Andrew Roxburgh Precentor



Mr and Mrs Andrew Roxburgh

An interesting ceremony took place in Dunfermline on Saturday, when Mr and Mrs Andrew Roxburgh, Alexandra Street, celebrated their diamond wedding.

The couple were married on January 13, 1865, and until two years ago Mr Roxburgh was foreman lapper [a lapper moves yarn from a carding machine to the next process in weaving] in the employment of Messrs Andrew Reid & Company, Pilmuir Works. His service with the company extended to 55 years, and a few years ago, on the occasion of his jubilee, he was presented by the firm with a handsome silver tea service and by the warehouse staff with a bedroom timepiece.

At Saturday’s ceremony the family, through Mr Henry Hogg, headmaster, Bannockburn School, a son-in-law, presented the happy couple with a wallet of treasury notes, while the event is to be recognised by the Kirk Session and elders of Gillespie UF Church, with which they have been long connected. Mr Roxburgh was in his younger days precentor in Cairneyhill UF Church, and later of Crossgates UF Church. He is an enthusiastic bowler, and is the oldest member of Dunfermline Club, which he joined 63 years ago. He was made an hon. member of the club in 1922.

There were four daughters of the marriage, while nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren are alive.

Mr and Mrs Roxburgh continue to enjoy remarkably good health, although Mr Roxburgh has been confined to the home for some time.

George Paterson Provost



George Paterson

Me George Paterson, Homepark, almost a centenarian, and perhaps the oldest residenter in Broughty Ferry, passed away yesterday morning. His was an interesting personality, not alone in point of age, but in respect of Church service and other ways.

The deceased, despite his years, enjoyed wonderfully good health till almost the end, and his last illness was only of about two days’ duration. A gentleman of more than average intelligence and possessing a retentive memory, he was wont to be a most interesting conversationalist.

A native of Cairneyhill, Dunfermline, he in early life learned the drapery trade, foe which he travelled in the days of the stage coach, and of the experiences of which he possessed many interesting reminiscinces. Leaving ‘the road’ Mr Paterson was a few years in business in Ballymena, Ireland. While there he was a Sabbath School teacher, and as showing the respect in which he was held an incident recalling a kindly disposition may be related. After being away for about ten years he was revisiting the Irish town, along with his wife and family, and while passing along the streets several of his former scholars recognised him, and were not content until they had shaken hands with him.

Mr Paterson was subsequently in business as a draper, &c, in Burntisland, and took an active interest in public affairs there. He was a Town Councillor for some years, and attained the dignity of Provost, a post he held for over 3 years, and which he resigned in 1885. Identified with the United Presbyterian Church there, Mr Paterson was ordained to the eldership in 1849.

He came to Broughty Ferry in 1886, and four years later was inducted and elder of Queen Street U F Church. On attaining his jubilee as an elder in 1899 he was made the recipient of an illuminated address to mark the unique event.

Deceased was an ardent Liberal, and his appearances at the polling booths in Dundee and Broughty Ferry in recent elections occasioned the liveliest interest.

Mr Paterson’s wife predeceased him several years ago. He is survived by a son, a banker in England, and two daughters, one of whom is Miss Paterson, principal, Homepark School. He entered his 99th year on Sunday last.

Royal wedding celebrations

Prince Albert of Wales, the son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Princess Alexandra of Denmark married on 10 March 1863 at Windsor Castle.

Naturally there were the usual celebrations of a royal wedding everywhere in Britain and what follows are a description of the celebrations that took place in Cairneyhill.




Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra

The children attending the village school here were entertained at the expense of Sir Arthur Halkett to tea and cookies.

At four o’clock, about forty feuars sat down to a most sumptious dinner, provided by the same liberal baronet.  Mr John Bruce took the chair, and Mr William Erskine acted as croupier. After dinner, the chairman proposed the following toasts: ‘The Queen’, ‘Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra’, in the giving of which he displayed very great taste and ability. The croupier proposed ‘The other members of the Royal Family’, in a very appropriate manner. Mr George Mitchell proposed ‘The Army and Navy’. The chairman proposed ‘Sir Arthur Halkett’, and in doing so, he referred to the generosity and good-feeling which that gentleman had all along manifested to the inhabitants of Cairneyhill, and that these characteristics he had inherited from his ancestors. Mr George Paterson proposed ‘Lady Halkett’, Mr Alex Morris proposed ‘Miss Hill, and the family of Sir Arthur Halkett’, Mr John Duncanson proposed ‘Lady Dowager Halkett’. Along with these, many more toasts were proposed, and heartily responded to.

The happiness of the evening was greatly enlivened by a few songs that were given by some of the oldest feuars, both male and female. After singing in unison ‘Auld Lang Syne’ the meeting broke up.

Wins at West Fife Agricultural Show

Dear blog reader.

The West Fife Agricultural Show has been running in West Fife for many decades (and is still going now) and this report caught my eye as it mentioned two very well-known Cairneyhill locals – John Erskine of Myrend Farm and James Hunter, the Cairneyhill blacksmith.

In the 1980s at least (from a discovery I made at the National Library of Scotland a few years ago) it was still known in the garden of which house James Hunter’s anvil was last seen in the village!

I hope you find this blog post intertesting.





Local prize-winners at Dunfermline on Saturday were:-

Cattle: J and W Meiklem, Begg; Earl of Moray, Donibristle Home Farm.

Sheep: The Earl of Moray.

Swine: Robert Normand, Ballinkirk, Markinch; Robert Ogilvie, Mill Farm, Aberdour.

Horses (agricultural purposes): J and W Meiklem, Begg; James Gibb, Balquhomrie, Leslie; Alexander Clark, Newton, Markinch; S and H Mitchell, Clentrie.

Challenge Cup, presented by the late John Reid of Dunduff, for Most Meritorious Animal in Sections for Agricultural Purposes: J and W Meiklem.

Best shod animal: 1 J and W Meiklem; shoer – T Robertson, Chapel, Kirkcaldy; 2 J Erskine, Myrend, Cairneyhill; shoer – James Hunter, Cairneyhill; 3 P Barclay; shoer – Jas. Marshall, blacksmith, Kinglassie.

Horses for road or field: A Bowman, Cardenden; S and H Mitchell.

Dogs: James F Dow, Muirton, Kirkcaldy; Earl of Moray; John Hamilton, Goatmilk Farm, Leslie.

Messrs J and W Meiklem were also winners of the Fordell Cup for the exhibitor gaining most points in the cattle, horse and sheep classes.

Cairneyhill Police Station

Dear blog reader

This article about improving facilities in Cairneyhill police station intrigued me because I have never heard of a police station in Cairneyhill.

Please do get in touch if you have any information on where the police station was.




Police housing and telephones were discussed at a meeting of the Police Committee of Fife County Council held yesterday at Cupar. Mr John Cameron, Thornton, presided.

Mr Victor G Savi, the chief constable, recommended the installation of telephoes in the stations at Letham, Springfield, Kingskettle, Strathkinness, Wormit, Denbeath, Cairneyhill, Culross, Limekilns and Torryburn.

The chairman said he was afraid they could not install telephones in the stations recommended at the moment without a supplementary estimate. They should wait until the end of the financial year.

Provost Struth, Cupar, thought it was a case which cried out for immediate attention. There should be telephones in every police station to aid in the detection of crime. He moved that they approve the installation of phones in every station in the county. Baillie Leslie, Cowdenbeath, seconded.

Mr Savi said there were instances that men from stations with telephones had to cycle to tell constables in stations without phones that they were wanted at some place close at hand. That meant tremendous waste of time,and it might be a matter of life or death. Fortunately that had not happened often.

Mr John McArthur, Buckhaven, said if the provision of these telephones was to curtail their expenditure there were more urgent matters to be tackled first. It was months since he had complained about the unsatisfactory conditions of police housing, and they had no report of any progress being made.

Mr William Dawson, Kingskettle, moved that they delay the telephone question until the end of the financial year, and was seconded by Sir Thomas Erskine, Bart. of Cambo.

Provost Struth amended his motion to a recommendation to the Finance Committee but it was defeated by 16 votes to 2.

It was agreed that a telephone should be installed in the houses of the superintendent and depute chief constable at Cupar.

A Daring Theft



On Saturday afternoon, a remarkably cool and daring theft took place in Cairneyhill. While the wife of John Philp, a carter, living in Cairneyhill, was out at a draw-well about fifty yards from her house, she observed a man come out of her door-way and proceed westwards along the road at a rapid rate.

Mrs Philp hastened to her house as quickly as possible. When she arrived, she found a drawer in the room had been opened, and a sum of 19s taken away. Along with a few neighbours, Mrs Philp gave chase and endeavoured to arrest the thief, but no trace of his whereabouts could be ascertained.

Information was soon lodged with the constable at Torryburn, but as yet the daring thief has evaded capture. Last week, a theft so similar that it appears to have been committed by the same person who has robbed the poor woman in Cairneyhill of 19s, took place in Dysart. There also the theft was committed while the mistress of the house absent; there also the thief was pursued by women; and there he also managed to escape.

Cairneyhill Horticultural Society Exhibition



On Friday last the Horticultural Society here, held their second exhibition for the season in the village school-room, which was tastefully decorated with evergreens for the occasion. Much credit is due to the competitors for the excellent vegetables, fruits, and flowers brought forward, which, both in quality and quantity, exceeded the expectations of the most sanguine.

The vegetables, with the exception of Swedish turnips, were fully equal to those of former years. We should particularly notice the potatoes exhibited, the size and quality of which excited the wonder and admiration of visitors. There were fewer visitors than on some former occasions. Among these were Sir P A Halkett of Pitfirrane and party, who, by their kind amiable manner, won the esteem of all present.

Messrs Stenhouse, Pitfirrane and Grandison, Valleyfield, acted as judges, and awarded the prizes as under, to the satisfaction of the competitors:-

Dahlias, sorts, 1st, James Kay.
Hollybacks, sorts, 1st, James Clark.
African marigolds, two sorts, 1st James Swan, 2nd James Kay.
French marigolds. two sorts, 1st Andrew Dobbie, 2nd Peter Deas.
Apples, 1st Henry Deas, 2nd Andrew Dobbie.
Jargonelle pears, 1st William Black.
Cauliflowers, 1st Henry Deas.
Beans, 1st John Downie, 2nd Andrew Dobbie.
Pease, 1st Alex Bald, 2nd Alex Deas.
Spring-sown onions, 1st James Clark, 2nd W Black.
Leeks, 1st James Swan, 2nd Andrew Dobbie.
Savoy, 1st John Downie, 2nd James Herron.
Carrots, forks cut off, 1st W Black, 2nd Andrew McNair.
Swedish turnips, 1st Henry Deas, 2nd Alex Bald.
Potatoes, 1st Andrew McNair, 2nd John Downie.
Late cabbage, 1st John Downie, 2nd William Black.
Rhubarb, 1st James Clark, 2nd W Black.
Calico potatoes, 1st John Downie, 2nd Alex Bald.
Blue kidney potatoes, 1st Henry Deas, 2nd James Kay.
Love-lies-bleeding, 1st W Black, 2nd James Swan.
Asters, sorts, 1st James Swan, 2nd Alex Deas.
Fancy Dahlias, three sorts, 1st James Kay.
Hollyhock blossoms, sorts, 1st James Clark, 2nd W Black.
Stocks, sorts, 1st James Swan, 2nd W Black.
Fuchsias, one light and one dark, 1st Peter Deas, 2nd James Herron.
Asters and three French marigolds, James Swan.

The members, along with the judges and a few friends, dined together after the exhibition, and spent a happy evening, enlivened by songs and recitations.

Cairneyhill Temperance Society in 1838



Notwithstanding the contemptible pulings of a small wit who writes in a contemporary regarding soirées, we have the pleasure to record other two which took place last week in our neighbourhood, one at Charlestown, and the other at Cairneyhill, both of which were numerously attended, and went off well.

At Charlestown the Rev Mr Johnston of Limekilns presided, the soirée being held by the members of his congregation, who were addressed by several clergymen on the subjects of peace, savings banks, and British seamen.

The soirée at Cairneyhill was given by the Temperance Society, and the chair was filled by Mr F Duncanson, president. This was a very happy social meeting; temperance principles were ably advocated by several young gentlemen, many of whom are here throwing their youthful seal and vigour into the temperance cause.  Other young men gave very excellent and original addresses on missions, freedom of opinion, happiness, and other interesting subjects.

The Rev Mr More, who was the only professional speaker present, gave a very animated extempore speech at the conclusion, which was responded to with three hearty cheers. The arrangements of this soirée were a decided improvement on any we have yet attended. The speeches were short and pithy, and numerous, nearly a dozen, and the variety consequent on this, together with the music and refreshments, kept up the interest for more than five hours, an argument in favour of soirées not easily to be got over.

Mr Taylor, the young gentleman who conducted the music, richly deserved his vote of thanks. His vocal band acquitted themselves admirably, and sung a Temperance Ode, written and printed for the occasion, with considerable spirit and effect. It was called for again near the close, and sung by the whole assembly, among whom the printed copies were distributed. A young lady, possessed of a rich sweet voice contributed much to the harmony of the meeting, by the song she gave. She was deservedly encored. In fact it was chiefly owing to the exertions of the ladies, especially those of the committee, that every one was so well satisfied.

The surplus funds, amounting to fourteen shillings, were voted to the Cairneyhill Beneficent Female Society. We trust that the same good feelings will be manifested at all the soirées given in this small but spirited village.

Cairneyhill Ladies Seminary in 1845



The annual examination of the boarding school at Cairneyhill Manse, conducted by Mrs and the Misses More, took place on Wednesday last the 13th inst, before a select company, consisting of the friends of the young ladies boarded at this institution.

The examinators were – the Rev Professor McMichael, the Rev Messrs Chalmers, Gibson, and Walker, Dunfermline; Gilston, Carnock; Johnstone, Limekilns; Gardiner, Kincardine; and Mr Browning, classical teacher, Commercial Academy.

The examination throughout was most interesting; and in all the branches in which they were examined – viz, French, arithmetic, Biblical knowledge, civil and Church history, geography, botany, English grammar, etc – the young ladies acquitted themselves in a manner which testified the eminent assiduity and skill of the ladies who conduct this seminary in communicating instruction.

The examination was minute and scrutinising, being continued, with only one hour of intermission, from 10 morning until 6 evening. Mrs More scarcely interfered with the examination, further than pointing out the previous exercises of the pupils, but left it entirely to the examinators.

It would be impossible for us to say in which department the young ladies most excelled. We cannot, however, but notice the fine taste, good feeling, and information which the more advanced pupils evinced in their exercises in composition. Four of them read essays of considerable length, which were much admired – viz, ‘The Orphan Girl’, ‘The Virtuous Woman ‘, ‘The Comparative Value of Divine and Worldly Wisdom’ and ‘The Advantages of Education ‘. At the close, the examinators expressed their highest satisfaction with the attainments and deportment of the pupils, and warmly eulogised the manner in which education is conducted at this seminary.

While it required a patient attention to convince us of the mental requirements of the young ladies, a glance around the school -room was sufficient to show us the astonishing progress they made in drawing in pencil and chalk, in painting and in ladies ‘ coloured work. The walls were covered with the most elegant specimens. The drawings were of no ordinary description. Far more paltry exhibitions have been noticed in some periodicals under the title ‘Fine Arts’. These drawings were chiefly copied from the admirable pencillings of Miss Jane More – some of them illustrative of the most interesting scenery and passages of history.

In the evening we were delighted with the performances of the young ladies on the piano. Their attainments, however in this department were varied, corresponding with the standing of the pupils, and, no doubt, in some degree with their natural taste for music. Some of them performed the most difficult pieces in the most finished style, while others evinced that in music they were only tyros. In the youngest performer, however, we could observe that strictness to time and gentleness of touch which characterise the performances of Mrs More’s pupils. A few of the young ladies accompanied the piano in song with excellent effect.

Cairneyhill Church and Manse.

Cairneyhill Valuation Roll 1925

Dear blog reader

Welcome to the eighth part in a series, a list of the people, with address and occupation where known, who were connected with Cairneyhill in 1925.

In 1925 there were 120 people listed, with 25 addresses specified, and 7 occupations comprising 1 Church minister, 1 joiner, 4 shopkeepers and 1 smith.

This compares with 135 people listed in 1920 with 14 occupations comprising 1 Church minister, 2 joiners, 1 market gardener, 1 slaughter house keeper, 6 shop keepers, 1 station master, 1 smith and 1 weaver, 131 people listed in 1915 with 20 occupations comprising 10 shopkeepers, 2 publicans, 1 farmer, 1 Church minister, 1 smith, 2 slaughter house keepers, 1 market gardener, 1 joiner and 1 weaver, 110 people listed in 1905 with 10 occupations comprising 4 weavers, 1 publican, 1 esquire, 2 Church ministers, 1 smith and 1 shop owner, 106 people listed in 1895 with 9 occupations comprising 5 weavers, 1 Church minister, 1 blacksmith and 2 joiners,  98 people listed in 1885 with 17 occupations comprising 10 weavers, 2 Church ministers, 2 blacksmiths, 2 joiners and one farmer, with  75 people listed in 1875 with 22 occupations comprising 14 weavers, 2 Church ministers, 2 wrights, 3 farmers and one joiner, with 65 people listed in 1865 with 27 occupations comprising 22 weavers, one blacksmith, one joiner, 2 wrights and one Church minister and with 66 people listed in 1855 with 4 occupations comprising 3 weavers and one blacksmith.

Hopefully those of you with ancestors from Cairneyhill will find this list useful.


William Adie, Main Street

Alexander Allan

William Allan, Main Street

Peter Allan

William Appleford

Thomas Arnott, Erskine Cottage

William Arnott

Reuben Arthur

David Bald

John Barnard

Alexander Beveridge, joiner

George S Black

Ann Bruce

Margaret Cook

David Cook

William Crawford

Peter Davidson

David Deas

Alexander Deas

William Deas

James Donald

Thomas Downie

David Drummond

John Drummond

Agnes Drummond

Margaret Drysdale

James Duffin

Mrs Hannah Duncanson

Mrs Jane Easson, Bankview

John Erskine, Myrend

John Erskine, Nether Pitdinnie

William Erskine

Christina Erskine

Grace Erskine, Bankview

W Fairley

Elizabeth Fairley

James Fairley

Robert Finlayson

Alexander Flint

Reverend William Forbes, manse

James Forrester

Thomas Fotheringham

William Fotheringham

Anne Fotheringham

James Fox

John Fraser

Norman Fraser

George Fyfe

Ethel M Glover, Holm Cottage

Frederick Gray

John Hodge

Matilda Hodge, Main Street

Peter Hogg

Katharine Howieson

James Hunter, smithy

William Hynd, shop

Michael Kirk

Mrs Lamont, Nether Pitdinnie

John Lamont

Mrs Mary Lawson

William Lindsay

David Lloyd

Robert P Low

Andrew Lumsden, farm

John MacArthur, Burnside

Alexander MacDonald

James MacDonald

James MacDonald, Pleasance

John MacDonald

James MacKean

Mrs Mary MacKenzie

William MacNair

William MacQuire

James Marshall

Peter May

John W Meek

William Meikle

Dougal Millar, shop

Dougal Millar, hall

John Milne

James Mitchell, Bellabank

John Morris

Alexander Mowat

Thomas Ness

John Page, Nether Pitdinnie

William Paterson

Charlotte Paterson

Archibald Penman, shop, Main Street

John Penrice

Alexander Philip

John W Philip, Main Street

James Philip, West End

William Philp, Calderwood

Andrew Ramsay

Catherine Reid

John Robertson, Burnside

Isabella Robertson, shop

Charles Robertson

James Ross

Robert Ross

William Ross

William Russell

William Sellars

D Sellars

Daniel Smith

Walter Stewart

Robert D Stobie

William Templeman

David Thomson

John Thomson

George Turnbull

Mrs Mary Wright

Hugh Wildridge

John Wilson

Alexander Wright

James Wright, Main Street

Margaret Wright, Batavia

John Wright, Batavia

William Young