More Tales of Inchaffray Abbey in Madderty

Inchaffray Abbey in Madderty

I have written more than a few lines over the years ( including a few blogs ) on this  much neglected and significant part of our ancient heritage . Since the Reformation it has suffered  neglect and much of its fabric  has been plundered to provide  amongst other things hewn stone for  houses , farms  and indeed the " new " church built in the  17th century a  short distance away. The insensitivity  of the Local Authority to allow the building of a modern dwelling cheek by jowl was inexcusable and questionable .

Having had  yet another rant  let me highlight a couple of wee tales concerning  Inchaffray . These indeed were ably covered  by the late Bessy MacLagan in her classic  book on Madderty published in 1932 and although out of  print since  before  the War , can  be borrowed from the Strathearn Campus Library in Crieff. Let me copy the respective passages  from her book and thank the dear lady who is no doubt watching  us  from a celestial cloud !   Thank you Bessie  x.

" Through two Abbots of Inchaffray . Madderty has has an interesting connection  with Scottish warfare

First through Maurice  , who was present at Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 . It is told how, on the battlefield , when the Scottish  soldiers  had arranged themselves  under their different banners and the enemy approached  close  to them , Maurice , bare headed and bare footed walked  slowly  along the Scottish lines holding a crucifix aloft and , as he passed along , the whole army kneeled  down to receive his blessing .Maurice acted as chaplain to King Robert the Bruce , and it is further said that he bore about the arm of St Fillan on the battlefield , which The Bruce carried with him  to ensure victory .The King was duly grateful for the services of Abbot Maurice and it is said  he odered the marshy ground round the Abbey to be cut and drained after the Battle of Bannockburn, presumably at the  expense of the State .

The second instance in which the Abbey was represented on the field of battle was when the reigning Bishop was killed on Flodden Field . This was Laurence Oliphant, son of the first Lord Oliphant, appointed Abbot of Inchaffray in 1495 and killed on Flodden in 1513.Two centuries later , through the Oliphants , Madderty had many Jacobite adherents, and they all took part in , and paid heavy toll for, their loyalty to the Stewart cause . "  


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