15 APRIL 1882, Page 23

The Religious House of Pluscardyn. By the Rev. S. R.

Macphail, M.A. (Oliphant, Anderson, and Ferrier, Edinburgh.)—The House Pluscardyn was founded in the early part of the thirteenth cen- tury, by Alexander II., a great favourer of monasticism. It was a priory of the Order of Tanis Caulium, an offshoot of the Carthusians. The original foundation of which Plascardyn was one of the offspring was in Burgundy, and Mr. Macphail's enthusiasm for his subject prompted him to make an expedition in search of it. His account of what he found is interesting, and it is satisfactory to know that the site is now in worthy hands, though there is a lamentable record of destruction wrought on the rains, not in the fury of the Revolu- tion, but by the greed of recent proprietors. This chapter is, as we have said, interesting, but the cursory survey of the history of monasticism, beginning with St. Anthony, is quite out of place in a work of this kind. It may be taken for granted that any ore who cares for the subject enough to read this volume will know all, and more than all, that the author has been able to compress into these few pages. Of the internal history of Pluscardyn there is little to be said. The chief interest of it lies in the relations of the priory to the Bishop of the diocese. This prelate was not unsuccess- ful in asserting his spiritual authority over the foundation, and Mr. Macphail has an interesting chapter which he entitles, "The Bishop Moderates a Call and Settlement." Some of the charters printed in the volume contain noteworthy matter. Of minor things, we may mention that in 1508 Prior Robert let the fishing of two cobles in the River Spey to Robert Innes and his partner, for two hundred marks (Scots) and a barrel of salmon. Of the buildings, considerable re- mains still exist. They have had the good-fortune to fall into good hands, and are now worthily conserved by tho Earl of Fife, to whose courteous liberality in throwing open his muniment-room the author of this volume pays a well-merited tribute of thanks. This handsome and copiously illustrated volume does great credit to its author, in the first place, and to all who have been concerned in or helped for- ward its publication.