|DUNFERMLIN LINKS||Annals of Dunfermline|
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AN EPITOME OF THE HISTORY OF DUNFERMLINE,
A.D. 1064 - 1750 (1751 -1880 will be added when possible).
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The portion of the following epitome of the history of Dunfermline,
extending from A.D. 1064-1833, was published in the form of a large chart
in the year 1833 by Mr. Andrew Mercer, one of the historians of the old
city. Few copies of it will now be in existence.
Some of the items embraced in his narration are here somewhat amplified,
and some that were deemed of no public interest have been excluded. There
are also a number of additional interesting incidents herein recorded, and
the whole had been brought down to the year 1880, - thus affording a
bird's-eye view, as it were, of the history of ancient and modern
The writer is indebted to the works of the late Dr. E. Henderson, Rev.
P. Chalmers, Dr. Robert Chambers, and others, for much of the historical
information herein recorded, especially from the period A.D. 1834-1878. He
has also to express his thanks to Messrs. W. Clark & Son for kindly
granting the use of some of the plates required in the illustration of the
MALCOLMIII. (Canmore) was born in 1024, and in 1057 ascended the Scottish
throne, after the death of the usurper Macbeth. He was the descendant of a
race which had given kings to Scotland for six hundred years, and he
introduced a comparatively enlightened era into that kingdom.
1064. - MALCOLM III., King, who was the contemporary of William the
Conqueror, is supposed to have built the Tower in the Glen of Pittencrieff,
1069. - Arrival at Dunfermline of Prince Edgar Atheling, with his mother
and sisters, Margaret and Christian, and their retinue, - their ship having
been driven into the Firth of Forth, and nearly wrecked through stress of
weather. The refugees were hospitably welcomed by the king in Dunfermline
1070. - MALCOLM III. marries at Dunfermline the above Princess Margaret,
daughter of Edward of Hungary, heir-apparent to the English throne. Age of
Malcolm forty-seven, and of Margaret twenty-four years.
1072. - MALCOLM and MARGARET resolve to found the Church and Convent, it
suppossed, about this period.
1074. - The Church, partly completed, is dedicated to the "Holy Trinity,"
and ordained to be the future sepulchre of the Scottish Kings.
The Consort of Malcolm afterwards enriched the Abbey with jewels and
vessels of gold and silver, and gave it a magnificent black cross, set in
1075. - Foundation Charter of Dunfermline Church granted by Malcolm III.
1080. - MATILDA, daughter of Malcolm and Margaret, supposed to have been
born this year in the Tower, which stood on the Tower Hill.
The Signet of the Church, &c. at this period had for its motto - "Sigill.
Capit'i Ecclesiae Trinitatis de Dunferelin."
1081. - DAVID, afterwards David I., the youngest of Malcolm and Margaret's
six sons, was born about this year.
1086. - MARGARET and MALCOLM bequeath to the Church of the Holy Trinity
ever, the lands of "Petnurcha, Petticorthin, Pethbalechin, Lavar, Bolgin,
Shiram de Kircaladinet, Inveresk Minor, and the whole of Forthriff.
QUEEN MARGARET, being of a deeply pious disposition, is said to have
frequently repaired, for devotional purposes and for solitude, to the
Oratory Cave in the Glen, now known as St. Margaret's Cave. According to
Turgot, her Confessor, the Queen "fell a victim to her long vigils,
fastings, and mortifications."
While she was in favour of a certain amount of Court parade and splendour,
and insisted on the King being served at table on gold and silver plate,
she at the same time made it her daily duty to prepare food for nine
indigent orphans. "On her bended knees she fed them. With her own hands
she ministered at table to crowds of poor persons, and washed the feet of
some poor children every evening. She was revered and loved by all who
1090. - ETHELRED, second son of Malcolm and Margaret, bequeathed to the
Church of the Holy Trinity the farm of Hailes.
1093. - MALCOLM III. founded the new Cathedral at Durham in August of this
MALCOLM III. and his eldest son, Prince Edward, were slain at the siege of
Alnwick Castle, 13th November. Edward was interred at Dunfermline, and
Malcolm at Tynemouth. (Alexander I. afterwards exhumed his father's body,
and re-interred it at Dunfermline.)
MARGARET, Queen of Malcolm, died from grief and long vigils in the "Castrum
Puellarum" (Edinburgh Castle), 16th November. She was interred at
Dunfermline, in the Church of the Holy Trinity, close by Edward, her son.
1094. - DUNCAN I., son of Malcolm III., bequeaths to the Church of the
Trinity, for ever, the Villas of Luschar (Luscar).
1097. - DONALD VII. is supposed to have died this year, and to have been
interred at Dunfermline.
1098. - The Convent supposed to have been dedicated to the Order of St.
EDGAR, fourth son of Malcolm III., succeeded to the throne.
EDGAR (King) bequeathes to the Church for ever the farm of Galald, and
beautifies the Church by his alterations and improvements.
1104. - An individual named Peter was now Prior of the Convent.
1107. - EDGAR (King) died at Dundee, January, His remains were interred
the Church at Dunfermline.
ALEXANDER I., fifth son of Malcolm III., ascended the throne.
1109. - St. Eustace de Morwell, "Grate Constable of Scotland," was witness
to a donation given by Alexander I. to the Monastery of Dunfermline.
1112. - ALEXANDER I. confers on the Monastery of Dunfermline the privilege
of holding its Courts in the "fullest manner," and to give judgment by
"combat, by iron, or by water."
1115. - SIBILLA, Queen of Alexander I., bequeaths to the Church of the
Trinity, for ever, the farm or mansion of Beeth.
1118. - ALEXANDER I. completes the Church of Dunfermline, and bequeaths
it for ever the "farms of Gatemile, Pettonmuachin, Balchevie, Duninbernin,
and Keeth." * (Places which are now unknown.)
1120. - "Waldeve" gives the church of Inverkeithing to the Monastery, for
"the love of God and St. Margaret."
1123. - SIBILLA (Queen) died, and is supposed to have been interred at
1124. - ALEXANDER I. died at Stirling, April, and was interred at
Dunfermline, in the Church of the Holy Trinity."
DAVID I., his brother, succeeded him. He raises the Convent to the dignity
of an Abbey, and translates to it thirteen Monks from Canterbury, and
ordains that "an abbot, prior, and sub-prior shall be the principal
ecclesiastics." The Monasteries of Kelso, Dryburgh, and Melrose were
reared by him.
1125. - DAVID I. transfers thirteen Benedictine Monks from Dunfermline
Abbey to the Priory of Urquhart, Morayshire.
1126. - DAVID I. gives to the Monks of Dunfermline 100 shillings of his
rents in England.
1128. - Gosfrid, or Gaufrid, ordained first Abbot of Dunfermline by Robert,
Bishop of St. Andrews.
1130. - A Corn Mill in or about Dunfermline at this period.
DAVID I. grants to the Monastery all the gold that should accrue to him in
Fife and Fothrif.
1140. - During this century the clergy "were the schoolmasters, the
statesmen, the architects, the lawyers, the physicians, bankers,
agriculturalists, &c. of the age."
It is decreed that if any of the men belonging to the Abbey should commit a
crime, they shall be bound to answer for it nowhere but in the Court of the
Holy Trinity and the Abbots of Dunfermline.
1146. - St. Jerome's Bible, copy of , used in the church gere as early
DAVID I. grants a "Charter of Confirmation to the Monastery of Dunfermline"
about this period.
1150. - DAVID I. grants another Charter to the Monastery.
1153. - DAVID I. dies at Carlisle; his remains are brought here, and are
interred in the Church of the Holy Trinity.
GOSFRID, or GAUFRID, Abbot of Dunfermline, dies, and is interred in the
choir of the Church of the Holy Trinity.
GEODFRY ordained Abbot of Dunfermline by the Bishop of St. Andrews.
1160. - MALCOLM IV. enjoins the protection of the Abbey, "where the body
his grandfather, King David, rests in God."
1163. - The Monks of the Abbey are prohibited from forsaking the Abbey
after their professions, without the Abbot's permission, unless entering
into stricter orders.
MALCOLM IV. grants to the Monastery, by Charter, half the fat of the
"crespies caught between Forth and Tay, for lights before the altar."
1165. - MALCOLM IV. grants a Charter to the Monastery.
MALCOLM IV. died at Jedburgh; his remains are afterwards interred in the
Church of the Holy Trinity in Dunfermline.
The men belonging to the Abbot and Monks of Dunfermline assist, of their
own "good will," at the request of William (the King), to repair his
castles in Ross.
WILLIAM THE LYON, grandson of King David, was the first monarch to adopt
the badge of the Lion, which has figured in the Scottish Shield ever since.
1172. - Malcolm, Earl of Athole, and his Countess, appointed the Monastery
of Dunfermline to be the place of their interment.
Shortly after, they both died, and were interred in the place they had
1173. - Perth and Stirling had schools at this period, wherein youthful
candidates for ecclesiastical preferment were instructed in "Grammar and
Logicke;" the Monks of Dunfermline were the directors.
1176. - Margaret de Ouyeth gives to the Abbey certain lands, that a mass
should be celebrated on her birthday for "her soul."
1180. - WILLIAM (King) about this period states that xxiis. iiijd. was
specific sum of the tithe of the malt which the Monks drew from his lands
1184. - Dunkeld Cathedral Church becomes the property of the Abbey of
1185. - Geodfry, Abbot, dies, and is interred in the church choir.
Galfrid ordained Abbot by the Bishop of St. Andrews.
1200. - The Seal of the Abbey had for its legend "Sigillum Sancti
1202. - William de Malviosin, Bishop of St. Andrews, deprives the Abbey of
the presentation of two churches, because the monks had neglected to
provide him with a sufficient quantity of wine after supper. It appears
the Bishop's own attendants had largely consumed it.
1214. - WILLIAM THE LYON died, after reigning forty-eight years.
ALEXANDER II. (son of William), succeeded him as king of Scotland.
1220. - Galfrid, Abbot, died, and was interred in the Church of the Holy
Trinity; Robert of Kaldeleth ordained Abbot by the Bishop of St. Andrews.
ALEXANDER II. is supposed to have built a regaling house at the King's Seat
of the Hill.
1230. - The Monks of Scone pleaded their rights with the Abbot and Monks
Dunfermline to the tithe of the mills on the Water of Amund.
1231. - The Abbot and Monks notify to Pope Innocent IV. that their number
had formerly been thirty, but in future was to consist of fifty.
The Abbey is, at great expense, enlarged and adorned with elegant
1237. - ALEXANDER II. bequeaths the forest of Dollar to the Monastery of
1240. - David, Bishop of St. Andrews, gives the Church of Kinghorn-the-Less
to the Monastery, also the Church of Kirkcaldy, and orders the Abbot and
Monks to present Vicars.
1244. - Pope Innocent IV., at the request of the King, empowers the Abbot
to assume the mitre, ring, and other pontifical ornaments, and the Monks to
wear leather caps suitable to their order.
1245. - Alexander II. solicits Pope Innocent IV. to have Queen Margaret
enrolled in the catalogue of the Saints, as her body had exhibited
"infinite miracles." The Pope issues a Bull to the Bishops of St. Andrews,
Dunkeld, and Dunblane, commanding them to make strict exquiry into her
life, merits, and miracles, to reduce what was proved to writing, attested
by their seals, and to transmit it by a trusty messenger, that he might
thence learn how far to indulge the King's request.
1246. - The Bishops proceeded to investigate the matter; but neglected
record either the names or words of the witnesses, on which account the
Pope refuses the King's request.
ALEXANDER II. died at Kerrera, near Oban, in the thirty-fifth year of his
1249. - ALEXANDER III. succeeded his father in 1249, at the age of eight
A Cardinal is charged with a new enquiry regarding the "miracles of Queen
Margaret," and corresponds with the Bishop of St. Andrews concerning it.
1250. - The "miracles" attributed to Queen Margaret's relicts having been
particularly enquired into, and the facts proved, she was canonized, and
her remains removed to a situation contiguous to the high altar.
The Chartulary of the Abbey begins about this period.
1251. - Robert, Abbot of Dunfermline, and Chancellor of the Kingdom,
legitimizes the wife of Allan Durward (natural daughter of Alexander II.),
and is accused of having "illegally furnished an heiress to the crown."
He resigns his seal of office, assumes the habit of a monk, retires from
the Abbey to Newbattle, where he soon afterwards died.
ALEXANDER III. at the age of ten, married the Princess Margaret, eldest
daughter of Henry III. of England.
Radalphus ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1254. - The Abbot and Monks found entitled to certain provision from the
King and Queen's kitchen.
1274. - MARGARET, Queen of Alexander III., dies, and is interred in the
Church of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline.
1275. - Radalphus, Abbot, grants eight oars in the new passage boat at
Queensferry to seven persons, for the payment of eightpence yearly for each
1280. - DAVID, Prince (son of Alexander III.), dies at Stirling; his
remains are interred at Dunfermline, in the Church of Holy Trinity.
Radalphus, Abbot, dies about this period.
1283. - ALEXANDER, Prince (third son of Alexander III.), dies at Lyndores;
his remains are interred at Dunfermline in the Church of the Holy Trinity.
1285. - ALEXANDER III. is killed by a fall from his horse, upon the sands
between Easter and Wester Kinghorn. His remains are interred "as became a
king" in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dunfermline.
1290. - At this period the burgh received from the Abbey a common moor.
1291. - William de Oberwill grants a Charter to the Abbot and Monks, and
gives them a coal mine on his estate of Pittencrieff.
The untimely death of Alexander III. brought many calamities upon Scotland.
EDWARD I., King of England, arrives at the Abbey on his way from Berwick to
Perth. He here calls upon the people of Scotland to enrol themselves
vassals of his kingdom.
1291. - On the death of the Princess Margaret, John Baliol laid claim to
the Scottish Crown.
1295. - JOHN BALIOL, King of Scotland, is in Dunfermline, where the
marriage of his Edward is ratified, and receives the assent of the clergy,
nobility, and burghs.
1296. - EDWARD I. arrives again at the Abbey on Monday, 13th of August,
ruthlessly destroys its records, &c.
1298. - The ports of the burgh supposed to have been built.
1300. - Dunfermline Abbey arrives at the zenith of its external splendour,
and of the devotional fame of its Monks, and is declared to be capable of
giving ample accommodation to three distinguished Sovereigns, with their
retinue of attendants.
William de Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews, gives the Monks the vicarage
of a Church to render them "still more fervent."
1303. - SIR WILLIAM WALLACE and his mother in the autumn of this year
visited Dunfermline in disguise. They travelled on foot from Dundee, where
"he had been in hiding."
EDWARD I. arrived in Dunfermline, 6th November, where he was joined by his
Queen, and a large retinue of his nobility; here they spent the winter.
About this period Edward seized the Coronation Stone of Scotland, which had
been brought from Iona to Scone Monastery, and was of great antiquity. It
is now in Westminster Abbey, and is the Coronation Stone of Great Britain.
1304. - The Abbey was burned on the 10th February by order of Edward on
departure. This was his fifth visit to Dunfermline.
SIR WILLIAM WALLACE was driven to the "Foreste of Dunferlin" about the
beginning of the year, "a proscribed man." The country was now groaning
under English oppression, and the mean-spiritedness and duplicity of some
of the Scottish nobility.
1305. - Ralph ordained Abbot of Dunfermline by the Bishop of St. Andrews.
1310. - The Abbey partly rebuilt, and rendered sufficient for the
accommodation of the King and Queen, &c.
1314. - The Vicar of Inverkeithing is found liable in eight merks to the
Monastery, for the non-payment of which it is declared that he shall be
1315. - Robert de Carel ordained Abbot of Dunfermline by the Bishop of
1316. - A jury summoned to decide whether homage was due by the Earls of
Fife to the Abbot of Dunfermline.
Verdict in favour of the Abbot.
1318. - Robert, Abbot, &c., grants a charter to the Convent in favour
the burgesses of the burgh.
1322. - ROBERT I. (King), intimates to his Great Chamberlain that the
Monastery had a gift of "the great customs of wool, skins, and leather,
arising from their own land, &c., and men's throughout the Kingdom.
1323. - DAVID (afterwards David II., son of King Robert Bruce), born at
Dunfermline, 5th March.
ROBERT I. "gives a Church to the Abbey to maintain a burning and prepetual
light in the choir, before the shrine of the blessed Margaret."
1326. - The "Church of Kynross and Chapel of Urwell given to the Monastery
by Robert I., in honour of his predecessors who were interred in it."
1327. - ELIZABETH, Queen of Robert I., dies at Gordon Castle; her remains
are interred in Dunfermline Church of the Holy Trinity, 26th October.
Arnold Blair, a Monk of the Order of St. Benedict in Dunfermline, writes a
history of Sir William Wallace. This monk had previously been chaplain to
the great Scottish patriot.
1328. - KING ROBERT BRUCE spent a portion of his time this year at
Dunfermline, also at Scotland Well (Fons Scotiae), near Lochleven, fifteen
miles distant, where he took the benefit of the waters there for his
1329. - ROBERT I. (BRUCE) dies at Cardross (Dumbartonshire), 7th June,
his fifty-fifth year, and the twenty-third of his reign. His remains are
(in accordance with his special desire) interred at Dunfermline in the
Church of the Holy Trinity. They were interred with great pomp and
ceremony, and amid the universal and heartfelt lamentations of the Scottish
DAVID II. succeeded his father when only five years old.
1330. - John de Kinross, perpetual Vicar of Inverkeithing represents that
his vicarage was much exhausted by exactions, &c.; the Monastery agrees to
pay half the expense of repairing the choir, which had been going to decay.
1332. - Randolph (one of the heoroes at Bannockburn), Earl of Murray and
Regent of Scotland, dies at Musselburgh, 20th July. His remains are
interred in the Monastery of Dunfermline.
Edward Baliol, with his army, takes possession of the Abbey, and finds in
it "five hundred excellent spears," and a quantity of provisions, &c. He
afterwards was crowned king, but enjoyed that dignity for only three
1333. - The gold mine in Fife which David I. granted to the Abbey in 1136
abandoned, as "it never turned out to much account."
1334. - DAVID II. holds the Parliament in Dunfermline, at which the town
Kirkcaldy is made a Royal Burgh, and given to Dunfermline.
1335. - A Parliament held at Dunfermline, in which Sir Andrew Murray is
elected "Regent of Scotland" during the minority of David II.
Alexander ordained Abbot of Dunfermline about this period.
1337. - EDWARD III. (of England) orders the town of Perth to be fortified
at the joint expense of the Abbeys of Aberbrothock, Coupar, Lindores,
Balmerinock, Dunfermline, and St. Andrews.
1342. - Alexander, Abbot, repairs to South Queensferry to enquire into
misconduct of the "oar men."
1350. - The present site of the Collier Row, called Crow-hill, was at this
time the most populous part of the town.
1356. - Christian de Bruce, sister of King Robert Bruce, died, and was
interred in the Abbey.
Garvock House, near Dunfermline, supposed to have been built this year.
1358. - John ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1363. - DAVID II. grants a charter in favour of the Monastery.
1366. - Matilda, daughter of King Robert Bruce, died, and was interred
The Monastery obtains the patronage of the Church of St. Giles, Edinburgh,
from the Bishop of Lindisfarne.
1370. - St. Leonard's Hospital supposed to have been built.
1371. - DAVID II. died, and his death terminated the Bruce dynasty.
ROBERT II. ascended the Scottish throne.
1375. - William de Yetam was Clerk of the Abbey.
1382. - Cupar-Fife constituted a Royal Burgh by King Robert II. at his
court at Dunfermline.
1383. - ROBERT II. orders the "trone and customs" to be arrested and
brought into his hands. It is removed by solicitation of the Abbot. The
convent had been encroaching on the customs due to the king.
1390. - John de Torrie, Abbot, grants to William de Yetam, Clerk of the
Monastery, funds for his support, as also a clerk, three boys, three
horses, and a stable, &c.
1394. - JAMES I. of Scotland was born at Dunfermline this year.
1400. - ANNABELLA DRUMMOND, Queen of Robert II., died in a minor palace
which she adopted at Inverkeithing. Her remains were interred in the
Church of the Holy Trinity, Dunfermline.
1406. - Robert, Duke of Albany, died, and was interred here.
1409. - John, Abbot, grants to each of the Monks 40s. of the current money
yearly, to purchase vestments with.
1413. - JAMES I. (King), visits the Royal Tombs at Dunfermline, after a
long absence in England. When the tomb of his ancestor King David I. was
pointed out, he remarked that "David was ane sair sanct for the Crown."
This was said in reference to King David's lavish expenditure on
monasteries, churches, &c.
1419. - Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, and Regent of Scotland, died, and
was interred in Dunfermline.
1420. - Andrew ordained Abbot about this period.
1436. - Dunfermline, Perth, Stirling, and Scone declared unsafe for the
residence of royalty, on account of the designs of the nobility. (Edinburgh
then became the metropolis of Scotland.)
1437. - The Scottish language appears for the first time, in the Chartulary
of the Abbey.
1439. - The general famine of this year was severely felt in Dunfermline
1440. - The Monks of Dunfermline protest against the town of Perth, that
they did not relinquish special funeral emoluments, offerings of wax, &c.
1441. - James Bruce, parson of Kilmeny, consecrated "Bishop of Dunkeld"
the Church of the Holy Trinity, Dunfermline.
James Bishop of St. Andrews, grants a discharge to Andrew, Abbot of
Dunfermline, for eighty merks Scots.
1444. - Patrick Grahame, Archbishop of St. Andrews, imprisoned in the
Monastery of Dunfermline for "heresy." He afterwards died in Lochleven
1448. - Richard ordained Abbot of Dunfermline about this period.
John Wright, Provost. This is the earliest notice on record of a lay
1449. - The Monastery exempted from attending courts of law.
1450. - The Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline dispones to the "Bailies of
Kirkaldy, and their successors for ever," their burgh, harbour, &c. given
them by David II. in the year 1334.
1453. - Richard, Abbot, &c. of Dunfermline, sent along with others to the
King of England, to deliver a pacific mission.
1455. - JAMES II. holds a Parliament at Edinburgh, in which he annexes
the Crown several lands belonging to the Monastery of Dunfermline.
1456. - Richard, Abbot of Dunfermline, and others, represent the Barons
the administration of justice in the Sessions at Edinburgh, November 6.
John de Benaly, Prior of Pluscardine, in Moray, near Elgin, "resigns his
office" in consequence of various disputes he had with the Abbey. The
"Sacrist is appointed to fill the said Priory in his stead."
1457. - Richard, Abbot, &c., lets "the teind sheaves of the croft of
Ryan's chapel, in liferent, to the minister of Calder, for one boll of
meill and one boll of barley yearly."
The spiritual and temporal rights of the Abbey very extensive. The Abbot
is superior of the property of others, and receives the resignation of his
vassals, while they kneel before him.
1459. - The Abbey fo Dunfermline, along with St. Andrews, is allowed, by
edict from the Holy See, to use butter and other products from milk without
1463. - Richard, Abbot of Dunfermline, in consequence of past favours to
Thomas de Bully, Canon of the Cathedrals of Glasgow and Dunkeld, is, "with
the whole Convent, made free of expense of the table of the house of Canons
whenever they shall choose to come hither."
1472. - Alexander Thominson ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1478. - Alexander, Abbot, &c., is extruded from his place, and Henry
Curichton, Abbot of Paisley, surrogated in his stead by the Pope at the
Robert Henryson of Fordel is witness to a Charter of Patrick, Baron of the
lands of Spittlefield.
James ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1479. - JAMES, Abbot, &c., grants the office of a chaplainry, newly
at North Queensferry, to David Storrey, with a stipend of ten marks yearly
from the coffers of the Monastery.
1488. - Tradition states that about this period a stone cross pillar stood
on a rising ground south of St. Leonard's Hospital. "Perhaps the 'Cross
Head' is derived from it."
1490. - Robert Henryson, the poet, and preceptor of youth in the Monastery,
died about this period, and was interred in the Church.
1491. - The first notice regarding Dunfermline weavers appears this year.
1494. - James Henryson, son of the poet, was chosen King's Advocate.
St. Margaret's Altar. - Schir Andrew Peirson, Chaplain; Schir Steven
Stirling, Chaplain of the Morning Service.
1499. - Preparations going on for repairing and beautifying the palace
1500. - JAMES IV. finishes his repairs on the palace, &c.
1509. - JAMES IV., through the Pope, gets Alexander, his natural son,
ordained Abbot of Dunfermline, to which abbacy the priory of Coldingham is
1511. - The Palace of Dunfermline at this period was the chief place of
residence of James IV. and his consort Margaret, daughter of Henry VII. of
1513. - KING JAMES IV., and Alexander his son, Abbot, slain at the battle
1515. - The "Postulate" of Dunfermline, a legal functionary, attends the
Court at Edinburgh.
1522. - Andrew Forman ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1526. - Andrew, Abbot, slain in battle near Linlthgow.
Dunfermline Abbey pillaged by Angus after the battle.
1529. - James Beaton ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1530. - James Beaton, Abbot of Dunfermline, died.
Baldris and Gallo-reg have gallows for the execution of the feudal law.
George Dury ordained Abbot of Dunfermline.
1539. - Adam Blackwood, the historian, born at Dunfermline.
1540. - The lands of Buckhaven given to the Abbey in exchange for Western
The Palace of Dunfermline repaired and much enlarged at this period.
1542. - George Dury, Abbot, appointed one of the council of the Earl of
Arran, the guardian of Mary during her nonage.
1549. - George Dury, grants a Charter to the burgh, 2d August.
1550. - Dunfermline, &c. signet legend - "S. Georgii Abbatis de Dumfermling
Ard. St. Andr."
1551. - JAMES V. builds cellars, &c. at Limekilns, near the town.
1557. - George Dury, Abbot, issues a decree to prevent the inhabitants
Kirkcaldy from building wind, water, or horse mills.
1558. - George Dury, Abbot, &c., gives his voice against Walter Mill,
empannelled at St. Andrews for heresy. He was burnt, in conformity to his
sentence. George Dury, Abbot, &c., brings to trial John Dury, his cousin,
for "the crimes of heresy." He is found guilty, and condemned to be built
up between two walls until he died. Through the influence of the Earl of
Arran he is set at liberty.
1560. - The Church and Abbey completely destroyed by the "Reformers," 28th
March, and the royal tombs and monuments were all thrown down.
Robert Pitcairn appointed Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey.
David Ferguson inducted minister of Dunfermline Reformed Church.
1561. - JAMES VI. much engaged at golf over lands now called Golfdrum,
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS visited Dunfermline, and thence went on to Dysart and
St. Andrews, 3d March.
1562. - Dunfermline Church partly repaired from the destruction of 28th
March 1560, and fitted up as a Protestant place of worship.
1563. - MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS again visited Dunfermline, February 14th.
1566. - Robert Pitcairn, Commendator of Dunfermline, &c., repairs to
Stirling to the coronation of the Prince.
1567. - Robert Pitcairn attends a meeting of Parliament held at Edinburgh.
1568.- MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, in her flight from Lochleven Castle, passed
through the parish of Dunfermline.
1569. - Robert Pitcairn is sent by Regent Murray to the English Court
regarding Queen Mary.
1570. - Robert Pitcairn appointed Secretary of State for Scotland,
1571. - David Ferguson, minister, of Dunfermline, preaches a sermon at
Leith before the Regent and nobility of Scotland.
1572. - George Dury, Abbot of Dunfermline and Archdeacon of St. Andrews,
died, and was interred in the Western Church of Dunfermline.
1576. - The Assembly of the Church refuses to give "libertie to the bailie
of Dunfermling to play upon the Sunday afternoon in the Church a play not
founded upon the Canonical parts of Scripture."
1581. - Andrew Steuart sentenced to be "burnt on the richt shoulder with
the common markin yron of Dunfermling."
1584. - Robert Pitcairn, Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey, Archdeacon of
St. Andrews, and Secretary of State for Scotland, died, and was interred in
the western division of the Church. He lived for some time in Limekilns
for his health.
1585. - "The Master of Gray," appointed Commendator. A Parliament
appointed to be held at Dunfermline by order of King James VI., to consider
the propriety of recalling the banished Lords and Ministers, there being no
other toun so convenient on account of "ye pest." The ports of the town
are shut in by order of the Laird of Petfirren to prevent "said meeting."
1586. - David Ferguson, minister of Dunfermline, appointed by the General
Assembly one of the assessors to assist the Bishop of St. Andrews in the
trial of persons presented to benefices in the county of Fife.
1587. - Hew Watt is condemned by the Court of Regality to be "hangit to
death on Baldris gallows, or elles drownit, at will of the judges," for
stealing cattle, &c.
The temporality of the Church of Dunfermline, with some exceptions, is
annexed to the Crown.
"The Master of Gray" extruded from his office by an Act of Parliament held
at Edinburgh 29th July.
Henry Pitcairn appointed Commendator of Dunfermline Monastery, with consent
of the whole Convent.
1588. - JAMES VI. constitutes Dunfermline a Royal Burgh, and grants it
Charter of Confirmation.
1589. - The Abbey is erected into a temporal lordship.
1590. - ANNA, QUEEN OF SCOTLAND, infeft in the Lordship of Dunfermline
The Annexation of the "Abbey of Dunfermling," ratified by Parliament 21st
An Act of Parliament confers on the Queen "a richt to the third of
1593. - The Queen, in a Charter dated 15th February, appoints Alexander
Seaton Heritable Bailie of the Lordship of Dunfermline.
The Monks of the Abbey of Dunfermline give in portion to the Queen the
eighth part of the first-fruits or fifth penny of any benefice which
belonged to them.
1596. - Elizabeth, daughter of James VI., born in the Palace of
Dunfermline, 19th August. Through her, in an unbroken line, has descended
Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
The Provincial Synod of Fife held at Dunfermline 12th May, for the purpose
of amending and renewing the Covenant.
A Convention of the Estates held at Dunfermline, by James VI., regarding
the Popish Lords and Ministers. "2d November, the princes cam out of
Dunfermline to the Abbey of Holy-ruid-hous."
1598. - JAMES VI. makes considerable alterations and repairs on the western
division of the Church. Is said to have built the steeple and laid out the
Steeple 156 feet 8 inches high.
David Ferguson, minister of Dunfermline, dies, aged sixty-five years; he
was thirty-eight years minister of Dunfermline; is interred in the eastern
1599. - Andro Foster inducted minister of Dunfermline.
1600. - Dunfermline contains about 480 males and 500 females. Total,
CHARLES I., son of James VI., born in Dunfermline Palace 19th November
1600, afterwards baptised by the Bishop of Ross, 23d December.
1602. - William Shaw, architect to King James VI., died in April.
ROBERT, son of James VI., supposed to have been born at Dunfermline, was
baptised in Dunfermline Church by various titles 2d May, died 27th May, and
was interred at Dunfermline.
1605. - Alexander Seaton, Lord Urquhart, &c. &c., created Earl
Dunfermline 4th March.
1610. - Queen Anna, Lady Dunfermline, consort of James VI., mortifies into
the hands of the Town-Council the sum of œ2000 Scots, for the support of
the masters of the grammer and singing school.
1612. - Henry Wardlaw of Balmule, afterwards Sir Henry Wardlaw of
Pitreavie, appointed by Queen Anna Chamberlain of her rents at Dunfermline.
1615. - John Moray inducted minister of Dunfermline.
1616. - Queen Anna bequeathes to Sir Henry Wardlaw, her Chamberlain, &c.,
burying vault attached to the south side of the Church.
1617. - KING JAMES VI. visits Dunfermline, the first visit since his
accession to the English throne in 1603. Is "received with tumultuous
1622. - John Moray, minister, deposed by sentence of the High Commission
for refusing to conform to the five articles of Perth, &c.
Harrie Makgill inducted minister of Dunfermline.
1624. - Dunfermline burnt 25th May; 220 houses totally consumed; occupied
by 287 families, and their whole plenishing, consisting of 500 bolls of
grain in barns.
The town conists of 700 adults and 32 children under six years of age.
The burgesses having a right to the Wood of Garvock, near the town,
completely denuded it of its old trees for the purpose of rebuilding the
town; the proprietor in consequence removes his residence to Pitliver.
1625. - The Burgh (High) School built; perhaps the school to which the
Queen granted œ2000 Scots was burnt at the fire.
1627. - The west of Fife, especially Dunfermline and Torryburn, infested
with witches and warlocks.
1633. - CHARLES I. (King) revokes in an Act of Parliament the former
disposition belonging to the Abbey.
1638. - Charles Seaton, Earl of Dunfermline, affixes his seal to the
National League and Covenant.
1640. - Pat Mayne held the office of hangman and witch burner.
1641. - CHARLES I. grants to the Earl of Dunfermline a lease of the
feu-duties and teinds of the Lordship of Dunfermline for fifty-seven years,
commencing with 1639.
1642. - The Scots proverbs of David Ferguson published at Edinburgh by
Harrie Makgill, minister of Dunfermline, died, and was interred in the
1643. - Six women burnt for witchcraft at the Witch Knowe or Loan,
north-east of the burgh. Other two who were accused of that crime died in
Janet Fentoun, the witch who died miserably, and was afterwards brought to
the Witch Knowe, "being trailed and carted yrto, and castin into a hole
there without a kist (coffin), " 20th June. "Isobel Mair, witch, hangs
herself in the laich thieves hole." The "Witch Dub," north-east of the
town, was the place where witches were drowned. Witchcraft very prevalent
between this period and 1650 all over Europe, and was regarded everywhere
with deep-seated dread.
1645. - The plague rages in the town and parish.
Dunfermline Church becomes "Collegiate," the population having greatly
increased in town and parish; it is provided with two ministers, viz.,
Robert Kay and William Oliphant.
1648. - Margaret Nicholson, spouse of Alexander Dempster the fiddler,
ordained to stand with the branks in her mouth for two hours on the
market-day for scolding and drunkenness, and as a public example.
William Crichton, the warlock, who confessed he had "made a paction with
the devil," was publicly burnt.
1649. - CHARLES II. succeeds his father, who was decapitated January 1649.
1650. - CHARLES II. spends a good part of August in the Palace of
Dunfermline, and subscribes to the National League and Covenant.
1651. - The Battle of Pitreavie fought in July this year. About 10,000
warriors were engaged in this most sanguinary conflict. Tradition records
that the little stream traversing the neighbourhood "ran with blood for
Cromwell's army arrives in Dunfermline after the battle, and remains there
for many weeks.
They demolish the boards and seats of the session house, &c., and plunder
the church box.
1652. - In the parochial register of births, the 23d of March this year
named "Mirk Monday." The great mid-day darkness was occasioned by an
eclipse of the sun.
The spouse of W. Scotland, summoned for cursing and swearing, "was sharplie
admonished," and if again found guiltye, "she shall stand at the tron wi'
the brands in her mouth."
1665. - John, Earl (afterwards Marquis) of Tweeddale, in consequence of
debt due to him by the Earl of Dunfermline, obtains a right to the
Lordship, Heritable Bailie, &c.
1666. - Robert Kay, minister, demitts his office 17th January. William
Pearson inducted minister of Dunfermline. Thomas Kinymount inducted
minister of Dunfermline 18th July.
1667. - Dunfermline was assessed to the extent of œ102 Scots, in order
assist in liquidating the "voluntar offar to his Majestie."
1668. - Thomas Kinymount translated from Dunfermline to the Church of
1669. - John, Marquis of Tweeddale, had his office of Heritable bailie,
constituted by a charter under the Great Seal, dated 12th February.
1672. - "A house of correction for the reception of idle beggars and
vagrants" ordered to be built.
1673. - Alexander Monro inducted a minister of Dunfermline Church 7th
1675. - Pitreavie Hospital (near Dunfermline), the most ancient charitable
institution in the parish, founded by Sir H. Wardlaw in favour of four
widows of "honest fame."
1676. - William Peirson, minister, translated to the church of Stirling.
Alexander Dunbar inducted minister of Dunfermline 19th October.
Alexander Monro, minister, translated to the church of Kinglassie.
1678. - Robert Norie inducted minister of Dunfermline 18th September.
1679. - Witchcraft still prevails, notwithstanding all the burning and
drowning of witches which has taken place.
"John Drysdaill in the Nether-toun mortifies 500 merks Scots to the
Kirk-session for the support of puir scholars."
1680. - The Dunfermline "Blue Blanket," drawn up by the trades of the
burgh. (This was a design for the centre-piece of the Convener's flag,
which was blue, and contained emblems of the incorporated trades.)
1686. - Robert Norie, minister, translated to the church of Dundee.
1690. - Supposed population of Dunfermline about 800 males and 1000
females. Of the town and parish 3800. Number of houses 250.
1694. - The debt of the burgh amounts to about 5573 merks Scots
1695. - The title of the Earldom of Dunfermline becomes extinct, the Earl
dying without issue.
The post-office supposed to have been established.
1698. - Part of the roof of Rosythe Castle fell in this year.
1699. - Dunfermline consists of a few straggling houses about the ports
the purlieus of the Abbey; houses covered chiefly with thatch; winding
stairs to the middle of the streets, &c.
1700. - John Bell elected to the office of town's piper.
Dunfermline trade greatly depressed; only a little doing in brewing.
1701. - Hugh Kempt inducted a minister of Dunfermline.
1705. - Hugh Kempt translated to the church of Carnbee.
1706. - The Magistrates, Town-Council, and inhabitants of Dunfermline
protest and petition against the Union of Scotland and England. Sir Peter
Halket is Provost. *
* Thirty-three Scottish burghs voted for the Union, and twenty nine against
it. While Sir Peter presented this petition and protest, he voted for the
1708. - Dunfermline Palace having been long neglected and deserted, the
1710. - James Grame, minister, dies, and leaves 600 merks Scots for the
of the poor.
Thomas Buchanan translated from Tulliallan, and inducted a minister of
1711. - Ralph Erskine inducted into the second charge of Dunfermline Church
1713. - The parishioners, according to a census, number 5000.
About this period Lassodie and Meiklebeath were disjoined from the parish
of Dunfermline and annexed to the parish of Beath.
1714. - GEORGE I. proclaimed king by the Magistrates and Town-Council at
the Pillory, Cross, and East Port.
1715. - Thomas Buchanan, minister, died 10th April.
A Jacobite detachment takes quarters in the Abbey, but are dispersed by
Colonel Cathcart, &c.
1716. - Ralph Erskine, minister of the second charge, is inducted minister
of the first charge of Dunfermline Church, 1st May.
The Society of Gardeners instituted.
1718. - Weaving: James Blake, John Beveridge, and John Gilmour establish
small manufactory of table linen in the Abbey.
James Wardlaw inducted into the second charge of the Church of Dunfermline.
1719. - James Blake, table linen manufacturer in the Abbey, manufactures
curiously wrought napkin, which is greatly admired.
1720. - Dunfermline Church and bells repaired.
1722. - Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, visits Dunfermline.
1726. - The ruins of the Abbey inhabited by various mechanics, &c.
1727. - Elizabeth Halket, spouse of Sir Henry Wardlaw of Pitreavie, the
celebrated authoress of the heroic Poem entitled "Hardyknute," in
commemoration of the battle of Largs, died, and is interred in the vault of
the Wardlaw family. Of this ballad Sir Walter Scott said it "was the first
I ever learned, the last that I shall forget."
GEORGE II. proclaimed king by the Magistrates and Council, at the Pillory,
the Cross, and the East Port.
1728. - The church and steeple repaired, and the bells re-founded.
1730. - Grass growing along the eastern part of the High Street; the
cadgers's horses feed upon it during the time that the owners are disposing
of their wares.
1733. - Ralph Erskine and others differ with the Established Church.
constitute themselves into an ecclesiastical court under the name of the
"Associate Presbytery." This secession from the Established Church, which
was nursed in Dunfermline, may therefore be regarded as the acorn of the
Secession and the United Presbyterian Church.
1734. - James Young, merchant, tried before the Court of Regality for
bruising, &c. Henry Wardlaw, son of Lieutenant Wardlaw, and is acquitted.
1736. - Weaving. - David Mackie carries on the manufacture of damask
weaving; has three looms in that department; this is considered a heavy
1740. - A church built for the congregation of Ralph Erskine, near the
Burgh School, October.
Society of Weavers constituted.
Severe frost continues 107 days. (Tradition.)
1741. - George Whitfield, the celebrated Methodist divine, preaches from
the pulpit of Ralph Erskine, and also in a public park, to many thousands
1742. - Francis Paterson teaches in the "Queen's House."
Rev. James Wardlaw, minister, died 2d May.
1743. - James Thomson inducted into the Established Church.
James Hay and William Gordon imprisoned fro horse-stealing. Gordon hangs
1744. - Rev. Thomas Fernie inducted minister of the Established Church.
1745. - Town cess demanded by the agents of the Pretender. œ80 is
collected with some difficulty, and tendered.
1746. - Lord Charles Hay, Provost of the town, nearly shot by one of Prince
Charles' men, a highland spy; a part of his peruke shot off.
Distaff spinning discontinued; the spinning wheel introduced.
1748. - The heritable jurisdiction of monasteries being generally
abolished, compensations are given to proprietors. The regality of
Dunfermline is valued at œ2672:7s, and the office of clerk at œ500.
1749. - The "British Linen Company" employs a great number of looms in
weaving of table linen.
1750. - Arthur Martin teaches in the Queen's House the common rudiments
The fashionable parts of the town at this period were the Maygate,
Kirkgate, and St. Catherine's Wynd.
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