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1508 - 1508
Foundation of an obit mass in Aberdeen 1508
See Foundation of an obit mass in St Nicholas, Aberdeen, 1526 for more explanation. Here Margaret Craufurd founds a mass for the soul of her late husband, Alexander Reid, who had been provost (Mayor) of Aberdeen. It was believed that prayers said for the dead`s soul would lessen the time it spent in purgatory. This document also shows other medieval religious beliefs and ceremonies associated with masses for the dead. The gaps in the record are caused by damage to the manuscript. manuscript
The Foundation of Margarete Craufurd of an anniversary for Alexander Reid of Pitfoddels 8 June 1508
To all who shall see or hear this charter, Margaret Craufurd, the relict of the late Alexander Rede of Petfodellis, (wisheth) eternal health in the Lord. Whereas we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of out Lord Jesus Christ to receive according as we have done on the body whether it be good or whether it be evil, therefore it is expedient to prevent with works of mercy the day of final judgment, so that we may reap in heaven with multiplied fruit the things which we have sown on earth. Therefore, know that I, for the salvation of my soul, and the soul of the late Alexander Rede of Petfodellis, our parents, benefactors, and those from whom we received any good things with too scant justice, and of all the faithful departed, in honour of Almighty God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary, S. Nicholas, S. Christopher the Martyr, and all the celestial citizens, have given . . . to discreet and learned men, the curate and chaplains of the choir of the Parish Church of the said burgh, all and whole my annual rent of twenty shillings, Scots, recovered of my own gains, payable from the sale of that whole and entire inner land of David Theman’s, goldsmith, burgess of the said burgh, lying within the same in the Castle Street, on the south side thereof, between the lands of Richard Vricht, William Rolland, and the late John Sanclare on the east, and the land of the late John Vormet on the west, (and) the land of Thomas Vaus on the north, extending in length to the Trinity Burn [stream] on the south, to be held . . . by the said curate and chaplains of the said choir from me and my heirs in pure and perpetual alms . . . For which annual rent the said curate and chaplains and their successors shall annually celebrate and sing an anniversary at the Altar of S. Christopher the Martyr, situated within the same church, viz., the office of the dead on the first Saturday of March, and a sung mass on the Sunday following, with a trenthal of other masses, as the custom is, throughout the week during my lifetime, for the soul of the said late Alexander Rede, the souls of my parents, and of all the faithful departed. Moreover, the collector of the same chaplains for the time being shall send the crier through the whole town with the smaller bell on the day of the said office to incite the people to pray for the salvation of the souls aforesaid; he shall place and set a table on the monument (of) the aforesaid, and cover it with a pall or decent covering, find wax lights, adding the prayers that are usual in such anniversaries, and causing the sacristan to toll the customary bells of the said church three times at the office and three times at the great mass, as the custom is, and paying for the said anniversary at the time of the celebration of the office, the sung mass, and other masses the said sum to the curate and chaplains aforesaid. And after my decease the said curates and chaplains, on the day of my departure, annually, every year in all time coming, shall sing and celebrate one sung mass at the altar before which I happen to be buried, with a trenthal of other masses throughout the week following, for the salvation of my soul, and the souls of my parents, benefactors, and those from whom I received any good thing with too scant justice, and all the faithful departed. And they shall sing and celebrate the other mass at the foresaid Altar of S. Christopher the Martyr, on the foresaid Sunday after the departure of the said Alexander Rede for the salvation of his soul, and the souls of his parents, benefactors, all from whom he received any good things with too scant justice, and all the faithful departed . . . . In testimony whereof my seal and the seal of an honourable man, David Mare, one of the baillies [municipal officers] of the said burgh, and giver of sasine [legal possession] of the said annual rent to Sir William Couper, collector and procurator [legal representative] in name of the said chaplains, are appended at the said burgh, 8th June, 1508, before men of honour and repute: James Collisoun, Alexander Gray, Charles Stewinsoun, burgesses [citizens]; Sirs John Reide, (and) Dauide Liell, chaplains; Norman Leslie, sergeant; and Sir John Stirueling, notary-public.
Cartularium Ecclesiae Sancti Nicholai Aberdonensis (Cartulary of the Church of St Nicholas of Aberdeen) ed James Cooper (Aberdeen: Spalding Club, 1892), vol 2 no 115
The document is an abstract of the original Latin charter. For the original, see Ibid, volume 1