Cairneyhill Valuation Roll 1855

Dear blog reader

Welcome to the first part in a new series, a list of the people, with occupation where known, who were connected with Cairneyhill in 1855.

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

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David Addie, weaver
Henry Arnot
Mrs John Bald
Andrew Blair
Lockhart Blallock (possibly Blalloch?)
George Bowie
Mrs Calderhead
John Calderhead
Robert Coye
Francis Crombie
Janet Cuddie or Manclark
John Cunningham
David Cunningham, weaver
Peter Deas, weaver
Henry Deas
Widow Downie
John Duncanson, blacksmith
Andrew Duncanson
Mrs Thomas Duncanson
Thomas Duncanson
Miss Duncanson
Francis Duncanson
Archibald Duncanson
William Duncanson
Robert Erskine
William Erskine
William Finlayson
Henry Fotheringham
John Gilmour
David Hempseed
John Henderson
John Herron
Peter Hodge
Thomas Hodge
William Hodge
Alexander Hodge
Robert Howieson
Robert Kirk
James Lawson
Peter Mitchell
George Mitchell
Alexander Morris
George Paterson
William Paterson
Robert Paterson
William Philp
Robert Philp
David Philp
Thomas Reid
Mary Rennie
Charles Robertson
James Smittan
David Steen
Mrs Charles Thomson
Mrs Mason Thomson
Andrew Tod
James Todd
Campbell Walker
Alexander Walls
John Wightman
Margaret Wightman
Widow Wilson
Thomas Wilson
William Wilson
George Young
William Young

Cairneyhill’s Faith History

Dear blog reader

One of the ‘tag lines’ of my studies of the people and history of Cairneyhill is that Cairneyhill is very significant theologically in Scotland.

The attached article gives a great deal of detail on Cairneyhill Church from it’s foundation in 1752 until 1861 but first some general history.

For a long time the people in the Cairneyhill were dissenters and Covenanters. In early 18th century many local dissenters from Torryburn, Cairneyhill, Carnock and Dunfermline joined forces to form a ‘praying society’ which worshiped in a barn at Drumfin Farm, which still exists to the north-west of Cairneyhill.

On 1 November 1737 the praying society, which by now was quite large, agreed to join the Associate Presbytery, also called the Secession Church, which was a group of ministers who had left the Church of Scotland in 1733. The members of the praying society still wanted some Independence but were put under the care of Reverend Ralph Erskine who had previously left the Church of Scotland. (I was so excited personally a few months ago when researching my own family history to find that a branch with many Church ministers had married into the Erskine family as the Erskine family are so well-known in the Dunfermline area).

In 1747 the Associate Presbytery/Secession Church had a breach because of a disagreement over a burgher’s/burgess’ oath which required holders of public offices to affirm approval of the country’s Established Church, that is the Church of Scotland.

A proportion of the Associate Presbytery/Secession Church disagreed with the burgher’s/burgess’ oath and that portion became the Anti Burghers.

The significant result of that breach was that the Church in Cairneyhill, built in 1752, was the first Anti Burgher Church built in Scotland.

Subsequent to 1752, there were many subsequent mergers which dictated which group of Churches Cairneyhill Church belonged to: in 1820 the Burgher and Anti Burgher Churches reunited to form the United Secession Church, in 1847 the United Secession Church merged with the Relief Church to form the United Presbyterian Church, in 1900 the United Presbyterian Church merged with most of the Free Church to form the United Free Church and in 1929, when most of the United Free Church reunited with the Church of Scotland, Cairneyhill Church rejoined the Church of Scotland.

So, dear blog reader, the above is the general history of the dissenting Churches that Cairneyhill Church belonged to from 1752 until 1929 and below are more specific details of Cairneyhill Church’s history from 1752 until 1861:

DUNFERMLINE SATURDAY PRESS 27 JULY 1861

CONGREGATIONAL SOIREE AT CAIRNEYHILL

A soiree was held in Cairneyhill Church on Monday night, to celebrate the entire liquidation of the debt on the Church and other property belonging to the congregation – the Rev John More in the chair. After prayer by the Rev Dr Johnston, and the audience singing the 2nd Paraphrase.

The Chairman said he was happy to see so many friends present to sympathise with the happy congregation on this joyous occasion. Most of them were aware that debt was a very common thing, and it was also an evil thing to have, and a difficult thing to get rid of. Mr More then proceeded to detail the various improvements that had been made on the Church and other property, from its foundation 107 years ago to the present time.

Mr Bruce said that the object of the meeting was to celebrate the extinction of their congregation debt, and of course it was to celebrate a deliverance from a most annoying yoke of bondage – it had been found so all along. The committee had requested him to give a short account of how and when the debt was contracted, and how and when it was reduced, and ultimately swept away altogether. When the Church was built, 107 years ago, it was a very rude building, though perhaps not more so than other country Churches of that time; still there was some debt rested upon it when it was finished, somewhere about £40, and this was very little to have built a Church. That debt was allowed to remain, and the congregation seemed to have given themselves very little trouble about it. At that time debt seemed to be a bond of union among the members of a Christian society. It proved a mistake to them, however, for they had only existed 34 years with this bond of union, when the half of them left and went to Dunfermline, and erected a place of worship for themselves in Chalmers Street – now being rebuilt. After this the debt would seem neither to have been augmented not diminished, for nearly forty years.

About the year 1790, and onward to 1794, or some part of 1795, the debt was considerably augmented. At that time they took the roof off the Church, and put a new one on. In the year 1794 they agreed to build a manse, and before that they had purchased the house and garden to the rest of the manse, which was now used as a barn. All these things put together, they found, when they were finished, that £100 had been added to the debt, and no great sum either for building a manse, and the rest of the repairs. In the year 1795, the debt was £140.

Well, he supposed, the debt remained much the same till about the year 1814, when their present pastor was ordained. Then repairs had been made on the manse, and these repairs still further augmented the debt. The galleries were put up about the year 1829, and with the other repairs that had been made before the galleries were put up, added about £110 to the debt. At that time the debt was about £250, and other repairs that were effected in the course of time added over £40. Then the debt came to be at its highest point, for £290 or £291 was the highest point to which it reached.

Well, the scale began to turn, and the first reduction of the debt was by a respectable old member of the congregation, who lent them £10 for some object, and previous to his death he made them a present of the money, thus reducing the debt to £281. By-and-bye, there was a small sum of £6 paid, and this further reduced it to £275. In the year 1849 a motion was made in the congregation to try to throw off a portion of this debt. It would still be in the recollection of many that it was tried by taking out a number of shares, and they had a considerable time to pay them. The plan succeeded admirably, and in the year 1850 they had subscribed and collected £110, which reduced the debt to £165. The debt was now coming down as fast or still faster than it was contracted, but there still hung on them that £165 until the beginning of 1860. Some parties in the congregation took it into their heads to try the Debt Liquidating Board, as a considerable sum of money had been thrown into that board by the Ferguson bequest for this purpose, among others, and as they had been in the habit of contributing to this board, a correspondence was entered into by one of their elders and some of the members of the board, the result of which was that two of these gentlemen waited on the congregation in the month of February 1860, and entered into full conversation with those who chose to attend.

The result was, that after hearing parties, and looking at the matter, they agreed to give £50, provided the congregation would raise the rest. All the answer the managers and elders could give was, that they would try. The congregation entered into the thing with spirit, and before long the whole of the required sum was subscribed. (Applause.) They had more than a year to pay it; it was requested to be paid in April last. Well, it was all paid. Some of their friends, both near at hand and far away, had aided them in this matter, for they desired to feel truly thankful. In due time, the whole amount was in the treasurer’s hands, and a circular was sent to Edinburgh, to be filled up, and as soon as this was filled up, the £50 was forthcoming. This put it into the treasurer’s power to pay the whole debt and something over. (Applause.) He concluded by urging upon all, even the poorest, to work for the good of the congregation.

The meeting was afterwards addressed on different subjects by Dr Johnston, Limekilns; Rev P C Duncanson, West Calder; and Rev M McOwan, Perth.

The musical department was conducted by an efficient choir, under the leadership of Mr Tweedie, Dunfermline. All the anthems were well sung, but perhaps the best was ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ composed by the late John Campbell. Mr J L Miller also played several pieces on the harmonium.

The proceedings were concluded about ten o’clock with the usual votes of thanks.

Margaret Paton’s donkey and Sir Arthur Halkett

Dear blog reader

I do hope you enjoy this description of one of Cairneyhill’s bygone modes of transport which I only discovered recently.

Jacqueline

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DUNDEE COURIER SATURDAY 17 MAY 1862

A GENTLEMAN AND A CHRISTIAN

Many of our fellow townsmen will be unacquainted with old Margaret Paton, who acts as a carrier between Cairneyhill and Dunfermline with her donkey cart – but there will be few who have not cast an eye of admiring respect on the little stout and still rosy-cheeked old woman.

Margaret is now 84 years of age, and shows as firm a frame and undaunted a pluck as if she had a lease of signed and sealed to carry it out to the hundred. Besides her health, strength, and high spirits, she carries an honest, grateful heart beneath her druggit gown, and at the present time she has a noble story to tell that, while reflecting no small credit on herself, stamps the character of one of our neighbouring proprietors with the native and genuine superscription of ‘a gentleman and a Christian’.

A short time ago Margaret’s breadwinner, her donkey, was nearly done up, and on its last legs, and how to get another to replace it was beyond the depth of her purse, and, it may be, the extent of her credit. One day lately, as she was toiling along the road with her poor old ass, every footlift of which threatened to be its last, ‘Wha did I foregather wi,’ says she, ‘but his honour, Sir Arthur Hawkett.’ ‘Is this you, Margaret,’ says he? ‘Ye’re no very weel set on wi’ yer donkey, I see. He’ll tak a lang lang time to tak’ ye frae Cairneyhill to Dunfermline, I am sure, frae the pace that the puir brutes noo making.’ ‘Indeed, Sir Arthur,’ says I, ‘it took us the day three guid hoors to measure the road atween Cairneyhill and Crossford – it did a’ that’ – ‘That manna be ony longer,’ says he – ‘ye maun get a new donkey – but whether it is to be you or me that’s to be at the expense o’t? That’s the question.’ ‘Hoot yer honour,’ says I, ‘ye ken that had I haen the needfu’ o’ my ain I would haen anither donkey lang afore this. But times are sadly changed noo, Sir Arthur, and pouches are no sae bauld and buirdly as they aince war.’

‘Aweel then,’ says he, ‘since your pouch canna do’t, then mine mau, that’s a.’ ‘Ah, Sir Arthus,’ says I, ‘ye maun excuse me, I hae seen mony imperfect conclusions in mu lifetime, that I am a wee thing tarred wi auld Saunt Tammas’s unbelieving speerit. I maun find things just in my hand afore I’ll hae faith in them.’ ‘Never you fear, Margaret’ says he, ‘Awa ye gang and bargain for a new ass, and come doon to my house, and I’ll pay the price o’t.’ ‘Was that no noble offer in the guid young gentleman. It was keeping me frae beggin’, keepin’ me like an auld independent wifie. I gaed awa hame and sent aff a friend to bargain for anither donkey, it was this ane. Three pound was to be the price o’t, and the bargain was made, I set awa myself to Pitfirrane House. Losh [illegible] hoo I trummelled, as I gaed along a long trance under the guidance o’ a servant, trummelled like a juniper buss, as we drew near the room whar Sir Arthur was. At length and lang, he sees me and cries, ‘Margaret, hae ye bargained for an ass yet?’ Makin a curtchy, I said I had, and that it would cost three pounds. I had hardly got oot the words whan his han’ was in his oxter pouch, an’ oot cam’ the pocket-book, an in to my lap fell the three pounds. I tauld him that I would maybe gar twa o’ them do, and wishes him to tak’ back ane. ‘Toots,’ says he, ‘if ye can gar twa i’ them do, keep ye the ither, for ye well deserve it.’ There’s a man, an’ a gentleman, an’ a verra Nathaniel for you. I could kneel doon and’ kiss the verra shoe points o’ the noble youth. The blessin’ o’ God be wi’ him for ever more!’

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It is believed this is the Arthur Halkett referred to:

Death of Mrs More, Seminary Founder

DUNDEE ADVERTISER, THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 1866

DEATH OF MRS MORE, CAIRNEYHILL

Our obituary last Saturday recorded the death of Mrs More, wife of the Rev John More, in the 74th year of her age.

Mrs More was the eldest daughter of the Rev Dr Paxton, of Edinburgh, a popular preacher in his day, and Professor of Divinity in the Original Secession Church, to which he belonged. Mrs More inherited much of the talent and genius by which her father was distinguished. Her life has been a useful and honoured one. The seminary at Cairneyhill for the training of young ladies, conducted by Mrs More and family, has long held a high place in public estimation, and exerted no little influence in reviving the standard of taste and education in the neighbourhood, and we believe, throughout Scotland.

The funeral of Mrs More took place on Monday, and was numerously attended, and amongst others there were present – Rev Dr Johnston, Limekilns; Rev Messrs McDowall, Alloa; Mathieson, Alloa; Welsh, Kincardine; Fleming, Inverkeithing; Grahame, Crossgates; Gilston, Carnock; Doig, Torryburn; Milroy, Torryburn; and Young and Russell, Dunfermline; Dr Dewar, Dunfermline; Thomas Grinton Esq, Thomas Younger Esq, William J Sloan Esq, William More etc etc.

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Dear blog reader

As examples of those who attended Mrs More’s seminary, here are the young ladies who were attending the seminary at the time of the 1851 and 1861 censuses.

1851:

Elizabeth Kerr, 19, born East Indies
Jane Ure, 16, born Glasgow
Isabella Ure, 15, born Glasgow
Helen Neilson, 16, born Glasgow
Helen Yeamen, 18, born Dundee
Susan Anderson, 17, born Cupar Angus
Amelia Muir, 18, born Leith
Margaret Wilson, 16, born Limekilns
Agnes Banckenrigg, 13, born Edinburgh
Agnes Paton, 13, born Tillicoultry
Catherine Paton, 13, born Tillicoultry
Janet Tod, 9, born Balerno
Isabella Tod, 7, born Balerno

1861:

Christian Anderson, 16, born Dunfermline
Sarah H McGregor, 14, born England
Margaret Anderson, 14, born Pathhead
Isabella Nicoll, 12, born Dundee
Helen Christie, 11, born Perth






Cairneyhill Young Men’s Society – 1860

DUNFERMLINE PRESS THURSDAY 15 MARCH 1860

CAIRNEYHILL

SOIREE

On Thursday evening a soiree, under the auspices of the Cairneyhill Young Men’s Society, was held in the village school-room – the Rev John More in the chair. Throughout Thursday the greatest demand for tickets continued up to the very hour of meeting; and though the school-room was crammed almost beyond endurance, multitudes had to forego the pleasure of being present through sheer want of room.

The meeting having been constituted by praise and prayer, the Rev Mr More inaugurated the proceedings by a brief and appropriate address. After a service of fruit, the Chairman called upon Mrs Taylor, who sung ‘Barney O’Hea’ with peculiar archness and excellence. Mr Locke having given ‘Corn riggs are bonnie’ in his own true and tasteful style, and Mr Miller having rendered with good effect ‘Woo’d and married an a’ ‘ – the Rev P C Duncanson delivered an address upon ‘Companionship’. This address has all the good qualities of a good soiree speech – lively without being flippant, and exhaustive without being tedious.

The vocalists having again regaled the company with several of the finest of all Caledonia’s airs, and another service of fruit having been partaken of, the Rev George Morris delivered an address on Egyptian antiquities, as illustrative and corroborative of the truth of the Bible. This address, well got up, and manifesting very considerable familiarity with the subject treated, was, upon the whole, too elaborate for the kind of meeting at which it was delivered.

The musical party having again sung some of the most appropriate of our national ditties, Mr Clark, Cairneyhill, in a neat speech, moved that the thanks of the meeting be given to the speakers; and a vote of thanks having been given to the chairman, the company, after singing ‘Rule Britannia’, broke up a little before eleven o’clock, highly delighted with the evening’s entertainment.

1923 Sale of a Cairneyhill Fruit Farm

THE SCOTSMAN SATURDAY 11TH AUGUST 1923

FRUIT FARM AND DWELLING-HOUSE AT CAIRNEYHILL FOR SALE

For sale by private bargain, that property consisting of land and dwelling-house, on the south side of the Main Road in the village of Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline, and known as ‘Cairneyhill fruit farm’. The land, which extends to about two acres, is highly productive for market garden purposes. The present stock consists of about 5000 raspberry bushes, 400 red currant bushes, nearly three-quarters of an acre of strawberries, all in full bearing, while the remainder of the land is cropped with vegetables. There is also an acre and a half of land adjoining, which is used as a market garden, and of which a lease can be obtained. The dwelling-house, which is supplied with water and gas, and is at present vacant, contains three rooms, kitchen and conveniences.

The village of Cairneyhill is about three miles west of Dunfermline. The property is within two minutes’ walk of the railway station, and the buses between Culross and Dunfermline pass the door several times each day. There is a large population in the neighbourhood, and a great demand for all kinds of fruit and vegetables. Early entry can be arranged. Feu duty £1 19s 5d.

Offers will be received by Thomas Blair & Sons, Dunfermline, up to 21st August.

Electoral Roll 1879

Dear blog reader, this week a name-rich source for any of you with ancestors from Cairneyhill.

FIFESHIRE JOURNAL 27 NOVEMBER 1879

THE VOTERS’ ROLL FOR THE COUNTY

CARNOCK POLLING DISTRICT

CARNOCK PARISH (which included Cairneyhill)

Bald, James, weaver, Cairneyhill
Blair, Thos, writer, Dunfermline, Cairneyhill
Brown, R Hope, clergyman, Cairneyhill
Bruce, Peter, factor, Cairneyhill
Bruce, William, carter, Cairneyhill
Calderhead, John, weaver, Cairneyhill
Chalmers, George, innkeeper, Cairneyhill
Cunningham, Alexander, carter, Cairneyhill
Deas, Henry, weaver, Cairneyhill
Dick, William, late farmer, Cairneyhill
Dobbie, Thomas, labourer, Cairneyhill
Drysdale, William, weaver, Cairneyhill
Duncanson, James, builder, Cairneyhill
Duncanson, J, draper, Burntisland, Cairneyhill
Duncanson, Peter C, clergyman, Cairneyhill
Erskine, Alexander, land labourer, Cairneyhill
Erskine, John, carter, Cairneyhill
Erskine, William, M.D., Cairneyhill
Fotheringham, William, labourer, Cairneyhill
Gardiner, John, Cairneyhill
Gilmour, John, weaver, Cairneyhill
Herron, Robert, Nether Pitdinnie
Howieson, John, joiner, Cairneyhill
Kerr, John, farmer, Pitdinnie
Lawson, John, retired farmer, Cairneyhill
Moir, John, clergyman, Cairneyhill
Morris, J, physician, Dunfermline, Cairneyhill
Morris, William, labourer, Cairneyhill
Paterson, George, weaver, Cairneyhill
Philp, John, labourer, Cairneyhill
Robertson, John, joiner, Cairneyhill
Thomson, John,carter, Cairneyhill
Thomson, Robert, draper, Cairneyhill
Watt, David, farmer, Pitdinnie
Young, Alexander, labourer, Cairneyhill
Young, George, labourer, Cairneyhill

1868 Church Minister’s opinion on walking speed

Dear blog reader

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that David Borland, the Cairneyhill Church minister in 1868, felt the need to write to The Scotsman about walking speed and so this week I share this quirkiness with you.

Jacqueline

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THE SCOTSMAN 24 MARCH 1868

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

PRETTY TALL PEDESTRIANISM

Cairneyhill U P Manse, March 19, 1868

Sir – I notice in today’s Scotsman an extract from a Yankee newspaper (the Boston Advertiser), in which a dinner was eaten and an ovation held by Mr Dickens and his friends over the astounding feat of performing twelve miles’ walking in two hours and forty-eight minutes. You will observe this is just 168 minutes to twelve miles, or one mile in fourteen minutes.

Now, we can scarcely conceive of a person who can do his thirty miles ‘on end’ calling this ‘pretty tall pedestrianism’. We fear Yankee nerve and muscle must have lost somewhat of their elasticity on the other side of the pond. I remember once, after a walk of over twenty miles on a hot July day, doing an additional eight, just by way of finish, within an hour and three-quarters; and I have a vivid recollection of once, when a lad of sixteen, cutting a caper at the half-way milestone between Edinburgh and Lanark, having accomplished that distance – sixteen miles – in just forty-two minutes more than these tall Yankees took to their dozen. But what I consider a greater feat that either of these was a ten-mile walk accomplished in two and a half hours on soft snow, eighteen inches deep; and after that, with fifteen minutes’ breathing, conducting with my usual comfort a double diet of worship in a country church, preaching twice without an interval.

I do not make such statements to make folks stare and cry, ‘Bravo! What a pretty fellow he must be;’ but simply to prick this wind-bag of Yankee bounce.

I am, &c,

PERAMBULATOR CLERICUS

Why David Borland resigned as Church Minister

GLASGOW HERALD 27 JUNE 1876

The dispute between the Rev Mr Borland and the Cairneyhill United Presbyterian Congregation in as much as its unfortunate termination – the resignation of the minister – have lessons which ought not to be overlooked by young clergymen and the members of country churches. Cairneyhill is one of the numerous villages which are rapidly depopulating, and where, necessarily, year by year the problem of how a minister is to be supported becomes more difficult of solution. The majority of people who form the congregation belong to the agricultural class, who have been accustomed to get their spiritual instruction at a cost far below the market rate – the stipend of their former pastor for many a year did not exceed £100, including the value of the ‘glebe’ – while the minority, though in a better position in respect of earthly possessions, and, like the remainder of their fellow-congregationists, thoroughly drilled in the orthodox fundamentals of the UPs, have not distinguished themselves by their appreciation of the practical outcome of Voluntaryism. However democratic they may be in their notions about the land questions, and the injustice of the monopoly of the lairds; however great their desire that as in Cairneyhill so over broad Scotland there should be no other denominational name known among men then United Presbyterianism, they are conservative enough in following the example of their douce and worthy ‘faithers’ in their limited supply of ordinances. Hence it is that money matters have had some share in the causes which led to the rupture between Mr Borland and his people; and while we cannot altogether exonerate the congregation, and have a deep sympathy with the underpaid minister, we at once recognise the difficulties of the people. Perhaps a tenth of their number have not ‘five notes in a stockin’ ‘ which they can call their own, and to the parting with a copper coin weekly is a matter of some consequence; at the same time such an apology cannot be offered for the prosperous farmers, and the better class of the congregation.

But pecuniary considerations have not been the exclusive cause of the unfortunate relations between the manse and the village. There have been influences at work since the memorable day, nearly a decade ago, when Mr Borland, a young man of superior talents and great promise, was ‘settled’ as colleague and successor to the late Mr More – a ‘house-going minister’ who won a ‘church-going people’ – a pastor of the old school, who during a ministry extending over half a century gave practical proof of his acceptance of Cowper’s declaration –

‘Tis pitiful to court a grin when you should win a soul, to break a jest when pity would inspire pathetic exhortation.’

The introduction of a young man with new and modern ways into this scene was necessarily attended with considerable difficulty. From the statements made at the Presbytery meeting where Mr Borland’s resignation was announced, it appears that his appointment to the charge was opposed from the first, and that he was not so successful as could have been desired in conciliating the objectors. Possibly he loved his home and his books to much to suit the tastes of a flock accustomed to frequent pastoral visits, and who dearly loved to converse with their minister about ‘thrums and threeds’ or their ‘horses, pleughs and kye’. Certain it is, according to the testimony of his brethren in the Presbytery, he never succeeded in gaining popularity, not withstanding his acknowledged gifts as a scholar and preacher. Possibly petty criticism put him out of temper, and created a feeling that he was superior to his situation. Assuredly his position for years was disheartening; and, while there may be blame on both sides, it seems as if the Cairneyhill congregation failed to give Mr Borland the encouragement they promised, when, fresh from the Theological Hall, he made the sacrifice which the comparative isolation of life among them involved. The congregation may have had grievances over and above those which recent proceedings have made us familiar with, but it is certain that in parting with Mr Borland, they are losing a minister possessed of great talents, a Voluntary of the soundest type, and one whose position now, though it may look like a misfortune, will prove but a stepping-stone to his speedy promotion and the benefit of a more easily-satisfied congregation. Probationers ought to think well of Mr Borland’s experience, and feeble congregations like that of Cairneyhill should learn from it to a be a little more chary of picking quarrels, and to limit their desire for personal attention. The only pleasing feature of the dispute is the amicable arrangement which has been made for the winding up of the engagement between the parties. They are separating on tolerably friendly terms – the congregation offering Mr Borland the use of the manse for a period which will prevent him being put to personal inconvenience, and the minister taking the step he has done believing that it will be for the benefit of the little village church, which he prays may prosper.

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Dear blog reader

That was a very interesting insight into Cairneyhill in the 1870s. It sounds like more details of the dispute was available at the time – if I find them I will share them with you.

Jacqueline

Straying Cattle

THE SCOTSMAN 11 JANUARY 1928

DROVER’S RESPONSIBLITIES

In Dunfermline small-debt court yesterday, Sheriff Umpherston heard proof in an action by James Macdonald, nurseryman, Cairneyhill. Pursuer claimed payment of £13 10s from defender in respect of damage done to growing chrysanthemums by cattle which were negligently permitted to stray into the nursery. It was argued for defender that he took all reasonable precautions with the cattle, and that the only negligence in this case was that pursuer left the gate of his nursery open; otherwise the cattle could not have entered.

Sheriff Umpherston, deciding the case for pursuer, and awarding £13 10s damages with expenses, said that a farmer was, of course, entitled to drive cattle along the highway, through the streets of a town, or through villages; but he did not insure all the proprietors of places that cattle passed against any damage that might be done if some of them happened to break loose, through some accident. At the same time, a farmer was bound to take reasonable precautions that he would drive these cattle without injury to the proprietors of the places that they passed. The precautions that he must take did not depend entirely on the number of cattle that were being driven. They depended just as much upon the places through which the cattle were being driven, and also upon the nature of the traffic on the roads that they might be expected to encounter. The place where these cattle were being driven was perfectly well known to defender; he knew the conditions of Cairneyhill fairly well; and he knew the kind of traffic, such as motor bus traffic which was likely to be encountered on the road and which, according to defender, frightened the cattle when they were leaving the grazing field at the side of the road).

The suggestion that the gate leading into pursuer’s nursery should be kept shut was, in the circumstances, out of all question. One could hardly imagine a place like Cairneyhill, with all the gates shut. It would suggest that all the people had gone out of business. One might as well suggest that the entrance into a farm should be kept shut, except when traffic was going in or out. In this case, defender had not exercised all reasonable precautions in taking the cattle along the road. He had one man, who had a dog, and he was there him-self, with his motor car. The man was engaged collecting the cattle in a field, and driving them to the gate, and there was no person to control them once they were on the road, except defender himself, who was more hampered than anything else by the possession of his car at the moment. It was more his direct negligence in the method he took of trying to control the cattle than anything else which ultimately led to the damage done.