The other members of the Publishing Subcommittee, Mrs Rea Roulston, Mr Cooper, Kinross Tourist Officer, and Mr R C Stewart of Arndean.
The Bank of Scotland (Kinross) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (Kinross)
for their generous sponsorship.
Mr Guthrie, Perth & Kinross District Library.
Mr Bryce, Local History Dept. of the Sandeman Library.
Dr David Munro, Mrs N H Walker, Mr William Shand and others of the Kinross Antiquarians.
Mr David Reid, Kinross High School.
Mrs Shona McKinnon.
The Forth Naturalist & Historian, Stirling University.
For permission to reproduce their books/maps:-
(THIS ON LINE VERSION DOES NOT HAVE SOME OF THESE)
The National Library of Scotland, inside back and front covers pp 45, 62, 72, 87, 95
The British Library pp 39, 41
The British Rail Collection pp 75
The Sandeman Library, Perth pp 11, 32, 75
The Central Library, Edinburgh pp 19
The Michael Bruce Museum, Kinnesswood pp 35, 105
Perth Museum & Art Gallery pp 32
Kinross High School & Mr Haldane, material written by the late Dr Haldane and pp 16
Mr & Mrs Keith Adam of Blairadam pp 53, 55
Mrs J Boddy pp 71
Mr William Constable of Benarty pp 15, 24
Lord Moncreiff of Tulliebole pp 22, 23, 36, 50, 51, 81
Sir David Montgomery, Kinross House pp 31, 85, 96
Dr David Munro pp 12, 20, 46, 61, 64, 78, 103, Frontispiece
Mr R C Stewart of Arndean pp 28, 88, 95
Mr Robert Young, cover illustration
The Hon Mrs Vida Young pp 24, 26, 98, 98, 110
Outside cover and text on pages 12, 13, 25, 35, 40/41, 46, 55, 94, 97, 105, 108
© Rhoderick and Alison Moncreiff:
First published 1990
ISBN Number 0 9515597 0 2
Photography: F Stop, Crook of Devon
Published by: Fossoway & District Community Council
Printed by: Cordfall Ltd, Glasgow. Tel 041 332 4640
In 1870 Dr Ebenezer Henderson, FRAS, the noted historian, was asked to write a weekly column, "The Annals of Kinross-shire", for the local Kinross-shire Advertiser (now the Fife Herald). The uniqueness of this history is that Kinross-shire was Scotland's smallest county in population terms. A comparable history of any other county would require such a weighty work as to put off all but the most dedicated historian.
After some 40 years the Annals were printed again, in 1912, but as far as we know, only one copy of the cuttings has survived (apart from the newspaper files at the Sandeman Library, Perth) in the collection of David Young, a local antiquarian. Fossoway and District Community Council were loaned the scrapbook of cuttings by the Hon Mrs Vida Young from the collection of her late husband: her only stipulation was that it be used for the benefit of the local community.
As we researched the book, we discovered that Mr Wright had continued the series from 1961 to 1900, and that Dr Haldane had more recently written his own parallel account from 1860 to 1906, and so we decided to combine the two, using a hatchmark to distinguish Dr Haldane's contribution. We decided to stop at the year 1870 partly because the Annals were becoming more discursive and we felt could be published later on, and partly because of space Ð we wanted to fit in as many early maps and drawings as possible.
This project could not have succeeded without the enthusiastic help
of all members of the Coummunity Council, and many others throughout Kinross-shire,
together with the official bodies mentioned at the front of the book. We
hope that all readers of this book will enjoy reading it as much as we have
enjoyed compiling it.
R. H. W. M.
A. E. A. M.
Notes on Authors
490 - 1861
Dr Ebenezer Henderson, F.R.A.S. (1809 - 1879) of Muckhart (Click to see his house in Muckhart) was the son of a Dunfermline watchmaker. He early displayed a great taste for the scientific study which subsequently gained for him the position of importance which he occupied in scientific and literary circles.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical and Royal Antiquarian Societies, while a degree of LL.D was conferred on him by an American college. His Annals of Dunfermline greatly influenced the government's decision, in 1856, to recognise Dunfermline as a city. In recognition of his valuable services he was made a Freeman of the City of Dunfermline.
1860 - 1870
Mr Robert L Wright was a native of Kinross who was most interested in Kinross's present and in its history. His literary interests were served by his involvement with the Kinross Dramatic Society and with all his work for the Kinross-shire Advertiser.
The late Dr William Haldane gained his B.Sc (Hons) and Ph.D after studying at Edinburgh University and Leyden University, Holland.
He was Headmaster of Kinross High School from 1964 - 1973. He was also a keen local historian and compiled his own version (1861 - 1906) of the Annals while at Kinross.
List of Illustrations
Inside front cover
1776: A Survey of the Roads of North Britain and Scotland. Taylor &
1654: Fifae Pars Occidentalis, The West Part of Fife. Timothy Pont, Blaeu's Atlas. NLS 15
1642: Keanrosse, Lithograph of 1865. Richard Gordon. NLS 16
1725: The Shires of FIFE and KINROS. H. Moll, Geographer. Atlas. NLS 24
1747: The Military Survey of Scotland. General Roy.
-1755 British Museum 39 & 41
1755: The Counties of Fife & Kinross. John Ainslie. NLS 45
1790: The Division of Portmoak Commonty. Michael Bruce M 61
1796: The County of Kinross. John Bell, Landsurveyor. NLS 62
1827: The West Part of Fife with Kinross-shire. Thompson's Atlas. NLS 72
1828: Fife and Kinross. Sharp, Greenwood & Fowler. NLS 87
1852: 1st Ordnance Survey 1:10560. Milnathort. NLS 95
Inside back cover
1823: Plan of the Town of Kinross. John Wood. NLS
Items marked NLS are held in the Map Library, National Library of Scotland.
Cover: Kinross: The 'Jooley Fair'
Frontispiece: Mary, Queen of Scots. Sir John Watson Gordon, eng W
1824: Mary, Queen of Scots compelled to sign her Abdication in the Castle of Lochleven.
Sir William Allan, eng Stewart. 23
Burleigh Castle (Fife Pictorial & Historical) 24
1710: Kinross House. John Borlach, eng R Cooper. 31
1796: Lochleven Castle. Hooper. (Grose's Antiquities) 32
1792: Lochleven Castle (restored). A Callender, eng. S Middiman. 32
The Weaver's Shop. Monro S Orr. 46
1833: View from Blairadam in 1733. Drawn on stone by J W Giles. 53
1835: View from Blairadam in 1835. Drawn on stone by J W Giles. 55
Rumbling Bridge. A Murray 71
1834: The Curlers. Sir George Harvey. 88
18 : Lochleven Ð Curling. John Smart, eng Annan & Swan. 95
19 : Loch Leven Ð 'Tight Lines' 96
1830: St Serf's. Dr Gordon's Monasticon. 11
1828: Map of St Serf's. Johnstone and Adie. 12
1879: Tullibole Sculptured Stone (now in Chamber Street
Museum). W Galloway, Proc Soc Ant Scot, vol XIII, plate IV. 19
1855: Lochleven. Draper's Bill. 20
1843: Escape of Mary from Lochleven. H Corbould (Sir Walter Scott's History of Scotland). 22
16th C: The Devil preaching to the Witches. Domestic Annals
of Scotland, p.215. Robert Chambers, 1859. 26
189 -: Lochleven Stone. Kerr's History of Curling. 28
The Cottage at Gairney Bridge. Life of Michael Bruce. 35
1843: The Old Churchyard. Paton. (Sir Walter Scott's The Abbot). 36
1843: South Queich Bridge. W H Prior. (Sir Walter Scott's The Abbot). 50
1810: Andrew Nicol. John Kay. A Series of Original Portraits, 1842. 52
Coaching Scene. Kirkland's Hotel. Bill of 1865. 64
0-4-0 locomotive by Hawthorn's of Leith. 75
Coaching Scene. Thistle Hotel. Bill of 1870. 78
1843: Kinross in 1843. Paton. (Sir Walter Scott's The Abbot). 81
Lochleven, Fishing Scene. Salutation Hotel Bill of 1859. 85
1887: Bird's Eye View of Lochleven Castle, restored. ) Both from Burns Begg's 98
1887: Ground Plan of Castle Island. ) History of Lochleven Castle
The Green Hotel. Bill of 1883. 103
Michael Bruce's Cottage. (The Life of Michael Bruce). 105
Kinross Cross. Fife Pictorial & Historical, p. 377 Millar, 1895. 110
From 490 A.D. to 1870
From the Kinross-shire Advertiser 12th July 1912
So many years have elapsed, covering the greater part of a life-time, since we published the "Annals of Kinross-shire" in the Advertiser, and we feel sure that these Annals, which we propose reprinting in our columns, will be read with fresh interest and pleasure by our readers young and old alike. The flight of years cannot affect the natural beauty of Kinross-shire, nor efface the memories inspired by its historical and romantic associations. In the dim and distant pre-historic ages, when Lochleven was dotted with lake-dwellings, the Lomond, Benarty, Cleish, and Ochil Hills looked down upon our County in the same friendly spirit which they do to-day, and their messengers, the streams flowing into the loch, gurgle the same old song:-
"Men may come and men may go,
But we go on forever."
There are many delightful approaches to Kinross-shire from the north, south, east and west, but from every high point of view, the same scene of picturesque beauty, with Lochleven as the outstanding feature, captivates the eye of the native returning homewards, and fills his heart with pride. He will be filled with equal pride as he reads the local Annals. The subject naturally recalls to mind the "Annals of the Parish" by John Galt, one of the most charming books of the kind. Galt's Annals, however, were in the form of a narrative, and confined to the period of his ministry from 1760 to 1810. The Annals of Kinross-shire are not so circumscribed, but the Author, Dr Henderson, like Prior Andrew Wyntoun of St Serfs, in his "Cronykil of Scotland," almost begins with the time of Adam. The Annals of Kinross-shire assume the form rather of a yearly record or chronological history of local events, which is a very interesting method of treatment, as it leaves ample scope for the reader to indulge in the pleasure of imagination.
We have very early and pleasant recollections of Dr Henderson, the author, who frequently came about Kinross in our boyhood. He was a bright, highly-cultured gentleman, of antiquarian tastes, and abounding humour. Among our treasures is a rare old document which the Doctor kindly presented to a member of the family, endorsed on the back in his own hand-writing with the following sentence and quotation:- "Facsimiles of the signatures for the execution of King Charles, the Martyr, given to me by Sir Walter Scott"
"All must to their cold graves,
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust"
Dr Henderson must have been a young man when he received this interesting document from Sir Walter Scott, and we need hardly say that it is highly treasured by us. It may be remembered that Sir Walter Scott formed a link with Kinross-shire, being a member of what was known as the Blairadam Club, and was frequently a guest at Blairadam House. Moreover, Lochleven Castle has been immortalised by him in his romance of "The Abbot." We regret we have been unable to obtain any information regarding the author of the Annals of Kinross-shire, although we understand that he was at one time a contributor to Punch, and our early impression of him was that of a portly gentleman, of a humorous, genial and amiable manner. The annals appeared in our columns in 1872, and their publication suddenly ceased on the 28th December of that year, when they had only reached to the year 1861, and no information was given for this sudden termination. During the publication of the Annals a note appeared that considerable difficulty had been experienced in getting the desired material, and a standing apology appeared for five weeks running for their non-appearance. This is not likely now to occur as we shall be in a position to give regular weekly instalments of these interesting Annals, and bring them up to the end of the last century. Thus we have pleasure in re-printing the Annals of Kinross-shire which we believe were compiled by Dr Henderson of Muckhart.
The History of Scotland, previous to A.D. 1050, is enveloped in a covering of obscurity and ambiguity. Much of it is to be read with distrust. Much of it, before this period, appears to belong to "The Science of the Mythology." About the year 1050, light begins to emerge out of the darkness Ð " the mists and shadows fly away" Ð authentic history comes into view Ð and thenceforward, as years roll on, it gathers consistency, strength, and amplitude of detail. Several of the entries of these Annals refer to periods long before, and during "the dawn" of authentic history Ð they appear to come from tradition Ð the historical scholar will know how to read these.
The varied particulars in these Annals are arranged in chronological order, thus exhibiting to the reader a continuous flow of incidents, &c., in the order in which they occurred. They have been collected from Abbey Chartularies, old writs, title deeds, MSS., memoranda, from historical and topographical works, periodicals and newspapers. It is to be hoped that " the Annals" will prove interesting to the general reader, and to "natives" of the county particularly so.
Previous to commencing our chronological records, we shall, as a preface, offer a few remarks on the name and origin of
The name Kinross, like many other names of places flowing from an early etymology, has undergone many changes in its orthography. In old writings it is to be found under the following spellings, viz:-
Caen-rhos Kaen-rhos Kyneros
Kenros Kinros and Kinross.
These words, it is obvious, proceed from one common root Ð they are synonymous Ð and undoubtedly refer to the early dwellings, which, in prehistoric times, occupied the head or point of the miniature peninsula or promontory, projected into the Loch on its western side Ð about three quarters of a mile east from the lower part of the present site of the town, and half a mile or so west of the Castle island. The Celtic words Caen Ð i.e., Kin, and Rhos, or Ross, signifying when united; Kinross Ð Kin, the head, and Ross, a promontory; thus Kinross signifies the head of the promontory Ð the head of the promontory on which the aboriginal habitants had their dwellings, near to the site of the Old Churchyard.
The Kinross of the present day has no claim on any language for the origin of its name. The contour of the ground on which it stands, and its surroundings, do not bring out the word or name Ð Kinross. But being so near the original locus, the original name has, for convenience, been transferred to it. Had "the men of the olden time" selected the present site they would assuredly have bestowed on it a name significant of its immediate local surroundings, such as Kinleven, the head of the Leven; or Kinloch, the head of the Loch.
Kinross Ð the capital of the county of Kinross Ð is situated at
the distance of 26 miles north-west of Edinburgh, 15 miles north-west of
Burntisland, 53 miles north-east of Glasgow, 12 north of Dunfermline, 25
east of Stirling, 17 south of Perth. By rail, Kinross is 30 miles from Edinburgh,
and 52 from Glasgow. In latitude 56ø 12.20; longitude 3ø 25.7.
Population of the county 7528; of the town of Kinross 2767. (The last railway
through Kinross closed in 1970 - Ed)
490. Several old chronicles affirm that there was a fortress or stronghold on that island in Lochleven, now called "Castle Island," and that Congal, the son of Dongard, King of Scots "foundit the samen."
600. As early as this period there appears to have been "a humble hallowed cell" on Lochleven Island (St Serf's Isle), ane ecclesiastic named Ronan sometyms visited it.
700. A "Religious Cell" on Lochleven Island alluded to by several early writers.
838. A new Religious House founded on Lochleven Isle and dedicated to St Moak by Brudeus, King of the Picts.
843. A Religious House founded on Lochleven Island and dedicated to St Servanus (St Serf).
945. The "Keledei" on Lochleven Island appear to have given over their Cell to the Bishop of St Andrews, upon condition that he would provide them with food and raiment.
980. About this period "the Cell," founded on Lochleven Island in 843 and dedicated to St Servanus, was raised to the dignity of a Priory.
1000. Several authors ancient and modern when referring to the ecclesiastical notices of St Serf's Isle touching this period, complain of the perplexing confusion surrounding them, especially so, as regards precision of locality and date. Some notices refer to "Insula Portmoak" and explain that it is in St Serf's Island, and vice-versa, again, "Insula Lochleven" is often noticed, and this name is to be understood as meaning "St Serf's Isle," concluding with the remark "that Lochleven Island, the Island of Portmoak, and Island of St Servanus are names which had been given at different times to the Island now only known as "St Serf's Isle."
1042. Macbeth, King of Scotland, and Gruoch, his consort, granted to the Keledei on Lochleven Island certain landsone of the boundaries of which was the "Saxum Hiberniensium."
1045. Macbeth and Gruoch, his Queen, donate to the Priory of St Servanus, and the Hermits there serving God, the land of "Villule de Bolgin"certain lands at Kirkness and Petmokanne.
1048. Lochleven Island after this date comes to be known as St Servanus's Island, or St Serf's Isle.
1050. Malduin, Bishop of St Andrew, bestowed the Church of Markinch with its lands "honourably and devoutedly on God St Serf and the Culdees on the Isle."
1055. Tuathal, Bishop of St Andrews, bestowed the church of Scoonie on the Keledei on St Serf's Isle, "devoutedly and entirely, with all liberty and honour for the benefit of their prayers."
1065. Malcolm III., King of Scotland, granted a Charter or Writ to the Keledei on St Serf's Isle. "The Manor of Keldad-Earnoch"Maroctus Maomer of Maris witness to this donation Writ.
1075. Fodath, "a man of most pious memory, Bishop of St Andrews," by whose life and learning the whole Kingdom of the Scots was happily made famous, bestowed on God and St Serf, and the Culdees on the Island of St Serfs, dwelling therein, the school of Virtue, with honour and devotionthe Church of Harkyndorath (Auchterderran).
1077. About this period "Duthal" gave the Church of Scoonie and its Pertinents to the Culdees on St Serf's Isle.
1103. Edgar, King of Scotland, in a Charter confirmed the gift of Macbethof Portmoak, Kirkness, Bolgin, Markinch, Scoonie, Keldad-Earnoch, Auchterderran, and Pentements, &c., belonging thereto.
1115. Alexander I, King of Scotland, bequeathed the lands of Cles (Cleish) to Dunfermline Abbey.
1127. About this period Robert Burgonensis made an attempt to deprive the Culdees of St Serf's Isle of certain possessions. The affair was left to arbitration, and upon a solemn hearing of the case the "Seniors" of Fife, among whom was Monchad, of venerable age, were sworn in evidence.
The sentence pronounced by Dufgalfilius Mocche pro Monachis id est Keledees (verdict in favour of St Serf's Culdees).
Another account notifies that the Culdees complained to King David that one Robert Burgonensis had plundered them. The King sent messengers through Fife and Fothriff, and assembled Constance, Earl of Fife, with his followers and two Bishops, who, after properly examining the case, found Robert Burgonensis guilty.
1146. David, King of Scotland bequeathed the Island and Priory of St Serf, in Lochleven, to the Priory of St Andrews. The following is a translation of the Charter conveying the bequest:-
"I, David, King of Scots, to the Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Sheriffs, and all honest men of his whole land: Greeting: Know ye that I have granted and given the Island of St Serf, in Lochleven, to the Canons of St Andrews, that there they may settle an Order of Canons*; and the Culdees who shall be found there, if they wish to live according to Rule, may remain in peace with them but under them, but if any of them shall offer resistance to this, I Will and Order that they be cast out of the Island. WitnessesRobert, Bishop of St Andrews; Andrew, Bishop of Caithness; Walter, the Chancellor; Nicholas, the Clerk; Hugh de Moreville; Walter, the son of Alan-apud, Berwick."
1147. Pope Eugenius III., in a Bull to the Bishop of St Andrews, confirms the grant of David I., vide regist: de: St Andrews.
1152. Robert, Bishop of St Andrews, by Charter, conveys St Serf's Priory,
Library, Lands, &c., to the Priory of St Andrews. Translation of his Charter:-
"To all the sons of Holy Mother Church, Robert, by the grace of God, the humble Minister of the Church of St Andrews: Health and Episcopal Benediction: Know all men, as well present as absent, that we have given and granted to the Church of St Andrews, and to Robert, the Prior, and to the Canons Regular constituted therein, the Priory on St Servanus's Isle,
Lochleven, with all its pertinentsthat is, Findahin, and all its appendages; and Portmoak, and all its appendages; and the Mills at the Bridge; and a Mill in the land of Fundahin; and Chirtness (Kirkness), with all its appendages; and the half Village of Urechechein, with its appendages; and the Kirktown of Scoonie, with its appendages; and twenty meles (71/2 stones) of cheese and one pig from Markinch, and ten meles and four meles from Breis, and one pig from Etmor, and twenty meles of barley from Balchristee, and twenty meles of cheese and one pig from Bolgin, son of Thorfin; and the tithes of our House on the Island, and the tithes of the whole rent which we are to receive at the House, and the Church of Vestments which the Culdees had, and these
The Sentences of Chairvaux.
A Dissertation, concerning the Sacraments, in three parts,
A part of The Book, or Bible,
A Book of the Lessons,
The Acts of the Apostles,
Text of the Gospels,
The Works of Prosper,
The Books of Solomon,
Glosses on the Song of Songs,
A Book on the Interpretation of Words,
A Collection of Sentences,
A Commentary on Genesis,
A Book on Exceptions of Ecclesiastical Rules.
In presence of these witnessesGregory,
Bishop of Dunkeld; and William, Abbot of Holyrood; and Thorald, the Archdeacon; and Matthew, the Archdeacon; Ajulf, the deacon; Mag. Thomas; Mag. Herbert; Richard, Chaplain of the Bishop. Regist. de. Andr.
1160. Bishop Arnold, St Andrews, confirms by Charter, St Serf's Isle, Priory, and possessions to the Priory of St Andrews.
1162. Bishop Arnold, St Andrews, confirmed the grant of the Church of Portmoak to the Priory of St Andrews.
1173. Richard, Bishop of St Andrews, granted and gave the possessions of Sluthaugh to the Priory of St Andrews in exchange for those of Portmoak and Earnoch.
1182. Pope Lucius III, by Bull, confirms to the Priory of St Andrews its St Serf possessions.
1195. Kinross and Orwell (Kynros et Vrwell) are mentioned in old writ as early as this period.
1203. A Church or Chapel appears to have been founded at Cles about this period.
1210. "Glendovon, Aldye, Fossedmege" are alluded to as early as this period in old charters(Glendevon, Aldie, and Fossoway).
1216. The Church of Cles is granted and given by Malcolm, Earl of Fife, to Dunfermline Abbey.
1220. The Ministry of Scotland Well (anciently called Fons Scoti',) founded by William Malvoisine, Bishop of St Andrews, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
1223. Simon, "a man of honest life and laudable conversation," was elected to the Priorate of St Serf's, in Lochleven.
Bishop Malvoisine, St Andrews, granted and gave to the Canons of St Serf's, Lochleven, the Church of Auchtermoonzie, for the support of "pilgrym travellers."
1227. There was a controversy this year between Cles and Tulibotheuill, &c. (Cleish and Tullibole), regarding rights, boundaries, &c.*
1230. Gilbert of Cles (Cleish) is alluded to in charters of this period.
1240. "The Church of Kynross" appears to have been built about this period.
1242. A new Church or Chapel, founded at Portmoak, adjacent to the Port or Ferry of St Serf's Isle.
1243. David, Bishop of St Andrews, consecrated the new Church at Portmoak.
1245. Henry, Prior of St Andrews, in a Charter, confirms Bishop Malvison's Will: as to the Ministry of St Mary, Scotland Well.
1248. The Church of Carnock, in Fife, bequeathed to the Ministry of St Mary, Scotland Well.
1250. David, Bishop of St Andrews, by Charter, dated "in crastino circumcisionis domino anno MCCL.," bestowed the Ministry of Scotland Well on the community of Red Friars.
The Canons Regular of St Andrews complain to the Pope that the Bishop had introduced Red Friars into a district belonging to them.
Pope Innocent VI. issued a Bull declaring the Bishop's Act illegal, and declares that no such intrusion in future is to take place.
1257. King Alexander III, and his youthful Consort, the Queen, were "forciblie seizet in lochlevine castel and carryit forth oute of it til ye castel of Stirlynge."
1258. About this period it would appear that the Castle of Lochleven was undergoing repairs.
1266. In an old Charter, entitled "Taxatio ecclesiarum diocesis S. Andree," the Churches of "Cles, Kynros, and Portmooc" are mentioned as being in "Fothryf." Cleish is rated annually at X. ma., Kinross at XXXV. ma., and Portmoak at XXIIIJ ma.
1275. Alexander, King of Scotland, frequently resided in the Castle of Lochleven at this period.
1287. "John Haderston" "ane man of grate learning and honest fame", was Vicar, or Superior of the Ministry of Scotlandwell.
1295. The Well of Scotland Well began to be famed for "the curative power of its water in ailments of scrofula and leprosy, and other complaints."
1301. Lochleven Castle "besieged by ye Eenglishe," which "ended in Sir Jhon Comyn raising the Siege."
1303. King Edward 1st of England passed through Kinross on his way to Dunfermline, 5th Nov.
1304. (Letters patent to Edward I dated from Tulibothville Ð Ed)
1305. Sir William Wallace, with a few of his
followers, pass "bye Kinross on their way to the foreste and fastness of Dunfermlyn."
1309. "Keth de Kynross" was one of the Justices who sat at a trial this year, "to determine the difference existing betweene the town of Newburge and the Abbot of Lyndors."
1315. The Church of Kinross and Chapel of Orwell bequeathed to the Abbey of Dunfermline by King Robert the Bruce, "in honour of his predecessors buried there," and "on account of his own place of sepulture which he had especially ordained to be there."
A Charter of the Bishop of St Andrews, is entitled "Carta Willelmi Episcopi de ecclesia de Kynros et Capella de Vrwell," in reference to the foregoing gift, &c.
1319. In the Register of Dunfermline Abbey, there is entitled "Adthangy," dated Anno dui millio T'centesimo Nonodecimo 1319, and has reference to a rectification of the boundary of that estate, &c.in this Charter the "piscariis Lacus de Levyn," probably the earliest notice of "Lochleven Fishings."
1323. (King Robert the Bruce, whilst in Kinross on 1st February, granted a Charter to his armour-bearer Ð Ed)
1329. King Robert the Bruce resorted to Fons Scoti' (Scotland Well) "for ye benefit of its healin waters"vide. date 1295.
1330. John of Kinross was perpetual vicar of Inverkeithing this year.
1333. Alan de Vipont was governor of Lochleven Castle this yearin the interest of David II.
1335. Lochleven Castle, under the command of Alan de Vipont, was, during the months of May and June this year, besieged by a detachment of forces, commanded by Sir John de Strivling, in the interest of Edward Baliol. The following is an abbreviated account of the Siege:-
"In the wars which harassed Scotland during the minority of David II, the Castle of Lochleven was held in the patriotic interest by Alan de Vipont against the troops of Edward III, who acted in behalf of Edward Baliol. John de Striviling blockaded it, erected a fort in the Churchyard at the point of the neighbouring promontory on the West, and at the lower end of the lake at the extreme S. E. point, where the water of Leven issues out of it, it is said that he raised a strong and lofty bulwark, by means of which he hoped, by preventing the water from running out, to raise its height so far as to raise the Castle under water and thereby constrain Vipont to surrender, or drown out the besieged! The water continued to rise daily, and the besiegers thought themselves certain of success, when, the English general and most of his troops having left the camp to celebrate the festival of St Margaret at Dunfermline, the besieged seized the favourable opportunity (June 19, 1335), and after much labour and perseverance they pierced the water-barrier, when the water rushed out with such impetuosity as to overwhelm such of the English forces that lay encamped on that side. When Sir John came back from his pious devotions at Dunfermline, and finding how matters stood, he swore that he would never desist from his enterprise till he had raised the Castle and put the garrison to the sword. But the fates were against him. He shortly afterwards was compelled by other circumstances to raise the siege and leave for other scenes of action. It has also been said that a small fort was erected on St Serf's Isle by command of the English general, but this is uncertain.
"It is not to be believed that so able a general as Sir John de Striviling ever imagined that he could, by erecting a barrier of any length, height, or strength, dam in the waters of the Loch, to cause them to rise so high as to sweep over the top of the Castle Tower and drown the besieged. He would know that as the water rose, it would also spread out in every direction to find a level, and that before it could reach the top of the Tower the whole country for miles round would become a waste of water, and, instead of a loch 11 miles in circuit, one of about 30 miles in circumference would be produced. Such an expanse of water, artificially raised, would not unlikely reach Crook of Devon, and find an outlet in the Devon water!
"It would occur to Sir John that a feint might be made with effect; he would therefore threaten to "raise the water of the Loch and drown the besieged; he would be careful to get this threat conveyed to the besieged; and to give the appearance of work; he would get a barrier erected at the outflow, to dam in the water and cause it to rise upon the Castle Island, and thereby terrify the besieged into immediate surrender." This appears to have been the "secret hystory and mystery" of Sir John's stratagem.
"No doubt the besieged would be greatly alarmed when they beheld the water rising, slowly but surely, day after day. They would become convinced that Sir John was determined to accomplish, and would accomplish his threatened undertaking, and that only two courses were now open to them, viz; a surrender, or the destruction of his barrier. The besieged learning that Sir John, with many of his military officers, were to attend the festival of St Margaret at Dunfermline, resolved in his absence to destroy it.
"The besieged made good their resolution; they reach the barrier under cloud of night and pierce it; the pent-up water rushes through the aperture; which, by the force of the flow, widens and widens the breach made, until the barrier gives way, and the water, like a mighty flood, carries all before it; and thus the stratagem of Sir John was rendered null and void.
"On the occasion of the destruction of the water-barrier, it would appear, that a great many of the besiegers were drowned by the sudden outburst of the water. Amongst the drowned was a notable manviz.: Sir Michael Arnotfather of a son, who was well-known as "David the Devil."
"Wynton, Prior of St Serf's, who appears to have been born about
twenty years after this siege, would be well informed of all particulars
regarding it. The following are a few of his lines descriptive of it. After
metrically describing the incidents of the siege to the point of Sir John's
departure for Dunfermline, he says
"Before the Castelle thus thai lay,
Till Saynt Margaret, the Queenys day.
That day Schyre Jhon of Stryvlline
Past wyth hys curt till Dunfermlyne,
And all the gentlys that wyth hym ware,
And in time that thai ware thare
The stuf that wes of the Castelle
Ful wytting gat, and herd rycht wel
That with Schyre Jhon of Stryvlline
Thare fays past to Dunfermlyne.
Word come til Dunfermlyne sune,
Til Schyre Jhon of Stryvlline,
Than (fra) Kynros (til) Dunfermlyne,
Than he was nerarre wode than wrathe,
And swore mony ane awful athe."
Orygynale Cronykil, vol. 2., p. 182.
"The "religious men" on St Serf's Isle, during the siege, would, like their neighbours in the Castle, be in a state of terror for the safety of their own Isle and their lives; and, as a matter of course, would ever and anon evoke the protection of St Serf and all "ye holy Saynts."
1340. A Charter in the Register of Dunfermline Abbey is entitled "De Ecclasiis de Kinros et Vrwell," from Alexander, Abbot of Dunfermline, with consent of Pope Innocent VI., in reference chiefly to Charter and gift of King Robert the Bruce, of "good memorie," in 1315.
1347. The Church of Kinross and Chapel of Orwell mentioned in a Charter of David II., King of Scotland.
1353. Lochleven Castle "was under the governorship of the Douglas, Earl of Morton."
1357. A Charter of David II. dated "castrum lacus, Levini, 10 Sep., anno reg. 28" (viz.: Castle of Lochleven, 26th Sep. 1357) confers on Andrew Erskine "the lands of Raplauch, durante toto tempore vit', sud, &c."
1369. Robert de Halket was Sheriff of Kinross at this period.
1372. Robert II., in a Charter to the Priory of St Andrews, confirms to them "the old giftes of St Serf's Priorye and its posesions."*
1385. Richard II., King of England, with his forces, "passeth bye the town of Kynross on their way to Perth."
1390. Robert, of Montrose, "was Prior of St Serf's Priory in ye Isle of Lochleven."*
1393. John, of St Andrews, "was Pryor of ye Pryory on St Serf's Isle."
1395. Andrew Wynton, Canon Regular of St Andrews, was Prior of St Serf's Priory, Lochleven, as early as this year, as he was then present with others at a Perambulation for dividing the baronies of Kirkness and Lochor.
1400. At this period, according to an old author, "the Castle of Lochlevine was one place of grate strength, and well circumwalled." Also, it would appear that the Castle had then been repaired. Perhaps at this period the wall surrounding the Castle was extended. It is 585 feet in circumference.
1404. Robert de Halket, Sheriff of Kinross, was infeft in the lands of Ballingal, and in his office of "Coronership of the Shyre of Kinross."**
1406. Andrew Wynton is this year designated in a Charter "canonicus sancti Andree Prio, prioratus insul sancte Servani infra lacum levin."
1411. In an old charter the "Eapi de Elnathorte" or stone of Milnathort, is referred to this year in connection with a dispute regarding boundary and tolls drawn by Inverkeithing. This stone appears to have indicated the northern limit of the jurisdiction of Inverkeithing.
1420. It would appear from old writings that Andrew Wynton Prior of St Serf's Priory in Lochleven, began to write his celebrated "Orygynal Cronykil," in September this year.
1424. Andrew Wynton, Prior of St Serf's Priory appears to have finished his "Orygynal Cronykil," about the end of this year. The MS. of the "Orygynal Cronykil," in the holograph of Wynton is in the Advocate's Library, Edinburgh. In 1795 it was published by David Macpherson in 2 vols. oct., under the title of "The Orygynal Cronykil of Scotland, by Andrew Winton, Prior of Sancte Serf's Inch, Loch Levin." The work is rather costly, being marked in catalogues at œ2 10s.
1426. The town of Kinross erected into a county. From time immemorial down to this year, the district of country now known as the county of Kinross, belonged to the ancient territory of Fothriff. Down to this period the Churches of Kinross, Orwell, Cleish, Portmoak, Kinglassie, and their surroundings are to be found catalogued under Fothriff.
Fife and Fothriff were two large territories of country. An imaginary line drawn from the mouth of the Leven, on the Firth of Forth, to Macduff's Cross, near Newburgh, separated them; all to the east of this line was called "Fyf," while on the west of it lay the larger territory of Fothriff, which was bounded on the south and south-west by the shores of the Firth of Forth, to the mouth of the Black Devon, above Alloa; from thence it proceeded, irregularly, to near Tillicoultry, and from thence, along the foot of the Ochils to Macduff's Cross. Thus, it will be seen that ancient Fothriff comprehended within its boundary the Counties of Kinross and Clackmannan, and the western district of Fife.
From a very early period down to the Reformation, Scotland was dotted over with certain divisions of lands known as "Schyres." Thus in the immediate neighbourhood of Kinross were "Kynros-Schyre," "Portmocke-Schyre,"* "Kinglassy-Schyre," "Muchard-Schyre," "Doloure-Schyre," &c. These Schyres must not be confounded with the Shire of the present day; they were simply divisions of land, similar in extent to an average modern Parish.
This year1426a small fragment of the northern part of Fothriffthe Sheriffdom of Kinross was disjoined from Fothriff and erected into a county of itself, under the title or designation of the County, or Shire of Kinross; and comprehended little more than the present parishes of Kinross and Orwell in extent, and, probably, with a population of not more than 500 souls! In the year 1685 the County was much enlarged.(See date 1685).
Why so small a district of land as the parishes of Kinross and Orwell
should have been disjoined from Fothriff and erected into a county, is one
of those "mysterious doings of our ancestors which is likely for ever to
baffle the comprehension and research of the historian"referring to the "good
"The good old rule the simple plan,
That they should take who had the power,
And they should keep who can."
An old author says, "in these olde days favoritism and privat selfysh intereste accomplysit manie unacontable things." Probably the state of the law and "private selfysh intereste," in these times, had something to do in the throwing up of part of Torryburn parish to the west of that of Cleish. At least two-thirds of the parish of Torryburn has been made to leap over the parishes of Carnocke and Saline, and to settle down in an isolated position within a few hundred yards of the western boundary of the parish of Cleish! Very many instances of this sort of thing are to be found throughout the country.
1429. Archibald Douglas, Earl of Douglas, committed prisoner to the Castle of Lochleven, for unbecoming language to his sovereign Lord, King James I.
1430. Andrew Wynton, Prior of St Serf's Priory, died "ane mane of age," some time this year.
1434. "Burley Castell" according to tradition, "wes foundit this yier."
1436. Lochleven Castle appears to have had some alterations "made good and further strengthened for saftie of defense."
1441. There appears to have been a gallows at Lathro at this date "for executing of villans and vagabons." Lathro, between Kinross and Milnathort, has still a site known as "The Gallows Knowe."
1445. King James II., in "anno nono regni sui" (i.e. in the ninth year of our reign1445), gave the Castle and Barony of Burleigh, to John de Balfour of Balgarvie.
1446. The Lands of Arlary in Kinross-shire, held by William Currer, forester, were bequeathed to the Abbey of Dunfermline.
1450. William Currer, "by Writ and Witnesses" made a "Legale and formale resignation of the Lands of Arlary to Richard, Abbot of Dunfermline."
King James II. by charter confirmed the gift of Arlary to Dunfermline Abbey "for the founding of a chaplaincy in the Abbacie."
1460. The Castle on Lochleven and its "battlements repayred" and
strengthened. It would appear that at the same time some parts of the Castle
were made more secure.
Tullibole Stone, now in Edinburgh
1461. The names of the Churches of Kinross, Orwell (Vuerquheil), Cleish, Tullibole and Fossoway, occur in a Charter of this date. The original name of Orwell appears to have been Vuerquheil, may that not mean over-queich? The North Queich empties itself into Lochleven at a point about a mile and a half to the west of Orwell Church.
1464. Aldie Castle appears to have been built about this period.
1470. The Abbot of Dunfermline had a pleasure or fishing boat, on Lochleven at this period.
1478. Patrick Graham, Archbishop of St Andrews, died in the Castle of Lochleven, where he had for some time been a prisoner, and was buried in the graveyard of St Serf's Priory, St Serf's Isle. It is generally agreed that this ill-used prelate was "ane man of great learning and wysdom, of wonderful meiknes and simplicitie of manner," and that he "died brokin-hearted."
1480. In a Charter, "Claslochie, Brakley, Garnie and Goderant" are mentioned this year.
1481. A charter of this date alludes to the lands of Arnot and mansion. Perhaps this is the earliest notice of what the poet Bruce calls "ruined Arnott." The lands of Arnot are referred to as early as the reign of Malcolm IV. It is a conspicuous object, stands on high ground, has been a ruin for about 170 years, and stands on the eastern boundary of the County of Kinross.
1484. The Priory of St Serf's undergoing repair at the expense of the Priory of St Andrews.
1486. Tullibole Church repaired this year. It would appear to have been "in bad stait" before this year.
1489. Disputes or "troubles between the religious men of Portmocke and Scotland Well, about the boundarye of their landes"adjusted by the Prior of St Andrews.
1491. There appears to have been a gallows at Lathro as early as this period, and it "was kept up until the heritable jurisdiction act of 1748 abolished the laird's gallows" (this gallows hill is about midway between Kinross and Milnathort.)
1497. The plague in Scotland this year was, according to old authors; "particularlie severe in its ravages in the shires of Perth, Fife, and Kinross."
1498. A charter of this date alludes to "Schanwel, Waroche, Baladoe, and Tilieochy."
1500. At this period Kinross appears to have been a small village on the peninsula or promontory of land*west end of the Lochin the immediate vicinity of the old church of Kinross, from which the name (Kinross) is derived, consisting of "a few humble cottages covered with straw or turf, and containing a population of about 250 souls."
1507. "Cleish, Cleish Mill, Niviestane, Carsgore, and Anefroich," mentioned in a charter of this date.
1512. The Queen of James IV. passed through Kinross on her way from Dunfermline to the shrine of St Duthois, in Ross Shire.
1518. According to an old topographical work, the Roman Camp on Dunglow, Cleish hills, "was weil defined, and seen in its hail dimensions of extente," and that it was conjectured that "the camp coulde containe at leist 300 men with ease." Notice is also taken of "a Roman brass coin found near the camp shortly before 1518."
1522. A charter of this date mentionsÿ
"Anacroich, Tilliochy, Trusthills, and Cruicke."
1527. James V., and a numerous retinue of followers pass through Kinross on their way to Perth.
1533. The Abbot of Dunfermline presented a minister to the "perpetual vicarage" of Cleish, which vicarage is rated at 10 marks.
1536. Thomas Forrest, vicar of Dollar "began to promulgate his reformed doctrines in the parishes of Kinross, Tullibole, &c."
1540. (Kinross Royal charter. On 20 January, King James V granted a Charter to Robert Douglas of Loch Leven and created Kinross a free Burgh of Barony with certain privileges, liberties and rights. Ð Ed)
1543. Sir Robert Douglas, of Lochleven, is mentioned in a charter
of this year, when he married Lady Margaret Erskine, ÿ" who had a pension
of œ666 13s 4d (Scots) from the King."*
1545. Lochleven Castle repaired by Sir Robert Douglas. Down to the year 1813 there was to be seen on a projecting stone in the Castle wall, the initial letters R.D., M.E., evidently those of Robert Douglas and Margaret Erskine. There was no date on the stone; but official documents shew that said repairs were done in 1545.
1548. The name of "Johannes de Arnat," of Arnati, is found in a Charter of this date.
1554. Sir James Balfour, of Pittendriechafterwards of BurleighSecretary of State, this year.
1555. In Dunfermline Abbey "Registra Infesdacionum et Alienationum," a charter is titled "Carta Terrarum infra Vice-comitatum de Fyfe et Kinroscher dicto domino Robt. Ritchartsoune" (charter of land within the vicecomitatum, or Sheriffdom, of Fife and Kinross-shire, to Robert Richardson); he was Commendator of St Mary Isle Priory, near Kirkcudbright, and Lord High Treasurer of Scotland.
1560. Valuation of the Priory, Rentals, &c., St Serf's, Lochleven:ÐMoneyÐœ111 (Scots); BearÐ28 bolls; MealÐ72 bolls.
Valuation of the Priory of Portmoak in Rentals, &c., Moneyœ111 13s 4d (Scots); Bear1 chalder 12 bolls; oats, 4 chalders 8 bolls. (It is singular that the monies in the respective treasuries of St Serf's and Portmoak should have been so nearly alike.) With this year terminates the ecclesiastical histories of the ancient Priories of St Serf's and Portmoak.
1561. Valuation Roll of "The Trinity Friars of Scotland Well"Money
œ102 (Scots); Bear27 chalders 11 bolls; meal5 chalders 11 bolls 3 firlots
31/2 pecks.* Of the ancient Hospital or Friary of Portmoak, ancient church
or priory, and the Hospital or "Ministry of Scotland-well," not a vestige
exists, and of the venerable priory of St Servanus on the Isle, a sorry fragment
"Now tottering to its base,displays
A venerable wreck of other days."
The Rev. Dr Gordon in his "Monasticon," page 98, has a very fine, but small view of St Serf's priory as it stood, when he saw it in 1861.*
An old author, referring to the reformation period, remarks that
"the years 1559, 1560, and 1561 were notabil years for the dinging doun of
Cathedrales and Kirks, manie a statley toure and steepl was castet til the
ground and then cam the closing of their acompts and the distributione of
lands among favorites," and adds that "the clergy began or forced on the
religios warrfryars and priestes, black, white, and grey led most disolute
imorale lives an would not try to reform themselves. Had they reformed their
lives their kirks would hae been left til them." Or as Dunbar, the poet
of that period, hath it:
"Had not yourselfs begun the weiris,
Your stipills had been stanand yet;
It was the flattering of your friers
That ever gart Sanct Francis flit,
It gart us grow malicious,
Contrairy your messe."
In the Rental Book of Dunfermline Abbey the kirks of Kinross and Vuerquheill (Orwell) are assessed to "ye laday lolevin at icxxl."
1562. At the presentment of Mr David Fergusson to the Reformed Kirk of Dunfermline, it was ordained that part of his stipend was to be derived from "the thrids of Scotland Well, as follows:-
XIIIJ, 3 qt. bols. beir at * * *
XXVd, VIII., &c.
1563. "The laird of Burghly" is heritable coroner or sheriff of Fife this year.
(In April of that year occurred the famous meetings between Queen Mary and John Knox, one a two hour debate in Lochleven Castle, and one next day when she was out hawking 'bewest the town of Kinross.' Local tradition places this meeting at Turfhills, and on this occasion the Queen is said to have presented Knox with a watch. Ð Ed)
1565. Sir James Balfour of Burleigh, elected Clerk Registrar of the court of Session.
Sir William Douglas is mentioned in a deed or unit, as proprietor of Lochleven Castle.
1567. Sir James Balfour of Burleigh elected President of the Court of Session.
Queen Mary "was taken from Holyrood house on the evening of June 16th and conveyed under a strong guard to Lochleven Castle (a distance of nearly 30 miles) riding on horseback between Lord Ruthven and Lord Lindsay, "two men familiar with deeds of blood, and of savage manners." It is recorded that she was safely warded in the castle early on the morning of June 17th.
Queen Mary attempted to escape from Lochleven Castle, on August 20th, in the disguise of a laundress. She was detected and subjected to "a rigouris watche thereafter."
The Rev. James Dolby or Dowie appears to have been the first protestant
minister of Kinross. It is not known when he was ordained; he is first mentioned
in 1567. He had the superintendence of the Kirks of Orwell and Ballingry.
Mr Walter Balfour and Mr Alexander Wardlaw were Readers and Exhorters.
The escape of Mary from
1568. Queen Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle on the evening of Sunday 2d May 1568. George Douglas, youngest brother of Sir William Douglas, who was favourable to Mary, had been expelled from the Castle for assisting her in the attempted escape of August 20th, 1567. George had, however, kept up a correspondence with his relation in the Castle"Little Willie" as he was calledthis William Douglas, a youth of 16, "contrived to steal the keys of the Castle, while the family were at supper. He let Mary and her attendant out of the tower when all had gone to rest, locked the gates of the castle to prevent pursuit, placed the Queen and her waiting-woman in a little skiff, and rowed them to the shore, throwing the keys of the castle into the Lake in the course of their passage. Just when they were about to set out on this adventurous voyage, the youthful pilot had made a signal by a light in a particular window visible at the upper end of the Lake, to intimate that all was safe. Lord Seaton and a party of the Hamiltons were waiting at the landing-place. The Queen instantly mounted and hurried off to Niddry, in West Lothian, from which place she went next day to Hamilton. The news of the escape flew like lightning throughout the country, and spread enthusiasm everywhere," &c. (For after particulars see any History of Scotland).
Mary had thus been a prisoner in the Castle a period of 288 days. "During these long weary days she was most wretched"cooped up in a confined apartment, and ever and anon subjected to the insulting and harsh treatment of "Lady Lochleven."
Mary appears to have filled up much of her time in her apartment with embroidery. Here she made a beautiful crimson velvet bed, now in Scone Palacestill in an excellent state of preservation."
Regarding "the find" of the questionable keys of the Castle (?) see date 1805.
1569. The Earl of Northumberland was imprisoned in the Castle of Lochleven "for poleetical offences."
"The Abbacie of Melros," with all its lands and lordships, were, by the Crown, "disponed to James Douglas second son of William Douglas of Lochleven, as Abbot of commendator with power to set in feu forme long or short takkis, sick lyk, and in the same manner as gif he had been providit thairto of auld in the Court of Rome."
1570. John Douglas of Pittendriech, Parish of Portmoak, a Carmelite Friar, was Rector of the University of St Andrews this year.
The Priory of St Serf, St Serf's Isle, Lochleven; the Priory of Portmoak, and the Ministry or Hospital of Scotlandwell were by Charter of Mr John Winram, Economous of St Andrews Priory, given to St Leonard's College, St Andrews, and here ends the history of these old religious houses.
1571. John Douglas of Pittendriech, Rector of the University of St Andrews, "received a letter under the Great Seal, in name of James VI," ordaining that "for all the days of his life," he shall "have all and hail the benefice of the Archbishoprick of St Andrews, as well temporality as spirituality"dated 8th Sept. He was the first protestant archbishop of St Andrews.
1572. The Earl of Northumberland imprisoned in Lochleven Castle "for poleetical offences," in 1569, was released from ward after having been a prisoner 3 years and 2 months.
The Earl was sent into England under a strong guard, and shortly afterwards he was executed.
1574. "John Henderson was Reader this year in the Parish Church of Tulliboleœ16 (Scots), with the Kirk land to be paid out of the third of the Abbacy of Culross." "Mr Adam Marshall was Reader at Fossoquhyhis stipend, œ56 14s 4d (Scots), paid thereof out of the third of the Abbacy of Cowper."
In an old Register of this date, in the Advocate's Library, it is noted that "the reider of Carnock received as part of his stipend XVI. lib. wh. the Kirk lands for payment thairof, ane chalder of meil out of Scotland well."
1580. Orwell Church made a Parish Church about this period.
King James VI. "passed Kinross" on his way to Falkland.
1582. Burleigh Castle repaired, and the south tower "strengthened". On a stone in the north corner of the wall, now gone, were the initials of the then proprietors and the date, viz: I.B. * M.A., 1582.
"It was at one period a place of great strength, consisting of a square or court, surrounded by a wall ten feet high and six feet thick. Outside the wall there was a deep ditch for water, also a redoubt.
This, once the stronghold of the proud barons of Burleigh, has long been an utter ruin.
"What does not fade? the tower that long
The crash of thunder and the warring winds, Shook by the slow but sure destroyer time
Now hangs in doubtful ruins o'er its base."
1583. Robert Pitcairn, late Secretary of State, was "wardit in the Castel of Lochlevin for high treason," 26th August. On account of his previous "faithful services" he was released and "went furth oute of the Castel on 19th Sept."
1587. An old author, referring to the Castle, remarks:At this period "Lochlevin Castil was neeful o' repairs," and that if it was not "heeded soon, it would become a ruin."
1590. Rev. Robert Rait was minister of Kinross, died 1607.
Peter Monk, admiral of Denmark, Stephen Bra, Braia, Ransom, and Hery Coolister, with other Danes (the Danish Ambassadors to the Court of James VI.) arrived at New House, Kinross, where "they tooke supper and stayid the nighte." Next day they went to DunfermlineMay 13th.
Great plague among the bestial. The counties of Fife and Kinross were great sufferers. "Cattel, dogs, and cats died in scoris by the fell deseise."
1591. King James VI "disponed to David Arnot; eldest son, Andrew Arnot, the Manor of Scotlandwell with the adjacent lands Kilmaged within the Regality of St Andrews.
1597. The plague of this year "was severlie felt in the shires of Fife, Perth, and Kinross, and grate numbers of ye pepel died."
The "witches of Kinross" were, as in other places, "household words." At this period they were numerous in and about Kinross. King James VI. declared in court that he "was pestered with witches, as they swarmed in thousands!"
1600. At this period there were in Kinross, according to an "old notificatione," about 60 weavers and 300 inhabitants."
1602. In September this year, there "was an extraordinar high wind in Kinros an neiborhode that caused much damage to trees and staks."
1603. It would seem that James VI. passed by Kinross this year in April, on his last visit to Falkland before his departure for England.
1606. King James VI. raised Sir Michael Balfour of Burleigh to the peerage, under the title or designation of Lord Balfour of Burleigh.
1607. Rev. Robert Rait, Minister of Kinross, died.
Rev. John Colden, ordained minister of Kinross, conformed to Presbytery in 1638, and died in 1640.
1608. Tullibole Castle built. Over the lintel of the main entrance there is a large stone with the Murray Shield, or Arms, in the centre, with the initial letter IáHáMáOá, on the left and right of the shield are the following words and date as under;
TheáLordáis I H Peace Be
OnlieáMy Within Thy
Defenceá Walles and
2áAprilá1608á M O WithináThy
The castle is now in a dilapidated state, and hastening to the condition of a ruin. It stands at the distance of 41/2 miles S.W. of Kinross and 11/2 miles E. of Crook of Devon. (finished 1608ÐEd)
1609. Rev. Laurence Mercer was "Ministere of Tullibole." He died about the year 1632.
1610. In Dunfermline Abbey Register there is a Canta entitled "Inquisitus Wilhelm Shaw Lathangye 24th Sepr."
1612. Auchmoor Bridge, of three arches, built over the Leven water, near the east end of the loch, by Sir John Malcolm, of Balbedie, abut this period.
1614. Tullibole and Fossoway, until this year, were distinct parishesthey were this year united and made one parish. After the annexation, and down to 1729, the two places of worship, the one at Fossoway, the other at Tullibole, were retained. The Rev. Mr Mercer, who served the "Cure," preached two Sabbaths at Fossoway, and the third Sabbath at Tullibole, regularly the minister's house being at Fossoway.
1617. King James VI. and "ane great cavilcade of nobles and others, passed by Kynross for Perth."
1621. A bridge built over North Queichthere appears to have been one before this and therefore this bridge, had then only been rebuilt.
1626. An old author, referring to Kinross district this year, notes that it was "a bleake districte, and but thinly inhabitat by a few weaveris and laborers."
1628. In an old title deed "Coldrane, Hall Yardes, and Kilduffe" are mentioned(places between three and five miles south-west of Kinross).
1635. Rev. Laurence Mercer, minister of Tullibole, died this year.
A great part of the grounds near Kinross House was a soft moss called the "flow moss."
1638. Rev. John Colden, "conformed to Presbyterian rule this year."
1640. Rev. George Colden ordained minister of Kinross.
1642. In the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, there is a volume of
Timothy Pont's collection of Maps; fol. XVII. has on it one of "Keanross,"
described by James Gordon, 28th October, 1642. This is supposed to be the
oldest map of the county of Kinrossthis map is 131/2 inches from east to
west, and 5 inches from north to south. See date 1865.*
The Devil preaching to the witches
1643. John Brughe, "the nortoris Crook-of-Devon Warlick" had long been a terror to the Kinross district. It was proven at his trial that he had "met the devill at the Rumblin Brigg"; and that he and others had "met Satin thrice in the Kirkyeard of Glendevon, at quilkis tymes there was tane up thrie severell dead corps, ane of thame being of ane servand man named Johne Chyrystiesone, the other corps tane up at the kirk of Mukhart; the flesch of the quhilk corps was put abone the byre headis" of certain individuals to destroy their cattle. For these, along with several other "horride crymes" Johne was tried in Culross in November this year, and his "doome" was that he be "fyrst stranglet and then brunt," which
was done, it seems, on the gallows knowe of Crook-of-Devon
(Line missing Ð Editors)
between the years 1560 and 1700. It now appears extraordinary that such an amount of faith should have been placed in the existence of "Warlocks and Witches." and in their capabilities. These "Worthies" burst out all at once after the fall of the Romish form of worship; and it may therefore be asked "Had the fall no immediate or after connection with these poor specimens of humanity?"
1645. As in other places, a great many die of the plague in Kinross-shire.
1648. Rev. Mr Geddie was minister of Orwell at this period.
1650. Part of the lands of Kinglassie annexed to the parish of Portmoak.
After the battle of Dunbar, a great many of the routed soldiers retreated to the north; in Kinross there were some hundreds of poor wounded soldiers. Lady Halket of Pitfirrane, the mother of the respected authoress of the poem "Hardy-knute," in passing through Kinross at the time with the assistance of her domestic female attendant, "dressed about three score (of them), and employed one A.R. to such as were unfit for her to dress."21st Sept., 1650.
Auchmoor Bridge, over the Leven water repaired:Probably the inscription stone was built into the bridge at this period. (See date 1828.)
1655. A parchment manufactory established at Portmoak.*
1657. According to Kinross Session Records, "John Watson and James Fairay were publicklie rebuked for profanation of ye Sabbath, in travelling yr on with shoes to
sell at Abernethie mercate.22d March."
1659. The old Church of Portmoak being in a ruinous state, was condemned, ordered to be removed and a new one builtthis church stood near the margin of the east end of the Loch.
The old Parish Register of Portmoak appears now to be lost. When inspected by the Presbytery in 1659, an entry was discovered in it, notifying that the name of the parish of old was St Servanus.
1661. The new Church of Portmoak rebuilt and opened. (See 1839.)**
"Mr Harie Chrystie, minstr of Kinros, preached the ordination sermon of Mr Simon, Cupar to Dunfermline Church, 17th May."
1662. Crook-of-Devon, was, it would appear from old Registers and trials, "greatlie infested with witches and warlicks" at this period, and that at least 10 persons were tried for their "wicket practicis and several of them "brunt quick,"that is to say burnt aliveat Crook of Devon.
(13 condemned, see also 1862 Ð Ed)
1663. The 29th May, restoration of King Charles II, kept as a holiday in Kinross.
1665. Rev. George Colden, minister of Kinross died. It would appear that he died at St Andrews, whither he had gone to have an interview with Archbishop Sharp on some of the rights of his benefice, but where he met with no redress or satisfaction.Such was the attachment borne to this minister, that a number of people went to St Andrews and bore his mortal remains to Kinross as his place of Interment.
Mr Andrew Small was Parish teacher of Kinross at this period. He died 19th March. 1676.
Rev. James Forsyth translated from Monzie and ordained Minister of Kinross 23d Nov.
The oldest extant Parochial Register of Kinross commences with date
8th Oct. 1665. (vide date 1683.)