Lindores Abbey in The Kingdom of Fife
in north Fife, on the banks of the River Tay, has had a settlement
or a village on the present site from a period much earlier
than the end of the twelfth century, but it was at this time
that the village grew in importance, due to the founding of
Perhaps the most important and historic event ever witnessed
at Lindores Abbey was the meeting here in 1306 of three puissant
knights, Sir Gilbert Hay of Errol, Sir Neil Campbell of Lochaw,
and Sir Alexander Seton, and the sealing before the high altar
of the vow they made to " defend the King
Robert Bruce and his crown to the last of their blood and
William Wallace was also
here when he stole hither out of Black Earnside Wood for water
for his wounded men. And in Newburgh tradition, the Clatchard
Craig, which faces the Abbey with a sheer cliff of two hundred
feet, is pointed to as the stone whereon he whetted his great
two-handed sword !
Lindores Abbey, which was once a wealthy Abbey, older and more
famed than Balmerino, is now deserted and in ruins. Yet, Kings
Warriors and Statesman who had a considerable part to play in
Scottish history have frequented this ancient site. Brave
men have walked here. Brave words have been spoken here, and for
centuries men worshipped and praised God in this now inconspicuous
David, Duke of Rothesay, the ill-fated heir to the throne was
quickly buried here in 1401 after having been put to death in
Falkland Palace. For many years James the ninth and last of the
line of the " Black Douglases, " found retirement here.
David, Earl of Huntingdon, was the founder of this Benedictine
House of the Tyronesian Order, which was colonised by monks from
Kelso at the end of the 12th century and dedicated to St Mary
and St Andrew in gratitude for the taking of Ptolemais in
Palestine. Other visitors were William the Lyon; the second and
third Alexanders, one of whom brought interdict on Lindores and
Scotland through his quarrel with the Pope, while the other had
his son and heir buried here.
Edward I, the " Hammer of the Scots, " was here in 1296. Lindores
also saw David II, many Stuart sovereigns, including of course,
Mary. Before her visit, and angry Dundee mob had, in 1543, assailed
the abbey, ejecting the monks and destroying much of the furnishings.
The most famous Abbot was the great theologian and inquisitor
Lawrence, one of the founders of St Andrews University.
The village of Newburgh was erected into a burgh-of-barony by
Alexander III, in 1266 in favour of the Abbot and Convent of
Lindores. In 1457 it was converted into a royal burgh. In 1631
Charles I, confirmed the ancient royal charter, but the burghers
never exercised their right of sending a member to the Scottish
Parliament. In the wall of a building in Newburgh High Street,
and facing north, is an interesting relic of Lindores Abbey.
It shows a badge with a shield above surmounted by a crosier
or pastoral staff. The badge is the same as was borne by the
ancient Earls of Warwick, namely the bear and ragged staff.
The stone must have at one time been part of the Abbey's decorations
or the Abbot's residence.
The bear in the stone harks back to the time of Arthur and the
Round Table. One of his knights was Arthgal, whose name in the
British language was Arsh or Narsh, signifying a bear. The ragged
staff is attributed to Morvidus, an earl of the same family remarkable
for his courage and skill, who slew a formidable giant by means
of a young tree, which by his great strength he had torn up for
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