Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Coarbs of St Moluag

Niall Livingstone, younger of Bachuil, (now Clan Chief) carrying the Bachuil Mor, the pastorial staff of St Moluag, with the Rt. Hon. Dr George Reid, the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament

"Titles" are no longer "in". However they are reminders of tradition: many are good traditions.

Some titles are ancient: older than the Nation State. The Coarbs of St Moluag is one of the oldest titles in Britain: possbly the oldest. It hearkens back to the Dark Ages: when a missionary saint started to evangelise the Picts in Scotland in the sixth century AD.

The Times belatedly reported the recent death of Alastair Livingstone of Bachuil. He was the holder of what is thought to be the oldest title in Britain: the Coarbs of St Moluag and the "Hereditable Keeper of the Great Staff of Saint Moluag.".

He was also Baron of the Bachuil and Chiefs of MacLea.

The Livingstones, originally known by the Gaelic name MacLea, are one of the oldest clans in Scotland.

Saint Moluag, (c.530 - 592),] (also known as Lua, Luan, Luanus, Lugaidh, Moloag, Molluog, Molua, Murlach), was an Irish missionary, and a contemporary of Saint Columba. He evangelized the Picts of Scotland in the sixth century.

Molaug evangelized largely Pictish areas.He founded an island monastery on the Isle of Lismore,and it is is claimed that Moluag was the founder of 100 monasteries in Dark Ages Scotland.

Moluag died in Rossmarkie, Scotland on June 25, 592.

The Coarb, or successor, of Saint Moluag, is the Livingstone chief of the Clan MacLea. The Livingstone family of Lismore had long been the hereditary keepers of the crozier of the saint.

The Court of the Lord Lyon is the heraldic authority for Scotland. On 29th December 1951, Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Lord Lyon King of Arms made a finding that

"the Coarbs... of St Moluag have come down through the centuries...`acknowledging no earthly authority or hierarchy`. In my view... the Bachuil lands had no feudal superiors in the Middle Ages... And the Baron of the Bachuil at first, like certain old French barons, was in the nature of a baron par le Grace de Dieu"

The origins of the allodial Barons of the Bachuil have been described by Niall Livingstone Younger of Bachuil, in The Baron of the Bachuil