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Annals of Dunfermline
A.D. 1801 - 1901 - Part 14


  1876.—THE OLD TOWN- HOUSE.—The last town council meeting was held in the old Town House, on Dec. 13, 1875; operations for the removal of the building began on Jan. 21, 1876, and it was entirely cleared away by June, when the New Town House buildings were commenced.  For view of the Town House just removed, see Annals of Dunfermline, dates 1795, 1769, and 1793.  The old private houses on the west side of the kirkgate, and south of the Town House, began to be taken down at the same time.  These houses, five in number, were very common place ones, excepting the one in the centre of the group, which was pended or arched in the under apartment and until 1824, had a pended door way entrance to the Kirkgate; from the time immemorial, this house was known as “the Danish Ambassador’s House.”  (MS Note)

  LITERATURE.—“Lord Musings, by Henry Syme, Dunfermline, Printed and published by A. Romanes, Press Office, New Row.”  This is an elegantly got up 12mo of 252 pages, and contains 109 pieces.

  ORDINATION.—The Rev. William George was ordained minister of Chalmers Street U.P. Church on 28th March, 1876

  VICTORIA STEAM POWER WEAVING FACTORY.—This factory was erected in Grantsbank Street in 1876, and employs about 750 operatives.

  ST. ANDREW’S FREE CHURCH.—The Rev, David Imrie was inducted minister of this church on 20th April, 1876.  He succeeded the Rev. Andrew Bryde, who was inducted in1856.

  ST. MARGARET’S HALL.—The foundation stone of this ornate and commodious hall was laid in June, 1806, and finished in April, 1878.

  THE MEMORIAL TABLET OF LADY AUGUSTA STANLEY.—The memorial of this excellent and pious lady was erected by her husband, the dean of Westminster, on the west wall of the south transept of the Abbey Church, on the 12th August, 1876.

    “It is of Carrara marble, 6 feet high, and 3 feet 3 inches broad, beautifully chiseled by the iron of Miss Grant.  The likeness, in relievo, of the deceased lady is considered a very correct one.  She is represented in the attitude of devotion; the whole expression of the form and features is most impressive.  Under the figure in the following inscription:--‘To the dear memory of Augusta Elizabeth Frederica Bruce, fifth daughter of Thomas, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, and beloved wife of Arthur Penryn Stanley, Dean of Westminster;’ and to the right and left of the figure are sets of pious notanda.”  (Dunfermline Press, 12th August, 1876)  

    NEW TOWN HOUSE.—The foundation stone of the building was laid on Oct. 11, 1876.  A grand Masonic procession took place, and orations were delivered on the occasion.  The foundation stone, according to our note, is located near the foot of the Steeple door (top of Kirkgate), north foot of the door, on a level with the first floor.  The new town house, in November, 1878, is still in an unfinished state.  It is thought that it will not be ready for business until about the month of March, 1879.  (MS)

  THE ERSKINE AND GILLESPIE MONUMENTS.—These monuments were erected between August 25th and September 6th, 1876.

    The monument place over the grave of Erskine, at the south east corner of the old church yard, is in the form of a sarcophagus, and measures 6 feet 6 inches in height and 8 feet by 3 feet 6 inches at the base.  The work is purely classic, and presents a very elegant design; the lower part of the work, which forms the pedestal, rises from a moulded basement, and is enriched with carved rustic coignes, from which are projected inscription panels.  The sarcophagus rests upon a square block, consisting of moulded base, cornice, and die; the cornice and base have carved mouldings.  On the four sides die moulded panels have been introduced and each bearing bas-reliefs, on which are inscriptions relating to the character and work of Erskine, and also of his successors, the Rev. John Smith, Rev. James Husband, D.D., and the Rev. Robert Brow, of St. Margaret’s Church.  On the south side of the die, and immediately above the panel, there is a beautiful alto relievo, showing and arrangement of drapery disposed in easy folds over a clasped Bible, and a number of other books and manuscripts; while at the top appears a laurel wreath, entertwined with an oak branch.  The bas-relief on the north side shows a rustic cross and palm branch, which are most effectively arranged.  The two panels at the end bear the words, “Erected by the United Presbyterian Presbytery of Dunfermline, 1876;” and on the east end there is the following text of Scripture, which was on the former stone—“Remember then which had the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God; whose faith follow considering the end of their conversation; Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. xiii. 7, 8).  The south panel bears the following inscription:--“In memory of the Rev. Ralph Erskine; born 18th of March, 1685; ordained a Parish Minister of Dunfermline 17th August, 1711; left the Established Church and joined the Secession, 18th February, 1737.  He was Minister of Queen Ann Street Church from the formation in 1740 till his death in 1752, in the 68th years of his age, and 42nd of his Ministry.”  The panel on the north side has on it the following inscription:--“In memory of the rev. John Smith, Minister of the Gospel, first at Jedburgh, afterwards in Dunfermline, who died 7th December, 1780, in the 58th year of his age, and the 36th of his Ministry.  Also, in memory of the Rev. James Husband, D.D., minister of the Gospel in Dunfermline, who died 17th May, 1821, in the 70th year of his age, and 46th of his Ministry.  And of the Rev. Robert Brown, Minister of the Congregation of St. Margaret’s; ordained 17th May, 1826; died 19th April, 1828, in the 30th year of his age and the 2nd of his Ministry.”

    The Gillespie Monument is erected in the wall of the north aisle of the nave of the Abbey Church; it consists of a tablet of polished Sicilian marble, and measures 8 feet by 2 feet 3 inches and bears the following inscription:--“In memory of the Rev. Thomas Gillespie; born at Clearburn, Duddingston, 1708; ordained by Mr. Doddridge at Northampton, and inducted as Parish Minister of Carnock, 1741; deposed by the General Assembly for refusing to take part in the forced settlement of a Minister at Inverkeithing, 1752, he formed a congregation in Dunfermline in the same year.  He was the founder of the Relief Church.  Died 19th January, 1774.”

  The Erskine Monument is composed of Binney freestone.  Both monuments have been executed, with great artistic skill, by Messrs. Stewart, M’Glashan, and Son, Edinburgh.

  BURGH LIST OF VOTERS FOR 1876;--There were in the Burgh of Dunfermline, on 1st October, 1876, 2,501 voters.  In the first ward, 618; second ward, 590; third ward, 562; and fourth ward, 731.  (Dunfermline Press)

  THE BRANCH BANK OF THE BRITISH LINEN COMPANY in the High Street (foot of Douglas Street) was built this year, and the business transferred to it from their old premises in Canmore Street on 18th September—John Landale, agent.  This is a very handsome building and a great ornament to the Burgh.

  PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—Kenneth Mathieson, Esq., re-elected Provost, November, 1876.  (Burgh Records)

  THE Pittencrieff and Milesmark Schools were erected during this year.  (MS)

  1877.—NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AT THE FACTORIES.—Early in January, 1877, it was ascertained that there were 5,930 operatives connected with the eleven factories in town.  A great many of the workers come from adjacent places, within four miles of Dunfermline.  (MS Note)

  A BONDED WAREHOUSE, Carnegie Street, was erected by Messrs. Bruce and Glen, merchants, Dunfermline, during 1876, and was opened by charter, or warrant, in April, 1877.  The building is 154 feet long by 40 in breadth, and consists of two flats; the lower one is the bonded warehouse, the upper is used as a public hall, gymnasium, &c.

  DUNFERMLINE CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY.—At the end of the 16th year of the existence of this society (1877), it was ascertained by the committee of management that the transactions for this year amounted to 52,431 8s. 5d. being as increase of 45,959 8s. 9d. above that of the first year.  (An. Dunf. dates 1861, 1866, 1867.)

  MINIATURE VIEW OF DUNFERMLINE SOLD FOR 400.—A small water-colour painting of Dunfermline, by the celebrated water-colour painter Turner, occupying the space of only 4 in. by 3 was put up at a public sale in London, in June this year, and bought 400!  (Newsp.)

  THE CARNEGIE BATHS OPENED.—“On 12th June, 1877, these splendid baths, situated in School End Street, were publicly opened.  They were erected at the sole expense of Andrew Carnegie, Esq., a native of the city, but now of New York, and were by him bequeathed in free gift to his fellow-citizens.  The building cost about 5000.  Mr. Carnegie being at that time in Dunfermline, the opportunity was embraced of having the Baths opened by the donor.  He, accordingly, on the day specified, along with the Provost, Magistrates, Town Council, and other citizens, repaired to the Baths, formally opened the same, and handed them over to the authorities ‘for the benefit of the inhabitants for ever—they keeping them in good working order in all time coming.’  The Baths were opened for bathing, &c., on the 1st September.”  (Newspaper.)

  FREEDOM OF THE CITY CONFERRED ON MR. ANDREW CARNEGIE.—Immediately after the ceremony of opening the Baths, on 12th June, Mr. Carnegie had the honour of the freedom of the City conferred on him, in the Council Chamber, Bruce Street, amid the applause and congratulations of the burgesses and citizens.  (Newspaper)

  NEW WATER SCHEME—Glensherup Burn.—“The first sod of the new water-works was cut, lifted, and tilted by Kenneth Mathieson, Esq., Provost, at Glensherup, on 29th June, 1877, in presence of a deputation, consisting of several members of the Town Council, the engineers, contractors,” &c.  (Newspaper)  The Glensherup Reservoir is about 17 miles north west of Dunfermline.

  MEMORIAL WINDOW.—Early in the month of August a new memorial stained glass window was erected on the south side of the Old Abbey Church to the memory of the late James Douglas, Esq., and Helen Black, his wife.  The inscription on it is as follows:--“In memory of James Douglas, Esq., and Helen Black, his wife.  Erected by David Douglas, Esq., writer to the signet, 1877.”

  PITFIRRANE AND KEAVIL ESTATES SOLD.—Lawrence Dalgleish, Esq., of Dalbeath, purchased the estates of Pitfirrane and Keavil in August, 1877, for 132,500.  Pitfirrane is mentioned in the Chartulary of Dunfermline Abbey under date 1363, and the Halket family have been possessors of the estate of Pitfirrane for upwards of 470 years.  (See Dunf. Press of 1st Sept., 1877, and An. Dunf. pp. 152, 153.)

  LIST OF BURGH VOTERS.—The new list of voters in the Burgh, made out in September, 1877, has the following totals:--voters in the first ward 500; second ward, 570; third ward, 530; fourth ward, 683; total number of voters, 2, 382.  (Dunf. Press, 3rd Nov., 1877.)

  SEWAGE WORKS.—The works for conveying the sewage of Dunfermline to Charlestown commenced in May, 1876, and were completed about the end of September, 1877, at the cost of about 10,000. 

  THE Dunfermline and Edinburgh Railway was opened for traffic on 1st November, 1877.  The station is at Comely Park, Dunfermline.  There was no public demonstration at the opening, as no one seemed to take any interest in the matter.  This may be explained, however, in consequence of the disheartening turn things had taken some time prior to the completion of the railway.

  THE following extract shows the balance-sheet of the National Security Savings Bank, Dunfermline, for year ending Nov. 20, 1877:--

            The total balances due to depositors amounted to           101,789  14  7 

    The total funds amounted to 101,818  10  7

           Cash Surplus 28 16 0

Number of depositors 3,322

            Transactions during the year, viz:--

Receipts 5,098

Payments 3,150

      Total 8,241

  Amount deposited during the year, including

         interest added to depositors, amounted to 23,533 16 11

Repayments 20,148   13   8

Increase for this year 3,385 3 3

  PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—James Walls, Esq., was elected Provost, 9th Nov. 1877.  (Burgh Records.)

  1878.—ST. MARGARET’S HALL ORGAN.—A bazaar was held in St. Margaret’s Hall, on 23rd, 24th, and 27th April, 1878, to raise funds for erecting an organ.  In the hall there were stalls containing sundry articles superintended by ladies, who had the art of extracting from their sale the handsome sum of 1,851 7s. 8 d. which sum includes what was drawn from the takes at the exhibitions of the model room—Punch and the Performing Elephant.  On the 23rd the bazaar was opened by Mr. Campbell-Bannerman, M.P.; on the 24th, by the Right Hon. William P. Adam, M.P. and on the 27th, by Provost Walls.

  THE NAMES OF THE STREETS ALTERED.—By order of the Town Council, the names of the following streets were altered, viz:--The place formerly known as Martyr’s Place, to be henceforth called Holyrood Place; South Chapel street, to be called Randolph Street (after the great Randolph of Bannockburn renown); School End Street, to be called Bath Street; and Knabble Street, Carnegie Street.

  THE TOWN-HILL CHURCH was founded in the summer of 1877, and opened for divine service in May, 1878.  (MS Note)

  THE Dunfermline Tanworks were destroyed by fire on 13th July, 1878.  The damages amounted to 14,000. 

  COIN FOUND.—A silver penny of Edward I of England (1272-1307) was found, in a worn out condition, in the grounds of Mr. George Robertson, Comely Park, Dunfermline.  It is probably a relic of one of the visits of that monarch to Dunfermline, between 1290 and 1304.

POLLING PLACES IN FIFE.—on 22nd August this year the Sheriff of the County of Fife legalized a new arrangement in the polling places in Fife.  Dunfermline was constituted the polling place for the parishes in Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, and Dalgetty.

  GLENSHERUP WATER, was brought into the Burgh, on 6th Sept. 1878, direct from Glensherup.  It is to be hoped that no “water-famine” will again occur in Dunfermline for at least a hundred years to come.

  SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN DUNFERMLINE.—According to a printed note, dated 7th September, 1878, there were on the School Board roll 2,963 pupils, of whom where were 2,552 in actual attendance.  This is about 1 pupil for every 6 of the population of the Burgh.  (Dunf. Press, 7th September, 1878)

  THE Foundation stone of the Forth Bridge was laid, on Inch Garvie, on 30th September, 1878.  (Newspaper)

  ST. MARGARET’S HALL ORGAN.—This splendid organ was erected in St. Margaret’s Hall during the months of August and September, 1878.  a grand concert was given on Tuesday evening, 1st October, when the inauguration of the organ took place.  Concerning the construction of the organ, the Dunfermline Press of 31st August says:--

The organ was erected by Messrs. T. C. Lewis & Co. Brixton, London, and is of a very superior character.  Placed in the space reserved for the purpose, the organ greatly improves the interior aspect of the hall.  It measures 24 feet in height, and 18 feet by 10 feet otherwise.  It contains 26 stops and 1,522 pipes—the metal used being what is called “spotted metal.”  The fittings include various important improvements, specially introduced by the builders, and the motive blowing power is supplied by the ingenious hydraulic engine patented by Mr. Joy, of Leeds.  The case of the organ, which is composed of pitch pine, is tastefully decorated with moulded panels.

  CITY ARMS HOTEL.—Since this Inn was built (about the end of the last century) it has been known by a variety of names, such a “The New Inn,” “Maclean’s Inn.” “Dow’s Inn,” “Hutton’s Inn,” “Milne’s Hotel,” &c.  The present proprietor, Mr. Laurence Anderson, in order to give the hotel a permanent designation, has just appropriately named it “The City Arms Hotel.”

  POST OFFICE.—The number of letters, circulars, post cards, and newspapers, which passed through Dunfermline Post Office during one week lately, were found to be as follows:--Letters, 11,072; circulars, 3157; post cards, 1891; newspapers, 151—total 17,630.

  CITY OF GLASGOW BANK—Bankruptcy.—The branch of this unfortunate bank, established in Dunfermline in January, 1873, ceased to exist on October 2, 1878, in consequence of the disastrous failure of the head bank in Glasgow on that day.

  PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—James Walls, Esq., was re-elected Provost on the 9th of November.  (Burgh Records.)

END OF “THE ANNALS OF DUNFERMLINE”


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