Midlothian’s 100 Objects - Charter of King William the Lion

The charter declaring the monks of Newbattle as holders of the land at Moorfoot. Photo: National Records of Scotland/Scran
The charter declaring the monks of Newbattle as holders of the land at Moorfoot. Photo: National Records of Scotland/Scran

This ancient document is the land title to Moorfoot (Mordwheit) for the monks of Newbattle.

The charter, which dates back to 1184, confirms that the marches of Moorfoot were perambulated (walked around) and sworn to in the presence of the King’s Sheriff of Haddington, the Sheriff of Traquair and other responsible men sent by King William the Lion.

With the King’s confirmation, the area of land is defined by the Black Burn and another burn falling into Gladhouse, and “Pardavanesburne” and another falling into (South) Esk. It has been suggested that “Pardavanesburne” is presently known as Tweed Burn, Fullarton Water and Redside Burn.

The monks of Newbattle (Neubotil) are declared holders of the land of Moorfoot as delineated by the marches in a previous charter of King David I, the grandfather of King William.

Cistercian monks from Melrose founded Newbattle Abbey in1140. King David was their patron.

Photo: National Records of Scotland/Scran

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