People of Medieval Scotland
1093 - 1371

Document 2/145/26 (Theiner, no. 237)

Pope Urban IV commands the bishops of St Andrews and Aberdeen, and the abbot of Dunfermline, to examine and decide the following case. The king of Scotland has represented that Walter Bullock and Mary, countess of Menteith, his wife, summoned before him John Russell, of the diocese of Ely, and Isabella, his wife, both parties claiming the earldom of Menteith, and that the possession of the earldom was adjudged to Walter and Mary, the right of either party to the proprietorship of the earldom being reserved. It was afterwards suggested to the pope that, although, on the marriage of John and Isabella in Scotland, with the consent of the king, the earls of Mar, Buchan and Strathearn, Alan Durward, and other vassals, took an oath of fealty to them, the said earls and Alan, and Mael Coluim, earl of Fife, John Comyn, Alexander Uvieth, Alan, called son of the earl, Hugh of Berkeley, David of Graham, David of Lochore, Reginald le Chen (Cheyne), Hugh of Abernethy, and Freskin of Moray, with certain accomplices of that realm, John Comyn and his accomplices maliciously and falsely charging the said John Russell and Isabella, his wife, who had joined the crusade with having poisoned Walter Comyn, Isabella’s former husband, seized and held them captive until they were compelled to give certain rents, lands, and possessions to the said earls, and to Alan, and to renounce and make over to John Comyn and his heirs the earldom of Menteith, and to take and oath to leave the realm, and not to return unless they purged themselves of the murder of Walter Comyn, by seven or more barons, being peers of the realm, and gave Robert, John Russell’s brother, as hostage, until they gave up to John Comyn the charters of the earldom. Further particulars were added that John Comyn, the earls, and others aforesaid, had acted by authority of the king, then a minor, and had procured that Walter Balloch (Stewart), who pretended that his wife was heiress of the earldom, should be invested with it; thereupon the pope ordered his chaplain, Pontius Nicholai, provost of Mont Cenis, to proceed to those parts and make enquiry, but he, exceeding his instructions, cited the king and certain prelates, earls, barons, and others beyond the realm, and wrongly adjudging the earldom to John Russell and Isabella, issuing sentences of excommunication, suspension, and interdict against prelates and nobles and others, who pleaded that they ought not to be cited beyond the realm. Wherefore, the king prays that what Pontius has done may be revoked, and that he may be ordered not to meddle any more in the matter, great scandal having arisen by reason of his procedure. The pope therefore orders as above, directing the bishops and abbots to allow of no appeal, and cause their sentence to be observed, the civil jurisdiction of the realm being respected.
Firm date
2 January 1264
Dating Notes
4 non. Jan., pontifical year 3
Place date (modern)
Place date (document)
Related Place
Source for Data Entry
Theiner, Monumenta, no. 237
Trad. ID
Theiner, no. 237
Calendar number
Charter type
Papal letter
Ferguson, Medieval Papal Reps., App. I, no. 135

Total number of associated factoids: 25