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By Sir JOHN SJ[ NC L A I R, Bart.


** Mcon/ttwrn de rtfulBca danJum, caput efinoffd rempubluam.**

Cicero de Orat. lib. ii.










^^-ipC O N T E N T S.

Parifia. J^tfuMom in 1755, \InlJ^S,TMereafi.\ Dee.^ P,


% S 4 S- 6

7 8.


. Kirkaldy, Scone,

Garennnocky Alv:.,

Duplin and Aberdalgie, C rmnnnock*, Carftairs, Snizort, ^, Wcft-Calder,

10, Eaft-wood,

11. Rufyth, j%. Ktppen«

13. Dadingfton,

14. St NinianSy

15. Kild rummy,

16 Borrok/^'ftownneft,

17. Fo(faway and Tolltcboley

si. Trinity-Ga(k,

19. "Perth,

jK>. Kinnool,

ai. Sfrathblane,

ai. JLcnch ars,

43. Mar^'-kirk,

34. Botriplinw.













- -
















- i'^!




- 176




- i8f



- -









- 214



» .




- -





- \3^5










- -




- -





- I489




- J540






- -







S 953


- -









Iflcreafe in x 7 90-5 X5496 X5496


35. Colrefs, (Vol. X. p. I3X.) Religious Houfes, fl6. Kirkaldy.— -Trial for Witchcraft,



* There is a mifhke in the ^ote, p. X95, with regard to the numbers in X755, and if the drcumdance there mentioned is conlidered, there is reafoa to fuppofe, rather an increaic, than a diminution in the number of this pirifh.

f The numbers in 1755, are dated p. 264, at 1346, 49 below what was then the real number.

f The numbers of I755» are ftated p. 6r8, at 5 below the number giyen by Dt Webfter.

§ There was probably an inaccuracy in Dr Web(ler*s number of this pa- riih. Vide V> 646, and the diminution cannot be fuppofed to hare greatly exceeded 130,






(county of TIFa.) By the Rev. Mr Thoma? Fleming.

_ I II - - ■! - - - - " "-^l T -

Name, Situation*

npHE tovM of Kirkaldy has been called by its prcfcnt* ^ naose, as far back as there are any records of it. It is fuppofed to have derived its name from the Culdeesj (the KeU del as they are often called in the Old Chartfrs)i' of whom it is faid to have been a ceil ^. It is fituated ia the ccanty of VoL.XVJJ|r A Fife*

Thb is Sir Robert Sibbaid*! dertration, in his biftory of Fife. The wor4 mighty with the ufual licence of etymology, be derived from the Oaelk ; ta which Unguagey a great proportion of the names of places in the ueight)Our* hood, and indeed through the whole df Fife, may nnqueftionably be traced. All names of pbces beginning tiith Bal, Col, or.OU, I>al,.I>aim,. Dm, Inch^ Ihnejf Anchtar, Kil, Kin, Glen, Mon, and Strath, are of Gaelic origin. Thofc beginning with Aber, and Pit, are fuppofed to be Piftifh names, and do not occur beyottd the territory which the Pi^ are thought to haTC* inhabited.

ft Statijlical Account

Fife, on the Frith of Forth, about lo miles north of Edin* l^urgh. It is the feat of one of the four prefbyteries whicl^ compofc the provincial fynod of Fife*; and, alternately ^ith Cupar, the ordinary feat of the iynod.

ExtenU'TTht parijb of Eirkaldy, fo called from the town^ is a kind of irregular oblong, extending from S. £. to N. W. between 2 and 3 miles, and from N. to S. W. about one mile. It is bounded on the S. £. by the Frith, on the £^ by the pariih of Dyfart, on the N. yf. by the pariflies of Dy- fart and AchterderraPi and on the % W. by the pariih of Abbotihall.

This laft parifli, ivith the exception of 3 farm» which be- longed to ]^iiighorn f, was originally a part of the parfonage pf ILirkaldy. In 1649, ^^^ prelbytery on an application from the heritors, found that a new kirk fhould be ere£led in the pariih of Kirkaldy, for the accommodation pf the pariihion« crs; and recommended to the Commilfioners of the Parliament ' for furrcnders and tythes, to carry the CTeQion into eifcA* The next year, the new pariih of Kirkaldy, fince called Abbot-; jhall was ^reded \ and the pariih of Kirkaldy proper, has fron^ that time been confined nearly to the burgh* the burgh acres^ an4 (he common land and moor ; comprehending, ii; all, an f xtent pf about 870 Scotch acres,

AfpeEt of the town. The town of Kirkaldy is iituated at the foot of a bank, on the fea-ihorc, along which it ftretches the whole breadth of the parifli. It is properly but one long (tr^et, with a few lanes of fmall extent opening on each iide pf It. The principal part of the ilreet appears to have been priginally^ wider than it is now, many of the houfes on botl^


* The other three are, Cupar, St. Andrews, and Dil|iferinli2)|^« ■J Eailcr and Wetter Touchs, and Weft ^ogic.

tf Kirkaldy. 3

fidet of it (hewing internal twdinee '^j that they have at fome time or other been extended beyond their iirft limits, and that the property of indiyiduaU has been Enlarged by encroach- ments on that of the community. At prefent, the ftrect is narrow^ in fome places inconveniently fo \ winding and ir- regular $ deformed by ^e frequent projefiion of contiguous houfes and ftairs ; and as the traveller daily feels, wretchedly paved f The houfes are in general mean, aukwardly placed with their ends to the ftreets, ac^ conftrufted without any regard to order or uniformity. Of late, however, a better ftile of building has begun to be introduced ; and difRsr^* ent fpecimens have been given of an improving tafte in archi* tenure.

PuUic Buildings^ Town-houff. '^e only public buildings worthy of notice are, the town-houfe and the church. The town-houfe, which was rebuilt in 1678, ftands near the mid* die of tlie town, and contains the ball in which the magif* traces and council aflemble for condufting the ordinary buG* nefs of the burgh. Here too the bailUes hold a weekly court for judging in queftions between the burgefles ; an4 :the jufticesof the peace have occafional meetings for deter- ipining queftions of revenue, and difcufling petty caufes that are brought before them from the furrounding diilriA* Over the town-houfe is the prifon, with feparate apaitments for debtors and criminals ; and under it the guard-houfe, the meaUmarkct, and the public weigh- houfe. The whole forms a plain building of hewn-ftone, ornamented with a tower and

A z fpire*

* Strong beams ran along the roofs of tbe rooms, to fnpport the place of the front wall, which has been bronght forward to incrcafe ^e width of the - houfes.

. t The flatnte Uboor of the town is now converted, aB4 the produce left t^ accttmalate for new. pavbg the ftreets. Ruinous houfes are in fome ioftaace^ v^uilding at fn^h a dilbocc from the ftreet, m to leave U #f a deceot width*

4 Statical Accmnt

fpire. The tomtt contains the town-clock and bdl| and fenrcs as a rcpoGtory for the archives of the burgh.

The Church. The church ftands on an elevated fituatton, on the top of the bank, which rifes immediateljr behind the- town. It is a large unfliapely pile^ that feems to have beea reared at different times, to fuit 'the growing population of the parifli, and in die conftru£lion of which convenience has been more coofulted than unity of defign or beauty. The nave or body of the church, is in the antient Gothic, or rather the Norman (tile of architedure ; without buttrefles $ with low femicircular arches, fupported by (hort thick columns, and having aifles behind them. The choir is fitted up iacom- mon with the nave for the reception of the parilhioners ; and a large wing has been added for their farther accommodation. Clofc to one end of the church ftands the fteeple \ which in its original form was a plain, and not unhandfome fquare tower with a cornice, above which it was covered with a roof. But it has been raifcd beyond its original height, by the addition of a fmaller, and a very difpropof tionate tower, ter- minating in a pyramid.

The Sands. "^On the one fide of the town, the fea is feparated from it by a beach of firm and level fand ; on which the in- habitants have always, excepting jit the height of the tide, a fafe and agreeable walk ; and by which the traveller may generally avoid the uneafy jolting of a long and rugged pave* ment. As the fand continues firm and fmooth, and the ground ihelves gradually for a great way into the fea, this place is pe- culiarly favourable for fea bathing ; for which purpofe there has been for fome years an incrcafing refort to it, during the months of fumm^r and harveft.


jIfpeS ^he Pflf^A.-^-^-^On the other &de of die to^trn, the country immediately joilM it, and rifes by t gentle but Taried aCcenti almoft to the oppofite extremity of the parifli. Taking the pariih by itfelf, the face of it prefents little to the view that claims particnlar notice. In the yicinity of thtt town, ivhere the foil is light and dry, and very fufceptible of coltiration, the fields are in general inclofedi and in a reg«« lar conrfe of tillage ( and exhibit «i appearance in no fmaM degree pleaGng.— —^-Farther back, the ground has been more recently brongltf into culture \ and the foil appears to be left kindly in its nature, and lefs fufceptible of improve- ment* Bat an extenfive proprietor, Mr Ofwald of Donni- keer, having now built a manfion houfe on a fine command- ing fitcj in the center of the grounds which are at prefenC the Jeaft cultivated*, the plan of cultivation and of ornament which he {las begun, vrill foon improve the appearance of that part of the pariflK In the profped of building, that gentleman Ibmetime ago inclofed and planted a romantic val* ley, which ftretches fifom the eaft end of Kirkaldy towards die fite of his new houfe. This valley is now beginning to be clofely and beautifally wooded : Fanciful walks, partly of turf, and partly of gravel, are cut through it in different di* re£lions. To theft the more refpe£lable inhabitants of the town are indulged with accefs ; and enjoy in this refpeA an advantage which the vicinity of few towns can fumiih.

Relative SifUation^^^li this pariih, taken by itfeif, affords but little to admire in its geneial appearance, the defed^ is abundantly fiipplied by its relative fituation. Commanding from different points, a full profpefl of the adjacent coun- try, from Dyfart on the eaft, to the green-toped hills of


* The Btt^jb moor.

6 Statifiical Account

GUfim^unt on the weft ; and the eye embracing within thai range the profperous town of Path-head^ with the oncerojai caftle of RaTenflieugh % feated on a cliff overhanging the fea ; the town and harbour of Kirkaldy ; the induftrious town of linktown, with the modem church of Abbotfliall^ the high-placed manfion^ the pi£);urefque grounds, and the eztenfive improvements, of Mr Fergufon of Raith ;— and having extended before it the Frith of Fordi, flurted hj the coaft of Lothian from Edinbuijgh to North-Berwick^ diverfified by the iflands of Inch-Keitb, Bofs, and May, and enlivened by a conftant fucceflion of flups of all bntdens^ pafling and repafliog on their deftined voyages:— -The parifli of Kirkaldy thus fituated, forms part of a fccae, in which the beauties of external nature, and interefting difplays of the operation of mind, are in no ordinary degree united.

Air dtidClimati.^Atctnding tJ»W. from the head of the bay which is called by its name, this parilh lies much expofed to the eafterly winds. Thefe, efpecially during the latter part of fpring, blow frequently, and bring up from the feat a thick difagreeable haze, that renders the air moift and pier- cingly cold. But as the wefterly winds prevail, during at leaft two thirds of the year, the air is upon the whole dry» kindly and wholefome.

Di/ea/ej.---lt may be owing partly to this caufc, that there are few difeafes which can properly be faid to prevail hcrei and that even thefe few are feldom marked with any peculiar fymptoms of violence. The moft prevalent difeafe is the chronic rheumatifm, which chiefly affefls the aged, and even thefe chiefiy among thofe clafies which are expofed to hard


* Or Ravenfcraig.-**-^ee account of Dyfart.

tf Kirkaldy. 7

libter in the open air. A Tpecies of fever with nenrons fymp«

tomSy Sat of no diftind or regular type, has fome years been

Itequenti particularly in the beginning of winter, and in fpring.

ChiMrenhave been more fubje£l to it than adults. Children are

frequently and fatally afie&ed by the difeafe which is called the

croup. Inftances of confumptions now and then occut, chiefly

in youag females. The paiff, which not long ago was fo tare^

as to have been vulgarly accounted a fpecial vifitation ^f God,

is now by no means uncommon; Scrophulous taints are hot

much known here \ and the meafles, fmalUpox, andjother

epidemical eruptiyes are obferved to be ufually milder than '

cren in the neighbouring pariflies. Innoculation for the

fmairpox ispradifed with the happieft effeA. The religious

fcruples, which long prevented the general ufe of (his falutary

invention, are every day diminifliing ; the body of the pec*

jile yielding to the impreflion of that convincing atteftation in

favour of i^ which Divine Psoridence has given in its fignal


Longevify.'-^The inhabitants in general are healthy ; and many of them attain a good old age* It is no unfatisfying proof of this, that in four years precceding 17031 there lived in the parifh 47 perfons who reached the age of 80, the full half of which number were alive at one time \ that in five years preceding 1791, four inftances occurred in which the marriage relation had fubfifted above half a century ; and that on an average of 14 years preceding 1788, the annual burials were but as i to 59 of the population.

P<^a/tf//V/i.— On the firft day of January 1790, there were in the town of Slirkaldy 646 families, containing 2607 fouls ( in the country parifh, 15 families, containing 66 fouls; in



Stai^kal Accwfd

thewlide pari(h» 66i families^ containbg 2673 fouls*: of whom 521 were under, and 2152 above, 8 years of age.^- 'Of diofe who were above that age, 908 were males, and 1244 i^males. The proportion of fouls to a family was 4^ in the town, 4| in the country, 4^ in the whole pariOi.

Dhi/lon ofi tie hhahitants in i790.-«>The inhabitants, reck- oning thofe only who had families, or who did buGnefs on their own account, were in general divided in the fdlowing nanner :

Saddler i

Candlemaker i

Sellers of done ware 4

Keepers of inns and licen- fed houfes for ale an4

IVoprietors refiding 7

non -refiding 4 Mtnifters 2

Preachers 2

Merchants, traders, and

ihopkeepers 36

Seafaring men 34

Fanners, who have no other

employment 2

Medtdal men 5

Officers who have ferved in

the navy 5

Da who have ferved in the

army 4

Officers of the cuAoms and

fait office 1 1

Officers of excife 3

Writers 4

BookfcUer i

Schoolmaftcrs 3

* The retimi to Dr. WeWler in 1755 made the p«pvlation %%^^ t Belidct there are 3 corporate bodies which have property^




Smiths and founders



Mafons and plafterers


Houfe carpenter^


Ship carpenters





Stocking weavers




Tanners and curriers





of I^laUy.

Tuion 10

Male farm ferf ants 14

Sailers 2

Female fio. 3

Glover i

Female teachers $

Batchers 4

Mantua-^nukers 4

Bakers i 2

Milleners 4

Barbers 4

MidmTes 3

Coik*cutters 2

Wi4ows with families 73

Gardeners 7

Single hottfeholders, chiefly

Carters, many of whom oc-

females 70

cupy a few acres of land 30

Young perfons of both fexes

Carriers 3

at fchool, about %io

Land labourers and hired

fenrants with families 6 f

Merchants clerks, not ap-

Male doraeftic fervants 8

prentices 9

Female do. 217

In this table, the diftinfiions are not always precife. The clafs of merchants includes the principal manufacturers. Some of the (hop-keepers have other employments, and are introduced under other names. The farmers inferced arei thofe only who have no other fpecific character*

Stale rfHu^andry. Of thofe who are more or lefs engaged in hufbandry, the whole number, including 5 proprietors, is 25. Many of thefe occupy but a few acres, whidi they cnkivate for the fake of accommodation more than of gain. This circumftance is not favourable to good hufbandry. The fpring of intereft is too (lightly touched, to produce that regu* lar exertion which is necefiary to fuccefs*

Some other objc£l engages the firft care ; and the few acres are negleded. At any rate, if they anfwer the pur« pofe of convenience for vrbtch they are held, the melioration of them is little attended to. This, however, is not always the cafe. Some who occupy fmall portions of land, have been

Vol. XVIII. B at

10 Staiiftical Account

at pains to improve them. And the land which is poflefled in any confiderable quantity^ is in general cultivated with at- tention and fttccefs.

Means of cultivathft.-mJTht means of cultivation arc here obtained with little difficulty. The flables and ftreets of the town afford a regular fupply of manure ; but what is collcdled from the ftreets is lefi^ valuable, on account of a mixture of fand which it receives from the houfes of the ordinary clafs of inhabitants, whpfe floors are frequently covered, with it.*^ Lime is to be had at a (hort diftance, and at a moderate cx' pence ; but it has hitherto been fparingly ufed, particularly on the lands lying neareft to the town ; in the idea that the foil is too light and warm to permit it to' be ufed with fafety. Sea-weeds furnifh an occaGonal acccf&on of valuable mainire, but in a quantity that bears xio proportion tp the extenfive de» mand for it.

Improvemenis in HuJbandrj.^^T]xt mode of culture has of late undergone fome important alterations. The tillap is improved j to which drilling and hoeing, now much ufed in all crops, have not a little contributed. Green crops are in- troduced ; and the proportion of land employed in them ii every year increafnig. The rotation of crops is better regu- lated ; the ahematc fuccelTion of culmiferous and leguminous crops being pretty generally attended to. Tlie imfUments of hufbandry are improved ; particularly the plough. Of this valuable inflrumcnt,. two kinds are employed ; the common Scotch plough, which begins to be better con{lru£^ed than formerly, and the chain-plough introduced by Small of Black« adder- mount. The former is ftill the moft prevalent} for of 04 ploughs ufed in the parifli, 17 are of this kind, and 7 of the other. The ploughs are all drawn by horfcs, generally


' of Kirkdldy. 1 1

twoineachy guided by the ploughman. Oxen, though e- qually adapted to the purpofes of hufbandry when managed with {kill, though lefs expenflve in the purchafe and the maintenance, though equally, if not more durable, and though ▼aftly more valuable, when unfit for work, are here in total difufe; and nearly fo in the whole furroonding dif- tiia.

Cattle Mnd' Carriages .-^Tht number of horfes employed in the parifh ia 139 ; of which 94 are kept for work, 2B for the faddle, and 17 for carriages. 1 he carriages are 9 in num- ber *, 2 coaches and 7 poft-chaifes. Of thcfe a coach, and 5 chaifes arc kept for hire. The number of carts is 73. The number of milk-cows is 98. Some individuals have been at pafns to improTC their breed of cows, and with good fuccefs. But cows are here kept lefs for breeding than for their milky which is fold in the town with great advantage. They are commonly fed in the houfe ; the land near the town being too valuable to permit much of it to be employed in pafture.

Rent.'-^Tht rent of land, fituated near the town, runs from three to four pounds the jicre ; and decreafc.*, with the dif- tance, down to half a guinea. As the greater part of th« parifh is cultivated by proprietors, the rent of the whole cannot be certainly known : but it is computed at L. 125» fterling ; which is to L. 1320 Scots, the valued rent, nearif as 1 1 ; to I* There is no map of the parifh ; but mod of it has been furveycd: and the whole, excluGve of the ground covered by the towiij extends to about 830 acres. Of thefe about 19

B 2 acres

* SiMe the ftbcfve was irrttteii« the aumhtr of cairiiget has dim'uuihed tw»

u Stati/iical Account

acres are mofS) ii wade-land and roads^ 130 planted, 327 fown out in pafture^ 32 garden groundj and 270 in tiU lagc.

Crops^ and ttmes of Sowing and Reafiing.^^The crops ufadly talfed oil the land in tillage are; wheats fdwn from the begm- ning of Oftober to the end of November, and reaped from the rath to the end of Auguft %-^barley^ fown from the ift to the 20th May, and reaped from the middle of Aoguft to the beginning of Oftober ; ^ats^ fown from the aoth March to the aoth April, and reaped from the 20th Auguft to the be- ginning of Ofkober; keans^ fown firom the loth to the 5loth March, and reaped ifrom the 12th September to the 1 2di of 0£kober i-^tatoes^ planted from the aoth April to the be- ginning of May, and dug up from the 12th to the end of Oc« tober 'i^turmpSj commonly fown aboutthe aoth June; clover ^ ajsd generally a fmall proportion of rye-grafs with it, fown from the aoth April to the end of May ; and always fown , with grain, which is fometimes wheat, fometimes oats, but ofteneft barley.

Produce and Fa/ue* ^^^^Tht following table will (hew the proportions in which thefe federal crops were raifed in 1 7^, with the value of the produce, eftimated on the average of the fcvcn preceeding years.


tf Kirialdji.


TABLE of Cito^s in 1792.


Wheat, Barlejy Oatj,




Aott Qa- BoUs pro-|Av^rige der each dnccd per valve of crop. acre. |thc boll.



54 24 35 ^5 47


9 8

9 50

L.s.d. I I 015 o 12 0126 o 50

L.8.d. 10 10



1210 8 8

327 Acres of fown grafs ufed in paftore at L. acre*

Many of the inhabirantshare fmall gardens adjoin- ing to their houfes. Thefe may amount together to 20 acres, and the annual produce of them may

I be eftimated at L. 10 per acre ; the whole, ^ There are 12 acres of garden ground cultivated for iaie, the produce of which may be eftimated at L. 20 per acre.

TocalgroTs value of tfaeannual produce of the ground 2497

From which deduce •}■ for the expence of feed, la* ? ^

hour, and manures, - - C "3

Free produce, including the rent.

1560 15

jifimro/r.— Befides die produce of the furface of the ground, this parifli yields frec»ftone, iron- ftone, and pit-coal. At prefent, however, there is little or noincreafe of value de- rived from thefe fources. Thcfree^Jlone is dug merely for the ufe of the parifli *• The ironjlone is found in the coal-pits, and the working of it depends on that of the coal. Diflerent


* The parilh does not faniiih all the Ames that are employed in nilding. The bed honies are built from the quarries of Bruntifland, Loog-Annet^ or Caletfe;-— which laft, though but lately opened, promifes, oa account of its ibpericir ttxturey colour^ and iblidity, to bo ia much requeft.

14 Siati/lfcal Account

ffams of coal from 2 J to 4t feet thick were formerly \nrotight ; but they have for fometime been exhaufted above the draining level. They continue, and are fuppofed to be more valu- able, below the level ; but the expence of machinery for draining, has hitherto prevented the working of them.— At prefent, the inhabitants are fupplted from the coaleries ofDy- fart, belonging to Sir James St.* Clair Erflcine, or of Cluny, belonging to Mr Fcrgufcn of Raith. The former is dii!ant from Klirkaldy about 2 miles, the latter about 4. At the for- mer, 2 meteSf about gi cwt of fmall coah or chenus^ the* kind generally ufed for home confumption, are fold for 2s. id. and the expence of carriage to Kirkaldy is is : At the latter, 3 hadjt weighing about 9I cwt. are fold at rs. 6d. and the ex« pence of carriage is 2s. There is a depot of Cluny coals kept at Kirkaldy for exportation; from which about 600 tons have been annually (hipped during the laft 5 or 6 years, partly for Hamburgh, but chiefly for Middleburg, where the Cl^njJpUnt is fAid to have the preference of every other fpecies of Scotch coal. As there is now a turnpike road from Cluny to thit place, it is probable that the quantity of coal exported from ic will incrcafc. ,

Tf/r////i^/«— Turnpikes begin to be generally introduced in this part of the county. The erection of tolUbars, and the imp<^tion of the highcft toll- which the law permits to be cxafkcd before a foot of road was made, excited at firft, a pre- judice againft them. But in proportion as the roads' have been put in repair, the prejudice has abated : And there can be no doubts that if Ihe intereft of the public is fufficiently confulted in fixing tlie courfes of the roads, the introdudlion ef turnpikes will^ on the whole, be bentiicial *•


^ By an a£l of Parliament, for making and repairing roads in the county ^ Fife, the truftcci appointed caiiy it into execution arc impewered» inter


o/Kirkakfy. 1$

Hjfiorj of the Burgb.'^lt U probable that the local advan« tagcs of ricinity to {uel> to land capable of producing grain, and above all to the fea^ fo favourable to fubfiftcnce and fo neceflary to commerce, brought men at firft to fettle at this place. It is not known, however^ at what particular time the town was built ; nor are there any traces of its hidory be* fore it became one of the regality burghs of the lordlhip of Dunfermling. It was mortified A. D. 1334> by David II. to


alxi, ** toiPidea the roads to any breadth they (hall think proper, not exceed. ^ iBg 40 feet ; and for that purpoie to pull down and demolifh any houfe or ** baildtog, as well wiiBim royal burghs as without the (ame ; paying fuch da« *■ mages to the owners or occupiers, as the /aid trvfiee* ihall judge reafonabie."

Thefc powers are complained of : xft, As unprecedented and unknown in the other counties : ad. As trenching on the chartered rights of royal burghs ; the internal goremment of which is, by charters ratified by parliament, vefted in thtit own proper magiftrates : 3d, As afTe^lii^ the fecurity of private pro- perty, which is thus left, in certain circumflances, to be feized without the co'nfent of the owner, and without any other compeniation to him, than -what the very perfons who are to feize.on it judgt reafonabU. It is true, thert lies an appeal on the value of the property to the Juftices of the Peace in their general feflions. But as the Juftices are truftees, and in point of in- Anence, the principal truflets under the road a£t, tht appeal is nearly from mu defcription to another defcription of the fame peribns. If the public con« Ttniencc at times require that the property of in/lividuals ihould be facrificed toit\ juftice finrely requires that thofe, whofe property is affe^led, Ihould be fhliy indemnified^ and that too in the way in which they are mod likely to be fatisfied that the indemnification is adequate,— ^-the rerdi^ of a jury.

The conCderation of the efTcA which the powers conveyed by the a^ allud' cd to might, if exercifed to their full extent, produce on Kirkaldy, has given rife to thefe reflections. K'^rkaldy is properly but one long flreet, through which the great county road at prefent paiTes. As the greater part of this Oreet is onder 40 feet broad, the tmftees have it in their power, if tbeyfiall think pro^ poTy to bring it to the fuU flatutpry breadth, at the expcnce of half a. mile of demoliihed houfes ; the owners of which would be obliged to red iatisficd with what damages the trnftees, or iji the laft refort, the juAices, Ihould think rea^ ibiiable.

|6 StatyUc^ Acauni

the abbots of Dunfermlkig fuocefiivdy ; in whofe poflf flk>i» . it continued till A* D. i4fO| when the tiommeoditor and conrent, by indentures made with the baillies and comma- nity of Kirkaldy, difponed to them and their fuccefibrs for €¥er, the burgh and harbour, burgh acres, the fmall cuftoms, common pafture in the moor, courts^ &c.

Chartered Privileges. It was foon after created into

a royal burgh, with the cuftomary privileges: And thefe were fpccifically ratified by a charter of confirma- tion granled by Charles I. in 1644 ; and the burgh, for gopd^ mnd gratuitpui Jervicf done by it, ereAed de novo into a free royal burgh and fu» port» and pew and larger immimities granted it. Among its privileges were enumerated, the powers exprefsly given to the baiUies, counfellors and com- munity, of clewing and conftituting annual magiftrates for the afllPJ^^r^tiop of juftice 9nd the government of the burgh i of uplifting icuftoms ^d ?ipplyipg them to the public good j of holding courts ; of £e|zing and incarcerating, and punifliing delinquents ; with which were conjoined various other privi- leges exprefied in the barbarous language, and fame of them cpnceived ^n the barbarous fpirit of the times ^ fuch as herezcl49i bludewits, merchetae mi^lierum, fork, fofs, fok» iik^ thoill, thame, wraick, ve^t, wetb> wair, vesyfoAi in- fangtheif, outfangtheif, pit and gallows, &c. *•

Though there be no authentic record of the ftate of Kir- kaldy, at the time ic yras disjoined from thelordflbip of Dun- fermling, or firft ereflcd unto a royal burgh, it may be warraotably fuppofed, Ant befpre either of thefe events could hitppen, the place mud have attained to ibme importance* Previous to the union of Scotland with England, its commerce


* Charter of confirButi«n.

1^ Kirkaldf. fy

tnd narigation were in a great meafitre confined to tlie towns which hj on both fides of the Frith of Forth. Thefe had early applied themfelves to the bufinefs of fifliing *, which their favoiirable ficuatton enabled them to profitcute with vi- gour and -fuccefs. And fo diftingui(hed were thofe of them efpeciallj which lay on the north fide of the frith, that vrhen James VI. in 1602 planted a colony in Lewis, to introduce the fifliing trade among the Weftern iflands, the colony was drawn from the coafts of Fife f . The towns on the Frith of Forth too had almoft the ezclufive pofleflion of the trade with the Low Countries, at that time the only branch of commerce of any importance, and were carriers for nearly the whole of the northern part of the United Kingdom.

State in i644,— Of the advantages derived from both the/e branches of commerce, Kirkaldy appears to have enjoy-» ed a prindpal fliare. Tradition relates that, when Charles L erefled it anew into a royal burgh in 1644, 1' ^^^ ^^ bun« dred fail of (hips belonging to it. And the tradition is fup- portedt by an authentic account, preferved among the records of the burgh, of loflesfuftained betwixt that time and the Refto- ration. From this account, in which the mader's name, and the feparate value of each ihip are particularly fpecified, it appears, that 94 (hips belonging (o this port, were during that period either loft at fea, or taken by the enemy.

There are other circumftances too, which ferve .to (hew Vol. XVm. C that,

* As early «• the nloth ceotary, thfi inhabitant of the Netherlands rcibr- ted to the coafts of Scotland, to pnrchafc faltcd fiih from the natives ; of whoii they learned the trade, which the Dutch have rincepurTucd with fo muchna* tkmal advantage.— —Andcrfon's Hiftory of Commercci

t Robertfon*s HiAory of Scotknd.

XA Stati/lical Account

Ihst^ danng a confidcraWc part of the lafl; century, Kirkaldf was in a very flourifliing ftate.

' JSarly Population. ^'-^^i. The population of the parifti was equal, or moft probably fuperior, to what it is at prefent. During a period of 14 years, commencing with 1616, the yearly average of regiftercd births was lai j which would make the population, computing it as 26 to 1 of the births, to have been 3146. ' For fomc tin>e after, the numbers appear to have increafed rapidly. In 1643 the accommoda- tioo of the parifli required a new wing to be added to the church ; and in 1650 it was found neceflary to make a new ereflion *. The annual average of births, for 10 years im- mediately preceding the date of that erc£lion, was i74tV« which made the whole population about 454<» ; and for the ftme (|>ace of time immediately following it, 115; which made the population 1990. From this ftatement it appears, that, fuppoiing the whole inhabitants to be as 26 to t of the births, the parifh of KirkaWy was more populous, for fome time aftef it% firft reduflion to its prefent limits, than it is at this day. And were the eftimate to be made by the proportion which the , prefent number of inhabitants a£iually bears to the annual births, the difference in the population of .that time would appear . to have been very confider-

a. The

-> fieepageid.

f The above rale for oompntipg the population oft ptrUh or <ll(bkl froai the biith«,'» fuggeftcd in '* Queriei for the pvrpofe of elucidating the Natu* ** ral Hiftory and Political State of Scotland, circulated by Sir John Sinclair.'* In this pariOi, however, the computation fails Ihort of the re^l proportion. The number of regiftercd births in 179'- was 60 ; and on an average of the ao preceding years, 50* But, as the regiftration of births has for fome time


of Kirkaldy. i^

1. The contributions which v«re then made for purees of charity, and ftill more for the fupport of the ftate, {hew the place to have been refpeflable. In 1 622, when the Gene- va! Affirmbly of the proteftant churches in France deputed Bafnage to the King of Great Britain^ to foQicit aid foi^refifting the opprei&on of Lewis XIIL the town and parifli of Ktrkil- dy contributed, according to thf gudevfill and pertnyjfQn tf tbfg J^f^g* 2 j>eciiQiary aid of 1030 jmerks *• - During a period of 1.2 years, from 1634 to 1645, at which time money was fo valuable as to be^r intereft at 9 per cent* the weekly cpi^o-. tions at the church doors were gTeat<;r than they are at |M^e* fent \ the average amounting to L. ^3 : 1 oi while that of the fame number of years preceding 17J11 does act exceed I«. 63 9s. 4d.

FuUu jfjffeJfmentu^'-^'-^lfi sill public aflcflh^nlSj the tQWS was rated as the fixth burgh, and afi^Sed in |hq 1 to 40 of the whole Xupplics. Icyied from the burghs of ScqV land f. For fev(ira| years before and .after l^s^, tb^^mpotlv- ly afleffinents laid on it, for (he.'maifitenancc 0^ troop% qxce^d*

C 2 . I . ^d

paft been much negle^ed, let one half <nore be addecl for births not etitertd, and the whole annual births will, on' an average oflo years, be 75 ; which, coffipa^ed ivith the a^hml numbers, is nearly in iHe propot¥idn,or k <tb 3^. In- timated by this proportion, the