THE NETHER-YET AND COMMON VENNEL. - The Nether-yet, or Port, is mentioned
in a minute in the Burgh Records, of date 22nd November, 1478, viz.:-
"David Litster, ane of the balzies of the burgh of Dunfermlin receivit
resignatioun fra Gilbert Robertson of the north end of a land liand at the
nether yet of Dunfermling, betwixt the causay gangand doun to ye nethertoun
on the west sid, and the common vennel gangand evin est to the new raw, or
north part, yan incontinent the said balzie deliverit heritabil statand
possession to Willie Gilbert ye sone of ye said Gilbert of ye said northt
halfe yeard," &c.
COLLIER-ROW PORT. - In the Burgh Records, of date July 28th, 1478, there
a minute which refers to the resignation of a house bying "fra the yet
South, and a part of the yard extending downe as far as John Pinnock's
zard, quhilk landis lies in the Collier-row Port, sometimes called the Mill
Port, and was situated across the contracted part of the street, top of
Bruce Street. This is the second-named Port on record in the burgh. (See
Annals, dates 1327 and 1488.)
TOWN CLERK OF DUNFERMLINE. - David Bra was Common Clerk of the burgh
year. He is one of the witnesses whose name is affixed to the foregoing.
(Vide Burgh Records, 28th July, 1478.)
1479. - NEW CHAPLAINRY IN ST. JAMES'S CHAPEL, NORTH QUEENSFERRY. - Henry,
Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, this year, granted the office of a chaplainry,
newly founded by him, in St. James's Chapel, North Queensferry, to David
Story, with a stipend of 10 merks yearly, to be paid from the coffers of
Dunfermline Abbey, together with a garden, and two acres of ground and
pasturage for one horse; also all offerings at the altar of the chapel,
except the oblations of the pix and those of lights, which are to be
reserved for lighting the chapel; likewise 20 shillings for supporting the
ornaments and vestments of said altar; but an account is to be rendered to
the Abbot how the sum is applied. The chaplain, in consideration of these
things must perorm a daily mass for the souls named in the Charter of
Infeudation; also, he shall continually reside at, and dwell in the manse
of the chapel; and, if he undertakes any other cure, or resides elsewhere,
by which the service may be neglected, the chaplainry shall be declared
vacant, and fall into the Abbot's hands. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 462, pp.
359,360; Dal. Mon. Antiq. pp. 36,37, &c.)
BARK PIT, "in the alemosynary yaird," Tower-burn, &c., noticed in
Records. This note shows that there was at this period, near the north
side of the Tower-hill, works for the tanning of leather.
1480. - THE MONKS OF DUNFERMLINE. - Their right to Two Cobils and Two
at the Fishery of Aldstelle, near Berwick-on-Tweed, was tried by a jury at
Edinburgh, whena verdict was found in favour of the monks. (Finden's "Views
of the Ports, Harbours, Coast Scenery, and Watering Places of Great
Britain," by Rev. W.H. Bartlett, Edited by W. Beattie. M.D.)
SILVER BASIN AND EWER, purchased from the Abbot of Kinloss by the
Conventual Brethren at Dunfermline. - "James Guthry, 19th Abbot of Kinloss,
in his expenditure on the Abbey of Kinloss, had fallen short of money about
this period. To raise money, he sold the organs, which were afterwards
found at Forres, and also a Basin and Ewer of silver, afterwards found at
Dunfermline." (Preface to "Records of the Monastery of Kinloss," Edited by
John Stuart, LL.D. p. xii.)
LORD ABBOT. - Henry de Crichtoun, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, appears
have died in June, 1482. (General Allan's MSS.)
1483. - ADAM, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. - It is not known exactly when
Adam was elected and consecrated Lord Abbot of Dunfermline (probably in
January, 1483). His name occurs for the first time in a writ in the
Register of Dunfermline, regarding some parcel of land near Musselburgh,
which he conceded to Thomas Tod, burgess of Edinburgh. (See Annals Dunf.
date 1490; Print Regist. Dunf. No. 486, p. 372. The 27th Abbot of
THE CROSS WYND mentioned in a minute of Council this year. (Burgh Records.)
1484. - THE LANDS OF HAILES. - The Abbot and Monks of Dunfermline were
superiors of the lands of East Hailes till 1560. The family of Crichton
held these lands of their superiors on payment of a feu-duty. On the
forfeiture of William, Lord Crichton, in 1484, these lands reverted to the
Abbot and conventual brethren. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 224,225.)
1485. - "ORLEGE BELL." - Henryson, schoolmaister, poet, &c., Dunfermline,
in his "Schir Chantecleir and the Foxe," written about this period, alludes
to the "Orlege Bell." Probably this may refer to a clock that struck the
hours on a bell, either in the Abbey or the Monastery of Dunfermline. It
is well known that Henryson drew much of his illustrations, figures, &c.,
from what he saw in his immediate vicinity. If he does, it shows that the
conventual brethren had the benefit of a clock at so early a period, at
least, as this.
"Our nichtingall, and als our orlege bell,
Our walkryfe watche us for to warne and tell," &c.
(Laing's "Henryson's Poems," p. 121.)
1486. - WILLIAM BROWN, the eminent theologian and poet, of Dunfermline,
appears to have died about this period, aged about 90. There are several
versions of Dunbar's poem on "The Death of the Makirs" (Poets). Instead of
the couplet referring to Henryson's death (Annals, date 1499) it has been
rendered perhaps mor correctly as follows:-
"In Dunfermling he (Death) has taen Broun,
And gude Maister Robert Henrysoun."
1487. - COLDINGHAM PRIORY withdrawn from Dunfermline Abbey, and bestowed
James III. and his Parliament on the Chapel-Royal, Stirling, 1487. (Carr's
Hist. Coldingham, pp. 307, 308; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 241; Annals
Dunf. date 1378-1487.) It had been 109 years under the protection of
THE CASISAGAIT (He-Gate,or High Street), named in the Burgh Records
year as "Casisagait" and "Causagate," being then the only street in the
burgh laid with "causey-stanes."
"RATTON ROW." - In the Burgh Records of this date, the Ratton Row is
mentioned in connection with a barn in the Raw. Ratton (not Rotten) is the
proper orthography of the name, meaning a row of houses, built of rattons,
or undressed timber. A tradition, referring to the 1624, when
three-fourths of the town was burnt, avers that "a week before the great
fire at Dunfermline, on 25th May, 1624, the 'rattins' (rats) left this Row
in a body." This was afterwards taken as a sign of the sagacity of the
rottens, and hence the Row was called "Rotten Row." Tradition is here at
fault; for it is here shown that the said Row was called the Rottan Row in
1487, or 137 years before the great fire. (See also Annals of Dunf. dates
1624, 1809, 1845.)
1488. - EAST PORT, AND ALMSHOUSE. - In the first, or oldest, volume
Burgh Records, mention is made of an Almshouse, under date 4th August,
1488, which stood "without ye est yet (or Port) on the north sid of ye
Causay." This is the third notice of a Port of the burgh on record. (See
Annals, date 1326, 1477.) Tradition points to the site of this old
Almshouse, as standing on ground at the foot of Shadows Wynd (now Bonnar
Street). (Vide also Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 449.)
ALDERMAN. - Sir John Cockburn was the Alderman or Provost of Dunfermline
this year. (Burgh Records.)
PRAEPOSITUS, or Provost. - David Coupir, elected 1st Oct. (Burgh Records.)
BURGESSES. - Several persons, mentioned in the Burgh Records, 14th October,
receive burgess privileges at 1/2 merk each.
BURGESS. - Andrew Loton made a burgess "by reason of his wyff." (Burgh
MAY-GAIT. - The Maygate is noticed in a minute of Council, held in August
1, this year. (Burgh Records.)
FIRST ELECTION OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF DUNFERMLINE. - The first election
Magistrates and Council entered in the Town Council Records occurs in 1488.
The old Council had met in the Praetoria (it is here called th "Tolbucht"),
and the honours of office had fallen on the following persons (the heading
of the notice of this Court is "Assisa in principa ? Sancta Maria, holdyn
in the tolbuth"): - "David Couper is elected Praepositus, or Provost; David
Litser and William of Balloune are elected Bailies; Wat Caldwell and Jamy
Gerviss are appointed sergeants;" and the names of 14 Councillors are given
- nine of the fourteen, viz., "Jamy Spens, Jamy Malcom, Adam Alan, John
Brysson, Paul Wallas, Morris Stevyn, Sandie Clerk, Andrew Craufurd, and
Morris Thomson, are appointed Flesh Pricers" (or, to give the Latin title,
"Appreciatores Carnium"). Three of these officials, viz., Jamy Spens, John
Brysson, and Paul Wallas, are pluralists, for they are to act as
Ale-Tasters (or in Latin, say Gustatores Cervisiae); while Andrew Butler,
R. Law, R. Gibson, John Peirson, and John Huym are elected Liniatores;* and
John Wallas, Andrew Craufurd, and T Angus, as Birlawmen.** Such is a
complete list, the first list of Dunfermline Town Council in 1488. (Dunf.
Town Coun. Records; Dr. Ross's "Burgh Life in Olden Time," p. 7.)
* Inspectors of Weights and Measures. ** Assessors of Fines.
CULPRITS AND BURGH FINES. - In the Burgh Records, under date September
25th, 1488, the following fines are imposed on delinquents for
misdemeanours - viz., "Imprimis, Jock Saunders, viiid; Thome Murra, iis;
Marione Logan, viiid; Jamy Paterson, viiid; Rob. Hutone, viiid; Jok
Myllar's wyff, vid; John Thomsone, viiid; John Wrycht, viiid; Davy Sege,
xiid; John Strang, xiid; John Fithison, xiid; Andro Dewar, xiid." It would
appear that early punishments were by fining. The old Burgh Records abound
in such entries. This one, among the earliest, will suffice as a specimen.
PROVOST, OR PRAEPOSITUS OF DUNFERMLINE. - William Stewart, elected on
October 6. On November 3rd, same year, he is styled Alderman. Would this
be the transition period, when the designation of Alderman and Provost were
acknowledged as equivalent terms, just before the now common title Porvost
was finally adopted? Provost William Stewert's Bailies were David Litster
and William Spittall.
FOIRSPEAKER, OR FORSPEAKER. - Henry Spittal was one of the Fore-speakers
Advocates who pled in the "Assize Courts," Dunfermline.
1489. - SECRET YETT - The Nethertown and Hospital. - Henrysoun, in his
"Testimony of Cresseid," referring to the conveying of a female leper
privately from the Abbey, says -
"He opnit ane secrit yett, and out thairat
Convoyit hir, that na man suld espy,
Unto ane village, half ane myle thairby,
Deliverit hir in a the Spittaill hous,
And daylie sent hir part of his almous," &c.
The Secret Yett, or postern gate, refers to a gate in the south wall
Monastery, Priory Lane, long since removed. "Ane village, half ane mile
thairby." undoubtedly refers to the Nethertown, and "the Spittaill house"
to St. Leonard's Hospital. (See Laing's "Henryson's Poems," p. 89)
MAY GAIT is referred to in the Burgh Records, under date 12th May, 1489.
The origin of the name is not clearly known.
1490. - THE LIGHTS OF "OUR LADY'S ALTAR." - In the Burgh Records of
date there is a "Rentall of Our Lady's Licht Silver," noting that "the
landis of David Couper, beneith the Tolbuith, paid the annual sum of 7
shillings, or else he must uphald ye litill herss of wax."
ADAM, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, ceases to be Abbot on June 20th, 1490;
as to whether he died, resigned, or was deposed, history is silent. He was
27th Abbot of Dunfermline. (Print. Regist. Dunf. pp. 372,373.)
GEORGE, Lord Abbot Dunfermline, succeeded Adam as Lord Abbot.
for the first time, occurs in a Charter of date 20th June, 1494.
(Kennedy's History of Aberdeen vol. i. p. 61.) He was 28th Abbot of
Dunfermline. (Vide An. Dunf. 1494.)
THE FOUL VENNEL. - This vennel, or dirty lane, is mentioned in the Burgh
Records. It was about eight feet broad. Afterwards it was called
"In-below-th'-wa's," because it proceeded along the north side of the
northern boundary wall of the Abbey, from east end of the Maygate to the
Newraw. It is now known as Canmore Street - (See An. Dunf. date 1500) - "a
wide street, and one of the best in town."
SKLAT HOUSE, "on the Kirk-Yeard dyke, " is noticed in the Burgh Records
under date 12th May of this year - perhaps then the only slated house in
ALTARS IN THE ABBEY. - In the Burgh Records, of date 23rd June of this
year, the following Altars in the Abbey are noticed - viz., "Our Lady's
Altar; Sanct Thomas's Altar; and Haly-bluid Altar." These Altars were
served by the monks.
DAVID COUPER, Alderman, or Provost, elected in October, 1490. (Burgh
ST. PETER'S ALTAR in the Abbey noticed, of which Dean Thomas Coupar
tutor or priest. (Burgh Records.)
ST. JOHN'S ALTAR in the Abbey, and "Dene Davy Sim," its tutor or priest,
are mentioned in the Burgh Records of this date. The Town Council of
Dunfermline held the patronage of this Altar.
BURGESS. - David Bennit was made a burgess of Dunfermline this year,
reasoun of his modir." (Burgh Records.)
OUR LADY'S AISLE IN THE ABBEY. - In a Court, holden on September 24th,
1490, it is noted - "Yat ilk day ye alderman and pairt of ye communitie has
consentit yat Schir James Alanson haf the ii dais service yat Schir John
Orok had of umquhil mariane Thomsone gaff unquhil Schir John has ye service
of our Lady ile or other service," &c. (Burgh Records.)
1491. - WEAVERS. - It is not known when the now staple trade of weaving
originated in Dunfermline, but six wabsters, "strubblers," of John
Schortrig, were tried on 10th January, 1491, by the magistrates of
Dunfermline. This is the first notice on record of Dunfermline weavers.
(Dunf. Burgh Records.)
STRUBLANCES, OR NEIGHBOURS' QUARRELS - Between William Hart and Agnes
Bower. - The affair comes before the bailies, and it is decided that "Gyf
Agnes Bower falt to Will Hart in tym to cum, or any other nychbor, to be
put on the gowe; and gyf Will Hart falt to her, to pay xis to Sanct
Salvatoris Altar onforgyffen." (Dr. Ross's Burgh Life Dunf. p. 15; Burgh
Records, vol. i. )
JOHN OF MONTEITH elected Alderman, or Provost, 19th October. (Burgh
THE MORNING SERVICE. - Schir John Robertson receives a gift of the morning
service in the Abbey, with its emoluments. (Burgh Records.)
"OUR LADY'S ISLE" AND "ST. JAMES' ALTAR" (Schir Henry Barbour, chaplain)
the Abbey, are noticed in the Burgh Records.
SANCT SALVADOR'S ALTAR. - In the Burgh Records, of date 19th October
this year, it is stated that the service at St. Salvador's Altar in the
Abbey was given to Schir James Gudswain.
PARISH ALTAR OF DUNFERMLINE is mentioned in October of this year, in
connection with a marriage celebrated at it by Schir Alex. Logan. (Burgh
MORNING SERVICE OF THE ABBEY. - The following are the names of those
elected to "uphold the morning service in the Abbey:- Schir Robert Normans,
Sir Richard Hartsed, Schir Richard Myche, Schir John Alenson, Schir Davy
Roger; the fe to be gyffen to Schir Robert Norman for his tyme." (Burgh
ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE. - Raffaelle Sansoni de Riari, Cardinal Deacon,
elected Abbot of Dunfermline on August 12th, 1491. Raffaelle Sansoni,
Deacon of the Roman Church, by the title of "S. Georgio in Velabro,
Vice-Chancellor and Camerlengo," was appointed Commendator of the Abbey of
Dunfermline by Bull of Pope Innocent IV. This Italian Abbot was
non-resident, but still he must be enrolled in the succession of Abbots of
Dunfermline. This Abbot has hitherto escaped the notice of all historians
and ecclesiastical writers (General Allan's MS.) He appears to have held
the Commendator Abbotship for two years only.
1492. - JOHN OF MONTEITH re-elected Alderman, or Provost, October 2.
Bailies: David Litster and William Spittall. (Burgh Records.)
BURGH SEAL. - Sir John Cokburn is mentioned in the Burgh Records as
the "Keeper of the Burgh Seal." (See Seal, under date 1395.)
SANCT MARGARET'S ALTAR. - Schir Andrew Peirson, Chaplain of the Service;
Schir Thomas Moffat, Chaplain of the Morning Service. (Burgh Records.)
1493. - GEORGE, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, and also Treasurer of Scotland,
appears to have been elected and consecrated this year. (Sib. Hist. Fife et
Kin. p. 260, &c.)
ST. MARGARET'S ALTAR LIGHTS. - In the Burgh Records of this date a minute
entry notifies that "John Kellock has a cow quilk giffs to St. Margaret's
Altar half ane pund of vax yeirly" (i.e. the tax on the cow).
NICOL FLECHOUR AND HIS "MARYNALLS." - In the Burgh Records, of date
October of this year, Nicol Flechour and his mariners appear before the
Head Court at Dunfermline regarding a dispute about a barrel of soap. It
has been supposed that Nichol and his "mariners," or sailors, were probably
the captain and crew of the Abbot's boat or ship.
1494. - GEORGE, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, was elected one of the "Lords
Council." (Kennedy's Hist. Aberdeen, vol. i. p. 61, &c.; See An. Dunf. date
ST. MARGARET'S ALTAR. - Schir Andrew Peirson, Chaplain; Schir Steven
Stirling, Chaplain of the Morning Service. 20/ out of the common purse
promised. (Burgh Records.)
ALDERMAN. - DAVID COUPER, elected Alderman, or Provost, of Dunfermline
October; Dean Thomas Couper, monk in the Abbey, "Master of the Petty
Common," near the burn. (Burgh Records.)
CADGERS AND FISH. - In the Burgh Records there is a minute ordering
cadgers to provide six loads of fish weekly for the community - two loads
on Wednesday, two on Friday, and two on Saturday. To this the cadgers
1495. - "STRUBLANCE." - The Burgh Records, in February this year, have
following entry:- Gilbert Hardy, accused of "the Strublance of Andro
Morrison and the gude toune." Gilbert denied the charge; and, in the usual
phrase of the time, not entirely free of the charge of levity, "takes him
to ye knowledge yrof of God and a gude assize." The assize having "rypely
advised," find Gilbert innocent, and Andrew Morrison and his wife guilty.
(Dr. Ross's Burgh Life in Dunf. p. 14.)
1496. - OLD SANITARY NOTICE. - There is a minute in the Burgh Records
(October) "anent the furth castin' of water, and ither abominables."
THE BURN. - In the Burgh Records, of this date, is the following entry:-
"The Burn: The quhilk day the communitie of Dunfermlyn has consentit til
open the burn at the west gavil of the tolbuith." This "burn" was
afterwards known as the "back burn," and is the same rivulet that runs from
north to south under Bridge Street.
THE STOCKS. - The Stocks are referred to in the Burgh Records, of date
October 6th. They were generally placed near the Pillory in burghs. These
Stocks of Dunfermline have not been used for the last hundred years; but
they are "still to the fore." They were discovered in the garret of the
Town-house in 1841, and evil-doers may yet get a practical knowledge of
OUR LADY'S "LICHT" is again noticed in the Burgh Records in connection
"the littil herss." This "littil herss" was a little canopy suspended over
the Altar of St. Margaret, in the Lady Aisle, or Chapel. (See An. Dunf.
woodcut, date 1250.)
1497. - BAKERS OF DUNFERMLINE, WEIGHT OF BREAD, &C. - This year
Council enacts that "ye pace of bred be 15 unsis the wastell." (Burgh
Records, date 1497.)
"PRAETORIUM" OF THE BURGH. - As early as this date, Town Council meetings
are entered in the Burgh Records as being held in the Praetorium (Tolbooth
of the burgh). This designation continued down so late as the beginning of
the 18th century.
BURGESS. - A person was "made a burgess of Dunfermline, at the command
my Lord of Mar." (Burgh Records.)
1498. - THE ABBOT ORDERS THE RELEASE OF ALEXANDER AITTON. - At a meeting
the Chapter of the Abbey, the Abbot, through his Treasurer, and Tom
Buquhanan, took Alexander Aitton "furth of the tolbuth." This was a most
unwarrantable act of the Abbot - an usurpation of the prerogative of the
Provost of the burgh. (Burgh Records, date 1498.)
"PRAEPOSITUS." - William Symson was elected Provost of Dunfermline in
October of this year. (Burgh Records.)
SLAYING OF CATTLE IN THE NIGHT-TIME! - There is a minute in the Burgh
Records regarding "the alleged wrangis slaying of cattal all of unfreemen
under silence of nicht."
THE "RIVULET OF GARVOCK" AND LYNN BURN. - The name "Rivulet de Garvock"
occurs in the Register of Dunfermline shortly after the middle of the 13th
century. About the middle of the 15th century, the name became "a compound
one," viz., "Rivulet de Garvock," or "Lyn Burn" probably from the small
Lyn, or Lin, at Woodmills, about a mile and a-half east of Dunfermline. In
1498, the Rivulet de Garvock disappears, and henceforward in writs &c., the
rivulet is designated the Lyn Rivulet, or Lyn or Lyne Burn, which name it
still retains - and, no doubt, with this name
"'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
And flow as now it flows."
From this it is obvious, that this second name "Lyn," or "Lyne,"
originating about the end of the 15th century, has no connection whatever
with the affix lyn of Dunfermline, of date circa 1100, so often used as
such by writers when treating of its etymology. (See also annals Dunf. date
1270, and Appendix A and B.)
1499. - THE PEST, or Plague, "rages in Dunfermline" this year. (Vide
Records of 1499.) This pest was also known as the "Grandgore." It reached
Edinburgh in 1497, where it carried off hundreds of "victams." About a
year and a-half after the scourge reached the metropolis, it is found
cutting down victims in Dunfermline and vicinity. It is probable that
"gude Maister Robert Henrysone," then "schoolmaster in Dunfermline,"
hearing of the approach of this plague in Edinburgh, composed his serious
poetical effusion, entitled "Ane Prayer for the Pest," of which the
following are the opening lines:-
"O ETERNE GOD! of power infinyt,
To quhois hie knawlege na thing is obscure
That is, or was, or evir salbe, perfyt,
In to thy sicht, quhill that this warld indure;
Haif mercy of us, indigent and pure,
Thou dois na wrang to puneiss our offens;
O Lord! that is to mankynd haill seccure
Preserve us fra this perrelus pestilence," &c.
Many of the stanzas of the poem of 88 line ends with "Preserve us fra
perrelus pestilence," which shows that this pest had not as yet reached
Dunfermline, and therefore it may have been composed in 1497-1498. If this
pest can be connected with the poem, then it would settle a point in
dispute, viz., "In what year did Henrysoun die?" Dunbar, in his "Lament
for the Death of the Makaris," which appears to have been written about
1506, and published in 1508, notices the death of Henrysoun thus -
"In Dunfermline he (Death) hes done roun
Gude Maister Robert Henrysoun."
(See Annals of Dunf. date 1486.)
If these lines were penned in 1506, it is evident that Henrysoun was
before that year; and, if he was alive just before the pestilence reached
Dunfermline - say, in 1497 - then we have two certain dates, showing that
he must have died between the years 1497 and 1506. Perhaps 1497-1504 may
be the near dates, because he may have been dead for some time before
Dunbar wrote the "Lament." We think it not improbable that Henrysoun, an
old and infirm man (then about 75 years old), would be carried off by the
plague in Dunfermline in 1499; plague and dysentery together were likely
the complaints of which, he died. If he did not die during the time the
plague raged in Dunfermline in 1499, then the middle date between 1499 and
1504 - viz., 1502, may be taken as the date of Henrysoun's death. As we
think 1499 is the probable year of his death, a few remarks will be
ROBERT HENRYSOUN probably died this year (1499), aged about 76 years.
Little is known of his history. It is not known where he was born, most
probably in Dunfermline or its neighbourhood; at all events, he died in
Dunfermline in the winter of say 1499 - (See the couplet by Dunbar) - and
most likely was interred in the Abbey grounds. It would appear from two
Charters in the Register of Dunfermline, that he was a notary in
Dunfermline Abbey in the years 1477, 1478. These Charters refer to the
lands of Spittalfields, near Inverkeithing, granted by the Abbot of
Dunfermline to George de Lothreisk, and to Patrick Barone, burgess of
Edinburgh, and to Margaret, his spouse. In each of these charters, or
deeds, appears his name as "Maister Robertus Henrison, notarius publicus."
He was probably - from at least 1478 to his death, circa 1499 - the Abbot's
notary, and also the schoolmaster of the Abbey. In the year 1462 he was a
Licentiate in Arts and Bachelor in degrees of Glasgow College, and hence
his right to the prefix of Master. In those days no one could legally use
the designation Master without graduating as M.A. at a College Henrysoun's
latter years, at least, appear to have been spent in Dunfemrline. He is
usually known as "Robert Henrisoun, scholemaistr of Dunfermling," and he
is so distinguished by the Earl of Kellie about the 1619. He appears to
have been a good and learned old man, an excellent poet, and witty. The
following anecdote is usually quoted as connected with his last moments:-
"Being very old, he died of a diarrhea, or fluxe, of whom there goes this
merry, though somewhat unsavoury tale, - that all phisitians having given
him over, and he lying drawing his last breath, there came ane old woman
unto him who was held a witch, and asked him whether he would be cured? To
which he said, 'Very willingly.' 'Then,' quod she, 'there is a whikey-tree
in the lower end of your orchard, and if you will goe and walke but thrice
round it, and thrice repeat these wordes, "Whikey-tree, whikey-tree, take
away this fluxe from me," you shall be presently cured.' He told her, that
beside he was extreme faint and weake, it was extreme frost and snow, and
that it was impossible for him to goe. She told him that unless he did so,
it was impossible he should recover. Mr. Henryson then lifting upp
himselfe, and pointing to an oaken table that was in the roome, asked her,
and seid - 'Gude dame, I pray ye, tell me if it would not do as well to
repeat thrice these words, Oaken buird, oaken-buird, garre me s---- a hard
t----.' The woman seeing herself derided and scorned, ran out of the house
in a great passion, and Henrysoun within halfe a quarter of ane houre,
departed this life." (Dr. Laing's Memoir of Henrysoun, prefixed to his
edition of the "Poems and Fables" of Robert Henrysoun, 1865, p. 20.) This
anecdote way well be doubted; he was too pious a man to trifle in jokes,
especially within "halfe a quarter of ane houre" of his death.
The "Poems and Fables" of Henrysoun have been often published piecemeal.
In 1865 the whole of his works were collected and published in one volume.
This was done by that literary veteran David Laing, LL.D., Signet Library,
Edinburgh, from which work we extract the "Table of Contents," in order
that the reader may see the titles of the various productions of the poet.
TABLE OF CONTENTS OF THE POEMS OF ROBERT HENRYSOUN (1450-1499).
1. Robine and Makyne.
2. The Garmond of Gude Ladeis.
3. The Bludy Serk.
4. The Abbey Walk.
5. Agaoris Haisty Creddance of Titlaris.
6. The Prais of Aige.
7. The Ressoning betwixt Aige and Yowth.
8. The Reasoning betwixt Deth and Man.
9. The Three Deid Powis.
10. The Salutation of the Virgin.
11. The Want of Wyse Men.
12. Ane Prayer for the Pest.
13. Sum Practysis of Medecyne.
14. Orpheus and Eurydice.
15. The Testament of Cresseid.
16. The Complaint of Cresseid.
The Moral Tables of Aesop (in Scottish Metre).
17. The Prologue.
18. The Taill of the Cock and the Jasp.
19. The Taill of the upolandis Mous and the Burges Mous.
20. The Taill of Schir Chantecleir and the Foxe.
21. The Taill how this foirsaid Tod made his Confession to Frier Wolf
22. The Taile of the Sone and Air of the foirsaid Foxe, called Father Ware;
Alswa the Parliament of Fourfuttit Beastis haldin be the Lyoun.
23. The Taill of the Dog, the Scheip, and the Wolf.
24. The Prologue.
25. The Taill of the Lyoun and the Mous.
26. The Preaching of the Swallow.
27. The Taill of the Wolf that gat the Nek-herring throw the Wrinkis of the
Foxe that begylit the Badgear.
28. The Taill of the Foxe that begylit the Wolf in the Schadow of the Mone.
29. The Tail of the Wolf and the Wedder.
30. The Tail of the Wolf and the Lamb.
31. The Taill of the Paddock and the Mous."
(For specimens of Henrysoun's poetry, see Appendix I.) It has
mentioned that it is not known with certainty when, or where Henrysoun was
born. Be that as it may, his name has always been inseparably connected
with Dunfermline. It is certain that within the walls of Dunfermline he
spent the greater part of his life, and probably here he was buried -
" . . . . . . . . . . . . Here he dwelt,
How many a cheerful day these ancient walls
Have often heard him, while his legend blithe
He sang of love - of knighthood, or the wiles
Of homely life; through each estate and age.
The fashion and follies of the world
with cunning hand pourtraying."
THE PLAGUE, OR PEST. - The Burgh Records, of date July 9th, 1499, notify
that it was thought expedient by the whole community that no victual should
be sold out of the town "indurying the tym of this plague," and that
whoever was found doing so should be apprehended, and the victual
confiscated, "bot allanerly bred and aill in small quantitie." (Dr. Ross's
Burgh Life in Dunf. p. 27.)
SMITHS, MASONS, WRIGHTS, &C. - The Burgh Yett. - A wright gets fourpence
"ye fellyn of ane tre to ye zet" (of the burgh); rafters are bought at a
shilling each, and fourpence is paid for "ye upbringin of ye buirds yat are
zet at Innerkethyn." A key for the kirk-door costs fourpence; and two
shillings are paid for "ye lousing of Jamy Malcome's pot fra David Philp."
(Dr. Ross's Burgh Life in Dunf. p. 26; Burgh Rec.)
THE NAME OF GEORGE, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline, occurs for the last time
a Charter, dated 24th Feb. 1499. (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 374.)
THE LEAR-STANE. - The "strublers," or disturbers of the peace of the
and their lying excuses in defending themselves before the Bailies' Court,
had so much increased at this period, that the bailies, &c., of the burgh
enacted by assize, on the 17th March, 1499 - "Yat ye lear-stane suld be set
up againe in ye place where it was wont to stand, or els ane as gude
stane." It thus appears that the lear-stane was an old institution in
Dunfermline. (Dr. Ross's Burgh Life in Dunf. pp. 16,17; Burgh Rec.)
ST. RINGAN'S (St. Ninian's) ALTAR, and the ALTAR OF ST. CUTHBERT, in
Dunfermline Abbey, are noticed in a minute of the Burgh Records of this
NAMES OF MONKS AND CHAPLAINS OF THE ABBEY. - Between the years 1480
1500 there are to be found incidentally in the Burgh Records of Dunfermline
the following names of some of the Monks and Chaplains of the Abbey. The
Monks have the prefix of Dene, the Chaplains that of Schir (Sir), to their
NAMES OF MONKS OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY inter 1480-1500.
(Vide Burgh Records.)
John Wardlaw. William Lavrock.
James Kinnimont. Davy Sim.
Thomas Couper. Robert Swinton.
John Ra. John Spenluff.
NAMES OF CHAPLAINS OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY inter 1480-1500.
(Vide Burgh Records.)
John Tirwet. Richard Hartsed.
Robert Grant. Robert Norman.
John Orok. Thomas Moffat.
Alexander Sword. John Tarbat.
Richard Wrycht. Robert Atkyn.
James Alanson. John Scot.
Andro Pierson. John Law.
John Robertson. David Kingorn.
James Gudswain. Thomas Currie.
Davy Roger. John Mason.
Thomas Beny. William Jackson.
These must be taken as only a few - not the whole - of the Monks and
Chaplains of the Abbey during 1480-1500. They occur in the Burgh Records
in connection with legal proceedings instituted in the Burgh Courts against
parties who had not paid up their "annuals" to certain Altarages. (Vide
also Burgh Life in Dunf. in the Olden Time, by Rev. Wm. Ross, LL.D. p. 30.)
During the period 1480-1500 there were three Abbots of Dunfermline,
Henry Creichton, 1482; Adam, 1493-1490; George, 1490-1499.
"HEAD COURT OF YULE" AND PRICE OF ALE. - At the Head Court of Yule (in
1499), "it is statute and ordainit that na man nor woman sel derer ail nor
viiid, a gallone, under pane of viiis." (Burgh Rec. 1499.)
DUNFERMLINE MARKET CROSS, PRICE OF ALE, PENALTY, &C. - In the Burgh
of this date (1499), there is the following minute:- "Head Court of Yule,
1499. - The quhilk day it is statute and ordainit in jugement, be ye
alderman and balzeis of yis burch, and be ye haill communitie, yat nane
brew aill derer nor viiid. ye galoun, under ye pain of takyn furth of yair
caldronis and veschalls and dingin out of ye bodumis at ye mercat cross."
This is the first notice on record of the Market Cross of Dunfermline; but
there can be little doubt that there was a "mercat cross" as early as 1396,
immediately after the burgh had received its important Charter from the
Abbot. (See Annals, date 1395; "Burgh Ports," 1396; "Extent of Burgh," &c.
1500. - ROBERT (N.) BLACADER was Lord Abbot of Dunfermline this year.
precise date of his election and consecration to the office is not known.
The only note referring to him is to be found in Drummond's (of
Hawthornden) Hist. Scot., viz.:- "King James IV., intimating that, out of
remorse for bearing arms in the field where his father was slain, he had a
resolution to leave his kingdom and visit the Holy Sepulchre. To prepare
his way, Robert Blackader, Abbot of Dunfermline, is directed to accompany
him, but dies on the way, and the King findeth other hindrances," &c. This
Robert is the 29th Abbot of Dunfermline.
NAMES OF ALTARS IN DUNFERMLINE ABBEY IN 1500. - In the first, or oldest
the MS. Burgh Records, the names of the following Altars occur between 1488
and 1500, viz.:-
1. The High, or Great Altar.
11. St. Laurence's Altar.
2. Our Lady's Altar. 12. St. Margaret's Altar.
3. The Haly Bluid Altar. 13. St. Ninian's Altar.
4. The Rood, or Holy Cross Altar. 14. St. Mary's Altar.
5. St. John's Altar. 15. St. Nicholas' Altar.
6. St. Peter's Altar. 16. St. Cuthbert's Altar.
7. St. James's Altar. 17. St. Stephen's Altar.
8. St. Thomas's Altar. 18. St. Trunzean's Altar.
9. St. Michael's Altar. 19. St. Catherine's Altar.
10. St. Salvator's Altar. 20. The Parish Altar.
Probably there were more Altars, although not on record.
NAMES OF STREETS IN DUNFERMLINE IN A.D. 1500. - Strictly speaking, there
were no streets in Dunfermline in 1500. The thoroughfares were designated
as Rows, Gates, Wynds, and Vennels. Of these, the following existed in
1. The Casigate - Hie-Gate, and latterly High Street.
2. The Colzier Raw; now Bruce Street.
3. Rottan Row; now West Queen Ann Street.
4. The Cross Wynde; still retains the same name.
5. The Kirkgait;
6. St. Catherine's Gait; now St. Catherine's Wynd.
7. May Gait; still retains the same name.
8. Newraw; " "
9. Nethertown; " "
9. The Foul Vennel; afterwards known by the name of "In-below-the-wa's,"
"being a dirty foot-road, about eight feet broad, which ran east from
the east end of the Maygate, along the foot of the north wall of the
Abbey to the Newraw."
10. The Common Vennel, which was then a narrow footway, "running east from
the lower Yett (or Port) to the Newraw."
The only street paved with causeway stones at this period was the principal
street, the High Street - then called the Causagait, or Casigate,
afterwards Hie Gait and Heigait.
TRADES IN DUNFERMLINE IN A.D. 1500 - In the first or oldest volume of
Dunf. Burgh Records (between 1477 and 1500), the following trades are
2. Weavers. 9. Litsters, or Dyers.
3. Masons. 10. Brewster (Brewers, &c.)
4. Wrights. 11. Walcars (Waulkers).
5. Tailors. 12. Fullers.
6. Bakers. 13. Cadgers (fish for Abbey and inhabitants, &c.).
It does not appear that any of these trades were incorporated at this
period. (Vide notices of "Seals of Cause," in the pages of the Annals.)
ALDERMAN. - DAVID COUPAR elected Alderman, or Provost, of Dunfermline;
Robert Swinton, Treasurer. (Burgh Rec.)
WEAVING, AND THE WEBB OF "CANNE." - In the burgh Records of this date
is notice taken of a charge by Christian Marshall against Thomas Wilson for
the "wrangous spillyn of ane webb of canne." (Canvas?)
END OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.
(BEGINNING OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.)
ANNALS OF DUNFERMLINE. - (CONTINUED.)
1501. - BEGINNING OF THE 16TH CENTURY - JAMES STUART, Second Son of
III., Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey. - At this period there were 38
monks and about 12 officials connected with the Abbey. Population within
the walls of the Abbey, about 50. The population of the burgh, about 1300.
David Coupar, Alderman or Provost. Trades: Smiths, weavers, shoemakers,
tailors, masons wrights, bakers, and fleshers. At this period there was
much "religious discontent" in Dunfermline, as in other monastic towns.
(See Annals, "Destruction of the Abbey in 1560.") Annexed is a Plan of
Dunfermline in 1501, compiled by the writer from old sketches of "landes,
yairds," &c., in the burgh, and from title deeds and charters, which the
reader may with confidence receive as a correct "Plan of the Burgh and the
Abbey Grounds of Dunfermline in 1501."
1502. - THE ABBACY OF DUNFERMLINE held in Perpetual Comemdam by James
Stuart, Second Son of James III. - In the year 1502 the Abbacy of
Dunfermline was bestowed in commendam on James Stuart, son of King James
III., who, although then very young, was Archbishop of St. Andrews, Abbot
of Arbroath, Duke of Ross, Marquis of Ormond, Earl of Ardmenach, Lord of
Brechin and Nevar, and Chancellor of the Kingdom. This Prince was then
only 26 years old! (See Annals, date 1478, "Lord Abbots of Dunf.;" Keith's
Scot. Bishops, p. 33; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 193.) This James is
styled James I., and is the 30th, acting as Abbot of Dunfermline.
1504. - JAMES STUART, Commendator of Dunfermline, died in the winter
1503-1504, in the 28th year of his age, and was interred at St. Andrews.
JAMES BETON, Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. - In the year 1504, James Beton
Bethune, youngest son of the Laird of Balfour, in Fife, and Provost of
Bothwell, succeeded James Stuart, as Lord Abbot of Dunfermline. (Bannatyne
Club Miscel. p. 162; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 193.) This Abbot, styled
James II., is the 31st Abbot of Dunfermline. It may be here noted that
this Abbot became a Lord of Session in 1504-1505; Lord High Treasurer of
Scotland, in 1505; Bishop-elect of Glasgow, in 1508; Archbishop of Glasgow,
in 1509 (when he resigned the office of Treasurer); Chancellor of the
Kingdom, in 1514; and in 1524, became Abbot of Arbroath and Kilwinning, and
one of the Lords of the Regency; and, lastly, Archbishop of St. Andrews,
from 1522 to 1539. Plurality of offices, such as noted here, was very
prevalent at this period. Such abuses hastened on the Reformation.
1505. - DUNBAR'S POEM and the Sojourning of the King at Dunfermline.
James IV. resided much in his palace at Dunfermline during this year. On
one of his visits, it would appear, that "he had indulged in some libertine
pranks," which was made the subject of a poem by the witty Dunbar, entitled
"The Tod and Lamb, or the Wooing of the King when he was at Dumfermling,"
for which see Dunbar's Poems. (Mercer's Hist. Dunf. p. 59.)
1506. - EAST HAILES. - The lands of East Hailes, in Collington parish,
Edinburgh, granted by James, Abbot of Dunfermline, to Thomas Forrester, of
Strathenry. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No.506, p. 379; see Annals, dates 1128,
1507. - "ENDENTOURE OF SYMON KARWOUR, WRYCHT, AND HIS PRENTICE." - The
following "Endentoure," made this year, is to be found in the Register of
Dunfermline (No. 463, p. 361). As it is curious, somewhat we give it in
"Thir Endentoures maid at Dunfermlyn ye xiv day of ye moneth of May,
zhere of God 1m. vc. vii zeires (1507) proportis and beris witnes in ye
self, yt it is appointit and finaly concordat betuix ane venerable fadir in
Crist James be ye permissione of God abbot of Dunfermlyn and ye convent of
yt ilk on ye ta part and ane discret man, Somon Karoure on ye tothyr part
in form, maner, and affek as eftir followis - yt is to say yt ye said Symon
is bundyn and oblist to ye said venerable fader and ye said convent, for
all and hail ye dais of his lyfe yt he sall remane and wirk in ye said abba
in ye craft of ye wryt craft and repare all neidfull werks of ye samyn als
far has he hafe knawlege and ye said venerable fader and convente and yair
successores is bund and oblist to pay ye Symon for his labor diong zeirly
xxti merks of vsual monet of Scotland, ane chalder of meil, with thre
bollis of mault, to be payt at four tymes in ye zher, yt is to say, at
Whitsonday, lamess, martynmes, and candilmes; and at ilk ane of ye termes v
merkes of siluer wt ye victail afferand yrto and ane quartir terme to begyn
wt - and ay sa furth, terme efter followand. the said Symon sall haiff
till prentyss four merkes of siluer and ane chalder of meil till his met,
and his clathes ilk zere, sa lang as he is prentyss, and ye said venerable
fader and convent and yr successores sal wrphald ye said Symonis werk
lumys, or ellis ane conter yrfor till wphal yaim - and gif ye case be yt ye
said WF (venerable fader) lenys ye said Symon till ony outwt ye place ye
said Symonis fee sall stand haill till his self, sik like as he had wrocht
his werk in ye said place, and till all and syndry yr puntces articles, and
condicions be fullillie and hailily completit, observit, and keipit - for
ye part of thir endentouris remanand wt ye said Symon Karwour ye commone
seil of ye said abbay sall be hungin - and to ye ta part remanand st ye
W.F. and convent, ye said Symon has procurat, wt instans, ye seil of ane
honorable man Dauid cupir, aldirman of ye said burgh to he hungin. - before
ys1. witnesses Maistr Jhone trumbil Vicar of Cleigh (Cleish), - Schir JHONE
GUDSWAYNE, chaplanis and ARCHEBALD STEWART, wyt synsi devirsis." (Print.
Regist. Dunf. No. 463, p. 361; Fernie's Hist. Dunf. pp. 197-199.)
THE SWORD OF STATE, CONSECRATED HAT, AND THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE. -
year Pope Julius II. presented a Sword of State and a Consecrated Hat to
King James IV. "They were delivered with great solemnity and ceremony in
the Abbey Church of Holyrood, by the Papal Legate and the Abbot of
Dunfermline. (Dundee Weekly News, 19th February, 1876.)
1508. - JOHANNES SCOTT. - On a gravestone, in the pavement of the original
Choir, viz., near the middle of the centre falgstones in the Auld Kirk,
there will be found the name -
Mo. Vc. VIII.
There have been many surmises as to whose remains are here indicated,
without any result; as this stone is so near the site of the old Rood
Altar, it would appear that he must have been a man of position. Dr.
Chalmers, in his History of Dunfermline (vol. i. p. 123), says, "It is
believed to be the now oldest legible inscription on the once lettered
pavement of the Abbey Church." He was probably the John Scott mentioned in
the list of Chaplains at p. 179 An. of Dunf.
1509. - COLDINGHAM PRIORY again Annexed to Dunfermline Abbey (see "Annals,"
date 1487). - This year, by order of Pope Julius II., the Priory of
Coldingham was again and finally withdrawn from Durham, and annexed
inalienably to the Abbey of Dunfermline, under the jurisdiction of which it
continued till the Reformation in 1560. (Carr's Hist. of Coldingham, p.
310; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 241, &c.)
1510. - THE ABBOT RESIGNED HIS OFFICE. - James Bethune, or Beton, in
consequence of the intrigues and disputes with those in power, resigned his
position as Abbot of Dunfermline. (Keith's Scot. Bishops, p. 35, &c.; vide
Annals, date 1522.)
ALEXANDER STUART SUCCEEDED JAMES BETHUNE, OR BETON, AS LORD ABBOT OF
DUNFERMLINE. - Towards the end of this year, King James IV. prevailed on
the Pope to confirm his presentation of the offices of Archbishop of St.
Andrews and Abbot of Dunfermline on his natural son, Alexander Stuart, then
a boy under 15 years of age! (Mercer's Hist. Dunf. p. 58; Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. pp. 194, 240.) This is another instance of the Royal interference
in the affairs of Dunfermline Abbey, &c - a boy under 15 the Abbot! He was
the 32nd Abbot of Dunfermline.
1511. - THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE elected Lord Chancellor and the Pope's
Legate. - Through the supreme influence of his father, King James IV.,
Alexander, his natural son, the Abbot of Dunfermline, &c., is made Lord
Chancellor of Scotland and the Pope's Legate a latere (i.e., at his side).
This Abbot, Legate, &c., was then only about 16 years old!
1512. - MARGARET, QUEEN OF SCOTLAND, IN DUNFERMLINE. - Margaret, Queen
Scotland, consort of James IV., appears to have been residing in
Dunfermline Palace early in May this year. Leslie, in his History of
Scotland (published in 1830, p. 32), notifies that "this yeir, in the
beginning of May, the Quene tuik voyage furth of Dumfermling to St. Duthois
in Ross, and in all her Journey wes honourablie intertenit, and came to
Edinburgh agane about the x day of July." Margaret was daughter of Henry
VII. of England. ("St. Duthois's Shrine in Ross-shire.")
REGARDING A CARRUCATA OF LAND ON COLDINGHAM. - Alexander, Archbishop
Andrews, Commendator of Dunfermline, Superior Prior of the Priory of
Coldingham, &c., confirms to Christian Lumsden, daughter of John Lumsden,
in Coldingham, the spouse of Alexander Ellem, "three parts of one carrucate
of land near the village and territory of Coldingham, within the vice
comitatus of Berwick, called the 'bichil,' which said John resigned;
Reddendo, 2 shillings," &c.; dated Dunfermline, 10th August, 1512. (Print.
Regist. Dunf. No. 508, p. 379.)
1513. - ALEXANDER STUART, ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE, SLAIN. - Alexander Stuart,
the youthful Abbot of Dunfermline, accompanied his father, King James IV.
to Flodden, and was, along with his ill-fated father and the flower of the
Scottish army, slain on Flodden Field, on 9th September, 1513, being then
in th 21st year of his age. (Mercer's Hist. Dunf. p. 59; Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. p. 195.) The great Erasmus was this Abbot's tutor, from whom he
had a noble character. (Crawford's Offices of State, pp. 59,60; Keith's
Scottish Bishops, pp. 33,34.) His skeleton was found in 1820, near the
High Altar site of St. Andrews Cathedral. The skull had a deep sword-cut
wound, penetrating through the thickness of the bone. (Newspapers of 1820.)
1514. THE PEST, OR PLAGUE, rages in Dunfermline. - This plague was general
throughout Scotland, for which vide Hist. of Scot.
1515. - JAMES HEPBURNE, ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE. - It would appear that
Abbey had no Abbot for nearly two years (from 1513 to 1515). In 1515,
James Hepburne, the third son of Adam, Lord Hailes, and brother of Patrick,
first Earl of Bothwell, was elected Abbot of Dunfermline. (Crawford's
Offices of State, p. 369.) Andrew Forman disputed the election of this
THE POSTULATE OF DUNFERMLINE. - In the year 1515, the Postulate of
Dunfermline (a legal functionary) attended the Council at Edinburgh, on
15th May, and was witness to the declaration of the Council, to an
application of the French Ambassador on the part of Francis I., for being
at peace with England. (Maitland's Hist. Scot. vol. ii. p. 762.)
THE ABBOT OF KELSO and Others Imprisoned in Dunfermline. - In the month
August, 1515, the Abbot of Kelso, and several of the friends of Lord Home,
were imprisoned in Dunfermline by the Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland.
(Morton's Annals, p. 96.)
1516. - JAMES HEPBURNE, elected Abbot of Dunfermline by the Convent,
resigned his office of Abbot this year, having come to an understanding
with Andrew Forman. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 197, &c.) He died in
1525, and was interred at Elgin.
1517. - ANDREW FORMAN, elected Abbot of Dunfermline early in the year
(Chalmers's Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 195,196; vol. ii. pp. 220,221.) He was
the 34th Abbot of Dunfermline.
INCH GARVIE. Inch Garvie, on the Firth of Forth, became a State Prison
year. Secretary Panter was imprisoned in "the fort on the ile, because he
did not please the rulers of the day." (Histories of Scot.)
1519. - JOHN FERGUSONE was Provost of Dunfermline in 1519. Bailies
Dunfermline this year: Alexander Henderson and William Moubray. (Burgh
1520. - CRAIGLUSCAR HOUSE BUILT. - The stone which was on the front
this mansion-house is still to be seen built into the lower part of a wall
there. It is a triangular stone. "Near the top is the date 1520; below it
there is a shield, on the dexter side of which is a St. Andrew's cross, and
on the sinister side a cheveron, enclosing a crescent, with two crescents
above. There are on each side, parallel to each other, the capital letters
G.D. and M.B." It is not known with certainty to whom these initial
letter refer. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. p. 399.)
1522. - ANDREW FORMAN, Abbot of Dunfermline, died, and was interred
Dunfermline. (Keith's Scot. Bishops, pp. 35, 146; Morton's Annals, pp.
298, 299; Pitscottie's Hist. Scot. p. 254.) This abbot was a great man.
In 1498 he was the Pope's pronotary, and afterwards his legate a latere.
He was Prior of the Isle of May; was Bishop of Moray in 1501; and held at
the same time the Priories of Coldingham and Pittenweem, and was
Commendator of Dryburgh in 1512. Through the favour of Louis XII. he was
made Archbishop of Bourges, in France, in 1513; Archbishop of St. Andrews
in 1514. When the Duke of Albany came back from France, and assumed the
regency in 1516, Forman resigned into his hands, as the law of Scotland
required, all the benefices which he had hitherto held only by the Pope's
nomination, and was reappointed only to the See of St. Andrews and the
Abbey of Dunfermline. Forman is the reputed author of "Contra Lutherum,"
of "De Stoica Philosophia," and of "Collectanea Decretalium." (Morton's
Annals, pp. 288,289; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 195,196,197.
The following short account of a banquet given by Forman to the Pope
his cardinals while in Rome is from Pitscottie's (Lindsay's) Chron. Scot.
p. 254:- "Then the Bishop Forman made a banquet to the Pope and all his
cardinals, in one of the Pope's own palaces; and when they were all wet,
according to their custom, that he who aught the house for the time should
say the grace, he was not a good scholar, nor had good Latin, by began
rudely in the Scottish fashion, saying, Benedicite, believing that they
should have said Dominus. But they answered Deus, in the Italian fashion,
which put the bishop past his intendiment, that he wist not well how to
proceed forward, but happened out in good Scots, in this manner, saying
(which they understood not), To the devil I give you all, false cardinals,
in nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Then all the bishop's
men leugh, and all the cardinals themselves. And the Pope enquired whereat
they leugh; and the Bishop shewed that he was not a good clerk, and that
his cardinals had put him by his text and intendiment. Therefore he gave
them all to the devil in good Scots, whereat the Pope himself leugh very
JAMES BETON, Re-elected Abbot of Dunfermline. - James Beton, who had
Abbot of Dunfermline from 1504 till 1510, was again elected Abbot, which
office he held until his death in 1539. (Keith's Scottish Bishops, pp.
35,36, &c.) While holding the office of Abbot of Dunfermline he was also
Archbishop of St. Andrews, &c. (See date 1504.)
THE LANDS OF ORROCK-SELLYBALBE, &C. - "James, Commendator of Dunfermline,
&c., and Chancellor of the Kingdom, granted to Marjorie Orrok, daughter of
Alexander Orrok of Sellybalbe, the third part of the lands of Orrok,
Sellybalbe, and Dunearn adjacent, in the regality of Dunfermline and
vicecomitatus of Fife, quam dictus Alexander resignaverat Reddendo 2 merks
six shillings and eightpence, &c. Dated Dunfermline, xx January, 1523."
1524. - THE LANDS OF CLUNYS AND THE CAPTAIN OF EDINBURGH CASTLE. - "James,
Archbishop of ST. Andrews, regni Primas Apostolicae sedis legatus, and
Commendator of Aberborthok and Dunfermline, confirms to James Crechton of
Cranstoneriddale, Captain of the Castle of Edinburgh, and to Margarite
Hume, his spouse, our landis of Clunys adjacent to and within the
vicecomitatus of Fife, in Gaitmylk schire, which the same James Crechtoun
resignaverat. Dated Dunfermline, vi. Jan. 1524." (Print. Regist. Dunf. No.
512, pp. 380,381.)
THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE'S HOUSE IN EDINBURGH. - As early as this period,
that house at the junction of High Street with Canongate (north side), in
after times known as John Knox's House, belonged to the Abbots of
Dunfermline, and here they resided during the meetings of "The Estates,"
&c., and when on official duties.
1526. - The following is a free translation of an interesting Charter
the Printed Register of Dunfermline, and is here given because it is one of
the few Charters in the Register which has the names of many places now
obsolete, but nevertheless interesting to the local antiquary:-
"James, Archbishop Primate of the Realm, has granted to James Murray
lands of Pardew, otherwise Broomhill, along with certain acres, viz., the
Stane acre, Short acre, and the Boot acre, as pertinents of this same land
of Pardew, lying within the Regality of Dunfermline, on the south part of
the lower town (Nether-town), on either side of the rivulet commonly called
the Lyne, bounded as follows:- Beginning at the Gardens of St. Cuthbert,
descending by certain stones fixed for boundary stones, and proceeding by
the land of David Bothwell, named the Haugh, to the south, even to the
goodly lands belonging to the altar of the blessed Mary, within the Parich
Church of Dunfermline, even as far as the water and the King's high way,
which leads to the Grange of Dunfermline, and thence proceeding by the said
way towards the north as far as the water of Lyne, and descending by the
rivulet or burn as far as the Boot acre, lying on the western part of the
meadow lands, and then proceeding by the marsh of said meadow as far as the
lands of the laird of Pittencrieff, called in like manner the Boot (buyt),
and ascending to the said stream called the Lyne as far as the Short acre,
on the northern part of the said water, which acre has the King's high way
on the west, and is almost inclosed on the other sides by the said water.
Reddendo 8 shillings yearly in name of annual rent. Given at Dunfermline
28th June, 1526." (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 514, p. 381.)
The acre here called the Buyt aiker may perhaps mean Butt acre, the
for the practice of archery in the olden time; Stone acre may be so called
from some now obliterated stone quarry; and Short acre from its small
dimensions. Whirlbut, or Whirlbutt, is in the immediate vicinity, on the
south side of the Lyne burn, probably also connected with "the art of
archery." "Buyt aiker" has hitherto been translated Boot acre; and the
writer has followed his predecessors, although he strongly suspects that
But or Butt acre is the proper rendering.
THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE A FUGITIVE. - On September 4th, 1526, "the
battle of Avonbridge, near Linlithgow, was fought between the Earls of
Arran and Lennox," when the Abbot of Dunfermline, "being on the losing
side, had with others to fly from the field, and took refuge among the
mountains, lurking about in the disguise of a shepherd." (Lindsay's Hist.
Scot. vol. ii. pp. 280,281; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. p. 222, &c.)
DUNFERMLINE ABBEY "SPOILZED." - Shortly after "the affair at Avonbridge,"
Angus, advancing to Fife, entered Dunfermline with his soldiers, and
spoilzit (pillaged) the Abbey. (Mercer's Hist. Dunf. p. 59; Chal. Hist.
Dunf. vol. 2. p. 222; and Histories of Scotland.)
1527. - MARTYRDOM OF PATRICK HAMILTON, 1st March, 1527. - This is a
black-letter day in the history of Dunfermline, for "the Abbot of
Dunfermline (Archbishop of St. Andrews, &c.) superintended the martyrdom of
Patrick Hamilton" - a pious young man, only 23 years of age - almost at the
door of his castle at St. Andrews." (Histories of Scotland; Chal. Hist.
Dunf. vol. i. p. 194; Grierson's Hist. St. Andr. p. 23, &c.)
1529. - "THE PEST AND 'THE SICKNESS' prevails generally, and particularly
in the towns on the north side of the Forth. Dunfermline and vicinity
suffered much in July, August, and Septr." (Histories of Scotland.)
1530. - WALTER RYNGANE AND WILLIAM DURYE were the Abbey Janitors at
period. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 515, p. 381.)
1531. - USUFRUCTUARIUS OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY, &C. - In the Register
Dunfermline, of date, February 1531, there is a Charter granted to the Lord
of Belwerye, by the Archbishop of St. Andrews and the Abbot of Dunfermline,
regarding certain lands, &c., which has the singular introduction of -
"James, Archbishop of St. Andrews, Vsufructuarius of the Monastery of
Dunfermline, and George Dury, Abbot of the Convent of the same place;
James, Earl of Morton and Dalkeith and Baron of Aberdour; George de Dundas,
knight and templar in the preceptory of St. John of Jerusalem at
Torphichen, &c." (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 516, p. 382.)
1532. - PRESENTATION OF THE ALTAR OF THE HOLY CROSS, KIRKCALDY. - "George,
Abbot of Dunfermline, presented to Lord William, Chaplain of James,
Archbishop of St. Andrews, to the altarages of our altar of the Holy Cross,
within the burgh of Kirkcaldy, and in the Parish Church of the same place.
Dated at Dunfermline 18th April, 1532. Witnesses, Walter Tyngane, David
Duncan, and Walter Shorthouse." (Print. Regist. of Dunf. No. 517, p. 383.)
1533. - THE VICARAGE OF THE CHURCH OF CLEISCHE. - "George, Abbot of
Dunfermline, and James, Archbishop of St. Andrews, presented Maister David
Young, Presbiter, to the perpetual Vicarage of the Parich Church of Cleish.
Dated March, 1533. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 518, p. 383.) Cleish is about
8 miles north of Dunfermline.
1534. - THE MILLS AND LANDS OF EASTER HAILES. - "James, Archbishop of
Andrews, and George, Abbot of Dunfermline, granted a Charter, conferring to
certain parties named, part of the lands and the mills of Easter Hailes,
near Edinburgh. Dated at Dunfermline, vi. Nov. 1534." (Print. Regist.
Dunf. No. 522, p. 384.)
1535. - THE PRIORY OF PLUSCARDINE AND DUNFERMLINE. - "The Priory of
cardine, in Moray, which had been subject to Dunfermline for a long period
previous to this date, was this year (1535) erected into a Regality by
James, Archbishop of St. Andrews, and George, Abbot of Dunfermline, who
appointed four persons (who are named) to hold Justiciary Courts of the
Regality in Dunfermline and administer justice." Dated "Dunfermline. . .
die. . . 1535." (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 526, p. 385.)
1536. - THE CHURCH OF MELVILLE presented to Lord Archibald Hay, Clericum
Parisiss, studentem, James, Archbishop of St. Andrews, and George, Abbot of
Dunfermline. Nov. 7th, 1536. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 527, p. 586.)
Probably Hay studied at Paris.
THE CHURCH OF MOULEN. - James, Archbishop of St. Andrews, and George,
of Dunfermline, presented to Lord David Hervey, Presbyter, the Vicarage of
the Parish Church of Moulen. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 528, p. 586.)
These two churches were for many centuries subject to Dunfermline.
DUNFERMLINE GUILD COURT. - In a minute of a Guild Court, held this year,
the selling of hides and skins, &c., is noticed. (Burgh Records.)
1537. - THE LANDS OF CLUNYS &C. - James, Archbishop of St. Andrews,
"vsufructuarius and administrator-generalis fructuum" of the Monastery, and
George, Abbot of Dunfermline, granted a writ in favour of Jacobus
Creichtoun, heres patris, Jacobi Creichtoun, in dictis terris. 8th May,
1537. (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 529, p. 386.)
1538. - MARY (of Lorraine), THE QUEEN, IN DUNFERMLINE. - In the month
July, this year, Mary, of Lorraine, Queen of James V., made splendid
progresses, by successive stage, through Fifeshire, from St. Andrews to
Cupar, from Cupar to Falkland, from Falkland to Ravensheuch, and thence to
Dunfermline and the Queensferry. The various items of expenses are stated
for the different days and stages for conveying furth the Queen's geir,
chariot, beds of the dames of honour, &c., in the State papers, which are
Ful. - The Kingis tapescherie and vtheris his geir' were transported
of Sanctandrois to Edinburgh, Cowper, Falkland, Dysart, Dunfermeling, and
Linlithgu, at various times during the present month. (No dates attached
to the accounts.)
Item. - For carrying of bedding and coferis, with lynnyng claithis,
coffer of the Maister Stabiller to the Quene; ane chiar and ane buird (a
chair of state and table) to the Quene, from Sanctandrois to Couper and
Falkland, and fra Falkland to Ravinsheuche and Dunfermling, the space of
iiiij dayis, &c. Summa, lij s. (52s.)
Item. - For carying of the said geir furthe of Dunfermling to the Ferry,
and horsis; ilk horse, xviij d. (18d.)
Item. - For carying of the Dames of Honouris beddis fra Dunfermeling
Edr. iij s. (3s.)
(Vide State Papers, State Paper Office, London; Account Book of Lord
Treasurer of Scotland; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. pp. 264,265.)
1539. - JAMES BEATON, Abbot of Dunfermline, died this year. He
Archbishop of St. Andrews. Since his re-election in 1522 he had held the
abbacy for seventeen years; but, "from about the year 1535 he appears to
have committed the duties of Abbot to George Dury." Lesley, in his History
of Scotland, says that "James Beatoun, before he deid, had providit
successiouris to all his benifices, quilkis were Mr. David Betoun, then
being Cardinal, to the Archbishopric of St. Andrews and to the Abbey of
Arbroath, and Mr. George Durie, quha was Archdene of St. Androis, to the
Abbacye of Dumferling, wha enterit with the Kingis benevolens, and without
any stoppe to thair benefices efter his deceis." (Lesley's Hist. Scot. Ban.
Club, edit. 1830, p. 158.)
GEORGE DURIE, Archdean of St. Andrews, made Abbot of Dunfermline, not
"divine permission" or "God-tholing," but by permission and the "tholing"
of James Beaton, his predecessor. The moral degeneracy of the age "was now
hastening on affairs, making them ripe for the close-at-hand reformation."
THE ABBEY SEAL. - It would appear, from wax impressions still attached
Monastic Charters and Deeds, of dates between 1539-1560, that George Dury,
the new Abbot and Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey, had a Seal-stamp
engraven during the first year of his office (1539). The above is taken
from the engraving in Fernie's History of Dunfermline, p. 76. Of this Seal
Mr. Henry Laing, at page 181 of his excellent work on Ancient Scottish
Seals, says - "It is a fine round Seal, of a rich design, consisting of
three Gothic niches; in the centre of one is a figure of the Virgin and
infant Jesus; in the dexter, a figure of St. Andrew, holding his cross
before him; and, in the sinister, a figure of St. Margaret, holding in her
left hand a sceptre. In the lower part of the Seal is a shield, bearing a
chevron between three crescents, the armorial bearings of Durie; Behind the
shield, a crozier; and, around the circumference, in old letters, the
"'S GEORGII ABBATIS DE DVMFERLING ARCH S ANDR'"
that is - "Seal of George, Abbot of Dunfermline, and Archdean