THIS Finnanus had the nobles of his realme in such estimation, that he ordeined that nothing should be decreed or practised touching the publike affaires of the realme, except they
were first made priuie and of counsell in the same. He sought also to win the fauour of his
people by méekenesse and gentle intreating of them, insomuch that though he went about
to restore the old religion somwhat defaced by his father through information (as is said) of
the two aboue mentioned sage philosophers, yet did he not constreine anie man to woorship
Prelats ordered in religion.
Druides in the old Scotish toong called Durcerglijs.
The Scots mistake Man for Angleseie.
the gods, otherwise than his fansie serued him. He was the first that instituted those prelats,
which gouerned after the maner of bishops, in all matters perteining to religion, and were called
in the Scotish toong Durceglijs, in Latine Druides. These Druides were appointed to be resident within the Ile of Man, as the Scotishmen hold opinion: but other thinke rather that they
were resident in Angleseie, in the British toong called Mon. Vnto these also hauing great
liuings assigned them, were the inferiour priests subiect, as receiuing at their hands all iniunctions and orders for the vse of their sacrifices and other ceremonies.
These Druides afterwards applied themselues so earnestlie to the studie of philosophie,
aswell naturall as morall, that they were had in no small reuerence of the people, as they that were
both accounted and knowne to be men of most perfect life and innocencie: by meanes
The authoritie of the Druides increased.
whereof their authoritie dailie so far foorth increased, that finallie iudgements in most doubtfull matters were committed vnto their determinations, offendors by their discretion punished, and such
as had well deserued accordinglie by their appointments rewarded. Moreouer such as refused
to obeie their decrees and ordinances, were by them excommunicated, so that no creature
durst once kéepe companie with such, till they were reconciled againe, and cléerelie by the
same Druides absolued.
Plinie, Cornelius Tacitus, Strabo, and Iulius Cæsar, with diuers other approued authors,
make mention of these Druides, signifieng how the first beginning of their religion was in Britaine (which some comprehend all wholie vnder the name of Albion) and from thence was
the same religion brought ouer into France. Finnanus was not onelie praised for his setting
foorth of that heathen religion, but also for his politike gouernement of the estate in ioifull rest
and quietnesse. Neither was his fame a little aduanced for the mariage concluded and made
betwixt his sonne Durstus and Agasia daughter to the king of Britains, for by that aliance he
wan diuers of the British nation vnto his friendship. Finallie, this Finnanus died at Camelon,
being come thither to visit the king of Picts as then sore diseased, after he had reigned about
the space of thirtie yeares. His bodie was conueied vnto Beregonium, and there buried
amongest his predecessors.