Kirkyard funeral monuments

Erskine Beveridge, 1851-1920

The biographic information included here is taken from Erskine Beveridge’s first book, The Churchyard Memorials of Crail, published in 1893.

Erskine Beveridge was a Dunfermline linen manufacturer, achieving great financial success with his family’s firm. In his spare time, he became a notable antiquarian and archaeologist. Beveridge became a fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland from 1915 to 1918. His work began with his first book on Crail’s Kirkyard, charting the history behind its Mural Monuments. He went on to publish two other books on the history of Dunfermline and Fife, and two on the archaeology of the Hebrides.

All of his works were accompanied by Beveridge’s own glass-plate photography. Beveridge was a prolific amateur photographer, documenting the changing landscapes and buildings around him. The majority of his surviving negatives are now held in Historic Environment Scotland’s collections.

A Note on Numbering

Erksine Beveridge’s NumberingLeaflet NumberingMonument Owner  
EB I1Bailie John Wood of Sauchope
EB II2Bailie Andrew Daw II
EB III3Bailie Andrew Daw I
EB IV4Bailie John Douglas
EB V5Treasurer Allan Millar
EB VI6Bailie Patrick Hunter
EB VII7Bailie George Moncreiff of Sauchope
EB VIII8Master Robert Durie, Bailie Ninian Hamilton
EB IX9Bailie Andrew Moncreiff
EB X10Town-clerk John Mackieson
EB XI11James Lumsden of Airdrie
EB XIINOT INCLUDEDSchoolmaster James McMin
EB XIV12John Lindsay, Reverend Alexander Leslie
EB XV13William Bruce of Symbister
EB XVI14Lun, Reid, Chiene Families
EB XVII15Admiral-Depute Robert Lun
EB XVIIINOT INCLUDEDReverend Robert Fairweather
EB XIX16The Lindsays of Wormiston

Beveridge’s list of Mural Monuments goes up to 22, and includes other enclosures and table stones not listed here. The biographic details of the monuments listed as ‘Not Included’ follow after the next section.

The People Behind The Monuments

  1. Bailie John Wood of Sauchope, 1681-1723

John Wood was the son of Reverend John Wood and his first wife, Christian Moncreiff. Christian was likely the sister of George Moncrieff of Sauchope (monument 7).

John Wood was a bailie of Crail, and commissioner at the 1708 Convention of Royal Burghs in Edinburgh. He married Beatrice Brown with whom he had one daughter, also named Beatrice.

Beatrice went on to marry the town-clerk, Mr William Simpson, and the monument passed into the ownership of the Simpson family.

2. Bailie Andrew Daw II (1582-1645) and his wife Ann Murray (1591-1646)

Andrew Daw II was likely the son of Andrew Daw I (Monument 3). Like his father, Andrew Daw II was also a bailie, from 1628-1637. Given the comparative size of their monuments, it is likely that Andrew II significantly improved the family fortunes during his lifetime. Both generations are recorded in reference to the sea and possibly owned houses by the harbour.

With his wife Ann Murray, Andrew Daw II had one son, Andrew Daw III.

3. Bailie Andrew Daw I, 1547-1613

Andrew Daw was a bailie of Crail between 1588 and 1613. He was a commissioner at the Convention of the Royal Burghs in Edinburgh on the 3rd of August 1599.

On the 14th of August, 1583, Andrew Daw was named amongst a crowd of Crail men in a court case before the Privy Council. John Anstruther of Anstruther said that 2 bailies of Crail, plus 26 named others and a large crowd, stormed his property at Wormiston. They reputedly attempted to burn down the doors to gain access, and failing that resorted to filling his ponds with earth, uprooting new trees and destroying a newly built dyke (stone wall). They were ordered to rebuild the dyke.

Andrew Daw married Christina Woodcock, the daughter of a Crail mariner. They had 5 children: John, James, Alexander, Andrew II and Christina. John was a burgess and shipmaster and became a bailie like his father and brother. He also had 5 children, including 3 sons named John, Alexander and Andrew – as was evidently family tradition! Alexander became a merchant and burgess.

4. Bailie John Douglas, 1539-1621

John Douglas was a merchant in malt and herrings. He married twice, producing no children with his first wife Margaret Gled. In 1606 he remarried Helen Wood and they had one daughter, Euphemia.

John Douglas did not have the most straight-forward ascent into becoming a bailie. Due to controversy over the elections in the Burgh in 1587, a number of men – including Douglas – were appointed as interim bailies. In January 1588, these interim bailies were called to court, accused of usurping the office and impeding new elections. Bailies from Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee were sent to Crail to choose the most suitable candidates for the office and settle the disputes over election method. Douglas may have been reelected a few years later, as he appears in records as a bailie again in 1590.

Douglas definitely served as a bailie until 1602. He represented Crail at 6 Conventions of Royal Burghs between 1585 and 1601. In 1585 he was elected as a member of the Scottish Parliament.

In November 1588, Douglas was named amongst a group of Crail burgesses called in front of the Privy Council on charges of preventing Johnne Arnott of Wodmylne’s servants from completing the harvest, and confiscating the crops. They were denounced as rebels by the Lords of the Council.

5. Treasurer Allan Millar, 1567-1630

Allan Millar is recorded as being the Treasurer of the burgh of Crail in 1618. He married Katherine Gray (her initals, KG, are inscribed on the monument beneath his). They had one son, Allan Millar jr., who later became a bailie and a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

6. Bailie Patrick Hunter, c.1584-1649

The inscription on Monument 6 does not mention the Christian name, birthdate or family lineage of the Bailie Hunter to whom it belonged. It is believed to be Patrick Hunter, a bailie of Crail who is found alive in records between 1594 and 1643.

Patrick Hunter was the son and heir of William Hunter, a burgess of Crail, and his wife Agnes Kay. Patrick married Christina Moncreiff. They had at least one son, Patrick Hunter jr., and a daughter Isabella. Patrick may also have had three daughters – Elizabeth, Euphemia and Helen – by a second marriage.

Patrick Hunter was a merchant and a bailie between 1623 and 1642. He attended seven meetings of the Convention of the Royal Burghs between 1625 and 1630.

His first wife, Christina Moncreiff, was likely the sister of George Moncrieff of Sauchope (monument 7) as the two monuments are enclosed together by a low wall, suggesting a marital connection between the two families.

7. Bailie George Moncreiff of Sauchope, 1643-1707.

George Moncrieff is recorded in Crail’s Sea-Box book as a master and trader by sea in 1681. He married Catherine Monipenny in 1683, and may have owned some of Sauchope in that period.

Moncrieff is recorded as a bailie of Crail in 1694, his career probably lasting between 1678 and 1707. He was a member of 14 Conventions of Royal Burghs between 1678 and 1705. He attended the Convention of Estates in 1678 and 1689, and was a Member of the Scottish Parliament between 1681 and 1707.

He died without offspring, and his brother James Moncreiff succeeded him in the Sauchope property.

8. Master Robert Durie, 1573-1636, his daughter Euphemia Durie and her husband Bailie Ninian Hamilton, c.1600-c.1662

Little is known about Master Robert Durie. He may have been Robert Durie of Durie, who is recorded as selling his patrimonal estate in 1614 after it had been in the family for 300 years. He is listed as an indweller and burgess of Crail in 1635.

His daughter Euphemia Durie married Ninian Hamilton. Hamilton’s father was a shoemaker who turned to farming in his later life, and owned land in Nakitfield. Ninian was a bailie of Crail from 1639 to 1658 and a Member of the Scottish Parliament between 1639 and 1644. He attended the 1644 Convention of estates and is recorded as an elder of the Crail Parish Kirk in 1648. Ninian was also the representative of the burgh of Crail who signed the National Covenant in 1638, just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.

9. Bailie Andrew Moncrieff, 1563-1631, and wife Isabella Brydie

Andrew Moncrieff’s father was a shoemaker, burgess and town-councillor of Crail. Andrew also became a shoemaker. He was likely a bailie from 1600, though does not appear in records until 1610. He attended the Conventions of Royal Burghs in 1611 and 1613.

In 1590, Andrew Moncreiff married Isabella Brydie. Her family were also shoemakers. The couple owned land in Nakitfield. They had four sons, David, John, Andrew, and William. Andrew (junior) was a bailie between 1642 and 1654, and a Member of the Scottish Parliament in 1645.

10. Town-clerk John Mackieson, c.1555-after 1636, and wife Catherine Philip, d.1624

John Mackieson was the town-clerk of Crail between 1583 and 1637. He acted as a commissioner at 31 Conventions of the Royal Burghs between 1590 and 1630. He was also a Member of the Scottish Parliament between 1600 and 1633.

Professionally, Mackieson was part of a syndicate of twelve merchants and clerks across Scotland. His business partners in Edinburgh and Glasgow were tacksmen of customs for imports and exports of Scotland between 1609 and 1614.

In 1599, Mackieson was brought in front of the Privy Council for the purchase of pirated ‘deals’. Johnne Jansoun’s ship ‘The Reid Gray Hound’ had been travelling from Amsterdam when it was hijacked just a mile short of the Aberdeenshire coast. The boat was brought to Crail where the deals were sold off. The Privy Council ordered Mackieson and the other buyers to return them to Jansoun.

Mackieson and his wife Catherine Philip were survived by two daughters.

11. James Lumsden of Airdrie, 1555-1598

In 1567, James Lumsden inherited a large family estate including the lands of Airdrie, aged 11, from a cousin. The estate was managed by his father until James reached maturity. In 1577 James married Euphemia Douglas and by 1597 they had two daughters, Helen and Agnes.

In August of 1590, James and his servant David Ferry were called in front of the Privy Council for the failure to return one of the king’s jewels. The following Febuary they were exonerated having returned the jewel.

On the 8th of December in 1592, James Lumsden was included on a list of followers of the traitor Bothwell. The followers were charged by proclamation to leave Edinburgh and not stay within ten miles of his majesty’s residence. In 1594 the provost of Crail ordered any inhabitants thought to be communicating with Bothwell to be brought before the Secret Council.

Between 1596 and 1597, Lumsden transferred his estate to his brother Robert. James died on the 23rd of August, 1598. Robert later sold the estate to a William Turnbull of Pittencrieff after his involvement in the financially disasterous second attempt to found a colony in the Lews.

Lumsden’s tomb is thought to be the first Scottish Renaissance monument. It is distinctive as the only Mural Monument to have a raised stage. The monument bears the Lumsden’s coat of arms and to the right of the frieze, the head of a bald man with a moustache and beard, thought to be a representation of James himself.

12. John Lindsay, 1680-1714, and Reverend Alexander Leslie, c.1637-1703

Very little is known about John Lindsay, beyond the details given on the epitaph of his monument. He was a merchant of Crail, descended from the noble family of Lindsay. His grandfather was Bailie John Lindsay of Anstruther. John married Helen Leslie, the daughter of Reverend Alexander Leslie with whom he shares this monument.

Reverend Alexander Leslie was the fourth son of James Leslie of Warthill in Aberdeenshire. He took his MA in 1657 at the University of Aberdeen, and was ordained on the 12th of January 1666. He was in charge of the parish of Anstruther-West for two years, before moving to Ceres when the former Ceres minister refused to conform to Episcopacy.

In 1679, Alexander Leslie was the last man to see Archbishop Sharp of St Andrews before he was slain by Covenanters. Sharp and his daughter had stopped to see Leslie in Ceres en-route to St Andrews. They were attacked on the country roads upon leaving, and Sharp was murdered.

In 1684, Leslie was presented the parish of Crail. He held that position until 1689, when he was removed for refusing to read The Proclamation of the Estates and refusing to pray for the new monarchs, William and Mary. Leslie remained in Crail and started a small break-away service for those who also refused to conform to Presbyterianism.

In 1674, Alexander Leslie married Helen Seymour. Together they had three sons and three daughters. Leslie was an unusually tall man, known to most in Crail as ‘Long Leslie’ or ‘Lang Sandy Leslie’.

13. William Bruce of Symbister, c.1550-c.1630 and his wife, Isabella Spens

William Bruce was a prominent landowner in Shetland, owner of the estates of Sumburgh and Symbister. With his first wife, Margaret Stuart, Bruce had four children. From 1596, Bruce began purchasing property in Crail, Stravithie, Craigton, Nakitfield and Pottergate. In 1608 he married for the second time, to Isabella Spens with whom he had a son Andrew. When Bruce died he left his Fife property to Andrew.

Bruce’s monument is distinctive for the life-sized stone figure of him in armour that stands in its alcove. The statue was for a long time believed to be of King Robert the Bruce. Over its lifetime, the statue has undergone some significant damages. In 1878, only the legs were left standing in their original place, until the body, lying nearby in the grass, was replaced. Legend has it that the head, still missing to this day, resided for some time on the doorstep of a local country house until an unwitting servant ground it into sand for the kitchen.

14. The Lun, Reid and Chiene Families, erected c.1636-1654

The inscription on this monument has long been unreadable, and whomever it was originally dedicated to is long since a mystery. It’s upper panel displays a coat of arms that could be either those of the Reid or Lun families, alongside the Myrton coat of arms. The Myrton connection could be Catherine Myrton, the wife of Admiral-Depute Robert Lun (Monument 15).

Erskine Beveridge, in his research into the history of the Crail Mural Monuments, traced the original ownership of the monument back to the Lun family. On the 28th of October 1667, Alexander Geddie and his wife Margaret Lun (daughter of Admiral-Depute Robert Lun) transferred a portion of the Lun hereditary property to Alexander Reid, a merchant-burgess of Crail. It is then recorded in Crail’s Sexton’s Book as belonging to the Reid family. Through the marriage of Agnes Reid and John Chiene in 1723, the monument passed into the ownership of the Chiene family. In Beveridge’s time, it was remembered as the Chiene tomb.

15. Admiral-Depute Robert Lun, d.1654

Up until the 18th century, Crail was an important station for the herring fishing industry. Many boats came down from across the north east coast for the fishing season. The Lord High Admiral would appoint an Edinburgh lawyer to act as Admiral-Depute for the fishing seasons. They were given the power to try all offences committed by those involved in the fishing, and fine or punish them. They were also given a boat for patrolling and regulating the fishing.

Robert Lun was the Admiral-Depute for the eastern section of Fife during his lifetime. He also became a town-councillor of Crail, and an elder of the parish kirk between 1649 and 1652. He married Catherine Myrton, and they had a son, John, and two daughters, Helen and Margaret.

16. The Lindsays of Wormiston, erected 1718

Patrick Lindsay bought the estate of Wormiston in 1621. He was a burgess of Cupar-Fife, and later became a merchant of St Andrews. He married twice, and was succeeded in the estate by his son John in 1651. John was in turn succeeded by his eldest son Patrick in 1666.

In 1657, Patrick married Katherine Bethune, the daughter of Robert Bethune of Brandon. Her initials and arms are displayed upon the monument, she likely instigated its erection, although the surrounding enclosure pre-dates the monument to 1689.

The family were ardent supporters of King Charles I and Charles II during the Civil Wars. Patrick’s brother John was killed in the battle of Worcester in 1651, and Patrick himself was taken prisoner. Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Patrick was appointed Commissionary Clerk of St Andrews, a position the family then held for four successive generations.

Patrick and Katherine had eight sons and seven daughters. Their eldest son, John, was an advocate. He married Margaret Haliburton, daughter of the Bishop of Aberdeen. John succeeded the estate upon his father’s death in 1715. His brother, Patrick Jr., was a Jacobite supporter and proclaimed the Pretender at St Andrews. He was executed in 1746 for his part in the rebellion.

Not Included:

EB XII. James McMin, 1750-1819

James McMin was a schoolmaster in Crail.

EB XIII. Bailie Thomas Young, 1683-1758, and wife Isobel Martin

Thomas Young married Isobel Martin in 1708, and they had 8 children, 6 of whom are buried there with them. Their monument has been defaced since its erection. The original epitaph was chiselled off by a later owner of the one next to it, intending to reuse it for their family. The minister and Kirk Session stopped this and had the current one inscribed, which was as close to the original as they could get from memory.

EB XVIII. Reverend Robert Fairweather, c.1666-1738

This tomb is just a rectangular enclosure, and does not feature a Mural Monument.

Robert Fairweather was presented to the parish of Crail in 1701. Four months later he married Ann Lindsay, daughter of Patrick Lindsay of Wormiston. She died in 1704, at which date the tomb adjoining her family plot was enclosed.