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Chronicles of Strathearn

Sir William Montfichet or de Montifex had large possessions


On

15th September, 1305, King Edward I., with the concurrence of ten Scots and twenty-two English Commissioners to his Parliament, made an ordinance containing certain regulations "for the settlement of Scotland." Amongst these regulations was the following:--"That there should be Sheriffs natives either of Scotland or England, to be appointed or removed by the Lieutenant or the Chamberlain, at discretion, who should execute the office of escheatry as usual, and that none should be appointed but the most sufficient men and most profitable for the King, and people, and the maintenance of peace." Sir Malcolm de Innerpeffer was appointed, or rather continued, in office of Sheriff of Auchterarder, and he was at same time appointed Sheriff of the shire of Clackmannan.[6] The appointment did not, however, extinguish the Sheriff's patriotism, as the next thing we hear of him is:--

"The King sends to Walter, Bishop of Chester, the Treasurer, Malcolm de Innerpeffrei, Knight, who at the time of this last 'riote' of the Scots was the King's Sheriff of Clackmannan and Auchterarder, but nevertheless was one of the first to join Sir Robert de Brus, and wickedly allotted the Earls of Menteth and Strathern in aiding said Robert; also fought against the King at the Battle of Seint Johan de Perth, and has done all the damage he could, commanding that he be secured in some strong castle, not in irons, but body for body."

"Whereon

said Malcolm was at once delivered to the Constable of the Tower of London, on the 7th of December."

Another writ follows regarding Sir Malcolm's two horses, which the King permits him to make profit of at pleasure.[7]

We do not know the result of the proceedings against the Sheriff of Auchterarder, but as his two horses were restored to him, he seems to have been treated leniently. In regard to the Earl, we find that in November, 1306, he presented a memorial to the King and Council, showing that he was compelled to join Sir Robert de Brus through fear of his life.

The Castle and Barony of Auchterarder appear to have been Crown possessions until the reign of Robert the Bruce, when they became the property of Sir William de Montfichet or Montifex, appointed Justiciar of Scotland in 1332. The family was of Norman extraction. They had possessions in England, and a branch for some time settled in Scotland, Robert Montfichet being a witness to a charter of William the Lion in 1184. In Robertson's _Index of Ancient Charters_ there occurs an old official inventory, compiled, apparently, about the close of the sixteenth century, in which mention is made of a charter--"Wilhelmo de Montefixo of the lands of Auchterarder with the town duty." Sir William Montfichet or de Montifex had large possessions, being not only proprietor of the Barony of Auchterarder, but of Cargill and Kincardine in Menteith, and other lands in Perthshire; and also of Kilmahew, in Dumbartonshire, and other lands. He had three daughters, who became his heirs-portioners. To his eldest daughter Marie he left the estates of Auchterarder, Cargill (or Stobhall), and Kincardine in Menteith. She married Sir John Drummond, the seventh Thane of Lennox. Sir John Drummond's eldest daughter was Annabella Drummond, Queen to Robert III. Our present Gracious Sovereign Queen Victoria is a lineal descendant of Marie Montifex of the Castle of Auchterarder.[8]

In the reign of David II. mention is made of the Burgh of Auchterarder in the account of the Great Chamberlain for 1366 as being in arrear of the contribution for payment of the King's ransom, being due the sum of thirty-one shillings.[8] In 1374, the Chamberlain debits himself with thirty-three shillings and fourpence received from the bailies of Auchterarder for contribution; and there are two different entries in the rolls of 1390, both relating to a debt owing by the Crown to the community of Auchterarder on account of certain services to the late King Robert II. There is also another entry in the Chamberlain Rolls, under date 1435, in which it appears that the services to the Crown had not been uplifted by the Chamberlain from the burgesses of Cromarty, Dingwall, and Ochterardor, because no Chamberlain aires had been held within those burghs at the time when the account was made up. Under date August, 1569, in the accounts of the High Treasurer there is an entry, where the "customaries of Ochterairder" are mentioned along with those of St. Andrews.


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