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The Liber Pluscardensis or Chronicle of Scotland to 1436, in twelve books, Written in 1489 in Scotland

MS. Fairfax 8
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

The Liber Pluscardensis or Chronicle of Scotland to 1436, in twelve books, transcribed in 1489 (fol. 120v) from a lost original, which was probably compiled in 1461 at the Cistercian priory of Pluscarden, a cell of Dunfermline, for Richard Bothwell, abbot of Dunfermline, by Maurice Buchanan. At fol. 188 is a 'Lamentacio domini Dalphini Francie pro morte uxoris sue dicte Margarete' in twenty-three ten-line stanzas beg. 'Thee mychti Makar of ϸe maior monde'. The chronicle is followed by later copies of:

  1. Fol. 192. an appeal of the University of Paris to the Pope in 1491
  2. Fol. 198. a list of Scottish monasteries, sent to Fairfax by John Adamson of Edinburgh
  3. Fol. 201. three bulls of pope Innocent [viii], dated 1487
  4. Fol. 203. a protest by Adam Forman prior of Dunfermline against a sentence of excommunication dated May 3, 1525
  5. Fol. 204. Latin verses dedicated to Fairfax in 1656 by Charles Gedde. MS. Jones 8 is a transcript of this work


  • Creation: Written in 1489 in Scotland


209 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Multiple languages
  • Latin
  • Gaelic; Scottish Gaelic


MS. Fairfax 8

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 3888

Custodial History

The MS. seems to have remained at Dunfermline until at least 1525, passing thence to the Drummonds of Hawthornden, and so to colonel Charles Fairfax in 1650. 'Mr. James Drummond 1650. Gifted theis book to Coronall Fairfax the 17 of December, anno 1650' (fol. vii).

Related Materials

The eleventh book was printed for the Maitland Club in 1877 from this MS. by Joseph Stevenson, in 'The Life and Death of King James I of Scotland', and from book 6, cap. xv, to the end was edited by Felix J. H. Skene in Historians of Scotland, vols. vii, viii, where this manuscript is collated as D: beg. 'Honorabilium antecessorum gesta' (fol. xvii).

Further bibliographical notes by Fairfax on fols. vi-vii are printed by Skene, op. cit., pp. xii-xiii. Two leaves are reproduced in facsimile in National MSS. of Scotland, ii (1870), fol. 80.

Physical Facet

On paper, in double columns, quires, of which the outer leaves are of parchment


11 1/10 × 8 1/2 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom