Bissait, Baldred (DNB00)


BISSAIT or BISSET, BALDRED (fl. 1303), a native of the county of Stirling, became rector of Kinghorn, in the diocese of St. Andrews. When in 1300 and 1301 a discussion arose between the pope Boniface VIII, King Edward of England, and the Scottish government, with regard to the independence of Scotland, Bisset was appointed one of the commissioners to the pope to represent the claims of Scotland. These commissioners were provided with ‘instructions ’ on which to base their arguments, and from these instructions Bisset composed ‘Progressus contra figmenta regis Angliæ’ Both are printed in the ‘Scotichronicon.' It is in the ‘Progressus’ that we have the first mention of the coronation-stone of Scotland, which Bisset states Scota, daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, brought to Scotland with her. W. F. Skene is of opinion that ‘we owe the legend entirely to the patriotic ingenuity of Baldred Bisset.' Another writing of Bisset is also printed in the ‘Scotichronicon:’ ‘Lamentatio pro rege S. Davidis.' He is also said to have written ‘Contra Ecclesiæ Anglicanam,' ‘Pro Privilegiis Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ,' and ‘Defensio Ecclesiæ Catholicæ.'

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 102; Skene's Chronicles of the Picts and Scots (1867), pp. lxi, lxx, 271-84; Skene's Coronation Stone (1869),pp. 19-21; Skene's edition of Johannis de Fordun Chronica in Historians of Scotland, i, pp. xxxv, 332, ii. 825, 394.]

T. F. H.