Cupar in old picture postcards volume 1

Cupar in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Margaret W.W. Boyd
:   Fife
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3435-4
:   96
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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For centuries past the importance of Cupar has been its geographical position. It is situated in the very middle of the backbone of the 'Kingdom of Fife' and is at the intersectional point of north, south, east and west. The land of Fife lay originally in the realm of Pictland, one of the two oldest of the four nations that ernerged as northern Britain after the departure of the Romans in the fifh century. Obviously Cupar had its beginnings as a Pictish settlement in the early centuries A.D. Archaeological findings have proved that there were people living where Cupar is now in prehistorie times. There is no doubt that there must have been a fairly high eminence which made it ideal for a military station. The name 'Cupar' had a conneetion with this fact. The castie at Cupar developed from a Pictish fort which made it a vantage point in the defence of the inhabitants.

'Cupar' is a Celtic word. The derivation of its name has never been satisfactorily explained. One authority defines 'Cupar' the cup-like or hollow field, from 'cop' or 'cup' and 'ar' a field. Again it has been suggested that 'Cupar' is a composite name, consisting of two Gaelic words, 'cul' and 'bhar' , 'cul' meaning the hinder back part and 'bhar' meaning an eminence. This eminence which is inferred in the name 'Cupar' is interesting geologically. ft starts at the distance of nearly a quarter of a mile from the point where the Lady Burn meets the River Eden and it runs in a serpentine direction until it finishes on the Castle Hili or School HiJI as it was once called. There is a point in the middie, higher than the rest which is called the Moot Hili where tradition says the Earls of Fife held their councils of war and dispensed justice, There is nothing artificial about the mound which is a natural deposit formed at some remote period and has been braken through by the action of the River Eden. On the north and south sides of the river, it has been reported, there was an immense bed of clay of very good quality which lent itself to the making ofbricks and tiles. It was also suitable for the making of coarse earthenware.

Higher up behind this embankment lay the Wards, an extensive plain which was always under the plough. This plain was once the bottom of a large lake or basin which gradually emptied and

became dried up by the wearing down of the embankment. The name 'Ferry' is still attached to some places on the sides of this plain. Up until the sixteenth century it was quite impassable. At the time of the Reformation when the army of the Lords of the Congregation faced the royal forces on the opposite side, this marsh was an insurmountable barrier between them,

Cupar ranks as one of the oldest royal burghs in Scotland. lts only existing charter dated 28th June 1382, was conferred by Robert II at Dunfermline. Cupar, however, was a royal burgh long before that date. lts first charter was probably conferred by David I, Maleolm IV or William the Lion.

Royal burghs were always near one of the king's castles. These castles were built at strategie points, commanding the main lines of communication which were the routes for peaceful merchants as weil as for armed men.

The first castle at Cupar was probably erected in the eleventh century and was made of wood. It was not until the middle of the thirteenth century that wooden castles gave way to those of stone. The owner of the castie was a powerful ruler of a large area, responsibie for helping the king in time of war. When he was away from horne his wife looked after the stronghold for him. It has been recorded that the castIe at Cupar was the scene of the death of Macduff's wife and children by order of Macbeth who ruled Scotland between 1040 and 1057. Macduff was the Thane of Fife who was absent from the castle in Cupar in support of Maleolm whose father Duncan had been murdered by Macbeth. Macduff eventually escaped to England and later helped Maleolm to return to Scotland to regain his crown. David de Wemyss is the first Sheriff of Fife to be recorded and his appointment is 1200. The importance of Cupar as a seat of justice isshown in records going back to 1239. The Justiciary of Fife held its courts on the Moat Hill (Mote Hill) which was called 'mons placite' or Statute Hili. The well-known saying 'Wha will to Cupar maun to Cupar' is of antique standing.

Royal burghs had specific rights of internal self-government for the purpose of intemal or external trade. The old minutes of Cupar go back as far as 1549. An extract of one of these declares:

"The Burgh of Cupar has for magistrates, a Provost. three Bailies, a Dean of Guild and Treasurer, The Council consists of thirteen guild brethren and eight Deacons of Craft, one of whom must be Convener.' Cupar's burgesses had monopolistic rights over a large district of the county. They had overseas privileges as well. Trade with Flanders made Cupar more prosperous than some other royal burghs,

The burgh was an enclosed strong point. It was timbered and had a palisade. It had a fosse or earthen wall with 'ports' which were securely closed at night, The only means of entry was by one of these gates. There waaa keeper at each one of these who always asked visitors what their business was. Unsatisfactory answers could take persons under suspicion to the magistrates who could order such people to be put in the town prison, a filthy cell under the level of the ground.

Building was mainly of wood and for poorer dwellings, of earth and turves. People were forbidden to carry Iights from one house to another for fear of fire, The town in these far off days developed round the foot of the castie where the thane or sheriff lived, The town had probably one or two streets with wynds and doses on both sides of them. Shops were mainly booths which projected forward into the street. The town crier proclaimed the laws of the pasture lands or common. The town herd blew his hom every morning to let the animals know it was time to go to pasture and they knew the sound at once. Nearer the town were the town acres on which crops of oats, barley, peas and beans weregrown.

The fust parish church in Cupar was situated in the north of the town. It was dedicated to St. Mary and the saint's name accounts for 'Ladyburn', 'Ladywynd' and 'St. Mary's Road'. No trace of the church has been found. There are records of another church in the neighbourhood, that of St. Michael of Tarvit. This building was consecrated by Bishop de Bernham on 3rd April 1245. No trace of it remains now. It had an entirely separate existence until1618 when it was united to the parish of Cupar,

Cupar at one time had a Dominican Monastery of Black Friars, situated at the foot of the castle, Amongst the lands held by the

monks were four acres of arabie land called St. Catherine's Haugh, the greater part of which later formed St. Catherine Street, It has been recorded that the monastery was used as a nursery for the royal children when the Stewart kings lived at Falkland Palace. In later times the monastery became the mansion ofthe Laird of Balgarvie. The building was finally removed when St. Catherine Street was opened up in the nineteenth century.

Cupar had two schools from an early period. One was a grammar school and the other a sang school. Sang schools were in existence primarily to teach music, and staff the church choirs, Generally , reading and writing were taught there as weIl and some sang schools taught Latin grammar. The sang school in Cupar in all probability was held in the Dominican Monastery by the monks. The location of the grarnmar school is unknown. In 1415 Cupar was given a new church. The Church of St. Mary had fallen into a state of decay and a new place of worship was required. It was Bishop Wardlaw of St. Andrews who was responsible for the erection of a church on the site of the present Parish Church in the Kirkgate, It was built of polished freestene 133 feet long by 54 feet broad. At the western extremity of the church was a tower. In the towerwas a heavy bell weighing 1 000 pounds which was called Michael. This church continued until 1785 when it was replaced by the building that exists today. The only parts of the fifteenth century building remaining are the tower and part of the session house. John Knox preached in the pre-Reformation building in 1560. One of the ministers of the Parish Church, Will Scott, a man of means and connected with the family of Balwearie, added aspire to the battlements of the church tower and paid for the building of it himself.

During the Protectorate Cromwell's troopers walked about the streets of Cupar and there may have been some marriages between them and local girls. It was during this time that Cupar was introduced to the doctrine of the Baptist Church. A Baptist preacher in Colonel Fairfax' regiment of foot, Mr. Browne, made a great impression on people in Cupar area. He was in the habit if re-baptizing several of the regiment in the River Eden

'neare to Erdries lodging, by dipping them in the water over head and eares, many of the inhabitants looking on'.

During the time of the Stewart kings Cupar was a corridor town between Falkland and St. Andrews. The townspeople were quite accustomed to see royal personnages and their retinues riding down the Bonnygate or Boudingait as it was then called on their way either to one place or another. Occasionally the royal parties broke their journeys at the Dominican Monastery for it was a two days' journey between Falkland and St. Andrews.

It was during the reign of James IV that trade was encouraged with Flanders. During his reign many F1emings came across to Scotland and settled in the country. They were the foreigners who taught trades and manufaetures to the Scots, Cupar, as always, was an important trading town. In fact the Town Council was composed mainly of merchants whose power had increased during the century to the exclusion of the craftsmen. Many Flemish people had settled in and round about, to the royal burgh's advantage. The townspeople learned their crafts and made Cupar one of the principal weaving eentres in northern Fife. On the farms round the town, fields of flax were grown wbich kept the spinners, we avers and waulkers busy. From cottages everywbere snatches of song could be beard as women chanted their rhythmic tunes to the sound of wheel and web. The year 1490 saw the birth of David Lyndsay at one of bis father's estates, the Mount, near Cupar. His family was descended from that of Lord Lindsay of the Byres in Haddingtonshire. He entered St. Andrews University in 1505 and left it in 1509. At the age of nineteen he entered tbe service of James IV and in 1512 became a page of honour to the young Prince James. He held this post untill524 when he was dismissed with a pension by the four guardians of the young James wbo was now James V. Six years later he was appointed Lyon, King-at-Arms, and had a kuighthood conferred on him, David Lyndsay was a man of many talents which were much appreciated by James V who sent him abroad on many missions. He was at the marriage of the King to Princess Madeleine , eldest daughter of Francis I,

King of France, which took place in Notre Dame in 1537. Ayear later, on 10th June, 1538, be awaited the arrival of James' second queen, Mary of Lorraine, beside his monarch, at Crail where she landed from France. He attended the royal couple in St. Andrews where they stayed for forty days 'with great memness, sic as jousting on horses, and running at the lists, archery and hunting, and all other princely games. There-after the King and Queen went to Cupar in Fife and dined tbere and syne passed to Falkland.'

Sir David Lyndsay will always be remembered for bis play 'The Three Estates'. It was first acted on 7th June, 1535, on tbe little hill in the centre of Cupar whicb until recently young boys and girls ascended and descended to and from tbe school there.

The town of Cupar in these far-off days was a busy one. Rich mercbants, councillors, craftsmen and peasants mingled in the streets. A new street had been created in tbe burgh, that of tbe Kirkgait, the street in which tbe Parisb Church was situated. Stone was some evidence in improvement in the tewn's buildings. Stone was beginning to replace wood in the building of houses. The houses of the merchant classes reflected the wealth and wide interests of their owners who had trading interests with the continent. Market stalls were still in evidence in the streets. The town's inhabitants were hard-working but they had their holy days or holidays on which they enjoyed all sorts of rustic frivolities. They were thrilled at the royal retinues that passed through the town, though, occasionally, they fled in terror to the safety of wben the sound of galloping horses proc1aimed the approach of the wild Clepbanes of Carslogie Castie and there they stayed until the horsemen had passed.

James V died in 1543, leaving as his heir a baby girl just a few days old. Scotland became thrown into a position only too familiar to the people. Who was to be regent? Two men wanted tbe position. One was the Earl of Arran and the other Cardinal Beaton. The former was the favourite. Arran was inclined to Protestantismand the other to Roman Catholicism. Arran favoured an alliance with England whereas Beaton favoured alliance with France. In no time the country was rent asunder by

religious strife. Many Scots feit there was a need for reform within the Church. Then in 1554 the Queen Mother, Mary of Lorraine, became regent of Scotland and began to rule the country as if it were France. The young Queen Mary had been sent to France in 1548 and was betrothed to the Dauphin of that country. Between that date and the death ofMary of Lorraine in 1560 religious strife and intrigue ruled the land. On 13th June, 1559, Cupar Muir, situated quite close to Cupar, was the scene of a battle that never took place. The Lords of the Congregation who supported John Knox, that great champion of the Reformation in Scotland, had gathered a tremendous force occupying the sloping fields above the farm of Retreat and the present village of Cupar Muir. On the opposite side of the River Eden were the forces of the Oueen Regent stretching as far as Tarvit Hili, along the bottom of Scotstarvit Hili and up by the Garlie Bank under the leadership of General D'Oisel, Surprised by the size of the Reformers' army, D'Oisel decided, after taking advice, to desist from engaging in battle and the army of the Congregation 'retumed to Couper , lauding and praising God for bis mercie showed, and thairafter everie man to bis dwelling place' .

Om 10th June, 1560, the Queen Regent died and a year later Queen Mary, no longer Queen of France on account of her husband's death, retumed to Scotland. On 19tb August, 1561, a ship brought her into the port of Leith, During her short reign she must have been a familiar figure to Cuparians for she loved to stay at Falkland Palace and often travelled between there and St. Andrews. She came specially to Cupar in 1562 and delighted the inhabitants with her beauty and charm as the townsfolk entertained her and showed, by the way they received her, their loyalty towards her. Six years later saw her defeat at the Battle of Langside and her flight into England. Scotland was again left in an unfortunate situation. Her son James had been proclaimed king but he was a mere infant.

Cupar as a corridor burgh between Falkland and St. Andrews must have seen many eminent men pass through its streets at this time and it could hardly help being affected by the rivalry of these great men for power during King James' minority. There

were Archbishop Hamilton, the archbishop of St. Andrews whose palace was at Monimail not far to the west of Cupar, Sir James Melvilie, who was bom at Halhill in 1535, situated not far from the royal burgh, William Kirkaldy of Grange, Scotland's best soldier , the Earl of Morton, a regent of great strength, and the 'Bonnie Earl 0' Moray' who was so cruelly slain in 1592. When James VI escaped from Falkland Palace to bis grand uncle, the Earl of March, awaiting hirn at St. Andrews, he must have ridden through Cupar, a young lad of sixteen years of age, In 1583 J ames held court at Cupar and this must have happened at what used to be known as Parliament Square, an old part of the town on the north side of the Kirkgait, Like his royal predecessors James of ten stayed at Falkland Palace before he left for England in 1603. He only once retumed to the land of bis birth after that date and that was in 1617.

Cupar did not change much between 1600 and 1700. The seventeenth century was a troublesome one. Religious strife and the rivalry of the nobility dominated the scene which made progress impossible. Charles I's attempts to introduce Episcopacy into Scotland produced the National Covenant of 1638 which was signed all over the country by those who were against Charles' religious changes for ScotIand. His father J ames had had sirnilar intentions which had brought as little unhappiness to Scotland and to the king himself. The minister of the Parish Church in Cupar at this time was Will Scott who played a prominent part in national ecclesiastical affairs. One of bis great friends was Archbishop Spottiswoode of Dairsie who stayed in the castIe there in his moments of leisure away from the worries of bis office. It was Will Scott who added aspire to the battIements of the church tower in the Kirkgait. The great bell in the tower was also enlarged during bis ministry . During his time as minister he lived at Belfield and went to church by an entrance from the south side through an elegant gate or door in the churchyard wallover which there was a fine arch. He is buried in the churchyard and his gravestone is still to he seen. It was also during bis ruinistry in 1618 that the Church of St. Michael of Tarvit was united to the parish of Cupar and came under the care of the parish minister.

In 1627 Sir John Scott of Scotstarvit took up residence in Scotstarvit Tower. A Director of Chancery and a Lord of Session he was a man of great importance in Scotland, His name was well-known in literary circles in Europe, and his tower, a little to the soutb-west of Cupar, was farniliar to continental students. To it came William Drummond of Hawthornden, Sir John's brother-in-law. Sir John is remembered as the first nobleman to project and finish the earllest topographical work on Scotland,

It is eertam that when Charles I visited Scotland for his coronation in 1633 he also visited Falldand and St. Andrews. On one occasion he broke bis joumey at Cupar and 'dyned thair' and 'gat some dessert to his four houres in the Tolbooth'. It is also recorded that the loeal schoolmaster sang for his entertainment. During the reign of Charles 11 the number of covenanters kept on inereasing and in order to curb their activities and bring them to heel, punishment, meted out by the govemment, was severe indeed, David Haxton, an outstanding covenanter, had his home just a few miles out of Cupar. He was captured at Ayrsmoss in July 1680, taken to Edinburgh, tried and condemned to death. His execution was horrific. Parts of bis body were sent all over Scotland. In the old churchyard behind the Parish Church in Cupar one of bis hands is buried in the covenanters' grave there.

Two fires took place in Cupar during the 17th century, the first on 31 August 1616 and the second in April 1669. The years 00tween 1651 and 1690were plagueyears in Scotland andthe 1680's produced severe famines. Fife, however, produced the two best doctors in the land, Archibald Pitcaime and Sir Robert Sibbald. The former was a descendant of the ancient famHy of Pitcaime in Fife and the latter was bom at Over Rankeilour in 1641, a descendant of the Sibbalds of Balgonie. It is recorded that it was due to his perseverance that the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh obtained its charter of incorporation. Knighted by James, Duke of York, in 1682 he became the fust Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University in 1685. In 1710 bis 'History of Fife' was published, a later edition being

published in Cupar in 1803 by Robert Tullis.

There is evidence that, in the 17th century in Cupar, horse races were run every year in the month of April. These races took place somewhere in the Tarvit area and lasted over a period of twodays.

It was at the end of the seventeenth century that the Scottish Episcopalians in Cupar left the Parish Church and met as a body in a meeting place in the Bonnygate, the site of which later became the fust post office. The Scottish Episcopalians were strong Jacobites and when James VII fled to France they continued to pray for the King 'o'er the Water'. A Convention of Estates, to counter this, proclaimed that all ministers of the gospel had to pray for King WHliam and Oueen Mary. The Reverend Alexander Lundie of the Parish Church was one of four hundred ministers who refused to do so. He was ejected from the Church for his sins but there ean be no doubt, however, that he had a certain care over this group which left the Parish Church with him.

The eighteenth century is an important one for Scotland. It is a period full of activity which witnessed many changes. Like towns all over Scotland and England, Cuparians heard four royal proclamations of succession at the Mercat Cross. When Queen Anne died in 1702 a new royal house came into being, that of Hanover. Her successor was George I who was not welcomed by the Jacobites in Scotland. The rising of 1715 in support of James VII's heir, the 'Pretender' was a failure. Another attempt to restore the Stewarts to the throne was made in 1745 but it, too, was unsuccessful. On his return to London from the disastrous field of CulIoden, the Duke of Cumberland, in charge of the royal army, committed terrible destruction in the Episcopalian chapel in the Bonnygate at Cupar. The altar, pulpit, seats and service books were taken into the street and burned, the English soldiers shouting, joking and kicking the objects into the flames while the frightened citizens were helpless to do anything about it.

File had many loyal Jacobites. One of these was Arthur, Baron Balmerino. It is recorded that in 1745 he declared James VIII as

king with great solemnity at the Mercat Cross in Cupar. Like many of the nobility of the time he had a town house in Cupar the site of which is still preserved by the name of Balmerino Place. The Earl of Crawford had his town house where St. John's Church stands and the Earl of Rothes had his in the Millgate. Winthank House in the Kirk Wynd was the town residence of the family ofWemyss of Unthank.

Cupar was one of five flourishing towns in Fife in the sixteenth century that had a grammar school which had quite a reputation. It also had a 'Sang Schule'. These schools were maintained by Cupar Town Council. It is not known where these first schools were but in 1727 Cupar got a new school. It was built on the CastlehilI and stands there to this day. The building was divided into two compartments which had separate entries, one to the front of the building and one at the back. The two compartments had no communication with each other. In the one was taught French, Latin, geographyetc. and in the other, English, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, meusuration etc. The 1727 school produced four scholars who brought honour to their teachers and to the town. They were, in order of age, John Campbell, who became Lord Chief Justice of England, the younger son of Dr. Campbell , minister of the Parish Church, whose memory is still preserved by the name of the house in the Crossgate where he was bom which is always referred to as the Chancellor's House; Alexander Berry, bom at Hilltarvit Farm, a man of many talents, settler, farmer, merchant, politician, philanthropist and reformer whose name Jives on in New South Wales; George Walker, bom at Rilton of Pitblado who became a church minister and although he spent the fifty-five years of his ministry in the church of KinneIl in Angus he will always be remembered for his pastorship, his scholarship, bis authorship and his services to the Church in general; David Wilkie, third son of the Reverend David Wilkie, minister of Cults, who became an artist of international fame.

The eighteenth century sawa break-away from the Established Church. The forming of another presbytery brought about the first Secession. In Cupar a group of Seceders acquired a piece of

land in the town on which was built their church, the Boston Church, after Thomas Boston, one of the principal ministers connected with the movement. Sometimes it was referred to as the West Church. Although it is no longer a church, the building exists today and is used as a bingo hall. In 1752 there was a further rupture within the Scottish Church. The second Secession was known as the Relief (Relief from the burden of Patronage). A group was formed in Cupar and eventually in 1796 the Burnside Church was ready to hold the congregation. In 1799 a small session house was added. Later the session house was taken down and replaced by a comfortabie little hall which later became a coach house in conneetion with the Burnside Hotel. In 1785, 370 years after the building of the 1415 church in the Kirkgate, it was decided to pull down the fabric of the building and erect a new church in its place. The new church which exists today is a plain building, lacking any of the elegance of the previous one, the oldchurch of St. Christopher. The tower and spire belonging to the 1415 building have been preserved and are a great ornament to the town. The present Session house is still part of the original building and portions of the arches of the 1415 erection can still be traced.

The Episcopalian chapel has already been mentioned. It was situated in the Bonnygate on the site of the first post office in Cupar. Reverend Alexander Lundie was the first minister and there is no record of any other until1743. Sometime during the eighteenth century the congregation left the Bonnygate chapel which was ransacked by the Duke of Cumberland during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. A hall was acquired in the Crossgate, the premises of which were called the 'Temple Buildings'.

In the autumn of the same year that Cupar built its second Parish Church, 1785, it had a strange accidental visitor in the person of Vincenzo Lunardi, an Italian aeronaut. As he crossed the Firth of Forth in his balloon it got out of control and came down in a field near Coaltown of Callange. His landing caused quite a stir in the neighbourhood and he found himself weicomed and acclaimed by everyone. Cupar entertained him, the Provost and Magistrates inviting him to dine and presenting him with the

freedom of the Burgh. The ladies of the town repaired his balloon and in recompense for their labours he gave each of them a pi├Ęce of the balloon as a memento. He was also honoured by a visit of Lord Balgonie, the heir of the sixth Earl of Leven and fifth Earl of Melville whose home was at Melville House. The name of Lunardi has been preserved for posterity in the name given to one of the new housing sites in the town.

Between 1750 and 1800 a new prosperity and activity had shown itself in Scotland due to the fact that the country in general had begun to find peace and security after the long period of internal strife and struggle, There was not a Iittle invention especially in agricultural implements and there were the chemical experiments of Joseph Black and his followers in the province of bleaching, This research was going to have a great effect on the paper trade. By tbe end of the eighteenth century there were several paper mills situated round the administrative eentres of the country. In Fife there was only one paper mill when Robert Tullis took possession of the property in 1809. Robert carne to Cupar in 1800 and stayed for the rest of his life. In 1801 he bought property in tbe Bonnygate which he enlarged and altered. His shop was in the front and the printing press behind, He bimself lived in the flat above. Later these premises became the business quarters of Messrs, J. & G. Innes which changed hands in the middle of the present century. Between 1803 and 1808 some very famous classics were printed by Tullis. Robert was interested in other affairs outside bis business. A member of the Magistracy of Cupar Town Council he was made a Freeman of the Burgh in 1817. He was also a Captain in the Fife Militia. In the year 1822 Robert founded the first Fife County Newspaper, the 'Cupar Herald' of 'Fife, Kinross, Stratheam and Clackmannan Advertiser' . A year later it was renamed the 'Fife HeraId' . The first number of the 'Cupar Herald' was published on 14tb March 1822, printed on hand-made paper from Auchmuty. It was circulated free of charge and did not have the 4d tax stamp wbich succeeding numbers carried on the front page. The selling price of the paper which consisted of two folded sheets was 7d a copy. Two persons were involved

in the printing of it which was done on an old woeden press at the rate of fifty copies per hour.

The opening of the nineteenth century saw the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars. Britain was busilypreparingfor a French invasion and all over the country there were signs of the erection of adequate defences against such a happening. In Cupar Volunteers drilled on the Big Common and in 1803 it had its Militia. During the time ofthe Peninsular War a hero emerged in the person of John, fourth Earl of Hopetoun, whose residence was at Over Rankeilour, a well-known mansion, a few miles to the west of Cupar. For bis ability at the Battle of Corunna he was invested with the Order of the Bath. It is interesting to note that after the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon's plans to escape by sea were hindered by a disringuished naval officer Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland, Captain ofthe warship Bellerophon to whomNapoleon surrendered himself. Sir Frederick was bom at Nether Rankeilour, an estate not far from the royal burghofCupar.

In 1820 George 111 died and the royal proclamation of succession by the Sheriff-Substitute was read at three different places at Cupar. There was a special processional order which had to be adhered to, which started at the Tontine Hotel in St. Catherine Street, The three places were the Mercat Cross, opposite the Post Office and opposite the New Bridge. The Post Office was in the Bonnygate and the New Bridge was in what is now Station Road. At each of these places a circle was formed byeach of the different trades within which the Sheriff-Substitute stood. He was given a response by the people assembied with three times three cheers, the band playing 'God Save the King', The ceremony ended with the staff of the County Militia firing a feu-dejoie while the band played the anthem,

A few changes took place in the town within the first twenty-five years of the nineteenth century. In 1812 the Mercat Cross was removed from its position in the centre of the town and taken to Wemysshall Hili. A year later the Tolbooth or prison which stretched far across towards the foot of the Castlehill was cleverly demolished by Provost Ferguson in face of great opposition. The building was burned to the ground in an all-night operation

and after its removal a lovely new street was planned, and named St. Catherine Street, in remembrance of the monastery which had stood on that site in centuries long past. One of the new buildings in the street was an Episecpal chapel erected in 1823. Up to that time the Episcopalian congregation had worshipped in a hall in the Crossgate . In addition to the chapel there were the new County Buildings. In the County Hall were some fine portraits. One of these was of Thomas Erskine, ninth Earl of Kellie, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Fife, the work of David WiIkie, done in 1828. At the corner of St. Catherine Street and Crossgate was the Town-House. Both the County Buildings and Town- House were begun in 1817. A new gaol was found on the north bank of the Eden opposite the foot of St. Catherine Street which the building was to enhance. It was from this prison, on 30th September 1830, that John Henderson was hanged for his murder of a weaver, Millie by name, who resided at Whinny Park, a small feu on the estate of the Earl of Leven, on the road between Monimail and Collessie.

In September 1826 a tower was completed on the Mount Hili in remembranee of the Earl of Hopetoun for the distinguished service he had given his country. The monument is a definite landmark in the area, a constant reminder of one ofBritain's most famous soldiers and great men.

In 1830 George IV died and was succeeded by William IV. For the second time in ten years a new monarch was proclaimed in Cupar. In less than seven years there was a third proclamation, that of Queen Victoria which took place in Cupar on Saturday 24th June 1837.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were five plaees of worship in Cupar, the Parish Church in the Kirkgate, the First Relief Church at the Westport, the Burnside Church, the Relief Church in the Provost Wynd and the Episcopalian Chapel in the Bonnygate. Tbe latter pi ace of worship was removed first to the Crossgate and then to St. Cathearine Street. Now as the century proceeded, a few changes for places of worship took place. On Christmas Eve 1837 an additional new church building to house the overflow from the Parish Church

was opened at the Bonnygate end of North Union Streel. It was called St. Michael's Church. In 1821 the Baptists began to worship in the Kirkgate Chapel, The Baptist preacher, Mr. Watson, had found the money for such a place by going on a preaching tour. This chapel served the Baptists until 1848 when they moved into a building in the Provost Wynd which had been used sinee 1830 by a dissenting body from the Boston Church which had decided to cease functioning. On 16th December 1866, a new church was opened in the Bonnygate for the congregation which had worshipped in the Burnside.

In the same year a new Episcopalian Chapel was built for the growing Episcopalian congregation in Cupar. It only increased the sittings by sixty or seventy and the unfortunate thing about the new church was that there was no room for extension.

The Disruption of 1843 brought about a division in the Established Church throughout Scotland. In Cupar the seceders acquired a place of worship in South Union Street and later in 1878 a fine building was erected in the Bonnygate called St. John's. It was not until 1864 that a small chapel was erected in the Miligate for the small group of Catholics in Cupar Parish which numbered between 150 and 200. lts erection was due to Mr. William Douglas-Dick of Montrave who bought the site for the chapel and between 1864 and 1870 maintained a resident priest. In 1843 Cupar acquired a new jail. lts site was in the north-east of the Braehead district. It took the plaee of the jail which had been erected on the north bank of the Eden opposite the foot of St. Catherine Street. This building which today belongs to the firm of William Watt, seedsman, had never been satisfactory. This new 1843 jail acted in that capacity untilI888. It was from this building that two brothers, Michael and Peter Scanlan, were taken to the Fluthers to be hanged for murder , on 5th July, 1852. It was the last public hanging to take place in Cupar. After 1888 the Braehead building became a military barracks. During the Secend Wodd War it was used as a prison again by the Polish Forces stationed in Cupar area. The walls are very strong and it is their structural strength that has made demolition impossible and so the building has survived.

The first attempt at constructing a railway in Fife was made in 1841. In 1847 a line from Burntisland to Cupar was completed and in 1848 a line from Cupar to Tayport was opened. Later the Tay and Forth bridges greatly improved the quickness and comfort of main line travel and made Dundee and Edinburgh attractive eentres for shopping and education. It was due to Mr. Maltland MakgiU Crichton of Nether Rankeilour who achieved the railway bridge for Cupar instead of a level crossing. His statue can be seen near the top of the railway bridge.

The nineteenth century made great advances in education and during it there were many opportunities for Iearning in the town. It has already been recorded that Cupar had a burgh school of some importance in the fourteenth century. This school Iasted into the eighteenth century when in 1727 a new school was erected by the Town Council. The building stands there today. In 1823 it became known as Madras Academy. During the nineteenth century extensions and improvements were made. An old building which stood in the middle of the front playground was removed and the children who were educated there were transferred to the Kirkgate School or Kirkgate Madras as it was called in the 1860's. Later in 1881 an extension was built on to Kirkgate Madras.

Besides the Academy there were other schools or independent establishments. One of these was run by the Misses Adamson who owned a mantua and millinery establishment. They taught dressmaking and millinery to girls of a certain class who had attended the Burgh School for a few years. From the Misses Adamsoa's establishment these girls proceeded to another school run by the Misses McPherson who taught refinement of manners, deportment and fine needlework. They also made a specialty of French pronunciation.

Henrietta Keddie of literary fame and her sister Margaret ran a private school for girls at Westfield House for twenty years, When they gave up the school in 1869 a girls' school was opened a year later almost opposite Westfield House. The school was built by money gifted by Lady Baxter of Kilmaron Castle, the

wife of Sir David Baxter, Bart. of Kilmaren and Balgarvie.

Yet another girls' school, Bonvil School, must be mentioned. It was situated on the north side of Carslogie Road. The headmistress, Miss Hogben, and her staff aimed at equipping their young ladies with an education expected of girls from high class homes. This school was a boarding establishment.

In addition to the above there were other independent or 'adventure' schools in the burgh which gave satisfactory instruction to their young pupiIs. It was obvious that the folk in the royal burgh attached much importance to education.

The nineteenth century was a flourishing period for Cupar. There were eight incorporated trades in the town, weavers, hammermen, bakers, fleshers, tailors, shoemakers, wrights, masons and waulkers. There were a few charitable societies, all beneficient bodies. There were four masonic lodges, and there was in addition the Lomond grand encampment of Knights Tempiars No. 30.

Cupar's first bank was opened in 1787, a branch of the Bank of Scotland, In 1792 a branch of the British Linen Bank was established in the town. In 1802 a group of gentlemen initiated the Cupar Bank and in 1803 another group started the Fife Bank. In 1812 the Commercial Bank of Scotland was established but by 1840 the only two banking establishments in Cupar were the branches of the British Linen Company and the Commercial Bank. A Savings Bank had been established in the 1830's but it had not been successful.

The principal manufactures in Cupar were those of linen weaving and spinning of yam. There were three mills for the spinning of yam, a flax mill, another mill where yam was spun and thread twisted. There were two plash mills. Other industries in the town were concemed with the milling of corn, flour and barley. There was a snuff mill in the Lebanon. Cupar had two tanworks and glue was manufactured in the town. There were three breweries. A Brick and Tile Work operated at Cupar Muir. There was a rope-work in the Crossgate. Six quarries existed in Cupar Parish, four of which were of excellent sandstone,

Cupar was a leading and important market town in the

nineteenth century. Market day in Cupar used to be Thursday until it was changed to Tuesday in 1850. In 1880 premises were acquired near the railway station which became the site of the present auction market. These were acquired by Messrs, Speedie Bros. in 1888 which firm still owns them,

A pipe-clay factory was started in Cupar in the 1870's, a small family affair of which there were many in the town. In 1862 it is recorded that there were forty-six grocers' shops in Cupar, two carriage works, severaljoiners' shops, three tinsmiths, a cooperage and an aerated water factory. There were twelve smithies in the parish and a foundry, Gaslight was fust supplied in Cupar in 1830.

During the nineteenth century some new housing was erected, mainly in the east of the burgh. A group of houses in the South Raad, the Knox Cottages, was built. Three new buildings came into being, the Com Exchange in 1861, the Duncan Institute 1870 and the Sunday School Hall in the Kirk Wynd which was made possible by Mr. John Pitcairn of Pitcullo during the ministry of the Reverend Dr. James Cochrane.

For a town of its size Cupar had an amazing sociallife during the century. There were many societies, It had alending library. When the Guild Hall was completed in 1845 it offered accomtnodation for various purposes including that of a theatre on eertain occasions. Sport was not forgotten either. In 1856 there was a golf course at Tailabout. Tarnt Pond accommodated curlers and the Carthaugh was flooded for the first time for skating in 1852. Cupar Cricket Club which was founded in the early years of the century acquired its own site in Bonvil Park in 1884. There were two bowling greens, one in the station area, and the other in the Kirkgate, before the time of the Duncan Institute. The River Eden attracted many fine anglers. Trout was moderately plentiful and larger catches were quite possible.

The century had its bad patches which were reflected in the life of the burgh. There were times when Cupar was visited by typhus in 1838 and 1847, by cholera in 1832 and 1854 and by smallpox in 1862. The century began with war which did not finish until 1815. Half-way through, in 1854, the Crimean War

began and befere the century's close there was the Boer War which continued into the twentieth century. The start of the century saw the death of Oueen Victoria on 22nd J anuary 1901. She had reigned for sixty-four years, Just a few years before, the country had commemorated her Diamond Jubilee. Cupar's Provost McQueen, his magistrates and councillors, with the backing of the townspeople, had celebrated the occasion by bringing back the old Mercat Cross of the royal burgh from Wemysshall HilI to the site on which it stands today after an absence of eighty years.

The armouncement of Edward VII's accession was a litt1e different from that on previous occasions. The new position of the Mercat Cross made it a natural platform for such scenes of historic pageantry and the wide expanse in front a natural auditorium. Provost Watson stood beside Sheriff Armour in his splendid robes, wearing the fine gold chain of his office which had been wom for the first time at Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887 by Provost J ames Hain. Every link of the chain bears the names and dates of Cupar's provosts and the beautiful medallion has the tewn's old coat-of-arins engraved on it. Edward's coronation should have taken place on 26th June 1902, for which date all preparations had been made. The King's sudden iIlness which necessitated an operation postponed the ceremony until the month of August. Hostilities in South Africa had been concluded in May 1902 with the signing of the Treaty of Pretoria just a few weeks before the King's Coronation.

In 1904 the Adamson Cottage Hospital was opened. Two other items of interest for Cuparians took place that year. Thomas Barclay, the eldest son of Dr. George Barclay, barrister and laird of Bonvil (Bonvil House is now known as Rathcluan), who had received his early education at Madras Academy, was given a knighthood on the King's birthday and later he obtained an officership of the Legion of Honour. Another Cuparian, Henrietta Keddie, daughter of Philip Keddie, a lawyerin Cupar, was given a royal literary pension. Her nom-de-plume was Sarah TytIer. A prolific writer she is known best for her look 'Three Generations' which was published in 1911.

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