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Abp. Cant.

to a principal interest in the election, opposed him vigorCHEL ously at the first. Before the abbey was founded, the Culdees were the only electors of the bishop. But being barred their customary privilege, by a bull of pope Innocent II., the election was conveyed to the prior and canons. But the Culdees being by no means willing to have their privilege wrested from them, held up their claim, and kept the controversy on foot. At last, king David brought them to an accommodation. And here, by the articles of agreement, those Culdees that would turn canons, and enter into the monastery, were to vote with the rest of the convent. To baffle this settlement, an order was procured from the pope, to admit none into the convent without the consent of the prior, and the majority of the canons: by this expedient, the Culdees were excluded the monastery, and thrown out of all share in the election. The times being now unsettled, they resolved to sieze the opportunity, and make an effort to recover the old ground. To this purpose, William Comyn, their provost, appeared strongly against Lamberton's Their order election. And neither party being willing to drop the conextinguish- test, the cause was carried by appeal to Rome, where Lamberton prevailed, and was consecrated by pope Boniface VIII. The Culdees being thus disappointed, lost their reputation with their cause, and dwindled in their importance to that degree, that, after this check, we hear no more of them; their name and order being, by little and little, quite exSpotswood, tinguished 9.

sinks and is


Hist. book 2. p. 51.

The history of the Culdees has ever been a mystery, and ever will be so. It is by no means easy to determine how far they were a theological sect, connected with the Church, or a theosophic sect, connected with lodges of initiation. A prodigious amount of learning has been expended on them by the antiquarians, but without leading to any very satisfactory result. The following account of the Culdees is furnished by Mr. Chalmers :-" The secular clergy seldom or never appear in the Scottish history; during the Scottish period, the bishops, indeed, and the abbots, appeared very conspicuous, and the Culdees we shall discover in their cells, though their origin be extremely obscure: they were neither mentioned by Bede, nor known to Nennius, nor acknowledged by Adamnan; yet were not the Culdees peculiar to North Britain; they were equally recognised by the same name in the ecclesiastical systems of Ireland, of Wales, and of England. The Culdees were undoubtedl monks in all those countries, as the name mplies, though they acquired their distinguished appellation at different epochs in those several nations. In the united kingdom of the Picts and Scots, the name seems to have been unknown, if we may determine from the silence of Bede, of Nennius, and Adamnan, till the establishment of a monastery at St. Andrew's; and here they were first distinguished by the significant name of Culdees. They were obviously an order of

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About this time, there was a remarkable check given to pope Boniface's encroachments upon the rights of the crown. K. of Eng This pope, in a bull to William de Gainsborough, lately promoted by his holiness to the see of Worcester,-in this The pope's bull, I say, the pope pretends to put him in possession of by the king. the temporalities of the see, as well as the spiritual jurisdic

A. D. 1302.

bull checked

Celtic monks, who performed the functions of secular priests among the Celtic people under a Celtic government, as the faith and discipline of the Church had come down to them from Constantine and Kellach. Of Culdees, there existed in North Britain during the Scottish period, religious houses at Abernethy, Dunkeld, St. Andrew's, Dunblane, Brechin, Mortlach, Aberdon, Monymusk, Loch Leven, Portmoak, Dumfermline, Scone, and Kirkaldie. This form of a religious establishment seems to have existed among the Picts and Scots, even from the age and example of Columba. During the Pictish period, there was endowed at Abernethy a religious house, which was dedicated to Brigid. Here it long flourished in usefulness, under the patronage of the Scottish kings. And here the Culdees con-tinued, till they were suppressed in the thirteenth century, after religious novelty had removed many ancient foundations. 2. Dunkeld owed the erection of a religious house to the pious gratitude of Kenneth, the son of Alpin. It immediately assumed the form which was known and practised within the united kingdom during that age. The house was filled with Culdees, who were governed by an abbot; and with them resided a bishop, who performed independently the functions of his office. The abbots of Dunkeld for many ages acted a conspicuous part in the bloody scenes of the Scottish government. And the monastery, with the Culdees and their abbot, continued, amidst many reforms, till the reign of Malcolm IV. 3. At St. Andrew's, a religious house, with its usual concomitants, existed, when the union of the Scots and Picts took place. The abbots here were also distinct; and they had the honour to enumerate several kings in their list. Here the Culdees maintained their purity and usefulness for many an age. A priory was founded at this ancient seat by Alexander I. And canons regular were introduced here in 1140, by Robert, the bishop of St. Andrew's. 4. At Brechin, a religious house was settled as early as 994. The Culdees of the monastery of Brechin continued for many ages to act as the dean and chapter of this episcopate, and they seem not to have been reformed by the introduction of the canons regular, till the accession of Robert Bruce. 5. The religious house at Dunblane is of very ancient foundation. The Culdees and their prior retained possession, and here performed their functions, during several ages of reform. They were superseded, however, by canons regular, some time before the middle of the thirteenth century. 6. A religious house, which was dedicated to St. Servan, was erected in the earliest times on an islet in Loch Leven. Successive kings, Macbeth, Malcolm III., and Edgar, and his brother Ethelred, with the bishops Maldevin and Modoch, were all studious to endow the Culdees of Loch Leven. Here they performed their usual functions, till the reforming hand of David I. fell upon them. To the priory of St. Andrew's, this pious prince gave the monastery of St. Servan, with the island of Loch Leven; and with an intimation, that if the Culdees would live peaceably, they should be protected, but if they should resist the royal grant, they would be expelled the holy isle of Servan. The Culdees were expelled; though it is not easy to ascertain the time and circumstances of that event, which arose from the violence of the canons, and the connivance of the bishop, who usually supported the canons against the Culdees. 7. Portmoak, on the eastern margin of Loch Leven, and the northern efflux of the Leven river, was founded during the ninth century, by Ungus, the Pictish king, as a religious house. Here the Culdees, under the usual rule

tion: but the bishop, at his doing homage to the king, was obliged to renounce that clause in the bull, which made Abp. Cant, mention of the temporalities, and to make an acknowledg

ment before the king and council, that he held his temporalities of the king. And, which is more, the bishop was fined a thousand marks for receiving a bull so prejudicial to the regale.



Concil. vol. 2. p. 435. See Records, 45.

of their abbot, performed their accustomed functions for many a savage reign. They were reformed during the general reformation of the worthy David. They, too, became the prey of the prior and canons of St. Andrew's, though the time and circumstances of the depredation cannot now be ascertained. 8. The splendid abbey of Dumfermline owed its inconsiderable foundation to Malcolm Ceanmore; its completion to Alexander I.; and its reform to David I. The monastery of Dumfermlin was dedicated, like the other Culdean establishments, to the Holy Trinity. Here the Culdees, with their abbot, discharged their usual duties during several reigns; and David I., who lived much with Henry I. of England, upon his accession introduced among the Celtic Culdees thirteen English monks from Canterbury. 9. We may easily suppose, that when the fatal stone was transferred by Kenneth, the son of Alpin, from Argyle to Scone, a religious house would be established at this ancient metropolis. A Culdean church was here dedicated in the earliest times, to the Holy Trinity, like other Culdean monasteries. The Culdees were at length reformed in 1115, by Alexander I., who dismissed the Culdean churchmen, and committed the custody of the church of Scone to canons regular of St. Augustine, with a prior at their head. 10. At Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire, was also, in ancient times, an establishment of Culdees. Here, with their prior, they performed their usual functions for many ages without complaint. The superintendence of this house was transferred by David I., while he panted for reform, to the bishops of St. Andrew's. The several pretensions of the dependents and superior soon produced controversies. These disputes were settled by a reference from Innocent III., in 1212, which gave them a new constitution; yet did the bishop of St. Andrew's, in opposition to a solemn promise, suppress those Culdees, and place canons regular in their room at Monymusk, which became thenceforth a cell of the priory of St. Andrew's. 11. In addition to all those Culdean houses, there appears to have been an establishment of the Culdees at Kirkaldie, in Fife; whence the place was named Kil-eledei, which was changed during the Scoto-Saxon period, to Kirkcaldie.

"Such, then, were the originals, the nature, and the end of the Culdees in North Britain. Yet system has concurred with ignorance in supposing that the Culdees were peculiar to the united kingdom of the Picts and Scots, and actually possessed rights and exercised powers which were inconsistent with the established laws of the universal Church in that age. A retrospective view of ecclesiastical history, from the epoch of the introduction of Christianity into North Britain, would show to a discerning eye, that the doctrines, liturgical forms, and monkish discipline of the Britons, the Irish, the Scots, and the Picts, were extremely similar, as all those people were indeed congenerous "."

9 Their name was probably derived from the notion of their retreat and seclusion. In the Welsh, cel, which means shelter, a hiding, would form the name, in the plural, thus: celydi, celydiaud, celydion, celydwys. In the Gaelic, culdee signifies a monk, a hermit; the name of cuildeach is commonly given at this day, says the learned and reverend Dugal Campbell, of the Isle of Mull, to persons who are not fond of society. Stat. Account, v. xiv. p. 200. In the Gaelic, also, ceile signifies a servant; hence, ceile de, the servant of God; de being the genitive of dia, God. See O'Brien's Dict. in voc. The topography of North Bri. tain does not throw any light on the obscure name of the Culdees; as there does not appear to be any appellation, in the maps of Scotland, which bears the least analogy to the Caldean monks. It has likewise been derived from the Latin cultores Dei, worshippers of God.



France at

nast. Wal

This year, Boniface, and Philip the Fair, king of France, EDcame to an open rupture: insomuch, that the pope repent- K. of Eng. ing the pains he had taken in procuring an accommodation between the two crowns, wrote to the king of England to break through the articles, and promised him a vast sum of money in case he would attack the king of France. But The king the king, having little confidence in the pope's steadiness, break with could not be brought to depart from the treaty without a the pope's provocation. However, the pope had the courage to main- solicitation. tain the contest upon his own strength, and published a very West menacing and imperious bull against the king of France. singham. That this bull might make the deeper impression, he The pope. abridged it in these words; "Boniface, bishop and servant supremacy of the servants of God, to Philip, king of France. Fear vagant God, and keep his commandments. We give you to under- pitch, and quarrels stand, that you are bound to be subject to us both in with the king of spirituals and temporals. You have no right to bestow France. benefices or prebends; and if the custody of some vacant benefices belongs to you, you ought to keep the profits for their successors. If you have disposed of any benefices, we declare the presentations void. We likewise pronounce those hereticks who maintain the contrary. Given at the palace of Lateran, December the fifth, in the seventh year of our papacy."

carries his

to an extra

To prevent the ill consequences of this bull, the king ordered it to be publickly burnt, and convened the three estates upon this occasion. The noblesse, and the third estate, declared fully and unanimously against the pope's encroachments. And the clergy, though at first they desired time to give in their answer, yet being pressed by the king to deliver their opinion forthwith, the prelates declared that they believed themselves bound to defend the king, and the liberties of the kingdom.

Du Pin,

The pro

At the recess of the states, the king sent the pope a short Eccles. Hist., Cent. answer, in contradiction to his abridged bull: it runs thus; 14. p. 5. et "Philip, by the grace of God, king of France, to Boniface, deinc. 498. who styles himself supreme bishop, little, or no greeting. Your great extravagance may please to know, that we are gress of this not subject to any person whatsoever, in things temporal: contest. that the bestowing vacant churches and prebends is part of our regale; and that it is lawful for us to apply the profits


SEY, Abp. Cant.

Du Pin, ibid. p. 6.

Ibid. p. 7.



of vacancies to our own use: that the Church preferments which we have bestowed, or shall dispose of for the future, are warrantable by virtue of our prerogative: and therefore we are resolved to maintain the title to such benefices, and declare those void of common sense, who question our authority in these points."

Upon the progress of the quarrel, one Peter Bosco, the king's advocate at Constance, maintained the claim in the pope's bull to be heretical: and William Nogaret, baron of Calvisson, brought a charge into the Louvre against Boniface, in the following articles: 1st. He denies Boniface the character of a pope. 2ndly, That he is an apparent heretick. 3rdly, That he is guilty of notorious simony. And 4thly, He charges him with sacrilege, tyranny, blasphemy, extortion, &c.; and declares, he is ready to prove all these articles upon him in a general council; which he petitions may be held, and Boniface imprisoned in the meantime, and struck out of the administration. And at the close, he addresses the king to put this motion in execution.

The pope, on the other side, being resolved to keep up his pretences to the utmost height, published his famous decretal, Unam Sanctam. Wherein he declares, there are two swords in the Church; one spiritual, and the other temporal: that the temporal is subject to the spiritual; and that none can deny this truth, without admitting two supreme independent principles, and falling into the heresy of the Manicheans.

The king being informed of these proceedings in the court of Rome, summoned an assembly of the prelates, and repeated his former prohibitions; viz. that none of his subjects should depart the kingdom, nor convey any money, arms, horses, &c., out of his dominions.

This order was made, to prevent the French prelates going to Rome at the pope's citation, or giving him any assistance with their fortunes.

To proceed; the king of France convened the prelates and nobility at the Louvre: and here, William du Plessis, one of the noblesse, charged the pope with denying the immortality of the soul, and the eternity of a future state; and that he was a sorcerer and a simoniack; with several other articles too long to be inserted.

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