THE Provincial Synod of Fife assembled in the Church of Dunfermline
THE GREAT PLAGUE IN TOWN AND PARISH. - During the greater part of the
1645, "the plague raged with fearful violence and mortality in Dunfermline,
as well as in many other places." "The mortality was great; many hundreds
were cut down, and in outlying places those who died were buried in fields.
Until the beginning of the present century many of these field
burial-places were to be seen covered with throch-stanes. One of these sad
memorials remains in a field adjacent to Pitbauchlie, about a mile and a
half S.E. of Dunfermline." Tradition affirms that the whole family who
then resided at Pitbauchlie were attacked by the scourge and died on the
same day. Regarding this calamitous period, the following extracts from
the Kirk Session Records cannot fail to be interesting:- "19th October,
1645: At this tyme meetings were not frequent because of the plague of the
pestilence wch then was in the parish, and increased in the same, so that
many died." "25th Nov: And because the number of the poor did increase in
this tyme of the plague, many tradismen put to penurie for want of
comercing and hadling of geir and money, qlk was then dangerous to use, and
little alms collectit; thairfore it was thot fitt that meill should be
given to the poore for thair present help, and that the presint collections
and moneys wch were in the boxe should pay for the sayd meill till after
that the Lord of His mercie withdraw his judgement of the plague, when
uther courses may be taine for supplying of the poore, and for restoring of
the moneys again to the boxe."
In this extract it will be observed that it is stated that "the handling
geir and money was dangerous." Regarding this there is a tradition that
all moneys were put into a vessel filled with water, and "carefully rinsed"
before being touched, and that at the ports of the town "plague stones,"
filled with water, were set up for washing money. Two of these stones are
still pointed out, built in an old wall in a close on the north side of the
High Street ("up the Tron Close"). These "plague-stanes," or dishes, are
of stone of a greyish tint, 17 inches in diameter, and 2 1/2 inches in
depth, and are rare memorials of Dunfermline in the olden time. Besides
washing the "coin of the realm," body-clothes, &c., were fumigated; for it
is on record that "clothes and bed-clothes" were "smockit" in a closed
apartment in the town, by means of "peat reeke," &c. Such methods for the
protection of the living were adopted in most places where this plague
Regarding meal, the same Record states that œ240 Scots (œ20 sterling)
paid for forty bolls of meal to "the ordinary and extraordinary poor of the
town." Again, on "4th December, 1645: That day it was thot fitt that a
voluntar contribution should be collectit throw the paroche, both in brt
and land, be the ministers and elders, once monethlie for the poore in this
paroche, espicially in this thair great indigencie and necessitie, during
this tyme of the plague; which contribution was collectit for this moneth
of December, first in the burgh be both the ministers and elders in their
awin quarters accompanying them thair, set down in a roll conteining the
particular of what was received, and fra whome, extending in the haill to
54lib. 9s. Scots (or œ4 10s. sterling). And next a voluntar contribution
was also collectit in the landwart be one of the ministers in the north
side thairof, and ane elder with him; and be the uther minister, and ane
elder with him, on the south side, set down also in a particular roll," &c.
"Sames day, James Simsone (one of the elders) delyuerit xijlib. 14sh. Scots
(or œ1 1s. sterling) collectit be him at the Kirk dore some sabbaths in
November, which, with the rest of the collections and contributions, was
not only distribut to the ordinar poore in this paroche at this tyme, but
also to many extraordinair poore thairin, and for interteyning of these
prsones in the moore who were under infection of the plague, being poore,
and myt not mtteny nor furnish themselffes, and for paying of dead Kistes
and burialls and vyr necessars."
This last entry corroborates a tradition that during this plague ratton,
rough timber houses were erected on the town muir, wherein were lodged
those whose "cases seemed desperate."
Dunfermline was visited by "raging plagues" in 1439, 1498, 1514, 1529,
1645. There have been no "het sicknes's" nor plagues in Dunfermline since
MARGARET DONALD, THE WITCH. - Given to one "James broun, in the ferrie
(North Queensferry), 30s, and to foure watchers of the witche margt.
Donald, for five days and five nights, twa of thame ey being on the watch
at thair severall turns to ilk of thaim for ilk day and ilk nyt vis; total
vi lbs." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.) This is a fine specimen of the
witch-watching age of 1640-46.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Reid re-elected Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
1646. - DUNFERMLINE CHURCH DISCIPLINE IN 1646. - "1st March, 1646: This
it was sufficientlie provin before the Session that Jonet Wely, spouse to
Robt Wallis, baxter, had slandered grissell walwood, spouse to Jon alisone,
wright, calling hir white bird, and heirby also slandering the dead, qhrby
the sd Jonet was ordainet to pay 4lib., qlk she did, and to mak hir public
repentance before the pulpet on a sabbath aftir sermon beforenoon, qlk she
did the 15th 15th march instant." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
BALDRIDGE COAL PITS. - The "Bawdrig Coal Pitts" are mentioned in an
deed of this date, coal being "thair wrocht for hame use an for exportin."
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Law elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
COLLECTION made in the Church for an Unfortunate Warrior. - An entry
Dunfermline Kirk Session Records, dated 31st August of this year, notifies
that "This day the Session ordainit a publick collection to be made next
Sabbth for ane alexander Kirk, in the gellett, who had his legg dung fra
him at the warrs in the north. 51lb. 18p. wes collectit fr him."
A TAILOR CARRYING ON HIS TRADE IN THE ABBEY. - In the Records of
Dunfermline Kirk Session of 1646, mention is made of "Robt Adam, tailor in
the Abbay." His "place of trade" would likely be in one of the
constabulary houses there, close to the west side of the steeple, or in an
apartment of "the pends."
DEARTH. - According to tradition and some MSS., "there was ane dearthe
Dunfermline in the year after the grait plague of 1646."
1647. - THE SUM OF œ205 SCOTS to be paid for the Fare of 1000 Horse
Riders and 1100 Foot Soldiers Crossing at North Queensferry. - Regarding
this charge, the Kirk Records of Dunfermline has an entry, viz.:- "5th
January, 1647: This day the Kirk Session gave their consent to pay to Jean
Moubray, in North Queensferry, the sum of 205lb. Scots (œ17 1s. sterling)
for the freight of a thousand horse, with their riders, and 1100 foot
CHURCH OF DUNFERMLINE in need of Repairs, &c. - "The Session, considering
the ruynous caice of the Kirk, especially of the roofe and stock of the
bells, liklie to fall doune, if not no speedie remeid be provyded for
preventing the same. It is resolved to supplicate the Lords of the
Exchequer for aid to repair it." (Kirk Ses. Rec. date April, 1647.)
SCHOOLS TO BE ESTABLISHED in the Landward Part of the Parish. - A minute
Dunfermline Kirk Session Records notes that on "This day (2d May, 1647) the
Session, considering the great ignorance of children and the youthe of this
paroche, especially of the poorest sort, for lack of education at schools,
their parents not being able to sustain them thereat, whilk occasions
grosse ignorance and great increase of sin following thereupon: therefore
the Session has thot fit that schools be set up in the several quarters of
the landwart of this paroche, espicially in those parts that are remotest,
and stand most in need thereoff, and fittest for the same, and that men or
women teachers be sought and provyded thereto, recommending the same to the
care and diligence of the ministers, elders, and others who are able in
these quarters to see the same done," &c.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE - James Reid. (Burgh Records.)
A BLUE GOWN. - In the Kirk Session Records, of date 21st Sept. this
there is an "item, to ane old man with a blew gown, 6s." The "blew gowns"
were "privileged alms-lifters." They were permitted by the magistrates to
beg from house to house on certain days of the week, when they walked about
in a blue sort of gown, on "the sleeve of which" was attached a large
circular pewter badge indicating their license, and having on it in large
raised letters round the circumference -
DUNFERMLINE PARISH NO 5 1648.
(See Annals, dates 1792 and 1820.)
1648. - DUNFERMLINE BRANKS AND HOT IRON PUNISHMENTS. - As examples of
power exercised by the Kirk Session in 1648, the following may be
interesting:- "5th March, 1648: It is ordainit that Margaret Nicholson,
spouse of Alexr. Dempster, the fiddler, shall stand with the branks on her
mouthe the next Friday, being the market day, two hours before noon, for
her common scolding and drunkeness, and that for the publick example of
others." On 22nd October, 1648, "It is enacted that as Janet Robertson
still goes on with her lownerie and profanity, notwithstanding the act
formerly made against her, that she shall be carted and scourged through
the toun, and markit with ane hot iron, and to be banished from the
paroche, and refers the execution hereof to the magistrates." (Chambers's
"Book of Days" - Branks.)
SNUFFING IN THE KIRK in Time of Preaching and Prayer not to be Allowed.
"March 26th: This day it is thot fitt that public admonishing be given out
of pulpit to those yt offers and takes Snising in the Kirk in tyme of
preaching and prayer." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
THE LYMEHOUSE. - The Parish Records of this date has the following minute:
"item, to Katherine Kirk, upon the 5th July, for furneishing bread and
drink to Marione hutton, the space she was in the Lymehouse, at direction
of the minister, Mr. Robert Kay, xlijs." The Lymehouse appears to have
been some cellar below the Tolbooth for holding "the toon's lime," and,
when empty, used for female delinquents.
WILLIAM CRICHTON, THE WARLOCK, BURNT. - The following minute is from
Dunfermline Kirk Session Records:- "6th August: This day Wm Cricktoun
compeired, and being posed upon the declatn given in against him, he was
remitted to the magistrates to be imprisoned, whch was done; and some few
days yraftir being straitlie posed and dealt with be the ministers and
watchers, he came to a confession of sundrie things, and yt he hade made a
paction wt the Devill to be his servand 24 zeirs and more since. He was
condemned to be burnt; and a few days yraftr he was burnt" - most likely
burnt on the Witches' Knowe, Townmill Road (Witch Loan). Probably Crichton
was one of the great originals who "came out in 1627."
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Law elected Provost. (B. Rec.)
1649. - EXECUTION OF CHARLES I. - The unfortunate Charles was beheaded
Whitehall, London, on Jany. 30, 1649. There is no minute in any of the
Dunfermline Records touching this lamentable occurrence. There can be no
doubt, however, that when the news of his violent death came to Dunfermline
- "his ain toun," as it was styled - the great body of the inhabitants
would, with the nation at large, "express their sympathy for his untimely
end, mourn his loss and esteem him a martyr;" while others who went in with
Cromwell, would refer to his "unrighteous war, his insincerity, and his
bigotary." His last word on the scaffold was, "Remember," part of an
unfinished, short ejaculation. The following is a copy of the
Death-Warrant of King Charles I. :-
"At the High Court of Justice for the Tryinge and Trial off Charles
Stewart, King of England, January xxix. Anno Dom. 1648.
"Whereas Charles Stewart, King of England, is, and Standeth convicted,
attaynted, and condemned of High Treason, and other high crimes: And
sentance upon Saturday last was pronounced against him, by this Court, to
be put to death by the severinge of his head from his body: Of which
sentance execution yet remayneth to be done: These are therefore to will
and require you to see the said Sentance executed, in the open Streets
before Whitehall, upon the morrow, being the thirtieth Day of this instante
monthe off January, between the hours of ten in the morninge and five in
the afternoone off the same day, with full effect. And for so doing this
shall be your sufficient warrant: All these are to require All Officers and
Soulders, and other good People of this Nation of England, to be asistynge
unto you in this Service. - Given under our Hands and Seales.
"To Collonell ffrancis Lyaik, Collonell huntlie,
and Lieutenant-Collonell Phayre, and to every of them."
(From Lithograph Fac-simile, by T. Tegg, London; also, vide "The
Portfolio," vol. i. p. 386.) The original is in the Bodleian Library,
Oxford. Then follow in seven perpendicular short rows the signatures of 59
of those constituting The Court of Justice, with their seals appended:-
JS. BRADSHAWE. RC. DEANE.
THO. GREY. ROBERT TICHBORNE. J. JONES.
O. CROMWELL. J. P. EDMONTE. JOHN REME.
EDW. WHALLEY. DANIEL BLAGRAVE. GILBT. MILLINGTON.
D. LINESSY. OWEN ROWE. G. FFLEETWOOD.
JOHN CLAY. WILTON. T. STEURED.
J. DAUERS. AD. SCROPE. ROBT. LILBURBURN.
JO. BOURCHIER. JAMES TEMPLE. WILL. GAY.
H. PRESTON. J. CARLAND. ANTH. FFAPLEY.
THO. MAULENEVE. EDM. LUDLOW. GRE. NORTON.
HAR. WALLER. HENRY MARTIN. THO. CHALLONER.
JOHN BLAKISTON. DNL. POTTER. THO. WOGAN.
J. HUTCHINSON. WM. CONSTABLE. JOHN DENN.
WILL. GOFF. RICH. INGOLDSBY. GREGORY CLEMENT.
T. HORUSSE. WILL. COWLEY. JO. DOWNES.
PE. TEMPLE. J. BARKETEAD. THO. WAYTE.
T. HARRISON. ISAC EWER. THO. SCOT.
J. HEWESON. JOHN DIXWELL. JO. CAREW.
HENRY SMYTH. VALENTINE WANTON. MILES CORBET.
PET. PELHAM. SYMON MAYNE.
The Warrant is addressed for execution to Colonel Francis Hacker, commander
of the troops at the Execution.
Immediately after his decollation a great many books, pamphlets, and
leaflets, in prose and verse, were published for and against him. In one
of these works, entitled "Reliquiae Antiquae," there is an epitaph based on
his initials of "C.R. the first," or "C.R.I.," of which the following is a
Here doth lye C. R. I.
Read those letters right, and ye shall find
Who in this bloody-sheet lyes here inshrin'd
The letter C his name doth signifie;
R doth express his royal dignitie;
And by the letter I is this great name
From his sad son's distinguished; the same
Three letters too, express his suffering by
Cromwell, Rebellion, Independency.
Then join them in a word, and it doth show
What each true loyal subject ought to doe -
CRY, cry - oh, cry aloud! -
Let our crys outcry his blood."
(Reliquiae Antiquae, p. 21.)
The opinions of writers regarding the actions and the sufferings of
are so numerous and so various, that, for full details, the reader is
referred to such works, and Histories of Scotland. (See Appendix T. for
inspection of his remains.)
As before noted, Charles I. was born in the Palace of Dunfermline, on
November, 1600; consequently, when he was beheaded, he was in his 49th
year. It may be further noticed that, at this period, the English New-Year
began on March 25th; in Scotland, on Jan. 1st. Hence the cause of the
distinction 1648-1649. Charles suffered on January 30th, 1648, according
to English reckoning, January being then the 11th month of their year; but,
according to the Scottish, the present mode of reckoning, the event
occurred on Jan. 30, 1649.
LORD BROOMHALL. - Sir George Clark, of Carnock, was elected to the dignity
of a Lord of Session in 1649, under the title of Lord Broomhall, and was at
the same time appointed one of the Commissioners for revising the law and
the Acts of Parliament. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 291.)
LEGATES BRIG AND NETHERTON BRIG. - The Kirk Session Records notify that
"this day, 6th Feb., Mr. James Phin gave in a compt of timber and uthyr
chairges furnished and sustenit be him in building of Legates-brig, and the
brig at the nethyrton end." Would these bridges at this period be timber
THE PROVINCIAL SYNOD OF FIFE assembled in the Church of Dunfermline,
WITCHCRAFT. - Supplication of the Presbytery of Dunfermline for the
Parliament. - Notwithstanding the very severe measures hitherto taken by
the ministers, magistrates, and ruling elders of Dunfermline, &c., the "sin
of witchcraft" continued to flourish. The following is a copy of an
endorsed "Supplication of the Presbytery of Dunfermline for the
Parliament." It speaks for itself:-
"Vnto the Rycht Honourabill the Esatate of Parliament, presently convenit
at Edinburgh, humblie supplicatis -
"We, the moderator, reuerant breithren, and rweling elders of the
Presbyterie of Dunfermlane, and more particularlie the parishes
Innerkeithin and Dalgatie: That, whereas it pleaseth the Lord for his owne
glorie, and the good of his churge, dailie more and more to discover among
us the works of darknes and the seurvantis of that prince who rewles in the
childrene of disobedience, whereof the most part are so depauperit, that
they have nothing to intertain themselves in prison, especially in these
tymes of dearth, nor to enterteine men to attend in seiking (and paying)
dailie commissions: Therefore wee humblie supplicat your L. that yee will
be pleasit ather to command ane of the justice deputis to attend in the
forsaid Presbyterie and parishes above written, ffor holding of justice
courtis, and putting to the tryell of ane assye such as are or shall be
found gwiltie of the sinne of witchcraft, as they shall be desyrit, or to
graunt ane standing commissione of * * * gentlemen as your L. shall judge
* * * the withine * * * parishes thereof * * * effect foresaid, especiallie
* * * ane overtoure of the Generall Assemblie in anno jm. vc. fowrtie thrie
(Jm. vix. fowrtie thrie) 1643: That standing commissionis shall be
supplicat for in such exigencie, or at least it may please your L. that wee
may have commissionis gratis, lest throu the want of mone this worke, which
the Lord hes so miraculuslie begunne, and so wiselie heirtofore caried on,
perish in or hand. And your Lo. gracwas answer wee humblie expect.
"MR. GEO. COLDING, Moderator,
In name of the Brethrein."
The original is in the General Register House, Edinburgh.
ST. MARGARET'S WELL. - This well, like other saints' wells in the district,
continued to be decorated with flowers on their saints' days annually, when
they were visited by hundreds of persons "with song-singing and
superstitious awe," until about 1649, when kirk-sessions interfered and put
a stop to the holywell annuals, in virtue of the following order of the
General Assembly, held at Edinburgh on 4th April, 1649, viz.:- "The
Assemblie, being informit that some went superstitiouslie to wellis
denominat from Saints, ordains Presbytries to take notice thairof, and to
censure these that are guiltie of that falt."
As previosly mentioned, St. Margaret's Well is about a mile to the
north-east of Dunfermline. On St. Margaret's Day (19th June), this well
was decorated with flowers, and a procession of monks and "religious
inhabitants" visited St. Margaret's Well "in joy, praise, and song."
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - William Walker elected Provost. (Brugh Rec.)
PATRICK MAYNE, the Hangman, &c., received orders from the Kirk Session
keep beggars from entering into the "kirkyaird, and that they be not
sufferit to stand at the collectn to hinder the alms fra ym." (Kirk Session
1650. - HERITABLE BAILIE - Teinds, Feu Duties, &c. - In the beginning
the year 1650, Lord Hay obtained by decree of apprising to the office of
heritable bailie, and also to a lease fo the teinds and feu-duties held by
the Earl of Dunfermline. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 257.)
DISMEMBERMENT OF DUNFERMLINE PARISH. - Early in 1650, the lands of
Pitdinnes, Luscar, and Clune, hitherto in the parish of Dunfermline, were
disjoined from it and annexed to the Parish of Carnock. (Barb. Fife, Kin.
and Clack. p. 106.)
A WITCH'S PRAYER. - In the Kirk Session Records of Dunfermline, under
7th May, 1650, is the following minute-entry of the prayer of Marion
Cunnynghame, a reputed witch, viz.:-
"7th May: This day comperit marion Cunnynghame, who, the last day of
1650, gave in a complaint against Janet huton for calling her witche and
banisht theef, whitch complaint was not accepit nor heard, because she did
not consign her money for proving the same. Bot the sd Jonet huton
appearand the sd day and hearing the caus for wch she was cited, Denyit yt
she callit her a witche, bot affirmit yt the sd marion said over a prayer
ilk nyt quhen she sent to hir bed whitch wes not lawfl, for the whitch she
wes angrie and reproved hir, they being dwelling in one hous; whitch prayer
the sd Jonet being desyrit to repeat it, affirmed yt she had bot a part
yrof, whitch she said over as follows, viz.:- 'Out throw toothe and out
throw tongue, out throw liver and out throw tongue, and out throw halie
harn pan; I drank of this blood instead of wine; thou shalt have mutifire
all thy dayes syne, the bitter and the baneshaw and manie euil yt no man
knowes.' Upon the whitch the said marion being askit, denyit the same
altogidder. Bot it was affirmed be the sd Jonet, as also be Jon Colyeare,
tailyeor, that some of her nytboors, who hes oftymes heard the sd marion
say ouer the same, can testifie yr of as well as she. Therefore it was
referrit to the sd Jon or anie uythers of the session to try the same, and
to get a copie yr off fra them against this day, At whitch tyme the sd
marion was ordaint to be present also: This day, 7 of May, 1650, Dauid
Lindsay of Cavill gave in a copie of ye sd marion Cunnynghame's prayer,
repeated and said ouer to him be herself, as follows:- 'The day is fryday,
I shall fast quhill I may; to hear the knell of christ his bell, the lord
god on his chappell stood, and his 12 apostles good. In came Drightine
dear lord of Almightine; say man or Ladie sweet st. marie, qt is yon fire,
so light, so bright, so far furthe fra me; It is my dear sone Jesus, he is
naild to the tre; he is naild weill, for he is naild throw wynegare, throw
toothe and throw tongue, throw hail harn pan.' Upon the whitch the sd
marion being posed, confest and also repeated the said prayer before the
Session; the qlk day the sd Jon Colyeare gave in ane uthir copie, whitch
agreeing word by word with that whitch was repeated by Jonet hutton, and
whitch then the sd marion denyit altogedder. Now, she being posed yrupon,
she confest this following, viz.:- 'Out throw toothe and out throw tongue,
out throw liver and out throw tongue, and out throw the halie harn pan;'
but denyit, be the death she must go to, thir words following:- 'I drank of
this blood instead of wyne; thou shalt have mutifire all thy days syne; the
bitter and the baneshaw, and manie evil yt na man knawes."
After other "posings" and "takings" before the Presbytery, she was,
further findings, suspended from the communion of the Kirk. It is
lamentable to find such serious trifling in 1650.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Reid elected Provost. (Bur. Records.)
NEW CHURCH TOKENS. - "28th May; This day it is ordaint that yr be new
tokens made with a new stamp, and having the present zeir of god, '1650,'
on the one side, and 'D.F.' on the other side. June 25th: Item, peyit for
ane stane and allevin pund weight of lead, to be tokens, at 3s. the pund
(3d.); that is, 3lib. 12s. Item, allowit to Thomas Couper for making the
calmes and castin the tokens, and bygane zeirs, and rent awand him to the
poor." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.) The writer has two of these early tokens of
the Kirk of Dunfermline, in his possession. They are of lead, about 5/8 of
an inch in diameter and 1-16th thick, with the large capital letters,
"D.F.N." in alto on the surface.
"KAVIL LOCH." - The picturesque and considerable sized loch of Cavil,
Dunfermline, having been much diminished by draining and other causes,
became almost invisible by the year 1650 (MS. Note.)
MANUSCRIPT SERMON. - There is still extant, and in good preservation,
beautifully-written sermon (55 pp. 4to), by Mr. Walter Dalgleish of
Dunfermline, about 1650. It is entitled, "None but Christ." He instances
twenty-four common objections to Scriptural doctrines, and gives solutions
of them. This sermon has been often referred to by divines, &c. It is now
in the possession of our much esteemed friend David Laing, Esq., LL.D.,
Signet Library, Edinburgh.
THE DUNFERMLINE DECLARATION. - The document known as "The Dunfermline
Declaration" is dated 16th August, 1650. King Charles II. being then at
Dunfermline, subscribed to it with a feigned sincerity, confirmatory of his
former oath to adhere to both Covenants. In "The Declaration" the King
avowed that he renounced Popery and Prelacy, and that he "would have no
enemies but the enemies of the Covenant, no friends but the friends of the
Covenant;" that he "would always esteem them best servants and most loyal
subjects who serve him and seek his greatness in a right line of
subordination to God, giving unto God the things that are God's, and unto
Caesar the things that are Caesar's." It is related that when Mr. Patrick
Gillespie put the pen into the King's hand to subscribe, he told him that
"if he was not satisfied in his soul and conscience, beyond all hesitation
of the righteousness of the subscription, he was so far from overdriving
him to run upon that for which he had no light, that he obtested him - yea,
charged him in his Master's name - not to subscribe the Declaration; no,
not for three kingdoms." To which the King answered: "Mr. Gillespie, Mr.
Gillespie, I am satisfied, I am satisfied, and therefore will subscribe
it." The King's after history shows how he fell from the faith, and also
how he lived. (Crookshanks' Hist. Church Scot., Edin. edit., 1751, vol. i.
1651. - GREAT DEARTH in Dunfermline. - It is mentioned in the Kirk Session
Records that there was a great dearth in Dunfermline in February this year.
GUILDRY RECORDS. - In the Guildry Register of this date a list of the
Brethren is given, along with uninteresting memoranda.
ESTATE OF PITTENCRIEFF. - A disposition to the Pittencrieff estate,
12th May, 1651, was given to Sir Alexander Clerk by Charles, Earl of
Dunfermline. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 527.)
REGISTER OF ST. LEAONARD'S HOSPITAL, &C. - In the Register of this
hospital, of date 1651, there is to be found the singular entry, which
mentions that the Hospital, &c., of St. Leonard's, Dunfermline, was founded
in the time of Malcolm Canmore - traditionally, it is presumed.
MYSE BONAR CURSES DUNFERMLINE, and Wishes it was Reburned. - "3d June,
1651. - This day Myse bonar, spous to Wm. bowie webster, being found
guiltie by the probation of witnessis, of cursed and slanderous speetches
in saying, 'God or fire, and ridd lows, come upon the haill toun as it did
before, and God or Cromwell come and tak all the toune upon his bak, if she
wer out of it': Therefore, according to the act of session, made the 7 of
May, 1626, against those yt caste up the burning of the toun, in a cursed
and blasphemous way, she is ordaint to pay 3 lb money, and to stand at the
Croce, or tron, on ane publick mercat day, wth ane paper on her head,
signifying hir cursing and blasphemies, betwixt 11 and 12 before noon, and
yr aftir ask gods forgiviness on hir knees: And on the Sabbath immediately
following, shall also aftir sermon, before noon, stand in the face of the
congregation before the pulpett confess hir cursing and blasphemies, and
ask gods forgiviness and declare her repentance yrfore and promise neuer to
doe the like againe." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
THE OLD CHAPEL OF ST. JAMES'S, NORTH QUEENSFERRY, is understood,
traditionally, to have been demolished by Cromwell's "sogers" at this
period. (See also Annals Dunf. dates 1323, 1479.)
BATTLE OF PITREAVIE. - Part of Cromwell's Army in Dunfermline, &c.
are several accounts in print regarding the engagement at Pitreavie, the
following notanda are extracted from the most interesting on record:- "On
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 17th, 18th, and 19th July, 1651,
General Cromwell and his army crossed the Firth of Forth, landing at
Inverkeithing. On Sunday, July 20th, the engagement began with skirmishes
at Inverkeithing. Cromwell's army pressed on northward, and at last a
general battle took place between the English and the Scotch armies on the
level ground south of where Pitreavie House stands. From this circumstance
the small battle is generally known as 'The Battle of Petreavie.' It has
also been called 'The Battle of Inverkeithing,' that burgh being within a
short distance of the battlefield."
For several years previous to the affair at Pitreavie, the Civil War
been raging in England between Charles and his subjects. The army of the
King (the Royal army) was conducted by Charles in person, and his Generals;
and the army raised by Cromwell to oppose him, "the Parliamentary army,"
was led to battle by General Cromwell himself and able Generals. Success
attended Cromwell; discomfiture, Charles. (For full particulars of all
"the shifting of positions, skirmishes, battles," &c., of this disastrous
period, the reader is referred to works on the subject, as also the
Histories of England and Scotland.)
Latterly, the Civil War has been transferred to Scotland, and the
"shiftings of position" brought the hostile armies face to face, near
Stirling. Cromwell wanted to push on to Perth via Stirling Bridge, but
here meeting with the Royal forces in such a strong position, he declined
to risk a general engagement to disperse them. For about a month the two
armies confronted each other. Cromwell getting tired of his long inaction,
despatched Colonel Overton, his able General, Overton, and a large
detachment of forces, went to Queensferry, and crossed from thence to
Crook-Ness, near Inverkeithing. The crossing was much impeded for want of
boats, and three days were taken up with the transference of the detachment
to the shores of Fife. During the time that the landing was going on, a
company of 100 men, citizens of Perth, at the request of Charles, marched
from Perth to oppose the landing of Cromwell's troopers. On their way they
"met in with a detachment from the army at Dunfermline of 3000 men (of
these about 1000 were Dunfermline men), and were attacked at Pitreavie,
near Inverkeithing, and defeated by a superior number of Cromwell's army,
1600 being killed of Charles's army, and 1200 taken prisoners." It is
understood that the relative strength of the opposing forces were -
Cromwell's detachment, about 6000 men; the detachment sent into the field
by Charles, about 4000 men. Thus there would be about 10,000 warriors
engaged in the plain before Pitreavie.
It would appear that the carnage was great; the fight of Sunday, 20th
1651, was remembered very vividly for several generations. "A rill,
traversing the valley, called the Pinkerton-burn," tradition says, "ran
with blood for several days, and the appearance of the little mounds, or
heaps of the slain, resembled a hairst field of stooks of corpses." The
names of the commanders of the Royal army on this day were Generals Brown
and Holborn; the latter is charged with "the blot of treachery and
hypocrisy." General Brown was taken prisoner, and sent to Edinburgh Castle
shortly afterwards. He did not long survive the battle; he died of a
broken heart. The army of Cromwell was led by Overton and Lambert.
In some old works and manuscripts, it is recorded, that, before sounding
the attack, the brave Sir John Brown ordered his men to kneel and pray for
success to their arms; immediately after which the battle commenced, and
continued for about six hours, when the Scots retreated to Pitreavie, but
only to renew the conflict, which now raged with terrific violence for
another two hours, when the Scots, after a most gallant resistance, were
subdued. Mr. Coventry says - "When the battle was lost, the Highlanders
fled to the Castle of Pitreavie for an asylum, invoking the Virgin Mary for
protection, and aid, and in their native dialect, cried aloud, 'Oigh,
oigh!' They put their backs to the wall of the Castle (or house), and
continued to protect themselves with their drawn swords, when those within
threw down stones from the roof and bartizan upon the poor fellows and
killed them." It was often remarked, after this "inhuman treatment," that,
from that day, the Wardlaws of Pitreavie "fell awa' like snaw off a dyke."
(Mem. Perth, pp. 169,170.)
This battle, on all hands, is admitted to have been a most affecting
spectacle, and to have presented a sad sight after the action. "People
came from Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, &c., in search of their nearest and
dearest relatives and friends, who, when they found their dead were
overwhelmed with grief, and gave themselves up to wild despair; and when
their friends were found in life, and likely to live, they became frantic
with joy. What a field! - the dead and dying; the tempests of grief
commingling with those of joy!" The words of Sir Walter Scott, in Marmion,
(slightly altered) may be quoted -
"Tradition, Legend, Tune, and Song,
Shall many an age the wail prolong;
Still, from the sire the son shall hear
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear,
Of Inverkeithing's field,
Where shiver'd was fair Scotland's spear,
And broken was her shield."
(Penny's Trad. Perth, p. 335; Morison's Mem. Perth, pp. 169, 170; Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 276-278, vol. ii. pp. 279-282; Barbieri's Gazetteer
of Fife, pp. 198-202.)
"The Field of Pitreavie" is about three miles south-east from Dunfermline,
and one mile north-north-west of Inverkeithing. The Battle of Pitreavie
"annihilated the cause of Charles II. in Scotland. He left Scotland
shortly after the battle for England to recruit his forces. The Battle of
Worcester (3rd September, 1651), gained over him by Cromwell, made Charles
fly to the Continent, where he located himself until his Restoration in
1660." In February, 1851, some labourers, while digging a trench in "the
battlefield," came upon a great many human bones, and a leathern bag filled
with silver coins of Charles II. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. p. 282.) A
great many musket-bullets of lead, and cannon-balls of iron have at
intervals been found, in and near the battlefield. A cannon-ball 2 3/8
inches in diameter, and weighing 30 ounces, was found on April 25th, 1865,
in a field in front of Pitreavie House, while a drain was being formed.
Since then it has been, and still is, in the possession of the writer.
CROMWELL'S ARMY IN DUNFERMLINE. - Immediately after the battle, the
victorious army, headed by Overton and Lambert, pursued the poor stragglers
of the Scotch army to Dunfermline. On the way, the "rough cavillers" are
understood to have wrecked St. Leonard's Chapel, and also the Chapel of St.
Mary, in the Nethertown, &c. After their arrival in Dunfermline, they
broke into the Church, stole the collection moneys, and took the loan of
many things which did not belong to them. The Kirk Session Records of
Dunfermline have several minutes referring to their doings, viz.:- "17th
July, 1651, being a thursday, cromwell's armie landit heir, who, on the
sabbath yreftir, being the 20 day of the sd month, battell being beside
pitreavie, killed an cutt manie of or men, robbed and plunderit all.
Everie man that was able fledd for a tyme, so yt yr could be no meeting for
Discipline this space. 12 Aug: The boord an seatts of the session hous and
the Kirk boxe being all broken, and the haill money in the said boxe being
all plunderit and taken away be Cromwell's men, It is thot fitt yt the
session hous be repaird and the boxe mendit; And thairfore Thomas Elder an
Jon Duncan are desyrd to speak to Thomas horne, wryt to doe the same, as
also to mak a new brod to gather the offering. 19th Aug: The Session hous
being repaird and the boxe mendit, and no money to pay the wryt his
paymente is delayed till it be gotten." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
CROMWELL'S TROOPS still in Dunfermline, 30th Sept., 1651. - It is minuted
in the Kirk Session Records of Dunfermline that there was no Session held
on 30th Sept., 1651, "because of Cromwell's troops that were quarterd
heir." This billeting would be most oppressive on the inhabitants, 30th
September being the 71st day after the battle.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Reid was re-elected Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
1652. - MIRK MONDAY. - In the Parish Register of Births, Baptisms, and
Marriages, the 23rd day of March, 1652, is noted as being Mirk Monday (dark
Monday). Mirk Monday, like Black Saturday in 1597-98, was occasioned by an
eclipse of the sun.
A LARGE WHALE Stranded in the Forth. - In 1652, a whale, 80 feet in
(of the whale-bone kind), came in and stranded in the Forth, near to
Lymekills. "It yielded a vast quantity of oyl, and about 500 weight of
baleen" (blubber). (Sibbald's Hist of Fife and Kin. p. 293.) Crowds went
to see it from the adjacent country.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Reid was re-elected Provost. (Burgh
A DELINQUENT THREATENED WITH THE BRANKS, &C. - "18th Nov: That day
compeirit befor the session margt rotson, spous to Wm. Scotland, being
summoned to this day for cursing and swearing, wha being dealt with and
brot to the sense of hir sin and guiltiness, was shrplie admonised, and she
is hereby enactit, with her awn esent, yt if ever she shall be found
guiltie of the like againe, she shall stand at the tron wi' the branks in
her mouth." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
1653. - A BRAWLING WIFE Punished for Abusing her Husband. - In the Kirk
Session Records for the 29th March, 1653, there is the following important
minute:- "29 March: This day comperit margt markman, for abusing david
Waterstonn, her husband, wt most cursed, cruel, and malicious speeches, and
she being found guilty yrof, and the session knowing yt she oftymes has
fallen in sutch wicked contentiones before against her sd husband, refers
hir to the magistrates to be imprisioned in the laighest prison hous, and
yr aftir to be set on the tron on a mercat day, to the example of uthers,
with a paper on her browe, shewing her nortorious scandall, and hir
remaining in prison and standing on the trone to be such a space as the
magistrates and session shall modifie." This is a fair sample of the
blending of the spiritual and civil powers of that day.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Reid was elected Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
ENGLISH TROOPS expected in Dunfermline. - In the Kirk Session Records,
18th Oct. 1653, notice is taken in one of the minutes of "sundrie inglish
troupes both of ye horse and foote yt were coming into the toun."
THE TOWN SCHOLARS to repeat the Catechism twice in the Kirk on Sabbaths.
"The 20 Dec. the session recommendit to Mr. Thomas Walker, Schollmatr to
have his Schollers in reddiness to repeat the Catechism everie sabbath
betwixt the second and third bell, before noon and after noone; the one to
propose and the uthyr to ansr yt the people may heare and learne, it being
usit in uthyr Kirks, and this to begin next Sabbath."
1654. - MR. ROBERT KAY, Minister of the First Charge of Dunfermline,
imprisoned in Inch Garvie by Cromwell's soldiers for praying for King
Charles II. On the solicitation of commissioners sent by the Kirk of
Session of Dunfermline to the Commander-in-Chief Mr. Kay was released, and
allowed to return to Dunfermline and resume his clerical duties. (Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 423.)
TOLBOOTH BELL. - The inscription round the upper part of the exterior
surface of the Bell, shows that it was founded at Daventria, in the
Netherlands this year (1654). The inscription, which is in a kind of Dutch
letter, and in alto relief, is as follows:-
HENRICK TER HORST ME FECIT DAVENTRIAE 1654.
That is, "Henry Ter Horst made me at Daventria, 1654." The bell
is a small
one; it is 14 inches in diameter at the lip, and 13 1/2 high, inclusive of
the top "hanger." The bell itself is only 11 inches in height. It was
"timmer-tuned," belonging to the "XYZ" note. After having sounded its
notes for Council meetings, public rejoicings, funerals, &c., for 211
years, it was, about the year 1865, removed and was replaced by another of
no great worth, which in its turn was "unstocked" in 1876, on the removal
of the late Town House.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Reid re-elected Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
KIRK SESSION RECORDS - Curious Entries. - There are several curious
in the Kirk Session Records for 1654 (inter April 20th, et the 24th),
viz.:- "William M'Kay was accused before the Session 20 April for casting
and putting the stone with the English Soldrs in the Kirkyairde on the
sabbath in tyme of sermon; Christian Thomson, in the Newraw, is posed for
selling drink to the Inglish on the sabbath in time of sermon; both are
sharplie rebuked; bessie Kinsman, spous to James Cusine, appears before the
Session, accused of carrying a barell of aill to the English in the Abbay
on the Sabbath, who shewd yt she was compellit be ym yrby; she promised not
to doe so againe; sharplie rebuked and admonished. Item, given to Katherin
Walker, for furnishing of gray and uthr necessars to Daft andro huton,
4lbs. 14s. Item, peyd to adam Ker, whose house was robbed, 40s."
THE BELL STOCKS. - Fabric of the Kirk in need of Help. - 19th Dec: "The
sesion refers to Wm. Walker, Mr. George Walker, Thomas and Dauid Mitchell,
to meet the twa ministers in the afternoone, To think upon the best way to
get money for reparatn of the Stoks of the bells and fabrick of the Kirk.
It is ordainit that the Kirkyaird fees and burial an Kirk fees be advanced
to help to meet expenses." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
LEAGUE AND COVENANT. - A printed copy of the "League and Covenant" was
found in John Auchinwall's papers, in 1654, and given to the Kirk Session,
who gave it to William Walker, the late Provost, to be kept by him, as he
had the National Covenant already. (Inglis's MS. Journal.)
DRUNKEN ENGLISH SOLDIERS, &C. - The detachment of English soldiers
quartered on the town appear to have been "thirsty loons," especially on
Sabbath. In the Dunfermline Kirk Session Records, of date 8th May, 1655,
Thomas Elder had reported to the Kirk Session, that "the provest had spoken
to the captaine in the Abbay, for restraining his soldiers from drinking in
browsters hous's on the Sabbath in tyme aftir sermons;" and that the
captain had "sent 5 or 6 of his srjands throw the towne on the Sabbath for
GREAT NEED OF REPAIRS IN DUNFERMLINE CHURCH. - The case of the Kirk
was brought before the Session on 24th July, 1655, when "it was referred to
the Elders to have a care to desire in yr quartrs, both in toun and
landwart, to send hors fr leading up of timber and sklaitts fra Lymekills
fr ye use of the Kirk, and it is thot fitt yt James Hendirson and Dauid
trumble glasin wryts be spoken for mending the cakes of lead upon the roof
of the Kirk." The same day it was intimated that the Laird of Urquhart
sent to the Kirk Session, in which he refuses to contribute to the repairs
of the Kirk, "untill urquhart be tottallie disjoyned fra Inverkeithing."
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Walker elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
ROSYTH CASTLE REPAIRED. - This Castle underwent "considerable repairs
1655, and ane date to that effect may be seen on the building." (Old MS.
Deed; see also Annals, dates 1561, 1639.) In Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. p.
1656. - SUNDAY DESECRATION. - "6th May, 1656. This day it being
to the Session be the visitors that they fund many on the Sabbath after
sermons sitting at dors and walking on the streets, an in the yairds about
the fields, at yr worldlie discours's, it is thot fitt yt the act of the
Synod be sought out and looked at concerning the restrainyng of such abuses
yr of." A delay recommended. May 25. - The act publicly read from the
pulpit. (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
ENGLISH SOLDIERS. - "The Palace and the Queen's House occupied by
Cromwell's men," who are reported to be a vile, lawless, rough set. (MSS.,
and Dunf. Kirk. Ses. Rec.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Walker re-elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
1657. - THE KIRK-BELLS again in Ringing Order. - These bells, the hanging
of which had caused trouble to the Session, were on May 3rd, in working
order. "3d May (Die Dom.) Sunday. - This day the Kirk bells being new
stocked an hung, were begun to be couped." (Kirk Session Records.)
THE SIN OF VAIGING ABOUT THE FIELDS ON SABBATH. - In the same Records,
under date September 17th, William Boyd, being summoned, appeared before
the Kirk Session, "and confesit his fault in vaiging about ye fields on ye
Sabbath aftir sermons." He promised "not to doe the like againe and wes
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE - William Walker elected Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
1658. - GOLFDRUM, AND JOHN WATSON. - This appears to be the first notice
Golfdrum on record:- "On the 20th April, this year (says the Kirk Session
Records) "Jon Watson in Gouffdrum appeared before the Session, and was
found guiltie of ordinarie absence fra the kirk. He promised to keep
better order, and was sharplie admonished."
MARGARET CAMPBELL SET ON THE TRON, her Head Clipped, &c. - The same
under date May 25, notifies that the report is made to the magistrates, and
to the Session, that they had caused "clipp margt campbells head, an set
her on ye trone with a paper on her breast, on the last mercat day, to the
example of uthirs of her fornication."
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE - William Walker, re-elected Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
1659. - THE NEW WARK. - In the Kirk Session Records, of date May 11th,
1659. The new wark is mentioned in connection with the crime committed by
one of Cromwell's troopers. Would this "new wark" be a domestic erection,
a temporary fortification, or some repairs on the Kirk?
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Walker, elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
DEATH OF THE COUNTESS OF DUNFERMLINE. - "Dame Margreta Haye, Countess
Dunfermling and Callander, obit 30 December, 1659. AEtatis suae 67." Such
was the inscription found on the lid of her coffin in 1820, in the vault at
1660. - DUNFERMLINE KIRKYARD TO BE DRAINED, &C. - Tradition informs
the Auld Kirkyard "was for the most part a swamp, and in rainy seasons it
was in many places flooded with water." This tradition is borne out by the
following minute, extracted from the Kirk Session Records, under date 17th
"17 April. - The session, considering yt the most parte of the Kirkyaird
has been useless these many yeirs by-gane, And the necessitie yr is in
drying of it, yt it may be a sufficiente and comodious buriall place, And
having taken the aduyse of skilfull men, who think fit yt the Kirkyairde
may be made dry if yr were a gutter under the graves, and ane open cast for
convoying away under Mr. William Oliphant, minister his hous, to caus it to
run into his gutter under his house: The Session, eftir long deliberation
yron, resolved yt yr shall be a voluntar contribution collectit throw this
parish be the elders and deacons, fra all persons yrin, both maister and
servant, throw everie hous, in yr quartrs for peying off the wark in making
the Kirkyaird dry."
Another tradition notifies that all the north part of the North Churchyard
was "swamp, marshy ground, caused by the burne coming out of the Kings
loch, on the eist of the friars yaird" (between the top of St. Margaret's
Street and New Row); that this loch was fed by water from the Dam, and the
overflow ran out at the west end of the Kirkyard (near the north entrance),
and, flowing down a close under the houses there (top of St. Catherine's
Wynd), found its way to the Ferm Burn (Tower, or Back Burn); and that the
loch was originally made for keeping a supply of fish for the use of the
inmates of the Abbey at their weekly fasts and other festivals. The site
of the thorn tree was anciently the site of the Abbey Weeping Cross. About
the year 1560 (Reformation period) this Cross was "cast down," and the
"Gospel Thorn planted in its place." (MSS. Records.)
DISTURBANCE AT THE LAIRD OF ROSYTH'S BURIAL. - In the year 1577 "a scene"
took place in the churchyard of Dunfermline anent the burying of a young
laird of Rosyth of that day; and here another disturbance takes place in
1660, on the occasion of the funeral of another laird. The following
extracts from the Kirk Session Records gives an account of the unseemly
occurrence, and of the early hour in the morning at which it took place:-
"24th April, 1660. - The Act and instrument following being produced
day, Mr. Rot. Kay and Mr. Wm. Oliphant, present ministers of the Kirk of
Dunfermline, desirit yt it myt be insert in the Session book for yr
exoneration, which was consented to be the Session, off the qlk act and
instrument. The tenor followes:-
"At Dunfermline, the 20th day of Aprile Jajvic and thrie-score yeirs
(1660): - The wch day, in presence of me, notar publick, and witnesses,
eftirnait compeirit ps'nlie at the Kirk-dore of Dunfermline betwixt 4 and 5
hours in the morning, Mr. Rot. Kay and Mr. Wm. Oliphant, minister yr, who
declairit they were certainlie informed yt the friends and Kinsmen of the
Laird of Rossyth, deceist, were of intention to bring the corps of the sd
laird wthin the sd Kirk of Dunfermline, and yt the keys of the Kirk-dores
were not in the officer's hands, but had bein taken fra him yt nyt; And
yrfore did send and direct yr Kirk-officer to Rot. Walwood, baillie of the
sd brut (who had taken the keys fra him, as they were informed), to desire
and require him to give bak the keys of the sd Kirk-door, yt they might
have ym in yr custodie, who accordingly went, and made report of his
comission thus:- That the baillie said he had not the keys for the present,
bu thad left yn wth the toun-officer, that he might open the dore this
morning to ring the 5 hor bell. Thairaftir, before 5 o'Clock came, Johne
Laurie, officer, wth the keys, fra whome the sd Mr. Rt. Kay and Mr. Wm.
Oliphant demandit the sd keys, wch he altogedder refusit, yt yr wth he was
to open the dore to ring the 5 hor bell; And, in the meantyme, George
Carmichell, servitor to the Laird of Buchannan, and Alexr. Crookshank,
writer in Edinburgh, came to the Kirk-dore, at whom the sd ministers
desyred to know yr erand yt tyme of day? Who ansred yt they intendit to
keip ye Laird of Rossyth's old buriall-place. To the which it was replyed
by the ministers yt all burying wthin the Kirk was dischairged be the
General Assemblie in August, 1643, And yt yr hade nevir bein any in this
Kirk since yt time, And desyrit ym to forbear frae breaking the
Kirk-florre, and burying wthin the Kirk, Which they wilfullie refused, And
wth 5 or 6 men thrust ymselves in at the Kirk-dore. Qrvpon, and vpon the
refusal of the said toun-officer to delyver the keys in manner foirsaid,
And all and sundrie the premises, the saids Mr. Rot. Kay and Mr. Wm.
Oliphant, ministers, askit act and instrument ane or mae, in the hands of
me, notar-publict, under subcrywand; And protestet yt as they were frie,
and had no accession to the sd irregular fact, so they myt be frie fra all
the evils and consequents yt mt follow yrvpon.
"Thir things were done, day, yeir, and place foresaid, betwixt 4 and
in the morning, Before James Marshall, Patrick Anderson, Archibald
M'Craich, burgess(es) of Dunfermline; George Belfrage, servitor to the sd
Mr. Wm. and Arthere Kay, son laull to the sd Mr. Rot., witness (es) to the
premisses called and requyred, sic subscribitur, I, henry elder,
notar-publict, Doe testifie and declair the haill premisses before set doun
to be trewlie done as is above exprest, be this my subscription usuall - H.
ELDER. Quhilk act and instrument being red, Peter Walker, Provest,
declairs yt they meddled wth no keys bot yt which properlie belonged to the
toun, and declayrit this to be marked."
How the matter ended is not known. From this document, however,
that the Matin Bell was rung at five in the morning, and that Messrs. Kay
and Oliphant were commendably active men, to be at the Kirk-door between
four and five on an April morning - before sunrise.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE - Peter Walker, re-elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
EXPENSE OF DRAINING THE KIRKYARD. - "Aug. 7th: This day Adam Anderson
in the compt of his recipt of the money collected for the Kirkyaird,
extending to 156lib. 5s.; also a compt for the disbursement yrof in peyin
of the wark for drying the Kirkyaird, wh the session did approve." (Kirk
1661. - DEATH OF ELIZABETH STUART, Ex-Queen of Bohemia. - Elizabeth
eldest daughter of King James VI., born in the Royal Palace, Dunfermline,
on August 19, 1596, was afterwards, for a short unsettled time, Queen of
Bohemia. After the death of her husband (Frederick), the king of that
country, she returned to London, where she lived in straitened
circumstances. She died in Leicester Square, London, on 13th February,
1661, in the 65th year of her age. (Leigh's Guide to London, p. 211; also
An. Dunf. date August, 1596, and O and P, in Appendix.)
TURKISH CAPTIVE. - "27 June, 1661 : This day the collectrs of the
contribution for alex. gairner, captive wth the turks, reported (to the
Session) that they had collected 23lib or yrby the last Sabbath, and yt Jon
Thomson, beddell, his ye keeping yr off." (Kirk Session Records.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - James Mudie, elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
THE DUNFERMLINE-KIRKALDY OLD INDENTURE. - The old Indenture between
Abbot of Dunfermline and the community of the burgh of Kirkaldy (1450) was,
in 1661, ratified by Act of Charles II.
MASKING OF DRINK. - In Dunfermline Kirk Session Records, of 24th Sept.
year, we have - "Katherine Reaburn, spouse to Jon Drumond, was delated
(before the session) for masking drink on the Sabbath and fr hir ordinar
swearing and hir absence fra the kirk on Octr 1, she was sharplie
THE KING'S ANNUITY AND PETER WALKER. - "Peter Walker, burges of
Dumfermling, was appointed one of the Collectors of the King's Annuity of
Forty thousand pounds Sterling." (Murray's Laws and Acts of Parl. vol. ii.
THE LANDS OF KNOCKHOUSE, near Dunfermline, were purchased by the Laird
Pitfirrane. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 294.)
1662. - MR. ROBERT KAY, Minister of the First Charge in Dunfermline
conformed to Episcopacy, and was "outed." (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.
SIR CHARLES HALKET, KNT. OF PITFIRRANE, Created a Baronet. - Jmaes Halket
was the first of the Pitfirrane family who was created a baronet. "He
received two diplomas or royal patents of this honour from Charles II.;
first a baronetship of Nova Scotia of date 25th January, 1662; a second on
25th January, 1671." (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 296.)
MR. WILLIAM OLIPHANT, for upwards of 17 years minister of the Second
of the Church of Dunfermline, died July, 1662. (Chal. Hist Dunf. vol. i. p.
415.) At page 582 of the same volume it is noted that his death occurred
in 1695. Perhaps he publicly announced himself in 1622 as a Nonconformist
to Prelacy, was ejected from his charge, and left the district; restored in
1688, and died in 1695.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Walker elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
1663. - THE KING'S BIRTHDAY to be held in Dunfermline. - In Dunfermline
Kirk Session Records, of date 14th May, 1663, there is a minute, noting
that "intimation was made for keiping the King's birthday, and his
restoring to his kingdoms, on fryday nixt the 29th of May" (which was
done.) This is the first notice we have seen in any of the Dunfermline
Records for keeping a King's birthday. The keeping of it appears to have
been held yearly after this year, with demonstrations of joy. The last of
these "old demonstrations" ceased in 1820, on the death of George III.
CROWN LEASE OF DUNFERMLINE LORDSHIP, &C., granted to Charles, 2nd
Dunfermline, for three nineteen years commencing in 1639. (Chal. Hist.
Dunf. vi. p. 557; see also An. Dunf. dates 1611, 1637.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Walker re-elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
1664. - THE BURGH TO BE STENTED HENCEFORTH YEARLY. - 29th Jan. 1664
Walker, provost, presiding). "This day the provest declares the toun is
threatned to get a charge of horning for payment of 200 merks as the touns
parte of the Collig minister's vacand steipend crop 1660 three which with
the vacand steipend of certain oyr paroshes ar ordained be the secret
Counsall to be payit to . . . Hannay and remanent due the hrs of umqll
Doctor Hannay lait Dean of Edinr for so much yr of as will pey to them two
hundreth pund Sterling grantit to the sd den church be act of parliat for
payt of the which stepend the sd provest, baillies and counsall statuts and
ordains in respect of the waikness of the common guid and the burdings
lying yr on that now and in all tym geireftr yearlie the toun be Stentit
and first zeir payt of the sd yeirlie stepend now charged, ordains two
moneths stent to be collectit, and to yt effect the roll to be laid of new
and nominats and appoints as stenters Wm. Walker, David Jerman, James
Mudie, Jon Stevensone, Jon Peirsone, Harrie James, James Anderson, Andrew
Mudie." (Burgh Records.) This Act of Council appears to be the first
notice in the Burgh Records regarding Stenting and "ye Stent Roll," which
after this date is yearly mentioned in the Records of the Council.
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE. - The ceremony of tendering the oath of allegiance
appears to date from 16th Feb. 1664, viz., "which day the provest, baillies
and counsall, in obediance of the several missives sent to them direct
ffrae the lords of privie counsall Injoyning them to signe and subscribe
the declaration ordained be act of parliat to be taken be all persons in
public trust, Have all subt the sd declaration wth yr hands: And ordains
and appoynts Robt. Walwood, baillie, to go over to Edinr. and give the sd
declaration to the sd secret counsall to be recordit conform to the desyre
of yr lordshps." (Burgh Rec. Feb. 16, 1664.) In 1675 the Provost resigned
his office rather than sign this "declaration." (See An. Dunf. date Jan.
JAMES BRUGH AND JOHN HORNE, the Drummer and the Piper of Dunfermline
delated for nyt walking, drinking, and swearing." They were appointed to
be cited before the Session. The drummer got into a second scrape "and ran
out of the toun." (Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
ROBERT, 2nd Earl of Elgin, was created "Earl of Ailesbury," in
Buckinghamshire. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 289.)
GEORGE BELFRAGE, Minister of Carnock, deposed for nonconformity to Prelacy,
and was ordered to confine himself within the bounds of Carnock Parish.
(Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 582.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE - Captain George Durie of Craigluscar, elected
Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
THE MARQUIS OF MONTROSE and Dunfermline Abbey Property. - "The Marquis
Montrose ravaged with his army over the whole barony of Campbell, and
burned every cottage in the parishes of Dollar and Muckart, excepting one
near the former village, which was saved upon the supposition that it
belonged to the Abbey of Dunfermline." (Mercer's Hist. Dunf. p. 290.)
Note. - This house that was "saved" is supposed to have been the house
the vicar, which, according to tradition, stood a little to the west of the
present "upper brig" of Dollar. It has also been thought that the "house"
here referred to as being "saved," was the old house or castle of Cowdens,
1665. - THANKSGIVING-DAY for the Naval Victory over the Dutch. - In
Kirk Session Records, dated 9th July, 1665, there is the following minute
regarding "the great and glorious victory" of our fleet over the Dutch,
viz.:- "This day, before noone, a printed paper was red out of the pulpit,
ordaining in the King's name a publict thanksgiving to be keipt on thursday
next the 13th July instant, for the victorie gotten be King's navie over
the hollanders, whch was solemnlie keipt." This victory was gained on June
3rd. (For account of it, see Pepy's Diary, p. 242, Temb's edit.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Captain George Durie of Craigluscar, re-elected
Provost. (Burgh Rec.)
MR. ROBERT KAY, Minister of Dunfermline, demitted office in November,
and was admitted minister of Stow, 4th March, 1666. (Dunf. Kirk Ses.
Records and Stow Register.)
THE EARL OF TWEEDDALE AND HERITABLE OFFICES of the Lordship of Dunfermline.
- "John, Earl (afterwards Marquis) of Tweeddale, in consequence of a debt
due to him by the Earl of Dunfermline, obtained a right (by a decreet of
apprising) to the Offices of Heritable Bailie, as also to a Lease of the
Feu Duties and Teinds of the Lordship of Dunfermline." (Fernie's Hist.
Dunf. pp. 32-33; Dunf. Kirk Ses. Records, &c.)
1666. - MR. WILLIAM PEIRSON (translated from Paisley) was admitted to
First Charge of Dunfermline Church on 17th January, 1666; and "Mr. Walter
bruce, minister of Innerkeithing, preached at his admission." (Kirk Ses.
Rec.; also An. Dunf. date 1676.)
"LINTEL DATE-AND-INITIAL HOUSES." - Antiquarians now take notice of
houses in their works. "Dunfermline, in the olden tyme," had a great many
lintel-date houses, very few of which now exist of an early date. There is
a small house of one storey, a little to the south of St. Leonard's Works,
which has on its "lintel-stane" -
16 DC IM 66
Tradition says that "most part of this house was built from stones taken
from the ruins of St. Leonard's Hospital and Chapel." (See "List" of such
"Lintels and Sculptured Stones," in Appendix.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - William Walker elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
MR. THOMAS KINYNMONT was "translated from Kilmany to the Church of
Dunfermline on 18th July." (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 415.)
THE SIN OF NUT-GATHERING ON THE SABBATH. - "On 2d Sept. Andro watson
Wm. belfrage, having been summoned to appear before the Session, compeird
and confest they went and sought nutts on the Sabbath, and delated those
who were with ym viz., Peter and James booth, Jon neish, rot white, James
shorties, Wm. befrage, James Jon stoun, Patrick spens," who are appointed
to be cited. On Sept. 25 the whole batch appeared before the Session, when
they were ordered "to sit down on yr knees, before the Session to seik
pardon of God of yr fault, which they did, promising not to doe the lyk in
tyme coming, and then they were dismissed and sharplie admonished."!!!
(Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
1667. - RATIFICATION OF THE ACTS ON SUNDAY BREWING AND MASKING. - The
ratification of former Acts of Session, made against masking and brewing on
the Sabbath, also against "persons vaiging abroad, sittin or walking idlie
on the streets or fields, and under stairs yt day," took place this year.
(Dunf. Kirk Ses. Rec.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - William Walker re-elected Provost. (Burgh
WITCHES AND WARLOCKS. - These harmless persons continue to trouble the
minds of the clergy in the district, and "ye whole bodie of ye Sesione,
especalie at Dunfermling and torie burne, whilk causes thaim alarme."
(Kirk Ses. Records of the West of Fife, &c.)
ROYAL ASSESSMENT. - Dunfermline was assessed to the extent œ102 Scots,
order to liquidate "the voluntar offer to his Majesty of œ7200 Scots
monthly for the space of 12 months." (Murray's Laws and Acts of Parl.)
1668. - THE TOWN'S PEATS. - "21st May, 1668: This day the councell,
considering the great abuse committed be the haill nightbors In holding and
casting to the touns moss in many parts and sua abuseing the same yt throu
of tyme it wil tend greatlie to the touns prejudice ffor remeid yroff and
yt better order be keept in casting yrin, Statuts and ordains yt no person
presume to cast any petts yrin or brek the ground yroff in any sort in tym
coming, but be taking a direct face before ym in casting the sd mose. And
yt the face of the mose being taken up and wrought by those that needs and
casts the peats yrin in such places of the sd mose and by such order and
course as sall be desyrit and appoyntit by the visitors yrof. And yrfor
nominat the persons as follows to be visitors yrof, viz., Thomas elder, Wm.
smart, Petter bust, Nieall henderson." (Burgh Records.) This appears to
be the first notice of peats in these Records.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - William Walker re-elected Provost. (Burgh
MR. THOMAS KINYNMOUNT, Minister of the First Charge of the Church of
Dunfermline, was translated to and ordained Minister of Auchterderran, 11th
November, 1668. (Kirk Ses. Rec. Dunf.)
1669. - LORDSHIP, &C., OF DUNFERMLINE. - John, Marquis of Tweeddale,
his office of Heritable Bailie, &c., of the Lordship of Dunfermline
confirmed by an absolute charter under the Great Seal, dated 12th February,
1669. (Fernie's Hist. Dunf. p. 81; also Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 257.)
DAVID JERMAN. - There is a "Jermin's Mortification" in Dunfermline,
which Dr. Chalmers, in his History of Dunfermline, says that "the donor and
original amount of this bequest seem at present equally unknown." The
writer adds the following paragraph, cut from a newspaper, which may help
to find out at least who the donor was:- "5th August, 1669: Discharge by
David Jerman, burgess of Dunfermline, to David Bruce, younger of Kennet, of
the sum of œ42, money of Scotland, as the assured rent of œ700, like money,
due at the term of Lammas, 1669, in bond by the said David Bruce and his
said father to the said David Jerman, Dunfermline." (Alloa Adver. 24th
June, 1865; see also Dunf. Par. Rec.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. - Peter Walker elected Provost. (Burgh Records.)
THE BELLS IN THE KIRK STEEPLE. - "In Pretorio, Dunfermline, 25th Sepris
1669: This day qnsidering that the Bells in the Stipill of the Kirk being
rung cowping wayes doe oft becom louse in the Stokes and sua are in danger
of getting predjudiced and yt rang and soundet better formerlie wth mair
ease and less predjudice qn they rang be the tung; Therefor the prouost,
baillies and consall ordains the sd bells in tym coming to be rung be the
tung wtall yt they also be maid fast in the Stokes yt they may also ring
cowping wayes if they pleis." (Burgh Records, 25th Sept. 1669.)
SEVERE WINTER. - This was the most severe winter of snow and frost within
the memory of the then "oldest inhabitants" of Scotland. In Dunfermline
and district the winter, according to tradition, "raged in all its fury for
a space of three months." (MSS.)
MANUAL OR HAND SEAL of the City of Dunfermline. - Under date 1589, the
matrix or double seal of the city is described, and representations of it
given. The double seal being too large for ordinary use, a new one, much
smaller in size, was ordered from Holland this year (1670), which seal
continues to be used for common purposes. The following figure represents
the face of this common seal. In the Burgh Records there is a minute
regarding it, viz.:- "23 May, 1670: In Pretorio Dunfermline Petrum Walker
propositum, &c.; Appoints the thesaurer to pay to the Clerk 50 gilders
debursed by him for cutting the town's seal at holland, being
extraordinarlie well cut." The manual seal is 1 1/4 inches in diameter,
same size of the engraving.