A CHARTER OF THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE relating to Lands in and near
Dunfermline. - "George, Archdean of St. Andrews, and Commendator of
Dunfermline, concedes to Helena Stewart, daughter and apparent heiress of
Adam Stewart, of Brerhill, and David Lundy, sponso dictae Helenae, the
lands of Breryhill, adjacent to the burgh of Dunfermline on the east part,
and the land of Mylhillis, on the east part of the 'Newrow' croft, commonly
called the 'Newraw-crofts;' the lands of Penelandes, near the lands of
Breryhill, on the north part; and the lands of Mylhillis on the east part;
the lands of the Spittel on the south part; and those of Elliotshill on the
west part. Also a small parcel of land, commonly called the 'Cluttis'
croft, adjacent, within the regality of Dunfermline; and the narrow crofts
in the burgh of Dumfermline, on the west part of the lands of Halbank; amd
the north part of the lands of Brerehill, on the east and south parts; and
the lands of Halbank adjacent, in the regality of Dunfermline."
1540. - ROYAL PALACE, DUNFERMLINE, Enlarging, Altering, and Repairing.
The Royal Palace of Dunfermline appears to have been much enlarged and
thoroughly repaired about this period. "Large mullioned windows were
introduced into the original architecture," and in the present upper
storey, then added to the building, besides having mullioned windows, had
also bay, or projecting windows in west wall fronting the glen, as shown in
ruin still standing. The accompanying plate is a north-west view of the
Palace, when thus completed, taken partly from Sleizar's view, of date,
circa 1690, and a more correct print published about the middle of the last
The following are the measurements of the Royal Palace Kitchen and Cellar,
taken by the writer in 1825:- The west wall overlooking the glen is 205
feet in length (including the cellar and kitchen walls), the height, 59
feet, and breadth 28 and a-half feet. The west side of the wall is
supported by eight buttresses. (For notices of the "Annunciation Stone,"
see Annals of Dunf. dates 1812 and 1859.)
1541. - THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE elected an Extraordinary Lord of the
Articles. - George Dury, Abbot and Commendator of Dunfermline, was "on July
2nd, 1541, chosen an Extraordinary Lord of the Articles," as also often
afterwards. (Acts of Scot. Parl. ii. pp. 366,443,603; Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. p. 198.)
1542. - THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE elected a Member of the Earl of Arran's
Council, which at the meeting confirmed the Earl in his guardianship of the
infant Queen Mary during her nonage. (Mait. Hist. Scot. vol. ii. p. 839.)
1543. - THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE, one of the Privy Council. - On the
March, 1543, the Abbot of Dunfermline was one of those appointed of
Governor the Earl of Arran's "Secret Counsale," and was one of the Secret
Council frequently afterwards. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 198; Acts of
Scot. Parl. ii. pp. 366,443,603.)
BURNTISLAND, or Wester Kinghorn, from a very early period belonged to
Dunfermline Abbey. It was also known as Cunyngayrland. This year George
Dury, Abbot of Dunfermline, by Charter, conceded to Peter Dury, the Castle,
&c., and certain lands known as Grasslandes, and Cunyngayrlands, &c.,
vulgarly called Burntisland. (Regist. Dunf. pp. 393,399.)
1544. - MR. JOHN DAVIDSON, an eminent divine, was born in the Parish
Dunfermline this year. At a very early age he was sent to school in the
Abbey, completing his scholastic education there. He became a monk of the
Order of Benedictines. Afterwards he embraced the Protestant faith and
became celebrated as a divine and a poet. (See dates 1573 and 1604.)
1549. - CONFIRMATION CHARTER OF GEORGE DURY to the Burgesses, &c.,
Dunfermline. - As this Charter confirms the Charter of Abbot Robert (1322)
and that of Abbot John (1395), &c., a full and free translation of it is
here given, viz.:- "Charter of Confirmation, Innovation, and New
Concession, made by Lord George, the Commendator, and the Convent of the
Monastery of Dunfermlyn, concerning and regarding all and several the
liberties, concessions, donations, and privileges of the Community of their
Burgh of Dunfermlyn, made and granted by their predecessors on account of
the age of the Charters and letters previously executed and granted:-
"George Dury, Archdeacon of St. Andrews, and Perpetual Commendator of
Dunfermline, on account of the distinguished services of the present
Provost, Bailies, Council, Burgesses, and community of the burgh of
Dunfermline, for which they are well known, like their progenitors and
predecessors, has confirmed the Charter which follows, viz.:- 'To all who
shall see or hear this Charter, Robert, by Divine permission, Abbot of the
Monastery of Dunfermline, and the humble Convent of the same place, eternal
safety in the Lord, Know ye that we,' &c. Likewise the Charter in these
words:- 'To all who shall hear or see this Charter, John, by the Grace of
God, Abbot of Dunfermline and the most humble Convent of the same, eternal
safety in the Lord, Know ye that we, with the consent and assent of our
Chapter, have given and granted, and by this our present Charter, have
confirmed for us and our successors, to our burgesses of Dunfermlyn, those,
viz., who are now Guild brethren, and their heirs forever, and to others,
our burgesses received, or in future to be received, into the Guild by our
burgesses and their heirs, a Merchant Guild, with all the liberties,
rights, conveniences, easements pertaining, or that may by any right
whatever pertain, to a free Merchant Guild, along with the houses belonging
of old to the said Guild (reserving the right of any one), to be held and
kept by our foresaid burgesses and their heirs of us and our successors, in
sales and purchases, and all other grants as freely, quietly, fully,
honorably, well, and in peace, as any burgesses of our Lord the King, in
any burghs of our same Lord have, hold, and possess a Guild, reserving to
ourselves and our obedientiaries, and their servants, for the use of
ourselves and our obedientiaries for purchases and other ancient usages,
according to justice.' - In testimony whereof, to the present Charter
likewise the indenture witnesses: Master ABRAHAM CREICHTOUN, Provost of
Dunglas and Official of St. Andrews, within the Archdeanary of Laudonia;
ROBERT DURY of that ilk, principal baillie of the Regality of Dunfermline;
ROBERT STEWART, junior, Lord of Rossyth; DAVID MARTYNE, of Cardven; JOHN
BETOUN, of Capildray: Likewise, Messrs. (Landlords) WILLIAM MURRAY,
Treasurer of Dunblane; JOHN LAUDER, Archdeacon of Tweeddale; ADAM KINGORNE,
Vicar of Lynton; and JOHN COUPAR and THOMAS MALCOLM, Chaplains and Notaries
Public. - 2d August, 1549." (Print. Regist. Dunf. No. 569, pp. 397,398.
See also Confirmation Charter of James VI. 1588, which confirms this
Charter, and also the Charters of Abbots Robert and John, 1322, 1363, and
1550. - CHARTER-KEEPER AND NOTARY OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY. - It would appear
from various Charters of date circa 1550, that John Henrisone was Keeper of
the Abbey Charters and Notary-Public, at least, as early as this period;
also, vide Annals, date 1573, probably the same person.
THE LANDS OF FYNMONTH. - George, Commendator of Dunfermline, conceded
James Kircaldy of Grange, the King's Treasurer, and Jonete Melville, his
spouse, the lands of Fynmonth, lying in the regality of Dunfermline, within
the vice comitatus of Fyfe, reddendo, 17lb. 8s. 8d.; dated at the Monastery
of Dunfermline, 1550. (Print. Regist. Dunf., No. 570, p. 398.)
1551. - KINROSS AND ORWELL. - George, Commendator of Dunfermline,
presented, by Writ, Sir John Mowss, presbyter, to the Vicarage and pensions
of the Churches of Kinross and Orwell. (Regis. Dunf. No. 572, p. 398.)
1552. - WESTER KINGHORN. - George, Abbot and Commendator of Dunfermline,
Charter, conceded to Peter Dury and his heirs "our lands of Nethir Grange
of Kyngorne, with the Castle," and Custodier of Cwnyngerlandis commonly
called Burntisland, dated 22nd October, 1552, and has the following names
as witnesses appended to it:- Robert Pitcairn; Alan Cowttis, Chamberlain of
Dunfermline, &c. Regist. Dunf. No. 574. p. 399.)
1554. - KEEPER OF THE PRIVY SEAL. - George Dury, Abbot of Dunfermline,
this year chosen Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland. (Diurnal of Occur.
Ban. Club, Edit. p. 64; Acts of Parliament, vol. ii. pp. 443,603, &c.;
Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 198.)
1555. - THE ABBEY "BUIK WITHE THE BLAK COVERING, Callit Novum Rentale,
begynnand in 1555 and endand 1583. - This is the first of five new
rental-books of the Abbey (noticed under proper dates). The first one is a
Register of the Abbey lands, possessions, &c., of Dunfermline. This
Register is in the possession of the Marquis of Tweeddale, the Heritable
Bailie of the Regality of Dunfermline, and is titled "The buik withe the
blak covering, callit Novum Rentale, begynnand in 1555 and endand 1583."
It contains a register of all the lands belonging to the Regality of
Dunfermline, from 5th November, 1555, to 11th September, 1585. With some
exceptions it is entire, and still in good condition. (Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. p. 76.) The following title is inscribed on its first leaf:-
"Novum rentale seu registrum terrarum ad Regalitatem de Dunfermling
spectantium anno milesimo quingentesimo quinquagesimo quinto per dominum
Johannem . . . . Monachum professum ejusdem de mandato Reverendi viri
Georgii Durie, commendatarii dicti monasterii. - J. HENRISONE, Chartarum
custos et Notarius Publicus." (Vide Appendix III.; Printed Regist. de Dunf.
pp. 465, 482.)
1556. - BURGH RECORDS OF DUNFERMLINE. - The second oldest volume (a
one) of the Burgh Records begins with date 29th January, 1556, and ends
with 15th November, 1575. This volume is a folio, stitched in an old
parchment covering (see also Annals Dunf. date 1473), and from which
several extracts have been taken for 1556-1575.
1557. - THE ABBEY REGISTER OF CHARTERS, TACKS, AND TEINDS, relating
Dunfermline. - In the General Register House, Edinburgh, there is a
Register of the Charters, Tacks, and Teinds, belonging to Dunfermline
Abbey, from 1557 to 1585. (See Print. Regist. Dunf. pp. 486-492.)
THE LANDS OF PRIMROSE AND KNOCKS were purchased this year by the "Laird
Pitfirrane;" and Knockhouse in 1561. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 294;
Regist. Dunf. &c.)
THE (ABBEY) REGISTER, with the "Quhyt Parchment Covering," 1557-1585,
vol. ii. of New Rentals of Abbey Possessions, &c. (Vide Annals 1557-1585,
Appendix; Print. Regist. Dunf. pp.
CHARTER, relating to the West Mill of Kirkcaldy. - This is the last
in the Register of Dunfermline. It is in the Scottish language of the day.
This being the last Charter of Durie's, and the last in the Register, we
"George, Commendator of Dunfermline, set in feu farm till George Boswell,
helein his spouse and thair airis maile, quhilkis failzand to maister Andro
bosuell and margarit bosuell his spouse, the west mylne of Kirkaldy wytht
ye mill landis and multoures of ye samyn, Quha is oblissit to pay to the
said abbot zeirlye thairfor fourty bollis mele seuin pundes and twelf
shillinges monei, Twelf caponis to giddir wutht hariage careage and dew
twice and tua zeires mele at ye intre of ylk air. And be ye said abbot one
nawayis sall grant nor giff licence to onie inhabitants of ye said broucht
of Kirkaldy nor of ye lordship throf to bigg ony millis on the watter or
wind milinis or hors mylnis witht-in ye boundes of ye said toun and
lordschip, Twa yhat nane of ye multouris nor pfettis of ye west milne be
abstract nor drawin thairgra throw occasioune throf. At Dunfermling the
xvij day of aprile the zeir of God ane thowsand fyve hunderit fyfte seuin
zeires befor witneses, &c., &c. ALANE COUTTES, Chamerlane, Maister WILLIAM
MURRAY, . . . WILLIAM DURYE." (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 400, No. 578; Dal.
Mon. Antiq. pp. 9,10.)
1558. - ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL LANDS LET IN TACK. - St. John's Chapel Lands,
&c., east of Garvock, near Dunfermline, were this year let in tack, by
Schir John Grant, the Chaplain, to David Hutcheson and his spouse. (M.S.
Regist. Charters, Regist. House, Edin.)
JOHN DURIE, condemned to be Immured for Heresy. - John Durie, one of
"conventual brethren" of Dunfermline, was brought to trial for "heresy" by
the Abbot, was found guilty, and condemned to be immured, i. e., built up
between two walls till he died. By friends, who interceded with the Earl
of Arran, he was set at liberty. (Spottiswood's Hist. Church Scot. p.
TRIAL OF WALTER MILL, the Martyr. - The Abbot of Dunfermline was one
judges who tried the decrepit old man, Walter Mill, for "heresay." He was
condemned to be burnt at the stake, the Abbot acquiescing. John Knox,
alluding to this, says, "That blessed martyr of Christ, Walter Mill, a man
of decrepit age, was put to death most cruelly the 28th April, 1558." The
Papists, seeing they could not make him recant, made many fair promises to
him, and offered him a monk's portion "for all ye dayes of his life in ye
Abbey of Dunfermling." But to no effect. He adhered to the Pretestant
faith to the end. (Histories of Scotland; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.
DAVID FERGUSON (afterwards Minister of Dunfermline), accused of "Wrongous
Using and Wresting of the Scripture." M'Crie, in his Life of John Knox,
vol. i. p. 446, says, "On the 7th of July, 1558, the Rothsay Herald was
sent from Edinburgh with letters summoning 'George Luwell, David Ferguson,
and certain utheris persons within the burgh of Dundee,' to appear before
the Justice and his deputies on 28th July of this year, to answer the
charge of "wrongous using and wresting of the Scriptures." No result.
1559. - PITCORTHIE (EASTER), "Given in Few-tack to Kathrine Sibbald
John Durie, her son." (MS. Regist. Tacks, &c., Regist. House, Edin.)
THE REFORMATION. - The religious feeling in Scotland had, for more than
twenty years, been particularly hostile to the Romish faith, and
consequently to the Romish mode of conducting worship. The brethren of the
Abbeys, and other religious houses, had outlived their usefulness. They,
at least the great majority of them, did not believe this; hence they stood
still, and so had to be "dragged along with the intelligence of the age."
They would not "set their houses in order." Had the ecclesiastics done so,
and reformed abuses and their manners, "the pulling down of the Cathedrals
and Abbeys might have been avoided." Besides the quarrel with the Romish
doctrine and form of worship, the greater part of the ecclesiastics, high
and low, were "loose in their morals, and led licentious lives;" and at
last it was found necessary to "pull down the nests" to compel "the rooks
to fly away." The following lines, by a celebrated poet of the time,
convey an accurate idea of the state of public feeling at this period. In
referring to the Pope, &c., he says -
"His cardinallis hes cause to moarne,
His bishops are borne a backe;
His abbots gat an uncuth turne,
When shavillinges went to sacke.
With burges wives they led their lives,
And fare betten than wee.
Hay trix, trim goe trix, under the greene wod tree.
"His Carmillites and Jacobinis,
His Dominikes had grate adoe,
His Cordeilier and Augustines,
Sanct Francis's order to;
The sillie friers, mony yeiris
With babbling bleirit our ee.
Hay trix, trim goe trix, under the greene wod tree.
"Had not yoursefs begun the weiris,
Your stipillis had been stanand yet;
It wes the flattering of your friers,
That ever gart Sanct Francis flit;
It gart us grow malicious,
Contrair your messe."
(Dalyell's Poems of the 16th Century.)
Besides "the religious question," the civil power had for long superseded
the ecclesiastical privileges of electing Abbots, &c., as hath been shown
under previous dates; and, no doubt, Court favourites, who had an eye to
the Abbey possessions, would lend a most hearty, willing hand to help on
the Reformation work. This work began at Perth with physical force on 24th
May, 1559. Shortly after this, "the kirk-destroyers" went "about with
sticks and spades, and wi' John Knox inta their heads dinging the Abbeys
doon," armed with general warrants for accomplishing their work. The
writer has seen copies of two of these warrants, viz., for the "dinging
doon" of Glasgow and Dunblane Cathedrals. They are precisely similar, with
the exception of the names of the Cathedrals. It is likely that the
originals would be in print, and a blank space left for naming the
cathedral, kirk, or other religious house. No doubt the warrant for the
destruction of Dunfermline Abbey ran in the same tenor, viz.:-
Traist friendis, after maist harty commendacioun, we pray you faill
pass incontinent to the Kyrk of . . . . . and tak doun the haill images
thereof, and bring furth to the Kirk-zayrd, and burn thaym oppinly. And
siclyk cast doun the alteris, and purge the Kyrk of all kynd of monuments
of idolatrye. And this ze faill not to do, as ze will do us sinulare
empleseur; and so committis you to the protection of God. - Fro Edinburgh,
. . . . 1560.
"Faill not, bot ze tak guid heyd
that neither the dasks, windocks, nor "AR. ARGYLE.
durris be ony ways hurt or broken, JAMES STEWART.
eyther glass in wark or iron wark. RUTHVEN."
"The work" of destroying Dunfermline Abbey commenced on 28th March,
on the 4th day of the then New-year's-day. (See An. Dunf. of date March
1560. - THE QUEEN REGENT IN DUNFERMLINE. - "Upon the 3rd day of March,
1560, the Queen passed from Edinburgh to Dunfermling, and from thence to
Dysart and Dury." (Lindsay's Hist. Scot. p. 213.)
RELICS OF ST. MARGARET. - A highly ornamented Coffer, containing the
hair, &c., of the sainted Queen, which had for upwards of 300 years stood
on her Shrine in the Choir, was removed to Edinburgh Castle, "to be out of
the way of the anticipated visit" of the "Reformers" to Dunfermline.
The following note regarding this is taken from a Life of St. Margaret,
published in 1660:- "The Coffer, or Chest, which contained the Sacred
Relics of St. Margaret in Dunfermline Abbey, was of silver, enriched with
precious stones, and was placed in the noblest part of the Church. When
the hereticks had stoln into the Kingdome, and trampled under foot all
Divine and human lawes, seized the sacred moveables of the Abbey, something
of greater veneration and value were saved from their sacreligious hands by
being transplanted to Edinburgh Castle. Some holy men, fearing that the
Castle might be assaulted, transplanted the Coffre wherein was the heade
and haire of St. Margaret, and some other moveables of great value, into
the Castle of the Barony of Dury" (at Craigluscar, three miles north-west
of Dunfermline). "This Lord (or Laird of Dury) was a reverend father and
priest, and 'monck of Dunfermling,' who after his Monastery was pillaged,
and the religious forced to fly away, dwelt in this Castle. After this
venerable father had very religiously for some years kept this holy pledge,
it was, in 1597, delivered into the hands of the fathers of the Society of
Jesus, then missionaries in Scotland, who seeing it was in danger of being
lost, or prophaned, transported it to Antwerp;" from thence it was taken to
Douay, where it remained until the troubles of the French Revolution, when
the relics appear to have been destroyed with the other holy relics in the
Scotch College of Douay.
Father Hay, referring to this matter, says - "St. Margaret's relics
in 1597, delivered into the hands of the Jesuit missionaries in Scotland,
who, seeing they were in danger of being lost, or prophaned, transported it
to Antwerp, where John Malderus, Bishop of that city, after diligent examin
upon oath, gave an authentic attestation, under the Seal of his office, the
5 of Septembre 1620; and permitted them to be exposed to the veneration of
the people. The same relics were acknowledged by Paul Boudet, Bishop of
Arras, the 4th of Septembre, 1627, in testimony whereof he offered 40 days'
indulgence to all who would pray before the relics. Lastly, on the 4th of
March, 1645, Innocent X. gave plenary indulgence to all the faithful who
would pray before them, having confessed and communicat in the Chapell of
the Scots Colledge of Douay, for the ordinary ends proescribed by the
Church, on the 10 of June, the festivall of this Princess. . . . Her relics
are kept in the Scots Colledge of Doway in a Bust of Silver. Her skull is
enclosed in the head of the Bust, whereupon there is a Crown of Silver
gilt, enriched with severall Pearl and Precious Stones. In the Pedestall,
which is of Ebony, indented with Silver, her hair is kept and exposed to
the view of every one through a Glass of Crystall. The Bust is reputed the
third Statue in Doway for its valour (value?). There are likewise severall
Stones, Red and Green, on her Breast, Shoulders, and elsewhere. I cannot
tell if they be upright, their bigness makes me fancy that they may be
counter-fitted." (Hay's Scotia Sacra MS.) For other particulars, vide
Hist. of Dunfermline, &c., and under date in Annals of Dunfermline.
FRENCH FUGITIVE WARRIORS ARRIVE IN DUNFERMLINE. - Lindsay, in his
"Chronicles," notices that "on 24th January, 1560, a number of Frenchmen
came hurrying to Dunfermline from the East Coast, where English ships had
appeared, and whose Admiral landed at Aberdour. Such was their fear, that
they left their roasts at the fire and ran to Dunfermline on the same
night, without meat or drink. But the Laird of Grange slew many of them
before they reached Dunfermline. Two days after (26th Jan.), the Frenchmen
remained a whole night in Fotherick moor without the least refreshment,"
&c. (Lindsay's Chron. vol. ii. pp. 550, 551; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.
FLIGHT OF THE ABBOT OF DUNFERMLINE. - "Upoun the xxix. day of Januar,
the Abbot of Dunfermling and the erle of Eglintoun past to France furth of
Dunbar." ("Diurnal of Occurrents," Pref. Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 17.) "The
line of Abbots of Dunfermline here ceases to exist." A Commendator
appointed in his stead.
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY at Dunfermline was raised to the dignity
an Abbey by David I. in A.D. 1124. Between this date and that of 1560
there are generally recorded 36 Abbots of Dunfermline. The writer has
doubts of the existence of two of the Abbots of the name of John, who are
said to have been in office between the years 1353 and 1410. Should this
be found correct, then there were only 34 Abbots of Dunfermline between the
years 1124 and 1560 (or a period of 436 years), giving about 13 years as
the average duration of an Abbotship.
COMMENDATOR OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY. - Robert Pitcairn was appointed to
office of Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey in May 1560. Pitcairn was also
received and styled Abbot, by courtesy perhaps. But since Abbeys had
ceased to exist in 1560 there could not be a legally recognised Abbot after
this date. However, we find him styled "Abbot of Dunfermline" on his
monumental tomb in the Abbey.
THE DESTRUCTION OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY BY "THE REFORMERS." - Lindsay,
"Chronicles of Scotland," notices the destruction of Dunfermline Abbey
briefly as follows:- "Vpon the 28 march (1560) the wholl lordis and barnis
that ware on thys syde of Forth, pased to Stirling, and be the way kest
doun the abbey of Dunfermling." (Lind. Chron. Scot. mol. ii. p. 555.) Thus
fell the great Abbey of Dunfermline, after a chequered ecclesiastical
service of about 434 years. In its earlier years the Abbey service did
good in the land. Latterly it had, like similar institutions, become a
great measure subject to the civil power. The conventual brethren, as
previously noticed, "had become careless, lazy, vicious, and, in too many
instances, abandoned characters." It is on record that George, Archdean of
St. Andrews and Commendator of Dunfermline, "led ane vicious life." He
heeded not the "holy law of the celibacy of the clergy," for he had two
natural children legitimatised on 30th September, 1543. Yet
notwithstanding this, he was, about the year 1566, canonised by the Pope of
the day, and enrolled in the list of his saints! (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i.
p. 199, and other works.) Such had been the state and practice of many of
"the holy men" for half a century before the Reformation. They had little
or no inclination to reform themselves. Hence in 1559-61 "physical force"
was unfortunately resorted to viz., "pulling down their nests to cause the
rooks to fly away." The "reformers," in their "destructive crusades,"
entered abbeys, churches, &c., and at once set to their work by destroying
the high and other altars, with their accompaniments, images, painted
pictures, inscribed tablets, effigies, shrines, lighted tombs, crosses,
vestments, saints' relics, hand-bells, and the baptised bells in the
western towers. The fine organs were "reduced to fragments." This and
other deeds were often effected by loosening the roof and getting it to
fall into the inside of the choirs, in order to complete the work of
destruction. The work was generally brought to a close with a kind of
holocaust - viz., the wooden images they had destroyed or mutilated, the
paintings of the saints, high altar furniture, monks' vestments, &c., were
brought out of the churches into the churchyards, or into the cloister
courts, and there set on fire, no doubt, amidst the yells of the
"reformatory rabble." In the destruction of Dunfermline Abbey, the
attention of "the reformers," who "did their duty," appears to have been
chiefly directed to the Choir, or eastern part of the Abbey, erected in
1216-1226. This part of the Abbey was full of altars (twenty are known);
many of them were seved with "donation" lights. There were also here
shrines, paintings on canvas representing saints and scriptural scenes,
crosses, and tablets. Here it was where worship had been celebrated "amid
the sound of the organ processions and the ringing of bells;" and so it was
made to suffer for the sins enacted within its walls.
"When the rude reformers acted here,
Zeal led the van - destruction in the rear;
To deformation all their acts did tend;
Where they began they also made an end. - Copeland.
The Nave, now known as "The Auld Kirk," did not suffer much from "reforming
zeal." The North-west Tower, now the site of the Steeple, appears to have
been thrown down to a great extent. This was the Bell Tower of the Abbey,
and in it were hung a number of "Baptised Bells." This was sufficient
warrant for its destruction; so it was in great part pulled down, and the
holy bells destroyed. In the destruction of the Bell Tower a great part of
the western gable fell along with it. At the same time the monastic
buildings on the south side of the Abbey Church, "the nest of the monks,"
were also overthrown. Thus, on this eventful 28th of March, the beautiful
old Abbey, with its pinnacles, spires, and decorated work, was rendered a
mass of ruins, much of which still remains to complain of the injustice the
fabric suffered from the reformers.
"These walls and spires aloud to heaven complain
Of base injustice from the hands of men -
Whose shatter'd fragments only tend to show
The dreadful havoc of th' relentless foe." - Copeland.
For full particulars of the destruction of the Abbey, see the Histories
Dunfermline, &c., and also Notices, after this date in the Annals.
DUNFERMLINE ABBEY POSSESSIONS, JURISDICTIONS, &C., inter A.D. 1124-1560.
At various periods during the existence of the Abbey (1124-1560) it had
land and church property in a great many places throughout Scotland from
which it drew revenues. The following may be enumerated. Near
Dunfermline: Pardusin, Pitcorthie, Pitnaurcha, Lauer, Pitbauchly, Beaths,
Craigluscar, Balmule, Baldridge, Pitfirrane, Pittencrieff, Roscobie,
Dunduff, Masterton, Garvock, Drumtuthil, Abercromby, Torryburn, Saline,
Bandrum, Braidlees, Clunes, Carnock, Caerniehill, North Queensferry,
Limelills, Inverkeithing, Craigduckies, Pitconnoquhy, Primross, Dunfermline
Schyre, Fotheros, Kinedder, Luscars, The Gellelds, &c. Places at a
Distance: Eraithel (Argyle), Kildun (near Dingwall), Dunkeld, Strathardel,
Moulin, Perth, Scone, Urquhart, Pluscardin, Pettycur, Aldestelle, Berwick,
Coldingham, Cramond, Haddington, Edmistoune, Newton, Newbottle, South
Queensferry, Linlithgow, Stirling, Dunnipas, Liberton, Craigmillar,
Edinburgh, The Calders, Hales, Musselburgh, Inveresk, Lammermuir,
Kirkcaldy, Abbotshall, Dysart, Bolgin, Gaitmilck, Nethbren, Duniad,
Pitcorthartin, Balekerin, Drumbernen, Keeth, Pethenach, Balchristie,
Kinghorn, Burntisland, Fotheros, Kinglassie, Buchaven, Balwearie, Carberry,
Cleish, Lochend, Elleville, Muchart, Orwell, Kinross, Stromyss, Dollar,
Tillicoultrie, Clackmannan, &c. (Vide Charters and Writs in Registrum de
Dunfermelyn, and also Chal. Hist. Dunf.; and regarding their disposal in
1560-1563, see also Print. Regist. de Dunf. App., as also others works on
Scottish History.) Churches and Chapels belonging to or under the
Patronage of the Abbey at various Periods: Abercrombie Chapel (near
Torryburn), Abercrombie Church (east of Fife), Bendachy (Perthshire),
Calder Church (Edinburghshire), Carnbee (Fifeshire), Cousland Chapel (East
Lothian), Cleish Chapel (Kincardoneshire), Dollar Church
(Clackmannanshire), Dunipace Chapel, Dunkeld Cathedral Church (Perthshire),
St. Giles' Church (Edinburgh), Glinen Chapel (Perthshire), Hailes Chapel
(Edinburghshire), Inveresk Chapel (Edinburghshire), Inverkeithing (the
Church of St. Peter there, the Parish Church), Rossythe Church, Keith
Chapel (Haddingtonshire), Kelly Chapel (Fifeshire), Kinross Church, Orwell
Chapel (Kincardineshire), Kinghorn (Fifeshire), Burntisland Chapel
(Fifeshire), Kirkcaldy Chapel (Fifeshire), KInglassie Chapel (Fifeshire),
Melville Chapel (Midlothian), Moulin Chapel (Perthshire), Muchart Chapel
(Perthshire), Newlands Chapel (Perthshire), Newton Chapel (Midlothian),
Newburn Chapel (Fifeshire), North Queensferry Chapel, Perth Church of St.
John the Baptist, the Chapel of St. Leonard and the Chapel of the Castle
(Perth), the two Churches of Stirling and Stirling Chapel of the Castle,
Strathardolf Chapel (Perthshire), Wemyss Chapel (Edinburghshire), St.
John's Chapel (Garvock, near Dunfermline), St. James' Church (North
Queensferry), South Queensferry Chapel. (Vide "Charters and Writs,"
Regist. de Dunf.; also, Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 219, 220.) As far as
it has been ascertained, such is a list of the churches and chapels which
belonged to or were under Dunfermline Abbey patronage and protection
(1124-1560) - in all (at least), 43 churches and chapels. (For list of
Abbots of Dunfermline, from A.D. 1124 to 1560, see Appendix J; and for
Abbey officials, their duties, &c., see Appendix K and L.)
DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of the Evangel, was appointed to the charge
Dunfermline Church (late the Abbey) by the newly constituted General
Assembly, in July, this year. The new Assembly appears to have been very
energetic. Ferguson was appointed to this charge within four months after
the destruction of the Abbey. (Laing's Tracts of Ferguson, p. 8.)
1561. - THE RENTAL OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY, by Allan Coutts, the Chamberlain
of the Abbey. - The rental of "The Haill Patrimonie of the Abacie of
Dunfermling, in pennie meall an fuelis, customes, borrow meallis, fed oxin,
Siluir, Lymekill maill, Kaynes, fermes, teyndis Kirkis and teindis of
townis Sett in assedation for money, as Gevin in and sustained be allane
Cowttis, chalmerlaine thairof," occupies 37 quarto pages of the Registrum
THE ABBEY CHAMBERLAIN'S BOOKS appear to have been kept after a singular
fashion. Among the multitude of entered items we extract the following:-
œ2513 10 9
Wheat, 28 Chal., 11 Bolls, 1 Firlot, 0 Pcks., 0 Lippies.
Bear, 102 " 15 " 1 " 3 " 0 "
Meal, 15 " 0 " 0 " 0 " 0 "
Oats, 61 " 6 " 2 " 0 " 0 "
Horse Corn, 29 " 1 " 1 " 2 " 2 "
Butter, 34 Stones.
Lime, 19 Chal., 15 Bolls.
Salt, 11 " 8 "
There are also such entries among the disbursements in money as follows:-
Item, to the porter of the (abbey) yett of Dunfermling,
under ye commoune Seill, œ 4 0 0
Item, to the plumbar and glaissin wrycht under ye
commoune Seill, 13 6 8
Item, to the foster of ye wood under the commoune Seill, 4 0 0
Item, to the bailzie of ye regalitie of Dunfermling, 20 0 0
Item, to the sklaittar and his servandis, 13 13 4
Item, to the procurator of ye actiounes of the place
(viz., Dunfermline), 20 0 0
Item, to the barbour - in victual, 4 0 0
Item, to the keepar of the tuips under the com. Seill 1 Chal. vict.
Item, to the millar of ye abbay milne, 1 " "
Item, to the Smyth of ye abbay 0 " 8 bolls.
Item, to the wryt, 0 " 12 "
Item, to the meassoune, 0 " 12 "
Item, to the keiper of ye veschell, 0 " 4 "
Item, to the beddell, 0 " 8 "
Item, to be assigned to the convent for there
servandis, 5 " 12 "
(Vide Registrum de Dunfermelyn, printed copy, pp. 425, 462; "Abbey
Rentals," &c., 1561.) And for "Registra Infeodacionum et Alienationum" (of
the Abbey), showing to whom the Abbey lands, were let or disposed of, see
Appendix III. of Registrum de Dunfermelyn, pp. 465, 504.
SOUTH QUEENSFERRY TEIND. - Although it is probable that South Queensferry
held of Dunfermline Abbey from a very early period, yet it is not mentioned
in the Registrum de Dunfermelyn until 1561, when it is noticed that "The
penny meall of Southe ferrye, with the anwellis, amounted to œ23 9s. 8d.
Scots." (Regist. Dunf. p. 431.)
QUEEN MARY IN DUNFERMLINE. - "Upon the 3rd day of March, 1561, Queen
came from Edinburgh to Dunfermline, and thence went to Dysart and St.
Andrews." (Lindsay's Chron. Scot. vol. ii. p. 561.)
PAROCHIAL REGISTER. - The first volume of the Parish Registers of
Dunfermline, embracing baptisms and marriages, commences with 16th July,
ROSYTH CASTLE. - This huge castle stands on a promontory or peninsula
the north shore of the Firth of Forth, about two miles N.W. of North
Queensferry, and four miles S.S.E. of Dunfermline. At high water it is
entirely surrounded by the tide, when it appears as if standing on a little
island. The main building somewhat resembles "a Norman Keep," is of
considerable height, and has walls of great thickness. On the west side
are the ruins of its offices, and perhaps also of its chapel, "the chaple
of the Castle." It was probably the foorway of this chapel, or of some
other contiguous building, that had the stone with the following
inscription on it, viz.:-
GOD GRANT AL GLOIR
I MAY ESCHEV
BOT IN THE CROS
OF CHRIST IESV
The main door or entrance is on the north side, above which is an armorial
stone, much defaced. It has on it the date 1561, and the initials "M R "
(Maria Regina). The date 1561 is probably that of its erection. On the
mullions of a large window on the east side of the castle are the letters
"I S - M N ," and date "1655," the date of repairs occasioned by the damage
done to it "by Cromwell's men" in 1651. On the south side there is a
doorway, on the edge of which there is a stone with the following quaint
advice cut on it in old characters, viz.:-
IN DEV TYM DRA YIS CORD YE BEL TO CLINK
QVHAIS MERY VOCE WARNIS TO METE AND DRINK
That is :-
In due time draw this cord, the bell to clink
Whose merry voice warns to meat and drink;
which shows that at this spot there was bell-cord connected with the
bell, to pull at the dinner hour with "joyous voice." Regarding the
etymology of the name Rosyth, see Annals of Dunfermline, article "St.
Margaret's Hope," under date 1069; also, several Histories of Dunfermline
and topographical works. This fine old castle has often been represented
in engravings. Grose has a fine view of it from the S.W., and Caley from
the north. (Grose's Antiq. Scot. vol. ii. p. 284.)
1563. - QUEEN MARY IN DUNFERMLINE. - According to Barbieri, in his
Descriptive and Historical Gazette of Fife, Kincardine, and Clackmannan, p.
99, Queen Mary left Edinburgh for Dunfermline, on February 14th, "to aviod
a French gentleman, M. Chatelard, grand-nephew of the famour Bayard, the
Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche."
FERGUSON, MINISTER OF DUNFERMLINE, AND RENAT BENEDICT. - Renat Benedict,
Frenchman, "Professor of God's Word" (in France), some time before this
year sent a long controversial theological epistle to John Knox. The
Dunfermline Minister answered it, which answer was this year (1563)
published at Edinburgh. Ferguson's answer extends over 53 octavo pages.
(See Laing's "Tracts, by David Ferguson, Minister of Dunfermline," Ban.
Club. Edit. 1860.) Ferguson throws Benedict's epistle into sections and
answers them. Benedict's "epistles" are weak in argument, and ambiguous.
Ferguson's answers show that he had by far the best of the discussion, and
that "he was mighty in the Scriptures." The following is an exact copy of
the title-page of "Ferguson's Answer," now a very rare work:-
ANE ANSWER TO
ANE EPISTLE, WRITTEN BY RENAT
BENEDICT, THE FRENCH DOCTOR PRO
FESSOR OF GOD'S WORD (AS THE
TRANSLATOR OF THIS EPISTLE CAL
LETH HIM) TO JOHN KNOX AND
THE REST OF HIS BRETHREN,
MINISTERS OF THE WORD
OF GOD, MADE BY DA
MINISTER OF THE
SAME WORD AT
THIS PRESENT IN
Out of the mouth of Babis and Sucklings hast thou
ordeaned strength, because of thine enemies, that thou
mightest still the enemie and the avenger.
IMPRENTIT at EDIN
BURGH BY ROBERT LEKPREVEK.
cum Privilegio 1563.
"REPARATION OF THE KIRK OF DUNFERMLINE." - The following minute regarding
the repairs of the Kirk of Dunfermline is an extract from the Privy Council
Register of 13th September, 1563:-
"Apud Striuiling xiij Septembris, Anno Domini (15) lxiij. Sederunt:
Jacobus Moravie comes; Jacobus comes de Morton; Joannes Dns Erskin;
Secretarius, Rotulator, Clericus Registri.
"The quhilk day, fforsamekle as anent our Souerane Ladeis letteris purchest
at the instance of the hale communitie inhabitaris, and indwellaris of the
toun, and parochin of Dunfermling, makand mentioun that quhair in tymes
bigane, past memor of man, the Abbottis of the Abbay of Dunfermling were
accustomat, and in use vpon their expenssis to uphald and big the wallis of
the paroche Kirk of Dunfermling, and als the ruif thairof, in leid,
theiking, beting, and mending of the samyne fra weit: And als the
Sacristanis beand Vicaris of the said paroche kirk, wer in use in lyke
wyiss vpon thair wxpenssis to mak and uphald the glassin windois of the
said kirke and siclike; the said tounsschip of Dunfermling wer in vse of
reparaeing of the samyn within as efferit on their expenssis, like as thai
ar content to do: And albeit now at this present the said kirk is at sic
ane point, that throw decaying thairof, and nocht vphalding of the samyn,
in the wallis, ruif, kippillis, and thak thairof, be the Abbot now present
of the said Abbey,* and Vicar of the said Kirk, callit William Lummisden,
Sacristine, vpoun their expenssis, as vse and wount wes, the wallis in
sindrie partis are revin, and the bolt thairthriow partit neirhand the ane
side from the vther, and the glassin windois of the samyn decayit, and nane
now being thairin: Quhairthrow it is in great danger and perrell to the
saidis complanaris of their lyvis to enter, remane, or bide within the said
kirk, owther in tyme of prayers, teching, or preching of the word of God,
orony vther besines neidfull to be done thairin, without hastie remeid be
prouidit in all thingis necessar baith for the partis of the saidis Abbot
and Sacristine, and the said indwellaris of the toun foirsaid: Not the less
the saidis Abbot and Sacrestine will do nathing thairto, conforme to thair
partes as vse and wont to wes, albeit thai be answerit to the teindis and
fruitis thairof, as is allegit. The saidis inhabitants and induallaris of
the said toun: And anent the charge givin to Maister Robert Pitcarne,
commendatar of the said Abbay of Dunfermling, Alane Cowtis, and the said
Williame Lumisden, Sacristane of Dunfermling, to compeir before our
Souerane Lady and Lordis of hir Secreit Counsele, the said xiij day of
September instant, to se ordour takin anent the complaint foirsaid as
accordis. The saidis communitie, inhabitants and indwellaris foirsaidis,
compeired be John Boswal, baillie, and William Wilson, thesaurer, for thame
selfis and the remanent of the saidis communitie, inhabitants and
indwellaris of the said toun, the said Alane Cowtis, Chamberlane of the
said Abbay, and the said William Lumisdene, Sacristane thairof, being
persons present, and the said Maister Robert, being oftyme callit and nocht
compearand: The Lordis of Secreit Counsale decernis and ordanis the saidis
Maister Robert, and Alane, Chamberlane, foirsaid, in his name to vphald and
big the wallis of th esaid parroche kirk, and als the ruif thairof, in leid
and vther theiking, beting and mending of the samyn, and kippill werk above
the volt thairof, for saulftie of the danger for a writ: And als the said
William Lummisden, Sacristane, foirsaid, and the Mr. Robert, to beit and
vphald the glassin windois thairof siclike as thai wer wont in all tymes
bipast, vpon thair expenssis: And ordanis letters to be direct heirvpon gif
* It is not known who is here meant. George Dury continued
by courtesy to
be called "the Abbot," and Robert Pitcairn, the new Commendator, was also
at the same time so designated. Probably it may have been George Dury, for
it will be observed, near the close of the Writ, that "the saidis Master
Robert" (Pitcairn), on being called, did not appear.
JOHN DURY, the eminent native Monk of Dunfermline, embraced the Protestant
faith this year; was afterwards celebrated as a divine, and became
successively minister of Leith, Edinburgh, and Montrose. (Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. p. 307, &c.)
A FEU-TACK of the Abbey lands of Breryhill, Pennyland, Cloudscroft,
Hallbank, and croft of New Raw, given to George Lundy. (Register of Teinds,
Register House, Edinburgh.)
MAISTER ROBERT RICHARDSON AND THE FEU-FARMS OF DUNFERMLINE. - In the
of July this year, Queen Mary, being then in Dumbarton, addressed the
following letter from thence to Robert Pitcairn, Commendator, and the
Conventual Brethren of Dunfermline, in favour of Mr. Robert Richardson:-
". . . . . Commendator and Convent of our Abbacy of Dunfermlyn, - For
asmikil as we have thoct it expedient for divers ressonabille causs and
considerations, moving us agreeable to this present tyme, that all and
sundrie the temporall lands pertaining to the said abbacy be set in
feu-farm, be zou with ane consent to our weil belovit dalie servitour,
Maister Robert Richartson, Prior of Sanct Marie Ile, his airs and
assignais, for paiment zearlie of the malis ferme and dewties usit and wont
conteint in your rentall, with agmentation as efferis, quhilk beand done
salle be na hort nor prejudice to your said place, nor zeat to the tenantis
of the ground, be ressoun we have takin order with him on their behalffis.
Quairfor ye sall not faillzie with diligence to extract the said
infeftments off feu-ferme to be maid to the said Maister Robert Richartson,
as saidis, as ze will expect our speciall thankis. For we have givin
command to the berar to declair to you our mynd in their behalffis at mair
lentht quhom to ze sall giff credett as to ourself. Subscrivit with our
hand at Dumbartane, the xviii day of July, the zeir of God Jajv9 and thre
scoir thre zeirs" - 18th July, 1563. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 249,
DAVID FERGUSON'S STIPEND. - David Ferguson, since his induction to his
charge at Dunfermline, had had a very meagre and uncertain allowance.
Referring, in one ot his pamphlets (printed in 1563), to the state to which
he and other ministers had been exposed, he notifies that, "the greatest
number of us have lived in penury, without any stipend - some twelve
months, some eight, and some half-a-year; having nothing in the meantime to
sustain ourselves and our families, but that which we have borrowed of
charitable persons until God send it to us to repay them.
1564. - TENTH PART of the lands of Pittencrieff given in assedatio to
Joannis Weymis de Pettincreif. (Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 487.)
THE ABBEY CHURCH, DUNFERMLINE, partially demolished in 1560, appears,
old references, to have been "patched up and repaired" this year, for the
accommodation of the Protestant worshippers. (See Annals, date 1563, which
shows the state the church was then in.) From 1560 to 1564 the worship
appears to have been conducted in the kirk when in a very ruinous state.
BAPTISM RECORDS OF DUNFERMLINE and the Minister's Son. - Among the earliest
entries in this ancient Record, there is one noting that David Ferguson,
minister of the Evangel, had "a man chyld born to him off his wife, Isobell
Durham, and baptizit William." (Dunf. Bapt. Records, 1564.)
1565. - PITFIRRANE CHARTER - Smithy Coal. - In the Charter Chest of
Pitfirrane there is a writ of "Licence by Queen Mary, to Patrick Hakket of
Pitfyran, to sell the Smydde coal, and transport the same out of the
kingdom." (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 527.)
GEORGE DURY, Ex-Abbot of Dunfemline, appears to have died early in 1565.
(Vide MSS. of General Hutton. Advo. Lib. Edin.) Some authors differ in
opinion as to the year of Dury's death, as also regarding the place of his
decease, and where interred.
1566. - ST. CATHERINE'S CHAPEL-YARD and Castle Burn, &c. - In a
resignation by Mr. Richardson, before mentioned, in favour of Mr. John
Wellwood (who is styled Senior Officer of the Lordship of Dunfermline),
dated 1566, the above-named places are noticed thus:- "All and whole our
Garden or Orchard, commonly called St. Catherine's Yard, with the
pigeon-house built thereon, and all its pertinents, inter 'torrentem
fortalitii,' between the tower or fortalice burn on the west, and the
mansion or Chapel of St. Catherine on the east, and the garden of William
Durie on the north, and the common road on the south." (MS. Regist. of
Chart. Register House, Edin.; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 159,160.) This
refers to the Old Chapel of St. Catherine, of date 1327, and was bounded on
the east by a line running along the back of the houses in the lower part
of St. Catherine's Wynd (west of the Church Steeple), on the south by the
public road (now the private road to Pittencrieff House), and on the west
by the margin of the Tower Burn. (See Annals 1327, and Appendix.)
ST. CATHERINE'S YARD and DOVECOT let on Feu Charter to Allan Cowts,
Chamberlain of the Abbey, by a grant from Sir John Angus, Almoner of the
Abbey, with the consent of the Commendator. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.
RESIGNATION OF ABBEY LANDS, near Dunfermline. - John Wellwood, Senior
Officer of the Regality of Dunfermline, had resigned to him by Robert
Richardson, half of the lands of Touch, Forrester-leys, and the seventh
part of Grange or East Barns. Laurence Wellwood got "half mill of Touch
and hail lands of Wester Baldridge. Thomas Wellwood received the coal and
coalheuch of Wester Baldridge. Katharine Halkett and others, the lands of
Pitliver, Breadleys, and Mill thereof," &c. (Vide Print. Regist. Dunf.
Appendix, and Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 250.) The Barns here alluded to
is probably the same as "Low's Barns," half a mile east of Dunfermline. If
so, it would appear that its original name was "The Grange," one of the
ST. MARGARET'S LANDS. - The lands of St. Margaret Stane were this year
given over to Alexander Galrig. Two-sevenths parts of the lands of Grange
and Grassmuirlands were given to Allan Cowts, Chamberlain; and one-quarter
part of the land of North Tod was given to Robert and William Stanhouse,
Thomas Smyth, and Adam Brown. (Regist. of "Infeod et Alien"; Regist. Dunf.
1567. - THE Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey appointed a "Lord of the
Articles" this year. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 200.)
THE Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey was one of those who signed the
of Association," after the resignation of Queen Mary, at Edinburgh, in July
of this year. (Crawfurd's Officers of State, p. 442.)
THE Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey went to Stirling on July, 29th,
to attend the Coronation of King James VI. (who was then about 13 months
old). (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 200.)
CORONATION OF KING JAMES VI. - At the end of the vol. ii. of the Burgh
Records of Dunfermline there is the following entry on the fly-leaf.
"Regis Coronatio. - The coronation and inquguratioun of our Souirane James,
be ye grace of God, King of Scotis, the sext of zat name, was maid and
solempnizat the xxix day of July ye yeir of God Javj.v .lxvij (29th July,
1567), and in the sameyn yeir upoun ye xv day of December. Ratefeit and
approvit in Pr'liament haldyn at Edinburgh." (Dunf. Burgh Records, vol.
1568. - QUEEN MARY'S FLIGHT from Lochleven Castle. - On May 2nd, 1568,
Queen Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle. She, in her flight (to Niddry
Castle, in West Lothian), accompanied by Lord Seaton and others, passed
through the eastern part of the parish of Dunfermline, if not through
Dunfermline itself. (Old MS. Note; Histories of Scotland, &c.)
THE Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey appointed an "Ordinary Lord of
Session," 2nd June, 1568. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 200.)
PITFIRRANE CHARTER, regarding Silver Plate. - In the Charter Chest of
Pitfirrane there is a deed "Writ-warrand by Queen Mary, to the treasurer to
desist from carving our silver platis, resting in his handes, fra oure
servitour Mr. George Hacket. Dated at Bolltoun, 19th Sept., 1568. At the
top there is the word Regina, and at the left corner Marie R." (Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 527.)
1569. - FEU TACK of the Abbey lands, which are designated as "haill
and croft lands" near the burgh of Dunfermline, given to Allan Cowts of
Bowhill, the Abbey Chamberlain. (MS. Regist. of Tacks and Teinds, Register
THE Commendator of Dunfermline protests against any inquiry being made
the character or conduct of Queen Mary, "because such would necessarily
tend to her dishonour, and prove them exceedinly ungrateful. (Signed)
James (Regent) Morton; Patrick Lindsay, Ad. Orchard, Dunfermling.
Westminster, Nov. 26, 1569." (Mait. Hist. Scot. vol. ii. p. 1053.)
THE Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey is sent by Regent Murray with letters
to the English Court regarding Queen Mary. (Maitland's Hist. Scot. vol. ii.
1570. - THE Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey appointed Secretary of
- Robert Pitcairn, Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey, succeeded the
celebrated Maitland, of Lethington, as Secretary of State for Scotland.
(Crawford's Officers of State, pp. 442,443; Acts Par. Scot., &c.)
PASSPORT, from Queen Elizabeth to the Commendator of Dunfermline to
to Scotland from England, dated 31st May, is still extant and in good
condition in the Charter Chest at Pitfirrane, near Dunfermline. (Chal.
Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 528.)
REPAIRS OF THE NAVE OF THE ABBEY. - It would appear from an old Note,
also from the Hutton MS. in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, that "a
commencement was made about the year 1570 to repair several parts of the
nave of the Abbey Church" (which had been destroyed in 1560). Sir Robert
Drummond of Carnock, or "Dominus Drummond," as he is called in old writs,
being Master of Works (master mason) to the King, was director of the
repairs. (See Annals, 1563.)
1571. - SECRETARY PITCAIRN, Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey, was this
appointed one of the commissioners to treat with Queen Elizabeth regarding
Mary Queen of Scots, and to contract a league offensive and defensive.
(Stuart's Hist. Scot. vol. ii. pp. 77,78, &c.)
MR. ROBERT RICHARDSON, Prior of Sanct Marie Ile, died this year.
many of the feu-farms of Dunfermline in his charge between 1563 and 1571.
(See Annals, 1563.)
THE FABLES of "Maister Robert Henryson," of Dunfermline, in the Harleian
MS., are dated 1571.
MR. DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline, preached his "famous sermon"
at Leith, on 13th January, 1571.
ANE SERMON, PREICHIT
befoir the Regent and Nobilitie, vpon a part
of the third Chapter of the Prophet Malachi, in
the Kirk of Leith, at the tyme of the Generall
Assemblie, on Sonday the 13. of Januarie.
Anno 1571. be Dauid Fergusone,
Minister of the Evangell, at
Imprentit at Sanctandrois be Robert Lekpreuik,
Anno Do. M.D.LXXII.
This "famous sermon" was printed at St. Andrews in August, 1572, and
dedicated as follows:-
TO THE MAIST NOBILL AND WORTHIE
LORD, JOHN, ERLE OF MARR,
Lord ERSKIN, and Regent to the King's Majestie, his Realme
and Liegis, your humbill subject DAUID FERGUSON,
Wischis the fauour and lufe of God throuch
Christ our Sauiour, togidder with
and all felicitie.
"The famous reformer, John Knox, was in ecstasies with this sermon."
following note from the great reformer, written about three months before
his death, is subjoined to the sermon:- "John Knox, with my dead hand, but
glaid heart, praising God that of his mercy he levis suche light to his
Kirk on this desolatioun" (Fernie's Hist. Dunf. pp. 30, 152, 167, where the
reader will find copious "Excerpts from the Sermon;" also Laing's "Tracts
by David Ferguson, Minister of Dunfermline," pp. 55-80.)
1572. - DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline and the Chapter of St.
Andrews. - The minister of Dunfermline was one of 21 persons nominated to
form the Chapter, or Assembly of the Archbishop of St. Andrews' Assessors,
to represent the Chapter for election of the Archbishop and for spiritual
affairs, without prejudging the Old Convent during their lifetime in things
temporal. (Cald. Hist. Ch. Scot.)
ROSYTHE CASTLE "SPOILZED." - "Upon the xv. day of April, 1572, the
suddartis of the Blackness past ovir the wattir in ane bott, and spoulzeit
the touns on the coist syid, and als wan the houssis of Rysith (Rosythe
Castle), quhairin thai gat greit ritches and came without hurt to (the
said) Blackness." (Diurnal of Occurrences, p. 292.)
THE ABBEY SLATER'S PENSION. - This year there is an entry of "Alex.
Colville's gift of pensioun for ye office of Sklattarie of the Abbey."
(Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 476.)
MR. DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline. - His stripend for the
of Dunfermline and Rosythe amounts to viij. xx (8 score lib or œ160) and xl
lib mair sen Nov. 1572. (Mait. Club Regist. of Stipends, p. 26.) Another
account has the following entries:- "Dunfermline, Carnock, Beath. - David
Ferguson's stipend to be payable as follows out of the thrids of Scotland,
well xiiij z qt bolls beir at . . . xxvd viij," &c. "Mr John Christeson,
reider at Dunfermling, his stipend xl lib, to be paid as follows: the
thrids of the vicarage thereof xx merkis, and out of the thrids of
Dunfermline, be the Abbotes Chamerlain, takkisman, or parochinar of
Dunfermling xx merkis." (MS. fol. Ad. Lib. Edin. 1574; Regist. Stipends,
1573. - DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline, elected Moderator of
General Assembly, March, 1573. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 310.)
THE SCHOOLMASTERS OF DUNFERMLINE - How Appointed, &c. - John Henryson,
Notary and Schoolmaster of Dunfermline, in a legal document dated 13th
October, 1573, notifies that he is the "Master of the Grammer Schole within
the Abbay of Dunfermling, that quhair he and his predecessours hes
continewit maisters and teachearis of youth in letters and doctrine to
thair grit commoditie within the said schole past memor of man." No doubt
this John would be a descendant of Robert Henryson, schoolmaster and poet
(1470-1499). It is therefor given in full in the Appendix M.
1574. - THE LANDS OF LOCHEND OR LUSCAR, evicte, near Dunfermline, confirmed
by Charter, from the Commendator of the Abbey, to James Dury. (Regist.
Infeod. et Ap. Print. Regist. Dunf. p. 477.)
JOHN DURIE and the Bishops. - Mr. John Durie, "the learned Monk of
Dunfermline," but now an eminent preacher of the Protestant faith, this
year began his active crusade against the bishops. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.
i. p. 307; See Annals, 1563.)
1575. - GEORGE YOUNG, and proof Sheets of English Translation of the
- About the end of this year "Mr. George Young, servant to the Lord Abbot
of Dunfermline, was, with the consent of the General Assembly, employed by
Bassandyne and Arbuthnot, printers, in correcting the proof-sheets of the
first edition of the Geneva translation of the Bible ever printed in
Scotland; folio; price, sheets, œ4 13s. 6d." (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.
1576. - THE SUNDAY PLAY in the Abbey Church, Dunfermline, Prohibited.
"The Assembly (of the Church) refuses to give libertie to the Bailzie of
Dunfermling to play upon the Sunday afternoon ane certaine play qwhilk is
not made upon the canonicall parts of the Scripture." (Booke of the
Universal Kirk of Scot. p. 159.)
ROBERT PITCAIRN, Commendator of Dunfermline, appears to have resided
frequently in the Friar's House, May Gate, Dunfermline, about this period.
It would probably be about this time that he got the curious, old-lettered
"advice-stane" placed over the door of this residence, viz.:-
SEN VORD IS THRALL AND THOCHT IS FRE KEIP VEILL THY TONGE I COINSELL THE
That is -
"Since word is thrall, and thought is free,
Keep well thy tongue, I counsel thee."
This lintel stone is 6 feet 4 inches in length by 11 inches in breadth.
This house in May Gate has been for about 200 years known as the
"Abbot's-house," in consequence of Pitcairn having made it his residence
during his brief sojournings in Dunfermline on the business of the
dissolved Abbey. Anciently, the house appears to have been a Friary -
probably a convent of Blackfriars - and may date back into the thirteenth
century. It has undergone many alterations, but its cruciform plan may
still be traced. The door-way in May Gate appears to be struck out in the
lower part of the north transept. A plot of ground adjacent, on the east,
is noticed in an old Charter as the Frears' Yard (the Friars' Yard, or
Garden), undoubtedly the garden of this Convent of Friars. There was a
Convent of Greyfriars near Brucefield House, St. Leonards; and in an old
Charter, the Franciscan Garden is noticed. In both instances the names or
designations of these Convents have long outlived the names of the Friaries
after which they were called.
1577. - BURIAL OF THE YOUNG LAIRD OF ROSYTHE in the Kirk of Dunfermline,
against the Statues of General Assembly. - The following extracts regarding
this affair are taken from The Booke of the Universal Kirk of Scotland, pp.
"Anent the complaint made by David Fergusone vpon Mr. James M'Gill,
of Register, to the zong Laird of Rossyth, that against the actis of the
Kirk they causit burie the vmquhill Laird of Rossyth in the Kirk of
Dumfermling, albeit the said David made them foirsein of the said act, the
Kirk ordainit Johne Durie to warn the Clerk Register to answer heirto, the
first of May nixt to come."
"1 May. - The Clerk Regsiter beand present, declared that the Proveist
baillies of dunfermling agriet to burie the said Laird of Rossyth in the
Kirk; that he was not the cause thereof, submittand himselfe allwayes to
the judgement of the Kirk, if any offence be found done by him."
"No farther notice appears to have been minuted regarding this fray,
is likely that his remains would be allowed to rest in peace - R.I.P." (See
also Annals, date 1660.)
MARRIAGE OF ROBERT PITCAIRN, Commendator of Dunfermline. - This marriage
was not conducted according to the Act of the General Assembly of 1565.
The Reader who conducted the rites of the marriage was censured, with
deprivation of his office, by the Assembly. Calderwood, in his Historical
Church of Scotland, vol. viii. p. 386, regarding this matter, says:- "James
Blaikwood, Reader at Sawline, near Dunfermline, for celebrating the
marriage betwixt the Commendator of Dunfermling and his wife without
testimoniall of the minister of the parish where they made residence, was
found guiltie of transgressing the Act made the 27th day of December, 1565:
Therefore, the Assemblie decerned that the paines thereof, viz.,
deprivatioun from office, and losse of his stipend, be inflicted upon him,
and other paines as the Generall Assemblie sall thereafter thinke meete to
be enjoyned." Pitcairn was a clever and powerful man, and would get poor
Blaikwood reinstated in his office of "Reader" at Saline.
A PENSION CONFERRED ON MR. JOHN DURIE, once a Monk of Dunfermline. -
Pitcairn, in his "Criminal Trials," page 436, has the following note:-
"March 16th, 1577. - John Durie, Minister of Christis Evangell, sumtyme ane
of ye conventuall Brethren of the Abbacy of Dumfermling, and Joshua, his
son, got a pensioun of œ66 13s. 4d. for their lives, in lieu of his habeit
silver, and other dues, from Robert Pitcairne, Commendator of Dunfermling,"
which was afterwards confirmed by King James VI.
1578. - BURGH RECORDS. - The third volume of "Dunfermline Burgh Records"
begins with date 1578, and extends to 1580. As the second volume ends with
1575, and the third volume begins with 1578, there appears to be a lost
volume here, viz., 1575-1578, regarding which years there are no existing
DAVID FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline, was this year (in October)
elected Moderator of the General Assembly. (Fernie's Hist. Dunf. p. 30.
See also Annals, date 1573.)
CITY OF DUNFERMLINE. - Bishop Lesslie (or Dr. John Lesslie) published
History of Scotland at Rome in 1578. In referring to the Church at
Dunfermline, he says - "Templum CIVITATE Dunfermilingensi Magnifice Suis
impensis extructum, Sanctissimae Trinitati dicavit."
COPY OF LETTER FROM KING JAMES VI. to the "Laird of Pitfirrane." - "Traist
freend we greit zou weill. Vpoun knawlege had be ws of the conveying of
sum of our nobilitie and vtheris in armes, apperandlie to troubill the
present estate, we have takin occasioun to wryte to zow an dvtheris our
trusty subjectis desyring zow effectuuslie that ze faill not with zour
freindis seruantis an ddependaris weill bodin in feir of weare to be at ws
heir with all possibill diligence prouidit to remane and serue as ze salbe
commandit for the space of xv dayis as ze uill report our speciall thankis
and do ws pleasure. Thus we commit zou to God frome our castell of
Striueling the xxviij day of July 1578. - (Signed) JAMES R. ; G. Buchanan.
- To our traist freind the Laird of Pitferran." (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i.
1579. - THE REMAINS OF THE EARL OF ATHOL arrive in Dunfermline. - "Upon
sevent of July (1579) the corpse of the Earl of Athol, being convoyit to
Dumblane, wes carried forth thairof the direct way to Dunfermline, where
they remained that night. Upon the morn (8 Jul.) they passed for
Edinburgh, and enterred him in St. Giles' Kirk." (Chambers' Dom. An. Scot.
vol. i. p. 124.)
MAYOR, OR SERJEANT OF DUNFERMLINE REGALITY, INSTITUTED. - The heritable
office of "Mayor," or "Serjeant," afterwards named Provost, or head officer
of the Regality of Dunfermline, was created this year. (Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. pp. 259,260.)
DECREET, Assoilzieing the Conventual Brethren of Dumfermline. - Although
Mr. Richardson resigned the greater part of the Abbey land in . . . , it
would appear that he had retained for himself and niece, Alison Richardson
certain rights, confirmed by two Charters. After the death of Mr.
Richardson, a brother-german of the Commendator, Mr. John Pitcairn, of
Forther, and creditor of this lady and her uncle, applied for and obtained,
from the Lords of Council, on the 24th July, 1579, "an decreet,
assoilzieing the Conventual brethrin, but ordaining letters to be direct
simpliciter, charging the keeparis and haiforis of the common seill of the
said Abbey, to append the same to the said two Charters," &c. (Chalmers's
History of Dunfermline, vol. i. p. 252, &c.)
1580. - HERITABLE BAILIE of Dunfermline Regality Instituted. - This
was created this year by the Commendator and Convent on 15th November, and
bestowed on David Durie of Dunfermline, probably a relative of Abbot Dury.
(Chalmers's Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 256, &c.) The Heritable Bailie was
infeft in office on receipt of a rod in open court. Their fee was a
certain quantity of oatmeal from the West Mill of Kirkcaldy, and from the
greater number of the vassals yearly, with 40s. Scots, of the feu-duty
payable out of the lands of Touch. In the printed Register of Dunfermline,
page 470, he is styled "Dominus de Dury," confirmed in "officio ballivi."
Dominus Dury resigned his office into the hands of Queen Anne in 1596.
THE "SHAKING OF THE MASTER OF GRAY'S HOUSE," and David Ferguson, Minister
of Dunfermline. - "It being reported to the King that the Master of Gray,
his house did shake and rock in the night as with an earthquake, and the
King (then 14 years old) interrogated David Ferguson, Minister of
Dunfermline, what he thought it could mean, that the house alone should
shake and totter, he answered, 'Sir, why should not the Devil rock his awn
bairns?' The minister of Dunfermline was a very ready-witted man." (Row's
Hist. Kirk of Scot.) This refers to the same "Master of Gray" who became
Commendator of the Abbey in 1584.
THE SHRINES OF ST. MARGARET AND ST. DAVID, as also the Sepulchres of
and Randolph watched by Monks. - In 1580 a few Benedictines of Dunfermline,
with doors bolted and barred, kept watch in their choir by the Shrines of
St. Margaret and St. David, and the Sepulchres of Bruce and Randolph.
(Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. p. 271, &c.)
BURGH RECORDS. - The fourth volume of Dunfermline Burgh Records begins
1580, and reaches to 1591.