Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed.
Glenora Single Malt Whisky

Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.
Scottish Review

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Annals of Auchterarder and Memorials of Srathearn
The Castle, Burgh, Barony, and Sheriffdon of Auchterarder


TRADITION asserts that the Castle of Auchterander was one of the seats of the Scottish Kings and the residence of King Malcolm Canmore, who granted the Common Muir to the neighbouring burgh. The Barony was originally a Crown possession. Being situated on the road from the Royal Palaces of Scone and Forteviot to Stirling, and the principal manor place of a Barony belonging to the Crown, there is every probability that the tradition of its having been a royal palace is correct, and that the warlike Malcolm and the sainted Margaret abode within its walls.

Auchterarder was one of the Royal Burghs of Scotland. It may be said that no charter of erection is in existence, but its absence is explained by the fact that the proximity of a Royal seat gave the neighbouring town the status of a Royal Burgh. Whether or not Auchterarder got a charter of erection from the Sovereign, no doubt can exist that at a very early period it was one of the Royal Burghs of Scotland. In the charier of William, the son of Malise, of the lands within or outside the town of Auchterarder, still known as the Abbey lands, granted to the Canons of Inch-affray, which lands he had bought from John, the son of Baltin, he not only appended his own seal to the writing, but, for greater security and fuller evidence, procured to be appended thereto the common seal of the Burgh of Auchterarder.

The Barony of Auchterarder remained Crown property until the time of King Robert the Bruce. King Alexander II., by charter, dated at Cluny, the 13th day of August, in the eleventh year of his reign (1227), granted to the Canons of the Abbey of Inchaffray the teins of his duties of Auchterarder to be drawn yearly by the hands of his tacksmen and bailies of Auchterarder.

In 1296, Edward I. invaded Scotland with 500 armed horse and 30,000 footmen. He passed the River Tweed on 28th March, and continued his progress until 24th April, when he routed the Scots at Dunbar with great slaughter. He continued his triumphant progress northward s, resting at various places. We are told that "on the Thursday he went to Stirling, and they who were within the Castle fled, and none remained but the porter, who surrendered the Castle, and there came the Earl of Strathearn 'to the peace,' and there tarried the King five days. On the Wednesday before the Feast of St. John (26th June) the King passed the Scottish sea, and lay at Auchterarder, his Castle; on the Thursday, at St. John of Perth, a good town, and there abode Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; this same day was John the Baptist's Day." His progress and the places at which he stayed are circumstantially narrated in the Itinerary from which we quote. He returned to Berwick on 22nd August, and the chronicler adds: "And he conquered the realm of Scotland, and searched it, as is above written, within twenty-one weeks without any more."

Attention is directed to the terms of the words of the French Itinerary in reference to the King having taken up his residence in Auchterarder Castle. "Le Mescredy devaunt Seint Johne passa Ie roi le Mere d'Escoce et jut & Outreard, son chastelle." Reference is made in the narrative to many other castles in which the King lay, but only in this instance is the Castle stated to have belonged to him. This is conclusive evidence that the Castle was the property of the Crown, and that the King took up his abode in it as such.

The halting of Edward I. with his army at Auchterarder was not the only occasion upon which Auchterarder received an embattled host. In 1332 the Scottish army of Donald, the Earl of Mar, 30,000 strong, lay at Auchterarder previous to the disastrous Battle of Dupplin and in 1559 the army of the Dowager Queer. Mary, under the Duke of Hamilton and Monsieur d'Oysel, lay there, prepared to encounter the Lords of the Congregation. The most disastrous military visit and the last was when the Earl of Mar, in 1716, burnt the town.

Auchterarder being the only Royal Burgh in Strathearn, was the head burgh of that County Palatine and the seat of a Sheriffdom, the area of which was probably co-extensive with Strathearn. In the interregnum after the death of Alexander III. the office of Sheriff was vested in Malcolm of Innerpeffray, who, in the Compotus of the extent of all the King's lands of Scotland for the period between 25th April, 1304, and 28th February, 1305, accounted as "Sheriff of Ulhrardor of its issues, 100s.; and again, "from said Sir Malcolm of the issues of the Sheriffdom of Uthrardor and the farms of Glendowiche, £58"

In 1296 the Master of the Order of the Temple in Scotland having sworn fealty to King Edward for the lands possessed by him, letters were sent to the different Sheriffs, and among them the Sheriff of Oughtrerdoner, in whose jurisdiction his lands lay, ordering him to be put in possession.

The Sheriff figures in a transaction in the Scottish War of Independence. There was an Inquisition at Perth held on 1st September, 1305, before Malise, Earl of Stratherne, Lieutenant of the Warden north of Forth, and Malcolm de Inverpefray, Knight, Deputy of John de Sardale, Chamberlain, and William de Bevercotts, Chancellor of Scotland, on certain articles touching the person of Michael de Miggal by Gilbert de Hay, David de Graham, and others, "who say on oath in Michael's presence that he had been lately taken prisoner forcibly against his will by William le Waleys, that he twice escaped, but was followed and brought back, and he was told if he tried to get away a third time he should lose his life. Thus, it appears, he remained with William through fear of death and not of his own will." The following deliverance is endorsed:—"The Chamberlain is 'commanded to give him his goods and chattels of the King's special grace.'" The Sheriff, as Chamberlain, no doubt favourably represented to the King Michael's excuse, as the subsequent conduct of both the Earl of Strathearn and himself showed a fellow-feeling, and that, like Michael, they had been acting under constraint.

On 15th September, 1305, King Edward I., with the concurrence of ten Scots and twenty-two English Commissioners to his Parliament, made an ordinance containing certain regulations "for the settlement of Scotland." Amongst these regulations was the following :—"That there should be Sheriffs, natives either of Scotland or England, to be appointed or removed by the Lieutenant or the Chamberlain, at discretion, who should execute the office of escheatry as usual, and that none should be appointed but the most sufficient men and most profitable for the King, and people, and the maintenance of peace." Sir Malcolm de Innerpeffer was appointed, or rather continued, in office, of Sheriff of Auchterarder, and he was at same time appointed Sheriff of the shire of Clackmannan. The appointment did not, however, extinguish the Sheriffs patriotism, as the next thing we hear of him is:—

"The King sends to Walter, Bishop of Chester, the Treasurer, Malcolm de Innerpeffer, Knight, who at the time of this last 'riote' of the Scots was the King's Sheriff of Clackmannan and Auchterarder, but nevertheless was one of the first to join Sir Robert de Brus, and wickedly abetted the Earls of Menteth and Strathern in aiding said Robert; also fought against the King at the Battle of Saint Johan de Perth, and has done all the damage he could, commanding that he be secured in some strong castle, not in irons, but body for body. Whereon said Malcolm was at once delivered to the Constable of the Tower of London, on the 7th of December."

Another writ follows regarding Sir Malcolm's two horses, which the King permits him to make profit of at pleasure.

We do not know the result of the proceedings against the Sheriff of Auchterarder. but as his two horses were restored to him, he seems to have been treated leniently. In regard to the Earl, we find that in November, 1306, he presented a memorial to the King and Council, showing that he was compelled to join Sir Robert de Brus through fear of his life.

The Castle and Barony of Auchterarder appear to have been Crown possessions until the reign of Robert the Bruce, when they became the property of Sir William de Montfichet or Montifex, appointed Justiciar of Scotland in 1332. The family was of Norman extraction. They had possessions in England, and a branch for some time settled in Scotland, Robert Montfichet being a witness to a charter of William the Lion in 1184. In Robertson's Index of Ancient Charters there occurs an old official inventory, compiled, apparently, about the close of the sixteenth century, in which mention is made of a charter—"Wilhelmo de Montefixo of the lands of Auchterarder with the town duty." Sir William Montfichet had large possessions, being not only proprietor of the Barony of Auchterarder, but of Cargill and Kincardine in Menteith, and other lands in Perthshire; and also of Kilmahew, in Dumbartonshire, and other lands. He had three daughters, who became his heirs-portioners. To his eldest daughter Marie he left the estates of Auchterarder, Cargill (or Stobhall), and Kincardine in Menteith. She married Sir John Drummond, the seventh Thane of Lennox. Sir John Drummond's eldest daughter was Annabella Drummond, Queen to Robert III. Our present Gracious Sovereign Queen Victoria is a lineal descendant of Marie Montifex of the Castle of Auchterarder.

In the reign of David II. mention is made of the Burgh of Auchterarder in the account of the Great Chamberlain for 1366 as being in arrear of the contribution for payment of the King's ransom, being due the sum of thirty-one shilllings. In 1374, the Chamberlain debits himself with thirty-three shillings and four pence received from the Bailies of Auchterarder for contribution; and there are two different entries in the rolls of 1390, both relating to a debt owing by the Crown to the community of Auchterarder on account of certain services to the late King Robert II. There is also another entry in the Chamberlain Rolls, under date 1435, in which it appears that the services to the Crown had not been uplifted by the Chamberlain from the burgesses of Cromarty, Dingwall, and Ochterardor, because no Chamberlain aires had been held within those burghs at the time when the account was made up. Under date August, 1560, in the accounts of the High Treasurer there is an entry, where the "customaries of Ochterairder" are mentioned along with those of St. Andrews.

On 14th August, 1565, by Act of the Privy Council, in name of Henry and Mary, it was ordained "that lettres be direct to officiaris of armes chargeing thame to pas to the rnercat croces of the Brrrowis of Edinburgh, Hadingtoun, Linlythquow, Striviling, Clakmannane, Kinross, Uchterardour, Perth, Cowper, and all utheris places needful, and thair be oppin proclamation in thair Majesteis' name and autoritie to charge all and sindrie Earls, Lordis, Baronis, frehalderis, landit men, and substantious gentilmen dwelland witlv'n the bundis (inter alia of the Stewartric of Strath-crne), with their houshaldis, honest fricndis, and servandis weil bodin in feir of weir, and provid'i for xv. days after thair comin, to conveine and meet the King and Ouenis Majesteis at the places and upon the days respective efter followin— that is to say, the inhabitants of Stratherne to meit thair hieneises at Striviling Brig upon Sounday, the xii. day of August instant."1

Not only is there thus evidence of Auchterarder being assessed in dues and exercising the privileges of a Royal Burgh, but, what is of more importance, as showing its burghal character, is, that there arc three separate precepts of Parliament— in 1570, 1581, and 1600 — summoning Commissioners to Parliament from the burgh. No doubt the names of the Commissioners do not appear in the Rolls of Parliament, but that did not derogate from the right of the burgh to send them; and the probable cause of their not having been sent, and of the infrequency of Auchterarder appearing in the public records, arose from its being completely inland, and without foreign trade, on which the great customs were levied, and consequently being one of what were called dry burghs. Owing to this, and being much exposed to predatory incursions, it had fallen into an unprosperous and decayed state, which would well account for the fact common enough to Royal Burghs of its not sending any Commissioners to Parliament.

This state of matters is quaintly described in the Act of Parliament of 30th November, 1581, entitled "Ratification of the Fair of Vchterardour," which had been obtained with a view to restore the prosperity of the burgh. The Act is in the following terms :—


This fair—the date being transferred by the change of style to 6th December—though shorn of its former importance, is still held. It was the day for reckoning and paying yearly accounts in the town and district, and was until lately a large cattle market.

A proclamation was made against the Clan Gregour on 31st January, 1611, whereby "His Majestie, in his accustomat dispositioun to clernencie and mercye being weele willing to showe favour to suche of thame who be some notable service shall gif profle and testlmonie of the haitrent and detestation which they half of the wicked doingis of that unhappy race, and wilbe content to leve heireafter under the obedience of His Majestie's lawis, and also knowing perfytlie that a giite many of thame who ar now imbarqued in that rebellious societie and fellowship haif rathar bene jnduciet thairunto by the crueltie of the ihiftanes and ringleidaris of the same societie, then be ony dispositioun and inclinatioun of their awne": the Lords in these circumstances promise that if any person of the name of M'Gregour shall slay another of the same name of as good rank as himself, he shall have a free pardon for all his faults, on finding caution to answer to the laws thereafter. Further, if any ether person shall slay Duncane M'Ewne M'Gregour. now called the Laird, or Robert Abroch M'Gregour, or Johnne Dow M'Allaster M'Gregour, or Galium M'Gregour of Coull, or Duelchay M'Gregour, or M'Robert M'Gregour, his brother, then such slayer of any of the said persons, or of any other of that race shall have a reward in money according to the quality of the person slain — the least sum to be 100 merks, and that for chieftains £1000 a-piece. Proclamation hereof is to be made at the Market Crosses of Dumbartfme, Striviling, Downe in Monteith, Glasgu, and Auchtirardour. Letters were also directed to be issued charging by proclamation at the Market Crosses at Striviling, Dumbartane, Perth, Auchtirardour, and Downe in Monteith, all and sundry not to reset the said Clan Gregour, or their goods and gear, under pain of being punished as partakers with them in their wicked deeds.

"Johnne, Earl of Tullibardin, binds and obliges himself to make answerable to the laws all persons dwelling on his lands, and to this effect to enter them before the Council when charged, conform to the genera! band."

No doubt the broken men referred to in the Act of 1581 included the Clan Gregor, and the directing of the proclamation of letters against them at the Cross of Auchterarder was to strike terror in the locality of their misdoings.

The predatory incursions of the M'Gregors and other caterans of the Highlands into the towns of Strathearn are graphically described in the "Poetical Testament of Duncan Laideus alias Makgregour," one of their number, who flourished in the sixteenth century: —

After the Act of Parliament establishing the fair, there is little reference in contemporary records to Auchterarder. The Castle and Barony continued in possession of the noble family of Perth, which, during the eventful years of 1715 and 1745, exercised its influence, not without effect, in the district in favour of the exiled family. One of the most memorable events in the history of Auchterarder was the burning of the town in January, 1716, by the Earl of Mar, after the Battle of Sheriffmuir, in order to prevent shelter to the Duke of Argyll's army, which in pursuit had to encamp amidst the scene of desolation. This was an impolitic act, and calculated to exasperate the public mind against the exiled family. The burning was accompanied by great hardship, having been done during the depth of winter in a snow storm. The sufferers, after great delay and protracted litigation, succeeded in obtaining payment from the Exchequer of a pecuniary consideration, called the "burning money," in respect of their losses.

After the Act for the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions in 1748 the portion of Auchterarder strictly burghal ceased to have titles completed in the burgage form. Until that date titles were made up on burgage holding and resignations made in favour of the Bailies of Auchterarder, who probably received their appointment from the family of Perth, the proprietors of the adjoining Barony. No burgh register existed, and the instruments were somewhat anomalously recorded in the Particular Register of Sasines. A difficulty was presented as to completing titles when there were no Bailies to receive resignations or give infeftments; and so late as 1832 a petition was presented to the Court of Session praying the Court to appoint Bailies to the burgh of Auchterarder to give infeftment. The then proprietor of the Barony, conceiving this was derogatory to his rights as alleged superior, entered appearance, and the petition was withdrawn on the superior offering to give a charter of the lands in question to complete the title.

The Barony of Auchterarder continued in the possession of the Perth family until its attainder after the death of James, Duke of Perth, when the lands passed into the hands of the Commissioners of the Annexed Estates. Under their administration a good deal was done for the improvement of the place. The Commissioners encouraged the manufacture of linen, and they laid out the lands of Borland Park into convenient divisions, erecting cot-houses thereon for the soldiers who had been engaged in the German War. They also made a grant of the Girnal House of Auchtcrarder for the benefit of the inhabitants. The lands were restored to the Perth family in 1784, and were disposed of by Lord Perth shortly thereafter« the Castle and the adjoining lands of Castlemains becoming the property of the late John Malcolm, Esq., while the remainder of the Barony was purchased by the Hon. Basil Cochrane, by whose trustees it was sold in 1831 to the late Lieutenant-Colonel James Hunter, who erected a mansion-house thereon. He died in 1874, leaving the estate to his nephew, Major Patrick Hunter, who, in 1887, sold it to the late James Reid, Esq., Lord Dean of Guild of Glasgow, and it is now possessed by his trustees.

The Castle of Auchterarder, which is situated about a quarter of a mile to the north of the town, though not of large dimensions, must have been a place of considerable strength. It was surrounded by a moat, the traces of which are still visible. The only remaining fragment is a part of the donjon keep. A carved stone is built into the wall. Through exposure it is very much defaced, but it represents a warrior seated in a chariot, and is supposed to be Roman. The wall is nine feet thick. Some years ago the draw-well of the Castle, built around with masonry, and of considerable depth, was discovered. The Castle is said to have been entire until the end of last century, when a vandal farmer took it down to build farm offices.

A Common of upwards of two hundred acres in extent is situated to the west of the town, over which the inhabitants from time immemorial exercised a right of pasturage. A Process of Division was raised before the Court of Session in 1808 by the Honourable Basil Cochrane, then proprietor of the Barony. This process was wakened in 1814, and again in 1841. Defences were lodged for the portioners and feuars, and thereafter by the inhabitants, on the ground that, as the Common was a pertinent of a royal burgh, it was indivisible, and the Act for the division of commons did not apply. Litigation followed, and ultimately, in 1860, a Bill was brought into Parliament and carried through for the vesting of the Common for the benefit of the town in a set of Commissioners. Under the Muir Improvement Act, 1860, the Common was reclaimed by the Commissioners, being drained, trenched, and fenced. The debt incurred in the reclamation is nearly wiped out, and it now forms a valuable source of public revenue. The careful and economic conduct of the Commissioners since the Act was passed, by which such a favourable result has been attained, is deserving of all praise, and the gratitude of future generations.

In 1894 the ratepayers resolved to adopt the Burgh Police Act, and the affairs and management of the town are now entrusted to Police Commissioners.

Having given this retrospect of the civil history of Auchterarder, we shall now advert to a few prominent facts in its ecclesiastical annals.

The first notice we have of the Church of Auchterarder is in the foundation charter by Gilbert, Earl of Strathearn, dated in 1200, in favour of the Abbey of Inchaffray. By that charter he granted the Church of St. Meckessock of Eochterardeour, and the four other Churches of Aberuthven, Madderty, Strageath, and Kinkell. This grant was subsequently confirmed, and the additional churches added thereto of Dunning, Monzievaird, Fowlis, and Kilbryde.

As already stated, King Alexander II. granted the teind of his duties of Auchterarder, and, by a subsequent charter, amongst other grants he confirmed the grant of these churches to Inchaffray.

William the Lion executed a similar confirmation of the grant of the Churches of Madderty, Kinkell, and Auchterarder.

In virtue of these grants the teinds of the Church of Auchterarder were drawn by the Abbey of Inchaffray, but, as a condition, the Abbey had to provide divine ordinances in the Parish Church, and the cure accordingly was served by a vicar. The church and parish were within the Diocese of Dunblane. The old parish church is situated about half a mile to the north of the town, and, though roofless, is standing nearly entire. It is a long, narrow building with no architectural beauty. The foundation cross—a long slab with a Latin cross thereon—was, a number of years ago, exhumed, and now stands within the walls; while the baptismal font, which until lately stood ac the western entrance, was recently removed for safe custody to the new parish church within the town. The old bell is also there. Although small, it gives forth a very sweet and clear sound, and bears the impress of antiquity. From the titles of the Perth Estate, including the Barony of Auchterarder, the late Duke of Perth was vested in "sancta campana de St. Kessog "—the holy bells of St. Kessog.

The Church of Auchterarder was dedicated to St. Mackessog, who was also patron saint of Luss and Comrie. He flourished in the sixth century, and his day of commemoration was the tenth of March. His legend and office are given under that date in the Breviary of Aberdeen. Southward from the church a few hundred yards there is a perennial spring still bearing the name of Mackessog's Well, and which until recent times was resorted to for the healing virtue of its waters. After the Reformation the Saint's day was kept on the 10th of March, O.S., as one of the principal fairs of the town, and so continued until a recent period.

In the Roll or Taxatio, made up by Boyamund in 1275, in the Pontificate of Gregory X. (commonly called Bagimont's Roll), of teinds collected in Scotland for recovery of the Holy Land, we find that payments were made by the Vicar of Auchterarder of eighteen shillings, and by the Vicar of Aberuthven, seven shillings. There were received in the remaining parishes of the Diocese of Dunblane, within the present Presbytery of Auchterarder, the following sums :—

The Abbot of Inchaffray, twenty-four pounds thirteen shillings and three pence.
The Church of Strowan, fifty shillings.
The Chuich of Glendevon, sixteen shillings.
The Church of Muthill, twenty-eight shillings and four pence.
The Vicar of Dunning, twelve shillings.
The Vicar of Cask, five shillings.
The 'Vicar of Fowlis, seventeen shillings and four pence.
The Vicar of Strageatb, twenty-eight shillings.
The Vicar of Comrie, twenty-four shillings.
The Church of Trinity-Gask, thirty-five shillings and nine pence.

In the Diocese of Dunkeld.

Vicar of Crieff, five shillings.
Chinch of Madderty, fifty-three shillings and six pence.

The old church appears to have been used as a place of worship until about the time of Charles I.

The tradition is that the roof fell in on a Sunday after the congregation had left, and were returning on the Brae of Bowhillock to Auchterarder. While the old church continued to be the church of the parish, there was, at an early period, and anterior to the Reformation, a chapel in the town of Auchterarder where the present parish church stands. The croft at the back is still named the Chapel Croft. The northern part of the present parish church and the steeple were erected about the middle of the seventeenth century, the steeple being built of stones taken from the old Castle of Kincardine, dismantled after the siege in 1646. The southern portion of the church was added in 1784.

A mistake has crept in and been perpetuated in ascribing the dedication of the old church to St. Kentigern, otherwise St. Mungo. Dr. Rankin in his interesting and otherwise accurate Account of the Ancient Churches of Strathearn, refers to this dedication, and endeavours to account for it by supposing that there may have been an altar or side chapel dedicated to St. Mungo in the Church of St. Mackessog, but there is nothing to warrant such an assumption. There is neither a side chapel on the outside of the building nor room within its narrow walls for a side altar, and there is no historical evidence to support such a theory. The error appears to have originated in a random statement contributed to the New Statistical Account of Scotland, and perpetuated by other writers, notably by Walcot in his Scoti Monasticon, and by Bishop Forbes in his preface to the Life of St. Kentigern.

The dedication of the chapel which was in the town where the parish church stands is likewise said to have been to St. Mungo. This is also erroneous. The chapel was dedicated to Our Lady. This appears from a charter dated 3rd December, 1477, by Simon Wylde, burgess of the Burgh of Auchterarder, in favour of Agnes Wylde, his brother's daughter, and John Young, her husband, of two crofts on the north side of the burgh. One of the crofts is described as "Ilia proxima. capelle nostre Domine," and the reddendo is "servicio et sustenlacione dicte capelle sex solldos vsuahs munete Scocie annui reditus annuatim." This shows that not only was the cbapel dedicated to Our Lady, but a stipend of six shillings Scots was Imposed upon the adjaccnt croft for its service and upkeep. Sir Alexander Hyrdman, priest, had then the next croft on the west. It is evident that while the Church of St. Mackessog was the parish church, there was a pro-Reformation chapel within the town; and while the cure of the parish church was served by a parochial curate appointed by the Abbey of Inchaffray, the burgh chapel had also a chaplain. Sir David Cardney was curate of the parish church in 1520, while Sir William Ewinsone was at the same time chaplain. In 1584 the chapel yard was used for holding the Burgh Courts, a cognition for giving infeftment having been then held in it. Dr. Rankin appears to suppose that the present parish church dates only from 1660. The present church was built about that time, but replaced the old Chapel of Our Lady of unknown antiquity.

Although neither the old or new churches of Auchterarder were dedicated to St. Mungo, he had a certain connection with the parish as out of the lands of Craigrossie dues were paid to St. Mungo's altar in Glasgow. From this fact the blunder of ascription of dedication may have arisen.

There is incorporated with the parish of Auchterarder the eastern portion of the parish of Aberuthven. Aberuthven was one of the earliest ecclesiastical foundations in Scotland. It was dedicated to St. Cathan, Bishop and Confessor, who flourished in the eighth century. His festival was held on the 17th of May. The Churches of Kilchattan, in Bute, and Fortingall, in Perthshire, were also dedicated to him. Aberuthven was one of the churches appropriated to the Abbey of Inchaffray by the foundation charter of Gilbert, Earl of Strathearn, before referred to. The cure was served by a vicar appointed by that house. In the charter it is named "Ecclesia Sancti Kattani de Abbyrothueuen." This charter was confirmed, and other churches granted by a subsequent charter of the Earl Gilbert. Alexander II. confirmed this last charter. Earl Malise confirmed by charter the gifts of his grandfather, Gilbert, and the confirmation of his father, Robert, Earl of Strathearn, and granted four merks of the rents of his lands of Aberuthven, which the Canons of Inchaffay were accustomed to receive previous to the year 1247.

Aberuthven continued a separate parish from Auchterarder until some time after the Reformation. It was united to Auchterarder prior to 21st February, 1618, and the minister for some time thereafter occupied the manse and glebe of Aberuthven. The parish of Aberuthven included the Brae of Foswell, south of the Ruthven, now partly situated in the parish of Auchterarder and partly in Blackford. Kincardine Castle, the seat of the Earls of Montrose, was within the bounds. Aberuthven was the parish church where that family worshipped, and where their remains were interred. The walls of the Church of Aberuthven —a long, narrow building like that of Auchterarder—are still standing. On the south side, and partly within the area, a four-square building, named "the Aisle," has been erected as a mausoleum for the ducal family of Montrose. The last received within its walls was James, Duke of Montrose, who died in 1836. This aisle was designed by Adam, the eminent architect.

At the east end of the church, on the gospel side of the site of the high altar, there is a recess in the wall, forming an ambry pf elegant form. It is evident there has been a door upon it from the iron sockets which still remain. This was used for holding the church utensils. Worship was continued in Aberuthven Church until the end of the seventeenth century, as the funeral sermon of the Marchioness of Montrose was preached in it on 23rd January, 1673, by the Rev. Arthur Ross, the then parson of Glasgow, afterwards Archbishop of St. Andrews. His daughter Anna, Lady Balmerino, was the mother of the gallant Lord Balmerino, who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1746.

After the Reformation it was proposed by the General Assembly, in 1581, that the Presbytery should be erected as the Presbytery of Crieff. The Assembly, on 8th April, 1593, "ordaines the Presbyterie of Duinblane to be transports to Ochtirardour, and ordainis the Presbyteries of Stirling and Perth to establishe the said Presbyterie in Auchtirardour upon Thursday come xv. days," being 19th April, 1593. It was changed to Muthill prior to 18th January, 1633; but Auchterarder was resumed before 1638.

At the Reformation the parish of Auchterarder was supplied by David Murye, reader, in 1567. The first Protestant minister in Auchterarder was John Hamyll. He was previously vicar of Dunning, having succeeded there to his uncle, Sir John Hamyll, who from his title was likely vicar of Dunning in the old church, and conformed to the new opinions. John Hamyll was presented by King James VI. to the Vicarage of Auchterarder on 28th June, 1563, and to the Vicarage of Aberuthven on 1st March, 1582. He had also charge of Kinkell and Dunning.

John Graham was minister of Auchterarder in 1G36. He was a member of the General Assembly at Glasgow, in 1638, at which the famous James, Marquis of Montrose, was representative cider from the Presbytery of Auchterarder, he being then on the Covenanting side. Mr Graham was deposed by the Commission of the Assembly on 27th November, 1644, for speaking once to the Marquis of Montrose. The sentence was taken off by the Assembly, 8th February, 1645; but he was again deposed by the Assembly, 6th July, 1649. His prelatic predilections were attributed to his wife being a descendant of John Hamilton, the last Catholic Archbishop of St. Andrews.

James Drummond, son of the Rev. James Drummond, minister of Fowlis, and a near relative of the Earl of Perth, was successively incumbent of Auchterarder and of Muthill. He was consecrated Bishop of Brechin on Christmas Day, 1684, in the Chapel Royal of Holyrood. He is reported to have been a man of strict Protestant principles, and a decided opponent of King James's interference with the Church, though he, like most of his brethren, was a keen supporter of hereditary monarchy, and took a decided part with King James when the most of his courtiers deserted him. Bishop Drummond was deprived of his bishopric at the Revolution, having preached at Brechin for the last time on Sunday, 18th April, 1688.

David Freebairn, the son of the minister of Fowlis-Wester, was minister of Auchterarder from 1680 to 1686, when he became minister of Dunning. He was deprived by the Privy Council, 4th September, 1689. He went to Edinburgh, and was consecrated a bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church, 7th October, 1722, and died Primus and the oldest Presbyter in Scotland, 24th December, 1739, in his eighty-seventh year, and sixty-fourth of his ministry. "He was of blameless conversation and sweet temper, while he was a vigilant preacher and a successful physician." His son Robert was a bookseller and printer in Edinburgh, and a staunch adherent of the Stuart family.

Andrew Duncan, D.D., was minister of Auchterarder from 1781 to 1802, when he was translated to Ratho. He was Principal Clerk to the General Assembly, and Moderator of the Assembly in 1824.


Return to Book Index Page

 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast