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FERQUHARD.

AFTER the deceasse of Eugenius, his son Ferquhard succéeded in his place, for Eugenius
Ferquhard king of Scotland. had three sonnes, Ferquhard, Fiacre, and Donald. These being appointed by their father to be brought vp with Connane bishop of Sodore (that is, the bishop of Man) in vertuous discipline, did not altogither follow his godlie precepts and lessons. Ferquhard and Donald gladlie gaue eare to him, but they thought his instructions did not much apperteine vnto their birth and degrée: but Fiacre printing his diuine documents déepelie in his heart, determined to forsake all worldlie pompe and dignitie, and to get him some whither farre from home, where he might serue God more fréelie without let or interruption of his friends or kinsfolke. Thus Fiacre giueth himselfe for to liue a solitarie life in France. being disposed, he got vpon him simple apparell, and went ouer into France, where séeking a solitarie place, Pharao the bishop of Meaux gaue vnto him a péece of ground in the which at this day he is worshipped with great deuotion.

There hath gone a tale in that countrie, that no woman might enter into the chappell where he lieth buried; for if anie doo, she hath some mishap that falleth vnto hir, as either the losse of sight, priuation of wits or some such like. As touching the state of the Scotish commonwealth, vnder the gouernement of Ferquhard, the same was quiet inough, & without trouble of outward enimies; but his subiects among themselues fell at such diuision, that euerie part of the realme was full of murther, burning, and other destructions of men and houses, with such spoiling, robbing, reuing, and all kinds of other mischiefs, that no where was any suertie either of life or goods: all the which misorders sproong, were nourished and mainteined through the kings owne diligence: for he mistaking his office and dutie, was of this opinion, that so long as the nobles and states of his realme were thus readie one to kill an other, there was no likelihood they should haue time to practise anie rebellion against him; and herevpon he Ferquhard mainteined ciuill discord. rather holpe to further such discord amongest them, than tooke order for to appease it. But it came to passe by this means, that he was nothing regarded within a while amongest them, so that by means of other arbitrators which they chose by common agréement, all matters in controuersie were taken vp & ended betwixt them, the king not once made priuie therevnto.

At the same time it was noised abroad in the realme, that Ferquhard, besides other his King Ferquhard infected with the Pelagian error. wicked behauiours, was also infected with the erronious opinions of the Pelagian heresie. Which suspicion was the more increased, for that he vsed to haue sundrie British priests in his companie: the which nation had béene euer noted with the spot of that damnable infection. The nobilitie of the realme mooued herewith, summoned him by an herald to come to a The king is summoned by an herald. councell, which they had appointed to hold of all the states, that they might there vnderstand, if it were true or not which was commonlie reported of him. But he refusing to come at such summons, they assembled togither, and besieged him in the castell wherein he had inclosed himselfe, and winning the place, got him into their hands, and immediatlie therevpon He is taken prisoner. committed him to safe kéeping. This doone, they consult togither for the administration of the realme, whether they should quite depose Ferquhard, or restore him to his place. In fine Ambassadors sent into France to Fiacre. Fiacre his praier. they rest vpon this agréement, to send an honorable ambassage into France vnto Fiacre, to require him to returne home into his countrie, and there to receiue the gouernement of the realme.

Fiacre (as the report goeth) hearing that there were diuers of the Scotish nobilitie comming towards him vpon this message, in his praiers desired feruentlie of almightie God, that it might please him so to woorke for him, that he might continue in his contemplatiue life still, and not be occasioned to resort vnto the troubles of the world, which all contemplatiue godlie men ought to abhorre. And euen as he had wished, it came to passe. For when those that were sent vnto him, came to the heremitage wherein he had his lodging, they found him (as appeared vnto them) so disfigured with the leprosie, that vpon his earnest refusall to forsake his solitarie life (which he professed to lead as an heremite) for anie worldlie preferment of kinglie gouernement, they were content to returne with that answere, sith his infirmitie (as they supposed) was such, as was not conuenient for him that should haue anie publike gouernement. This Fiacre had a sister named Sira, which hearing of hir brothers vertuous trade of life, came vnto him with a companie of godlie virgins, and being of him confirmed in hir purposed intent of chastitie, she repaired into Champaigne in France, where she with hir fellowes remained in great holinesse of life, leauing in those parties a woorthie memorie not forgotten amongest them there till this day.

The foresaid ambassadours returning foorth of France, declared in what plight of deformitie they had séene Fiacre, and how earnestlie he had refused the offer which they had made vnto him in name of all the states of Scotland. The Scotish nobilitie herevpon assembling togither, chose foorth foure of the ancientest peeres amongest them, to haue the rule and gouernement of the kingdome, till it were otherwise prouided. These were named by that age, wardens, and had full authoritie to order things as séemed them good in all points. In the meane time Ferquhard remaining still in prison, and vexed with sundrie diseases, to rid The desperat end of king Ferquhard. himselfe out of such miseries, slue himselfe in the 13 yeare of his reigne; and so nothing spared his owne life in the end, which had béene the occasion of the losse of so manie other mens liues in time of the ciuill discord, that he had euer nourished. After this wretched end of Ferquhard, which happened in the yeare of our Lord 632, the lords of the land 632. assembled themselues togither in Argile, about the choosing of a new king, where by common consent, Donwald the third sonne of Eugenius, being called thither with bishop Conan out of the Ile of Man, was inuested king with great ioy and triumph.

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