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may probably be interesting to yourself, and as you may perhaps think them sufficiently so to give them a place, at least in extract, in the Scottish Magazine, I have copied in extenso the principal Bull, erecting the Archbishopric of St Andrews, as well as the one to James iij, notifying the same; and have given the titles of the four other Bulls to various bodies, Episcopal, Capitular, Cleric, and Laic, also under the above date.*
The copies of these documents, from whence those I now send you have been made, appear to have been procured from Rome in the early part of the 16th century, for the purpose of aiding the Archbishop of Throndhjem,† in Norway (the ancient metropolitan of the Orkneyan and Sodorensian Sees), to reclaim, before the Apostolic Curia, the subjection of the former, alleged to have been ignorantly and fraudulently assigned to the Archbishopric of St Andrews, as a suffragan See, by Pope Sixtus iiij.
The two last documents of the series are copies of the public and private communications from the person who sent copies of these Bulls to Norway, to the Archbishop of Throndhjem, containing his advice as to the course that should be pursued in order to regain the lost suffragan of his See, and that person's offers of service in the matter.
Ussher, in his Antiq. Eccl. Brit. p. 339, relates, that, A.D. 1348, a certain William Russell was consecrated, at Avignon, Sodorensian Bishop by Pope Clement VI.,-being the first prelate of that diocese for a long series of years, who had not been consecrated by their previous metropolitans, the Archbishops of Throndhjem,-and it is probable that this occurrence having ipso facto released the former from their allegiance as suffragans of their latter, no such claim could lie for their restitution to that position, as is advocated in these letters, with regard to the Orkneyan See,
It is not known whether any subsequent steps were taken in the affair by the Norwegian Archbishop, and, indeed, the troubles and changes of the Reformation so soon succeeded the reception of these letters, &c., that it is probable the plea went no farther. But the Bull of Pope Anastasius iiij, erecting the See of Throndhjem into an Archi-episcopate, A.D. 1154, assigns the Bishopric of the Orkneys so clearly as one of its suffragan Sees, that it seems very extraordinary that the Archbishops of Throndhjem should have so long quietly acquiesced in such a manifest, although apparently unintended, in*We hope to give these in a future number.-ED. † Vulgarly written Drontheim.-ED.
vasion of their rights, as its transfer by the Pope to the new province of St Andrews, without taking the slightest notice of the previous subjection of the former See to them.
But there is another question, both of ecclesiastical and geographical interest, to which the Bulls I now enclose give rise, and to which my attention has been drawn by the same kind and learned friend to whom I owe their collation, with the original copies, preserved at Christiania.
It will be observed, that among the suffragan Sees assigned to the new Archbishopric of St Andrews, occurs that denominated Sodorensis -the same alluded to above-and the question arises, what See is meant thereby, and whence the derivation of the title?
The title at the present day only survives as part of that assumed by the (now) English Bishops of Man, who, it is well known, are entitled 'Bishops of Sodor and Man;' and it is, I believe, very commonly supposed, and has been repeatedly asserted by authors of credit (e.g. Camden and Buchanan, and the Danish historian Suhm,* &c.), that the former title is derived from an imaginary city of Sodor, at one time assumed to have existed in the Isle of Man. In the first place, I believe, no records of such a city are known: and secondly, I think I can now point out, from the valuable information I have derived from Professor Munch, a much more probable, and in fact, the only real origin of the titles, both of Sodor, now taken by the Bishops of Man, and of Sodorensis, occurring in our Bulls; and can prove these also to be one and the same designation.
It appears from many ancient chronicles and documents, that the Hebrides, or Western Isles, and the Isle of Man were together called by their old Norse colonists Sudreyjar, i.e., Southern Islands, which was latinized, insulo Sudraio, Suthraic or SODORENSES (terms, however, which belonged more properly and exclusively to the Hebrides alone, the Isle of Man having always its own separate appellation of Mannia, Manniensis), and it is also certain that both the group and the single island formed, for a long period, one Diocese, which, owing to there being at first no Cathedral Church within its limits, was denominated Diocesis Sodorensis, from the larger portion of its territory, although the title Manniensis, from the important
* Camdeni Britannia Descriptio Insularum Chronico Mannice subjuncta. Buchannus, Ed. Edin. Fol. 7. b. Monasticon Anglicanum Tom. i. p. 718. (?) Suhm-Historie af Danmark, Tom. viii. p. 161. Langebek-Scriptores rerum Danicarum, &c. Tom. iii. p. 242. Nota. x. in Chron. Reg. Manice.
island not included among the insulo Sodorenses proper, was also anciently sometimes and has since been permanently added to designate that portion of the See.
In process of time a Cathedral Church and Capitular Body were founded in Man, which thus became the Bishop's chief residence, and, on the final separation of the Isles' from the kingdom of Man, the Bishops of the latter, losing their authority over the former, still retained, notwithstanding, their title, derived therefrom, of Sodorensis, as being the most ancient, and, perhaps, as denoting some assertion of their rights, as Ordinaries of the Hebrides, or Diocesis proprio Sodorensis also; and it has thus, in process of time, become corrupted into its present barbarous form of Sodor: although it would have been evidently more consonant with ancient ecclesiastical usage for these prelates to have assumed a new title from their Cathedral city when they obtained a Cathedral Church, and after having that especial district, whence their previous territorial title was derived, separated from their Diocese.
I have not the means of ascertaining exactly when the Ecclesiastical separation of the Hebrides, or Insula Sodorenses proper, from the Isle of Man took place; * but doubtless, if any records of the Scottish Bishopric of the Isles exist, they would throw light on the subject. It would also be interesting to know what was the Latin title of the latter Bishops. If we may trust a paper found in the Spottiswoode Miscellany,† published by the Spottiswoode Society, these Bishops also were entitled Episcopi Sodorenses, and this, if true, would furnish a further proof of the correctness of the above derivation of that designation.
If these statements be correct, and high authority could be furnished for them all,—it would appear that the present prefix to the title of the Bishops of Man is very arbitrarily and unjustly retained by them; that it, in fact, belongs to another Bishopric of another branch of the Catholic Church, and that this Bishopric, re-endowed, as a separate See, by the munificence of the present Bishop of Ross and Moray, has the greatest right to adopt it; and its Bishops would be fully justified in assuming the title of Bishops of Lismore and Sodor, should so barbarous a designation as the lattter be adhered to, from
* It took place in 1380.-ED.
† Spottiswoode Miscellany, vol. i. p. 471. Some Short Account of the Nature and Constitution of the Ancient Church of Scotland.’
a respect for its antiquity as attached to the See of the Isles.'* venture here to suggest that, in any case, the former title of Lismore (also very ancient) would be preferable to Argyle on many accounts, and it would be well if we could thus localize others of our Bishops' titles, in conformity with the nearly universal practice of the Church elsewhere than in Scotland, where it appears, that the Bishops' Sees received and retained their designations, in so many instances, from the districts where they were situated, (as Diœcesis RossensisCathenensis-Moraviensis-Orcadensis-and we may add Sodorensis,) instead of from their cathedral cities,-leading to the conclusion, (how far correct I know not) that fewer Cathedrals were built in Scotland than elsewhere.
Names, it may be urged, signify but little-but I think otherwise, especially at present, and consider that their importance is often undervalued: therefore I would submit, that it is advisable, if the circumstances now brought forward should be found to be correctly stated, that our Bishops should be invited to appeal to the English Church, in such form as should be most suitable, against the further assumption, by the Bishops of Man, of the title of Sodor; inasmuch as it peculiarly belongs, from the remotest periods, to the Scottish Bishopric of the Western Isles, now united to that of Argyle. I cannot suppose that the result of such an appeal would be doubtful, and as Scottish Churchmen, our prayer then should be, that with the ancient title, the future Bishops of the Southrey Isles might be blessed with a large portion of the spirit of the old Sodorensian Bishops, and of the members of the extraordinary monastic establishment so long settled in their diocese at Holy Iona.
I cannot resist the pleasure of corroborating the statements and opinions communicated above by adding (with the permission of the learned writer) an interesting extract from a letter on the subject which I have received from Professor Munch of Christiania.
Now for the question regarding the Diocesis Sodorensis. That the
*If the title of Sodor should be considered too barbarous for adoption by our new Bishops of the Isles, as the translation for Sodorensis, it would be requisite to find some suitable translation for that adjective. We are unfortunately debarred from the plain translation of the Norse term, namely, 'Southern or Southren Isles,' as they have been for so long called 'Western Isles.'-May I suggest then 'Southrey,' formed from the Norse Sudreyjar in the same way as Orkney' from 'Orkneyjar,' and the title of our Bishop would be' Bishop of Lismore and Southrey?'
island of Man, in the 12th century, was included in the appellation of Sudreyjar (sensu lato,) is quite certain; it appears especially from this passage in the Saga of Magnus Barfot (Snorre Sturleson Saga Magn: Barf: cap. xi., Fornmanna Sogur, vol vij., p. 47): Satiri er mikit Land, ok er betra en hin bezta ey i Sudreyjum nema Mon," i.e. "Cantyre is a great land, better than the best isle in the Southern Isles except Man." But in all other Sagas, especially in that of King Hakon (Fornm: Sog: vol. ix. and x.) Man and the Sudreyjar are named separately. This seems to have prevailed more commonly after the ancient Godredian race had divided into two branches, or at least after the kingdom of Man and the isles was partitioned between several princes of the Godredian family. This division, or rather these divisions-the kingdom being often divided, often reunited-took place early in the 13th century.* There occurs also in the 12th century a distinction between the Nordreyjar (the northern or north-western group of Lewis, Harris, Northuist,-Benbecula, Southuist, Barra, &c.), and the Sudreyjar (the south-eastern islands near the coast).'
The erection of the See took place when the kingdom was undivided, and when the apellation of Sudreyjar included Man also. This was A. D. 1134. At this time, the Archbishopric of Throndhjem was not erected, still less that of St Andrews; and the whole Church of Scotland, the Orkneys and the Hebrides, with Man also included, formed a part of the Provincia Eboracensis.† In A.D. 1134, says the Chronicon Regum Manniæ, King Olaf founded the Abbey of Russyn, a daughter of the Cistereian Abbey of Furness, Lancashire. In Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum (last Ed. vol. viii. p. 1186), there is a letter from King Olaf (Olafr Gudrodarson) to Thurstan, Archbishop of York, requesting that he will consecrate a bishop elected by the Abbot of Furness, who, in spite of a perilous voyage, had visited the Island for arranging ecclesiastical matters, and had concerted with the King and the people, ut ex suis,' (the monks of Furness) pontifex eligatur, qui christianitati per insulas * Note by Professor Munch.—The division A.D. 1142, was only transitory, and was of no consequence.
† Professor Munch does not appear to be aware that this claim of the Archbishops of York, to be metropolitans of Scotland, has been much disputed, and was never, I believe, thoroughly acquiesced in by the Scottish Church, except during the lives of Archbishop Thurstan and Roger of York.