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early Celtic churches of St. Patrick in Ireland and St. Columba in Scotland.
The thoroughly Celtic character of the clerics of Deer plainly appears from a rubric which in their "book " is given in Gaelic, "Hisund dubeir sacorfaice dau," or "Here give the sacrifice to him." In the Book of Dimma the corresponding direction is expressed in Latin, "Das ei eucharistiam."1
The last document engrossed in the book (folio 40, Plate XIV.) is in a different hand from that used in the Celtic grants, while it yet partakes to a considerable extent of the same character. It is a charter in Latin by David I.,2 wherein the king declares the clerics to be free from all lay interference and undue exaction, as it is written in their Book—expressions evidently referring to the grants just recited—and as they pleaded at Banff and swore at Aberdeen.
I have elsewhere remarked on the secularising process which marked the history of the eleventh century, and the lay usurpations which overtook the monastic institutions of Ireland and Scotland (Chapter V., "The Early Scottish Church"). It is plain, from the tenor of King David's charter, that the clerics of Deer had suffered from attempts of this nature, and that in order to preserve their immunities they had been compelled to obtain the written charter of the King of Alba, as they formerly resorted to the " freedoms" of the mormaers and toisechs of the district, guaranteed at the provincial assemblies.
The witnesses to this grant, dated at Aberdeen, include Cormac, the first diocesan Bishop of Dunkeld; Andrew, the first Bishop of Caithness; Samson, the first Bishop of Brechin ;1 Duncan, Earl of Fife; Malmore of Athol; Gillebrite, Earl of Angus; with Brocin and Cormac of Turriff, the last two being associated together, as in the previous grant of Colbain the mormaer (p. xxvii.)
1 Liber Ecclesic Beati Terrenani de Arbuthnott. Preface, p. xiii. ~ Printed at p. 9f1.
At the end of the volume (fol. 85 ; Plate XVIII.) is inserted, in writing of the same period as the Gospels, the Apostles' Creed.2
After this comes the following colophon, written apparently at the same time as the Gospels :—
Forchubus caichduini imbia arrath in lebran colli aratardda bendacht foranmain intruagain rodscribai
It is thus translated by Mr. Stokes, who says of it, " In point of language this is identical with the oldest Irish glosses in Zeuss' Grammatica Celtica."—(Saturday Beview, Dec. 8, 1860.)
"Be it on (the) conscience of every one in whom shall be for grace the booklet with splendour, that he give a blessing on Ihe soul of the wretchock (misellus) who wrote it."
For the sake of convenient reference, the matter of the grants is exhibited under the various heads in the following table :—
1 Thischarter proves the foundation of the of Malcolm IV., and during the episcopate
See of Brechin by King David. "There of Arnold, Bishop of St. Andrews, we find
is," says Dr. Grub, in his valuable Ecclesi- mention of Samson, Bishop of Brechin,
astical History of Scotland, writing before whence it may reasonably be inferred that
the Book of Deer had become known, " no the traditional date of the erection is cor
contemporary evidence of this, nor am I rect."—Vol. i. p. 268.
aware that any of his charters are attested
by a Bishop of Brechin. But in the reign 8 Printed, p. 89.