An ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an online

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qui Keledei dicuntur. Elsewhere we find Keledei, qui se canoni-
cos gerunt. In a deed fib. No. 11.) Keledeis sive Canonicis
(of Monymusk). Frequently called Canonici without the addition
of Keledei, (See ib, Nos, 13, 14, 15, 16^ 17.)

(33) Amidst all Jamieson's shufflings these points are quite
clear fi'om what he has himself^. 270. seqq. He throws out
(p* 272 ) some doubts about the propriety of calling secular clergy
Cajions, and refers to Ducange as if he made mention only of
Canons Regulai*. But Ducange treats of both the Secular and
Regular Canons ; nor is there any one at all versed in ecclesias-
tical history or Canon law, that has not read and heard of Secular
Canons, who were and are so called on account of their being
secular clergymen subject to particular rules. But objections have
been made also to the propriety of the title Canons Regular,
Canonici Regulares, because it implies a tautology, as if we
should say Regular Regulars.

(34) See Fleury, Instit. au Droit, S^c.part 1. ch. 22.

(35) Chalmers, Caledonia, Vol. 1. p. 438, 439.

(36) See ib. p. 437, 438, for the Culdees of St. Servan, Port-
moak, and Dunfermlin.

(37) lb. p. 435. It is false, says Chalmers, that David ex-
pelled the Culdees from Dunkeld. This had been said by Alex-
ander Myln, (of whom above Not. 25.) who talks of man-ied
Culdees of Dunkeld, and then tells us how David turned them
out, and changed their monasteiy into a cathedral church, in
which he placed a Bishop and Canons forming a secular college.
Toland seized upon this, as if it proved that the Culdees were
not Canons. But the fact is, that those veiy Canons, placed in
the Cathedral, were Culdees ; and, if any of them had wives
before, they ceased to have them after the regulation made by
David. The fictitious Culdees of old times were running in
Myln's head ; and his statement proves the very reverse of
Toland's conclusion, whereas the Chapter of Dunkeld continued
to consist of Culdees.

(38) Ib. p. 438. Yet, says Chalmers, did the bishop of St.
Andrews, in opposition to a solemn promise, suppress those
Culdees, and place Canons regular in their room. The original
of this decision maybe seen in Jamieson's Appendix No. 19. On
the substance of the whole transaction he has in the body of the


work some quibbling unworthy of a nrnn of learning and candour.
Thus he says ( p. 260.) that a complaint was made against the
Culdees of Monymusk for their acting as Canons. This was not
the case ; for the complaint was, that said Culdees, ivho acted as
Canons, and some others of the diocese of Aberdeen were en-
deavouring to establish at Monymusk, which belonged to the see
of St Andrew, a house of Canons Regular, in opposition to the
bishop, and to the prejudice of his church ; " Kildei quidam, qui se
" canonkos gerunt, et quidam alii Aberdonensis dioecesis, infra
" villam de Monismuske pertinentem ad ipsum (episcopum)»
" quamdam Canoniam Regularem eodem renitente contra justi-
" tiam construere non formidant in Ecclesiae suae prejudicium et
" gravamen." Jamieson shamefully confines the charge of erect-
ing the Regular canonry to the persons of the diocese of Aber-
deen. Fie! Why overlook qui in the text, qui se canonicos
gerunt ! Then he has ( p, 261 ) some stuff about the ideas of
the Culdees not conforming to the Papal ideas of a Canonry ;
and he tells us, (p. 262) that they were " non descripts, because
not allowed to be called either monks or canons." This is really
intolerable. There was no prohibition against their being called
Canons, that is. Secular Canons ; and in fact they were frequently
called so, as in a deed of Duncan, earl of Mar {App. No. 11.),
" Keledeis sive Canonicis ibidem (Monymusk) servientibus ;" m
the confirmation of the same by John, bishop of Aberdeen, {ib.
No. 12.) " Canonicis, qui Keledei dicuntur ;" and in that by the
king Alexander {ib. No. 13.) simply " Canonicis de Monimusc."
Many more instances might be added from that Appendix, if
necessary. But the bishop of St. Andrews did not, for some
reasons of his own, like that those Culdees or Canons of Mony-
musk should become Canons Regular. Did Mr. Jamieson not
understand the terms of the documents, which he has published .''
Or is he so ignorant as not to know, that besides the Canons
Regular there were long before them, and are still, people called
Secular Canons? His shufflings and tervigersations are all di-
rected to keep up the fable of the anti-Romanism of the Culdees,
on which point he has deeply imbibed the spirit of Ledwich.

§. 6. This sentence was on the whole very favour-
able to the Culdees, and it proves, that neither In-


nocent III. nor his referees considered them as per-
sons in a state of hostility or opposition to Rome.
And in fact, whatever some ignorant and violent bi-
gots may have thrown out, they were never in the
times of their existence, whether in Scotland or
elsewhere, supposed to be in such state. We have
seen, that David I. a king much attached to Rome,
was kind to them ; and Edelred, a brother of his,
abbot of Dunkeld and earl of Fife, made a grant of
Ardmore to God and St. Servan and to the Culdees
of Lochleven. (39) Prior to the reign of David,
king Malcolm and his queen St. Margaret, who
were not anti-Romanists, granted to the same Cul-
dees a place called Ballecristin ; and more than one
bishop of St. Andrews, earlier than Turgot, made
over to them churches, &c. as being holy men, and
for obtaining the suffrages of their prayers (40) Ac-
cordingly they were neither anti-episcopalians, nor in
opposition to Rome. A Culdee was made bishop of
St. Andrews in 1 27^ ; for they continued there un-
til that time and later, notwithstanding the efforts of
the Canons Regular to turn them out and get ex-
clusive possession of their places, in which they did
not fully succeed until 1297. (41) In progress of
time, as had happened in many other countries, the
partiality for the system of the Canons Regular pre-
vailed to such a degree, that the Culdees or Secular
Canons lost many of their establishments in Scotland,
which were granted to these new comers. The Be-
Ugioy or religious order, was considered preferable
to the Culdee institution, and from the hrst intro-
duction of Canons Regular Alexander I. made
grants to the church of St. Andrew for the purpose
of establishing there some of them for the service of
God. (42) 1 shall conclude this account of the
Culdees with one or two observations on the un-
founded assertion of some writers, that it was a gene-
ral rule with them to denominate all their churches
from the Holy Trinity. (43) In the first place this


is not true. The principal Culdee house of Scot-
land was that of St. Andrew's, and the Culdees had
a church there called of St, Mary, (44) The
church of these of Monymusk was also the name of
St. Mary. (45) The Culdees of Lochleven had
their church under that of St. Servan. (46) The
Culdees of York belonged, as we have seen, to the
church of St. Peter, and their hospital got the name
of St. Leonard. (47) It is laughable to reflect,
how the allegers of the anti-Romanism of the Cul-
dees, in making that assertion as a proof of it, turn
out to be disappointed, and how their argument
operates against themselves. For the fact is, that the
persons, with whom the system attributed to the
Culdees prevailed, Vv^ere downright Romanists.
They were the Trinitarians, a branch of Canons
Regular of St. Augustin, in whose Rule, approved
of by Pope Innocent III., it is enjoined, that ** all
the churches of said Order should be entitled in the
name of the Holy Trinity J' (48) As early as the
I3th century, not long after the founding of this
order, many Trinitarian houses were established in
Scotland, and in some places these Canons Regular
were substituted to the Culdees. (49) Hence it
came to pass, that there were in that country so many
churches called of the Holy Trinity, There might
have been some there, as was the case in all Chris-
tian countries, bearing that title and even belonging
to Culdees, before the introduction of the Trinita-
rians ; but the truth is, that the system of giving
exclusively that denomination to churches was ob-
served by this Order alone.

(39) Jamieson's Appendix, No, 5,

(40) lb. In the grant of the church of Sconyn by Tuadal, one
of those bishops, the Culdees of Lochleven are mentioned as
viri religiosi, to whom it was made pro suffragiis orationum. In
that of the bishop Modach to God and St. Servan and said
CuldeeS) they are marked as ** in scola virtutum ibidem degentibus.


Jamieson has some silly exceptions scarcely worth noticing, for
instance, that little regard was paid to saints in Scotland till
the beginning of the 12th century. How then account for the
legend fap. Usher, Pr, p. 648, seqq.J concerning the reliques,
veneration &c. of St. Andrew, whence the city of St. Andrews
got its name long before that century ?

(41) There was a decree as far back as the pontificate of
Adrian IV. by which this Pope ordered that, according as the
Culdees of St. Andrews died, Canons Regular should be placed
in their situations. (Jamieson, p. 281.) These Canons having
usurped the privilege of electing the bishop, the Culdees at length
appealed in 1297 to Pope Boniface VIII. in support of their former
rights, but lost their plea non utendojure suo, because they had
suffered two former elections to proceed without their interference*
Clb. p. 289.) This appeal shows, that the Culdees were not
anti-Romanists. They used to be attacked and abused by the
Canons Regular, as may be seen in No. 7. of Jamieson's Ap-
pendix, where after an account of the reliques of St Andrew, &c-
it is said, that after the death of the holy men, who had brought
said reliques, and of their disciples, religious worship was lost,
the nation being barbarous and uncultivated. Yet, it adds, there
were in St. Andrew's church, such as it then was, thirteen persons
per successionem carnalem, who were called Kelledei, that is, not
thirteen married successions of Culdees, as Toland explains these
words, but thirteen Culdees who got their places by inheritance
from their relatives. Whether the author meant inheritance from
their fathers or from uncles, cousins, &c. cannot be determined.
Then he states, that they lived more according to the traditions
of men than the rules of the holy fathers, and that they still hved
so. He says, that they used to celebrate their offices, and that,
after they became Culdees, they were not allowed to have their
wives in their houses, nor even any other women. This sort of
an account of the old Culdees of St. Andrews was evidently
drawn up by some English Canon Regular of that city, who strove
to misrepresent them as far as he could. That the Culdees cele-
brated Mass and the Church offices like all other Secular Canons
is beyond question ; and in the catalogue of their library of


Lochleven (lb. No, 6.) we find the Pastorale, Missale, Gra-
duale, and Lectionarium.

(42) " Ecclesiam B. Andreae apostoli possessionibus et redi-
tibus ampliavit — eo nimirum obtentu et conditione ut in ipsa eccle-
sia constituretur Religio ad Deo deserviendum" (Ap. Jamieson,
p. 215.) These grants were not made to the Culdees in particular,
as he seems to suppose, but to the church in general, that it
might be enabled to support the Religio or religious community
of Canons Regular. For this is the true meaning, although not
understood by Jamieson, of Religio in that passage. His trans-
lation of the words marked in Italics is very strange ; -' that in the
church itself a proper form of divine service sliould he constituted
or set upy What necessity would there have been for augmenting
the revenues of the church if there were question only of intro-
ducing a proper form of divine service ? For there were clergy-
men there already, viz. the Culdees ; and if their form was incor-
rect, it might have been altered without any expense ; or who
that understands Latin, could translate these words in the manner
that he has done ? But he seems to have wished to insinuate
that the Culdees had some form of worship peculiar to themselves
and which the king meant to set aside. For I cannot believe,
that he was unacquainted with the sense, in which Relicrio so
often occurs in his documents, that is, as meaning a religious
order. And I find that referring (p, 216.) to Wyntown's Cronykil,
who, he says, speaks as if there had been no religion at St.
Andrew's before Alexander's time, he confesses, that WjTitowTi
seems to understand by Relygyoxune a religious order. And so
he certainly did. This acceptation of Religio for religious order,
monastic life or institution, was quite common in the middle
ages, and there is an instance of it even in Salvian, who lived m
the 5th century. The abbot Suger says ^^(Ep. 163); Haec duo
potissimum amplexatus sum, videlicet de statuenda Religione in
B. Genovefae Parisiensis et nobili Compendiensi ecclesia." This
is exactly like the in ipsa ecclesia constituretur Religio quoted
by Jamieson. It occurs in this sense in the legends of founders
of religious orders, as, ex. c. Bruno Carthusianae Religionis in-
stitutor; and Jamieson knew that there is a work of Augustinus
Ticinensis referred to by Usher, (Pr, p. 659.) entitled Christi*


anarum religionum (sive, adds Usher, ordinum religiosorum)
Elucidarium, Hence in Italian a religious order is usually called
Religione ; thus they say, la Religione Domenicana^ &c. and
Eeligiorij has the same meaning in French, as in the phrase
?iabit de Religion, from the Latin habitus Religionis, the reli-
gious habit or dress. Now it is a shame for Jamieson to have en-
deavoured to twist the word Religio from this acceptation in pas-
sages, where it could have no other. This he has done not only
at jo. 215, but likewise p. 251, 374, S^c, And for what? To
make his readers believe, that the Culdees professed a particular
sort of religion, or summary of doctrine, different from a new
one, which was introduced instead of it. This is a base trick
unbecoming a writer of any sort of history. There was no ques-
tion of religion, understood in a doctrinal sense, between the
Culdees and others ; whereas the whole business came merely to
this point, that the Religio or religious order of the Canons Re-
gular was established in various parts of Scotland, and that, being
much favoured, they exerted themselves to obtain the situations
and advantages, which had belonged to the Culdees or Secular
Canons. In a similar strain Jamieson was not ashamed to copy
(p. 358. ) Ledwich's ridiculous and ignorant explanation of the
i* antiquae religionis" of Giraldus Cambrensis. (See Not. 118.
to Chap. XXX.)

(43) Ledwich ( Aqtiq. Sfc. p. 414.) says, from Dalrymple,
with triumph ; *' The Culdees never placed their churches under
the invocation of the Virgin Mary, or any saint, but of the Holy
Trinity." Jamieson has the same thing (Historical, 8^c. p, 207) »
and I am surprized that even Chalmers fell into this mistake,
Caledonia, Vol. 1. p. 438.

(44) Jamieson, p. 282, seqq.

(45) Idem, Appendix, No. 11.

(46) Chalmers, Caledonia, Vol. 1, p. 436.

(47) See above §. 4. and Not- 24.

(48) The Trinitarian Rule may be seen in the Monast. Angl'
Vol. 2. p. 380. seqq. One of its regulations is that now menti-
tioned : " Omnes ecclesiae istius Ordinis intitulentur nomine
sanctae Trinitatis"

(49) Chalmers enumerates (Caledonia, Vol. 1.) several es-
tablishments of the Trinitarians, whom he calls Red Friars,


that is, Friars of the Redemption of captives. He mentions (ib,
p. 691) such Trinitarian foundations at Failefurd, Peebles, and Dor-
noch ; (p. 686.) those of Dunbar, Houston, aud Scotland-well ;
and {p. 683) one in Aberdeen.

§ VII. To the year 1187 is assigned the death of
a bishop of Ardagh, named O'Tirlenan, and suc-
cessor of Christian O'Heotai, who died in 1179.
(50) In these times, the bishop of Emly was Isaac
O'Hamery, the successor of Charles O'Buacalla,
and the bishop of Ross was one Benedict ; (51) but
the precise times of their deaths are not known. In
1188 died a bishop of Inniscathy, Aldus O'Bea-
chain (52) In or about this year Alured le Palmer,
a Dane, founded an hospital near Dublin to the
west, where Thomas-street is now situated, and
was himself the first prior of it. It was called the
priory of St. John Baptist, and fell under the di-
rection of the Cruciferi, a branch of the Canons
Regular of St. Augustin. {53) At said year is
mentioned a Cistercian establishment of Feal or
Ne-feal on the borders of Limerick and Kerry, as a
cell to the monastery of Nenay. (54) Martin
O'Brolaigh, a professor of Armagh, who is called
the most learned of the Irish, died in this year, (55)
as did also a holy man, named Amlave O'Doigre, in
the island of Hy, whither he had gone on a pilgrim-
age. {56) In said year John de Courcey, returning
from an expedition in Conn aught, was niet by Conor
Maenmoigi, the eldest son of Roderic O'Conor,
and Donald O' Brian, king of North Munster, who
attacked and defeated him with considerable loss;
and the worthy Donald O'Loghlin, king of Tirone,
was killed, fighting in battle at a place called Cavan-
ne-cran, although he had gained a victory. He
was honourably buried at Armagh. (57) 1 he fol-
lowing year, 1 1 89, is memorable for the death, on the
6th of July, of Henry II. who was succeeded by his
son Richard I. surnamed Coeur de lion. He was


crowned in the church of Westminster on the Sd of
September following, and, besides several other
bishops, the coronation was attended by John Cu-
min, archbishop of Dublin, Albin O'Mulloy, bishop
of Ferns, and Concors, bishop of Enaghdune. (58)
Richard having not long after gone to the Holy
Land, such parts of Ireland, as were posessed by
the Englsh, remained under the dominion of his
brother John, who was styled Lord of L^eland. In
this year Conor Maenmoigi was killed by his own
people, in consequence of which Roderic O' Conor
again took possession of his kingdom. John de
Courcey during an expedition of his through some
parts of Ulster plundered Armagh ; and in said year
Murchard O'Carrol, king of Ergal, died in the
abbey of Mellifont, where he was buried near the
founder, Donogh O'Carrol ; (59) and O'Hislenan,
bishop of Ardagh, was killed, but by whom I do not
find mentioned. (60)

(50) Ware, Bishops at Ardagh,

(51) See ih. at Emly and Ross.

(52) A A. SS. p. 54-2. and Harris, Bishop at Lirnerick,

(53) Ware, Antiq. cap. 26 at Duhliriy and Annals at A, 1188.
(54<) Harris, Monast. at Cistercians* See also Ware, Antiq,

ib. at Limerick.

(55) Tr, Th. p. 310. and Ware, Annals, loc, cit.

(56) Tr. Th,p, 501: (57) Ware, Annals at A. 1188.

(58) Ware, ib, at 1189. In all probability this Concors was
the same as the Concors \,'ho was abbot of St. Brendan's of
Clonfert in the year 1175, and who was one of the Ambassadors
of Roderic O'Connor to Henry II. (See Chap. xxix. }. 9.)

(59) Ware, ib. (60) See Ware, Bishops at Ardagh.

§. VIII. In or about 1190 John Cumin, arch-
bishop of Dublin, having demolished an old paro-
chial church in the South suburbs of the city, erect-
ed in its stead the church of St. Patrick, which he
raised to the rank of a collegiate church, endowing


it and placing therein thirteen Canons or Prebenda-
ries* (61) It was not until after his death that it
became a cathedral, during the incumbency of his
successor, Henry de Loundres. About the same
time, as is said, he built and endowed the nunnery
of Grace-Dieu, three miles north of Swords in the
county of Dublin, for Regular canonesses of the
order of St. Augustin, having removed thither the
old nunnery of Lusk. (62) In the same year 1190,
or, as some say, the preceding one, Cathal O' Conor,
surnamed Crobhdearg, founded the Cistercian abbey
of Knockmoy in the now county of Galway, six
miles south-east of Tuam, in memory of a victory,
whicli he had obtained there, and hence it was called
De colle victoriae. (Qs) Gilla-Criost, or Christian,
O'Macturan, bishop of Clogher, died in 1191, and
was succeeded by Maeliosa, the son of Mac-Mael-
Ciaran, and abbot of Mellifont. (64) In the same
year died Murchertach or Maurice, archbishop of
Cashel. (65) His successor was Matthew O'Heney,
or O'Enny, a Cistercian monk, and a very wise and
holy man. About this time, and most probably in
119<2, died a bishop of Cloyne, named Matthew,
who governed that see as far back as the year 1171,
when Henry II. arrived in Ireland. (QG>) He was
succeeded by Laurence O' Sullivan, who held the
see until ISIO^ or 1205. Matthew O'Heney was
appointed apostolic legate in 119^, and in said year
convened a great synod in Dublin, which was well
attended. (6?) It is said, that in this synod he
confirmed to John Cumin, archbishop of Dublin,
and his successors, all the donations, which John,
Lord of Ireland, had made to his church, and the
annexation of the see of Glendaloch. For it is stated,
that John had in the year 1 1 85 granted to John
Cumin such annexation, when that see should
become vacant, (68) Be this as it may, the union
of Glendaloch with Dublin did not take place in
1192, nor, at the earliest, until about 1214 after


the death of William Piro, or Peryn, bishop of
Glendaloch. (69) And even from that period until
1497 it was little more than nominal ; for the Irish
septs of that territory would not submit to the see of
Dublin ; and we find a continuation of bishops of
Glendaloch, some of whom were appointed by

(61) Ware, Annals at A. 1190. and Bishops at John Cumin,
See also Harris, Bishops^ p. 302.

(62) Ware, Antiq, cap, 26. at Dublin ; Harris, Monast. at
Canonesses of the order of St. Augustin ; and Archdall at Gi-ace

\6S) Ware, ib. at Galwai/, and Annals at A. 1190; Harris, ib.
at Cistercians, and Archdall at Abbey Knochmoy.

(64) Ware and Harris Bishops at Clogher. They call Mac-
Mael -Ciaran a bishop. If there be not some mistake, it must be
supposed, that he embraced the ecclesiastical state after the death
of his wife. They have not told us where he was bishop.

(65) Harris, at Archbishops of CasheL There can be no
doubt, but that, as Hams observes, Maurice was the same as the
bishop Murchertach, whose death is marked at A. 1191. in the
Annals of Innisfallen j and accordingly Ware was mistaken in
confounding him with his successor Matthew O'Heney.

{66) Ware and Harris, Bishops at Cloyne, Harris remarks,
that the Annals of Innisfallen assign the death of a bishop O'Mon-
gagh to A, 1192. He thinks, and I believe with good reason,
that O'Mongagh was the same as Matthew of Cloyne. If so, he
must have been the Pope's legate in Ireland, and perhaps the im-
mediate successor, as such, of St. Laurence O'Toole. For the
said Annals state, that on his death the legatine authority was
entrusted to O'Enny, that is, Matthew O'Heney, archbishop of

(67) Annals of Innisfallen at A, 1192. and Harris, Archbishops
of Cashel at Matthew O'Heney, See also Ware, Annals at A,

{68) Harris, ib, and at Dublin, John Cumin, from the Black
book of Dublin. I much doubt the truth of these statements re-
lative to the annexation of the see of Glendaloch. Ware, although


he makes mention f Annals sit A. 1192.) of the synod held in
Dublin by Matthew O'Heney, yet has nothing about that annex-
ation. He quotes indeed (Bishops at Henry de Londres) the at-
testation in favour of the claim of the Archbishops of Dublin to
the see of Glendaloch attributed, whether truly or not I shall not
inquire, to Felix O'Ruadan, an archbishop of Tuam in the 13th
century, in which it is said, that not only John but likewise his
father Henry H. annexed Glendaloch to Dublin Harris has (p*
S77.) from the Crede mihl a passage of a grant ascribed to John,
and dated i4, 1192, by which the archbishop of Dublin should
take possession of the bishopric of Glendaloch in case of its be-
coming vacant, and the bishop of Glendaloch for the future should
be chaplain and vicar to the archbishop of Dublin. According
to this strange sort of a deed there was to be still a bishop of
Glendaloch, while the revenues of the see were to belong to the
archbishops of Dublin. There is something very suspicious in

Online LibraryUnknownAn ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an → online text (page 28 of 45)