1838.—COAL.—From time immemorial,
down to January, 1838, the Burgh of Dunfermline worked its own
coal at Townhill. At this period the workings, which extend to
about 700 acres, were let on lease to a company. (MS Note)
DEATH OF THE REV. GEORGE BELL
BRAND.—On 21st February, 1838, at his house, east end of Abbey
Park Place, died suddenly, the Rev. George Bell Brand, of St.
Andrew’s Church, in the 52nd year of his age, and 21st of his
THE HERITABLE JURISDICTION FEU AND
TEIND DUES.—In 1748, these dues, &c, reverted to the Crown. In
1780, the vassals, represented by the Earl of Elgin and the
Countess of Rothesay, obtained a nineteen years’ lease of them,
which lease expired in 1799. The vassal rights were held by
tacit relocation (silent acknowledgement) until March, 1838,
when the quiet lease came to an end. The dues, payable to the
Crown, are now managed by the “Commissioners of Woods and
Forests.” (MS Notes)
THE DUNFERMLINE SAVINGS BANK was
established in 1815. In 1838 it was connected with the National
Security Savings Bank. Since then the business of the Bank has
very greatly increased. This year 430 accounts were opened;
amount deposited, £5,370 12s. 9d. principal sums and interest
paid, £107 3s. 1d. transactions, 605. (MS Note)
VIEW OF THE ABBEY.—In Beattie’s
“Scotland Illustrated,” pp. 144-146, published in 1838, there is
a short description of Dunfermline Abbey, &c along with a view
of the Abbey and Fratery, taken at a point about 50 yards
south-east of the new Abbey Church. The view, although in many
respects good, is not very correct. The great eastern window is
stanted, and the great western window of the Fratery is not
WEAVING STATISTICS.—In the month
of July, 1838, a Committee of the Weavers of Dunfermline
compiled the following table for the use of the Hand-loom
Looms belonging to Single Men in
the burgh, &c., 475
“ “ Married Men
“ “ Warehousemen
“ “ Manufacturers
Owners of looms who work, and who
are unmarried 279
“ “ “ “
“ “ “ “
Journeymen unmarried 762
“ “ “ “
“ “ “ “
Apprentices bound 44
“ “ “ “
“ “ “ “
married weavers 926
Of these at the
Winding of pirns
In July, 1838, there were 617
weavers unemployed. (These statistics were sent to the writer
by Mr. Alex. Halley on September, 1838.)
THE Stagnation in the Weaving
Trade greatly abated, and consequently the distress was much
reduced. (MS Note)
A LARGE DRAWING, entitled “Fight
between Bothwell and Balfour” (“Old Mortality”), was this year
designed and drawn by Mr. Joseph N. Paton. This was this
celebrated artist’s first work.
MAYGATE SECESSION CHAPEL.—The Rev.
Thomas Smith was ordained minister of this church 24th April,
1838. He was deposed 26th November, 1839.
A PLAN of the Town and Parish of
Dunfermline was drawn in 1826, and corrected to 1838, from
astronomical observations by E. Henderson, F.R.A.S. It was
published in 1838, price 1s. 6d. Size, 19 in. by 15 in., drawn
on stone, and lithographed.
BALDRIDGE WORKS, north west
end of Golfdrum, was built by Mr. R. Robertson, manufacturer,
for the weaving of table linen, &c., by steam-power. It did not
succeed, was given up, and sold to the Government for military
barracks in 1855, and re-sold to Mr. Mordaunt Gray, Edinburgh,
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—Jas.
Morris, Esq., elected Provost. (Burgh Records, Nov., 1838.)
LITERATURE.—“Summer Months among
the Mountains. By Andrew Mercer. Published by Adam and Charles
Black, Edinburgh. 1838.” This is a 12 mo volume of 200 pages and
contains thirty nine poetic pieces. The following will suffice
as a specimen, page 89:--
DUNFERMLINE ABBEY—Time, Midnight.
“On abbey wall, and palace
hall “O’er many a rood of holy glade
The winter moon is gleaming; Their fabrics huge
Those ruins dun-their race now run- And architecture gave
Huge skeletons are seeming! And strength with
Yet rose their towers magnificent Rich grants
Throughout the ancient ages By kings, in their
Adorned with every ornament Of saintly peity, to
That eye and heart engages. Their homage of
They rose, amid the wilds around,
Like some fair isle on ocean found.
(See also Annals of Dunfermline,
dates 1813, 1816, 1819 and 1828, for Mercer’s other works.)
GEOLOGICAL LECTURES.—Mr. Rose,
geologist and mineralogist, Edinburgh, finished his popular
course of lectures on Geology, &c., in 1838.
1839.—LEGAL Assessment for the
support of the Poor was first introduced early this year, in
consequence of the refusal of many heritors, farmers, and others
to continue their voluntary contributions. (MS Note.)
ASTRONOMICAL LECTURES.—A short
course of three lectures on Astronomy (with apparatus, &c.) was
delivered in January, 1939, in the Maygate Chapel and St.
Margaret’s Church, by E. Henderson, LL.D., the writer of the
Annals. There were large audiences.
ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH.—The Rev.
Andrew Sutherland was ordained minister of this church on 28th
LORD DUNFERMLINE.—The right
Honourable James Abercrombie, M.P., and Speaker of the House of
Commons, on being “called to the House of Peers,” in 1838, took
the title of Lord Dunfermline. He died in April, 1858, and was
succeeded in the title by his son.
ASSESSED TAXES.—The amount of
assessed taxes in t he burgh, from April, 1838, to April 1839,
was £576 13s.
DUNFERMLINE AND CHARLESTOWN
RAILWAY.—“Between 15th May, 1838, and 15th May, 1839, there were
22,940 passengers shipped and landed at Charlestown. The most
of these used this railway.” (Mr. Wilson.)
THE Original Burgher Church,
Canmore Street (the Auld-Licht Kirk), was erected into a quoad
sacra church in connection with the Establishment in 1839. It
was removed in 1843 to make way for a site for the Free Abbey
Church. (See “Free Abbey Church,” An. Dunf. date 1843, 1844.)
NATIONAL Security Savings Bank.—In
1839 there were 435 accounts opened; £8,203 7s. 2d. deposited;
£3,276 13s. 2d. principal sums and interest repaid;
transactions, 2,508. (MS Note.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—James
Morris, Esq., re-elected Provost, November, 1838. (Burgh
POSTAL and Stamp Revenues.—Revenue
derived from the Post Office, £1,611 7s. 6d.; from Stamp Office,
£2,402 11s. 9d.
1840.—PENNY POSTAGE—19th January,
1840.—A note written shortly after this date, states that “a
great deal of letter-writing by both old and young was done in
Dunfermline on January 9th and 10th, to send through the Post to
“friends at a distance.” Many thought that this cheap post was
“too good to last!” The postage boon was, as in all other
places, hailed with joyous satisfaction in Dunfermline.
LITERATURE.—The Rev. Mr.
Chalmers’s Prize Essay on the Dunfermline Coal Field was printed
in the Quarterly Journal of the Highland and Agricultural
Society of Scotland for June, 1840. (See also Chal. Hist. Dunf.
vol. i. pp. 18-27.)
WATER-PIPES.—In consequence of a
deficient supply of water, and the old pipes becoming encrusted
and filled up, a new line of water-pipes of cast-iron, 8 inches
in diameter, was this year (1840) laid down between Grant’s Bank
Toll and the Reservoir. (MS.)
PRINTING.—Mr. William Clark,
bookseller, High Street, com-menced printing and shortly
afterwards published the first number of his Dunfermline
Journal. (See An. Dunf. dates1862 and 1872.)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—James
Morris, Esq., manufacturer, was re-elected Provost, Nov., 1840.
THE NORTH CHURCH (Golfdrum),
founded early in 1840, was finished and opened for public
worship in November, 1840; sittings for 800. (MS) Cost of the
building, £1,673, of which £1,002 was raised by subscription and
£41 received from the General Assembly’s Extension Fund.
WEAVING—Beaming Machine.—“In the
month of July, 1840, the Operative Weavers’ Committee offered a
premium of £10 to any one who should invent and construct an
apparatus for facilitating the beaming of webs. Several persons
entered the lists, but at last the reward was equally divided
between Robert Lawson, weaver, and James Robertson, wright,
their machines being equal in merit.
CHAPEL—Ordination.—The Rev. James Gib-son was ordained minister
of this chapel on the 20th of January, 1841. (Mackelvie’s
Statis. p. 178; see also An. Dunf.) He demitted his charge on
the 20th of June, 1847, and went to Brechin.
STREET LAMPS.—In 1841 it was found
that there were 250 public lamps in the town—a great contrast to
the number in 1752, when 12 lamps were considered sufficient for
the service. (MS Note)
OLD SILVER COIN FOUND.—A ten
shilling piece of King James VI was found un a garden in
Woodmill Road, in 1841—obverse, a bust of the King, with sword;
reverse, “Honor Regis, 1582, “Scotch arms, crowned, “J.R.” and
Xsh.” at the sides; it was in the possession of the Rev. Mr. Chalmers.
(Vide Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 283.)
THE ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY was
instituted in Dunfermline “for rearing and improving singing
birds, in plumage and melody.”
LITERATURE.—A small volume,
consisting of three lectures and thirteen sermons, by the late
Rev. George Bell Brand, was published in 1841, under the
editorial care of the Rev. David Dickson, West Church,
CENSUS.—the Fifth Government
Census of Dunfermline was taken in April of this year. The
population of the Town and Parish of Dunfermline was 20,239;
town and Suburbs, within the new Parliamentary Boundary, 13,323; of
which 6,741 are males, and 6,582 females. (For further particulars,
see Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. pp. 327-331; also Dunf. An. Regist. for
1842.) In 1831, the population within the Old Royalty Boundary
was 10,625; that of 1841, within the new Parliamentary Boundary,
13,323, showing an increase of population in the 10 years of
2,698, partly arising from the natural increase, and partly by
taking the enumeration over a wider area.
ASSESSED TAXES.—The amount of
Assessed Taxes in the Burgh for 1841 was £617 11s. 3d. (MS Note)
Counties, Cities, Chief Town, &c., with their Localities.
Interspersed with numerous Anecdotes, Descriptive and
Historical. In Verse; for the use of Schools and Private
Families. By Andrew Thomson. Published by W. Clark,
Dunfermline, 1841,” 12 mo, 32 pp.
THIS year the Municipal Boundary
of the Burgh was extended and altered “to suit the increased
population, and other circumstances.” (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol.
i. p. 399.)
THE RECHABITES.—The “Robert the
Bruce” Tent of Rechabites was formed in Dunfermline in 1841.
NORTH CHURCH, GOLFDRUM.—The Rev.
Charles Marshall was inducted minister of this Church in June,
1841. (MS Notes)
SCOTTISH BAPTIST CHURCH, JAMES
STREET.—In 1841 this small church, originally formed in 1805,
broke up into two congregations, one worshipping James Street,
and the other in the Music Hall, North Inglis Street. (MS Note)
THE Railroad or wagon road
connecting Townhill and Halbeath coal works with the Port of
Inverkeithing completed. (MS Note)
THE Professorship of Systematic
Theology and Church History was conferred on the Rev. Neil
M’Michael by the Relief Synod in 1841. (Newspaper)
THE Charlestown Sick Fund was
instituted in 1841. (MS Note)
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—James
Morris, Esq., was re-elected Provost. (Burgh Records, Nov.
DEATH OF THE EARL OF ELGIN.—Thomas
Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, and eleventh Earl of
Kincardine, died at Paris on the 14th November, 1841, in the
seventy sixth year of his age. He was succeeded by his eldest
son James, eighth Earl of Elgin, and twelfth Earl of
Kincardine. (MS Newspaper., &c.)
MORTALITY FOR 1841.—The number of
interments in Dunfermline Churchyard, during the year 1841, was
513; “the largest number ever known.” (MS Note)
GAS.—Webster’s Improvement for
purifying and cheapening gas was introduced into Dunfermline Gas
Works on 19th December, 1841. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p.
393; Gas Book, &c.)
Church is in Can-more Street, “was founded in 1841 and opened
for worship on the 2nd of January, 8142; sittings for
about 700.” It was a handsome façade, and is furnished with an
excellent organ—the Rev. George Thomson, pastor.
ODDFELLOWS.—The Malcolm Canmore
Lodge of Oddfellows was instituted on the 19th of April, 1842.
(See Chal. Hist. Dunf.vol. i. p. 461.)
ON the Dunfermline and Charlestown
Railway, between 15th May, 1841 and 15th May, 1842, “there
were 24,485 passengers who traveled on this railway.” (MS)
SAVINGS BANK.—In 1842, in the
National Security savings Bank, there were 212 accounts opened, and
£6,611 12s. 10d. deposited; principal sums and interest repaid,
£7,585 12s. transactions, 2,956. (Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 386;
Bank Ledger, &c.)
THE OLD CHURCHYARD.—This ancient
burying ground had long been in bad condition. This year it was
leveled, many of the grave stones removed and others laid
flat.” (MS Note.)
DEATH OF MR. ANDREW MERCER.—On
July 12th, 1842, Mr. Andrew Mercer, historian, poet and drawing
master, died in the 70th year of his age, and the 32nd of his
residence in Dunfermline. He was a native of Stow, in
Midlothian, and in early life studied for the ministry of the
Associate Synod, under Dr. Lawson, of Selkirk, in 1796; but
after a time relinquished such studies. In 1804 he edited the
North British Magazine, and, through his position as editor,
became acquainted with many of the celebrated literati of the
day. In 1810 he came to Dunfermline, having been engaged by Mr.
John Johnstone to take charge of the higher classes in his
academy and to teach Drawing. Mr. Johnstone, in 1816, abandoned
the profession of teacher, and went to Inverness to conduct a
newspaper in that town. Mr. Mercer was thus thrown upon his own
resources. By the advice of friends he formed a Drawing Class,
which, along with the sale of his literary works, was his sole
dependence for a great many years. His productions will be
found noticed in the “Annals,” under the date of their
publication, viz.:--“Dunfermline Abbey; a Poem,” 1819; “History
of Dunfermline,” 1828; “Chronological Table of Dunfermline” (by
E. Henderson), 1834; and “Summer Months among the Mountains,”
1838. Mr. Mercer, with whom the writer was long on intimate
terms of friendship, was a most worthy man, and excellent
classical scholar, and a kind hearted cheerful friend. He died
in his lodgings in the old Mason Lodge House, top of Bruce
Street, and was interred in Dunfermline old churchyard, where a
small tombstone, erected by some friends to his memory,
indicates his last resting place.
WEAVERS’ STRIKE.—In the autumn of
1842 there was a great strike of weavers in Dunfermline for a
rise of wages, which caused much loss both to masters and men.
(MS Note; vide also Chal. Hist. Dunf. vol. i. p. 50.)
COIN of King Robert the Bruce
Found—A silver penny of King Robert the Bruce was found in the
Churchyard, in 1842, while a grave was being dug. It was
claimed by “the Barons of the Exchequer.”
THE Trinity Episcopal Church, in
Queen Ann Place, was founded at the end of the year 1841, and
was consecrated and opened for worship on 25th October, 1842.
This is a handsome building. The front faces the east, is
highly ornamented. The church has a fine toned organ.
PROVOST OF DUNFERMLINE.—Erskine
Beveridge, Esq., manufacturer, was in November this year elected
Provost. (Bur. Rec.)
THE M’Lean School, Golfdrum, was
“opened for scholastic duties, November, 1842.” (Newspaper)
NUMBER of School in the Parish.—In
1842 it was ascertained that there were 33 schools in the
Parish, with a total attendance of 2,200 scholars, of which
number 1,200 were boys and 1,000 were girls.
POSTAL AND STAMP REVENUES.—The
revenue of the Post Office, Dunfermline, for 1842, was £2,787
11s. 6d.; Stamp Office, £2,625 6s. 4d. (MS Note)
THE Old MS. Chartulary of
Dunfermline Abbey, which is in the Advocates’ Library,
Edinburgh, was published at the end of the year 1842, by the
Bannatyne Club, under the editorship of Professor Cosmo Innes,
and entitled, “Registrum de Dunfermelyn.” It is a thick quarto
of 562 pages, containing 604 charters, writs, Popes’ bulls and
memoranda from 1128 to 1560. (See An. Dunf. under different