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Annals of Dunfermline
A.D. 1501 - 1601 - Part 4


  1588.—THE CHURCH OF DUNFERMLINE (ABBEY) in a Ruinous State.—The Assembly of the Church of Scotland appealed to King James VI., soliciting him to interpose to avert the ruin which threatened Glasgow, Dunfermline, and Dumblane churches.  (Ban. Mem. Trans. Scot. pp. 70, 80; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 271.)  From this notice it would appear that the repairs made on Dunfermline Church between the years 1563-64 were superficial and unsatisfactory.  (See Article, “Repair. Kirk,” Annals, date 1563.)

  CONFIRMATION CHARTER OF KING JAMES VI. in favour of the Burgh of Dunfermline, 15888.—When James VI. became of age in 1588, he granted a Confirmation Charter to the burgh, confirming the gifts, privileges, &c., bestowed on the burgh by three of the Abbots:  by Robert, in 1322; John, in 1395; and George, in 1549.  These three Charters are incorporated in this Confirmation Charter.  (See also Annals of Dunf. dates 1322, 1395, and 1549.)  Writers hitherto, when referring to Dunfermline as a burgh, have asserted that this Charter of Confirmation of James VI. constituted Dunfermline a royal burgh! Which is evidence sufficient that they had never seen this Charter.  If they had, they would have seen that it was simply a Charter of Confirmation—not one of erection.  Dunfermline was probably a royal burgh as early as the reign of Alexander I.  (See Annals of Dunfermline, dates inter 1112-1130, &c.)  The original Charter in Latin, along with an indifferent English translation of it, is to be found in the Charter Chest of the burgh.  The writer intended at one time to give a more correct translation, but on further consideration,  he resolved to give a transcript of the burgh translation, which had been so long acknowledged and in legal use.  The Charter is a long one and as it has never been printed before the present time, it cannot fail to be interesting to many of our readers:--

  James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots, to all the honest men of his whole realm, Clergy and Laick, Greeting,--Beit known as now, after out perfect and lawful age of Twenty-one years complete in our Parliament, Declared, and General Revocation made to that effect, To have ratified, approven, and confirmed a certain Donation and Confirmation, made, given, and granted by the deceased George Durie, Commendator of the Monastery of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, to our Lovite, the Provost, Bailies, Council, and Community of the Burgh of Dunfermline, and their Successors, Ratifying and Approving particular Donations, Concessions, Confirmations, Indentures, and Renovations, made and granted to them by their predecessors, Concerning the Community after specified, and other privileges and liberties after-mentioned:  To wit, a Charter, Donation, and Concession, made, given, and granted to them by the deceased Robert, Abbot of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, of the Common Muir, from the divisions of Walterselis as far as the straight marches or meiths (boundaries) of Beedgall in length, and from our highway to Perth and from the marches or boundaries of Creenanch as far as the straight divisions of Tulch in Breadth, with the great moss contained in the said muir, and with a certain piece of ground from our highway to Perth as far as the Bank of Moncur, betwixt to Sycheta, which run in a straight line from Moncur as far as our highway to Perth, as much as the breadth of Moncur is extended along the said land:  Item, a Charter, Concession, and Donation, made, given, and granted tothem by the deceased John, by the Grace of God, Abbot of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, regarding the Merchant Guildry, with all the liberties rights, commodities, and Easements belonging to a free-merchant Guildry, or that may any way of right pertain to them, together with the houses anciently pertaining to the said Guildry, and an Indenture, made at Dunfermline the tenth day of October, One thousand three hundred and ninety-five years, betwixt the Venerable Father John, Abbot of the Monastery of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, on the other part, anent the Letting and Demittingin feu ferm to the said Elderman and Community the Heall Incomes of the said Burgh belonging to their revenue, with the small Cuntoms, Stallages, and profits of Courts and whole burgh, in full freedom, with all their commodities, orders, Rights, Privileges, and Easements whatever, belonging to the said Burgh, or that may in any time coming any way happen to belong to them, Being at our command seen, read, inspected, and diligently examined and fully understood by us to be whole, entire, unerazed, uncancelled, and not to be suspected in any part, in manner following:  To all and Sundry, the sons of the holy Mother Church, by whom these presents or charter shall be inspected, seen read, and heard, George Durie, by divine permission, archdeacon of the metropolitan and Principal Church of St. Andrews, principal and perpetual Commendator of the Monastery of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, of the Order of St. Benedict, of the Diocese of St. Andrews.—Greeting, in him who is the true and sure Saviour of All Mankind, on account of the excellent merits of our Lovites in Christ, the Honourable the present Provost, Bailies, Council. Curgesses, and Community of the Burgh of Dunfermline, by which they, after the manner of their progenitors and acestors, are known to be famous, Truly deserve that, tracing our predecessors’ footsteps:  We observe with the greatest Attention their petitions, Especially those Relating to the Cultivation of Justice and Benign Government, and quiet state of our Burgh and its Inhabitants, and more especially the preservation and maintaining of the Rights, liberties, and privileges cautiously granted at former times by our predecessors to our said Burhg and Community for that time and all times coming, and as far as by divine assistance we are able, let us favourable assist them, and, regarding our own interest. Let us with steady resolution and good-will confirm these things which were prudently managed and granted by our predecessors, that they may for ever be kept pure:  Truly, a petition lately exhibited to us on the part of the present Provost, Bailies, Council, Burgesses, and Community of our said Burgh of Dunfermline, of the said diocese of St. Andrews, Contained that the several privileges, immunities, Liberties, favours, and concessions, given and confirmed respectively to the said Burgh and their Provost or Elderman, Bailies, Council, Burgesses, and Community foresaid, for the time being, By the Lords Robert and John, of ever blessed memory, while they were Abbots of our said Monastery and Convent thereof, and perhaps freely granted by our other predecessors, and Given and Confirmed by their Charters and Indentures, under the great Common Seal of our said Monastery, are as follows:  To all men who shall see or hear this Charter, Robert, by divine permission, Abbot of Dunfermline and Convent of the said place, -- Humbly wisheth eternal safety in the Lord:  Be it know, we according to our usual custom, and after diligent reasoning in our Chapter, for the benefit of our house, have given, granted, and by this our present charter confirmed to the community of our said Burgh of Dunfermline and Burgesses thereof, our Common Muir, from the division of Walterselis as far as the straight marches or meiths (boundaries) of the Beedgall in length, Reserving to us our great moss (Petary) of Beedgall; and from the highway to Perth, and from the marches or meiths (boundaries) of Creenanch even to the straight divisions of Tulch in Breadth, with the great moss (Petary) contained in the said muir; and with a cerrain piece of ground from the highway to Perth as far as the Bank of Moncur, betwixt two Sycheta, which run in a straight line from Moncur as far as the highway to Perth, as much as the breadth of Moncur is extended along the said land,--to be had and holden by the foresaid Community and Burgesses for the time being for ever, as fully, freely, quietly, honourably, well, and in peace, with all the Easements belonging to the said muir of whatever king, as aforesaid, as well herbage as foggage, to be used and kept for themselves and feeding their Bestial:  Paying, therefore, the said Community and Burgesses, to us and our successors yearly, at the feast of the translation of the blessed Queen Margaret, one pair of white Paris gloves, or six pence Sterling, good and Lawful money, in augmentation of ferm to us and our Monastery, by the said Burgesses of the Burgage of our Burgh, with their Rights yearly, according to use and wont:  In testimony whereof, we have appended the seal of our Chapter, the Chapter being Witnesses:  To all by whom this present Chapter shall be Seen or Read, John, by the Grace of God, Abbot of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, humbly wisheth eternal safety in the Lord:  Be it known that we, with the unanimous consent and assent of our chapter, have given, granted, and, by this our present Charter, Confirmed for us and our Successors to our burgesses of Dunfermline,--Those, to wit, who now are Guild Brethren, and their heirs for ever, and our other Burgesses, received by our said Burgesses and their heirs into the guildry, or in future to be received into the Merchant Guildry, with all other liberties, rights, commodities, and Easements belonging to a free merchant Guildry, or that may in any way of right belong to them:  Together with the houses anciently pertaining to the said Guildry,--Salvo jure cujuslibet,--to be had and holden by our said Burgesses and their heirs of us and our successors in venditiones et emptiones (sales and purchases),-- and (the whole) all other premises, as freely, quietly, honourably, well and in peace as any other Burgesses of our Lord the King has, hold, and possesses the privilege of guildry in any Burghs of our said Sovereign Lord, Reserving to us and our obedientiaries, and their officers, for our use and the use of our obedientiaries, the Emptions and other things formerly in use, Justice Intervening:  In testimony whereof, the common seal of our Chapter is appended to this present Charter, the Chapter being witnesses:  This Indenture, made at Dunfermline, the Tenth day of October, one thousand three hundred and ninety-five, Betwixt the Venerable Father John Abbot of the Monastery of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, on the one part, and the Elderman and Community of the Burgh of Dunfermline on the other part, fully witnesseth, that the said Lord Abbot and Convent have let, and in firm for ever demitted, to the foresaid Elderman and Community the whole incomes of the said Burgh belonging to their revenue, with the small  Customs, stallages, and profits of Courts and the whole Burgh, in full liberty, with all their Commodities, orders, right, and easements whatsoever belonging to the said Burgh, or that may any ways for the future belong to them as freely in All and by all as any Burgesses holds, has or possesses in feu-firm, in any burgh in the said kingdom of our said Lord the King, Reserving to the said Lord Abbot and Convent the Lands in the said Burgh, purchased or to be purchased through the Chamberlain-heir and yearly pensions due to the Monastery out of the several lands of the said Burgh, with the Chastisement of the Bailies as often as they, or any of them, shall fail in the doing or exercising justice:  For which things above granted, the foresaid Elderman and Community shall pay yearly, in all time coming, to the said religious Lords, Thirteen merks usual money, at the four usual terms in the year, by equal portions, without delay, debate, dole, or bad design; and if it shall happen them to fail in payment of the fore-mentioned sum, either in part or in whole, at the foresaid terms of payment, which God, forbid, they bind themselves that all the goods belonging to the Community, which failing in part or in whole, the goods of every individual and their possessions, shall be at the will of the said Religious Lords, to be provided, taken, and distrained until the damage and expense of the said sum be fully satisfied and paid, if the foresaid Religious Lords shall have sustained or suffered, the one or the other, by the fore-mentioned occasion of payment not made at any of the terms of payment above specified:  In testimony of all which the common seal of the Burgh of Dunfermline is appended to that part of this indenture in the keeping of the said Religious Lords, the Abbot and Convent; and the Common seal of the Chapter of the said Religious Lords is appended to that part in the keeping of the said Elderman and Community, day, place, and year above written ; and as the same petition conclude that if the foresaid Charters and Indentures, and liberties, rights and privileges expressed in them, and by our predecessors freely given and granted to the said Elderman, Burgesses, and Community as aforesaid, were by us, for us and our successors, Abbot or Commendators and Convent of our said Monastery for the time being, and canonically entering, Approven, Ratified, Confirmed, and Innovate, and of new granted for their continual preservation, The so doing would very much tend to the conservation of the commonwealth of our said Burgh of Dunfermline, and to the profit and advantage of the Provost, Bailies, Council, Burgesses, and Community thereof, for now and all time coming:  Wherefore, on the part of the present Provost, Bailies, Council, Burgesses, and Community of our said Burgh of Dunfermline, it was humbly begged of us that we would add the strength of the Confirmation of the privileges, immunities, liberties, favours, donations, and concessions foresaid for their more sure subsistence, lest the Charters, Letters, and Indentures foresaid, some time or other, become unintelligible on accompt of their oldness, and, beside, that we of our own good will and bounty would honour them so far as seasonably to take care of the premises, We therefore, desiring that the privileges, immunities, liberties, favours donations and concessions foresaid may become firmly observed, the rather that they evidently seem to be approven of with the same deliberation with which they were granted, are inclined favourably to listen to their petitions:  Therefore we, after mature deliberation and long reasoning on the premises, in the Chapter of the said monastery, met in Chapter with unanimous consent and assent of our own proper knowledge and deliberate mind, and with every better manner, way, form, right, and cause by which we may and ought the better and more efficaciously to do the same for us and our Successors, canonically entering for preservation thereof by these presents, approve, confirm and innovate all and sundry privileges, immunities, liberties, favours, donations, and concessions above inserted, granted by Robert and John, Abbots of Dunfermline and Convent thereof, our predecessors, with all and sundry clauses and decreets therein contained, together the above narrated letters, Charters, and Indentures, and whatever is therein contained; and these things which were granted by our predecessors foresaid, we of new allow to obtain perpetual strength, and decern the same to be inviolably observed; and we, by the tenor hereof, supply all and sundry degects of rights or deeds, if any have crept in , anything to the contruary notwithstanding.__In testimony whereof, the common seal of our chapter is appended, with our handwriting, at our foresaid Monastery of Dunfermlyne, the second day of August, one thousand five hundred and forty nine, before these witnesses:  The venerable, honourable, and discreet men, viz.,  Master ABRAHAM CHREICHTOUN, Provost of Dunglas and Official of St. Andrews, within the Archdeaconry of Laudonie; ROBERT DURY of that ilk, principal bailie of the Regality of Dunfermline;  ROBERT STEWART, younger, Laird of Rossyth; DAVID MARTINE, of Cardven; JOHN BETOUN, of Capildray; also the Messrs. And Lords WILLIAM MURRAY, Treasurer of Dunblane;JOHN LAWDER, Archdean of Tweeddale; ADAM KINGORNE, Vicar of Linton; and JOHN COUPAR and THOMAS MALCOLM, Chaplains and Notaries Public, with several others.”

  “Which donation, confirmation, and indenture foresaid we approve, ratify, and for us and our successors confirm in all its points, articles, conditions, ways, and circumstances whatsoever, in all and by all forms and to the effects above written:  Also, we ratify, approve, and for us and our successors confirm all and sundry the foresaid infeftments, concessions donations indentures, and renovations made, given, and granted by the foresaid commendators and convent of the Monastery of Dunfermline for the time being, to the foresaid Elderman, Provosts, Bailies, Council, and community of the said burgh and their successors, concerning the foresaid commonty and common muir, with all other privileges and liberties, whatsoever therein mentioned and contained, in the which they and their predecessors have been in free possession in all time bygone past the memory of man, In all and sundry points, heads articles, clauses, and conditions whatsoever then specified and contained:  Moreover, we for the good faithful, and gratuitous service performed to us and our predecessors by the foresaid Provost, Bailies, Council, and Community of the said burgh of Dunfermline and their predecessors, from our certain knowledge and proper motive, of new give, grant, and dispond, and by the tenor of this our present charter, give grant, and dispone to the said Provost, Bailies, Council, and Community of our said burgh of Dunfermline and their successors the foresaid commonty and common muir, together with all other and sundry privileges, liberties, and commodities above specified, with all right, title, and interest which we, our predecessors and successors had, have or any way may have or claim for the future, to be peaceably and inviolably enjoyed and possessed by them and their successors in all time coming, and as freely in all respects and conditions as any other their predecessors held or possessed the said town:  In testimony whereof we have appended our great seal to be affixed to this our present Charter of Confirmation, before these witnesses:  Our well-beloved cousins and Councillors JOHN, Lord HAMIILTON, and Commendator of the Monastery of Aberbrothick; ARCHIBALD, Earl of ANGUS, Lord DOUGLAS-DALKEITH, and ABERNETHY; and Sir JOHN MAITLAND, of Thirlstane, Knight, our Chancellor and Secretary; the Venerable and Most Reverend Fathers in Christ, PATRICK, Archbishop of St. Andrews; and WALTER, Prior of Blantyre, Keeper of our Privy Seal; our well-beloved familiar Councillors ALEXANDER HAY, of East Kennet, Clerk of our Registers and Council; LODVICK BALLENDEN, of Auchnoull, Knight, our Fusticiary Clerk; and Mr. ROBERT SCOTT, Feuar, of Knightispotty, Director of our Chancery at Holyrood House;--The twenty-fourth day of May, one thousand five hundred and eighty-eight years, and of our reign the twenty-first year.”

  ROYAL GRANTS for Holding Public Fairs in Dunfermline.—James VI., by Charter, conferred on the Burgh of Dunfermline “the right and privilege” of holding public fairs—one upon March 1st and the other on September 14th annually.  This deed or Charter is dated 11th Feb., 1588.  Signed and sealed by the King.  (Burgh Charter Chest.)  Shortly afterwards another Writ or Charter was issued by the King, signed and sealed, for the holding of annual fairs on July 20th and October 22nd; these to continue for three days, with a weekly market on . . . . . . and to uplift the tolls and customs thereof, and apply the same to their own proper use.  (Burgh Charter Chest; vide also Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 475.)

  1589.—MORNING GIFT of the Lordship of Dunfermline, &c., to Queen Anne.—The Abbey and adjacent building at Dunfermline having been exempted from the General Annexation, &c., of 1587, King James VI., on the morning after his marriage with Anne of Denmark, at Upsal, in Norway , made a present to her of one of the royal houses at Dunfermline as a “Morning Gift”—an ancient custom prevailing in the north in these times.  (Fernie’s Hist. Dunf. p. 80; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 105; see also Annals, date 1593.)

  BURHG MATRIX, SEAL, &c.—There is not notice of this seal in the Burgh or in the Guildry Records.  Therefore, where made, by whom made, and its date, cannot be ascertained.  It has been conjectured that it would likely be made about the year 1589, the year after the date of the Confirmation Charter of King James VI.: and as there were no artists in this country who could undertake to engrave it properly, it has been thought that it would most likely be made in Holland, where the Manual Seal was made.  (See Annals, date 1670.)  “The Common Seal of the Burgh” in use previous to the Matrix Seal, appears, from the impressions from it in wax attached to some old charters, to have been nearly worn out, and hence the necessity of a new one about 1589.  The Burgh Matrix Seal is made of iron, and consists of two thick circular discs, 21/4 inches in diameter, moveable on two upright rods of the same material.  On the face of one of the discs the Burgh Arms is engraved; on the other is represented St. Margaret, the old Patron Saint of the burgh.  (See An. Dunf. date 1493, &c.)  Round the edges are appropriate mottoes, as shown in the following full-size engravings of them:--

  Referring to the old worn-out Seal of the burgh (see Annals, date 1395), you will observe that the words “COMMUNITATIS DE DUNF . . . . LING” are engraven on it.   On this Matrix Seal the words CIVITATIS FERMILODVNI are substituted.  This Latin name of Dunfermline, as on the Seal, appears to have been introduced by the celebrated George Buchanan about the year 1583 (see Buch. Hist. Scot.); and as Dunfermline is designated a “City” in old deeds, &c. (see An. Dunf. date 1578), this new legend signifies City of Dunfermline.  As Fermilodvni does not occur in any deed, charter, or printed book before 1583, we must conclude that the Matrix Seal of the burgh of Dunfermline was made and put to use after that date; and those who have supposed that it was made in 1589, immediately after King James VI. granted his Confirmation Charter to the burgh, are most probably correct.  It may be mentioned that after 1583, “Fermilodvni” cones frequently into notice: 1st, It is to be found on the tomb of Secretary Robert Pitcairn, in the nave of Dunfermline Abbey; he died 1584.  (See An. Dunf. date 1584.)  2nd, On a marble monument of the Seton family, in Seton Church, Tranent, are the words, “Fermelinodvnum Comes et Regni Scotić factus est Cancellaruis,” in allusion to the first Earl of Dunfermline and his status.  3rd, In 1821, while repairs were being made in Dalgety Church, Fifeshire, a closed vault was discovered, in which were six coffins; one of these, from the inscription on it, contained the remains of the Earl—viz.,  “Alexander Setonius, Fermelinoduni Comes, Scotić Cancellaruis, “ &c.  (See Annals, date 1622.)  4th, On an old tombstone, erected by Rev. Ralph Erskine in 1728, now removed, were “Mag. Radalphus Erskine. Pastor Fermill-dunensis,” &c., which comes from the same root as the above.  Civitatis Fermiloduni and Civitatis Dunfermlinensis are equivalents, differing only  in the arrangement of the syllable.  (See An. Dunf. date 1670.)

  DESCRIPTION OF THE MATRIX SEAL OF THE BURGH OF DUNFERMLINE.—About 30 years ago we applied to the late Wm. Anderson, Esq., Marchmont Herald, Register House, Edinburgh, for a heraldic description of this Seal, and he politely sent us the following:--

  “The achievement—as represented in the annexed engraving, from a wax impression of Dunfermline, Matrix Seal—may be read or blazoned as follows, viz.:  Azure, a tower set on four steps, with a pyramidical roof, topped with a ball, above an indented battlement; Argent masoned Sable, having a square window of four compartments over an arched gate, both Gules; on each side of the tower a lion rampant-affrontee of the second (Argent).  The achievement is encircled with an edged belt or scroll, inscribed with these words,

FERMILODVNI · SIGILLVM · CIVITATIS ·

Which signifies unquestionably ‘The Seal of the City of Dunfermline.’  The upright lines in the field would likewise indicate Gules, but they appear to be broken, to give the effects of a sky with clouds or Azure.  This side is the same in the double Seal, with the exception in the latter of a small wicket or window of four pieces in the gate and nebule work, instead of indented, around the battlement of the tower, as also an interior circle, with the words,

ESTO · RVPES · INACCESSA ·

which means: Let this be an inaccessible Rock.

  “The obverse side of the double Seal of Dunfermline represents a female figure standing within as antique niche, or double canopied recess, set upon four steps, crowned with the ancient crown of Scotland, (It is very probable that the “canopied recess” of the Marchmont Herald is simply a rude representation of St. Margaret’s Shrine in the Abbey choir.  The herss, or canopy, of St. Margaret’s Altar, as also the lights (lichts), or candles, are frequently mentioned in the Burgh Records between the years 1480 and 1501.  (See An. Dunf. date 1250; also Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. pp. 4, 5, where a similar description of the Matrix Seal will be found in connection with the elucidation of the designation “City of Dunfermline.”  Also, An. Dunf. date 1670, for description of the Manual Seal of the burgh.) which then merely showed points, and supporting over her dexter shoulder a sceptre, tipped at the upper end with a fleur-de-lis, the sinister hand resting on her waist.  The niche is placed between two antique candlesticks, with candles inflamed, and around the device is an edged belt or scroll, having thereon these words,

S · MARGARETA · REGINA · SCOTORVM ·

Which is in reference to Saint Margaret Queen of Scotland, and wife of King Malcolm III. (Canmore).  We have this Queen’s arms—namely, the lion of Scotland—flowered and counter-flowered with fleur-de-lis, impaled with those of her paternal family, and place within a lozenge (Vide Sir David Lindsay’s Heraldic MS. P. 21), and which has a compartment underneath, with these words:  ‘Sanct Margaret Queyne off Scotland.’”

St. Margaret was, in “the days of the Abbey,” the Patron Saint of Dunfermline, and the burgh were the proprietors and patrons of St. Margaret’s Altar, in the Abbey.  (See notes on this Altar, in the Annals of Dunf. between dates 1480-1501.)  Hence the reason for the town having an image of St. Margaret, and the probable representation of her Canopied Altar, with lights, on the obverse of the Seal.

  1590.—THE QUEEN WAS INFEFT IN THE LORDSHIP OF DUNFERMLINE.—“Anna, Queen of Scotland, was infeft, and gat possession of the Lordshippe of Dunfermling, 17th May, 1590.”  (13th Parliament of James VI., Edinburgh, 21st July, 1593; Murray’s Laws and Acts Parl. vol. ii. p. 681.)  Moyse, in his Memoirs of Scotland, notes—“Upon the 12th of the said month of May, Peter Monk, admiral of Denmark, Stephen Bra (it has been supposed that this Stephen Bra was brother of the celebrated Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe), Braid Ransome, and Henry Goodlister, with some other Danes, rode towards Falkland, Dunfemrline, and Linlithgow, to take seizing in the Queen’s Majesty’s name of these three lordshippes as her dowry.””  (Moyse’s Mem. Scot. p. 169.)

  WILLIAM SCHAW AND THE QUEEN’S HOUSE, DUNFERMLINE.—“William Schaw, Maister of Wark,” in May 1590, received Ł400 “by his Majesty’s precept, for reparation of the house at Dunfermling befoir Queenis Majesties passing thereto.”  (Vide History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, and published 1873, p. 54.)  This must be understood to be the Queen’s jointure-house, which of old stood on the same spot as the new one built in 1600.  (See Annals of Dunf. date 1600.)

  “THE DANISH AMBASSADOR, named in the foregoing, after the infeftment business was completed, dined in the Palace of Dunfermling.”  (Moyse’s Mem. Scot. p. 169.)

  LADY DUNFERMLINE.—Queen Anne, after her infeftment in the lordship of Dunfermline, became “Lady Dunfermline,” a title she used in her business matters connected with Dunfermline.

  KING JAMES BI. IN DUNFERMLINE.—Moyse, in his Memoirs of Scotland, p. 173, says—“Upon the 2nd July (1590), the Kings’ majesty passedout of Edinburgh to Dunfermline, and from thence to Falkland, to visit these places, and see them prepared for his and the Queen’s resort there.”

  “ANNA, THE QUEEN IN DUNFERMLINE.—Moyse, continues—“And about the 12th the Queen’s Majesty passed out of Holyrood House to Dunfermling, where she remained a short space.”  (Moyse’s Mem. Scot. p. 173.)  This was the Queen’s first visit to Dunfermline.  It would appear from the following note,that their Majesties and retinue sojourned in Dunfermline at this time for upwards of two months, viz.:--“From 18th day of July, 1590, inclusive, to 26th September, inclusive in the moneth complit for aucht fedder beddis furneist to the Palace of Dunfermling, to the Strangers in his Majesties company: for ilk bed in the nicht ijs.  Inde, during the same space, iv. .li. iiiiD.  Item: for furneising of six chalmeris in the toun, with twa nichtlie for everie chalmer, coille and candill thairto; takand nichtlie for everie chalmer, vjs. viijd.  Inde, jc. xxx. li.”  (Papers Relative to the Marriage of King James VI., &c., Bam. Club Edit. 1828, Appen. Ii. p. 20.) 

  THE KING AND QUEEN again Visit Dunfemrline.—Their Majesties passed again to Dunfermline about the end of September, and from thence they went to Edinburgh.  (Moyse’s Mem. Scot. p. 173.)

  1591.—A “DUNFERMLINE WITCH!” or “Wise Woman of Dunfermline.”—An old tradition notifies that this “wise woman” had an “extensive renown” and helped to “raise the terrible storm at sea on the return of King James VI. from his matrimonial expedition from Denmark to Leith.”  By some overlook, “she escaped being drownit.”  She was alive, and plying “her calling” in Dunfermline in 1591.  She is noticed in a remarkable “witch trial” this year, viz., of Euphame Macalyane.  Euphame was tried on 19th June this year, and amongst the many accusations brought against her was, that she had consulted a woman in Dunfermline, how to obtain her husband’s love, otherwise to be avenged on him, &c.  (Dal. “Darker Superstitions of Scotland,” p. 202.)

  GRAMMER SCHOOL.—At the period James Dalgleish was headmaster of the Grammar School of Dunfermline, and Robert Durie was his doctor, or assistant.  (Kirk Ses. Rec.; also An. Dunf. date 1598.)

  MURDER OF THE EARL OF MORAY BY THE OCMMENDATOR OF DUNFERMLINE.—The Earl of Huntly, the sworn enemy of the Earl of Moray, had for some time past been watching an opportunity to slay him, to satisfy some private revenge he had against him.  Wood, in his History of the Peerage, (vol. ii. pp. 258, 259), referring to this murder, says—“Huntly, on the 7th February, 1592-2, on the pretence that Moray had been engaged with Bothwell and his associates, the King’s enemies, invested the house of Dunibirsel, and set it on fire.  Dunbar, Sheriff of Moray, who was in the house at the time, said to the Earl of Moray, ‘I will go out at the gate before your lordship, and you shall come after me.’  Dunbar accordingly came forth, and ran desperately on Huntly’s men, by whom he was presently slain.  During this the Earl of Moray came out, and retreated among the rocks on the sea-side; but unfortunately his knapskull tippet, whereon was a silk string, had taken fire, which betrayed him to his enemies in the darkness of the night, himself not knowing the same; they came down on him on a sudden, and cruelly murdered him.””  This is recorded in Histories of Scotland, and the victim is known as “the bonnie Earl of Moray.”  (See Wood’s Peerage; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. pp. 226, 227, &c.)  This deed is a dark spot in the annals of Dunfermline.  Dunibirsel is about eight miles south-east of Dunfermline. 

  1592.—JAMES MURRAY, of Perdewis, was a man of considerable note in his day, and held the lands of Perdewis, south of the nether-town of Dunfermline.  He was indicted along with the Earls of Mar, Angus, and other noblemen, in the affair of the “Raid of Stirling.”  He had, along with others in this conspiracy, to fly the country.  He obtained pardon for “the offence,” in 1684; and died on his estate on 28th September, 1592, and was interred in Dunfermline, where his tombstone is to be seen in a lumber corner, near the south tower of the Church, having inscribed on it—

“MEMENTO · MORI · HONORABILIS · VIRI  · JACOBI · MVRRAVII · DE ·  PERDWS
MONVMENTVM  · QVI · OBIT.  28 SEPT. 1592.”

(See Chal. Hist. of Dunf. vol. ii. p. 150; also Annals of Dunfermline, date 1526.)

  THE EARL OF HUNTLY, Late Commendator of Dunfermline, who had been imprisoned in Blackness Castle for the murder of the Earl of Moray, was discharged from prison without trial this year, to the great discontent of the King.  Immediately after his release he resumed his former treasonable practices, and was denounced a rebel in 1592, but restored to favour in 1597.  (See that date An. Dunf.; Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. ii. p. 227.)

  THE MORNING GIFT of Dunfermline Lordship bestowed on Anna of Denmark, at Upsal, in Norway, by King James VI., on the morning after his marriage to her, was ratified and confirmed by the Parliament holden at Edinburgh, 5th June, 1592.  (See An. Dunf. dates 1589-90, &c.; also, vide Murray’s Acts of Parl. 5th June, 1592.)

  THE COMMENDATORSHIP OF DUNFERMLINE ABBEY ABOLISHED.—Henry Pitcairn (of that ilk), the fourth and last Commendator of Dunfermline Abbey, by virtue of the General Act of Annexation, delivered into the hands of the Queen the office of Commendator.  Mr. William Shaw (Master of the King’s Work) was appointed Chamberlain of the Queen’s Rents of the newly created Lordship, &c.

  1593.—RATIFICATION of the Annexation of the Abbey of Dunfermline to the Crown:--

    “Item.—Because it is understood that the poverty of the Crown is the special cause of the poverty of the realm and inhabitants thereof, and that the patrimony of the Cown being augmented it is great weill and profite baithe of the King his Grace and his lieges; therefore our Soveraine Lord, with consent of his Estaite, unites, annexes, and incorporates to the Crown of the realme, to remaine therewith as property, annexed patrimony and property thereof, in all times cumming, and with our Soveraine Lord and his successors for ever:  All and haill, the landes, parkes, fischinges, tounes, villages, burrowes, regalities, customes, great and small feu-ferms, places, houses, biggings, castles, toures, manour-places, zairdes, orchards, kirkes, teinds great and small, furites, rentes, emoluments, and profites quhatsumever, tennentes, tennenctries, and service of free tennentes als weill to burgh as land quhilk is in ony manner of way pertained or may perteine to the Abbey or Monastery of Dunfermling, lyand upon the north side of the water of Forth allanerly; to be in all times hereafter repute and halden the property and patrimony of the Crown; to remain therewith in all times cumming, after the forme, tenour, and ordour of the Acts of Annexation, maid in the tyme of our Soveraine Lordis predecessoures, King James the Second and King James the Fifth, and conforme to all the clauses, conditions, and circumstances thereof, quhilkes in all points are halden and understood as expressed and specially conteined in this present Act, in all tyme hereafter.  It is likewise declaired, that in the said annexation of the temporall landes of the foresaide Abbacy of Dunfermling, lyand upon the north side of the water of Forth, or nawayes comprehended, the Barronies of Brunt-iland, alias Wester King-horne, and Newbirne, with annexes and connexes thereof, quhilkes pertained to the said Abbacy of Dumfermling of before, and lyes upon the north side of the water of Forth; and quhairin Sir Robert Malvill, of Murdocarny, Knight; and Sir Robert Malvill, his eldest sonne, and appeared aire; and Andro Wood, of Largo, were infeft respective.  And, furder, our said Soveraine Lord and his Estaites willis and declairis, that the said barronies, with their annexes and connexes, sall remaine in tyme coming as separate baronies, and na-wayes to be comprehended in the said annexation; with speciall provisione that all the teinds of the said landes and Lordship of Dumfermling sall be understood, be virtue of this Act, annexed to the Crown, after forme and tenoure of the said generall Acot of Annexation, maid in the zeire of God 1587 zeires, and all the teinds of the remnaint prelacies and kirk-landes of thys realme, or annexed to the Crowne.  It is always declairede be our said Soveraine Lord and his Estaites of Parliament that the Lordship and Barronies of Musselburgh Schire, with annexes and connexes, free regalitie, partes and pendicles of the samine, ar nocht comprehended in ony of the said annexation; or sall not be comprehended in ony annexation to follow thereafter, because the said lordshippe and baronies, with annexes and connexes, free regalitie, partes and pendicles of the samine, being ane pairt of the patromonie of the said Abbacy of Dunfermling, was excepted furth of the first generall annexation of the kirk landes to the Crown; and John, Lord of Thirlestane, Chancellar to our Soveraine Lord, and Dame Jane Fleming, his spouse, for them and all thaire aires, were heritably infeft therein:  Quhilkis lordshippe, and barronie they have laitly resigned in our said Soveraine Lordis hands, for infeftment of lyfe-rent thereof, given to the Queenis Majestie for all the dayes of her Heines lyfe-tyme:  And for ane uther infeftment of heritable fee thereof. Given to the said John Lork Thirlestane, Chancellar foresaide, his said spouse, and their aires maill and of talzie heritable:  Quhilkis infeftmentes our said Soveraine Lord, with advice and consent of his foresaide Estaites, ratifyes and confirms be thair presentis; and for his Hienes and his successoures, willis and grantes that the samine stand in full force, steed, and effect, in all tyme hereafter:  And ordaines the said new infeftment given to the said John Lord Thirlestane, his spouse, and thair aires foresaides, to be infeft in the buikes of Parliament gif neede beis.”  (13th Parliament of James VI., holden at Edin. 21st July, 1593; Murray’s Laws and Acts Parli. vol. i. pp. 677-0.)

  ACT OF THE “NEW GIFTES OF DUMFERMLINE, with the Monkes Portiones, to the Queenis Majestie”:--

    “Item.—Our Soveraine Lord, with consent of his saides Estaites, havand consideration that his Hienes heand in Upsto, in Norway, the twenty-foure day of November, the zeire of God ane thousand five hundredth four score nine zeires, for diverse occassiones moving him, gave and disponed to his dearest spouse, Anna Queen of Scottes, all and haill the Lord-shippe and Barronies of Dumfermline, with all landes, tounes, manour-places, milnes, multures thereof, lyand on the north side of the water of Forth, to be bruiked and possessed be her for all the sayes of hir lyfe-tyme, as at mair length is conteined in the saide gift of the dait foresaid; and now willing that his said dearest spouse sall bruik and joyis the said gift for all the dayis of hir lyfe-tyme, according to the teneure thereof, and to the promise maid to him and his saidis Estaites, to his dearest brother Christianus, the fourth of that name, King of Denmark; therefore, our Soveraine Lord, with consent aforesaid, confirms, retifies, and appreives the said gift, charter, and leasing following thereupon, and all and sindry heades and articles conteined thairin; and promises faithfully to observe, keep, and fullfil, and cause the samine to be keepid, observed, and fulfilled.  Mairover, for the causes foresaides, our Soveraine Lord, with consent of the saides Estaites, gives and dispones of new to his said Lordship of Dunfermeline, lyand as saide is, with all landes, baronies, places, houses, biggings, castles. Toures. Fortalices, manour-places, zairdes, orchardis, milnes, woodes, fischinges, kirkes, teinds great and small, fruites, rentes, emoluments pertaining thereto, with power of jurisdictione of regalitie of the same, for all the zeires and termes of her lyfe-tyme.  And likewise all monkes portiones pertaining to the said Abbacy, to be bruiked be her induring the said tyme; and to be peaceably intrometted with be her gactoures and chalmerlanes in her name, als freely as our Soveraine Lord may bruike and possesse the same, be reason of the annexation foresaid; or as ony Abbot or Commendator hes bruiked or possessed the same in ony tyme by-gane; and to that effect our Soveraine Lord, with consent foresaid, causes, retreatis, rescindes, and annullis all and sindrie giftes and dispositions of monkes portiones pertaining to the same Abbacy, maid and given be his Hienesse to quhat-sumever person or persones, to quhat-sumever cause or occasion, before the daye and dait of this present Act of  Constitution.”  (13th Parliament of James VI., holden at Edinburgh 25th July, 1593, cap. 193; Murray’s Laws and Acts of Parliament, vol. ii. p. 680.)

  Note.—There is another Act, entitled, “Act concerning the Queenis Majestie’s richt to the Thrid of Dunfermelin, and compensation for sa meikle as presently wants thereof.”  This Act is signed, “Sic subscribitur, JAMES R., ANNA R.”  It occupies several pages, and is therefore omitted.  (See Murray’s Laws and Acts of Parliament, vol. ii. pp. 680-686; 13th Parliament of James VI., holden at Edinburgh, 21st July, 1593.)

  1594.—THE AULD KIRK STEEPLE AND PORCH-DOOR, &C., COMMENCED BUILDING.—The old “bell-tower,” which stood on the site of the present steeple, was partially destroyed by the “the Reformers,” along with other parts of the ancient edifice, on 28th March, 1560.  In 1564 a kind of a patching repair was made on the old tower, and parts adjacent.  In 1587 the abbey (Auld Kirk) was, with some exceptions annexed to the Crown, and, in consequence thereof, it was thought that the Crown should put the whole of the western part of the kirk in thorough repair.  In 1588 the ruinous state of Dunfermline Church, along with other churches in the country, was brought under the notice of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, but, as far as Dunfermline Church was concerned, nothing appears to have come out of the deliberation.  In 1593 the annexation of the Kirk was duly confirmed, and thus became legal Crown property forever.  The Church, &c., was now ordered to be thoroughly repaired, under the direction of Mr. William Schaw as Master of the Works.  Instead of a tower, a steeple of fine proportions was built; a porch was built against the north door.  The upper part of the western gable of the nave was taken down and rebuilt; a porch was built; a few of the uncouth buttresses were built as supports of the north and south walls of the nave, the interior at the same time being substantially repaired and fitted up for the burgh and parish as a place of worship.  With a few helps at different periods, the Auld Kirk continued in use until September,1821, when the present new Eastern Church became the place of worship.  The renovation of the Church appears to have been commenced some time in 1594, and finished in 1599.  The work of repair was carried on very slowly. Many have been led to conclude that—as the stones of the steeple, porch, &c., were apparently as old as those of the old Kirk—the steeple and porch could not have been built in 1594-1599.  In answer to this objection, it may be noted that the ruins of the great Eastern Church were at hand, and would become the quarry from which stones would be obtained, either for plain building purposes, or for ornamentation.  These remarks are principally based on notes, taken from General Hutton’s MSS., Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh, and from an old MS. By David Inglis, wright, who was an elder in Dunfermline Church (circa 1730-1750), and who noted down a great many curious particulars, which occurred in his time.  In 1826 the writer extracted several items out of it for Mercer’s History of Dunfermline.  This old manuscript book has unfortunately been lost; it has not been seen since the death of its possessor, the late Dr.Gibb, Dunfermline, in 1833. 

  REGISTER OF ST. LEONARD’S CHAPEL AND HOSPITAL.—The oldest Register extant of St. Leonard’s Chapel and Hospital begins with date 1594.  It is in possession of the official Almoner, Dunfermline.

  WILLIAM SHAW is mentioned in a deed of this period as being the Queen’s Chamberlain at Dunfermline.  (See Annals, date 1602.)

  1595.—MR. FERGUSON, Minister of Dunfermline, and the King, on Bishops.—Row, the son-in-law of Ferguson, in one of his works, refers to a conversation between the minister and the King on the subject of “Bishops.”  As the conversation is curious, it is here given:--“David”, said James VI. to him one day, “why may not I have bishops in Scotland as well as they have in England?”—“Yea, sir,” replied Ferguson, “ye may have bishops here—but, remember, ye must mak’ us all bishops, else will ye never content us; for if ye set up ten or twelve loons over honest men’s head (honest men will not have your anti-Christian prelacies), and give them more thousands to debauch and misspend than honest men have hundreds or scores, we will never all be content.  We are all Paul’s bishops, sir—Christ’s bishops; haud us as we are.”—“The ae’il hait ails you,” replied the King, “but that ye would all be alike; ye cannot abide ony to be abune you.”—“Sir, said the minister, “do not bam”  (swear).  (Row’s Coronis to his Hist. Kirk Scot. p. 314; M’Crie’s “Life of John Knox,” vol. ii. p. 299, &c.)


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