Author Topic: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees  (Read 5668 times)

November 23, 2013, 03:13:44 PM

Offline Len

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Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« on: November 23, 2013, 03:13:44 PM »
Theories on origin of the 'Culdees'

Early Beginnings

Protestant and Presbyterian writers

Culdees had preserved Celtic Christianity, free from supposed Roman corruptions, in one remote corner of western Europe
This view was enshrined in Thomas Campbell’s Reullura:
"Peace to their shades. The pure Culdee were Albyn’s earliest priests of God, Ere yet an island of her seas by foot of Saxon monk was trod."

Hector Boece - (sometimes spelt Boethius, or Boyce) (1465(dundee)-1536(Aberdeen)) was a Scottish philosopher and first Principal of King's College in Aberdeen, a predecessor of the University of Aberdeen.

Latin history of Scotland (1516), makes them the direct successors in the 9th to the 12th century of the organised Irish and Iona monasticism of the 6th to the 8th century.  William Reeves (1815–1892), bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore.

Another theory suggests the possibility that the Rule of Chrodegang, archbishop of Metz (d. 766), was brought by Irish monks to their native land from the monasteries of north-eastern Gaul, and that Irish anchorites originally unfettered by the rules of the cloister bound themselves by it.

In the 9th century we find nine places in Ireland (including Armagh, Clonmacnoise, Clones, Devenish and Sligo) where communities of these Culdees were established as a kind of annex to the regular monastic institutions.

They seem especially to have had the care of the poor and the sick, and were interested in the musical part of worship.

The Iona monks had been expelled by the Pictish king Nechtan son of Derile in 717.

James A. Wylie (1808–1890). The Culdees (Keledei) of Scotland are related to the Celtic Christian spirituality of the monks of Iona.
Over the course of several hundred years, the Culdee leaders of the church in Scotland were edged out of positions of authority and temporal support by outside church officials.  These officials appear to have been brought into the country for the sole purpose of dispossessing the existing local officials in order to snuff out the independence of the Celtic Christian tradition. Numerous historical references for the persecution of the Kelede by the Roman church at large to support this view.

The opposition of both Queen Margaret and King David I who were staunch supporters of the practices of the continental church and who would have no reason to fear a sect professing the continental practices.

Óengus the Culdee (b.d.Clonenagh)
lived in the last quarter of the 8th century, best known as the author of the Félire Óengusso "the Martyrology of Óengus".
Becoming a hermit, he lived for a time at Disert-beagh, where, on the banks of the Nore, he is said to have communed with the angels.
From his love of prayer and solitude he was named the "Culdee"; in other words, the Ceile Dé, or "Servant of God."
Not satisfied with his hermitage, which was only a mile from Clonenagh, and, therefore, liable to be disturbed by students or wayfarers, Óengus removed to a more solitary abode eight miles distant.
This sequestered place, two miles southeast of the present town of Maryborough, was called after him "the Desert of Óengus", or "Dysert-Enos".
Here he erected a little oratory on a gentle eminence among the Dysert Hills, now represented by a ruined and deserted Protestant church.
His earliest biographer (9th century)[citation needed] relates the wonderful austerities practiced by St. Óengus in his "desert", and though he sought to be far from the haunts of men, his fame attracted a stream of visitors.
The result was that the good saint abandoned his oratory at Dysert-Enos, and, after some wanderings, came to the monastery of Tallaght, near Dublin, then governed by St. Maelruain.

He entered as a lay brother, concealing his identity, but St. Maelruain soon discovered him and collaborated with him on the Martyrology of Tallaght.   

This was a work of Northumbrian provenance, probably from Lindisfarne, which first passed through Iona and Bangor, where Irish scribes began to make some additions. The manuscript (now lost) finally arrived in Tallaght, where it received the majority of its Irish additions.
It was written by someone of Óengus's learning and literary skill at Tallaght and there are strong indications that this was Óengus himself:
First of all the sources named by Óengus in the epilogue to the Félire (see above) would make more sense if these were the materials used for the Martyrology of Tallaght; second, a number of saints whom the same epilogue claims to have included are found in the Martyrology of Tallaght, but not in the actual Félire.

High Middle Ages

Those who accept the orthodox Roman viewpoint generally believe that the features of their life in Scotland, which would be the most important epoch in the history of the order, seem to resemble closely those of the secular canons of England and the continent.

From the outset they were more or less isolated, and, having no fixed forms or common head, tended to decay.
In the 12th century the Celtic Church was completely metamorphosed on the Roman pattern, and in the process the Culdees also lost any distinctiveness they may formerly have had, being brought, like the secular clergy, under canonical rule.
The pictures that we have of Culdee life in the 12th century vary considerably.
The chief houses in Scotland were at St Andrews, Scone, Dunkeld, Lochleven, Monymusk in Aberdeenshire, Abernethy and Brechin.
Each was an independent establishment controlled entirely by its own abbot and apparently divided into two sections, one priestly, the other lay and even married.
At St. Andrews about the year 1100 there were thirteen Culdees holding office by hereditary tenure and paying more regard to their own prosperity and aggrandizement than to the services of the church or the needs of the populace.

The Best book I have read regarding the history of the Culdees is
JOHN JAMIESON, D.D., F.R.S., F.A.S.E. (1759-1838(edenburgh))A HISTORY OF THE CULDEES HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ANCIENT CULDEES OF IONA And of their Settlements in Scotland England, and Ireland.

Message me if you are interested in reading the Jaimeson book as I have outlined it.  The above information written regarding the Culdees is from this book.

I just found another book in my collection called "The Mabinogi an Clem - The Story of the Children of Clem ", published by the Authors, Frederic Headly Barker Climo and Percy J. Climo, which gives a personal family pedigree and is a great historical reference for the history of Cornwall Britain, its Celtic roots as well as for the migration of the people of Cornwall to other parts of the world.


*This was originally posted on the link provided below, but deserves it's own topic thread here: http://culdiantrust.org/culdianforums/index.php?topic=11.msg1530#msg1530

November 23, 2013, 03:52:15 PMReply #1

Offline djinnee

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 03:52:15 PM »
Thanks for reposting this.  On reading the forum rules, I thought I needed to edit my other post rather than add another thread.  I have an ecopy of the Jamieson book and my outline of the key points in the book is a 26 page document.

I scanned a page in The Mabinogi an Clem of the "Old Gorsed Prayer".


November 23, 2013, 04:50:51 PMReply #2

Offline Len

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 04:50:51 PM »
Thanks for all the work!

You only need to edit your old posts to add on if no one else has responded yet. This is considered double posting, or consecutive posting. Other people have responded, so you could have posted in the old thread, but this is a new topic anyway concerning the Culdees in particular.

The Jamieson book is past copyright, so it may be posted here in full... but may be a little long for a post. If you'd like to post it as an attachment (and your outline as well), attach PDF or Word files on an email you send me, and I'll be able to post those attachments to the forum for people to download and read at their leisure.

**********************

Attached to this post are both John Jamieson's book, A Historical Account of the Ancient Culdees of Iona, and djinnee's notes on this history.

djinnee has kindly provided me with both, to share with everyone here. The file "culdee history" is Jamieson's book, while the file "culdee theory" is djinnee's write up.

Thanks djinnee!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 08:34:37 PM by Len »

November 23, 2013, 08:03:43 PMReply #3

Offline Len

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2013, 08:03:43 PM »
Quote from: Manu
So Kailedy means servant of God?

November 23, 2013, 08:04:24 PMReply #4

Offline Len

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2013, 08:04:24 PM »
Partially… although, it would be more accurate to translate it to ‘Vassal of God’.

Further meanings may be read about below:

http://culdiantrust.org/blog/glossary/culdian/

http://culdiantrust.org/about/the-old-culdees-culdian-roots/

November 25, 2013, 03:04:07 AMReply #5

Offline Enkisfreind

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2013, 03:04:07 AM »
Wow, I'm loving all this Culdee history, going to memorize the old Gorsedd prayer.
Thanks guys.
Love and Light.

January 30, 2014, 03:26:59 PMReply #6

Offline Lance

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 03:26:59 PM »
Elizabeth Elder-Hill has written on the early Culdee as well.  I'm not sure if this publication is even available any more, but it certainly does have some interesting information concerning the original Culdees.

February 20, 2014, 10:17:29 PMReply #7

Offline Diane_

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 10:17:29 PM »
Lance, I'm thinking you meant Isabel Hill Elder?  I have her book, "Celt, Druid & Culdee".  Paperback.  I really enjoyed it.  I have bookmarks all through the book.  That's a good sign how interesting I thought it was.  I bought it online last year sometime.  She caught my attention early on in the book by mentioning "Konig", relating it to "Cunobelinus", or King "Belinus", the reigning King in Britain at the time of the Claudian invasion.  Well that's all it took to get me going.  My mothers maiden name was Koning.  Grandpa was a Koning, and Grandma a Dennehy.  So many bells went off while reading that book it was uncanny. I have bookmarks every few pages.  It's a keeper! 

The chapter on the Culdee is fascinating.  Couple quotes...

Quote
"The first converts of the Culdees were the Druids.  The Druids of Britain, embracing Christianity found no difficulty in reconciling the teaching of the Culdees or, "Judean Refugees",  with their own teaching of the resurrection and inheritance of eternal life...

Christianity was a new thing in Asia, but there never was a time when Druids in Britain held not it's doctrines...

There was no violent divorce between the new teaching and that of their own Druids, nor were they called upon to reverse their ancient faith as to lay it down for a fuller and more perfect revelation.

Think maybe the author protest a bit too much? I really want to date the Judean refugees to after 70 AD.  She dates the refugees arriving in Britain around 37 AD.  Maybe some arrived that early, spreading the news.  Still think the most important ones arrived after 70 AD. 

February 26, 2014, 01:16:37 AMReply #8

Offline Len

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 01:16:37 AM »
I really want to date the Judean refugees to after 70 AD.  She dates the refugees arriving in Britain around 37 AD.  Maybe some arrived that early, spreading the news.  Still think the most important ones arrived after 70 AD.

What information do you have that contradicts Elder's research? Or what is your reasoning?

If the legends (and other historical documentation) surrounding Joesph of Arimathea founding the Keltic Church in Britain are true (and likewise what is stated in the Kolbrin and Kailedy), 37 AD would be the closer to the actual date... or else Joesph would be a very old man!!!

Perhaps you disagree with the Kolbrin here, or the legends, or the old historians pointing to this early date for the Keltic Church? I look forward to seeing evidence you may have that others may have missed...

I would also note that Druidism was in severe decline (some say dead) after 60 AD, following the Menai Massacre, in which the Romans ended up slaughtering most of the country's Druidic priest class. Further, Keltic culture itself was shaken irretrievably to its foundations at this time when Boudica's revolt failed, and the Romans gained complete dominance of Britain.

Druids meeting Christians, whose merging produced the Culdees, could hardly have happened at a time when the Druids had been wiped out, and Keltic culture itself was in chaos and decline.

Why would Judean refugees come to a land of turmoil recently subjected and despoiled by the Romans? The Kolbrin reasonably claims otherwise:

Quote from: The Britain Book, Chapter One, Page 387 of The Kolbrin
Here, the strangers, now called the Wise Ones, were free from the yoke of Rome and from the intolerance of the Jews. They were not subject to immoral customs and were among the right-living people, simple but pure in mind and body. Close by was a place for trading in metals, slaves, dogs and grain. Here, Ilyid built himself a house unlike any others, for it was square and in two parts, more stone than timber. This place was called Kwinad...

Ilyid is buried outside the forked path before the church, and on his tomb was written, "I brought Christ to the Britons and taught them. I buried Christ and now here my body is at rest."

Reread the whole of this chapter, as well as the rest of the Britain Book. It claims Joesph came to Britain three years after the crucifixion of Jesus, and met with high Druid priests, and a British king, all of which did not exist past 60 AD, due to the Roman destruction and subjugation.

Looking at all this, it appears the Kolbrin confirms Elder's research, or Elder (and others) confirms the Kolbrin rather. I very much look forward to what you have that contradicts all this...

 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 03:41:42 AM by Len »

February 26, 2014, 09:32:39 PMReply #9

Offline Diane_

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 09:32:39 PM »
My reply will take a bit of time.  I look forward to defending my thoughts.  I don't take notes like I use to.  I research mostly for myself these days.  It's like beating ones head against the wall more often than not to get anyone to see what they believed true, might just not be completely true, or it could be a twisted version of reality. 

I have no personal quest to prove any book wrong.  Each one has it's reasons for being written when it was and why it was.  What was written by man or channeled 50, 500 or 2,000 years ago may not apply today.  Each depends on what message the author was trying to get everyone to see at that time in history and where that info originated.   No book written by man is infallible.  No book written by man isn't prejudice.   It's only by opening oneself up to numerous opinions can one even hope to find the truth in any given situation.  If you only search to prove your point, you will find it no doubt. 

If it weren't for The Kolbrin I would probably still be sleeping.  My aim is not to disagree with the Kolbrin, or Elder but only to use the light from those books to see through the crack they created in the wall.  Each opens a new door to explore, another piece of the puzzle. 

February 26, 2014, 09:55:44 PMReply #10

Offline Len

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 09:55:44 PM »
No offense meant, Diane. It is just curious that you gave an opinion without any reason or evidence why. From my perspective and research, there is little to no reason that I can see for the date you gave. If there is, I would be most excited to lessen my ignorance. This is why I asked for how you came to this conclusion, so that you could possibly teach people here, myself included, what we may not know.

What was written by man or channeled 50, 500 or 2,000 years ago may not apply today.

I'm not sure how this applies to the current topic. The question is not one of moral or social relevance, but of dates, and whether or not a notable person of history was at a given place.

Please explain how Joesph of Arimathea being in Britain after Jesus' death may apply for certain times and places but not for others...

It is either a fiction, or it is not. But you seem to be saying it could be both. Please elaborate...

March 15, 2014, 05:13:57 PMReply #11

Offline Lance

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Re: Notes on the History of the Old Culdees
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2014, 05:13:57 PM »
Thanks for that Diane.  You are quite right, and that is the title I couldn't remember at the time of writing.