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MELROSE


171


MELZI


Cruciform in shape, built in English Perpendicular, Decorated, and Flamljoyant styles, two hundred and fifty feet in length, Melrose was distinguished for the fairy-like lightness of its carvings and window-trac- ery, finished with exquisite care. Not only the royal founder, but succeeding sovereigns, and countless benefactors, nobles an(l commoners, so richly en- dowed Melrose with lands and possessions that its an- nual revenue is computed at one hundred thousand pounds of present money value. One example of the application of such revenues is told in twelfth century records. During a time of famine four thousand starving people were fed by the monastery for three months. Many of the abbots were men of distinction: Abbot Waltheof (114S), stepson of David I, and hon- oured as a saint; Abbot Joscelin, afterwards Bishop of Glasgow (1175), took a prominent part in the erection of the fine cathedral of that city, as a shrine for the


is founded solely upon the Cotton ian Manuscript, Faustina B. ix, in tlie British .Museum, the only ancient copy preserved. .^^U others are transcripts from this one original. The names of its authors are unknown, but some expressions used by them prove this chronicle to have been written in the abbey, whilst evidence from writing shows it to have been the work of monks who were inmates of Melrose in successive periods. The first portion, namely from the commencement to about the year 1140, is a com- pilation from the .\nglo-Saxon Chronicle and other ex- isting histories by Simeon of Durham and Hoveden. This portion should, therefore, be used with caution. The second portion, namely from about the year 1140 to the abrupt termination of the Chronicle in 1270, is considered by historians to be possessed of the highest credibility. The information is then quite original and the numerous and progressive variations in the


body of St. Mungo; Abbot Robert (1268) had been formerly Chancellor of Scotland; Abbot Andrew (1449) became Lord High Treasurer; many others were raised to the episcopate. The English troops of Henry VIII burned Melro.se in 1544. Although the monks once numbered two hundred, and there were one hundred and thirty as late as twenty years before the Reformation, eleven only received pensions at the dis- solution, so quickly must they have been dispersed. After many vicissitudes, the possessions of the abbey came finally to the Buceleuch family. The ruins were further devastated by a fanatical mob in 1569, when statues and carvings were ruthlessly destroyed; but more wanton still was the subsequent carting away of the sacred stones in great numbers to serve as building materials. The result is seen in the carved religious em- blems still appearing upon surrounding houses. The ruins of the once noble abbey form a strikingly beau- tiful picture from the North British Railway, about thirty-seven miles south of Edinburgh.

Liber (U Metros, ed. Innes (2 vols., Bannatvne Club. 1837); Morton, Monastic Annals ofTevioldale (1832); Scottish Cister- cian Houses in Dublin Review (April, 1902).

Michael Barrett.

Melrose, Chronicle of (Chronica de Mailros). — It opens with the year 735, ends abruptly in 1270, and


handwriting show that it is generally, if not always, contemporaneous. The Manuscript, now in the British .Museum, was probably carried off from Melrose at the time of the Reformation. It was edited in 1835 by J. Stevenson, S.J., for the Bannatyne Club. The Oxford edition issued in l(iS4 by I'^ulman is by no means satisfactory, as the editor had no opportunity of collating the (Jxford transcript with the original. Besides its chronicle, Melro.se has handed down hundreds of charters and royal writs, dating from the reign of David I to that of Bruce, and forming a most valuable collection, rich in illustrations of the social life and economy of the period. They were edited by Cosmo Innes.

Stevenson. Chronica de Mailros (Edinburgh, 1835); Innes, Liber de S. Marie de Metros (Edinburgh, 1837); Douglas, His- tory of Roxburghshire.

W. Forbes-Leith.

Meizi, Francesco, b. at Milan, about 1490; d. 1508. He was a mysterious personage. He was a friend of Leonardo da Vinci, and Vasari tells us that he was a Milanese nobleman, an exceedingly handsome young man, and that he possessed the principal part of the anatomical drawings of Leonardo. He inherited Leonardo's manuscripts, instruments, books, and drawings; he furnished both Vasari and Lomazzo with