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subject of the first relates to a period more than five centuries before.
It is possible, therefore, that the scribe, in recording the traditional account of the foundation of the monastery, may have to some extent used terms expressing conditions of later growth. •
Thus, in the legend of Columkille and Drostan, we are told that Bede the Pict was " mormaer of Buchan" at the time when the clerics entered on their mission in that country, at some period between A.d. 563 and A.d. 597.
In the time of the Roman occupation, North Britain was possessed by many independent tribes, *whose names and position we learn from the geographer Ptolemy. In the progress of time these tribes came to be grouped into seven confederacies or provinces, ruled over by seven kings or chiefs, having under them seven "reguli" or inferior chiefs, with a king supreme over the whole.1
Of these kingdoms, the country between the Dee and the Spey formed one. In a description of Scotland, written in the twelfth century, it appears in two forms. In one case it is said, "Quartum regnum [fuit] ex De usque ad magnum et mirabile flumen quod vocatur Spe, majorem et meliorem tocius Scocie;" and in the other, it is spoken of as one of seven districts into which Scotland was divided, and as composed of Marr with Buchan.
Probably the last refers to the latest arrangement, when the country had been divided into two provinces.
1 The memory of a sevenfold division the Picts and Scots, pp. 135, 139; Palwas revived on various occasions long grave's Documents and Records of Scotafterwards. See " De Situ Albanie," and land, p. ix.; and Registrum de Dunfenne«' Legend of St. Andrew," in Chronicles of lyn, p. 235.
The position of the ardrigh among the Northern Picts had come to be established at the time of St. Columba's mission, and then he doubtless ruled over the provincial chiefs or kings in much the same way as the monarch of Tara ruled over the provincial kings of Ireland, receiving from them a stipulated tribute, and entertainment in his occasional circuit or visitation.
After the union of the two branches of the Celtic people under one sovereign, towards the middle of the ninth century, "the next step in the progress of amalgamation was to confirm the preponderance of one state, and thus render the elective monarchy hereditary in one family. In the attempts to accomplish this object, which were made by the elder Angus and his successors, the ancient sevenfold division of the nation appears to have been destroyed, and the real conquest of the Pictish people to have been effected."1
When Columba and Drostan appeared in Buchan, it is probable that the country was governed by an under-king of the Pictish race; and it is not unnatural that one, writing at a later period, when the name of Pict had died out, should refer to the fact of his lineage as a distinguishing mark.2
At the time when the memoranda in the Book of Deer were written, a great consolidation of the power of the supreme king, especially under the reigns of Malcolm II. and his father Kenneth, had taken place by conquests over the provincial rulers.
This resulted not merely in the royal aggrandisement in a political view, but in a great addition to the property of the king. At an earlier period, the land thus acquired would have been portioned out among the conquerors as free allod—untaxed freehold held by right of blood; but when the importance of the supreme head came to be more prominent, and his power recognised, considerable portions of land in newly-annexed districts were reserved for the use of the crown.1 In this case the older proprietary seem to have remained undisturbed as a tributary class.
1 Scotland under her Early Kings, by tury, the anc1ent name of Pict, gradually
E. W. Robertson, vol. i. p. 38. Edin- dying out, was superseded by the more
burgh, 1862. familiar appellation of Scot."—(Scotland
1 ■ From the opening of the tenth cen- under her Early Kings, voL i. p. 23.)
"Like Wales and Ireland, the whole kingdom was probably divided in theory into Triocha-ceds, Gantreds, or Thanages—the tribe-lands held by chieftains as untaxed duchas, the crown-lands by maors or thanes, answerable for the rents and dues; and if Malcolm, by cancelling 'Duchas right,' as far as it lay in his power, assimilated the tenure of the whole kingdom to that of the royal maor, or, in other words, taxed the hitherto untaxed duchasach, he only brought about the same change which Harfagr had already effected in Norway, and which the ministers of the Frank kings were continually aiming at, five or six centuries before his era."2
The royal lands appear to have been under the charge of a maer or steward, and when a new province was annexed to the crown, it was subjected to the government of an official called a mormaer,1 or great steward, coming in place of the "king," who had formerly been to some extent an independent ruler; and it is only after the period of the national consolidation that the term of mormaer occurs in the Annals as applied to provincial rulers; while in Galloway and Lothian, which were not annexed to Alba till after the period of mormaers, no such officers appear. The notice of the death of Dubucan, mormaer of Angus, in 939, is the first in a Scottish record where the term is applied to an individual.1 In the Annals of Ulster the mormaers of Alba are spoken of as a class, A.D. 917.2
1 It is thus that we can account for the lands of Keig and Monymusk to the
numerous estates throughout Pictland held Church of St. Andrews.—(Collections for
in demesne by the Kings of Alba, which a History of the Shires of Aberdeen and
appear in the records of later times, out of Banff, vol. i. p. 171 j Spalding Club.) which they founded monasteries and endowed churches; see as an instance the 'Scotland under her Early Kings, vol. i.
remarkable grant by Malcolm III. of the p. 107.
1 In the Irish Annals we find occasional references to officials who are styled ardmaers, or high stewards; but whose office, like that of the toisech, gave them authority over the clann, not as with the mormaer of Alba, who combined with personal rule the charge of a territory or district. Thus, A.d. 922, the Annals of Ulster record the death of Murray, son of Donnell, Abbot of Monasterboice, head of the counsel of all the men of Bregia [the country between the Boyne and the Liffey, north of Dublin], lay and ecclesiastical, and stewards of Patrick's family, from Slieve Fuaid [south of Armagh]. In the Annals of Ulster the Murray here mentioned is called "Tanist Abbot of Armagh and ard-maer [or high steward] of the O'Neills of the South [or men of Meath], and coarb of Boice." "Muredhach mac Domhnaill tanuse Ab Airdmacha 7 ardmaer oa Neill in deisceirt 7 comharba Buiti mc Bronaigh, cenn adcomaire fer m Breg nuile Ocaib, Cleirchibh."—(OConor, Rer. Hib. SS. vol. iv. p. 256; King's Memoir of the Primacy of Armagh, p. 74.) As steward of the family of Patrick, "he appears to have been the authorised receiver of the tribute and offerings available for the support of the Armagh clergy from the inhabitants of the district committed to his charge."—(King, p. 75.) The Four Masters, A J). 927, record the death of Kencorach, son of Maelweer, Abbot and
Bishop of Derry-Calgy (l.e. Deny), and Steward of Adamnan's Law. "The abbot and bishop here named would seem to have discharged a similar office in connection with St. Adamnan's (or Eunan's) tribute — i.e. the offerings presented in memory of St. Adamnan to the Abbot of Baphoe for the support of his church and clergy.''—(Idem.) In the account of the inauguration of Cathal Crobhdhearg O'Connor, King of Connaught, A.d. 1224, there is a list of the various officers under the king, of whom the first was the ard-maer, or high steward.—(Dr. O'Donovan's translation from the Celtic, in Transactions of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, vol. ii. p. 344.)
These ard-maers appear to have been the receivers of dues, both lay and ecclesiastical, and the term exactores, in the Annals of Ulster, used to describe certain officers of the Pictish King Nechtan, who fell at the battle of Monitcarno, A.d. 729, is probably meant for some of his great stewards or maers.—(Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, p. 356.) The word occurs in the Saxon Charters, as in that of Bishop Tunbriht, dated A.d. 877, where he frees the land conveyed by it from all burdens, "sive a pastu regis, principis, exactoris," etc. (Kemble, Codex Diplomat. No. 1063.)
The term satrapas, applied in the Pictish Chronicle to Dubdou, the ruler of Atholl in A.d. 965, seems to mean minister or
As to the office of the mormaer, "there seems little doubt that, like the maor, he was a royal official resembling the graphio amongst the early Franks, and the Scandinavian jarl, acting as a royal deputy, and retaining in early times the third part of the royal revenue and prerogatives. The substitution of this species of tenure for pure duchas must have been gradually brought about, as in Norway, by the growth and increase of the royal authority— oirrighs and lesser chieftains often exchanging their earlier condition of partial or complete independence for that direct dependence upon the central authority which converted them into mormaers and maors; a change which was much facilitated by the great increase of wealth which must have resulted from extending taxation to the classes hitherto untaxed, and in which both mormaer and maor, Hke the royal officials of the north, must have participated."3 In Armorica, the Mactyerns were hereditary lords of districts, and received from their vassals rents which corresponded in all appearance to the imposts levied by the chiefs of districts in Gaul.
officer, and to be an equivalent of mormaer, 1 Chronicles of Rets and Scots, p. 9.
the term applied by the same Chronicle to a "But neither their king nor any of
Dubucan, the ruler of Angus, who died the mormaers fell by him."—(Chron. of
A.d.939.—(Ducange,Gloss, in voc. Satrapa, Picts and Scots, pp. 363-4.) MinittrL Chron. of the Picts and Scots, 3 Scotland under her Early Kings, vol.
pp.9, 10.) ii.p. 469.