The province of Moray, c.1000-1230
The subject of this study is the province of Moray between c.100 and 1230. The first chapter of this thesis examines the Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis, and compares this collection against the manuscripts from which it was sourced. The collection of material in this register has been redated, and since Moray was in political upheaval around that time, there is now some doubt concerning the authenticity of the documents in this collection. The next two chapters of the thesis deal with the geography of Moray. Chapter 2 is concerned with defining the boundaries of Moray, both secular and ecclesiastic. It is argued that the 1312 extent of the earldom and regality of Moray may be much older than the fourteenth century, because it is based upon the boundaries of pre-parochial units of land. The thesis then discusses the internal structure of the province, units of secular lordship and parishes in chapter three. The final two chapters of this thesis then examines Moravian politics between c. 1000 and 1230. In medieval historiography covering this period Moravians have been assigned an awful reputation for violence, revolt and opposition to the kings of Alba. Chapter 4 begins by examining the theory that Moray and Alba were two different countries. In contrast to current opinion it is argued that Moray was not an independent kingdom during the eleventh century. The final chapter then examines a number of different topics, including the so-called ‘feudalisation’ of Moray after 1130, the MacWilliams, and the Moravian origin legend. Here, it is argued that the continued reputation of Moravians after 1130 as traitors and rebels is unjustified and that Moray was not ‘feudalised’ by incoming families after 1130. Taken together, these five chapters will present a radically new interpretation of the evidence, geography and history of Moray and Moravians between c.1000 and 1230.