The Charter can be found in Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum Vol 1, Appendix i, #71. It reads:

"Carta Malcolmi Comitis de Levenax. Robertus etc. Cum concessimus Malcolmo comiti de Levenax dilecto et fideli nostro terram de Strathoune per forisfacturam David de Strathbolgy militis dudum comitis Adtholie tempore quo Duncanus comes de Fyff fuit contra pacem nostram de quo dicta terra tenebatur in capite, pro quaquidem terra idem Malcolmus nobis fecit homagium, et postea eidem comiti de Fyff concessimus omnes terras et tenementa cum omnibus tenandriis et libere tenentibus ad ipsum spectantes jure hereditario infra regnum nostrum, et cum dictus Malcolmus de jure non teneatur facere homagium dicto comiti de Fyff pro terra predicta in vita nostra nobis viventibus, concessimus eidem comiti de Fyff quod occasione homagii nobis per eundem Malcolmum facti pro eadem terra, cum warda relevium seu homagium vel aliquid aliud pertinens ad eundem comitem de Fyff de ipsa terra futuris temporibus contigerit, nullum prejudicium sibi aut heredibus suis aliqualiter generatur, sed quod habeat libere et quiete omnia et singula que sibi antiquis temporibus debebantur de eadem. In cujus rei testimonium etc."

It is clear and accepted that Robert has granted the lands of Strathoune which the former Earl of Atholl, David of Strathbolgy has forfeited. Most references by historians writing about this charter assume that the land has been granted to Malcolm, the Earl of Lennox. But a footnote in the Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum has challenged this saying the charter is wrongly titled and the land is really granted to Duncan, the young Earl of Fife. Given the history of the area this would make more sense.

Is there an explanation for these contradictory interpretations and who is right?

I am researching the history of Strathoune (now Strathavon) in Banffshire and would be grateful for any advice.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The structure of the Charter consists of a long preamble describing how the situation came about:

""Charter of Malcolm Count of Lennox. Robert etc [greetings]When we conceded to Malcolm. our dear and loyal Count of Lennox the land of Strathoun because of the earlier criminality (forisfacturam) of the soldier David Strathbolgy, erstwhile Count of Athol, at which time Duncan Count of Fyff was at loggerheads (contra pacem nostram) concerning whose person (quo capite) the said land was held by, for which particular land the same Malcolm made homage to us;..."

///AND AFTERWARDS/// The gift Part I.

et postea eidem comiti de Fyff concessimus omnes terras et tenementa cum omnibus tenandriis et libere tenentibus ad ipsum spectantes jure hereditario infra regnum nostrum,

tenandriis, comes in a list of landholders owing allegiance to the new Count. Thegnlands are those with an obligation of military service as knights.

"and afterwards we conceded to the same Count of Fyff (Duncan) all the lands and tenancies, together with the Thegnlands and the freeholds looking to himself by hereditary right under our rule..."

///AND SINCE/// These are the stipulations and conditions

et cum dictus Malcolmus de jure non teneatur facere homagium dicto comiti de Fyff pro terra predicta in vita nostra nobis viventibus, concessimus eidem comiti de Fyff (i.e. Duncano) ::quod:: occasione homagii nobis per eundem Malcolmum facti pro eadem terra, cum warda relevium seu homagium vel aliquid aliud pertinens ad eundem comitem de Fyff de ipsa terra futuris temporibus contigerit,

The three matters to be dealt with are .1. Homage paid by Duncan of Fife to the King via his representative Malcolm of Lennox; .2. Wardage, a payment to Malcolm for looking after the Castle in the interim; .3. Relevium, a payment made by an heir on taking up his inheritance; .4. Homage is mentioned again because the feudal obligations need to be settled, man-hours of military, agricultural, and building work.

"and since the said Malcolm is not obliged by law to do homage to the said Count of Fife for the aforesaid land upon our life and to us living, we concede to the same Count of Fife that, on the occasion of his homage to us made through the same Malcolm for the same land, when he shall have settled the wardage, the relevium or homage or anything else pertaining to the same Count of Fife concerning the land itself in future times, "

...then after all that ::: WE CONCEDED::: THAT (Concessimus quod)

concessimus nullum prejudicium sibi aut heredibus suis aliqualiter generatur, sed ::quod:: habeat libere et quiete omnia et singula que sibi antiquis temporibus debebantur de eadem. In cujus rei testimonium etc."

Whereto we set our seal.

We conceded ... no prejudice should be engendered to him and his heirs in any way whatsoever, but that he may hold freely and unmolested all and singular what was due to him of the same in ancient times.

The misunderstanding seems to come from three complications: .1.The earlier occasion when the lands were given fully to Malcolm (when Duncan was in trouble, under-age).
.2.That the Count of Fife swears allegiance to the King by homage to Malcolm; and the King only restored the lands when Duncan showed his loyalty. .3. Debts between Duncan and Malcolm also have to be settled.
The Charter is rightly addressed to Malcolm because he has to initiate all the activity. But all the benefits go to Duncan.

  • 1
    That is extraordinarily helpful Hugh and certainly seems to fit the events of that time. Duncan was raised from birth in the court of Edward I of England. He would have had little control over his location but Robert the Bruce would have been very keen to persuade him to return to Scotland as the Fife's held a particularly important place in tradition there. Around 1314 Duncan secretly travels to Scotland and Robert restores him his title and lands. Would you be able to translate the long preamble you refer to. I would be happy to credit you in any publication that may result. – Shaunb Jul 25 '17 at 4:04
  • The nearest word that fits the context for Tenandriis is Teinlanda, -ae. Also, I read Wardagia for warda, because the other two are financial matters. Both are given in an Index of Latin law terms by Thomas Morell 1783. – Hugh Jul 30 '17 at 18:30
  • Du Cange suggests 'Villicus' -owner of a 'Villa' for ^Tenandria.* See ducange.enc.sorbonne.fr/TENANDRIUS – Hugh Jul 31 '17 at 15:50

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