It has been known for some time past
that the Cordwainers of Dunfermline have been employed in
forwarding preparations for celebrating with due pomp the Festival
of their Patron Saint. This ceremony will accordingly take place
on Friday the Twenty-ninth of August this present year, being
Eighteen Hundred and Twenty-Three (1823), when the Craft will
assemble in the Town Hall at 10 of the clock forenoon, and the
Grand Procession will move at one o'clock precisely.
The following members are appointed
a Committee to manage the procession, viz.:~ez_mdash~Henry Lawrie, David
Simpson, David Wardlaw, Robert Westwood, John Simpson, George
Marshall, Alex. Bennet, John Marshall, Alex. Swrles, Alex.
Mossman, Robert Chalmers, James Anderson.
It was resolved and agreed upon that
the following members bear the respective titles to which their
names are annexed when in the procession:~ez_mdash~
...... David Simpson.
Secretary of State, .
.... John Marshall.
...... Andrew Young.
...... George Shaw.
Lord High Chancellor,
.... Henry Lawrie.
...... James Simpson.
..... David Wardlaw.
~ez_hellip~.. Robert Chalmers.
..... David Kennedy.
Aides-de-Camp to the Indian Prince,~ez_hellip~..
Page to Indian Prince, ....
Aids-de-Camp to Field-Marshal, .
. Andrew Moyes
Sir Hugh, ......
Supporters to Sir Hugh,~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~~ez_hellip~
Standard Bearers to Sir
Hugh,~ez_hellip~.. Robert Glass, Red Rod
Thos. Caw, Black Rod
Order of the Grand Processio:~ez_mdash~
Two Heralds on Horseback.
Three Broad Swordsmen, Mounted.
Six Girls Strewing Flowers.
Four Spearmen (Two and Two).
Champion's Shield and Spear,
SECRETARY OF STATE IN HIS ROBES
(Supported by two Lords).
Six Gentlemen Ushers.
Sword of State.
Chaplain in his Gown and Bands.
(In his Canonicles, with two
(Supported by Two Dukes),
And guarded by Six Highlanders on each
KNIGHT MARSHALL, CRISPIANUS
(Brother to the King-Captain General).
THE LORD MAY OR IN HIS ROBES,
Supported by two Aldermen.
Band of Music.
And Two Supporters.
And Two Supporters.
Two Ensigns bearing Colours.
Half of Main Body.
Stand of Colours.
Half of Main Body.
Band of Music,
(Three and Three).
Supported by Aids-de-Camp on each
All Mounted on Horseback.
Supported by Aids-de-camp on each
All on Horseback.
Two Ushers~ez_mdash~Black Rod and Red Rod.
In his Robes, supported by Two
(Three and Three).
THREE BROAD SWORDSMEN.
It would appear from one of our
notes that there were 356 persons in the procession, and that it
was composed of members of several other trades in the town. About
this period a great many towns in Scotland enjoyed the pleasure of
seeing these mock processions. (MS. Note.)
LIMEKILNS CHURCH.~ez_mdash~Rev. William
Johnstone, A.M., ordained minister of this church, 27th August,
1823. (See An. Dunf. date. 1874.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~John Scotland,
Esq., of East Luscar, re-elected Provost, Sept., 1823. (Burgh
PLAN OF THE TOWN OF DUNFERMLINE
PUBLISHED. ~ez_mdash~ In September, 1823, Mr. J. Wood, surveyor, Edinburgh,
published a large and very accurate plan of Dunfermline, from his
actual survey made during the months of July and August, 1822. The
plan, a copperplate engraving, is 22 1/2 inches from east to west,
and 21 inches from north to south, and is entitled~ez_mdash~"Plan of the
Town of Dunfermline from Actual Survey, by J. Wood, Edinburgh.
1823." The scale is 264 feet to the inch; the price was one
guinea. It is to be regretted that "The Gardener's Land~ez_rdquo~ buildings
are not on the plan. The only error the writer can find on the
plan is the position of the Palace Wall, at No. 17; on the plan
this wall ought to have been laid down on a site farther to the
north, and to have terminated at No. 18. The writer retains a
lively recollection of leading Mr. Wood's chain in 1822, assisting
him a little in measuring round the Auld Kirk, Monastery, Palace,
and the Tower-Hill. Mr. Wood, between 1820 and 1826, made plans
of a great number of the larger towns of Scotland, and his labours
were very favourably reviewed in the newspapers of the time.
WATER.~ez_mdash~Cairncubie Water Tank or Pond
was constructed and built in 1823. This large tank collects all
the surface water which may run into it, and increases the
Cairncubie supply. (MS. Note; see An. Dunf. date 1797; Chal. Hist.
Dunf, vol. i. p. 15.)
The Postal Revenue this year amounted
to £1000 2s. Id.
A ROMAN CATHOLIC CONGREGATION was
formed in Dunfermline during the summer of this year. (MS. Note.)
Dunfermline Farmers' Society was instituted in 1765 ; discontinued
its meetings early in the century, and this year, 1824, it was
resuscitated, and its constitution remodelled. (See An. Dunf.
dates 1765 and 1834.)
THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF FIFE BIBLE
SOCIETY INSTITUTED, 1824.~ez_mdash~This Society distributes a considerable
number of Bibles annually among the poor in the parish. The
aggregate collections average about £25, which is transmitted to
the Bible Society managers in Edinburgh. (MS. Note.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE. ~ez_mdash~James
Blackwood, Esq., of Colton, near Dunfermline, elected Provost,
September, 1824. (Bur. Rec.)
STAGE COACH called The Antiquary,
commenced to run between Dunfermline and Edinburgh, October, 1824,
and vice-versa, every day of the week, Sundays excepted. Fares to
and from Edinburgh, 6s. inside, and 4s. outside. (MS.). This means
of conveyance ceased in March, 1878.
POSTAL REVENUE.~ez_mdash~From Post-Office,
£1,867 19s. 3 1/2d. (Mercers Hist. Dunf. p. 153.)
THE REV. DAVID BLACK, D.D., Minister
of the Antiburgher or West Church, Chalmers Street, died on 5th
November, 1824, in the 61st year of his age, and the 35th of his
ministry. (See An, Dunf. date 1789 and 1866.) He was the author of
" Sermons on Death',' "The Covenanter's Directory," 1806, an Essay
on "Early Piety," and a small work entitled "Edwin and Emma," a
pastoral tale in verse.
1825.~ez_mdash~METEOROLOGICAL TABLES BY REV.
HENRY FERGUS.~ez_mdash~ In January, 1825, the Rev. Henry Fergus, minister
of the Relief Church, Dunfermline, commenced his Meteorological
Observations and Register; for ten years from 1825, he took his
readings every morning at nine o'clock, recording the then state
of the barometer, thermometer, &c. (See also Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. pp. 10-13)
TWO MEN CONDEMNED TO BE EXECUTED IN
DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~ The two burglars, Henry Baleny and James M'Neil, who
broke into the ironmongery shop of Messrs. Lock and Hutton, Bridge
Street, Dunfermline, in December, 1824, were tried on 25th March,
1825, at the High Court of Justiciary, Edinburgh, and condemned to
be "hanged by the neck until they were dead, at Dunfermline, where
their crimes were committed." This sentence caused great
excitement in Dunfermline and western district of Fife. " The
Edinburgh gallows was hired for the occasion, and on its arrival
in Dunfermline it was carted to the open square of the Fleshmarket."
"The wrights in town joined in trials to put it together to be
ready, but the two men were respited shortly after, and banished
for life to Botany Bay. The commotion in town and country then
subsided." (MS. Note.)
THE NATIONAL BANK, EDINBURGH.~ez_mdash~Mr. John
Malcolm was engaged by the National Bank as their bill collector
for Dunfermline and district this year, 1825. (MS. Note.)
THE OLD ABBEY BARLEY-MILL,~ez_mdash~This mill,
which had stood from perhaps A.D. 1270 at top of the Collier Row
[Bruce Street], was removed in March, 1825, to make way for
Messrs. Wilson & Malcolm's spinning mill. This was one of the
"three mills of Dunfermline" mentioned in old charters,
WEAVING.~ez_mdash~The "Jacquard Machine"
introduced into the art of weaving by Alexander Robertson, Esq.,
and the Messrs. Kerr, manufacturers, in the summer of 1825.
Matthew Parker commenced to manufacture these machines shortly
after their introduction.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~James
Blackwood, Esq., of Colton, re-elected Provost in September, 1825,
LIMEKILNS' CHURCH REBUILT.~ez_mdash~This church
was rebuilt in 1825, and seated for about 1050 persons. (MS. Note;
see An. Dunf. date 1784.)
BRUCEFIELD SPINNING MILL NEARLY
DESTROYED BY FIRE,~ez_mdash~ The old Flax Spinning Mill at Brucefield, near
Dunfermline, conducted by Mr. Struthers, was nearly destroyed by
fire on the evening of the 26th October, 1825. (See An. Dunf. date
QUEEN AN STREET CHURCH DISRUPTION.~ez_mdash~"In
consequence of unpleasant misunderstandings among the members of
this church, in their several attempts to choose a minister, and
of "the military sort of defiance and worrying displayed by the
dominant party towards the minority," the members and hearers
composing the minority of 600, left Queen Ann Street Church in
September, 1825, and formed themselves into a new congregation.
The new body took a short lease of the Maygate Chapel until one
was built for them." (See An. Dunf. 1827, for "St. Margaret's
MECHANICS' INSTITUTION ESTABLISHED,
20th SEPT., 1825.~ez_mdash~ A general meeting of the inhabitants of
Dunfermline friendly to the formation of a Mechanics' Institution,
was held in the Relief Meeting House on Tuesday, the 20th Sept.,
1825~ez_mdash~the Right Honourable the Earl of Elgin in the chair. Upwards
of 400 mechanics and others were present. The Rev. Messrs.
Chalmers, Fergus, and Brand, successively addressed the meeting on
the design and importance of the Institution and Lord Elgin
concluded with an animated speech to the same effect. After which,
the Institution was declared to be constituted, and the following
office-bearers were appointed,~ez_mdash~
The Right Honourable the Earl of
James Hunt, Esq., of Pittencrieff, and
Rev. Peter Chalmers, Vice-presidents.
Mr. Henry Inglis, Treasurer.~ez_mdash~Mr. David
The Rev. Henry Fergus.
Messrs. Alexander Pattison.
The Rev, George Bell Brand.
~ez_ldquo~ John Roxburgh,
Rutherford. ~ez_ldquo~ John
Robertson. ~ez_ldquo~ James Cumming
Peebles. ~ez_ldquo~ James
Hunter. ~ez_ldquo~ Robert
Ferguson. ~ez_ldquo~ Robert Hay
~ez_ldquo~ William Meldrum.
(Glasgow Mechanics' Magazine, vol. iv.
pp. 214-215; see other dates in An. Dunf. relative to lectures,
&c.) The inhabitants were solicited for subscriptions for a fund
to defray the expenses of the institution, when £215 14s 6d. was
collected. (MS. Note.)
LECTURES.~ez_mdash~Immediately after the formation of the Mechanics'
Institute on 20th September, the Directors engaged the Rev. Henry
Fergus to deliver a course of twelve lectures on Natural
Philosophy, on Wednesday evenings, commencing 26th October, 1825,
until finished; 3s. the ticket for the course; single lecture, Is.
These lectures were delivered by Mr. Fergus in his own church~ez_mdash~the
Relief Church; 312 tickets were sold at 3s; average attendance,
450. Mr. Fergus received £26 5s. for the delivery of his course of
lectures. (MS. Note.)
ANCIENT TIMBER TENEMENT IN HIGH STREET
REMOVED.~ez_mdash~In November, 1825, a singular old timber tenement, the
property of Mr. James Hempseed, baker, south side of High Street
(next door above Mr. Clark's, bookseller), was partly taken down,
and the entire front rebuilt of stone. According to MS. Notes~ez_mdash~
The lower part of this house was
built of stone, having a close in the middle, through which the
public had a right-of-way to the back premises. On each side of
the close there was a shop with projecting or bow-windows. Above
the shops there was a timber-front, extending over the whole
breadth of the building, the middle part of which was sunk a few
inches. Along the bottom and top of this part there was a kind of
wooden tramway, along which the window-frames slid horizontally to
any required opening, with check-bars in the middle and at the
end. Above this came a slated roof, then rose to the height of a
few feet another timber front (the garret-front), having in it
three small windows. This garret was covered with an uneven
tile-roof. At each end towered to a considerable height the
chimneys of the old building.
We took a sketch of this house in
October, 1825, just before it was taken down, and we reproduce it
here as one of the last representatives of Dunfermline in the
1826.~ez_mdash~DEATH OF THE OLDEST
INHABITANT.~ez_mdash~Ralph Miller, Damside Row, a disabled weaver, died on
the l0th March, 1826, at the great age of ninety-eight years and
two months. " Auld Ralph," as he used to be called in his latter
days, was born in January, 1728, in the second year of George the
Second. He had a remarkably strong memory; could recollect
incidents concerning Dunfermline, and relate them with great
distinctness, as far back as the year 1740. Between 1824-1826 the
writer interviewed him on a great many points of local history.
Several of his memorabilia are recorded in the Annals under the
cover of "MS. Notes."
SECESSION CHURCH IN MAYGATE CHAPEL~ez_mdash~The
Rev. Robert Brown, of Jedburgh, was ordained minister of this new
congregation on l7th May, 1826. He was the first minister of this
congregation. (See An. Dunf, date April, 1828.)
THE LIMEKILNS SWIMMING CLUB was
instituted in 1826, and in a short time "managed to get 56 members
on their roll."
PLANTETARIUM AND LUMARIUM
MACHINES~ez_mdash~These two machines were made this year by the ingenious
David Paton, a man for whose memory the writer has the highest
respect. The Planetarium (a very fine one) was made entirely of
wood~ez_mdash~wooden wheels, wooden pinions, tin tubes, &c. It showed with
great accuracy the mean motions of all the planets round the Sun.
The Lunarium showed the apparent diurnal revolutions of the Sun
and Moon, as also the time of high and low water at Limekilns.
These machines were "the talk of the town" for a long period, and
many came to see them from far and near. They afterwards came into
the possession of the writer.
THE "DUNFERMLINE DRAWING
ACADEMY."~ez_mdash~This Academy was established on the 17th of July, 1826.
The class assembled in the hall of St. John's Masons' Lodge,
Maygate. It was established by the Dunfermline Manufacturers and
the Board of Trustees, for the purpose of teaching young men to
make designs for the damask manufacture. Mr. Campbell was
appointed teacher for five years. There were 37 pupils on the
opening-day. He was succeeded by Mr. Joseph Paton, pattern
designer, Wooer's Alley, in July, 1831. Soon after this date the
Academy ceased to exist. (MS. Note.)
A STAGE COACH was established to run
between Edinburgh and Crieff, via Dunfermline, on 22nd May, 1826.
Another stage coach, called the "Aurora," also commenced running
between Kirkcaldy and Glasgow, via Dunfermline, on 5th June, 1826.
POSTAL REVENUE. ~ez_mdash~ The Post-office
revenue of Dunfermline amounted to £1240 l0s. 10 1/2d. (Mercer's
Hist. Duitf, p. 153.)
A SCIENTIFIC CLUB.~ez_mdash~This year a
"Scientific Club " was formed by John Millar, Ebenezer Henderson,
Sinclair Thomson, James Smith, &c. They met weekly in a garret, at
the top of the Kirkgate, for scientific discussion, and
performing- of scientific experiments. Their library had 36 vols,;
apparatus~ez_mdash~a telescope, microscope, electrical machine, galvanic
battery, mechanical powers, a planetarium, &c. The Club continued
for about 2 1/2 years.
A HOT SUMMER.~ez_mdash~"The summer of 1826 was
very warm, and there was great drought, the thermometer frequently
ranging between 95° and 100° of heat in the shade; no rain during
the months of June, July, and part of August; the springs and
burns were nearly dried up; great scarcity of water; water-carts,
with barrels and tubs of water, travelled the streets, the water
being sold at a halfpenny and one penny the stoupful" This summer
was long remembered and referred to as 'the hot simmer"
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE~ez_mdash~James
Blackwood, Esq., of Colton, was re-elected Provost, Sept., 1826.
THE WEAVING TRADE.~ez_mdash~The Weaving Trade
was " in a very depressed state, hundreds of weavers out of
POLLOCK, Author of "The Course of
Time."~ez_mdash~The Rev. Robert Pollok, came to Dunfermline for a change of
air for the benefit of his decaying health. He had been advised to
come to the town by his friend Mr, Campbell, drawing-master, in
September, 1826. He lodged with Mr. Hempseed, baker, High Street.
While in Dunfermline (from September, 1826, to April, 1827) he
composed a considerable portion of his celebrated poem, " The
Course of Time',' and amused himself at intervals in making
sketches. The writer enjoyed many pleasant interviews with this
amiable young man during his short stay. astronomical lectures.~ez_mdash~A
short course of lectures on Astronomy was delivered by Mr. Keir,
illustrated with apparatus, in Maygate Chapel, in October, 1826.
1827.~ez_mdash~SNOW STORM.~ez_mdash~On the 15th January,
1827, snow fell for eight hours. The average depth of snow on the
streets was 4 feet, and the drift was 10 feet in many places
throughout the town and adjacent districts. (MS. Note.)
LIBRARY.~ez_mdash~According to the Institute Report, there were 230 volumes
in the library on 23rd of January, 1827.
THE DUNFERMLINE EQUITABLE FRIENDLY
INSTITUTION was established on 9th February, 1827. (MS. Note.) Its
rules, &c., were confirmed at Cupar-Fife on 28th March, 1831.
QUEEN AN STREET CHURCH~ez_mdash~Ordination.~ez_mdash~The
Rev. Alex. Fisher, of Edinburgh, was ordained minister of Queen
Ann Street Church on 20th of March, 1827. (See Annals of
Dunfermline, date Sept, 1829.)
ORRERY AND ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK.~ez_mdash~Between
the years 1826 and 1828 the writer constructed an orrery and a
complicated astronomical clock. The newspapers and magazines of
the period gave in many instances exaggerated descriptions of
them, and many of those who came to see them, not being able to
understand the varied motions, carried away rather singular
accounts of what they had seen, which tended to float many
improbable remarks as to their construction and movements. As the
writer still finds, at the distance of 50 years, some incorrect
remarks in circulation relative to these machines, he has been
induced to give here correct notes regarding them :~ez_mdash~
THE ORRERY was a small machine
contained in a box of twelve sides, corresponding to the twelve
signs of the Ecliptic, which supported a brass ring, on which were
engraven the signs and degrees of the Ecliptic, days of the
months, &c. It exhibited the rotation of the Sun on its inclined
axis in 25 days 6 hours, the solar and sidereal rotations of the
Earth on its inclined axis and its revolutions round the Sun in
365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 57 seconds~ez_mdash~of the synodic revolution
of the Moon in 29 days 12 hours 45 minutes, and of the Nodes of
her orbit in 18 years 224 days ; and consequently all the eclipses
of the sun and moon. The orrery contained 21wheels and 5 pinions,
and was 12 inches in diameter, and 7 inches deep.
THE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK was
constructed of brass wheels and steel pinions, mounted in a
mahogany clock-case of about seven feet in height, and exhibiting
the following astronomical particulars, viz,, the seconds, the
minutes, the hours, day of the month, day of the Sun entering the
sign of the Zodiac: the time of the rising and setting of the Sun
throughout the year, with the different lengths of the days and
nights; the age and phases of the Moon; the apparent diurnal
revolution of the Sun and Moon; the ebb and flow of the Tides, and
times of their occurrence; Solar and Sidereal Time. The ring on
which the latter was shown had the necessary motion of a
revolution on its axis in 25,920 solar, or 25,868 sidereal years:,
and hence, supposing the clock to keep in motion for say 200
years, the sidereal and solar motions would be indicated on the
dial-plate with great precision. This clock contained 32 wheels,
and 7 pinions, and is now in Liverpool.
STATISTICAL NOTES.~ez_mdash~The hard soap works
of the Messrs. Laurie manufactured during the past year 216,282
lbs. of soap. One of the three tobacco manufactories in the same
time produced 60,000 lbs. of tobacco. 20,000 gallons of water
flowed into the reservoir daily. Weavers' looms in the Parish,
2795. Debt of the Burgh, £26,000. (MS. Note.)
ST. MARGARET'S CHURCH, East Port
Street,~ez_mdash~"The foundation of this church was laid in the summer of
1826. It was finished and opened for public worship on Sunday, 2nd
Sept., 1827." (MS. Note.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~James
Black-wood, Esq., of Colton, re-elected Provost, September, 1827.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LECTURES.~ez_mdash~The
Rev. Mr. Gray, of Kirkcaldy delivered a course of twelve lectures
on "Astronomy, Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics," in the
Maygate Chapel, once a week, between September and January. He was
engaged by the committee of the Mechanics' Institution, had an
extensive and splendid apparatus, and had large audiences each
MATHEMATICAL AND GEOMETRICAL LECTURES,
which met with tolerable success, were, during the months of
October, November, and December, delivered in the Grammar School,
by Mr. A. Haxton, the Rector.
PRAYER-MEETING INSTITUTED.~ez_mdash~The meetings were held in the
Chapel-of-Ease, North Chapel Street, on the first Monday of each
month, at seven o'clock. The meetings were conducted by ministers
of" the Established and Secession churches. (MS. Note.)
LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING~ez_mdash~Early in 1828
Mr. Miller, printer, &c., Dunfermline, introduced lithographic
printing, which met with much encouragement. (MS. Note.)
DEATH OF THE REV. ROBERT BROWN.~ez_mdash~On
19th April, 1828, the Rev. Robert Brown, minister of St.
Margaret's Church, died in the 30th year of his age, and second of
LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~" The History of
Dunfermline: from the Earliest Records down to the Present Time;
including Historical Notices, and Present State of the Parishes of
Inverkeithing, Dalgety, Aberdour, Beath, Torryburn, Caynock, and
Saline, with a Descriptive Sketch of the Scenery of the Devon. By
A. Mercer, author of ' Dunfermline Abbey.' Dunfermline : Printed
and Published by John Miller, 1828." This small-sized 8vo volume
of 330 pages was published early in the year 1828, price 7s. 6d. A
view of the New and Old Abbey Churches from the south-east fronts
the short title. The first eighty pages refer to ecclesiastical
matters, not strictly belonging to Dunfermline. Pages 81 to 196
treat of Dunfermline, its antiquities, institutions, trade, &c.;
pages 197 to 301 treat of the "Country Parts of the Western
District; while the remaining thirty pages treat of Sundries, &c.
This history is rather a superficial one. Many interesting
particulars relative to Dunfermline have been passed over; but
still there are to be found in it notanda which are not noticed in
Fernies History of Dunfermline, published in 1815. The writer,
during the years 1826 and 1827, collected several interesting
facts for this history; and after it was printed, he continued to
collect antiquarian and other information relative to Dunfermline,
and then formed the design of compiling these Annals. Mercer's
History has been long out of print. (See An. Dunf. date 1834.) It
may be noted here, that Mr. Mercer, while engaged over his
History, lodged with Mr. Leskie, customer-weaver, Rotten Row [West
Queen Ann Street]~ez_mdash~half up this street, north side. (See dates
1813, 1816, 1819, and 1838 for Mercer's other works.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~James
Blackwood, Esq., re-elected Provost, September, 1828. (Burgh
ST. MARGARET'S CHURCH .~ez_mdash~The Rev. John
Law was translated from Newcastleton, and inducted minister of St.
Margaret's Church, East-Port Street, on 1st October, 1828. (See
An. Dunf. 1850.) He resigned his charge on December, 1850, and
died at Eskbank, Dalkeith, 29th November, 1875, aged 85 years.
LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~"A Description of about
300 Animals, &c. Dunfermline : Printed and Sold by John Miller,
1828." This compilation, the work of Mr. Miller, forms a 12mo
volume of 268 pages, and is embellished with 123 small
wood-engravings of animals, birds, insects, &c. Many of the
wood-cuts are the work of a native self-taught artist, now
deceased (Mr. W, W. Christie.) This little work~ez_mdash~a very useful and
interesting one~ez_mdash~is now seldom to be met with, and has been long
out of print.
GAS COMPANY.~ez_mdash~The Dunfermline Gas
Company was established on 11th November, 1828. Subscribed
capital, .£6000; director of the works, Mr. Oliphant. (Dunf. Reg.,
1832; An. Dunf. Oct., 1829.
LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~"Tables of Land Measuring:
Being tables for converting Scottish Land Measure into imperial,
and the price or rate per Scottish acre into that of the imperial
acre; with other tables useful to the gentleman farmer, and
agriculturists in general. By Eben. Birrell, land-surveyor,
Dunfermline. Printed by John Miller. 1828." This is a 12mo work of
32 pages, price is. These tables have been long out of print Mr.
Birrell left Dunfermline in 1834.
DUNFERMLINE SAVINGS' BANK.~ez_mdash~At the end
of 1828 there were 440 depositors connected with this bank, and
the total sum deposited by them amounted to £2,467 3s. 4d.
WEATHER STATISTICS.~ez_mdash~Between 1st Jan.,
1828, and 31st December, 1828, there were 157 rainy days in
Dunfermline; during 57 of these days it rained incessantly; the
number of days the wind blew from the west and south-west were
211; 39 from the south; 56 easterly, and 59 from the north, &c.
(MS. Note.) Mean height of the barometer, 29 1/4 degrees;
thermometer, 48 1/2 degrees.
Register for 1829: containing many useful lists connected with the
Western District of Fife, the Counties of Clackmannan and Kinross,
and the Culross District of Perthshire, comprising Public Offices,
Civil and Religious Institutions, with their Office-Bearers,
Roads, Coaches, Carriers, Fairs, &c., within these Districts.
Printed by John Miller, Dunfermline. Price Ninepence, 16mo, 68
pp." This was the first number published of this useful little
work. It was from this date issued yearly in January up to 1866,
when it was discontinued.
GAS HOUSE in the course of erection in
Priory Lane, and the streets are being opened for laying down the
cast-iron pipes for the transmission of the gas throughout the
DUNFERMLINE FLORIST SOCIETY
ESTABLISHED 1829.~ez_mdash~This society has for its object "the cultivation
and improvement of the best fruits, the most choice flowers, and
most useful vegetables." (Dunf. Regist, 1829.)
INFANT SCHOOL.~ez_mdash~On 9th March, 1829, the
Dunfermline Infant School was instituted, but not opened until 5th
July, 1830. Children admitted between the ages of two and a-half
and five years; entry payment, 6d.; fee, 2d. weekly.
DUNFERMLINE IN THE OLDEN TIME~ez_mdash~Douglas
Street.~ez_mdash~During the spring of 1829 a venerable specimen of "Grey
Dunfermling" was removed to make way for the thorough opening up
of Douglas Street. It had a pended front of three large arches,
with peaked windows above them; the middle arch covered the common
entry which led up from High Street to "the toun's mercate." The
writer made a sketch of this singular old house just before its
removal, and in 1854 made a reduced copy of it for Chalmers's
History of Dunfermline, page 131. Traditionally, it was known as
the French Ambassador's House.
GAS-WORKS COMPLETED.~ez_mdash~The Gas-House,
Priory Lane, was completed on 26th Oct., and the main pipes, with
the small branch pipes from them into the dwelling-houses, shops,
&c., being all laid, "the gas was let on " on the evening of
Wednesday, October 28, 1829. A great turn out of the inhabitants;
the streets were crowded with town and country people to see the
grand sight. There were some curious devices to be seen; one in
particular at the west end of Bridge Street, which acted on the
principle of Barker's Mill, viz., at the point where the burner is
usually fixed, four horizontal arms proceeded from the centre of
the stalk; at the extreme ends of each there were small holes, out
of these issued the gas, and put them in motion. They were kept
whirling round by gas-power from seven till ten o'clock evening,
to the admiration of thousands.
THE REV. ALEXANDER FISHER, minister of
Queen Ann Street Church, died on the 26th September, 1829, in the
twenty-seventh year of his age, and third of his ministry. (See
also An. Dunf. date March, 1827.) Mr. Fisher was the author of "Theohgical
Gems," and "Memoirs of Alexander Clark."
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~James
Blackwood, Esq., re-elected Provost. (Burgh Records, September,
1829.) Mr. Blackwood died on 18th December following. Provostship
vacant until May, 1830. The first magistrate acted as provost
during the interval.
1830.~ez_mdash~LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~"Remains of the late
Rev. Alex. Fisher, Minister of Queen. Anne Street Congregation,
Dunfermline, with a Brief Memoir of his Life. By Rev. John Brown,
Edinburgh. 1830." This is an octavo volume of 448 pp., and
contains eleven Lectures and Sermons, and six Sacramental
addresses, &c. A profile likeness faces the title-page.
DUNFERMLINE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY was
instituted 15th Feb., 1830. Coffee-house and Reading-room, St.
Catherine's Wynd. (Dunf. Register.)
WEAVING.~ez_mdash~Jacquard machines for looms,
recently introduced into the trade, had hitherto made but small
progress, only about a dozen being in use. About the beginning of
1830 a great impetus was given to them, and a great many of them
were made by Matthew Parker and others. By the end of 1830 about
l00 "Jacquards" were in use. (MS. Note.)
RELIEF CHURCH.~ez_mdash~The Rev. Charles Waldie
from Kelso was ordained assistant and successor to the Rev. Mr.
Fergus on 3rd June, 1830, and translated to Dalkeith 17th Dec.,
1834. (Mackelvie's An. and Stat., p. 176.
DOUGLAS STREET.~ez_mdash~The old tenement and
adjacent house on the east, noticed under date 1829, being
removed, along with some old back-dikes, the street was in May
this year opened for passengers and traffic, and had the name of
Douglas Street given to it in compliment to the proprietor of most
of the property here, viz., James Douglas, Esq., Writer.
TIDE-TABLE FOR LIMEKILNS.~ez_mdash~" Calculated
by and published for E. Henderson, by Wm. Meldrum, printer,
Nethertown, April, 1830." This table is printed on a slip of paper
12mo size, at the top of which there is a woodcut engraving
showing the increasing and decreasing phases of the moon, beneath
which is "the Table," divided into four columns: the first
contains the moon's age; the second, the moon's southing; the
third, the high water, morning; and in the fourth, high water,
evening; and concludes with an " Example," viz., Find out the age
of the moon in the first column, then in the same horizontal line
in the other columns will be found the moon's southing and morning
and afternoon mean tides. Editions of this Table were printed in
1830, 1832, 1836; since the latter date it has not been printed.
(The writer of the Annals is the author.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~Since the
death of Provost Blackwood, 18th Dec,, 1829, there was no Provost
in Dunfermline. On the 29th May of this year (1830) George Meldrum
was elected Provost till the usual time of elections in September.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~George Meldrum,
Esq., was re-elected Provost in Sept., 1830. (Burgh Records.)
DUNFERMLINE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY
was established in Sept., 1830, by Mr. John Davie, and other
friends of the teetotal cause.
December, 1830, Mr. John Miller compiled and published the first
number of his "Directory for the Town of Dunfermline, containing
an Alphabetical List of the Inhabitants, and also Gentlemen's
Seats and Farm Steadings in the Neighbourhood, with their
Proprietors' or Tenants' Names at Martin- mas, 1830. Dunfermline:
Printed and Published by John Miller, Dec. 25, 1830." 32 pp. 16mo.
This Directory contains the names of about 730 of the inhabitants,
their professions, and places of residence, and was afterwards
made the " Addenda" to the Dunfermline Register; but it soon
ceased to exist. (MS. Note.)
1831.~ez_mdash~DUNFERMLINE SKATING CLUB was
formed in Jan., 1831.
LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~" The Gasometer; or
Dunfermline Literary Magazine. Dunfermline: Published by John
Miller." The first number of this 12mo monthly of 36 pp. was
published on Saturday, 1st January, 1831. This miscellany was,
during' 1831-32, published at the beginning of each month; the
contributors to it were " native artists," &c., whose papers
referred to "anything and everything. It might have lived longer,
had many of said contributions been thrown into the waste-basket.
The gas of the Gasometer was turned off on the appearance of the
12th number on Dec., 1831. The Gasometer, thus brought to a close,
was bound and sold as a small vol., 12mo, pp. 497. It is now
rarely to be seen; our copy from the editor was, we observe,
presented to us in Jan., 1832.
GREAT SNOW STORM~ez_mdash~Death of the Town
Drummer m a Snow-Drift.~ez_mdash~There was a great fall of snow in the
middle of January, 1831; medium depth of snow on the street, 3 1/2
feet; in drifts, from 5 to 8 feet. James Dow, the town drummer,
had, on the evening of the snow, been sent with a message to
Headwell, a little to the north of the burgh; on his return home
he mistook his way, got into a drift, and there perished. He was
found on the following morning lying in the drift as if he had
been asleep. Much sympathy was felt for his widow and family.
DR. JOHN MACKIE died, at Chichester,
on 29th Jan., 1831, aged 82 years. This eminent physician was born
in the Queen's House, Dunfermline, on 3rd June, 1748, and was
educated in the Grammar School, Dunfermline. Sometime before his
death, he wrote and published for private circulation "A Sketch of
a New Theory of Man." The late Rev. Sir Henry Moncrieff, one of
his schoolfellows, says of him, that, both at school and at
college, young Mackie "was the most remarkable youth he had ever
known.'' (Chal. Hist. Dunf, vol. i. pp. 532, 534.)
A GREAT REFORM MEETING was held in
Queen Ann Street Church, on 8th March, 1831~ez_mdash~Provost Meldrum in the
CENSUS.~ez_mdash~The fourth government census
of Dunfermline was taken in April, l83l. The result was as
follows:~ez_mdash~Population of Dunfermline and suburbs, 10,625; of parish,
17,068; males in the burgh and suburbs, 5,399; females, 5,225;
males in the parish, 8,440; females, 8,628. Increase of the
population of the burgh and suburbs since 1821 census, 2,584
souls; in the parish, 3,378 souls. (Burgh Register, August, 1831.)
Thus, since 1801, Dunfermline had nearly doubled its population,
while the parish was 1,892 souls short of the duplication, showing
thereby an influx of the country population into the town.
THE REFORM BILL.~ez_mdash~As in other places at
this period, "the bill, the whole bill, and nothing but the bill"
occupied much of the public mind. The following extract from the
Fife Herald of 31st March, 1831, will show how matters were going
on in the grey toun:~ez_mdash~
"So great was the crowd at the
Temperance Reading Room when the post arrived on Friday evening
(25th March) anxious to hear the result of the division on the
second reading of the bill, that they had to adjourn to the
May-gate Chapel, when, in the course of a few minutes, a
congregation of nearly 300 assembled, who seemed to hear with
intense delight [read to them] the summary in the Times relating
to the subject, and who united in three hearty cheers to the King
and his Ministers. The corporation of wrights walked through the
principal streets with flags and music. At the Cross was drunk the
toast "The King, his Ministers, and Mr. Johnstone, our Member." At
eight o'clock several hundreds of the inhabitants walked in
procession from the town-house, and notwithstanding the immense
multitudes present no accident took place."
REFORM PROCESSION ON 10TH AUGUST,
1831.~ez_mdash~"This was the first of a great many reform processions
between 1831 and 1832." (MS.)
QUEEN ANN STREET CHURCH
ORDINATION.~ez_mdash~The Rev. James Young, of Mauchline, was ordained
minister of Queen Ann Street Church on 1st June, 1831, as
successor to the late Rev. Alexander Fisher, who died in
September, 1829. (See An. Dunf. date December, 1829.)
BRITISH LINEN COMPANY.~ez_mdash~The British
Linen Company re-established a Branch Bank in Dunfermline on 31st
July, 1831, Robert Douglas, Esq., St. Margaret's Street, Agent.
Note.~ez_mdash~This Banking Company established a Branch in Dunfermline in
1804. Shortly afterwards it was withdrawn.
WEAVING TRADE.~ez_mdash~There were 2,670 looms
in Dunfermline, and 450 in the vicinity; total, 3,120 in the
parish, (MS. Note.)
MUNICIPAL ELECTORS in the Burgh of
Dunfermline ascertained to be 493, or 9 more than the electors of
all the Stirling Burghs united. (Newspapers of this date.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~John Kerr,
Esq., manufacturer, Bothwell Haugh Row, elected Provost, as
successor to Mr. George Meldrum. (Burgh Records, September, 1831.)
LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~"Original Songs, by Robert
Gilfillan" Published September. This small 12mo volume of 149
pages, contains sixty-three songs and seven ballads. The songs are
chiefly love songs, which we shall pass over, and give the
following eight lines as a specimen of his composition, entitled
The Bright Sun o' Simmer:~ez_mdash~
" The bright sun o' simmer but lately
The birds sang in joy and the earth
An' hope spoke of days without care or
Like those that in dreams o' my
childhood I've seen.
"But now the brown leaves o' the
forest are fa'ing,
An' quickly the sun hastens down
through the sky;
The winds frae the caverns of winter
They tell me that simmer, like youth,
has gone by."
This small work was well received by
the public, and has passed through several editions. (Vide An.
Dunf. date December, 1850.)
1832.~ez_mdash~CHOLERA MORBUS ALARM.--In
February, of this year, " there was great consternation and alarm
in Dunfermline, in consequence of intimations in newspapers, that
the Cholera which had for some time before been raging on the
Continent, had been imported into the town of Gateshead, near
Newcastle. The magistrates ordered every species of nuisance to be
UNION OF THE TRADEMEN'S AND MECHANICS'
LIBRARIES.~ez_mdash~ The Mechanics' Institute. Library was united to the
Tradesmen's Library in 1832, in consequence of the depressed state
of the Institute. The united Library, under certain restrictions,
was then designated "The Tradesmen's and Mechanics' Library."
A LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH and
Soup-Kitchen for Dunfermline were instituted in April, 1832. (Dunf.
REFORM PROCESSION.~ez_mdash~There was a great
Reform Procession in Dunfermline on S=8th May, 1832. From our
notes, it appears that~ez_mdash~
"About 4000 took part in the
procession, walking five men abreast. The pole-bearers carried, on
poles and otherwise, many curious emblems and devices. On the top
of a pole there was an excellent model of a loom and drivers. On
the top of another pole sat the figure of an old woman, with her
pirn-wheel at work. The colliers of Halbeath had on a pole a
pretty large steam-engine. The Spinning Factory men had sets of
heckles mounted on the tops of their poles ; while the
incorporated trades of the burgh had their flags, and numerous
bands of music enlivened the gay scene, and, lastly, in a cart
there was a Printing Press, worked by William Wilson and Henry Ogg,
printers from Mr. Miller's printing establishment, who threw off,
and threw out on all sides of them, printed slips regarding the
cause of Reform. This grand procession moved on to the west end of
the Nethertown, into a park on the north side of the bridge, where
hustings were erected for the speechifiers and for spectators. The
Provost had only uttered a few words of his speech when the
hustings fell; no lives were lost, but several persons were
severely hurt. This awkward occurrence threw a damp on the
proceedings, which soon after were brought to a close. It was
computed that at least 10,000 spectators (inhabitants and
strangers) accompanied this, the greatest procession ever heard of
CHOLERA MORBUS.~ez_mdash~This terrible scourge
reached Dunfermline on Sunday, 2nd September, 1832; "it made its
first appearance in the suburb of Baldridge Burn, and caused great
excitement and terror. A man named Mercer, a weaver, near
Baldridge Burn Toll, was the first who died in the district of
THE MASON LODGE, Queen Ann Place, was
built in 1832. This New Union Lodge is a chaste building of two
storeys; the upper storey is the lodge-room or hall, the under one
is occupied by the Infant School, capable of accommodating 260
pupils ; both rooms are very spacious.
THE REV. GEORGE BARLAS was, on
September 2nd, 1832, suspended from the ministry of Chalmers
Street Church. He formed a new congregation on the 12th September,
1832, with the sanction of the Presbytery. The Maygate Chapel was
purchased for £440 l0s., and used as a meeting-house of this new
congregation; sittings, 410," (Mackelvie's An. and Stat. p. 176.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~Henry Russell,
Esq., merchant, was elected Provost, in Sept, 1832. (Burgh
October 11th, 1832, was kept as a Fast-day, and was observed with
great solemnity on account of the rapid spread of the disease."
(Fife Herald, &c.)
WILLIAM COBBETT IN DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~"On
October 15, 1832, the celebrated politician, orator, and author,
visited Dunfermline. During his short stay, he delivered a
political lecture in the Maygate Chapel to a numerous audience."
(Fife Herald, October 18, 1832.)
CHOLERA MORBUS.~ez_mdash~Dunfermline and
vicinity, on November 17, 1832, "was declared to be free of
pestilence." >From the commence-ment, on the 2nd September, to
17th November, 1832, a period of 76 days, there occurred 349 cases
of cholera and 158 deaths. "When at its height, there were from 15
to 24 funerals a-day." A note states that " the dead-cart
collected the coffins at the doors of the deceased persons, and
drove them to the Churchyard, where they were interred. Few of the
relations followed the cart for fear of infection. Walter Bell,
tailor and poet, Willie Nicol, the blue beadle, and other
notables, died during the cholera period." (MS. and Newspaper
1833.~ez_mdash~LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~"THE PRECURSOR: a
Monthly Newspaper, edited by Thomas Morrison, senior, and printed
by W. Liddell, west end of Bridge Street; on Tuesday, 1st January,
1833. Price twopence. "It was a small 4to of four pages, and
contained news, advertisements, &c. The publication of it ceased
with No. 3.
THE Dunfermline Sunday School
Association was instituted this year, 1833. (Dunf. Reg.)
THE Dunfermline Voluntary Church
Association was also instituted this same year. (Dunf. Reg.)
LITERATURE.~ez_mdash~"The Testimony of Nature
and Revelation to the Being, Perfections, and Government of God.
By the Rev. Henry Fergus, Dunfermline. March, 1833." This is an
octavo of 387 pages, and is divided into the following sections,
viz.:~ez_mdash~Of the Origin of the World; Evidences of Design in Nature;
Of the Perfections of Deity; and of the Gospel. (See also An. Dunf.
DRAWING ACADEMY.~ez_mdash~The Dunfermline
Drawing Academy, established on 17th July, 1826, was abandoned in
1833 for want of proper support.
ST. ANDREWS CHURCH, North Chapel
Street.~ez_mdash~In 1832 the old "Chapel of Ease" being considered too
small and incommodious, it was resolved to remove it, and to erect
a large building on the same site. The new church was finished and
opened for public worship on 23rd June, 1833; there were sittings
for 800. The old name, "Chapel Kirk," was deleted, and that of St.
Andrew's Church substituted. (MS. Note; see also An. Dunf. date
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.~ez_mdash~ Henry
Russell, Esq., merchant, re-elected Provost, September, 1833.
ORDINATION, Chalmers Street
Church.~ez_mdash~Rev. Robert Cuthbertson was ordained minister of this
church on 13th November, 1833. He resigned his charge in
September, 1845. (Mackelvie's Annals and Statistics, pp. 176,
THE COLLIEROW~ez_mdash~Bruce Street,~ez_mdash~The
Collierow, which had for upwards of 400 years been known by this
same, was, at the end of 1833. changed; for a few weeks it was
called King Street, but ultimately, the name. Bruce Street was
given to it, which still continues to be the name of this ancient
thoroughfare. The Messrs. Ker, manufacturers in this street, were
the prime movers in getting the name altered, (MS. Note.)