Excerpt from Liber Sancte Marie De Melros, Vol. 1: Munimenta Vetustiora Monasterii Cisterciensis De Melros
These important charters, although they have not escaped the notice of some of our more diligent antiquaries had fallen almost into oblivion, and only a tradi tion remai... ned, that they were preserved, until a recent period, in the archives of the Earls of Morton d. When examined for the purpose of the present publication, they were found to be contained in twenty-six linen bags, and appeared not to have been disturbed since the middle of the last century. The charters are generally in fine preservation; and numerous seals are preserved, many of which have, at early periods, been carefully protected by little bags of linen still fitting closely round each seal.
These muniments, before the dissolution of the monastery, had already formed the subject of two compilations or chartularies. The more ancient, as it now exists, is very imperfect. It is preserved in the library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh 3, and consists of 4% leaves of vellum, of a small quarto size, not always in proper order. It contains charters from the restoration of the Abbey by King David I., down to the reign of Alexander III., written uniformly and at the same time, if not by one hand; and its execution may be safely ascribed to the end of the latter reign, or to the period of confusion which immediately followed it.
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