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

Identifier: Adv.MS.34.4.13

Scope and Contents

Chartulary produced in Scotland containing charters relating to the Cistercian Abbey of Newbattle, founded in 1140 and dissolved in 1587.

Davis has dated the manuscript to after 1339. The manuscript is multi-scribal and has been written in a variety of charter hands, with frequent marginal annotations.

The manuscript is arranged topographically and includes copies of royal and episcopal charters, as well as papal charters to the abbey and Cistercian Order. These charters are followed by some later 15th-century additions.

The contents are as follows:

On the front pastedown are newspaper clippings from 'The Scotsman' dated 11 August 1896.

Vellum flyleaves in an earlier script in double columns, with some work lost due to trimming. Folios ir-iiv.

Contemporary table of contents. Folios 1r-5v.

Additions to the charters, interpolated. Folios 6r-8v.

Charters arranged in topographical order, with the interpolation of folios 41-43. Folios 9r-59v.

Papal Bulls, interspersed with additions to charters. Folios 60r-71v.

15th-century additions of charters granted by Abbot Patrick around 1470. Folios 72r-87v.

Vellum flyleaf with various inscriptions. Folio 88rv.

On the two rear paper flyleaves and the pastedown are 19th-century notes on the charters.

The manuscript is decorated with penwork initials and red paraphs up to folio 59v, as well as the occasional marginal drawings of faces and maniculae. From folio 60r onwards there is no coloured initial work or paraphs, but plain penwork initials are still present.

There is a set of 19th-century numbering in pencil next to each charter which refers to its position in the Bannatyne Club printed volume.

Various numbering systems, some possibly scribal, are evident in both Roman and Arabic numerals.

Most leaves have been lined on the recto and verso sides, however, this is inconsistent. Pricking is occasionally visible for the horizontal lines.

There is evidence throughout of corrections and erasures in the hand of the scribes or contemporaries.


  • Creation: 14th century, after 1339.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1 Volumes ; 26.5cm x 19.5cm x 4cm

Language of Materials



ii + 87 folios, as well as is 1 paper flyleaf to the front, and 1 vellum and 2 paper flyleaves to the rear.

Cosmo Innes suggests that upon its arrival in the Advocates Library the manuscript was probably rebound and leaves were misplaced.

Collation as recorded by Dr Joanna Tucker:

Flyleaf: 1 folio (paper)

Gathering I: folios i–ii (2 folios)

Gathering II: folios 1–8 (8 folios, two stubs at the end)

Gathering III: folios 9–16 (8 folios)

Gathering IV: folios 17–24 (8 folios)

Gathering V: folios 25–32 (8 folios)

Gathering VI: folios 33–40 (8 folios)

Gathering VII: folios 41–43 (3 folios, one stub at the end)

Gathering VIII: folios 44–51 (8 folios)

Gathering IX: folios 52–63 (12 folios)

Gathering X: folios 64–71 (8 folios)

Gathering XI: folios 72–80 (9 folios, one stub at the end)

Gathering XII: folios 81–87 (7 folios, one stub at the end)

Gathering XIII: folio 88 (1 folio)

Flyleaves: 2 folios (paper, now loose)

Custodial History

On a vellum flyleaf to the rear there is a possible ownership inscription which reads: 'David Adamsone', but there are no other details to connect this individual to the manuscript.

In the late 17th century the manuscript was in the possession of Robert Kerr, 1st Marquess of Lothian. In 1688 he loaned the volume to Richard Augustine Hay.

Richard Augustine Hay then left the manuscript in the possession of James Dalrymple, 1st Baronet of Borthwick. On the death of Dalrymple the manuscript passed to his son Sir John Dalrymple, 2nd Baronet of Borthwick.

The manuscript was then sold by James McEwan in 1723 to a 'D.H.', presumed to be the initials of a member of staff of the Faculty of Advocates.

There are ownership inscriptions for the Library of the Faculty of Advocates on the front flyleaf and in the gutter margin of folio 9r.

The previous, now superseded, shelfmark assigned to the volume by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates is given on the recto side of the flyleaf: 'a.7.9'.

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

Hay's copy made in 1696: Adv.MS.34.1.10.

19th century copy: Adv.MS.20.3.3.


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 541-544. NLS Reference: FR.198a/2.

Davis, G. R. C. (ed.). 'Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain and Ireland. Revised by Claire Breay, Julian Harrison, and David M. Smith' (London, 2010), pages 238-239, number 1173.

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Chartularies' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [18??]), folio 53 . NLS Reference: FR.189.

Innes, C. (ed.) 'Registrum S. Marie de Neubotle. Abbacie Cisterciensis Beate Virginis de Neubotle Chartarium Vetus Accedit Appendix Cartarum Originalium 1140-1528', Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, 1849).

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 14, number 161; page 107, number 1371.

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), pages 11-12.

Physical Description


The binding is of 18th-century green morocco. The front and back boards have gold-tooled borders with floral and vine designs. The three edges of the boards are tooled in gold. The spine has raised cords and designs of leaves and grapes tooled in gold, as well as a gold-tooled title which reads 'CHART. NEWBATLL'.

The paper flyleaves to the front and rear have a Lion 'Pro Patria' watermark.

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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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