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INQUEST OF DAVID: TEXT, TRANSLATION, AND NOTES., T. T. Brown (Jan., 1895), pp.36-46.

“THE amanuensis1 of Bishop John whose function doubtless it was to prepare the Notitia of the Inquest concerning the early possessions of the Church of Glasgow would appear to have been a draughtsman more than usually expert. On a formula that gave but little scope for literary embellishment in the hands of the ordinary redacteur he has engrafted a prefatory narrative of much interest and at the same time of considerable value.

The founding of the See, the election of the first bishop, the advent of Earl David, and the restoration of the bishopric – the dominant notes of the narrative – are heightened by contrast with the five centuries of anarchy, the gloomy period when Gildas and Nennius bewailed “the general destruction of everything good and the general growth of evil throughout the land.”2 The skill which gave the appearance of relevancy to so much that in no way fell under the cognisance of “the old and wise men” returning the verdict, would deserve recognition now were it only for having preserved for later times the earliest account of St. Kentigern, the pioneer missionary of Strathclyde.

The legal conception of a probative document was different in the 12th century from what it is in the present day. To the early notary the setting forth of the date was of minor importance or of no importance whatever, while the array of the names of the good and true men who “heard and saw” was vital, the all in all. Thus it is that the most ancient of the Scottish deeds are undated. In the case of notitiae – which are not charters in the strict acceptation of the term – the date continued to be unimportant long after it became the regular practice to authenticate charters by the addition of Papal indiction or the year of the Christian era. To such notarial instruments when not recorded in the official protocol, a notary might add the simplest of docquets… but even that was only occasional. As a consequence it is generally a thing of considerable difficulty to fix with exactness from the evidence either of charters or notitiae the date of any early transaction, and the Notitia of the Inquest made by Earl David is no exception to the rule. It narrates that the inquest was held while as yet David was Earl of Cumbria, Henry being King of England and Alexander reigning in Scotland; that it was made by David from affection to or by exhortation of Bishop John; and it is also implied that the Bishop had exercised the pastoral office in Cumbria for some time previously. The election of Bishop John, circa 1115, and the accession of David as King of Scotland in 1124 thus become the extreme points of time, and the date can be fixed approximately; but without an obit of any of the witnesses before 1124, and the Notitia itself being the only contemporary record of the inquest, it seems to be impossible to ascertain the particular year.3

Of the Notitia itself it is scarcely necessary to say that the oldest version now extant is not the original but a copy transcribed into the chartulary of the Religious House which it concerned. It stands first in the Registrum – written in a hand of the 12th century – and precedes other 12th century documents, undoubtedly genuine, recorded in that volume. That the copy should therefore “make faith” as equivalent to an original is reasonable enough, looking to its great antiquity, its place in the appropriate register, and the fact that its genuineness as a true copy has never been doubted by any of the leading Scottish historians… it becomes all the more significant when we reflect that but for an anonymous copyist the Inquest of David would have been an event absolutely unknown to history.

The Latin text now printed is that found in the Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis. (Maitland Club, 1843).4

Inquest made by David, Prince of Cumbria, concerning the lands belonging to the Church of Glasgow.

NOW seeing that by the evidence of perishable writings and the investigation of public officials, Ordinances of our predecessors are recalled to memory, We by these presents have committed to record certain matters transacted by the Cumbrian nobles. That is to say, in Cumbria – a certain territory lying between England and Scotia, the Catholic Faith earlier flourishing and increasing in these countries – the Household of Faith and the Magnates of the Kingdom, the King of the Province co-operating, in honour of God and of St. Mary the blessed Mother, founded the Church of Glasgow as the See of the Bishop of Cumbria, and confirmed it by proper sanctions according to the pristine religion of the holy Fathers. That church verily with glorious ceremonials and ecclesiastical regulations grew up in the rudiments of the holy faith, and by divine arrangement received St. Kentigern as Bishop, to give to the thirsty the rich plenitude of heavenly knowledge and minister spiritual food unto the hungry as a faithful steward. But, in the course of time, the deceitful Destroyer, grieving that the said Church continued so long inviolate, with his wonted wiles, maliciously invented intolerable scandals against the Cumbrian Church. Forinsooth after St. Kentigern and his many successors were translated to God for their stedfastness in  holy religion, divers insurrections arising everywhere, not only destroyed the Church and its possessions but likewise wasting the whole country, drove the inhabitants into exile. Thus all good men being banished, after a considerable time, divers tribes of different nations poured in from divers parts and possessed the foresaid desolate territory – different in race and unlike in language, living under manifold customs and not easily agreeing among themselves they clung to heathenism rather than the worship of the Faith. These wretched inhabitants of an accursed land, living irrationally after the manner of brutes, the Lord who wills that none should perish deigned in his mercy to visit; for in the time of Henry King of England while Alexander King of the Scots was reigning in Scotia, God sent them David brother german of the foresaid King of Scotia to be their prince and leader to correct their shameless and wicked vices and by his nobility of spirit and inflexible rigour curb their insolent pride. He indeed burning with zeal for holy living, pitying the wretchedness of the profane multitude, moved by divine promptings, in order to wipe out their reproach by that pastoral care which too long they had lacked, by the aid of his Nobles and Clergy, skilled in counsel, chose as Bishop, John, a certain religious man who had educated him and had vowed not without effect that his life should be devoted to God. But when the Bishop learned of the savage state of that unhappy people and of the abominable multiplicity of their vices, as one greatly terrified he had arranged to set out for Jerusalem; yet being consecrated, although against his will, by Pope Paschal, he would by no means put off assuming the duty of the charge he had undertaken, and being readily accepted by the people and welcomed by the Prince and Nobles of the Kingdom, he spread abroad the Gospel throughout the Cumbrian diocese, the Holy Ghost abundantly assisting him. Therefore David Prince of Cumbria, chiefly from love to God but partly also from affection to and by the exhortation of that religious man, caused inquiry concerning the lands pertaining to the Church of Glasgow in each of the provinces of Cumbria which were under his dominion and rule, – for he did not rule over the whole of Cumbria – so that eager for the restoration of that Church he might leave to the next generation and their successors a certification of those possessions which of old it had held; these indeed by the help and counsel of the old and wise men of all Cumbria, as far as he was able, he has ascertained as they are hereinafter set forth, viz.: – Carcleuien, Camcar, Camcathetheyn, Lengartheyn, Pathelanerhc, Conclut, Chefcarnenuat, Carnetheyn, Caruil, Quendal, Abercarf, Mecheyn, Planmichel, Stoboc, Pentejacab, Alnecrumba, Treueronum, Lillescliva, Aschechyre, Hodelme, Edyngaheym, Abermelc, Driuesdale, Colehtaun, Trevertrold, Aschebj, Brumescheyd, Truergylt. In Peebles a carucate of land and the church. In Trevequyrd a carucate and the church. In Mereboda a carucate and the church. Being interrogated and by command of the foresaid Prince, Uchtred son of Waldef, Gill son of Boed, Leysing and Oggo, judges in Cumbria, and Halden son of Eadulf made oath that these lands belong to the Church of Glasgow. Of which matter the witnesses hearing and seeing are the Countess Matilda, who on her part consents, William, nephew of the said prince, Cospatrick brother of Dalfin, Waldef his brother, Cospatrick son of Uchtred, Cospatrick son of Alden, Osolf son of Eadive, Maccus son of Undweyn, Uchtred son of Scot, Ulchel son of Alstan, Hugh de Morvilla, Pagan de Brausa, Osber de Arden, Gervase Ridel, Guido de Caynes, Berengarius Engaine, Robert Corbet, Walter de Lindesey, Robert de Burnevilla, Reynald de Muscans, Walter son of Winemar, William the hunter, Alan de Percy, Walter de Broy.



1 [Relates to Latin text]
2 [Relates to Latin text] It is doubtful whether the opening sentence should be read as a statement of fact or merely as words of style. Probably enough there is reference to the volume – stilo Scottico dictatum – which Jocelyn found sixty years later when writing his Life of Kentigern, or to some volume of a kindred character. In such books, as is well known (e.g. Chad’s Gospel, preserved at Lichfield; The Book of Deer. &.), Celtic clerks frequently preserved memoranda relating to Church lands. The Cumbrian judges referred to in the Notitia naturally would investigate the prima facie [at first sight] title of the Church and the possessory rights of the then owners. The grammatical construction of the opening sentence is faulty.
3 Cumbria. – In Kentigern’s time according to Jocelyn (Vita Kenti. ch. xi.) the diocese was coextensive with the limits of the Cumbrian kingdom, viz., on the North by the Antonine Wall, and extending South as far as the river Derwent, – Galloway however not being included.
Between Kentigern’s time and the reign of Malcolm Canmore it was the battle ground of races contending for sovereignty – Angles, Danes, and Britons.
Galloway and the territory South of and including Carlisle (with the exception of the barony of Copeland extending from the Derwent to the Duddon) was ceded by King Edmund to King Malcolm II. (circa 945 A.D.), but in 1092 (with the exception of Galloway) it was wrested from his grandson Malcolm Canmore by William Rufus, and bestowed upon Ranulph Meschines.
On the death of Edgar King of Scotland in 1106 Cumbria north of the Solway was bequeathed to David, youngest son of Malcolm Canmore, with the title of Earl. David’s dominion consequently at the time of the inquest did not extend over the districts south of the Solway. From the reference, however, to the regio Cumbrensis in the Notitia it is evident that Cumbria was still viewed as a kingdom, the name Cumberland at that time being generally appropriated to the Southern parts. The claims of the Scots to the Southern districts (Cumberland) were finally abandoned by Malcolm IV., and in 1157 Cumberland and Westmoreland were transferred to the English Crown. In the reign of William the Lion the name Cumbria and Cumberland designated only the English territory, the Scottish portion including the whole of the districts from the Solway to the Clyde coming to be known as Galloway.
The name Cumbri appears first to have been applied to the Britons of Strathclyde by Ethelwerd in his Chronicle (circa 975 and 1011). For a summary of the history of Cumbria vide the excellent note BB. By Dr. W. F. Skene in the Vita Kenti. (Scot. Hist. vol. v. p. 300).
4 Scotia = Scotland proper, be-north Forth.
5 [Relates to Latin text]
6 [Relates to Latin text]
7 [Relates to Latin text]
8 Fraudulentus exterminator. – A monkish euphuism for Satanas [Satan].
9 [Relates to Latin text]
10 Diverse tribus, &c. = Angles, Danes, and Normans. In the charters of Malcolm IV. And William… The reference in another charter to the See of Glasgow “as the spiritual mother of many nations” is easily understood when the mixed nationality is remembered.
11 [Relates to Latin text] Rigour was evidently a kingly attribute in those days for Archb. Anselm writing to Alexander I. on his accession admonishes him to rule his subjects cun rigore justitiae. Fordun’s praise of that king is that he “was humble and amiable towards the clergy, but terrible beyond measure to the rest of his subjects” (ch. 28), while of David, “the pride of his race,” he says, “he was vigorous towards his people.”
12 [Relates to Latin text]
13 Verbum praedicationis: the phrase suggests the now discarded words in the motto of the City of Glasgow “by the preaching of the Word.”
14 [Relates to Latin text]
15 [Relates to Latin text]
16 [Relates to Latin text]
17 [Relates to Latin text]
18 The names of the ancient possessions of the See are the most interesting but also the most puzzling portion of the document. It is scarcely to be doubted that the clerk who transcribed the writ into the Chartulary has blundered in his copy as regards more than one of the place-names. Some of them in consequence of the uncouth spelling cannot now be identified, while others must always remain more or less doubtful. They appear however, to be grouped geographically, which so far is an aid in the quest; and strangely enough the cruces are chiefly in the beginning where, if I mistake not, the lands designated are those nearest to the Mother Church – the possessions in Dumfriesshire, Roxburghshire, and more distant parts being nearly all ascertainable.
  1. Carcleuin: Cardowan (Carduie, Cardowarie) in the Barony parish about a mile West of the Bishoploch. There is still a small estate of the name besides a considerable tract of land known as Cardowan Moss. The ancient clerk read the letter “d” as “cl,” a very common blunder of charter copyists.
  2. Cancar: Cadder (Cader, Cadar, Chaders,, Kader). The parish which is distant about four miles N. of Glasgow belonged, with trifling exception, to the See until the Reformation. Many place names still recall the Episcopal owners…
  3. Camcatheteyn: Camlachie (in the Protocols of the Town Clerks spelt Camlawchty and Camlaichty) in the Barony parish… Mr. Cosmo Innes has wrongly transcribed the word  as Camcacheceyn;…
  4. Lengartheyn: Garnkirk, in the parish of Cadder, six miles N.E. of Glasgow. It is resolved from “Llan” = kirk and “gartheyn” = garden, thus Gartheynkirk gradually softened to Garnkirk.
  5. Pathelanerhc: In the Registrum the names Balernock and Barlanark occur and one of them is meant. The former is spelt Buthlornoc and Budlornac. Barlanark is in the parish of Shettleston. Barlanark, which answers to what is now Provand, near Glasgow, is spelt Barlangrigh and Barlangrik. It became a prebend of the See in later times. As a barony it was confirmed by Bull of Pope Adrian VI., 28th January, 1522…
  6. Cunclut: a croft now part of Glasgow Green, situate near the Clyde between the lands of Milndam on the N.E. and Peitbog on the S.W. It came to be known as Kinclaith.
  7. Chefcarnuat: Carnwath a parish in Lanarkshire is found in the Registrum spelt Karnewic, Charnewid, Carnewith, Karnewid, and Carnwythe, and one naturally thinks of the place…
  8. Carnetheyn: Carntyne in the Barony parish of Glasgow. It is spelt variously in the Rental Book of the Barony – Carryntayne, Carinden, &c.; some districts being distinguished as Vuer (= over) and Neddar and Netheyr Carntein.
  9. Caruil: Carmyle in Old Monkland parish, Lanarkshire, spelt Kermil and Kermyl in the Registrum, and in the Rental Book Carmyl, Carmile, and Carmyill.
  10. Quendal: (Gwendall) now Wandell, a parish in Lanarkshire. It belonged to the See down to 1484 (vide, Act. Dom. Con., p.102).
  11. Abercarf: an ancient name of a small property at the confluence of the Polntarf (now the Tarth) with the Lyne, in Newlands parish, Peeblesshire. It early passed to the Church of St. Mary of Kelso, and was probably included in the Confirmations granted by Bishop Jocelyn of Glasgow, 1195-99.
  12. Mecheyn: (spelt Maychan and Mauhan I the Registrum) is now Dalserf parish, Lanarkshire. There is still a small estate called Machan within the parish. In ancient Hamilton charters it is called Machanshire.
  13. Planmichel: I have been informed that there is authority for regarding the place as Carluke, the ancient name of which was Eglismaolluach. It may be that to a Celtic scholar resolving “Plan” to Llan the “michel” can be obtained from Maolluach. I incline, however, to regard Carmichael parish in Lanarkshire as the more likely place. Either place fits in with the geographical grouping of the names.
  14. Stoboc: (spelt Stubhoc, Stobhow, Stobbo, Stobhope, and Stobhou in the Registrum) now Stobo, in Peeblesshire. It became a mensal barony of the See.
  15. Pentejacob: The ancient name was changed in the 12th century to Gillemoreston from the Celtic name of its then owner and having before 1189 been granted by Richard de Moreville, Constable of Scotland, to Edulf the son of Utred it was ever after known as Edulfstoun, gradually softened to Eddleston. Along with Stobo it was erected into a regality by James IV. in 1489 (Reg. Glas. 467). It is situate in Peeblesshire.
  16. Alnecrumba: now Ancrum in Roxburghshire. It belonged to the See down to the Reformation. The bishops had a castle there.
  17. Trueronum: in the Registrum spelt Traūerenni and Trauerannj. In the Notitia the name follows Ancrum without any stop between, looking as if it were a compounded name; in the Registrum, however, it is plain that the names are separate. The place is Tryorne in Roxburghshire. Vide Inquis. Ret. vol. ii. (Roxburgh, 165).
  18. Lillescliva: a village lying between Jedburgh and Selkirk, now Lillesleaf.
  19. Aschechyre: now Ashkirk a parish in Roxburghshire. Both belonged to the See down to the Reformation.
  20. Hodelme: now Hoddam a parish in Dumfriesshire. In the Vita Kenti, ch. 33, Jocelyn says, “The holy bishop Kentigern building churches in Hodelm ordaining priests and clerics, placed his See there for a certain reason for a time,” – the reason probably being that Rydderch’s stronghold was then near at hand for protection. Vide the paper on Mouswald by the late J. J. Reid, Pro. Soc. Antiq. Scot. For 1889, pp. 26-27, explaining Carruthers (in Middlebie parish) as = Caer-Rydderch.
  21. Edyngaheym: now Edenham or Ednam, a village on the Eden and a parish of N. Roxburghshire.
  22. Abermelc: an ancient parish in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. It was named from the confluence of the river Milk with the Annan, the church being dedicated to St. Kentigern. It is now the parish of St. Mungo.
  23. Driuesdale: now Drysdale or Dryfesdale, a parish of Annandale, Dumfriesshire.
  24. Colchtoun: probably “Coldanis above Castlemilc,” vide Acts of Par. (Rec. Edn.), vol. i. p. 352.
  25. Trevertrold: afterwards well known as Trailtrow, now merged in Cummertrees parish, Dumfriesshire.
  26. Aschebj: (in the Registrum, Eschebj) now Esbie nead Hoddam.
  27. Brumescheyed: not identified. The name is too general to be easily ascertained.
  28. Truergylt: probably Torgill in Dumfriesshire.
  29. Pobles: now Peebles. A carrucate, = a plough of land, seems to have been commonly the measure of land set apart for the service of these remote churches. It contained 104 acres arable.
  30. Treverquyrd: Traquair a village in East Peeblesshire.
  31. Mereboda: now Morebattle a village in Roxburghshire distant about 10 miles from Jedburgh and 8 from Kelso.
At the Reformation the Church of Glasgow possessed seven baronies, viz., Glasgow, Carstairs, Stobo, Eddlestoun, Ancrum, Ashkirk, and Lillesleaf, and “other little things in Carrick, Lothian, and elsewhere” – vide Book of the Assumption of Thirds: and Diocesan Registers of Glasgow, edited by Mr. Joseph Bain, preface 23. All these baronies except Carstairs appear in the above list – Cardowan, Cadder, Camlachie, Garnkirk, Carntyne, Kinclaith, and Carmyle, being within the Barony of Glasgow. The other “little things” came by donations at a later period and may easily be traced through the Chartulary.
19 The names of the witnesses to the Notitia are found in many of the Charters granted by David as Earl and afterwards as King. It is, however, exceedingly difficult to distinguish some of them by families owing to the names Uchtred, Gospatrick, Waltheof, &c., being borne by so many at that time and in the absence of territorial designation. It is observable that the Norman names greatly outnumber the Anglic, and that there is not one representative of the native Cumbrians. The absence of Cumbrian names in all the Charters of David has been commented on by Dr. Skene.
  1. Gill son of Boed: supposed to be of the family of the early lords of Gilsland in Cumberland. See Camden’s Britannia (1695) p. 835.
  2. Matilda: wife of David. She was the daughter and heiress of Waltheof son of Siward, Earl of Northumberland. Her father was Earl of Northampton in his own right, and married Judith niece of William the Conqueror. She was the widow of Simon de Senlis and by her David obtained, during her life, the Earldom of Northampton and honour of Huntingdon. Vide Skene, Celtic Scot. vol. i. p. 455.
  3. William, nephew of the said prince. He was the son of King Duncan and grandson of Malcolm Canmore. He appears to have been bred in the family of David his uncle, and in later times became a notable general. In Aelred’s Relatio de Standardo (Rolls series, vol. iii. p. 195) he is referred to as King David’s nephew, and also in Symeon’s Hist. Regum, Continuata, Hagustald. (Rolls series, vol. ii. p. 289.) In the latter he is described as Willelmus filius Duncani. Dr. Skene, if I mistake not, was the first to identify William as a nephew of David, nearly all other historians, including Sir William Fraser, taking him for “a grandson of David” or “a grandson of Matilda.” Grandson is clearly a mistake, David’s son Henry being then very young.
  4. Cospatrick brother of Dalfin and Waldef his brother. Evidently these brothers “grew in beauty side by side,”  considering how they are linked together. Dalfin acquired lands in the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire in the reign of Alexander I. or Edgar. The parish of Dolphinton commemorates his name. The parish of Walston adjoining Dolphinton is supposed to perpetuate the name of Waldef. It is not easy to identify the family; and from the reference to Dalfin and Waldef it does not seem to me that Cospatrick, as has generally been stated, can be the Earl of Dunbar of the same name.
  5. Maccus son of Undweyn. Maccus with his father Undweyn on the Conquest by William took refuge in Scotland. Maccus was the founder of the surname and family of Maxwell. He died about 1150. (Book of Carlaverock, vol. i. pp. 1, 6, 8, &c.).
  6. Hugh de Moreville: a Norman baron possessing considerable territory in the North of England; also in Lauderdale, Lothian, and Cunningham. The family became very powerful in subsequent reigns, being Constables of Scotland. He died 1162. (Spalding Misc.).
  7. Pagan de Brausa: a Norman baron possessing a large property in Northumberland.
  8. Gervase Ridel: a Norman knight holding lands in Teviotdale. He was David’s Sheriff in Roxburgh.
  9. Berengarius Engaine: a Norman knight holding lands in Teviotdale.
  10. Robert Corbet: a Norman knight holding lands in Teviotdale. Founder of a well-known Border family.
  11. Walter de Lindesey: a Norman knight holding extensive possessions in Upper Clydesdale and Mid and East Lothian. He also held under the Prior of Coldingham.(Raine’s North Durham, App. 547).
  12. Robert de Burnville: a Norman knight holding lands in East Lothian.
  13. Reynald de Muscans held extensive possessions in Northumberland, including the barony of Wooler.
  14. Alan de Percy: a Norman knight holding lands in Teviotdale.


1 The word is used in the Merovingian Charters in the sense of the official notary (redacteur de forules ou notaire résidant). Thévenin, Textes Relatifs, p.2, &c. The scribe appears as a recognised member of the Irish monasteries – the mulct for the blood of a scribe being equal to that for the blood of an Abbot or Bishop. There are instances of scribes being elected as Abbots and Bishops and afterwards appending the title “scriba” as an addition to their dignity. Dowden’s Celtic Church in Scotland, p.317.
2 Gildas’ Hist., ch. 1.
3 The date of Bishop John’s election is stated by Keith (Catalogue of Bishops, Russel’s edition) as 1115, but no authority is quoted. Father Innes dates the inquest as 1116, and Dr. W. F. Skene as sometime between 1116 and 1120 (Celt. Scot. vol. i. p. 455), and 1120 or 1121 (vol. ii. p. 375). I cannot discover the data that enabled them to condescend on any particular year.
4 p. 5. An incomplete and in many respects incorrect English version is given in the appendix to Gibson’s History of Glasgow, and is reprinted in Gordon’s Glasgu Facies and McGregor’s History of Glasgow. The present translation, it is believed, is the first complete one that has appeared.


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