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14th-century manuscript of the chartulary of Scone Abbey.

Identifier: Adv.MS.34.3.29

Scope and Contents

Chartulary produced in Scotland containing documents relating to the Augustinian Abbey of Scone covering the years 1164-1326. The chartulary is wanting several leaves and is bound out of order. It contains copies of 83 papal, royal, and episcopal charters; however, many of the witness lists have been omitted.

The documents are written in a variety of contemporary charter hands with 28 lines to a page. Davis has dated the manuscript to the 2nd quarter of the 14th century.

The contents are as follows:

Papal bulls. Folios 1-8v.

Part of a charter of Malcolm IV confirming the foundation, and a charter of Robert confirming the above. Folios 9r-11v.

Royal charters. Folios 11v-15v.

Charters relating to the bishopric and bishops of St Andrews. Folios 15v-19r.

Charters relating to the bishops of Dunkeld. Folios 19r-21r.

Charters and grants relating to transfer of lands. Folios 21r-32r.

The manuscript is decorated with coloured capitals, mostly in red, but occasionally in blue or green. A few of the initials have been ornamented with faces and grotesques. Smaller initials throughout are stroked with red. There are no rubrics to the charters. In the Papal bulls the rota is generally copied at the end.

A foliation has been provided in the centre of the top margin in the hand of Sir James Balfour, and he has also added a title to the manuscript on folio 1r.

Folios with the modern foliation 27-31 bear Balfour's original foliation in the sequence of 27, 28, 30, 31 (back to front), 29. A later hand identifies Balfour's folio 27 as out of sequence, followed by what would have been the original folios 27-30. The folio with modern foliation 32 is torn with the loss of text, and was ignored in Balfour's foliation.

There are occasional marginal annotations in contemporary and later hands.

The manuscript is worn and damaged in places, and there is evidence of contemporary repairs to the vellum.

A gallotanic solution as been applied to folios 31rv and 32r.


  • Creation: 14th century.


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1 Volumes ; 25.4cm x 17.6cm x 3.3cm

Language of Materials



i-ix + 33 + x-xlviii folios.

Collation as recorded by Catherine Borland:

a⁶, b⁶ (irregular, wanting and misplaced), c⁸ (1 misplaced), d⁶, e², f⁴ (irregular, 4 torn away).

Leaves should come in the following order: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 4, 5, 6, /, /(?), 9, 10, 11, 12, /, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, /, 27, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29 , 30, 31, 32.

Collation as recorded by Professor Dauvit Broun:

Flyleaves: 8 folios (paper)

Gathering I: folios 1–6 (6 folios)

Gathering II: folios 7-8 (2 folios)

Gathering III: folios 9–12 (4 folios)

Gathering IV: folios 13–20 (8 folios)

Gathering V: folios 21–26 (6 folios)

Gathering VI: folios 27–32 (6 folios)

Flyleaves: 40 folios (paper)

Custodial History

The manuscript was in the possession of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne. On the recto of folio iii is written Denmilne number 10. Balfour's device of an arrow and heart is present on folio 32v.

The manuscript was bought by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at the sale of James Balfour's books in 1698.

There are ownership inscriptions for the Library on the recto sides of folios iii and 6.

The previous shelfmark assigned to the volume by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates is present on the recto of folio iii: 'A.5.4', since superseded.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

Existence and Location of Copies

18th century copy: Adv.MS.35.5.2.

19th century copy: Adv.MS.9A.1.13.


Borland, C. R. 'Catalogue of Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh', 4 Volumes. (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh, 1906-1908). Volume II, folios 480-483. NLS Reference: FR.198a/2.

Broun, D. 'The Adoption of Brieves in Scotland', in: Marie Therese Flanagan and Judith A. Green (eds.) 'Charters and Charter Scholarship in Britain and Ireland' (Basingstoke, 2005), pages 164-183.

Cunningham, I. C. 'Sir James Balfour's Manuscript Collection: The 1698 Catalogue and other sources', Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, Volume, VI, Part 6 (2004), pages 191-255.

Davis, G. R. C. (ed.) 'Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain and Ireland. Revised by Claire Breay, Julian Harrison, and David M. Smith' (London, 2010), page 240, number 1179.

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Chartularies' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [18??]), folio 63. NLS Reference: FR.189.

Innes, C. (ed.) 'Liber Ecclesie de Scon. Munimenta vetustiora Monasterii Sancti Trinitatis et Sancti Michaelis de Scon', Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, 1843).

Ross, A. 'The Bannatyne Club and the Publication of Scottish Ecclesiastical Cartularies', 'Scottish Historical Review', Volume 85, Number 220, Part 2 (October 2006), pages 202-230.

'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), page 16, number 165; Page 106, number 1369.

Turnbull, W. B. D. D. 'Fragmenta Scoto-Monastica: Memoir of what has been already done, and what materials exist, towards the formation of a Scotish (sic) Monasticon.' (Edinburgh, 1842), page 13.

Physical Description


The binding is of 17th-century soft brown leather. The front and back boards have blind- and gold-tooled borders. In the centre of each board is a gold-tooled medallion design within which are curvilinear patterns. There are remnants of two ties on the boards, since lost. On the inner of the boards the leather turn-ins and cords are visible.

Folios i and xlviii are half leaves and have been repurposed from a printed work of the 'Historia Thobie cum moralitatibus eiusdem' of Matthaeus Vindocinensis (Matthew of Vendôme).

The remaining paper flyleaves are probably from the early 17th century. They have a watermark of a one-handled pot with the initials 'P B R', topped by a crescent. This watermark does not appear in Briquet.

The manuscript was boxed in April-August 1967 by HMSO.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
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Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
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