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to 1245. About the same time many Chapters were engaged in defining and authenticating their cathedral constitutions; and we have recorded acts of this kind, of Aberdeen, and of the great Cathedral of Glasgow, whose Chapter sent to Sarum for the model of its constitution. But the diocese of Moray was the one to which the Bishop of Caithness would naturally look for his example, as his native diocese, in whose Chapter he had held a dignified office, and where the present bishop, Andrew de Moravia, was of his own kindred.

As Sarum had furnished the model adopted by the Chapter of Glasgow, so the Chapter of Moray took Lincoln for its guide and rule; and, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Bishop Bricius of Moray had dispatched the Dean Freskyn, and Andrew de Moravia, the Chancellor of his diocese, (destined to be his successor,) to learn accurately the customs and privileges, the constitution and order observed in the Cathedral of Lincoln. In framing his constitution for his northern diocese, again, Bishop Gilbert followed that of Moray in all particulars but one. There were the same number of canons, the same dignitaries in each; but in Moray, as in others of the Scotch cathedrals, the bishop sat in the Chapter as a simple canon, without pre-eminence of rank or authority. In Caithness, the bishop, legislating for himself, and dealing with endowments of his own granting, determined it otherwise.

Our record bears that, in the times preceding the episcopate of Bishop Gilbert, such was the poverty of the place, and so much had it suffered by continual wars, that in the cathedral church there was but a single priest celebrating service. The Bishop, desirous to set forth more worthily the Divine worship, determined to rebuild the cathedral at his own charges, and to erect it into a conventual church, with such endowment as his narrow means admitted.

The Chapter of the Cathedral of Caithness was declared to consist of ten members, the Bishop being the chief and pre-eminent, and receiving the fruits of six parish churches (unluckily not named) for his use. Of the

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other five dignitaries, the Dean had for his prebend the church of Clun [Clyne], the great tithes of the city of Dornoch and of the town of Ethenboll [Embo], with a fourth of the altarage of Dornoch and the whole land of Nethandurnach. The Precentor had the church of Creich, the parsonage tithes of Pronci, Auelech [Evelix], Strathormeli [Strachormlary or Achormlary, in Dornoch parish], Askesdale [Ausedale], and Rutheverthar [Rhiarchar], the fourth of the altarage of Dornoch, with the whole land of Huctherhinche at Dornoch. The prebend of the Chancellor was the church of Rothegorth [Rogart], the parsonage tithes of the twelve dauachs of Scelleboll [Skelbo], and another fourth of the altarage of Dornoch. The Treasurer's consisted of the church of Larg [Lairg], the rectorial tithes of Scitheboll [Skibo] and Sywardhoch [Sydera or Cyderhall], (except those of Strathormeli,) and the remaining fourth of the altarage of Dornoch. The Archdeacon had for his prebend the churches of Bauer and of Watne [Bower and Watten]. Of the undignified canons, the first had the church of Olrich for his prebend; the second the church of Donot [Dunnet]; and the last the church of Cananesbi [Canisbay]. The churches of Far and Scynend [Skinnet], the lands of Pethgrudi [Pitgudie in Dornoch], two Herkhenyis, and the common pasturage of Dornoch, were common to the prebendaries, and assigned in an artificial manner, in the view of securing cathedral residence. The canons had each a toft and a croft in the city of Dornoch. The dean was obliged to residence for half the year; the other canons to three months yearly of residence. The bishop and dignitaries were bound to provide priests as their cathedral vicars or stallers, (of whom the bishop's vicar alone had a provision from the cathedral-the rectorial tithes of Thoreboll [Torboll] and of Kynald, and twenty acres of land at Dornoch, with a toft and croft there.) The simple canons were allowed to find vicars in deacons' orders. The church of Dyrnes [Durness] was bestowed upon the cathedral, to find light and incense. A singular part of the constitution of the Chapter was, that the Abbot of Scone was of right a canon of the cathedral, although not bound to give

residence. His prebend was the church of Kelduninach [Kildonan], the property of the monastery of Scone.'

It is difficult for a Scotchman now to call up to his imagination the cathedral towns of old Scotland. The effect of such a society of learned churchmen, holding a high position for influence and example, cultivating letters, preaching peace, and (for the most part) practising it, must have been great and beneficial in any rural district; but a glance at the past history of the district enables us in some degree to appreciate the benefits conferred upon Dornoch by the establishment of its bishop, its cathedral, and its chapter.


There are a good many mistakes in the common lives of Bishop Gilbert de Moravia. It does not appear that he ever held the office of High Chamberlain of Scotland, though he probably administered the Crown property in the north. The story of his having distinguished himself at the Council of Northampton in 1176, and thereby winning a rapid promotion to his bishopric, when his election to the see of Caithness happened fortyseven years after that Council, needs no refutation. He had better titles to respect. He had a large share in civilising his rude province. He interposed between the vengeance of the King and the ignorant multitude. He made himself popular and beloved where his predecessors had been murdered; and, for whatever other miracles he was canonised, for these benefits he deserved to live in the affectionate memory of his people as 'Saint Gilbert.'

The places in the charter are for the most part easily identified. Helgedall is now Halladale. Ra is the parish of Reay, partly in Sutherland, partly in Caithness. Herkhenys is not known. Scynend is the church of St Thomas of Skinnet. Sytheraw now figures as Cyder hall, a place near Dornoch. It will be observed, that besides receiving the seals of the Bishop and his Chapter, both of which are now gone, the deed has been prepared for their subscription of their names, which was much more unusual. Neither the Bishop nor Canons, however, have actually subscribed.

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His festival was celebrated on the first day of April; and Saint Gilbert was among the Scotch saints restored to the kalendar of the Scotch church in the ill-starred Service Book of King Charles the First.1

The second of the documents here printed, was formerly an object of much interest to our antiquaries. It will be observed that it instructs three successive Bishops of Caithness, beginning with Bishop Gilbert-and two Earls of Sutherland in succession-before the year of its date, 1275. It was strangely omitted to be produced by the Earl of Sutherland in the Ranking of the Nobility in 1606, but was produced along with a fine roll of ancient preuves de la noblesse, in the process of reduction of the decreet of ranking raised by his grandson in 1667. In that action, which was dragged on for four years,

It would appear that the relics of St Gilbert were had in reverence till a recent period. On the 23d day of April 1545, in presence of John Earl of Sutherland; of Thomas Murray, Precentor, and Thomas Stewart, Treasurer of the Cathedral church of Caithness; of Duncan Chalmer, Chancellor of the Cathedral church of Ross, and Paul Freser, pensionar of the Deanery of that church-in the chapter-house of the said Cathedral church of Caithness, appeared John Gray of Kilmaly, and made oath, touching the relics of the blessed Saint Gilbert, that he was altogether innocent of the coming of the servants and accomplices of Donald M'Ky of Far, within the bounds of the Earldom of Sutherland, and of the slaughter, depredation, and spulzie of goods there by them committed, and that he was not aiding or counselling of them therein. Then, John Matheson, Chancellor of Caithness, and the said John Gray, gave their great oath, touching the relics of the most blessed Saint Gilbert, to be faithful to the said Earl of Sutherland. And thereafter, Murquhard Murray in Pronsi, and Walter Murray in Auchflo, made oath-tactis sacrosanctis beatissimi Gilberti reliquiis—that, in riding with their complices in the month of October last, to the harbour of Unis, they nowise intended the hurt of an honourable man, Hugh Kennedy of Girvane Mains.-Protocol Book of Mr David Seatton, 1534-1577, among the Records of the City of Aberdeen. For the events, see Sir R. Gordon's History, p. 111.

Sir Robert Gordon, far more accurate than the common herd of genealogical writers, refers to the WILL of Bishop Gilbert de Moravia as still extant in the Registers of the See of Caithness in his time, or about 1636. If that document chance to have escaped destruction, it would be of singular interest to the law antiquary.

no final decision was come to, and the Earl of Sutherland's name continued to stand erroneously on the Rolls of Parliament, after the Earls of Angus, Argyll, Crawfurd, Erroll, and Marischall.

Besides the illustration it affords to the succession of the Earls of Sutherland and their northern bishops, the deed is of some importance for early statistics, and the land history of a district where documents of such antiquity are unfortunately rare.' The original, in fine preservation, is at Dunrobin.

The seals originally affixed to the charter are gone. Those here represented are from ancient seals of the Chapter of Dornoch. The larger is from an impression of a brass stamp which was in the possession of the late Mr Thomas of Oxford Street, London, impressions of which are found at writs of the thirteenth century. One old impression of this seal in the Chapter-House, Westminster, not now attached to any writing, has for its counter-seal the smaller seal here represented. The subject is the Annunciation-the angel holding a scroll of Ave Maria. The legend, not very distinct, may be deciphered—

Collegivm: consigno: mevm: Catanense: Mariae.

C. I.

1 Some of the places in this charter occur in the Bishop's constitution. Scythebolle is Skibo; Syttheraw, Cyder hall; Miggewet, Migdale, in Creich; Swerdisdale, Swordale, also in Creich. Bunnach is Bonar. Cuttheldawach is Cuthil in Dornoch; Mouimor, Muimore; Awelec, Evelix in Dornoch; Promsy, Proncy, of which name there are Proncy, Proncy-croy, and Proncy-nain, three townships in Dornoch; Haskesdale, Ausdale-Astel; Hacchencossy, Achosnich in Dornoch; Thorebolle, Torboll; Kynalde, Kinnauld; Largge, Lairg; Owenes, Unes, Little ferry. Some places round Dornoch are still known by names recalling the memory of their old possessors, as Croite-an-Easpuig, Ach-in-chanter, Ach-in-treasurer, &c.— the field or croft of the Bishop, Precentor, and Treasurer-marking probably the patch of land attached to the cathedral manses of those dignitaries, Poll-a-Ghilibert, &c.

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