Monday, 29 June 2020

A Pictish Timeline in Angus



  This article provides a very basic summary of events in Angus during the 'Pictish centuries'. More details can be found in previous posts detailed at the bottom of this page. I leave out possible very early Irish settlement in Angus as this is not datable and will be covered in separate articles.

  



The Fifth Century


 I have posted several times before about the province of Circinn (which may have comprised Angus and the Mearns) and the supposition that Angus may be named after the powerful warlord Angus mac Fergus. Other rulers may have been based in our area, such as the 5th century king Nechtan Morbet, who possibly gave his name to Dunnichen. This piece merely summarises some other Pictish associations of the area, without providing a full overview of Angus in its context as a Pictish region.


The Sixth Century

The  mid 6th century represents the historical horizon for Pictland. The dominant leader was Brude mac Maelchon, whose main power base was certainly north of the Grampians and probably located near Inverness. Despite the fact that he is said to have authorised the settlement of St Columba in Iona, he and the saint had a combative encounter at his stronghold and he likely resisted the pressure to convert to Christianity, albeit some sources state that he did succumb to the new religion.

  We do not know for certain whether Brude ruled south of the mountains. He may have claimed over-lordship in the area. There is an intriguing entry in the Irish Annals of Tigernach under the year 752: 
The battle of Asreth in the land of Circen, between the Picts on both sides; and in it Brude, Maelchon's son fell.
    It has been suggested, probably correctly, that this notice is misplaced and that it should be under the year 584. There has been speculation that the powerful king of Dál Riata, Áedán mac Gabráin, launched an attack on southern Pictland towards the close of the 6th century in order to bolster the succession of his own son Gartnait as king of Picts. Gartnait may well have had a Pictish mother and been eligible for the crown, but if so the intrusion of these Scottish outsiders did not go unchallenged.

   The Annals of Tigernach  again tell us about a major event, which seems to have been a very bloody battle fought somewhere in the region of Strathmore:

The slaughter of the sons of Áedán, namely Bran and Domangart and Eochaid Find and Arthur, in the battle of Circhend; in which Áedán was conquered.
  This was a rare defeat for the Scottish king and may have taken place around the year 590.  The alliance of the brothers suggests that they were embarked on an enterprise to carve out territories for themselves in southern Pictland. It is possible that their defeat was more significant than has generally been supposed and that it prevented a large scale Scottish (that is Irish/Gaelic) takeover of the region.


The Seventh Century



     The Northumbrian English did have control over a large part of southern Pictland by the middle of the 7th century, though it is perhaps unlikely that they were able to occupy any large part of the territory. Their nominal border was the River Forth, though it seems that they were able to exact tribute from the Picts and may have installed compliant, puppet rulers over Pictish provinces.

   The ruler Brudei was a son of the British king of Dumbarton, Bili,  and had connections with the Scots also. The biographer of St Columba, Adomnán, was a particular friend of his. We can't recover all the details which led him to make war on the Northumbrian overlords, but it was a spectacular success, culminating with the Battle of Dunnichen in 685, otherwise known as Nechtansmere and Llyn Garan. I have written elsewhere about this decisive encounter and expressed the belief that it was indeed a battle which took place in Angus, rather than a suggestion that it took place at Dunnachton in northern Pictland. The latter suggestion is based on the historian Bede's assertion that the English king Ecgfrith and his army were lured between precipitous mountain passes and annihilated there. While Angus is not highly mountainous, I believe Bede's version was based on orally remembered and exaggerated survivors' tales.  Just like the battle mention a century before, this famous victory guaranteed the survival of Pictish independence and culture for several more centuries.


 

The Eighth Century



   As mentioned above, the common belief is that the county of Angus takes its name from king Angus mac Fergus, properly Onuist mac Urguist).  Angus died in the year 761. There has been speculation that Angus was Scottish in descent rather than Pictish and that his name implies that he was linked with one of the three tribes of Dál Riata. This tribe, the Cenél nÓengusa, had their main territory in the island of Islay. The name of the latter may have been transferred to the Isla, the river which separates Angus from Gowrie in Perthshire.

   Boundaries were sometimes regarded as sacred places and certainly liminal areas where the gap between the physical world and the Otherworld was very thin. Such seems to be the case here in Glen Isla.  In an Irish tract which  reproduced the 9th century Welsh Historia Brittonum we hear about the Wonders of Alba, which include:

a valley in Angus, in which shouting is heard every Monday night; Glen Ailbe is its name, and it is not known who makes the noise.

  The  Pictish king named Brude, Der-ile's son, is of interest here. Der-ile or Der-ili is an Irish name meaning 'daughter of the Isla' or 'daughter of Islay'. Brude's brother was Nechtan Der-ile. He evidently had a power base at Dunnichen and invited clerics from Northumbria to visit him there. Do we have faint evidence of a Pictish kindred based in Angus? Both brothers may have been involved in a civil war which raged through southern Pictland. There is mention too of a third brother, Kenneth or Cinaed, who was slaughtered in unknown circumstances in the year 713, along with the otherwise unknown 'son of Mathgernan'.

  Angus himself may have been militarily active in our area. The following notice, from the Annals of Tigernach, in the year 729, may refer to a skirmish which took place at Kinblethmont, not far north  of Arbroath:

The battle of Druimm-Derg- Blathung [took place] between Picts, namely Drust and Angus, the king of the Picts; and Drust was killed there, on the twelfth day of the month of August.






The Ninth Century



   According to one version of the foundation story of St Andrews, there was a royal site on the Angus coast, at 'Moneclatu, which is now called Monichi [Monikie]'  It was here that Pictish queen Findchaem (or Finchem) gave birth to a daughter named Mouren. The place has not been identified archaeologically and it does not seem there was a continuing royal site here which was used by rulers after the union of the Picts and Scots. To the west of here however is the parish of Monifieth, which was associated with the early church. There was a settlement of Culdees here and the land was gifted to them by the Celtic Earls of Angus.

   There is precious information about the Pictish twilight in our area, or whether the mormaers, or 'great stewards' who controlled the area on behalf of the Scottish king (and who gradually became earls), had Pictish as well as Gaelic blood. While there may have been some Irish infiltration into Pictland at an early date - perhaps in the 5th or 6th century - we can probably say that Gaelic did not become the primary language in Angus until the late 9th century. It only enjoyed a primacy of around three centuries before it started to retreat.






Some Previous Posts on the Picts













Illustrations in this article are from Kirriemuir Pictish stones in John Stuart's Sculptured Stones of Scotland (1856).
  

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Disappointed Love - A Dundee Tragedy


  


The following story is true, or allegedly true: the suicide of a young, spurned lady who took her own life in the pre-Victorian age in Dundee. Her death was the subject of a broadsheet printed and circulated in the town, which became so popular it was reprinted in Edinburgh. While the supposed missive from the doomed young woman, who took her life on 28th July, 1823, has all the styling of a lurid bit of fictional prose, we are assured it is real. If so, how did the the broadside publisher get hold of it, and what was the effect on the family?


  The young lady is said to have hanged herself in her own bedroom following her betrayed by this unnamed naval Captain. The reader is advised to decide for themselves whether it is a true story or not.


Dear Captain - if my exhausted spirits would support my trembling hand, whilst I write a few lines to ease a broken heart, it would be the last office I should require them to do. Then they may leave me; then may I find in the grave a retreat from the scorn of men. How is my gold become dim, and my most fine gold become dross.  I do not now command you by awful name of virtue, to accuse you of the basest ingratitude; ah no! the scene is entirely changed; you have robbed me - cruelly robbed me of the brightest gem in the female’s character, and I come as an humble supplicant;  Is this possible - am I awake, or do I dream? Ah! poor deluded girl, think not what you were, but what you are; how can I rest from calling to remembrance those days of innocence and peace, when, with a serene countenance and sincere heart I could look up to heaven , and beg that the God of purity would be my protector; but ah! how am I changed, how is my virtue faded, how doth conscience guilt fill my soul, while blushes cover my face; sad reflections on my present state hurry me to mediate on the future, which opens so tremendous a scene to my view, as to strike me back in doleful remembrance of the past.

                Now Whither shall I fly to find relief?
                What charitable hand will aid me now?
                What stay my failing steps, support my ruins,
                And heal my wounded hand with balmy comfort.

If I fly to my parents, who were once my comfort, they, bathed in tears, cry out, you have brought our grey hairs with sorrow to the grave, - If, to get one moment’s ease, I wander into the fields, every flower I see seems to say, We are pure. Thus is all nature armed against me. And on whose account do I seem to be forsaken by heaven and earth? - on your account, who strove to gain my affections, and become master of them; and now you triumph over me - laugh at me, for trusting to your honour, and putting confidence in your word!


             -O inconstant men!
              How will you promise! - how deceive!

O hypocrisy! how couldest thou wear so winning a form! Generosity where art thou fled? Honour, hast thou forsaken the human race? Look on my distress, O my God. Dispise me not, O my friends, Forgive me, my distressed parents; then may the cold grave receive me into its peaceful recesses, where my shame may be buried in eternal oblivion. Now, if your heart be not as hard as adamant, if your conscience is not seared with a hot iron, some past scenes must appear to your view. I do not now summon you to appear at His awful tribunal; I find you are still too near my heart; for all your cruelty to me, my return is - May you, in the hour of death find consolation from your God and Judge, you have denied to your                                                                                     AMELIA H.

   P.S.    With soothing wiles you won my easy heart,
             You sigh’d, you vow’d, but, ah! you feigned the smart:
             Sure of all fiends the blackest we can find,
             Are you ingrates, that stab our peace of mind.



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The Brownie o' Fern Den Revisited


   By way of a slight return, I am bringing another version of the classic Angus tale to you in this post. I last gave a version of this story in October 2015 (it can be read here). The version below is taken from Elizabeth Wilson Grierson's 1910 work The Scottish Fairy Book.




There have been many Brownies known in Scotland ; and stories have been written about the Brownie o’ Bodsbeck and the Brownie o’ Blednock, but about neither of them has a prettier story been told than that which I am going to tell you about the Brownie o’ Ferne-Den.

Now, Ferne-Den was a farmhouse, which got its name from the glen, or “den,” on the edge of which it stood, and through which anyone who wished to reach the dwelling had to pass.

And this glen was believed to be the abode of a Brownie, who never appeared to anyone in the daytime, but who, it was said, was sometimes seen at night, stealing about, like an ungainly shadow, from tree to tree, trying to keep from observation, and never, by any chance, harming anybody.

Indeed, like all Brownies that are properly treated and let alone, so far was he from harming anybody that he was always on the look-out to do a good turn to those who needed his assistance.' The farmer often said that he did not know what he would do without him; for if there was any work to be finished in a hurry at the farm—oorn to thrash, or winnow, or tie up into bags, turnips to cut, clothes to wash, a kirn to be kirned, a garden to be weeded—all that the farmer and his wife had to do was to leave the door of the barn, or the turnip shed, or the milk house open when they went to bed, and put down a bowl of new milk on the doorstep for the Brownie’s supper, and when they woke the next morning the bowl would be empty, and the job finished better than if it had been done by mortal hands.

In spite of all this, however, which might have proved to them how gentle and kindly the Creature really was, everyone about the place was afraid of him, and would rather go a couple of miles round about in the dark, when they were coming home from Kirk or Market, than pass through the glen, and run the risk of catching a glimpse of him.

I said that they were all afraid of him, but that was not true, for the farmer’s wife was so good and gentle that she was not afraid of anything on God’s earth, and when the Brownie’s supper had to be left outside, she always filled his bowl with the richest milk, and added a good spoonful of cream to it, for, said she, “He works so hard for us, and asks no wages, he well deserves the very best meal that we can give him.”

One night this gentle lady was taken very ill, and everyone was afraid that she was going to die. Of course, her husband was greatly distressed, and so were her servants, for she had been such a good Mistress to them that they loved her as if she had been their mother. But they were all young, and none of them knew very much about illness, and everyone agreed that it would be better to send off for an old woman who lived about seven miles away on the other side of the river, who was known to be a very skilful nurse.

But who was to go? That was the question. For it was black midnight, and the way to the old woman’s house lay straight through the glen. And whoever travelled that road ran the risk of meeting the dreaded Brownie.

The farmer would have gone only too willingly, but he dare not leave his wife alone; and the servants stood in groups about the kitchen, each one telling the other that he ought to go, yet no one offering to go themselves.

Little did they think that the cause of all their terror, a queer, wee, misshapen little man, all covered with hair, with a long beard, red-rimmed eyes, broad, flat feet, just like the feet of a paddock, and enormous long arms that touched the ground, even when he stood upright, was within a yard or two of them, listening to their talk, with an anxious face, behind the kitchen door.

For he had come up as usual, from his hiding-place in the glen, to see if there were any work for him to do, and to look for his bowl of milk. And he had seen, from the open door and lit-up windows, that there was something wrong inside the farmhouse, which at that hour was wont to be dark, and still, and silent; and he had crept into the entry to try and find out what the matter was.





When he gathered from the servants' talk that the Mistress, whom he loved so dearly, and who had been so kind to him, was ill, his heart sank within him; and when he heard that the silly servants were so taken np with their own fears that they dared not set out to fetch a nurse for her, his contempt and anger knew no bounds.

“Fools, idiots, dolts!" he muttered to himself, stamping his queer, misshapen feet on the floor. “They speak as if a body were ready to take a bite off them as soon as ever he met them. .If they only knew the bother it gives me to keep out of their road they wouldna be so silly. But, by my troth, if they go on like this, the bonnie lady will die amongst their fingers. So it strikes me that Brownie must e'en gang himself."

So saying, he reached up his hand, and took down a dark cloak which belonged to the farmer, which was hanging on a peg on the wall, and, throwing it over his head and shoulders, or as somewhat to hide his ungainly form, he hurried away to the stable, and saddled and bridled the fleetest-footed horse that stood there.

When the last buckle was fastened, he led it to the door, and scrambled on its back. “Now, if ever thou travelledst fleetly, travel fleetly now," he said; and it was as if the creature understood him, for it gave a little whinny and pricked up its ears; then it darted out into the darkness like an arrow from the bow.


In less time than the distance had ever been ridden in before, the Brownie drew rein at the old woman's cottage.

She was in bed, fast asleep; but he rapped sharply on the window, and when she rose and put her old face, framed in its white mutch, close to the pane to ask who was there, he bent forward and told her his errand.

“Thou must come with me, Goodwife, and that quickly,” he commanded, in his deep, harsh voice, “if the Lady of Ferne-Den's life is to be saved; for there is no one to nurse her up-bye at the farm there, save a lot of empty-headed servant wenches.”

“But how am I to get there? Have they sent a cart for me?” asked the old woman anxiously; for, as far as she could see, there was nothing at the door save a horse and its rider.

“No, they have sent no cart,” replied the Brownie, shortly. “So you must just climb up behind me on the saddle, and hang on tight to my waist, and I'll promise to land ye at Ferne-Den safe and sound.”

His voice was so masterful that the old woman dare not refuse to do as she was bid; besides, she had often ridden pillion-wise when she was a lassie, so she made haste to dress herself, and when she was ready she unlocked her door, and, mounting the louping-on stane that stood beside it, she was soon seated behind the dark-cloaked stranger, with her arms clasped tightly round him.

Not a word was spoken till they approached the dreaded glen, then the old woman felt her courage giving way. “Do ye think that there will be any chance of meeting the Brownie?” she asked timidly. “I would fain not run the risk, for folk say that he is an unchancy creature.”

Her companion gave a curious laugh. "Keep up your heart, and dinna talk havers," he said, "for I promise ye ye'll see naught uglier this night than the man whom ye ride behind."

"Oh, then, I'm fine and safe," replied the old woman, with a sigh of relief; "for although I havena' seen your face, I warrant that ye are[210] a true man, for the care you have taken of a poor old woman."

She relapsed into silence again till the glen was passed and the good horse had turned into the farmyard. Then the horseman slid to the ground, and, turning round, lifted her carefully down in his long, strong arms. As he did so the cloak slipped off him, revealing his short, broad body and his misshapen limbs.

"In a' the world, what kind o' man are ye?" she asked, peering into his face in the grey morning light, which was just dawning. "What makes your eyes so big? And what have ye done to your feet? They are more like paddock's webs than aught else."

The queer little man laughed again. "I've wandered many a mile in my time without a horse to help me, and I've heard it said that ower much walking makes the feet unshapely," he replied. "But waste no time in talking, good Dame. Go thy way into the house; and, hark'ee, if anyone asks thee who brought thee hither so quickly, tell them that there was a lack of men, so thou hadst e'en to be content to ride behind the BROWNIE O' FERNE-DEN."


Fern Kirk

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Forgotten Sons of Angus - The Amazing Dr Kinloch; Saved by A Black Cat!


  One of the most fascinating characters of the reign of James VI in Angus was Dr David Kinloch, a native of Dundee. Despite his prominence he receives little attention in standard works on Scottish medicine. He is given one sentence in John Comrie's History of Scottish Medicine (2 vols., 1932) and in David Hamilton's book The Healers, being afforded only the following scant notice:


Another physician who travelled dangerously was Dundee's David Kinloch (1559-1617), M. A. (St Andrews) M. D. (Paris), a writers in obstetrics and a poet.  When travelling in Spain he was seized by the Inquisition, but his execution was delayed by the illness of the Inquisitor.  Kinloch, the legend goes, sent a message (via a black cat) successfully offering his services and advice, and on the recovery of the Inquisitor, he was allowed to go free.





Kinloch's Background and Upbringing


   Kinloch descended from a family in Fife, taking their name from the barony of Kinloch, and his  mother was a Ramsay and his maternal  grandmother was a Lindsay, related to the Earls of Crawford, who were major landholders in Angus.  There are records of medical men named Kinloch (two Williams and a John) in Dundee preceding his time and Dr Buist  believed that these were from the same family, but was unsure of the exact relationship between them. Sir Alexander Kinloch of that Ilk succeeded to the barony in the 16th century. There is some uncertainty about the immediate ancestors of Dr Kinloch. His great-grandfather was probably James Kinloch, treasurer of Dundee. One writer states that Sir Alexander's s brother George had several sons, including David, a seaman of Dundee, father of the doctor.  The following is from The History of Old Dundee (p. 164):

His family had for some time occupied the position of substantial burgesses. William, [Dr Kinloch's] father, was employed by the Council on an important mission regarding the capture of an English ship in 1563, and he held possession in 1581 of 'the land lying on the north side of the windmill,' as also of  'the meadow lying on the north side of the burial place,' which had been part of the Gray Friars' lands, and continued to be called Kinloch's meadow long after it was acquired by the town.

  The writer of the above, Alexander Maxwell, believed that David Kinloch was the doctor's grandfather. Another source states that Dr Kinloch's father was named John. In 1567, there is record of a Thomas Kinloch in Dundee, master of a ship named The Primrose. It is likely the marine link continued in some branch of the family, since there is mention of a ship associated with Dundee named The Good Fortune in 1615. Whoever his father, David Kinloch was born in Dundee in 1559 and he attended St Andrews University in 1576, but he did not graduate.



Foreign Travel


   Like many other Scots, Kinloch went to Europe to finish his education. He seems to have studied in Montpellier and there is a  reference to the city of Rennes in Brittany in the brieve letter detailed below. Kinloch is said to have made connections with the French royal court.


The brieve letter or passport was granted to David Kinloch, on March 20th, 1596, bearing the signature of King James VI. It advises that Dr. Kinloch is going to reside for some years in Rennes and vouches for the fact that he is of noble blood, as is indicated by the coats of arms appended to the passport showing his descent and by a short detailed account of his genealogy. The Kinloch family are described as of moderate knightly rank. The arms show the coats of Kinloch (differenced for a third son), Ramsay, the Earls of Crawford, and the Hay family.

The Inquisition

There does not seem to be any early account of Dr Kinloch's misadventures in Europe. But the following account (from Roll of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee, Dundee, 1887, p. 93), gives a good summary:
During his second voyage it was his misfortune to fall into the hands of the Spanish Inquisition, by whom he was condemned to death as a heretic. The consistent tradition still current in the family relates that his execution was delayed for some time, and that when he inquired as to the cause of his protracted imprisonment, he was informed that it had been intended to make him one of the victims of an auto da fe, but that the illness of the Grand Inquisitor had prevented the accomplishment of this purpose. He then disclosed the fact that he was a practitioner of medicine. and discreetly suggested that it might be within his power to bring about the recovery of this high official. As the case was a desperate one, his suggestion was adopted, and, through the exercise of his skill, he was enabled to restore the patient to health. The grateful dignitary not only set KINLOCH at liberty, but also loaded him with marks of special favour, and procured for him one of the Orders reserved for nobles of the higher rank. The portrait of Dr KINLOCH, which is now at Logie House, shows him in his robes as a physician. bearing the decoration which he had thus gained by his ability.


   Kinloch seems to have been accused of Lutheran heresy by two Englishmen in Madrid. These men had known him in France, but Kinloch lodged a defence that he was a true Catholic, as was well known in that country. He further claimed that he had only assumed the guise of being a Protestant in France to further his pursuit of a Breton lady named Mademoiselle de Malot. The Inquisition records reveal that the doctor was submitted to torture, but they also give praise about his medical abilities and his pleasant personality.

   There is some mystery about what he was doing in Spain and he certainly must have been aware of the potential danger he was facing before he entered that country. It is possible that Kinloch was on a mission for King James VI. The king had appointed him Mediciner in 1597 and there is the suggestion that he had conducted missions abroad for the monarch. Was he is Spain to sound out the possibility of securing a marriage alliance with the Infanta and James's son Prince Charles? It is unlikely that we will ever know for certain. 



A depiction of the Inquisition in action in Portugal

Dr Kinloch evidently brought home from Spain a set of Inquisition thumbscrews which were kept as an heirloom by successive generations of the Kinloch family. (They were lent to an exhibition in Glasgow by descendant Major-General Kinloch.  See Palace of History, Catalogue of Exhibits, vol. 2 (Glasgow, 1911), p. 949.)

  Further details about the ordeal of Dr Kinloch were uncovered in Spanish archives in 1998 by Laura Adam and Adam Yagui-Beltran and an account of the findings published in The Innes Review.  Although Kinloch passed details of his abysmal treatment in Spain to his family and the true legend was passed down the generations, he left no full account of the depth of suffering which he endured there. Some measure of his suffering can perhaps be gleaned by having reference to his fellow Scot, William Lithgow, who was arrested in Malaga several decades after. He was nearly tortured to death by the Inquisition and was only saved by the ministrations of two slaves. Sentenced to death for being a heretic Calvanist, he was only saved by the intercession of the town's governor. He went back to Scotland, having lost the use of his left arm, and wrote a full account of his time under the Inquisition and journeys, The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painefull Peregrinations of Long Nineteene Years Travayles (1632).


Legend of the Black Cat


   While in prison, Dr Kinloch heard that the Grand Inquisitor had fallen ill and he resolved to pass a message to him by means of writing a message to the authorities, offering his medical services, and attaching it to the prison cat. This tale too may have been passed down through the Kinloch generations. It has all the hallmarks of a folk tale, but I can find no very early version of the story.  Her is a summary given by K. G. Lowe:



his life was only spared by his curing the Grand Inquisitor who had lain 'dying of a strange fever'. Apparently Kinloch hearing of the strange illness tied a message to the tail of a black cat with which he shared his daily ration and sent it through the bars of his cell, fortunately reaching the right quarter.


The Later Years: Honours,  Plague, Trouble with the Law


    Kinloch became a burgess of Dundee on 17th February, 1602, and settled in the burgh. Kinloch's wife Grissel was daughter of Hay of Gourdie and related to the Hays of Errol. They marries several years earlier, following Kinloch's return from Europe. The couple had two sons and a daughter. Their house stood on the west side of Couttie's Wynd, near the present Union Street in Dundee. (The house was apparently leased to a another physician, William Ferguson, when the doctor was abroad. His first wife, Eupham, was Dr Kinloch's sister.)

  A great 'pest' attacked the city of Dundee in 1607, which is likely to have been typhus rather than bubonic plague, though its effects were just as deadly. A great many inhabitants were carried away and Dr Kinloch's services would have been greatly in demand. Among those he attempted to save was the brother of eminent Dundonian Peter Goldman, who wrote a vivid description on the disease ravaged burgh.

   Dr Kinloch's land holding is described in Council Minutes: 'his foreland lay foreanent the wind mill' at Yeaman Shore. In 1610 the council took action against the family because of an alleged encroachment upon the public road. According to Alexander Maxwell:

He had already made an encroachment upon another man's right, by striking furth a window in a mutual gable without obtaining his leave, but was obliged to become bound 'to condemn and to close up the licht at sic time as it should please' his neighbour to raise his house higher.  [The History of Old Dundee, p. 163.]
   The couple apparently then engaged tradesmen to engage on surreptitious building work: 'under silence of nicht, to big ane pillar [or wall] of stone wark upon the common street and bounds thereof, betwix his tenement and the windmill'. At a meeting of the burgh council on 17th July, 1610, three masons stated, 'that before sunrising  at the command of Griseld Hay, the spouse of Dr David,' they illegally built a pillar of stone work adjacent to the common road. They were fined £5 and ordered to:

demolish the said pillar to the ground and restore the common gait on passage to the auld estate.

  However, the row escalated to the Privy Council.  Kinloch complained in 16th August that the Dundee baillies William Ferguson and Walter Rollok had cast down a 'prettie piller of stone werk' which he had erected on his own land 'for setting thairon of his banefire'. It is perhaps a measure of Kinloch's standing that the town authorities could not reproach him directly regarding his unauthorised building work but had to target his hapless builders. It's possible there may have been some earlier complications with Kinloch trying to remove Dr Ferguson from his house.

  A measure of Kinloch's kindliness is perhaps preserved in another record from the Privy Council, where he was indirectly involved in another incident in the year 1613. A man named James Baldovie complained that his ward had been abducted by a suitor called John Ramsay. But Margaret gave evidence of his own assent in the matter, stating that it was 'hir awne propir will and motive' that she left James and went directly to Dr Kinloch in Dundee, whom she described as her friend.  She stated firmly that she intended to marry John and the Privy Council found in her favour.  I would guess perhaps that the young lady was a relative of Dr Kinloch's family on his mother's side.

  David Kinloch purchased the lands of Aberbothrie Bardmony and Leitfie  in Perthshire from Patrick Lord Gray, which were confirmed by a charter of James VI in 1616. He also purchased the estate of Balmyle and changed its name to Kinloch. This became the main residence of the family for several centuries.The original house, near Meigle in Strathmore, was destroyed by fire. A replacement mansion was built in 1797, but passed from the hands of the Kinloch family. The building was latterly turned into a hotel.



Death and Memorial in The Howff



   It is likely that death came fairly suddenly to Kinloch and not after a long illness, for two months before his death on 10th September, 1617, he received permission to venture abroad.  He was laid to rest with great ceremony in Dundee's main burial ground, the Howff. The monument still exists, near the north-west gate, though the inscription was erased later. The inscription to Dr Kinloch eulogised him, in Latin, as 'a most honourable man, of famous learning, and in his life adorned with many singular virtues; a most skilful physician to the Kings of Great Britain and France, by whose patents and seals the antiquity of his Pedigree and Extract is clearly witnessed and proven...'


Kinnalochi proavos et aviate stemmata gentis
Clara interproceros haec monumenta probant
Magnus ab his cui surgit sed major ab arte
Major ab ingenio gloria parta venit


Gallant Kinloch, his famous ancient race
Appear by this erected in this place;
His honour great indeed; his art and skill
And famous name both side o' the pole do fill.

   The inscription was later removed and replaced by an inscription dedication to his descendant, Sir James Kinloch Nevay.



Kinloch the Poet


For many years, Kinloch's fame was supplemented by his reputation for great learning.  Dr Kinloch's two long poems on medical subjects De Hominis Procreatione and De Anatome are actually part of a longer whole, published in Paris in 1596, and reprinted in second volume of the Scottish Latin compilation Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (Amsterdam, 1637). The poems particularly detail the development, anatomy and diseases of man. The book contains poems by his fellow Dundonians Peter Golman and Hercules Rollock.


Kinloch's Portrait


A painting of Dr Kinloch was completed in 1614 . It is unsigned, but was allegedly completed in Europe rather than Scotland, possibly in Madrid.  The canvas measures 42 x 32 inches. It now hangs in the Board Room of the Medical School at Ninewells Hospital and is the oldest painting in  Dundee University collection. A painted copy of this portrait also hangs in the main ward corridor of the hospital, kindly donated by a Kinloch descendent.  It was presented to the University of St Andrews by Mrs Lingard-Guthrie in the 1950's subject to the condition that it remained North of the Tay. She was descended from the Kinlochs on the distaff side. Her home, Carnoustie House, was a dower house of the Kinloch family. One branch of the family also occupied Logie House near Kirriemuir.




Dr Kinloch's Descendants


   Dr Kinloch and his wife had two sons and a daughter.  James inherited the main estate and John gained the estate of Gourdie, near Dundee. James's son, another David, was knighted by King James VII. The family maintained their association with Dundee, though the main branch had its base in eastern Perthshire.  The doctor's great grandson, Sir James Kinloch, married Elizabeth, sole daughter if John Nevay of Nevay in Angus.  This couple had twelve children. Doctor David's great-great-grandson was Sir James Kinloch Nevay who held Dundee for the Young Pretender during the Jacobite Rebellion,  from 7th September, 1745, until 14th January, 1746. A direct descendant was George Kinloch of Kinloch (1775-1833), a reformer and politician. A businessman with interests in Carnoustie and Dundee, he was elected Member of Parliament for Dundee a short time before his death. A statue of him was erected in Albert Square in Dundee in the 1870s and remains there, possibly on the ground which his ancestors had owned, known as Kinloch's Meadow.

   Further details of the later family can be consulted in Warden's Angus, or Forfarshire, volume 4, pp. 341-5.

 



Selected Sources


R. C. Buist, 'Dr David Kinloch (Kynalochus), 1559 - 1617,' The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1, no. 3409 (May 1, 1926), p. 793.

R. C. Buist, 'Dundee Doctors in the Sixteenth Century,' Edinburgh Medical Journal (June, 1930), pp. 293-302, 357-366.

David Hamilton, The Healers, A History of Medicine in Scotland (Edinburgh, 1981).

Dr. J. Kinnear, 'Early Dundee Doctors,' Edinburgh Medical Journal (April 1953), pp. 169-83.

K. G. Lowe, 'Dr David Kinloch: Mediciner to His Majestie, James VI,' Scottish Medical Journal (1991), pp. 87-89.

Alexander Maxwell, The History of Old Dundee (Edinburgh and Dundee, 1884).

Norman Moore, 'The Schola Salernitana: its history and the date of its introduction into the British Isles,' (Glasgow, 1908).

Our Meigle Book (Dundee, 1932).

James Paton (ed.), Scottish Life and History (Glasgow, 1902).

Tayside Medical History Museum Art Collection - The Kinloch Portrait

Alexander Warden, Angus, or Forfarshire (vol. 4, Dundee, 1884).



More Forgotten Sons and Daughters of Angus












Saturday, 2 May 2020

The Rollock Family in Dundee and Death in Edinburgh

  In a previous post I wrote about the intriguing Peter Goldman, doctor and scholar, who wrote a Latin poem - Description of the Desolation of Dundee - about the pestilence which affected Dundee in the early 17th century. (The full article can be found here.)  This seems like an opportune time to have a look again at the general subject of pestilence and pandemics which, of course, are nothing new.  One of the earliest Scottish artistic reactions to the sudden and terrifying appearance of pandemic was the great Robert Henryson's poem An Prayer for the Pest, which begins:


O eterne god, of power infinyt,
To quhois hie knawledge na thing is of obscure
That is, or was, or evir salbe, perfyt,
in to thy sicht, quhill that this warld indure;
Haif mercy of us, Indigent and peure;
Thow dois na wrang to puneiss our offens:
O Lord, that is to mankynd haill succure,
Preserve us fra this perrelus pestilens.

   As it was in Henryson's Dunfermline, so it was in Goldman's Dundee. In between these two poetic reactions to the pestilence there was Hercules Rollock, who experienced and  wrote about the plague in Edinburgh. Some of his poetry was included in the same 17th century compilation of neo Latin Scots verse which also included Goldman's poems, Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (1637), though Rollock's descriptive verse De Peste Edinburgi, was written in 1585. The plague had arrived in Fife in 1584 and was spread to the capital by the following year. It ravaged through Edinburgh and indeed much of Scotland.

   Rollock's poem shows a bustling city inflicted by the plague through God's will as a result of their sinning. His keen observations on the effect of the plague on the populace include hastily departing from the town - 'the fleeing troop of powerful citizens' -, though many stalwart citizens remains to help. Those who fled, Rollock warned, would be found by God, who 'will hunt [them] down with a keen-witted search'. The city was quickly put on quarantine and people barred from entry. Meetings in public, ‘quhairby infectioun daylie aryses’, were also banned. Rollock gave graphic descriptions of corpses being disposed of in the dead of night and other details about the dread calamity which befell the capital.  But he ends the poem on a positive note, with the disease being cleared from the city.


Hercules' Dundee Origins



 Hercules Rollock was the newly installed principal of the High School in Edinburgh when the pestilence hit the burgh. According to William Steven, he was 'a man of genius and superior classical attainments'. He was born in Dundee around 1556, the eldest son of a burgess of Dundee named George Rollock (who died around 1569). Hercules matriculated at St Andrews University in 1564 and graduated in 1568. According to William Stevens, he was appointed a regent of Aberdeen University in 1562  (though this date may be incorrect) and afterwards went to England, but on the way there by sea was caught by pirates and robbed of his valuable books. He went to Europe and studied at Poitiers in France. When he returned to Scotland he based himself in Dundee again , and was operating as a notary public and also given an official role as commissary before the role was taken away and he migrated to Edinburgh and becoming master of the grammar schools there at the end of May 1584. There are notices of legal proceedings involving Rollock in the local burgh records of Dundee. Some of these involve his own family.  In 1580 he was ordered to deliver to Margaret Rollok, relict of James Lovell, chirurgian, in the name of the lawful barnis of the said James, £20. In 1567, Lovell and Hercules Rollok were both witnesses to a deed for George Rollok, who was Hercules' father, so that it is likely that James Lovell's wife was a sister of Hercules.  The Rollock family more generally will be considered later on.

Later view of Dundee from the south

Drama at the Grammar School


In 1595, Rollock was removed from his post at the school because it was claimed his pupils there were acting violently. There was a custom called Barring Out at some schools of the period, whereby bands of pupils armed  and barricaded themselves in school as a holiday approached in the hope of forcing the authorities to grant them extra holiday.  An incident of this kind happened in 1580 and the burgh leaders were obliged to step in and end it. On the 15th September 1595, violence broke out again at the school. A group of people had asked for a week's holiday, called a 'privilege', but when it was turned down some of these 'gentilmenis bairnis' swore revenge. When Rollock rocked up at the school next day, it was closed against him and he had to summon a magistrate.  Despite threats from inside, magistrate John Macmoran allowed his men to attack the entrance with a battering ram.  He was shot in the head by a pupil, one William Sinclair, son of the Chancellor of Caithness. The barricade ended and the boys were locked up for seven months before coming to trial.  Although the trial records are lost, it seems the juvenile culprits were all acquitted.  


   Rollock's days in charge were numbered.  A recently agreed increase in school fees was rescinded and he was charged with failing to maintain proper discipline.  He was sacked from his position and unsuccessfully sued for damages at the Court of Session.  He died in January 1599, having in the interval made a living by practising law.


The Rollock Family in Dundee


  One of the earliest noticies of the family in connection with Dundee is in the records of the Parliament of 1481. Among those attending was David Rollock from Dundee. Timothy Slonosky notes the prominence of various members of the Rollock family in Dundee during the 16th century, with representation on the various institutions within the burgh, but he admits that the relationship of the individuals is difficult to disentangle. Four members of the family served multiple terms as burgh councillors during the century. In the 1520s there were two people named Rollock represented. James Rollock and George Rollock are names included in a letter from king James V on 17th July, 1526, granting a charter to the Holy Blood altar in the kirk of Dundee.  The multiple family members serving as officials between 1550 and 1563 seem to have been descended from George Rollock, who was treasurer of the burgh between 1520 and 1523. Another George was born in 1498 and died in 1562. His son was also called George. This branch held lands in Dudhope and also 'Kynreiche'. 

  A David Rollock was kirkmaster of Dundee and, in 1531,  was involved in a dispute with William Silver over his claim to the parish clerkship of Dundee, a claim that pitted the Bishop of Brechin against the burgh. Another prominent family member was James Rollock, one of a number of prominent citizens who were brought to law for espousing the new reformed religion. A burgess of the burgh, he was 'condemned for certain heresies'. But, rather than face condemnation, the well off merchant fled to Holland and became a businessman at Campvere. His brother David took over some of his belongings in Dundee. James became an active part of the exiled Scottish business community in the Low Countries town and assumed the role of 'Portar of Camfeir'.

   In a previous post I mentioned the apparent feud between Gilbert Wedderburn, from a prominent Dundee family, and one branch of the Rollock kindred. In the 1540s Gilbert slew two members of the family and was obliged to flee the burgh and settle in Leith.

  Beyond Dundee, the family held some lands in Angus. On 21st May, 1582, James Rollock, heir of George of Duncrub, his father,was retoured in the corn mill of Cambiston, in the barony of Downie £6 13s 4d; and in the half lands of Chapeltown of Balgowie or Over Corstoun- 4 merks, on 27th January. The barony of Downie subsequently came into possession of the Maules of Panmure. At the end of the century Sir Walter Rollock, and his sons Andrew and Alexander, was in dispute with the Gardyne family over property in Angus. Robert Rollock was ordained minister of Murroes in 1618, and was deposed in 1639 for the maintenance of universalist doctrines, and for non-residence.

  Some of the family, while still distinguished citizens in the Dundee area, were involved in feuding and lawlessness.  On 27th march 1602, John and Robert Mudie had to pay as surety the sum of £1000 not to harm William Rollock of Balbeggie.  There was a further dispute three years later  when factions came to loggerhead about representation to the town council, demonstrating it was mainly a disagreement about mercantile revenues.  A claim was submitted to Commissioners of the Burghs but was rejected in July 1604.  Dundee's magistrates later complained to the Privy Council that William Rollock, Walter Rollock, Robert Fleschour, James Finlaysoun and associates were stirring up 'the common multitude be the pretence and cloak of reform' and had tried to get 'the crafts to shake off their obediance to the magistrates and prevailed on them to hold public meetings and subscribe bands against the magistrates'. The Privy Council ordered the offenders to be committed to 'free ward' in a number of towns. They were, however, released shortly afterwards and the agitators are said to have set up 'seditious mutyneis'.

   Records show a dispute in Dundee in October 1605, when Andrew Lamb, Commendator of Coupar, was commissioned to settle a dispute between James Wedderburn, son of the town clerk, and Robert Rollock.  The nature of the dispute was not recorded and nor were any of the principal parties found at fault.  However, a mariner named David Blyth had encouraged Rollock in his opposition to Wedderburn and:

Mr ANDRO found fault with him, and callit him ane evil neighbour, and said he suld accuse him as ane stayer of the peace of the town. DAVID answerit that he carit nocht for his challenge, he had been before the Privie Council of before, and he knew quhat a man Mr ANDRO wes; and that he [DAVID] wes as honest a man as Mr ANDRO, and that his father wes as honest as Mr ANDRO his father; and farder, say it that he knew Mr ANDRO would rail against him in the pulpit as Mr JAMES ROBERTSON did, but he cair'd nocht for it; and utherwayes misbehavit himself very irreverntly to Mr ANDRO.  
  Blyth was placed in ward and the main parties were bound over to keep the peace.



Some Sources



Bridging The Continental Divide. Full text of Rollock's poem and English translation.

Nine Trades of Dundee

Karen Jillings, 'Hercules Rollock and the Edinburgh Plague of 1585,' The Bottle Imp, Issue 15, https://www.thebottleimp.org.uk/2014/06/hercules-rollock-and-the-edinburgh-plague-of-1585/

Steven J. Reid, 'Murder, Mayhem and the Muse in Jacobean Edinburgh: introducing Hercules Rollock (c. 1546-1599),' https://www.dps.gla.ac.uk/features/display/?fid=rollock1

Steven J. Reid, '"Quasi Sibyllae folia dispersa": the Anatomy of the Delititae Poetarum Scotorum (1637),' in Fresche fontanis : studies in the culture of medieval and early modern Scotland, ed.
Janet Hadley Williams; J Derrick McClure (Newcastle, 2013), pp. 397-414.

Timothy Slonosky, 'Civil Reformations: Religion In Dundee And Haddington C.1520-1565,'  Phd. thesis, University of Pennsylvania (2014).

William Steven, The History of the High School of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1849).


Sunday, 19 April 2020

Ochterlony's Account of the Shire of Forfar - Part Two

This is the second part of the valuable Account of the Shire of Forfar written by the venerable John Ochterlony, an Angus laird of the late 17th century. As one of the earliest coherent accounts of the county, it contains much interesting detail. Due to Ochterlony's social standing the focus is naturally on mansion houses and their occupants, noble and otherwise.

The first part of the account can be read here.  The third part will be posted in the future.



Ochterlony's home, The Guynd


PRESBYTERIE OF BRECHIN, continued


Logie. — The chief heritor is the Laird of Logie, Scott, a gentleman of a good estate thereabout. Galraw, belongmg to Sir John Falconer, ane excellent new built house, with much old planting, and fyne yards, and salmond fishing.  Craigo, to Mr James Gamegy. All lying very pleasantly upon the south syde of North Esk. Mr Symsone, minister. In the Diocese of Brechine.



Dun. — The whole parish did formerly belong to the Lairds of Dun, as did the parish of Logie, and Barony of Arret. It is ane ancient and honourable familie. It is a great house, well planted, good yards and orchards. The situatione is pleasant, and extraordinare good land ; hath a large outer court, and the church on the south-east syde thereof, and the minister's manse hard by. It lyes on the north syde of South Esk, where he hath a good salmond fishing. Mr Lichtoune, minister. In the Diocese of Brechine; the Laird, patrone.

Montrose — Is a Royal Burgh, having a Provost, four Bailies, and a Dean of the Guild, and others. It is a very handsome well built toune, of considerable trade in all places abroad ; good houses all of stone, excellent large streets, a good tolbuith and church, good shipping of their own, a good shore 
at the toune, a myle within the river of South Esk ; but the entrie is very dangerous for strangers that know it not, by reason of a great bank of sand that lyeth before the mouth of the entrie, called Long Ennell, but that defect is supplied by getting pilots from the neighbouring fisher-towns of Ulishavene or Ferredene, who know it so well that they cannot mistake. It is a very cheap place of all things necessary except house rent, which is dear, by reason of the great distance they are from stones, and makes their building very dear ; yet, notwithstanding, they are constantly building both in the toune, and suburbs, which are at a considerable distance from the toune, in the Links, whore are their malthouses, and kills, and granaries for cornes, of thrie storeys high, and some more, and are increased to such a number, that in a short tyme it is thought they will equall, if not exceed, the toune in greatness. They are well appointed of flesches and fishes, which are extraordinare cheap in that place, and have them in great abundance of all sorts. They have a good public revenue, two wind-milnes, ane hospitale, with some mortificationes belonging to it ; they are mighty fyne burgesses, and delicate and painfull merchants. There have been men of great substance in that toune of a long time, and yet are, who have and are purchasing good estates in the countrey. The generalitie of the burgesses and merchants do very far exceed these in any other toune in the shyre. They have a good landward parish, and severall heritors therein, viz. Logic, Scot, before mentioned, who hath very good houses and yards in the toune; Kinnaber, Fullertoune, a pleasant place, lying on the south syde of North Esk, with salmond fishings ; Borrowfield, Talzeor ; Heatherwick, a new built fyne house, belonging to David Scott. Mr Lyell and Mr Neill, ministers. In the Diocese of Brechine ; the Toune, patrons.

Inchbraick, formerly belonging to Sir John Carnegie, a second son of the House of Southesk, now to Patrick Scott, son to James Scott of Logie, sometime Provost of Montross.  It is a great estate, excellent good land lying upon the south syd of the water of Southesk untill ye come to the mouth of the water, and then tumeth west the coast untill ye pass Ulishavene, a fishertoune of his. He hath ane other called Ferredene, and hath salmond fishings there. The river makes ane island betwixt Montross and Ferredene, where the kirk in old stood, and the whole parish is designed from the island, and is still the buriall place of the parish. They always wait the low water, and carries over their dead then, being almost dry on the south syd when it is low water. He hath thrie houses there, viz. Craig, Bossie, two excellent houses, rebuilt with excellent good yards, orchards, and planting. Craig hath ane excellent fountaine, with a large basone of hewen stone, whereunto water is conveyed by pypes of lead from a spring at a good distance.

Baldovie, a gentleman's house, of the name of Dundas ; farther up the south syde of South Esk, with a salmond fishing. Dunynald, belonging to Thomas Allerdyce, a second son of the House of Allerdyce of that Ilk in Memes. A good estate, and a fyne new built house, with good yards, where there is great plentie of excellent lymestone ; it lyes upon the coast, which all alongst from Montross is a rookie iron coast, and there is a large spacious bay, which makes a sure and saif road for any ships in a storm, called Lounane Houp. Mr Mathie, minister. In the Diocese of Brechin.

Marietoune. — That parish lyes upon the south syde of South Esk from Baldovie up to Kinnaird. There are therein Old Montross, formerly belonging to the Marquis of Montross, and is their title, now to the Earl of Middletoune, one of his Majestie's Secretaries of State, a pleasant place, good house, excellent yards and planting, delicate land; with a salmond fishing on the water Bonnietoune, belonging to Sir John Wood, ane ancient gentleman, and good estate, well planted, good yard, orchard, and dovecoat, and excellent good land. Dysart, Lyell, a good house, lyes on the coast be-west Dunynald, with a dovecoat. Mr Lindsay, minister. In the Diocese of Brechine ; Bishop thereof, patrone.

Kinnaird and Farnell. — Both these parishes belong entirely to the Earl of Southesk, without competition the fynest place, taking altogether, in the shyre ; a great house, excellent gardens, parks with fallow deer, orchards, hay meadows, wherein are extraordinare quantities of hay, very much planting, ane excellent breed of horse, cattle, and sheep, extraordinare good land. Famell is lykewayes ane extraordinare sweet place, delicat yards, and very much planting. My Lord is patrone of both, and are in the Diocese of Brechine. The familie is very ancient and honourable 
these six generations. In Queen Marie Regent, Queen Marie, King James the Sixth, King Charles the First, and his Majestie now reigning, they have been Officers of State and Privie Counsellors, and have all of them been verie famous for their loyaltie, and of late have suffered much upon that accompt, and have been honoured by having his present King's Majestic, his father, and grandfather, of blessed memorie, at their house of Kinnaird.
Upon the west syd of both parishes lyes that great and spacious forrest called Montroyment, belonging to his Lordship, and abounding in wyld foul and haires. 


PRESBYTERIE OF ARBROATH


The Presbetrie of Arbroth is divided into eleven parishes, viz. Kinnell, Innerkillor, Lounane, St Vigeans, Arbroth, Arbirlot, Carmylie, Idvie, Guthrie, Panbryd, Barrie.


Kinnell. — Most part of the parish belongs to Earl Southesk, being adjacent to Farnell and Kinnaird, with the house of Balshione, well planted with excellent fine yeards. Easter Braichie, belonging to Sir Francis Ogilvy of New Grange, a great-grandchild of the House of Airlie. Wester Braichie, a gentleman of a nigh relation of the House of Gray; both good houses, and well planted. Mr Thompsone, minister. In the Diocese of St Andrews; Archbishop, patrone.

Innerkillor. — Most part of the parish belongs to Earl Northesk, as the Barronies of Ethie and Bedcastle, with others. Ethie is the principal dwelling ; a very good house, laitly re-edified by John Earl of Ethie, grandfather to this present Earl, and who was a son of the House of Southesk, a noble, worthie, and loyall persone, who suffered much for his loyaltie, as was also his son the Earl Northesk, father to the present Earl. They have fyne yards, orchards, and park.

It lyes pleasantly on the coast be-west Lounnan Houp, formerly spoken to, and is very good land, and hath a fishertown belonging thereto called Auchmuthie, whereby they are abundantly served of all kind of fishes all seasons of the yeir. In the rocks of Ethie there engendereth ane excellent falcone yeirly. Abundance of sea-foul and kittiewaicks formerly spoken of. Reidcastle, ane old house upon the sea. King William, when he built the Abbey of Arbroth, dwelt there. Laird of Boysack, a grandchild of the House of Northesk, hath a good estate there, and a good house called Boysack, on the water of Lounan. The Laird of Bonnietoune hath a considerable interest in the parish. Breying-toun, belonging to Mr John Bait, minister, a gentleman of the House of Halgreen in the Memes. Lawtoune, to Gairdyne of that Ilk, a very ancient familie, and chief of his name. Mr Rait, minister. In the Diocese of St Andrews; Earl Panmure, patrone.

Lounane [Lunan]. — The most part of this parish belongs to the Earl of Northesk, called the Barony of Lounane. Innerlounane, belonging to Ogilvy, brother (of) Innerwarity. Ardbickie to John Mudie, a good new house, and good land. All that parish, Innerkiller, Kinnell, Idvie, Guthrie, and a part of Rescobie parish, are in Strathbegg. An extraordinary pleasant country on both sides of the water of Lounane. Mr Peddie, minister. In the Diocese of St Andrews; Earl Panmure, patrone.






St Vigeans lyeth about a myll above Arbroth, on the water thereof; ane old great kirk built upon ane high artificial mount, as is famed, by one Vigeanus, a religious man, and was canonized, and the church bears his name. Places in the parish are Innerpeffer, with a considerable interest, belonging to the Earl Panmure; a pleasant sweet place, lying upon the coast three myles be-west Arbroth; fyne yards, orchard, and planting, and although it be in St Vigeans, yet the whole parish of Arbirlot is interjected betwixt them. North Tarrie belonging to Earl Northesk, well planted with yards and orchards, lyeth on the east syde of the water of Brothock. Lethem, on the west syde of the said water, a pleasant place, with good yards, orchards, well planted, with a hay meadow, belonging to Sir John Wood of Bonnietoune. New Grange lying on the east syd of the said water, good yards, well planted, and pleasant meadows. Collestoune, presently purchased by Doctor Gordone, good house, planting, and meadows. Parkconnone, Bamsay; Gaimetoune, Ramsay; Muirhouse, belonging to the Laird of Guynd; Easter Seatowne, Crawford; Wester Seatowne, Guthrie; both lyeing together on the coast, good houses, yards, and planting, with a little park at the Easter Seatowne, the rocks whereof abound with sea calves, sea foull, and wyld pigeons. South Tarrie, Leslie, a fyne little house and yards, excellent ground, lyeing at the east syde of the toune of Arbroth. Hospitalfield, and Kirktoune, a pleasant place,  and good land, belonging to a gentleman of the name of Fraser, of the Familie of Philorth, where they gather abundance of that alga marina, wherewith they dung their land to their great advantage. Mr Strachane, minister. In the Diocese of St Andrews ; Earl Panmure, patrone.

Aberbrothock — Is a Burgh Boyall, hath a Provost, two Bailzies, whereof the Earl of Panmure hath the electioun of the first. It is a pleasant and sweet place, and excellent good land about it, built upon the east syd of the water of Brothock; they have a shore, some shipping, and a little small trade; it hath one long large street, and some by streets; it is tolerably well built, and hath some very good houses in it; but the beautie and decorement of the place in tymes past was that excellent fabrick and building of the Abbey thereof, built by King William, King of Scots, and endowed by him and others with great rents and revenues, and lyes buried there in a piece of very stately work built by himself for that purpose, and is a very stately piece of work of thrie storie high. The whole fabrick of the buriall-place is still entire as at first, and if it be not thrown downe, may continue so for many generations;the laigh storey is the buriall-place, and the second and third storeys were employed for keeping the chartours of the Monastrie. There is one lodging remaining yet entire; it had a most stately church, with two great steeples on the west end thereof;  most part of the church is ruined, but was the largest both for breadth and length it is thought in Scotland. There is much of the walls thereof as yet standing in many places; the tower thrie storie high is standing yet entire, and the roof on it; there was ane excellent roume, called the fish-hall, standing, with ane excellent oak roof; but that with much more of the building by the avarice of the town's people about there, were all broken down, and taken away.



There were, besyd the Cathedral Church, four chapples, viz. — St Thomas' Chappie, the Abbey being dedicat to St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterburrie; it was richly furnished, and a gentleman told me he saw the verrie things in a chapple at Parish, and was told they were removed thither by the Monks of Arbroth the tyme of Reformartion, cxtraordinare rich, but of an antique fashione; Lady Chapple; St Ninian's Chappie. The Almes-house Chapple is now possest by James Philip of Almryclose,his house built of the stones thereof, and has all the apartments belonging thereto. The fabrick was great and excellent, having many fyne gardens and orchards, now converted to arable ground, about which is a high stone wall, and now by the King's gift belongs to the Bishop of Brechine. Hard by the towne upon the east syd is Newgait, belonging to a gentleman of the name of Camegy, of the Family of Southesk, a very good house and pleasant place; Almryclose is in the head of the towne, and good house and yards. Sundie Croft, a little interest belonging to a gentleman of the name of Peirsone, who is ancient, and withoutt debait chief of his name. Mr Carnegy, minister. In the Diocese of St Andrews; the King's Majestie, patrone.

Arbirlot. — Most part of the parish, with the house of Kellie, which formerly belonged to the Lairds of Ouchterlony of that Ilk, belongs now to Henry Maull, third brother to the present Earl Panmure, is a good and very great house, well -planted, and stands very pleasantly on the water of Eliot. The rest of the parochine belongs to the Earl Panmure, is excellent good ground, and lyes alongst the coast two or thrie myles. Mr M'Gill, minister. In the Diocese of St Andrews; the Earl of Panmure, patrone.

Carmyllie. — The most part of the parish belongs to the Earl of Panmure, with the house of Carmyllie. Oamegy, belonging to the Earl Southesk, and is the title of the eldest son of the Familie, is a good house, well grassed, a good moss, with ane excellent large park. Guynd, a good house, with yards and planting, lying upon the water of Eliot, belongs to John Ouchterlony, lineal successor, chief and representative of the ancient familie of Ouchterlony of that Ilk. Cononsyth, to a gentleman of the name of Bait, of the Familie of Hallgreen, in the Mernes. Mr Ouchterlony, last minister. Now vacant. Within the Diocese of Brechine; Earl Panmure, patrone.