The History of Leith

January 30, 2008

The Charter of Humbert, of the abbey of Saint Anthony

Humbert, by divine mercy humble abbot, and the [definitiors?] of the general chapter, of the Augustlnian monastery of saint Anthony, under the direct authority of the Roman church, of the diocese of Vienne, and also the preceptors, priors, brothers and religious, holding and celebrating the aforesaid general chapter, send greetings in the Lord and the spirit of understanding and counsel to all religious brothers and canons of our order:
Our beloved Brother Michael Gray, general preceptor of the house of saint Anthony in Scotland, recently In general chapter revealed to us that some religious brothers and canons of the said monastery and order in the kingdom of Scotland were unacquainted with our statutes and those of our fellow canons [ their ignorance of both has brought scandals, discord and lawsuits between religious … have withdrawn obedience from their superiors to receive proceeds and advantages … paid … he required the declaration of our general chapter to be brought to the attention of whomsoever … hence we doctor of nations] calling to mind the doctrine of salvation, exhorting that we should habitually keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, desiring wholeheartedly that all discord and divisions among the religious of our order should be wholly rooted out and that they should live according to the prescription of our statutes ?????? considering the statutes of our order and the praiseworthy customs and the terms of our present letter:
We say and declare that the preceptories of our order are perpetual benefices and not offices, and that their possessors ought to hold and possess them for ever. They may not be ejected or deprived unless for proven criminality
Moreover, in this our holy religion, only one monastery Is founded,from which other churches, houses and monasteries are known to flow as a brook and stream In that house Is the common seal for affixing to those things which are done and decided in general chapter. Nor is it a good thing that any preceptor anywhere else with enclosed religious should have the common seal but we say and declare that it Is most excellent that there should be one each in houses In the name of the preceptor:
We declare that it has been hitherto inviolably observed by the universal church that preceptors general ought to have in their care religious brothers, enclosed brothers, benefactors and lay brothers in their area. These preceptors may also punish and correct such as have undertaken religious obligations. Each individual religious is bound to obey his superior, or else there would be confusion and no order would exist:
No one is permitted to receive the fruits, yields, offerings and other benefits and keep them for his own use. Only the preceptor, who has the care, and control, and concern for the others may do so:
We therefore enjoin each and every one that he should walk in the calling by which he has been called, be content within his own limits, in virtue, good living and honest conversation in the Lord, and having rooted out all divisions should persevere so that he may enjoy more fully merit with God and praise with men:
Given at Saint Anthonys, In the great hall of the said house, by order [ of the general chapter, 1st July 1446, under the seals of the house and ,Labbot, there being present as witnesses the noble and venerable Ludovicus Curinblion, lord of Bruzeto, and Master Michael Fraser, bachelor in both laws and Jacobus Pignoli [ berieficiatus] In Perpignan.

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