THE MEN WHO CONTINUED
S. NINIAN’S MISSION–WORK
AND ORGANIZED THE
CHURCH OF THE PICTS
Owing to the loss or destruction of records and the indifference or jealousy of the Roman clergy of the middle ages, the names and history of hundreds of Celtic clerics who left Candida Casa, or its daughter-houses, to carry on the work of the Church in Pictland have passed into oblivion. Some of the names of these missionaryclerics who regarded Candida Casa as their mother-Church have, however, been preserved, attached to the Church-sites which they themselves selected, and at which they ministered; but for this we are indebted more frequently to the people than to the Roman clergy. There are instances in which the Roman clergy actually inhibited the parishioners from burying their dead in the Churchyards of these ancient Celtic Church-sites; in order that they might turn the people to the Roman Churches. Some of the clergy of the powerful Roman abbey of Aberbrothoc were not well-disposed to the Celtic Church-sites. One notable exception was George de Brana, who actually protected them and even restored a Church to the site of S. Ninian’s ancient Church near Arbroath. He also restored a Church to the site of S. Vigean’s original Church.
Fortunately the ordinary folk of a district refused to withdraw their veneration from the names and sites of the earlier Church. Although the personal names borne by Church-sites of the Celts, even when taken along with their associated traditions, do not provide much information by themselves; they frequently provide enough to enable us to distinguish the Brito-Pictish clerics who were trained at Candida Casa,or one of its daughter-houses, from those trained at the centres of the Irish Picts; and in instances where these Brito-Pictish clerics happened to be connected with places outside Pictland of Alba, where information was preserved, we are enabled to procure dates for their work, and particulars about themselves more or less full. A selection from the personal names borne by Brito-Pictish Churchsites indicates how S. Ninian’s work was carried on continuously after his death in A.D.. 432.
S. Caranoc the Great, called also ‘the Elder,’ a Briton who lived c. 433, who was of the family of Ceredig ‘ Guletic,’ was one of S. Ninian’s first group of missionaries to Pictland. His day is the l6th May. His name in the various dialects takes the forms Caranog, Carantoc, Caranoc, Carnoch, Carnech, Carniuch, and one scribe has achieved ‘ Gornias. ‘ There is a manuscript Life of S. Carantoc in the British Museum, and another in Trinity College, Dublin. S. Caranoc is introduced in the tales relating to Muircheartach mac Erca the Gaidheal. The hero goes to Britain to S. Caranoc to get his arms blessed, and invokes his help in punishing certain rebellious clansmen. The Gaidheals claimed S. Caranoc as their patron before the rise of S. Columba. See the author’s S. Ninian, etc. , Chap. xii. According to the tale Muircertachs Death (MS., H2, l6, Col. 312, Trin. Coll. Dublin), it is claimed that the ‘miosach’ of Caranoc or Carnech was given to the Gaidhealic Nialls of the north as a standard to be carried in battle.
A hand in the Book of Ballymote has preserved the information that he belonged to the ‘tiaigh Martain,’ house of Martin, among the Britons, that is the later Gaidhealic way of referring to Candida Casa. S. Caranoc is designated ‘Ab.’ Apparently he only held the presidency of Candida Casa until Ternan was appointed to S. Ninian’s seat; because, apart from seasons of retreat at the cave ‘Edilg,’ he spent most of his life on mission journeys in Britain and Ireland, where he organized various communities of converts. He was only a presbyter; but he baptized the historical S. Patrick, when the latter had grown up, as is recorded in the ancient poem enumerating S. Patrick’s friends which is preserved in the Books of Ballymote and of Lecan. He was martyred, and is referred to as ‘ the first martyr of Erin.’ His most northerly Church-site in Pictland of Alba is on the banks of the Deveron, near Turriff, Aberdeenshire.
One of S. Caranoc’s contemporaries was S.Ternan who founded the Bangor, which afterwards took his name, at Banchory-Ternan in Aberdeenshire. His day is the 12th June. Angus the Culdee writing in Ireland refers to him as ‘Toranan long-famed for exploits across the broad ship-laden sea.’ By an early scribe’s error Ternan’s name was sometimes written ‘Tervan.’ Lesley among others adopted the misspelling. In the De Origine, lib. iv. p. 137, among other fables invented to give a Roman origin to the Brito-Pictish Church, it is stated that Palladius destined ‘ S. Tervan to be Archbishop of the Picts,’ and S. Servan to be apostle to the ‘ Orkneys,’ the latter is a misreading of a contraction for Ochils. The early Roman Catholic writers, especially those of the Aberdeen historical group, had access to information about S. Ternan which is now no longer available. Unfortunately they glossed that information in the interests of their own Church. Knowing that S. Ternan succeeded to the control of S. Ninian’s work in Alba, they began their perversions by bestowing on him the unwarranted and anachronistic title ‘Archbishop of the Picts.’ Cressy, a later and different historian, was more careful when he referred to S. Ternan (Cressy, as quoted in Chronicles of the British Church, is made to adopt the misspelling ‘ Tervan.’) as second Ab of Candida Casa, although he was strictly the third, if S. Caranoc’s short term be reckoned.
Camerarius, discarding the early Roman glosses, notes S. Ternan thus, ‘Sanctus Ternanus Episcopus et Confessor et post Ninianum Sanctum Pictorum australium (recte, orientalium) veluti Apostolus.’ The following details came from the original sources. He was a Pict of Mearns in Alba, he was converted during S. Ninian’s Pictish mission, he was educated at Candida Casa, he was baptized in early manhood by that disciple of S. Ninian whom the Roman Catholic writers confused with Palladius, whose native name, preserved in Perthshire and the Mearns, was ‘Paldoc’ or ‘Paldy,’ whose historical name is ‘Pawl Hén’ or Paul the Aged, a missionary who was a Briton, who worked with S. Ninian, who survived into the early years of the sixth century, who lived long enough to meet S. David in his childhood; he could not see him because he was blind through great age. S. Ternan’s manuscript of the Gospels in a case ornamented with gold and silver was preserved at Banchory-Ternan into the Roman Catholic period, and his bell ‘ Ronnecht ‘ until the Reformation.
Some of the writers of the Aberdeen group were more candid than others. One hand in the Martyrology of Aberdeen, which bears evidence of Moray origin, viewing S. Ternan’s position as S. Ninian’s successor calls him ‘ Archipraesul’ which in this instance means president of the chief and parent community at Candida Casa. Besides Banchory-Ternan, S. Ternan had Church-sites at Slains, Arbuthnot, and Findon, where is also his well. If any one wishes to understand how culture in Pictland suffered from the Viking invasions, he has only to visualize Banchory and other like places in the fifth century with their schools, manuscripts, and active missionary teachers, spreading the Gospel and Christian civilization; and then to think of the state of these places five hundred years later.
S. Erchard or M’erchard a Pict, also a native of ‘Mearns’ Alba, was one of S. Ternan’s converts and became his disciple. Erchard’s birthplace was near Kincardine O’Neil, Aberdeenshire. In course of time S. Ternan ordained him a presbyter.’and Erchard resolved to devote himself to continuing S. Ninian’s mission-work among the Picts of Alba. It is interesting to note that he settled near a Church which S. Ninian had founded during his northern mission at Temple on Loch Ness. His headquarters were in Glenmoriston.ofifthe Great Glen of Alba, now the line of the Caledonian Canal. In silent testimony to S. Erchard’s establishment, there are still in Glenmoriston the Suidhe M’erchaird, S.Erchard’s seat, his well called Fuaran M’erchaird, the ancient Churchyard known as Cladh M’erchaird, and S. Erchard’s Church-site. S. Erchard, like his master, left a famous bell. Dr. Mackay’s translation of S. Erchard’s warning is — ‘l am Merchard from across the land, keep ye my sufferings deep in your remembrance; see that ye do not for a test place this bell in the pool to swim. ‘
S.’Paldy,’ so well known through his connection with Mearns, falls to be noticed with this group of missionary workers. His name will appear again, at a period when he was blind through great age, in connection with the boyhood of S. Dewi (David) of Wales. In Perthshire his name appears with the uncorrupted diminutive in the form ‘Paldoc‘ Among the Britons he came to be known as Pawl Hén, and Peulan Hin, that is, S. Paul the Aged. The early Irish Picts, judging from the Martyrology of Tallagh, knew him as ‘ Polan,’ that is ‘ Paul ‘ with the diminutive an. He was the founder, among other centres, of Candida Casa on Tav among the south Britons. He was also associated with S. Ninian’s foundation at Dunottar in the Mearns; and in the Martyrology of Tallagh he and Nennio the fourth Ab of Candida Casa (Whithorn) are commemorated together at the 21st day of May. In parts of South Wales he is commemorated on the 22nd day of November.
In the early Roman Catholic period the Aberdeen group of historical writers confused this S.
‘Paldy’ or ‘PMdoc’ with Palladius who was sent on a mission to the Irish a.d. 430 by Pope Celestine. Murchu’s Life of Patrick and the annotations to Tirechan. See also Skene and his authorities, Celtic Scotland, book ii. chap. i. p. 27. The A confusion of S. ‘Paldy’ with Palladius threatened to become continuous after David de Bemham in 1244 dedicated a new Church to ‘Paldy’ at Fordun but gave him the name ‘ Palladius‘. Palladius, we are told, was rejected by the ‘rude and savage’ Irish. As he did not wish to spend time in a land not his own, but desired to return ‘to him who sent him,’ that is to Celestine; he crossed to the territory of the Britons, which lay opposite to Ireland, where he was seized with illness and died. In passing, it may be well to recollect that some authorities consider that the historical Palladius is one and the same with the historical Patrick; and that the name ‘Palladius’ is nothing more than an exact Latin translation of S. Patrick’s original native name, Sucat.
Whether or not, it is clear about the historical Palladius that he was unsuccessful in his mission to the Irish; that, having retired, he died on the way back ‘to him who sent him,’ somewhere amongthe Britons to the south-west of Pictland ; that, therefore, he could not have conducted a mission in Pictland of Alba subsequent to the Irish one, or have taken any part in continuing S. Ninian’s work there. When, therefore, a choliaston the Hymn of Fiac of Sletty declares that Palladius ‘reached the extreme part of the Monaid * towards the south, where he founded the Church of Fordun and ” Pledi” is his name there’; it is evident that he is confusing two different men, and is transferring a fragment of biography to Palladius which belongs to S. ‘Paldy’ of Fordun (Paul Hén) ; because Auchinblae and Fordun, where, among other places, S. ‘Pildy’ laboured, lie slightly to the south of the extreme end of the Monad’ (the correct name of the eastern end of the ‘Grampians’); and within sight of the Cairn o’ Mont which preserves the original name. By the error of a scribe “Modhaid” is a reading.
Moreover, we can trust certain definite scraps of history preserved, by one of the hands, in the Breviary of Aberdeen and by Fordun himself, which tell how S. Ternan was a native of the Mearns and that his baptizer was the native saint whom they confused with Palladius. Consequently this ’Pawl,’ or ‘Pildoc,’ or ‘Paldy’ who baptized the man who became third Ab of S. Ninian’s Candida Casa was not the ecclesiastical foreigner Palladius who never came to Mearns or to anywhere else in Pictland of Alba; but a native minister, a member of one of the earlier missionary groups which S. Ninian had arranged alongthe east coast of Pictland. One of those groups was, at the time, in this very locality. S. Ninian on his northern mission had organized a missionary community and founded a Church at the fortress of Dunottar on the sea, about ten miles from Auchinblae and Fordun, where S. ‘Paldy’s’ name survives in connection with a Church-site and a fair.
The names of S. ‘Paldy’ and Fordun recall the daring series of Romano-Gaidhealic fables which long passed for history in Scotland. These fables are generally connected with the Aberdeen group of historical writers, and frequently with John of Fordun alone, one of the group. It is fair to remember that John of Fordun simply took a hand in a scheme which began before he was born and which did not end when he died. Historical criticism, even when it has been unrelenting, has been directed more at the system, into which he had to fit himself and his writings, than at the man. John of Fordun, priest of the Roman Catholic Church, who wrote before A.D. 1385, garbled history, in the interests of the Romano-Gaidhealic Church and the Scots, who had won ecclesiastical and political ascendency in Pictland, with the object of obliterating the history of the ancient Celtic Church of the Picts and the history of the ancient and independent Kingdom of Pictland, by what the late Dr. Skene called his ‘fictitious and artificial scheme.’ Chron. bk. iii. cc. 8, 9. The Cronica Gentis Scotorum and the Gesta Annalia were Fordun’s contributions.
The fictions of Fordun and the Aberdeen group of historians make the historical mind reel. They alleged that the Scots or Gaidheals had colonized Alba, that is Pictland as well as Dalriada, several centuries before the beginning of the Christian era; that the Scots had been converted to Christianity c A.D. 203 by Pope Victor I.; that, nevertheless, in A.D. 430, Pope Celestine sent S. Palladius to these Gaidheals or Scots to be their ‘first’ bishop; that S. Palladius arrived in ‘ Scotia ‘ (which at that time was not Alba but Ireland) with a great company in the eleventh year of King ‘ Eugenius ‘ (whom Fordun invents) who gave him a place of abode where he desired it. Mearns is indicated, because Fordun adds that the ‘holy bishop’ Ternan became the disciple of Palladius, or ‘ Pildy.’ Incidentally he states, too, that Servanus was a fellow-worker and bishop with Palladius. It is due to Fordun’s memory to state that Bower, his continuator, not only mishandled the Gesta Annalia, but garbled the main text of the Cronica.It is thus manifest that John of Fordun hesitated at nothing in his effort to create a belief in the antiquity of the Gaidheals or Scots, and in the antiquity of the Roman Catholic Church in Alba or Pictland; but even in his falseness he has bornewitnessto the ancient activities of the earliest Pictish missionaries.
By using the name of Palladius, the unsuccessful Roman missionary to Ireland (Scotia), to eclipse the work of S. Ninian and his disciples who truly initiated the Christianization of Pictland, and who founded the Celtic Church of the Picts; by confusing Paul Hén, locally S. ‘Paldy’ of Fordun, with this same Palladius; and by representing that S. Ternan and the historical S. Servanus continued the work of Palladius, instead of stating that they were associated with Paul Hén, or S. ‘ Paldy,’ in continuing the work of S. Ninian; John of Fordun has unwittingly confirmed that these disciples of S. Ninian were as old, or about as old, as the time of Palladius, namely a.d. 430. Apart from local traditions, John knew that others besides himself had access to ungarbled historical documents, and
that he would defeat his purpose unless he kept historical ministers of the early Church in their correct historical periods. He was astute enough to realize that he could not remove them from history; although he might belittle them and confuse them with the Roman missionaries to whom he wished to give pre-eminence. John’s inventions were long accepted as genuine history.
Many followed him in ante-dating the Christianization of Pictland by about two hundred years, in ante-dating the first attempt to romanize the Celtic Church of Pictland by over four hundred years, in ante-dating the Gaidhealic or Scotic ascendency throughout Pictland by over four hundred years, and in placing the Gaidheals or Scots in Pictland several hundreds of years before a single Gaidheal or Scot had settled in Dalriada, to which they first came from Ireland (Scotia). John of Fordun’s fables were not isolated efforts. They make one series among many which issued at different periods from the Scotic ecclesiastical centres. S. Servanus was lifted away from his true historical period in the Pictish Church, and represented as a subordinate and contemporary of the romanized Gaidheal, Adamnan; S. Columba (Columcille) was substituted for S.Colm of Deer and exalted over S. Drostan, the Briton, who lived and laboured at Deer before Columcille’s day; S. Riaghuil (Rule) of St. Andrews was represented as a Roman delegate, and his name used to obscure the name and work of S. Cainnech, a Pict; and the Roman monks of Fearn transformed S. Bar of Cork into another Roman delegate, and used his name to obscure the name and work of S. Finbar of Dornoch and Maghbile. The Breviary of Aberdeen entered him correctly as ‘ Fynberr epi,’ Finbar the bishop, to distinguish him from S. Barfhionn, the hermit of Cork. The Mariyrology of Aberdeen also makes the confusion of the two men impossibleAs we have seen, the earliest continuators of S. Ninian’s work in Alba were Britons like S. Caranoc, or native Picts like Ternan and Erchard.
S. Ninian, however, by his Irish mission, and favoured by the proximity’of Candida Casa to the north-east coast of Ireland, had attracted many pupils to his monastery from among the Irish Picts. ‘n- Aondruim on Mahee Island, Strangford Loch, was one of the first communities organized by the Irish Picts for themselves. It was in communion with Candida Casa, and sent its advanced pupils there. The ‘ ships ‘ of Candida Casa visited it. S. Finbar of Maghbile and Dornoch was sent from ‘Aondruim to Candida Casa on one of these ships that he might complete his training with the bigger community. S. Mochaoi, son of Bronagh, daughter of Maelchon, to whom S. Patrick was a slave, was first Ab of ‘Aondruim. S. Mochaoi is stated to have visited western Pictland before the Gaidheals occupied it. One of his Church-sites is at Kilmoha, on the western shore of Loch Awe. The churchyard here was for centuries the burial-ground of the Campbells of Inverlevir. (Cf. The Duke of Argyll’s paper to the Scottish Ecclesiological Society at Glasgow, 25th Oct. 1915.) In the latter half of the fifth century, the century in which S. Ninian died, these pupils began to appear in Pictland of Alba continuing S. Ninian’s work. Some of them served their apprenticeship to mission work in Pictland before returning to Ireland to settle as heads of clerical communities; others remained labouring there until the end of their days.
The historical S. Ailbhe of Emly would have been found in the former group, if he had not been prevented from leaving Ireland by a chief who loved him. S. Ailbhe, however, sent deputies to Pictland. S. Ailbhe was an Irish Pict and died a.d. 526. His father was Olcnais, of the family of Fertlachtga, of the clan Rudhraighe of Dal-Araidhe. His mother was a slave, and her master took the infant Ailbhe from her arms and exposed him in the wilds. The child was found by a kind-hearted heathen called Lochan, who carried him to his own house, and afterwards gave him to certain ‘Christian Britons,’ who apparently were missionaries. The authentic Acts of S. Ailbhe, as known to Ussher, did not mention where among the ‘Christian Britons’ S. Ailbhe was educated and trained as a missionary. But when in manhood he reemerges into the light of history, he is an experienced Christian missionary co-operating with S. Endeus or Eany, one of the most venerated pupils of Candida Casa, who had set out from Candida Casa at the head of a strong mission, which contained one hundred and fifty workers whom he wished to settle on the island of Aranmhor, west of Galway. S. Ailbhe successfully pleaded with Angus the chief of Cashel that S. Eany should be allowed to settle in Aran. S. Ailbhe’s interest in this big mission from Candida Casa is significant,
There is a fanciful S. Ailbhe of the mediaeval Latin fabulists who is represented as having been brought up by a wolf, as having gone to Rome to a Pope Hilarius, as having become a disciple of S. Patrick. It is worth noting that the historical S. Ailbhe is given first in the Paschal Epistle of Cummian ; and that he is represented in the earliest sources as opposing S. Patrick. Bishop Forbes puts the death of Ailbhe of Senchus at the date of the death of Ailbhe of Emly, A.D. 526. When S. Ailbhe had secured Aranmhor for S. Eany’s community, he contemplated a further extension of S. Ninian’s work. He proposed to settle a community of his own in ‘Tile.’ This name represents a scribe’s error. Either one of the northern islands of Pictland is indicated, or Tiree in Western Pictland, where Findchan the presbyter and S. Comgall the Great laboured in after years. Angus of Cashel, who wished to keep S. Ailbhe at Emly, intervened, and forcibly prevented the saint from sailing. Thereupon S. Ailbhe sent twenty-two of his disciples oversea as his deputies. Two of these deputies who went into ‘ exsilium ‘ in Pictland were a S. Colm, or Colmoc (The mediaeval scribes confused him with S. Colman Ela, with Colman of Lindisfarne, and others. He is S. Colman of Dromore in Down. He was an Irish Pict of the race of Conall Cearnach. He was educated at ‘Aondruim under S. Caolan, the second Ab, before he became attached to S. Ailbhe. His day is the 7th of June) and S. Fillan or Faolan.
This S. Fillan or Faolan of ‘Rath-Erann’ has been confused with S. Fillan, son of Kentigerna. He was in reality, according to the scholiast in the Feillre, son of Angus Mac Natfraech, S. Ailbhe’s friend and patron. S. Fillan’s day is the 20th of June. He was called ‘ labar.’ This epithet is manifestly the Britonnic word llafar, meaning, vocal one, although it has been treated as Gaidhealic and translated as ‘leper,’ and also as ‘stammerer. Dr. Whitley Stokes translates “intam lobar ansin” as ‘that splendid mute.’ One saint who was truly called ‘ the leper ‘ was Finian Ab of ‘ Suird. ‘ He died c. A. D. 680. The Martyrology of Tallagh refers to him as ‘ Finani lobhar Suird.’ His day is the i6th of March. It is more likely to mean, splendid in utterance. Labar meant gifted in speech. It doubtless arose from S.Fillan’s open-air chanting of the Psalmody courses which was a marked accomplishment of the Brito-Pictish clerics. S. Ailbhe’s own community in Ireland was settled at he ancient loch of Emly, and S. Colm followed his master’s example and settled on Innis-na-Cholm now ‘Inchmaholm’ or ‘ Inchmacholmoc.’ in the Loch of Menteith. He laboured northward as far as Kirriemuir, and southward along the Forth valley. He returned to Ireland c. 5I4 His fellow-worker S. Fillan, ‘labar,’ like other early missionaries established himself under the protection of one of the great forts of Alba. He is referred to as ‘of the Rath of Erann in Alba,’ which was in ‘Fortrenn,’ near the modern St. Fillans at the east end of Loch Earn in Perthshire. SS. Colm and Fillan are commemorated together, but out of chronological order, among the Celtic abbots named in the Liturgy of Dunkeld.
S. Fillan also laboured along the Forth valley. His chief establishment was the one at Loch Earn, and an old Church-site there still bears his name. S. Fillan’s bachall is one of the two Pictish pastoral staves which have been preserved. Part of his reputed relics, an arm-bone, was carried in front of the Scottish army at Bannockburn by the Abbot of Inchaffray. The mediaeval Roman clergy confused this S. Fillan with S. Fillan of Houston, and S. Colm, his fellowworker, they confused with S. Columba (Columcille). The two disciples of S. Ailbhe were much earlier than either. S. Fillan of Houston was an Irish Pict. He was son of S. Kentigerna who came a fugitive to Inch-cailleach, Loch Lomond, and nephew of S. Comgan, who came a fugitive to Turriff. This S. Fillan’s father was Feredach, an Ulster chief. Camerarius varies the name to Feriath. Feredach was of the race of Fiatach Finn. S. Fillan was born towards the close of the seventh century. His mother died in A.D. 734.
About this same period a wave of missionary enthusiasm stirred the Britons and Irish Picts who were in actual touch with Candida Casa and its activities, resulting, among other things, in the extensive missions of SS. Buidhe, Servanus, Finbar, and Drostan. S. Buidhe crossed the Forth and Clyde line and entered Pictland of Alba at the head of sixty workers about A.D.480. In the Bodleian there is a MS. Life of a S. Boethius, which is meant to be a Life of this saint. It is by a Roman Catholic fabulist who transforms S. Buidhe into a Roman miracle worker. The fabulist excels some of his kind in boldly representing that the saint was turned out of his native territory at Kiannaght because he was ‘ a foreigner. ‘ Buidhe Mac Bronach of the family of Tadhg was an Irish Pict. His clan occupied Kiannaght in Ulster while that territory was still Pictish. It was in this district that S. Cainnech of Achadh-Bo and St. Andrews presided at a later time over the community of Drumachose. S. Buidhe was a bishop. He died at Mainister in the Pictish district of Louth in A.D. 521 as head of a community which he had organized there, after his return from Pictland of Alba. S. Buidhe established his workers in what is now Forfarshire, near the fort of Nectan, sovereign of the Picts, namely, Dunnichen, in the same district as S. Ninian’s foundation at Whiting Ness, Arbroath, and not far from ‘the College’ of the Celtic monastery of ‘Aber-Eloth,’ which arose out of S. Ninian’s foundation at what is now Arbirlot.
The lands of these communities were in later times called the ‘ Abthein. ‘ Among the members of S. Buidhe’s muinntir were ten men who were brothers, and ten who were ‘virgins.’ The Celtic Abbey of Aber-Eloth was still represented by a layman, one Galfridus, in 1214. Mauricius was Abbe of Aber-Eloth c. 1207. King Nectan gave a Cathair or fortified settlement to the saint, and there he built a Church. For this reason the site became known as Caer-Budde, corrupted in after centuries by the Scandinavian element in the east coast population into ‘Kirk-Budde.’ The establishment of S. Buidhe’s powerful and well-staffed mission resulted in a wide extension of the work which had been begun by S. Ninian at the Ness of Arbroath and at ‘the College’ of Aber-Eloth or Arbirlot. In the district now represented roughly by Angus and the north of Fife, Churches were founded and muinntirs organized at every centre of population.
Within the next century and a half the following became active and important centres of the Pictish Church: the muinntirs (known later as Celtic ‘abbacies’) of Aber-Eloth (Arbirlot); of Abernethy; of Monifod (Monifieth); of Scone; of Bangor on the Isla near the Imperial Roman remains at Meikleour; of Brecain (Brechin); of S. BriocatMun-Ros (Old Montrose); of Eglis GirigTfor Grig (St. ‘Cyrus’). Besides these, and the old Churches of S. Ninian at Arbroath Ness and of S. Buidhe at Caer-Budde; the Church called ‘Temple’ at the northern base of Fothringham Hill, Inverarity (Not to be confused with ‘Templeton of Kinblethmont,’ which received its name from the Knights Templars of St. German. To their property Alexander, lord of Spynie, was served heir in 1621); the Church of S. Medan, Airlie; the original Church at Fearn of Angus; the Church of S. Cainnech the Great (known in Angus as in Ireland as ‘Cainnach’- or ‘Connach-Mhor’) at Back-Both, Carmylie, near which place S. Vigean occupied a casual part from his principal Church at St. Vigeans,Arbroath; the Church called ‘Both-Ma’Rubh’ at Barry; the Church called Both-Mernoc, S.Mernoc’s hut at Both in Panbride ; the Church called S. ‘Fink’s’ in Bendochy, not far from Bangor on the Isla; the Church called S. Skaoc’s at Bodden of Usan; the Church called S. Brioc’s at Craig, Old Montrose; and the Church called S. Muredac’sff of Ethie.
Connected with these three last-named Churches was the ancient ‘Disert or Retreat north of the Old Muir of Lunan. These various foundations were not made all at once after S. Ninian’s and S. Buidhe’s time, but gradually, as the evangelization of Pictland proceeded. Apart from the connection of these Churches with S. Ninian’s own foundations in the same district, it is interesting to find in Angus the use of the name ‘Temple,’ which was applied to Candida Casa itself, and to S. Ninian’s foundations elsewhere; the name ‘ Both’ which was applied to Churches originating from a Casa or Casula; the place-name ‘ Fearn ‘ common to Candida Casa, and to S. Ninian’s at Fearn of Edderton; and the institutional name ‘Disert’ given to one of the features of S. Ninian’s establishment and the establishments that originated from Candida Casa both in Pictland and in Ireland.
While S. Buidhe was continuing S. Ninian’s work in Angus, the historical S. Servanus or Serf , even better known by the classical shortening of the Latin name as S. Ser, continued it along the left bank of the Forth into Fife. He also taught among the Britons of Strath-Clyde, and put himself into personal touch with the mission conducted by S. Drostan the Briton in what is now Aberdeenshire. S, Servanus died c. A.D. 543 a frail old man, as we learn from the Life of S. Kentigern. His mother was Alma daughter of a prince of the Irish Picts (‘Cruithne’ is the word used) and his father Proc, prince of a British tribe whose name the copyists changed to ‘Canani’ from some such form as Cenomani. This name was too suggestive for the fabulists who formed it into ‘Canaan’ and invented a legend to suit this scriptural name.
S. Servanus lived in the time of Owain ap Urien the prince of the Britons, who was father of S. Kentigern. The saint had a Church at Dunbarton, the capital of the Britons. The well of this Church existed until recent times and was known as S. Ser’s, the form of his name which still continues in Aberdeenshire. The younger brother of Rhydderch, champion of the Christians and sovereign of the Britons, bore the saint’s name. The following names of places where Servanus settled communities or planted Churches show the range of his activities, Dunbarton, Culross, Abercorn on the opposite shore of the Forth, Dysart, Alva (Stirlingshire), Dunning and Monzievaird in Strathearn, Monkege (Keith-hall), and Culsalmond in Aberdeenshire. His presence in Strathearn and the Forth valley shows that he was in touch with the workers left by S. Colm of Inchmaholm when he returned to Ireland c. A.D.514. No foundation by S. Servanus appears now between Perthshire and Aberdeenshire, which is accounted for by what we have seen, namely that Angus and Mearns were occupied by S. Buidhe’s workers.
The principal muinntir of S. Servanus was at Culross. Here he acted as foster-father and teacher to the boy Kentigern, better known by his pet name ‘Mungo.’ When Kentigern was fifteen yearsof age or thereby he departed from Culross to the casula of S. Fergus at Carnochnear Airth. From the fact that this S. Fergus attracted Kentigern, he was manifestly a more important teacher than Joceline, in his rather restricted reference, indicates. It is certainlynot without interest that when S. Fergus died, Kentigern took much pains to bury him at S. Ninian’s foundation on the Molendinar at Glasgow, where he then proceeded to organize a muinntir of his own. As the ancient authority says — ‘He is the venerable man who possessed Cuilenros.’ Just as the Scotic fabulists misread ‘Ternan’ as ‘Tervan,’ so they misread a contraction of ‘Ochils’ as a contraction for ‘ Orcades. ‘ With these misread names when inventing a Roman origin for the Church of Pictland, they represent their ‘Tervanus’ as ‘Archbishop’ of the Picts and Servanus as ‘Apostle’ of the ‘Orkneys,’
At the time when S. Servanus was still actively engaged in Pictland of Alba, another missionary, who was destined to leave a great name among the Irish Picts, visited various districts in Alba where S. Ninian had organized communities. This was S. Finbar, the Irish Pict who, as noted, became Ab of Maghbile (Moville) in Ulster. The mediaeval Latin writers have reated much confusion about him by attaching fragments of his biography to nearly everyone of the various variants given to his name in the several dialects spoken where he was wont to minister. His composite name was Fin-Bar. With the aid of the suffixes of endearment the Irish varied this to Finnian and Finnioc. The Britons gave the first of these the form of Gwynan, which the present Lowlanders have preserved as Winnan. The Picts of Alba retained the complete form Findbar, shortened in compounds to Find. In later times the descendants of the Vikings in Alba showed preference for the shortened form “nBar” from which some of their Roman Catholic teachers evolved the Latin genitive ‘Barri,’ which happens to be the shortened form of the name of a different and later Irish saint.
Fortunately the early Roman Catholic scholars who preserved the annals of the Church in the dioceses of Moray and Aberdeen kept his correct name in the Latinized form of the local pronunciation ‘Finberrus.’ S. Finbar was born towards the end of the fifth century, and died in extreme old age at Maghbile on the l0th of September A.D. 578 according to the old Irish annals. As already noted, he was sent in ‘the ships’ of Candida Casa from the muinntir at Aondruim (Nendrum) in Strangford Lough to complete his education at Candida Casa. He remained attached to Candida Casa for ‘twenty years,’ and was successively pupil, master, and missionary there. After his return to Ireland, and after he had founded Maghbile in A.D.540, he led a highly equipped mission which sailed in his own ships to what is now Ayrshire. He strengthened the Church among the Britons there, founded certain new Churches, among them being Kilwinning (‘Kil-Gwynan,’also ‘Kil-Fhinian’).
One authority indicates that during his stay at Candida Casa he visited various parts of the east coast of Pictland; but it was on the east of the three northern counties, Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, that his most enduring work was done. He concentrated his attention on the district between S. Ninian’s Edderton, the original Celtic Abbey of Fearn, and S. Ninian’s foundation at Wick. He established a muinntir at Dornoch where, in course of time, the Roman Church placed the seat of the bishops of Caithness, after failure at Halkirk. He planted a Church at Geanies in Easter Ross, known as S. Finbar’s Chapel, and among other Church-sites that bore his name, one was at Berriedale (‘Barudal’), about eight miles beyond S. Ninian’s at Navidale, Helmsdale. In the Roman Catholic period an attempt was made to supersede S. Finbar’s foundation at Dornoch by a dedication to SS. Mary and Gilbert; but the parishioners refused to follow the clergy.
The people of the diocese of Caithness persisted in their veneration for the saint of the older Church, and until recent times S. Finbar was as much honoured in Caithness as in Ulster. S. Finbar became the neighbour and intimate friend of his distinguished fellow-Pict S. Comgall the Great of Bangor; and it was undoubtedly through S. Finbar’s practical acquaintance with Pictland of Alba, and by his inspiration, that S. Comgall was moved to use the inexhaustible resources of his community at Bangor to feed the needs of the growing Church of the Picts, at that time becoming isolated more or less from Candida Casa by the incursions of the pagan Angles into south western Alba.
Contemporary with S. Finbar in the beginning of the sixth century was S. Drust, Trust, or Drostan, of Deer, in Aberdeenshire. He is referred to by Angus the Culdee as ‘ Trustus cona thriur,’ that is ‘Drostan with his three’ disciples, who were SS.Colm or Colman, Medan, and Fergus. S. Drostan’s exact dates have not been preserved, but his period is clearly established by certain definite particulars about him. He was a Briton. His father was prince of Demetia (the Demetae), now part of South Wales (Dyfed). In Monmouthshire there was a Llan-Trostroc, now ‘Trosdre.’ The saint was an elder brother of the mother of Aedhan ‘the false.’ When Aedhan had proved himself a military leader of ability, S. Columba of lona ordained him king of the Dalriad Scots or Gaidheals, against the wishes of many of the people, in spite of the rights of Duncan (Donnchadh), son of the previous king, and in defiance of Scotic law. Aedhan behaved treacherously to the Britons, hence the epithet by which he is known, and he became the steady foe of the Picts of Alba. The Buchan authorities give S. Drostan’s date as c. A.D. 500, and the date of his fellow-worker S. Fergus is given in the View of the Diocese of Aberdeen as ‘the beginning of the sixth age,’ c. A.D.520.
So far it has not been discovered at what British or Pictish school S. Drostan was trained. All that is authentic is that he came off the sea with his disciples, landed at Aberdour in Aberdeenshire, and after a time went inland and settled with his muinntir at Deer under the sanction of Bede. who was then Pictish mormaor of Buchan. Bede had at first been hostile to the saint’s settlement. Centuries after S. Drostan’s time, during the Gaidhealic ascendencyinPictland,the names of SS. Drostan, Colm, and Fergus were removed from their proper historical setting, and woven into legends intended to create a belief in the priority of the Roman mission in Pictland, and to support the romanized Gaidheals in the usurpation of the property of the old Pictish Church. In the famous legend, entered in the Book of Deer by an eleventh-century Gaidhealic hand, S.Colm is boldly transformed into S. Columba (Columcille) the Gaidheal; and S. Drostan the Briton, and head of a mission in Pictland, is subordinated to him. The reckless fabulist was probably unaware that S. Drostan laboured in Buchan before S. Columba began his work even in Ireland, that in S. Columba’s time the Gaidheals regarded the Picts as implacable foes, and were meditating to get back the parts of Dalriada out of which they had been hunted by the Pictish sovereign, and that, to this end, S. Columba had ordained to the Gaidhealic or Scotic throne of Dalriada, Aedhan, the arch-enemy of the Picts, and the man who betrayed the very Britons who had helped him to repair his broken fortunes when he was a wanderer from his own people.
Another legend, the Legend of Fergusianus, gives the credit of the missionary work of S. Fergus of Buchan and Caithness to a certain romanized Celt of late date bearing the same name. The object of this fabulist was evidently to make it appear that the beginnings oi the Roman mission in Pictland were much earlier than was actually the case. S. Drostan and his fellow-workers increased the churches on the south of the Moray Firth, and afterwards crossed the Firth to Caithness and the Orkneys, where they brought many outlying Pictish tribes under the influence of the Gospel. From this community, at a later period, the community of ‘Turbhruad,’ now Turriff, was organized. When S. Comgan (brother of S.Kentigerna, and uncle of S. Fillan, arrived at Turriff, he became Ab of the community. This was some years before a.d. 734, the year of S. Kentigerna’s death.
South of the Moray Firth the following ancient Church-sites represent S.Drostan’s foundations: Aberdour in Buchan; the site of the muinntir of Deer in Buchan ; the Church-sites at Insch in the Garioch, at Rothiemay on the Deveron,at Aberlour on Spey, at Alvie on Spey, at Glen Urquhart, where SS.Ninian and Erchard had previously prepared a way for the Church. S. Colm’s foundations are at Inzie Head, Lonmay; Alvah on the Deveron; Oyne; Daviot, Aberdeenshire ; Belhelvie ;and Birse on the Dee, Aberdeenshire. S. Medan’s foundations are at Fhilorth, near Faithlie ( Fraserburgh), with which was connected the site occupied by a muinntir, and now called ‘the College,’ at ‘Achyseipel,’ Field of the Chapel, Fingask, near Fraserburgh. Also the chapel-site, Pitmedan of Udny. S. Fergus’s sites are at Kirktonhead, formerly Lungley, described in documents as ‘near Inverugie.’
The following are the Church-sites of S. Drostan and his fellow-workers in Caithness, across the Moray Firth from Buchan. S.Drostan’s foundations are Kirk o’ ‘Tear,’ that is the Caithness pronunciation of ‘Deer.’ The D of Drostan and of Deer became a T in this part of Pictland. Mr. Mackay, of Westerdale, recovered the charter which disclosed the original name of this church, and also, that into the Roman Catholic period the Abbot of Deer still held its lands. A popular legend turned the name into ‘Kirk of Tears,’ and connected it with a celebration of Innocents’ Day, which was really a celebration of S. Drostan’s Day, Old Style.The saint carried the name of his Buchan muinntir into this new field. Also ‘S. Drostan’s,’ the site of the Church of Canisbay; ‘S. Drostan’s,’ Church-site at Brabstermire; S. Drostan’s, ‘Trothan’s,’ Castletown of Olrig; a Church-site and churchyard at Westerdale on the Thurso river; and the Church-site and churchyard at ‘S. Trostan’s,’ Westfield, Caithness.
S. Colm’s foundations are at the sandburied township of Old Tain, Caithness, and at Hoy, Orkney. S. Medan’s foundations are at Freswick and ‘Bower-Madan,’ that is, House of Medan. This name is regarded as the Viking equivalent of the earlier Both-Medan. Foundations of S.Fergus are at Wick, where his church, after the town had extended in that direction, superseded the earlier foundation of S. Ninian at ‘the Head’; and at Halkirk (High Church), which, in later centuries, became the first seat of the Roman Catholic bishops of Caithness.
While S. Drostan and ‘his three ‘were extending the Church in the northern parts of Pictland of Alba, other Britons, and certain Irish Picts were maintaining a ministry in the southern parts, or in the Brito-Pictish border districts. The names of many of these workers have been forgotten within a comparatively recent period. Some names have been corrupted beyond identification by foreign scribes of charters. Other names, however, still associated with ancient Church foundations in the south are noteworthy. For example, Mochaoi or Mochai, Kessoc, Cadoc, Gildas, Dewi (David), Machan, Llolan, and Brioc. Remembering the canon of Celtic Church history, that the early Celts gave to a Church the name of its actual founder and did not dedicate, the affiliation of ancient Church-sites to these men is a guarantee, apart from any records, of personal work at the site in time bygone. Moreover, the locality of these men’s activities in the late fifth or the early sixth century shows clearly that the historical S. Patrick’s denunciation of the Picts as ‘apostatae’ in the Epistle to Coroticus was either an embittered cleric’s wrathful exaggeration, or a reference to a very local declension from orthodox ways.
As early as the latter half of the fifth century S. Mochaoi or Mochai had taken part in S. Ninian’s evangelization of the western Britons and the Picts to the north of them. S. Mochaoi was an Irish Pict. He died c. A.D. 496. He was the son of Bronagh, daughter of Maelchon, S. Patrick’s taskmaster. It is not told where he was trained; but he became first Ab of Aondruim on Mahee Island, Strangford Lough. The religious community at Aondruim worked in concert with the greater community organized by S. Ninian at Candida Casa. The pupils of Aondruim after a certain stage of progress were sent to Candida Casa to complete their training, the best-known example being S. Finbar of Maghbile and Dornoch. S. Mochaoi’s foundations in Alba are still indicated at Kirkmahoe f in Dumfriesshire, ‘ Kilmahew’ J at Cardross in Lennox, and ‘ Kilmoha’ on the western shore of Loch Awe in Argyll.
This field as opened up by S. Mochaoi was effectively occupied in the early years of the sixth century by S. Kessoc or Mokessog, who christianized the ancient district of Lennox while its inhabitants were Brito-Pictish. S. Kessoc was one of the sons of the ruler of Munster who had his capital at Cashel. He was educated and trained in Munster, throughout which S. Ailbhe, whose community was at Imleach, taught under the king’s protection. The date of S. Kessoc’s activities is given as from c. a.d. 520. This is confirmed by the date of S, Ailbhe’s death which took place a.d, 526.f The following historical items are all more or less related to one another, and to S. Kessoc’s work. S. Mochaoi was the first Ab of the community of Aondruim, which was one of the earliest religious communities in Ireland, and which was also in commun ion with thegreater and older community which was founded by S. Ninian at Candida Casa. Before settling at Aondruim heconductedamission which extended from the Nith into Lennox and what afterwards became Argyll while these two last districts were Brito-Pictish. Among others sent to occupy the field opened;’up by S. Mochaoi, S. Kessoc came in the course of a few years. He not only participated in religious work among the Britons but completed theconversion of the Picts of Lennox.
While S. Kessoc was gathering converts in Lennox two other missionaries were engaged in like work on the borders of that district. One was S. Fillan or Faolan who, as we have noticed, was a member of the royal family of Munster, like S.Kessoc himself, and so related to him ; and both S. Fillan and S. Kessoc had been attracted to religious work through the efforts of the mission composed of Irish Picts which S. Ailbhe led into Munster, and which he established there by the goodwill of the king. The other missionary was S. Colm or Colman or Colmoc, first of Inchmaholm in Menteith, and afterwards of Dromore in Ulster, like S. Ailbhe, an Irish Pict. S. Ailbhe, who had a working intercourse with both Candida Casa and Aondruim, selected S. Colm from the latter community while S. Caolan, S. Mochaoi’s successor, was Ab,to accompany himself and his Pictish fellow- workers in the mission which resulted in the conversion of Munster.
When S.Ailbhe was inhibited from going to Alba by the king of Munster, SS. Fillan and Colm were members of the missionary band, as we have already noted, who went in his stead. It is evident that S. Kessoc also went with them, or joined them later, because we find one Church-site bearing S. Kessoc’s name at Comrie near S. Fillan s headquarters, and another at Callander near S. Colm’s headquarters. S. Colm was Ab and bishop, S. Fillan an Ab, S. Kessoc an Ab and bishop. Church-sites bearing S. Kessoc’s name, besides those mentioned, are, or were, at Auchterarder, at Luss, at ‘Balmokessaik,’ S. Kessoc’s town, on the lands of Ardstinchar in Carrick, and ‘ Kessoktoun’ in the old parish of ‘Senwick’ now merged in Borgue, Galloway. S. Kessoc’s muinntiryfas accommodated on “Innis na mhannock” in Loch Lomond. There is a Lennox tradition that the saint was buried in Carnmokessoc at Bandry, Luss, in Lennox. S. Kessoc was venerated as a martyr by the people, although martyrs were most rare in early times among the Celtic saints of Alba. There is no doubt that this veneration had a historical foundation; and there is something suspicious in the fact that the details of his martyrdom have not been preserved.
From an early period S. Kessoc was honoured as the soldier’s saint. His name was a rallying cry in battle. In old sketches he is depicted as a soldier with his bow and arrow at ‘the ready.’ All that is known about him in this connection is that the saint was a soldier-prince before he became a missionary. A biographical fragment states that he died among aliens, and that his body was carried to Luss for burial. The traditional year of his death is A.D.560. It illuminates this occurrence to remember that the year 560 was the one in which Brude Mac Maelchon, sovereign of Pictland, began the war which ended in the great drive, ‘inmirge,’in which the Gaidheals or Scots, who had begun to intrude too far into Pictland, were expelled from the Pictish dominions, except a broken remnant which was shut up in Cantyre. S. Kessoc’s mission-area was partly involved in this drive; and it is known that the region of his headquarters was devastated by the embittered fugitives, anticipating the vengeance which twenty odd years later Aedhan ‘the false’ was to exact from that same district, after S. Columba had ordained him head of the Gaidheals or Scots.
It is more than likely that in King Brude’swar topreservethe independence of Pictland, which incidentally included the independence of the Pictish Church, S. Kessoc laid aside his staff and resumed the weapons of his youth, took part in the struggle, and fell in the territory of Dalriada from whence his body was returned to Luss. The Gaidheals, or Scots, who supplied almost the sole editors of our earliest records, would naturally take care that the details of such a martyrdom did not filter through to history;although popular tradition, as in other instances, could not be silenced. It was in no inconspicuous military enterprise that S. Kessoc fell; and it must have been in a cause regarded as sacred and national before the descendants of the Brito-Pictish tribes in the Clyde area would have persisted in remembering him as the only soldier-saint and soldier-martyr in our history.
S. Cadoc, who also laboured in the Brito-Pictish borderland, was a Briton; and he falls into direct succession to S. Ninian, S. Caranoc the Great, Paul Hén, the historic S. Servanus, and S. Drostan. Only a few historical facts about S. Cadoc are recoverable. The versions substituted for the Old Life by the mediaeval Latin fabulists are shameless perversions* of the original. S. Cadoc’s headquarters in his later days were at Llancarvan in Glamorgan. This place was not far from the market-town called ‘ Beneventum’ which had been named originally by the Imperial Roman garrison. This town has been identified with Venta of the Silures (Caer Went), S. Tathan’s, In the Old Life it was said that S. Cadoc was in the habit of visiting Beneventum. The fabulists turned this into Benevento in Italy. They next invented a story of miraculous flights on a cloud from Llancarvan to Italy. This gave opportunity for a visit to the Pope and favours from the See of Peter which the historical S. Cadoc neither sought nor received. Other hands represented him as bishop of the Italian Benevento, and confused him with a Continental bishop who bore a slightly similar name.
S. Cadoc was active in maintaining S. Ninian’s work among the Strathclyde Britons in the first half of the sixth century. The authorities who give the approximate time of his death as c. A.D. 570 are correct. This is confirmed by the fact that S. Cadoc was a great-grandson of that Brychan of South Wales, who was grandfather to S. Drostan of Buchan and Caithness. Ferrarius was misled by the fabulists into putting his death a century earlier. The object of this ante-dating was to give an earlier date to the Roman mission in Britain S. Cadoc was baptized by S. Tathan of Bangor, Caer Went (Beneventum), where he received the first part of his education. S. Cadoc’s muinntir contained twentyfour disciples. For seven years he lived with his disciples near the mount called ‘Bannauc’ in what afterwards became Scotland. ‘Bannauc’ is an attempt to give the genitive case of Manach representing the earlier Britonnic Mynach. Brychan died c. 450. The place indicated is now Carmunnock on the Cathkin hills near Glasgow. The elements of this name are Caer and Mynach ; and the complete name means Monk’s ‘City.’
S, Cadoc’s Life informs us that his settlements were fortified Gz^yj. A Church-site representing a foundation of S. Cadoc was at Cambuslang, also near Glasgow. After he had completed seven years of missionwork in Alba, S. Cadoc organized a new muinntir with which he settled at ‘ Nantcarvan’ now Llancarvan.This form of the name may be due to a Church of ‘Gnavan,’ pronounced Gravan. He is one of the recorded disciples of S. Cadoc. This place is in Glamorgan ; and not far away was a market-town used in the days of the Roman occupation by the Imperial garrison, and called by the soldiers ‘Beneventum,’ Goodmarket. Beneventum is identified as Caer Went in Monmouthshire. In this market-town also, S. Cadoc had some spiritual responsibility which has not been particularized; but it is known that there he was taught, baptized, and partly trained at ‘C6r Tathan,’ that is, ‘Bangor Tathan.’ Probably it was indicated in the Old Life that at S. Tathan’s death S. Cadoc assumed responsibility for his work; because the fabulists call him ‘ bishop of (at) Beneventum.’ At Llancaran S. Cadoc successfully established a great Christian training centre. From particulars that have come down, it was organized like Candida Casa. There was a Church, education was arranged for the people and for those intending the ministry, and provision was organized for the poor. Llancarvan was one of the Bangors of the Britons, and was known, for a time, as ‘Bangor Catog.’ S. Cadoc was martyred by Saxons at Beneventum, South Wales, c. a.d. 570, and his work was continued by his disciple S. ‘ EUi,’ who succeeded him as Ab.
S. Machan was one of S. Cadoc’s workers in Alba. Judging from the number of his own foundations he was evidently one of those left to carry on the work when S. Cadoc departed for South Wales. S. Machan is not only a link with S. Cadoc but a link with the historical Servanus. One of his foundations was at Dalserf on the Clyde, a parish which has resumed the name which indicates its first missionary, S. Serf or Servanus, although it had been known for many years as Machan-shire. Another foundation is Eccles-Machan in Linlithgowshire, near to Abercorn where there used to be a Church-foundation and Fair of S. Servanus. This and many other examples show how the supply of ministers among the Britons was not allowed to fail. The muinntir of an Ab existed not only for its own president and for itself; but for supply of a ministry to Churches founded before its time. S. Machan is another saint who carried his work into Lennox in supportof the Churches already founded there.
The Church of Campsie is one of his Lennox foundations ; and there is an age-long tradition that he was buried there, The writer of Origines Parochiales was misinformed about a ‘dedication’ to S. Machan in ‘Clyne.’ Clyne was probably read for Clyde. In the Roman Catholic period an altar was dedicated to S. Machan in Glasgow Cathedral. S. Machan’s day is the 28th of September.* He died in the sixth century; but the year of his death is now unknown. Adam King, following the practice of the Gaidhealic or Scotic editors, seeks to date him by a Scotic king whom he calls ‘Donalde’; but Domhnall, prince of Dalriada,who was S. Machan’s contemporary, never ascended any throne, not even in Dalriada; and S. Machan did not labour in Dalriada but among the Strathclyde Britons and among the Picts. This practice of dating British and Pictish men and events of note by the reigns of Dalriad kings or their sons, who were only local chiefs, was a device of the Gaidhealic or Scotic editors and annalists to create a belief among the ignorant of the Middle Ages that the Gaidhealic or Scotic ascendency in Alba began centuries before the accession of Kenneth Mac Alpin, A.D. 842, to the Pictish throne.
S. GiLDAS, the Briton, was born in A.D.516, as he himself informs us ‘in the year of the battle of Badon,’ at Dunbarton, the capital of Lennox, when the city was still the capital of the Britons of Clyde and called’ Alcluyd.’ 516 is the date in the Annates Cambriae. See also Skene, Chronicles P. and S. p. 14. The original Lives of Gildas were by S. Caradoc and an unknown author who lived in the monastery of Rhuys in the later diocese of Vannes, Brittany. Bede gives the approximate date of Badon in the last decade of the fifth century. Mommsen, Zimmer and other Germans give c. 504 to fit in with certain speculations. Unless the date 516 in the Annales Cambriae can be proved to be a scribe’s error for 506 the date 516 should stand. For part of his life, he was a fellow-worker with S. Cadoc who laboured in the Clyde district, as we have seen. He departed with S. Cadoc when the latter returned to the territories of the southern Britons ; and for a short time he taught in one of S. Cadoc’s schools at Llancarvan. He transcribed a famous manuscript of the Gospels which was kept in a case bound with gold and ornamented with gems. Caradoc saw this manuscript at Llancarvan in the twelfth century.
S. Gildas came to be known as ‘Badonicus,’ to distinguish him from others bearing the same name but belonging to later times, because the battle of Badon Hill. Skene locates Badon Hill at Bowden Hill between Stirling and Edinburgh. Arthur’s Warriors were ‘Gwyr y Gogledd’ — men of the North in which King Arthur led the victorious Britons was fought in the year of his birth. Being a Briton of Alba, he was also known on the Continent as Gildas ‘ Albanius.’ The Gaidheals or Scots in later times considered themselves ‘Albanaich.’ On the strength of this surname the Gaidhealic fabulists of the Middle Ages appropriated Gildas the Briton and presented him as a Gaidheal or Scot. Latin andGaidhealic scribes of the middle ages have mangled the names connected with Gildas almost beyond recognition. However, this is certain, that while Gildas was still alive, the chiefs of the Britons of the North and their allies who steadily resisted the encroachment of the Angles under Hussa, from A.D.567 onwards,were Morcant; Gua/lauc; Urhgen (Urien), S. Kentigern’s paternal grandfather; and Rhydderch, who became King-paramount of Strathclyde and S. Kentigern’s protector,
S. Gildas was the son of a chief of the Britons, and his eldest brother was one of their military leaders. This brother’s name was Hywel, latinized as ‘Howelus’ and ‘Cuillus.’ Manifestly he is the same as Rhydderch’s ally (G)uall or (G)uall-auc who helped to lead the Britons against Hussa the Angle, as is told by one of the contributors to Nennius.Cf. Skene, Chronicles P. and S. pp. 12, 16. Compare the other royal name ‘Gust’ which was written ‘ Uist.’ The name of the father of Gildas is given as ‘Nau’ John Bale (1495-1563) latinizes it as ‘ Nauus, ‘ and designates him ‘ rex Pictorum.’ Considering that he reigned in ancient Lennox, his subjects would be part Britons and part Picts, by S. Caradoc which agrees with the name of the father of Hywel or ‘Guallauc’ which is given in Nennius as ‘ Laenauc,’ that is, Lae-Nau-oc. The latter was of the race of Hywel, or ‘Coel hén,’ the old.
S. Gildas had a younger brother called ‘ S. Mael-oc’ He followed the example of Gildas and became a cleric. He organized a muinntir in the district called ‘ Luihes’ or ‘Leuihes,’ evidently an attempt to reproduce the Britonnic name of his native Lennox. U in Brito-Pictish names sometimes represents F. For example, Uip for Veip. The root of the district name is in the name of its river, ‘ Leven.’ The latest hand in the Annals of Ulster called the province ‘Lemhnach’ (Levnach); and the Scottish barons in their letter to the Pope call it ‘Leuenax.’ It is of some importance to be sure of Maeloc’s field of work; because he sometimes occupied a ‘retreat’ in it, near the township called ‘El-mael’ or ‘Almail.’ In other words part of Maeloc’s establishment was a ‘disert ‘ such as was possessed by the historic S. Serf or S. Servanus who laboured in Alcluyd or Dunbarton, in Maeloc’s time, and who extended his activities to another ‘Leven’ in Fife. On the northern border of ancient Lennox is Dal-Mally, the original name of which is ‘ Dysart.’ An ancient Church-foundation called ‘Kilmalyn,’ 1296, and ‘Kilmale,’ 1532, is Kilmallie, Fort William. The diminutive -an instead of -oc would give ‘Kilmalyn.
S. Gildas himself preached the Gospel among the Britons, according to the biographer of Rhuys, ‘ in the northern part ‘ of their country , which would point to his labours with S. Cadoc in Strathclyde. As we have seen, he went with S. Cadoc to Llancarvan. In this locality these two saints also possessed retreats or disert s at ‘Ronech’ and ‘Echni, ‘now Barry Isle and the Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel. When S. Gildas was about thirty years of age,* that is about a.d, 546, Saxon raiders burst in among the South Britons and ‘devastated and profaned ‘f their provinces and Churches. Hundreds of Britons fled to the sea-coasts and took ship to their fellow-Celts in Armorica. SS. Cadoc and Gildas joined in the flight. During his exile, S. Cadoc organized another religious community, and settled on an islet, in what afterwards came to be called the ‘Morbihan’ or Big Bay. Chastelain states that the isle became known as Innis Caidoc. S. Cadoc did not lose touch with the remnant that had rallied at his headquarters among the Britons of South Wales. After a period in Brittany he revisited Llancarvan; but, during a raid, he was seized by the pagan Saxons, and martyred at Beneventum (Caer Went). A.D.570. He foresaw his fate as is shown by his saying, ‘If you wish for glory, march, faithful to death.’ The English martyrologists ante-date his martyrdom by putting it about the year of his birth; and they shift the scene of his martyrdom from England to Benevento in Italy. The early English writers appear to have had no desire to perpetuate the memory of the infamies of their Saxon ancestors.
S. Gildas, his fellow-worker, remained in Brittany. Apart from the dangers of Saxon raids in the district which he had left on the northern shores of the Severn estuary, he had made enemies of the petty kings of the Britons by his fierce denunciations in his tract De Excidio Britanniae. After the departure of S. Cadoc for Alba, S. Gildas retired from the personal control of his community at Rhuys, and settled on one of the Morbihan islands near Innis Caidoc. The name of his island is given as’Horat’ and ‘ Houat.’ He made it his disert or retreat, and died there A.D.570. M. le Moyne de la Borderie has been criticized for his statement that fugitive Britons began to seek an asylum in Armorica or Brittany after the Saxon victory at Crayford in 457. It is certain, however, that many Britons sought refuge in Brittany in the early sixth century. Wurdestan, who wrote before A.D.. 884, confirms this as well as Caradoc. Gildas is quite clear on the matter. Writing in 557, he states that part of the Britons perished by the sword or famine, some gave themselves up to be slaves to the Saxons; and some ‘passed beyond the sea.’ Armorica received many detachments of Britons from Alba from the Romano-British auxiliaries to the last band of fugitives from Saxon brutality.
The idea of certain English writers that Brittany was celticised by British fugitives from Cornwall and the west country is not only unhistorical but absurd. Brittany and all Gaul was Celtic before the Teutonic barbarians moved west in A. D. 406. The Celts among whom SS. Cadoc and Gildas and their fellow-fugitives settled had, owing to the poverty of their country, been saved from penetration by the Teutonic hordes. Moreover, they were off the direct line of the barbaric migrations.Many causes that needed the support of inventions have appropriated S. Gildas or have presented garbled versions of his biographies to make it appear that he appropriated them. The claims of Armagh to primacy and to be the chief original centre of Irish Christianity; the pretensions of Glastonbury to great antiquity; the apologists for the Anglo-Saxon brutalities to the Britons, all lurk behind the falsifications of the Lives of S. Gildas. Several works have been wrongly ascribed to Gildas. His name was also put upon the title-page of manuscripts penned long after his time.
S. Gildas was one of the earliest of our native writers to make a critical review of historical events . He wrote the De Excidio Brtannane and certain historical fragments are ascribed to him. The texts which we now possess are not entirely ungarbled; but they are purer than the versions of some manuscripts much younger. S.Gildas, judged by his tract, was a moody, meditative Celt who sought peace and pursued it, at one time on the banks of Clyde, at another on the holms of Severn, and at still another on the islets of the Morbihan. He was embittered and disappointed by the political follies of the tribal kings, and by certain sections of his flighty, disunited, wrangling fellow- Britons. His fierce satire was lauded by the Anglo-Saxons after they became civilized; and frequently it was misquoted or emphasized to justify their own excesses against the Britons; although these excesses were mainly responsible for reviving among the Britons the spirit of destruction and barbarism which Christianity had done much to lay. Bede with unconcealed delight suggests that the Saxon terror was introduced into Britain ‘ by the Lord’s will that evil might fall on them (the Britons) for their wicked deeds.’
S. Gildas, contemplating the past, had a decided conviction of the political shortsightedness of Vortigern, the prince of a British tribe which inhabited what is now, roughly, central England, who about the middle of the fifth century invited the Angles and Saxons from the sea-swamps of Friesland and the Elbe that they might help him to crush other Brito-Pictish tribes. Brothers and cousins of the first guests came uninvited, and turned their swords against their hosts; and Gildas, reflecting over the sufferings of the Britons, writes of ‘the Saxons, of execrable name, most ferocious of peoples, filling God and men alike with hate.’ Continuing his reflections, Gildas appears to have thought that the Saxons having been allowed to settle, the British Christians should have converted them. In this he showed a disposition to overrate the powers of Christianity and the patience of his fellow-countrymen. The Saxons gave little encouragement to the missionary efforts of his fellow- worker S. Cadoc, seeing that they martyred him. Only when their lust was sated, their eyes sick of the sight of blood, and their homesteads planted on the best land in the country, did the Saxons turn their materialistic, lumbering minds to a superstitious acceptance of the Gospel.
Few subjects have ever dealt more candidly with kings than Gildas with the kings of the various British tribes. He demands that Constantine, king of the Dumnonii, in the district now Devon and Cornwall, ‘despising the vile food of swine,’ should return to his most loving Father. He was very severe towards the kings in whose dominions he had lived. He charges Vortipor, king of the Deme-
tae, in what is now S. W. Wales with vice and cruelties; and exhorts him not to be ‘old in sin,’ not to spend his few remaining days in vexing God. Maelgon or Maelgwyn,whose ancestral dominions were near the home of Gildas at Alcluyd, he denounces with a vehemence that seems to have a memory of personal suffering behind it. The saint calls this king ‘a monster’ who had deprived other kings both of their territories and their lives. Whatever the personal feelings of Gildas, he succeeds in leaving the impression that the Britons, disunited by clan jealousies and tribal divisions, and ill ruled by their incompetent kings, were utterly unfitted to present an organized and sustained resistance to the Teutonic invaders.
Maelgon or Maelgwyn was king of Gwynedd (“Gwendote” and Venedotia) that is properly what is now North Wales. But the dominions of his ancestors were from the Forth southwards, through whatis now central Scotland. He is called ‘Magnus Rex’ in the Historia Britonum, and it is evident that he was High-King or Sovereign overlord of the petty Brito-Pictish kings a long way north of North Wales. He is generally referred to as a king of the Britons. It would be more accurate to call him a Brito-Pictish king. He was descended from the Pictish kings of ‘Manau Guotodin,’ that is the Otadinoi of the Forth area. By a scribe’s error in the Annales Cambriae the beginning of his reign in Gwynedd is given as the end at 547. Bishop Forbes, Lives of Ninian and Kentigem, p. Ixx, says 547 ‘ was in reality the beginning of his reign and he was alive in 560 when Gildas wrote.’ Maelgon or Maelgwyn, as the late Mr. Nicholson of the Bodleian pointed out, is the same as Maelchon whose son Brude Mac Maelchon was elected sovereign of Pictland and who reigned there as King-paramount from 554 to 584. The Historia Britonum indicates that Maelgwyn was contemporary with Ida, the Angle, who reigned over an eastern section of England north of the Humber from 547 to 559. On authority cited by Humphrey Lhuyd, Maelgwyn was made King-paramount of the Britons about 560,
Alcuin referred to Gildas as ‘the wisest of the Britons,’ At the time of the revival of learning on the Continent of Europe, the resurrection of the De Excidio, and the part oi Nennius ascribed to Gildas, evoked surprised admiration at the enlightenment of the Celtic religious communities in Alba from the end of the fifth century onwards. The scholar’s lamp had burned in Alba and Ireland when it had almost flickered out elsewhere in the West. Apart from what he learned from S.Cadoc, the foundation of the learning of Gildas was laid at Candida Casa. If, as is indicated, he went there in his boyhood from Dunbarton, when Nennio ‘the little monk was Ab, one of his contemporaries, as senior pupil and, later, as a master, would be S . Finbar of Maghbile and Dornoch; and he would complete his studies under Mugent who succeeded Nennio, also called ‘Manchan the Master.’ Many early references to Candida Casa were displaced by inventions from the pens of the professional mediaeval Roman Catholic fabulists who canvassed the claims of Armagh and York to primacy, Archbishop Ussher became utterly confused especially in his dates when treatingof S. Gildas. He was unwilling to throw over the fabulists, but his efforts to reconcile them failed. One hand interpolates astatement that S. Gildas was a ‘professor’ at Armagh; but Armagh was not a centre of organized Christian teaching when S. Gildas lived. Another hand introduces a story that S. Gildas was educated at Caer Worgorn now Llanilltyd Vawr’Wi Glamorgan by S. Illtyd or Iltutus; but, apart from the fact that the home of Gildas was in Strathclyde, S. Illtyd was dead some years before Gildas was born. His death took place A.D. 512.
S. DEWI (David) of Mynyvt (St. David’s), now patron saint of the Welsh, was also associated with the Church of Northern Alba. The competition for primacy which raged in the Roman Catholic period between Caerleon, St. David’s, and Llandaff has left its taint in every surviving version of S. Dewi’s Life. Every form of interested fable has been devised to vitiate the life-story of this Celtic bishop. Even his birth and death have been ante-dated; and the places where he grew up or ministered have been misrepresented almost out of recognition. The date of his death requires to be taken from the Irish annals; because they were not affected by the particular pens that corrupted the history of S. Dewi’s mission. According to the Chronicum Scotorum. He was born early in the sixth century, and was ordained a monastic bishop c.540. S.Dewi died A.D. 589.
S. Kentigern or Mungo visited him about 567. Maelgon or Maelgwyn, who was a Celtic pagan, was elected to the sovereignty of the Britons c. 560; If and when S. Dewi died, Maelgon requested that the saint should be buried in his own Church at Menevia. These dates recall S. Dewi’s name from the fabulists, and set it in sober history. Although in Scotland there is now only the bare tradition that S. Dewi himself undertook missionary work in northern Alba; there is a statement in one of his biographies that his disciples at “Mynyv” went forth to preach and to teach both in Ireland and in Alba. The best-remembered of these disciples both in Pictland of Alba and in Ireland is ‘Maidoc,’ more formally known as S. Aidan of Ferns in Wexford (c. 555-625).The Breviary of Aberdeen calls him ‘Modoc,’ which corresponds to the Pembrokeshire form of his name, Modog, with the honorific prefix. His Church-sites in Alba were, among the Britons, at Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, and among the Picts at ‘Kilmadock,’ Doune, and at Kenmore, Perthshire.
This last site was formerly known as ‘Innis Aidhan.’ At Weem, in the same district, was an old church-foundation associated with the name of S. Dewi, whose Feil was formerly celebrated here. The name ‘ Weem’ is itself ecclesiastical, and suggests a cave-retreat such as SS. Ninian and Servanus used; and such a retreat appears to have existed. S. Dewi is moreover linked to Alba through his education and training. This is seen from the following basic facts in S. Dewi’s life taken from the ancient Celtic Life, and, incidentally, perverted or misinterpreted by Ricemarc, Giraldus,- and others. S.Dewi was the son of ‘Non,’ which, by the way, is the same name, without the diminutive, that was borne by S. Ninian the Great. This Non was a chief who became a cleric; because his Church-foundations, called ‘Llan-Non,’ stood beside the older and later Churches of S.Dewi in the counties of Cardigan and Pembroke.
The celibate fabulists of the mediaeval Roman Catholic period were so offended by the emergence in a saintly biography of this clerical parent that they invented a fictitious father, to whom they gave the name ‘Sanctus.’ They then transferred his father’s name to his mother, modifying it to ‘Nonna,’ which they interpreted as Monacha; and they represented that the Churches called Llan-Non were the Churches of the mother, who, they pretended, became a nun. Married clerics were not uncommon throughout the history of the Celtic Church. If they entered a religious community after marriage they were not allowed to correspond with their wives. Angus the Culdee and other writers frequently emphasize the distinction of the clerics who were ‘Virgins.’ Writers in the middle ages, misled by this appellation, frequently represent men as women-saints.
Dewi went, in his childhood, for some slight teaching and a blessing to Paul Hên, that is, Paul the Aged.At this time Paul was sightless and frail; but the most venerated cleric among the Britons, He is, as we have seen, the same Paul the Briton whose name, with the diminutives of honour and endearment, takes the forms ‘Peulan‘ among the later Welsh, ‘Polan‘ among the Irish Picts, ‘Pâldoc‘in Perthshire, and ‘Pâldy’ in the, Mearns. The Scottish fabulists confused Palladius with him, as has been noted. Paul the aged was the living link between S. Ninian the Great and S. David. He had taken part in the missions sent from Candida Casa into Pictland of Alba. When he organized and settled his own chief community on the Tav in Caermarthen, a.d. 480, he named it Candida Casa, or, in the vernacular, Ty Gwyn ; and it became one of the many ‘White Houses’ named after S, Ninian’s Candida Casa, just as the latter had been named after the original White-Hut of the master S. Martin, the ‘ Louko-teiac’ at Poictiers.
Paul the Briton continued to visit and to sustain some of the communities which he had organized in his early manhood, at a time of life when most men retire from strenuous work. He was about seventy years of age when he organized his best-known community at Ty Gwyn ar Dav; but he at once handed over the care of the new ‘ family ‘ to Flewyn ap Ithel, a continental Celt from ‘Civitatibus Armoricis,’ because of his Churches and Communities elsewhere, to which he was required to minister. His untiring vitality accounts for the range of his Church-foundations from the territories of the Britons to the territories of the Picts of Alba, where SS. Servanus, Mailoc, Dewi, Maidoc, and other Britons, or British-trained missionaries, laboured in his day and afterwards. His foundations are found in the straths of the Lyon, the Tay, and the Earn. On the Lyon is Beinn na Mhanach, the monk’s mountain, and Ruighe Phâl’oc, or, as locally pronounced, Ruighe Phâldoc, and interpreted as Paul’s shieling-site, that is, where his casula stood. One of the little waterfalls on a burn flowing into the Lyon was “Eas Phdldoc” and, what is more significant, another was Eas ‘Inian, that is, S. Ninian’s waterfall or water. In the Den of Moness at Aberfeldy on Tay was Cathair Phdroc, which in Gaelic is correctly translated by the present natives as’Cajtail Phdldoc’” It indicates the site of Paul’s or PcLldoc’s muinntir, which, like the early Celtic religious settlements, was fortified.When we find Christianity established in this district at this period, we can understand how the presence of S. Columba, the Gaidheal, on his political missions was resented in the locality, and can comprehend Dalian’s boast that the Saint required ‘to shut the mouths of the fierce ones at Tay.’
At Dunning, one of the foundations of the historic S. Servanus or Serf, the Briton, on the Burn of Dunning, was S. Paldoc’s Linn, where the local tradition is maintained that there S. Servanus or Serf baptized the converts.Adult baptism, of course, and historically more correct than the stories of infant baptism at this period which the fabulists give. Incidentally, therefore, it is revealed in a flash, through the light from the Welsh annalists and the testimony of the face of Scotland, that the bishop who made the historical Servanus his ‘ assistant ‘ at Dunning and elsewhere was neither the mythical ‘ Palladius’ of John of Fordun and Hector Boece, nor the historical Palladius whom Prosper of Aquitaine states that the Roman bishop Celestine sent on an unsuccessful mission to the Irish; but, as we have seen, Paul Hen, the Briton, Ab and bishop, founder, among other ^\a.c&s,oi Candida Casa, on Tav in Caermarthen, first teacher of S. Dewi ( David of Wales), continuator of S. N inian’s work in Pictland, whose name, given according to the various languages or dialects, is, as we have already noted, ‘Pawl Hên,’ ‘Peulan Hên,’ ‘Paldy,’ ‘ Paldoc,’ and ‘ Paul the Aged.’ He is also described as ‘ Fanau,’ that is, native of Manau, now Mannan. The old province name is preserved in ‘ Slamannan. ‘ The English fabulists who make him a disciple of Germanus are not far behind the Scotic and other fabulists.
In the Litany of Dunkeld and in the list of early Celtic Abbots and Bishops the name of the unhistorical ‘ Palladius’has been put in the placeof Paul the Aged, that is, between S. Ninian and S. Serf. It cannot however be other than evident that ‘ Pildy’ of the Mearns or ,’ Pildoc’ of Perthshire is not different from the name of Paul the Briton, with the Britonnic suffixof endearment ocand the af of euphony. When S. Dewi (David) was a boy sojourning with Paul the Aged in the early years of the sixth century, the venerable saint was unable to see him with his failing eyes, which fact gives opportunity to the fabulists to interpolate a miracle in which the boy Dewi revives his teacher’s sight so that he is able to look ‘once upon his pupil.’ After spending some time with Paul the Aged, Dewi set out for the monastery, ‘Rosnat.’ It is now known, what S. Dewi’s mediaeval biographers did not know, that ‘Rosnat’ was the name given by the Irish to Isle of Whithorn in Galloway, where S. Ninian’s community was established. The name has been already explained as Ros-Nan(t), the promontory or Headland of Ninian, otherwise the ‘Isle-head’ at Isle of Whithorn. The Irish also knew, as their annalists state, that ‘the other name’ for the monastery of Rosnat was ‘A /da or White.’ But Dewi’s biographers make quite clear, although they did not know it, that the Rosnat to which Dewi went was Candida Casa; because they state that Dewi’s father was warned in a dream at Cardigan to send an offering of honey, fish,and the dressed carcass of a stag to the ‘monastery of Manchan’ on behalf of his son.
Now ‘ Manchan,’ the Little Monk, was the surname of Nennio, who was ‘Master’ at Candida Casa in the early part of the sixth century when Dewi went there. Among the pupils of Nennio or ‘Manchan’ at Candida Casa was the much venerated S. Endeus or Eany,and many others already noticed. He is believed to have died on the 2ist of March 540. It is further confirmed that Candida Casa was the school for which S. Dewi set out, and also that the mediaeval biographers possessed this information accurately, although they could not interpret- it; because one of them states that the place to which S. Dewi made his way was ‘the Isle of Whiteland.’ This is of course Isle of Whithorn. In their geographical ignorance, some of the mediaevalists proceeded from blunder to blunder. They decided, in order to get themselves out of the maze, that ‘ Rosnat ‘ must mean S . Dewi’s own monastery in ‘the hollow’ at S. David’s, Pembroke, the only site connected with S. David of which they had apparently heard ; and they suggested that this hollow had borne of yore the name ‘Ros-nant,’ which, in course, they varied to ‘Ros-dela,’ interpreting this ‘Vale of Roses.’All this is characteristic mediaeval nonsense ; the only good which came out of it was the preservation of the correct form ‘Ros-Nan(t)’ for the headland of S. Ninian, Isle of Whithorn.
Moreover, when S. Dewi did set out to organize a Community of his own, he did not settle at once at S. David’s, Pembroke. He went first to a place which one of the saint’s biographers gives as ‘Vetus Mynyv! This is Old Mynyv, still ‘ Hin Fenyv,’ near Aberaeron in Cardigan, four miles from which is a Church bearing S, David’s father’s name, ‘Llan-Non.’ Another place at which S. Dewi was during his training at Candida Casa was ‘Glaston,’ close to Whithorn, and the site where S. Ninian’s cave-retreat was and is. The fabulists treat this as Glastonbury of Somerset, and construct elaborate myths in which S. Dewi is made to reside at Glastonbury, and, among other things, to dedicate there a Church to the ‘Virgin Mary.’ The facts are that, in spite of the multiplied fables of this religious house, there was no organized community at Glastonbury in S. Dewi’s time; nor did the Britons dedicate their Churches at this period to the Virgin Mary or to any other saint. The fabulists also represent S. Dewi as a monarchic bishop and ‘primus’; he was in fact an Ab and bishop of the Celtic type, presiding over a missionary muinntirMvhxch had branch organizations throughout the territories of the Britons and Brito-Pictish tribes. This is fully confirmed by a note in an old transcript of the laws of Hwyl Dha, which conveys that S. Dewi organized ‘twelve’ muinntirs in the Brito-Pictish territories, and those among the Demetae were exempt from the king’s tax.
S. Llolan, another Briton who laboured in the Forth area, is represented by the Scotic Churchmen of the fourteenth century as ‘a nephew’ of the unhistorical Servanus. He certainly took up the work of the historical Servanus or Serf, and taught and died at Kincardine-on-Forth. The true story of his life had been almost completely forgotten, and the fabulists invented a biography for him. A hand in the Breviary of Aberdeen attaches such absurd fables to his name that even a Bollandist editor was shocked, and wished them erased from the Breviary. The Scotic annalists dated him, after their manner, by the reign of one of their own princes, ‘ Duncan, filius Conaill king of Dalriada, who was slain by Aedhan A.D. d. 576. Aedhan had usurped the Dalriad throne under the patronage of S. Columba, and disposed of his rival, Duncan, at the battle of ‘Telocho’ in Cantyre. Duncan (Donnchadh) was grandson of Comghall,fourth King of Dalriada, and tried to maintain himself on the throne in face of Aedhan : but unsuccessfully. Challoner had some information which indicated that S. Llolan was one of the bishops who came from Candida Casa.One edition has ‘ Whitern,’ another ‘Whithorn.’ It is stated that S.Llolan had a Church-foundation near Broughton, Tweed-dale. The lands of his muinntir called’ Croft Llolan’ were at Kincardine on-Forth, where his bachul and bell were preserved. The old Earls of Perth were the custodians. The bell was still in existence in A.D. 1675.
S. Brioc, a Briton, falls into this group of Britons, because he laboured among the Britons and Picts in the early sixth century, before the Celtic population of the south-west of what is now Scotland had been penetrated by Anglian raiders and settlers. His known Church-foundations were at Dunrod, Kirkcudbright; Rothesay; and “Innis Brayoc,’ Montrose. He ought not to be confused withthatotherBriton.S.Brioc of Brieux in France. When the Gaidheals or Scots became dominant in the Church of Pictland their pronunciation and spelling of his name caused some of his foundations to be confused in later years with dedications to S. Brigid. In the Roman Catholic period his foundation at Dunrod was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Two other missionaries in Pictland, whose names are still conspicuous in the Church, fall to be noted here, although it is now impossible to give exact dates for them. One is ‘ Mochrieha,’ whose work lay along the rivers Don and Dee in Aberdeenshire; the other is the saint whose name is contained in the thirteenth-century spelling ‘ Lesmahago,’that is, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire.
S. ‘ Mochrieha,’ to take his name as preserved by the Celts of Deeside, founded one Church, among others, opposite Crook o’ Don, near what afterwards became the city of Aberdeen ; and the site of this Church became in later centuries the site of the Cathedral of Aberdeen. S. Mochrieha’s Cross — a conical stone with a primitive incised Greek cross similar to an example taken from S. Ninian’s Cave at Glasserton — stands on the top of a tumulus among the hut circles and cairns of an ancient Pictish settlement, about two miles north-west of Aboyne. Here also is S. Mochrieha’s Well ; and, before it was broken up and removed, stood the ‘ Cathair Mochrieha. ‘ The name of this ancient Pictish settlement has been completely forgotten. It is overgrown with thick wood. The high ground behind is ‘ Baragowan,’and the wood ‘Balnagowan Wood.’ If there is any grain of historic truth in the folk-tale f of the miraculous bag of seed which S. Mochrieha received from S. Ternan of Banchory, it probably lies in the indication of a working fellowship between the two saints. Every authentic detail relating to S. Mochrieha was garbled by the conformed Gaidheals or Scots of the early Roman Catholic period, probably to secure precedence for Aberdeen over the ancient centre of the Pictish Church at Mortlach.
Just as S. Drostan of Deer, a Briton, who lived before S.Columba, was transformed into adisciple of S. Columba; so, also, S. Mochrieha was represented by the Gaidheals as one of S. Columba’s followers; and their legends proceed to add that he led a mission into Pictland, The scribe who invented that legend of a mission of Gaidheals was probably not aware that even S. Columba was prevented by the language difficulty from undertaking missions into Pictland; that when he visited the
Pictish sovereign his interpreter was the greatest Pictish ecclesiastic of the period; that when heministered to a Pict in the Dalriad area, he required the assistance of an interpreter; that the political relations between the Gaidheals and Picts in S. Columba’s time precluded friendly intercourseand religious missions; and, finally, that Pictland, including the stretch of the Dee, had been more thoroughly christianized than S. Columba’s own Dalriada, in his own time, by S. Ninian and his successor S. Ternan, who had established his Bangor on the Dee with its Church, its manuscript of the Gospels, and its school, at a time when S. Caranoc, S. Ninian’s other pupil, was striving in Columba’s native Donegal to win from paganism the very tribes of the Nialls from whom S. Columba in another and later century was born.
S. Columba’s disciples are known, and S. Mochrieha is not among them, not even when we look for him under the name ‘ Machar,’ which the Latin Churchmen from the Lowlands gave him when they mistook the name of his Church-site on the ‘Machair of Don for the saint’s personal name, and latinized it as ‘Macharius’ and ‘ Mauritius’ The late Dr. Reeves, who in this matter has even misled many who were in a position to know better, never entered on a more hopeless quest than when he set out to identify the saint of Aberdeen in the preserved list of S. Columba’s disciples. His decision lighted on Tochannu Mac-U-Fircetea, whose surname he broke up, to suit his predilection, into the amazing form ‘ Mocufircetea’; and he identified ‘ Machar’ with‘ Mocufir.’ Apart from the absurdity of this name, if the identification had held, it would have resulted in this saint being commemorated by a formal surname instead of by the Christian name, which was the constant practice of the Picts; although, in the case of S. Kentigern,the people substituted the pet name for the stately ‘Kentigern’ which had more befitted the civil dignity which he had rejected. The actual result of the hypothesis of Dr. Reeves has been that certain writers now make confusion worse confounded by referring to S. ‘Machar’ of Aberdeen as ‘Tochannu’ or ‘ Dockannu,’ a name which belonged to a man of alien race in an alien Church.
Lesmahagow marks the site of a Muinntir which was governed by an Ab. The community dates back to atime when this part of Lanarkshire was still Brito-Pictish, that is, before the northward advance of the Angles. The site-name suggests the foundation of an Irish Pict as in theinstance of Lismore. The g in the second section of the place-name, which is also the name of thefounder of the Lis is Britonnic, and renders the saint difficult of identification. In A.D. i 144 the Roman Churchmen glossed the saint’s name as ‘Machutus,’ presumably S. Brendan’s disciple; but he certainly was not this S. Machute. Neither was he S. Maclou or Malo with whom he has also been identified. Extraordinary as it may seem, to anyone but a Celt, the saint’s name was probably Aedhoc which with the honorific mo becomes Moaedhoc; giving the phonetics, with.the euphonic h, Mohaego ,which agrees with the locally accented pronunciation, and the forms ‘ Lesmahago’ (c. 1130) and ‘Lismago’ (1298). The modern equivalent of the Celtic Aed is Hugh, and it is significant that at farms in the uplands of Lanarkshire, and certain districts of Ayrshire, the diminutive of Hugh still takes the form ‘ Hugoc’ Where the saint of Lesmahagow came from is nowhere indicated. Like many other British and Pictish missionaries of his period, whose names only are left, he remains to later generations,like Melchizedec, ‘without father, without mother, without genealogy.’