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Annals of Dunfermline
A.D. 1801 - 1901 - Part 3

1810.—CHAPEL KIRK.—Rev. John M'Whir inducted minister of the Chapel Kirk on 18th January, 1810, as successor to Rev. Peter Brotherston, who was translated to the Second Charge of Dysart Church, 34th August, 1809.


ENTRY-MONEY OF THE INCORPORATED TRADES.—"Owing to the great decrease in the value of money, the several incorporated trades petition the town council to allow each corporation respectfull to raise their entry money." As a specimen of the good old times, we give a few of their figures:—The Hammermen to raise their fees of entry to strangers to £7 10s.; for his essay, 15s,; for banquet at his admission, £2; for members' sons and sons-in-law to pay into the box £1 1s.; and for their essay, 7s. 6d. (Burgh Records.)


HIGH SCHOOL.—Mr. Archibald Haxton appointed Master of the High (or Grammar) School of Dunfermline, as successor to Mr. Bathgate. (MS. Note; see An, Dunf. date 1850.)


THE COUNTESS OF ELGIN died this year, aged seventy-one, and was interred at Dunfermline. (M.S.)


PATRONAGE OF RECTOR OF SCHOOL AND PRECENTOR OF PARISH KIRK.—The Marquis of Tweeddale resolved that in future the presentation to the Rectorship of the Grammar School, or to the Precentorship to the Church of Dunfermline, shall be granted to competent persons, recommended by the Town Council. {Burgh Records, igth March, 1810.)


PRINTING BY DAVID PATON.—In the year 1810, David Paton constructed a very simple and powerful hand printing press; he procured a quantity of old types, and commenced the printing of Funeral Letters, Advertisements, Songs, Small Books, &c. (MS. Note.)


FIRE ENGINES.—In consequence of recent destructive fires in the town, and "fire-alarms," the Magistrates, &c., ordered two fire engines from London in 1810, along with a full "complement of fire-buckets." These two fire engines—a large and a smaller one—are worked by the hand. They arrived in Dunfermline early in 1810, (MS. Note.)


THE REV. JOHN ALLEN, minister [first] of the Secession Church, Crossgates, near Dunfermline, died on 6th June, 1810, in the thirty-eighth year of his age, and sixth year of his ministry. (See An, Dunf. date 1804.)


SOUTH-WEST TOWER OF THE ABBEY CHURCH FINISHED.— The old tower which fell in 1807, was rebuilt in 1810-1811, according to the plan of Mr. Stark, a talented native architect, the son of Mr. Mark Stark, manufacturer. The plan is in close keeping with the aspect of the original tower. (MS. Note.)


LITERATURE.—"A Short Account of the Laws mid Institutions of Moses," published in 1810, by the Rev. Henry Fergus, of the Relief Church, Dunfermline ; 8vo vol. pp. 107.


PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—Major David Wilson of Dunfermline was re-elected Provost, Sept, 1810. (Burgh Records.)


WATER SUPPLY AND FILTERING PITS.—" In order to purify the Cairncubie water before it was received by the inhabitants, filtering-pits were formed—two, near the source of the springs ; and another, a larger one, was sunk in the area in front of Queen Ann Street Church, about 70 yards north of the Reservoir. These filtering-pits were formed by Mr. Andrew Johnstone of Glasgow during the summer of 1810." (Fernie's Hist. Dunf. p. 15.) At this period it was ascertained that 21,600 gallons water was discharged into the Reservoir every 24 hours. (Histories of Dunfermline, &c.)


FIRE, AND THE NEW FIRE-ENGINES.—"The apartment in the Old Mason Lodge, Collier Row, in which Thomas Peebles, slater, resided, took fire and burned vehemently. The Town-house bell rang, the new fire-engines were brought out, and, the dam being at hand, a plentiful supply of water was obtained for them; they did their duty well. The fire was got under. This was the first trial made of the engines."—December, 1810- (MS. Notes.)


1811.—CENSUS—Population of Dimfermline, &c.—The following return, taken from the second Government Census, shows the state of the population, &c., of Dunfermline this year ;—Population of Dunfermline and Suburbs, 6,492; population of Burgh and Parish, 11,649; families in the Parish, 2,690 ; males, 5495; females, 6,154; inhabited houses in Burgh and Suburbs, 874; inhabited houses in Burgh and Parish, 1810; increase of population of Burgh since 1801, 670; increase of population of Parish, 1669; increase of houses in the Burgh, 169 ; increase of houses in the Parish, 312.


DR. DAVIDSON.—This eminent medical practitioner in Dunfermline was elected Professor of Natural History in Marischal College, Aberdeen, vice Rennie resigned April 29th. (Gentleman's Magazine; MS. Notes.)


MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENT ACT.—"an Act for Paving, Lighting, Cleansing, Widening, and otherwise Improving the Streets of the Burgh of Dunfermline; Increasing the Supply of Water; Extending the Royalty of the said Burgh; and/or other Purposes therein mentioned relative thereto."


  Such is the title of an Act of Parliament passed in May, 1811, for the improvement of the burgh. Copies of this Act are now extremely rare. The writer has a copy. It is a folio of forty pages, and contains about eighty enactments, and about the same number of explanations affixed to them.


  The Act refers to the Choosing of Commissioners for the carrying out of the Act, to the Superintendent of Police, Salaries to Officers, Repairing of Streets and Causeways, Roof Water to be carried off by Pipes, Foot Pavements, Lighting the Streets, Duties of the Sheriff, Removing Old Houses, How to Build Houses in Future, Common Sewers and Drains, Magistrates and their Duties, Markets, Water Committee, Public Wells, Watchmen, Fire Engines, Bleaching Green, Boundaries of Extended Royalty, Guildry, Funds raised for Purposes of the Act, Assessors and Assessments, Proprietors of Ale Houses, Travelling Merchants, Duties of the Procurator-Fiscal, Public Books to be kept and properly Balanced, Powder Magazine, Assize of Bread, &c. The Act is too long for insertion in the Annals. We shall, however, give that part of it which refers to the extended boundaries, and direct the reader for further information to the Act itself, or to histories of Dunfermline;—


         New Boundaries of the Burgh.

  And be it enacted, that from and after the First Wednesday of June, One thousand eight hundred and eleven, the Royalty of the said Burgh of Dunfermline shall be extended over and comprehend the Lands and others after mentioned, and the said Lands and others shall be, and they are hereby annexed to and included within the said Extended Royalty accordingly, for the several Purposes of this Act, videlicet. The Grounds or Lands known by the Name of the Abbey Parks and Bleachfield, as the same are lying, situated, and bounded between the New Row Street of the said Burgh on the East, the Streets called Canmore and Abbot Streets (along which the Wall of the Monastery of Dunfermlirie extended), and May Gate Street on the North, the Street or Wynd called Saint Catherine's Wynd, with the Houses and Gardens on the West Side of the said Wynd, to the Tower Bum, on the West, and the Street or Lane called Priory Lane, extending from the said New Row Street to the North-East Comer of the Glebe of the First Minister of Dunfermline, on the South Parts.


  Also, All the Grounds and Tenements situated between the present Royalty and the said Tower Burn, excepting the Glebe before mentioned, and such Parts or Portions of the said Abbey-Grounds as may eventually be awarded as a Grass Glebe or the Site of a Manse for the said First Minister. And also, excepting the Whole of the Policy or Pleasure-Grounds of the Estate of Pittencrieff, lying within the aforesaid Boundary, which Tower Bum, from where it conjoins with or is united to the Bum or Rivulet called Baldridge Burn (afterwards mentioned), to the Bridge over the said Tower Bum, at the West End of the Nethertown Street of the said Burgh, is hereby declared to be the Boundary of the said Extended Royalty in that Quarter (excepting that Part or Portion of the Grounds of Pittencrieff lying on the West Side of the said Tower Bum), to be included in the said Extended Royalty, as the same is afterwards particularly described.


  Also, the Houses and Gardens, or Yards, lying North from the Conduit lately rebuilt by the Town of Dunfermline over the Cut or Gully called the Goat, with the Street or road leading therefrom to Baldridge Burn aforesaid, by Castle Blair, and to where the said Street or Road is intersected by the said Bum, which said Burn or Rivulet, and the Tower Burn aforesaid, from where it joins to or unites with the said Rivulet, immediately on the North of the House belonging to and presently possessed by the Reverend Allan M'Lean, First Minister of Dunfermline, are hereby declared the Boundary of the said Extended Royalty in that Quarter.


  Also, The Lands and others lying on the South and East of the Rivulet or Burn known by the Name of Castle-Blair or Broomhead-Burn, and from where the said Burn unites with Baldridge Bum aforesaid, and extending in an Easterly Direction, through or by the Lands of East Baldridge, belonging to Robert Wellwood, Esquire, the lands of Broomhead, belonging to Alexander Moncrieff, Esquire, and the Lands of Venturefair, belonging to John Syme, Esquire, and along the North Dyke or March of the Lands of Head-Well, belonging to John Stenhouse, to where the said Lands march with the Lands of the Town of Dunfermline (excluding the said Lands of Head-Well), on the East, which said Rivulet or Bum is hereby declared the Boundary of the Extended Royalty in that Quarter.


  Also, Generally, All the Lands belonging to the Community of the Town of Dunfemline, lying contiguous to the said Burgh.


  Also, The Houses, Gardens, and others, on both sides of Bridge Street and Chalmers Street, to and including the House and Garden, or Yard, belonging to and possessed by David Trail, on the West, and the Well lately erected under the Authority of the Water Committee, on the East Side of the said Chalmers Street, to a Line running East from the said Well to the Tower Bum aforesaid, which Line is hereby declared the Boundary of that Part of the said Extended Royalty on the North, and on the West Side of the said Chalmers Street, at and including the House and Garden, or Yard, belonging to David Trail aforesaid, to the Pigeon House, Park Wall of Pittencrieff, as the said Wall runs South, and forming an Angle in the South-West corner of the Garden belonging to Charles Hunt, Esquire, terminates at the Tower Burn aforesaid, which said Park Wall is hereby declared the Boundary of the said Extended Royalty in that Quarter.


  Also, The Lands of Briery Hill and Hawbank, belonging to Henry Scotland, Esquire, the Lands or Park on the East Side thereof, belonging to John Couston, Esquire, the Lands called Rhodes, Almery Lands, Elliot's Hill, Miln Hill, and Spittal, belonging to David Black, Esquire, and the Lands of Spittal Hill, holding of the Hospital of Saint Leonards, but excluding the Planted or Policy Grounds belonging to the said David Black.


  Provided always, and be it enacted, that the Houses and Pieces of Ground forming Part of Bridge Street, holding of the Proprietor of Pittencrieff as Superior, and the Whole of Chalmers Street, and the said Streets called Saint Catherine's Wynd and Monastery Street, comprehending therein the Milns, Kilns, Dwelling-House, and other Houses and Office-Houses, at present in the Occupation of William Baird, with the Ground adjoining, partly occupied by him, and partly unoccupied, and the House and adjoining Garden, in the Occupation of David Betson, Esquire, as also the whole Lands and Estates of Pittencrieff, and all Houses and Grounds wherever situated, held of William Hunt, Esquire, as Superior, shall not be comprehended within the Royalty of the said Burgh, nor shall the same, nor the Superiors, Proprietors, or Occupiers of any Houses erected and built, or may be erected and built thereon, enjoy any of the Advantages or Privileges, or be subject to and liable to any of the Provisions of this Act, unless One-half of the Feuars or Proprietors having the Dominun Utile of the Pieces of Ground and Houses on the said several Streets, shall respectively signify their Consent in Writing under their Hands, duly executed according to the Forms of the Law of Scotland; nor shall any of the Lands, Houses, and others above described, of which the said William Hunt is Proprietor or Superior, be Comprehended within the Royalty as aforesaid without the Consent of the said William Hunt, or the Proprietor of Pittencrieff for the Time being, signified in like Manner, such Consents to be recorded by the Person or Persons making the same in the particular Register of Seisins, kept at Cupar for the County of Fife :


Provided, also, that in estimating the numbers of the said Feuars or Proprietors who shall give their Consent as aforesaid, or who shall withhold the same, the Number for each of the said Streets shall be computed separately, and not in Conjunction with the other Streets, so that the said Four Streets may be Comprehended within the said Royalty, separately and successively on the necessary Consents in each being completed.


  And be it enacted, That the Magistrates and Town Council of Dumfermline shall henceforth have and enjoy the same Rights, Privileges and Jurisdictions over the said Lands, Houses, Gardens, and Grounds hereby annexed to and comprehended within the said Royalty, and the inhabitants thereof, as they now enjoy and exercise over and within the Limits of the present Royalty; and shall, and they are hereby empowered to levy, for the Purposes of this Act, the same Mails, Customs, and Duties, and other Taxations, within those annexed Lands and others, in the same manner and by such Means as the said Magistrates and Town Council are entitled to levy and recover such Mails, Duties, and Customs and Taxations, within the said Royalty, excepting where provided against by this Act.


  Provided always, and be it enacted, That the Extension of said Royalty shall not be held to alter or affect the present Nature of the Holdings, or Right of Superiority and Property of the Lands, Houses, Gardens and other Grounds over which the Royalty is by this Act extended, but that the Tenures of such Property shall continue and be as they were before this Act was passed; nor shall this Act be deemed to convey any Thirlage or Claim ofThirlage over the Lands and other Property hereby annexed; and provided also, that the Inhabitants, Merchants, Traders or Mechanics resident in the said Extended Royalty, shall not be obliged to become Members of the Fraternity of the Guildry, or Corporations of the said Burgh, but shall be at Liberty to become Members of, and enter with the said Guildry and Incorporations if they shall be disposed, and shall have all the Privileges thereto belonging, on Payment always of the usual and accustomed Fees of Admission to such Guildry and Incorporations.


  And be it enacted, That in order to facilitate and assist the Execution of this Act, the said Burgh and Extended Royalty shall be divided into Ten separate Districts or Wards, and a Commissioner or Commissioners elected for each, as shall be hereinafter directed; and the said Burgh and Extended Royalty is hereby divided accordingly into the following Districts or Wards; videlicitt—


   The First District or Ward, to commence at the West End of the High Street, that is to say, at and including the House life-rented and possessed by Barbara Adie, Widow, on the South, and the House lately belonging to John Fothringham, Grocer, now to James Russell, Writer, on the North Side of the said Street, to include South Chapel Street, and the Lanes and Closes on both sides, and to terminate at the Cross of the said Burgh, at and including the House of David Black, Town Clerk of Dunfermline, on the South, and the House of William Buchanan, Merchant, on the North of the said Street; and for which said District or Ward, Two Commissioners shall be elected.


  The Second District or Ward to commence at and include the new Building called the Guild Hall, on the South, and the House belonging to the Heirs of the late John Bewgo, Minister of the Gospel, and presently possessed by William Beveridge, Chamberlain of the said Burgh, on the North Side of the said High Street, to include the Lanes and Closes on both sides, and to terminate at the East Port, at and including the House of Michael Hunter, Baker, on the South, and the House belonging to Robert Bonner, Wright, on the North Side; and for which said District Two Commissioners shall be elected :


  The Third District or Ward to include the Collier Row, commencing at and including the House belonging to John Wilson, and possessed by John Miller, Bookseller, on the West, and the House, lately Property of John Stenhouse of South Fod, Esquire, now of Robert Taylor, on the East side of the Collier Row; the Streets called Rotten Row, North Chapel Street, the Black Row, at the North Side of the High Dam; all the Houses and others from the Termination of the Ancient Royalty, and on the North and West of the said Black Row, hereby annexed to and included within the said Royalty; and for which said District or Ward One Commissioner, shall be elected:


  The Fourth District or Ward to include the Kirkgate, commencing at and including the House of Henry Rutherford, Merchant, on the East, and the House of ——— Glass, Widow, on the West Side of the said Kirkgate, the Maygate, and Abbot Street, to the Houses of James Douglas, Writer, on the South, and of David Morris, Wright, on the North Sides of the said Street (neither of which Houses are included in the said District), the Closes or Courts in the said Maygate and K-irkgate Streets, and Saint Catherine's Wynd, to the Abbey Close; and for which said District or Ward One Commissioner shall be elected :


  The Fifth District or Ward to include Queen Ann Street, from and including the House of William Campbell, Surgeon, on the North, and the Malt Barn belonging to Henry Bardner, Writer, on the South Side of the said Street; the Cross Wynd, School-End Street, the Knabbie Row, or Reid Street, to and including the House belonging to Andrew Reid, on the North, and the House belonging to Henry Thomson on the South Sides of the said Row or Street; The Back Street, from the East End of Queen Ann Street to the East End of the Town, and all the Houses and others to the Eastward of the Row of Houses running North from the West End of the Black Row, and to the Northward of the said Knabbie Row, or Reid Street, and to the Termination of the Royalty on the North and East, and for which said District, or Ward, One Commissioner shall be elected :


  The Sixth District or Ward to include Guildhall Street, Canmore Street, to the House possessed by the Reverend John Fernie, Second Minister of the Church and Parish of Dunfermline, inclusive; Abbey Park Place, and Saint Margaret's Street, to the House and Gardens inclusive, belonging to and possessed by Henry Scotland, of Briery Hill, Esquire, on the South End of the said Street; and for which District, or Ward, One Commissioner shall be elected:


  The Seventh District or Ward to include Monastery Street (from the Abbey Close), Gibb Street, Priory Lane, Moodie Street, and all the space between the said Street and the Wall, or Dyke, by which the Reverend David Black's Property is bounded on the West; and for which said District, or Ward, One Commissioner shall be elected ;


  The Eighth District or Ward to include East Port Street, and all the Space to the Eastward thereof, to the Limits of the Extended Royalty and Shadows Wynd, and the New Row to the East End of the Nethertown ; and all that Part or Portion of Lands, and others to be annexed to and included within the Royalty, in virtue of this Act, situated on the South of the Kirkcaldy Road, and on the East of the Road or Street leading from the said New Row Street to the Pitbauchlie Road, or Spittal Cross Head; and for which said District, or Ward, One Commissioner shall be elected;


  The Ninth District or Ward to include the Nethertown Street, from the Bridge over the Tower Burn, at the West End of the said Nethertown Street to its Termination on the East, and Bothwell Haugh Row (formerly called Gutter Side) to the Spittal Bridge; and all that part of the Spittal Lands to to the Southward and Westward of the Queensferry Road, to the Limits of the Extended Royalty, and to where the Royalty shall extend, in virtue of this Act, to the Southward of the said Spittal Bridge; and for which District, or Ward, One Commissioner shall be elected :


  The Tenth District or Ward to include Bridge Street from the House belonging to and possessed by Provost John Wilson inclusive, on the North, and the Town House of the said Burgh on the South Sides of the said Street, to the North End of Chalmers Street to where the Extended Royalty of the the said Burgh ends and determines; and for which said District, or Ward, One Commissioner shall be elected.


  For a complete copy of this Act, see MS. Charter in the Charter-Chest of the Burgh. It will be observed that the whole of Bridge Street and Chalmers Street, and the western half of Bridge Street, were excluded. (See the introductory part of this Act, which gives power to a majority of the feuars on the estate of Pittencrieff to be embraced in the new extended royalty; for names of streets, and their changed names, see An. Dunf. date 1809.)


PRICE OF PROVISIONS.—In the summer of 1812, the quartern loaf was 1s, 6d.; peck of oatmeal, 2s. 10d,3S., 3S. 4D.;1 Ib. rice, 70.; 1 Ib. barley, 4d.


BANK OF SCOTLAND.—Major David Wilson, Provost, and William Beveridge, Esq., writer, were appointed joint-agents for the Dunfermline branch of the Bank of Scotland, Guildhall Street. (See An. Dunf. date 1822.)


HIGH SCHOOL PRIZES.—" 10th August, 1811: This day "the Provost laid before the Council an account for Books and Medals purchased by him, and distributed as prizes at the examination of the school on the 7th curt., amounting to Ten Guineas, which the Council authorize the Chamberlain to pay." (Burgh Records.)


LITERATURE.—A small work, a 32mo of forty-two pages, was this year published by David Paton, entitled, "A Dialogue Betuext the Old and New Burgar Kirk of dunfermline over hard by a benighted Travler, to which is Aded An eledgie on the Much Lemented death of The R'v. Mr. Campblle, A.M., 1811."   It is illustrated by no fewer than 19 woodcut representations of the "New" and "AuldLicht" Kirks in Dunfermline, &c. The engravings are small and roughly done.


They were cut by the author. It may here be remarked that a common error has long prevailed in Dunfermline as to the author having made the types from which this and his other works were printed. He could not make printing types. The woodcuts, however, he did make ; they were designed by himself on plane-tree, then cut with the aid of a sprig-bit (brug), a small chisel, an awl, and a penknife. This "Dialogue" is a singular production. It has been long out of print, and is now very rare. The last few pages of the work are taken up with a sort of Elegy on the death of the Rev. John Campbell, minister of the "auld-licht kirk," then lately deceased, and of whom he has a front-view likeness. In introducing his Elegy, the author says—"my None Aquaintance with the man, Maks Me the Less Able To Do The Justice That I Ould wish wpon This Subject." He notwithstanding, does his reverend subject ample justice. As far as is known, there are only three copies of this unique little work extant, the writer having one of them. It would appear from one of our notes, that two editions of thirty and fifty copies each of this work were published during the year 1811. (A copy of this curious and rare work is in the possession of the writer.


PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—Major David Wilson, Dunfermline, re-elected Provost. (Burgh Records, September, 1811.)


FRIENDLY SOCIETY.—The Maltmen's and Whipmen's Friendly Society formed. (Fernie's Hist. Dun}, p. 52.)


THE COMET.—As in all other places, Dunfermline inhabitants satiated themselves to the full in gazing on the splendid comet of 1811. During the month of October of this year it was all the talk; ministers spoke of it in their sermons, and many outre remarks were made as to its use and destination. (MS. Note.) The length of the tail of the comet of 1811, as measured on 15th October, was found to be very nearly 100,000,000 miles; the solid nucleus, 50,000 miles in diameter, and 113,750,000 miles from the sun.


POST-OFFICE AND STAMP REVENUE IN DUNFERMLINE IN 1811.—Revenue derived from the Post-Office, .£950; from sale of stamps, .£1,685.


GUILDHALL STEEPLE COMPLETED.—The Guildhall Tower terminated with the circular stone ledge above the bell-hole pillars in 1808. As it had a stunted appearance in this form, the pillars and coping above them were known as the guildrie-table [it somewhat resembled a table.] A public subscription in the end of 1810 raised a sum sufficient to erect a spire 37 feet in height "upon the Guildrie


Front View of the Guild Hall, 1811


Table." This spire, ball, and vane, were erected and all finished in November, 1811. The height from the foundation, including the top spindle, of the now completed steeple, according to Fernie's Hist. Dunf. p. 20, is 133 feet. (MS. Note; An. Dunf. dates 1807, 18o8, 1849, &c.) The engraving on the preceding page represents the front view of the "Guildhall" when completed in 1811. For the new name of "County Buildings" (see An. Dunf. date 1850.) Referring to the Guildhall in his Rhyming History of Dunfermline, the author (P.) says:—


"At the Cross some houseing stood,

their importance was small,

In place of which within this short

they've builded tile Guild-Hall,


"This house it fronts both north and south,

on the south side of the street;

The Spire that stands on the north front

in height a hundred feet.


"It is compos'd of storey? four,

most elegant to see;

Kuch buildings in tliy young days

would be right Etrang to see."


CROSSGATES CHURCH.—Rev. Thomas Wilson, ordained minister of this church, 26th Nov. 1811. (MS.)

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