The Maist Honorable and Ancient Place in Scotland

Colmkill. Narrest this be twa myles of sea, layes the ile the Erische callit I-colm-Kill, that is, Sanct Colm’s ile, ane faire mayne ile of twa myle lange and maire, and ane myle braid, fertill, and fruitfull of corne and store, and guid for fishing. Within this ile there is a monastery of mounckes, ane uther of nuns, with a paroche-kirk, and sundrie uther chapells, dotat of auld by the kings of Scotland, and be Clandonald of the iyles. This abbay forsaid was the cathedrall kirk of the bishops of the iyles sen the tyme they were expulsed out of the ile of Man by the Englishmen; for within the ile of Man was ther cathedrall kirke and living of auld, as I have already said in the description of that ile. Within this ile of Colmkill, there is ane sanctuary also, or kirkzaird, callit in Erische Religoran, quhilk is a very fair kirkzaird, and weill biggit about with staine and lyme: into this sanctuary ther is three tombes of staine formit like little chapels, with ane braid gray marble or quhin staine in the gavill of ilk ane of the tombes. In the staine of ane tombe there is wretten in Latin letters, Tumulus Regum Scotiæ, that is, The tomb ore grave of the Scotts Kinges. Within this tombe, according to our Scotts and Erische cronickels, ther layes fortey-eight crouned Scotts kings, throughe the quhilk this ile hes beine richlie dotat be the Scotts kings, as we have said. The tombe on the south syde forsaid hes this inscription, Tumulus Regum Hyberniæ, that is, The tombe of the Irland kinges; for we have in our auld Ericshe cronickells, that there wes foure Irland kings eirdit in the said tombe. Upon the north syde of our Scotts tombe, the inscriptione beares, Tumulus Regum Norwegiæ, that is the tombe of the kings of Norroway; in the quhilk tombe, as we find in our ancient Erische cronickells, ther layes eight kings of Norroway; and als we find in our Erische cronickells, that Coelus king of Norroway commandit his nobils to take his bodey and burey it in Colm-Kill, if it chancit him to die in the iles, bot he was so discomfitit, that ther remained not so maney of his armey as would burey him ther; therfor he was eirded in Kyle, after he stroke ane field against the Scotts, and was vanquisht be them. Within this sanctuary also lyes the maist pairt of the Lords of the iles with ther lineage. Twa Clan Lynes with ther lynage, M’Kynnon and M’Guare with ther lynages, with sundrie uthers inhabitants of the hail iles, because this sanctuarey wes wont to be the sepulture of the best men of all the iles, and als of our kings as we have said; becaus it was the maist honorable and ancient place in Scotland in thair dayes, as we reid.

— Of the Western Isles of Scotland, called Hybrides; by Mr Donald Monro High Dean of the Isles who travelled through the most of them in the year 1549.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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