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land. King David established the Benedictine monastery of Urquhart, and he is supposed to have made his mother's foundation of Dunfermline a monastery of this order. He introduced the Arrovensian, the Belvacensian, and the Tyronensian orders, erecting a monastery for the brethren of Tyron at Kelso. The Cistercian monasteries of Melrose, filled with monks from Clairvaux in Yorkshire, Newbottle, Kynloss, and a great house for Cistercian nuns at Berwick on-Tweed, were also founded by him; and in his reign the Cistercian houses of .Holmcultram in Cumberland and Dundrennan were founded by certain devoted persons. The oldest nunnery in this country was an unknown order at Coldingham in Berwickshire, whose house was destroyed by the Danes in 870. The Chanonesses of St. Augustine had a convent at Iona, where they continued to live in community long after the Reformation, and the Benedictine nuns had seventeen or eighteen Scottish convents.1 In close association with the religious houses were the hospitals, of which about thirty are distinctly mentioned. The hospital, generally called the 'Maison Dieu,' was for the reception of strangers, and for the maintenance of the poor and needy. It pro
brothock; Fyvie, in Buchan; Lundores, on the Tay; Paisley; Feale, in Kyle; Crossraguel, in Carrick; Iona; Melrose; Newbottle, in Mid-Lothian; Dundrennan, in Galloway; Holmcultram, in Cumberland ; Kynloss, in Moray ; Coupar, in Angus ; Glenluce; Sandale, in Cantyre; Culross; Deer, in Buchan; Balmerino, in Fife; Sweetheart, in Galloway; Mauchline, in Kyle; Pluscarden, in Moray; Beaulieu, in Ross; Ardchattan, in Lorn; and the only Carthusian monastery in Scotland was at Perth.
1 Newcastle; Carlisle; Halyston; Dalmulin; Lincluden; Berwick-on-Tweed; St. Bothan's; Trefontana, in Lammermuir; Elbottle; Gulane; Coldstream; Eccles; Manuel, near Linlithgow; Haddington ; North Berwick; Elchow; St. Leonard, near Perth; and we hear of the nuns of St. Mary's Wynd in Edinburgh.
bably answered in a more Christian form to the workhouse of to-day. The lapse of centuries has not taken away the interest that is still clinging to the daily life of so many of our countrymen and countrywomen. 'Let the devil never find you idle' was a precept carefully remembered, and acted up to. Seven hours of every Benedictine day were devoted to manual or mental exertion, seven hours to religious services and contemplation, four hours to religious studies, the remaining six sufficed for food and sleep. As some of the severities of the rule originally prescribed for the natives of sunny Italy were modified to meet the necessities of this trying climate, we may suppose that the British monks were allowed a longer time for rest. The rule of absolute silence, except at a permitted time, guarded the soul as with a shield. The chief monastic officer was the Lord Abbot. Certain abbots were entitled to put on the episcopal robes, and to sit in Parliament; while as the abbey possessed the right of regality over its lands, they held their courts, presided over 'the trial of battle, of water, and hot iron, as far as belonged to ecclesiastical dignity,' and exercised a greater jurisdiction in the county than the sheriff did. They were sponsors to the children of the blood-royal, and we hear of them living occasionally in a state that bordered on regal. Yet there was no provision made for magnificence and the exercise of temporal power in this simple summary of an abbot's duty : ' The cheyf office and profession of an abbot is . . . to ly ve chaste and solytarilye ; to be separate from the intromeddlynge of worldlye thinge, and to serve God quietlye, and to distribute his faculties in refreshing of poore indigent persons, to have a vigilant eigh to good order, and rule of his house, and the flock to him commytted in God.'1 The
1 John Shepey or Castelocke, Cleop. E. iv., 34; cited in Fox's Monks and Monasteries, p. 128.
authority of an abbot or abbess within the monastic walls was tremendous. Happy only were those religious whose father or mother, when their last hour was come, lc.id aside the outward symbols of their perilous exaltation, forgot their grandeur, and, stretching out their hands to their children, said in sincerity, ' Wherefore I seek absolution from you. as much as appertains to you, and benediction; and I absolve you from obedience to me, and give you my benediction.' Next to the abbot came the Prior, who either acted as an assistant-superior in the mother-house—filling the abbot's place when he was from home, etc., or else was the abbot's vicegerent, exercising the abbatical functions in a dependent priory. Then came the Precentor, or Chanter, who presided over the choral services, wrote out the tables of Divine service for the use of the religious, and distributed the vestments at festivals.1 To the Armarian belonged the keeping of the library. He had frequently to examine the volumes, lest damp or insects should injure them, to make out the catalogues, and to supply the sick monks in the infirmary with books; and as the monastic library was also the 'lending library' of the age, the lending department was in his hands. He gave the writers volumes to transcribe, and, in short, the literary work, which the Benedictines performed with such sedulous diligence, was under his superintendence.2 The Almoner's business was to search out the poor and the sick, and to procure from the monastery the alleviation of their sufferings. The Sacristan had the care of the altarvessels; he prepared the wafers for the blessed Sacrament, and provided the wine, and it was his peculiar privilege to sleep in the church. He had also to see that the bell was duly
* See Fox's Monks and Monasteries, pp. 137, 138.
* See Bibliomania in the Middle Ages, by F. Somner Merryweather, c. ii. p. 10.
tolled, and that the churchyard was free from nettles and weeds. The Cellarer administered the domestic concerns; the Treasurer received the rents of the abbey lands, and kept the accounts of the house expenditure. The titles of Infirmarer, Kitchener, Porter, Refectioner, Chamberlain speak for themselves. The sites of the old abbeys and nunneries were often very lovely. Undoubtedly the spirits of certain orders indicated more fully than others an affectionate love of nature, and taught their sons and daughters to be allured by the woods and hills to the love of their Creator; but it was a very general rule for the founders of religious houses to choose sites where a beautiful nature was continually praising God. In Scotland this is witnessed to in the abbey of Melrose, 'the most beautiful of all the northern fanes of whatever time,' on the banks of the Tweed; by Coupar, in the valley of Strathmore, the fertile 'garden of Scotland ;' by Inchmahome, or the Isle of Rest, in the loch of Monteith, surrounded by deep woods, and under the shadow of the Highland hills, and by many others. 'Believe me,' says the holy founder of the Cistercians, 'you will find more lessons in the woods than in books.' In the abbey church, which was frequently very magnificent, the sacraments were administered, and the religious performed the 'work of God'—the worship that corresponded to the worship of heaven. The house consisted of the refectory or dining-room, and here, while the others dined, a religious read aloud. In the chapter-room, faults against rule were publicly confessed in this simple formula :—' I confess to the Lord, and you brethren [or sisters], that I have sinned in thought and deed, . . . wherefore I beg you to pray for me.' And the brethren or sisters replied :—' Almighty God, have mercy upon you.' The dormitory was where the monks slept, each having a little chamber to himself, whereof the furniture was a narrow bed, a prayer-desk, and a crucifix. The monks of Glastonbury Abbey in England had each ' two coats, two cowls, a table-book, a knife, a needle, and a handkerchief, besides his bed furniture of a mat, a blanket, a rug, and a pillow.'l But in a strict sense no religious could say that anything was his own. He was 'without purse, and scrip, and shoes,' and yet we know that when the first who were reduced to this state of poverty were asked, 'lacked ye anything?' that their answer expressed a satisfaction which the possession of houses and lands could never give—' Nothing.' In the guest-hall visitors were received with the kiss of peace, and invited to partake of the hospitality of the monastery. In the parlour, conversations were held, when silence was enjoined elsewhere. In the library were stored the archives of the house, those curious and valuable monastic registers called the cartularies, works of theology and history, and sometimes collections of poetry and the classics, the books that were lent to neighbouring monasteries, those intended for sale, and the gorgeously illuminated MSS., the 'great and precious books' that never went from home. In the scriptorium, or writing-room, the monks wrote new books or copied old ones ; and here were kept the pens and ink, the parchment and knives, the paint, the preparations of gold and silver, and all the other multitudinous requisites of the art of illuminating, which in the early middle ages, when 'art was still religion,' began to attain its most perfect development. The reverence wherewith the monks copied the Word of God is witnessed to in the pious commendations written by the scribe on his finished work, such as 'Keep safe, O Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my three fingers, with which I have written this book.' In the scriptorium the turning of the leaves, the mixing of the