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The History of Fettercairn
Chapter XXIV.—Churches and Churchyards (continued)


THE FREE CHURCH, a plain but commodious building, was erected after the Disruption in 1843. Its site and grounds are a feu off the estate of Balmain. The managers, it is said, applied to Sir Alexander Ramsay for a feu of ground then vacant on the east side of the burn ; but he refused, saying:—"No! no! The two ministers would be too near each other; let us keep cold water between the fellows !" Short notices of the incumbents in charge will be given in the chapter on ministers.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church at Fasque stands a little eastward of the mansion-house. Built by Sir John Gladstone, it was consecrated and opened, 28th August, 1847, by Samuel, Bishop of Oxford and subsequently of Winchester. A new chancel, in the early English style of architecture, was added by Sir Thomas Gladstone, and consecrated 15th April, 1869, by Alexander, Bishop of Brechin. The east window, which contains representations of St. Andrew and the Four Evangelists, is a fine specimen of art. The additions were made by Sir Thomas in memory of his deceased brother, Captain John-Neilson Gladstone, as shown by a brass plate upon the north wall, with the following Latin inscription, in old English. characters:—

"In gloriam honoremque Dei, et in memoriam dilectissimam Johannis Neilson Gladstone, in Classe Regali Navarchi, qui obiit a.d. 1863; hunc cancellum ecclesiae St. Andreae adstrui ouravit frater moerens, T. G., a.d. 1867."

(To the glory and honour of God, and in the deeply cherished memory of John-Neilson Gladstone, Captain in the Royal Navy, who died a.d. 1863; his sorrowing brother T. G. caused this chancel of St. Andrew's Church to be erected.)

A monument of white marble, in the north wall of the nave of the church, presents a group of two figures, in high relief, nearly life size, and in the attitude of prayer. They represent the founder of the church and his lady. Along the base of the monument is this inscription:—

"Sacred to the memory of Sir John Gladstone of Fasque and Balfour, Baronet; born 11 Dec. 1764, died 7 Dec. 1851. And of his wife, Ann Robertson, born 4 Aug., 1772; died 23 Sept. 1835."

Two memorial windows (also on the north side of the church, inscribed as below) refer respectively to a sister and two children of Sir Thomas and Ladj^ Gladstone, the latter containing a representation of Christ blessing little children:—

"In memory of Ann M'Kenzie Gladstone, born 1802, died 1829. * Lord, I believe, thou hast the words of eternal life.' In memory of Evelyn-Marcella Gladstone, born 1847, died 1852. Frances-Margaret Gladstone, born 1850, died 1853."

A window, over the entrance to the church, is commemorative of Robert Gladstone, a brother of Sir John, who died at Fasque in 1835. A flat stone in the area of the church, over the family vault, bears this record of a daughter of the Hon. W. E. Gladstone :—

"In the vault beneath sleep the mortal remains of Catherine Jessy Gladstone, second daughter of W. E. & Catherine Gladstone. Born July 27th, 1845; died April 9th, 1850. And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God. Rev. 14c. 5v."

The vault contains the mortal remains of all whose memorials have been described; and also those of Miss Helen Gladstone, aunt of Sir John R. Gladstone, who died at Cologne, January 16th, 1880; of Sir Thomas Gladstone, who died March 20th, 1889; and of Miss Ida Gladstone, for whom a mural brass in the church reads thus:—

"In memory of Ida Gladstone, born 22nd January, 1849 ; died 22nd June, 1874. ' Weep not, she is not dead but sleepeth.'"

The two memorial windows—one on each side of the altar—representing choirs of angels, commemorate the deaths, formerly noticed, of Louisa and Anne Gladstone, who died in London on the 12th and 24th January, 1885.

A memorial window on the south side of the church is embellished with two subjects; the upper one is St. John the Evangelist leading the Blessed Virgin home from the Crucifixion. The lower represents St. John leaning upon his Master's breast; and along the base is the following: "In memory of Sir John Hepburn Stuart Forbes, Bart. Born Sept. 25th, 1804; died May 28th, 1866."

Upon a mural brass, also on the south side, is the following: " In loving remembrance of Lieut.-Col. William M'Inroy of The Burn; born 28th August, 1804; died 29th April, 1896: and of Harriet-Barbara, his wife; born 15th April, 1810; died 2nd July, 1890."

Newdosk Churchyard. In previous chapters some account was given of the lands and parish of Newdosk. The parish was included in the diocese of St. Andrews, and paid four merks Scots annually to the Cathedral. The church, whose foundations are traceable in the churchyard, was in all likelihood dedicated to St. Drostan; as a well (recently drained into the Balfour burn), in a field called the "Piper's shade," on the farm of Balfour, bore the name of St. Drostan. According to tradition, it cured all diseases; and some envious members of the healing craft, in trying to poison the well, were slain by the people and buried around it in the field. To the east of the churchyard, on the farm of Kirkton, there was a sheet of water called the "Cardinal's pool." To the west lies the "Manse field/' and a part of it, about an acre in extent, is known as "the glebe." Farther west, on Bonhary farm, stood the "Auld ha'," while one of the fields is called the "Doo-cot park." The churchyard is still used for interments. Two of the older graves are marked by the halves of the broken baptismal font of the church. A few years ago the late Alexander Adam of Newtonmill, after retiring from his business as a builder in London, built a new wall round the churchyard to protect the graves of his kindred. His own headstone is one of the newer ones. Colonel and Mrs M'Inroy preferred this spot for burial rather than the Arnhall enclosure in Fettercairn churchyard. Their headstone, of massive granite, bears the following simple but appropriate inscription:—"Harriet Barbara, wife of William M'Inroy of The Burn; died there 2 July, 1890. William M'Inroy of The Burn; died there 29 April, 1896, aged 91." Another granite headstone marks the grave of John Nicol, farmer, Inch of Arnhall, a native of Deeside, who, after attending for two sessions the Arts classes at Marischal College (when the writer was a class-fellow), emigrated to Australia, was successful, and returned in 1868. In that year he became tenant of Inch, but resided at Woodmyre, and died there, much lamented, in 1893. The revival of interments in the quiet and hallowed ground of Newdosk will probably induce many people in the district to make it their last resting-place.

Chapelton of Arnhall. The name Chapelton indicates that, besides a chapel, there was here a group of dwellings forming a town, in the old sense of the term. All that now remains is a farm cottage, with a heap of stones, evidently the remains in part of buildings long ago demolished. Very little is known of the chapel except that it was dedicated to St. Martin. The adjoining pool on the river is still called "Linn Martin." Two carved stones now built into the front wall of the cottage, dated respectively 1668 and 1704, bear the arms (the eagle being erroneously carved with two heads) and the initials of James the second Earl and of James the fifth Earl of Southesk. An entry of date 1736 in the Kirk Session minutes of Fettercairn alludes to a "Mr Skinner, Episcopal minister at Arnhall"; but whether he was minister of the chapel, or whether it stood till that date, does not appear. Another entry, of the same year, in the minutes refers to the graveyard, now a part of the ploughed field in front of the cottage. Its boundary is still traceable, from its soil being blacker and richer than the rest of the field, and from its crop being heavier and more luxuriant, especially in a dry summer. The same entry, in 1736, bears that at sight of the Kirk Session, some decaying ash trees on the boundary were sold by public roup, and realised 29 11s. Scots. Without the trees, and with no other fence, burials being discontinued, the graveyard, like others of its kind, was neglected, and now it is as much out of remembrance as the uunknowing and unknown" that lie beneath.


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