[from Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol2 #3 1924]



Read 25th May, 1916.


Carta Guthredi regis Insularum de Eschedala in bosco, piano, pastura, et omnibus aliis.

Sciant omnes tam presentes quam futeri quod ego Guthredus. Dei gracia, rex Insularum, tam pro salute mea uam pro animabus patris et matris mee necnon et pro statu regni et populi mei, concessi et dedi Deo et sancte Bege et monachis ibidem Deo servientibus in puram et perpetuam elemosmam tenam, que vocatur Eschedala, in bosco et piano, aqua et pastura et omnibus rebus eidem pertinertibus liberam, solutam, et quietam ab omni terreno servicio tam de pecunia quam et acuez et ab omni gravamme tam a me quam ab omnibus meis cum eisdem legibus et libertatibus quas habent super terrain et homines suos circa ecclesiam sauete Bege in Coupalandia. Terrain eciam que vocatur Asmundertoftes de eis in additamentum prefate terre quamdiu potero eis warentire absque calumlpnia alicuius meorum proborum virorum. Quod si contigerit, scilicet, me mon posse cum pace eis warentire ea, dabo concambium eis advalens de propinquioribus et sibi magis necessariis terris, quas invenire liberas in mana mea poterunt cum eisdem legibus et libertatibus quas prediximus mos prefate terre concessisse. Hanc vero donacionem fecimus eis in excambium pro ecclesia sancti Olavi et villula que vocatur Euastad, quia nimis erat brevis et angusta eis tam ad culturam quam ad pascua animalium. Hanc elemosinam servantibus et manutenentibus sit pax continua et salus eterna de inmicis victoria. Hiis testibus domino G. episcopo, Thoma capellano meo, Gillochristo fratre et collactaneo meo.

Charter of Guthred, King of the Isles concerning Eschedala in wood, plain, pasture and all other things.

Know all men, as well present as future that I, Guthred, by the grace of God, King of the Isles, as well for my own salvation as for the souls of my father and mother, moreover also for the good estate of my kingdom and people have conceded and given to God and St. Bege and to the monks serving God there for a pure and perpetual alms the land which is called Eschedala in wood and plain, water and pasture and all things to the same appertaining free clear and quit from all earthly service as well of money as of suits, and from every charge as well on my part as on the part of any of mine, with the same laws and liberties which they have over their own land and men around the Church of St. Bege in Coupland. The land also which is called Asmundestoftes from them in addition to the aforesaid land so long as I shall be able to guarantee it to them from the calumny of any and every of my most upright men, which thing if it shall have befallen (otherwise), viz., that I am not able peacefully to guarantee it to them, I will give them an equivalent of equal value from the lands nearest and most necessary to them which shall be able to be found free in my own hands, with the same laws and liberties which we have before stated that we have conceded to the land aforesaid. But this donation we have made to them in exchange for the Church of St. Olaf and the small vill which is called Euastad, which was too short and narrow for them as well for cultivation as for the pasture of animals. To them retaining and keeping this alms in their hands may there be continual peace and eternal salvation (and) victory over enemies. These being witnesses . . . . Lord G. Bishop; Thomas, my Chaplain; Gillocrist, my foster-brother.

By this charter, probably circulated 1175, Godred of Man gave to St. Bees Priory, 'Asmundestoftes and Eschedala,' in exchange for the 'Church of St. Olaf and the villula which is called Euastad.'

Asmundestoftes is Ballellin, Eschedala is the Dhoon : this may be taken as indisputable.Ballellin contains 57 statute acres; the Dhoon, 127; that is 184 acres, with the advantage of being near the grazing on the hills. There was a mill on Asmundestoftes, as is known from another document of 1302: and no doubt Ballellin means the `mill farm.'

It is the work of scholarship to make certain where the Church of St. Olaf and the small vill (villula) of Euastad were, viz., in the absence of documents in which these names occur. The view here submitted is (i) that the church was at the Jallo, near Port Mooar; and (ii) that Euastad was the then name of Ballajora. They were certainly in the parish of Maughold.

(i) The Gaelic 'Baly-Djora' and the Norse 'Djorabyr' (Jurby) mean the farm of the Djora, Deuar, or steward of ecclesiastical lands. In the Middle Ages throughout Europe, even to the remotest corners, this office (Lat., Advocatus) was a fixed institution. A layman held a part of the ecclesiastical land as hereditary 'owner ' on terms of service as steward, proctor, or defender of the rights of the ecclesiastics to the rents and dues of the remainder. The Deuar had a staff of office his land was called Staffland; and in local usage the Deuar's Farm.* Deuars on a large scale were called Abbots, as owning substantial parts of the abbeyland. Jurby parish has over 1,100 acres of ecclesiastical land still definable: so the land assigned to the Deuar or lay abbot must have been considerable. We find it identifiable in The Nappin, ' Dan appan ' (of, or belonging to the abbey), containing about 300 acres, with Jurby Church in the centre of it. Manx parishes are named from the parish church, and this parish from its church being on the Djora-byr, or steward's farm.

(ii) The Norse name Cullfby, and the later Gaelic name Ballacurry, found to be the early and later names of the same farm, the Norse ' byr ' as suffix and the Gaelic ' Baly ' as prefix, show the use of Norse gradually giving way to Gaelic so ' baly ' would take the place of ' stadt.' In the 12th century Norse was still a living tongue in Man, and probably down to late in the 13th century. Baly-Djora is, therefore, a later usage for Djora-stadt, which even by the 12th century amid Gaelic habits of speech would have become Deuar-stad, Deua-stad, Yeua-stall, Eua-stad.

(iii) Ballajora, on the sea-slope west of Port Mooar in Maughold. contains about 230-acres and adjoining it is the ancient Clerk's Glebe on the north slope from Port Mooar, of 29 acres. Ballajora consists of two parts, 83 acres of Staffland forming Barony of St. Bees, and 146 acres of Particles land. This latter part may possibly be the villula of Euastad, named in King Godred's charter; or this particles land along with the ancient Clerk's Glebe.

(iv) The time of Godred's charter was the time when the parish system was being introduced, parishes formed, existing churches made into parish churches and others allowed to fall into disuse or serve for other purposes; and, equally important to bear in mind, the new institutions endowed out of the old ecclesiastical lands: for the family of Godred gave nothing, but only applied the already existing endowments to religion, or learning, or charity, in the fashion or terms of organisation then coming into vogue in Man as in Scotland. The same activity was in progress in the then newly-formed diocese of Carlisle, where the new priory of St. Bees, a branch of the Benedictine abbey of St. Mary at York, was acquiring a share of such endowments. We can safely say that the ancient Clerk's Glebe became a glebe about the time of Godred's charter; but, prior to that, was ecclesiastical land. The first charter of a Manx king, giving to St. Bees land in Maughold, is lost. The original extent of that land is, therefore, not known. It was seemingly all at Port. Mooar, consisting of the whole of ' Ballajora,' and probably also the Clerk's Glebe; and there was there a church of St. Olaf, situated possibly at ' The Jalloo '; possibly our English article ' the,' a corruption of the Gaelic preposition 'da ' viz., 'da Alloo,' or 'da'n Alloo ' with the word Keeill understood. For an exact parallel we have ' Baly-na-serve ' in Andreas, where ' na' is feminine and ' Seyre' a male saint; the feminine keeill (or church) being implied and understood.

(v) The Jalloo has been explained as meaning 'the image,' monument or cross; and a cross is said to have stood there in human memory. But Olloo and Alloo are the actual forms of the name Olaf that have come down from early times in place and personal names. For instance, in Orkney it is Kirk Ollo, now Kirkwall, the church of Olaf. In Lorne, there is Dunolly, the dun of Olaf. In Man, Knockaloe, the cnoc or hill of Olaf. The clan name Callow, older form Mc'Aloe, is the clan Olaf. St. Bees may have found a church of Olaf at Port Mooar, on the site of the old school, and may have begged it as a gift for this reason. The original nucleus of the great mother abbey, of the Benedictines at York was a church of St. Olaf, founded by the Earl of Northumbria about 1050, as his own burial-place, endowed with a few acres of land. Round this church the abbey grew; the saint was, therefore, held in honour by that community, as likewise he would be by the colony from York settling on the coast of Cumberland. St. Olaf died 1030. His dedications mostly date from the first generation after his death: hence the 1050 dedication at York. But in 1164 he was canonized by the Church of Rome, made national saint of Norway, our King- Godred present at that great function in Drontheim Cathedral, and a party to the deed of making Dronheim an archbishopric with Man and the Isles one of its suffragan sees.

This would be sufficient occasion for the St. Bees Benedictines to dedicate as their gift a church St. Olaf, unless we assume that it was they that built it.

We can start then from the point when Godred's charter was given. St. Bees gave up to the King this Church of Olaf at Port Mooar and part of Ballajora, retaining only that part still called 'Barony of St. Bees ' and Staff land.' In exchange for this surrender they received Asmundestoftes or Ballellin, and Eschedala or Dhoon, with access to the hill pastures. It had a right of way to the sea at Port Cornaa, which port and the seaward half of Ormshow, now called the Barony, they acquired from King Godred's son.

(vi) To examine the bargain in detail, acreage and present valuation of the lands in question, they acquired 127 acres in Eschedala, and 57 in Asmundestoftes : the present valuations about £120 and £72 per annum. They surrendered of Ballajora about 140 acres, valued at about £176. But this does not take count of the value of the hill pasturage to which they now had access, mentioned in the charter as a consideration they had in view. It is almost necessary to infer that they were surrendering, not only the church of Olaf, as mentioned, but also the land now called the Clerk's Glebe, 27 acres, annual value £65.

(vii) The whole transaction seems to have been for some special purpose, and the witnesses to the charter are significant: 'Dominus G., Bishop; Thomas, my Chaplain: Gillocrist, my foster brother.' The Bishop was Gamaliel. It was the time of parish organisation. We may unhesitatingly conjecture that Gillocrist was head of the Christian family which has from time immemorial possessed Baldromma, Balla-killey, and generally the estates on Baly-tessyn or the slope of Maughold Head. The transaction seems to have been a settlement of the parochial system, to provide an endowment for the Clerk, to provide a school, and to apply educational endowments to the use of 'scholars.'

(viii) In this connection attention must now be called to the Particles, which were the lands devoted in the Middle-Ages to the maintenance of 'scholars.' Probably these lands were for other charitable purposes as well. The landward side of Ormshow, now called the Barony, consists of two farms, Thallow-Queen and Thallow-Vitchal, which are Particles; and adjoin Asmundestoftes and Eschedala. It may be taken as final that King Godred made no gift; but only sanctioned rearrangements of ecclesiastical endowments. On this ground it is safe to say that both Asmundestoftes and Eschedala were already ecclesiastical land, most probably Particles; and that the King did not alienate from that endowment any of its land in effect, though actually, that is to say, the portion of Euastad surrendered to him by the exchange, from being Staffland, was henceforth to be Particles. Thus Ballajora of to-day consists of the Staffland St. Bees retained, and the part transferred being thenceforth Particles. The assignment of 27 acres for Clerk's Glebe was of course part of the purpose in view.

(ix) It is to be regretted that no document is extant relating to the Vicar's Glebe, or rather Rector's Glebe, as it continued to be till J. D. Horuton ceased to be Rector about 1305, viz., 130 years later. Nor is there any document relating to the Staffland at Maughold Head, the farm on which the parish church stands. But from the charter it may be surmised that a settlement of the land there was made at that time. Bishop Gamaliel was a witness to the charter. A small plot of ground adjoining Maughold churchyard on the west side, north of the entrance, is Bishop's Barony. It contains about 1½ statute acres; and looks as though it may have been originally the old Lancashire acre, which was only an eighth of an acre larger than the plot as limited by its present boundary. The Head Farm, or Maughold Staffland, was in the sixteenth century the hereditary property of the Christian family: consequently Gillocrist, foster-brother to King Godred, and a witness to the charter, was probably the hereditary Deuar or Steward of the ecclesiastical lands about the ancient edifice or rather edifices, on the Maughold site. A Norman church had been built shortly before that time, the same which Gilocolm, Somerled's companion, had intended to plunder, as related in the Chronicon.

(x) That account speaks of 'presbyters and clerks' as then at Maughold. When Gilocolm the chief was dying, and sent for the 'staff and the presbyters and clerks,' only some of the clerks came with the staff. The staff was probably that kept in the charge of the Deuar, and carried by him in all church ceremonies and processions. Thus it was probably the same Gillocrist that bore it; and, as there is a persistence in family characteristics, he was a likely man to figure exactly as in. the story.

But this mention of clerks, scholars studying for the church, is the point most significant here, since for them existed the endowment of lands called Particles. For this group or community it seems, therefore, likely that King Godred mainly executed the charter. And the old school-house at The Jalloo, from being a church of Olaf, probably became a School of Divinity.

It remains only to suggest that the site is worth examination.

In the following discussion Deemster Callow argued that Ballajora was not necessarily the only farm of the bailiff or the one given by St. Bees in exchange; and that it was too large to be described as 'the church of St. Olave and the small villa which is called Euastad,' whilst the staff-lands at the Head would answer this description. If the church mentioned in the grant to Huan, 1106, or thereabouts, as 'St. Maughold with St. Michael adjacent,' were Kirk Maughold and one of the keills in the churchyard, the difficulty of the statement in the Chronicles, calling the saint St. Machutus, disappears, as Somerled would be afraid of offending St. Olave, to whom the new church was dedicated, whilst the Staff would doubtless belong to the ancient saint; and the credit be given to him by the monk of Rushen. The appearance of the churchyard points to an ancient Celtic religious community which would doubtless have the patronage of the church, even when made the parish church, and one can quite understand Guthred building a church in the sacred enclosure and dedicating it to St. Olave, and he would be anxious to obtain the patronage; this would explain the Charter, the effect being to create St. Olave's a Rectory. As the lands adjacent to Maughold Church are also staff lands, there would doubtless be a Deuar, hence, accepting Canon Quine's derivation of the name Eua-stad, it would be equally applicable to these lands. Knowing the reverence the Manx had to all ecclesiastical sites, it would seem almost inconceivable that a church of such importance as that dedicated to St. Olave could have so absolutely disappeared and all recollection of it be lost, as must have happened if the church were erected at the Jalloo.

Canon Quine replied as follows: The landmark date, re King Godred II, is 1176, when Cardinal Vivian came to Man, and stayed about a fortnight near about Christmas. This date is known. Silvan, Abbot of Rievaulx, was in Man at the same time, and officiated at the King's marriage to Phingola O'Loughlin. Godred gave to Silvan 'part of the land at Mirescog,' Rievaulx was founded 1133. Ailred of Rievaulx predecessor of Silvan, wrote a Life of St. Ninian, which revived the name and gave a then boom to the fame of this saint. Therefore the presence of Silvan in Man explains action being taken in the matter of ancient churches of St. Ninian and the lands attached, viz., in Lezayre and Marown.

(i) Lezayre had 2,406 acres of ecclesiastical lands, now classed as abbey, 1,414½; Particles, 933; Vicar, 57; Bishop, 1½. Godred gave 'part ' of these lands to Rievaulx, viz., the 1,414½ acres-afterwards conveyed to Rushen Abbey. The church of St. Ninian was on the Particles, still with the name preserved in Ballakillingan, or Baly-keill-Ninian.

(ii) In Marown, at Greeba, the lands are 420 acres; and there a church and hospice were rehabilitated about that time. Because, first, the remains of Norman work (Irish-Norman) of about 1175 abound in the walls of St. Trinians (Ninians) at Greeba; second, the founding, or at least rehabilitating of hospices had then a vogue in Ulster, and by the royal family of O'Loughlin ; third, reference is made to Godred and Phingola by their son Olaf II, in the Charter of 1215 (circa), by which he granted this church and hospice to Whithorn Priory. And here, again, the interest of Whithorn in obtaining this grant was in part, because Whithorn Priory was the Candida Casa of Ninian. No doubt but at the same time Whithorn supplied to Olaf II a substantial sum in cash for the outfit of Olaf and his company, then setting out for Spain to take part in the war against the Moors. The Manx Sword is probably a Spanish sword of that date, worn by Olaf in that crusade.

As comment and explanation of the acquisition of lands by St. Bees Priory in Maughold, the above acquisition of land by Silvan of Rievaulx throws light on the usage of the time.

(i) The period of St. Olaf dedications was 1030-1055, the generation or quarter of a century after his death: thus at York the church of St. Olaf was founded by the Earl of Northumbria about 1050 and this the nucleus of the great Benedictine Abbey of St. Mary, of which the Priory of St. Bees was a branch. St. Olla, which gave its name to Kirkwall in Orkney, was of this period. A century later (1116) St. Magnus came into vogue, and the name of St. Olaf eclipsed. Also the Earls of Orkney ruled Man in the first half of the century 1000-1100: therefore a church of St. Olaf, if found in Man, would be of that period.

(ii) Whatever `The Jalloo,' or 'Dy J'Alloo,' meant, it was something that was in existence for a long period, to become so fixed in the language of the people as to survive to later times, and he a fixed place-name. This precludes the idea that St. Bees built a church of St. Olaf, considering, too, that their small holding of land neither required it, nor supplied the means to do so.

(iii) But for them to find an ancient church of St. Olaf existing in Man would be ground of plea for the concession of that church and a portion of endowment of lands to their Order, since this saint was by their order held in such honour at the Mother Abbey at York. Their case is similar to that of Silvan of Rievaulx obtaining 'part of Mirescog,' after the course taken by Abbot Ailred in exalting the fame of St. Ninian.

On the hypothesis, then, that St. Olaf's church was ' Dy J'Alloo,' the first grant to St. Bees, given by a Charter now lost, possibly given by Olaf I, possibly by Godred II, in the first years of his reign, was the land of that church, viz,, Ballajora, and including the Clerk's Glebe. A Deuar would hold part of it, as agent for St. Bees; a presbyter and clerk would occupy a portion for serving the church there; and the Priory would enjoy the rents of the remainder. If we assume that these second and third parts was the land surrendered to Godred in exchange for Asmundestoftes and Eschedala, the Priory would be in as good a position as before. They retained their Deuar or Steward; and they would be receiving as much rent as before. They were released from maintaining the church, which would fall into disuse; while the land (Clerk's Glebe) devoted to that purpose could now be given as glebe for a clerk at Maughold Church, now raised to be a parish church. The church of St. Olaf, 'Dy J'Alloo,' having on this hypothesis been in existence for a century and a quarter, would be so fixed in the language of the people by that time as to continue to be called the Jalloo, ' Dy J'Alloo,' even simply as a place-name.

As to Kirk Maughold, it was a religious foundation of time immemorial antiquity. Anglian fragments found there point to 7th or 8th century, and no doubt it had existence as a religious centre in Columban times, viz., 7th century: in the age of Patrick, 5th and 6th centuries; nay. even in the Roman period, viz., as early as the 4th century. It is evident that several churches existed at Kirk Maughold, and we may assume several dedications. One of these was ' St. Machutus,' which the Chronicon Manniae, a Cistercian, viz., Catholic or Roman document, has preserved as though the sole or at least distinctive dedication Another was ' St. Machaldus,' if there was a saint of that name. The other dedications are lost. The Norse-speaking- Manx called the parish and the church Kyrke Maghald, that is to say, the church name before it was made the church of the parish. Bachull, from the Latin baculum, a staff, is in Lismore the name of an estate forming the staffland of Kil-ma-Luoc : that is, it was the part of the church lands there appropriated to the Denar or Steward, who kept the official staff, which was at once title deeds to him as hereditary owner, and also symbol of authority to protect the church property and see that dues were paid. The Livingstone family of Bachull were the Deuars of Kilmaluoc; and still hold the estate. The interchange of the nasal letters 'B ' and ' M,' as it is common in speech, is common in place-names. Kyrke Machull is possibly Kyrke Bachull : one church being in fact situated on the staffland there. Possibly there was no such person as St. Maghald. St. Machutus is a known saint, with several dedications in Scotland. Of St. Maghald as a saint, nothing is known. St. Olaf belongs to a totally new province of saints. Relatively he is recent, when one speaks of things in the 12th century. He died in battle, a king of Norway, and a soldier. His death occurred in 1030. As said above, dedications to him were in the generation or so after his death. But if the dedication in Man had been at Maughold, it would have displaced or obscured the older dedications. Two examples of Scandinavian or Norseman usage are in point.

(i) Olaf Tryggvesson founded Throndhjem church and dedicated it to St. Clement in 996. St. Olaf, who was King of Norway, revived the plans of Olaf Tryggvesson and re-dedicated the church to St. Martin in 1016. Again, in 1164 the body of St. Olaf himself was brought to Throndhjem, and the church re-dedicated to St. Olaf. This instance shows that the Norsemen would re-dedicate a church at will, given that a new saint had acquired a vogue.

(ii) The second instance is that of Kirkwall, ' Kirk Olla,' in Orkney. This church, now a mere site in Kirkwall parish. was founded about 1050. In the 12th century St. Magnus of Orkney (died 1116,) became the saint of the Earls of Orkney; and about 1138 they discarded the old Kirk Olla, and built Kirkwall Cathedral, dedicated to St. Magnus. It is quite in keeping with this disposition of the race that King Godred II of Man should allow a church of St. Olaf, founded, say, a century and a half before his time. to fall into disuse, and its land or a portion of it to be applied to the endowment of the church which he intended to make the parish church of the newly-constituted parish. In other words, ' Dy J'Alloo ' at Port Mooar is a case similar to that of ' Kirk Olla.' near Kirkwall.

Two facts about Kirk Maughold church are important. (i) The church was rebuilt about 1125: this is manifest, from the Norman work incorporated into the present edifice. which is a church with Early English characteristics of about 1275. It is, therefore. certain that Maughold church was rebuilt in the reign of Olaf I, the father of Godred II and was a building so new as to be suitable to be made the parish church, when Godred was promoting the organisation of the parochial system, say, about 1175.

(ii) In 1158, when Somerled drove Godred out of Man, and lay at Ramsey with his fleet, a raid was projected by Gilocolm, one of Somerled's chiefs, on Maughold church. The Chronicon says: ' It was reported to his army that the church of St. Macutus was crammed full with much money: for this place, through reverence for its most holy confessor, St. Macutus, existed as a safe asylum to all fleeing to it in all dangers.' This, of course, means that the church had the right of sanctuary, not only general, which belonged to every church; but, peculiar, which belonged only to a few churches. The votive gifts, arising from this privilege, were the object of Gilocolm's greed: but the privileges of sanctuary appeared to Somerled so sacred that he would not sanction the raid.

The 'miracle,' or the ' dream,' and the death of Gilocolm are easy to explain, without explaining away. It was probably Gillocrist, Deuar of Maughold, that anticipated the design of Gilocolm by entering the camp of Somerled and Gilocolm's tent, and spearing him with his staff! This feat of daring is probable; and when related a century later by the chronicler had developed into a miracle, which is usually a wonderful incident, but, if one knew the actual facts, quite true, and wholly creditable to some brave man.

The fact that the church had the right of sanctuary shows its importance and distinction; but does not affect the question of one or of several other churches being there within the precincts of the rampart. Absence of any positive evidence leaves one free to admit that a church and sacred site then was conceded to the Priory of St. Bees.

It may be noted that the 'Lancashire acre' of Bishop's barony at Maughold, at Kirk -Michael, and at Lezayre, all point to the organisation of these churches into parish churches at the same period, viz., when Bishop Gamaliel was associated with King Godred in this work.

* See HALLAM, Const. Hist. ; J. HILL BURTON, Hist. of Scotland.


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