Bishop Laurence and Robert the Bruce

Kilkerran Parish Cemetery

Kilkerran Parish

In the following transaction Bishop Laurence of Argyle and Lord Robert Bruce "of the count de Peebles are listed together as enforcers of Alexander (Alastair) Og MacDonald Lord of the Isles “contribution” of Kilkerran Kirk in Kintyre. So it appears that Laurence de Ergadia was an ally of Robert the Bruce 6th of Annandale/Pebbles the father of one of the witnesses Sir Robert Bruce "earl of Carrick who became the King of Scots on 25 March 1306 until 7 June 1329. Earl Robert Bruce, Lord of Liddesdale is also here a third generation of the Bruce dynasty. This contribution of an entire parish was made around the year 1285. Other witnesses were church dignitaries from the abbey of Crossraguel which still exists and a Sir Robert who represented the English Army. There is good information on Alexander Og MacDonald at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alasdair_%C3%93g_of_Islay


The kilkerran contribution appears to be a contribution to the “kindred of Laurence” ecclesiastic enterprise. One-hundred-sixty years later in 1456 Donald Dominici Maclaurante is the Vicar of Kilkerran, Kintyre. This enterprise is starting to unravel as from the mid 1400s on, the Campbells of Argyll gain control of the church and replace many indigenous parish clerics with Campbell vicars and sometime even vicars from England who were not popular with the local people.


“Donatio eccleſie Sancti Querani in Kentyir per Alexandrum de Hyle.


Omnibus Christi fidelibus prefens scriptum vifuris vel audituris Alexander de Hyle, filius et heres domini Engufii filii Douenaldi domini de Hyle, falutem in Domino fempiternam. Noverit univerſitas veſtra mein fpexiffe et palpaffe cartam domini patris mei, non rafam, non abolitam nec in aliqua parte fui vitiatam vel reprehenfibilem, in hec verba;


Omnibus Chrifti fidelibus tam prefentibus quam futuris Engus filius Douenaldi eter nam in Domino falutem. Sciatis me, intuitu pietatis, et pro falute domini mei Alexandri illuftris regis Scotie, et cetera omnia de verbo ad verbum ut prefcribitur vfque illuc, habentisjus patronatusin ecclefiis. Hanc fiquidem donationem, conceffionem et confirmationem, ratam et firmam habere volens imperpetuum, eam figillo meo duxi roborandam ; et nichilominus ex habundanti, et omnis materia controverfie tollatur de cetero, predi&tis monachis prenominatam eccleſiam ficut ſcriptum eſt in omnibus do, concedo et prefenti fcripto meo confirmo. predictis monachis prenominatam ecclesiam ficut scriptum est in omnibus do, concedo et presenti scripto meo confirmo.


Et ne ceca depereat oblivione ali quo tempore quod per me pia devotione geftum eft et recognitum, prefens fcriptum figillo meo una cum figillo domini Laurencii Dei gratia Ergadienfis epifcopi, et domini Roberti Bruf" comitis de Carric, gratia majoris teftimonii, roborari procuravi. Hiis teftibus, domino Patricio Dei gratia abbate monafterii de Crofragal, domino Roberto Bruf" comite de Carric, Roberto filio ejufdem et herede, domino Roberto Anglico milite, domino Maricio vicario de Aran, Patricio clerico de Kentyir, domino Nicholao monacho de Crofragal, et aliis”. Page 128 - 129 Registrum Monasterii de Passelet


My translation which needs work but you can get the substance of it.

A donation of St. Kieran (Kilkerran parish) in Kintyre by Alexander [MacDonald] of the Isles to Laurence de Ergadia and his monks his kindred.


All Christian faithful see or hear Alexander of Islay son of the son of Donald Engusii of the Hyle greeting in the Lord.

Be it known to all of you men see the perfect charter of the lord, and the influence of my father, but not the giants: for, I was not to be obliterated nor in any part or due to our corrupt open to censure, in these words;


To all of Christ's faithful as well present future Angus Donald's son Peter for the falutem. Know that I have, at times, of Alexander the illustrious, and for the salute of my lord the king of Scotland, and all the other works, of the Word to the Word as it prescribes to there, 'habentisjus patronatusin ecclesiis. This in fact a donation, it admits and confirmation, but the trust to be ratified and for ever to have a personal interview, I thought it my seal and the strength of it; and none the less unimpaired we, and all the material of controversy be taken away from the rest, by his preaching the monks named as the assembly is in all grant, and present script I confirm.


And think not, blind, lost and forgotten any thing time the thing that through me the pious devotion of the captor is a, and Reviewers, present written seal and shall, together with the seal of the Lord of Laurence the grace of God, Bishop of Argyle, and Lord Robert Bruce "of the count de Peebles, by the grace of the elder has testimony, to be enforced by the administrator. These being witness Sir Patrick, by the grace of monastery abbey Crossraguel, Sir Robert Bruce "earl of Carrick, Robert, son and heir of the same, Sir Robert English soldier, Maricio Vicar of Arran, Patrick clerk Kentyre, Sir Nicholas, monk of Crossraguel and others.


The Kilkerran church was later annexed to the priory of Whithorn. At a hearing in 1299 Laurence, bishop of Argyll was forced to admit that the patronage of the vicarage of Kilkerran belonged to the abbot of Paisley Abbey and to issue a letter to that effect as he had already done for their other church of Kilfinan. In 1362 Bishop Màrtainn of Argyll, having illegally occupied and usurped the fruits of the annexed churches of Kilkerran, Kilfinan and Kilcalmonell for over a decade (partly to punish the Abbot of Paisley for failing to attend his Episcopal synod), eventually agreed to relax the sequestration and admit the monks’ presentation to the church of Kilkerran, as long as they kept the church in good repair.”(MacDonald 2013)


Bishop Laurence died sometime in 1299 “In 1299 Master Nicholas rector of the church of Saint Modan (Ardchattan) was procurator for Laurence bishop of Argyle in a case between him and the monks of Paisley.” (Origines Parochiales Scotiae) It is likely that Master Nicholas was of the Laurence family, a predecessor of the 1420 Mhic Labhruinn, vicar at Kilbodan, known today as Ardchattan parish.


"It was the custom for the clergy to come from the local population, typically an illegitimate son of the local noble landowner. It was a family occupation that received beneface from the parish." "The vicar took the name of the local landowner and chief." (MacDonald 2013)


One-hundred-fifty years later Vicar Donald Dominici Maclaurante, the first person of record to use the surname MacLauran is assigned to Kilkerran in 1456.


Another form of his name is Dómhnall mac Mhaoil-Domhnaich MacLabruinn or Donald M’Olchallum MacLaurin

Vicar of Kilkerran, Kintyre Occ. 9 March 1456, when accused of scandalous behavior. (MacDonald, 2013)

This McLaurin gives us the first instance of the use of the name M’Olchallum which means “Slave of the Lord or Church”, combined with the surname McLaurin. This name appears later in 1558 Balquhidder where perhaps this vicars descendants moved, as clients of the Campbell of Glenurchy Chiefs.


Kilkerran, Kintyre, 1456, two MacLaurin clergy assigned to parishes at Southend in Kintyre. The record indicates they were not liked by the local parishioneers, because they were outsiders. Their appointment seems to be political in retaliation for lowland clergy being assigned to highland parishes with Gaelic only speakers in the congregation.


In Scotland ‘mael’ gave way within the last five hundred years to ‘gille’, only one or two cases of its use remain. First is Malcolm the English form of Mael-cholaim, “St Columba's slave” its place even was usurped largely by Gille-colaim. and now the Gaelic of the name is Calum. Maol-isa, “Slave of Jesus” gave the Eng. Malise (whence Mellis as a surname), and it has practically lasted till the present time: so, too, with Maol-moire, “Mary's Slave,” which is Englished as Myles. The likeness of the aspirated form of mael and gille, that is, vaol and yille, or in genitive, with the initials off, aoil and ille, make it difficult to say which has given a certain Mac surname. Thus the Black Book of Taymouth for the sixteenth century writes generally M’Olchallum, M’Oldonuich, and M’Oulroy, forms which in the case of M’Oldon-uich stand for M’Mhaoil-domhnaich from Maol-domhnach, “Slave of the Lord or Church” = Calvus Dominicus, and in the other two cases may be for M’Mhaoil-cholaim and McMhaoil-ruaidh. (Mr A. McBain, Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, Vol 20, pg.308)


“Two other surviving mid-sixteenth century charters also tied kindreds to specific lands with specific religious duties. In 1546 the Earl of Argyll mortified lands in the barony of Ardscotnish to “Gilbertus Makolchallum”, chaplain and the “divine celebrant” (of mass) in Kilmartin church, following whose death the lands were to pass to the next chaplain and divine celebrant elected. Gille-Brìghde “Makolchallum” was the son of an earlier priest “dominus Johannes McColmsoun”, who may be identical with “Iain Makolchallum”, chaplain of Kilmartin in 1534, although it is possible that this latter figure was a brother. In any case, the clerical descent and shared benefice together point to the emergence of another ecclesiastical lineage derived from the local MacOlchallum (Gaelic MacMhaoil Chaluim) kindred centred on the chaplaincy of Kilmartin in the early sixteenth century. Again, opportunities were determined chiefly by the umbrella of lordship and patronage of Clann Chaimbeul rather than by locality, as Gille-Brìghde also served as vicar and rector of Lochgoilhead and Craignish during his career.” MacDonald, Iain. The Northern World: Clerics and Clansmen: The Diocese of Argyll between the Twelfth and Sixteenth Centuries (1). Leiden, NL: Brill, 2013. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 28 June 2016.

Copyright © 2013. Brill. All rights reserved. Pg 136 - 139