Instrument of Transumpt

Scope and Content

Instrument of transumpt by Andrew, Bishop of Moray, and his Chapter, reciting that, for the safety of the originals and because one document is easier to consult than many, at the instance of the Prior and Brethren he has had certain documents containing grants of lands, liberties, etc., made to them by Alexander, King of Scots, publicly read in his Synod and recorded in one single and public instrument, as follows: Alexander, King of Scots has granted to the Brethren of the Valliscaulian Order in the house he has founded in the vale of St. Andrew all his forest of Ploscardin and all his forest and land of Huctertyr, as held by his father King William; should anything of these be taken away from them, he and his heirs will make a full exchange in some suitable place between Spe and Ins. He also grants them in exchange for 24 nets which he granted them on the water of Findorin for 24 pounds, the lands of Fernanan, Thulyduvi, Kep and Meikle Kinthesoc. He also grants them his land of Mefte with one net on the Spe belonging to it, saving to Angus son of Eugene and Eugene his son these lands and forests they are to have as freely, etc. as he would have them, saving those things belonging to his crown, without any secular service, but praying for his safety and realm. He retains only from the said forests, the stags, goats and wild boars for himself and his heirs, who will not have any forester or custodian there but only the foresters set there by the monks. The monks are not to hunt, or suffer anyone else to hunt, the aforesaid beasts, but may place snares to trap wolves. All else from the said lands and forests the monks may have and use as they will. He also grants them, in exchange for the forest of Lanarc, which he gave them formerly, 20 nets on Inverspe. In addition he gives them his mill of Elgin with all other mills belonging to it, the mill formerly belonging to his castle of Forays and his mill at Dulpotin, to have with the whole multure from all the lands which he himself received at the time of the grant, or ought to have received, had they been cultivated, with their waters and ponds; the Brethren and their millers may take earth, stones and timber in neighbouring and suitable places for making, repairing and preserving the ponds, without any let. All the afore-said things which they then have or may in the future justly acquire in his kingdom, he grants that they may hold in free, etc. alms, from Him alone by whom Kings reign, as freely, etc. as any alms in his kingdom are held. He grants that the Brethren and their men in the said forests and lands may be free throughout his kingdom of all toll and custom for their own chattels and that poinds may not be taken from them for any debt save their own. He takes their house, men and all their possessions, and the goods of them and their men, into his form peace and protection and forbids anyone to inflict any injury, trouble or grievance upon them unjustly, on pain of full forfeiture. If anyone presume to go against the aforesaid, the diocesan concerned is, by ecclesiastical censure, to compel him to give satisfaction to the Brethren, and if, owing to his contumacy, he has been excommunicated and remained under that sentence for 40 days, the bailie is to imprison him; if the bailie neglect to do this after being requested three times, the sentence of excommunication shall be enforced by the course of justice. He also grants that, as often as injury is done to the Brethren or their men on their lands, mills, etc., the bailies when required by them, shall, without awaiting a special royal mandate, do them full and swift justice according to the assize and custom of the kingdom. He commands that no one shall presume unjustly to detain their serfs or those of their lands found outside his domains, on pain of full forfeiture. If anyone presume to disturb the Brethren in respect of the aforesaid liberties, let him know that he is a disturber of the King's peace, guilty of treason, and in every way the King's enemy, but the King's peace and love and infinite salvation are to be with those who love the Brethren and preserve their liberties. Amen. Theses things transumed from the afore-said royal instruments and publicly read in his presence and the said synod, the Bishop has authenticated with his episcopal and synodal authority and by the affixing of his seals, so that they, faithful in all things to the original writings and exemplars, may have the same validity and authority as those have for the use and protection of the Brethren. Given on the 30th April 1240 in a Synod held in the church of St. Giles at Elgin.


The Latin text is printed, with some misreadings of place-names, in S. R. Macphail, History of the Religious House of Pluscardyn (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1881), Appendix G (pp. 199-201). For a discussion of this document, see ibid., pp. 67-9.