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Parish of Dunfermline

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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1791-99: Dunfermline
1834-45: Dunfermline

Dunfermline, a city and parish in the SW of Fife. A royal and parliamentary burgh, a place of manufacture, and the seat of administration for the western division of the county, the city stands on the North British line of railway from Thornton Junction to Stirling, at the junction of a mineral line southward to Charlestown harbour, and of a passenger line south-eastward to North Queensferry, by road being 5 ½ miles NW of North Queensferry, 16 NW of Edinburgh, and 29 S of Perth, whilst by rail it is 7 ½ WSW of Lochgelly, 15 ¼ WSW of Thornton Junction, 29 SW of Cupar, 13 ½ E by S of Alloa, 20 ¼ E by S of Stirling, and 42 ¼ NE by E of Glasgow. Its site is variously flat and sloping, but consists mainly of a longish eminence, which, stretching from E to W, rises to a height of 354 feet above sea-level, and presents a somewhat bold ascent to the N. The environs abound in diversities of surface, enriched with floral ornament, and gemmed with fine close views; and they contain a number of mansions, villas, and pretty cottages. The city, as seen from any point near enough to command a distinct view, yet distant enough to comprehend it as a whole, looks to be embosomed in wood; and over the tree-tops rise Queen Anne Street U.P. church, 'with its enormous rectilinear ridge,' the steeples of the County Buildings, the Town House, and the old Abbey church, with the fine square tower of its modern neighbour. A stranger, approaching Dunfermline for the first time, forms a very mistaken notion of its extent, supposing it to be little else than a large village in a grove; and, on entering, is surprised to find himself in a city teeming with activity, bustling with trade, and every way worthy of ranking with the foremost burghs. Some vantage spots within the town, especially the vicinity of the Abbey and the top of the Abbey church tower, command extensive panoramic prospects. First, from the top of the tower are seen the rich tracts of south-western Fife, together with their equally fine continuation through the detached district of Perthshire and through Clackmannanshire, to the Ochils; beyond is the Firth of Forth, from North Queensferry to Culross, sometimes concealed by an elevated strip of coast, but here and there beheld in all its breadth through various openings, and rendered everywhere ore picturesque by thus being chequered with land; further still are the southern banks and screens of the Forth, beautifully undulated and luxuriantly fertile, the many-wooded swells of the Lothians, the heights of Edinburgh, occasionally its very spires, the pleasure-grounds of Hopetoun, the promontory of Blackness, the harbour of Borrowstounness, and the 'links' of the Forth to the vicinity of Stirling; and, at the limits of vision, are the Lammermuirs of Haddington and Berwick shires, Soutra Hill at the watershed of the Gala and the Tyne, the Pentlands in Midlothian, Tinto in Lanarkshire, the Campsie Fells in Stirlingshire, and Ben Lomond and Ben Ledi among the south-western Grampians.

The alignment and architecture of the town are far from corresponding with the exterior views. The older streets are narrow and irregular; the principal streets, though containing substantial houses, want some character of spaciousness, length, or elegance, to render them imposing; and all the streets taken together fail to present an urban aspect. Yet some portions, either from their neatness, from their impressive antiquity, or from combinations of striking natural feature and fine artificial ornature, are variously pleasing, attractive, and picturesque. Several streets are entirely modern one of the newest in a style displaying much good taste; others, even the oldest, have been materially improved; and a large suburb in the W is entirely modern. A bridge, 294 feet in length, was built (1767-70) at a cost of more than £5500 by George Chalmers, across Pittencrieff Glen or the glen of the Tower Burn, and became so surmounted by excellent houses and good shops, as to be one of the best of the modern streets. Pittencrieff Glen, even within itself, through combination of romantic natural features with interesting ancient monuments, is highly attractive; and, as to situation, 'is a most agreeable surprise, hanging on the skirts of a manufacturing town like a jewel on an Ethiop's ear.' The demesne, around Pittencrieff mansion, includes the glen, and spreads away to the SW; and the glen contains the remains of a tower of Malcolm Ceannmor, and of a subsequent royal palace, - which ruins, with ground around them sufficient to give access thereto, were in 1871 pronounced by the House of Lords to be Crown property. `The moment you leave the street,' says Mercer, `you enter a private gate, and are on the verge of a deep glen filled with fine old trees, that wave their foliage over the ruins of the ancient palace; and a little further on is the peninsular mount on which Malcolm Ceannmor resided in his stronghold. Round the base of the mount winds a rivulet, over which is a bridge leading to the mansionhouse, situated on the further bank in a spacious park, well-wooded, adorned with shrubberies, and having a splendid prospect to the S. The ground, too, is classical, for amidst this scenery, three centuries ago, when it was even more romantic than it is at present, must often have wandered the poet Henrysoun, holding sweet dalliance with the Muses.'

Malcolm's Tower is believed to have been built between 1057 and 1070. It crowned a very steep eminence, rising abruptly from Pittencrieff Glen, and forming a peninsula; and was described by Fordun as extremely strong in natural situation, and defended by rocky cliffs. Its foundations were 70 feet above the level of the rivulet below, but could not, from the nature of the site, have been of very great extent, probably not more than about 60 feet from E to W, and 55 feet from N to S, with a pyramidal roof. The tower appears to have had great thickness of wall, but has been stripped to the ground of all its hewn outside stones, and is now only represented by a connected angle or fragment of the S and W walls, measuring 31 feet on the S, and 44 feet on the W, with a height of about 8 feet. In spite of its diminutive character, however, this tower was the place of Malcolm Ceannmor's marriage to the Saxon princess, St Margaret, in the spring of 1068, as well as the birthplace of `the Good Queen Maud,' wife of Henry I. of England. About 290 yards NNE of the Tower is St Margaret's Cave, which, as cleared of debris in 1877, Measures 11 ¾ by 8 ½ feet, and is 6 ¾ feet high. The Royal Palace may have been founded as early as 1100, though the so-called Arabic numerals of the Annunciation Stone turned out in 1859 to be really the last four letters of the motto Confido. More likely it was not built till after the departure of Edward I. of England in February 1304. Said to have been burned by Richard II. in 1385, it was restored and enlarged about 1540 by James V.; passed into neglect after Charles II.'s time; and, becoming roofless in 1708, is now a total ruin. It occupies a romantic site a little SE of Malcolm's Tower, and comprises no more than remains of the SW wall, measuring 205 feet in length, 59 in exterior height, and 31 interiorly from the sill of a window on the first floor; is strongly supported by 8 buttresses; and has several crossmullioned windows, and one oriel, over which a 16th century sculpture representing the Annunciation was discovered in 1812. In that year the old palace was so far repaired by the proprietor of Pittencrieff as to be likely to resist, for a long period, any further dilapidation. The kings of Scotland, from Robert Bruce onward, appear to have frequently resided in this palace. James IV. was more in it than any of his immediate predecessors; James V. and his daughter, Queen Mary, resided here; James VI. subscribed the Solemn League and Covenant in it; and at it were born David II. (1323), James I. (1394), Charles I. (1600), and his sister Elizabeth (1596), the 'Winter Queen' of Bohemia. Here, too, the 'young an, Charles Stewart,' kept his small court, and was kept in courteous restraint, at the time of Cromwell's invasion in 1650; here on 16 Aug. he subscribed the 'Dunfermline Declaration,' a testimony against his own father's malignancy.

A building called the Queen's House, to the NE of the Royal Palace, with which it communicated by a gallery, stood in the middle of the street, to the N of the present Pended Tower, and extended nearly to the great W door of the Abbey Church; took its name from having been rebuilt in 1600 by Queen Anne of Denmark and from having been her personal property; was partially inhabited till 1778, but was entirely removed in 1797. The residence of the Constable of the royal buildings stood immediately N of the Queen's House. An aperture, originally about 4 feet high, and 2 ½ feet wide, but now so choked with earth as to be only 2 ½ feet high, is near the NW corner of the Palace, and forms the entrance to a dark subterraneous passage branching into offshoots, and measuring 98 ½ feet in total length. The Pended or Pended Tower, connecting the Palace and the Abbey, is a massive oblong structure, with elegant groined archway on the line of the street; presents interesting features of strong ribbed arches and Transition Norman windows; and now is 35 feet long, 47 high, and 16 broad, but was formerly more extensive. The old market-cross of 1626, similar to the ancient crosses of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Peebles, and other old burghs, according to the Vandal taste with which such things were regarded in last century, was removed in 1752, when its shaft, about 8 feet high, surmounted by a unicorn bearing a shield with St Andrew's Cross, was built into the corner of a neighbouring house. There it remained till 1868, when it was re-erected within the railings of the County Buildings.

The Abbey originated in the founding in 1072 of the church of the Holy Trinity by Malcolm Ceannmor. It was endowed both by that king and by his sons Ethelred and Eadgar, and was completed and further endowed by Alexander I. in 1115. Remodelled in 1124 as a Benedictine Abbey by David I., who placed in it an abbot and twelve brethren brought from Canterbury, it had become by the close of the 13th century one of the most extensive and magnificent monastic establishments in Scotland. Matthew of Westminster, speaking of what it was at that time, says, `Its boundaries were so ample, containing within its precincts three carrucates of land, and having so many princely buildings, that three potent sovereigns, with their retinues, might have been accommodated with lodgings here at the same time without incommoding one another.' It was occupied by Edward I. of England from 6 Nov. 1303 till 10 Feb. 1304; and by him was set on fire, and otherwise much injured, along with the Palace, at his departure. It was restored in much less probably than its former magnificence, after the kingdom became settled under Bruce; but, on 28 March 1560, its choir, transepts, and belfry were, with the monastic buildings, `cast down' by the Reformers. The nave alone was spared, and this was refitted in 1564, as again in 1594-99, for use as a parish church, acquiring then a north-western spire, 156 feet high; and so continuing, under the name of the Auld Kirk, till 1821. The church, when complete, must Have been cruciform, comprising a seven-bayed nave with side aisles (106 x 55 feet), a transept (115 x 73 feet), a choir with a lady-chapel (100 x 55 feet), and three towers-two western ones terminating the aisles, and flanking the gable of the nave; and the great central tower, rising from the crossing. Four tall and beautiful Pointed windows, in the N wall of the N transept, continued standing till 1818, when they were removed, along with the remains of the choir, to give place to the new church. Judiciously repaired by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests in 1847, the nave now serves as a noble vestibule to the said new church, and is a fine specimen of the architecture of the age in which it was erected (1072-1175). Most of its windows have been filled with stained glass-memorials to Queen Annabella (1860), the Rev. Dr Chalmers (1871), the Reids (1873), the Alexanders (1873), the Douglases (1877), etc. The style is Anglo-Norman, but the external effect is a good deal marred by the enormous buttresses of 1594. Over the grand western doorway is a window of Third Pointed character, and, on either side of that doorway, a narrow square tower, with Second Pointed windows. The N aisle is entered by a porch, with a Norman arcade above it; the inner doorway has very rich Norman moulding; the archway next the door forms part of James VI. 's reconstruction, and is in the First Pointed style. The groined roof is of later date than most of the interior, and out of keeping with he Norman ornaments, and the channelled piers separating the aisles from the nave have decorations somewhat similar to those of Durha Cathedral. 'The upright mouldings or pilasters are of Norman character, alternately polygonal and circular, the shafts undecorated. The interior tiers of moulding of the arch are of toothed and rose work; while a broad band of sculpture, representing grotesque heads, animals, and foliage, spreads round the whole, and is surmounted by a narrow decorated moulding, resembling the character of a later period.' The frater-hall or refectory (121 x 34 feet) of the monks stood to the S of the church, and still exists in a state of ruin to the extent of the S front wall and the W gable. It has, in the S front wall, nine tall and graceful windows; and in the W gable a well-preserved Decorated window of 7 lights, measuring 20 feet in height, and 16 feet in breadth, and characterised by the intertwining of its mullions into compartments, each crossed in quatrefoil.

The Abbey had great wealth and power, owned nearly all the lands in western Fife, part of the lands in southern and eastern Fife, various lands in other counties, and at one time the barony of Musselburgh in Midlothian. It possessed the right of a free regality, with civil jurisdiction equivalent to that of a sheriff over the occupiers of the lands belonging to it, and with a criminal jurisdiction equivalent to that of the Crown, wielding the power of life and death. A bailie of regality, appointed by the abbot and officiating in his name, resided in an edifice called the Bailie House, near the Queen's House, and presided in the regality courts. The property of the Abbey was held, from 1560 till 1584 by Robert Pitcairn, from 1584 till 1587 by the Master of Grey, and from 1587 toll 1589 By Henry Pitcairn; and was then constituted a temporal lordship, and conferred upon Anne of Denark, queen of James VI. The office of heritable bailie of the lordship was given, in 1593, by Queen Anne to Alexander Seton, who afterwards became Earl of Dunfermline; and was regranted, along with a 57 years' lease of the feu-duties and rent of the lordship, by Charles I. to the second Earl of Dunfermline. In 1665 it passed to the Earl of Tweeddale, in lieu of a debt due to him by the Earl of Dunfermline; was confirmed or vested, in 1669, to the Marquis of Tweeddale by royal charter; and, in common with the other heritable jurisdictions in Scotland, was abolished in 1748, its value (reckoned at £8000) being compensated with £2672. The Abbey Church succeeded Iona as the place of royal and princely sepulture, and so received the ashes of any kings, princes, and other notable persons. The chief of these were Malcolm Ceannmor, his queen St Margaret, * and their sons Eadward, Eadmund, and Ethelred; King Donald Ban; King Eadgar; Alexander I. and his queen Sibylla; David I. and his two queens; Malcolm IV.; Malcolm, Earl of Athol, and his countess, in the reign of William the Lyon; Alexander III., his queen Margaret, and their sons David and Alexander; King Robert Bruce, his queen Elizabeth, and their daughter Mathildis; Annabella Drummond, queen of Robert III. and mother of James I.; Constantine and William Ramsay, Earls of Fife; Randolph, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland during the minority of David II.; Robert, Duke of Albany and Governor of Scotland; Elizabeth Wardlaw, author of Hardicanute, and other famous ballads; and Ralph Erskine, one of the founders of the Secession Church. The remains of King Robert Bruce, as strikingly narrated in Sir Walter Scott's Tales of a Grandfather, were discovered in 1818 at the digging for the foundation of the new parish church. They were found wrapped in a pall of cloth of gold, thrown apparently over two coverings of sheet-lead in which the body was encased, all being enclosed in a stone coffin. There was strong internal evidence of the remains being those of Robert Bruce, and, after a cast of the skull had been taken, they were replaced in the coffin, immersed in melted pitch, and reinterred under mason-work in front of the pulpit of the new parish church. Not Bruce's tombstone, then, was that which Robert Burns ` knelt down upon and kissed with sacred fervour, ' thereafter ascending the pulpit and delivering a rebuke to his friend who had mounted the cutty stool, 20 Oct. 1787.

The new parish church, or New Abbey Church, was built in 1818-21 at a cost of nearly £11,000. Cruciform in plan and Perpendicular in style, it contains, among other decorations, a stained-glass window, erected in 1881 as a memorial of the late Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Governor-General of India, and illustrative of incidents in the life of Christ. In the S transept are three much admired white marble monuments, General Bruce's by Foley (1868), the Hon Dashwood Preston Bruce's by Noble (1870), and Lady Augusta Stanley's by Miss Grant of Kilgraston (1876). The church has, near the E end, a fine square tower 103 feet high, with terminals indicating it to be practically a mausoleum over the remains of the royal Bruce. These terminals show an open-hewn stonework, in the place of a Gothic balustrade, having in capital letters 4 feet high, on the four sides of the tower's summit, the words ` King Robert The Bruce,' with royal crowns surmounting the letters; and at each corner of the tower there is a lofty pinnacle. The church was repaired in 1835, and contains nominally 2050 sittings, but is available practically for only about 1400 persons. St Andrew's Church, in North Chapel Street, built in 1833 as a chapel of ease, and constituted a quoad sacra church in 1835, contains 797 sittings. The North Church, at the E end of Golfdrum Street, was built, in 1840, as an extension church; is likewise now a quoad sacra parish church; and contains 800 sittings. Three Free churches are in the town, and bear the same names as the three Established ones-Abbey, St Andrew's, and North (1850; 760 sittings). In 1882 the congregation of Free Abbey Church, dating from 1843, built a new church in Canmore Street. A Romanesque octagonal structure, with pinnacles at the corners, this, as seen from a distance, presents a pyramidal appearance, the total height being 100 feet. It seats 800, and cost, with adjoining hall, £5500. Four U.P. churches also are in the town-Queen Anne Street (1798-1800; 1642 sittings), Chalmers Street (1861-62; 430 sittings), St Margaret's (1826-27; 979 sittings), and Gillespie (1848-49; 600 sittings), the last, on the highest ground in the city, being a - handsome Gothic edifice, with stained windows and a marble font. Queen Anne Street U.P. church occupies the site of a former church built in 1741 for Ralph Erskine, one of the parish ministers of Dunfermline, and afterwards one of the founders of the Secession body. It is a gaunt and ungainly edifice, remarkably conspicuous, but internally very commodious. On a plot of ground in front is a stone statue (1849) of Ralph Erskine, by Handyside Ritchie. The Independent Chapel, in Can ore Street, was built in 1841, has a good organ, and contains 700 sittings. The Evangelical Union Chapel, in Bath Street, is more recent, and contains 310 sittings. A new Gothic Baptist chapel was built in Viewfield Place in 1882 at a cost of £3000, and contains 600 sittings. Trinity Episcopal Chapel stands in Bath Street, was built in 1842, and is a Gothic edifice, in the form of a Greek cross, with a fine organ. St Margaret's Roman Catholic church, in Holyrood Place, rebuilt in 1871-73 after designs by Thornton Shiells, of Edinburgh, consists of an aisleless nave and a semicircular apse, with two semicircular chapels projecting therefrom. An Irvingite congregation dates from 1835.

The Old Town House at the corner of Kirkgate and Bridge Street, with a tower and spire 132 feet high, becoming inadequate, and being in a somewhat inconvenient situation, was demolished, along with adjacent tenements, in 1875, through the operations of an improvement scheme. This scheme resulted in the widening of Bridge Street by 4 feet and of the Kirkgate by 22, and in the erection of the new Corporation Buildings (1876-79), after designs by Mr J. C. Walker, of Edinburgh, at a cost of over £20,000. These, in a combination of the Scottish Baronial and French Gothic styles, have one front to Kirkgate of 144 feet, and another to Bridge Street of 66 feet, whilst at the connecting corner of the two is a clock tower, rising to the height of 117 feet, and 23 feet square. The principal entrance is round-arched, having massive buttresses and granite columns supporting a balcony and projecting windows, over which are sculptured the Royal Scottish arms. The Kirkgate front has fanciful and grotesque ornaments, while that of Bridge Street has busts of Malcolm Ceannmor, St Margaret, Robert Bruce, and Elizabeth his queen. The council chamber is 39¼ by 25¼ feet, with an open timber roof; while the burgh courtroom measures 50½ feet by 31½, and has a similar roof to that of the council chamber. There are a number of portraits of local celebrities in the Corporation Buildings, as well as the famous cartoon of Sir Noel Paton's Spirit of Religion' (1845), presented by the artist in 1881. A stucco model of Mrs D. O. Hill's statue of Burns, erected at Dumfries in April 1882, has also been placed in the vestibule. The burgh prison, standing near the public park, is a very plain building, but with good internal arrangements; and was erected in 1844-45 at a cost of £2070. The County Buildings, formerly known as the Guild Hall, were erected, in 1807-11, by a number of private persons in the district. The frontage to High Street has 24 windows, and is surmounted by a spire 132 feet high. Intended originally as a Guild or Merchant House, it was converted into an hotel in 1817, and in 1849-50 into a court-house for the western district of Fife. The burgh post office is in this building. St Margaret's Hall, in St Margaret Street, was completed in 1878 at a cost of £9000, in Early English style, with simple exterior decorations. The large hall affords accommodation for 1320 persons, and has a very fine organ, with 26 stops, 1522 pipes, and hydraulic blowing engine; there are also a lecture hall, reading-room, and committee rooms. Close to this hall is the new free public library, erected in 1880-81 at a cost of £5000, by Mr Andrew Carnegie, of New York, who further gave £3000 for books Domestic Tudor in style, and three stories in height, it comprises library, reading, recreation, and smoking rooms. At a cost of £5000, the same gentle an founded the Carnegie Baths (1877), in School End Street. This building is of the height of two stories in the centre elevation, with a square tower surmounted by a flagstaff; and though altogether of a somewhat dwarfed appearance, is considerably relieved with mullioned windows, highlypitched gables with finials, and corbelled turrets. Two swimming baths measure respectively 70 by 35 and 25 by 17 feet, each sloping from 3 to 6 feet in depth; and the larger of the two has accommodation for 500 spectators on occasion of an aquatic fête. The Music Hall, in Guildhall Street, was erected in 1851-52. The building has a clear rise of wall to the height of 90 feet, and it contains no fewer than three halls, the principal one accommodating 1500 persons, and having a proscenium and other appliances necessary for a theatre.

The Grammar School or High School stands at the head of the town; is a recent, neat, oblong edifice, erected on the site of former schools built about 1560 and destroyed by fire in 1624, re-erected in 1625 and removed in 1817 for the present building; now comprises two large schoolrooms and excellent dwellinghouse; is surmounted by a low, ornamental, circular tower, meant for an observatory; and has a playground in front. The Commercial Academy was erected by the Guildry in 1816, and was long one of the principal elementary schools in the town. The Rolland School sprang from a donation of £1000 by the late Ada Rolland of Gask, and was originally under the direction of the Town Council. All these schools, together with the Female Industrial School, the Free Abbey Church School, and others, were acquired by the Burgh School Board after the passing of the Education Act of 1872, and since then the board has erected a school, at a cost of £4136, at the W end of the town; shared the cost of another further N with the Parish School-Board, besides purchasing one for £1200, which was in connection with St Leonards Weaving Factory. A central school has also been substituted for the Rolland and Commercial Schools at a cost of £5143, and altogether there are six public schools under the board, whilst it also exercises supervision over four others. With total accommodation for 3055 children, these had (1880) an average attendance of 2215, and grants amounting to £1928, 7s. 6d. There are also a young en's literary institute, a school of arts, an agricultural society, an orchestral society, a horticultural society, an ancient society of gardeners, a co-operative society (1861-66, 2200 embers, and £19,600 capital), a building company, a property investment society, two masonic lodges, a Burns's club, a gymnasium, curling, bowling, cricket, football, and swimming clubs, a cemetery (1863), a public park (1863), etc.

The town has a head post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland and the British Linen Co., Commercial, National, and Royal Banks, a national security savings' bank, offices or agencies of 21 insurance companies, 2 stations, and 6 hotels. Two weekly newspapers-the Independent Liberal Dunfermline Press (1859) and the Liberal Dunfermline Journal (1872)- are published on Saturday. A weekly corn market is held on Tuesday, and a monthly horse and cattle market is held on the third Tuesday of every month.

The burgh, at the beginning of the 17th century, was entirely rural, and had no ore than 1600 inhabitants. Down to the beginning of the 18th century, it continued to be almost without trade, but now it is the chief seat of the manufacture of table-linen in Great Britain, perhaps in the world. This manufacture began slowly, but advanced steadily till it became so important as to bring much wealth to the town and give employment to a large population. The weaving of huckaback and diapers led the way to the weaving of damask, which was introduced in 1718; a great improvement on the damask loom was effected in 1779; a further improvement, in the shape of what was called the comb draw-loom, in 1803; and the Jacquard machine was introduced in 1825. A drawing academy, for promoting taste and inventiveness in designs, was established in 1826. Orders for sets of table-linen, from the nobility and gentry, and eventually from King William IV. and Queen Victoria, increasingly rewarded and stimulated progress; orders from America and from other countries followed; and certain special splendid fabrics, particularly one designated the `Crimean Hero Tablecloth' (1857), as well as the general excellence of the ordinary damasks, gave the manufacture an established reputation. There are altogether 11 factories, containing 4000 power looms, and giving employment to nearly 6000 persons, of whom a great proportion are females. Among the largest of these establishments are St Leonards (1851), beautifully situated at the S side of the town, employing upwards of 1500 work-people; Bothwell (1865), employing 900; and Victoria (1876), employing 750. Previous to the introduction of steam, the work was produced by handlooms, of which there were in 1880 only about 120 remaining, receiving but scanty employment, and this method is rapidly dying out. The value of goods annually produced by the power-loom factories may be reckoned now to average £1, 000,000, much of which finds its way to the American markets-in 1880, the United States receiving from Dunfermline exports, chiefly linen, to the value of £443, 879. The weaving trade, besides employing so many persons in the town itself and in its suburbs, supports looms in the parishes of Torryburn, Carnock, Culross, and Inverkeithing, and even in Kinross, Leslie, Strathmiglo, and Auchtermuchty. The town and its neighbourhood has also 5 bleachfields, employing 500 persons, a tannery, ropeworks, dyeworks, 3 iron foundries, 3 engineering establishments, fireclay and terra-cotta works, tobacco manufactories, breweries, and flour-mills. There are, too, upwards of 20 collieries in the vicinity of the town.

A royal burgh probably since the beginning of the 12th century, Dunfermline received a charter of confirmation in 1588 from James VI., and is governed by a provost, 4 bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and 15 councillors, who act as police commissioners under the General Police and Improvement Act of Scotland. It is the residence of the sheriff-substitute for the western district of Fife; andantes With Stirling, Inverkeithing, Culross, and South Queensferry in sending a member to parliament. Burgh courts are held regularly, with the town-clerk as assessor; sheriff ordinary courts are held every Tuesday during session; Seal of Dunfermline sheriff small-debt courts on the first and the third Tuesday of every month during session; justice of peace courts, both civil and criminal, are held when necessary; and courts of quarter sessions are held on the third Tuesday of April and the last Tuesday of October. The police force, in 1881, comprised 11 men; and the salary of the superintendent was £150. The number of persons convicted in 1874 was 546; in 1875, 425; in 1880, 473. The water supply, from 1847 to 1865, was furnished by a joint stock company from 37 acres of reservoirs at Craigluscar, 3 miles to the NW; but, the supply not proving satisfactory, the Corporation bought up the works and constructed, in 1868, an additional reservoir of 12 acres at the same place. In 1876 they obtained a new Water Bill, by which they were enabled to procure in 1878 a plentiful supply from Glensherrup Burn, an affluent of Devon-the cost of the parliamentary bill and of the works pertaining to this latter supply being estimated at £72, 000. Drainage works (1876-77), to convey the town sewage to the sea at Charlestown, cost about £10, 000; and the gas-works were constructed in 1829 by a company, with a capital of £22, 575. The Corporation revenue was £870 in 1834, and £8100 in 1882, when the 432 municipal constituency numbered 2460; the parliamentary, 2330. Valuation (1874) £43, 281, (1882) £57, 790. Pop. (1801) 5484, (1821) 8041, (1841) 13,323, (1861) 13,504, (1871) 14,958, (1881) 17, 085, of whom 7500 were males, and 9585 females. Houses (1881) 3159 inhabited, 111 vacant, 19 building.

Dunfermline, `the town on the crooked Linn,' as already stated, took its origin from Malcolm Ceannmor's Tower; and, down to the era of the Reformation, owed its maintenance chiefly to the Royal Palace and the Abbey. It is mentioned, in connection with ancient story, in the ballad of Sir Patrick Spens. Edward I of England, while residing in it, received the submission of many Scottish barons who had held out against him during his progress through Scotland. On 25 May 1624, 220 tenements, or nine-tenths of the entire town, were totally destroyed by fire; and by the battle of Pitreavie or Inverkeithing (Sunday, 20 July 1651), between the armies of Cromwell and Charles II., Dunfermline lost some hundreds of its townsmen. On 24 Oct. 1715, it was the scene of the surprisal of a Jacobite detachment of fourscore horse and three Highland foot. Dunfermline gave the title of Earl, from 1605 till 1694, to the family of Seton; and the title of baron, in 1839, to the third son of Sir Ralph Abercromby. Among distinguished natives or residents of the town or the parish, have been members of the Bruce, the Seton, the Halket, and the Wardlaw families; John or Arnold Blair (flo. 1300), a monk of the Abbey, and chaplain to Sir William Wallace; John Durie, also a monk of the Abbey, who embraced the Protestant faith and became an eminent preacher of it in Montrose, Leith, and Edinburgh; George Durie, Abbot of Dunfermline, and for some time an extraordinary Lord of Session and Keeper of the Privy Seal; Robert Pitcairn, Abbot of Dunfermline and Secretary of State during the regencies of Lennox, Mar, and Morton, and afterwards under James VI.; three other Abbots of Dunfermline, who held the office of Lord High Chancellor of Scotland; David Ferguson (1534-98), the first Protestant minister of Dunfermline, and a man of great celebrity in his day; John Davidson (1544-1604), a playwright and Reformer, who was minister at successively Liberton and Prestonpans; Robert Henrysoun, a poet and `guid Scholemaister of Dunfermline' (1450-99); Adam Blackwood (1539-1623), a Catholic controversialist, and a senator in the parliament of Poitiers; Henry Blackwood (1526-1613), an eminent physician; Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell (1757-1806) of the Hill, who figured conspicuously in the naval service in the time of Lord Howe and Lord Nelson; Henry Fergus (1764-1837), minister in Dunfermline Relief Church, who did some service in matters of physical science; Robert Gilfillan (1798-1850), minor poet; the Rev. Peter Chalmers, D.D. (1790-1870), historian of Dunfermline, and for 52 years its minister; Ebenezer Henderson, D.D. (1784-1858), theological professor in Highbury College, London; his nephew, Ebenezer Henderson, LL. D. (1809-79), the historian of Dunfermline; Sir Noel Paton, R.S.A. (b. 1821); his brother, Waller Paton, R.S.A.; and his sister, the sculptor, Mrs D. O. Hill.

The parish of Dunfermline contains also the villages of Charlestown, Halbeath, North Queensferry, Crossford, Masterton, Patiemuir, Townhill, Kingseat, and Wellwood, chief part of Limekilns, and part of Crossgates; and comprises a large main body and a small detached district. The main body is bounded N by Cleish in Kinross-shire, NE by Beath, E by Dalgety and Inverkeithing, S by Inverkeithing and the Firth of Forth, W by Torryburn, Carnock, and Saline. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 8 miles; its breadth, from E to W, varies between 35/6 and 5¼ miles; and its area is 21,066 ¼ acres, of which 229 are foreshore and 2701/4 water. The detached district, lying 15/8 mile. S of the nearest part of the main body, and containing North Queensferry, is a modern annexation from Inverkeithing, and comprises only 197¼ acres. The coast, exclusive of this detached district, is 1¾ mile long, chiefly of a rocky character; and, in the portion immediately in front of Broomhall House, rises steeply, and is covered with fine wood. The detached district is a peninsula between St Margaret's Hope and Inverkeithing Bay, projecting to within 3 furlongs of Inchgarvie island, and rises from its point northward to a height of 200 feet. The southern division of the main body, with a general ascent from S to N, exhibits, though nowhere exceeding 253 feet above sea-level, in most parts, diversities of undulation and acclivity, and displays over most of its surface rich wealth of both natural feature and artificial culture. The northern division is much more diversified in general contour, attaining 449 feet at Baldridge, 529 at Colton, 705 at the Hill of Beath, 744 at Craigluscar, 746 at Din Moss, 1189 at Knock Hill, 883 at Muirhead, 921 at Craigencat, and 1014 at Outh Muir-heights that have generally a bleak and naked aspect. The islets LongCraig, Du-Craig, and Bimar lie within the seaward limits, but are all small and rocky. The only streams are brooks, the chief of these being Lyne Burn, Baldridge Burn, and that which runs through Pittencrieff Glen. Town Loch (3 x 1 furl.), Craigluscar Reservoir (1¾ x 1 furl.), and Lesser Black Loch (1/3 x ¼ furl.), lie within the northern division; Loch Glow (6 x 31/3 furl.) and the Greater Black Loch (2 x 2/3 furl.), on the Kinross-shire border; whilst on the boundary with Beath is shallow Loch Fitty (1 x ¼ mile). A small mineral spring occurs in the vicinity of Charlestown. The rocks of the hills are chiefly eruptive, and throughout great part of the lower grounds belong to the Carboniferous system. Trap, sandstone, and limestone are extensively worked; ironstone, chiefly in balls and in thin bands, was formerly worked to the extent of about 4500 tons annually; copper pyrites, in small quantities, occur in the ironstone; and coal was mined here prior to 1291, earlier, that is, than in any other place in Britain, unless it be Tranent. It continues to be turned out in vast quantities, both for home use and for exportation. The soil, in most parts of the southern division, is a rich brown loam, in other parts of a light nature incumbent on strong clay; in some portions of the northern division is of fair quality, but in others is poor and shallow. Rather less than two-thirds of the entire area are under cultivation; about 1100 acres are under wood; and the rest of the land is either pastoral or waste. Broomhall, the seat of the Earl of Elgin, is a prominent feature, and has been separately noticed. Pitreavie, Pittencrieff, Pitfirrane, Garvoch, Craigluscar, Halbeath, Gask, Blackburn, Middlebank, Pitliver, Southfod, Keirsbeath, Sunnybank, Netherbeath, Northfod, and Balmule are the principal estates; and most of them, as well as some others, are noticed either separately or in other articles. This parish is the seat of a presbytery in the synod of Fife, and is divided ecclesiastically into Dunfermline proper, Dunfermline-North, and Dunfermline - St Andrew. The population, in 1881, of Dunfermline proper, was 17,817; of Dunfermline-North, 4028; of Dunfermline-St Andrew, 4503. The charge of Dunfermline proper is collegiate. At Townhill is an Established chapel of ease (1878); and there are also U.P. churches of Crossgates (1802) and Limekilns (1825). Nine public schools, under the landward board, with total accommodation for 2318 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 1482, and grants amounting to £1332; and a neat oblong poorhouse, on the Town Green to the ENE of the burgh, was erected in 1843 at a cost of £2384, and contains accommodation for 187 pauper inmates. Landward valuation (1866) £40, 715, 12s. 10d., (1882) £49,854, 1s. 5d. Pop. of entire parish (1801) 9980, (1831) 17, 068, (1861) 21, 187, (1871) 23,313, (1881) 26, 348.—Ord. Sur., shs. 40, 32, 1867-57.

The presbytery of Dunfermline comprises the old parishes of Aberdour, Beath, Carnock, Culross, Dalgety, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, Saline, and Torryburn, the quoad sacra parishes of Dunfermline-St Andrew, Dunfermline-North, and Mossgreen, and the chapelry of Townhill. Pop. (1871) 38, 356, (1881) 41,510, of whom 5882 were communicants of the Church of Scotland in 1878.-The Free Church has also a presbytery of Dunfermline, with 3 churches in Dunfermline, and 8 in respectively Aberdour, Carnock, Culross, Lassodie, North Queensferry, Saline, Torryburn, and Tulliallan, which 11 churches had 2106 co municants in 1881. - The U.P. Synod likewise has a presbytery of Dunfermline, with 4 churches in Dunfermline, and 7 in respectively Alloa, Cairneyhill, Crossgates, Inverkeithing, Kincardine, Limekilns, and Lochgelly, which 11 churches had 4363 members in 1880.

See John Fernie's History of the Town and Parish of Dunfermline (Dunf. 1815); Andrew Mercer's History of Dunfermline (Dunf. 1828); Cosmo Innes' Registrum de Dunfermelyn (Bannatyne Club, 1842); the Rev. Peter Chalmers' Historical and Statistical Account of Dunfermline (2 vols., Edinb., 1844-59); Dr Ebenezer Henderson's Royal Tombs at Dunfermline (Dunf. 1856); his Annals of Dunfermline and Vicinity from 1069 to 1878 (Glasg. 1879); and J. C. R. Buckner's new edition of Clark's Guide to Dunfermline and its Antiquities (Dunf. 1880).

* Malcolm was buried first at Tynemouth, but afterwards taken to Dunfermline; and here in 1250 his bones were laid by his wife's when these were translated to a richly decorated shrine. The history of St Margaret's head is curious-in 1560 brought to Edinburgh Castle at Queen Mary's request; in 1567 removed to the Laird of Durie's house; in 1597 delivered to the Jesuits; in 1620 exposed to veneration at Antwerp; and in 1627 transferred to the Scots College at Douay, whence it disappeared in the French Revolution. Her other relics, with those of her husband, seem to have been placed by Philip II. of Spam in the church of St Lawrence at the Escurial (Hill Burton, Hist. Scotl., i. 381, ed. 1876).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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