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Arbroath and its Abbey
Chapter VIII - District Chapels in Arbroath and Neighbourhood

UNDER this head it is intended to give some notices of several chapels which existed in Roman Catholic times at Arbroath and in the neighbouring parishes, so far as authentic information has reached us. But it is not to be understood that these embrace the whole number of such chapels, even in this district. For example, chapels are said to have stood at Inverpeffer and Bolshan, and they probably existed at other places, concerning which few or no reliable statements can be made. And a number of chapels were connected with the large possessions of the Abbey elsewhere, which cannot be here specially alluded to.

Almost the whole of these chapels were of a later foundation than the parish churches of the Ante-Reformation period; and in some instances, as at Carmylie, the chapel has formed the nucleus of a modern parish. The chapels here noticed seem to have depended on the Abbey of Arbroath, excepting two or three which were dependent on the bishopric of Brechin; and, with the exception of the chapel of Grange of Conon, and perhaps also the chapel of Kinblethmont, they were founded after the establishment of Arbroath Abbey. Their endowments were generally very limited. They were small in size, perhaps hardly extending to forty feet in length, and twenty in breadth, and were generally surrounded by a small burying-ground, often circular in form, and a field of a few acres, which served as a glebe to the incumbent, who, in those chapels which depended on Arbroath, was a monk of the Abbey. The duty of the incumbent of such a chapel, in the earlier periods, was chiefly to conduct religious services for the inhabitants of the barony or district with which the chapel was connected, on Sabbaths and holidays when they were not disposed, or when the distance, or the then impassable state of roads in winter, did not permit them to attend public worship in the parish church.

As the Romish doctrine of purgatory gradually obtained belief in Scotland up to the first quarter of the sixteenth century, many of these chapels came into view in the chartularies, in consequence of the foundation of altars within them by persons who had made vows while under distress, or in the prospect of death. These writings conveyed lands or rents to be employed in payment of priests to sing masses for the delivery of the souls of such benefactors and their friends from the pains of purgatory, on certain days throughout the year, in all time thereafter, according to the missals and other rules which were specified in the letters of foundation. The next half century witnessed the complete alienation of every one of these endowments from the original purposes, which had often been prescribed with much care and anxiety.


During the reigns of the Kings Kenneth III., Constantine IV., Grim, and Malcolm II., according to the concurrent testimonies of several historians, Vigianus, a monk or hermit, famed for his merits as a preacher, "flourished" in the neighbourhood of Arbroath. The historian Camerarius states that he died in 1012, although he came into repute in the reign of the first-mentioned king, which closed about 994. The unvarying traditions of the district during many ages bear that St Vigian's residence, and the chapel in which he ministered, was situated on the estate of Conon, close beside the farmsteading which is now termed Grange of Conon. In the Chartulary of Arbroath he is termed St Vigianus the Confessor, indicating that he had suffered more or less on account of Christianity, which is not improbable, considering that several armies of Danes landed on and ravaged Angus during his lifetime. He appears, however, to have died in peace, and to have been interred in the burying-ground of his parish church of Aberbrothock, to which his name was attached two centuries afterwards. His monument will be alluded to in our notice of that church.

If St Vigianus had ministered at Conon during thirty-five years previous to his death, as we can easily suppose he did, his chapel must have been in existence at least two hundred years prior to the foundation of Arbroath Abbey. Like many other old churches and hermitages, it must at that time have stood in what was an oasis in the midst of a desert. It was placed on a piece of fertile ground, beside a copious spring, which still bears the name of St Vigeans Well. It was sheltered by a range of natural woods, afterwards known by the name of the "Park of Conan," on the north; and it was surrounded by muirs on the east and west, and by mosses on the south. It would also be under the protection of the baronial castle which stood on the hill to the westward. We conclude that this is the chapel mentioned in Bagimund's roll (1275) as connected with Aberbrothock Church.

It is scarcely possible that the walls which are still to be so distinctly traced can be those of the original chapel of St Vigian, which was erected more than eight hundred and fifty years ago. They are more likely to be the remains of a succeeding chapel, erected on the original site by the convent of Arbroath, in memory of the confessor to whom they had consecrated their Parish Church. A pigeon-house, standing immediately in front of the remains, bears the date 1721, and it is believed that the materials for it were supplied from the walls of the chapel, which have been demolished till within two or three feet of the surface of the ground. They may be estimated at about forty-six feet in length, by twenty-six feet in breadth, over walls. During the latter half of last century the labourers employed in digging a ditch a few yards behind the chapel, chanced to exhume a quantity of human bones, which had the effect of intercepting their further operations in the intended line. At the time that the existing trees were planted, in the year 1788, the floor of the chapel was laid bare, and was found covered with flagstones. The field in the corner of which the chapel had stood is believed to have belonged to it as a glebe. The Arbroath Chartulary does not contain any allusion to this, the most ancient chapel on the Abbey lands. But its remains have been more fortunate in regard to their preservation than those of others erected at much later periods; and we understand that the former proprietor of New Grange and Grange of Conon, in the long and peculiar lease which he granted of the surrounding farm, was careful to except and retain in his own possession the site of the chapel and burying-ground, as a fitting place for the intended erection of a mausoleum.


This chapel stood near the mansion-house of Hospital-field, a mile to the westward of Arbroath, and was erected in connection with the hospital or infirmary of the Abbey, established at this healthy spot at such a distance from the parent monastery as to relieve it from the risk of danger from contagious diseases. This was one of those hospitals which Spelman, the antiquary, says, "we now call a "Spittal," and which was possessed by every principal monastery. The hospital and chapel were erected in the thirteenth century. At least they were in existence previous to the year 1325, when Abbot Bernard leased the lands of "Spedalfeilde, belonging to the hospital of Saint John Baptist, near Aberbrothoc," to Reginald de Dunbradan and Hugo Macpeesis, for five years, at a rent of forty shillings, payable to the Almory of the monastery; and took them bound to build two sufficient husbandry houses—namely, a barn forty feet long, and a byre of the same length, within one year from their entry, and to leave the same in good order on the lands at the end of their lease—a noticeable instance of progress in the management of lands, and the wisdom of the Abbot's administration.

The hospital was connected with the Eleemosynary of Arbroath. In an inquest, made on 22nd November 1464, regarding the nature of the foundations of the Almory and Infirmary, the jury stated that "Spitalfelde" and this chapel were not distinct from the property of the monastery, and that the Monks of the Almory received annually two merks from these lands. The chapel was consecrated, and the altar of it dedicated, on 23rd August 1485, by the Bishop of Dromore. On 4th December 1490, the Abbot let the teinds of the church of Abernethy to John Ramsay of Kilgour, for a yearly rent, and a sum advanced for the repair of the chapel of the infirmary, which is described as in danger of falling into ruin. This is the last notice of the chapel found in the Abbey register.

The older or central part of the present mansion-house of Hospitalfield is evidently a part of the ancient Abbey hospital. This is proved by the remains of several old doors and other indications about the walls of the house; and especially by one side of an ancient door which was lately discovered during some alterations in the front wall, a few yards west from the modern door, and which the proprietor, with good taste, has caused to be repaired and left open for inspection. This door appears, from the depth and character of its mouldings to have been one of the principal entrances to the hospital, and to have been erected after the early English style of architecture had ceased to be followed. The spring of the upper stones shews that its head was either a pointed or semicircular arch, having the side mouldings carried round without alteration, and without capitals at the spring of the arch. If our view be correct, these marks denote the erection of the hospital to have been from fifty to a hundred years subsequent to the foundation of the Abbey. The remains of the chapel and burying-ground have not as yet been identified, and await discovery—we have no doubt, at some future day, in the vicinity of the mansion-house.


As formerly stated, this chapel was dedicated to St Michael the Archangel. It is frequently alluded to in the Abbey records ; and was erected sometime previous to 1427. The situation of the Amory or Eleemosynary, and of this chapel, without the walls of the monastery, and separated from it by the public street, seems to have given rise to questions between the Bishop of Brechin and the Convent as to the exact nature and purposes of this establishment, and also as to the Hospital and Chapel of St John Baptist connected with it. These claims of the Bishop of Brechin gave occasion to the inquest which was held at Arbroath, in the "Abbot's Hall," on 22nd, November 1464, in the time of Abbot Malcolm, by Master Richard Guthrie, Professor of Sacred Theology (afterwards Abbot), and John Graham, Prior of the Preaching Friars of St Andrews, Commissioners of King James III., and James, Bishop of St Andrews. The names of the assize or jury were—John Ogistoun, apparent heir of the laird of Ogistoun (Hodgeton); Patrick Gardyne of that Ilk; Thomas Ogistoun; Henry Fethy of Ballisack (Boy-sack) ; John Strang, key-keeper to the King; William Scot, Walter Leys, and John Fermour, burgesses of Aberbrothoc; Alexander Peebles, Walter Butchart, John Durward, Thomas Ramsay, John Himlar, and William Stephen, diverse parishioners of the parish; Master John Clerk, Rector of Logy; Master Alexander Thorntoun, vicar of Nigg; Master John Fordyce, vicar of Garvock Sir John Haruar, vicar of Banchory Ternan; Sir Richard Bennat, vicar of Aberbrothoc (St Vigeans) ; Sir David Bullock, chaplain; and Master Thomas Dikysoun, bachelor in decreets. They were asked to give their verdicts on numerous questions as to the constitution and condition of the Almory and its dependencies. Some of their answers were to the effect that the Almory was founded by the King or lord patron, to the end that, as at other monasteries, the poor and infirm might be daily sustained from the fragments of the tables of the Abbot and Convent; that they knew of no letter of foundation; that they knew of no rents of the house, except one garden and one croft; that the house and chapel were well adorned or furnished; and that they knew no reason wherefore the house and chapel are built without the monastery except that it pleased the builders to do so. They further stated that they saw no grounds for the common report that the Bishop of Brechin had any right over the Almory house; and otherwise they referred to the letter of foundation of the monastery. Many feu-duties of the building-stances in the Alniory were expressly made payable to the monks of the Almory, who performed service in this chapel and acted as almoners. These feu-duties probably formed the rents, amounting in whole to 5 or 6 sterling, " called the Elymosinary, and payable from several houses and roods to the Kirk-Session for behoof of the poor," mentioned by the Town-Clerk in 1742, but the origin of which, lie states, is uncertain. It may perhaps be yet discovered that the conveyance of these feu-duties to the Kirk-Session for the benefit of the poor was made after the Reformation. In the year 1574 the General Assembly proposed to the Regent Morton to "take a general order with the poor, and especially in the Abbeys, such as Aberbrothe and others." And as the Almory was originally founded for the poor, it was both just and natural that, after it was laid desolate, the rents payable to it should be received by the Kirk-Session for the same purpose.


Close to the promontory called Arbroath Ness, and under the shelter of the high bank which at that point retires from the sea, the Abbot and Convent of Arbroath founded a chapel, which they dedicated to the honour of Ninian (Scotice Ringan), the famed Scottish bishop and confessor, who is said to have died about the year 437. The site of this chapel is a pleasing spot, marked by a spring which bears the name of St Ninian's or St Ringan's well. In the Arbroath register the chapel is usually described as situated at the, den or valley of Seaton. St Ninian's chapel and altar were consecrated by the Bishop of Dromore, on 24th August 1485. Seven years afterwards, Abbot David Lichtone granted a letter of presentation to Dominie John Todd, during his lifetime, of the benefice of this chapel, vacant by the decease of Dominie William Gibson, the former incumbent. Religious services had been continued in the chapel till the early part of the sixteenth century. On 23rd February 1521 a presentation was granted by the Convent to Dominie David Brown, presbyter, during his lifetime, of this chapel, vacant by the death of Master Richard Grant. The chaplain was taken bound to repair and adorn the chapel honestly for divine service, in such necessary manner as his predecessor had done.

The field in which the chapel and burying-ground stood formed the glebe of the chaplain, and has been long known by the name of St Ninian's Croft. After the Reformation it seems to have fallen into the hands of the proprietors of Seaton, and still forms part of that estate. All vestiges of the chapel have been removed, and the site subjected to the ploughshare. The memory of its patron saint was formerly kept up by an annual fair called St Ringan's market, which was wont to be held in Arbroath on the first Wednesday after Trinity Sunday, and which has given place to the present Whitsunday feeing fair.


The chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly called Our Lady's Chapel, stood at the west side of what was formerly styled the West Bridge of Arbroath, now known, in reference to the memory of the chapel, as the Lady Bridge. The exact site was near the north-east corner of the inner harbour. It was sometimes styled the "Chapel of Arbrothe," and was more immediately connected with the burgh than the chapels of the Almory, Hospitalfield, and St Ninian. It is also spoken of as a "Chapel of Ease to supply the want of accommodation in the Parish Church of the 'Blessed Vigian.' "

From an old monastic Latin rent-roll now belonging to the Kirk-Session of Arbroath it appears that this chapel was, previous to 1455, founded by the Convent of Arbroath, who had granted for its support the greater part of the original feu-duties or annual rents payable to them from the old burgh of regality, as well as various portions of land within the burgh boundaries, on which the streets of Marketgate, Grimsby, and others now stand, and which had been afterwards feued out for behoof of the chapel. This roll is nine feet in length, beautifully written on parchment, and illuminated with red initial letters. Itstitle bears to be a "Rental of Lands and Annual Rents of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Aberbrothoc, and of the Bridge thereof, made the twenty-fourth day of the month of September, anno dominai 1415: the bailies of the said burgh at that time being discreet men, Thomas Prechoure and John Ayr: sergeands, John Wyntyr and John Fermory, procurators for the before written lands and annual rents: and the Chaplain thereof, Magister John Fordyce, vicar." It commences with "Imprimis, the Ladybink [a fishing bank], now let for 13s. 4d. with a boat;" and then follows the description of no less than one hundred and fourteen separate properties or parcels of ground, arranged under the heads of "Neugate, Seygate, Neumarcatgate, Aldmarcatgate, Grymsby, 1lfylgate, Lortburngate, Appylgate, Ratounraw, and Cobgate." All these properties are described by the side of the street on which they lay, the names of their possessors, and of the proprietors of the grounds on both sides; so that the names of most of the burgesses of that time may be gathered from this document. The annual rents payable from these grounds to the chapel were small sums, from three shillings and fourpence to sixpence; and the rents of the lands were generally similar sums, or two or three firlots of corn. A property in Seagate was bound to "sustain one lamp yearly before Our Lady;" and another in the same street was bound to "render to the Blessed Mary annually two shillings; and for the fabric of the bridge thereof, twenty pennies;" and was (like many others) held in feu of the foundation of Our Lady. It may thus be concluded that the first bridge was built at the same time as the chapel, to afford easier access to it from the town, and was upheld by a portion of the endowments. The Chartulary affords evidence of various other gifts to this chapel—such as a piece of ground between the Brothock and Gravesend, a part of the banks near the Saltwork, and lands near Toutie's Neuk, all termed the lands of Kostre Daniine or Our Lady.

Notwithstanding all these gifts, the benefice of the chapel seems to have been small. John Fordyce, the chaplain, mentioned in the rent roll, became vicar of the Church of Ethie before 1460. It appears from the old burgh records that the ministers of Arbroath conducted public worship in the chapel for several years after the Reformation, and probably till the erection of the existing parish church. By this time the magistrates obtained the endowments of the chapel of Our Lady and its altar of St Nicholas,—as they are found about 1567 engaged in letting the lands, and farming out the annual duties of these endowments.

Besides the altar of "Our Lady"—which stood at the east'end of this chapel—it contained an altar in honour of St Nicholas, founded by Charles Brown, burgess of Arbroath, conform to his charter, sealed on 14th November 1505, and confirmed by Abbot George Hepburn on 10th March 1505-6. The object is stated to be for the soul of the most excellent Prince James the Fourth, King of Scots, and his Queen; and for the salvation of the venerable father in Christ, George Abbot of Arbroath, and the convent thereof; and for the salvation of the souls of the founder, and Marjory Guthrie, his spouse, and his father and mother; and for the souls of his ancestors and successors, and all the faithful departed. He grants to God Almighty, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Blessed Nicholas, bishop and confessor, and to the altar newly founded by him to their praise and glory, and for the sustentation of a chaplain to minister at the said altar, situated in the Chapel of the Blessed Mary, at the end of the West Bridge of Arbroath, for ever, numerous lands, gardens, tenements, and feu-duties, or ground-annuals, in all quarters of the burbly, and described as situated in Copegate, Lordburn, Marketgate, New Marketgate, Boulziehill, Rattonraw, Applegate, Seagate, and Burghroods. On 13th April 1532, this foundation charter, and the confirmation of Abbot George Hepburn, were confirmed by Abbot David Betoun, who sanctioned certain ordinances made by the founder regarding the rights and duties of the chaplain, which Abbot George had not thought proper to confirm. He also confirmed a notarial instrument dated 18th April 1513, by which the founder gave additional portions of ground and ground-annuals within the streets of the burgh, and along the north side of Ladyloan. These ground-annuals seem to have been the original feu-duties formerly payable to the Abbey from the various properties described in Charles Brown's ,grant.

The Lady Chapel also contained an altar dedicated to St Dupthacus, founded by Robert Scot, burgess of Arbroath, on 4th January 1519, and confirmed by Abbot David Betoun on 18th January 1521. The introduction to the grant consists of the statement that by the prayers and masses of the pious, offered through Christ the Son of God to our Father, for our sins, they are remitted, and the souls of the departed are liberated from the pains of purgatory, and placed amid the joys of paradise: therefore in honour of the holy and undivided Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the most glorious Virgin Mary and Saint Dupthacus, patron, and all the saints of God, he of new founds and ordains a perpetual chaplainry in the chapel of Arbroyth, near the bridge of that town, that at the altar the chaplain may perpetually minister for an interminable catalogue of souls, and among others—"For the salvation of the souls of William Scot, my father, and Elison Clark, my mother; for the souls of John Scot, my brother, and his spouse, Isobel Larnby, and their sons and daughters; emphatically for the souls of Dominic David Scot, vicar of Tarlan, and Henry Scot, his brother-gerznan, sons of the said John and Isobel ; for the souls of Andrew Scot, my brother, and his spouse, sons and daughters ; and specially for the soul of Dominic John Scot, principal chaplain of the Blessed Virgin Mary; for the souls of Dominic Thomas Scot, chaplain, David Scot, Thomas Scot, my brothers; for the souls of Duncan Spark, and his spouse, Marjory Scot, my sister, and their sons and daughters; for the souls of Thomas Scot, and his spouse, Isobel Scot, my sister, and their sons and daughters; emphatically for the soul of Master Thomas Nudere, archdeacon of Moray, and commendator of the monastery of Culross, proto-notary apostolical, and cubicular to our most holy lord the Pope ; for the souls of Dominic Richard Scot, monk, and Robert Bower, John Bad, Patrick Murray, Andrew Scot, William Scot, Robert Aklinston, monks of the monastery of Arbroath; and also for the souls of all my ancestors and successors, benefactors and relatives, living or dead." The endowments consisted of lands about Toutie's Neuk, Grimsby, and Millgate, and tenements and lands in Marketgate, Copegate, Newgate, and Lordburn; and the foundation charter concludes with many minute rules and directions to be observed by the chaplains as to their masses and services at the altar. The term Dupthacus is identical with Duthac, Duthak or Dothess, the name of one of the early Bishops of Ross, in the north of Scotland, to whose memory King James III. founded a chapel, the ruins of which still exist near the town of 'rain, in Ross-shire. This chapel, and the name of its patron saint, acquired celebrity from the annual pilgrimages which King James IV., the son of the founder, made to it, as acts of penitence for the share he believed himself to have had in his father's violent death. He sometimes rode unattended all the way from Stirling to Tain by the Cairn-of-Mount; and it appears probable that the same shrine had been visited by his son and successor, James V., at or some time after the death of Patrick Hamilton.

It is evident that the founder of this altarage was unable to discern the signs of the times. He did not foresee that in thirty years afterwards, the altar and masses for which he had so anxiously provided would be suppressed by the strong arm of law; that within other thirty years a parish church would be erected in Arbroath for teaching those doctrines which he without doubt abhorred as heretical ; and that before the nineteenth century all remains of the chapel of the Blessed Mary, containing the altar of St Dupthacus, would be completely swept away.

It may be observed that the Latin title Dominus, so often applied to priests and monks at this time, was equivalent to the prefix Sig•, by which many of them were styled, and which title, it will be recollected, was repudiated by Walter Miln, the priest of Lunan, when applied to him by his accusers on his trial, adding, "I have been ower long one of the Pope's knights." Sir David Lyndesay alludes to this title in the following lines:—

"The pure Priest thinkis he gets nae richt
Be he nocht stylit like an Knicht,
And callit Schir befoir his name,
As Schir Thomas and Schir Wi hiame."

The title was applied to persons in priests' orders who had not taken the proper academical degree of Master of Arts, so as to entitle them to use the higher prefix of master or magister, which is applied to some of the clergy named in Robert Scot's list of souls. The title Den, prefixed to the names of several Arbroath abbots and monks in vernacular writings seems to have been the Scottish mode of writing Dean, as Lyndesay adds:-

"All monkes, as ye may hear and see,
Are called Deanes for dignitie;
Albeit his mother milke the kow,
He must be callit Deane Andrew."

The titles Sir or Den, as applied to clergy, seems to have fallen into disuse after the Reformation. But as many Romish priests of the lower ranks came to be employed as readers and teachers, the term was after that event applied, in the old form of Domini-e, to schoolmasters, and seems to have been familiarly used in addressing them ; and that with more respect than is now generally attached to the term. An instance of this is afforded by a conversation which John Row, minister of Perth, had on his deathbed, in 1580, With "the master of the gramer schoole, commonlie called Dominic Rind," as recorded in the Additions to Row's Coronis, p. 456, Wodrow edition. Much information is collected on this point in Dr Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary (voce Pope's Knights) ; and some observations " On the title of Sir, applied to priests," are given by Mr David Laing in the appendix (p. 555) to the first volume of his Wodrow edition of Knox's Works.


The chapel at Kinblethmont was most probably in existence prior to the foundation of Arbroath Abbey. This chapel and certain endowments were conferred on the Abbey so early as during the reign of King William, betwixt the years 1189 and 1199, by a grant of Richard de Malville, the proprietor of Kinblethmont at that time. By that grant, he gave to the monks of Saint Thomas, the Martyr of Aberbrothock, and the chapel of Saint Lawrence of "Kinblathmund," ten acres in the plain of Kinblathmund, and half an acre in the village at the chapel toft, with the teinds of the mill at the village, and all rights belonging to the chapel, in perpetual gift, free from all secular exactions, with liberty of pasturage to the chaplain that serves the chapel for one horse, two oxen, four cows, and twenty sheep. The exact site of this chapel has baffled our search. It appears to have stood at a village where there was a mill, and it is not easy to identify such a site on the proper lands of Kinblethmont. In the map of Angus and Mearns, as supposed to exist in 1640, appended to the Chartularies of Arbroath and Brechin, "St Lawrence Chapel" is marked as a small church situated about half-a-mile south-southwest from the mansion-house of Kinblethmont, a little to the east of the old Brechin road, and nearly on a straight line between the houses of Kinblethmont and New Grange. This is fully a mile southward from the proper position of the village of Chapelton, which is not marked on the map. But this map is not an infallible authority.

There was also at Kinblethmont a house or hospital of the Knights Templars. In March 1621, Alexander lord of Spynie, is served heir (among other possessions)_ to the lands and hospital house of the Order of St German, called the Temple Lands of Kinblethmont, with the privileges. The well at Kinblethmont, sometimes styled St German's Well, and the name of the farm of Templeton, lying to the westward, are very probably to be traced to this establishment.


From several indications as to sites and other circumstances, we are in the meantime inclined to the conclusion that the chapel of Whitefield was an establishment distinct from the chapel of St Lawrence of Kinblethmont, although some have believed that both these names were applicable to the same place of worship. The chapel of Whitefield seems to have been the district chapel of the barony of Boysack, and the name of the village of Chapel-ton, where it stood, is derived from it. It may have been the chapel alluded to in Bagimund's roll, as situated in the parish of Inverkeillor. The venerable trees which once surrounded this chapel, and which now enclose the private burial place of the family of Kinblethmont, still continue to form a striking object on the old road from Arbroath to Brechin. Among these trees the boundaries of the ancient burying-ground may still be traced; and a part of the back wall of the chapel forms the lower portion of the north wall of the modern burying-place.

It is probable that this was the "Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Quhitfeild," in which, at eight o'clock in the morning of the 17th of October 1170, Abbot Malcolm Brydy of Aberbrothock, by his procurator, ineffectually appealed to John Balfour, Bishop of Brechin, against the proceedings of Patrick Graham, Bishop of St Andrews. The Abbot complained of being detained in strait prison at the Castle of St Andrews by the Primate, and could not have been personally present in the chapel, although the Bishop of Brechin and his retainers were there on that occasion.

The patronage of the chapel of Whitefield, with the lands and teinds of the chaplainry, are repeatedly mentioned in connection with the lands of Border, Douglasmuir, and others, from 1615 downwards, as appears from the writings of the families of Spynie, Kinnoul, and Gardyne.


By a charter of Adam Bishop of Brechin, in 1318 (Brechin Chartulary, p. 10), it appears that Walter de 11laule lord of Panmure, granted the lands of Carncorty (Cairncorthie) to God and the cathedral church of the Holy Trinity at Brechin, for the sustentation of two chaplainries or altarages newly founded in that church in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Cross, and for the chapel of "Boith," in the diocese of Brechin.. Among other provisions, it was appointed by this writ that the vicar of Panbride was to minister at the altars according to the missal of the Blessed Diary, and the vicar of 11lonzeky [Monikie] was to minister according to the missal of the Blessed Marnoch.

By two subsequent confirmations of David II., in 1359 (Brechin Chartulary, p. 13, 14), it is stated that besides the lands of Cairncorthie given by Walter de Maule, Christina de Valon lady of Panmure, had granted to the chapel of Boith the lands of Botmernok [Both-Marnoch] with the pertinents, in the tenement of Panmure ; and that the Abbot and Convent of Aberbrothock had granted two merks sterling - from their lands of Breckis (Brax) toward the support of this chapel. The above reference to the missal of the Blessed Marnoch, with the name of the lands of Botmernok, which appear to have formed the first endowment of the chapel, make it probable that the patron or tutelar saint of the chapel was St Marnoch, and shows that the chapel was built about the middle of the thirteenth century. Commissary Maule states that the name Both was derivable from this chapel; and adds that about 1559 David Maule got it in feu from Hepburn Bishop of Brechin, "with the pendicles thereof called Carnekorthie, as we would say the hungry hillocks." It seems to have been the Barony chapel of Panmure previous to the newer chapel at Panmure Castle; and the patronage of this chapel, with the teinds, the lands of Boath and Cairncorthie, and a mill, are specified as part of the Panmure estate in retours of the years 1662, 1671, and 1686.

The chapel stood beside an aged and now solitary tree, not far from a spring which, after running a few yards, joins the Crombie-mill burn, where it descends, by a series of small cascades, into a deep, narrow, and finely-wooded den. On the brink of the den there is a very old pigeon house, with a dilapidated farm-steading, which exhibits some faint traces of former greatness. The moulded stones which had formed the sides and arched tops of the door and windows of the chapel may be recognised in the walls of some of the old houses, and the font is believed to be there, but covered by the falling ruins.


About eighty years, at least, previous to the Reformation a Chapel was erected at the old Castle of Panmure. The date of the first erection of this fortress is unknown. It was dismantled and partly destroyed during the war with England, after being made an English garrison. Commissary Maule thinks it most likely that it was destroyed by Sir Andrew Murray after he defeated the English in its immediate vicinity, A.D. 1338. It was afterwards rebuilt, altered, and enlarged by the Panmure family; and about the southeast corner of the great court stood the family chapel, which was consecrated to the Virgin Mary by a bull of Julian bishop of Ostia, in the time of Pope Innocent VIII., about the year 1487. Parts of the walls of this chapel were standing in 1611, when Commissary Maule wrote a minute and interesting description of the castle, which was then a ruin, but much more entire than it is now, as at that time the walls to the south and west stood fifty feet high above ground. The entry to the castle was from the north, where it was defended with a tower and a deep fosse. This must have been a strong fortress both by nature and art, previous to the invention of gunpowder. The last of its vaults, so far as recognisable, were demolished about thirty years ago to supply stones for drains. And the lines of its chief buildings, round a large quadrangle, are now only distinguishable by the mounds of rubbish and stones which excavators have left. The immediate successor of this fortalice was a house erected by Robert Maule previous to 1540. (MIS. account of the family of Panmure.) This building was again succeeded by the large existing mansion which the Earl of Paninure erected in 1666, and which has been improved and beautified by the present noble proprietor at great cost.


The reasons for attributing the first erection of a fortalice on the bank of the Elliot water to Philip de Mubray, an Anglo-Norman settler, were stated in the Introduction. The Abbot and Convent, about 1208, granted license to Lord Philip to have an Oratory within the court of his place of "Kellyn," where divine service might be celebrated by a chaplain, on condition that the parish or mother church should not be deprived of its dues or other festivities; that Philip and his heirs With their families should attend the mother church on all principal solemnities, if not prevented by reasonable indisposition, and on various other conditions which are carefully inserted in the writing. The mother church must have been the parish church of Arbirlot, which had by that time been acquired by the Convent. This chapel is not again mentioned in the Abbey writings, and like many other private or family chapels its history is difficult to trace. The ruins of a chapel adjoining the Castle of Kelly, and situated in the garden, are recollected by persons still alive.


So early as the time of Abbot Walter (12 50) a chapel, dedicated to St Lawrence, existed at the place now called Backboath, within the bounds of the modern parish of Carmylie. It is styled in the title of the writ after-mentioned in the Arbroath Chartulary, the Chapel of Both. By that writ Abbot Walter of Arbroath bound himself to Lord William de Mont-Alto, son of Lord Michael de Mont-Alto, to provide an honest chaplain from among the monks of his house for the Chapel of St Lawrence, within the lands of Konan-Mor-Capil (CononMuir-Chapel), to serve perpetually; for which Lord William granted to the Abbot and Convent the lands of Konan-hIor-Capil in perpetual gift. The site of the chapel is still pointed out in a field called the Chapel-shade, lying on the west side of the steading of Backboath, beside a well which has now been drained into a neighbouring ditch. The remains of the chapel walls—two or three feet in height—several tombstones in the surrounding burying-ground, and the enclosing fence of the ground, were cleared away about fifty years ago, and the site converted into arable land. A small part of the hewn work of the chapel, consisting of mouldings of doors, may still be seen built into the walls of the farm-steading.


The chapel of Carmylie was founded by David Strathauchin (Strachan) of Carmylie, on 5th March 1500-1 (Brechin Chartulary, vol. i., p. 223), and confirmed by King James IV., on 20th January 1512-13. David Strachan endowed his chapel with five merks out of his manor of Carmylie and mill, forty shillings annually out of his other husbandry lands, and four acres of land at the east end of Milton of Carmylie, an acre of sward or meadow on the south side of the mill-lade, a toft and garden in the Milton, and pasturage on the Common of Carmylie (Kermyle). Dominic Malcolm Struble was appointed perpetual chaplain. The chapel was styled after the Most Glorious and Blessed Virgin Mary of Kermyle, and the services were to be for the salvation of the Most Excellent Prince James the Fourth, King of Scots, and his ancestors and successors; for the salvation of the Most Reverend Father in Christ, William Bishop of Brechin; and for the salvation of the souls of the founder, and of Jonet Drummond, his spouse, and their children, fathers and mothers, ancestors and successors, and all the faithful departed. Among other conditions of his grant, David Strachan provided that the chaplain should, during all the time of his incumbency, keep a school for the instruction of youth.

The parish of Carmylie was erected by the Church Courts out of lands disjoined from the parishes of Pan-bride, St Vigeans, and Inverkeillor; and the erection was confirmed by an Act of Parliament passed in the year 1609. About the same time the present parish church was erected, on the site of St Mary's Chapel. But the chapel is often mentioned in the titles of the lands of Carmylie after it had merged into the parish church. Thus, on 16th Nov. 1616, Patrick Strachan of Carmylie was served heir to his brother in the estate of Carmylie, including, among others, the patronage of the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Carmylie. Again, on 1st April 1662, George Earl of Panmure, is served heir to the patronage of the chaplainry of Carmylie, called "Our Lady's Chapel," with the church lands which pertained to the chaplainry. The four acres at Milton of Carmylie which were granted to this chapel are very probably identical with what is called the south glebe of the minister of Carmylie, as that is held by him as an additional or special endowment to the incumbency, and was the only glebe he possessed previous to the year 1716.

The above notices help to illustrate a rather obscure passage in Friar William Airth's sermon, preached at St Andrews about 153.1 (Knox's history):—"But now (said he) the greediness of priests not only receive false miracles, but cherish and fee knaves for that purpose, that their chapels may be the better renowned, and their offering augmented. And thereupon are many chapels founded, as that our Lady was mightier, and that she took more pleasure in one place than another; as of late days our Lady of Kersgrange bath hopped from one green hillock to another." There can be little doubt that our Lady of Kersgrange was a local title then given to the Virgin Mary, who had come into very great repute as the Queen of Heaven shortly previous to the Reformation.

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