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Garnard, son of Donald, who reigned from A.D. 584 till 599; Garnaid, son of Wid or Foith, whose rule extended from A.D. 631 till 635; and Gartnaid, son of Donnell, a contemporary of King Oswy of Northumbria in the middle of the same century.1

The best known of these, though the furthest removed from the time of the Nine Maidens, is Garnard, son of Donald, as it was during his reign that the church of Abernethy, under the influence of St Columba's mission, was dedicated or re-dedicated to St Bridget, Abbess of Kildare, who died in 523. Bower, the continuator of Fordun, tells what he says he found in a certain chronicle of the church of Abernethy,2 viz., that, after Garnard had built the church there, St Patrick introduced St Bridget into Scotland, with her nine virgins, and offered to God, to the blessed Mary, and to the blessed Bridget and her virgins, all the lands and tithes which the prior and canons have from of old.

In the Pictish Chronicle we read that in the fifth year of Nectan, who ruled over the Picts from 457 till 481, the King gave ("immolavit") Abernethy to God and St Bridget till the day of judgment ("ad diem judicii"), and that Darlugdach (called by an anachronism Abbess of Kildare) was present and sang Alleluia over the gift ("cantavit alleluia super istam hostiam ").

Dr W. F. Skene observes: "Kildare was, as we know, dedicated to the great virgin saint of Ireland, St Bridget or St Bride, and was the mother-church of all her foundations; but there was within the country of the Picts one church in especial which was also dedicated to St Bride, and was held to be in a manner affiliated to that of Kildare, and that was the church of Abernethy."4

1 Celtic Scotland, vol. i. pp. 242, 246-7, 257, 305, 258, 259.

2 "Garnard filius Dompnach sive Makdompnach, qui fundavit et ædificavit ecclesiam collegiatam de Abirnethy. Postquam illuc introduxit beatus Patricius sanctam Brigidam, sicut in quadam chronica ecclesiæ de Abirnethy reperimus, cum suis novem virginibus in Scotiam; et obtulit Deo et beatæ Mariæ, et beatæ Brigidæ, et virginibus suis, omnes terras et decimas quas Prior et canonici habent ex antiquo." -Fordun's Scotichronicon, Goodall's edition, I. p. 188.

3 P. 6.

4 Celtic Scotland, vol. ii. p. 309.

Special notice has here been taken of St Bridget's connection with the church of Abernethy, inasmuch as the Aberdeen Breviary links the story of St Mazota with that of the Abbess of Kildare, thereby removing Mazota to a date earlier than her own. The narrative in the Breviary is thus given by Bishop Forbes: "Graverdus, son of Domath, the distinguished king of the Picts, and cousin of S. Brigida, while fighting against the Britons, is supernaturally warned to send for her to Hibernia and to obey her precepts. S. Brigida obeyed the summons, and with nine holy virgins came from Hibernia to Scotia, and settled at Abirnethy close to the Taye on the south, in which place she erected a basilica in honour of Almighty God and the Virgin Mary, in which the king with all his family was baptized. Mazota was the most remarkable of these virgins, and she followed in all things the steps of Brigida. The king of the Picts promised that the church should be dedicated by S. Patrick, at that time dwelling in Scotia, and there Mazota with the other virgins continued to serve God, till they all died and were buried. No tongue can tell the miracles that God in Heaven caused to take place by her agency."1 We may remark in passing that an interesting reminiscence of St Bride's Nine Maidens was to be met with till recent times in Sanquhar parish, Dumfriesshire, where "it was customary to resort on May-day to St Bride's Well, where each maiden presented nine smooth white stones as an offering to the Saint, which correspond in number with St Bride's nine virgin attendants." 2

The solution of the chronological problem thus raised is evidently to be found in the fact that there are clearly two separate traditions which have become intertwined. There is the tradition that St Bridget had nine maidens as her attendants, and there is the tradition of the Nine Maidens, daughters of St Donevald. In both stories Abernethy appears prominently as the rendezvous of the two sets of maidens, and forms a link between both. We are therefore led to conclude that Mazota has been removed from her own proper

1 Kalendars of Scottish Saints, p. 395.

2 Brown's History of Sanquhar, p. 30.

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date, and by a mistake has been attached to St Bridget as one of her companions.

So much for the chronology of the story. We shall now glance at the dedications, first, to St Donevald's daughters collectively, and then to the two eldest individually. As mentioned above, Bellenden assigns to him seven instead of nine daughters. It is worth noting that at Inverey, in the Braemar district of Aberdeenshire, is a chapel dedicated to "The Seven Maidens." 1 Bishop Forbes, however, is inclined to associate it with the seven daughters of Fergus of Iigh-ingen-Ferghusa, commemorated in the "Martyrology of Donegal" on 24th May;2 but there is some doubt on the point. In a pass of the Ochils, in Newburgh parish, overlooking Strathearn, is a block of freestone forming the pedestal of the once famous Macduff's Cross; and near it is a copious spring known as the Ninewells, so named, according to the Rev. Dugald Butler, from its connection with the Nine Maidens of the neighbouring Abernethy. In former days the Cross constituted a sanctuary for any one who committed murder in hot blood, and could make good his claim to kinship with Macduff, Earl of Fife, within the ninth degree. When such an one sought refuge at the Cross, he was allowed to atone for his crime by the payment of nine cows and a 'Colpindach' or year-old cow; but, in addition, he had to wash his hands in the water of the Ninewells.

On the outskirts of Dundee is a hamlet called Ninewells; and beside the Whitadder in Chirnside parish, Berwickshire, is an estate bearing the same name. The former may have a relation to the Nine Maidens, but the latter certainly has not. Its name originated in the presence of nine springs on the estate. The Rev. A. F. Smart, minister of Chirnside parish, informs me that "just below the mansion-house there is now such a quantity of water flowing from these into the river Whit

1 Collection of Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, p. 641.

2 Kalendars of Scottish Saints, p. 447.

3 Church and Parish of Abernethy, p. 149. Alan Reid's The Royal Burgh of Forfar, p. 248.

Forfar has also a Ninewells, vide

adder as might supply a small town." In Mid-Calder parish is a spring known as the Maidens' Well, which Mr J. Russell Walker connects with our Nine Maidens ; but the name of the spring has nothing distinctive about it, and besides, one hardly expects to find such a dedication south of the Forth.

For the chief dedications to St Donevald's daughters we have to look to the shires of Aberdeen and Forfar, where their cultus seems to have been specially popular. In the sands near Pitsligo Castle stood a chapel believed to have been dedicated to them, and not far away is, or rather was, a spring bearing their name.2 Writing in 1870, Dr Pratt remarks: "Patrick Cook tells us that 'a little to the south of the castle is a well of extraordinary fine water. It is called the Nine Maidens' Well, and probably takes its name from the nine Muses.'' On this Dr Pratt makes the following comment: "Tradition, however, gives the honour of its dedication to maidens nearer home. It is said that they were the daughters of St Donevald, and that the names of two of them have come down to us." Dr Pratt adds: "But, alas! the Nine Maidens' Well, to whomsoever dedicated, is now a tradition. 'It's just under that sod,' said our kindly and aged guide, as she conducted us to the spot, pointing to some indications of a recently filled ditch; 'an' oh! it was a bonnie spring!' From the quantity of water discharged from a drain near the Castle a fair idea may be formed of the 'bonnie spring' which caused this lament." 3 The church of Tough was under the patronage of the Nine Maidens, and that of Finhaven is thought to have had the same dedication. The latter, of which there is now no trace, occupied a site about a mile from the ruined castle of Finhaven, not far from the junction of the Lemno and the South Esk.

Sir Alexander Lindsay of Glenesk, who died in 1382 on the island of Candia, when on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, made the rebuilding of Finhaven Church his last public act before leaving home, and assembled

1 Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. xvii. p. 203.
2 Collections of Shires of Aberdeen and Banff, p. 435.
Buchan, pp. 206-7.

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his friends at its consecration by the bishop of the diocese.1 The church was one of the prebends of Brechin Cathedral. The walls of the graveyard were in existence till last century. In 1849, when the graveyard was being trenched, the floor of the church was laid bare and was found to have been paved with plain glazed tiles of the colours of red, blue, and yellow, each about six inches square and an inch thick. On the hill above the site of the church is a spring locally known as the Ninewell. The church of Drumblade had St Hillary as its patron, but on the lands of Chapelton, in the same parish, was a place of worship dedicated to the Nine Maidens. The chapel, which stood on a knoll, had a burying-ground. At the foot of the knoll is a spring still called the Chapel Well. Mr James Macdonald remarks: "In a charter of 1624, conveying the Chapel-Croft, the chapel on Chapelton is called 'lie Ninemadinchapell.' The foundations of the building and the gravestones in the churchyard were removed about forty or fifty years ago to build a farm-steading." The church of Cortachy was dedicated to St Columba ; but there was possibly an altar to the Nine Maidens within the building, the Nine Maiden Well being in its vicinity.4

In the wood of Logie, about three miles from the church of Auchendoir, is a spring known as the Nine Maidens' Well. The church of the parish was dedicated to St Mary; but there may have been a chapel to the Nine Maidens near their spring, though definite information is lacking on the point. A local tradition, narrated in Macfarlane's Geographical Collections, is to the effect that a bear, which infested the district, killed nine maidens beside the well in question. We are told that "the reason why the family of Forbes carries three bears' heads in its arms is, because the first of this family slew a very ravenous bear at Logie, near Castle Forbes, where, at this day, on a stone, the A variant


figure of that bear, though rudely carved, is yet seen."6

1 Lord Lindsay's Lives of the Lindsays, vol. i. p. 73.

2 Jervise's Land of the Lindsays, pp. 162-4.

3 The Place-Names of West Aberdeenshire, s. v. "Chapelton."

4 Jervise's Epitaphs and Inscriptions, etc., vol. ii. p. 117.

5 Collections, Aberdeen and Banff, pp. 613-14.

6 Ibid., p. 611.

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