Melcrether # FGN S NO4326 2
Melchrethre 1159 x 1164 RRS i no. 228 [= St A. Lib. 196–7; ‘one carucate of land in Naughton by the name of Melcrether’ (unam carucatam terre in Adnectan nomine Melchrethre) granted to St Andrews Priory by Malcolm IV]
Melchrether 1163 St A. Lib. 54 [papal confirmation; ‘one carucate of land which is called Melcrether’ (unam carucatam terre que dicitur Melchrether)]
Melgrethre 1165 x 1169 RRS ii no. 28 [o.c.; royal confirmation: a carucate of land ‘of Naughton by the name of Melcrether’ (de Adnacht’ nomine Melgrethre); = St A. Lib. 214, which has Melcrether]
Melerethre 1165 x 1178 St A. Lib. 142 [for *Melcrethre]
Melchrerre 1178 x 1184 St A. Lib. 148 [episcopal confirmation]
Melcrethre 1183 St A. Lib. 58 [papal confirmation]
Malcreþer 1189 x 1198 St A. Lib. 150 [episcopal confirmation; ‘vnam carucatam terre de Adynahten uidelicet Malcreþer’]
terram predictorum canonicorum de Malcrether c.1200 x c.1200 x 1210 St A. Lib. 275 [‘the said canons’ (of St Andrews) land of Melcrether’]
Rogero de Malcrether c.1200 x c.1200 x 1210 St A. Lib. 275
Melcrether 1228 St A. Lib. 233 [papal confirmation; worded as St A. Lib. 148]
G maol + ? G creth + suffix – er or ? G criathar
‘Bare shaking place, bare shaking ground’, with reference to a particular kind of bog? The second element is probably that found in the Fife name Muncrethin (1235), which appears in a boundary description of Caiplie KRY (PNF 3, 331), that is a word related to G crath ‘shake’ or G crith ‘tremble, quake’, OIr crith (gen. sing. and nom. pl. cretha) m. ‘act of shaking; a tremble’. The final element could then be a suffix –er indicating ‘place of’ etc. Alternatively the final –er could be an integral part of the second element, cf crithir ‘shaking, trembling’ (DIL); and G criathar, OIr críathar (m.) ‘sieve, riddle’, i.e. something that functions by being shaken. Either way it would be related to place-names such as Achray in Menteith PER, Cray in Glen Shee PER (Watson 1926, 477–8), Craithies by Meigle PER, Crathie by Braemar ABD and Crathes KCD, all referring to boggy land, and can be compared with Irish crathaidhe, creathaidhe ‘quaking bog’ (ibid. 478). The bog in question here would be the elongated and extensive marsh stretching eastwards from the lands of Friarton (formerly Melcrether), the referent also in the parish-name Forgan (Forgrund) q.v.
This is the land which later became known as Friarton, which see for details of this identification.
In Index to RRS i, the editor (G. W. S. Barrow), under Melchrethre, compares it to Petincreher mentioned in association with Rathillet KLM (Bain CDS ii no. 684). However, Petincreher is likely to be Pittencrieff CUP, q.v., above.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4