July 2013 – Edward I’s takeover of Scotland in 1291

An unsophisticated account of Edward’s takeover of Scotland in 1291[1]

Dauvit Broun (PI)

Attention was drawn in Ian Stone’s Feature of the Month for November 2012 (‘William Wallace: traitor to the king of Scotland?’) to how Edward I was referred to as ‘king of England and Scotland’ in a brief account of Wallace’s death-sentence given in a contemporary London source, Liber de Antiquis Legibus.[2] Edward, of course, never regarded himself as king of Scotland. As far as he was concerned, he was, as king of England, ‘superior and direct lord’ of Scotland, and as such had assumed direct rule after removing his vassal, King John Balliol, in 1296.[3] Indeed, Professor Archie Duncan has shown that Edward went to great pains in 1296–7 to ensure that the record of the Scots’ submission to him in June 1291, when he first pressed his claim to jurisdiction over Scotland as a condition of resolving the crisis in succession to the Scottish throne, was rewritten in order to establish that, from the very beginning, he had acted as ‘superior and direct lord’—something that Scottish leaders at the time sought desperately to deny.[4] And yet this hard won legal position was lost on the Londoner who wrote that Wallace was condemned for committing treason against Edward ‘king of England and Scotland’. As Ian Stone pointed out, in the Ordnance for the government of Scotland, drawn up at the parliament that assembled Westminster on 15 September 1305, Edward had even ceased to regard Scotland as a kingdom at all, referring to it simply as the ‘land of Scotland’.[5]


‘Unofficial’ views of Edward I’s rule of Scotland?

Ian Stone has identified the anonymous author of this section of Liber de Antiquis Legibus as probably someone connected with London’s local administration. Such a person would not have been ignorant of legal niceties. It is striking, nevertheless, that the author failed to take heed of the basis of Edward I’s governance of Scotland as this was asserted by Edward I himself. Looking again at what this London chronicler wrote, he did not need to say any more after writing ‘treason committed against the aforesaid Edward’; as Ian Stone pointed out, the addition of ‘king of England and Scotland’ is both unnecessary and unexpected. And yet this London clerk (humble or holding office, we cannot say)—no doubt writing straight onto the parchment, without any prior drafting—seems to have yielded to a desire to give some indication of Edward’s authority in Scotland. By referring to Edward as king of England and Scotland, he evidently envisaged Edward as ruler of a union of two kingdoms—an idea that could have been inspired by the symbolism of the incorporation of the Stone of Scone (on which Alexander III and John Balliol had been inaugurated as king of Scots) within the coronation chair of St Edward at Westminster Abbey, something that Londoners are bound to have known. Whether this London chronicler put in writing what was a common local perspective, or represented a view held by him alone, his extraordinary statement raises the question of how Edward’s rule in Scotland was understood more widely by the army of administrators (and others with the ability to write) who were such a prominent part of English public life revolving chiefly around the rhythms of royal government and law. How unusual was our chronicling clerk in London in 1305 in being so out of step with the ‘official’ view of Edward’s authority in conquered Scotland?

A clear answer to this question would be unlikely to emerge even if a thorough trawl of all the incidental references to Edward in Scotland could be accomplished. What survives would only give us direct access to a fraction of the writing-literate population. It would also be unsurprising if an inconsistent range of views were revealed. Nevertheless, the question is sufficiently intriguing to make it worthwhile keeping an eye out for other humble attempts in England to articulate Edward I’s position in Scotland. This Feature of the Month concerns one of these that came to light only last week in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.


The item on Scottish history in NLW MS Peniarth 335

The manuscript has been identified by Daniel Huws, former Keeper of Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, as largely the work of a single scribe writing in the mid-fourteenth century.[6] By the fifteenth century it was probably in the province of York (judging by a prayer at the end for the feast of the translation of St John of Beverley, on fo. 191v). In his description of the manuscript Daniel Huws has identified the first item (fos 3r–61r: fos 1 and 2 are old flyleaves) as a work attributed to Aristotle (Sectretum secretorum), followed (fos 61v–75v) by Brevis relatio de Willelmi nobilissimo comite Normannorum, ‘A brief account of William [the Conqueror], the most noble count of Normandy’,[7] finishing with a section praising Henry I, followed by the text on Scottish history (fos 76r–90v) whose first part is edited and translated below. The next item is a copy of Pope Innocent III’s De contemptu mundi (‘Despising the world’) followed by the apocryphal Life of Adam and Eve (fos 131r–140r), the legend of the oil of mercy and the wood of the Cross (fos 140v–146r), a verse on the three Marys (fo. 146r), and some more apocryphal texts (fos 146v–182v: one or more gatherings have been lost after fo. 165). The original scribe’s activity ends with a collection of religious verses (fos 182v–185v), to which a number of other verses of a similar nature have been added in the fifteenth century, concluding with the prayer for the feast of the translation of St John of Beverley (fos 186r–191v). The last piece of writing (also in the fifteenth century) is a short list of debts added on an old flyleaf (fo. 192r): most of it has been erased.

The item on Scotland (fos 76r–90v) consists largely of copies of documents prompted by Edward I or issued by him. The latest is the response by Edward, dated 7 May 1301, to Pope Boniface VIII’s bull condemning Edward’s attack on Scotland. The dossier is preceded by a list of kings of Scots from Cinaed mac Ailpín (d. 858) that concludes with an account of how Edward asserted his overlordship in 1291 following the extinction of the royal line on the death of Margaret, granddaughter of Alexander III (given erroneously as after Easter in 1291: Margaret in fact died in September 1290). In the course of the king-list Edward is referred to as the current king of England. This means that the text was originally composed before Edward I’s death on 7 July 1307. It can therefore be dated to sometime between 7 May 1301 and 7 July 1307.

As a piece of history-writing, the material prefacing the collection of documents is almost skeletal in its simplicity. When the prose stretches beyond the confines of the regnal list it soon becomes clumsy and the chronology confused.[8] The crude use of a word (gener) or phrase (maiores natu Scocie) is also notable, suggesting that the author had merely a functional grasp of Latin.[9] The only occasion when the text expands into something approaching a narrative is in its description of Edward I’s takeover of Scotland in May–June 1291. This is, if anything, even more strikingly ‘off message’ than the Londoner’s reference to Edward as ‘king of England and Scotland’.


Edward I’s takeover of Scotland, May–June 1291

What actually occurred in 1291, it seems, is that Edward I appeared at Norham on the border in belated response to the request of Scottish leaders for arbitration between the two claimants to the throne: John Balliol and Robert Bruce (grandfather of King Robert I). To the dismay of the Scots, Edward I then insisted that he was superior lord of Scotland, and demanded that this be acknowledged. After weeks of delays and negotiations, the impasse was broken when Edward’s lordship was recognised by all claimants to the Scottish throne: by then the number had risen from two to nine (at Edward’s prompting).[10] Even so, royal castles were only surrendered to Edward not as overlord but as a (tenth) claimant standing for the claimants as a whole: Edward threw his hat into the ring not with any real intent to become king of Scots himself (the basis of his claim was remarkably tenuous), but merely as a device in order to gain possession of the kingdom (which was vital if his lordship over Scotland was to be legally established).[11]

It will be recalled that Edward I, following his conquest of Scotland in 1296, commissioned a highly selective account of the proceedings in May–June 1291 (known as the ‘Great Roll’) to be written so that it would appear that the Scots had willingly acknowledged his claim to be their lord, yielding peaceful possession of the kingdom to him on that basis. Archie Duncan has argued that this ‘official’ account is so misleading that it is ‘truly the Great Illusion, inflated with rhetoric, riddled with suppressions, misstatements and chronological absurdities’.[12] Be this as it may, the crucial point is that, by 1296, it was necessary for Edward to present the events of May–June 1291 in this way because the Scots had by 1295 persuaded the pope to release them from their oaths to Edward, insisting that these had been given under duress.[13] For Edward to justify his conquest of Scotland in 1296, he had to establish that the oaths of fealty he had received in 1291 were given freely in full acknowledgement of his superior lordship. The ‘Great Roll’, as a notarial instrument, was the most legally potent form of record which could be deployed in order to achieve this.[14] The conquest of a neighbouring Christian kingdom—a kingdom whose separate existence had been acknowledged by popes for over a century—would, at the time, have seemed unnatural and alarming. Edward had every reason to bolster his position the best way he could for the eyes of Latin Christendom.

All this is lost on the author of our text. According to his account, the claimants submitted to Edward only because he had appeared with an army and threatened to crush the Scots and annex their lands if they continued to resist his ‘ancient right’ to take possession of Scotland as its lord. The more accomplished chroniclers were perfectly capable of describing the events of May–June 1291 in a way that Edward would have approved of thoroughly.[15] The brief account in this humble text stands in sharp contrast. Indeed, if Scottish leaders had read it, they would have endorsed it wholeheartedly. Scottish delegates at peace talks held at Bamburgh in 1321, for example, had claimed that Edward had threatened to use armed force to assert his lordship.[16] This immediately begs the question: could the text have been written in Scotland?


The origin of the item on Scottish history in NLW MS Peniarth 335

It will be recalled that there is some indication that the manuscript was in northern England in the fifteenth century. The manuscript itself is about a century older. Even if it could be demonstrated conclusively that it was produced in England, however, this would not show that the item on Scottish history, datable to 1301 × 1307, was written in England. The only evidence that is available to determine this is the text itself. On the face of it, the bald account of Edward’s bullying of the Scots into submission in 1291 points to a Scottish author. This would be especially persuasive if the documents, which form the bulk of the text, stopped with John Balliol’s homage to Edward, or with Pope Boniface VIII’s denial of Edward’s lordship of Scotland. The whole work could then be seen as a rather crude Scottish explanation of how they, despite being a kingdom for centuries, had ended up under Edward’s lordship. But the text does not end there. Instead it finishes with the English barons’ assertion that Scotland was a domestic matter that should be no concern of the pope’s, preceded by Edward’s detailed justification of his lordship of Scotland, and how the conquest of 1296 had been a necessary reaction to the disloyalty of the Scots. It would be a bit farfetched to suppose that an English copyist has added these but not altered the account of how Edward asserted his lordship in 1291. The text is, presumably, as we find it: a record of Edward’s ‘superior and direct lordship’ over Scotland. Looking again at how the events of 1291 are presented, there is no suggestion that Edward I was wrong to claim lordship. Even more to the point, the text was written after Edward had, in fact, used overwhelming force in 1296 to re-establish his authority in Scotland. The text could, indeed, have been written after Edward’s second conquest of 1304. For someone in England writing an unsophisticated account of the pivotal events of 1291 at least ten years afterwards, without access to written sources apart from a king-list and copies of at least six documents from 1291 to 1301, it could have seemed likely that, in 1291, the Scots resisted Edward and Edward had then cowed them into submission by threatening to do then what he later did to them in 1296.

What about the list of kings of Scots from Cinaed mac Ailpín? It might be expected that this would be more readily available to a Scottish rather than an English author. In fact, on closer inspection, it adds further weight to the growing suspicion that the text was written in England. There are many copies of Scottish king-lists available: this one has not been noted before. It is easy to make mistakes when copying a text of this kind. A king can be omitted, or kings can swap places; Roman numerals are particularly unstable, too. Most of the names in this instance are Gaelic, so there is the added risk that they will be garbled by scribes unfamiliar with them. There are examples of all these kinds of error in this copy of the king-list.[17] Some could have been caused by the scribe of the manuscript itself in the mid-fourteenth century, and others by the author of the king-list-plus-documents writing 1301 × 1307. Yet more could have been mistakes by the scribe of the exemplar of the king-list used directly as a source by our author. The most significant errors to look out for when analysing a copy of a king-list are those that are also found in other copies. By building up a profile of these shared mistakes it is possible to establish that copies belong to the same family that are descended ultimately from an earlier copy. Typically the ancestral copy no longer survives. In the case of the copy of the king-list in this text, it belongs to a family of seven other copies. All but one (a truncated copy written 1198 × 1214 and eventually inserted into the Chronicle of Melrose) are found in English manuscripts.[18] The earliest of these was written in 1291; the rest are fourteenth-century. Our manuscript-copy (NLW Peniarth 335) belongs to a branch of the family with four other copies.[19] All are English. Its closest relative is in a manuscript datable to probably 1380: its copy of the king-list is remarkable for reckoning Edward I as king of Scots for eleven years (presumably from 1296 to his death in 1307)—a parallel with the London chronicler who in 1305 (or very shortly thereafter) referred to Edward as ‘king of England and Scotland’ (as noted by Ian Stone).[20] Both this manuscript and the copy in our text are ultimately descended from a copy datable to the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286).[21] This in turn hails from a copy, datable to the reign of William the Lion (1165–1214), which was either written in England or taken to England from Scotland.[22] All in all, there seems to be little doubt that the exemplar of the king-list used by whoever combined it with the six documents from 1291–2 and 1301 to create our text, sometime in 1301 × 1307, was itself written in England from an earlier English copy of the Scottish king-list. This means that the Scottish king-list in our text, ironically, provides the firmest textual indication that our text was written in England.



Here, then, we have an unsophisticated English view of how Edward came to rule Scotland. Like the ‘Great Roll’, its version of events in May–June 1291 was conditioned by the fact of Edward’s conquest of Scotland in 1296. In complete contrast to the ‘Great Roll’, however, it presented 1291 as a bloodless occupation achieved by wielding military might. Instead of creating a picture of Scottish submission by their own free will that would provide a justification for the subsequent use of force, as in the ‘Great Roll’, it appears that the author read back from the conquest to explain how Edward had succeeded in securing the fealties and homage recorded in the first three documents copied in the text. In doing so, our author joined the chronicling London clerk in showing that Edward’s rule in Scotland could be understood by literate Englishmen in ways that would surely have horrified Edward and his government.

Finally, it is striking that both the London chronicler and the author of our humble text assumed that Scotland was a separate kingdom. In one case it was imagined that, if an English king exercised direct lordship there, he was presumably king of Scotland. In the other case the submission of a long-established kingdom in 1291 was best explained by supposing that overwhelming force had been threatened. It is possible to detect in each a deep-seated difficulty with the concept of one kingdom under the direct lordship of another king—the exact point which Edward I was so keen to emphasise in the ‘Great Roll’. Perhaps our authors failed to grasp this because it seemed unnatural. Like the Scottish leaders in 1291, they could contemplate one king performing homage to another. Anything more than this that disturbed a kingdom’s jurisdictional integrity may, however, have been too strange for them to comprehend.

These two examples are hardly sufficient to reach broad conclusions about a disjunction between the perspectives of government and people at large. They do, at least, show that this is a significant consideration when trying to understand Edward’s Scottish policy as this was understood at the time. This may be especially the case when considering the broader context of assumptions about kingdoms.


NLW MS PENIARTH 335 (olim Hengwrt 239)


/fo. 76r/ Generacio Regum Scocie

Hec est generacio Regum Scocie post tempus Pixtorum.[23] Kynath filius Alpini fuit primus Rex Scotorum et regnauit .xv. annis Douenald’ filius Alpini regnauit .iiiior annis. Constantinus filius Kynath; regnauit .xx. annis. Ath filius Kynath. regnauit vno anno. Girgus filius Dunegal; regnauit .x. annis. Duuenald’ filius Costestini. regnauit .xi. annis. Costestinus filius Ath; .xv. annis. Malculmus filius Douenald’ .xx. annis. Indolf filius Costentini; .ix. annis. Duf filius Malculmi; iiii. annis et vi. mensibus. Kynath filius Duf vno anno et iii mensibus. Culen filius Indolf. .iiii. annis et vi. mensibus. Malculmus filius Kynath. iii. annis. Duncan nepos suus .v. annis et ix mensibus. Matbeth filius Finley. .xvii. annis. Liclan[24] regnauit postea .iii. mensibus et dimidio. Malculmus filius Duncan. xxxvii. annis et dimidio et iiii mensibus. Iste fuit vir Sancte Margarete Regine Scocie. Douenald’ frater ipsius Malculmi regnauit .iii. annis et vi mensibus. Duncan filius Malculmi dimidio anno. Edgardus filius Malculmi .ix. annis. Alexander filius Malcolmi .xvi. annis et .iii. mensibus. Nobilis Dauid frater ipsius Alexandri xxxix. annis. Malcolmus filius comitis Henrici filii Regis Dauid .xii. annis dimidio. et iii. /fo. 76v/ mensibus. Nobilis Rex Willelmus frater Malcolmi. L. annis. Gentilis Rex Alexander filius ipsius Willelmi .xxxvi. annis. Nobilis Rex Alexander filius ipsius Alexandri .xxxiiii. annis. De quo Margareta quam gener de Margareta filia Regis Henrici filii Regis Johannis sorore scilicet Regis Edwardi nunc que Margareta filia predictorum Regis Alexandri et Regine Margarete nupsit Regi Norwagie qui genuerunt Margaretam que mortua est in virginitate sua anno domini millesimo cco. nonagesimo primo post Pascha. Cuius morte audita; dominus Edwardus Rex Anglie mandauit seisire in manu sua regnum Scocie saluo cuique iure suo tanquam dominus illius regni ex antique iure. Set Scoti resistebant ei nec sinebant sic fieri; Vnde ipse Rex Anglie indignatus post Pascha proxima sequens accessit in propria persona cum manu valida apud Norham, et ibi conuocauit omnes maiores natu Scocie, vt si vellent adhuc resistere ei vi opprimeret eos et terram eorum sibi subiceret. Qui agnoscentes eius insuperabilem potestatem et propriam debilitatem; fecerunt pacem cum eo in forma subscripta.


Descent of the kings of Scotland

This is the descent of the kings of Scotland after the era of the Picts.

Cinaed son of Ailpín was the first king of Scots and reigned for 15 years.

Domnall son of Ailpín reigned for 4 years.

Causantín son of Cinaed reigned for 20 years.

Aed son of Cinaed reigned for one year.

Giric son of Dúngal reigned for 10 years.

Domnall son of Causantín reigned for 11 years.

Causantín son of Aed, for 15 years.

Mael Coluim son of Domnall, for 20 years.

Illulb son of Causantín, for 9 years.

Dub son of Mael Coluim, for 4 years and 6 months.

Cinaed son of Dub, for one year and three months.

Cuilén son of Illulb, for 4 years and 6 months.

Mael Coluim son of Cinaed, for 3 years.

Donnchad his grandson, for 5 years and 9 months.

Mac Bethad son of Findlaech, for 17 years.

Lulach reigned afterwards for 3 months and a half.

Mael Coluim son of Donnchad, for 37 years and a half and 4 months. He was the husband of St Margaret, queen of Scotland.

Domnall brother of that Mael Coluim reigned for 3 years and 6 months.

Donnchad son of Mael Coluim, for half a year.

Edgar son of Mael Coluim, for 9 years.

Alexander son of Mael Coluim, for 16 years and 3 months.

Noble David brother of that Alexander, for 39 years.

Mael Coluim son of Earl Henry son of King David, for 12 years and a half and three months.

Noble King William brother of Mael Coluim, for 50 years.

Gentle King Alexander son of that William, for 36 years.

Noble King Alexander son of that Alexander, for 34 years, from whom Margaret, who was the offspring[25] of Margaret daughter of King Henry son of King John, i.e. sister of Edward now king. This Margaret, daughter of the aforementioned King Alexander and Queen Margaret, married the king of Norway, and begat Margaret, who died a virgin in the year of Our Lord 1291, after Easter. Hearing of her death, the Lord Edward, king of England, ordered the kingdom of Scotland to be taken into his possession from ancient right as lord of that kingdom, saving its right to whoever it be.[26] But the Scots withstood him, not allowing this to happen. As a result the king of England, enraged, advanced in person, after the next Easter following, with a strong force at Norham and there called together all the greater men of Scottish birth[27] so that, if they still wished to withstand him, he would crush them by force and annex their lands. They, recognising his insuperable power and their own weakness, made peace with him in the manner written below.


There then follows copies of documents:[28]

No. 1 (fos 76v–77r): agreement by competitors to receive justice from Edward I (Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations, no. 17, pp. 112–15).

No. 2 (fos 77v–78r): grant of sasine of Scotland to Edward I (T. Rymer (ed.), Foedera, Conventiones, Litteræ, et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliæ et alios, i, part 2, 755).

No. 3 (fos 78r–79r): John Balliol’s homage to Edward I (Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations, no. 20, pp. 126–9).

No. 4 (fos 79r–83r): Pope Boniface VIII’s bull, Scimus fili (Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations, no. 28, pp. 162–75).

No. 5 (fos 83r–89v): Edward I’s letter to Pope Boniface VIII, 7 May 1301, in response to Scimus fili (Stones, Anglo-Scottish Relations, no. 30, pp. 192–219).

No. 6 (fos 89v–90v): letter of English barons in parliament in Lincoln, 12 February 1301, to Pope Boniface VIII, in response to Scimus fili (Rymer (ed.), Foedera, i, part 2, 926–7).

[1] I am grateful to John Reuben Davies and Amanda Beam-Frazier for reading through this and correcting slips.

[3] A. A. M. Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, 842–1292. Succession and Independence (Edinburgh 2002), 224–8.

[4] Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, chapter 11.

[5] E. L. G. Stones (ed. and trans.), Anglo-Scottish Relations, 1174–1328. Some Selected Documents, revised edn (Oxford 1970), no. 33 (pp. 240–59).

[6] I am extremely grateful to Daniel Huws for giving me a copy of his draft description of the manuscript. The details that follow in this paragraph are taken from this.

[7] Elisabeth M. C. Van Houts (ed.), ‘The Brevis Relatio de Guillelmo nobilissimo comite Normannorum, written by a monk of Battle Abbey’, in Chronology, Conquest and Conflict in Medieval England, Camden Miscellany XXXIV, Camden 5th series vol. 10 (Cambridge 1997), 1–48 (where the manuscript is dated to the late fourteenth century).

[8] For example, we are told that Edward moved swiftly on the death of Margaret ‘after Easter’ in 1291, but that, on being thwarted by the Scots, he arrived in person at Norham, with an army, after the ‘next Easter following’. (Margaret in fact died in September 1290, but the text here is not alone in dating this to 1291: W. F. Skene (ed.), Johannis de Fordun Chronica Gentis Scotorum (Edinburgh 1871), 321.)

[9] See nn. 25 and 27, below.

[10] Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, 235. There were eventually fourteen (including Edward).

[11] Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, 235–48.

[12] Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, 230.

[13] Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, 230.

[14] On notarial instruments, see John Reuben Davies’s Feature of the Month: http://www.breakingofbritain.ac.uk/blogs/feature-of-the-month/november-2011-the-making-of-the-ragman-roll/

[15] For example, J. H. Stevenson (ed.), Chronicon de Lanercost, M.CC.I–M.CCC.XLVI. (Edinburgh 1839), 140–1; Harry Rothwell (ed), The Chronicles of Walter of Guisborough, previousy edited as the Chronicle of Walter of Heningford or Hemingburgh (London 1957), 232–7.

[16] P. A. Linehan, ‘Anglo-Scottish relations in a Spanish manuscript’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 48 (1975), 106–22 (at 120–1). Vague statements of this idea are also found in material prepared by Scottish procurators at the Curia in 1301: Scotichronicon by Walter Bower in Latin and English, gen. ed. D. E. R. Watt, vol. vi, Books XI and XII, ed. Norman F. Shead, Wendy B. Stevenson, and D. E. R. Watt, with others (Aberdeen 1991), 158–9, 186–7. It is true that Edward I called for a muster from the northern counties and gathered a force of knights and archers, but Archie Duncan has argued that this was not on the scale of an invading force, but was in anticipation of a progress through Scotland once Edward’s lordship had been recognised (which Edward anticipated would not take long). When this was delayed by the Scots’ objections, Edward called it off rather than increasing it, and eventually had to make do with a less impressive troop to accompany him into Scotland. See Duncan, The Kingship of the Scots, 218–19. For a slightly different view, see Michael Brown, The Wars of Scotland, 1214–1371, New Edinburgh History of Scotland vol. 4 (Edinburgh, 2004) 166, where it is suggested that military preparations (including assembling a fleet) could have been intended to prevent conflict between Bruce and Balliol and their supporters (presumably once one had been declared the next king of Scots), although the retinue of knights may have been for more general purposes.

[17] The most striking errors that are unique to this copy of the king-list (giving alternative readings as found in closely related copies) are (i) 15 years (rather than 45 years) for Causantín mac Aeda, (ii) 3 years (rather than 30 years) for Mael Coluim mac Cinaeda, and (iii) ‘Liclan’ rather than ‘Loulac’ (for Lulach). (For examples of the omission and inversion of kings, shared by other copies, see n.18, below.) The spelling of Causantín, with ‘Cos’- as the first syllable, is eye catching, and could be a survival from an early ancestor with a Gaelic form: the Latin equivalent, Constantinus, would be expected. Note, however, that its closest relative (king-list J: see below) has ‘Cōs’- (i.e., ‘Cons’-), so the form ‘Cos’- may be the result of omitting the suspension-stroke for ‘n’. The form ‘Malculmus’ (rather than ‘Malcolmus’) for Mael Coluim is also unusual.

[18] Dauvit Broun, The Irish Identity of the Kingdom of the Scots in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (Woodbridge 1999), 138–44. This family are the descendants of the lost copy given the siglum π (datable to 1165/6).

[19] Key shared errors include 20 years for Mael Coluim mac Domnaill, 39 years for David I, the omission of Cinaed mac Maíl Choluim and Causantín mac Cuiléin, and inversion of Cuilén mac Iluilb and Cinaed mac Duib.

[20] This is king-list J, edited in Broun, The Irish Identity, 142–3.The key shared errors are 15 years for Cinaed mac Ailpín and 50 years for William the Lion.

[21] I assume that the reign-length of xxxiii for Alexander II in king-list J (its last, apart from Edward I’s), is a misreading of xxxui, the figure found in NLW Peniarth 335.

[22] Broun, The Irish Identity, 144 (given the siglum φ).

[23] sic

[24] Liclā in MS.

[25] gener means a male in-law, which is impossible here, where instead it seems to denote ‘offspring’ as if gener was the specific of the term for offspring in general, generacio.

[26] This presumably refers to the right of whoever the next king of Scots would be.

[27] maiores natu Scocie would correctly mean ‘the older men of Scotland’, but that does not fit the context.

[28] From Daniel Huws’ description of the manuscript in the draft catalogue of Peniarth MSS in languages other than Welsh.

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