Rothiemay: Queen Mary's Bridge

History pages:


The Parish records for Rothiemay are among the oldest in Scotland. These extracts are from the turbulent 17th century and give a glimpse of the social structures of the period.

At that time Rothiemay Castle was still occupied by the Gordons and the church was located below the castle, overlooking the Kirkton burn. The minister was James Gordon.

*delated - charged with a crime.

*compeered - appeared in court.

*meete - fitting.

Extracts from the Session Records for the Parish of Rothiemay:

"14 April, 1605. - 400 people communicat according to the tokens that war collectit and numberit."

"21 April, 1605. - All the rest of the parochin (except my lordis houshald) communicatit this day."

"29 June,  1605. - Quhilk day my lordis wyff and his mother, his sisters, viz., the lady Phillorthe and maistres Jean, with all the rest of the househald that war present, communicat, except Helen Chisome and Margaret Cragheid, servantis to the young lady, quha pretendit excuse of sicknes, bot suspect of relligioun."

"14 April, 1616. - This day my auld Lady Saltoun, with hir houshald and familie, communicat at the Lord's tabill."

"3 August, 1617. -  My Lady Saltoun, with her houshld, communicat at the Lord's tabill befoir nyn houris in the morning for avoiding of thrang and misorder, becaus the kirk is litill."

*September, 1626. -  Item it is ordeint that thrie horss of ilk pleuch pas to the sclait heuch of Mayne to bring beam sclaites to the Kirk."

"14 Septr 1628. - The Fast observed both befoir and efternoone bot the Lady cam not to the Churche."

"28 Septr 1628. - No Sessioun becaus of the Minister his being in Aberdene for the advysing with phisicians anent his seiknes."

"14 February, 1650. - William Reede in Claymyres was delated* for having profaned the Lord's day in the morning by coming into Auchincreeve and bring a beast thence ... the sessione did therefor, he not being able to refoose it, ordaine the said William to macke his publick repentance on day and acknowledge his fault publicklye, for penalty referred him to the Kirke Magistratts."

"23 June, 1650. - The minister made publicke intimation that none should presume to have midsummer fyres under paine of being censured severely, and willed the elderis to tacke notice of all that offered to have any."

"John Littlejohn of Mossyde compeered* and it was provne he had not communicated and had wilfully stayd from the examine, whairupon his is ordained to stand in sackloth befor the pulpitt, not being able to stand upon the place of repentance."

"22 December, 1650. - Publicke intimation made that should be censured who sate idle from ther works December 25, commonly called Yooledaye, and the elders appoynted to note and delete them."

"25 May, 1651. - Isobell Morrisone in Meyen was delated for breacking of Sabbathe in drowning out her fyre with urine at her removal from her house, thereby (as they said) using a charme to macke the dwelling unprosperouse to her intrant neighbour; ordained to be summoned."

"22 June, 1651. - It was complaned upon by some of the elders that severall in the church of the common people who sitt in darke corners use to intertaine private discourse in tyme of worshipp, whereupon it was thought meete* that the minister should publickelye reprove them and assure all that in tyme to come the should be proceeded against with church censure."

"Called, compeered Isobell Morrisone in Meyen, befor assused of drowning out her fyre with urine, denyd it, and since it could not be made out, she (was) admonished and dismissed."

"14 September, 1651. - Non sederunt this day in respect every body were bussyd at ther harvest, which had distracted the officer all the weeke had distracted the officer all the weeke past so as non wer summoned."

"7 December, 1651. - the meeting quytte brockne upp this day by reasone that at the very time of ringing the third bell ther came ane English troope to the kirke style, which troope called upon the people to macke the quarter through the parachin instantlye." During the time the souldiours were quartered in the parish, "the people grew slacke in observing the Lord's daye, our handes in discipline are now at the weakest, the saccloth was takne awaye, and not long after the stoole of repentance upon the very Lord's daye after sermon tumultuously throwne downe by the English souldiours, and scarcely had we quyettnesse in the publice worshipp, so that for long tyme after this our discipline was but a shadow of what it had beene befor."

"8 February, 1652. - it was given in as a regrate to the Sessione that many of the people stayd out the tyme of the Sermon drinking in the neerest tavernes with the English souldiours, wherupon there was ane ordinance past that privatt notice should be tackne of such, and they first admonished in face of the Sessione, with certification of severe sentence against them in case of continowance."

"10 October, 1652. - It was complaned that many people used in tyme of sermone for to abyde in the churchyard and discourse, for the which cause it was ordaned by the Sessione that one of the elders per vices should goe out in tyme of sermone and tacke notice of any such wer and delate them."

"3 April, 1653. - Delated a number in Turturye for playing at the footeball on the Lord's day afternoon on the Browssye haughe of Rothiemay."

"23 April, 1654. - Intimation made of the excommunication of elizabeth gordon, Lady of Frendraught, elder, for poprie; as also of Agnes Hebron and Agnes Williamson for poprie."

"27 August, 1654. - Patrick Hume compeared, and his wyfe, and he has oblidged himself to give a bond of 20 libs that his wyfe shall not scold her neighbours any more."

"10 February, 1656. - Intimate that if any should be found in the tavern houses on the Lord's day drinking except for necessity, they shall be requeared for publick satisfaction."

"3 August, 1656. - No meeting by reason the minister was sick and bedfast of a boyle."

"6 September, 1657. - Compeared John Lemon, confessed that he was absent from afternoon sermon, walking on the watter syd hard by the church, he is ordained to enter to his publick repentence befor the pulpit, and continue in so doing till he give evidence of repentance."

"14 August, 1659. - Received ane well sixpence from Beroald Innes in the collection, and it is delyvered to him again."

"22 January, 1660. - Isobell Gibb and Jean Davidson being found guilty of putting the forsaid chyld about the crook, they are ordained to satisfie in 'sacco' and to stand so three Lord's days."

"20 May, 1660. - Compeared Andrew Edisone and has enacted himself to gett the catechisme against the tyme of the celebration of the Sacrament under pain of paying ane dollar, John Ritchie to be cautioner."

"9 September, 1660. - Delyvered by Will Mitchell and Janet Thane a rex dollar and crosse dollar towards ther marriodge, which was entered in 'communi forma,' and she to learne her catecheses under pain of forfeitry of her dollar if she say them not or she be marryd."

"21 July, 1661. - The Ladie Dowager of Rothiemay being enquyred by the minister whether she had put on a fyre upon midsummer night being Sunday, answered that it was put on that respect but because it was her birthday; referred to the Presbyterie."

"28 July, 1661. - The Presbyterie's answer to the refer was that the Ladie of Rothiemay should abstain from fyre lighting upon the Lord's day, and ordained her to be admonished."

"13 October, 1661. - Compeared George Anderson, with whom the Session condescended that to expell and thrust out all the dogs out of the church from trubling divyne service he should have 2s. every Lord's day during the space of ane quarter of the year, to begin his calling the next day."