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SECTION 1.-CHURCH AFFAIRS.
[No. 1, 1486.-Charter (Latin) on parchment, framed, and
shown in Tain Council Chamber. One corner had faded and been retouched. As the first Charter it may be given somewhat fully.] To all who shall see or hear this Charter, Sir Thomas Monelaw perpetual vicar of the town of the bountiful Confessor the blessed Duthac of Tain, and indweller of the same, greeting . . Know ye me to have granted . . . . with consent of the clergy and indwellers of the foresaid town of Tain to my beloved cousin Donald Monelaw two tenements of lands and garden sloping up from them with pertinents, lying within the foresaid town of Tain in the west part of the same within the common burn on the east side and the lands of Donald Robertson on the west and the lands of Kristin son of Patrick and of Mariota ( ? ) on the south side and the King's high way on the north side-along with a certain piece of arable land in the south part .. between the common ground and Knockanmehr on the east side and the common lane and the lands of Donald Reid son of Michael on the west side also between the moor on the south side and the lands of the foresaid Donald Reid on the north. ... Reddendo : . four shillings yearly to the clerics of the same town Munro and Farquhar · .. will , , warrant . .. Donald against all men and women
and if . Donald depart this life without heirs . to Katherine Moneylaw, sister of . . Donald . if . . fail ... to Andrew son of my brother ... I have affixed my seal and have got affixed the seal of the communits of .. town of Tain .. witnesses Sir William Monelaw vicar of Alness John Monelaw Chaplain of Cambuscurrie Donald Morrison Chaplain of Morangie Finlay Ken( ) Chaplain of the foresaid Blessed Duthac Donald Reid son of Thormot Donald Reid son of Killerewack Thomas Johnson Thomas Forrest and William the priest's son indwellers of the forementioned town of Tain with many and various others on the 16th day of the month of May in the year 1486. Now after my giving of these tenements
Donald Reid son of Thormot co bailie of the foresaid town personally going &c. ... on the 20th of May 1486 . . . [There is here a glimpse of the older constitution of the Church of Tainvicar and chaplains-those of Cambuscurrie, Morangie, and Duthac, those of Dunskeath and Tarlogie not mentioned. The Vicar himself held the remaining chaplainry-Newmore, to which he had been appointed for life when it was founded in 1482-Reg. Mag. Sig. 1. 10, No. 50-yet the year after this deed, 1487, he was deprived. In the
foundation there was a doubly significant clause-“concubinam publicam nec focariam non detinent quod si publice notum fuerit . . dicta capellania vacet ; in short, these priests were hardly even expected to respect the seventh commandment, but rather the eleventh, “Thou shalt not be found out." Significant also, in view of the above transfer of property to Moneylaw's “cousin, is the fact that it was only a year before the Bishop of Ross changed the constitution of the Church in 1487 and
appointed a new head, as we see in No. 2, 1492.- Papal Bull, mounted between sheets of plate
glass to show both sides; lead seal perfect, and attached by original silk cord, in which red strands are mingled with the yellow to show that it contains matter of justice as well as of grace. Along one fold the parchment has been rotted or blackened, leaving some gaps, but by lenses many letters in the discoloured part have been made out, and by help of the bishop's letter and readings of other bulls it is practically restored.] Innocent, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his dear son William Spine, provost of the Church of the blessed Duthus of Tayne, in Ross, deacon, greeting and apostolic blessing. When what is asked of us is just and honourable, the strength of right as much as the line of reason requires that it should be carried out to its due effect as a consequence of craving our interposition. Indeed, the prayer brought before us on your behalf recited that our venerable brother Thomas, bishop of Ross, with consent of the chapter of the Church of Ross and of others whom it concerned, and for the advancement of Divine worship, raised the said Church of the blessed Duthac into a collegiate one, and in it set up one provostship, five canonries, and as many prebends, two deaconships or subdeaconships, one servitorship, and three clerical scholarships [or boy choristerships), and for the fitting endowment of all these, the provostship [&c., &c.], he assigned certain dues, rents, and profits piously set apart by certain of Christ's faithful ones. And when thou hast attained the said provostship, which therein stands the chief dignity conferred on thee, yet in some measure lacking apostolic authority, thou hast asked it to be fortified by us with the apostolic bulwark. We therefore, being influenced in this direction by thy prayers, do confirm and strengthen with the defence of this writ, the things done and carried out, just as if they had been properly done by apostolic authority. Therefore let none at all break through this our writ of confirmation and defence, or with rash daring transgress it But if any shall take upon him to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God, and of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul. Given at Rome, at St Peter's, in the year of the Lord's incarnation, 1492, on the 17th of July, in the 8th year of our
pontificate. [The "tres clericatus" are referred to in the bishop's deed as tres pueri in puerili voce cantantes." Including them the whole staff numbers 12, and we have
deacons or sub-deacons,” so the hiatus “a( )” must be filled “aut,” not “ac.” The hiatus after “ fuisti is the only outstanding one, and from the sense it seems to be unimportant, merely pronoun, or connective, or both. The chief signature is A. Farnesio-Cardinal-Secretary Alessandro Farnese—who 42 years afterwards became Pope Paul III. He was noted for elegant scholarship alike in Latin, Greek, and Italian, and from the elegant Latin of this document it may be set down as his composition, Pope Innocent VIII. could have no share in it. then very near the end of a long and painful illness, and died eight days after its date, so it may have been the last of his reign. William Spine, first provost, does not occur again in these papers. In 1514, according to the Origines Parochiales, he witnessed a mandate of the Dean of Ross. In the next document, however, there appear another of the Spyne family, showing its importance, a Moneylaw,
and a priest who afterwards became provost. No. 3, 1538.–Parchment Charter in Latin] ... Sir Donald
Henryson Chaplain of the Collegiate Church of Tayne .... sold to Sir Alexr. Gray Vicar of Far a croft of four bolls bear sowing in the west part of Tayne lying close between the King's high ways that lead to Bengarrik and Talrogy on the south and north, also between Tablair and Croft Salne on the east and west .... Reddendo to the clergy of the the blessed Duthac the usual and wonted annual rent .. witnesses Andrew Forres, Thomas Levystone Thomas Monilaw Thomas Andresone Donald Makfynlaye, John McDonald bragoch [i.e., “boaster ''] and Thomas Dingwall, Maro . . . . Alexander Spyne bailie of Tayne ... [From Orig. Paroch. there appear to have been many changes of Provost after above date-Sir Donald Munro vacating in 1541, George Ogilvy in the same year, Sir Magnus Vaus 1542, Sir Hugh Gray in the same year. In 1544 Sir John Thornton as Provost assents to the transfer of Dunskeath lands, and in 1549 there is a presentation when the “provostship shall be vacant by demission of Sir Alexander Gray,” who therefore held it between 1544 and 1549. He was son of a priest, and he was already, as we see above, owner of property in Tain. The presentation was in favour of Sir Nicholas Ross, Chaplain of Dunskeath -son of a priest, also Chaplain of Dunskeath. In 1543 he got himself legitimated by royal letters, and in 1544 got his own four sons legitimated. The celibacy of the clergy was a farce. The Dunskeath lands were then conveyed to his eldest son, as above. Nicolas had also secured the presentation to the Abbacy of Fearn, and as Abbot he first appears in these papers.