Treaty of York
The Treaty of York was an agreement between the kings Henry III of England and Alexander II of Scotland, signed at York on 25 September 1237, which affirmed that Northumberland and Westmorland were subject to English sovereignty. This established the Anglo-Scottish border in a form that remains unchanged to modern times; the treaty detailed the future status of several feudal properties and addressed other issues between the two kings, marked the end of the Kingdom of Scotland's attempts to extend its frontier southward. The treaty was one of a number of agreements made in the ongoing relationship between the two kings; the papal legate Otho was in the Kingdom of England at Henry's request, to attend a synod in London in November 1237. Otho was informed in advance by Henry of the September meeting at York; this meeting was recorded by the contemporary chronicler Matthew Paris, who disparaged both Alexander and Otho. Paris' untruthful allegations towards Alexander, portraying him as boorishly uncivil and aggressive, have been repeated uncritically in several historical accounts.
Henry and Alexander had a history of making agreements to settle one matter or another, related to this was their personal relationship. Alexander was married to Henry's sister Joan and Alexander's sister Margaret had married Hubert de Burgh, a former regent to Henry. On 13 August 1237 Henry advised Otho. An agreement was reached on 25 September "respecting all claims, or competent to, the latter, up to Friday next before Michaelmas A. D. 1237". The title of the agreement is Scriptum cirographatum inter Henricum Regem Anglie et Alexandrum Regem Scocie de comitatu Northumbrie Cumbrie et Westmerland factum coram Ottone Legato and the particulars of the agreement are: The King of Scotland: quitclaims to the King of England his hereditary rights to the counties of Northumberland and Westmorland; the King of England grants the King of Scotland certain lands within Northumberland and Cumberland, to be held by him and his successor kings of Scotland in feudal tenure with certain rights exempting them from obligations common in feudal relationships, with the Scottish Steward sitting in Justice regarding certain issues that may arise, these, are hereditary to the King of Scotland's heirs, regarding these the King of Scotland shall not be answerable to an English court of law in any suit.
The King of Scotland makes his homage and fealty – de praedictis terris. Both kings respect previous writings not in conflict with this agreement, any charters found regarding said counties to be restored to the King of England. Historians have shown little interest in the agreement, either mentioning it in passing or ignoring it altogether. Stubbs does not mention it in his Constitutional History of England, nor does Hume in his History of England. Skene's Celtic Scotland refers to it as an agreement in his background discussion for the reign of Alexander II's successor, Alexander III, while Burton's History of Scotland mentions that claims of land were discussed in 1237 and describes some of them, but makes no reference to an agreement or treaty. James Hill Ramsay's Dawn of the Constitution gives a fuller discussion of the agreement, but does not give it any particular prominence; the treaty gained additional prominence due to the chronicler Matthew Paris, known for his rhetorical passion and his invectives against those with whom he disagreed.
Paris describes the Papal legate Otho in negative terms, as someone, weak and timid in the face of strength but overbearing in his use of power over others, as someone who avariciously accumulated a large amount of money. He describes Alexander and Henry as having a mutual hatred in 1236, with Alexander threatening to invade England, he describes the 1237 meeting at York as the result of Henry's and Otho's invitation to Alexander, that when Otho expressed an interest in visiting Scotland, Alexander claimed no legate had visited Scotland and he would not allow it, that if Otho does enter Scotland he should take care that harm does not befall him. Paris goes on to say that in 1239 as Otho was leaving for Scotland, that when Alexander had met with Otho in 1237 he had become so excited in his hostility at the possibility of Otho's visit to Scotland that a written agreement had to be drawn up concerning Otho's visit. There is nothing to recommend Paris' account as having any validity, as it is contradicted by known facts regarding dates and correspondences, by knowledge of previous visits to Scotland by legates.
Legates had visited Scotland in the reigns of Alexander's father William I, his uncle Malcolm IV, his grandfather David I, Alexander himself had seen a Papal legate hold a council at Perth for four days, making his alleged outrage and threats incongruous and improbable. List of treaties
Earl of Mar
The title Mormaer or Earl of Mar has been created several times, all in the Peerage of Scotland. Owing to a 19th-century dispute, there are two Earls of Mar as both the first and seventh creations are extant; the first creation of the earldom was the provincial ruler of the province of Mar in north-eastern Scotland. First attested in the year 1014, the "seat" or "caput" became Kildrummy Castle, although other sites like Doune of Invernochty were just as important; the title evolved into a peerage title, was made famous by John Erskine, the 23rd/6th Earl of Mar, an important Jacobite military leader during the 1715 Jacobite rising. Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar holds the first creation, James Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar and 16th Earl of Kellie holds the seventh; the Earl of Mar and Kellie is the hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Erskine. The Earldom of Mar, one of the seven original Scottish earldoms, is thought to be the oldest peerage in Great Britain, Europe; the family seat of Earl of Mar is St Michael's Farm, near Great Witley, of Earl of Mar is Hilton Farm, near Alloa, Clackmannanshire.
The first Mormaer of Mar is regarded as Ruadrí, mentioned in the Book of Deer. Some modern sources give earlier mormaers, i.e. Muirchertach and Gartnait, mentioned in charters of the reigns of king Máel Coluim III and king Alexander I, though in these cases certain identification with a particular province is difficult; the accounts of the Battle of Clontarf in some of the Irish annals name "Domnall son of Eimen son of Cainnech", Mormaer of Mar in Alba", as among those killed in 1014 alongside Brian Boru. The Mormaerdom comprised the larger portion of modern Aberdeenshire, extending from north of the River Don southward to the Mounth hills, its principal seats were Doune of Invernochty. The Mormaerdom may have alternated between two kin-groups, represented by Morggán, by Gille Críst. Gilchrist succeeded Morgund, but was himself succeeded by Donnchadh, son of Morgund. On the other hand, we do not know Gilchrist's parentage, chronologically he could have been an elder brother of Donnchadh. No definite succession of earls appears till the 13th century, from the middle of the 13th century the earls were recognized as among "the seven earls of Scotland".
There was a settlement in around 1230 between Donnchadh and Thomas Durward, grandson of Gilchrist, by which Durward had, it is said, £300 of land, a large amount, scattered around the earldom at Fichlie, near Kildrummy, Lumphanan in the lowland area. He had Urquhart, but that had nothing to do with the earldom. Donnchadh got the title of Mormaer and the wealthier and militarily more useful upland parts of Mar. Earl Thomas died childless in 1374, but the earldom passed via Donnchadh's daughter Margaret to her husband William, Earl of Douglas. While the eleventh holder of the title and Margaret's daughter Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar, was alone at the Kildrummy Castle, Alexander Stewart entered it and forced her to sign a charter on 12 August 1404 yielding the earldom to him and his heirs, she revoked the charter that year, but on marrying him, she gave him the earldom for life with remainder to her heirs. The King confirmed her last action the next year. In 1426, Stewart resigned the title so that he could be granted a new one by the King, the new title being more "legitimate".
The King did so, but specified that the earldom and associated lands would revert to the Crown upon the death of the Earl. In 1435, the Earl died, Robert, Lord Erskine claimed the title, but the King claimed its lands under the specifications of reversion made in the patent; the issue remained unresolved until 1457, when James II obtained a court order declaring the lands as crown possessions. Thereafter, he bestowed the title on his son John, who died without heirs in 1479, it was next granted to James' other son, Duke of Albany, but the title was declared forfeit because of Alexander's alliances with the English. James III created his son John Earl of Mar in 1486, upon whose death in 1503 the title became extinct again; the title was once again created in 1562, for James, Earl of Moray, son of James V, but he, could not produce a qualified heir. Moray rebelled in 1565 in protest at the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Queen Mary restored the earldom of Mar for John, Lord Erskine, heir to the Lord Erskine, heir of the ancient Earls through a cousin of Isabel, who quarrelled with James II about the Earldom.
His son named John, recovered the Mar estates, alienated by the Crown during the long period that his family had been out of possession. John, the 23rd was attainted for rebellion in 1716, the Earldom remained forfeit for over a century. In 1824, the Earldom was restored by Act of Parliament to John Francis Erskine, the heir of the attainted Earl, in his 83rd year, his grandson, the ninth Earl claimed inheritance the earldom of Kellie and associated titles in 1835. At the death of the 26th Earl of Mar and eleventh Earl of Kellie in 1866, the Earldom of Kellie and the family's estates passed to Walter Erskine, the cousin
James Balfour Paul
Sir James Balfour Paul was the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the officer responsible for heraldry in Scotland, from 1890 until the end of 1926. Paul was born in Edinburgh, the second son of the Rev. John Paul of St Cuthbert's Church and Margaret Balfour, at their home, 13 George Square in Edinburgh, his great-grandfather was Sir William Moncreiff, 7th Baronet. He was educated at Royal High University of Edinburgh, he was admitted an advocate in 1870. Thereafter he was Registrar of Friendly Societies, Treasurer of the Faculty of Advocates, appointed Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1890, he was created a Knight Bachelor in the 1900 New Year Honours list, received the knighthood on 9 February 1900. Among his works was The Scots Peerage, a nine-volume series published from 1904 to 1914, he tried two interesting heraldic cases in Court of the Lord Lyon, the first being in 1909, when Sir Colin Macrae claimed the right to use the coat of arms as Chief of the Name of Clan Macrae, opposed by Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap.
The second was action brought against Mrs. Fraser Mackenzie by Colonel James Stewart-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Seaforth, in connection with the bearing of arms in right of her father. In the second case, the Lyon's ruling was upheld on appeal by the House of Lords. Shortly before his retirement in 1926, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1926 New Year Honours list, he was admitted an Esquire and a Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, was a member of the Royal Societies and University Clubs, he was Secretary of the Order of the Thistle. He gave the Rhind Lectures on heraldry, he resided at Edinburgh. Sir James married, in 1872, Helen Margaret, daughter of John Nairne Forman of Staffa, WS, they had four children: a daughter. One son, John William became a heraldic officer, while another, Arthur Forman, became an architect and partner of Robert Rowand Anderson. Sir James is buried with other family in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh, in the north section east of the opening in the wall between the original cemetery and the north extension.
History of the Royal Company of Archer Record Series of Registrum Magni Sigilli, Handbook to the Parliament House Heraldry in relation to Scottish History and Art. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland 1st ed. 2nd ed. Memoir and Remains of John M. Gray in 2 vols; the Scots Peerage Vol. I, with successive volumes up to Vol. IX Accounts of the Lord Treasurer of Scotland Vols. II-XI, 1900-1916 "Ancient Artillery, with some notes on Mons Meg" in The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume 50, 1915-1916, pps: 191-201. Scottish History Society, Diary of the Rev. George Ridpath, Minister of Stichill Kelly's Handbook to the Titled and Official Classes, 1903, London, p. 1156. Douglas, Sir Robert, Sir James Balfour, ed; the Scots Peerage, Wood's — Volume IX contains the index for the other eight volumes. Works related to Obituary: Sir James Balfour Paul at Wikisource Family tree
Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany
Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, a member of the Scottish royal house, served as regent to three different Scottish monarchs. He held the titles of Earl of Menteith, Earl of Fife, Earl of Buchan and Earl of Atholl, in addition to his 1398 creation as Duke of Albany. A ruthless politician, Albany was regarded as having caused the murder of his nephew, the Duke of Rothesay, brother to the future King James I of Scotland. James was held in captivity in England for eighteen years, during which time Albany served as regent in Scotland, king in all but name, he died in 1420 and was succeeded by his son, Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany, who would be executed for treason when James returned to Scotland in 1425 causing the complete ruin of the Albany Stewarts. Robert Stewart was the second son of the future King Robert II of Scotland and of Elizabeth Mure of Rowallan, his parents' marriage was deemed as uncanonical at first, which, in some circle, gave their children and descendants the label of illegitimacy, but the granting of a papal dispensation in 1349 saw their remarriage and their children's legitimisation.
Robert's grandfather was Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland and his father was the first monarch of the House of Stewart. His great-grandfather was legendary victor of the Battle of Bannockburn. Robert Stewart was raised in a large family with many siblings, his older brother John Stewart became Earl of Carrick in 1368, would be crowned King of Scotland under the name Robert III. In 1361 Stewart married Margaret Graham, Countess of Menteith, a wealthy divorcee who took Robert as her fourth husband, his sister-in-law's claim to the Earldoms of Menteith and Fife allowed him to assume those titles, becoming Earl of Menteith and Earl of Fife. In 1362 the couple had a son and heir, Murdoch Stewart, who would in time inherit his father's titles and estates. Stewart was responsible for the construction of Doune Castle, which remains intact today; when Stewart was created Earl of Menteith, he was granted the lands on which Doune Castle now stands. Building may have started any time after this, the castle was at least complete in 1381, when a charter was sealed here.
Scottish politics in the late 14th century was unstable and bloody, much of Albany's career would be spent acquiring territory and titles by violent means. In 1389 his son Murdoch Stewart was appointed Justiciar North of the Forth, father and son would now work together to expand their family interest, bringing them into violent confrontation with other members of the nobility such as Donald McDonald, 2nd Lord of the Isles. During the reign of their infirm father as King Robert II, Robert Stewart and his older brother Lord Carrick functioned as regents of Scotland, kings in all but name, with Albany serving as High Chamberlain of Scotland, he led several military expeditions and raids into the Kingdom of England. In 1389, the Earl of Carrick became incapacitated in an accident and, though he acceded to the throne as King Robert III in 1390, this "sickness of the body" caused control of the kingdom to devolve in 1399 to his son and heir apparent, David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, who held the first dukedom created in the Scottish Peerage.
Although in 1398 Robert was himself appointed Duke of Albany, bringing him still greater power and wealth, power had begun to shift away from Albany and towards his nephew. However, the English soon invaded Scotland, serious differences emerged between Albany and Rothesay. In 1401, Rothesay was accused of unjustifiably appropriating sums from the customs of the burghs on the east coast and confiscating the revenues of the temporalities of the vacant bishopric of St Andrews. Rothesay had in conjunction with his uncle, Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan, confronted Albany's influence in central Scotland—as soon his lieutenancy expired in 1402 Albany acted swiftly and ruthlessly. Rothesay was arrested and imprisoned in Albany's Falkland Castle where he died in March 1402. Rothesay's death lay with Albany and Douglas who would have looked upon the possibility of the young prince acceding to the throne with great apprehension. Albany fell under suspicion but he was cleared of all blame by a general council, which found that'by divine providence and not otherwise, it is discerned that he departed from this life.'
However though Albany was exonerated from blame, suspicions of foul play persisted, suspicions which never left Rothesay's younger brother the future James I of Scotland, which would lead to the downfall of the Albany Stewarts. John Debrett, writing in 1805, was in no doubt of Duke Robert's motives and guilt: "This Robert, Duke of Albany, having obtained the entire government from his brother, King Robert, he caused the Duke of Rothesay to be murdered, thinking to bring the Crown into his own family". After Rothesay's death, the King began to fear for his second son James, who fled Scotland for his own safety. Debrett continues: "to avoid the like fate, King Robert resolved to send his younger son James, to France about nine years old, who being sea-sick, forced to land on the English coast...was detained a captive in England eighteen years. At these misfortunes King Robert died of grief in 1406." After the death of his brother King Robert III, Albany ruled Scotland as regent. His young nephew, the future James I of Scotland, would remain in exile and imprisonment in England for 18 years.
Earl of Fife
The Earl of Fife or Mormaer of Fife was the ruler of the province of Fife in medieval Scotland, which encompassed the modern counties of Fife and Kinross. Due to their royal ancestry, the Earls of Fife were the highest ranking nobles in the realm, had the right to crown the King of Scots. Held by the MacDuff family until it passed by resignation to the Stewarts, the earldom ended on the forfeiture and execution of Duke Murdoch in 1425; the earldom was revived in 1759 with the style of Earl Fife for William Duff, a descendant of the MacDuffs. His great-great-grandson, the 6th Earl Fife, was made Earl of Fife in 1885 and Duke of Fife in 1889; the Mormaers of Fife, by the 12th century, had established themselves as the highest ranking native nobles in Scotland. They held the office of Justiciar of Scotia - highest brithem in the land - and enjoyed the right of crowning the Kings of the Scots; the Mormaer's function, as with other medieval Scottish lordships, was kin-based. Hence, in 1385, the Earl of Fife, seen as the successor of the same lordship, is called capitalis legis de Clenmcduffe.
The lordship existed in the Middle Ages until its last earl, Duke of Albany, was executed by James I of Scotland. The first Earl of Fife was Alexander Scrymgeour. Alexander served under Robert the Bruce. Was the official and hereditary Banner Bearer for the King of Scotland. Was awarded title of Earl and given the demesne of Fife for services rendered; the deputy or complementary position to mormaer or earl of Fife was leadership as Chief of Clan MacDuff. There is little doubt that the style MacDuib, or Macduff, derives from the name of King Cináed III mac Duib, from this man's father, King Dub. Compare, for instance, that Domhnall, Lord of the Isles, signed a charter in 1408 as MacDomhnaill; the descendants of Cináed III adopted the name in the same way that the descendants of Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig called themselves Uí Briain, although it does seem that at least MacDuff was a style reserved for the man who held the Mormaership of Fife. The chieftaincy of the clan was not always held by the mormaer after the mormaerdom became subject to the laws of feudal primogeniture in the reign of Donnchadh I.
For example, at the Battle of Falkirk, it is the head of the clan who led the men of Fife, rather than the Mormaer. The Macduff line continued without interruption until the time of Isabella, the only child of Donnchad IV, Earl of Fife, his wife Mary de Monthermer, she succeeded her father as suo jure Countess of Fife on his death in 1358, making her one of the most eligible maidens in Scotland. She married four times. In 1371 she was persuaded to name Robert Stewart, Earl of Menteith as her heir, her brother-in-law by her second marriage to Walter Stewart, he thus succeeded her as twelfth Earl of Fife on her death in 1389. Duke Robert was succeeded as Duke of Albany, Earl of Fife, etc. by his son Murdoch in 1420. Duke Murdoch was forfeited and executed in 1425, due to his father's part in the death of Prince David, Duke of Rothesay, thus the earldom of Fife came to an end. The arms of the earldom of Fife are or, a lion rampant gules, that is, a red lion rampant on gold; these arms are testament to the Earls' royal connection, as they differ to the King's arms only in the exclusion of the flowered border, or royal tressure.
The device of a lion is attested for the first time on the seal of the tenth Earl, but had been used for a long time before this, though some early seals show a different shield, bearing pallets or vertical stripes. The arms of the Earl of Fife are the basis for the arms of Fife Council, which show a knight on horseback in full armorial regalia, his shield and the caparison of his horse bedecked with red lions; the Fife lion appears in the first quarter of the Duke of Fife's arms. The earldom of Fife was resurrected in 1759 for William Duff, after he proved his descent from the original Earls of Fife; this title was in the Peerage of Ireland, notwithstanding. The title of Earl of Fife in the Peerage of the United Kingdom was created in 1885 by Queen Victoria for Alexander Duff, 6th Earl Fife, he married Princess Louise, the third child and eldest daughter of Albert, Prince of Wales King Edward VII. When it became clear that Alexander was not going to have a son, Queen Victoria created a second dukedom of Fife which could pass through the female line.
After his death in 1912, the dukedom of Fife created in 1900 passed to his eldest daughter Lady Alexandra, while his other titles, including the 1759 earldom, became extinct. The fourth and current Duke of Fife is David Carnegie, is the grandson of Duke Alexander's younger daughter.? Giric mac Cináeda meic Duib? Macduib Causantín, Earl of Fife, See Mormaer Beth and Ethelred of Scotland for common confusion here Gille Míchéil, Earl of Fife Donnchadh I, Earl of Fife Donnchadh II, Earl of Fife Maol Choluim I, Earl of Fife Maol Choluim II, Earl of Fife Colbán, Earl of Fife, Donnchadh III, Earl of Fife Donnchadh IV, Earl of Fife, considered by King David II to have forfeited the earldom Sir William Ramsay of Colluthie, Earl of Fife
John Balliol, known derisively as Toom Tabard was King of Scots from 1292 to 1296. Little is known of his early life. After the death of Margaret, Maid of Norway, Scotland entered an interregnum during which several competitors for the Crown of Scotland put forward claims. Balliol was chosen from among them as the new King of Scotland by a group of selected noblemen headed by King Edward I of England. Edward used his influence over the process to subjugate Scotland and undermined Balliol's personal reign by treating Scotland as a vassal of England. Edward's influence in Scottish affairs tainted Balliol's reign and the Scottish nobility deposed him and appointed a council of twelve to rule instead; this council signed a treaty with France known as the Auld Alliance. In retaliation, Edward invaded Scotland. After a Scottish defeat in 1296, Balliol was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Balliol was sent to France, retired into obscurity, taking no more part in politics. Scotland was left without a monarch until the accession of Robert the Bruce in 1306.
John Balliol's son Edward Balliol would exert a claim to the Scottish throne against the Bruce claim during the minority of Robert's son David. In Norman French his name was Johan de Bailliol, in Middle Scots it was Jhon Ballioun, in Scottish Gaelic, Iain Bailiol. In Scots he was known by the nickname Toom Tabard understood to mean "empty coat." The word coat refers to coat of arms. Little of Balliol's early life is known, he was born between 1250 at an unknown location. He was the son of John, 5th Baron Balliol, Lord of Barnard Castle, his wife Dervorguilla of Galloway, daughter of Alan, Lord of Galloway and granddaughter of David, Earl of Huntingdon. From his mother he inherited significant lands in Galloway and claim to Lordship over the Gallovidians, as well as various English and Scottish estates of the Huntingdon inheritance. In 1284 Balliol had attended a parliament at Scone, which had recognised Margaret, Maid of Norway, as heir presumptive to her grandfather, King Alexander III. Following the deaths of Alexander III in 1286 and Margaret in 1290, John Balliol was a competitor for the Scottish crown in the Great Cause, as he was a great-great-great-grandson of David I through his mother, being senior in genealogical primogeniture but not in proximity of blood.
He submitted his claim to the Scottish auditors with King Edward I of England as the administrator of the court, at Berwick-upon-Tweed on 6 June 1291. The Scottish auditors' decision in favour of Balliol was pronounced in the Great Hall of Berwick Castle on 17 November 1292, he was inaugurated accordingly King of Scotland at Scone, 30 November 1292, St. Andrew's Day. Edward I, who had coerced recognition as Lord Paramount of Scotland, the feudal superior of the realm undermined John's authority, he demanded homage to be paid towards himself, legal authority over the Scottish King in any disputes brought against him by his own subjects, contribution towards the costs for the defence of England, military support was expected in his war against France. He treated Scotland as a feudal vassal state and humiliated the new king; the Scots soon tired of their compromised king. They went on to conclude a treaty of mutual assistance with France—known in years as the Auld Alliance. In retaliation, Edward I invaded.
The Scots were defeated at Dunbar and the English took Dunbar Castle on 27 April 1296. John abdicated at Stracathro near Montrose on 10 July 1296. Here the arms of Scotland were formally torn from John's surcoat, giving him the abiding name of "Toom Tabard". John was imprisoned in the Tower of London until allowed to go to France in July 1299; when his baggage was examined at Dover, the Royal Golden Crown and Seal of the Kingdom of Scotland, with many vessels of gold and silver, a considerable sum of money, were found in his chests. Edward I ordered that the Crown be offered to St. Thomas the Martyr and that the money be returned to John for the expenses of his journey, but he kept the Seal himself. John was released into the custody of Pope Boniface VIII on condition that he remain at a papal residence, he was released around the summer of 1301 and lived the rest of his life on his family's ancestral estates at Hélicourt, Picardy. Over the next few years, there were several Scottish rebellions against Edward.
The rebels would use the name of "King John", on the grounds that his abdication had been under duress and therefore invalid. This claim came to look tenuous, as John's position under nominal house-arrest meant that he could not return to Scotland nor campaign for his release, despite the Scots' diplomatic attempts in Paris and Rome. After 1302, he made no further attempts to extend his personal support to the Scots. Scotland was left without a monarch until the accession of Robert the Bruce in 1306. John died in
Scone Abbey was a house of Augustinian canons located in Scone, Scotland. Dates given for the establishment of Scone Priory have ranged from 1114 A. D. to 1122 A. D. However, historians have long believed that Scone was before that time the center of the early medieval Christian cult of the Culdees. Little is known about the Culdees but it is thought that a cult may have been worshiping at Scone from as early as 700 A. D. Archaeological surveys taken in 2007 suggest that Scone was a site of real significance prior to 841 A. D. when Kenneth MacAlpin brought the Stone of Destiny, Scotland's most prized relic and coronation stone, to Scone. The priory was established by six canons from Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire under the leadership of Prior Robert, the first prior of Scone; the foundation charter, dated 1120, was once thought to be a fake version of the original, but it is now regarded as a copy made in the late 12th century. The copy was needed after a fire which occurred there sometime before 1163 A.
D. and damaged or destroyed the original. Scone Priory suffered a similar destruction of records during the Wars of Scottish Independence. In either 1163 A. D. or 1164 A. D. during the reign of King Máel Coluim IV, Scone Priory's status was raised and it became an abbey. Scone Abbey had important royal functions, since it was located next to the coronation site of Scottish kings and housed the Stone of Destiny until its theft by King Edward I of England. Scone Abbey was, according to King Máel Coluim IV, "in principali sede regni nostri"; as such, Scone Abbey was one of the chief residences of the Scottish kings, who were hosted by the abbot during their stay at Scone. Most the king stayed in the abbot's own rooms within the abbot's palace, it is likely that the abbey buildings overlapped with the modern palace. The abbey had relics of a now obscure saint by the name of St Fergus, which made it a popular place of pilgrimage. Although the abbey long remained famous for its music since Robert Carver produced there some of Europe's best late medieval choral music into the late 16th century, its status declined over time.
After the reformation in 1559, Scottish abbeys disappeared as institutions, although not overnight, as some suggest. The abbey at Scone continued to function well into the 17th century. There are existing documents describing repairs made to the spire of the abbey church dating from A. D. 1620. Scone Abbey and its attendant parish ceased to function in 1640 and was reformed in the late 16th century as a secular lordship first for the Earl of Gowrie, for Sir David Murray of Gospertie; the property and lordship have been in the possession of the Murrays of Scone since. This branch of the Murray clan became the Earls of Mansfield. Scone Abbey flourished for over four hundred years. In 1559 during the early days of the Scottish Reformation the abbey fell victim to a Protestant mob from Dundee who were whipped into a zealous frenzy by the great reformer John Knox; the abbey was badly damaged despite Knox's attempt to calm the mob. Despite this setback Scone Abbey was continued to function for another ninety years.
The abbey estates were granted to Lord Ruthven, who became the Earl of Gowrie. Lord Ruthven held extensive estates in Scotland including Ruthven Castle near Perth, now called Huntingtower Castle, Dirleton Castle; the Ruthvens rebuilt the Abbot's Palace of the old abbey as a grand residence in 1580. In 1600, James VI charged the family with treason after the Gowrie Conspiracy, banned the use of the name "Ruthven" and confiscated their states; the Gowrie lands at Scone including the Abbot's Palace were granted to Sir David Murray of Gospetrie, made the 1st Lord Scone and Viscount Stormont, as a reward for interceding on the king's behalf to quell the people of Perth in the chaotic aftermath of the Gowrie Conspiracy. The precise location of Scone Abbey had long remained a mystery, but in 2007 archaeologists pinpointed the location using magnetic resonance imaging technology; the find revealed the structure to have been somewhat larger than had been imagined and revealed that the Moot Hill had at some point been surrounded by a ditch and palisade.
A stylised illustration of the abbey on one of its seals suggests that it was a major Romanesque building, with a central tower crowned with a spire. In 2008 an archaeological dig at the abbey revealed burials with three complete human skeletons. Robert II of Scotland Maud, Countess of Huntingdon Thomas de Rossy Barrow, G. W. S; the Acts of Malcolm IV King of Scots 1153-1165, Together with Scottish Royal Acts Prior to 1153 not included in Sir Archibald Lawrie's'"Early Scottish Charters', in Regesta Regum Scottorum, Volume I, Ian B. & Easson, David E. Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland with an Appendix on the Houses in the Isle of Man, Second Edition, pp. 97-8 Fawcett, Richard, "The Buildings of Scone Abbey", in Richard Welander, David J. Breeze & Thomas Owen Clancy, The Stone of Destiny: Artefact and Icon, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Monograph Series Number 22, pp. 169–80 Watt, D. E. R. & Shead, N. F; the Heads of Religious Houses in Scotland from the 12th to the 16th Centuries, The Scottish Records Society, New Series, Volume 24, pp. 198–202 Abbot of Scone, for a list of priors and com