The Chapter House and School


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This Decree of Council from James VI in 1588 ordered Alexander Ross of Balnagown, under pain of rebellion, to return the Chapter House and School of the St Duthac Collegiate Church.

James &c . . .

Shown to us by our beloved Mr Thomas Craig procurator for the Kirk, Mr John Robertson Commissionaire of the Kirks of Ross and Mr John Ross moderator of the presbytery of Tain and remnant brethren of the same that where the chapter of the college kirk of Tain being a place dedicated properly for the convention of the commissionaire and brethren of the said presbytery for their synod assemblies and order taking with disobedient persons of the discipline of the Kirk for committing of vice worthy of punishment contrary to the word of God and your necessary causes...

The place and the aforesaid brethren presently occupying that house are greatly frustrated and hindered in their calling and liberty as they ought to have within the bounds of the presbytery and the premises, because Alexander Ross of Balnagown has withheld and retained the said Chapter, this long time bygone, like he yet withholds the same, and makes his girnal and larder house there, with profane uses and keeps to that effect, and will not deliver the same to the said complainers as a proper and convenient place.

And also, there is founded beside the said college Kirk and Chapter a house of old dedicated for a schoolhouse called the bothy is also occupied presently by John Ross of Little Allan ... a certain time bygone, and albeit yet the same be most necessary for the upbringing of the youth in education of virtue and good letters, he utterly refuses to deliver but detains the same to his profane uses, and so the youth is greatly frustrated of learning, and has nowhere a commodious place, to their great hindrance and loss, give so be as is alleged. . . . therefore we charge you urgently ... to charge the said Alexander Ross and John Ross to cease from further occupying, labouring of the said chapter and schoolhouse and rid themselves of their goods and gear.

It to be occupied for the use and exercises that the same was dedicated to of old . . . under pain of rebellion and putting to our horn or else, ordered before our counsel . . . and show reasonable cause why the same should not be done ... at Edinburgh Seventeenth day of August 1588 . . .