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John Edwards    The Templars in Scotland in the Thirteenth Century

page 3

 

fearing lest the King (1) or his Minister on our refusal, should take the matter in hand, which might result in great prejudice to our privileges, took counsel with our Brethren and legal experts first of all, and by common assent and consent of our Chapter held in our principal Court at «Blantrodokis» on Wednesday the 3Oth day of the month of April A.D. 1354, the said Robert Symple having personally appeared in our presence seeking justice as formerly touching his petition, granted to him an Assize ; to which Assize we did choose by ourselves and our brethren of the Chapter the soothfast and honourable men, as well free tenants as others underwritten, from the best and most reverend of our whole lordship through whom the truth of the matter might be better known, and for this purpose they touched the holy Gospels and took the greater oath, namely William Slyeth (2) of Temple, Laurence son of Peter, Thomas de Megeth, John de Elewoldschawe, Richard de Yorkistoun, Adam Hoy, Richard de Esthouse, William Broun, Richard Doune, Richard de Croshauhope, William son of Mariota, Hugh de Haukyrstoun, and Patrick son of David Sutor of Arnaldistoun: Who being sworn and accorded, narrating the whole progress [of title] of the said land or holding from the beginning unto the end, in what manner it came into the hands of the Templars and by what means

1 - Edward III.
2 - Bailiff of the Hospitallers at Balantrodach.

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it had been recovered from them, in virtue of their oath duly given say that there was a certain man, by name Robert the Scot, who was true lord and just possessor of the said land and died lawfully vest and seized in the same; that he had a daughter who succeeded him as heiress, by name Christiana, whom William son of Galfrid of Haukirstoun (1) married, and by whom the said William had three sons, vizt. Richard Coque, William called William son of Christiana, and Brounin his younger brother ; that the said William son of Galfrid, more given to ease than to labour, during his life, conveyed the said land the patrimony of his said wife, for his lifetime, to the Templars in return for his maintenance, seeing that he could not make a more ample alienation of the said land; whereby he moved it away from his wife and not away from himself. The said William accordingly lived in the house of the Temple and the said Christiana his wife dwelt in a certain residence on the said property assigned to her though barely sufficient for the support of herself and her boys, until the death of the said William her husband. On his death, there came to the home of the said Christiana the Master of the House of the Temple with his followers at Esperstoun. Wishing to drive her forth from her home and property, he said that he had bought the said land from her deceased husband; but this the said Christiana controverted and expressly denied, declaring to him that her husband neither sold to him the said land nor could in any manner do so, as that land was her property and not her husband's. But the foresaid Master, in no wise desisting on account of her declarations, ordered his followers to drag her forth from her house, and she, resisting this with all her might, closed the doors of the house by which the brethren followers of the said Master had entered, and they dragged her to the door, and when she had reached the house-door, she put her arms in the vault of the door and thus twining them she held on firmly so that they could not pull her forth. Seeing this one of the followers of the Master drew out his knife and cut off one of Christiana's fingers, and they thus forcibly and wrongfully expelled her, wounded by the amputation of her finger, sobbing and shrieking, from her home and heritage, and the Master foresaid in this manner intruded himself by main force «de facto» seeing that he could not do so «de jure». The said Christiana, thus illegally expelled, maltreated and foully injured, approached the Royal Court and was at length conducted into the King's presence at Newbotill, (2) and she then declared the whole facts and the injury done to her by the mutilation of her member. The King having heard these things was greatly moved and ordered inquiry to be made in the premises by Writ in Chancery by which the truth was known and the said Christiana was forthwith again infeft in her said land and lawfully and honourably restored to the same, and thereafter remained in peaceable possession

1 - Galfrid le Simple appears more than once as a messenger in the English Wardrobe Accounts of 1299-1300 (Liber Quot. Card., pp. 297-8).
2 - Edward I of England. He was at Newbotle on Tuesday, 5th June, 1296, and left for Holyrood next day. Gough, Itinerary, II. p. 280.

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thereof for a lengthened period. But afterwards war having broken out and increasing between the Kingdoms, the gates of justice were closed and the foresaid Master of the Temple a second time took forcible possession of the said land, the said Christiana being illegally driven forth as formerly; and having thus taken possession he retained it contrary to justice, for some time, namely, up to the date of the Battle of Falkirk (l) in which battle the said Master whose name was Brian de Jaia took part and led from England with him a large body of Welshmen and came to «Blantrodokis» four days before the said battle and there dwelt. Thereupon Richard Cook the above mentioned eldest son of the said Christiana heard of the arrival of the foresaid Master and appeared in his presence and sought of him his land, which the Master himself retained having illegally expelled his mother. But the Master deceitfully requested him on the morrow to come and guide the said Welshmen to Listoun, promising to do him justice regarding his land there; but the said Master meanwhile arranged with the Captain of the said force to slay the said Richard, which was done; for on the morrow as the said Richard came to guide the said Welshmen from «Balintrodokis» to Listoun they murdered the said Richard in the Wood of Clerkyntoun (2) and left his body there after they had rifled it. And thus the said land was illegally retained in the hands of the said Templars, where it remained for some time afterwards,

 

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