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Title: An examination of the grants of land made to the Scottish Church in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, with special reference to secular services
Author: Davidson, Thomas
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1930
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Abstract:
The subject to be discussed in the following pages is in nature so comprehensive that some definition of the scope and content of this essay is required. The term 'secular service' has been viewed in its widest sense as covering all the various duties owing to a secular superior, whether Crown or subject. The exact significance of the well -known term 'forinsecum servitium' and the relation of ecclesiastical fiefs to this burden, especially in its military aspect, have been discussed at some length, for they seemed to be questions fundamental to the whole inquiry. The method followed was to draw up a list of all the different burdens, important and insignificant alike, and to work through all accessible charters for illustrations of their relation to Church tenure. For this part of the work, which was naturally protracted the printed Chartularies of the various Scottish bishoprics and religious houses were by far the most important sources, though such miscellaneous documents as are contained in the Register House Transcripts, the Fraser family -books, and the Historical MSS. Commission Reports were not ignored. Any conclusions which may have been tentatively reached below are based solely upon charter evidence. The chief secondary authorities were consulted, but their reading of the facts was not always accepted, if it seemed that a different interpretation was more probable on the strength of primary evidence. Indeed, the whole purpose of this investigation would have been defeated, if the opinion of previous workers in the field had everywhere been deferred to. It has been thought advisable to supplement this general review of the Chartularies from the angle of the individual services by an analysis of the conditions attaching to the charters of donation in one or two of the Registers. For this purpose, Melrose, Dunfermline, Glasgow, and Arbroath have been selected, geographical location determining the choice. The same degree of detail was not considered necessary for each, and so the analysis of the Melrose grants is more exhaustive than that of the other three. In any examination of early land grants, a knowledge of local topography is a desideratum. In supplying this need, the two publications by the Scottish History Society of the chartularies of Inchaffray and Lindores are of much greater help to the student than the Registers issued by the various Clubs, valuable though the latter certainly are. There is a need for a re- editing of the majority of these Club publications on the lines adopted by Lawrie in his 'Early Scottish Charters', or by Dowden in his volumes for the Scottish History Society. Their discarding of the abbreviations of the old clerical scribes and their topographical notes to each charter are steps in the right direction. Finally, though no claim is advanced to anything like infallibility of judgment, it may be stated that the following pages represent an honest and conscientious attempt to throw some light upon a subject which has never before been comprehensively treated. It is hoped that what is written here will not be without its interest or utility to students of later Church history, for whom this essay may be said to represent a quarrying amongst the foundations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.649152  DOI: Not available
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