At Dunfermline Sheriff Court yesterday afternoon, William Erskine, labourer, and three young lads were charged – before Sheriff Gillespie – with creating a disturbance in Cairneyhill village on the night of the 7th inst. [current] by burning an effigy opposite the house of Mr William McAulay, preacher, the effigy being intended to represent Mr McAulay.
Mr McAulay, an old man of 74 years, deponed that his house was surrounded by an excited mob, and that in addition to the burning of the effigy a large quantity of stones and bricks was thrown at his door and windows, he being afraid to venture outside, as there were loud calls of ‘Come out, McAulay, ye b-! and we will do for ye’.
Many witnesses were called, but all gave their evidence with great reluctance; and one of them named James White, a farmer at Muirkirk, Cairneyhill, was rebuked by the Sheriff, and sentenced to the forfeiture of his witness fee. The Sheriff said it was clear that there had been a great disturbance, and that it was most discreditable to the people of Cairneyhill that they give their evidence so unwillingly in such a serious case.
The ringleader in the affair evidently was Erskine, and he would sentence him to pay a fine of £1, or 10 days’ imprisonment.
Just a short post to thank you for your loyalty, friendship and extra information offered over the last year. I’ve just worked out it was one year past on 29th May when I relaunched both of my local history blogposts and I have had such fun researching since then and sharing with you.
Sir Robert Anstruther, 5th Baronet, was a Scottish Liberal Party politician who was the MP for Fife between 1864 and 1880 and the MP for St Andrews from 1885 until his death in 1886. He was also the Lord Lieutenant of Fife from 1864 to 1886.
There was a county election in 1868 and below is the account of Sir Robert’s 1868 hustings meeting in Cairneyhill.
I find such reports a fascinating indication of constituents’ concerns in years gone by.
This is Sir Robert Anstruther:
THURSDAY 13 AUGUST 1868
FIFE COUNTY ELECTION
SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER AT CAIRNEYHILL
On Friday night Sir Robert Anstruther addressed two meetings, one at Crossgates, presided over by Mr Henderson of Fordell, and another at Cairneyhill.
At the Cairneyhill meeting there was a large attendance, and Mr Beveridge, Crombie, presided.
In introducing Sir Robert, the chairman referred to the opposition in the field from a quarter different from what they expected. He did not know whether Mr Kinnear was a Radical, a Whig, or a Tory, but he supposed he was a Liberal in many things.
Sir Robert having addressed the meeting, going over the same topics as in his other speeches, the chairman remarked that, as an elector, he was highly pleased with, and had every confidence in, their number. He had seen a large number of Cairneyhill voters, and he had not met with one who did not consider their member a thorough gentleman. (Applause).
Mr Paterson, among other questions, asked Sir Robert how he voted in the divisions to substitute, as proposed by Mr Mill, the word ‘person’, instead of ‘man’, in the franchise clause of the Reform Bill.
Sir Robert stated that he was two minutes late for that division, but had he been present he would have voted in favour of Mr Mill’s proposal for the insertion of the word ‘persons’. He explained that it would only be spinsters or widows who would have the right to vote; and he did not see why any intelligent woman who possessed property, and having a stake in the interests of the country, should not be equally qualified with themselves to vote. (Applause).
After some questions similar to those asked at former meetings, Mr Todd, Bankhead, said Sir Robert had given his opinions in a clear and explicit manner, and he had not hesitation in again proposing him as a fit and proper person to represent Fife. (Applause).
Mr Lawrie, Crossford, seconded the motion, which was unanimously adopted.
Meetings to celebrate the close of the fiftieth year of the Rev Mr More’s ministry will be held at Cairneyhill, on Wednesday 3rd August 1864. Dr Johnston, Limekilns, will preach in the Church. Worship to begin at two o’clock.
Dinner will be served in the village schoolroom, at half-past three o’clock. Tickets, 3s 6d, to be had of Dr Morris, High Street and Messrs Duncanson, Bridge Street, Dunfermline, and Mr Thos Hodge, Cairneyhill.
A social meeting will be held in the Church in the evening commencing at six o’clock – Rev Mr McDowal, Alloa, in the chair – when Mr More will be presented with the testimonial subscribed for by the congregation and his numerous friends, and addresses delivered by the following gentlemen: Rev G Morris, Dalry, Rev J McLeish, Berwick, Rev P C Duncanson, West Calder, Rev J McGowan, Perth, Rev D Young, Glasgow and others. During the evening several pieces of sacred music will be sung by an efficient choir, accompanied by a harmonium.
Service of fruit on entering.
Tickets for the soiree, 1s; children under fourteen, 6d, may be had from J Miller & Son, W Clark, and D Campbell, Booksellers, and Messrs Duncanson, Dunfermline; T Hodge and J May, Cairneyhill; J M Finlayson, Crossford; John Todd, Torryburn; and Mrs Littlejohn, Low Torry.
As the accommodation for both dinner and soiree is limited, early application for tickets will be necessary.
On Friday evening a soiree was held in the Cairneyhill village schoolroom, in honour of Mr Alexander, the teacher of the school, when upwards of 140 children were present, and a few of the leading inhabitants of the place.
The Rev Mr Borland, the newly-ordained minister of the village, occupied the chair. after tea, the children were addressed by the chairman and other gentlemen, and a number of songs and duets were sung in a very efficient manner by the Misses Young and Duncanson. In the course of the evening Mr J Gilmour, in name of the children attending the day and Sabbath schools, presented Mr Alexander with a handsome writing desk and a gift from the feuars [meaning landowners] and inhabitants of Cairneyhill, in the shape of a purse containing five sovereigns. Mr Alexander briefly acknowledged the presentation.
The whole proceedings were of a very interesting nature, and at the close the customary votes of thanks were awarded to the chairman and committee, after which the meeting separated.
Has the Sheriff any jurisdiction over a decision of the Land Court?
This was the point which was raised in an action in Dunfermline Sheriff Court today, when James MacDonald, James Wishart, and James Philip, land holders, Cairneyhill, for themselves and as representatives of the Bankhead Committee of land holders, sued George Johnston, land holder, Cairneyhill, for £1 5s; and Thomas Fotheringham, land holder for 11s, being the amounts they claimed of levies for the year ending 11th November last, alleged to be due by the defenders to the fund for the maintenance of the main road common to the land holders of Bankhead, Cairneyhill, and water pipes laid therein, at the rate of one shilling per £1 of their fair rent.
The Land Court, it was stated, on 29th January had pronounced an order finding inter alia [among other things] that the committee should be entitled to make an annual levy on the land holders of 1s per £1 on the fair rent for the purpose of providing a fund for the maintenance of the main road common to the land holders, and of the water-pipes laid therein, excluding the branch pipes leading from the pipe in the main road to the individual holdings.
Defender George Johnston, objected to the levy in respect he was cited to attend a meeting of the Land Court called to decide the question of the upkeep of the pipes.
Defender Thomas Fotheringham, objected to the levy in respect that he never used the pipes nor the roadway, his entrance being from the turnpike road.
Sheriff Umpherston continued the case in order to allow defenders’ agent to go into the point.
Hopefully you might find this post interesting looking at occupations in Cairneyhill from the 1880s to the 1950s.
DUNFERMLINE SATURDAY PRESS
SATURDAY 5 MARCH 1887
William Fotheringham, Cairneyhill, begs to intimate that he has opened that shop, at foot of Guildhall Street (lately occupied by Mr Sharp), as a fruit and vegetable store; and by offering goods only of the best quality, hopes to receive a share of public patronage. A fresh supply from the country every morning.
SATURDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 1905
The death took place on Thursday evening with tragic suddenness of Mr Campbell Drysdale, retired coal agent, during the day he had as usual been in Dunfermline, and on returning to his home in Cairneyhill he was seized with a shock, and expired. Deceased was well known in Dunfermline and district.
TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER 1955
WELL-KNOWN CAIRNEYHILL RAILWAYMAN TO RETIRE
Mr Alex Philip, Ewhurst, Main Street, Cairneyhill, retires this weekend after 44 years with the railway.
He started work at Dunfermline as a number-taker and later moved to Kelty as a shunter.
Mr Philip served in the Seaforth Highlanders during the first world war and was wounded at Ypres.
After the war he was promoted yard foreman at Townhill Junction.
He suffered a severe accident there.
When he returned to work he was regraded yard inspector, from which position he is now retiring.
Mr Philip takes a keen interest in the affairs of Cairneyhill, and is an ardent gardener. He has a fine baritone voice and is in demand for local concerts.
When the solicitors’ firm of Thomas Blair & son closed in Dunfermline in 2016, it was reported as one of the oldest Fife firms in existence, having started in 1840.
The firm was started by a Cairneyhill man, Thomas Blair born in 1822 in Cairneyhill to Andrew Blair and Isabella Wilson.
Below is an extremely detailed account of the 1885 funeral of Thomas Blair’s son Andrew.
I hope you find it interesting.
WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY 1885
FUNERAL OF DR BLAIR
The remains of this much respected and talented gentleman were removed from his residence in William Street yesterday forenoon for interment in Cairneyhill Churchyard. At 9.45, the time appointed for leaving, an assembly of mourners to the extent of nearly 300 persons were present.
The coffin, on which were three handsome wreaths, one of which was given by the Forresters Society and the other two by friends, was carried alternately by six members of the Mansefield Court of Foresters, six of the mussel dredgers, and six of the St Michael’s, Leuchars and Tayport Lodge of Free Masons respectively. At 9.30 the bell of the parish Church tolled a funeral peal, and continued to do so whilst the mournful cortege was wending its way to the railway station. The passenger boat, the various works of the village, and others had flags hoisted half-mast. The route of the procession was lined for the greater part with people anxious by their presence to testify their respect to his memory, and many of whom showed outward signs of grief. The shops on the route were closed.
Amongst those present were Messrs David, James, and John Blair, brothers; Thomas Smith Thoms, Kilmacolm; Thomas Smith, Inverdovat; Thomas Smith, Mains of Fowlis; Peter Smith, Ardgarth – relatives of the decease. The Rev Alexander Jack, UP; the Rev W P Falconer, FC; Dr Constable, Leuchars; Dr Keelan, Tayport; Admiral Dougall; Messrs James Scott; James Laing; W W Wilson; P Christie, Scotscraig Mains; James Donaldson sen.; D Whyte, banker; Joseph Nicoll, teacher; D Nicoll, farmer; Captains Kilgour, W Cowan, Ceres etc.
On the arrival of the train at Dunfermline a hearse was waiting to convey the remains to the residence of the deceased’s father (Mr Thomas Blair, solicitor) at Priory Lane, where the Rev William George, Chalmers Street UP Church, Dunfermline, and Rev John Moir, Cairneyhill UP Church conducted a short service. On reaching the cemetery at Cairneyhill, the Rev J C Crawford, Limekilns UP Church, officiated. The pallbearers were Messrs Thomas Blair (father), David D Blair, James Blair, John Blair and Robert Blair (brothers), James Blair (uncle), William Maclellan (uncle), and David Gilmour (cousin).
Below are the details of 2 cycle incidents that happened in Cairneyhill in the 1930s, one motor cycle incident and one pedal cycle incident.
I hope you find them interesting.
DUNDEE COURIER 18 MARCH 1930
CAIRNEYHILL MOTOR CYCLIST’S LICENSE OFFENCES
The advice that it would be far cheaper to take out a license was given by Sheriff Umpherston at Dunfermline yesterday to Adam Ferguson Martin, miner, Main Street, Cairneyhill, who appeared for the second time within a week on a charge of using a motor cycle without being licensed.
Martin, who was fined 10s or five days’ imprisonment, said he was late for his work, and as he could not afford to lose a shift he chanced it.
Mr R J Waugh, the fiscal, said that accused was fined last Monday for a similar offence.
DUNDEE COURIER 29 JUNE 1936
TWO CYCLISTS HURT IN CAIRNEYHILL MISHAP
Two cyclists were involved last night in an accident in Cairneyhill village, a few miles west of Dunfermline. Both were taken to Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital.
Two youths, Frank Agnew and Duncan Morrison, both residing in Cowan Street, Stirling, made to pass a bus as it drew up at a stopping place. It appears that the cyclists collided with each other and a motorist, in swerving to avoid them, ran into a wall. His car was badly damaged.
The youths suffered from head injuries and other bruises. Their condition is not [known].
The Scottish Land Court sat yesterday in the Court Chambers, 1 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh, when three applications to fix a first fair rent was heard. The Bench were Lord Kennedy and Messrs Alexander Dewar, E E Morrison, and Norman Reid.
The first applicant was Alexander Watt, Cairneyhill, Carnock, the respondent being Mrs Margaret Christie. The rent was given as £7.
Examined by Mr William Balfour, SSC, Watt said he entered the place ten years ago last month. He found they had been keeping hens in the house. He had effected numerous repairs on the property.
Cross-examined – He had made an offer of £250 for the house, but latterly had backed out of this offer. His application was for the purpose of getting the rent as low as possible.
John Robertson, Cairneyhill, said he was of opinion that the structures put up by the tenant were of less value than the dwelling house. A rent of £7 was a very reasonable rent. Another £1 could be got for it easily.
The second case was that of Mrs Janet Thomson or Rennie, also residing at Cairneyhill, Carnock, the respondent being the Rev P C Duncanson. The rent given was £8, the holding extending to an acre and three-quarters. It was stated that applicant’s husband had been the tenant for twenty-one years past.
In the last case, Thomas Fotheringham was applicant, the respondents being the Rev P C Duncanson, William Paterson, Wm Fotheringham, sen., and Wm Fotheringham, jun. The prices of land in question were rented at £12 2s, £2, £9 10s and £5 respectively.
The Court announced that they would make their first inspection on the 27th of this month if the weather permitted.
Dear blog reader
It sounds like there might be more to this, if I find any more I’ll be sure to share it with you!