The foundation of Bishop Brice de Douglas followed the pattern of Lincoln. In the foundation charter (1208-15) Bp Bricius establishes the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity at Spynie, a few miles to the north of Elgin, where still stands the Bishop's Palace. The foundation is for eight prebendaries, as follows:-

DEAN ~ church of Eryn (Auldearn) with the chapel of Invernairn (Nairn).
PRECENTOR ~ churches of Lamnabride (Lhanbryde), Aluays (Alves) and Ratheforde (Rafford), and 1 davach of land in Alves.
CHANCELLOR ~ lands of Fotherues (Fothervais or Ardclach), Lythenes, Lunnyn, Daldauy and Logyn juxta Duffus.
TREASURER ~ churches of Kennedor (Kineddar) and Efkyl (Essil).
ARCHDEACON ~ churches of Forays (Forres) and Logie Fythenach (Edinkillie).
PREBEND ~ church of St Peter de Strathouen (Inveravon) with its chapels and 1 davach of land; church of Urquhard 'ultra Inverness'.
PREBEND ~ church of Spynie.
PREBEND ~ churches of Rothuen (Ruthven) and Duppol (Dipple).

It is interesting to note here that Inverernan (Nairn) was at this time a chapel only, dependent on the parish church of Auldearn.

The church of Inveraven, along with 1 davach of land, was gifted to Bricius by Malcolm, earl of Fife at the time of the foundation (or very soon thereafter). (Reg. M. no 50)

The Bishop was also a member of the Chapter at this time but sat as a simple canon. (Reg. M. no 46) The exact nature of his prebend (if any) is not clear over time. It is possible he had only his mensal churches (Elgin, St Andrews, Dyke, Ogston, Rothiemay, Keith, Gartly, Wardlaw, Rothiemurchus, Daviot, Kintarlity and Grantown) for his support. Of course, the bishop, in time, came also to hold the Baronies (temporal power) of Spynie, Kineddar, Birnie, Rafford, Ardclach, Keith, Kilmylie, Strathspey and Moy, so he was not exactly 'needy'!

From an inspection of the later arrangement of the canons within the choir of the new cathedral at Elgin, I suggest that the arrangement in the relatively small cathedral at Spynie may have been as follows, but this is very much conjecture on my part:

South side -
{west to east}
Inveravon & Urquhart
Spynie & Kintrae
North side -
{west to east}
Dipple & Ruthven

Clergy are ever men of 'tradition' and I believe that they would have kept as close as possible to their Spynie seating-plan in the new cathedral, so what appears above is a 'projection' backwards from these (Elgin) arrangements.


In 1215 the Pope confirms the arrangements as set out in the foundation charter, the wording showing that the Chancellor's prebend was to consist of the lands (not churches) of Fothervais, Lunnyn and Daldauy. (Reg. M. no 47)

Immediately upon succeeding Bricius, Bishop Andrew de Moravia creates two new prebends. Since the Pope's ratification is dated 1222 (Reg. M. no 55) it seems reasonable to assume that the idea was, in fact, first proposed by Bricius when he visited the Pope in c1218. The additional prebends were those of Moy and Kinnoir & Dumbannan (Huntly). Andrew confirms their erection into prebends as soon as he is consecrated, I suspect, in 1224. (Reg. M. no 60) [Total = 10 prebends]

In 1224-42 Andrew confirms Freskyn de Moray's gift of Duffus (as a prebend) to the cathedral. (Reg. M. no 59) [Total = 11 prebends]

Again, of uncertain date, (1224-42), Andrew confirms the gift of Walter de Moravia of two new prebends, namely - Petty & Brachlie, and Aberlour & Boharm (Reg. M. no 61) and the Pope ratifies this. (Reg. M. no 67) [Total = 13 prebends]

In 1226, Andrew de Moravia creates two new prebends - Kingussie & Insh, and Croy & Lunyn. This latter prebendary was to act as the Bishop's vicar in the cathedral. (Reg. M. no 68) [Total = 15 prebends]

In 1226, at the time of Andrew's removal of the cathedral from Spynie to Elgin, and doubtless because of the needs of the much enlarged 'institution', the positions of Succentor and Sub-Dean are created. The Sub-dean, for a prebend, gets the church of Dallas (new creation) and the altarage of Auldearn from the Dean. The Succentor gets the church of Rafford from the Precentor and Fothervais from the Chancellor. In recompense, the Chancellor gets the 'united' prebend of Inveravon & Urquhart which, before this time, had been the prebend of one of the original three canons. (Reg. M. no 93) [Total = 16 prebends]

(Reg. M. no 69) shows that the Prebends of - Rhynie, Inverketheney, Elchies & Botary and Advie & Cromdale existed at this time in addition to previous foundations. [Total = 20 prebends]

Also, Duthil seems to have been gifted by Gilbert, Earl of Strathearn, c.1224-42 and to have been erected into a prebend at this time. [Total = 21 prebends]

The prebend of Centum Solidorum (vicarage of St Giles) was erected (1222x1242) the whole of the vicarage being added later (1299x1325). [Total = 22 prebends]

The resulting arrangement then is a chapter of twenty-three individuals including the Bishop.

DEAN ~ church of Auldearn with the chapel of Invernairn in 1207x1208
PRECENTOR ~ churches of Lhanbryde, Alves and Rafford in 1207x1208; then Rafford is removed in 1226
CHANCELLOR ~ lands of Fothervais (Ardclach) in 1207x1208; then churches of Inveravon and Urquhart beyond Inverness in 1226
TREASURER ~ churches of Kineddar and Essle in 1207x1208
SUBDEAN ~ church of Dallas and altarage of Auldearn in 1226
SUCCENTOR ~ churches of Rafford and Ardclach (Fothervais) in 1226
ARCHDEACON ~ churches of Forres and Edinkillie (Logie Fythenach) in 1207x1208
PREBENDARIES ~ Advie and Cromdale; Aberlour and Boharm; Botarry and Elchies; Croy; Dipple and Ruthven; Duffus; Duthil; Innerkethney; Kingussie and Insh; Kynnoir and Dumbannan; Moy; Rhynie; Petty and Brachelie; Spynie; Centum Solidorum or St Giles Chantry.

The ancient order of the stalls in the choir of the cathedral after 1236 was as follows:

South side -
{west to east}
Croy (Bishop's Vicar)
Advie & Cromdale
Botarry & Elchies
St Giles Chantry
North side -
{west to east}
Dipple & Ruthven
Aberlour & Boharm
Kingussie & Insh
Spynie & Kintrae
Kynnoir & Dumbanan

Each of the original canons of Bishop Brice's foundation was to maintain a priest vicar to sing services, three of them being hebdomadaries in course, every week, for the daily masses - the first, or Lady Mass, which was sung; the Chapter, or Matin Mass for the dead, which might be said; and the High Mass, or mass of the day, at nine o'clock, sung solemnly to note. The other five said the daily masses of requiem; and all the members were bound to keep the canonical hours in black copes and surplices. The Deacons and Sub-deacons acted as gospeller and epistolar.

The Dean resided in the chanonry for the greater part of the year; the Precentor, Chancellor, and Treasurer, half a year; the Archdeacon, forty days; the Prebendaries of Croy and Centum Solidorum, the Sub-dean and Succentor perpetually. The others kept one quarter of a year. Each of the twenty-two Stallars, or Vicars Choral, received an annual stipend.

Every Saturday was observed by a weekly meeting of the chapter; and on ordinary days, one hour, and on double feasts two canonical hours, constituted the terms of attendance for canons, in addition to the High Mass.

In 1331 there were seventeen resident chaplains, with permanent endowments, serving as chantry priests, and among the altars occur those of - St James; Holy Cross or the Rood, with the chantry of Eight Marks; St Nicholas; St Mary's aisle; St Duthus; St Thomas, in the crossing close to the south wing (in which Bishop Dunbar was buried in 1435);St Peter and St Paul, in the north arm; and also a St Thomas's Chapel, in the churchyard on the south side, founded for five chaplains, by Thomas Fitz Ralph, Earl of Moray. In 1235 King Alexander II founded a chapel within the cathedral for the soul of King Duncan.

In 1542 Bishop Robert Hepburn erected the chaplainry of the B.V.M in the castle at Duffus into a prebend. To differentiate this prebend from the prebend of Duffus which had existed for 300 years, the new erection was given the name of Unthank, which lies just to the north-west of Duffus village.

Much of this information has been drawn from the register of the Diocese of Moray, 'Registrum Moravienses', and the numbers given above, such as "(Reg. M. no 93)",  refer to the number of an entry within the register.


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