IN the meane time Culene prince of Cumberland, the sonne (as I haue said) of king
Indulph, accompanied with a great number of lords and nobles of the realme, came vnto
Scone, there to receiue the crowne according to the manner: but at his comming thither,
he demanded of the bishops what the cause should be of such vntemperate weather. Who
The king asked the cause of the foule weather.
The bishops answer vnto the king.
made answer, that vndoubtedlie almightie God shewed himselfe thereby to be offended most
highlie for that wicked murther of king Duffe: and suerlie vnlesse the offendors were tried
foorth and punished for that deed, the realme should féele the iust indignation of the diuine
iudgement, for omitting such punishment as was due for so greeuous an offense. Culene
héerevpon required the bishops to appoint publike processions, fastings, and other godlie
The king required publike praiers to be had.
exercises to be vsed of the priests and people, through all parts of the realme, for the good
appeasing of Gods wrath in this behalfe; and in such sort and manner as in semblable
cases the vse and custome in those daies was. He himselfe made a solemne vow, confirming
The king made an oth.
it with a like oth, before all the péeres & nobles there assembled, that he would not ceasse
till he had reuenged the death of king Duffe vpon the false inhabitants of Murrey land, to
the example of all other.
The multitude being present, getting them to armor, followed their prince, taking his
The king went with an armie into Murrey land.
iournie without further delaie towards Murrey land, the inhabitants of which region hearing
of his approch, and the cause of his comming, were striken with excéeding feare: but
namelie Donwald, being giltie in conscience, doubted lest if he were put to torture, he
A giltie conscience accuseth a man.
should be inforced to confesse the truth. Whervpon without making his wife priuie to his
departure, or anie other of his familie, saue a few such as he tooke with him, he secretlie
got him to the mouth of the riuer of Spey, where finding a ship readie, he went aboord the
Donwald geteth him secretlie awaie.
same, purposing to haue fled his waies by sea into Norwaie: for this is the peculiar propertie
of a giltie conscience, to be afraid of all things, and either in gesture or countenance to bewraie it selfe, accounting flight most sure, if occasion may serue thereto. For this Donwald,
The murther of the king is reuealed.
whome no man (though some partlie suspected him) might well haue burdened with the
crime of his maisters death (by reason of his faithfull seruice shewed towards him afore
time) had he not thus sought to haue auoided the countrie, was now detected of manifest
treason, euerie man detesting his abhominable fact, and wishing him to be ouerwhelmed in
the raging flouds, so to paie the due punishment, which of right he owght, for his vile treson
in murthering his naturall lord.
Culene being heereof aduertised, passed ouer Spey water, and taking the castell of Fores,
The castell of Fores is taken and all the inhabitants slaine.
slue all that he found therein, and put the house to sacke and fire. Donwalds wife with
his thrée daughters were taken: for Culene commanded, that whosoeuer could light vpon
them, should in anie wise saue their liues, and bring them vnto him. Which being doone,
he had them to the racke, where the mother vpon hir examination confessed the whole
The murther is wholie confessed.
matter, how by hir procurement chieflie hir husband was mooued to cause the déed to be
doone, who they were that by his commandement did it, and in what place they had buried
the bodie. Héere would the multitude haue run vpon hir and torne hir in peeces, but that
they were restreined by commandement of an officer at armes. The K. with the residue
for that night rested themselues, and in the morning tooke order for due prouision of all
things necessarie to take vp the bodie of king Duffe, and then to conueie it vnto Colmekill,
King Duffe his bodie to be taken vp Donwald is taken prisoner.
there to be buried amongest his predecessors.
But as they were busie héereabout, woord came that the traitor Donwald was by shipwracke cast vpon the shore within foure miles of the castell, as though he were by Gods
prouision brought backe into his owne countrie to suffer worthie punishment for his demerits.
Wherevpon the inhabitants of the places next adioining tooke him, and kept him fast bound
till they knew further of the kings pleasure: who verie glad of the newes, sent foorth immediatlie a band of men to fetch him. They that were sent did as they were commanded:
and being scarse returned, there came in diuerse lords of Rosse, bringing with them
Donwalds foure seruants were taken also.
Donwalds foure seruants, which (as before is said) did execute the murther. Thus all the
offendors being brought togither vnto the place where the murther was both contriued and
executed, they were arrained, condemned, and put to death in maner as followeth, to the
great reioising of the people that beheld the same.
They were first scourged by the hangman, and then bowelled, their entrails being throwen
Donwald with his confederats are executed.
into a fire and burnt, the other parts of their bodies were cut into quarters, and sent vnto the
chiefest cities of the realme, and there set vp aloft vpon the gates & highest towers, for example sake to all such as should come after, how heinous a thing it is to pollute their hands
in the sacred bloud of their prince. This dreadfull end had Donwald and his wife, before
he saw anie sunne after the murther was committed, and that by the appointment of the
most righteous God, the creator of that heauenlie planet and all other things, who suffereth
no crime to be vnreuenged, Those that were the takers of the murtherers were highlie
Rewards giuen vnto the takers of those murtherers.
rewarded for their paines and trauell therein susteined, being exempt from charges of going
foorth to the warres, and also of all manner of paiments belonging to publike duties, as tributes, subsidies, and such like.
These things being thus ordered, the bodie of king Duffe was taken vp, and in most
The bodie of king Duffe honorablie buried.
pompous manner conueied vnto Colmekill, accompanied all the waie by Culene, and a great
multitude of lords both spirituall and temporall, with other of the meaner states. There be
that haue written how his bodie (though it had laine six moneths vnder the ground) was
nothing impaired either in colour or otherwise, when it was taken vp, but was found as
whole and sound as though it had béene yet aliue, the skarres of the wounds onelie excepted. But to procéed, so soone as it was brought aboue the ground, the aire began to
Maruellous things are séene.
cleare vp, and the sunne brake foorth, shining more brighter than it had beene séene afore
time, to anie of the beholders remembrance. And that which put men in most deepe consideration of all, was the sight of manifold flowers, which sprang foorth ouer all the fields
immediatlie therevpon, cleane contrarie to the time and season of the yéere.
Within a few yeeres after this, there was a bridge made ouer the water in the same place,
where the bodie had beene buried, and a village builded at the one end of the bridge, which
is called vnto this day, Kilflos, that is to say, the church of flowers: taking that name of
the woonder there happened at the remoouing of the kings bodie, as the same authors would
séeme to meane. But there is now (or was of late) a rich abbeie, standing with a verie
faire church, consecrat in the honor of the virgine Marie. Monstrous sights also that were
seene within the Scotish kingdome that yéere were these: horsses in Louthian, being of
Horsses eate their owne flesh.
A monstrous child.
A sparhawke strangled by an owle.
singular beautie and swiftnesse, did eate their owne flesh, and would in no wise taste anie
other meate. In Angus there was a gentlewoman brought foorth a child without eies, nose,
hand, or foot. There was a sparhawke also strangled by an owle. Neither was it anie
lesse woonder that the sunne, as before is said, was continuallie couered with clouds for six
moneths space. But all men vnderstood that the abhominable murther of king Duffe was
the cause héereof, which being reuenged by the death of the authors, in maner as before is
said; Culene was crowned as lawfull successor to the same Duffe at Scone, with all due
honor and solemnitie, in the yeere of our Lord 972, after that Duffe had ruled the Scotish
kingdome about the space of foure yeeres.
The beginning of Culenes reigne, begun with righteous execution of iustice, promised a
King Culene did not continue as his beginning was.
firme hope of an other manner of prince, than by the administration which followed he declared himselfe to be: for shortlie after loosing the rains of lasciuious wantonnesse to the
youth of his realme, through giuing a lewd example by his owne disordered dooings, all
such as were inclined vnto licentious liuing, followed their sensuall lusts and vnbridled
He followes his sensuall lustes.
libertie, abandoning all feare of correction more than ever had béene séene or heard of in
anie other age. For such was the negligence of the king, or rather maintenance of misordered persons, that whatsoeuer anie of the nobilitie did either against merchants, priests,
or anie of the commons, though the same were neuer so great an iniurie, there was no
Euill dooers were not punished.
punishment vsed against them: so that all men looked for some commotion in the commonwealth therevpon to insue, if there were not other order prouided therefore in time. The
ancient péeres of the realme also being gréeued thereat, spared not to admonish the king
Good councsell was not heard.
of his dutie, declaring vnto him into what danger the realme was likelie to fall through his
Culene answered them, that he wist well inough how yoong men were not at the first
The kings answer vnto his graue péeres.
borne graue and sage personages, like to them with hoarie heads: wherefore their first
youthfull yéeres could not be so stable as they might be héereafter by old age and continuance of time. But as for such rigorous extrenitie as diuerse of his elders had vsed towards
their subiects, he minded not (as he said) to follow, being taught by their example (as by
the kings, Indulph, Duffe, and such other) into what danger he might incurre by such
sharpe seueritie shewed in the gouernment of the estate. Wherevpon he was determined
so to rule, as he might giue cause rather to be beloued than feared, which was the onelie
He would not displease.
meane (as he thought) to reteine his subiects in due and most faithfull obedience. This
answer was such, that although it séemed nothing agréeable for the preseruation of the publike state in quiet rest and satetie, yet was there no man, by reason of his regall authoritie,
that durst reprooue the same, but diuerse there were that praised him therein, as those that
hated all such as loued the vpright administration of iustice.
But such ancient councellors as had trulie serued in rule of the common wealth in the
daies of the former kings, Indulph & Duffe, misliking the state of that present world (wherin
the youth of the realme, namelie all such as were descended of noble parentage, and vsed
Ancient councellors leaue the court.
to be about the king, followed their wilfull & sensuall lusts, growing euerie day through
want of correction to be woorse and woorse) departed from the court, and withdrew to
their homes, without medling anie further with the publike administration. In whose place
there crept in others, that with their flatterie corrupted the residue of such sparks of good
The youthful court followeth their sensuall lusts.
inclination as yet remained in the king, if anie were at all; insomuch that in the end he
measured supreame felicitie by the plentifull inioieng of voluptuous pleasures and bodilie
lusts. He fansied onelie such as could deuise prouocations thervnto, and in filling the belfie
A wicked time of voluptuousnesse.
with excesse of costlie meates and drinks, those that could excell other were chieflie cherished, and most highlie of him esteemed.
Heerewithall he was giuen vnto leacherie beyond all the bounds of reason, sparing neither
A leacherous king.
Forcing of womenkind excéeded.
maid, widow, nor wife, prophane nor religious, sister nor daughter (for all was one with
him) that to heare of such villanie and violent forcings as were practised by him and his
familiars, it would loth anie honest hart to vnderstand or remember. He was so farre past
all shame in this behalfe, that when his leacherous lust by too much copulation was so
tired, that he might no more exercise his former lewdnesse, he tooke speciall pleasure yet
O beastlie behauiour!
to behold other to doo it in his presence, that his decaied lust might be the more stirred
vp with sight of such filthinesse. This abhominable trade of life he practised for the space
of thrée yeeres togither, giuing occasion of much spoile, rauine, manslaughter, forcings, and
rauishments of women, with all such kind of wicked and diuelish transgressions: no execution of lawes (instituted by authoritie of the former kings, for restreint of such flagitious
All honestie exiled.
offenses) being put in vre, through negligence of this monstruous creature.
So farre foorth also increased the libertie of théeues, robbers, and other offendors,
Robberie, theft, &c were mainteined.
mainteined by such of the nobilitie as consented vnto their vnlawfull dooings, and were partakers
with them in the same, that if anie man went about to withstand them, or refused to accomplish their requests and demands, he should be spoiled of all that he had, and happilie haue
his house burnt ouer his head, or otherwise be misused in such outragious and violent sort,
that it would gréeue all those that had anie zeale to iustice, to heare of such enormities
as were dailie practised in that countrie. Howbeit, at length the death of king Culene
Death made an end of all.
brought an end to all such wicked dealings: for falling into a filthie disease (through
abuse of excessiue drinking and leacherie) called the wasting of nature, he consumed awaie
in such wise by rotting of his flesh, that he appéered more like vnto a dead carcase, than
vnto a liuelie creature, insomuch that his owne sentants began to abhor him.
Wherevpon the lords and other honorable personages of the realme, vnderstanding his
case, caused a parlement to be summoned at Scone, where they determined to depose king
Culene, and appoint some other (whome they should iudge most méetest) to reigne in his
place. Culene also not knowing wherefore this councell was called, as he was going thitherwards, at Meffen castell, being almost in the mid waie of his iournie, was murthered by one
King Culene was murthered.
Cadhard the thane of that place, whose daughter he had rauished before time amongst
diuerse other. This end had Culene togither with all his filthie sensualitie: but the reprochfull infamie thereof remaineth in memorie with his posteritie, and is not like to be forgotten whilest the world goeth about. He was thus dispatched in the fift yéere of his reigne,
and after the birth of our Sauiour 976, the nobles & great péeres of the realme reioising at
his death, though they allowed not of the manner thereof.