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John Edwards    The Templars in Scotland in the Thirteenth Century

page 4

 

namely up to the time of their destruction (3) which took place in the reign of the most serene prince King Robert the Illustrious, in whose time William son of the said Christiana and at that time heir to her and to his brother the said murdered Richard obtained formal letters from the King's Chancery directed to the Sheriff and Bailies of Edinburgh regarding his right in and to the said land which had belonged to his said mother; whereupon a faithful Inquisition being made with diligence by the said Sheriff in the premises by means of the elder and more trustworthy men of the whole neighbourhood (4) it was clearly ascertained that the said land or holding was the property of the said Christiana the mother of the said William in which she was vest and seized; which land the said Christiana never gave nor sold nor alienated in any way in favour of anyone. And although William the son of Galfrid her husband before mentioned placed the said land in the hands of the Templars by a certain agreement for his lifetime, it was rendered null by law, since this agreement had and could have no force after his death, seeing that the said land was the estate of his wife, and consequently the foresaid Templars could have no right by virtue of such an agreement or alienation made by her said husband in and to the said land on his death, nor was their claim of any validity after his death: Moreover it was ascertained that William son of the said Christiana was son and nearest heir

1 - 1298.
2 - Now Rosebery.
3 - In Scotland, November, 1309. See Processus contra Templarios in Scotia (Spottiswoode Miscellany, vol. II. p. 7).
4 - Patria. This term is used in a restricted sense, signifying the vicinity outside the walls of the Religious house. Vide Raine, North Durham, p. 124.

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of his said mother and of lawful age : And the truth of the matter having been thus faithfully ascertained and declared in due order of law, the said William son of Christiana obtained heritable seizin of the said land or tenement with its pertinents which belonged to his foresaid mother, justly and legally, and thus brought into true and peaceful possession of the same, and freely and peacefully vest and seized, he enjoyed for many years the said land with all its pertinents: And the said jurors say unanimously that these things are true : And they say further that the said William son of the foresaid Christiana afterwards in the greatest and most urgent necessity, gave, granted, and heritably in alltime coming disponed his said land or holding with all its pertinentsto his dear kinsman Alexander Symple before-named and his heirs fora certain sum of money which the said Alexander gave and fully paid:
Of which land or holding with its pertinents the foresaid Alexander obtained from the Superior who at that time held the lordship of «Blantrodokis» (1) heritable seizin in due form, and being lawfully put into corporal possession of the same, remained vest and seized of the said land or tenement with its pertinents for many years in peaceful possession: And they say that the said Robert Symple is the son and heir of the said Alexander his father and of lawful age: These things say the said jurors with one accord in all the premises in virtue of their oath taken by them: Therefore We having God before our eyes and wishing to do justice to everyone do grant to the said Robert as son and heir of the foresaid Alexander Symple the full infeftment lawfully due to him in the said land or tenement with all and singular the pertinents thereof in God's name, and do deliver to him heritable seizin with our own hands by common consent of our Brethren at Haukyrstoun (2) upon Monday on the Feast of St. Dunstan Archbishop (3) in the year above mentioned, before these Witnesses William Sleeth of Temple, Laurence son of Peter, William Tod, John son of Roger, Laurence Squire and many others: Nevertheless we ordain by these our letters patent Adam called Morcell our Serjeant of «Blantrodokis» to put the said Robert Symple upon the ground of the said land or holding into corporal possession of the same with its pertinents saving the rights of every one: Which Adam Morcell, having cited the worthy men by virtue of our precept, upon the ground of the said land or holding gave corporal heritable seizin of the same with all its pertinents to the said Robert Symple upon Tuesday on the morrow of the said feast of St. Dunstan in the year before written in the presence of the good men witnesses to the said seizin, vizt.: William Slieth foresaid at that time our Bailiff at (4) «Blantrodokis», Laurence son of Peter, Adam de Hermistoun, Thomas de Megeth, Alan de Yorkystoun, Adam de Wedale, at that time our Forester at «Blantrodocis», John de Catkoyn, John Tod, Alan de Wedale,

1 - Probably Reginald More, who had a grant from Brother Ralph de Lindesay (1309- 1333)
2 - Halkerstoun, prebenda In collegio de Crelchtoun (Reg. Mag. Sig. I. Jac. IV. No.784)
3 - 19th May

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William son of Mariota, Richard de Yorkystoun, William Tod, William Brown, John de Camera, Alan son of Symon de Herioth, Thomas son of Hugh de Middletoun, Robert Morcell, Oliver Fuller, Patrick Sutor, Patrick Morcell, John Bell de Locworward, the said Adam Morcell our Serjeant and many others: And that all these premises may be kept in memory, that the truth of the matter may be known in future time we have caused these our Letters patent to be sealed with our Common Seal:
Given at «Blantrodocis» on the day and year above said.

After reading this Charter one naturally asks if the Templars were charged with instigating the murder of Richard. Strange to say they were not, when in 1309 they were tried in Scotland. Forty-eight witnesses, including the accused themselves, were examined; not one of them says a definite word about the murder. There is a monk from Newbotle the eighth witness and we turn to his evidence with expectation, for it was at Newbotle that Christiana told her story to King Edward thirteen years before, and subsequent developments would surely be known to such near neighbours. But Adam of Wedale confines himself entirely to general statements. After concurring in the

 

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