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pirates who scoured the northern seas, and conducted plunder on as grand a scale as the poverty-stricken coasts would admit of. Although mostly of Norwegian descent, they are called the Danes; they are also known as Gentiles, and Sea-kings, and their other appellation of Viking is derived from vik, a. bay. Their first recorded appearance on the British coasts is in the year 793, when they pillaged Iona, and annihilated its little library, the patient toil of so many years. In consequence of this and similar deplorable visitations the native MSS. of that age perished. The ecclesiastical headquarters were the proper treasury of any altar service in the precious metals, and this was sufficient inducement for a Viking ravage. Nor could the Church's weightiest matters be regulated by men whose eyes were often on the outlook for the dreaded Norwegian sails, and part of whose energies was necessarily expended in the business of special self-preservation. It became imperative to transfer the primacy to a secure inland situation. The Danes became 'the chronic scourge' of northern Europe. In 793 St. Blaithmac, an Irish abbot who was sojourning at Iona, suffered martyrdom at their hands, and in 875 St. Adrian and many others met with the same fate on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth. After the transfer to Dunkeld, the Abbots of Iona continued to be the superiors of the Columbite order, both in Britain and in Ireland; but Indrecht, whose death occurred in 854, was the last abbot of Iona who held the primacy of the Scottish Church. The great convent was primatial no longer, but an intense reverence continued to attach to its ancient name, and till the middle of the eleventh century it possessed the exclusive right of royal sepulchre. The prophecy heading this chapter made this desirable, and here we are told lie the ashes of forty-eight Scottish monarchs, four Irish monarchs, eight Norwegian princes, probably viceroys of the Hebrides while they were under the dominion of Norway, and one nameless king of France. It is also memorable that at Iona the praises of God continued to be sung by a religious sisterhood a long time after the Reformation. Another event distinguished the stirring reign of Kenneth M'Alpin. It was the removal from Iona to Scone on the Tay of the Stone of Destiny wherewith the fortunes of the Scottish race were, according to mysterious rhythm, indissolubly linked—
'If weirds fail not, where'er this stone is found,
Kenneth died at Forteviot in 859. The law of succession which then obtained in this country was called the law of Tanistry. This was a system 'which depended upon a descent from a common ancestor, but which selected the man come to years fit for war and council, instead of the infant son or grandson of the last chief, to manage the affairs of the tribe, and who was recognised as the successor, under the name of Tanist, even during the life of the chief.'1 Accordingly the late king was succeeded by his brother Donald, on whose death, in 863, Constantine, the son of Kenneth, ascended the united thrones. His whole reign was spent in strife with the Danes, who had already begun to establish themselves among the original Celtic population of the Orkneys and the Hebrides. From thence they lived on plundering the coasts of Britain, Ireland, and Norway. Early in the tenth century, Harold Harfager, King of Norway, sailed to the Scottish seas, subdued Orkney, the Hebrides, and the Isle of Man, and placed over them jarls or earls as governors. The Norwegian population which he planted soon spread over a considerable portion of the Scottish mainland, and mingling with the native stock, produced characteristics
1 Scotland in the Middle Ages, Cosmo Innes, c, vi. pp. 176, 177. which the lapse of ages has not effaced. Constantine died in 877, and after him followed successively Aodh, Eocha, Cyric (Grig), and Donald II. This last monarch is said to have removed the royal residence from Forteviot to Scone. He was succeeded in 900 by Constantine II. The great event of his reign was the second transfer of the primacy, and the final establishment of the chief ecclesiastical seat at St. Andrews. That isolated little town on the cold east coast of the German Ocean has already been known to us by the legend of St. Rule, who is said to have landed from Patras in Achaia on the site of the future town so early as 307. From that time to the beginning of the tenth century the notices of its history are few and brief, but we know that a house of the Columban order existed from some uncertain date. It is when it becomes the metropolis of the Scottish Church of the middle ages, and the nursery of our country's scholars, that we shall find the history of St. Andrews. To the period of the second transfer is also attributed the abolition of the abbatical ecclesiastical system, which was a step in the direction of more perfect discipline, but only a step, for the transition to regular diocesan episcopacy was slow and gradual. Midway between the two systems came the Culdees, a class of clergy whose name, origin, and tenets have occasioned much discussion, and about whom an immense amount of assertion disproved by historic fact has been ventured, but who have been briefly and perhaps well described as 'the monastic type of ecclesiastical organization shading off through the collegiate into the parochial.' Many of the adversaries of the episcopacy and monasticism of the Catholic Church have endeavoured to prove that the Culdees were the very original founders of the faith, and that they passed free-and-easy lives, untrammelled by discipline and ceremonies of any kind. The latter assertion is in some measure correct. The Culdees exhibit the Columban Church in its decay, and while they claimed the honours of the religious life, they rejected its piercing renunciations. Their rules were abandoned; they lived a nominally ascetic but really a pre-eminently comfortable life, in the enjoyment of wives and 'houses and lands.'1 They endeavoured to procure for their sons, in a long line of hereditary succession, appointments both monastic and secular, with all the emoluments and privileges which attached to the discharge of them; and to the Culdee Chapter belonged the election of the bishops in the several places where bishops were established. Hence arose continual strife with the episcopal order. The Culdees flourished from the close of the ninth century till the beginning of the thirteenth. They possessed lands at St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane, Abernethy, Brechin, Kirkcaldy or Kirk-Culdee, and Monymusk, besides many other decayed Columban institutions. Of the Culdean or dark period of the ancient Church we have two material remains. They are the round towers of Abernethy and Brechin. These dismal edifices were long regarded with profound awe, as belonging to immemorial antiquity, but antiquaries have now decided that they were built by Christians for the preservation of relics and books, etc. As places of great security, they speak of an age of violence, and in their absence of beauty, of the sterility of the Culdean Church.
Kellach I. is the first bishop of St. Andrews recorded by name, and the first Primate Bishop of the Scottish Church. During his episcopate, the Council of Scone was held on the Hill of Belief, near Perth, whereat Constantine the king
1 The names Mactaggart, the priest's son, Macnab, the abbot's son, and many others, testify to the lax discipline of these days.
and Kellach the bishop swore to observe the rites of the Church and the Gospels, A.d. 909. The last act of Constantine's long life, which was spent in the usual tumultuous strife, was his retreat to the Culdean establishment at St. Andrews. It was situated on a hill near the town, and was called 'Ecclesia Sanctae Mariae de Rupe,' or St. Mary's Church on the Rock, and here, in 953, the worn-out warrior died in the comfortable position of abbot of the house.1
The accounts of the Norwegian colonists become especially interesting in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. By the united efforts of the Columban missionaries and of Olave Tryggvasson and Olave the Saint, kings of Norway, they were then Christians. Sigurd the Stout, Jarl of Orkney, who flourished in the tenth century, is said to have married a daughter of Malcolm II. Their son Thorfin extended his dominions, and ruled Orkney, Zetland, and the Hebrides, Caithness, and Sutherland. The two surviving grandchildren of Thorfin, Magnus and Haco, were governing conjointly early in the eleventh century. Haco was fierce and cruel, but Magnus was a good Christian; and there is a story told of him that, having been compelled by a Norse king to accompany him in a fleet equipped for plundering the coast of Wales, when the battle began Magnus refused to join, and sitting down in the prow, he opened his Psalter and recited it. This he went on doing whilst the fight raged, and though many fell around him, he remained un
1 It was probably in commemoration of Constantine's retreat that St. Andrews got its Gaelic name of Chilrimont, that is, the Cell of the King upon the Hill, and that the common seal of the monastery had on one side a king crowned, holding a sword in his right and a globe in his left hand, with the legend, 'S. capituli ecclesioe Sanctae Mariae capelloe domini regis Scotorum.' See Lyon's Hist. of St. Andrews, vol. i. p. 42.