accordance 
with its pristine state ; lest on account of your careless sloth, 
the munificence of the King 'which formerly notably 
endowed, and nobly enriched your monasteries in former 
times, for the preservation of himself and the salvation of 
his subjects, may repent of having erected marble walls, when 
he has considered how you have so shamelessly lost the 
morals of religion. Therefore rise up with manliness and 
holy severity against this ignominious plague and with 
greater fervour of spirit cut off by a rigorous discipline 
all such occasions of dissolution, considering that, when the 
helm of discipline is despised, nothing is to be looked for 
but that religion shall suffer shipwreck. We therefore 
wishing to make you attentive intend, while you are zealous 
to give effect to the matters aforesaid, to direct and defend 
you and your deeds according to God in all things with our 
Royal protection ; if perchance there have been any 
contradictors, to restrain and beat them back as far as we 
are bound ; we shall rejoice also that you have such 
petitioners as may intercede for our Royal State, by whom 
certainly the honour and advancement of our kingdom shall 
prosper. May the Most High inspire you, Fathers, for the 
service of your religion and for prosperous and wished-for 
successes according to God. Given under the testimony of 
our private seal in our Parliament at Perth the 1 7th March, 
in the ipth year of our reign. 1 

With what chastened feelings must the Prior have read 
such a letter from the recently released King, to the clergy 
assembled in our Church, its "exhortation showing that the 

i For the Latin see Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. p. xc. 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 151 

corruption of the religious orders throughout the country was 
already general in the year 1425. 3JI 

In 1437 Monymusk is entered in the Cathedral Body, Old 
Aberdeen, as among the twelve " Ebdomadarii," the sum 
assigned to it being iiij Lib., Kynkell and Rethven alone 
having other sums, 2 and in 1445, with the consent of the 
Bishop of St. Andrews, it was added to the 'College of Canons' 
by Bishop Lindsay. 3 In 1448, when a tax had to be levied by 
the Bishop for providing vestments, the sum of 40 Lib. is 
stated as the value to be assessed upon the prebend, 4 and in a 
deed of 1468 we find a reference made to the town * Manse 
of Monymusk,' in the Chanonry beside the Cathedral, ' as one 
goes by the high- way to the hill of Tillydrone.' 5 It is singular 
;hat 40 Lib. is also the sum given as the value of the bene- 
ice of the parish for 1445 m tne rent-roll at Castle Forbes, 
we shall afterwards mention. 

From 1466 to 1478 Patrick Graham was Bishop of St. 
Adrews, succeeding Bishop Kennedy who was " the greatest 
arl best man of his age." He confirmed by deed to John 
Dvidson, the lands of Cornabo, with its pertinents, in the 
baony of Monymusk. This is the oldest deed in Monymusk 
Hase relating to property on the estate. 6 

To all who shall see or hear this deed Patricius by the grace 
f God and of the Apostolic see Bishop of St. Andrews 
ternal greeting in the Lord Know that we have given and 
ginted and by this our present charter confirmed to John 
Lvidson as heir of the late Helen of Cornabo Cornabo 

1 Dr., Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. p. xc. 4 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. p. 71. 

2 ReiEpis. Abdn. II. p. 65. 5 Ibid. I. pp. 302, 303. 

3 Ibicip. 153, 253. 6 Mr. Monday, From the Tone to 

the Don, pp. 79, etc. 

152 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

with its pertinents lyirig in the barony of Monymusk within 
the County of Aberdeen which land belongs to the heir of 
the said deceased Helen and which land the late John of 
Cornabo with staff and baton surrendered and resigned in 
the hands of our late predecessor of blessed memory and 
all right and claim which was in him and his heirs in per- 
petual peace in all time to come To be held and had the 
said whole land with its pertinents of us and our successors 
Bishops of St. Andrews in fee and heritage by all their 
boundaries and marches of the same with woods plains 
meadows pastures moors passages bye- ways waters springs 
and fishings and with all other and sundry liberties com- 
modities easements and righteous pertinents as well under 
ground as above looking towards the said land or whatever 
way one is able to look as freely quietly and honourably a? 
the said late John of Cornabo held or possessed the afore 
said land of our predecessors before resignation of the san> 
afterwards made quite freely quietly and honourably Payiiij 
to us and our successors the said John Davidson and Ip 
heirs six shillings and eight pence usual money of Scotla/d 
at the term of Pentecost and feast of St Martin by eqal 
portions in name of Kain and the fruits of the said l^d 
due to us and customary and that for every other burten 
which shall be able or requires to be exacted In witess 
whereof our seal is appended to the aforesaid preifnts 
A.D. 14 there being present Master Hugh Douglas rCtor 
of the . . St Andrews, and James Stry . . our . . with vaious 
other witnesses to the foregoing specially called and aged. 
This Bishop was the Hon. Patrick Graham, son ofLord 
Graham, and the second of the two grandsons of King .bbert 
III who in succession held the Bishopric of St. Andres, the 
other being Bishop Kennedy Mary, Robert Ill's d^ghter, 

Records from 1268 to 1500. 153 

being three times married. Bishop Patrick when at Rome in 
1472 prevailed on Pope Sixtus IV to erect St. Andrews into an 
Archbishopric, making him Papal Legate, with all Scotland for 
a province and the other twelve bishops as suffragans. " He 
also received a commission as Apostolic Nuncio, to Scotland 
that he might more effectually levy subsidies and soldiers for a 
crusade against the Turks, who under the victorious standard of 
Mahomet the Second were spreading grief and terror through 
Europe. But as this had been done without the knowledge or 
consent of the King or of the Bishops, it was vigorously 
resisted by both. The Bishops considered themselves specially 
aggrieved. They were subjected as suffragans to a prelate 
whose equals they had so long been; and as if the character and 
powers of a Metropolitan were not sufficiently offensive, he 
came among them with the odious commission of an Apostolic 
Nuncio to extort a tithe of their benefices for a year against the 
Turks. In their indignation they taxed themselves in 12,000 
merks, and making common cause with the King and the Court, 
precipitated a conflict which proved fatal to the Archbishop. 
Obstructed and assailed on every side, impoverished, im- 
prisoned, excommunicated, his reason at last gave way. The 
Pope deposed him gih January 1478 from his Archbishopric, 
degraded him from all holy orders and office, and condemned 
him to captivity for life within the walls of a monastery. His 
first prison was Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth, then Dunferm- 
line, and then he was carried to Lochleven, to find a grave in 
the ancient Priory of St. Serf's Inch." 1 

In 1473, J 475> an d 1483, John Myrton of Monymusk, one 
of the Prebendaries and Canons of Aberdeen Cathedral is 
present as a witness to various writs, 2 and in the Register 3 there 
is the following entry, such as we have not met with before : 

i Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. 2 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. pp. 309, 311, 315. 

pp. cix.-cxvi. 3 Ibid. II. p. 219. 

154 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

4th October, the anniversary for the soul of Master John ' 
Myrtoun formerly rector of Monymusk xiij^. m]d. from 
land formerly belonging to David Kyntor now belonging to 
Alexander Kyntor in Castle-street (in vico castri) Aber- 
deen, on the north side of the same, who died A.D. 

In 1479 Richard Strathaquhyn was vicar of the parish, 
perhaps the same person who became Prior in 1500, twenty- 
one years after. 

In 1496-7 Gavin of Douglas was Prior, or more probably 
Rector. The teinds were in danger, and Lord Forbes who 
afterwards obtained the Church lands in Keig, had something 
to do with them. Here we see the lay-element appearing for 
the first time, as far as we know, which we shall find in our 
next chapter to be so disastrous. There must, however, be 
some mistake in the date given for this letter, for we shall find 
that both Duncan Forbes and his wife died in 1584, so that 
they could not have had to do with the teinds in 1496. 

A letter was directed from the Lords of Council to the 
Sheriffs in that part to charge them to command in the 
King's name the Lord Forbes Duncan Forbes and Duncan's 
wife to have no intermeddling with the teinds of Monymusk 
pertaining to Master Gavin of Douglas and to charge the 
parishioners to obey the said Master Gavin in the paying to 
him and his factors of the same teinds according to the 
Prior's letters and to summon the said persons for the 
1 2th October next. 1 

i Ant. A. and B. III. p. 483. 





KING'S College, Aberdeen, was founded by James IV. in 1494, 
and was constituted in 1505 by Bishop Elphinstone, 'the most 
distinguished of all the bishops of Aberdeen.' * He was the 
son of the Archdeacon of Teviotdale, and to him was largely 
due the introduction of printing into our country, under the 
auspices of James IV and his queen, Margaret, the sister of 
Henry VIII, in 1507, thirty years after it was common in 

In 1500 Richard Strachan was presented as Prior by James 
IV. Here again we see the lay-element appearing. " In 
the reign of James III. the Monasteries lost the right of the 
election of their superiors, and thus a new element of disorder, 
state-interference and secular influence, was introduced." 2 
" From that reign the Monks were seldom, if ever, allowed to 
exercise their canonical right of electing their abbots, or 
Cathedral-chapters their bishops ; and the sovereigns, adopting 
the papal practice, disposed of these offices for pecuniary or 
other considerations to persons who, in too many cases, were 
unworthy of them, and unable to perform the duties they 
involved." 3 

Probably before he became Prior (if we compare the dates), 
Strachan, like Bishop Elphinstone's father, believed in the 

i Mr. Cosmo Innes, Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. 2 Mr. Walcott, Ancient Church, p. 8. 

p. xlii. 3 Dr. Campbell, St. Giles, p. 95. 

156 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

ancient privilege of marriage, although it could not be cele- 
brated. His daughter, who bore his own name, being called 
Strauchine, thus showing that there was no concealment in 
the matter, married William Forbes in Abersnithock, now 
Braehead, one of the farms belonging to the Priory. He was 
a grandson of Sir John Forbes, first laird of Tolquhon in 
Tarves, of whom Dr. Temple 1 and Mr. Jervise 2 speak. Dr. 
Davidson 3 calls him a son, but he does not seem to have had a 
son called William. Mr. Forbes-Leith now represents the 

" Without under-rating the effects of the Reformation of 
religion, it may be safely said that no revolution in politics or 
opinions can have produced such a change in the structure of 
society as the emancipation of the clergy from celibacy and the 
sudden destruction of the monastic societies. It was an age 
of general immorality which peculiarly disgraced the Church." 4 
" The monastic orders were becoming more and more de- 
generate, and the nobles were beginning to hanker after their 
immense possessions. Thus the Church, which in the twelfth 
century had been assimilated to the Roman model, had at the 
commencement of the sixteenth (the time we have now reached) 
sunk even more than its Celtic predecessor from a state of 
purity and energy into one of corruption and decay," 5 and just 
as the possessions of the Celtic Church had been seized by 
laymen in the days of its decay, so did the Church come to be 
plundered again at the Reformation. 

In 1500 a 'visitation of the Jewels of the Cathedral, 5 Aber- 
deen, was made in the presence, among others, of the rector of 
Monymusk, as had been done on loth March, 1497. 6 

1 Fermartyn, p. 379. 4 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, pp. 117, 87. 

2 Epitaphs, II. p. 350. 5 Dr. Campbell, St. Giles, p. 96. 

3 Inverurie, p. 127. 6 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. pp. 170, 169. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 157 

In Bishop Elphinstone's constitutions of the Cathedral- 
Chapter in 1506, Monymusk is mentioned among the twenty- 
three prebendaries, the sum stated as payable by it for the 
sustenance of the vicars in the choir being vj Lib., while among 
the twenty choral-vicars the nineteenth is 

dominus John Litstar at the stall of Monimusk 

from the same iij lib. vj shil. viijd. 

and from the chaplainry of Fyvy . . vj lib. xiij shil. iiijd. 
and of the sum distributed at ' le Mydlettroun ' there is given 
domino John Litster of Monimusk . . . xxvij shil. viijd. 1 
On September 9th, 1513, James IV fell at Flodden, aged 
forty-one. He had a stall in the choir and a vote in the 
chapter of Glasgow Cathedral, and in penance for his com- 
plicity in his father's murder, he went to the end of his life 
with an iron girdle round his waist. Bishop Elphinstone died 
the next year, 25th October, and lies beneath his tomb of 
black marble in King's College Chapel. 

At this time Alexander Symson was rector of Monymusk, 
and Thomas Scherar was vicar or curate, the rector being 
evidently much occupied with his duties in the Cathedral. In 
the list of the Cathedral Jewels drawn up in 1549 by Master 
Alexander Galloway, rector of Kynkel, of which we shall speak 
afterwards, there is mentioned 

The tenth Communion Cup with a Plate, of silver-gilt, the 
gift of the venerable man Master Alexander Symsoun for- 
merly rector of Monymusk, of date 1516, weighing one 
pound fifteen ounces and a half-ounce ; 

and in the list of ornaments for the High Altar of the Cathedral 
drawn up by Bishop Gavin Dunbar there is the entry 

one pall or hood of red colour, of gold, with gold fringes for 
the same, the gift of Master Alexander Simsoun rector of 
Monymusk. 2 

i Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. pp. 93, 94, 97, 98. a ll. pp. 180, 194. 

158 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

While he was himself of so generous and cultured a nature, 

others tried to take advantage of him. 

On the loth December, 1518, which day appeared in 
person the discreet man Master Thomas Scherar curate or 
vicar of Monimusk and had a personal interview with Duncan 
Elmisle living in Petfeche, and humbly and with due per- 
sistency required him and asked from him in name of 
procurator, as he asserted, for the venerable and excellent 
man Master Alexander Symsone rector of Monimusk, if the 
tithes of corn of the town of Petfeche were collected in the 
yard of the said Duncan with the leave and power of the 
same, and if the said Duncan hindered the servants of the 
foresaid Rector in the correction and emending and raising 
of the said tithes. The same Duncan confessed that he 
had given leave so that the said tithes could be collected in 
his yard and likewise confessed that he had hindered and 
interrupted the said rector's servants on account of the 
breaking and destroying of his fences (or ditches). On 
which replies and confessions the said Master Thomas with 
his authority as procurator as above, imposed in addition to 
the said tithes of corn the sum of twenty-four merks Scots 
money to be paid by the said Duncan at the usual terms 
for the reasons aforesaid And protested for remedy at law 
On which the said Master Thomas by authority as pro- 
curator as above took instruments Done within the parish 
Church aforesaid nine o'c. a.m. present in the same David 
Farquhar, Dik clerk-depute, Alexander Robertson, Findlay 
Quisne, with diverse others summoned for the foresaid 
matters and questioned. 1 

On the 1 4th November, 1519, ' the venerable and discreet 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 499, 500. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 159 

man Master Alexander Sympson, rector of Monimusk,' pre- 
sented to the Cathedral Chapter an inventory of all the goods 
left by Bishop Alexander Gordon, in the Bishop's palace, and in 
the same year, Gavin Dunbar being now Bishop, in the list of the 
Cathedral body, Monymusk is entered at viij Lib. (two pounds 
more than in 1506) in the account of the funds 'for the 
sustentation of the vicars-choral and others ministering in the 
Cathedral.' 1 Alexander Symsoun of Monymusk was present 
when a charter was signed in the Chanonry on the 8th June, 
1521. There are also two entries of peculiar interest regarding 
him. In the list of " Masses founded by deceased venerable 
men " there is given 2 

Daily Mass for the soul of Master Alexander Symsone for- 
merly Rector of Monymusk. 

From the croft of Andrew Brabnar xiij sh. iiijd. but 
now belonging to Gilbert Molysone. And from our croft in 
the hands of Master John Gordoun lying beyond the gate 
of the street of the gallows (i.e. the Gallowgate) on the west 
side of the late Alexander Bynne xlv sh. And in the village 
of Kyntor (Kintore) of the lands occupied by Fergus 
Hendersone xxxiij sh. And of the lands in the same place 
occupied by James Duff xiij sh. And by John Byssait xxiij sh. 
And by William Kelle xx sh. And from the lands and roods 
of the owner of Vatirtoun (Waterton) lying in the Newburgh 
iij Lib. 

In all . . . x Lib. viijs. iiijd. 

Besides this endowment for the daily Mass in the Cathedral, 
there was also another for a special yearly Commemoration on 
the day of his death. 

On the 1 4th November the anniversary for the soul of 
Master Alexander Symson formerly Rector of Monymusk 

i Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. pp. 174-178, 107. 2 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. p. 226. 

1 60 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

xxvj sh. viijd. from the village of Auchinstiuk in the hands 
of the proprietor of Stralocht who died A.D. [ ] x 

In an addition made to a memorandum of 1 5 1 1 it is stated 
that Bishop Dunbar " received in whole for two years from the 
lands of Kege and Monemusk, l the second tithes,' owing to 
the decease of the late reverend father, Andrew Forman, 
Archbishop of St. Andrews." 2 Archbishop Forman died in 
December, 1521, and Archbishop James Beaton was translated 
from Glasgow to St. Andrews in 1522. 'The second tithes,' 
which formed a fruitful subject of dispute, "flowed undoubtedly 
from a very ancient royal grant, and consisted of a tenth of the 
rents and dues payable by the thanes and tenants of the King's 
demesne lands; a tenth of the revenue levied from Crown 
vassals for ward, relief, marriage, and non-entry ; and of the 
escheats, fines, and whole issues of the King's Courts as well 
in burgh as to land, within that district." 3 

The next Prior that we know of was John Akenhead. 
David Farlie was appointed his colleague, and we have now an 
account of the ceremony at the installation of a Prior. 

1 5th December, 1522 the eleventh indiction [a period of 
fifteen years, instituted by Constantine in 312] in the first 
year of the pontificate of Pope Adrian VI. appeared in 
person the venerable and religious father dompnus 
( = dominus) David Farlie, Prior of the place and convent 
of Monymusk in the diocese of Aberdeen, of the order of 
St. Augustine, having and holding in his hands a certain 
process of the reverend father and lord in Christ John 
Baptist by the grace of God and the Apostolic See Bishop 

1 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. p. 220. 3 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. xxxiv. 

2 Ibid. I. p. 359. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 161 

of Caserta of date Rome 3rd October A.D. 1522, the bull 
of the most holy father and lord in Christ lord Adrian VI 
by divine providence Pope, in the first year of his pontificate, 
containing in itself about and concerning the provision of 
the said Priorship of Monymusk which bull had been 
graciously granted to the same dompnus David Farlie 
which process he delivered to be read, published and 
intimated and duly committed for execution to the venerable 
man Master Robert Elphinstone treasurer of Aberdeen 
humbly requiring him to deliver and conclusively to convey 
to him really and with effect the real, actual, and corporal 
possession of the said Priory by virtue of the said Apostolic 
letter and process lately fulminated and under the penalties 
contained in the same. The said treasurer as a son of 
obedience and willing in all things to obey the Apostolic 
commands reverently took into his hands the foresaid 
process and the bull contained in the same letter, and the 
same being read viva voce and publicly, successively came 
to the Chapter-house of the said Priory and Monastery of 
the same, the Canons of the same being assembled at the 
touch of the bell as is the custom, and to the Choir of the 
said Church and then to the said dompnus David the Prior, 
principally named in the said Apostolic letter and process, 
assigned the usual and accustomed place in the chapter and 
stall in the Choir and inducted and invested him in the 
said Priory with all his rights and pertinents . . for real 
actual and corporal possession, admonishing all and single 
Canons of this place and Priory and others having interest 
that they should obey and submit to him and no other 
promptly and readily in such Priorship. The said Canons 
took the oath of obedience successively to the said dominus 
Prior with joined hands as is the custom and received the 

1 62 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

same as their Prior with all reverence and honour On which 
the said Prior took instruments Done at the said Monastery 
10 a.m., present Master Duncan Udny dompnus John Hay 
dompnus John Jaffray Thomas Udny and Thomas Autan 
and different other persons. 

The same day in the Indiction and Pontificate as above, 
appeared in person the Venerable and Religious Father 
dompnus John (Akynheid) lately Prior of the Monastery 
of Monymusk and Convent of the same of the order of St. 
Augustine in the diocese of Aberdeen, having and holding 
in his hands a certain process of an Apostolic letter of the 
most Reverend father and lord in Christ lord John 
Baptist by the grace of God and the Apostolic see Bishop 
of Caserta, Cardinal, Judge and Executor specially de- 
puted by the said Apostolic see, along with his colleagues 
in this part . . namely a bull of the foresaid most Holy 
father and lord in Christ, lord Adrian VI by divine 
providence Pope, the contents of which had regard to 
the reservation of all and single fruits of the foresaid Priory 
to the same dompnus John as long as he lives, to be 
received taken and lifted by his own authority, and also had 
regard to his return to the same Priory if the said dominus 
David (Farlie) die or retire or in any way demit the said 
Priorship, as is said to be contained more fully and at length 
in the same Apostolic letter and process lately fulminated 
of date 1 3th October A.D. as above Which process he 
delivered to me the undersigned notary public to be read 
published intimated Which with all reverence as was 
becoming I took into my hands and I read through and 
published the same from beginning to end with a loud and 
intelligible voice On which the said dompnus John (Akyn- 
heid) took instruments of me the notary Done within the 
said Monastery 10 a.m. present witnesses as above. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 163 

The same day appeared in person dompnus David 
(Farlie) Prior of the Monastery of Monymusk and asserted 
that he from reasonable causes influencing his mind could 
by no means continue in the rule and charge of the said 
place and canons, and owing to the foresaid considerations 
made, constituted, and solemnly ordained and substituted 
the religious father dompnus John Akynheid as usufructuary 
of the said place and Monastery to whom by Apostolical 
authority the whole and single fruits of the same are re- 
served, and committed to the same his entire power and 
jurisdiction over the same place and the Canons of the 
same in absence of himself dompnus David (Farlie) yet 
without prejudice to his provision from the Priorship and to 
his bull granted him by the Roman Curia . . On which 
the said dompnus David prior aforesaid took instruments 
Done within the said Monastery n a.m. present in the 
same Master Duncan Udny, Thomas Autan, Thomas Udny 
and the Canons above mentioned. 1 

8th April 1524 which day personally appeared dompnus 
John Ifay, Canon-regular of the Monastery of Monymusk 
and asserted that an arrest was laid with due notice by 
Master Thomas Scherar Dean of Christianity of Strathdon, 
upon his yearly pension of Echt sequestrated in the hands 
of John the Prior of the said Monastery in proportion to 
the excesses reached by it in the present year and he denies 
that the same would be a true arrest and that it should be 
by no means to his prejudice in the future and protested 
for remedy at law On which he took instruments Done in 
the village of Monymusk 4 p.m. present Patrick Huyd and 
Helen Tullacht. 2 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 484, 485, 486. 2 p. 486. 

164 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

This is the second time we have heard of Canon John Hay. 
We shall afterwards refer very specially to him. We before 
found that revenue was got from * Upper Echt ;' this may refer 
to the same farm. 

loth December 1524 Same day appeared in person Thomas 
Davidson of Auchinhamperis in name of procurator for 
the Venerable Religious Father dompnus John Akenheid 
usufructuary of Monymusk and had audience of the most 
powerful Lord, the. Lord of Forbes , and he, in name as pro- 
curator as above, asserted that the said Lord had certain 
benefits from the said usufructuary and the said Monastery 
by reason of which he is held to defend and maintain the 
said usufructuary and the said monastery The said Lord 
aforesaid acquiescing in the said inquiries confessed that all 
and each of the foresaid things were true and consonant to 
reason and promised faithfully to maintain and defend the 
same usufructuary or Prior and the foresaid Monastery in 
all their just causes and actions as far as he could by right 
On which the said Thomas in his name as procurator as 
above took instruments Done at the Church of Tough 
3 p.m. present at the same William Forbes of Corsindae 
Alexander Gordon of Strathdon John Baxter John Makky 
and George Maver. 1 

This is a most interesting record. Lord Forbes here comes 
under obligation to defend the Priory in all causes, but one of 
the witnesses to his deed is his own relative, William Forbes of 
Corsindae, who, we shall find, is ready on other occasions to 
be a witness in respect of the Priory lands, and whose son, 
Duncan, by and by takes possession of the whole of its property 
in this parish ! This record is 35 years before the Reformation, 
so that Corsindae was preparing for it in good time ! 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 486, 487. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 


1 3th December 1524, On the same day in the thirteenth 
indiction appeared in person Thomas Ronnald son of the 
late William Ronnald in Craig and acknowledged that he 
had received in his hands from the discreet man Master 
Thomas Scherar vicar or curate of Monymusk [who was 
spoken of in the deed of loth December, 1518] the sum of 
six pounds nineteen shillings in money as reckoned, and 
one silver girdle with equipment of the same, one velvet 
falling collar, one silver cross with certain jewels, two small 
sleeves of velvet, in a casket previously given in custody by 
the said Thomas, the said Thomas exonerated the said 
Master Thomas in respect of the foresaid sum and the 
above-mentioned goods and gave him a perpetual discharge 
On which the said Master Thomas took instruments Done 
within the parish Church of Monymusk 9 a.m. in presence 
of Alexander Maver, John Tough, Thomas Brown and 
'Alexander Cornabo. 51 

1 3th October 1525, On the same day appeared in person 
the Venerable father dompnus John Akinheid usufructuary 
of the monastery of Monymusk and asserted that the 
Venerable and Religious father dompnus David Farlie 
Prior of the foresaid monastery had made a certain com- 
mon seal of the said monastery anew with the consent of 
dompnus John Hay canon-regular of the same but without 
the consent and advice of the said usufructuary And broke 
and annulled the said seal as far as lies in him And pro- 
tested that the said seal in future should by no means be to 
the prejudice of himself the said usufructuary and of the 
said monastery On which all and singly the said usufruc- 
tuary took instruments of me as notary public These things 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 483, 484. 

1 66 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

were done in the cemetery of the said Monastery as at 
10 o'c. a.m. or thereabout, present there a venerable man 
and honourable men dominus John Carlyle Vicar of Glen- 
buchat, Peter Carlyle his relative, and William Russel with 
diverse others &C. 1 
Here mention is made a third time of Canon John Hay. 

In 1526 Patrick Dun bar, Monymusk, and Alexander 
Elphinstone, Invernochty, were prebendaries of the Cathedral, 
Old Aberdeen, 2 the latter being instituted in October, 1520.2 

The proper order of the Cathedral Body in the stalls, 
chapter, and procession, arranged according to the time of 
institution, is given for 1526, Monymusk closing the list, the 
names of "the venerable and eminent men, magistri et domini" 
who held the five offices of dignity (the dean, precentor, 
chancellor, treasurer, and archdeacon) and the twenty-three 
prebends, being also recorded. 

3rd November 1527 On the same day appeared in person 
Robert Hart alias Master Buyt one of the Couriers of our 
supreme Lord King James V and produced and presented 
to the Venerable father in Christ John usufructuary of 
Monymusk a letter of the said supreme Lord our King the 
content of which related to a sum of twelve pounds taxed 
by the Lords of Council After the presenting of which letter 
the said usufructuary offered to the said Courier in name of 
the said Lord our King in part payment of the said sum 
eight pounds usual money of the Kingdom of Scotland 
that he might be able to pay more easily the remainder of 
the said sum, which sum of eight pounds the same Courier 

1 Ant. A. and B. III. p. 487. 3 Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. 386 

2 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. pp. 254, 255. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 167 

refused On which the said usufructuary took instruments 
This was done within the said Monastery 9 o'c. a.m. or 
thereabout, present William Forbes of Corsindae, Master 
Andrew Leslie, William Russel, William Straquhyn, and 
John Cuyk with various others. 1 

Though it is November, Forbes of Corsindae is able to be 
at the Priory by 9 o'c. in the morning. 

In 1528 Patrick Hamilton, Luther's disciple and friend, 
suffered at St. Andrews, the proto-martyr of the Reformation. 
A spirit of madness seems to have possessed the rulers of the 
Church. Persecution, the burning of Hamilton, and by and by 
the burning of Wishart of Pitarrow provoked the fears and 
increased the hatred of the people in the end making them 
fierce and enraged. 

8th December 1533 On the same day there appeared in 
person James Allanson living in Ardniedly within the parish 
of Monymusk and gave his consent to Thomas Allanson 
his son to appear before the Archbishop of St. Andrews or 
his chamberlain to enter himself for his 4-oxen-gangs of the 
holding of Ardniedly and to place and enter the same 
Thomas in the rental of the said Reverend Father reserving 
however the said James's rights in the holding during his 
life-time which the said Thomas promised faithfully to 
fulfil On which the said Thomas took instruments Done 
within the churchyard of Monymusk 7 a.m. present dominus 
John Carlyle Vicar of Glenbichat dominus John Reid [Vicar 
of the parish] and Allan Gouts and several others. 2 
Two hours after this there is an assembly within the Chapter- 
house of the Priory. 

i Ant. A. and B. III. p. 488. a Ant. A. and B. III. p. 499. 

1 68 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

8th December 1533 On the same day there stood in full 
canonicals the venerable religious father dompnus David 
Farlie Prior of the place and convent of the monastery of 
Monymusk in the diocese of Aberdeen of the order of 
St. Augustine, within the Chapter-house of the said monas- 
tery after ringing of the bells according to custom, holding 
in his hands a process of the reverend father and lord 
in Christ lord John Baptist by the grace of God and 
the Apostolic see Bishop of Caserta . . of date Rome 
3rd October A.D. &c xxij containing a bull of the late 
most holy father and lord in Christ Lord Adrian VI by 
divine providence Pope, in the first year of his pontificate, 
concerning and about the provision of the said Priorship of 
Monymusk such bull being graciously granted to the said 
dominus David Which process he handed to me as notary 
to fae read. I then as notary went to the Chapter-house of 
the said priory and the canons of the same being assembled 
at the sound of the bell as is the custom I read it with a 
loud and clear voice and brought the said process to their 
notice After the reading of which process the said dompnus 
David Prior aforesaid required dompni William Wilson, 
Andrew Mason, Patrick Anderson, James Child, and Allan 
Gait, canons of the said monastery, humbly and immediately 
to render obedience to himself as Prior aforesaid and that 
each of them should do so according to the custom of 
religion as if to his Prior . . The said Canons all replied 
with one consent and each of them replied and said that 
they and each of them advised with the said Prior and 
afterwards gave him a suitable and due reply regarding 
the said obedience and that they did to him what they are 
bound of right to do and what each of them is bound to do 
On which the said Prior took instruments Done within the 

The Decay of the Old Order. 169 

Chapter-house of the said monastery as at 9 a.m. in presence 
of dominus [applied to a notary, but we afterwards find him 
called a chaplain] Andrew Skeoucht notary and dominus 
John Reid with various others. 1 

Two months after, we come to the beginning of a great 
strife within the Priory, the records of which are preserved in 
the Register House, Edinburgh. 2 The Prior must have been 
acting in an oppressive way toward the other clergy, and it 
seems strange that after being almost hid for three hundred 
and sixty years in Latin, the records should now be translated, 
and read in the Church where the strife raged so fiercely. It 
would be interesting to know whether there remains as full a 
report of any such strife in another monastery. 

6th February 1534 On the same day . . appears in person 
the religious father dompnus Allan Gait, canon regular of 
the monastery of Monymusk and gave to me as a notary 
public a paper schedule to be read . . of which the tenor 
follows and is to this effect : I dompnus Allan Gault 
canon aforesaid with the mind and intention of appealing 
and bringing forward my case and entrusting the under- 
mentioned business to you as a Notary Public and trust- 
worthy person, Say and state with grave complaint, feeling 
and considering that in time past I have been gravely 
injured and damaged by you dompnus David Farlie, prior 
of the said monastery, and because the said Prior, contrary 
to the laws and rule of our religion, not having investigated 
the charges, if there were any, has acted with malice against 
me, as he acts now, as I intend to prove And also I offer to 
stand by the commands of the Chapter in whatever charges 
have been alleged against me according to the rule of our 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 488, 489. 2 Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 490-496. 

170 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

religion (or order) where it is said If however he should 
deny &c And if I should be convicted I offer myself for 
correction as is fitting, but if perchance it should turn out 
that the said dompnus David when the charges have been 
in no way investigated by the Chapter, is proceeding against 
me cruelly by whatever troubles and injuries have been 
inflicted on me as aforesaid or by any of them I further appeal 
from every future injustice to my dispensation granted me 
by the Apostolic see and I appeal under tenor of the same, 
leave being sought though not granted, as appears by the 
same, which leave I beg on bended knees from the said 
dompnus David and demand, as I shall be able to produce 
the same dispensation to the said dompnus David if 
necessary, So whatever shall have been done by the same 
against me I demand that it should by no means be pre- 
judicial to me and my dispensation in future but that 
the said dispensation should remain entire and uninjured 
So I invoke you the said Notary and all bye-standers as 
witnesses On which he took instruments Done within the 
Nave of the Church of the said monastery 9 o'c. a.m. or 
thereabout, there being present dominus John Reid Vicar of 
Monymusk^ Andrew Skeocht notary, William Hurry of 
Petfeche, John Makkie and John Baxter with various others. 

(2) On the same day appeared in person dompnus Allan 
Gait, canon aforesaid, before the venerable father dompnus 
David Fairlie Prior of Monymusk and assembled all his 
brother canons of the same Monastery and begged them 
with lamentations, and humbly required of them that, laying 
aside all favour and hatred, looking to charity and the love 
of God out of a true conscience as they themselves would 
wish to answer to God on the day of judgment, they confess 
and declare before the said Prior and all bye-standers if they 

The Decay of the Old Order. 1 7 1 

knew him guilty of any charge or transgression against God 
and religion Who all as with one voice acquitted him and 
declared him to be free from all notorious crime, but a good 
religious man imbued with good morals and given over to 
virtues and a godly life On which he took instruments Done 
as above before witnesses as in the other document &c. 

(3) On the same day appeared in person the venerable and 
religious father dompnus David Fairlie prior of the Monas- 
tery of Monymusk, having heard and seen the publications 
and appeals of dompnus Allan Gait Canon-regular of the 
said Monastery from the same to the supreme Pontiff as to 
the correction of certain backslidings of dompnus Allan 
himself, committed as is asserted by the same . . The 
said Prior asserted that dompnus Allan himself had been 
frequently admonished and encouraged by himself to 
complete certain penances enjoined on him . . Yet he 
dompnus Allan by no means wished to complete penances 
of this kind but persistently and openly despised them to the 
great injury and scandal of religion, Wherefore lest crimes 
should remain unpunished, and wishing, as he asserted, to 
proceed against him according to the order of law, he 
delivered over for execution to be served a certain paper 
schedule containing in itself a form of precept subscribed 
with his own hand as appeared, to dompnus William Wilson 
Canon of the said Monastery, of which the tenor follows 
We Dene Dauid Farlie priour of Monimvsk be the 
tenour of this present wryt chargis and commandis vndir 
the forme of precept in the virtu of the Holy Spirit and 
of obedience you Dene Wilyem Wilsone suppriour (i.e., 
sub-prior) of the forsaid abbaye that ye pass to Dene 
Allane Gait channon of the saymen and command hyme 

172 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

to keip his chalmer in the dormitour and pass nocht 
furtht of it bot ad necessaria and that he be in continuale 
scilence with all maner of man except hyme that mackis 
hyme rainistratioun and that he be all this tyme in breid 
and aill and twa dais in the ovik videlicet Uednisda and 
Friday at his disciplyne and that na bonnet cum one his 
heid the tyme of his pennence except his nycht bonnet 
vnto the tyme that he be fundyne penitent and throch 
his patience humilite and satisfaction and recompensa- 
tione done to God and religioun and to ws his laudable 
conuersatioun guid exampil he serwe beourjugment to 
be deliuerit or relaxit of the said pennence This we com- 
mand you to do ' in virtue of your obedience ' as ye will 
ansuer to God religioun and ws heirapoune and youre 
executione in thir premissis be you deuly execut and 
indorsit present the samen agane to ws be this cure pre- 
cept gevyne and writyne with oure hand at Monimvsk the 
fyft day of Februar the yere of God xv c - and xxxiiij. yeris. 
(Signed) Dene Dauid Farlie prioure of Monimvsk. 
On which he took instruments Done as above in presence 
of domini John Reid Andrew Skeocht chaplains William 
Hurry and John Macky with several others. 

(4) On the same day appeared in person dompnus David, 
prior aforesaid, the before-mentioned purgations and deposi- 
tions of the Canons-regular of Monymusk having been 
heard by him, which say and allege that the said Allan Gait 
is a good religious man, imbued with good morals and 
devoted to the worship of God dompnus David said and 
alleged that the depositions of the same had resulted from 
the persuasions of dompnus Allan himself, from the fact 
that of their own proper initiative they purged him and 
were not compelled or called to this by the Prior himself ; 

The Decay of the Old Order. 173 

therefore no faith was to be put in those aforesaid them- 
selves, but they were to be regarded as prejudiced and 
participators in the crime of dompnus Allan himself On 
which the said Prior took instruments Done in the Nave of 
the said Church of Monymusk 9 o'c. a.m. in presence of 
domini John Reid and Andrew Skeocht chaplains, William 
Hurry of Petfeche and John Macky with various others. 

(5) On the same day appeared in person dompnus David 
Prior of the aforesaid Monastery of Monymusk after the 
execution completed by dompnus William Wilson by the 
letter or precept of the said dompnus Prior admonishing 
dompnus Allan Gault to remain in his own cell within the 
dormitory of the said Monastery and to observe silence 
with all men except the servant waiting on him and not to 
have a cap on his head except his night-cap And because 
the said dompnus Allan after the warning given him by the 
said dompnus William Wilson deliverer of the same letter, 
owing to the same dompnus Allan, like a son of dis- 
obedience, having entered the Church and taken part in 
divine service with his brethren, and likewise shared at 
breakfast at 9 o'c. in eating and drinking, and because he 
was unwilling to obey his commands he protested for 
remedy at law At all which the said Prior took instruments 
Done within the hall of the said monastery 2 o'c. p.m. in 
presence of domini John Reid Vicar of Monymusk and 
Andrew Skeocht notary, both chaplains, and John Makky 
with various others. 

The strife goes on, and now actually there comes, nearly 
eighteen months after, an appeal by the Canons to the Pope 
himself, written at great length, and with extraordinary vigour. 

22nd June A.D. 1535 On which day appeared in person 

1 74 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

the religious men dompni William Wilson Andrew Mason 
Patrick Anderson and James Murray Canons regular of the 
Monastery of Monymusk of the order of St. Augustine 
in the diocese of Aberdeen and with one consent and 
assent handed a certain paper schedule to me the notary 
public underwritten to be read, whose tenor follows and 
is to this effect: We dompni William Wilson Andrew 
Mason Patrick Anderson and James Murray canons- 
regular for the time being of the convent and monastery 
of Monymusk in the diocese of Aberdeen, thinking our- 
selves hurt, weighed down, and oppressed by you Venerable 
father in Christ dompnus David Farlie prior of the said 
monastery and fearing that we may be more hurt, weighed 
down, and oppressed in future FIRST whereas you, domine 
Prior, proceeding in your fashion have issued and ful- 
minated your plain letter of admonition against us without 
any investigation of the case, admonishing us on the 
1 4th June of the present year to cease from Divine things 
and from celebrating Divine service to which we are bound 
and from which we seek and obtain food and clothes and 
other necessaries When therefore we offered ourselves like 
sons of obedience to comply with your wish and orders 
and to cease from celebrating Divine things of this kind, 
whether justly or unjustly, at all events with a good 
conscience, if you should be willing to provide us with 
necessaries of this kind, or through any other person, as 
you are bound to provide you proceed unjustly against us, 
from the fact that we have no other means or mode by which 
we are able to seek the said necessaries. THEN SECONDLY 
Whereas in the past year on the 3rd day of November 
before noon we ceased from Divine things, you our father 
approving, favouring, and consenting, whence no little 

The Decay of the Old Order. 175 

damage not less in money and expenditure than also in 
reputation had resulted, and also we are falling under and 
incurring the anger and indignation of the Reverend father 
in Christ William Bishop of Aberdeen our ordinary [William 
Stewart, son of Sir Thomas Stewart of Minto] J and of the 
venerable father dompnus John Aikinhead usufructuary of 
the said monastery and of many others. THEN THIRDLY 
Whereas to our own exceeding great infamy and that of the 
said monastery you allege unjustly in your letter that we 
have been guilty of irregularity by participating and taking 
part, as you assert, with dompnus Allan Gault as one excom- 
municated and stigmatised again and again by the processes 
raised by you When therefore a process of this nature was 
presented in the gracious Synod of Aberdeen and there not 
proved, and after the presentation of a process of this 
nature the said dompnus Allan was present in the Cathedral 
Church of Aberdeen during divine service along with your- 
self, our father, and was not shut out or expelled from it as 
an excommunicated person ought to have been and deserves. 
THEN FOURTHLY whereas since we have no intercourse with 
the said dompnus Allan or favour him in other respects or 
give him advice, you unjustly blame us, &c. hence we shall by 
no means be able nor have we now the power to serve God 
with a quiet and loving mind as men dedicated to God and 
professing religion, but you compel us to mix in secular and 
troublesome matters to the no little scandal of all religion 
and specially of our foresaid monastery, and for other 
reasons to be laid by us before the judge in due place and 
time Protesting that it was no part of our intention by 
word, deed, or act to appeal from you our father on account 
of the favour shown by us to the said Allan Gault or on 

i Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. p. Ivi. 

176 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

account of the favour or hatred of any others whoever they 
be, but only that our monastery may suffer no loss or injury 
in its welfare WHEREFORE on account of the foresaid 
troubles brought upon us and our monastery, and others 
perhaps more serious to be brought in future by you WE 
APPEAL from you our venerable father and from all your 
power and jurisdiction and privilege and faculty as well 
ordinary as extraordinary if perchance you have such . . . 
and from your warnings, citations, and commands and those 
of your procurators, factors, executors, and others deputed or 
to be deputed by you our father, of suspension, excom- 
munication, aggravation and reaggravation (either) by 
censures of interdict or penalties borne or to be borne, 
fulminated or to be fulminated to the Reverend father in 
Christ William Bishop of Aberdeen and to our most holy 
Lord Pope Paul III and his sacred Apostolic See alterna- 
tively in these writings : We APPEAL and every one of us 
singly and in succession appeals And we beseech the 
Apostles and every one of us by himself urgently, more 
urgently, most urgently beseeches the Apostles . . . 
Submitting also ourselves, the said monastery and the 
convent of the same, all our goods, &c., our Churches, 
parish servitors, and domestics, clergy and laity, all and 
singly adhering to us in this part, or wishing to adhere, to 
the protection and defence of the said our most holy Lord 
Pope and the sacred authority of the Apostolic See Where- 
upon the said Canons . . took instruments Done within 
the hall or refectory of the said monastery i p.m. present 
Master David Scot vicar-perpetual of Colsalmont, domini 
John Reid vicar of Monymusk Andrew Skeocht notary and 
chaplain Thomas Paterson, &c. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 1 7 7 

Nearly another year passes by and the storm is not laid 
and now things seem to go hard for the Prior's veracity. 

1 9th April 1536 On the same day appears in person the 
religious father James Murray canon of the monastery of 
Monymusk in presence of the Reverend father dompnus 
David Fairlie Prior of Monymusk, saying and alleging that 
it reached his ears that the said Prior took instruments in 
the hands of dominus Andrew Skeocht notary that he 
(Murray) ought to have asked license from the said Prior 
and absolution to allow of his receiving orders and that he 
did really ask absolution of him, as he (the Prior) alleged 
that he (Murray) had incurred excommunication by 
participating with dompnus Allan Gait ; when the same 
dompnus James further alleged (before the notary) that he 
was under appeal from the censures of the foresaid Prior 
and imploringly besought the said notary to declare now 
before the said Prior if such things had been true. The said 
notary on hearing the questions of the same, said and 
alleged that he had never heard such things nor had given a 
document in such things against him : And that he never 
heard that he had asked absolution or license or relief from 
excommunication of this kind, if he had incurred any And 
that such things were false and worthless On which the 
said dompnus James took instruments Done within the 
refectory or hall of Monymusk as at i o'c. p.m. in presence 
of dompnus John Akynheid usufructuary of Monymusk, 
dominus Henry Whitewells chaplain Robert Maver and 
John Makky laymen with various others. 
Such a strife as this shows how sadly our first thoughts would 
be mistaken when impressed with the sense of peace and 
devotion that should have been looked for amid the quiet 
chambers of such a secluded monastery as ours and when such 


1 78 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

a mass of documents has been preserved regarding it, we are 
sorry not to know how it ended. 

5th July 1538 On which day appeared in person the 
venerable fathers in Christ John Hepburn Prior of St 
Andrews and David Fairlie Prior of the monastery of 
Monymusk and mutually exonerated each other and each of 
them exonerated the other and satisfied the other of all and 
single debts due by them to each other and specially in 
respect of an intromission by the same dompnus David of all 
accounts and receipts dealt with by the same at any time 
as regards the fruits of the Priory of St Andrews in the time 
of his predecessor and regarding receipts for the same 
during the vacancy of the See of St Andrews And for 
receipts and intromissions by the said Prior of St Andrews 
as regards the goods of the said dompnus David Prior 
aforesaid in whatever places and this 'in foro fori seu 
litigioso sed non in foro poli ' (? in the court of law but not 
in the court of heaven) On which they together took and 
each of them took instruments Done at St Andrews in the 
chamber of the said Prior of St Andrews as at 3 o'c. p.m. or 
thereabout in the presence of Patrick Kinnaird James Lamb 
and Master John Gairdner notary. 1 

Prior John Hepburn was the joint-founder in 1512 of St. 
Leonard's College, St. Andrews, along with Archbishop 
Alexander Stuart, son of James IV, who when only twenty-one 
marched at his father's desire to Flodden, where he fell by his 
side. Prior John Hepburn drew up the statutes of the college 
which were afterwards approved by Regent Murray, and are 
very curious and interesting. A monument of him still survives 
in the towered wall with which he surrounded the whole 

i Ant. A. and B. III., pp. 496, 497. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 1 79 

precinct of the Cathedral and the Priory and the grounds of St. 
Leonard's College. 1 For the archbishopric thus rendered 
vacant, there was a fierce contest, in which Prior John Hepburn 
was supported by the turbulent and aspiring house of Bothwell, 
and got himself elected by the chapter while the house of 
Angus was on the side of Gavin Douglas, provost of St. Giles, 
(afterwards Bishop of Dunkeld). Both had to give way to 
Andrew Forman, bishop of Moray, who had procured a papal 
Bull nominating him to the see. 'When the adherents of 
Douglas seized on the Castle at St. Andrews, Hepburn collected 
his followers, and attacked them, and having carried the fortress 
by storm, he strongly garrisoned it, which made Douglas retire 
from the contest. Then when Forman's supporters came to 
proclaim the Bull in his favour, Hepburn again rallied his 
adherents, manned both the Cathedral and the Castle, and 
planted artillery round them,' but in vain. 'The Duke of 
Albany confirmed Forman in the chair, but bestowed on 
Hepburn enough of beneficiary spoil to allay his disappoint- 
ment.' 2 What strange doings ! 

We have now a record regarding some of the Priory lands in 

1 3th April 1534 On the same day there personally appeared 
the venerable religious father dompnus David Farlie Prior 
of the monastery of Monymusk, and holding in his hands 
according to justice, in the consistorial court of Aberdeen, a 
written paper schedule, he presented the same to the 
Commissary General at Aberdeen sitting on the bench, of 
which the tenor follows and is to this effect 'We Dean 
David Farlie Prior of the monastery and abbacy of 
Monymusk of the Order of St Augustine within the diocese 

i Principal Shairp, Sketches, pp. 153-160. 
2 Principal Cunningham, History I., p. 160 ; Dr. J. Robertson Stat. Ecc. Scot., p. cxxvi. 

180 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

of Aberdeen with consent and assent of one reverend father 
Dean John Akynhead usufructuary of the same and convent 
of the foresaid place, revoke, cause annul, and make of none 
effect or force charters, precepts of sasine, instruments, long 
assedations, and all other documents whatever made sealed 
or subscribed by Dean Alexander Spens, Richard Strachan 
sometime priors of the foresaid place and all other priors 
both before and since, and subscriptions of canons, made to 
Duncan Davidson alias Thomson and to Thomas Davidson 
his son or to any other person . . of the lands of Easter 
Leochel and Wester Fowlis with the mill and their 
pertinents, except one contract in form of obligation made 
by one Reverend father Dean John Akynhead foresaid to 
Thomas Davidson sometime of Auchinhamperis of the lands 
aforesaid of the date the 8th day of July in the year of God 
1522 years.' On which the said Prior took instruments 
Done in the consistorial court of Aberdeen n o'c. a.m. 
present in the same Master John Galloway Commissary 
p.t., &c., &C. 1 

In the "Gordon Papers" printed in the Spalding Club 
Miscellany there are two ' bands of service ' connected with 
this family one in 1511, the other in 1537. 

(i) Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, me Thomas 
Dunccansone, sone and apperand air to Dunccan Thomsone 
of Achinhampris, to be bundin and oblist, and be the 
tenor of thir present lettres bindis and oblissis me, be the 
fatht in any body, lelile and trewly, in the stratast style of 
obligatione, to ane noble and mychty lord, Alexander erle 
of Huntle, and lord of Badzenach, that forsamekle as my 
said lord hes geven to me his letter of mantenance, that 

i Ant. A. and B. III., 489, 490. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 181 

tharfor, I bindis and oblissis me to be cumin, and be the 
tenour of thir presentis, becumis leile trew man and seruand 
to my said lord for all the dayis of my lif, myn allegeance 
to our souerane lord the King alanerlie excepit, &c. In 
witnes herof I haf affixit my seele to this my letter of 
manrent, at Huntle, the xxv day of Junii 1511 years, befor 
thir vitnes Robert Innes of Inuermarky, James Gordon of 
Cabrach, and Schir Nicol Patersone, vicar of Kynnor, witht 
otheris diuerss. 

(2) Be it kend . . me Duncan Dauesone of Auchinham- 
peris to be cumin man and servand to ane nobil and mychty 
lord George erl of Huntle, that is to say, that I the said 
Duncan, with my kyn, frendis and servandis depending one 
me, sal serue my said lord lelely and trewle in al and sindry 
his actiones and querelis movit or to be movit in al tymes 
to cum &c ; this my band of serviss to enduir to my said 
lord for al the dayis of my lif, the Kingis grace alanerly 
beand exceppit ; in witness . . at Lenturk the 25th June 
1537, witnes Walter Berklay of Grantulle . . &c. &c. x 

1 9th August 1538 On which day appeared in person the 
religious father David prior of Monymusk and came to a 
certain bounding ditch dug anew by Robert Lumsden and 
his tenants of Easter Fowlis between Easter Fowlis and 
the town of Wester Fowlis And asserted that the same 
ditch was upon the ground and common pasture of Wester 
Fowlis belonging to the monastery of Monymusk On which 
account lest in future the said ditch should be held for a 
boundary or march between the said lands, the said Prior 
by way of interruption threw down to the ground two or 
three turfs of the same On which he took instruments Done 

i Miscel. Vol. IV. pp. 196, 202. 

1 82 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

at the same ditch 2 o'c. p.m. present Master John Elphin- 
stone Rector of Invernochty^ dominus Alexander Shand, 
Duncan Davidson and Patrick Crom. 1 
25th September 1542 On the same day appeared in person 
David Prior of Monymusk and leased to an honourable 
man Robert Lumsden of Madlar, Isobel Forbes his wife, 
and Master Matthew Lumsden, and the longest liver of 
them, all and whole the teind sheaves of the towns of 
Easter Fowlis and mill and Carnaveran for the whole space 
of three years after the date of these presents Paying yearly 
to the said Prior on the feast of St. Bartholomew for the 
tithes of Easter Fowlis and its mill the sum of nineteen, 
merks and for Carnaveran the sum of six merks, Scots 
money, And under this condition that the said persons 
shall be faithful to the said Prior and his monastery And 
that they shall inform him about any disadvantages and 
losses affecting him and the said monastery, when known to 
them And when they come to the village of Monymusk 
that they shall enter the said monastery and if they have 
not implemented the foresaid requirements, the lease shall 
be of no value On which they took instruments Done in 
the churchyard of Leochel 2 o'c. p.m. in the presence of 
James Forbes of Corsindae, Patrick Forbes of Corse, Lord 
William Forbes and me the notary. 3 

This is a very remarkable gathering of witnesses in 1542,, 
preparing one for the appropriations that were soon to follow. 
Forbes of Corsindae is seen following the Prior as far as 
Leochel, and watching like a vulture ; and, further, in ten 
years' time, according to his own rent-roll, which is still preserved, 
Wester Fowlis, Easter Fowlis, and Carnaveran are all taken 
possession of by Lord Forbes, as shall be afterwards detailed. 

i Ant. A. and B. III. p. 497. 2 Ibid., pp. 498, 499. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 183 

Farlie had still further to defend the property of the Priory. 
The scope of the first deed that follows is not clear, and the 
translation of it is doubtful, but the second is very perspicuous. 
3oth October 1540, On the same day John Forbes in Eglis- 
matock required the venerable and religious father David, 
Prior of Monymusk, to give him the reply to a certain form 
of petition addressed to our supreme Lord the King and 
delivered by him to the said Prior, as he asserted, in order 
that he might be able to make reply to our supreme Lord 
the King Done in the court house at Aberdeen, 1 1 o'c. a.m. 
in presence of William Holland &c. T 

Not two years after we have the following record, given 
in English, only the spelling of which we change : 

1 8th July 1542. Concerning our sovereign Lord's letters 
obtained at the instance of David Prior of the Abbey of 
Monymusk and convent of the same against John Forbes 
alias Bousteous John. That where they obtained an enrol- 
ment of court before the sheriff of Aberdeen and his 
deputies finding that the said John wrongly occupied and 
laboured four oxen-gang of the said Prior and Convent's 
lands of Eglismenethok with the pertinents pertaining to 
them as patrimony and property of their said place lying 
within the sheriffdom of Aberdeen by a certain space bye- 
gone And therefore decerning the said John to desist and 
cease from all further occupation of the same in time to 
come and to remove therefrom . . nevertheless the said 
John as yet violently occupies and withholds from them their 
foresaid lands and will not remove therefrom without being 
compelled . . The said Prior and convent compeared by 
Master Andrew Leslie their procurator, and the said John 
Forbes being personally present The Lords of Council 

i Ant. A. and B. III. p. 497. 

1 84 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

decern and ordain letters to be directed in all the four 
forms . . charging the said John Forbes to desist and 
cease from all further occupation of the said lands of 
Eglismenathok with the pertinents in time to come and to 
remove himself his servants and goods therefrom. 1 
The following genealogy shows a remarkable relationship : 
William Forbes in Abersnithack=Strauchine, daughter of 

| Strachan, Prior (1500). 

(Little,) Duncan = Isobel Caddell 
Capt. J. Forbes 

' Bousteous ' John 

"slain fishing ye 
water," 1527* 

= Wood 

Ninian Gilbert 
both died in 
France ( 






'Bousteous' John is thus the grandson of the Prior Strachan, 
and in Prior Fairlie's time tries to lay hold on some of the 
Priory lands. 

The oldest monument in the Church is inserted in the 
wall beside the Chancel Arch. It is in beautiful preservation, 
and the inscription is in raised letters. It has the Leslie and 
Forbes arms on the top, with their mottoes and the letters 
J. L. and A. F. 

The monuments of Johne Forbes of Abersnithak. Elspet 
his dochter ye first vyf of John Lesly, Balcarne who depted. 
1583 Heir also lyis in one graif Agnis Forbes dochter to 
John Forbes of Finyach secvnd vyf to ye said John Lesly. 
George Lesly thair young sone who depted. ye 4 of April 
1590 And in ys same bvriall lyis ye said John Lesly who 
depted. Anno i. 

John Leslie thus evidently died in the first year of the 
century, 1601. (A John Leslie, Balcairn is mentioned by 

i Ant. A. and B. III. p. 498 
* Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 139 ; Ant. A. and B. III. p. 377. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 185 

Dr. Davidson, 1 i3th May, 1609, who may be a son.) His 
first wife, Elspet, was daughter of John Forbes, Abersnithack, 
and she died in 1583. It is singular that though it is her 
father who erects the monument, he does not put her initials 
at the top of the stone, but those of Leslie's second wife, 
another Forbes of Finziach, now Harthill, in Keig. One 
William Forbes there, is mentioned as married to a daughter 
of William Johnston of Caskieben, who fell at Flodden. 2 

If "Bousteous" John, after having to leave Eglismethok, 
succeeded his father in Abersnithack (Braehead), this is his 
monument, and his daughter, in whose memory it is placed, 
was a great-grand-daughter of Prior Strachan ! 

In 1535 we have seen that John Reid was Vicar of the 
parish, and that William Hurry of Pitfichie was a witness along 
with him in Gauld's protest against Prior Fairlie's oppression. 
We also met with the Hurry family in the Charter of 1388 
regarding the Brecbanach. This William Hurry is mentioned 
in a Crown Charter of confirmation 20th May, 1546, in connec- 
tion with the lands of Wester Corse, in the parish of Coull, 
which they possessed under the superiority of Skene. 3 

In 1537 Henry Forsyth was Rector of Monymusk, his 
name appearing in the list of the Chapter when constitutions 
were drawn up for receiving persons among the Canons of the 
Cathedral, and for dispensations and leases. 4 His name also 
appears in 1540. It was in this year that the performance of 
Sir David Lyndsay's satire of "The Three Estates" contributed 
so powerfully to the Reformation of the country which was 
growing impatient of the corruptions of the Church. 5 

1 Inyerurie, p. 193. 4 Reg. Epis. Abdn. II. pp. no, 112. 

2 Ibid, p. 448. ' 5 Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. 

3 Skene of Skene, New Spal. Club, p. cxxxix ; Mr. Walcott, Ant. Ch. 

pp: 90, 101. p. 9. 

1 86 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

In the deed of iQth August, 1538, John Elphinstone, 
Rector of Invernochty (Strathdon, a Church that had once 
been given to our Priory, although the gift had not been carried 
out) is mentioned as a witness. In 1542 he was presented by 
the Earl of Arran, Governor of Scotland in Queen Mary's 
minority, as Prior-coadjutor to David Farlie. 1 He was the 
Honourable John Elphinstone, son of Alexander, second Lord 
Elphinstone, and Catherine, daughter of John, Lord Erskine. 
John Elphinstone of Elphinstone received from James IV part 
of the lands of the Earldom of Mar, including Invernochty and 
Kildrummy in 1507-1509. His son Alexander succeeded in 
1510, becoming Lord Elphinstone. Sir James Elphinstone, 
parson of Invernochty, the third son of the third Lord Elphin- 
stone, was in 1598 made Secretary of State, and in 1603-1604 
the Abbacy of Balmerino was erected into a temporal lordship 
in his favour. 2 

It is stated that the Bishop of St. Andrews, possessing as 
he did the Church lands of Keig and Monymusk, and the 
other properties bestowed by Malcolm III, sat as Lord Keig 
and Monymusk in the Scottish Parliament. 3 

We come now to a charter of much importance, preserved 
at Gordon Castle, in the hands of the Duke of Gordon and 
Richmond. It gives rise to great strife afterwards. 

In the Name of God Amen By this present public 
instrument let it be plainly apparent to all . . that in the 
year 1543 A.D. 23rd April . . in the presence of our 
fellow notaries-public and underwritten witnesses, the 
noble and powerful Lord George Earl of Huntlie Lord of 
Gordon and Badenoch being personally present, having and 
holding in his hands a certain sasine order written on 
parchment . . of which order the following . . is the 

1 Colin. A. and B. p. 170. 3 Mr. Low, Proc. Soc. Antiq. VI. 

2 Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, pp. 283, 284. p. 227. 

The Decay of the Old Order. 187 

tenor . . DAVID by Divine mercy of the title of St. Stephen 
in the Celian Hill of the Holy Roman Church Presbyter 
Cardinal, Archbishop of St. Andrews Primate of the whole 
kingdom of Scotland and legate natus of the Apostolic 
see, and Administrator of the Church of Mirepoix in 
France, and perpetual Commendator of the Monastery of 
St. Thomas the Martyr of Arbroath, to our beloved 
Alexander Gordon of Strathdon and John Leslie of 'ly 
Syde ' and James Gordon of Haddoch and to each of them 
jointly and separately our bailiffs . . Greeting with divine 
blessing Whereas we . . with consent of our chapter of 
our metropolitan and primatial Church of St. Andrews . . 
for the yearly augmentation of the rental of the same up to 
the sum of 14 pounds 6 pence and i obolus more than the 
lands, mill, and malt-kiln underwritten have ever previously 
brought in to us or our predecessors . . and for the grace 
and public policy of the kingdom . . and in return for 
great and diverse . . aids . . frequently rendered by the 
noble and powerful Lord George Earl of Huntlie Lord 
Gordon and Badenoch to us and our Church aforesaid, and 
for defence of . . ecclesiastical liberty at this present time 
of danger while Lutheran heresies are sprouting on every 
side and striving to subvert . . ecclesiastical liberty, (we) 
Have demitted all and single the lands . . with the 
several pertinents of the same Brinie, Armagattin, Ballin- 
gowin, Outhirkeig, Southoulyie, Pettindreich, mill of Keig 
with the malt-kiln and croft of the same, Pyttochy, Glenton, 
Uppertollache, Nethertollach, Fyndacht, with the mill, 
Little- Abercaultye, Mickle-Abercaultye, Edindourno, Tilly - 
fourie, Todlochy, Pitmuny, Ardniedly, Delab^ Coullie^ 
JLnzean, Mill of Monymusk with the malt-kiln and croft 
of the same, Inver(y) [all these being in this parish] the 

1 88 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

towns of Cottilstane and the Church lands of Kynkell and 
the lands of Dyiss [? Dyce] with each of the same and 
their pertinents . . lying respectively in the lordships and 
baronies of Keig and Monymusk within the regality of 
St Andrews and vicecounty of Aberdeen, along with the 
bailiffship of the said baronies of Keig and Monymusk . . 
to the said . . Earl in fee . . Therefore . . we order 
you . . to . . hand over . . the sasine . . of the 
foresaid lands . . and bailiffship . . to the foresaid . . 
Earl . . or to his certified attorney . . In testimony of 
which, these presents being signed by our hand, our 
authentic seal along with the common seal of our said 
Chapter of St Andrews was appended to the foregoing . . 
in sign . . of agreement at our said metropolitan and 
primatial Church of St Andrews on the 7th Apr. 1543 A.D. 
and the fifth year of our consecration After the reading . 
of the which order . . the foresaid bailiff . . delivered . . 
the sasine . . of the foresaid lands and of the office of 
bailiffship . . to the attorney . . of the said . . Earl . . 

This was done on the soil of the said lands . . at the 
hours of TO, n, 12, i p.m., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 between 9 a.m. 
and 7 p.m. or thereabout owing to the distance of the 
places . . there being present there the noble Lord John 
Earl Sutherland, the honourable and circumspect men 
Alexander Gordon of Strathdon, John Leslie of ' Varderris ' 
James Gordon of Coldstone, Nicholas Ross of Auchlossan, 
Robert Duguid of Auchinhuif (Auchinhove), John Vass of 
Mayne, John Drummond of Inverpeffray, John Strachan 
of Linturk and Alexander Leslie of * Tulche ' (? Tough) 
with various other witnesses . . 

Also I William Gordon, professor of arts, cleric of the 
Diocese of Moray, public notary by sacred Apostolic 

The Decay of the Old Order. 189 

authority &c Also I Andrew Robertson, presbyter of the 
Diocese of Moray, notary public by sacred Apostolic 
authority &c Also I John Gordon, presbyter of the 
Diocese of Moray notary public &C. 1 

David Beaton succeeded his uncle Archbishop James 
Beaton. He had been Abbot of Arbroath, and was Bishop of 
Mirepoix in France, was Lord Privy Seal in 1528, and was 
appointed a Cardinal in 1538, "the first and only Scottish 
Prelate on whom that dignity was bestowed by the undivided 
Latin Church." In January, 1544, the Regent Arran and 
Beaton executed four persons at Perth as heretics, and when 
they burned Wishart of Pitarrow, they so provoked the fears 
and increased the hatred of the people that two months after- 
wards Beaton was surprised in his castle at St. Andrews, 
and murdered 28th May, 1546. His private life was very 
lamentable. 2 

In 1542, T3th December, James V died at Falkland Palace, 
aged thirty, leaving Mary, Queen of Scots, when only eight 
days old. 

Canon John Hay has been mentioned in the writs of 
1 5th December, 1522, 8th April, 1524, and i3th October, 
1525. In the "View of the Diocese of Aberdeen," 3 from 
which much of our information is drawn, he is spoken of as 
being sent by Queen Mary as an envoy to Queen Elizabeth 
in MDXLV. It is a misprint for MDLXV, the x being put before 
the L instead of after it. Mary returned from France to 
Scotland in 1561 on the death of the Dauphin, and Elizabeth 
succeeded to the throne of England in 1558. 

Dr. Campbell in his " Balmerino and its Abbey," mentions 
that Hay was appointed Commendatory Abbot of that monas- 
tery, probably in 1561. This entitled him to two-thirds of its 

1 Ant. A. and B. IV. pp. 480-482. 3 Colin. A. and B. p. 170. 

2 Dr. J. Robertson. Stat. Ecc. Scot. I. p. cxxx; II. p. 302. 

190 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

revenues, subject to the maintenance of the surviving monks, 
the other third being reserved for the use of the Protestant 
minister and the Crown. He says that he was also Prior of 
Monymusk, Principal Master of Requests to Queen Mary, and 
a Privy Councillor. 1 He was employed by his Royal mistress 
on various missions of a confidential nature. He was a 
prudent and able man, a favourer of Moray, and a friend of 
Randolf, the English Ambassador. On one occasion he was 
sent by Queen Mary as Legate to Christian III, King of the 
Danes, &c. He entertained the Queen at Balmerino in 
January, 1564-65, when she had completed her twenty-second 
year, and in June, 1565, she entrusted him with a mission to 
Queen Elizabeth to induce her to consent to Mary's marriage 
with Lord Darnley, and to intercede for the liberation of 
Darnley's mother, the Countess of Lennox. He died at Edin- 
burgh, December 3rd, I573- 2 His wife, Agnes Leitch, survived 
him ; as did also his son Archibald, and other children. 3 He 
appears to have belonged to the family of Hay of Naughton in 
Balmerino parish, and one wonders how he was led to become 
a Canon in our Priory. Its connection with St. Andrews 
must have been to the last well recognised in Fifeshire families. 

It was in April, 1542-43 that Cardinal Beaton, as Arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, gave over the church lands of Inver, 
Delab, &c., to the Earl of Huntly. The very next notice that 
we have, shows that the Forbeses of Corsindae have dealings 
with him immediately in regard to the lands he now possessed 
in our parish. 

Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, me James 
Forbes of Corsindawe to be bunden and obleist, and be the 

1 See Knox's Works, Laing's Ed. II. p. 482. 3 Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, p. 384. 

2 Dr. Campbell, Balmerino, pp. 130, 133-137. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 191 

faith and treuth in my body bindis and obleissis me in the 
strataist forme and styill of obligatioun to ane nobill and 
mychty lord George erll of Huntlie, lord Gordoun and 
Bauzenocht &c and to his airis ; that forsamekill as my said 
lord hes gevyn to me in lifrent the landis of Inuer with thar 
pertinens, Hand within the paroche of Monimusk and 
sherifdoum of Abirdeine, lik as in his lordschipis letter of 
assedatioun maid to me thairapone mair fullelie is contenit, 
and uther certane gratitudis done to me by said lord 
diuerss tymmes, tharfor I the said James Forbes grantis 
and obleissis me to becumin leill trew anefald man and 
seruand, and be the tennour heirof becumis leill trew ane- 
fald man and seruand to my said lord and his airis, and 
sail keip his counsall &c aganis all lewand or de ma, my 
allegiens to the Quenis grace and my service of law for 
infeftouris alanerlie exceptit &c in witness . . at Huntlie 
1 9th June 1544 before . . Johnn erll Sutherland, William 
maisteris Forbes . . Robert Forbes of Eicht &c. 

James Forbes, witht my hand. 1 

It was quite worth riding over to Huntly to make more 
secure the possession of Inver in life-rent, for it then included 
the whole of that part of the parish as far as the Don Upper 
and Nether Inver, and Bridge-foot. When the old house at 
Nether Inver was taken down in 1888, parts of a still older 
house were discovered. 

We shall see what spoliators of Church lands and goods the 
Forbeses were, showing how the landowners and their sons 
understood the meaning of the Reformation. " Nor can we 
understand," says Dr. Rankin of Muthill, 2 " the working of one 
of the secret and most potent motives that led to the 

i Gordon Papers, Spalding Club Mis. 2 Ch. of Scot. Past and Present, 

IV. p. 214. II. p. 401. 

192 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

Church's overthrow with a sudden crash in 1560, unless we 
have seen in detail the nature, extent, and growth of the old 
ecclesiastical endowments which were so strong a temptation to 
greedy, turbulent, and unscrupulous barons and landowners, 
who shrewdly foresaw in an ecclesiastical revolution a rich 
chance of plunder, besides the crippling of a rival or superior 
power in the State." 

In the same year, 1544, in which James Forbes thus made 
secure his possession of Inver in life-rent, two years after the 
defeat of the Scottish army at the Solway Moss, and the con- 
sequent death of James V, Bishop Stuart of Aberdeen, on 
account of the English war that was then raging, and in fear of 
the advance of the forces, sent under care of men on horseback 
and on foot, all the Cathedral plate and ornaments, except six 
Communion Cups for daily use, into the country, hoping that 
they might be safe. A little beyond the Bridge of Balgownie 
this same "James Forbes of Corsindae with his companions 
and satellites, sons of Satan," fell upon those who were carrying 
them, and robbed them of them all, and refused to return them 
until they were ransomed, imperfect and mutilated, by the 
Bishop for six hundred merks. The Bishop and Chapter 
actually agreed to give this robber four ploughgates of land in 
lieu of that sum, at Montgarry in Tullynessle the writs con- 
nected with this being preserved. 1 

In 1559 an inventory of the silver-work, vestments, &c., 
was drawn up, when these were delivered by Bishop William 
Gordon for safety to the custody of the Canons, the Earl of 
Huntly, who was Chancellor of Scotland, and others. This 
inventory is preserved, and is very interesting, and among those 
who attested it, strange to say, appears the name of James 

i Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. pp. Ivii, 427, 428 ; II. pp. 195, 196. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 193 

Forbes' brother, who signs himself "Mr. Duncan Forbes of 
Monymusk." x 

Duncan Forbes had evidently advanced some money to 
the Priory here, and we shall now find how amply he repaid 
himself, and with what apparent credit to himself the restitution 
was made. David Farlie and the Hon. John Elphinstone 
were joint-priors, while the sub-prior was Robert Elphinstone, 
who had been Archdeacon of Aberdeen in 1499 and Treasurer 
in 1512. 

To all who shall see or hear of this charter David by divine 
permission Prior of the priory the monastery of Mony- 
musk with consent and assent of Master John Elphinstone 
Rector of Invernochty, canon of Aberdeen and our coad- 
jutor at the said place and monastery of Monymusk, to 
the which Master John has been given all power by decree 
of the Bishop of Aberdeen and of the canons of the same 
chapter and by letters ordinary of the said Bishop of 
Aberdeen, conforming to the appointment of the same 
Master John to the said coadjutorship to rule, locate, assess, 
and demit in fee the fruits and lands of the same, with the 
consent and assent of the convent of the foresaid place 
And we the said Master John for ourselves and our 
successors, eternal greeting in the Lord, Know that we 
assembled for this purpose as a Chapter with unanimous 
consent, the foregoing public edict being affixed on the 
doors of the Church of the priory of Monymusk for the 
space of 21 days, citing all who have an interest for the 
purpose written below, Consulting with regard to our 
advantage and that of our said monastery and that of our 
successors, and with a view to the augmentation of our 

i Reg. Epis. Abdn. I. pp. Ixxxvi-xci. 

194 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

rental as is written below, in furtherance of the policy of 
the kingdom and in view of the statutes of Parliament And 
in return for the great and arduous services, aids, counsels, 
and merits rendered in other respects by the honourable 
man Master Duncan Forbes in our arduous affairs, to us 
and to our said monastery And for the large sum of money 
paid into our hands by the said Master Duncan and Agnes 
Gray his spouse in our urgent necessity to us and the said 
Master John Elphinstone, coadjutor aforesaid, and to our 
said convent And to be turned to the advantage of our 
said place and monastery now in ruins, and otherwise 
actually spent for the upbuilding and restoration of the 
same regarding which sum we hold ourselves thankfully and 
completely paid &c And owing to other reasonable causes 
moving our minds to this effect HAVE GIVEN, granted, sold, 
and demitted in fee or for perpetual occupation in heritage, 
and by this present charter &c to the foresaid Master 
Duncan Forbes and Agnes Gray his wife along with him, in 
joint fee and to the one of them who longer lives and to the 
heirs lawfully begotten or to be begotten by them, failing 
whom to the nearest lawful male heirs of the said Master 
Duncan and to their assignees whatsoever, All and single 
our lands of our manor of Monymusk with mills multures 
mill-lands tofts crofts and their pertinents lying within the 
parish of Monymusk and vicecounty of Aberdeen To be 
held and possessed &c by the foresaid Master Duncan and 
Agnes his spouse &c of us and our successors in fee or 
hereditary occupation for ever throughout all their correct 
marches &c They rendering thence annually &c to us and 
our successors the priors of Monymusk the sum of twenty- 
four pounds usual money of the kingdom of Scotland in fee 
of the said manor &c And the sum of thirteen shillings and 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 195 

four pence of the same money for the annual augmentation 
more than ever before of our rental of this land Reserving 
also to ourselves and our successors the place of our 
monastery with the garden called 'the Prior's yard,' with 
the pasture for 4 saddle horses for the use of the Prior and 
his domestic servants and pasture for 30 sheep for support of 
the family of the said Prior when he shall happen to reside 
personally in Monymusk where the said feudatory and 
his heirs pasture their horses and sheep We will also that 
each heir or assignee entering newly into these lands shall 
on his first entry double to us and our successors the Priors 
of this said place the annual feu-duty &c In testimony of 
which there are appended to our present charter subscribed 
with our own hands the common seal of the said Priory and 
the seal of the office of coadjutorship of the said Master 
John Elphinstone the foresaid coadjutor, at Monymusk and 
Aberdeen respectively the iyth March 1548 years In 
presence of witnesses David Kyntor Alexander Gray 
burgesses of Aberdeen &c. 

David Prior of Monymusk 

Master John Elphinston coadjutor of the Monastery 

of Monymusk 

dominus James Chyld, canon of Monimusk with my own 
hand at this James Murray, canon of Monimusk, with 
my own hand at this. 1 

It was rather early, however, for Duncan Forbes' ownership 
to be fully recognised. On the $rd January of the next year, 
1549, Mary Queen of Scots, the Earl of Arran being Protector 
and Governor of the realm, "understanding that our old enemies 
of England intend the spring of this year to invade our realm 

i Colin. A. and B. pp. 179, 180. 

1 96 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

with all their force and power," orders a general tax over the 
Kingdom, according to the value and extent of all lands ; and 
in the list for Aberdeenshire occur these notices 

The Queen's grace feu lands within the said shire : 
Patrick Forbes . . . 

for his lands of Pefechei and roods of Monymusk iij libs 
The spiritual and kirk lands and patrimony after 

following : . . . 
The Archbishop of St Andrews for his baronies 

and lands of Keig and Monymusk &c . . . xl libs 
The Pryour of Monemusk with the Manes . . v libs 
The Persone of Monemusk for the toune of Bovak 

[Balvack] ... xx sh 1 

In the record of the Provincial Synod at Edinburgh the same 
year, 1549, among the Abbots, Priors, and Commendators is 
named "Joannes, prior de Muny"[musk] i.e., John Elphinstone. 2 
In "the list of Barons and Freeholders that were or are 
obliged to give suit and presence to the three head courts held 
yearly by the sheriff of Aberdeen " are 
Spiritual Barons : 
Archbishop of St. Andrews. 
Prior of Monimusk. 3 

Thus, in the beginning of 1549, the Prior was still account- 
able for the Mains or Manor, but next year the same two 
canons who had signed the first Charter, subscribe a confirma- 
tion of it which is in English, as written then, but which we 
may put into a more usual form. 

Be it known to all men by these present writings We Deyn 
James Chyld and Deyn James Murraye canons of the 
Abbey and Priory of Monymusk have seen, visited, and 

1 Colin. A. and B. pp. 113, 119, 120, 121. 3 Colin. A. and B. p. 109. 

2 Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. II. p. 83. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 197 

considered an infeftment by charter and precept given by 
our supreme head of the said Abbey to Mr. Duncan Forbes 
and his heirs, of all and sundry our lands of the Mains of 
of Monymusk with their pendicles and pertinents which 
infeftment we ripely advised and we have found that the 
same was set to the great utility and weal of our said Abbey 
for restoration of the same and also for augmentation of 
our rental as is contained at greater length in the same 
infeftment Wherefore we the said canons and convent for 
the time of the said Abbey subscribed the said charter and 
precept given thereon to the said Mr. Duncan and his heirs 
in feu-farm and heritage Which subscription we by these 
presents ratify and approve in all time coming And by these 
presents testify and make it known that we, not one of us, 
in no time byegone have given our consent or subscriptions 
to any other person of the lands of the Mains of Monymusk, 
except to the said Mr. Duncan and his heirs And herefor 
bind and oblige us and every one of us leally and truly, the 
Holy Gospel touched with our hands, thereto of our own 
free will never to come in the contrary nor to give our 
consent to nor subscribe any charter, precept, or infeftment 
whatsoever on the said lands in any time coming to any 
others whatever And this because we have received the 
said Mr. Duncan our tenant thereto and his oath of fidelity 
thereon, for payment and fulfilling of all and sundry the 
points contained in the said infeftment And in case our 
Prior, ordinary, or administrator, having jurisdiction over us, 
not having God or good conscience before them or respect 
of the foregoing done by them and us to the said Mr. 
Duncan, have given their consent and subscription to any 
others, on the said lands in prejudice of the said Mr. 
Duncan's title and in betrayal of their fame and truth We 

198 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

by these presents renounce and revoke all consents and 
subscriptions given or to be given in any time coming by 
our said ordinary on the said lands to any other person or 
persons whatsoever except to the said Mr. Duncan and his 
heirs alone And further if it happens, which God forbid, 
that by our foresaid ordinary's warrant and disposition of 
the said lands to any others, by the same there be raised 
letters on the said Mr. Duncan or his heirs for reduction of 
our said infeftment given to the said Mr. Duncan and 
his heirs on the said lands, then in this case we the said 
Canons renounce and revoke the said letters and instance 
thereof now as then and then as now And herefor make 
constitute and ordain honourable men Masters Robert 
Lumsden Thomas Davidson and Gilbert Johnston our 
lawful and undoubted procurators executors factors and 
special errand-bearers to pass in our name before any judge 
or judge's day or place that the said Mr. Duncan or his 
heirs be called for the same and there in our name renounce 
and revoke the said letters and instance thereof as we our- 
selves might do if we were there present in our own person 
And for the faithful observing and keeping of all and 
sundry the foresaid we the said Canons and Convent for 
the time leally and truly bind and oblige ourselves by the 
faith in our body, the Holy Gospel touched of our own free 
will, never to come in the contrary, by these our subscrip- 
tions and under penalty of infamy and perjury In presence 
of John Forbes in Kylbethok Alexander Lumsden William 
Merser and Alexander Youngson notary public whom 
we have constituted to put these presents in more ample 
form as need be under form of instrument at Monimusk 
loth July 1550 years. 

Den James Chyld cannone of Mvnymwsk vith my hand 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 199 

Jacobus Murray cannone of Mvnymwsk vith my hand 
So it is Alexander Youngsoun notary public and witness 
in the foregoing. 1 

But it would seem that something more than all this was 
reckoned necessary for security, for in the same year (1550) the 
highest spiritual power is invoked for permitting the indisputable 
disposal of some of the lands by way of having the building 
repaired and authority to do so is granted from Rome to 
Prior Elphinstone. 

RAYNUTIUS by divine pity &c Presbyter Cardinal of S. Angelus 
to the discreet men the treasurer and archdeacon and Arthur 
Talliefer canon of the church of Aberdeen Greeting in the 
Lord A petition presented to us on the part of John Elphin- 
stone Canon of Aberdeen was as follows That whereas the 
house and buildings of the Monastery or Priory of Monymusk 
of the order of St. Augustine of the diocese of Aberdeen 
which David Farlie holds either in some title or Commenda 
or otherwise by concession or Apostolic dispensation, are 
found to be ruinous and almost levelled to the ground so that 
the said David being so old and infirm that he cannot provide 
for their repair, and unless this is speedily provided for, it is 
feared that the Monastery or Priory aforesaid must come 
down Wherefore if to the said Petitioner, who was deputed 
under certain authorities in due mode and form as coadjutor 
of the said David with the future Apostolic succession first 
and thereafter for the rule and government of the same 
Monastery or Priory so that he may be able to receive, exact, 
and raise the fruits, returns, and incomes of it and to do 
other things relating to the rule and government of it and to 
carry out the ordinary intentions of the said David in his old 

i Colin. A. and B. pp. 181, 182. 

200 Many musk : its Church and Priory. 

age and infirmity, power should be granted by the 
Apostolic see to dispose and grant certain possessions or 
pieces of land situated and placed near his marches and 
rightfully belonging and pertaining to the said Monastery or 
Priory or its sustenance and not exceeding the annual value 
of six pounds sterling, for perpetual occupation or else for 
a certain long time to one or more persons under a fixed 
annual rule, return, or census to be agreed on, and also with 
certain stipulations and conditions of occupation for the 
manifest advantage of the same Monastery or Priory, and 
(power) to spend the money coming in from the disposition 
and concession of the same for the restoration and repair of 
the houses and buildings aforesaid assuredly the security 
of the same Monastery or Priory would be abundantly 
provided for. Wherefore the said Petitioner humbly caused 
supplication to be made that merciful provision might be 
afforded him in these matters by the foresaid See by way 
of timely remedy. WE THEREFORE holding the situations, 
confines, denominations, values, qualities, quantities, and 
circumstances of the said lands and whatever titles might be 
inserted in these presents for full and sufficient expression 
And considering that we ought to be favourable and kind in 
these things which are marked out to be set aside for the 
use of monasteries and places under Rule By the authority 
of our Lord Pope whose charge we primarily bear and by 
his special mandate committed to us in reference to these 
things by his viva voce utterance, (We) LEAVE to your 
discretion or to two of you jointly to see how far by diligent 
information to be gained by you regarding the foresaid 
matters, with the necessary reservations, you shall find the 
foresaid disposition and concession, if made, are for the 
evident advantage of the said Monastery or Priory, as to 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 201 

which things we burden your conscience, That you should 
grant liberty or power by Apostolic authority to the same 
petitioner with consent of the said David to dispose of and 
grant pieces of land aforesaid for occupation as said before, 
and to spend the moneys thence coming in, for the 
restoration and repair of the houses and buildings aforesaid 
and to do other things all and single in the foresaid matters 
the foresaid considerations not being opposed to the 
constitutions and ordinances, general or special, of Preben- 
dary Paul of happy memory as to the inalienable character 
of ecclesiastical property, or to any other Apostolic deliver- 
ances and such as have been given out in Provincial and 
Synodical Councils, or to the statutes and customs of the 
Monastery or Priory and order of the aforesaid, even though 
supported by oath, by Apostolic confirmation, or any other 
security and whatever else may be contrary Given at Rome 
at S. Peter's under the seal of office with supreme authority 
the Qth December in the first year of the Pontificate of 
Pope Julius III. 1 

It was easy to declare even from Rome " the inalienable 
character of ecclesiastical property." We shall now learn in a 
wider way than before, how far this held good in the minds of 
our nobles and landlords at this era. 

In a "rental-book," ranging from 1552 to 1678, preserved 
at Castle Forbes, we gain our widest information as to the 
possessions of our Priory beyond our own parish, and learn, he 
himself being witness, how these were appropriated by Lord 
Forbes. It is singular that it is after the seizure has been made 
that we are able to look back on the lands from which the 
Priory drew a large part of its revenue. The record shows with 
what an unsparing hand the work was done by those who had 
power, just that they might add land to land. 

i Colin. A. and B., pp. 182-184. 

2O2 Many musk : its Church and Priory. 

There is no effort made to conceal the matter, but the tale 
of appropriation is told with the greatest clearness. The farms 
still retain the old names, although the spelling is slightly 
changed. This roll, we think, is of great historical value. 

We have repeatedly learned that the teinds of Alford were 
bestowed on the Priory. We now learn what they consisted of, 
at least as far as they were taken possession of by Lord Forbes. 


Cobilseitt of Alfurde pais zeirlie to my Lord for ye teind 
of ye samin iiij bollis victuale, tua pairt mele and third pt. 
malt, with ane weddir [sheep]. 

Smedy of Alfurde pais zeirlie to my Lord for ye teind yrof 
four bollis victuale in maner forsaid. 

Argathin pais zeirlie xxix bollis victuale in maner above 
written, wt. four wedderis. 

Kirktown, Dauid Moris croft, pais for ye teind zeirlie 
three bollis victuale, ane weddir. 

Mill of Alfurde pais zeirlie for ye teind thre bollis 
victuale, ane weddir. 

Wolhows pais zeirlie v bollis victuale, in maner forsaid, 
wt. ane weddir. 

Sum of ye Teindis forsaid, Tua pairts mele and third pt. 
malt fourte aucht bollis victuale. 

Sum of wedderis viij. 


Argathyne in my Lordis hand which ues xl mks. 

Aslong . . . xviij Libs, with the pertinents. 

Achintowill . . xx Libs, with ye pertinents. 

Carnaverane . . xiiij merkis. 

Archballoch . . xvij Libs, xij geis (geese). 

Kynstare . . xxj Libs. vjs. viijd. 

Lytilledindive . . iiij Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 203 

Tullichetlie . . iiij Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 
Braidgauch of Kynstare 

wt. ye myll . . x Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 
Mekilledindovie . xiij Libs. vjs. viijd. 
Pofluge . . . iiij Libs. 
Bandly . . . iiij Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 

The Rentall of ye teind silver off KEIG 1623 zeres, 

peyit off auld to ye priory of Many musk. 
Sevidlie . . . xix Libs. 6s. 8d. 
Westerkeig . . xvj Libs. 
Ballgowan . . x Libs. 
Brvnye . . . iiij Libs. 
Puttachy . . . viij Libs. 
Auchnagathill . . vj Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 
Pittindreich . . vj Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 
Glentowne . . vij Libs. vjs. viijd. 
Mylln of Keige, pertaining to bruchlie, \},. 

Sum off ye teind silver off Keige extends to zeirlie to four- 
scoir punds money, and sax shillingis, and aucht pennies 


Craigyvare, wt. ye pertinentis . . xl Libs. 

Lenturkis, wt. ye ptinentis. . . xvj Libs. 

Esterfoullis, wt. ye myll . . . xij Libs, xiijs. iiijd. 

Westerfoullis viij Lib. 

Craigmyll iij Lib. vjs. viijd. 

Ouer Lochall x Lib. tua wedders. 


The temporall Landis (i.e. the Church lands) in Mr. 
George Gordone his handis extending zeirlie till xxxij Lib. 


204 Many musk : its Church and Priory. 

Item, vij dissoun pultre, tua weddirs, tua bollis aitts, with 
ye fodder. 


ABERSMYTHOK, xj Libs. vjs. viijd., iij dissoun of capones, 
tua wedders. 

The MAINS OF MONYMOUSK, xxvj Lib. xiijs. iiijd. 
The Vicarage of Alfurd, ye auld rentell yairof, L merkis (50). 
The Vicarage of Lochell, . . . xx Libs. 
The Vicarage of Keig of auld, . . xx Libs. 

bot Jon Straquhen hes it off me for xij Lib., and to 

ye kirkis ye tyme of peace, and to prech yairat quarterlye. 
There is also added a note : 

The benefice of the parish of Forbes in 1325 was worth 
^13 6s. 8d., that of Tullynessle in 1366 ^20, and that of 
Monymusk in 1445 ^40 all Scots money. 1 
It is singular that, according to this rent-roll, Lord Forbes 
somehow for a time got the dues from Tombeg, Braehead, and 
Mains of Monymusk, farms that have been often mentioned as 
belonging to the Priory and that are in this parish, but doubtless 
he and his kinsman, Duncan Forbes, came to an understanding 
about this. 

With regard to John Strachan's allowance, this is an instance 
of what Mr. Cosmo Innes writes 2 about "the stipendiary vicars 
being ground down to the lowest stipend that would support 
life," only here this is done not by the monastery, but by the 
Baron who, without having the smallest right to them, had 
appropriated the teinds and the lands to himself. It rather 
anticipates our narrative, but this mention of Strachan makes 
it most suitable to say here that in " The Register of Ministers 

1 Mr. Rait, Castle Forbes, in " Banffshire Journal," 1876. 

2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 19. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 205 

and their Stipends since 15 67 "a John Straithauchin is men- 
tioned as " translated from Forvie, Slains, and Logy Buchane 
in 1569 to Tullinessel, Kyg, and Towch, the stipend being 
jc merks and xl merks mair" (i.e., a hundred and forty merks), 
while in the list of * Reidars ' there is another record " Clat, 
Forbes, Kirne, John Strauchin, minister, jc merks." 1 In Dr. 
Hew Scott's "Fasti," 2 under Leochel occurs the entry "1588, 
John Strathauchin of Seveidlie, removed from Alford, having 
Kemnay, Alford, Leslie, and Keig also in charge ; continued in 
1594, and removed to Keig"; while under Keig 3 is this entry 

1576 John Strathauchin translated from Cushnie, having 

Alfurde, Loquhill, and Kindrocht likewise under his charge; 

continued in 1580. He returned previous to 1595 ; and 

continued in 1597. 

This last is of importance. The Forbeses were among the 
leading Protestants of our district. Yet here we learn that after 
the Reformation, one minister, living at Keig, had actually 
" under his charge" all the four parishes whose teinds &c., had 
been payable to our Priory Keig, Alford, Leochel, and far- 
distant Braemar ! and in this rent-roll that tells how Lord 
Forbes had appropriated its lands as well as its teinds, he 
himself, using the first person " hes it off me " hands down 
what was the magnificent allowance for which he farmed out 
the vicarage or lesser teinds to the poor minister ! One wonders 
that the minister was able to travel even once a quarter to 
Braemar, and we are able to judge how dependent the parishes 
were upon ' readers.' We find that " at Kyg Robert Raitt was 
reader, at Alfurde John Patersoun, and at Kyndroch in 
Braymar James Hanye, each with xx lib." 4 

In regard to the " preaching quarterly," there is a record of 

1 Collns. A. and B. pp. 226, 227, 230. 3 Ibid. pp. 555, 556. 

2 Dr. Hew Scott, Fasti, III. part II. p. 560. 4 Collns. A. and B. pp. 228, 229 

206 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

great interest. In January, 1559, at the instance of the Queen 
Regent, Mary of Guise, the mother of Mary Queen of Scots, 
a General Provincial Council was summoned to assemble at 
Edinburgh on the ist of March. It was called mainly for the 
consideration of the remarkable articles of amendment that had 
been submitted to the Queen Regent by certain laymen, nobles, 
and barons, not disaffected to the Church of Rome, but anxious 
for the correction of its abuses. One article asked that there 
should be sermon in every parish Church on every Sunday and 
other holiday, or at least on Christmas day, Easter, Whitsunday, 
and every third or fourth Sunday. " The Council enacted that 
there was to be sermon not only four times in every year> as had 
already been enjoined^ but as much oftener as the Ordinary 
should see fit." 1 This was the last Council of the Roman 
Church in our country. Whatever might have been the effect 
of such rules of amendment at an earlier stage, they were 
too late now, for in a few months the Roman Church was 
overthrown, ending the supremacy of the Pope in our land, 
which had lasted for about four hundred years. 

Duncan Forbes, who succeeded in getting possession of 
the Church lands here, belonging both to the Archbishop of 
St. Andrews and to the Priory, which in the end embraced the 
whole parish, was the son of William Forbes of Corsindae in 
Midmar, whom we years before met with as looking after the 
lands, and who was himself the second son of the second Lord 
Forbes. Corsindae itself was held of Lord Forbes, for in the 
'rent-roll' of 1552 the entry runs: "Corsindavy pays zeirlie 
to my Lord of few male x^". 2 

We now come to a very important record, for from it we 

i Dr. J. Robertson, Stat. Ecc. Scot. pp. clv.-clxiii. 
2 Mr. Rail's Pamphlet, p. 16. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 207 

learn that there had been a fire in the Priory, which was the 

cause of the buildings' becoming ruinous. 

Decree of the Lords of Council and Session in the 
cause between the Parson of Invernochty and the 
Prior of Monymusk, nth July 1554. 

Regarding our Sovereign Lord's letters procured at the 
instance of Master John Elphinstone Parson of Invernochty 
against one Venerable father in God David Prior of Mony- 
musk making mention That whereas at the last Justiciary 
(Court) of Aberdeen the said Prior, Master Duncan Forbes 
feuar thereof, and the said Master John submitted them- 
selves to the Lords Compositors then present for the time 
regarding certain debates and controversies among them 
Who decerned thereupon that the said Master Duncan, feuar 
foresaid, should refund, satisfy, and pay to the said Prior 
the sum of 100 merks, money of this realm, in complete 
payment of all the bye-past fruits And for the more sure 
payment to the said Prior of the sum of 12 score merks 
yearly to be paid to him conformably to his lease made by 
the said Prior to the said Master Duncan The said 

Lord Compositors ordained the said Master John Elphin- 
stone yearly to make payment to the said Prior during his 
life time, notwithstanding that the said Master Duncan had 
six years' occupation thereof to run for yearly payment of 
the foresaid sum only And the said Master John took 
security of the said Master Duncan for payment of the 
same to him And because the said Master John was suc- 
cessor to the said Prior they ordained him that he should 
cause to be upheld the Divine service which of verity is 
better done and more account is put thereto than has been 
these ten years past And also ordained that the said Master 
John should cause to be repaired and built the Place of 

208 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Monymusk which is entirely burned except one part thereof , 
also destroyed with fire through negligence of the Prior and 
his servants which the whole fruits of the said Abbey during 
the space of three years will not do the same And the said 
Master Duncan has the whole fruits aforesaid for 3 years to 
run except the payment of the said 12 score merks con- 
tained in the said Prior's lease made to him thereof And the 
mind of the said Lord Compositors was that the said 
Master John as soon as he entered on the fruits and profits 
of the said benefice should cause to be upheld the divine 
service and build the said Place which he is ready at all 
times to do Which deliverance was given by the foresaid 
Lords Compositors by an instrument taken in the hands of 
Master Robert Lumsden shown before the said Lords of 
Council Because the said Master John has caused make 
diligence to know if the same be registered under form of 
decree and cannot apprehend the same which in no way 
is registered And although the said Prior has obtained 
letters in all the four forms for not fulfilling the same and 
by that through general clauses contained in the same, 
namely to cause to be upheld the divine service which is 
more sufficiently done than has been these diverse years 
past And also to have built and repaired the Place thereof 
while the said Master John has none of the fruits and 
it cannot be built in the space of three years because the 
same is utterly destroyed he has charged the said Master 
John thereto on three days and from three days to three 
days And . intends to denounce him as a rebel wrongfully 
. The said Master John Elphinstone compeared by Master 
John Spens his procurator and the said Prior compeared 
by Master David Borthwick his procurator THE LORDS OF 
COUNCIL RELIEVE the said Prior from the petition of the said 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 209 

Master John and from all the points and articles contained 
in the said letters at this time as it is now set forth and 
decern him free therefrom in time to come And therefore 
ordain the said Prior's letters to have effect and to be put 
into execution for aught that they have yet seen . .* 

One is grieved to have to tell what Dr. Joseph Robertson 
says regarding Elphinstone's character, taking from us, as it 
does, all sympathy with him in regard to his claims in this 
deed. ' The scandalous immorality which prevailed among all 
classes of the priesthood might surpass belief, were it not too 
clearly avouched. . . In 1550 John Elphinstone, Rector of 
Invernouchtie, and one of the cathedral dignitaries was brought 
to trial for the following offences : "That, under silence of 
night, he murdered Thomas Cult in Old Aberdeen ; that he 
theftuously wasted and destroyed the goods of William Low- 
soune burgess of Aberdeen, for the space of ten years," during 
which he sinned against him with the deepest family-wrong 
possible ; " that he assaulted and several times felled to the earth 
Mr. Duncan Burnet, Rector of Methlic, "with roungis [cudgels] 
and battounis," within the Cathedral Church of Aberdeen, when 
he was celebrating matins and divine service"' The italics are 
Dr. Robertson's and the passage shows a very different spirit 
from what Elphinstone claims for himself regarding the services 
conducted in our Priory during this very time ! 

We saw James Forbes, Duncan's elder brother, becoming in 
1542 the true man to Lord Huntly, for the life-rent of Inver. 
Now we find Duncan in 1559 taking the same course and 
getting his first hold on another beautiful possession, in addition 
to what he already held of the Prior. 

i Ant. A. and B. IV. pp. 778, 7^9. 
2 The Reformation in Aberdeen, pp. 19, 20, quoting Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, I. p. 356. 

2io Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Be it kend till all men be thir presentis, that for samekle as 
ane noble and potent lord George erll of Huntly, Lord 
Gordoun and Badzenocht &c hes set to me Maister Duncan 
Forbes of Monymusk the toun and landis of Dullab, the 
outseitt of Monymusk callit Kemboig (? Tombeg) witht thar 
pendicles and pertinentis for all the dayis and terms of 19 
years, and the said erle has gewin the proffitis of the said 
tounis and landis to the said master Duncan, fre during the 
said space for his service done and to be done to the said 
erll and his airis ; for the quhilkis takkis and profits I the 
said master Duncan Forbes oblessis me faythtfully and 
trewly to keip trew pairt and kyndnes to the said erle and 
his airis and to be ane trew frend and seruand to thaim &c. 
In witnes at Aberdeen 2nd Feby. 1559 before &c. 

Duncan Forbes wytht my hand. 1 

Soon after the Gordons and the Forbeses were constantly at 
feud, as we shall see in our next chapter. 

" We learn from Wingate that in the spring of the same year, 
1559, large numbers of the Clergy joined the ranks of the 
Reformed, and there is no reason to doubt that the Reformation 
was effected with ' the consent of the greater part both of 
pastors and people.' They asked among other things that the 
Church should be reformed in accordance with the precepts of 
the New Testament, that the Sacraments should be administered 
in English, that the bishops should be appointed with the con- 
sent of the gentry of the diocese, and parish ministers with the 
consent of the parishioners. It was not a secession but a 
movement en masse" 2 

" The appointments to the Scottish bishoprics at this time 

1 Gordon Papers, Spalding Club Misc. IV. p. 224. 

2 Dr. Sprott, Church Society Conference, pp. 161, 162. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 211 

throw a lurid light upon the condition of the Church. The 
good and the bad were strangely intermingled, but unhappily 
the bad predominated. Worse men than the bishops of the 
falling hierarchy never wore a mitre. It has been often said in 
Scotland that the strongest argument against episcopacy was the 
episcopate. The bishops of this age give point to the remark." 1 
As Mr. S. R. Gardiner says, " Episcopacy had been retained in 
England because the bishops had taken part in the English 
Reformation. Episcopacy had ceased in Scotland because the 
bishops had not taken part in the Scottish Reformation."* 
Another great difference in the two countries was, that in 
Scotland the Reformation was the work of the Clergy and the 
people, that is of the nation, and was carried through in spite 
of the opposition of the Crown and of the bishops. 

By his rent-roll of 1552, William, seventh Baron Forbes, 
who succeeded his father five years before, possessed estates in 
Auchindoir, Tullynessle and Forbes, Alford, Glenmuick, Tough, 
Cluny, Kincardine O'Neil, Midmar, Birse, Foveran, and King- 
Edward. 3 His elder brother had been beheaded by James V. 
in 1537, on his visit to Aberdeen, for conspiracy, but afterwards 
the King was convinced that the execution had not been 
warranted, and restored his father to his title and estates, and 
made William a gentleman of the bed-chamber. William 
married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Keith 
of Inverugie, the sister of the Countess Marischal. They had 
sixteen children, and their fourth son, the Hon. Robert Forbes 
became the last so-called Prior of Monymusk, thus making 
everything absolutely secure to the Forbes family. 

In 1560, August 24th, the Reformation was consummated 
by the enactments of the Scottish Parliament. The revenues 

1 Mr. Stephen, History, p. 530. 3 Mr. Rail's Pamphlet, p. i. 

2 The Puritan Revolution, p. 102. 

212 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

of the Priory at the time it came into Duncan Forbes' hands, 
amounted to ^400. z The part of the lordship of Keig and 
Monymusk that lies in Keig parish, came afterwards into Lord 
Forbes' hands and the greater part of it is still possessed by 
this family. 

The Prior, Robert Forbes, who was ' Commendator,' receiv- 
ing two-thirds of the revenues, the rest being allotted to the 
maintenance of the surviving monks, was or became a Protestant 
and married Agnes, daughter of William Forbes of Corse, 2 and had 
four sons, one of whom, Captain John, was killed at the battle 
of Stirling, James (of Fowell) became a Lieutenant-Colonel, 
Robert died abroad, and two daughters, one of whom was 
married to the Laird of Auchinhove, and the other to William 
Fraser of Boghead. In December 4th, 1612, among the 
scholars attending the grammar school, song school, and writing 
school at Aberdeen, is mentioned " John Forbes, son to the 
pryoir of Monymusk." 3 

In 1562, September Qth, Queen Mary visited Balquhain, 
the seat of the Leslies, and attended service at ' the Chapel ' 
of Garioch. 

In 1563 Duncan Forbes granted a reversion of the lands of 
Abersnithock and Mill of Ramstone, both of which had long 
belonged to the Priory, in favour of William Leslie of Balqu- 
hain. 4 

"In 1567, of the five superintendents, two hundred and 
eighty-seven ministers, and seven hundred and fifteen readers 
who were officiating, the great majority must have been old 
priests, and in that year Parliament declared the Reformed 

1 Mr. Walcott, Anc. Ch. p. 322 ; Dr. Campbell, 3 Burgh Records, Spalding Club, 

Balmerino, p. 133. II. p. 310. 

2 Collns. A. and B. p. 170. 4 The Leslie Family Papers. 

The Spoliation of the Lands. 213 

Church to be the only true Church in the realm, and entitled 
to the teinds as its proper inheritance." 1 

In 1570 James Johnston, who will be spoken of afterwards, 
was Parson of Monymusk, and one of the Chapter of Aberdeen. 
" He was possibly the last Roman Catholic Incumbent." 2 In 
this year the Bishop of Aberdeen executes a charter by way of 
feu, disposing of the property of the Loch-lands, which is sub- 
scribed by " James Johnston at Monymusk." 3 

In this year only about twenty ministers were obtainable for 
all Aberdeenshire. There were but few in the Garioch, as the 
Reformation spread slowly in this county, 4 owing in a great 
measure to the immense influence of the Earl of Huntly and 
his family connections. 

On 26th July of this year, " Master Duncan Forbes of 
Monymusk " signs as a witness at Aberdeen to a contract 
" betwixt Lord Huntly and Lord Lovat." 5 

In 1584, as we shall state more fully afterwards, Duncan 
Forbes died. He was succeeded by his son William, and 
NOW WE REACH THE END, for only one other deed remains, but 
without a date, and by it the Prior, Robert Forbes, hands over 
the whole place, which we have found they had been allowing 
to go to ruin, to his kinsman, William Forbes of Monymusk. 
To all who shall see or hear of this Charter Robert by 
divine permission Prior of the Priory of Monymusk eternal, 
everlasting greeting in the Lord Know that we having on 
all sides forethought to the utility and advantage of our- 
selves and our successors Commendators of Monymusk, 
and of that locality &c And in special considering that the 
place and monastery of the said Priory of Monymusk is 
now almost ruined and waste And that all convents of the 

1 Dr. Sprott, Ch. Soc. Cpnf. p. 162. 4 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 152. 

2 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 128. 5 Gordon Papers, Spalding Club Mis. 

3 Ibid., p. 148. IV. pp. 227, 228. 

214 Many musk: its Church and Priory. 

same are extinct So that there is no residence or house fit 
for habitation for the present at the said monastery In order 
that the ruinous houses and buildings of the said place may 
be restored and that a literary institution ('gymnasium') 
may be established within them for instructing boys in 
honourable studies and literature And for the augmentation 
of our rental and for certain sums of money paid to 
us by the honourable man William Forbes of Monymusk 
feudatory of the lands of the Manor of Monymusk &c Have 
given, granted &c to the said William Forbes of Monymusk 
his heirs male and assignees whatsoever All and whole the 
ruinous houses and buildings of the said Monastery of 
Monymusk and one croft or part of croft lying behind the 
garden that stretches towards the north of the said place for 
the sowing of 4 bolls of barley yearly along with all and 
each of the houses, buildings, gardens, formed and to be 
formed lying on the north of the stream running near the 
said place and monastery, close by the cemetery of the 
parish Church of Monymusk, with all and single parts &c 
along with the common pasture for 6 horses and 50 rams, 
lye wedders, to be pastured on the lands of the Manor of 
Monymusk (which are specially and expressly reserved for 
us and our successors by the charter and infeftment of fee 
granted by our predecessors to the late Master Duncan 
Forbes, father of the foresaid William) all as lying within 
the parish of Monymusk and vicecounty of Aberdeen To be 
held and possessed &c by the foresaid William Forbes, his 
heirs male and assignees of us and our successors the Priors 
of the said Priory in fee and heritage for ever throughout 
all their proper marches &c They paying thence yearly &c 
for the said croft or part of croft twenty-six shillings and 
eight pence And for the said pasture of 6 horses and 

Feu-duties from the Estate. 215 

50 wedders ten shillings And for the houses, buildings, and 
pertinents of the said place the sum of thirteen shillings 
and fourpence for the augmentation of our rental &c They 
also maintaining, building, and repairing at all future times 
one suitable house or building for a literary institution or 
school for the instruction of youth, with the necessaries 
referring to the said school only instead of all other 
burden &c. 

Robert Commendator off Monymosk. 

Alexander Gray witness to the foregoing. 1 

It may be most convenient to mention here what seems to 
be the only remaining link with the Priory in respect of the 
lands of Monymusk. It is seen in the feu-duties. When Sir 
William Forbes was served heir to his father Sir John Forbes, 
October 5th, 1702, details are given regarding the superiorities. 
It is simpler for us to call the farms by their present names, 
some of the smaller ones that are mentioned being now included 
in the larger, and it is to be observed that here we speak of the 
position in 1702. The sums of money paid in respect of the 
feu-duties are also mentioned, but there is no need for our 
detailing them. 

Inver, Ardniedly, Overmill of Monymusk, the multures of 
Enzean, the old town and the outhouse of Monymusk, 
Tornagloyes (Damhead, beside Swinton), Cornabo &c were 
held of the Archbishops of St. Andrews, and now (1702) 
of the King in feu-farm. 

Coullie, Enzean, Braehead, Tombeg, Delab, Tillyfourie, 
Todlachy &c and part of the moss of Craigearn (in the 
parish of Kemnay) were held of the Duke of Gordon. 

i Colls. A. and B. pp. 184, 185. 

216 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Pitfichie with the castle-fort, manor-place, mill, mill-lands, 
and salmon-fishing, Ordmill, Mildourie, Overton, Netherton, 
Rowrandle &c were held of the Queen according to the 
Charter of Charles II in favour of the said Sir John Forbes, 
22nd July I66I. 1 

With regard to the feu-duties stated as held by the Duke of 
Gordon, these were sold by the last Duke to the late Mr. 
Robert Grant of Tillyfour about 1820, so that the Duke's 
representatives have no longer any interest in the lands in our 
parish that were given over to the Earl of Huntly by Cardinal 
Beaton, but these feu-duties are now heritable in the late 
Mr. Robert Grant's family. 

As regards the feu-duties payable to the Crown for the 
other farms mentioned, these are shown (being repeated 
from old charters) in a precept from Chancery in favour 
of the late Sir James Grant in 1821. Some particulars 
in it are of much interest as carrying us directly back 
to what was specified in the agreements made between 
the Prior and the Commendator and the two Forbeses ; and 
when we think of this, is it not singular to learn that, for 
instance, the value of the pasturage for the six horses and fifty 
sheep, as specified in the charter we have just given, is actually 
paid to this very day by our proprietor who holds the place of 
the Forbeses ? Out of curiosity we shall mention one or two 
particulars to show how this ancient bargain is still binding and 
being implemented. It is to be noted that it is all Scots 
money that is mentioned, and though the relative value is so 
different at the present time, it is to be remembered that one 
shilling Scots is equal to one penny sterling, and one Lib. Scots 
to twenty pennies (one shilling and eightpence) sterling. 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 504, 505. 

Feu-duties from the Estate. 217 

Feu-duties payable to the Crown for the estate of Mony- 
musk : 

Lands and Dominical lands of 

Monymusk - 26 13 4 (Scots) 

Croft adjoining i 6 8 

Pasturage for six horses - 060 

Pasturage for fifty sheep - 0-40 

Balvack - 7 10 o 

Cornabo - o 13 4 

Feu-duty for Pitfichie 200 

In all including all the places named 42 1 1 4 (Scots) 

Equal in money sterling to ^3 10 n. 
This sum is still payable yearly from the estate to the 
Deans of the Chapel Royal> the revenues of which form part 
of the salaries of certain of the Professors of Divinity in the 
Universities. This is the sole amount now received for Church 
purposes from the lands of this parish that were included in 
Malcolm Ill's great gift, the rents of which were paid in olden 
times to the Bishops of St. Andrews or to the Priory. 

Up to 1878 a rather larger feu-duty was payable by the estate, 
but in that year the late Sir Archibald Grant paid to the Crown 
redemption money for the feu-duties payable to the Crown and 
for the casualties of the whole Crown lands. This applied to 
Inver, Ardniedly, Pitmuny, Overmill of Monymusk &c., and 
came to a little more than the other sum being ^49 135. 4d. 
Scots. It is amusing to read the particulars, of which we may 
give as samples, the sums named being of course Scots money 
Ardniedly, - 6 13 4 

for 12 pultreis 040 

2 bolls oats - 080 

half a mart [ox] o 12 o 

sheep or wether 040 

218 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

Pitmuny 6 13 4 

for 12 pultreis 040 

2 bolls corn - 080 

,, half a mart - o 12 o 

,, sheep or wether 040 

,, grassum of Ardniedly and 

Pitmuny - 568 

augmentation of rental - i i 8 

Inver - 13 6 8 

for 24 pultreis 080 

,, 4 bolls oats - o [2 o 

i mart - 140 

2 sheep or wethers - 080 

grassum - 568 

augmentation - o i 8 

We are not aware of there being any other records or notices 
connected with our Priory. We shall meet on two occasions 
with the gift by the Crown of the small feu-duties that we have 
just spoken of as payable to it, but with these exceptions we 
have now traced its history to the end, and have always let the 
records speak for themselves. Step by step we learned the 
gifts that were bestowed on it, and now we have seen the 
passing away of the old order and have been witnesses of the 
appropriation of its tithes, its home, and of every acre of its lands. 
The mere reading of many of the records must have been weari- 
some, and their translation from the mediaeval Latin has been 
often hazardous to an inexperienced translator, but they give us an 
insight into the process of decay and consequent spoliation that 
no general statements can approach in clearness, and as we 
consider their particulars they throw side-lights on several 

The Passing-away of the Old Order. 219 

points connected with the internal government of the ancient 
church and with the conditions of society, of considerable value 
from an historical point of view. We have also learned some- 
thing of the inner life and circumstances of a secluded Northern 
monastery. The spirit that pervaded those far-off times has 
opened out in a little way before us. By contact with the 
details of actual records and rent-rolls we become acquainted 
with particulars that must be otherwise unknown to us, and we 
see what an unsparing hand was laid upon the Church's posses- 
sions ; and when we think of the wide-spread needs of our land, 
we rejoice that when the Church had passed through the ordeal, 
the Gospel came to be ministered to all in the simplicity, 
and richness, and freeness of the Word of Christ. 



To avoid interrupting our account of the parish since the 
Reformation, it may be well to take by themselves two narra- 
tives that fall in order of time at early periods embraced in the 
next chapter. The second of them may perhaps be reckoned 
in one sense as an amusing interlude, and as they touch on few 
points that come before us afterwards, neither of them will make 
us materially anticipate our history. 

We have drawn much information from the ' rent-roll ' of 
William, seventh Lord Forbes, which begins in 1552. His 
eldest son John, Master of Forbes, married first Lady Margaret 
Gordon, daughter of George, fourth Earl of Huntly, who, we 
saw, received in 1542 from Cardinal Beaton the gift of the lands 
and barony of Keig and Monymusk. She continued a Roman 
Catholic, and the marriage was a most unhappy one. They 
had a son, John, who became a Friar, and whose " career gives 
a curious interest to his biography. His mother died in 
January 1606, at Antwerp, and John died in August of the same 
year near Tremonde." A biography of both mother and son 
was published at Cologne in 1620, and other editions of it were 
published in Modena, Naples, Valentia, and Douay down to 
J 675, while a second English translation was printed in London 
as recently as i872. x This marriage being so unfortunate, taken 
in connection with the gift of the lands of Keig and Monymusk 

i Mr. T. G. Law, Edinburgh Bibliogr. Society, 1890-91, No. III. 

The Strife between the Forbeses and the Gordons. 221 

by Cardinal Beaton to Lady Margaret's father, led to the break- 
ing out anew of the old family quarrel between the Forbeses 
and the Gordons, who were the most powerful families in Aber- 
deenshire at the time. During this period the power of the Earl 
of Huntly was enormous, and the influence of his house had 
attained an unlimited height. He was zealously devoted to the 
Romish faith, so that while in other districts it was tottering to 
its overthrow, its authority was maintained by the strong hand 
of Huntly throughout the provinces from the Dee to the Ness. 
In 1572 the Gordons attacked and defeated the Forbeses at 
Druminnor, a very ancient seat of the family, when Arthur, 
Lord Forbes' brother, was killed. Several very long writs are 
preserved 1 referring to Cardinal Beaton's gift of these lands to 
the Earl of Huntly, in connection with this strife between the 
two clans ; and as Duncan Forbes of Monymusk and his 
brother James of Corsindae are among the parties to the legal 
appeals, we shall give an abstract of them, as far as they relate 
to our narrative. 

In June, 1573, before the Lords of Council and Session, 
William Lord Forbes and his kin complain against George [fifth] 
Earl of Huntly that although they had hoped for relief from the 
late troubles, many of their kinsmen were slain and their houses 
ruined by the Earl. Their wrongs had not been redressed, they 
had still to be on their guard, and they were liable to be 
arrested, for the Earl was Sheriff-principal of the county. The 
Lords of Council having examined Lord Forbes and his friends, 
among whom are named William Forbes of Barnes, John Forbes 
of Abersnithock, James Forbes of Corsindae, and Master 
Duncan Forbes of Monymusk, ordain all actions to be tried 
before themselves. 

Five years elapse, and in July, 1578, in the action raised by 

i Ant. A. and B. IV. pp. 760-770. 

222 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Lord Forbes, Master Duncan Forbes of Monymusk, and others 
of their kin, specially " the old native possessors " of the lands 
and barony of Keig and Monymusk, against the Earl of Huntly 
[the sixth Earl, his father having died in May, 1576], they make 
the following complaint and assertions. They say that they 
possessed and occupied these lands by themselves and their 
dependents, as principal and old native possessors and tenants 
under the Archbishops of St. Andrews, to whom the lands and 
barony belonged as part of their patrimony in all byegone times, 
past memory of man, before ' the pretended infeftment ' thereof 
made to the late George Earl of Huntly, grandfather of the 
present Earl, by the late David, Cardinal Archbishop of St. 
Andrews, who, they allege, had formed a new familiarity with 
the Earl of Huntly owing to some great affairs between them- 
selves. [The news of the disaster of Solway Moss had a fatal 
effect on James V. Huntly and other three persons were named 
as Regents in the King's will produced by Cardinal Beaton, but 
asserted by the Earl of Arran to have been forged. When the 
Cardinal was arrested, January 20, 1542-43, Huntly with others 
offered themselves as his surety and demanded that he should 
be set at liberty. After the escape of Beaton, Huntly organised 
with him the conspiracy by which the infant Queen Mary and 
her mother were seized at Linlithgow and carried to Stirling. 
On a reconciliation taking place between Arran and Beaton, 
Huntly attended the coronation of the infant princess at 
Stirling. 1 It is to be noted that it was in April, 1542-43, that 
the deed making over the lands was signed by Beaton.] They 
also allege that Cardinal Beaton had most unkindly given their 
native possessions over their heads to the Earl and his heirs, 
never intending, however, that they should be removed or 
made pay more than the old dues paid to him and the former 

i Diet, of Nat. Biogr. xxii. p. 179. 

The Strife between the Porbeses and the Gordons. 223 

bishops of St. Andrews, but wishing simply to show his favour 
for the Earl. They were the old native possessors and holders 
of the lands, and these being Church lands the Archbishop had 
no rights over them except according to the old and laudable 
customs applicable to such lands. The Earl had ' for worthy 
considerations ' bestowed on some of the principal of the com- 
plainers in ' heritage ' and on others of them by ' lease,' their 
own native possessions which they had continued to hold without 
molestation, no question being raised against them as to remov- 
ing until lately, and this being now done simply on account 
of their loyalty to the Crown. They have now received warnings 
to remove, and the present Earl has raised actions against 
them, intending to displace them, owing to their services to the 
King and to * his dearest mother in the time of her authority,' 
such services being specially rendered when Earl George him- 
self [the fourth Earl] rebelled in 1562, and died with his banner 
displayed against her. [In August, 1562, Mary set out on her 
northern progress, and on account of the flagrant defiance of 
her authority by the Earl of Huntly's son, Sir John Gordon of 
Findlater, she declined while at Balquhain to visit the Earl in 
Strathbogie, and passed on to Inverness. On her return 
journey an attempt was made to surprise some of her followers 
at Cullen, and Huntly was summoned to appear before the 
Council, and, failing to do so, was denounced as a rebel. When 
the Queen approached Aberdeen, he marched toward it with 
about 800 men, and on November 5th, at the skirmish at 
Corrichie, on the Hill of Fare, about fifteen miles from Aber- 
deen, being hopelessly outnumbered by Moray's troops, his men 
were at once overpowered, and he was either crushed to death 
or died suddenly from excitement. 1 ] They had also, they say, 
rendered similar services when the present Earl's father rebelled 

i Diet, of Nat. Biogr. xxii. p. 181. 

224 Mony musk : its Church and Priory. 

against the King, in whose defence many of the complainers' 
kindred laid down their lives in the battles of Tillyangus and 
Craibstone. Their houses and goods were then destroyed or 
burned and the rents of their lands interfered with, in contempt 
of the King's authority and of the truce concluded in 1572 ; 
and although the Earl's forces had so failed that he had to 
accept the conditions of peace made at Perth in February of 
that year, he and his kindred had been able to delay the hearing 
of the causes and were frustrating the administration of justice. 
[The fifth Earl of Huntly commanded the expedition to Stirling, 
when the Regent Lennox was captured and afterwards mortally 
wounded. Morton, on being chosen Regent, made use of 
Argyll to enter into communication with Huntly and the 
Hamiltons for a reconciliation, and at a convention at Perth, 
where Huntly and the Lord of Arbroath acted as the representa- 
tives of those with whom the treaty was made, articles were 
finally agreed upon on the $rd February -, 1572. The secession 
of Huntly and the Hamiltons from the Queen's cause virtually 
ended the Civil War, and from this time Huntly lived chiefly in 
his own dominions, scarcely taking any further part in public 
affairs, and died very suddenly in I576. 1 ] 

This complaint being considered, the King and Parliament 
appoint Commissioners, whose names are recorded, to decide 
the cause within eighteen months. 

Four years, however, pass, and on July 6th, 1582, James VI 
as f over-man,' after hearing both sides, gives the final decree, 
with advice of the Council : (i) That John, Master of Forbes, 
shall pay ^4,000 Scots to the wife and family of Gordon of 
Gight, who had been killed along with his servant by the 
Forbeses ; (2) that Lord Forbes and those of his kin who had 
actual rights from the two former Earls of Huntly to parts of 

i Diet, of Nat. Biogr. xxii. p. 185. 

The Fiction of A r change I Leslie. 225 

the lands of Keig and Monymusk, shall hold these parts 
peaceably in accordance with their infeftments [this would 
secure their possessions in Monymusk to the Forbeses]; but 
(3) that they shall remove from the whole remainder of the 
lands of Keig and Monymusk and allow the Earl and his 
kindred to enter thereon as their heritage, both sides being 
relieved from all charges against each other and ordained to 
live in good neighbourhood, as if these deadly feuds had never 


James Rex. James Lord of Doun. 

Arrane. Cowrie. 


Few probably even of those well acquainted with the history 
of our district, are aware of the place that Monymusk has 
occupied in Roman Catholic literature since the middle of the 
seventeenth century. Monymusk House has in fact been 
made famous throughout Europe in history, in biography, and 
even in drama, as the scene of the marvellous exploits 
of a Popish missionary, commonly known as " Father Arch- 
angel, the Scottish Capuchin." The story of his life was first 
printed in Italian in 1644, and afterwards amplified in a number 
of French, Portuguese, German, Dutch or Flemish, Latin, and 
English editions eighteen editions being issued in Italy alone 
from no fewer than nine famous cities. It is one of the 
strangest fictions in modern hagiology, and having gained such 
wide-spread notoriety, we can hardly avoid telling the story of 
the deception as far as it relates to Monymusk. The following 
account is taken from two articles " The Legend of Archangel 
Leslie" in the * Scottish Review' of July, 1891, and "Archangel 
Leslie of Scotland: a Sequel" in the 'Nineteenth Century' of 

226 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

November, 1893, both written by Mr. T. G. Law of the Signet 
Library, Edinburgh, the learned editor of " Archbishop Hamil- 
ton's Catechism" (1552), to which edition (1884) Mr. Gladstone 
wrote a preface. Mr. Law also, in a paper printed in 1890-91 
by the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, gives a list of about 
forty-five editions of the Life of Leslie, while Mr. R. B. 
Cunninghame Graham in the ' Nineteenth Century ' for Sep- 
tember, 1893, also tells the story in his own way, of course 
thinking it substantially true, from a copy that he picked up in 

The hero of this wide-spread legend is George Leslie, a son 
of James Leslie of Peterstone and his wife, Jane AVood. ( He 
was born in or near Aberdeen, and went as a youth to the 
Scots College at Rome in 1608, and then joined the Capuchin 
friars, a branch of the Franciscan order. About 1623 he was 
sent on the " mission " to Scotland, and made several converts 
among the gentry in Aberdeenshire. About six years after he 
returned to Italy and became acquainted with John Baptist 
Rinuccini, Archbishop of Fermo, who was afterwards Papal 
Nuncio to Ireland in the troublous times of 1645-50. He had 
plausible manners, a facile tongue, inordinate vanity, and a 
lively imagination. He falsely gave himself out as the son of 
wealthy and high-born parents who owned Monymusk House, 
and who had disinherited him on account of his religion, and 
he fascinated the Archbishop with the tale of his sufferings and 
adventures, and of his successes as a court preacher to the 
Queen Regent of France, &c. He told Rinuccini that on 
arriving in Scotland his first object had been the conversion of 
his mother. At Aberdeen, so his story ran, he wrote her a letter 
in his own name, dated from Italy, recommending its bearer to 
her as his intimate friend. Dressing as a cavalier, he went to 
Monymusk House and said to her, "Madam, I have come from 

The Fiction of Archangel Leslie. 227 

Italy, and bring you a letter from your son." Taking it, she 
exclaimed that he was the most ungrateful son that ever lived. 
But she made the stranger welcome, and the disguised friar, 
soon won the favour of the family, although he was horrified at 
having to sit at table with the heretic minister who acted as 
chaplain. Five days after, an incautious question addressed 
too loudly to a deaf servant about a pigeon-house that as he 
said he remembered to have been in the house when he was 
a boy, was overheard by the astonished mother, and his 
identity was discovered. The house now became a theatre of 
joy. The news spread through the town of Monymusk, and 
the old lady received a thousand visits of congratulation. 
Fireworks were let off, and cannons fired from the Castle to 
welcome the return of the banished son. The minister alone 
was in despair. The mother at first imposed silence on both, 
but this was unendurable to the zealous friar, who stole out 
from the Castle under pretence of hunting, and preached to 
the people in the mountains and forests. In eight months he 
made three thousand converts (later editions say four thousand). 
Then a conference was arranged with the minister, who, being 
defeated in argument, was expelled the house. The mother 
now submitted to the Roman faith. A large hall at the top 
of the house was made into a chapel ; the ladies offered their 
jewels, robes, and embroideries, the altar was decked with 
diamonds, and Archangel, who now resumed his friar's dress, 
had a massive chalice made out of his mother's rings. Two 
years after, all priests were commanded to leave the country, 
and he had to quit Monymusk. In writing to console him, his 
mother assured him that she now restored to him his inherit- 
ance, but she herself so the story continued soon became 
the victim of persecution. She was excommunicated by 
the presbytery and condemned to the loss of all her goods. 

228 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Reduced to distress, she took up her abode in a little cottage, 
where she earned a miserable pittance by needlework. Arch- 
angel was then in Paris, and by his influence with the French 
Court, obtained letters to the King of England, through which 
the mansion house and lands were finally restored to her. But 
before this could be effected, he so longed to console her that 
he ventured back in disguise as a peasant. As he came near 
Monymusk he gathered some herbs, and pretending to be a 
gardener, he went about the streets crying, " Buy my greens ! " 
The guards stopped him at the gates, for the town was walled, 
and as he dared not ask where his mother lived, he walked 
three times through the town. At last she appeared and 
called, " Here, gardener." He was much affected at seeing her 
dressed like a servant, and having to buy her vegetables, and 
while she was bargaining about the purchase, he looked her full 
in the face, and said, " Madam, this gardener does not sell, but 
gives to his mother." She uttered a cry that might have 
been fatal to them. The interview was but short, for the 
commissaries of the King in matters of religion were at hand, 
and broke into the cottage, and it was with difficulty that he 

Such is the story that George Leslie told Archbishop 
Rinuccini and his friend, Father Pica, an Oratorian, in the 
garden of the Capuchin convent at Ripa Transone in 1631. The 
Archbishop resolved to put it in print, convinced that it would 
take wings and fly into every corner of Europe, making 
thousands of converts. Meanwhile, Leslie once more left Italy 
for Scotland, and all that is known of this second mission is 
that he died about two years after, according to a contemporary, 
" in his mother's poor house just over the river Dee, against 
the mill of Aboyne." 

Rinuccini's biography appeared in 1664, and for the wonders 

The Fiction of Archangel Leslie. 229 

related in it Leslie alone is responsible. But the fiction did 
not stop here. In some French editions a supplement was 
added containing a marvellous story of his shipwreck off the 
Isle of Wight, and of his making himself known to Charles I, 
who welcomed him to his palace at Newport (although in truth, 
Charles never kept court there at that time). The grateful 
monarch sent him by sea to Aberdeen, and granted the Leslies 
of Monymusk, as special privileges, the free exercise of their 
religion and the services of a Roman Catholic chaplain, in 
return for the benefits rendered by the family to the Crown. 
The friar henceforth, in several narratives, is styled "Count 
Leslie," his mother is the "Baroness of Tony," and his younger 
brothers who have also joined his faith are called "Barons." 

The fame of Monymusk House, its counts, and its barons 
had now, as Rinuccini had prophesied, spread throughout 
Europe. The noble Capuchin appeared, as one of his bio- 
graphers declared, "the most illustrious personage Scotland 
had produced " ; "a spectacle to all Europe," said another. A 
Roman friar celebrated the story of Monymusk and the 
conversion of its owner, in a drama entitled " II Cappuccino 
Scozzese in scena" (1673), of which the first scene is laid in 
" Monumusco Villa," and the poor presbyterian minister is 
given the somewhat uncommon name of Lurcanio ! But this 
is not all. In quite recent times some sceptical writers, even 
among Roman Catholics, suggested doubts about the story, and 
some of their learned historians were thus led to make, or to 
pretend to make investigations as to the facts. Bishop Raess of 
Strassburg in his work in thirteen volumes on famous converts 
to the Church of Rome, fully confirms the story. The 
Capuchin historian, Rocco da Cesinale, a theologian of high 
repute, who attended the Vatican Council, and has written a 
history of the missionaries of his order, says that he took pains 

230 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

to get at the truth. He came to London in 1867, and learned 
from a member of the Leslie family that Rinuccini had 
"accurately described the House of Monymusk," and that 
"the library was turned into a chapel by Father Archangel 
and many traces of that use still remain." Lastly, Pere 
Richard, who professes to have made independent researches 
in preparation for a sumptuous edition of the story in 
French, entitled " Le Comte Georges Leslie, ou une Mission 
dans la Grande Bretagne au premier siecle de la Reforme," has 
learned some points in our local history, and has put them 
together in a way that has the merit of having been quite 
unknown to any of ourselves. He is very precise in his topo- 
graphy. " In the North of Scotland," he writes, " not far 
from the city of Aberdeen there is a rather large burgh (' un 
bourg assez considerable') called Monymusk. This burgh 
owed its existence and its name to a strong Castle built at the 
end of the eleventh century by King Malcolm III, who made 
it a gift to one of his most faithful subjects, of whom we shall 
speak presently. The Manor which rose up proudly and 
majestically in an enchanting situation, was girt on one side by 
enormous masses of rock, out of which it seemed to be hewn, 
and on the other by an admirable park, which following the 
capricious meanderings of the Dee, stretched almost as far as 
the gates of Aberdeen. Toward the end of the sixteenth 
century, this princely residence was inhabited by James, Count 
of Leslie, and Jane Sylvie Wood his spouse. The Count of 
Leslie was descended from an illustrious house of Hungary 
which came into Scotland in the eleventh century," and so on. 
Well if we are to believe this Pere Richard on the death 
of Archangel, the King of England sent to the brothers Leslie, 
a special messenger to express his regret at the loss of so 
distinguished a subject. The Barons of Torry who inherited 

The Fiction of Archangel Leslie. 

their half-brother's property, now agreed to consecrate the 
Manor of Monymusk as a centre of the Roman Catholic 
mission. As long as Charles I. lived, it is told us, the Barons 
were not molested, but Cromwell put the mansion to the flames, 
the brothers were driven to the mountains, arid when they died 
without issue, the House of Tony became extinct. 

What a strange fiction ! How singular that the transparent 
imposture should have gained such wide-spread currency, 
which it will doubtless continue to retain in some quarters, for 
a fresh account of it was published a few years ago in Phila- 
delphia, and even in our own country Mr. Hunter Blair in his 
translation of Bellesheim's History devotes several pages to the 
* fruitful labours ' and * almost unlimited influence ' of the 
distinguished missionary! Mr. Law says, " If we are to believe 
Archangel, Monymusk House was the home of his boyhood, 
the property of his mother, the scene of his visit in the guise of 
a cavalier, the centre of his missionary triumphs, and his own 
prospective inheritance. Remove Monymusk from the story, 
and the whole falls as a house of cards, and with it goes 
Archangel's reputation as a simple-minded Capuchin and an 
honest man." 

We need hardly say that this whole foundation is absolutely 
false. Monymusk was never in the possession of the Leslie 
family or any one connected with them. Nor was there any 
Count Leslie till after the Capuchin's death, Walter Leslie of 
the Balquhain family being created such in 1637. At the date 
of the story, Monymusk House was occupied by Sir William 
Forbes, who, we need not say, was never a Roman Catholic. 
The lands of Torry, on the other side of the Dee from Aber- 
deen, also belonged to him, and were sold afterwards by his 
family to the City of Aberdeen in 1705. Instead of the 
" impious " minister's being expelled the House, he married 

232 Many musk : its Church and Priory. 

Sir William's eldest daughter in 1632. The Library is indeed 
at the top of the House, and is a fine room, but it were strange 
if it still bore " many traces " of having been turned into a chapel, 
for the room was not then in existence, this part being built 
years after by the Grant family. The House was never burned 
by Cromwell or any one else, and our little village with its 
thirty houses all told, mostly cottages, is doubtless as large now 
as it ever was, and can hardly boast of streets, much less of 
having been a walled town with gates. There is not even a 
substratum of truth in the fiction. George Leslie's parents were 
in comparatively poor circumstances, and he himself had not 
much of the hero in him or any great regard for truth a 
contemporary, who was of his own faith, being witness. His 
mother, after the death of her first husband, George's father, 
married another Leslie, who was "laird of Belcairn," in 
Meldrum, about fifteen miles from this. As an Aberdeenshire 
boy, George knew something of Monymusk, and may have 
been connected through his mother with some persons living in 
it, for on the stone inside the Church, which we mentioned 
(p. 184), John Lesly, Balcarne, is seen to have died in 1601. 
His first wife was the daughter of John Forbes in Abersnithack, 
and died in 1583. His second wife and their son were also 
buried here, and then he himself. So that even if he did 
not live here, there had been repeated funerals from Balcairn to 
our churchyard, and through his mother's second marriage 
there may have been other things making George Leslie familiar 
in thought with our parish. Of course he could not see the 
consequences of the deception that his vanity prompted him to 
play off upon the too credulous Archbishop, and if we look at 
it as a mere story we in Monymusk may learn how the name of 
our parish has been celebrated in various languages of Europe, 
and we also find that we are indebted to him and his many 

The Fiction of Archangel Leslie. 


biographers for an object lesson in historical criticism as enter- 
taining as it is instructive. While, if we think of it more 
seriously, every one sees that the purpose of the narrative as a 
whole is simply to glorify a popish missionary and the Roman 
Church and those yielding to it, and to bring others into 
contempt ; but surely no one is justified in continuing to 
spread such a legend even as a romance, for in no romance, 
especially when anything sacred is involved in it, is it permissible 
to use names of persons and families, and connect them and 
their homes with what is absolutely false and deceptive, under 
colour of truth and fact. 

Since this account was put into the printers' hands, we have had the 
opportunity of reading again Dr. Joseph Robertson's little narrative of 
* The History of the Reformation in Aberdeen,' which we had not seen for 
some years. It consists of four papers that appeared in 1837, and were 
collected and reprinted in 1887. The closing paper gives an outline of 
Rinuccini's work. Dr. Robertson speaks of it in very strong language. 
He evidently appears to think that the story was a deliberate invention of 
Rinuccini's. This was not the case. Rinuccini shows not a trace of 
dishonesty. It was Leslie who deceived the Archbishop, and there is 
no reason to suppose that he was ever undeceived. But if Leslie's 
deception was dictated simply by vanity and brag, the guilt of his con- 
tinuators is of a graver character. We cannot think that writers like 
Pere Richard are justified in propagating the story without more real investi- 
gation. His researches were evidently a pretence, and his credulity 
culpable, and those of his faith ought to learn caution in trusting 
such legends, which are handed down without historical evidence. 
When Dr. Robertson quotes the Archbishop's words regarding those who 
' will be reduced to dispute the truth of the narrative and give the lie to his 
work,' he naively remarks, " In this quarter at least such a labour would be 
superfluous ; if the book does not give the lie to itself it may still command 
implicit credit in the ' large town of Monymusk,' and its * fame reach even 
to Aberdeen.' We heartily join," he adds, "in the Archbishop's prayer for 
' wings to his little book,' that the eyes of the country may be opened to 
the nature of such " legends. 









IN 1567 James Murray was minister of the parish. At the 
end of this year the Protestant faith was finally established 
throughout the country and received the royal sanction. 
Murray had also Kinernie in charge, a parish half of which 
about 1743 was joined to Cluny and half to Midmar. He had 
100 merks as stipend, and was presented to the parsonage and 
vicarage in 1573 by James VI, but he does not seem to have 
got possession. He continued as 'reader' till 1589.' "The 
duty of the ' reader ' was confined to reading the Scriptures to 
the people, without making any remark to them on what he 
read. From the 'Register of Benefices' compiled about 1570, 
we learn that the total number of ' ministers ' in Aberdeenshire 
did not exceed thirty ; the number of * exhorters ' did not reach 
half that number ; and the chief provision made for the spiritual 
wants of the people, was in the 'readers,' persons employed 
simply to read the Scriptures at a miserable pittance of 16 or 
20 a year, [as we saw before on page 205.] With three or 
four exceptions there was not within the county a minister who 
had not two, three, four, or five parishes under his charge." 2 

1 Collns. A. and B. p. 227 ; Fasti. 

2 Dr. Joseph Robertson, The Reformation in Aberdeen, pp. 58, 68, 69. 

Ministers since the Reformation. 


Regarding this, Dr Chalmers said in a speech in 1835, "Whole 
tracts of country were rifled by the hand of violence of their 
ecclesiastical patrimony, and no means were left for the 
Christian education of the people, who would have sunk into a 
state of moral barbarism but for the efforts of so many patriots 
as courageous and enlightened as the world ever saw the 
fathers and founders of the Church of Scotland." 

In 1572 John Forbes, son of Duncan Forbes of Monymusk, 
was presented by James VI, but he was not admitted. This 
year was the beginning of the struggle between Episcopacy and 
Presbytery, which continued with varying fortunes during 118 
years till 1690, after the Stuarts were driven from the throne of 
England. The periods of Episcopacy as imposed by the 
Sovereign and resisted on that account were 

from February, 1572, to June, 1592, twenty years, 
from October, 1610, to June, 1638, twenty-eight years, and 
from May, 1661, to June, 1690, twenty-six years, in 
all seventy-four years. 

This John Forbes became Forbes of Camphill. 1 In 1599 
and 1665 John Forbes of Camphill is mentioned in ' Skene of 
Skene ' and again in 1688 a John Forbes of Camphill is spoken 
of as * brother of William Forbes in the manor place of 
Monymusk.' 2 

In 1574 James Johnnestoune, previously referred to, was 
presented by James VI to this parish, having Cluny also in 
charge, John Strachan being * reader ' there. 3 He was a cadet 
of Caskieben, and in 1607 he executed there a charter to his 
second son James of a ' solar ' third part of Aquhorthies. He 
was the first ' settled ' minister here after the Reformation, and 
had to pay his own reader. In 1578 or 1585 Bourtie was in- 
cluded under his charge, but in 1593 Fetternear, an original 

i Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 236. 2 pp. 50, 32, 28. 3 Collns. A. and B. p. 228. 

236 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

parish now in Chapel of Garioch, (in Blairdaff, quoad sacra) 
was given instead. He died ipth March, 1615, aged 76. In 
the * Fasti ' it is said that he seems to have gone to Tough in 
1608, but in the record of his death he is called 'parson of 
Monymusk ' leaving his son James his executor, with the by- 
rents of Isaacston. * 

In 1587 Parliament passed an Act annexing the temporalities 
of the various bishoprics to the Crown. ' Every acre of eccle- 
siastical patrimony now passed into laymen's hands, the Church 
henceforth receiving a small dole grudgingly of what had once 
been her own. Nor was the Crown much enriched by this 
spoliation. James VI soon squandered the plunder among his 
greedy favourites who grew great upon the spoils of the bishops, 
and he had nothing left to himself but regret at his double 
folly.' 2 

William Urry of Pitfichie was about this time married to 
Agnes, daughter of Alexander Leslie, third baron of Wardes 
near Inverurie. She married secondly Laurence Leith in 
Rayne in 1580. 

Two interesting notices are given in the ' Burgh Records of 
Aberdeen,' (Spalding Club) : " Maister Duncan Forbes of 
Monewisk and bailye of Aberdeen departtit the xxi day Februar 
1584 years." "Annes Gray, the spouse of Maister Duncan 
Forbes of Monimwsk and bailye of Aberdeen departtit the 
twenty day of October 1584 yeris and was buried in the pariss 
of Aberdeen with hir forbearis." As Dr. J. Robertson points out 
in his ' Reformation in Aberdeen ' it is deserving of notice that 
at this era ' the population of Aberdeen did not exceed 4000.' 

In 1588-89 William Forbes of Monymusk received a charter 
from James VI, dated 2oth January, erecting the town into a 

1 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, pp. 155, 236, 209. 

2 Mr. Lippe, Wodrow, p. xxx. 

Ministers since the Reformation. 237 

burgh of barony with two free fairs on the muir of Monymusk, 
(i) on the first feast of St. Mary in autumn and (2) on the last 
feast of St. Mary. One of these markets dropped off some time 
ago, but the other was kept up till about 25 years ago, when, 
one cow only appearing on the muir, it also was allowed to die 

In 1 60- James Irving, minister of Tough, was presented to 
this parish by James VI. He had a very hard life of it. The 
Crowns of England and Scotland were united in 1603 and 
James VI * suddenly found himself the absolute monarch of a 
great Kingdom.' He was anxious to bring about a civil union 
also and promote uniformity in the English and Scottish 
Churches " a natural ambition if he had gone about the matter 
in a kindly and constitutional way. But this was not his way, 
especially now. He dissolved Assemblies of the Church which 
he thought would be unruly, and cast the ministers who met in 
spite of him, into jail. He called other Assemblies when and 
where he pleased by his own kingly prerogative and filled them 
with those who, he knew, would do his bidding. In this way the 
work was easily and effectually done. In an Assembly which 
met at Glasgow in 1610, the Presbyterian polity was pulled 
down stone by stone by the hands of Presbyterian ministers and 
the Episcopal polity set up in its room." ' 

The Church had possessed the right to hold Assemblies 
yearly, but one meeting that had been appointed for July 1605 
at Aberdeen, James put off, as he feared opposition to his 
measures from the Church. 'It was the last Assembly for many 
years that was deemed valid in after times.' Only nineteen 
members attended, and the Assembly was constituted notwith- 
standing the royal prohibition. The Moderator chosen was 

i Dr. Cunningham, St. Giles, p. 172. 

238 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

" an eminent man," Mr. John Forbes, minister of Alford. He 
was a son of William Forbes of Corse and his wife Elizabeth 
Strachan of the Thornton family in Kincardineshire. His 
brother Patrick was Bishop of Aberdeen from May 1618, to 
March 1635, whose son John, Professor of Divinity in King's 
College, was " one of the greatest and holiest divines that 
Scotland has ever produced. " x Lord Sempill (Sir William 
Forbes of Craigievar and Fintray, Bart.), is descended from his 
brother William. Mr. James Ross or Rose, Aberdeen, father 
of the minister of Birse, of whom we shall speak afterwards, 
preached the opening sermon before the Assembly. They did 
not transact any business, but simply met and then adjourned, 
their sole object being to preserve the rights of the Church. 
The King, however, declared their conduct, and then their 
defence rebellious, and they were subjected to the severest 
penalties. John Forbes and five others were imprisoned in 
Blackness and tried for high treason, found guilty by a packed 
jury and banished for life to the Continent. Forbes became a 
minister at Middleburgh, and then at Delft, and died in exile 
about 1634. Dr. Sprott of North Berwick writes an account of 
him in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xix. His 
daughter was married to Andrew Skene, who, in 1633, was 
infeft in the lands of Overtoun of Dyce. 2 Eight others, making 
fourteen of the nineteen, were imprisoned in Stirling Castle, 
among them our Mr. Irving, and the minister of Towie. All 
were made to feel the heaviest weight of the King's dis- 
pleasure for refusing to acknowledge his spiritual supremacy 
and support his episcopal changes. Next year Mr. Irving's 
confinement was changed, by the King's letter, to the Orkney 
Islands, and when he refused to obey owing to the distance, it 
was changed in 1607, to his own parish where he was allowed 

i Dr. Sprott, Liturgies of James VI. pp. x, xi. 2 Skene of Skene, p. 30. 

Ministers since the Reformation. 

2 39 

to perform his duties, but was prohibited from attending 
meetings of Synod or Presbytery. Three years afterwards James 
induced the General Assembly to assent to the establishment of 
Episcopacy, and it continued for twenty-eight years, when it 
was abolished, and Presbyterianism established. " But/'' as 
Dr. Sprott says in the ' Conference of the Church Society,' 
" there was no formation of a separate Episcopal Church, 
although three-fourths of the clergy were in Episcopal orders, 
and such were in a majority in every presbytery." Mr. Irving 
was admitted to this parish before April, 1613. He was 
deprived before October 27th, 1615, but returned to Tough, 
and was translated to Arbirlot, near Arbroath, in 1617, and died 
in 1625. This was the year of James VI's death. Charles I. 
continued his father's policy, but knowing less of the country 
he 'adopted even more unworkable plans' for effecting his 
wishes. 'He alienated the landowners by proposing to take 
back the tithes and benefices that his father had granted to his 
favourites, and he irritated the people by trying to impose on 
them a service-book that was not in accordance with their 
national feelings.' 

In 1615 William Forbes became minister here, the most 
eminent minister our parish has ever had. He was descended 
from Forbes of Corsindae, and was thus a relative of Forbes of 
Monymusk. He was born in Aberdeen in 1585. His father was 
Thomas Forbes a burgess, and his mother Janet, sister of 
Dr. James Cargill, a distinguished physician, and the earliest 
of Aberdeen botanists the founder, too, of four bursaries in 
Marischal College, which had been recently founded. When 
twelve William Forbes entered that College, and graduated when 
sixteen. Principal Gilbert Gray had such regard for his learn- 
ing and modesty that he was very soon appointed Professor of 
Logic, but after four years he resigned his chair, and travelled 

240 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

through Poland, Germany, and Holland, studying at German 
universities for four or five years, and acquiring a wide know- 
ledge of patristic literature, and a close acquaintance with 
Hebrew. He was offered the Professorship of Hebrew at 
Oxford, but declined it owing to the state of his health, and 
returned to Aberdeen, being then about twenty-five years old. 
He was ordained minister of Alford about 1614, and was 
presented to this parish by James VI on the 2yth Oct., 1615. 
He attested a confirmation-charter in 1615 as 'rector of Mony- 
musk.' 1 In August of the next year he preached before the 
General Assembly in Aberdeen, and in November was trans- 
lated from Monymusk to one of the city churches in Aberdeen 
' with full and uniform consent and applause of the whole 
congregation.' 2 In 1618 he was a member of the General 
Assembly at Perth and was selected to defend one of "the Five 
Articles" that were drawn up by James VI, and which he 
forced on the Assembly so that it enacted them. Next year he 
was appointed a Visitor of King's College, and in 1620, at the 
request of the Town Council and of Earl Marischal, he became 
fourth Principal of Marischal College, succeeding Principal 
Gray, but was asked to continue his ministerial services. He 
also taught Divinity and Hebrew. In the end of 1621, he was 
translated to one of the churches of Edinburgh, but not finding 
comfort there owing to the power of the Presbyterian party, he 
returned to Aberdeen, the stronghold of the Episcopalians, and 
resumed his former charge. 

Charles I. came to Edinburgh in 1633 f r his coronation. 
Laud was with him, being then Bishop of London and Dean of 
the Chapel Royal, but in that year he was made Archbishop of 
Canterbury. Charles brought him with him that the Scottish 
bishops might be instructed to draw up another liturgy, after 

i Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 233. 2 Records of Kirk Session, Spalding Qub, p. 85. 

Ministers since the Reformation. 241 

the model of the Anglican one, different from that in use 
everywhere since the Reformation, and might then forward it 
to London for revisal, which they did with such disastrous 
results. William Forbes was one of those who then preached 
before Charles I., and the King was so pleased with his 
eloquence, and with the doctrine of his sermon, a report of 
which is preserved, as in Dr. Grub's History, 1 that he said he 
had ''''found out a preacher who deserved to have a see created for 
him'' So he erected Edinburgh into a bishopric, 29th Sept., 
1633, and made Forbes its first bishop in February of the next 
year. But he died on the i2th April, within three months ; 
' hardly a hundred days,' of his being appointed, in his forty- 
ninth year, and was buried in St. Giles' Cathedral. His 
portrait hangs in the hall of Marischal College, painted by 
Jameson, who was at the height of his fame about 1635, and a 
print of it is given by the New Spalding Club in Mr. Lippe's 
'Wodrow.' A letter in Mr. Cosmo Innes' Sketches 2 shows 
that Jameson charged for his portraits twenty merks, he furnish- 
ing cloth and colours. He was a pupil of Van Dyck. One of 
Forbes' younger sons, Arthur, became Professor of Humanity 
at St. Jean d' Angel, near La Rochelle. 

Dr. Sprott says that Bishop Forbes was ' a man of immense 
learning, and of the highest character.' Dr. Joseph Robertson 
says of him 3 'In 1635 St. Giles at Edinburgh became the 
Cathedral of a new diocese erected by King Charles for the 
greatest of the Scottish divines of the great Caroline School, 
the learned and pious William Forbes." Dr. Garden in his life 
of { John Forbes of Corse,' said of him long ago, ' He was a 
person who might be numbered with the best primitive fathers 
for the sanctity of his life, humility of mind, gravity, modesty, 

1 Dr. Grub's History, vol. II. pp. 348, 349. 3 Dr. Joseph Robertson, Abbeys, 

2 Mr. Cosmo Innes, Sketches, p. 521. p. 79. 

242 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

temperance, frequent prayer and fasting, the practice of good 
works, care of the poor, frequent visiting of the sick and com- 
forting them, and all Christian virtues.' Mr. Lippe says that 
* in his Collections Wodrow does not take sufficient account of 
the learning and saintly and consistent life for which he was so 
distinguished.' Spottiswood said of him, * His works show him 
to have been a man of vast learning and sound judgment.' 
Dr. Milroy, in his 'Lee Lecture' for 1891 on this Episcopal 
period, says of him, " He was the champion of what may be 
described as the liberal, pacific, and conciliatory tendency in 
the Scottish Church, having expressed his views when in 
Aberdeen, in a work published twenty-four years after his 
death, entitled 'Pacific and Moderate Considerations.'" Of 
this work Dr. Cooper of St. Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, in an 
account of Forbes in the ' Dictionary of National Biography,' 
vol. xix., says, "Though lacking the author's final touches, and 
in parts a mere fragment, it is a work of great depth and 
learning ; it deals with what may be called the imperial ques- 
tions of the Christian Church, and from its combined serious- 
ness and moderation, it has powerfully affected many who have 
had at heart, like Forbes, reunion of the Church on a Catholic 

In 1636 Laud issued his book of Canons and new Liturgy, 
the reading of which in St. Giles' Cathedral on Sunday, 
23rd July, of the next year, led to the outbreak. It was the 
spark that set the whole country in a blaze, and indeed kindled 
the civil war in England, as well as Scotland. 1 The National 
Covenant was signed March ist, 1638, at Greyfriars Church, 
Edinburgh, and the General Assembly, consisting of 140 minis- 
ters, and 98 nobles and other laymen, ' fully representing the 
national feeling,' was held at Glasgow, November 2ist, over- 

i Dr. Cunningham, St. Giles, p. 179 

Ministers since the Reformation. 


throwing the Episcopacy of this period. Its next period of 
twenty-six years from 1661 was one of the most regrettable 
periods in the history of our Church. 

In 1617, August 1 2th, Thomas Forbes was presented by 
James VI, but was translated to Leochel in 1622, where his 
house " was spolzeit by John Dugar and his companions on the 
8th August, I638." 1 

In 1622 Adam Barclay was translated from Leochel, being 
presented by James VI on 5th March. He was translated to 
Alford in 1625, and was elected Professor of Divinity in King's 
College in 1642. He declined, however, to accept the chair; 
but, singularly enough, it is in his name that the charter of 
Charles I. is made out, dated i2th March, 1642, in connection 
with the professorship, detailing the mode of election that is 
still followed, the payment of the salary from the rents of 
Cairntradlyn in Kinellar, and the occupation of the house in 
the Chaplainry (now sold) that was given by John Forbes of 
Corse. As minister of Alford he was Moderator of the 
Aberdeen Synod in October, 1652. His son Adam became 
minister of Towie, and then of Keig in 1666; and a daughter, 
Barbara, married Arthur Rose (or Ross) who became the last 
Archbishop of St. Andrews, of whom we shall afterwards speak, 
and of whose daughter we shall also hear. 2 

In 1617, the Priory of Monymusk, along with the Abbey 
of Crossraguel in Ayrshire was annexed to the Bishopric of 
Dunblane when its bishop, Adam Bannantyne, was appointed 
Dean of the Chapel Royal of SS. Mary and Michael in the 
Castle of Stirling, founded by James IV. This arrangement 
was ratified by Parliament, 4th August, 1621, the see of Dun- 
blane being the poorest in Scotland, its revenue being spoken 

1 Spalding's Memorials, I. p. 94. 

2 Records of Synod, Spalding Club, p. 221 ; Fasti under Alford. 

244 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

of as only .120. This seems the only way of explaining what 
the writer of these notes has seen stated, although unfortunately 
he is not now able to find the authority for the statement, that 
the saintly Archbishop Leighton of Glasgow, who had been 
Bishop of Dunblane in 1662, was at one time, 'Vicar of Mony- 
musk.' " Next in dignity to the Cathedrals were the Collegiate 
Churches, whose Heads were called Provosts or sometimes 
Deans. There were at one time thirty-three such churches 
in this country, the most opulent being the Chapel Royal of 
Stirling." ' 

In 1625 Alexander Lunan, from being a University teacher, 
a regent in King's College, was presented by Charles I. In 
1628 he was translated to the parish of Kintore, and in 1632 
married Jean, eldest daughter of Sir William Forbes, who had 
been created by Charles I. in 1626 the first Baronet of Mony- 
musk. Their eldest son William was born the next year at 
Kintore. He was served heir to his father, 2nd June, 1665. 
He married Barbara Gordon, whose name is entered in the 
Poll-book of 1696, as then at Ramstone, "the relict of a gentle- 
man, and thus liable in payment of a third part of his poll." 
They had a son William, born at Delab in 1664, who became 
a merchant in Aberdeen, and then came to live in the village of 
Monymusk, his name being also entered in the Poll-book. He 
married Isobel, daughter of William Thain of Blackball, near 
Inverurie, in 1691. She died at Blairdaff in 1739. ' 

Before his death, William Lunan, with his wife, Barbara 
Gordon, had been in Abersnithack (Braehead). They had a 
daughter, Anna, who, after her father's death, married in 
Oct., 1685, John Forbes, Tombeg, who was a son of William 
Forbes, the brother of Pitnacadle, who were the sons of 

1 Mr. Lippe, Wodrow, pp. xix, xx, Ix, Ixi, ; Mr. Wakott, Ancient Church, p. 203. 

2 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, pp. 540, 386. 

Ministers since the Reformation. 245 

William Forbes, the seventh laird of Tolquhon, in Tarves. 
John Forbes, Tombeg, and his wife, Anna Lunan, are also 
recorded in the Poll-book, the value of the stock on Tombeg 
" exceeding ten thousand merks." Four children are recorded 
along with them, and, they had afterwards other seven. Their 
son William, who was born in 1687, died in 1740 at Badifurrow, 
now Manar. 1 

It anticipates dates very much, but it may be convenient to 
finish this account here. William Lunan and his wife Isobel 
Thain, had a son Alexander, who became Episcopal minister at 
Blairdaff, November, 1729. He was thus the great-grandson of 
the minister of Monymusk and Kintore. He continued at Blair- 
daff until April, 1744, when he removed to Inglismaldie, in 
Kincardineshire, where he died in 1769, aged sixty-six. 
Blairdaff property then belonged to ' an ardently Jacobite 
family' named Smith, and Mr. Lunan, according to his diary, 
which is still extant, dispensed the Communion there to two 
hundred and seventy or three hundred persons annually. His 
successor, however, Mr. Morrice, could get only about fifty 
members of the congregation to bind themselves to give him a 
house and a stipend of a few pounds. 2 

A most kindly feeling existed here at this time, Mr. Simpson 
being the parish minister. In 1742, when Lady Grant, her 
mother Mrs. Potts, and her infant daughter, were all three 
buried in the churchyard within sixteen days of each other, 
Mr. Lunan, though an Episcopalian, read the burial service in 
our church, and preached in it at Lady Grant's funeral, 4th May, 
his text being Job xiv. i. " Man that is born of a woman is of 
few days, and full of trouble. He cometh up like a flower, and 
is cut down : he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not." 3 

1 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, pp. 597, 406, 407, 409, 597. 

2 Dr. Walker, Dean Skinner, p. 14 ; Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 386. 

3 Dr. Walker, Dean Skinner, pp. 114, 115. 

246 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Mr. Lunan was a near relative of Alexander Lunan, minister of 
Daviot, who was deposed in 1716 for the part he took in the 
Rebellion of 1715. Various descendants of the Lunan family 
can still be traced, among them Mr. J. Forbes Robertson, 
London, 1 and the Rev. James Donald, minister of Keithhall, 
whose father, Rev. William Donald, was minister of Peterhead 
(dying in 1844), his father, James, being in Mill of Keithhall, 
whose wife was Ann Forbes (dying in 1828) daughter of James 
Forbes, a son of John Forbes in Tombeg, and Anna Lunan. 

The Episcopal congregation moved from Blairdaff in 1801 
to the present Church in Monymusk village. 2 

In 1629 John Gellie, who was a Covenanter, was translated 
to this parish from Premnay, being presented by Charles I. 
on 4th September. In 1652 his name is entered in the Roll 
of Synod, as shown in the Spalding Club * Records of Synod/ 
as Mr. John Gellie c elder ' at Monymusk, the ' younger ' being 
at Kinkell, an inscription on the south gable of the old church 
there, stating that he died 4th August, 1683. Our Mr. Gellie 
petitioned Parliament, 26th March, 1647, on account of his 
losses and sufferings, which were certified by Major-General 
Middleton, on which five hundred merks were ordered to be 
paid him for his present subsistence. But notwithstanding 
this, it is recorded in our Session minute book, November 5th, 
1682, that there being "need and desire for building a bridge 
over the burn of Tone, the Session resolved to give a hundred 
merks out of the box, which Mr. John Gellie, late minister, 
had bequeathed, as was said, to that effect." He died in 
1652 or 1653, leaving two sons and two daughters, and his 
descendants still remain among us Mr. Gellie, district-surveyor, 
Alford, being one of them. 

i Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 407. 2 Dr. Walker, Dean Skinner, p. 14. 

Sir William Forbes and the Covenant. 247 

As we have mentioned, the Solemn League and Covenant 
was signed on the ist March, 1638. Dr. Davidson in his work 
on ' Inverurie and the Earldom of the Garioch ' gives a general 
historical account of the period as regards Aberdeenshire, but 
our purpose is a much humbler one, for we must simply try to 
extract from Spalding's 'Memorials of the Troubles,' the 
notices connected with our own parish. The following year, 
1639, was one of constant disorder in Aberdeenshire. Sir 
William Forbes was an active Covenanter, and ' upon the 
i4th January, 1639, the name of Forbes had a great meeting 
at Monymusk for their own business.' The Marquis of Huntly, 
who had raised an army against the Covenanters, ' hearing of 
this meeting, convened his friends, about three hundred men, 
at Kintore, on the i8th. It is said that he wrote for Mony- 
musk and others, his vassals [as we saw in the ' bands ' for 
Inver and Delab], but none came to him, except the laird of 
Brux.' In February there was a meeting of the Forbeses and 
Frasers at Monymusk, and on Monday, 22nd April, another 
meeting which must have been a notable gathering in our little 
place, * was held at Monymusk by the Earl Marischal, the Earl 
of Seaforth, the Lord Fraser, the Master of Forbes, with sundry 
other barons and burgesses of Aberdeen of the Covenant, who, 
hearing of Lord Aboyne's [Lord Huntly's] rising, resolved to 
continue this committee at Turriff from the 24th to the 26th 
current, in hopes that there should come by that time sundry 
gentlemen out of Caithness, Sutherland, -Ross, Moray, and 
other parts.' 1 The skirmish that came to be known as 'The 
Trot of Turriff' took place on Monday, the i3th May, and 
with it the civil war may be said to have opened. The 
Don-side Forbeses do not seem to have been there, but Major- 
General Urry, of whom we shall speak immediately, was present 

i Spalding's Memorials, I. pp. 131, 141, 173, 174. 

248 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

at it After this success the Royalists went to ' plunder Echt, 
Skene, Monymusk, and other houses pertaining to the name 
of Forbes,' all leading Covenanters. On the 25th, there was 
an assembly at Aberdeen of an army of men, the lairds of 
Monymusk, Leslie, Echt, Craigievar, &c., having, it was 
estimated, one thousand men. 1 Next year, 1640, Sir William 
Forbes was one of the local committee, under Earl Marischal, 
as General of the North, for guiding and ruling the town and 
county, and for levying the tax in support of the cause. In 
May of that year, as Spalding is careful to record, the laird of 
Drum, returning from a meeting of the Gordons in Strathbogie, 
happened to come past where the laird of Monymusk was, * in 
a moss, causing cast peats, who sent out William Forbes, 
brother to Petnacaddell, upon his best horse to ask who Drum 
was, there being about 24 horse, but through this gentleman's 
own miscarriage, he was dismounted, and his master's horse 
taken from him, and he sent on foot to tell the laird tidings, 
whereat he was mightily offended.' 2 Three years after, Sir 
William Forbes and other leaders in the district had to prepare 
to defend their houses, and the year following, 1644, the Marquis 
of Montrose, who, when the Covenant was first signed, was in 
the forefront of the agitation for its defence, but had become 
Royalist leader, now 'sweeping over the country like a fiery 
meteor,' having defeated the Covenanters on the i3th Septem- 
ber at Aberdeen, burned Pittodrie and Dorlethen on Friday, 
October i8th, and also 'the rich corn-yard' of Castle Fraser, 
then called Muchell, the bridge on the main road beside the 
approach to it being still called ' the Bridge of Muchell." The 
next day, Saturday, October i9th, Sir William Forbes being, 
no doubt very wisely, absent, Montrose dined at Monymusk 
with Lady Forbes, who was a daughter of Sir Thomas Burnett 

i Spalding's Memorials-, I. pp. 188, 193. 2 Ibid. pp. 267, 331, 349, 269, 270. 

Urry of Pitfichie. 


of Crathes, when she managed to get the place exempted from 
pillage. ' Upon fair conditions he spared him this time,' and 
on a second occasion, he spared the lands of Monymusk 
' unplundered upon some private conditions,' but in 1645, 
Leith of Harthill, in Oyne, burned the town and lands of 
Tombeg occupied by William Forbes, but pertaining in heritage 
to the laird of Monymusk, owing to William Forbes' having 
plundered from his servant some * moneys,' with his baggage- 
horse. Harthill manned and fortified his house which was a 
stronghold, for his own defence, and the Forbeses and the 
Frasers gathered against him, but did him no hurt. In January 
of the previous year, 1644, the lairds of Pittodrie, Monymusk, 
Edit, Udny, Skene, <S:c., had to meet the laird of Drum as 
Sheriff-principal of Aberdeenshire at the Green at Udny. 1 In 
April, when the Marquis of Argyll came to Dunnottar Castle, 
Sir William Forbes and others, chiefly Forbeses and Frasers, 
* took to themselves strength and came to the fields,' and on 
September 6th the committee ordered an assembly of all their 
supporters in Aberdeen, and among the principal men of the 
shire came Sir William Forbes of Monymusk and John Forbes 
of Corsindae. 2 This seems to close Spalding's account of Sir 
William's connection with these Troubles. He died in 1653. 

We have, however, strange to say, to think of this era in 
our nation's history, in connection with the representative of 
another family that had owned a part of our parish, that of 

It was in 1642 that the great Civil War broke out in 
England, the Royal standard being raised at Nottingham in 
August of that year. On 3oth January, 1649, Charles I. was be- 
headed at Whitehall During this period mention is made of 

i Spalding's Memorials, II. pp. 423, 458, 475, 477, 304. 2 Ibid. II. pp. 349, 401, 402. 

250 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

Major-General Urry (Urrie or Hurry) the representative of the 
long line of the Urries of Pitfichie, one of whom we spoke of in 
connection with the lands of Forglen and the Brecbannoch, 
and another as a witness to various deeds in connection with 
our Priory before the Reformation, as on 6th February, 1534. 
General Urry did not himself possess Pitfichie, although he 
was probably born there, for his father had sold the property 
in 1597 to John Cheyne of Fortrie. His mother was Marjory, 
only child of Alexander Chalmers of Cults, near Aberdeen, 
another long line, as we shall see. He became a noted cavalry 
officer, and had served on the Continent, where he had married. 
He was at first a leader of the Covenanters, and in 1643, com- 
manded a body of dragoons under the Earl of Balcarres, and 
was on the 24th April in the neighbourhood of his old home, 
for we have a record of the taxation put upon the ratepayers of 
Inverurie, with their names, and the sums they each had to 
pay> amounting to "twentie pounds for Dragonnis to Urrie." 1 
But serving under Henry and Baillie, he was involved in two 
of the defeats that the Covenanters suffered from the Royalist 
leader, the Marquis of Montrose, one of them the next month, 
on May Qth, at Auldearn, near Nairn, with great slaughter, and the 
other two months after, on July 2nd, at Alford, where Montrose 
had chosen ' a splendid defensible position.' Next year another 
taxation followed, which extended over the properties in the 
district, and in it we have mention of the family to whom 
Urry's father had sold Pitfichie, for on July loth, 1646, 
Alexander Cheyne of Pitfichie gives a receipt to Thomas 
Ronald, burgess of Inverurie, for 26 Libs, "for outputting of 
an horse and man to the Maister of Fraser." 2 Soon after, 
Urry became himself a Royalist, and Montrose and he were 
joined in friendship. He was knighted by Charles I. Claren- 

i Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 29-2. 2 Ibid. p. 203. 

Family of Urry of Pitfichie. 251 

don speaks of him in his ' History of the Rebellion,' and 
Spalding in his ' Memorials ' calls him ' a soldier of fortune,' 
and shows how very changeable he was. Professor Aytoun in 
his ' Lays,' speaks of this as * the wildest and most stormy 
period of our history.' Urry was with Montrose when he 
landed in Orkney, and raised the standard of Charles II. in 
1650, and he was made prisoner along with him after his scanty 
force was overwhelmed on the 27th April, by General Leslie, 
at Invercharron, in Ross-shire, and they were both executed 
together at Edinburgh one month after, on the 27th May, 
Montrose being dressed ' in his red scarlet cassock.' 

When we spoke of the Brecbannoch, we found that in 1387 
Gilbert Urry was the husband of Joanna Fraser, daughter of 
John Fraser and Marjory, the daughter and heiress of Sir John 
of Monymusk, and that Pitfichie probably came to Gilbert Urry 
by this marriage. Major-General Urry left three daughters, one 
of whom applied for a ' family-diploma,' which was granted her 
under the great seal of Charles II in 1669. It shows how far 
back the family could be traced in unbroken succession, and as 
it is a family that has not left a single mark of its existence 
among us, it may be of interest to recall their lineage, for few 
know that they ever lived in the parish. The earliest person 
named in it is also a Gilbert Urry, but from the absence of 
dates, we cannot say in what relation he stood to the Gilbert 
mentioned in 1387. 

It would almost appear as if we could tell the extent of this 
ancient property with certainty, for there is no reason to doubt 
that it was composed of the portions of the parish mentioned in 
the charter granted by Charles II in favour of Sir John Forbes 
in 1 66 1, after being only a short time in the hands of the 
Cheynes : "Pitfichie with the castle-fort, manor-place, mill, 

252 Many musk: its Church and Priory. 

mill-lands, and salmon-fishing, Ordwood, Ordhaugh. Sandie- 
hillock, Picktillum, [these are all now included in Pitfichie 
farm and Blackhillock croft, the trees still showing where Pick- 
tillum stood] Ordmill, Mildourie, Over and Nether Balforsk 
[Overton and Netherton,] Rowrandle, with parts, pendicles, 
multures, all lying in the regality of St. Andrews." This last 
clause shows that the Pitfichie property originally belonged to 
the bishops of St. Andrews, being part of Malcolm Ill's gift to 
the Church. It doubtless embraced the whole portion of the 
parish from the west approach to Netherton, except Cornabo, 
which was held separately, as we saw, under the bishops of 
St. Andrews, the charter in favour of John Davidson and his 
family having been already translated. 

The writer of the remarks on the Ragman Rolls suggests 
that Urry of Pitfichie was descended from Hugo de Urre, who, 
in 1296, swore fealty to Edward I., and who took his surname 
from Urr, in Galloway, and appears on an assize in 1289 as to 
the marches there. His son Thomas witnessed a charter of 
Michael, son of Durand. * Maucolum de Oueree ' subscribed 
the Ragman Roll in 1296, and in the same year Duncan Urrie, 
a Scot, was a prisoner in Gloucester Castle. A coat-of-arms 
was registered in 1672 by Colonel William Urrie, Major of the 
King's Regiment of guards, the crest being a lion's paw, and 
the motto sans tache, taken from the seal of John Urrie of 
Pitfichie in 1597. 

The following is the substance of the ' family-diploma '- 


Gilbert U. of P. married(=)Elizabeth Lawder, daughter of the 

laird of ' Basse.' 

Their son, William U. of P. = Barbara Creighton, daughter of 

the laird, now (1669) the Vis- 
count of Frendraught. 

Family of Urry of Pitfichie. 253 

Their son, David U. of P. = Joanna, daughter of Leslie of 


Their son, George U. of P. = Elizabeth, daughter of Fraser of 

Mouchell [Castle Fraser] now 
(1669) Earl Fraser. [This 
family came to Castle Fraser 
about 1450, and the peerage 
was created in 1633], 

Their son, William U. of P. = Agnes, daughter of Leslie [third 
(Mentioned in 1535 and laird] of Wairdes [near Inver- 

1546. See pp. 185, 236.) urie; she=(2) Laurence Leith 

in Rayne in 1580]. 
Their son, William U. of P. = Elizabeth, daughter of Erskine 

of Dun. 

Their son, John U. of P. = Marjory, daughter of Alexander 
(He sold Pitfichie Chalmers of Cults, near 

in 1597.) Aberdeen. 

Their son was Major-General Sir John Urry beheaded in 1650. 
The * family-diploma ' also gives his mother's family-descent, 
showing that the Chalmerses of Cults were connected by 
successive marriages with the families of Irvine of Drum, Fraser 
of Durris, Rait of Hagreine (? Hall-green), Menzies of Pitfod- 
dles, Douglass of Glenbervie, Leslie, and the Earl of Errol. 1 

Major-General Urry himself, when serving on the Continent, 
married Maria Magdalene, daughter of Christopher Sebastian 
van Yaxheim of Erlabrun, and had three daughters Elisabeth 
(who was married to Bishop John Hamilton of Dunkeld, and 
died about 1694); Joanna (who died, unmarried, before 1715) ; 
and Maria Margaret (who, after her father's death, lived abroad 
with her mother's relatives). She married Archibald Lamont of 
Lament, and was alive in 1715, when she was served heir 

i Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 500-502. 

254 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

to her cousin, John Urrie, fellow of Oxford. In 1669 tne 
diploma shows she was living ' in urbe Lytheonacii,' when she 
applied for this pedigree, which remains as an authentic 
memorial of a family so ancient, so notable in its connections, 
and living so long in our parish, but whose name has been 
heard of by few within it for many years. Some of us, as we 
look at the picturesque ruin of their Castle, may now recall their 
name, and think of Sir John's execution along with the great 
Montrose, which every one now must sadly lament. 

In 1653 Alexander Ross, spelled also Rose, who had been 
licensed by the Presbytery of Elgin in July, 1642, and appointed 
minister of Kinernie before 3rd May, 1649, was translated from 
that parish, and instituted here on gth October. He subscribed 
toward the new buildings at King's College in 1658, and was 
appointed by Parliament one of its Visitors. He died after 
March, 1678. There was daily service, morning and evening 
prayer, in our Church at this time, as enacted by the Episcopal 
Synod, October 2ist, 1662. The other places specially named 
were Old and New Aberdeen, Banff, Old Deer, Peterhead, 
Fraserburgh, Kintore, Inverurie, Kincardine O'Neil, Turriff, 
Cullen, Ellon, Tarves, Fordyce, and Upper Banchory. 1 For 
a long time Easter continued to be the Communion Sunday 
here, and Good Friday the day of preparation, but one year 
there was such a storm that no one was able to come to 
Church, and unfortunately the day was changed to midsummer. 
The elders used to be asked before the Communion if they 
knew of any in their districts who were not living at peace with 
each other. 

Mr. Rose was descended from the Roses of Kilravock who 
have owned Kilravock Castle, near Nairn, uninterruptedly for 

i Registers of the Synod, Spalding Club, p. 263. 

Ministers of the Parish. 255 

six hundred years, since 1290. His father was minister first of 
Cluny and then of Birse, and his grandfather, of whom we 
spoke before, was one of the ministers of Aberdeen. He 
himself owned the lands of Insch, including Flinders, Christ's 
Kirk, and Temple Croft, 1 and was married to Anna, second 
daughter of John Forbes of Corsindae by Elizabeth Forbes, his 
second wife. 2 Dr. Davidson 3 says John Forbes was of Balfluig 
in Alford, while the * Fasti ' combine the two, ' Balfluig 
Corsindae.' A sister of hers, Jean, married Robert Forbes of 
Barnes, ' Tutor of Monymusk,' who, as an elder of the parish, 
was in March, 1653, chosen to attend the next synod and 
presbytery meetings. His name is entered on the roll of synod, 
April, i652. 4 John Forbes of Barnes appears in the list of 
names for the tax in Queen Mary's time in 1549, and in a 
second record as " Mr. John Forbes, portioner of Barnes for his 
part thereof 9 Libs." 5 

Mr. Rose's brother, Arthur, also became minister of 
Kinernie, and perhaps, owing to the severity with which his 
father, the minister of Birse, had been treated, as mentioned 
in Spalding's ' Memorials,' he was appointed Bishop of Argyll 
and Galloway. He then became Archbishop of Glasgow, and 
by and by the last Archbishop of St. Andrews, but he was not 
popular among the clergy. Mr. Jervise 6 and the ' Fasti ' record 
the well-known story about him : " When one of his suc- 
cessors at Kinernie waited on him with a view of getting an 
increase to his small stipend, he replied, * You country clergy- 
men should learn to moderate your desires. I know what it is 
to live in the country. When I was minister of your parish, 
I could afford a bottle of good malt liquor and a roasted fowl 
for my Sunday's dinner, and I see not to what further you are 

1 Ant. A. and B. III. pp. 405, 406. 4 Records of Synod, p. 214. 

2 Dr. Temple, Fermartyn, p. 558. 5 Colin. A. and B. pp. 115, 116. 

3 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 240. 6 Epitaphs II. p. 86. 

256 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

entitled.' On this the poor incumbent is said to have with- 
drawn from his presence muttering, ' It would have been no 
great loss to the Church of Scotland though your Grace had 
still been eating roasted hens at Kinernie.' " His wife, as was 
mentioned before, was a daughter of Adam Barclay, who 
became minister here in 1622, and was translated to Alford. 
Their daughter Anna married the fourth Lord Balmerino in 
1687, and was the mother of Arthur, the sixth and last Lord 
Balmerino, who joined the Pretender in 1745, and of whose 
execution on Tower-Hill on i8th August, 1746, in the fifty- 
eighth year of his age, there remains a full record. 1 She died 
in 1712. 

Alexander Rose, son of the minister of Monymusk, became 
Bishop of Moray and then Bishop of Edinburgh. As such he 
acted as the representative of the Episcopalians at the time of 
the Revolution, and it was he who virtually sealed the fate of 
the Scotch Episcopal Church as the Established Church. Epis- 
copacy in this country was then mostly Jacobite, and this 
William of Orange knew, but he let Bishop Rose understand 
through the Bishop of London that if the Scotch Bishops and 
clergy would give him their support, he would give them his. 
When Bishop Rose was admitted to an interview, the Prince 
said to him, " Are you going for Scotland ? " to which he 
answered, "Yes, Sir, if you have any commands for me." 
William replied, " I hope you will be kind to me, and follow 
the example of England." The Bishop's strange answer was, 
" Sir, I will serve you as far as law, reason, or conscience shall 
allow me," on which William turned on his heel without a 
word. Bishop Rose died 2oth March, 1720. 

Another son of the minister of Monymusk was John 
Rose, D.D., minister of Foveran. He married Isobel, daughter 

i Dr. Campbell's Balmerino, pp. 294-299. 

Ministers of the Parish. 257 

of Udny of Udny, and had two sons, Alexander and John. 
He was served heir to his father in 1680. 

A grant was made by the Privy Council from vacant stipends 
in April, 1683, to aid the daughters of Mr. Rose of Monymusk. 
Some recent connections of the Rose family are mentioned by Dr. 
Walker in his Life of Bishop Skinner, 1 and also by Dr. Temple 2 
in his account of Mr. John Rose, the great-grandson of the 
minister of Foveran. He became minister of Udny in 1 768, and 
one of his sons who was surgeon in the ist Battalion Coldstream 
Guards, died from wounds received while landing at Aboukir. 
This family is still represented in several branches ; for instance, 
James Rose Macpherson, minister of Kinnaird, near Perth, is 
named after the youngest son James, owing to his mother's 
relationship, who was the eldest daughter of Professor Duncan 
Mearns, D.D., of King's College, Aberdeen. 

In 1678, John Burnett, who had been ordained at Culross 
in 1660, the year of the Restoration, was translated to this 
parish, i8th August, and was presented by Charles II, March, 
1680. Our parish session-records begin in 1678. A minute 
states "1679, August loth. The minister and elders, con- 
sidering that there is no Church-Bible, and having gotten 
intelligence that Alexander Orem, merchant in Aberdeen, hes 
some besyde him, it was ordered that the thesaurer should buy 
one from him," the price being 15 Libs. 6s. 8d. scots money. 
This Bible is still preserved. It has lost the date on the title- 
pages, but the Royal arms bear " C R " (Charles Rex) upon 
them. In 1685 it is recorded that the Church was re-seated, 
and a roll of seat-holders is entered, which is given in full 
by Dr. Davidson, 3 some of them Shewan, Donald, Adam, and 
Thomson being still represented in the parish, and it is 

1 pp. 283-285. 3 Inverurie, p. 348. 

2 Fermartyn, pp. 417, 420. 


258 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

interesting to compare this list with the names in the Poll-book 
eleven years later. 

Charles II died 6th February, 1685. During the four 
years of his brother James' reign, the persecutions continued 
under Claverhouse, &c. In July after Charles' death the 
minute book records that a proclamation was read from the 
pulpit prohibiting all persons taking part in regard to Archibald 
Campbell, late Earl of Argyll, his son Sir Charles Campbell, 
Sir John Cochran, Balfour (of Burley), and others, this having 
reference to the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion. The minutes 
detail the purchase of the six silver Communion Cups that are 
still used the four smaller ones being bought in 1691, the two 
larger in 1712, Mr. William Forbes younger of Monymusk 
arranging the purchase. The property passed from the Forbes 
family just after the last two were bought. The engraving on the 
four smaller cups is very effective, the vine and its fruit being 
figured differently on the two pairs. A picture of one of them 
is given in the Rev. Thomas Burns' work on the old Com- 
munion Plate of the Church. Their marks are G. W. the 
maker, ABD the town mark, and an old English D, possibly 
the deacon's mark or the date. On the large ones the marks 
are S. R. the maker, AB the town, an old English Q for the 
deacon or the date, and three Fleurs de lis crowned. Other 
vessels were also bought in 1691. 

In 1697 a large bell was got from Edinburgh, and then a 
clock for the Church tower. The cost of all these purchases is 
entered in the minutes. Reference is also made in them to 
the Rebellion of 1715, and also to the observance of Christmas. 

Mr. Burnett and his wife with two sons and three daughters 
are mentioned in the Poll-book. His youngest daughter 
married Alexander Schank of Castlerig. He died 22nd May, 
1728, aged about eighty-three years. 

Ministers of the Parish. 259 

Tillyfour, in the parish of Oyne, on the north side of the 
Don, opposite a part of this parish, and separated from Oyne 
Church by Benachie, was for a time under the charge of the 
minister of Monymusk, but the minister of Oyne bbjected to 
continue the allowance for this duty, and the connection 
ceased. This is also shown in the Poll-book of 1696, which at 
the end of the account of our own parish goes on at once to 
give the " list of pollable persons within the lands of Tillifower, 
in the Paroch of Monymusk by annexation" 

Mr. Burnett must have been one of the very last surviving 
" Episcopalian Parish Ministers " in Scotland, being nearly 
sixty-eight years a minister. Presbytery was finally established in 
1691, the year the four cups were bought, but Mr. Burnett was 
one of the many Episcopal ministers who continued undisturbed 
in their parishes till their death, if they took the oath of allegiance 
to William a nd Mary, and gave a general adherence to the new 
arrangements, which differed little from the former state in 
regard to the Church courts. * At the union of the Parliaments 
in 1707 so tolerant had the spirit of the Church been ever since 
the Revolution of 1688, that there were 165 Episcopal minis- 
ters still within the pale of the Established Church, living in the 
manses, preaching in the pulpits, and drawing the stipends.' 
In Aberdeenshire Episcopacy possessed many entire parishes, 
and in it and also in Banffshire "the mass of the Episcopalian 
ministers accepted the indulgence, and continued to be parish 
ministers till their death." 1 Only " they were not allowed to 
act as members of the Church courts, so that in the North 
where Episcopacy was strong, the presbyteries were mere 
skeletons. The whole Synod of Aberdeen, comprising eight 
presbyteries, had to concentrate itself into one, and even after 
the lapse of seven years could muster only sixteen clerical 

i Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 425. 

260 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

members. At Insch, when the parish became vacant, the 
parishioners called an Episcopalian curate who did not even 
take the oaths to Government, but who remained in possession 
of the living for many years. Of the two colleagues in the 
ministry of the Tron Church, Edinburgh, in 1692, one was 
Episcopalian and the other Presbyterian. There were separate 
Kirk Sessions too, and the services were conducted at different 
times according to different forms. In matters of creed, 
worship, and discipline, there was little difference between the two 
systems, as there were always Presbyteries and Kirk Sessions." 1 
Mr. Burnett's case was an instance of this tolerant spirit, for 
he was parish minister here for thirty-seven years after the 
change to Presbyterianism, continuing even after the Rebellion 
in 1 7 1 5, being altogether fifty years minister here. He was buried 
within the Church. One of his sons, Alexander, became 
regent of philosophy in King's College. 

We stated at the close of Chapter VIII that the small sum 
that now represents the feu-duties which the Forbes family 
became bound to pay yearly in connection with the Priory and 
its lands is attached to the funds of the Deans of the Chapel 
Royal. This sum, along with the part that was redeemed 
in 1878, was formerly payable to the Crown, and though it is a 
small sum, there is at this point an interesting history connected 
with it. This sum, along with the rents of Auchlossan and the 
money drawn in connection with the ancient Abbey of Cross- 
raguel, which gave its Abbot a seat in Parliament, was in 1695, 
exactly two hundred years ago, granted by order of William III 
to his chaplain and chief adviser in all matters that related to 
Scotland, the celebrated Principal Carstairs. It was he who was 

i Dr. Story, St. Giles, pp. 244, &c. 

The Last Record of the Priory. 261 

able to guide the policy that brought about the Revolution in 
1688, and the Union of the Parliaments in 1707. 

He had borne the torture of the thumb-screws, had been im- 
prisoned, and in exile. He had been by the side of William 
of Orange in Holland during all the negotiations that preceded 
his coming to England for the Throne. He had crossed in the 
same ship with him, and it was he who conducted the Divine 
service immediately on his landing on the shore at Torbay, 
when the troops all along the beach at his instance joined in 
singing the 1 1 8th Psalm. From that time he was William's 
companion in every field of battle, and his most trusty adviser 
in every thing that related to Scotland. It is well known what 
he did in regard to " the Oath of Assurance." Instigated by 
some of the same advisers who contrived the Massacre of 
Glencoe, William had consented to send a despatch declaring 
that no one was to sit in the General Assembly unless he at 
once took an oath expressing allegiance to him as King l by 
right' as well as 'in fact,' ' de facto et de jure.' This would have 
pressed unduly on such Episcopal clergymen as still retained 
their parishes, while by the Presbyterian clergy it could not be 
otherwise regarded than as an insult. Carstairs found William 
in bed fast asleep, and woke him, saying on his knees ' I am 
come to ask my life,' and telling him that he had stopped his 
courier. William saw the wisdom of his advice, bade him write 
a new despatch, and forwarded it instantly, the intimation being 
sent to the Assembly that the King would dispense with putting 
the oaths on the ministers. It was in March 1694, that this 
midnight scene occurred. Next year Carstairs received the 
grant of the dues from this Priory, which the King was doubtless 
free to make, as the money would be no longer required for 
Dunblane Cathedral. So lenient became the Church policy 
that, Presbyterian as the Church courts were, " the Sacrament of 

262 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

the Lord's Supper was not celebrated in Aberdeen, for instance, 
according to the Presbyterian form until 1704, and even as late 
as 1710 there were 113 Episcopal ministers, of whom nine had 
not even taken the prescribed oaths to Government, still 
ministers of parishes." * 

After the death of William III, Carstairs came to Scotland 
to be Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and Minister of 
St. Giles'. He was chosen as the first Moderator of the General 
Assembly after the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, from 
which date Scotland ceased to have a separate political history. 
" There is no name," says Dean Stanley, " which I commend 
more warmly to the grateful memory of the Scottish people." 2 
In Principal Carstairs closes the 
History of our Priory. 

William III, by Act of Parliament dated June 1695, in order 
to provide for the national defence by the Army and Navy, 
ordained ' that all persons of whatsoever age, sex, or quality, 
should be subject and liable to a pole of six shillings, except 
poor persons who lived upon charity, and children under six- 
teen years of age and ' in familia ' of all these persons, whose 
pole did not exceed one pound ten shillings scots.' It is very 
important to observe that owing to this exception the records of 
this tax do not give us the means of learning the number of 
children in a parish under 16 years and living at home with 
such parents as paid less than thirty shillings of tax. A com- 
plete record of this assessment has been preserved in the " Poll- 
book of Aberdeenshire for 1696 " exactly 200 years ago. 3 It 
is a mine of authentic information regarding the inhabitants of 
all our parishes and their employments, capital, or wages. It 

1 Dr. Story, St. Giles, p. 249. 3 I. pp. 573-386. 

2 Lectures, pp. 116-122. 

The Poll- Book of 1696. 263 

preserves the value of the different estates, the rents of the 
farms, the name of every individual that was taxed, and the 
number of the inhabitants on every farm or hamlet, but un- 
fortunately always omitting the number of the children of 
peasants under 16. We shall give an analysis of what is said 
about our own parish. The number taxed will be shown 
immediately after the name of each possession, but it is to be 
carefully remembered that with only a few exceptions, these num- 
bers never include the children under 16. It would be quite 
useless for our purpose to mention the money values ; they are 
of importance in enabling us to compare the rental of one farm 
with another at the time, but if one does this now, the change in 
the boundaries of farms &c., must be considered. ' m-svt.', 'f-svt.', 
in this analysis stand for men-servants, female servants, 'chil- 
dren' for those at home above 16, 'others' mean those whose 
occupations are not mentioned, 'cottars 'are spoken of as simply 
cottars, without being tradesmen or weavers, and ' grass-woman ' 
means one who has a house but no land. 


Manor House of Monymusk. (27) Sir John Forbes (died 
1702), Lady Forbes, (daughter of Sir John Dalmahoy), Robert 
above 21, John, Charles, Agnes, Catherine, and Barbara below 
1 6, 12 m-svts., 6 f-svts., i stocking-weaver (John Couts.) 

Manor Home of Pitfichie. (24) William Forbes, younger 
of Monymusk, (sold Monymusk in 1713), who is taxed for 
property in Kincardineshire, his wife, (Lady Jean Keith), John 
under 16, Catherine, Barbara, Jean, under 8, 7 m-svts., 6 f-svts., 
5 others. 

Mains of Monymusk. (35) 2 tenants and their wives, 7 
children, 8 m-svts., 4 f-svts., 5 cottars and their wives (one 
cottar a weaver, one a smith), i tailor and wife. 

Inver. (54) 6 tenants and their wives, 5 children, n 

264 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

m-svts., 3 f-svts., 2 shoemakers and wives, 3 others, 5 cottars (4 

with wives), 2 weavers and wives, i tailor and wife, i grass-woman. 

Balvack. (35) 2 tenants and their wives and i f-tenant, 

1 child, 7 m-svts., 3 f-svts., 3 others, 5 cottars and their wives, 

2 weavers, (i married), i wright and his wife, i grass-woman. 

Rowrandle. (5) 2 tenants and their wives, and sister of 
one tenant. 

Cornabo. (9) 2 tenants (i married, other a widower), 4 
children, i m-svt., i f-svt. 

Overton. (8) i tenant and wife, 2 m-svts., i f-svt, i other, 
i weaver and wife. 

Netherton. (12) i tenant and wife, i child, i m-svt., i 
f-svt., i other, i cottar and wife, i shoemaker and wife, i 
weaver and wife. 

Mildourie. (23) i tenant and wife, 5 children, 2 m-svts., 

1 f-svt, i shoemaker and wife, i weaver and wife, i tailor and 
wife, 3 cottars and wives, i grass-woman. 

OrdmilL (13) i miller and wife, i weaver and wife, i 
tailor and wife, i child, 6 others. 

Blackhillock. (7) i tenant, 2 cottars (i married), 3 m-svts. 
Mains of Pitfichie. (15) i tenant and wife, 5 m-svts., 

2 f-svts., 2 cottars (i married), i gardener and wife, i grass- 

Picktillum. (7) i tenant and wife, i wright and wife, i 
tailor and wife, i m-svt. 

Ramstom. (7) Barbara Gordon, tenant, "relict of ane 
gentleman, lyable in payment of a third part of his poll," 2 m-svts., 
i f-svt., i miller, wife, and son. 

Abersmithack (Braehead). (20) i tenant and wife, 6 
children, i m-svt., i f-svt., 4 others, 3 cottars and wives. 

Delab. (31) 2 tenants, (Archibald Thomson being one) 
and their wives, and i female tenant, (Margaret Lessell), 4 

The Poll-Book of 1696. 265 

m-svts., i f-svt., 5 others, 8 cottars (7 married, 2 of them weavers), 
" i sick man stays there." 

Enzean. (22) 2 tenants and wives, i child, 6 m-svts., 5 
f-svts., 3 others, i cottar and wife, i grass-woman. 

Coullie. (68) 7 tenants and wives, 3 children, 3 m-svts., 

1 f-svt., 15 others, 7 cottars and wives, 2 grass-women, i shoe- 
maker and wife, 2 tailors and wives, 3 weavers and wives, i 
smith and wife, i mason and wife. 

Tillyfourie. (n) i tenant, 2 children, 3 m-svts., 2 f-svts., 
one weaver and wife, i other. 

Tombeg. (28) John Forbes and his wife Anna Lunan, 
William, Alexander, Robert, Jean, their children, 6 m-svts., 2 
f-svts., i other, 2 weavers and wives, 3 cottars and wives, i tailor 
and wife, i grass-woman. 

Kirktown, (the Village). (45) 6 tenants and wives, 6 
children, 10 m-svts., 6 f-svts., 8 others, i shoemaker, i weaver 
and wife. One tenant was William Lunan and his wife Isabel 
Thain, and they had a boy and a girl under 8. 

Cobleseat. (? a boat-house ; the same name is found in Keig 
and Alford.) (6) i tenant and wife, 2 children, i m-svt., i 

Mains. (Probably the West Mains, which used to be in the 
field opposite the Deane Cottages.) (4) Gardener at Mony- 
musk and wife, and 2 others. 

Glenstoune. (7) i tenant and wife, i m-svt., i other, i 
grass-woman, i miller and wife. 

Todlackie. (40) John Shewan and Agnes Adam, his wife, 

2 sons ; William Adam and Jean Shewan, his wife ; John 
Shewan, Junr., i other tenant, 7 m-svts., 4 f-svts., 6 others, 5 
cottars and wives, 3 weavers (2 married). 

Sandihillock. (n) One tenant and wife, 3 m-svts., 2 
others, 2 cottars and wives. 

266 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Pitmunie. (55) 2 tenants and wives, 2 m-svts., i f-svt., 
20 others, (among them Elmslies and Shewan), 2 tailors, 6 
cottars and wives, 6 weavers and 4 wives, i smith and wife, i 
shoemaker and wife. 

Brankanenthim. (6) John Donald and his wife Elspet 
Forbes, " their weaver" and his wife, 2 others. 

Ardniedly. (18) James Adam and his wife Margaret 
Thain, Alexander Adam and his wife Agnes Shewan, and i 
other tenant and his wife, 2 m-svts., 7 others, i cottar and wife, 
i grass-woman. 

The Manse. (n) Mr. John Burnet and his wife, Robert, 
Alexander, Jean, Isobell, and Barbara, their children, i m-svt, 
3 f-svts. 

The Schoolhouse. (4) Mr. Alexr. Hay and his wife, 2 f-svts. 
John Gellen, Mr. James Gellen. 

The names are thus recorded of about 670 persons in the 
parish who had to pay the tax, and of these only about 64 were 
pollable sons or daughters, so that we have no means of know- 
ing the population of the parish at this time. Besides the age 
limit, there are exceptions and qualifications hardly susceptible 
of being dealt with by arithmetical calculation. We derive, 
however, some singular information as to the occupations of the 
people. There are entered 58 tenants, their holdings being of 
some size, 108 men-servants, 56 female servants, 28 weavers, 
besides one man who was stocking-weaver to Sir John Forbes, 
3 smiths, 10 tailors, 7 shoemakers, 2 wrights, 3 millers, 2 
gardeners, only i mason, 54 cottars not already included 
among the tradesmen, and 10 grass- women. One cannot help 
being struck with the number of weavers and tailors, and it is 
interesting to observe how they were distributed over the parish, 
while Sir John's stocking-weaver is a man that stands out by 
himself, though men-servants used to get a higher fee if they 

The Poll- Book of 1696. 267 

were able to knit stockings. At Insch there were only 15 
weavers and 8 tailors, but there were 15 shoemakers to our 7, 
as shown in the analysis given by Rev. R. S. Kemp in his 
' Historical Notes.' There must have been a great many sheep 
kept here to supply material for so many hand-looms, and the 
Leochel market was noted of old as a wool-market. The 
tenants seem to have done nearly all their blacksmith and 
carpenter work themselves. The ploughs were almost entirely 
made of wood, and are said to have been put together in a few 
evenings at home and as it was oxen that were used in them, 
these did not require any shoeing. In the names we recognise 
families that are still with us. The Adams who were in 
Ardniedly have many descendants. The Shewans are still 
numerous. The Donalds in Brankenintum have several represen- 
tatives, and the direct descendant retired some time ago to 
Aberdeen. It is singular that on so small a farm a married 
man should be entered as "their weaver." Mr. Donald of 
Keithhall, as we mentioned, is a descendant of John Forbes 
and his wife Anna Lunan, in Tombeg. The Thomsons who 
were in Delab, sent some of their family who lived to a great 
age, to be tenants of Netherton, and it is only a few years 
since the last male of the direct line died there, and his nephews 
are still tenants of Bogs of Coullie. The descendants of the 
Lessels are still in Echt and Cluny, and two have been lately 
buried here. Pitfichie Castle was then fully occupied by the 
Baronet's eldest son and his family, and when they moved to 
Monymusk House, on the death of Sir John, it was to remain 
there for only a few years. The view from Pitfichie was then 
very different from what it is now, as there were hardly any 
trees in the parish, and Monymusk House, and the ruins of the 
Priory which were then standing, would be prominent objects 
as one looked along the stretch of the river. We do not know 

268 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

if any of the Grant family ever occupied Pitfichie. Probably 
not, for Nether Inver became the eldest son's home. The 
village was evidently considerably smaller than it is now, but 
some parts of the parish must have been populous, as if there 
were hamlets that have now disappeared, and the Hill of 
Balvack then lay in heather and broom, instead of having the 
present crofts. The valuation of the parish came to ^2476 
scots, but it is hardly possible to say what this might represent 
now, circumstances being so completely changed. 

Sir John Forbes, the third Baronet, who was proprietor at the 
time of the Poll-book, had a charter of the Pitfichie property 
from Charles II in 1661, and we have seen that his eldest son 
occupied the Castle with his wife and family. Sir John was 
twice married, and his third son John, born at Monymusk 
House, yth February, 1680, was married at Frendraught in 
1704, to Susanna, daughter of George Morrison of Bognie 
and his wife Christina Urquhart, Viscountess Dowager of 
Frendraught. In 1711 he acquired Upper Boyndlie in Buchan, 
but before this he lived at Pitfichie, his brother having moved 
to Monymusk House after their father died in 1702. He has 
left an account of a singular custom of those days : " My 
daughter Christian was born at Frendraught, i4th April, 1705, 
and was baptized the next day by Mr. Hugh Chambers, 
minister of Marnoch." [She married her cousin, Sir William 
Forbes of Monymusk, fifth Bart., and was the mother of Sir 
William Forbes of Pitsligo, the banker.] " My son John was 
born at Pitfichie, 2oth May, 1706, and was baptized the same 
day by Mr. John Burnett, minister of Monymusk, and died 
ist July thereafter." [There is no record of any graves of the 
Forbeses here.] " My second daughter Barbara was born at 
Pitfichie, 24th June, 1707, and was baptized the afternoon of 

The Forbes Family. ' 269 

the same day by the said Mr. John Burnett," and similarly 
with others. John Forbes espoused the cause of the Pretender 
in 1715, and had to leave the country in a vessel sailing from 
Banff for Holland, but perished at sea. 1 

In 1704-5, Sir William Forbes, having succeeded his father 
in 1702, had to sell to the City of Aberdeen his half of the 
barony of Torry, on the other side of the Dee from Aberdeen. 
This property included Balnagask, Kincorth, Loirston, &c., 
and had been conveyed, 4th September, 1551, to Duncan 
Forbes, who is described as a 'burgess of Aberdeen,' and to 
his wife Agnes Gray, and had remained in possession of the 
family. 2 They thus got it at the very time they were in process 
of getting possession of Monymusk, and just as Torry had to 
be parted with in 1704-5, so also in 1712-13, in order to 
appease creditors, Monymusk had to be sold, and ' when the 
day came for bidding adieu to his paternal inheritance,' the 
last representative of the family here c drove away from the old 
home with a pang of regret.' 3 The advertisement of the sale 
of Monymusk is preserved, and is of great length, for it tells 
from what an immense number of persons money had been 
borrowed, and our Church records also prove what difficulty 
there was in regard to the funds of the parish which the 
Forbeses held on loan. Sir William's grandson succeeded him 
in the Baronetcy. He became an advocate in Edinburgh, and 
in 1741 was Professor of Civil Law in King's College, Aber- 
deen, but he died in 1 743, when only thirty-six years old. The 
inscription on his tomb in the old churchyard of Kearn, beside 
Druminnor, was written by Dr. Beattie, author of The Minstrel, 
but as we have reached the close of the connection of the 
Forbeses with Monymusk, we may here insert their family 

i Sir James Ferguson's Account of the Forbeses of Pitsligo; Dr. Temple, pp. 153, 155. 
2 Ant. A. and B. III. p. 249. 3 Dr. W. Chambers' ' Stories of Old Families,' pp. 150-160. 


Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

Pedigree of the Forbes Family as far as it relates to Monymnsk. 

James, 2nd Baron Forbes=Egidia, younger dr. of Sir W. Keith, 1st Earl 
| Marischal. 

2nd son, William F. of Corsindae= 


James F. of Corsindae. 

"Band" of 1544 for 

Inver. Robber of the 

Cathedral Vessels. 

Duncan F. of Monymusk = Agnes, dr. of Wm. Gray, 

died Feb. 1584. 

died Oct. 1584. 

William F. of Monymusb 
died before 1618. 

;Margaret, dr. of Sir W. Douglas of Kemnay, 9th 
Earl of Angus in 1588, grandson of Sir W. D. 
who fell at Flodden, whose father was Archibald 
" Bell the Cat," 5th Earl, 1482. 

I I 

Wm. F. of Monymusk=Elizabeth Wishart of Pitarrow, near John F. of 

created Bart, by Fordoun. George W. suffered Leslie. 
Charles I. in 1626. under Cardinal Beaton in 1546. 

Sir W. F. 2nd Bart.= 
Covenanter, died 

=Jean, dr. of Sir 
Thos. Burnett 
of Leys and = 

Alex, in Aber- \ 
=One of the 
Pitfichie family. 

can, eldest dr. 
=Alex. Lunan in 
1632 ; Minister 
of Monymusk, 
then of Kintore 
in 1628. 

Sir John F. 3rd Bart.=(i) Lady Margaret, and =(2) Barbara, dr. of Sir 

succeeded as minor, I dr. of 1st Viscount | John Dalmahoy. 

died 1702 ; had Arbuthnot. John F. of Boyndlie=Susanna 

charter of Pitfichie in Tyrie. I Morrison 

from Charles II | of Bognie 

in 1661. I | in Forgue. 

| Christian F. 

Sir W. F. 4th Bart.=Lady Jane Keith, dr. of (see below). 

Sold Monymusk I 1st Earl of Kintore. 
in 1713. 

John F. =Hon. Mary F. sister of the last Lord Pitsligo. 
died before his father. [ Pitsligo was forfeited in 1745. 

Sir W. F. 5th Bart.=his cousin Christian F. (see above). 
Professor; died 1743, I Died Dec. 26th, 1789. 

aged 36. 

The Forbes Family. 271 

I I 

John F. died young. Sir W. F. 6th Bart. =Elizabeth, dr. of Dr. (after- 
of Sir W. F., Hunter & Co. j wards Sir James) Hay. 
Bankers, (now merged in | 
the Union Bank of Scot.) I 
bought Pitsligo ; died Nov. 1806. | 

V ~T 

Sir W. F. 7th Bart.= Lord Medwyn= 

I I 

Sir J. H. Stuart F. 8th Bart. Principal F. of Bishop A. P. F. 

of Fettercairn. St. Andrews. of Brechin. 

To make our narrative more complete, as the Forbeses have 
no memorial at all in this parish, we may now give the inscrip- 
tion on the tomb at Kearn : 

Here are deposited in the firm hope of a blessed resurrection the ashes of 
Sir William Forbes, Baronet, Advocate, of the family of Monymusk, who 
left this transitory world on the I2th day of May, 1743, aged 36. Adorned 
with many virtues, stained with no crimes, with the shattered remains of 
paternal possessions, once ample and flourishing, he supported through the 
whole of life, without ostentation, but with dignity and spirit, that rank to 
which he was by birth entitled. In his death, which he long foresaw, he 
displayed equal magnanimity, enduring without complaint the attacks of a 
painful distemper, and calmly resigning his soul to Him who gave it. This 
marble is erected by his only surviving son, who though deeply affected with 
his loss, submits to the Divine wisdom that saw proper to deprive him of 
such a parent before he was able to profit by so bright an example of 
Christian virtue. Num. xxiii. 10. 

His wife was his cousin Christian, daughter of John Forbes of 
Boyndlie, whom he married in 1730. Bishop A. P, Forbes of 
Brechin, her great-grandson, edited, after it had lain nearly 
ninety years in manuscript, ' The Narrative of her Last Sickness 
and Death,' which was written by her son, Sir William Forbes, 
the sixth Baronet, who became the head of the Banking House, 
" Sir William Forbes, Hunter, & Co.," and whose great ambi- 
tion was to earn means for recovering the estates of Pitsligo or 
Monymusk. By different purchases he was able to buy Pitsligo, 
which had been lost to the Pitsligo branch of the family after 

272 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

the Rising in 1715, being forfeited in the person of Alexander 
Forbes, the fourth and last Lord Pitsligo, of whom Dean 
Stanley speaks in his Lectures. z He also purchased two 
estates adjoining Pitsligo, and on succeeding to another 
portion of the Pitsligo estates by inheritance, he founded 
the village of New Pitsligo, established manufactures in it, 
erected the Church and endowed the parish quoad sacra, 
and also built an Episcopal Church, as well as schools. 

Monymusk was purchased from Sir William Forbes, the 
fourth Bart, in 1712-13 by Sir Francis Grant, one of the Judges 
of the Court of Session. He bore the courtesy title of Lord 
Cullen, taking it from ^the name of his paternal property of 
Cullen in the parish of Gamrie, in Banffshire, which had been 
ratified to him by charter in 1697-98. He has left a brass 
which is in the library in the House, on which he engraved 
that he sold his other properties and bought this estate under 
wrong advice. The description that his eldest son gives of 
Monymusk three years afterwards, and which is printed in the 
Miscellany of the Spalding Club, 2 shows it to have been in a 
very undesirable state. " The House," he says, " was an old 
castle with battlements, and six different roofs of various heights 
and directions, confusedly and inconveniently combined, and 
all rotten, with two wings more modern, of two stories only, 
the half of the windows of the higher rising above the roofs, 
with granaries, stables, and houses for all cattle close adjoining. 
All the farms ill-disposed and mixed, different persons having 
alternate ridges ; not one wheel-carriage on the estate, nor 
indeed any road that would allow it." Lord Cullen sent some 
friends to judge of the property before he bought it, who met 
with a man, William Dickie, who acted in a manner as manager 

i pp. 50, 51 ; Mr. Jervise, Epitaphs, II. p. 215. 2 II. pp. 96, 97. 

The Grant Family. 


to the Forbeses. He answered their inquiries, and gave them 
some refreshment. He was the uncle of the grandfather of 
Alexander Dickie, who is one of the present workmen on the 
estate. This family has now worked continuously for the 
Grants of Monymusk for 183 years. A life of Lord Cullen 
is given in the ' Biographia Britannica ' (1757), and there 
are articles upon him and his second son William, Lord 
Prestongrange, written by Mr. G. F. Russell Barker, in the 
'Dictionary of National Biography,' vol. xxii (1890). 

Lord Cullen's father was Archibald Grant of Ballintomb, in 
Morayshire, a descendant of the Grants of Freuchie. He was 
born in 1658, and educated at King's College, Aberdeen, and 
at Leyden, in the Netherlands, under the learned civilian, 
John Voet. When constitutional questions were being keenly 
discussed at the time of the Revolution, he wrote a book 
arguing strongly for the power of the Estates to establish a new 
succession in the Prince of Orange, and when he passed as an 
Advocate in 1691, the reputation he had thus gained, quickly 
brought him a large practice at the bar. He was made a 
Baronet of Nova Scotia by Queen Anne in 1705, and took a 
leading part in helping forward the Union of the Parliaments 
in 1707. He was appointed a Judge in 1709, and in 1720 
received under George I. a grant of supporters, two Angels 
proper, and an addition to his coat of arms, taking as one of 
his mottoes the words, " Jehovah Jireh," the only instance in 
Scottish heraldry of a Hebrew motto, there being also an 
open Bible with the motto " Suum Cuique " above the helmet. 
He was married three times. He died at Edinburgh on the 
23rd March, 1726, and was buried in Greyfriars Churchyard 
there. A picture in the dining-room of Monymusk House, 
eleven feet wide by seven feet high, represents him seated in 
the midst of his family. It was painted by Smybert, a Dutch 

274 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

artist, in 1720, and corresponds strikingly in style with an 
engraving that is given in Mr. J. H. Green's Illustrated History 
of England, 1 in which Smybert gives a portrait of himself. As 
we have said so much about the Forbeses, we may mention that, 
as an instance of Lord Cullen's generosity of character, it is told 
us in the 'Biographia Britannica' that when certain circumstances 
determined him to part with the estate of Cullen which was left 
him by his father, and being prevailed on to buy this estate from 
1 an unfortunate family who had a debt on it of more than it 
was worth, he first put their affairs into order, and by classing 
the different demands, and compromising a variety of claims, 
secured some thousand pounds to the heirs without prejudice 
to any, and of which they had never been possessed but for his 
interposition and vigilance on their behalf.' ' He was a deeply 
religious man, a learned lawyer, and a conscientious judge.' 
He had such a regard for the Church of Scotland that he wrote 
a pamphlet on Patronage which was reprinted in 1841 during 
the Secession controversy. Ten other works of his are men- 
tioned in the Dictionary of National Biography. In Chambers' 
' Domestic Annals ' he is mentioned as joining with Lord 
Crossrig in a society in Edinburgh that met every Monday 
afternoon for prayer and conference, a meeting that laid the 
foundation of much good to the country. He settled two 
chalders of meal (thirty-two bolls) yearly from the estate for 
educational purposes, the deed being framed by himself in 
1718, and testifying to his large-mindedness in regard to the 
godly upbringing of the young, and showing his anxiety to 
give facilities for education in different districts of the parish by 
means of evening schools, &c. The trust was afterwards 
arranged by the Court of Session, and an endowed school on 
the north side of the Don, close to St. Ffinan's, was built out 

i IV. p. 1612. 

The Grant Family. 275 

of part of the accumulated funds in 1825, which was continued 
until changes were made in the application of the funds which 
now amount to about ^80 yearly, by the Royal Commissioners 
in 1888, resulting in Sir Arthur H. Grant, the present pro- 
prietor's building a much larger and finer school in a more 
central position, in 1890, at his own expense. 

Lord Cullen's eldest son, Archibald, was born in September, 
1696. He passed as an Edinburgh advocate, and was elected 
Member of Parliament for Aberdeenshire in 1722, and again in 
1727, but he was unfortunate in the close of his parliamentary 
career in 1732. He began during his father's life-time to 
devote himself to the improvement of the estate, and as early 
as 1716, when only twenty years of age, he began 'to enclose, 
and plant, and provide, and prepare nurseries. At that time,' 
he says in his Description, from which we quoted, 'there was 
not one acre upon the whole estate enclosed, nor any timber 
upon it but a few elm, sycamore, and ash about a small kitchen 
garden adjoining the House, and some straggling trees at some 
of the farmyards, with a small copse-wood, not enclosed, and 
dwarfish and browsed by sheep and cattle.' Dr. Stuart in 
printing the Description in 1842, says in a note, ' The judicious 
measures adopted by Sir Archibald Grant for the improvement 
of his estate, are in nothing more observable than the noble 
masses of plantations which, under his fostering care, arose on 
hill and dale. The appearance of the country must have been 
wonderfully changed for the better as these woods advanced. 
Indeed, it is difficult now to conceive of that bleakness of 
which he complains ; and among the many thousands of acres 
of wood which were planted by this indefatigable improver, 
there are trees of a size so gigantic that few, if any, can be 
found to equal them in Scotland.' He is said to have planted 
about 48,000,000 trees on the property. One of the original 

276 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

larches of our country was kept by him in a kind of tub in one 
of the windows of the dining-room as long as its size permitted, 
and was then planted out to take its chance. It is still among 
the lime trees in the flower garden, and is seen from the 
same window. The Norway spruce trees on the river side in 
'Paradise' were planted in 1720, and the other large trees 
there in 1741. One of the spruce there, lately blown down, was 
112 feet high, and its solid contents were 420 feet ; and a larch, 
1 01 feet high, has 416 feet of solid contents. This spot was 
laid out by him as a landscape garden, but great injury 
was done to it by the long-remembered floods of 1829. A 
parishioner who died twenty-five years ago, aged eighty-one, 
used to speak of the staff of gardeners that were kept to attend 
to it, and of the summer house where Lady Grant and her 
family spent the summer afternoons, and had refreshments. 
The trees all over the estate took so kindly to the soil that the 
Rev. Dr. Skene Keith of Keithhall in his work on Agriculture, 1 
published in 1811, says that Sir Archibald lived to see some of 
the trees he planted two feet in diameter, and adds, ' His son 
and grandson have already sold wood to the amount of much 
more than the estate cost a century ago.' In former times all 
over this district in specifications for houses of any importance 
a clause was often inserted that ' Monymusk wood ' was to be 
used. The soil seems specially suited for the growth of fir 
trees. John Wesley in his Diary in 1761, writes thus: 'I 
rode over to Sir Archibald Grant's, near Monymusk, about 
twenty miles N.W. from Aberdeen. It lies in a fruitful and 
pleasant valley, much of which is owing to Sir Archibald's 
improvements, who has ploughed up abundance of waste 
ground and planted some millions of trees. His stately old 
house is surrounded by gardens and rows of trees, with a clear 

I pp. 112, 113. 

The Grant Family. 277 

river on one side, and about a mile [two miles] from his house 
he has laid out a small valley into walks and gardens, on one 
side of which the river runs. On each side rises a steep moun- 
tain, one rocky and bare, the other covered with trees, row above 
row, to the very top. About six o'clock we went to Church. 
It was pretty well filled with such persons as we do not look 
for so near the Highlands. But if we were surprised at their 
appearance, we were much more so at their singing. Thirty or 
forty sang an anthem after the sermon with such voices as well 
as judgment that I doubt whether they could have been ex- 
celled in any Cathedral in England.' In 1764, he again writes, 
' I rode over to Sir Archibald Grant's. It is surprising to see 
how the country between is improved even within these three 
years. On every side the wild dreary moors are ploughed 
up and covered with rising corn ; even the ground near Sir 
Archibald's in particular is as well cultivated as most in Eng- 
land. About seven o'clock I preached. The Church was well 
filled, though upon short notice.' In a letter dated 5th June, 
1770, in the 'Letters of David Hume,' edited by J. Birkbeck 
Hill, D.C.L., Hume speaks of 'Sir Archibald's extensive and 
noble plantations,' and Mr. Stuart in his preface to the volume 
of the Spalding Club Miscellany, says that he ' was the first to 
engage in those agricultural improvements that may be said to 
have almost changed the face of the North of Scotland.' 
Arthur Young in his Tour has left a description of his home 
farm. He was the first to introduce turnip culture into this 
district, and there are various accounts of the improvements he 
made in the system of farming. In 1756 he printed a letter on 
the subject, and distributed it among the tenants as a New 
Year's gift. Among other things he seems to have tried some 
glass manufacturing, for in the fields on Enzean, then a part of 
his home farm, the plough still turns up occasionally the bottom 

278 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

of a bottle with his initials upon it. He also tried to polish 
granite, thus anticipating one of the great modern industries 
of Aberdeen. The building still remains in the village, but 
much changed, that he used for the lapidaries' workshop. He 
was married four times, and died at Monymusk in 1778, at the 
age of eighty-two. 

His younger brother, William, also became an Edinburgh 
advocate, being admitted in February, 1722. In 1731 he was 
appointed Procurator of the Church of Scotland, and Principal 
Clerk of the General Assembly. Like his father he wrote a 
pamphlet on Patronage in the Church, which was also reprinted 
in 1841. In 1737 he became Solicitor General, and in 1746 
Lord Advocate, and next year was elected M.P. for the Elgin 
burghs, and was returned for the same at the next two general 
elections. In 1754 he was appointed a Judge, and sat as Lord 
Prestongrange, a property in East Lothian which he had bought 
in 1745. Tytler speaks highly of his integrity, candour, and 
winning gentleness, and says that his conduct in the adjustment 
of the claims on the forfeited estates merited universal approba- 
tion. He died at Bath, May 23rd, 1764, and was buried at 
Prestonpans. When the Church there was recently being 
repaired, in the vault where he was interred, many banners with 
curious figures, &c., were found, Monymusk among them, 
which were all replaced. His eldest daughter was married to 
the fourth Earl of Hyndford, and on her death in 1818 Sir 
James Suttie, the son of his second daughter, succeeded to the 
Prestongrange estate, and assumed the additional name of 
Grant, the family being now the Grant-Sutties. 

Lord Cullen's third son, Francis, was appointed one of the 
Surveyors-General for forfeited estates in 1749-50, and died 
unmarried in 1762. 

Sir Archibald's eldest son, the third Baronet, was born in 

The Grant Family. 279 

1731, and entered the H.E.I.C.S. in 1748. He raised a com- 
pany of a hundred men, and went with them as their Captain 
to St. David's. His father's third wife was the widow of 
Dr. Calendar, Jamaica, and he married her daughter, Mary 
Calendar. In 1756 they had their portraits painted to- 
gether. He stands in his uniform with a map of Jamaica in 
his hand, while she is pointing to a place upon it, perhaps 
where she was born. On his succeeding to the estate in 1778, 
he did not care to continue the large staff of labourers that his 
father required, and his disposing of the implements used on 
the farms enabled persons in the district to get such as were 
much in advance of those they had before. He had two 
sons Archibald, the fourth Baronet, and James Francis, who 
became Rector of Merston in Sussex, and of Wrabness in 
Essex, whose second son, Arthur, entered the Royal Navy, and 
became a Commander. He died in 1850, having been thrown 
from his horse in the hunting field, and his only son is now the 
ninth Baronet, having succeeded the last male descendant of 
the fourth Baronet in 1887. 

One of the tablets in the Church is in memory of Mr. 
Robert Grant of Tillyfour, in Oyne. While serving in the 4th 
Dragoons he was quartered at Taunton, in Somerset, in 1820, 
and married Miss Charlotte Yea of Pyrland Hall, Taunton. A 
tablet to her memory is placed in the Episcopal Church. Her 
nephew, Colonel Lacy Yea, 7th Royal Fusiliers, fell at the 
Redan, i8th June, 1855. Mr. Robert Grant was Convener of 
the County of Aberdeen for 23 years. His son, Sir Francis, 
died one year after his marriage to Miss Laura Fraser. 

We may now give the pedigree of the Grant family as far as 
it relates to the estate. 


Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

The Family of the Grants as far as it relates to Monymusk. 
Sir Duncan Grant of Freuchie, Strathspey, died 1485. 
John died before his father. 

John, 2nd of Freuchie=Margaret, dr. of Sir James 
' The Bard,' died 1528 (p. 396) j Ogilvie of Deskford. 

James, 3rd of Freuchie=(2) Christian Barclay. John of Corriemony. 
' The Bold,' died 1553 I | 

(p. 387). I Grants of Corriemony & Shenglie 

John, 4th of Freuchie. Archibald, died 1619. Charles Grant, Lord 

Glenelg, 1778-1866. 


(p. 38o). 

John, 5th of Freuchie, 

died 1622 (p. 396). | 

Archibald=i653, Christian, dr. of Patrick 
got Ballintomb in Knockando I Nairne of Cromdale. 
in 1656 from G. of Freuchie. | 

FRANCIS, 1658-1726 (p. 385), = (i) 1695, Jean, dr. of Rev. W. 

made Bart, by Queen Anne, 
7 Dec. 1705 ; Judge of Session 
(Lord Cullen) 1709 ; sold Cullen 
in Gamrie (Banff) and bought 
Monymusk 1713 ; buried at 
Greyfriars, Edinburgh. 

Meldrum, Minister of Meldrum 
= (2) 1708, Sarah, dr. of Rev. 
A. Fordyce, Minister of Ayton 

(issue 2 daughters. ) 
= (3) 1718, Agnes, dr. of 
H. Hay. 



from his 



Sir Archibald, 2nd Bart. = (i) 1717, Anne, dr. of Jas. 

William, Lord 

1696-1778; Edinb. Advo- 

Hamilton, Pencaitland. 


cate ; infeft in Ballintomb 

=(2) Anne, dr. of Charles 

1754; bought 

in 1730 as heir to his uncle; 

Potts of Castleton, Derby, 


M. P. for Aberdeenshire ; 

died here 1742. 

1745; di ed 

1749 Keeper of Register of 

= (3) Elisabeth Clark, 

1764, buried at 

Hornings for life ; planted 

widow of Dr. Jas. Calendar 


about 48,000,000 trees in 

Jamaica, died here 1759. 

(p. 404) 


(4) 1770, Jane, widow of 

(p. 386) 

Andrew Millar, London, 

died there 1788 ; gave 

baptismal bowl ; left the 

Charitable fund. 

Sir Archibald, 3rd Bart. I73i-i796=(i) Mary, only child of Dr. Calendar and 
entered H.E.I. C.S. in 1748. In 1783 I his stepmother; died at Edinburgh 
acquired Coullie on resignation of 1787. 

the Duke of Gordon. =(2) 1794, Jessie, dr. of Macleod of 


The Grant Family. 


Sir Archibald, 4th Bart.= 
1798-1820; received two 
Crown charters of resig- 
nation of Delab, Enzaan 
Coullie, Tillyfourie, and 
Ardniedly, disponed to 
him by Duke of Gordon 

=1788, Mary, only Francis James=i 79 
child of John Forbes Rector of 1 yos 
ofNewe; died 1852 Merston, | Re^ 
aged 83. Sussex, 1 Ouj 
&c. i Mir 

5, Anne, 
t. dr. of 
. Arthur 
i. of West 
dr. of T. 

iry, dr. of 
plain H. 
late of 



1 ' 1 1 
Archibald, Sir James, Sir Isaac 
drowned 5th Bart. 6th Bart. 
1805, aged 1791- 1792- 
16, buried 1859. 1863. 
at Weymouth. 

| Arthur = 
Robert of Charlotte Comman- 
Tillyfour 1 sister of der R.N. 
died 1 SirW.W. died 
1857. 1 Yea, died 1850. 
1 1847- 

Sir Archibald, Sir Francis W. 
7th Bart, died 8th Bart, died 
Sep. 1884, Dec. 1887, 
aged 61. aged 59. 

=Laura Fraser Sir Arthur H.= 
of Bunchrew, 9th Bart, born 
who =(2) 1849, suc- 
Lieut. -Col. ceeded 
Cumberland. 1887. 





1 1 
Arthur, William Douglas, 
born 14 Sep. born 31 Aug. 
1879. 1880. 

References are to Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. xxii. 
Full accounts are given in Sir W. Eraser's ' Chiefs of Grant.' 

About 1726, some two years before Mr. Burnett's death, it 
is said that notwithstanding his remonstrances "the foundations" 
of the Priory were dug up, but in a lady's diary, the reference 
to which has gone amissing, she says that on a visit here, she 
saw some ruined walls at evidently a later date. 

In 1729, May 29th, Alexander Simpson who had been 
ordained at Insch in 1720, was translated to this parish. He died 
3rd Jan., 1781 'Father of the Church' in his 83rd year and in the 

282 Many musk: its Church and Priory. 

6ist of his ministry. One of his two sons was minister of Kemnay, 
and was translated to Inverurie in 1757. In the " Fasti " under 
Forbes parish, it is said that Alexander Orem was translated to 
Monymusk 2oth October, 1756, but there seems some mistake 
in this. In 1772, December gth, William Marr, parish school- 
master, was ordained as Mr. Simpson's assistant and " eventual" 
successor, without a presentation's being issued, "at iS 
sterling," says the minute of Presbytery, "that Mr. Simpson be not 
too much burdened and yet Mr. Marr be decently maintained," 
but he was not able to stand it long, for he died only six 
months after, June i2th, 1773, being about 28 years of age. He 
had been " received as a member of Presbytery, and his name 
was added to the roll." He had married Mr. Simpson's 
daughter on the i4th January. 

Mr. Burnett and Mr. Simpson were together ministers of this 
parish for 120 years, (but at Polwarth in Berwickshire, Robert 
Home and his son Walter held the living between them for 112 
years, from 1769 to 1881.) 

About 1739, 1740, John Skinner, author of * Tullochgorum,' 
&c., was assistant schoolmaster here. He became Dean of 
Aberdeen, and died in 1807. The Rev. Dr. Walker has written 
his Life. 

In 1742 there was a sale by auction of the pictures &c., that 
had belonged to the Bishop of Aberdeen, when the House of 
Fetternear was his summer residence. The inventory is still 
preserved, and many of the pictures came to Monymusk House. 
In the Register of the Bishopric * there is preserved the charter 
of Bishop William Gordon, brother of the Earl of Huntly, 
handing over his palace of Fetternear &c., to William Leslie, 9th 
baron of Balquhain, a grant that received Royal confirmation 
in 1602. 2 

In 1761 and 1764, John Wesley visited Sir Archibald Grant, 

i II. pp. 320-322. 2 Dr. Davidson, Inverurie, p. 145. 

Ministers of the Parish. 283 

as we mentioned before, and preached, remarking upon the 
singing. It is said that Sir Archibald used to have the practising 
in the House, accompanied by the organ that was formerly in 
the library, and superintended it himself, and it is also said that 
in church he sat beside the choir. 

When speaking of the Poll-book of 1696, it was said that 
one could not venture fifom its records to reckon the population 
of the parish. The earliest calculation of the population of 
Scotland which, from the point of view of a statistical depart- 
ment, can be looked upon as in any degree trustworthy, is that 
of the well-known Dr. Webster, of St. Giles', completed about 
1755, in which he gives the population of Monymusk at 1005. 
In Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account, 1790-98, it is given in 
one place at 1127, and in another at 1130. 

In 1765, May 8th, Archibald Robertson, connected with the 
Robertsons of Struan, was born in the village. He went to 
King's College, and then studied art in Edinburgh and London, 
and was so favourite a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds that before 
he was thirty he became known as the ' Reynolds of Scotland.' 
He used to spend the summer with Sir Archibald Grant, and 
has left a water-colour picture of the House, and an account of 
the parish. He went to America in 1791, and became one of 
the most notable pioneers of American Art. * His youngest 
brother Andrew, born at Aberdeen in 1777, graduated there, and 
went to Edinburgh where he studied under Alexander Nasmyth 
and Sir Henry Raeburn. In 1801, he went to London and was 
appointed miniature painter to H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex, He 
was the first treasurer of the Royal Caledonian Asylum, Upper 
Holloway. He died in 1845, an d his daughter, who lives at 
Hampton Wick, has presented to the Asylum a collection of 
antiquities that he formed. 

i ' The Century Magazine,' May 1890. 

284 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

The mother of Dr. Milne, of Bombay, was also born in the 
village, but we do not know the date. This led him to give our 
parish school a preferential right to be always on his Bequest, 
but this has been taken away by the recent Commission. 

In 1772, Lady Grant, previously Mrs. Millar, presented a 
silver Baptismal Bowl to the Church. When closely examined it 
seems to have had some engraving on the side opposite the 
inscription ; from the outline left there are indications of scroll- 
work, and it may have been a church emblem or more probably 
a coat of arms. The hall-marks on the bottom show it to h: 'e 
been made in London, as long before as 1726-1727, L bei g 
the date of that period. The same Lady left ^765 to the poor 
of the parish, the interest of which, 20 or so yearly, has oeen 
regularly distributed for 103 years in accordance with the Deed 
of Chancery. 

Sir Archibald died in 1778, and this Lady Grant in 
It was about this time that the Strathspey " Monymusk .as 
composed. The composer Daniel Dow, violinist and mus ian, 
was born in Perthshire, in 1732, and died at Edinburgh, 2oth 
January, 1783. He was a teacher and concert-giver in Edin- 
burgh from 1763 until his death. He published various 
collections of Strathspeys &c., in one of which "Monymusk" 
appeared as "Sir Archibald Grant of Monemusk's Reel," 
probably some time after 1774. Hume's letter, part of which we 
quoted and which is dated 'Edinburgh, 5th June, 1770,' the year 
of Sir Archibald's marriage to this Lady Grant, shows that they 
were both well-known persons in Edinburgh society at this time, 
" making everybody in love with the marry'd state," and this 
may account for the Edinburgh musician's giving his composition 
its name. Being intended only for playing, not for singing, it 
is not adapted for the sol-fa notation, but as so many of our 
young people do not know the ordinary staff notation, the air is 



Ministers of the Parish. 285 

given on the accompanying page in the sol-fa notation. It has 
many associations connected with it, and persons who may not 
know where our parish is situated, are often familiar with the 
name through this Strathspey, for it is played not only in the 
dancing-room, but also by our military bands, and Horse 
regiments trot past the saluting post to its music. The writer 
recollects reading in " The Times " an account of a review in 
the heights of Afghanistan, after the last dismal act of treachery 
in which an Aberdeen student, Mr. Jenkins of the Indian Civil 
Service was one of those who were murdered, when the report 
mentioned that part of the troops went past the General in 
Command to the tune of ' Monymusk.' 

Alexander Duff, who had been ordained by the Presbytery 
of Abernethy, became Assistant to Mr. Simpson in 1776. The 
minutes of Presbytery show that in this year an irregular effort 
was made to have him settled as successor, but in 1781, 
May 2nd, a royal presentation was laid before the Presbytery. 
He died in February, 1814, and was the last minister buried 
within the Church. It is said that when the Rev. Dr. Skene 
Keith, Keithhall, heard that this was not to be permitted, 
he came up and said that rather than that it should not be 
done, he himself would dig the grave taking off his coat and 
beginning to suit the action to the word. He left two sons 
Alexander, and Lewis who was parish schoolmaster and died 
in 1840, aged seventy-two. Mrs. Duff and her daughters left 
the residue of their means about ^"120 to the poor of the 
parish, which sum became available in 1857, and is invested by 
the Session. Miss Duff died in Kemnay, and the Rev. George 
Peter was one of the executors. She used to say they were of 
the old Duff family " the right Duffs." No descendants of 
this family remain. 

In 1793 Alexander Nicol was born in the village. He was 

286 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

Dr. Pusey's predecessor as Canon of Christ Church and 
Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. He was so retiring a man 
that when he was offered the appointment, he carried Lord 
Liverpool's letter in his pocket until he casually spoke of it to a 
friend, who assured him that the signature was not a practical 
joke. It was said of him that " he could speak his way to the 
Wall of China." 1 About this time there was a lace industry 
carried on in a house close to the village. 

We mentioned that the Episcopal Congregation moved from 
Blairdaff to the present Church in the village of Monymusk in 
1 80 1, and we would here state the succession of Episcopal 
ministers in it. 

1799-1801. Rev. James Andrew, LL.D., who became 
Principal of Addiscombe College. 2 He published a Hebrew 
Grammar in 1823. 

1 80 1, 1802. Rev. William Murray. 

1802-1807. Rev. Alexander Cay. 

1807-1819. Rev. Alexander Walker, who had also the 
Church in Meldrum in charge for four or five years. 

1820-1829. Rev. David Buchan. 

1829-1842. Rev. Alexander Allan. 

In 1844 the Rev. William Walker, now LL.D., was ap- 
pointed, who is so highly esteemed among us, and whose 
jubilee as a clergyman was celebrated a few years ago. His 
works have done much to elucidate the history of the Episcopal 
Church in our country during the last two hundred years his 
principal writings being 'The Life of Dean Skinner of Aberdeen,' 
author of ' Tullochgorum,' ' The Life of Bishop Jolly of Moray,' 
' The Life of Bishop Gleig of Brechin,' ' The Life of Bishop 
John Skinner of Aberdeen,' and ' Three Churchmen : Sketches 
of Bishop Russell of Glasgow, of Bishop Terrot of Edinburgh 

i Dr. Walker's Life of Dean Skinner, pp. 159, 160. 2 Ibid. pp. 159, 160. 

Ministers of the Parish. 287 

and of Professor Grub, LL.D.. advocate, Aberdeen.' His son, 
Rev. George Barren Walker, M.A., is Episcopal clergyman at 
Peterhead, in this county. 

In 1814, Robert Forbes, M.A., teacher in Aberdeen, being 
presented by George Prince Regent, was ordained parish minister 
here in September. He died in February, 1853, aged seventy- 
five. His wife was Rachel Copland, and they had six sons 
and two daughters. The eldest son, Alexander, was the first 
teacher of Lord Cullen's School, and then went to Hamilton, 
Ontario, Canada. Robert and James went to Ceylon, William 
and John died in Glasgow. Charles became Vicar of South 
Banbury, in Oxfordshire, and chaplain to Earl Grey, and died 
loth September, 1869, aged fifty-four. He was nearly twenty- 
five years Vicar there, during which time he raised money to 
build a beautiful Church, and also schools, and to buy a vicar- 
age. He married Georgiana Jane, third daughter of Major- 
General Mills of Willington, County Durham. She now 
resides in York. He left two daughters and two sons, the 
elder of whom, Robert William, lives at Gate Helmsley, near 
York, and is a land agent, while the younger, Charles Mans- 
feldt, is agent for the Dean and Chapter of York, Earl Cathcart, 
and others, and lives in York. 

Mr. Burnett and Mr. Simpson died each 83 years of age. 

Mr. Duff and Mr. Forbes died each 75 years of age. 

Mr. Burnett came here in 1678, and Mr. Forbes died here 
in 1853, so that these four ministers served the cure for 
175 years among them. 

In 1853 Thomas Henry Dawson, M.A., Schoolmaster of 
the neighbouring parish of Chapel of Garioch, was presented by 
the Crown. He died in October, 1867, in the forty-third year 
of his age, and the fifteenth of his ministry. He married Miss 
Milne of Kinaldie, and had three daughters. She married 
secondly, Provost Jamieson, Aberdeen. 

288 Monymusk: its Church and Priory. 

Dr. Mitchell, who held the farm of Delab and then of Nether 
Inver, was so much respected that in 1856 he was asked by the 
Grant family to let them have his portrait painted by Mr. James 
Cassie, R.S.A., the inscription on it stating that at that time 
he had practised his profession in the district for upwards of 
forty years. Dr. John Robert Trail, who lived at Tombeg, was 
also held in great esteem. He died in 1875, aged fifty-six. 

In 1860 the last portion of ;ioo bequeathed by Lady 
Grant, who died in 1852, aged eighty-two, became available, 
amounting to about ^65. This sum, along with Miss Duff's 
legacy and some other money, making in all ^250, has been 
preserved. They bring a small yearly dividend for distribution 
among the poor. This Lady Grant was Miss Forbes of Newe. 
It has been said of her that the wool of all the sheep fed in 
the park was reckoned her pin-money, and was never sold, but 
made into blankets, &c., for gifts to the poor. Her eldest son 
was drowned in the Abergavenny at Portland Roads in 1805, 
aged sixteen. A tablet is placed to his memory in the Church, 
and his tombstone is in the Weymouth Churchyard, where he 
was buried. A brother of Wordsworth the poet's was also 
drowned in the Abergavenny. " John's Grove " was called 
after him by the poet, of which there is a picture in " Through 
Wordsworth's Country." One of the Forbeses of Blackford in 
this county was also drowned at the same time. 

In July, 1879, George Watt died here, aged eighty-four. He 
had been in the Royal Horse Artillery, and was engaged in the 
Battle of Waterloo, for which he held the medal and received 
a pension. He was also present at the entry into Paris of the 
allied forces. 

Sir Francis W. Grant, the eighth Baronet, died on i3th 
December, 1887. He bequeathed ;iooo, free of legacy duty, 
for the poor, to be administered by the Trustees of Lady 

Schoolmasters of the Parish. 289 

Grant's charity which we previously mentioned. There are 
thus altogether ^"2000 invested in behalf of the poor of the 

Information in regard to the early Schoolmasters is 
almost entirely wanting. Dr. Davidson * mentions Rev. W. 
Gordon in 1658, and Rev. W. Watson in 1678. In 1696, Rev. 
Alexander Hay and his wife are entered in the Poll-book. In 
1739-40, John Skinner, author of ' Tullochgorum ' was assistant 
schoolmaster. He also wrote a poem describing the Christmas 
amusements, and another on a 'Visit to Paradise ' which had been 
laid out before this time. We spoke of Rev. W. Marr in 1772. 
A tomb-stone is placed in the Cluny churchyard in memory of 
'Alexander Law, M.A., (son of the farmer in Denmill), School- 
master of Monymusk, who died in 1821, aged sixty three.' 
We do not know whether he continued in office until his death, 
but the Rev. Lewis A. Duff, son of the minister of the parish, 
was schoolmaster for a long time, and died in 1840, aged seventy- 
two. Rev. James Grant Riach, M.A., succeeded him in 1840, 
and in September, 1843, he became minister of Culter parish, in 
the Presbytery of Biggar, where he died in September 1862. 
He was a distinguished scholar, and gained the Dick Bequest 
prize for passing first in the examination. His brother is 
minister of Robertson Memorial Parish, Edinburgh. In 1844, 
Rev. James L. Blake, M.A., was appointed. He became 
minister of Stobo, in the Presbytery of Peebles, in 1850, and 
was translated to Langton, near Duns, in October 1867, where 
he died on May i4th, 1892. In 1846, Rev. John Donald, M.A., 
was appointed and died in 1849, aged thirty-six. He was of the 
Brankenintum family of Donalds who have been so very long in 
the parish. Rev. Duncan Anderson, M.A., succeeded him in 

i Inverurie, pp. 311, 326. 

290 Monymusk : its Church and Priory. 

1849. He left in 1854 for a ministerial charge in Canada ; he 
has now retired, and lives at Chaudiere Basin, County Levis, 
Quebec. In 1854, Rev. Alexander Ogilvie, M.A., was appointed, 
one of a family of distinguished teachers. Under him the school 
stood at the head of all the schools on the Dick Bequest for 
efficiency. He was appointed Head-master of Gordon's College, 
Aberdeen in 1872, and is now LL.D. The success of his 
administration has been so marked that in an article upon 
Robert Gordon, the founder, in the twenty-second volume of 
the Dictionary of National Biography, it is said of him : 'Under 
his charge the college rose rapidly to a high degree of prosperity.' 
His eldest son, Francis Grant, is Principal of the Heriot-Watt 
College, Edinburgh, and his second son, James Nicol, is Chaplain 
of the Church of Scotland, at Bangalore, Madras. Both were 
born here. In April, 1873, Mr. Robert M 'William, M.A., be- 
came schoolmaster, and is now Principal of Gill College, 
Somerset East, South Africa. In December, 1874, Mr. James 
Spittal, M.A., was appointed. He is now Head-master of the 
Ellon School. Mr. W. Rollo, M.A., succeeded him in August, 
1 88 1. He is now Incumbent of St. James' Episcopal Church, 
Springburn, Glasgow. In September 1885, Mr. Peter Smith, 
M.A., was appointed. He is now Head-master of the Public 
School, Craddock, South Africa. He was succeeded in August, 
1889, by the present teacher Mr. Alexander W. Simpson, M.A. 
The junior department has been under the charge of Miss 
Margaret Dunbar since August 1874. The fully-appointed 
teachers of Lord Cullen's school were four in number. 
Mr. Alexander Forbes, son of the minister, was appointed in 
1825, and continued until 1844, when he went to Canada. 
Rev. John Donald was then appointed, and two years after 
became parochial teacher. Rev. Gordon Smart, M.A., suc- 
ceeded him in 1846, and became minister of the parish of 

The Valuation of the Parish. 291 

Cabrach in 1849. The Rev. J. M. Laing, M.A., was then 
appointed, and taught until his death in February, 1886, being 
also preacher at Blairdaff Church. 

The valuation of the parish for this year, 1895, amounts to 
,6531, and the railway valuation to ^1477. The total 
number of acres is 10,816, there being on this side the river 
8660, and on the north side 2156. There are 5431 acres 
arable, being almost exactly half of the whole, while a large 
number are under wood. The population in 1891 was 1025, 
whereas in 1881 it was 1155, the diminution being chiefly 
owing to the closing of the granite quarry at Tillyfourie, which 
was leased mostly for paving purposes by Messrs. Mowlem, 
Burt, & Co., London. In conjunction with Sir Francis W. 
Grant, and Mr. John Fife of the neighbouring quarry on the 
Cluny. property, they built a recreation hall for the workmen, 
which is now used as the third public school in the parish, and 
is under the charge of a mistress. Since it was built it has 
been used for public worship once a month, greatly to the 
convenience of the district. 



Abbatial system in Celtic Church 24, 40 
Aberdeen, population of, at 

Reformation ... ... 236 

Abernethy onTay I, Culdees48, 
Early bishops 48, Lay- 
abbot 49, Round tower 54, 
Augustinian canons 65 ... 57 
Abersnithack (Braehead) 83, 204, 244 
Adamnan 27, Life of Columba 5, 20 

Adrian VI 160,168 

Aedan's coronation ... ... 6 

Aidan, Apostle of England ... 26 

Alexander Ill's death 136 

Alford, gift of Church 101, 128, 
Priory lands in 202, Defeat 
of Covenanters at ... ... 250 

Antiqua taxatio .. ... ... 134 

Appeal of canons to Pope against 

Prior 173 

Appin ... 45, 46 

Appropriation of Priory lands 193 
Archangel Leslie, fiction of ... 225 
Arbroath Abbey founded, and 

gift of Brecbannoch 4, 137 

Ardniedly 167,217 

Argyll, Marquis of ... ... 249 

Auchendryne, gift of land at ... 120 

Augustinian canons 59, 95, 113, 128 

monasteries ... 114 

system ... ... 115 

Balmerino, Canon John Hay at 189 
Lgrd, executed ... 256 
Balvack, oratory at 82, tax on 196 
Bands of service... 180, 190, 209 

Barclays of Garntuly ... ... 141 

Barclay, Adam, minister here 243 
his daughter .. 243, 256 

Beaton, Cardinal, gift of lands 
to Earl of Huntly 186, 220, 
his life ... 189 

Benedict and Columba ... ... 25 

Bernham, Bishop, gifts 125, 126, 

Churches consecrated by ... 127 
Birnie, Church of ... 75, 8 1 

Bishops' dues from Churches ... 135 
Blairdaff, Episcopal Church at 245 
Boiamund's Roll (Baiamund, 

Bagimont) 133 

Braehead (see Abersnithack) 
Brecbannoch ... 3, 107, 136, 251 
Brechin, Culdees at 43, Round 

Tower 43, 54 

Buchan, Earls of, gift 91, ac- 
count of 93 

Burial dues, ancient ... ... in 

Burnett, John, minister here ... 257 
Caithness, Bishop of ... 44, 53 

Carstairs, Principal ... ... 260 

Celtic Church and Queen 

Margaret ... ... ... 64 

Celtic Church, Liturgy and 

Ritual of ... ... 19, 20 

Celtic Scotland 60 

Chalmers of Cults ... ... 253 

Chancel of Church 73 

Chapel Royal, Deans of 217, of 

Stirling ... .... ... 243 

Charles I. ... .. ... 239 

Church-Bible 257 

Churches, gift of, to monasteries 106 
Cistercian priories ... ... 118 

Columba, time 3, 6, journeys 
and death 7, labour 12, 
devotion 15, own MSS. 19, 
hymns ai, teaching 22, 

Chief Abbot 24 

Columban Church 7, mission- 
aries 9, wattle-buildings 9, 
dedications 10, 22, monastic 
system ... n, 13, 24, 25 



Columban Church, missionary 
system n, celibacy 12, 
foundations 14, dress of 
clergy 15, fasts, festivals 16, 
tonsure 16, classes of monks 
17, MSS. 18, culture 19, 
Creed 21-23, independence 
of Rome 22, 23, form of 
Episcopacy 24, reckoning 
of Easter 26, resists Rome 

27, its end 28 

Communion cups ... ... 258 

Corsindae (see Forbes of,) feu- 
duty 206 

Crinan, Lay-abbot of Dunkeld ... 42 
Cornabo ... .. ... ... 151 

Cross, Monymusk Celtic ... 84 

Crossraguel Abbey ... 243, 260 
Crusade, taxing for last... .. 132 

' Cudri ' of cheese ... ... 93 

Culdees, meaning of word, 30, 
31, 33, distinct from Colum- 
bans 31, origin of 32, 37, 38, 
in Ireland 33, 34, in Eng- 
land 34, in Wales 35, in Scot- 
land 35, earliest record of 35, 
head of 36, homes in Scotland 
39, number at St. Andrews 
and here 38, 40, no zeal 39, 
doctrine and worship 55, 
influence 56, marriage 
among 57, dedication of 
Churches 57, decay of 58, 
suppression 59, library at 
St. Serf's 97, suppression 
there 48, 96, constitution 
here in 1211 109, Episco- 
pacy among 49, existing 
Culdee buildings ... ... 54 

'Culdees or canons' 101, 103, 

117, 119, 124 

Cullen, Lord (Sir Francis Grant) 
Cullen's, Lord, School.. 274, 289 
Daily service in Church . . . 254 

Date probable of Church ... 77 
Dauachofland ... ... ... 104 

Dawson, T. H., minister here 287 



9 6 


20, 56 
. 209 




David I. Reformation of 58, 
founds bishoprics 81, gives 

over St. Serf s 

David II. visits Monymusk ... 

Decay of old monasticism in 

England 32, in Scotland... 

Deer, Abbey of I, 2, 7 Charter 

43, no Culdees at 

Deer, Book of ... .. 19, 


Discipline of Priory 

Dolbethoc and Fornathy given 
102, taken away in, re- 

' Dominus ' 

Donald, Rev. J., Keithhall ... 
Dornoch, Culdees at 44, build- 
ings 53, 

Dow, Daniel, composes ' Mony- 
musk' ... ... ... 284 

Druidism 10, 13, 14 

Duff, Alexander, minister here 

285, Mrs. Duff's bequest ... 285 

Dull in Athol 86 

Dunblane, Culdees at 44, tower 

54, 78, bishopric 243 

Dunfermline Abbey Church 78, 80 
Dunkeld, Columban origin 7, 28 
Culdees 42, ' first' bishop 
43, buildings ... ... 52 

Durrow, Book of ... ... 18 

Durward (Door- ward) gifts by 123 
Easter in Celtic Church ... 26 

ii the Communion Sunday 

here 254 

Echt 163 

Edinburgh made a bishopric ... 241 
Ednam, earliest parish erected 94, 105 
Eglismenythok ... 94, ill, 132, 183 
Elgin Cathedral built 142, burned 148 
Elphinstone, Bishop ... 155, 157 
n John, co-prior ... 186 
character . . . 209 
Endowments of the Priory 87-130 
Episcopacy in England and Scot- 
land 211 

ii periods of ... 235, 243 




Episcopacy, tolerance toward . . . 259 
Episcopal Clergy in Episcopal 

Church here 286 

'Ferleginn' of Turriff 92 

Feu-duties from the estate 215, 243, 260 

Flodden 157, 178 

Foedarg and Foleyt, grain and 

cheese from" ... 91,131 

Forbeses of Corsindae 164,167,182 
190, 192 
Forbes, Lords 164, 182, rent-roll 

of .. 201, 205 

Forbes, Duncan, secures Mony- 

musk 193, 196, 209, 225, death 236 
Forbeses and Gordons, strife 

between ... ... ... 220 

Forbes, Sir William, Covenanter 247 
Inscription at Kearn ... 27 1 
Forbes family pedigree ... 270 

Forbes, * Bousteous John ' ... 1:83 
Forbes, John, Tombeg, and 

Anna Lunan ... 244 

.. John, minister of Alford 238 
ii Robert, minister here 287 
n Thomas, minister here 243 
M William, minister here 
239, first Bishop of 

Edinburgh 241 

Forglen, lands and dedication 4, 

10, 137, 138, 144, 146 
Fowlis, Easter and Wester 180, 181 

Gall, St 8 

Gellie, John, minister here . . . 246 

Grant, Sir Francis (Lord Cullen) 272 

n Sir Archibald ... ... 275 

it family tree ... ... 280 

Grant's, Lady, trust ... ... 284 

n ii bequest 288 

n Sir Francis, bequest ... 288 

Harlaw, battle of 148 

Hay, Canon John 162, 163, 165, 

envoy from Queen Mary ... 189 
Hepburn, John, Prior of St. 

Andrews 178 

Hinba, Columban remains at ... 14 
Holy rood Abbey ... ... 98 

Hostiarius, gifts by ... ... 123 


Huntly, Earls of ... 186,223 
Hurry of Pitfichie (see Urry) 
Hymns in ' Use of Sarum ' ... 82 

Innocent III 107,109 

" IV 128, 132 

Installation of Prior .. ... 160 
Interdict, effects of Papal . . . 102 
lona, Columba reaches 6, in- 
fluence of 8, 26, Abbot of, 
supreme 24, Culdees 51, 
lay-possession 51, buildings 

. at 10, 53, 54, 78 

Irvine of Drum and Brecbannoch 5 
Irving, James, minister here, 

imprisoned ... 238 

James I. of Scotland, letter to 

Priors ... ... ... 148 

James VI of Scotland, Church 

policy 237 

Jameson the painter ... ... 241 

Julius III 199 

Keig, gift of Church of... 116,131 
n n two acres at ... 125 

H Priory lands in ... ... 203 

n and Monymusk, Malcolm 

Hi's gift 87 

Keledei (see Culdees) 

Kells, Book of 18 

Kennedy, Bishop 151 

Kildr ummy quarries ... ... 72, 80 

H Castle 104 

ii minister deposed ... 122 

Kindrocht (Braemar) gift of 

Church and land ... 120, 131 
Kinernie, Arthur Rose, minister 

of 255 

King's College founded ... 155 

Kinloss ... ... ... ... 93 

Law, Mr. T. G., on Archangel 

Leslie 225 

Laud, Archbishop ... ... 240 

Lay-abbots at Abernethy 49, 
Brechin 43, 92, Dunkeld 
42, 47, Lismore 45, Moni- 
fieth... ... ... ... 50 

Leochel, gift of Church 100, pas- 
ture at 124, lands in 179, 181, 203 




Leslie, Archangel .. ... 225 
Library, Culdee at St. Serf's ... 97 
Lightfoot, Bishop, on Celtic 

Church 26 

Lindisfarne ... 26 

Liturgy of Celtic Church 19, its 
Gallican origin 20, sup- 
pressed 27 

Lismore, Culdees at 45, build- 
ings 52 

Llanffinan in Anglesey 83 

Low, Rev. A., of Keig on bound- 
aries of lands ... ... 89 

Lumphanan, Macbeth killed at 

61, meaning of 83 

Lunan, Alex., minister here ... 244 

tt H Episcopal minister 

ofBlairdaff 245 

Macbeth's gift to St. Serfs 36, 

death .... 61 

Machar St. 7, Cathedral begun 147 

* Magister' 137 

Malcolm III his gift of lands 
60, 87, with Edward the 
Confessor 61, conquers 
Macbeth 61, death 62, 
family ... " ... 66 

Malvoisin, Bishop 112, 117 

Mar, Earls of, 99-108, 119-123, 

147, . ... 148 

Margaret, Queen 60, marriage 

62, character and influence, 
62, her 'Book of the 
Gospels' 63, reforms Celtic 
Church 64, introduces 
Norman architecture ... 66 

Mary Queen of Scots 189, and 

Darnley 190, taxing 195 ... 212 
Masses endowed for souls of 

rectors 154, 159, 160 

Merk, value of .. 135 

Midmar, dedication of ... ... 84 

'Miles' 137 

Milne, Dr. , of Bombay ... ... 284 

Mitchell, Dr 288 

Monasteries, gift of Churches to 106 

Monifieth, Culdees at 49 

Monifieth, lay-abbot 50, build- 
ings 53, 

Montrose, Marquis of, at Mony- 



musk 248, executed ... 251 

Monymusk reliquary 3 

' Monymusk ' Strathspey ... 284 
Monymusk, early tradition as to 
i , first record of Culdees at 
50, 57, Church at 54, 
Malcolm Ill's gift 60, 87, 
under St. Andrews 65, 
Priory buildings 69, Church 
and Tower 70, Chancel 73, 

probable date 77 

Monymusk Priory, Endowments 
87-130, Earl of Buchan's 
ift 91, Bishop Robert's 94, 
rls of Mar 99-108, 119- 
123, ' Hostiarius' ' gifts 123- 
125, Bishop Malvoisin's 1 16, 
Bishop Bernhame's gift and 
restoration 125, 126, Pope 
confirms gifts and recognises 
Augustinian order 127, 
burned 208, value at Refor- 
mation 212, feu-duties now 
paid in connection with it 217 
Monymusk, Priors of, Bricius 
no, Andrew 147, ? Gavin 
of Douglas 154, Strachan 
155, Akenhead 160, Farlie 
1 60, Elphinstone 186, 193, 
207, 209, ? John Hay 190, 

Robert Forbes 211 

* Monymusk ' Henry de 140, Sir 
John de 141, Malcolm de 
4, 137, Marjory de 144, 
Michael de 142, Sir 

Thomas de 139 

Monymusk Church in Aberdeen 
Cathedral body 151, 157, 

166, town manse 151 

Monymusk, House of, saved 

from Montrose 248 

Monymusk sold by Forbes 

family .. ... 269 
Description of ... 275 




Monymusk, Episcopal Church at 246 
Monymusk Parson or Rector, 
Baldwin 127, Symon de 
Katness 147, John Myrton 

153, Richard Strathaquhyn 

154, ? John Litster 157, 
Alex. Symson 157, 165, 
Patrick Dunbar 166, Henry 
Forsyth 1 85, James Johnston 213 

Monymusk, Vicars of, Thomas 
Scherar 157, 165, John Reid 
167, 169, 172, 173, 176, 
? Archbishop Leighton ... 244 
Monymusk ministers since Refor- 
mation, James Murray 234, 
James Johnston 235, James 
Irving 237, William Forbes 
(first bishop of Edinburgh) 
239, Thomas Forbes 243, 
Adam Barclay 243, Alex. 
Lunan 244, John Gellie 246, 
Alex. Rose or Ross 254, 
John Burnett 257, Alex. 
Simpson 281, (Wm. Marr 
282), Alex. Duff 285, Robert 
Forbes 287, T. H. Dawson 287 
Monymusk proprietors, (see 

Urry, Forbes, Grant) 
Moravia, family de ... ... 142 

Mortlach I, 7, 56 

'Multo' (a sheep) ... ... 93 

Muthil, Culdees at 49, Norman 

tower ... ... ... 54 

Nectan expels Columbans 27, 47 
Nicol, Canon, born in village ... 285 
Norman arches in church .. 73 
Northumbrian Church ... ... 26 

Ogilvie, Rev. A., LL.D. ... 290 

Oran's St. , Chapel at lona 53, 68 
Orders, Roman, rise of 25, 58 

Orkney, Cormac in ... ... 14 

Outhirheyclt (Upper Echt) 124, 132 
Papal confirmations 107, 128, 
protection 118, permission 

to sell land 199 

Parishes, erection of ... 94, 105 
Patrick, St 12 

Paul III 176 

Pedigree of Forbes family . . . 270 
,, Grant family .. 280 

Urry family ... 252 

Pitfichie, tithes of 158, size of 
property 251, occupation of 
Castle 267, Urry of ... 144 

Pitsligo, Lord ... ... ... 272 

Plate, Cathedral, stolen ... 192 
Ploughgate of land ... ... 94 

Pluscardine Priory ... ... 118 

Poll-book of 1696 262 

Population of parish ... 283,291 
Prestongrange, Lord ... ... 278 

' Procurations,' Bishops' ... 135 

Priors (see Monymusk) 

ii Installation of ... .. 161 

Priory, perhaps built by Earl of 
Mar 100, 103, burned 208, 
dues annexed to Dunblane 
Cathedral 243, given to 
Principal Carstairs... ... 260 

Quarterly preaching ... ... 205 

Readers' 205,234 

Reformation in Aberdeenshire, 

The ... 210,234 

difference in Eng- 
land and Scotland 21 1 
Reliquary, The Monymusk ... 3 
Remaining link with Priory ... 215 
Rent-roll of Priory lands, Lord 

Forbes' 201 

Return of Churches and lands in 

1268 ... 131 

Revolution, Bishop Rose at the 256 
Rinuccini's Life of Archangel 

Leslie 225 

Robert IPs marriage 142 

Robertson, Archibald and 

Andrew, artists ... ... 283 

Roman orders, rise of... ...25, 58 

Romanesque architecture ... 77 
Roses of Kilravock ... ... 254 

Rose or Ross, Alex., minister 
254, his son, Bishop of 
Edinburgh 256, his brother, 
Archbishop of St. Andrews 255 




Rosemarky, Culclees at 44, build- 
ings 52, 56 

Rule, Regulus (see St. Rule) 
* Safe-conduct ' letter of, to 

England 143 

Sanctuary, right of ... ... 85 

Sarum, Use of ... ... ... 82 

Schoolmasters of the parish . . . 289 
Scollatisland here ... ... 69 

Serfs (slaves), actual names and 

conveyance of 107 

Simpson, Alex., minister here ... 281 

Skinner, Dean ... 282 

Spoliation of lands 190 

Strife in Priory 169 

Strauchine, Prior's daughter 156, 184 
St. Andrews, Culdees at 40, 
buildings 52, Priory of 41, 
65, cells of 68, Register of 
go, Cathedral 78, early 
bishops 1 1 8, ancient diocese 68 
St. Diaconianus of Keig ... 116 

St. Ffinan's oratory 83 

St. Marnan of Leochel 102 

St. Rule or Regulus, legend of 122 
St. Rule's tower at St. Andrews 

41, 78, 79, 80, 95 
St. Serf at Dysart 37, at Culross 

99, his fair 99 

St. Serfs, Lochleven, Culdees of, 
earliest record 36, 46, build- 
ings 52, MS. Library ... 97 


St. Serf's, Macbeth's gifts to 
36, Queen Margaret's 63, 
Ethelred's 47, harshness in 
suppression of ... 47, 96 

Teinds, tithes ... 104, 202, 203 

Tithes, second 147, 160 

Tillyfour in Oyne 259 

Tombeg burned 249 

Trail, Dr. 288 

Trees on the estate 275 

Turriff, no Culdees at 56, ' ferle- 
ginn' of 92, 93, Trot of ... 
Urry (Hurry) of Pitfichie 144, 
170, 172, 185, family of 
it Major-General 250, death 
251, daughters ... 


Valuation, 'old,' of Priory 


ii of parish 

Wallakirk in Glass 

Walker, Rev. Dr 

Weavers in parish in 1696 
Welsh missionaries in this county 

Wesley's visit 

Whitby, synod of 

William the Lion founds Arbroath 


William of Orange and Epis- 
copal Church 

Wishart of Pitarrow 







2 7 6 




BX 2599 .M65 N38 1895 
I (1ST 

Materials for a history 

of the church and 

s* Quee*