Manuscript written in Scotland containing the register of the cathedral church and bishopric of Aberdeen. This volume, also known as the 'Registrum Album', is a composite work containing miscellaneous charters of the church and see, including sections of royal and papal charters, as well as grants by the bishops.
The manuscript dates from the late 14th century, with additions which extend into the 16th century. Davis has suggested that the work was probably begun during the Bishopric of Adam de Tyninghame (1380-1389). The material in the manuscript covers the 13th to 16th centuries, with the latest entry dated 1535. The manuscript is multi-scribal and there are many interpolations and additions throughout.
The contents of the manuscript are as follows:
Ex libris inscriptions and shelfmarks. Folio ir.
Pencil inscription, 'A', referring to the volume's designation by the Spalding Club edition; pencil inscriptions of charters on the facing folio. Folio iiv.
Assorted entries ranging from 1210 to the mid 15th century, in a mix of Latin and Scots. Folios 1r-5v.
Bulls and charters in favour of the Knights Templars and Hospitallers (with later interpolations beginning at folio 12r). Folios 6r-14v.
Constitution of the Cathedral as fixed in 1256, 'Statuta Ecclesie Abbirdonensis'. Folio 15r-20r.
Miscellaneous charters followed by a Bull of Honorius III. Folio 20r-25v.
Statutes of the Scottish Church, 'Statuta Generalia Ecclesiae Scoticanae'. Folios 26r-38r.
Later insertion, charter of Malcolm III regarding the lands of Murthlach (Mortlach). Folio 38v.
A table of contents for material found on folios 47r-103r. Folios 39r-44r.
Later insertion of charters of Robert I. Folios 44v-46v.
Account of the foundation and endowment of the see with a list of bishops; miscellaneous charters of Malcolm III, David I, Malcolm IV, William I, Alexander I, Robert I, David II, Robert II. (The authority of these charters has been called into question by the editor of the Spalding Club edition). Folios 47r-99v.
Rental of Alexander III of the sheriffdoms of Aberdeen and Banff from which the 'second tithes' were assessed. Folios 100r-103r.
Miscellaneous charters of the beginning of the 15th century. Folios 103v-127v.
Miscellaneous deeds and charters in more modern hands, continued to 1535. These occasionally come under topographical headings and are frequently signed by notaries. Folios 128r-188v.
The decoration is inconsistent throughout the volume. Rubrics and large initials are occasionally in red. In some portions of the work capitals are stroked with red, or yellow. Between folios 15r and 77v there are frequent depictions of faces in the plain penwork initials. Spaces have been left, but never filled, for decorated initials between folios 128r-132v. Maniculae are also evident between folios 22v-118r.
Most folios, recto and verso, have been lined and ruled, but this is not consistent. Pricking is occasionally visible along the outer edges for the horizontal lines and in the gutter margin.
There are frequent marginal annotations referring to the content of the charters. These annotations are a mix of scribal, contemporary, and later hands, extending into the 17th century.
Horizontal catchwords are visible on the following folios: 6v, 8v, 10v, 87v, and 95v.
The manuscript is extremely worn in places making parts of the text illegible. A gallotanic solution as been applied to several folios, and is particularly evident on 70v, 71rv, 72r, 111v, 127v, 184, and 186rv.
Towards the end of the volume there is a loss of text into the gutter margins due to the binding, particularly on the verso sides.
There are several sets of foliation running through the volume. The modern library foliation is in pencil in the top right corner. There is a set of Arabic foliation in the centre of the top margin, possibly early 17th-century. This foliation runs 1-76; 78-159; 159-188 (folio 159 has been foliated twice, and there are further gaps in this foliation). Another foliation runs just above the text on the right-hand side and is in a mix of Arabic and Roman numerals. This foliation is possibly late 16th-century and runs sporadically, appearing to end on folio 93.