Rosemarkie – Summary Table



Name Value Date Grid Ref Map Sources Other forms, comments etc
Rosemarkie 52s 1595 NH 7357 Blaeu(Moray) Church-lands. Rent in RMS VI (265). See below.
Canonry (Fortrose) 52s 1595   Blaeu(Moray) Church-lands. Rent in RMS VI (265). See below.
Bishop’s Sched 40s 1595     Church-lands. Rent in RMS VI (265)
Platcock         Retours (Ross) (36) 1615 & (190) 1699. Common lands within the canonry.



2 davachs

1 davach

1 davach





NH 7359

NH 7459/7460

Blaeu(Moray) Ex bishopric. See below. OPS II, II, 844-5 (1567 & 1576) & RSS VI (47) 1567 re lands of Balmongy. RS37/1/307v 1621.


Eathie (Mains)

Upper Eathie

(1 davach) 1576 NH 7763

NH 7663

Blaeu(Moray) Ex bishopric. RMS V (2112 (1)) 1592, on an original of 1576, states that a custom mart (or its money equivalent) was part of the reddendo for Athie.
Muirhead (½ davach) 1576 NH 7562   Ex bishopric. RMS V (2112 (1)) 1592, on an original of 3/12/1576, gives £4 (6m) as the Reddendo which suggests a ½ davach. RSS VII (525) 23/3/1575-6 specifically excludes Craigheid from the lands of Mureheid.
Craighead (¼ davach) 1578 NH 7561   Ex bishopric. RMS V (2112 (2)) 1592, on an original of 1578 gives the Reddendo for Craigheid as 40s ‘old rent’. This suggests ¼ davach. RMS VI (265) 1595 gives the same Reddendo.
Learnie 1 davach 1567 NH 7560 Blaeu(Moray) Ex bishopric. RSS VI (47) 1567 No 3. OPS II, II, 844-5 quoting Flowerburn Charters for 1576 gives Larny as a davach – as does RMS V (2112 (2)) 1592, on an original of 1578. Its reddendo in the latter included 30s instead of a custom mart. (1 custom mart in RMS VI (265) 1595).
Kincurdie ½ davach 1593 NH 7358 Blaeu(Moray) Ex bishopric. RMS VI (13), RMS VII (1249)

Easter Raddery

Wester Raddery


2 davachs

1 davach




NH 7159


NH 6958

Blaeu(Moray) Both Easter & Wester ex bishopric. See below.
Kinnok ½ davach 1576   Blaeu(Moray) Ex bishopric. RMS V (61) 1580 on an original of 1576. See also RSS VII (2639), RMS VII (298).

= Flowerburn Mains? (PNRC p 131)

Insch (¼ davach) 1595 NH 7156   Ex bishopric. ¼ mart in RMS VI (265) 1595.
Broomhill ¼ davach? 1595 NH 7256   Ex bishopric. Reddendo of 40s in RMS VI (265) 1595 which might indicate ¼ davach. Described as within the Canonry in Retours (Ross) (72) 1627.
Total 9 + davachs       Probably at least 11 davachs.



GD128/64/3/9 1586-7 refers to ½ carucate in Rosemarkie. This is the only example I know, of the use of the word carucate in Ross. It could mean one of three things. In old documents a davach is sometimes described as a ‘Scottish’ term for a carucate. Alternatively it could mean a ploughland in which case half a ploughland in Easter Ross would be a bovate. However such terms could change their meaning over time. Macgill No 288 1542 contains the phrase “out of ilk oxingait of land … callit of auld ane ploughgait” – which implies that in 1542 a ploughgate and an oxengait (or bovate) were regarded as equivalent in Ross. In this last example half a carucate might mean half a bovate. (See below under Balmungie).


Virtually the whole of this parish is ex bishopric. Perhaps this parish was part of the endowment for the establishment of the bishopric.


I have not been able to give assessments for Rosemarkie and Fortrose. We have a great many references to the various ecclesiastical holdings in the area but none to their overall size. We know of rigs, manses and crofts belonging to the cathedral dignitaries and chaplains but no overarching view of their extent. Originally Rosemarkie and Fortrose may have been 2 or more davachs – but I cannot show this.



For sub-units see also RMS V (1767, 1793) 1590 & Retours (Ross) (51) 1619, (94) 1645. See RS37/5/69v 1633 for pecks and rigs and a butt; similarly RS37/5/311r 1636, RS37/7/252v 1656, RS38/5/237v 1683. RS38/4/15v 1670 refers to ‘all & haill the lands of Chanrie comonlye called the ffourtie eight peckes chanon lands betuixt Chanrie & Rosmarkie’. (Also in GD1/400/2/3 Section I pp 10-11, 1669).


Cowan, et al., The Knights of St John, p 31, gives 2d as the rent from Rosmarkin hospital in 1539-40.


Canonry (Fortrose)

GD23/4/18 1661 refers to 8 pecks of land here. 8 pecks would be ½ a boll.



Retours (Ross) (61) 1622 refers to the town and lands of Balmungie “extendentibus nunc ad 16 aratra vulgo sextene pleughs terrarum arabilium, et antiqua computatione ad 2 davatas vulgo twa dauch-land”. This mixture of Latin and Scots could be rendered as “extending now to 16 ‘aratra’ commonly known as 16 ploughs of arable land, and by the old reckoning to 2 ‘davatas’ commonly known as two davachs of land”. The problem is that 16 ploughs would normally be reckoned as equivalent to 4 davachs so I think what has happened here is that ‘aratra’ (ploughlands) has been used instead of ‘bovatas’ (bovates or oxgangs). (See above under Carucates for another possible example). There are relatively few references to ploughlands in the documents concerning arable land in Easter Ross – but there are lots of references to ‘bovatas’ or oxgangs. 16 oxgangs would indeed be equivalent to 2 davachs of land. The Reddendo in RMS VI (265) 1595 supports this since it includes 2 custom marts when the going rate seems to have been 1 ‘custom’ mart per davach. (To complicate matters davachs sometimes paid more than 1 mart in annual rent but I think that only 1 of these was reckoned the ‘custom’ mart).



RMS V (2112 (3)) 1592, on an original of 1578, gives Easter Radderie and its meadow with a Reddendo of 16m and £3 for 2 custom marts (i.e. 30s each). GD46/18/130 gives Ester Raddery as 1 davach in 1549. These figures are supported by RMS VI (265) 1595 where Easter Raddery has a Reddendo of 16m and 2 custom marts; Wester Raddery 8m and 1 custom mart. Raddery as a whole was a 3-davach unit which made it large and important. Three davachs in the north of Scotland were equivalent to 1 Norse ounceland.


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