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Perth, the Ancient Capital of Scotland
Chapter II

The greatest of our ancient monuments is undoubtedly the Church of St John. Unfortunately, the history of its foundation is very imperfectly known, but the people of Perth are proud of having in their midst so great a relic of antiquity, and one so closely identified with the dawn of Christianity, and with all the ecclesiastical questions and ecclesiastical struggles and conventions of the early and middle ages. These eventually culminated in the Reformation, when Knox and the reformers made the Church of St John a great landmark in that memorable movement, and permanently expelled the Catholics from the venerable edifice. St John's at first was doubtless constructed of wood. That period would probably be the end of the sixth century, when the Picts, on their conversion by Columba, discontinued, it is supposed, their worship in the Pagan temple, and erected an edifice for the new religion. This great event in the life of the native races heralded the introduction of what is known as the Columban or Celtic Church. The difference between the latter and the Roman Church related chiefly to the keeping of Easter and the tonsure, subjects of great controversy in early times. A striking characteristic of the Celtic Church appears to have been its monastic force. The land was held at that period for sacred purposes by a number of fortresses or garrisons, of which fact we are reminded by the rampart circled monasteries. There is no evidence of the Celtic Church entertaining in a definite manner any doctrine differing from the prevailing faith of western Christendom as then constituted. Anglo-Saxons, again, on the eastern shores of Scotland were also Pagan. Pagan influence was in the highest degree hurtful to Christianity, and it was not till the arrival of St Kentigern at Scone that the churches were released from that influence. The Columban Church remained the church of the Pictish kingdom till 717 A.D. when it was superseded by a church of a different character, and the Columban clergy driven out, while clergy of a different type replaced them. The Church of St. Andrews, as a Catholic Church, was founded, it is supposed, in 736 A.D., and we are informed that the Scottish Church again acquired its

supremacy in the reign of Constantine III. (863-879). This ruler removed the ecclesiastical See from Dunkeld to St Andrews. Later on, after the accession of Malcolm Canmore, the Roman Catholic religion—by order of Queen Margaret— became paramount, and the service in St John's Church would then conform to that of the Church of Rome. This lady was in her day a very prominent figure, a pious woman, and a great ecclesiastic Her son, David I., became a monk, and spent his life in building churches and granting charters all over Scotland. That he built St John's as a stone building, as some writers say,1 is, we think, doubtful, but it is very probable he substantially repaired it In his day it is said to have been larger than the Columban Church which it replaced, but much less in size than the present building. The matter of the first stone building is of considerable importance. We have no actual knowledge as to who was the builder, as the information is not recorded, but it must have been stone built during the 200 years that intervened between Kenneth M'Alpine and Malcolm Canmore. From Columba's time to the reign of Malcolm Canmore in 1057, a period of three and a half centuries, there is no recorded evidence that the people were much bent on religion or that they gave much attention to it. It was essentially a warlike and troublous period, including the lawless times of King Duncan and Macbeth, the Danish pirates, and the sieges of Perth by the Danes, so that the little Columban Church in these circumstances would serve all requirements. Queen Margaret, from all accounts, was a generous lady, and it is most likely that she, rather than her son King David, removed the Columban Church and substituted a stone building in its place. In support of this we find that she also built Dunfermline Abbey, and was unstinted in the money she spent on that edifice. As a Catholic, she was a lavish patron of St John's Church, and contributed much to its internal arrangements and general comfort After the year 1126, when the property of St John's Church and titles had been given to the Abbey of Dunfermline by King David, no great care was taken of the fabric; the monks endeavoured to throw the burden of its maintenance on the town, and the town upon the monks. For centuries after its erection it was the only place of public worship in Perth. The services in pre-Reformation times are stated to have been six every twenty-four hours—three between sunset and sunrise, and three during the day. The chief service was at sunset, which was the beginning of the day —the day thus being reckoned from sunset to sunset. The audience knelt at all the services, except the Communion on Sunday, and at that they stood. They also stood during the paschal season, Easter to Whitsunday. St John's Church, as it stands, is of various dates, and has undergone many changes and renovations. The square tower is now almost the only remaining part of the old or early structure. The wooden spire on the top is modern. The edifice, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, was large, and of moderate architectural pretensions. The cutty stool, or stool of repentance, stood in the

present East Church, while John Knox's pulpit was in the West Church. The Middle Church of to-day contained the pew called the King's seat Opposite to it, in the small gallery, was the Magistrates' seat In 1296, Edward I. of England was a worshipper in St John's on the occasion of the feast of the nativity of St John, in the summer of that year. Orders were given some years after by Robert Bruce for the restoration of the fabric with stones from Kincarrathie. These repairs were only partially executed, and the order became a dead letter at his death in 1329. The building, at that date, is said to have been suffering severely for want of repair. In 1336, St John's witnessed a great tragedy. Edward III. of England slew his brother John, Earl of Cornwall, before the high altar, for his despotic conduct in burning and laying waste large tracts of country in England.

The east division of St John's contains the tombstone of James I. and his Queen, removed from the Carthusian monastery, and it also has a Gothic stained-glass window of great beauty. The pious gifts to St John's during the fifteenth century were very lavish. The first of the new altars founded was that of St Ninian, by Robert Brown, burgess in 1401. St John's contained eventually forty altars, all more or less endowed, of which we give a list. There was a tabernacle connected with the Order of St Bartholomew in the choir, while the high altar of the church is said to have been a beautiful work of art The church was also adorned with paintings of Scripture scenes. The choir was built in 1440 by special arrangement with the Abbot and Council of St Andrews, and St John's was then open from end to end, and was, indeed, a spacious church. There was an organ in it at that period, which evidently disappeared at the Reformation. The Magistrates appointed the organist and paid the salary. In 1511, George Duncan was appointed Parish Clerk, and was bound to employ sufficient persons to sing and play the organ during divine service, and to find strings and cords for the bells. The north-east corner of the choir was the burying-place of the Gowrie family. William, first Earl of Gowrie, beheaded for the Raid of Ruthven, was buried here, and in all probability his two sons, who fell at the Gowrie Conspiracy. In 1637, Lady Stormont paid the Hospital 100 for the privilege of burying her mother beside the tomb of the Gowries in St. John's Church. Two years afterwards, Lady Stormont died, and was also buried beside the Gowries, 100 being again paid. Up to the Reformation, there were no pews, and the floor was paved with gravestones, interments in church being a custom of the time. From 1560 to 1595 the church and parish had two ministers. From 1595 to 1716 the west division, which had been divided from the rest of the building by a partition wall, was ordered to be seated, and a third minister was appointed by the Magistrates.

In 1440 there is a letter from the Prior and Chapter of St Andrews in favour of the town of Perth ratifying an agreement between the Prior and community of Perth, conferring on the town the exclusive right of burial in the choir of the church, in respect of their having built and maintained a new choir and vestibule. There is also a letter bestowing on the town the exclusive right of burial in the nave and without the choir. In the same year the Abbot of Dunfermline made over to Patrick Charteris, Provost of Perth, and Council, for a period of six years, the church and revenues thereof, for 200 merks and 50 merks yearly. Under the whole area of the church townspeople were allowed to be buried, but this practice was, so far, discontinued at the Reformation. The matter will be better understood by a perusal of the deeds referred to, which are as follows, and which have been specially translated for this work:—

To all to whose notice these present letters shall come Andrew by divine permission, Abbot of the Monastery of Dunfermline and Convent wisheth salvation in the Lord. Know ye that we are bound and by the tenor of these presents do faithfully oblige ourselves to pay 200 merks Scots to the provost, bailies and community of Perth, because they have undertaken the building and maintenance of the choir and vestibule of the parish church of Perth and of the books, chalices, vestments, and other ornaments belonging to the choir and the real altar, and they shall discharge the same to us for payment at the underwritten terms, viz.—at Martinmas immediately after the date hereof 25 merks; at Whitsunday there after, other 25 merks, and so continuing from year to year and term to term until the said 200 merks are fully paid. Further, we the said Abbot and Convent with one consent and assent set in lease to the provost bailies and community of Perth the said parish church of Perth with all fruits revenues and profits thereto by law or by the laudable custom of this realm belonging, for six years immediately after the expiry of the lease thereof granted by us to Christian of Dunning and Robert Harrower and that for payment to us of fifty merks Scots yearly at the usual terms, and also paying yearly to the vicar who shall be for the time thirty-five merks with wine bread and wax as was due to him by them during the term of this lease. And for the payment of the 200 merks foresaid they faithfully bind themselves and their successors, also the lands and possessions whatsoever with the rents and revenues and of all their churches and their goods moveable and immoveable, ecclesiastical and secular wherever they may be found for the security of the said payment, and agree that they may be distrained and dealt with without the licence of any spiritual or civil judge by the said provost, bailies and community until they receive satisfaction thereof and of their expenses and damages, any canon or civil law to the contrary notwithstanding, and notwithstanding also that the said provost, bailies and community have already granted their sealed acquittance to them for the said sum. In testimony whereof the seal of the chapter is hereto appended at the aforesaid monastery on 16th June 1440.

Letters by James [Haldenston] Prior of the Cathedral Church of St. Andrews and vicar-general of the same, the Bishop being in foreign parts, also the Chapter, ratifying the following: (1) An Indenture made at Dunfermline 20 May 1440, between the venerable and religious man Andrew Abbot of the monastery of Dunfermline and the convent of that place, on the one part, and Patrick Charteris provost of Perth, the bailies and community of the same on the other part, purports in itself that the provost bailies and community of said burgh at their own cost shall build wholly and of new the choir and vestibule of the parish church of Perth as may seem most pleasing and honourable to them ; and after they have built the same they shall maintain it for ever in all and sundry repairs namely the roof, walls, windows, doors, glazing, pavement, also in books, caps, cups, and all and sundry vestments and ornaments relating to the choir and altar, so that they may relieve the monastery for ever of such, except however that the community shall not be burdened in wine, bread and wax for ever, but only for that time for which the community shall have the church rented to it: moreover for the expenses, building repair and upkeep, the Abbot and convent shall freely give to the community the old choir, the books cups and ornaments found therein at the time of this contract, with the vestibule, shrines and chests being there, meanwhile the Abbot and convent have freely and for ever granted to the community and their successors, to support such burdens, the interments within the new choir with the profits arising from such so that within the choir no body shall be interred without consent of the community and it shall for ever receive the emoluments for the interments to be made within the choir as it has received up till now for the nave of the church and outside the choir, saving however to the Abbot and convent other funeral rites beyond the time of the lease: And also the Abbot and convent have unanimously granted, leased and rented to the community the said church with all and sundry its fruits, offerings, profits and emoluments happening or which in any way may happen by right or praiseworth custom about the vicarage and rectory of the church of Perth, for the space of six years following the lease of said church otherwise made to Christian of Dunning and Robert Harrower. The community for each of the six years shall pay to the Abbot and convent 50 marks usual money of Scotland at the usual terms, Martinmas and Whitsunday by equal portions, with the burdens and expenses which Christian and Robert are in their lease bound to do or to keep up, namely 35 merks to the Vicar who shall be for the time for his pension, with wine bread and wax, in so far as is incumbent on the Abbot and Convent during the lease. . . . And that the premises may be faithfully fulfilled the said community shall at their own expense cause the present agreement to be confirmed by the ordinary authority, or if the ordinary shall refuse, the community shall pay half the cost and the Abbot and Convent the remainder to obtain apostolical [Papal] confirmation. (2) The prior recites a letter by the same Andrew Abbot of Dunfermline and his convent, acknowledging that they have made the foregoing grant of the burials within the choir of the parish church of Perth; and that their free gift may in all time be inviolably observed if it happen that the Abbot and Convent and their successors impugn the present grant or disturb the provost, bailies and community or their successors or hinder their receipt of emoluments from the bodies interred or buried in the choir or the church, they wish that the community, etc., may receive yearly 5 merks from the fruits of the Church of Perth along with the profits of burials, etc., which 5 merks the Abbot and Convent out of pure liberality grant at present for supporting more readily the burdens of the church falling to the community, all privilege statute or custom to the contrary notwithstanding, saving however to the Abbot and Convent all funeral rites arising from deaths or funeral ceremonies. Given at the monastery 9 June, 1440.

In 1475 the Provost and Magistrates, who evidently had a right to present a chaplain to one of the altars in St John's Church, that of the Virgin Mary, a lucrative appointment, as these chaplains got many gifts from pious people, experienced great trouble in connection with the nomination. The matter was dealt with by the Sub-Prior of St Andrews in the following manner:

To all the sons of holy mother church to whose knowledge these presents may come Robert Hyndmarsh, licentiate of sacred theology, subprior of the Cathedral Church of St Andrews and one of the vicars - general elected by the chapter of the said church, with his colleague wisheth salvation in the Redeemer of all. Know ye that we being required to deal with a certain cause anent the presentation of a chaplain to an altar founded in the parish church of Perth in honour of the blessed Mary of Piety between the honourable and prudent men, Sir William Charteris, Sir Alexander Scharpe, chaplain, and William Morton on the one part, and the provost bailies and councillors of Perth, on the other part, and the merits of the case having been fully discussed before us have given our sentence thereupon, as follows:—We, Robert Hyndmarsh (etc., as above) sitting in tribunal in a certain cause of presentation of a chaplain (etc, as above) in which Sir William Charteris, Sir Alexander Scharpe, chaplain and William Morton appeared as pursuers against the provost, bailies and council of Perth as defenders: and parties having been heard, and the rights seen and discussed limc inde, find and declare that, so far as we have seen or has been shown to us, the chaplain presented by the said provost and magistrates to the Virgin Mary of Piety within the Church of Perth, and admitted by the vicar of the Church, as also the presentation of the same, are in all respects valid, notwithstanding the collation made by us to the said Sir Alexander Scharpe upon the sinister information of him and his accomplices, because we were informed that the presentation to the altar was not vacant for four months or more, through the non-presentation of a chaplain after the death of Sir Thomas Stevenson, last possessor thereof. He was presented by the said provost and magistrates, received by the vicar, and admitted to the altar, which altar, in terms of its foundation, does not require other collation, and it was clearly shown that the presentation was made within nine days after the death of the said Sir Thomas, and thus did not vacate, and our collation granted upon the sinister information becomes null. Which, therefore, we cass and annul and decern the said William and his partakers in the expenses of this action, as they shall be judicially taxed. This was done in the Cathedral Church of St Andrews, before the altar of the Virgin Mary, being the place of the sitting of the tribunal, and judgment was entered at the instance of Mr. David Fyvie, procurator for the said provost and magistrates, against the pursuers aforesaid, and all others having interest. In testimony whereof the said judge orders his seal as vicar-general to be appended; dated at St. Andrews, 24th August, 1475.

In 1580, or twenty years after the Reformation, the seating of the church was ordered to be done. It seems to have been suggested that the church ought to a considerable extent to be seated by the Incorporated Trades, if each were allotted a certain portion of the area In 1582 the Session ordained Oliver Peebles, a prominent citizen, to ascertain from the Deacons of Crafts if they would build seats for themselves in the Kirk; failing which, he was to assure them that he would give license to other honest men to do so. The Incorporated Trades agreed, and by this means the Kirk was seated.

It would appear, however, that the Kirk-Session in 1588 ordained interments in St John's to be stopped; but these continued in spite of this order until the middle of the following century. The Parsonage House stood on the south side of the church at the north end of the Flesh Vennel, on the site occupied by the City Hall Tavern. The burying-ground was surrounded by a wall. The Revestry stood at the north side of the choir with which it had a door of communication. The priests kept their vestments there. After the Reformation it became the session house, and it was afterwards taken down and another session house built Mr. John Dow officiated in St John's after the Reformation, and in the absence of pews, stools and chairs were in use. Every person provided his own seat, while the Crafts supplied candles to light the building. It is recorded that in 1637, at a meeting in the Greyfriars' burying-ground, there was collected from the audience 10 10s. to buy two chandeliers for holding the candles in winter in the Crafts' seats, the same to belong in perpetuity to the Hammermen. It is noticeable, however, that all discipline in the Church had by 1715 passed out of the hands of the Incorporations.

There was an old inscription on the first pillar of the church next the south door at the capital, partly in letters and partly in hieroglyphics. Though there is no date in any part of the church, there was a date on one of the beams of the steeple when repaired. The church has always been Christian, and never was a temple dedicated to Mars, as some writers insinuate, by the Romans under Agricola.

At this period, it was the custom for marriages to be solemnised in the church on Sunday morning. The Session exercised the right of inquiring into the religious knowledge of those about to be married, and postponed the ceremony in the case of those found grossly ignorant, until they should be better informed. On 7th July, 1578, it was announced that the minister and elders, "perceiving that those about to be married were almost altogether ignorant and misknow the causes why they should marry, therefore, the Assembly ordain all such persons to compeer before the reader for the time, that he may instruct them in the true cause of marriage, before they appear before the Assembly."

The Kirk Session was evidently compelled to adopt the expedient contained in the following extract, in order to get some money: "Perth, June 27, 1586— The minister and elders, perceiving the ruinous state of the kirk, and the great delay that will follow thereon, unanimously ordain the minister to omit his ordinary text, and desire him earnestly to devote some other portion of Scripture which he would think more able and meet to move the hearts of the people, and specially the bailies and magistrates bearing

rule and authority in the burgh : in order to provide that the kirk, with all diligence, may be repaired and mended in all honest and decent form." When monasteries began to be built in Perth in the reign of Alexander II., the zeal of the people was diverted from the concerns of the Parish Church. We are informed that the inhabitants at that time were regular churchgoers, and that the better classes lived genteelly, and did not exceed their incomes. They set a good example to others by their regular attendance at church. The craftsmen were distinguished by a strict regard for religion, and for the excellent training of their children in good principles and practices.


The earliest detailed account of the bells of St. John's is entered in a report of the "Visitatioune about the Steepell and Bellis" entered in the city records under the date 21st March, 1652. Four separate bells are there described, in addition to a set of seven hour-bells, viz., one bell for the "haill" hour and six for the "haff" hour, dating from the year 1526. The oldest of all is the "skelloche littil" bell of the year 1400, of which mention is made in the Kirk-Session Records of 6th October, 1578, and which, after various adventures, is once more the property of the church. No date appears on the "Curfew Bell," which was rung at "eight at even." The two bells named in the "Visitation "— the "Preaching Bell" and the "Common Bell"— were cast in 1506 and 1526 respectively, in the foundry of the Maghen family at Mechlin in Flanders, and bear characteristic inscriptions.

Inscription on the Preaching Belly in rhymed Latin:

"Pax. Joannes Baptista vocor. Ego

Vox clamantis in Deserto.
Mecklini Petrus Maghenus me formavit
Sic benedictus qui cuncta creavit

Translation:—"Peace. John Baptist I am named I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Peter Maghen made me at Mechlin. So blessed be he who created all things. 1506."

Inscription on the Common Bell:

"Joannes Baptista vocor: nos autem gloriari opportet in cruce Domini nostri Jhesu Christi, anno domini 1526.

Facta sum Mecklini per Georg. Maghen.

Ego vox clamantis in deserto: Parate viam Domini."

Translation:—"John Baptist I am named. But it is necessary for us to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, A.D. 1526.
I was made by George Maghen at Mechlin.
I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord."

The description of the hour-bells in the "Visitation " Report is confused, and in part unintelligible. All the bells, it seems to say, had a Latin inscription which ended with the words of St. Luke ii. 42, thus;

"Ave Maria. Benedicta tu inter mulieres Et benedictus sit fructus ventris tui."

Translation:—"Hail, Mary. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed be the fruit of thy womb."

For further information regarding these bells, and others which were added later, the reader is referred to Fittis' "Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth," pp. 42 ff.

We hear very little of St John's Church for a time. Then we find that in a petition to the magistrates by the Kirk Session, dated 15th December, 1763, it is stated that two places of worship might be made by dividing the old church into two, and carrying up a partition wall on the arch where the pulpit and the King's loft were situated. In 1771 the Kirk Session minute detailing the arrangements for the Communion speaks of the elders who are to officiate in the old church and the new church, i.e., the West Church, and in the minute of the following year the three churches are denominated as the Middle Church, the New Church, and the East Church. At the division of the parish of Perth into four parishes, the church plate and furniture belonging to the old Kirk of Perth were retained in the Middle Church, St. John's Church being situated in the middle parish.

Considerable interest attaches to the Communion Cups of St John's. Historically the most interesting of the four is that known as Queen Mary's Cup, An undying interest is associated with the name of the Scottish Queen. It is not surprising, therefore, that this cup, which tradition affirms to be a gift from Queen Mary, should be regarded with such feelings of veneration, and should be preserved with such scrupulous care. The tradition as to its origin does not rest, so far as can be ascertained, upon any documentary evidence, and when the name of Queen Mary came to be first associated with it, it is impossible to determine. But, for some generations at least, the story has been told of its having been gifted by one of the Popes to Queen Mary, and then presented by her to the Kirk of Perth. Tradition has also preserved the story of its loss, its preservation, and restoration. In the riots which ensued on the 11th May, 1559, when the churches were wrecked and their altars destroyed, it is said to have been thrown into the street, and to have been picked up by a woman, who concealed it in her father's grave, and who afterwards, in more peaceful times, returned it to the now Reformed Church. Its workmanship has been also attributed to the renowned Italian goldsmith of the sixteenth century, Benvenuto Cellini, The Kirk Session appear to have had Communion Cups in their possession in 1587. In the minutes of Kirk Session in that year, "the order to be observit at the table" contains the names of four elders to "convoy the cuipis," and four "deakyns" to "fill the cuipis," from which reference it is to be inferred that four cups were possessed at that date. In a minute of Kirk Session, of date 21st May, 1632, mention is made of two silver over-gilt goblets with gold, with the covers and two basins pertaining to the Session.

The Nuremberg Cup.—"Height with cover, 14 inches; diameter of body, 4 3/8 inches; diameter of foot, 4 inches. Inscription round the rim, 'For the Kirk of Perthe.'" This cup bears the Nuremberg mark, having stamped on it the letters N HB. There is no evidence to show when it came into the possession of the Church at Perth. By some authorities it is believed to be the oldest of the four. St John's possesses other two beautiful cups of English manufacture. They bear the London hall-marks of 1610-11 and 1611-12.


One of the most striking features of St John's Church in the middle ages was its abundance of altars. Upwards of forty, all endowed and expensively ornamented, adorned the interior of the building before the Reformation; and these seem to have been all, or almost all, demolished. At the beginning of the fifteenth century considerable repairs were executed, involving the removal of altars existing at that date, excepting the High Altar dedicated to St John the Baptist The altars referred to were doubtless erected after this renovation; and from the following list will be observed their nature, objects, and endowments. It is noticeable that the chaplains of these altars were all knights, and presumably men of position in the realm.

The High Altar of St. John the Baptist.— This was the main or principal altar, and would be the property of the church. The Town Council had an altar in their representative capacity, but very little is recorded about it. The Master of Works in 1510 was ordered to "keep and take care of the vestments, books, chalices, and all other ornaments of the town pertaining to the altar." By the will of Sir Simon Young it was endowed with a stipend of 13 5s. 4d. out of certain tenements in the town in Watergate, South Street, and Castle Gable.

The Guildry Altar, the Altar of Holy Rood or Holy Blood.— This was one of the oldest, and was founded, so far as can be ascertained, in 1429. Amongst the endowments was one from Sir John Spens, burgess of Perth, of 2 3s. 4d. per annum for a weekly mass and for the maintenance of a lamp. Spens belonged to an old Perth family, some of whom had consecutively been burgesses during the whole of the previous hundred years. In 1369 Lawrence Spens was Provost, while John, who endowed this altar, was in the fifteenth century three times elected Provost. At this altar mass was to be sung every Friday by five chaplains, and the lamp was to be perpetually maintained suspended before the altar and directly over the grave in the Middle Church where his father and mother were interred. This altar was also endowed by certain dues levied by the

Guildry on merchant goods and on new members of the Incorporation. The Guild-book contained an edict by the Dean and merchants of Perth as to the payment by strangers of 4 to this altar. There was also a tax for the altar of 4 on all who were called "unfreemen." The patronage of this altar was vested in the Dean of Guild, Provost, and Council. The book of the Guildry, 15th November, 1504, records an ordinance there every Thursday at 9 a.m. When they hear the bells ring, all " Guild brethren convene and foregather, and follow the exercise through the kirk, and hear the said mass under the penalty of a penny to the altar of the Holy Blood." On 4th September, 1512, there was an allocation from the funds of the monks (4 15s.) to Sir Andrew Elder, the chaplain, for the purchase of vestments for the celebration of divine service.

The Glovers' Altar, the Altar of St. Bartholomew.—-This was the patron saint of the glovers. They gave it grants of money and maintained the altar, which was said to be one of the richest of the many shrines within the church of St. John. It was substantially endowed by local families.

The Hammermen Altar, the Altar of St. Elegius.—Andrew Love, goldsmith, granted certain tenements for the endowment of a chaplain to celebrate mass at this altar. This altar, at which some relic of the saint seems to have been kept, was under the care of the Hammermen, who collected the revenue and paid the salary of the chaplain.

The Altar of St. Peter—the Altar of the Flesher Incorporation.—Founded 1503. John and David Rattray granted to this altar 1 6s. 8d. annually. Sir John Matheson was chaplain in 1532. For supporting the altar, a tax of a penny was levied on all slaughtered cattle, which was regularly exacted until abolished by the Town Council In I824, Sir John Tyrie, Provost of the Church of Methven, granted 10s. annually out of a tenement in the Kirkgate to the chaplain of this altar.

Altar of S.S. Ducham and Crispin, or Shoemakers' Altar.— Sir Robert Keillor, chaplain, gave to this altar a tenement in South Street. A portion of the Leonard lands on the east side of the Long Causeway, also belonged to it.

Altar of Severus, or Weavers' Altar.—Robert Clark, burgess of Perth, founded this altar, and endowed it with annual rents amounting to 5 6s. 8d, ordaining the Weaver Incorporation to be patrons. This grant was confirmed by the Archbishop of St Andrews.

Altar of St. Ninian's. —Robert Brown, burgess of Perth, founded this altar, and provided 10 merks annually, or 4 15s., with two booths or shops in High Street, to the chaplain. Sir William Ramsay, another chaplain, provided 28s. per annum also from property in High Street.

Altar of St. Nicholas.—This was founded by Sir John Spens in 1428 with an annual endowment of 7 5s. Scots, to be supplemented with the advice of the Aldermen and Council of the burgh. There was also an endowment by James Fenton,

vicar of Tibbermore, and precentor of Dunkeld, for the welfare of the soul of his relative, Janet Fenton, and of the souls of his other relatives. The endowment was 12 Scots, derived from property on the east side of Watergate, and by Sir Patrick Young, chaplain, from property in South Street

Altar of St. Mungo or St. Kentigern.—Founded in 1523 by James Fenton, precentor of Dunkeld, and endowed with a tenement purchased by him in the south side of South Street, with an annual rent of 9 6s. 8d. Fenton also founded two chaplaincies in St. John's, at the altar of Mary of Consolation, where he made a table, benches, and ceiling, all of handsome carved work.

Altar of St. Bride or St. Bridget.—This was founded in 1523 also by James Fenton. The patronage was to be exercised by the founder during his lifetime, and ultimately by the Prior and Convent of the Charterhouse. It was endowed with the entire booth or shop on the west side of the Castle Gable, and l 13s. 4d. out of certain tenements in town.

Altar of St. Blaise or St. Blasius.—Founded by Andrew Cavers, Abbot of Lindores, in 1490, for the repose of the souls of the abbots, his predecessors, his own soul, and those of his relatives. It was on the north side of the choir. It was endowed with 10 15s. Scots annually, out of his property, held by the Abbey of Perth, the largest portion coming from a croft at Earls' Dykes.

Altar of the Virgin Mary.—Alan Martin, burgess of Perth, founded this altar, and endowed it with the lands of Ardonachy, a share in the mills of Auchtergaven, and certain tenements in Perth, amounting in all to 100, and Andrew Christison, chaplain, endowed it with a tenement belonging to a chaplainry on the north side of High Street.

Altar of St. Michael the Archangel.—Founded in 1441 by Richard Criech, rector of the Church of Errol and prior of the Carthusians pro tem. His executors having lent David Fleming, burgess of Perth, 28, Fleming granted to the altar an annual rent of 2 from a tenement in High Street, to be paid till the loan was liquidated. Sir John Tyrie, of Methven, founded a chaplaincy to St. Joseph at the altar of St. Michael, endowing it out of his property in the town of Perth.

Altar of St. Lawrence.—Founded 1544. This altar was founded by Friar John of Bute, who founded three altars in St. John's Church, and endowed them.

Altar of St. John the Evangelist—This was also founded by John of Bute, in 1448, and endowed with a stipend of 10 6s. d., and he got also from Robert of Ireland, William de Craig, and Christian de Hatton, 13s. 4d, 1 4s., and 13s. respectively.

Altar of St. Sebastian.—This also was founded—1457—by John of Bute, who endowed it with a stipend of 10 5s. 4d. He also provided a lamp to hang before the saint, and to be lighted at same time as St. Lawrence. Helen Gowans granted to it a tenement of land and books at the west side of Kirkgate, yielding 13s. 4d annually. There was also given by the magistrates a sasine in favour of Sir George Sanders, chaplain of a tenement in High Street, belonging to Alexander Langlands, in default of payment of the rent of it

Altar of St. Stephen.—The founder of this altar was Sir Simon Bayne. It was partly endowed with the tenements in the Castle Gable and Kinnoull Causeway, yielding 20s. annually to Sir Simon Bayne, the chaplain. Founded 1471.

Altar of St Clement.—This altar was founded by John Bunch, burgess and magistrate of Perth—1454—and endowed it with the annual stipend of 10. It was also endowed with a tenement of David Bothwell in South Street; also by the magistrates for Sir Laurence Oliphant, chaplain, with a tenement in High Street.

Altar of the Presentation of the Virgin.—This altar was founded in 1491 by Robert Chalmers, burgess of Perth, and was in the south transept of St. Andrew's aisle. It was endowed from property in the north-east corner of the Kirkgate.

Altar of St. Salvador.—This altar was founded in 1491 but we are not informed by whom. In would appear that Alexander Scott, presumably a burgess of Perth, gifted to Sir Patrick Rae, the chaplain, a tenement in the south-east corner of the Meal Vennel.

Altar of St. Adamnan.—The founder unknown. In 1549 a charter was granted by Sir Thomas Gibson, chaplain, to Alexander Hay, burgess of Perth, of that waste land sometime belonging to the charter-house to the north side of South Street, for payment to the altar of 1. 6s. 8d yearly.

Altar of St. Fillan.—This altar was founded in 1496 by Sir Patrick Rae, chaplain to St. Salvador, who endowed it with a stipend of 9 11s. 2d. from his property within the Burgh. It is recorded that St. Fillan's crosier, or head of his pastoral staff, was found in 1782 in the possession of Malise Dewar, labourer in Killin, and representative of the hereditary keepers, accompanied by a certificate of its genuineness. In 1876 it was recovered from his descendants for 100, and is now in the National Museum.

Altar of Nomine Jesu.—This altar was founded in 1518 by Sir John Tyrie, Provost of the Collegiate Church of Methven as Dean of the Confraternity of the name of Jesus, the endowment being out of the property of the society situated in High Street and South Street The foundation was confirmed by the Archbishop of St. Andrews, and the revenues were increased by a tenement in High Street, and an annual rent of 1 6s. 8d. out of the six other tenements. The patrons were the Provost and Town Council.

Altar of St. Catharine.—The patrons of this altar were the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council. William Kinglassie, burgess of Perth, granted to the chaplain an annual stipend of 1 6s. 8d. out of his tenements in High Street until he had repaid 18 13s. 4d., which he had borrowed from the patrons of the altar.

Altar of St. Gregory and St. Augustine, or All Saints.— This was founded in 1529 by Sir Simon Young, vicar of Pitcairn, and Dean of Gowrie, who endowed it with 15 marks annually out of his property in South Street. It was founded for the weal and prosperity of the then King of Scots (James V.), and for the safety of the souls of his relatives as well as his own. The Prior of the Charterhouse appears to have been patron.

Altar of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Thomas of Canter-bury.—This was founded in 1474 by Thomas Scott, James Scott, and James Scott, junior. It was endowed with a stipend of 7 5s. 4d, and the patrons were the Aldermen and Council of Perth.

Altar of St. Simon Zelotes and St. Stephen.—Founded by Sir Simon Bavne, presbyter, who endowed it with a stipend of 9 19s. 4d.

Altar of St. Rogue.—This was founded in 1551, and confirmed by John Hamilton, Archbishop of St. Andrews—Chaplain, Sir David Colling. It further appears that Sir John Young was also chaplain of this Altar. Notwithstanding the change of religion we are informed that on 25th March, 1584, the King's letters were issued charging all and sundry, writers, feuars, and farmers to make payment of the fruits and rents of that altarage under pain of horning. It had property in High Street, Skinnergate, and Castle Gable.

Altar of St. Fith.—Founded by Finlay Anderson, burgess of Perth, in honour of St. Fith, or St. Fithie the Virgin, and he endowed it with a stipend of 12 out of his property in High Street and Watergate.

Altar of St. Confessor.—In 1510 a charter was granted by John Fendour, burgess of Perth, to Sir Andrew Adamson, Chaplain of St. Confessor's Altar, of 2, annual rent out of his property in Kirkgate.

Altar of Salvation of Our Lady, and St. Gabriel.—This was founded in 1513 by Patrick Wells of Wellshill, burgess and Provost of Perth. The endowment of 8 Scots was derived from property in Watergate and South Side of High Street

The Holy Trinity Altar.—Founded in 1518 by John Ireland, Vicar of Perth. The revenues were derived from tenements on the north side of South Street; also Horner's Orchard with its pertinents lying outside the Spey Bridge of the burgh; 1 6s. 8d. of annual rent out of John Dundee tenement in South Street, one half to the altar, and the other half for obsequies and a mass of rest and memorial to be celebrated every year at the altar on the anniversary of Dundee's decease; and 6 15s. 8d. annually out of other properties in town. The foundation was confirmed in 1519 by the Archbishop of St. Andrews. There was already a Trinity altar in the Chapel of St. James within the Church.

Altar of St. Margaret, Consort of Malcolm Canmore.—This was founded by Andrew Pitscottie of Luncarty, Vicar of Perth, who died in 1438. It was endowed with the annual sum of 11 4s. 8d. out of property in Perth. In 1474 the founder's nephew, Walter Pitscottie, discovering that the claims in the deed providing that prayers should be offered for the soul of the founder, and the souls of his relatives, had not been properly executed, and that in consequence their souls might be exposed to greater sufferings in Purgatory, renewed and confirmed the foundation. In the matter of the duties of the chaplain he was never to be absent more than fifteen, nor was his office to be vacant more than forty, days. The patronage of the patron when negligent was to be exercised by the Provost and Town Council.

Altar of St. Martin.—Founded by Andrew Pitscottie of Luncarty. His nephew completed the foundation and endowed it by Charter with an annual stipend of 10 4s. 8d. from various properties in Perth.

Altar of St. Andrew or Holy Presentation.—Founded by John Chalmers, burgess of Perth, whose grandson Robert and spouse, Katharine Kinnaird, founded a chaplaincy at the same altar in honour of the Holy Presentation ; a chaplaincy was also founded by James Fenton, Vicar of Tibbermore. They were liberally endowed from property in Perth.

Altar of St. Mary Magdalene.—-The founder of this altar is unknown. John Young, Provost of Methven Church, granted a charter to Janet Murray, relict of Robert Sadler, burgess of Perth, of property in South Street, to this altar yielding annually one mark. There were doubtless other endowments which are not recorded.

Altar of St. James the Apostle.—It is not recorded who founded this altar, which dates from 1402. John Aitchison, burgess of Perth, granted a tenement in South Street, yielding 20s. annually to be paid to the chaplain of this altar.

Altar of St. Dionysius the Martyr.—Founded 1484. John Spalding, Dean of the Cathedral Church of Brechin, founded a chaplaincy to this altar, and endowed it with a stipend of 8 14s. 8d. from property in High Street belonging to the Abbot of Inchaffray.

Altar of St. Barbara.—Founded 1526. Sir Simon Young, Commissary of the Bishop of Dunkeld for Tulilum, confirmed by Charter the foundation of St. Christopher's altar, to which Alexander Tyrie annexed the altar of St. Barbara, founded by him. This altar was founded for the welfare of the soul of James IV., of the souls of the founder's father and mother, his two brothers, and his wife, Janet Lauder. The altar was controlled from the Charter-house.

Altar of St. Joseph.—Founded in 1524 by Sir John Tyrie, Provost of the Church of Methven. Prayers to be offered for the soul of James IV., the soul of the founder, and those of his relatives. This was the patron Saint of the Wright Incorporation.

The history of St John's Church is in reality the ecclesiastical history of Perth. It has witnessed many a scene, has a remarkable record, and it may be said that for thirteen centuries it has been the centre of the religious and social life of the town, It is a fortunate circumstance that, notwithstanding the numerous floods that have taken place during the past 700 years, St John's has weathered every storm, and remained impregnable. It has been a Columban and a Catholic church before the Reformation, and has been a Reformed and a Presbyterian church ever since. As a church of high antiquity, it has always been regarded as one of great importance, and probably there is not a more ancient within the realm of Scotland. Its pre-Reformation history, when we think of these forty altars all so highly adorned and equipped, leaves no room to doubt that it was then an edifice internally of great beauty and considerable attraction. Since the Reformation, it has been the property of the town, and since the introduction of its famous bells in early times, it has been a greater factor than ever in our civic administration. In pre-Reformation times it had a bountiful exchequer, but since that period its exchequer has never reached its normal proportions. The churchyard, which was extensive, and surrounded the church, is now the site of St John Street, St Ann's Lane, Kirkside, and the City Hall. Whatever may be said of the venerable edifice, there can only be one opinion, we think, regarding its antiquity and the extraordinary number of remarkable incidents which have marked its history.

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