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Deer would have much to attract the susceptible nature of St. Columba. With rich pasture on the banks of the river, and the surrounding hills crowned with oaks, he would often be reminded of his own dearly-loved monastery of Durrow and its woods, in which, as he sings to Cormac, he used to listen to the sighing of the winds and the blackbird's joyous note.1
[op The Offerings Made To God And To Drostan.]
The following entries, down to that of Gartnait, son of Cannech, are written in a consecutive order on folio 3 b and fobo 4, and are represented on Plates IV. and V. They are here broken up for the sake of convenient reference :—
Comgeall mac 6da d6rat uaorti [go] nice furene docolumcille acusdodrostan. Comgeall son of Acd gave from Orte to Furene to Columcille and to Drostdn.
The names here mentioned were the extreme points of the boundary. No name resembling the first is now to be found, but it is probable that the last, "Furene," may have been the Hill of Pitfour, which rises on the north side of the flat ground on the river-bank, where the monastery of Drostan was placed.
Moridac mac morcunn dorat pett meic garnait acus achad toche temni acusbah6 robomormair acus robothosec.
Aforidach son of Morcunn1 gave Pett meic Garnait and Achad toche temni; and it was he that was mormacr and was chief
derives the word from dair-t/1ech, a house ferent reading of the last passage, for therea
of oak.—(Origin and Uses of the Round sons stated in the following memorandum,
Towers of Ireland, p. 342.) with which he has favoured me:—" The
1 Reeves' Adamnan, App. p. 275. instance I think wrongly rendered is—
'Donnchadh mac Morgaind is one of "' Comgeall son of Aed gave from Orte
three mormaers of Alba, whose deaths are re- to Furene to Columcille and to Drostan.'
corded in the Annals of Tighemac,a.D. 976. "' Moridach son of Morcunn gave Pett
(Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, p. 77.) meic-Garnait and Achad-toche-temni ; and
3 Mr. Skene is inclined to adopt a dif- ^ was be that was mormaer and toisech.'
Matain mac caerill dorat cuit mormoir inalteri acus culii mac batin dorat cuit tdiseg.
Matdin son of Caerill gave the mormaer's share in Altere, and Culii son of Baten gave the toisecKs share.
The lands here referred to axe doubtless those of Altrie, about two miles westward from the church of Deer.
Domnall mac giric acus malbrigte mac chathail dorat pett inmulenn do drostan.
Domnall son of Giric and Malbrigte son of Chathaill gave Pelt-in-Mulenn * to Drostdn.
An old mill stood on the bank of the Ugie, a short way to the north of the church, with a "sheelin'-hill" beside it, and it may have represented the mill of which the " Pet" or portion is here granted to the clerics.
It is possible that the joint gift may convey the respective shares of the mormaer and toisech, but this can only be an inference.
Cathal mac morcunt dorat achad naglerec dodrostan.
This would seem to be the gift of Cathal's share as toisech in lands already belonging to the clerics, but not " freed" at the time of the grant in their favour.
"Now this gives Comgell no designation, robo thosec:' 'robo' is the past tense of
and gives to Moridach both titles of mor- the word to be, 'he was,' and its being
maer and toisech. This is at variance repeated shows that the real meaning is,
with the whole scope of the passages, which 'and it was he (Comgell) that was mor
invariably distinguish between mormaers maer, and he (Moridac) that was toisech.'
and toisechs, and the positions of each. "Whether Moridac were mormaer or
The two are mentioned first without desig- toisech, it will be seen that his brother
nation to either, and then comes the state- Cathal was toisech, when, as Cathal mac
ment 'and it was he.' Now, if it had Morcunt, he mortified the toisech's share.'
been meant that Moridac was both mor- , .
, . . , iV ,, v Malbngte mac Chathail may have been
maer and to1sech, the text would have' J
. , , . .. ,, the son of Cathal the to1sech.
been ' 7 bahe robomorma1r 7 to1sech.
The text, however, is 'robo mormair 7 3 Muilenn, a mill.—(O'Brien's Diet.)
Domnall mac niadri acus malcolum mac culeon doratsat bidbin d6 dia acus 6.6 drostan.
Domnall son of Ruadre and Malcoluim son of CuUon gave Bidbin to God and to Drostdn.
Bidbin seems to be the Biffie of the present day. It lies about a mile west of the church, and the gift must be held to convey only the interests of the donors, as the king's share is granted in the subsequent entry. Although they are not designated, we are led to infer that the granters were respectively the mormaer and the toisech.
Malcoloum mac cinatha dorat c1iit rlig ibbidbin acus inpett meic gobr6ig acus da dabeg uactafr rosabard.
Maelcoluim son of Kenneth gave (the) king's share in Bidbin and in Pett meic Gobroig and two davochs of Upper Rosabard.
This grant of the royal share by the King of Alba out of his lands of Bidbin, and the subject of co-existing rights of different officials in the same lands, are commented on in a subsequent chapter headed "Celtic Grants." The interest of the mormaer in these lands of Pett-meic-Cobroig was subsequently granted to the clerics.
Malcolum mac moilbrigtae dorat indelerc. Malsnecte mac lul6ig dorat pett malduib dd drostan.
Malcolum son of Maelbrigte gave the Delerc. Malsnecte son of Luldeg gave Pett Malduib to Drostdn.
The first of these grants is by Malcolm, mormaer of Moray, son of Maelbride, who was also mormaer of that province,1 and the
1 The first mormaer of Moray on record Sigurd between A.d. 1005-1009. Finlay
is Ruaidhri or Kory, who was succeeded by was slain by his nephews Malcolm and
his son Malbride. He was followed by Gilcomgain, sons of Malbride, on which
his brother Finlay, who fought with Earl Malcolm, mentioned in the text, became second is by Malsnechte, son of Lulach, who, as representing the house of Moray, is styled " King of Moray" by the Irish Annalists, in recording his death A.d. 1085.l If the lands conveyed by them were in the neighbourhood of Deer, as is Hkely, it is not easy to understand how the mormaers of Moray could have any title, as such, to lands in a province obviously subject to their rivals the Kings of Alba.
No such local names as the Delete or Pett Malduib are now to be found in the district; but if the lands consisted of small portions which afterwards were merged in larger possessions with def1nite names, this could hardly be expected. It does not seem likely that the lands were isolated fields lying in Moray and at a distance from the monastery; nor do I think the difficulty is removed by Mr. Robertson's remark,2 that "the grants of Malcolm mac Malbride, and of Lulach's son Malsnechtan, would appear to mark the tenacity with which the family of Moray clung to their claim of exercising proprietary rights in that province, in which both the kings who sprang from their race met their death," as the province of Moray was always confined within the limits of the Spey as its southern boundary.3
Domnall mac meic dubbacin robaith nahiilo edbarta rodrostan [do drostan] arthabart akule d6.
Domnall son of Mac Dubbacin mortified [robaith*] all the offerings to Drostan, giving tlie whole of it to him.
mormaer,and died A.d. 1029. Gilcomgain, * Chronicles of the Picts and Scots,
his brother, then became mormaer, and pp. lxxxiv. lxxxvii.
was slain in his rath A.d. 1032, leaving a * " Wherever the word robaith is used,
son, Lulach, who was killed A.d. 1058. of which the literal meaning is 'drowned,'
'Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, and which is rendered 'mortified' or
p. 370. 'sacrificed,' it will be found that the
■ Scotland under her Early Kings, vol. grant is made for ' receiving the whole;'
ii. p. 500. meaning, perhaps, that in return for the
Kobaith cathal arachoir chetna acuitid thoisig acus dorat pr6inn chet cecnolloce acus ceccasc d6 dia acus d6 drostan.
Cathal immolated in (the) same way his chief's share, and gave a dinner of a hundred every Christmas and every Easter to God and to Drostan*
Cainnech mac meic dobarchon acus cathal doratsat ar alterin alla liethe na camone gonice inbefth edarda alterin.
Cainnech son of Mac Dobarchon [waterdog or otter] gave Alterin-alla^uethe na camone as far as the birch between the two Alterins.
The subject of this grant seems to have formed part of Altrie, lands which in recent times have come to be known by the name of Bruxie.2
Dorat domnall acus cathal etdanin d6 dia acus A6 drostan.
This place is not recognisable in any modern name.
Kobaith cainnec acus domnall acus cathal nahule edbarta ridia acus ri drostan 6th6sach goderad isscere om&r\maer\ acus othesech culaithi brdtha.
Cainnech and Domnall and Cathal mortified all these offerings to God and to
land, or for some similar advantages, the "to intertaine and cherish all those of the
'mortifier' guaranteed all the dues and clanna Neills as should have come for pil
offerings belonging to the abbey, just as grimadg to Cluain uppon every Good
the Bishops of St. Andrews guaranteed Fryday."—(Mac Firbis's translation, with
food and clothing to the community of notes by Dr. Donovan, in Trans. Kilkenny
Kirkness in return for the lands of the Arch. Soc. 1856-57, p. 449.) little priory."—(Scotland under her Early
Kings, vol. ii. p. 500.) 2 In the rental of the abbey-lands in 1 This was probably an obligation to 1554, those of Altrie are entered as also entertain a hundred of those of the pro- Mill of Bruxie ; and when the lands of the vince of Buchan, who were assembled at abbey were erected into a temporal lordship, Deer to celebrate these great festivals. in the year 15 8 7, in favour of Robert, ComIn the registry of Clonmacnoise, among mendator of Deer, it was under the title the dues payable to the house was one of the Lordship of Altrie.