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lings . . . was to be raised for his support. ... By the law of Scotland it was allowable to give "herbary" to a stranger for one night without question, but if he stayed beyond that period the host was . . . bound to produce him before the proper officer.'1 One or two such laws lead to suggestions as to the society 'within the walls,' and show us what must have been the engrossing subjects of conversation at the fortnightly Moot, which was attended by all the burgherhood. The life of the dwellers in the baronial castles resembled that of the aristocracy of England, always making great allowance for national modifications. Tournaments were held with pomp and circumstance, and in the chase the vigorous dames and maidens of Scotland accompanied the baron to the field or the hill. When they stayed at home, and were busy at their interminable needlework, the chaplain may have read aloud Lives of the Saints, which took the place of the light literature of the day; but when their husbands or brothers returned from the Crusades, what a world of real romance and marvel was unfolded to them, as they told of the countries they had passed through and their strange peoples and ways, or when jewels and robes from that far-away Holy Land found their way to the northern castle!
These were the years of Scotland's greatest prosperity till it ceased to exist as a separate state ; and in looking back to them we see valleys bright with fertility and industry, respectable burghs wherein trade according to the notions of the times was carried on, a royal court and baronial castles where the spirit of Christian chivalry preserved an excellent purity of manners, and religious houses, where those who were called to the higher life fulfilled their happy destiny. The sounds of the railway and the rifle are
1 Scotland under her Early Kings, vol. i. p. 305.
wanting, but there are the notes of the bugle and the bay of the hound, and ' bells made catholic' the air. At the same time, we must not forget that unmitigated violence and oppression held their own in those wide regions where the law had never penetrated.
On Sunday, the nth of September 1222, the Northmen of Caithness murdered their bishop, because they had quarrelled with him in regard to the payment of tithes. After severely punishing the assassins, King Alexander chose Gilbert de Moravia, Archdeacon of Murray, to succeed to the bishopric. This great and good man erected a new cathedral at Dornoch, and after his death he was reverenced as a saint. In 1223 the see of Murray was transferred from Spynie to Elgin, because Spynie was a ' solitary place, where divine service was much neglected,' and the foundation of the cathedral was laid by Bishop Andrew de Moravia, a near kinsman of St. Gilbert, in the year 1224. The ecclesiastical occurrences of the reign of Alexander II. were of great importance. In 1225, Pope Honorius III. issued a bull conferring on the Scottish Church the privilege of holding a provincial council without the intervention of a legate. This was for the express purpose of ratifying the decrees of the Lateran Council of 1215; but the Scottish prelates took advantage of the authority thus conceded to establish a system under which Provincial Councils were to be held every year, for the promulgation of canons, and the regulation of ecclesiastical matters generally, and above all with the view of avoiding the visits of the Papal Legates, to whom they had given anything but a hearty welcome. They were to consist of bishops, abbots, and priors governing separate priories, and to be presided over by a conservator, who was to be chosen annually from among the bishops.1
1 See Preface to Statu!a Ecclesia Scoticana, by Joseph Robertson,
Pp. 1. a
The records of the Provincial Councils have for the most part perished. The early part of the thirteenth century was remarkable in the history of Christendom for an awakening of religious zeal, and a yearning after the austerer side of the Gospel. St. Dominic and St. Francis were the founders of that development of the religious life, whose mission, in its primary intention at least, was without the convent walls rather than within, and emphatically, to the exclusion of other avocations, to the highways and hedges, to the ' streets and lanes of the city.' There the Dominican and Franciscan brethren were literally to fold in their arms and to soothe upon their bosoms human suffering in its most fearful forms. Above all, they were to minister to the diseases of the soul, and to preach against heresy; to consecrate their existence to its extirpation from the face of the earth was their highest work of mercy. Poverty, or rather destitution, self-annihilation in the dust, bodily mortification stretched to the furthest limit of bodily endurance, exhibit the spirit of their rule; 'the habit and one little book' each brother was to carry about with him, though these were by no means his own, and 'provide neither gold nor silver nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes nor staves,' was to be in their hearts and on their lips. St. Clement, Bishop of Dunblane, had received the Dominican habit from the saint himself, and being encouraged by Alexander II., he introduced the Order into Scotland. The Dominicans had fifteen convents,1 and the Franciscans, who were also introduced in this reign, had eight.2 The order of St. Francis, for females, the Poor
1 Edinburgh, Berwick, Ayr, Montrose, Perth, Aberdeen, Elgin, Stirling, Inverness, Wigton, Dundee, Cupar in Fife, St. Monans, St. Andrews, Glasgow.
8 Berwick, Roxburgh, Dumfries, Dundee, Haddington, Lanark, Kirkcudbright, Inverkeithing.
Clares, practised terrific austerities. These most penitential sisterhoods were established at Aberdour and Dundee. St. Clement, who in 1233 succeeded to the bishopric of Dunblane, found the rents of the see 'barely sufficient to maintain him for six months; there was no place in the cathedral where he could lay his head; no chapter, only a rustic chaplain saying mass thrice a week in a roofless church.' He restored the cathedral, leaving, after a pontificate of fifteen years,' a stately sanctuary, rich in land and heritage, served by prebendary and canon.'1
The abbatial foundations of this reign were the Cistercian houses of Culross, Deer in Buchan, and Balmerino; the Premonstratensian house of Feme; and the Cluniac house of Crossraguel. The Cistercian reform, called the order of Vallis Caulium, was introduced into Scotland, and three monasteries were founded,—at Pluscardine, Beaulieu, and Ardchattan. Patrick, Earl of March, founded a monastery for Trinity Friars at Dunbar.
On the death of Hugh, Bishop of St. Andrews, Roger, Abbot of Melrose, succeeded in 1198, and reigned till 1202. After him followed William Malvoisine, from 1202 till 1238; David de Bernham, from 1238 till 1253; Abel was consecrated and died in the year 1254; Gameline reigned from 1255 till 1271 ; William Wishart, from 1273 till 1279; William Fraser, from 1280 to 1297. Under all these prelates the building of the cathedral of St. Andrews went on. Bishop Malvoisine was the first who was buried in it, the choir being ready to receive him.
Alexander II. died in the year 1249, in Kerrera, a small island near the Sound of Mull. By his first wife, Joan,
1 'Scottish Abteys and Cathedrals,' Quarterly Review, vol. lxxxv. p. 128. Among the holy bishops of this period was Hugh de Sigillo, bishop of Dunkeld, who was called the poor man's bishop.
sister of Henry III. of England, he had no children ; by his second, Marie, daughter of Ingelram, of the chivalrous house of De Couci, he had one son, who succeeded as Alexander III. in his eighth year. The ceremony of his coronation took place at Scone in presence of the Estates of the kingdom. The Bishop of St. Andrews, David de Bernham, explained the coronation oath in Latin and in French. He then girded the baby king with the belt of knighthood, and seating him on the Stone of Destiny, placed the crown upon his head. Little did those assembled think that the old days were passing away for ever, and that this was the last time a prince would sit on that stone to be crowned king of Scotland in the hereditary palace. While Alexander sat, literally bending his little head beneath the burden of his heavy crown, an ancient Highlander stepped up before him, and recited in the Gaelic tongue a 'savage pean :'— Hail, Alexander, King of Albion, son of Alexander, son of William, son of David, son of Malcolm,' proceeding fluently with the royal pedigree for fifty-six generations, until he got to one Gathelus, who married Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, and was contemporary with Moses! Two years later the king, having attained to his eleventh year, went to York, accompanied by the queen-mother, Marie de Couci, to meet Henry III. of England, and to marry his daughter Margaret, a little girl of his own age. The chronicler of the rejoicings on this occasion tells us that six hundred oxen, provided by the Archbishop of York to furnish part of the wedding-feast, were all eaten up at the first course: the rest he leaves to be imagined, lest he might ' produce irony in the hearts of the absent.' Alexander did homage to Henry for his estates in the north of England, and then the English king, thinking, perhaps, that the boy would easily commit himself, asked him to swear fealty for the kingdom of Scotland also! He was not pre