Taken from Malcolm McLachlan Harper's "Rambles in Galloway", published in 1876, this is an excellent introduction to Kirkcudbright Parish and Burgh


The groaning thunder-clouds which rested on the sea, and the lightning's lurid flash, which, against a sky of inky darkness, brought into full relief the livid skeleton ruins of the old Abbey, had passed away, and the morning dawned serenely beautiful, as we, rising with the "wakerife laverocks," passed through the village of Dundrennan on the way to Kirkcudbright.

There are several roads from this to Kirkcudbright, but we choose the one leading past Girdstingwood House, a handsome and substantial building, situated in a position that commands a beautiful view of the vale and the ruins, and embraces within its range an extensive prospect of the sea, with the Cumberland hills in the distance. Passing Overlaw, near to the road, and Balig, where the "Galloways," in the breeding of which the Messrs. Shennan have gained such reputation, ruminate in the rich pastures, we arrive at the Churchyard of Dunrod. It occupies an exposed situation near the road, but contains nothing worthy of note, excepting the remains of the old Pre-Reformation Church, and a portion of the baptismal font.  

Dunrod at one time formed a separate parish, but was, along with Galtway, in the 17th century, annexed to the ancient parish of Kirkcudbright. The churchyard surrounds the site of the old parish church, and it is evident that there was at one time a village here. Old people living about thirty years ago remembered having seen "100 smoking lums" there, where not a vestige now remains. In 1160 we find Fergus retiring into the Abbey of Holyrood, and bestowing upon it the town or village and church of Dunrodden.

Passing Townhead School we leave the Queen's highway in order to visit the remains of an ancient British Fort, situated on the farm of Drummore, and supposed to be the Caerbantorigum of Ptolemy, a name said to signify in the ancient British language "the fort on the conspicuous height." Whatever other purposes this encampment may have been designed to serve, it must have been well adapted for a look-out station. From its elevated position it commands an extensive prospect of the surrounding country, and overlooks the Solway Firth and the Irish Sea.

The two primitive tribes which held the province of Galloway are known in history as the Novantes and the Selgovoe. The Novantes possessed the portion lying between the Dee and the Irish Sea, extending on the north as far as the chain of hills which now separates Galloway from Ayrshire. The Selgovoe inhabited the eastern part of Galloway, as far as the Dee, which was their western boundary. To both of these tribes belonged many forts, particularly along the Dee, numerous vestiges of which are still observable in this district. The most important in size and strength, however, is Caerbantorigum, which may be considered to have been their frontier garrison. Chalmers, in his learned work Caledonia, the first volume of which was published in 1807, says - "This was in situation, size, and strength, one of the most important British fortresses in this country. It is of an oval form, and a rampart composed of stone and earth with a deep fosse surround it, which remain pretty entire." At the present time the site of the fort is quite discernible, the rampart and fosse being easily traced. At the bottom of the hill was a well, now covered with stones, which is thought to have supplied the garrison with water.

A plate of gold is said to have been found in the neighbourhood of the fortress, on the lands of Balmae, by some men engaged in making ditches; it is supposed, however, that it had probably been deposited there long after the erection of the fort.

There was a circle of large stones at the foot of the hill, of the kind popularly known as Druidical, but a few years ago they were split up and removed for building purposes.

About a mile and a half from Drummore Hill, on the farm of Milton, there are the remains of a British fort, which, like other native encampments, is of a circular form; and on Bombie Mains, and near Whinnyligget, not far from Kirkcudbright, there are two Roman camps in the vicinity of many small British forts.

On again reaching the highway we pass Drummore farm-house, and Howwell, a substantial house, in a fine situation among green fields and rich pastures, on our way to the site of the ancient Castle of Raeberry. This castle belonged to the Maclellans. It stood upon a rock overhanging a terrific precipice, and must have been a stronghold of great security. Tradition tells us that it was disjoined from the mainland by a deep fosse with a strong wall, across which was a huge draw-bridge. On the shore beneath the castle is a spouting rock, being a small cave, with an aperture at the far end, through which the waves dash at half tide, and are forced up in a column 50 or 60 feet in height, and descend in spray on the rocks around. At present nothing remains but the site and fosse.

The following incident recorded in connection with this Castle shows the outrageous proceedings of the Douglases when they reigned as almost absolute monarchs in Scotland. Sir Patrick MacLellan, Tutor of Bombie, Sheriff of Kirkcudbright, and chief of a powerful clan, having taken part with Herries of Terregles, who was his kinsman, against some of the partisans of Douglas, thereby so excited the indignation of the imperious oppressor that he commenced open hostility against him. He attacked Raeberry Castle, Maclellan’s chief residence, but finding it impregnable, he succeeded in gaining an entrance by seducing one of the warders to leave a wicket of the sally port unbolted on a certain night. By this wicket Douglas entered at the head of a chosen band, and taking Sir Patrick prisoner, carried him off to the dungeon of Threave, there to suffer under the power of hereditary jurisdiction. A ladleful of gold was the stipulated reward of the warder's treachery, but when the miscreant appeared at Threave to receive the proffered boon, the metal was molten by the command of Douglas, and poured down his throat.

Sir Patrick Gray of Foulis, uncle of Sir Patrick MacLellan, who commanded the body-guard of James the Second, obtained from the King a warrant requiring from Douglas the release of his nephew. When Gray appeared at Threave Castle, the Earl, instantly suspecting his errand, addressed him with apparent friendliness: "You have not dined," he said, without suffering him to open his commission, "it is ill talking between a fou man and a fasting." This mark of seeming hospitality was, however, merely a deception to allow Douglas time to carry out his cruel designs; for while Gray was seated at the dinner-table the unfortunate prisoner was beheaded in the courtyard of the Castle. His repast ended, the King's letter was presented and opened. "Sir Patrick," quoth Douglas, leading Gray to the courtyard, "right glad had I been to honour the King's messenger, but you have come too late. Yonder lies your sister's son without the head, you are welcome to his dead body." Gray, suppressing his wrath, quitted the court, and mounting his horse, when safe over the drawbridge, turned to the Earl, and swore with a deadly oath that he would requite the injury with Douglas's heart's blood. "To horse!" cried the enraged noble; and summoning his retainers, Sir Patrick was pursued till within a few miles of Edinburgh. Gray, however, had an opportunity of keeping his vow; for, being upon guard in the King's ante-chamber in Stirling Castle, when James, incensed at the insolence of the Earl, struck him with his dagger. Sir Patrick rushed in and finished him with his pole-axe.

An old song, to be found in Mactaggart's Gallovdian Encyclopedia, gives a very different version of the encounter at Raeberry Castle from the above. It is as follows: -

"I met wi' a man the ither night
And he was singing fu’ merry,
How Black Douglas, the bluidy Knight,
Was gouked at Raeberry.

For the MacLellan lap owre the scaur
Wi' his naig, and swam the ferry,
He snored out, owre Barnhoury bar,
And left far ahin Raeberry.

O! he has sailed the Solway sea
Without either ship or wherry,
And saved his craig frae being drawn, did he,
Owre the Caatle-wa o’ Raeberry.

For curse confound the de'il o’ Threave
His neebors he dis herry;
But Gallowa will never be his slave,
Nor the braw Lord o' Raeberry.”

About two miles further on we pass Balmae House, an imposing-looking edifice, in an elevated situation, sheltered by wood, overlooking Ross Isle. Leaving the highway, and following a pleasant but somewhat tortuous route through the woods and fields, we come to the Torrs Point, with its bold and rocky cliffs, where the woodbine and wild flowers grow in profusion on their rugged sides, and the eerie cry of the sea-fowl mingles with the moan of the sea. Here there is a remarkable natural cavern, called Torr's Cove, thus described in the Gazetteer of Scotland: - “The entrance to it is narrow, being little more than sufficient to admit a man on his hands and knees to pass into the cave, then gradually widening it rises to a height of more than 12 feet, after which it again contracts at the farthest end. The roof is pendant with icicles of stalactite, the constant dropping from which forms on the floor stalagmite crustations. The door is said to have been originally built with stone, and to have had a lintel at the top, which is now buried in ruins. The cave is thought to have been sometimes used as a hiding-place in former times." Upon these rocks, towards the sea, is found abundance of samphire, and sea-kail flourishes at their base.

We now follow a delightful path among green glades and pleasant shady woods, close by the shore of what goes by the name of the Manxman's Lake, being the chief anchorage for small vessels coming into Kirkcudbright Bay.

On arriving at the saw-mill we come once more on the public road to Kirkcudbright. From this point is obtained a beautiful glimpse of the river, apparently landlocked by the Ross Isle, on which is a light-house. A mysterious cavern or underground chamber in this islet is worthy of mention. King William's fleet on its passage to Ireland continued for sometime wind-bound in this bay. He erected a battery on the Torrs heights, some traces of which may still be seen. In 1798 the celebrated Paul Jones paid a rather unwelcome visit to St. Mary's Isle, for the purpose of carrying off its noble owner, the Earl of Selkirk; but being disappointed in this, on account of the Earl's absence in England, he allowed some of his party to proceed to the mansion-house and demand the silver-plate. The various articles were delivered to them by the Countess of Selkirk, and conveyed to the ship by the sailors. Jones, however, sometime afterwards redeemed the plate at a considerable sum, and gallantly returned it, with profuse apologies to the lady, in perfect safety.

Near to the battery of the 2d Kirkcudbright Artillery Volunteers, which is seen to the left, on the beach, about a mile from Kirkcudbright, and in the Black Morrow Wood, at a short distance from the road, is a well, known as the "Black Morrow Well," which is supposed to derive its name from the following incident, of which there is a tradition, told in the History of Galloway, respecting the capture of a gipsy chief named Murray : - “His giant strength and ferocity made him the terror of the Stewartry, but as his chief residence was in the wood near Kirkcudbright, called to this day the 'Black Morrow' (at that time forming part of the Barony of Bombie), the lower and more wealthy part of the district suffered most by his depredations. Young MacLellan, son of the former laird of Bombie, anxious to recover his father's lands, but not daring to attack Black Murray personally, filled a well, beside his cave in the wood, with spirits, of which the outlaw drank so freely that he soon fell asleep, which MacLellan perceiving, sprang from his hiding-place, and at one blow severed the head of Black Murray from his body."

About half a mile beyond this the entrance-gate to St. Mary's Isle, the residence of the Earl of Selkirk, is passed. The gate is of the plainest design, and the lodge continues to wear a "straw bonnet" of the old-fashioned pattern. The mansion-house is a rambling, old-fashioned, but substantial-looking building, embowered in the woods of the beautiful peninsula, which was at one time completely surrounded by water at every influx of the tide. There are some fine old trees in the grounds, among them a sycamore associated with the memory of Dugald Stewart, who lived at St. Mary's Isle for a season during the absence of his friend the Earl abroad. His favourite seat for meditation was under the shade of this venerable tree. One of the members of his family at the time was Lord Palmerston. The ancient name of the island was Trahil, but after the foundation of the Priory by Fergus in the 12th century, dedicated to St. Mary, it received the name of St. Mary's Isle. There are now few vestiges of the Priory to be seen. All the buildings were long ago removed, and the whole site of the priory is occupied by Lord Selkirk's mansion and pleasure grounds. The edifice was surrounded by high walls, and the outer gate, called the Great Cross, stood at the distance of half a mile from the Priory; the inner gate led immediately to the cells inhabited by the monks, and was distinguished by the name of the Little Cross.

The gates have also long ago been demolished. The Prior of St. Mary's Isle, like other priors, had a seat in Parliament. Robert Strivelin was the last prior, and after his death Robert Richardson, who also held the offices of Lord Treasurer and Master of the Moat, was presented to the Priory on 30th March 1538. He sat as Commendator in the Parliament of 1560. In 1572, Mr. Robert Richardson, Usufructuary, and William Rutherford, Commendator, granted to James Lidderdale, and Thomas, his son, the lands which belonged to the Priory.

This grant was confirmed by a charter from the king, dated the 4th November 1573.

The Priory was connected with the ancient parish of Galta, or Galtway, now united with the parish of Kirkcudbright.

Galtway churchyard is situated about two miles from Kirkcudbright, in a quiet sequestered sunny spot, surrounded by trees. In it there is a monument to the memory of Thomas Lidderdale of St. Mary's Isle, on which is the following inscription: -

Hie . Jacet . Thomas Lidderdale, Sanctae . Insulae . Marisa . Dominus . qu . obt .
11 . Decimo . Die . Feby. anno 1687 . etais 67.


Here lies David Lidderdale of Torrs, son to the above Thomas, who died 21 April 1732, aged 67.

Several of the members of the Selkirk family are buried here; amongst others the late Lady Selkirk, mother of the present Earl, whose memory will be held long in estimation, as one who, by example and encouragement, did a vast deal of lasting good in the neighbourhood.

From the lodge of St. Mary's Isle a fine avenue of lime trees extends to within a few yards of the boundaries of the burgh of Kirkcudbright. About half-way up is Oakley House, occupied by Dr. Shand, in an agreeable situation, shaded with trees.


The Royal Burgh of Kirkcudbright is no parvenu. Baxter, in his learned work, pronounces it to have been a fair town under the classic name Benutium, at the birth of Christ or thereabouts. Its Celtic name is supposed to have been Caer-cuabrit, or the fortified place on the bend of the river; and the Church, on getting possession of the land, changed the ancient name to one of a similar sound, but of a saintly connection, hence the Kirk of Cuthbert the Saint. It has since been variously called Kirkcuthbert, Kirkcubright, Kilcubright, Kirkcubrie, Kilcubrig, and Kirkcudbright. The last is the name now generally given to it in writings and in formal discourse, but Kirkcubrie is its colloquial appellation.

In an ancient document its position is briefly and quaintly stated thus: "Kirkcoubrie, ane rich toun and full of merchandise."

At the present day it is a beautifully picturesque old town. Although many of its hoary lineaments have, under the mouldering hand of time, passed away, and others are removed to give place to the supposed adornment of modem times, it still contains the relics of antiquity in its very bosom, many deeply interesting and suggestive to the antiquary, while around are scenes full of attraction to the lover of nature.

Everywhere around us, nowadays, we see thriving villages and towns; but few can boast the hoary antiquity of Kirkcudbright. Ages before a solitary hamlet marked the sites of its flourishing rivals, Castle-Douglas and Dalbeattie, it was a town of considerable note, entertaining and sheltering royalty. From this creek of the river's brink the patriot Wallace may have, amid the shouts and farewells of its populace, set sail for France after his defeat at Falkirk. In this very street may have circulated from the mouth of the breathless rustic the news that a company of gaily caparisoned horsemen, following in the rear of a lady attired in queenly apparel, mounted on a palfry, had been seen passing by way of Tongland to Dundrennan; and gossiping dames may have crossed arms and sighed over the fate of Scotia's fair Queen, “Mary, the beautiful, of many sorrows," in her perilous and ominous voyage "owre the Solway sea." Here the stately burgess, in sword, bonnet, buckles, and hose, cheek-by-jowl with the clown and gaping hostel boy, may have gazed with wonder and admiration on the gaudy trappings and prancing steeds of a king of the Stuart line, as he and his retinue passed beyond the gate of an evening, for an airing among the sylvan slopes and verdant links of the swiftly-flowing Dee. At this comer of the street noble Kenmure may have encountered Grierson of Lag on that day when, fired with revenge for the brutal murder of his kinsman, Bell of Whiteside, he would have drawn his sword and laid the persecutor a corpse at his feet, but for the interference of one whose name is still feared and detested by the peasantry of Galloway - Graham of Clavers - who stayed the wrath of the noble viscount. And were the stones of the old ruined Castle gifted with a tongue, full many a tale they could unfold of royal meetings, midnight schemings, and carousals.

If we are uncertain whether Wallace carried out his purpose, there is no doubt that the courageous Charlotte de la Tremoille, Countess of Derby, spent a few days here waiting for a fair wind to waft her across to the Isle of Man. She gives us a glimpse of the old town in the 17th century, in the following letter: -

"Dear Sister - I had the honour of writing to you two days before my departure from the Isle of Man, which was on the 26th of last month, when I told you my resolution to go through this country to Holland, to remedy, if possible, this sad business; but, finding that the English army had come here in great force, I could not travel without a passport. I have sent to ask for one, and I shall wait for it in the Isle of Man, to which place I return today, please God; with a fair wind it is but a ten hours' voyage. I have been here fifteen days, suffering every imaginable inconvenience, being reduced to eat oaten bread, and some of us to lodge in the house of the chief person of the place, though I never saw anything so dirty. But this is nothing to the religion. I fear greatly the result of this war, and I assure you that those who are in power are not so much in favour of monarchy as against the Duke of Hamilton and his faction. The king behaves with wonderful prudence; he is obliged to listen continually to sermons against his father, blaming him for all the blood that was shed; and those which I have heard in this place are horrible, having nothing of devotion in them, nor explaining any point of religion, but being full of sedition; warning people by their names, and treating of everything with such ignorance, and without the least respect or reverence, that I am so scandalised I do not think I could live with a quiet conscience among these atheists. "Kirkcudbright, August 1660."

An anonymous English traveller, who visited the town in 1722, thus described it : - “Kirkcudbright is an ancient town, with the prettiest navigable river I have seen in Britain. It runs as smooth as the Medway at Chatham; and there is depth of water and room enough to hold all the fleet of England, so that the Britannia may throw her anchor into the churchyard. It is also landlocked from all winds; and there is an island which shuts its mouth with good fresh water springs in it, which, if fortified, would secure the fleets from all attempts of an enemy.

"The town consists of a tolerable street, the houses all built of stone, but not at all after the manner of England - even the dress, manners, and customs differ very much from the English.

"The common people all wear bonnets instead of hats. They wear them only on Sundays and extraordinary occasions. There is nothing of the gaiety of the English, but a sedate gravity in every face, without the stiffness of the Spaniards; and I take this to be owing to their praying and frequent long graces, which give their looks a religious cast. Taciturnity and dullness gain the character of a discreet man, and a gentleman of wit is called a sharp man.

"I arrived here on Saturday night at a good inn, but the room where I lay, I believe, had not been washed, in a hundred years. Next day I expected, as in England, a piece of good beef and a pudding to dinner ; but my landlord told me that they never dress dinner on a Sunday, so that I must either take up with bread and butter and a fresh egg, or fast till after the evening sermon, when they never fail of a hot supper. Certainly no nation on earth observes the Sabbath with that strictness of devotion and resignation to the will of God. They all pray in their families before they go to church, and between sermons they fast. After sermon everybody retires to his own home and reads some book of devotion till supper (which is generally very good on Sundays), after which they sing psalms till they go to bed."

The burgh records give quite a different account of things from this good-natured and well meaning traveller. From them it appears that there was “a great number of ruinous houses within the burgh, and that the samyn hes byen so moir then three yeirs, yea then threttie yeirs, and that upon the high street, verrie much to the observatioune of strangers in reproch of the place." That the inhabitants did "lay yr dung and make yr middins on the king's heigh street, and at and about the mercat cross and uther public places," The draw wells were so unprotected that fatal accidents frequently occurred.  The gardens were unfenced, and contained only "bowkeall, unzions, and parsenips." There was no proper schoolhouse, and the church was in lamentable disrepair. The tolbooth was a mere apology for a prison; debtor and criminal, unless guarded by a watch of the burgesses, walked out of it "in a maisterfull manner," in defiance of the jailor.

Judging from the same records we find the manners of the inhabitants in equally bad condition. From 1690 to 1720 crimes varying in guilt from "bluid, batterie, and ryot," duelling and murder, to drawing water on a Sunday, or giving pawkie language to a bailie, were of daily occurrence. These offences were not confined to the poor and uneducated. Amongst the offenders are to be found landowners and farmers, magistrates and burgh officials, schoolmasters and excisemen. One day the treasurer fights with a violer and breaks his fiddle; on another, at the head of a mob, he assaults the tolbooth and rescues two prisoners. The town-clerk and half-a-dozen country gentlemen from St. Mary's Isle, Orroland, etc., after cruelly wounding and mangling a messenger-at-arms on a market day, parade the streets with drawn swords, and upon Bailie Meek requiring them to surrender themselves prisoners "they all came in ane furious maner and did assasinat and fall upon the said bailyie by cutting and wounding his heid with drawn swords (some whereof was bruk upon his heid), as also cutt the jaylour's heid, and persewed the assistants with drawen swords."

In 1793 matters had so much improved, that Heron in his Journey through Scotland, then writes, "the inhabitants of Kirkcudbright are undeniably a virtuous people. The gentry and the well-educated part of the community bear a greater proportion in numbers to the poor, the labouring, and the illiterate, than in most other places. Consequently their spirit and manners are predominant. A degree of liberal intelligence may be observed among the lowest classes, such as the same classes do not display in other places."

Leaving our readers to contrast this cursory sketch of the social condition of the burgh with its present state, we will proceed to our ramble through the town and environs.

The following notes on the Manuscripts of the Burgh by Dr. John Stuart, are very interesting: -

“The earliest authentic notice of Kirkcudbright relates to its ecclesiastical history. During the occupation of Galloway by the Saxons, they founded a bishopric at Whithorn, the see of the earliest establishment of St Ninian, and in the few parochial dedications to Saxon saints throughout the district, we seem to recognise the spots where the population and influence of the new race were concentrated. It was thus that a church dedicated to St. Cuthbert was here raised near the fertile estuary of the Dee, while one in the adjoining parish of Kelton had St. Oswald for its patron saint. In the pages of Reginald of Durham we obtain a curious glimpse of the church at Kirkcudbright, a few years after the middle of the 12th century.

“It happened that in the year 1164, Ailred, the Abbot of Rievaux, was on a journey in Galloway, and was at Kirkcudbright on the festival of the saint from whom the place is called. On this occasion a bull of a fierce temper was brought to the church as an oblation, and was baited in the churchyard by the young clerics, notwithstanding the remonstrances of their aged brethren, who warned the others of the danger of violating the 'peace' of the saint within the limits of his sanctuary. The younger men persisted in their frolic, and one of them ridiculed the idea of St. Cuthbert's presence, and the consequent sanctity of the place, even though his church was one of stone. The bull, after being baited for a time, broke loose from its tormentors, and, rushing through the crowd, he attacked the young cleric who had just spoken, and gored him, without attempting to hurt any other person.

“Besides the existence of St. Cuthbert's church, with a set of clerics attached to it, we may infer from this notice the novelty of stone churches at the period, and that the materials of such buildings in ordinary cases continued to be of wood, after what Bede styles the mos Scottorum, or custom of the Scots, but which was a custom with a more diffused sanction than might be inferred from this expression.

"The church of Kirkcuthbert soon afterwards was granted by Uchtred, Lord of Galloway, to the monastery of canons regular at Holyrood, a house in which his father, Fergus, had recently ended his days as a monk.

“At Kirkcudbright was a house of Grey Friars, founded in the 13th century, but unfortunately none of its records have been preserved. When Edward I. was here in July 1300, he made an offering of 7s. at the altar of the church of the monastery. On one of his pilgrimages to the shrine of St. Ninian at Whithorn, King James IV. made an offering at the Church of the Greyfriars of £6, 12s., to buy a eucharist.

"Although the town of Kirkcudbright must have been one of considerable importance from an early period, it did not become a royal burgh until the middle of the 15th century, when it received a charter of incorporation from King James II., dated 26th October 1466.

“It was selected, however, by Edward I., as a temporary place of residence for himself and his court in the year 1300, when occupied in the subjection of Galloway. He arrived there on the 19th of July, and remained for ten days. During his stay he received from the town of Drogheda a present of eighty hogsheads of wine. It also gave shelter to King Henry VI. and his queen, after the battle of Towton, in 1461.

"A charter of King James II. was granted to the town soon after the Galloway possessions of the house of Douglas had become vested in the crown by the forfeiture of this powerful house. The privileges which the town thus acquired excited the jealousy of the burgh of Dumfries, and a plea between the towns came before the Lords Auditors, by whom, in October 1467, it was remitted for the decision of the Lords of Council.

"The oldest paper in the collection of the burgh is a transcript of this charter, which was made within the chapel of the Greyfriars of Kirkcudbright, at the instance of William McLellan, of Bomby, provost of the burgh, on the 18th of February 1466, in presence of Hugh Witherspune, Vicar of Kirkcudbright, commissary for a Reverend Father Ninian, Bishop of Whithorn, then sitting in judgment. The deed narrates that for greater evidence the seal of John Wardlaw, prior of St. Mary's Isle, was affixed, in presence of Robert Falstone, rector of Kirkcrist; John Wotherspone, vicar of Dunrod; Robert Wardlaw and John Inglis, chaplains; Thomas Maclellan, Esquire, and Gilbert McTadull, with many others.

"On the 26th of February 1509-10, the burgh received a grant from King James IV. of the castle of the Douglases at Kirkcudbright, with its annexed lands of Castlemains. I did not see the original charter, but it is engrossed along with the earlier one of James II., in a charter granted to the burgh by King Charles I., on 13th August 1638.

“There is one old volume of the Records of the Burgh Court, in which are a good many notices of interest. It contains the record of suits, before the baillies, as well as copies of documents recorded for preservation.

"One of the latter is Letters of Legitimation by Queen Mary, with consent of her tutor, the Duke of Chatelherault, in favour of Michael Dion and Cuthbert Dion, bastards, brothers, sons natural of the late Herbert Dion, vicar of the parish of Kirkcormo. The document was recorded on 11th October 1577, but it is imperfect.

"The first entry of the ordinary proceedings of the Court, on 17th December 1576, is as follows: - *The quhilk day Barnard McCawel acclamis Elizabeth Hendersoun in certane cravingis, contenit in ane acclame, quhilk he referris to hir aith at the next Court.' Then follows entries of proceedings at the instance of James Lidderdaill of (Isle St Mary's Isle) against various persons on whom he made claims. Occasionally inquests are summoned, and cases are decided by them. There are elections of office-bearers, statutes and ordinances about trading, and regulations regarding prices of provisions. In January 1577, precautionary regulations occur on the subject of the plague, then raging on the Borders. Mixed with these are charters conveying tenements in the burgh, and proceedings in the service of heirs.

"The following entries illustrate the educational arrangements of the place, just before the establishment of the parish schools of Scotland: -

"’12th October 1591. The quhilk day, Mr Dauid Blyth, minister, is couentit

and feit schuill master quhill Beltane nixt to cum, - his entrie being at Hallowmas nixt, Quha oblissis him to sufficientlie instruct the youth, and await on the schuill, and sail fie ane sufficient learnit doctor under him betuix and Mertimes nizt for the peyment to him of xx merkis money at Candilmes and Beltane be equal perciounes.'

“’9th February 1692. - The quhilk day, Mr. Herbert Gledstanis is conducit and feit schuilmaster quhill Lambes nixt, for tuentie merkis money, and to be peiat at Beltane, and Lambes equallie, and he to enter thereto in Marche nixt, Quha sall instruct the youth sufficientlie at the sicht of the provost, baillies, and counsel of the said burgh.’

"On 25th April 1693 a statute appears prohibiting indwellers of the burgh bringing causes before other judges than those of the burgh.

"On 20th April 1596, it is ordained that all frequent the church twice on Sunday, and that they conveine to the examinations ilk day being advertiesit, for ilk fault 40d. Also none are to 'ban, sweir, curss, raill, or speik ony idle or profane speiches contemptuisly, nor flyte on the gait.' The fine to be 40s. toties quoties.

“On 4th April 1601, a gravedigger was elected. One of his duties was to ring the burial bell through the 'toune nyboris deceiss.'

“On 2nd December 1601, Fergus Neilson was chosen ‘toune pyper' for a year. The volume ends in June 1603." - Historical MSS, Commissioners vol.i. 538.

Kirkcudbright, at the present day, derives its chief importance from being the county town and seat of the Sheriff and Commissary Courts. It was at one time proposed to remove these to Castle-Douglas, as occupying a more central and convenient situation in the Stewartry; and it was only when the line of railway was continued to Kirkcudbright that this scheme was dropped. Had this removal been effected, it would not have been difficult to foresee the venerable old town lapsing into a state of utter quietude and neglect, with its streets moss-grown, and houses and gardens fitting abodes for the recluse. The inhabitants, however, alive to the benefits accruing from the adoption of any means calculated to abridge their distance from the great world, bestirred themselves, and by the energy and ceaseless labours of their magistracy, councillors, inhabitants, and assistance of "ain born bairns" resident abroad, this object was accomplished; and the two steeds of the roadway and the deep now cast fiery glances on each other, while with their impatient snortings and puffings they awake into life and action the natural drowsiness of the old burgh.

The traveller, on entering the town by the railway station, cannot fail to be struck with the improvements which have recently been effected in this quarter. There seems to be a general flitting to this locality, and the many handsome villas and cottages of recent erection, with flower-plots in front, in a state of great neatness and luxuriance, help much to adorn the natural beauties of the river's bank.

The railway station is handsome and commodious, with a covered platform, and accommodation in every way suited to the traffic. Opposite to the station is the Free Church, a very handsome new building, with tall tapering well-proportioned spire, and fine stained glass windows. Adjoining it is the Johnston Free School, an elegant stone building, with a centre tower and wings. On leaving the station, and proceeding into the town, the most imposing object that attracts the eye of the visitor is the old castle, clad in its mantle of green ivy, overlooking the river. This venerable ruin adds much to the picturesque beauty of the town, and, conjointly with the tower of the castellated Court-House, forms a prominent landmark at a distance. It was built on the site of the Franciscan House by Sir Thomas MacLellan of Bombie, in 1582, and bears that date on the escutcheon above the doorway. It is a massive building, still in fair preservation, and, with a little care, may yet stand many years. It is now the property of the Earl of Selkirk.

History says that the church belonging to the Grey Friars stood near the castle. It was founded in the reign of Alexander II.; but, in consequence of the ancient records having been carried off at the Reformation, it is very obscurely known to history. John Carpenter, one of its inmates in the reign of David II., was distinguished for his mechanical genius; and, by his dexterity in engineering he so fortified the castle of Dumbarton, as to earn from the king a yearly pension of £20 in guerdon of his services. In 1564, the Friars' Kirk was, on a petition by the General Assembly which sat in Edinburgh, granted by Queen Mary to the magistrates of the town to be used as a parish church. It continued to be used till 1730; and, when it became unserviceable, it yielded up its site to a successor for the use of the whole modem united parish; but it also became too small, and a more commodious building was erected on another site.

Part of the walls of the old church still remain, and are now occupied as a Female School. Below that portion of it known as the old aisle, is the tomb in which the mortal remains of the MacLellans were deposited. We were told, by one who had assisted to remove the slab from the mouth of the vault, that at the time of opening several of the coffins remained nearly entire, and the cloths with which they were covered, along with pieces of silken trimmings, were as perfect to look upon as when entombed, but with the slightest touch or breath of air they mouldered to dust. The coffins were made of plain oak. There is a monument here erected to the memory of Sir Thos. MacLellan, bearing an inscription in Latin, with the arms of the Kirkcudbright family; and in a niche in the wall is a recumbent figure carved in stone, supposed to be an effigy of one of the Lords Kirkcudbright. In ancient times a burial-ground was situated around this old church, and in levelling the grounds near it, some years ago, many bones and other sepulchral remains were turned up. The present church was built in 1836, and is a large and handsome structure, with spire and clock. The grounds around it have recently been much improved, and are now protected by a well-built wall and railing. A handsome monument inside the church was erected by the whole inhabitants of the parish, in 1837, to the memory of their pastor, the Rev. G. Hamilton, who was instrumental in obtaining the new church, but died before its completion.

Pursuing the walk from here, which passes through the town parks, we come to the site of the ancient castle of the Lords of Galloway. A few grassy mounds are the only vestiges which remain to mark the spot where once stood the spacious domains of royalty. This castle was situated near the river, and has evidently been surrounded by a fosse, into which the tide probably flowed to render it secure. The following account is given in the Imperial Gazetteer:-

"The Castle - now vulgarly called Castledykes, but known in ancient writings as Castlemains - belonged originally to the Lords of Galloway, when they ruled the province as a regality, separate from Scotland; and seems to have been built to command the entrance of the harbour. Coming into the possession of John Baliol, as successor to the Lords of Galloway, it was for some time, during the war of 1300, the residence of Edward I; and, passing into the hands of the Douglases on the forfeiture of Edward Balliol, it remained with them till 1455, when their crimes drew down upon them summary castigation, and in that year was visited by James II. when on his march to crush their malign power. Becoming now the property of the Crown, it offered, in 1461, a retreat to Henry VI. after his defeat at Towton, and was his place of residence while his Queen Margaret visited the Scottish Queen at Edinburgh. In 1508 it was the temporary residence of James IV., who, while occupying it, was hospitably entertained by the burgh; and next year, by a charter dated at Edinburgh, it was gifted, along with some attached lands, to the magistrates, for the common good of the inhabitants."

It was about 1300 that the Pope sent his letter to Edward desiring him to prove his rights over Scotland at the Holy Court. The bull was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury to be delivered by him into Edward's hand. Mr. Burton describes the prelate's difficulties, moral and physical:-

“Never was prelate more hardly beset. There was all the unpleasantness of conveying an unpleasant message to a man not blessed with a placid and forgiving temper, and there were the difficulties of the journey - for King Edward was away at the northern extremity of his kingdom, menacing Scotland. The Archbishop recounted all his difficulties and dangers to his master, and we thus get a glimpse of some of the physical and social conditions caused by the war. After having consumed several days in preparation for his formidable journey, he set off, apparently, in the summer of 1300, and reached Carlisle in twenty days. There, to his dismay, he found that the King had gone with his army into Galloway. He met with some discreet laymen, and with clerical persons worthy of all confidence, from whom he found that the country swarmed with armed Scots; and even supposing him to get through with safety, there was no food in it for his retinue. No one, not even among the clergy, was zealous enough to carry a message intimating his arrival, or even endeavour to procure a safe conduct for him. He fell at last on a shrewd device. Remaining at Carlisle he sent two of his retinue by sea, who reached the army of Edward with much risk of capture, and with like risk brought answer to his question, how he could with safety endeavour to get an audience. The answer sent him was, that the King could suggest no better way than this: the Queen and he were on some future day to have a meeting, and the Bishop might join escorts with her.

"The prospect of this arrangement, however, was indefinite, and the inducements to wait on were extremely meagre, for he mentions that, during nearly six weeks while his messengers were absent, having to be so near the border of Scotland, he was glad to obtain sufficiency without aspiring at abundance of food. He heard at last that the king had come back to the castle of Caerlaverock, which had some time ago been taken. He then managed to get himself and his equipage conveyed across the Solway at low tide, encountering more peril than he seems to have known of. And so, the triumphant conclusion of his adventures was, that he unexpectedly came upon the king at dinner, on the Friday after the Feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle, or towards the end of August." - History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 315.

Leaving the pleasant walk through the parks we follow the road leading past the Academy, a large substantial building, containing three school-rooms, with a portico in front, which affords shelter for the scholars in bad weather. This Academy has for many years been justly celebrated as a classical and commercial seminary.

In the field between the Academy and the High Street stands a stunted old hawthorn, close to which was the site of the dwelling of Mr. John Welsh, Knox's son-in-law, who was minister of Kirkcudbright between 1594 and 1602.

In connection with the Academy the name of the Rev. William Mackenzie, author of the History of Galloway, deserves fitting mention. He was a native of Kirkcudbright, and was licensed as a preacher in 1818. When a young man he was appointed Master of the English School in the Academy of his native town, and in that capacity was very successful. Having earned a competency, he retired from his labours as a teacher, and devoted his leisure hours to the cultivation of a naturally refined taste, and occasionally courted the muse. His Verses on taking leave of the Old Church of Kirkcudbright; On Visiting Threave Castle; and To a Skeleton, are of considerable merit. At this period of his life, at the instigation of the late Mr. John Nicholson, who contemplated issuing a reprint of Symson's History of Galloway, he wrote the History of Galloway, in two volumes. This very difficult undertaking was ably performed. It is a work of great labour and research. It was printed and published by Nicholson, who lent valuable assistance in collecting materials.

In 1843 Mr. Mackenzie was presented to the parish of Skirling, and continued to perform the duties of his ministry until within a few months of his death. He died on 20th February 1854, in the 64th year of his age, and his remains rest in the romantic churchyard of Skirling.

From the Academy we return to the Old Court-House and Jail, at the corner of the High Street, supposed to have been erected about the middle of the 16th century. It is a very curious-looking old edifice, surmounted by a very neat tower and spire, the stones of which were taken from the ruins of Dundrennan Abbey; and in front of it stands the Old Market Cross of the town.

Here the capacious wassail bowl of the burgh, presented by Mr. Hamilton of Bargeny, M.P., soon after the Union, is brought forth on festive occasions, such as coronations and royal marriages. The last time it was used was in March 1863 - the Prince of Wales' marriage day, when the lieges had an opportunity of testing its brewing capabilities. The bowl is of walnut wood, hooped with brass, and capable of holding ten gallons.

Here also hung the jougs, that in feudal times grasped in their iron embrace the neck of the culprit while undergoing the degrading sentence of a public exhibition so many days of the year. It is not many years since these "monsters of justice" were taken down, our guide having a piece of them in his possession. A portion of the old building is now occupied by the Musketry Instructor to the 1st K.R.V. as a dwelling-house, and a large upper room has been appropriated as an armoury and drill room, for which it is admirably suited. A cell adjoining is used as a powder magazine, and is very convenient and useful for the purpose. The entrance-door to the tower is reached by a flight of steps leading from the main street. Having procured a guide with the key, after considerable difficulty - passing from one "Robinson Crusoe" ladder to another, we reached the top of the tower, and were amply repaid for all our scramblings and genuflexions by the extent and beauty of the prospect which it commands.

Immediately below is the "auld toun," embosomed in its sylvan surroundings. While looking towards the north the scene is truly delightful, the banks of the river, from Tongland to the sea, being peculiarly rich in natural beauty. In the foreground is the river sparkling in the sun's rays, and winding like a silver thread among the green meadows; while the grounds around Compstone, sloping gently to the river's margin, are clothed with plantations of great freshness and beauty. Farther on, towards the Vale of Tarff, the eye passes over a succession of gently swelling knolls and well cultivated fields and hills, their sides and summits interspersed with clumps of wood and fine belts of planting, backed by the brown heathy peaks of Kirkconnell and Barstobrick. Towards the west we have the sparsely wooded grounds and rich alluvial pasturages of Borgue, with the river in the middle distance, still forming an agreeable rest to the eye ; while, almost lost in the silvery haze, we discern the broad brow of Caimsmore-of-Fleet.

On facing to the right about the eye rests on marine and inland views of great extent and loveliness. Before us is the river, broadening out so as to resemble, as it is called, a lake. To the right the quiet burying-ground of Kirkchrist, the high lands and thriving plantations of Kirkeoch and Senwick sloping gradually to the sea; and to the left the precipitous cliffs of the Torrs Point, present a bold headland. The Ross Isle, with its lighthouse, lies in the mouth of the river, while the densely wooded peninsula of St. Mary's Isle invades the estuary with its sylvan foliage. The environs of Kirkcudbright are truly delightful, and the objects of historical and traditional interest which are situated in the neighbourhood are well worthy of a visit. The beautiful scenery of the Banks of the Dee in this locality has been often and justly admired. It inspired the muse of Montgomery when he wrote the poem of The Cherry and the Slae; and the Rev. Dugald Stewart Williamson, the late gifted minister of Tongland, has thus feelingly sung in its praise:-

"Till life has vanished let me deem
I hear the ripple of thy stream,
And see thy beauteous vale!

O! may the earliest sound and sight
That gave my infant heart delight,
The latest be to fail!

More bright and beautiful on earth
May other landscapes shine;
For me their charms are little worth
E'en though resembling thine. "

The poet Nicholson also alludes to its charms in many of his poems; and Mactaggart, author of the Gallovidian Encyclopedia, in a long descriptive poem, entitled Mine Address to the Dee, written when a student at Edinburgh, also writes of its many beauties and attractions:-

"The Dee is king of all the streams
That roll to Scotland's southern sea,
On it I had my youthful dreams,
Its banks are ever dear to me.

The Nith, the Urr, the Fleet, and Cree
Are waters not to match with it,
No stately ship on them we see
For navigation they're unfit.

Upon its banks what waving wood
And fertile glades for ever green,
What salmon spouting in the flood
And pellocks hunting them are seen. "

In front of this building is the Main Cistern which supplies the town with water from the springs situated about half a mile to the east. A tablet on this cistern bears the following inscription:-

"This fount, not riches, life supplies,
Art gives what nature here denies.
Posterity must surely bliss
St. Cuthbert's sons who purchased this."

Near to the Cross are the County Buildings, a handsome and commodious edifice, both externally and internally. It is to be regretted that such an imposing structure should not have been placed in a more advantageous site. Here it is quite buried in a narrow street. The New Jail, erected in 1865, lies behind, and is a plain oblong building. The publishing office and shop of the late John Nicholson are also in this street. To the inquiring tourist, possessed of Grose-like propensities for "auld nick nackets," and a taste for legendary lore, the removal by death of the late John Nicholson is much felt on visiting Kirkcudbright. He was acquainted with all the traditions, oral and written, connected with Galloway; and possessed a retentive memory, and the "nack" of telling a story to advantage, which made an hour in his company as instructive as it was enjoyable. Mr. Nicholson was born in the parish of Tongland in 1777, and in early life followed the trade of a weaver; for a short time adopting the military profession, by enlisting into the Scots Greys. His bent, however, was antiquities; and on leaving the service he settled down in Kirkcudbright as a bookseller and printer. From his press was issued the History of Galloway, the Traditions of Galloway, and a number of other works. He was also publisher and proprietor of the Stewartry Times, He died at Kirkcudbright on 11th September 1866, leaving an only son, who succeeded him in the business, and inherits also the antiquarian leanings of his father. In High Street is the United Presbyterian Church. The office of the National Bank, a plain substantial building, is situated in Castle Street.

The Public Rooms, or Literary Institute of Kirkcudbright, is a large square building at the corner of St. Mary Street, opposite the Parish Church. This building contains an excellent Library, connected with the Institute. The office of the Bank of Scotland is a few doors farther on, and it is undoubtedly the most handsome building in the town. Its front is built of grey freestone, with carved Corinthian pillars; and the breadth of the street allowing ample room for a favourable view, it has a very airy and tasteful appearance.

On reading the history of the town we are pleased to find that the old burgh has laudably striven to be foremost in the career of improvement. In 1763 water was introduced; in 1777 a public library was established; building societies were formed in 1808 and 1810, which erected a large number of houses, adding much to the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants; and in 1838 the inhabitants of Kirkcudbright had the honour of introducing the first gas company into Galloway. It was at an earlier period introduced into the burgh of Maxwelltown by pipes from Dumfries, but Kirkcudbright was the first place in Galloway in which gas was manufactured and burned.

Few towns enjoy the advantage of such agreeable walks as are to be found in the environs of Kirkcudbright. Along the seashore, by the banks of the Dee, and in the woods on the slopes above the town, there is an endless variety of pleasant paths. It is due to the Earl of Selkirk to mention that there is almost no restriction of the liberty of wandering through these woods.

The town was formerly encompassed by a wall and a deep ditch. None of the wall is now visible, though the fosse or ditch may still be traced. The space within the wall was almost a square, each side being about 350 yards long. The town had one gate at the river, and another on the side next the Barrhill, called the Meikle Yett. The tide flowed into the fosse, and at high water completely surrounded the town. Houses stood built with their gables to the street, and closes radiated from each side of it. The gates at the Meikle Yett were taken down within the last century. Two perforated stones in the pavement are here still visible, in which the pivots of the two divisions of the gate turned. The pillars, with the two globular ornamental stones which stood above them, were removed to the present entrance of St. Cuthbert's Churchyard. An English party, who marched against the town in 1547, in the warfare about the marriage treaty between Mary and Edward VI., narrate that as they approached "Kirkcobrie, they who saw us coming barred their gates, and kept their dikes, for the town is diked on both sides, with a gate to the waterward, and a gate on the overend to the fellward."

St. Cuthbert's Churchyard is about a quarter of a mile north of the burgh. The glebe of the parish nearly surrounds the churchyard, and close by, in an elevated situation, a commodious new manse has been built. On our way we pass the lifeboat station, and the springs which supply the town with water. The road to the cemetery being on rising ground affords fine views of the surrounding country.

This cemetery marks the site of the ancient church which was dedicated to St. Cuthbert. The church was given in the 12th century by Uchtred, son of Fergus, lord of Galloway, to the monks of Holyrood, and was a vicarage under them till the Reformation; in 1633 it was given to the Bishop of Edinburgh; and when Episcopacy was abolished it reverted to the Crown. St. Cuthbert possessed great influence in his time, and several churches both in England and Scotland were dedicated to him. From a note to vol. 1 of the History of Galloway containing an interesting account of his life, we quote briefly:-

"St. Cuthbert took the monastic habit at Melrose under Eata, afterwards Bishop of Hagulstad and Lindisfarne, Boisil being prior. Eata took Cuthbert to Ripon, till Wilfred was appointed abbot. Then he returned to Melrose. On the death of Boisil, of the great plague, in 664, Cuthbert was promoted to his place, and he commenced to evangelise the barbarous people in the villages in the neighbourhood. After many years thus spent, Eata removed him to Lindisfarne. After governing Lindisfarne as prior for some years, he betook himself, for solitude and contemplation, to the Isle of Farne, at a distance of nine miles. There he built himself a small dwelling, with a trench about it, and the necessary cells - a rath, in short - where he produced a stream of water from the hard rock. He was after many years present at the Synod of Adtwiford, on the Alne, where Theodore was present, when he was reluctantly appointed bishop. He was consecrated at York by Theodore and six other bishops, and Eata returning to Hagulstad, Cuthbert presided over Lindisfarne. After spending two years in his bishopric, he retired to Ferne, and died in 687."

In the Aberdeen Breviary we get a short account of his death and burial.

"After two years in the duties of the episcopate, feeling that his end was drawing near he returned to the hermit's life. After two months in the desert, he was suddenly seized with illness, and after three weeks he died, and was honourably buried in Lindisfarne. Even years after, on opening his tomb, his body was found incorrupt. The body was now set up as a shrine to which multitudes of pilgrims resorted, to the great enrichment of the church."

At the entrance-gate to the churchyard is a monument to the memory of the Ewarts, a very old Stewartry family, and the ancestors of the late indefatigable member for the Dumfries burghs. It is dated 1644, with carvings of emblematical figures, and is profusely lettered; but as it is cut in the quaint style of that century, and placed at a considerable height from the ground, it is scarcely decipherable.

A most curious and interesting stone has been erected to the memory of Billy Marshall, the famous Gallovidian gypsy or tinkler. The one side bears the inscription - “The remains of Wm. Marshall, Tinkler, who died 28 Novemr., 1792, at the advanced age 120 years." On the other side of the stone are carved two ram's horns and two tablespoons crossed. Billy Marshall was a wonderful character in his day, and, as McTaggart says, “had both the good and bad qualities of man about him in a very large degree. He was kind, yet he was a murderer; an honest soul, yet a thief; at times a generous savage, at other times a wild pagan; he knew both civilised and uncivilised life; the dark and fair side of human nature; had no fear; was seldom sick; could sleep on moor as soundly as on feather-bed; took whisky to excess; but lived to a patriarchal age. He was buried in state by the hammermen of Kirkcudbright, who would not permit the Earl of Selkirk to lay his head in the grave, merely because his lordship was not one of their incorporated body." An anecdote is told of him that having joined the army and gone to the wars in Flanders, he one day accosted his commanding officer, who was a Galloway gentleman - “Sir, ha’e ye ony word to sen’ to your friends in Scotland at present?" "What by that," returned the officer; "is there any person going Home?" "Ay," continued Billy, "Keltonhill Fair is just at han'. I ha'e never been absent frae it since my shanks could carry me to it, nor do I intend to let this year be the first." The officer, knowing his nature, knew it would be in vain to try to keep him in the ranks, so bade him tell his father and friends how he was; he also gave him a note to take to his sweetheart. So Marshall departed, was at Keltonhill Fair accordingly, and ever after that paid much respect to the family of McCulloch of Ardwall, one of whom, it would seem, was the commanding officer alluded to.

Amongst the remarkable stones in this churchyard are two in the east end, which mark the graves of two Covenanters. On 18th December 1684, Claverhouse surprised six of these sufferers for the cause of right and truth in a place called Auchincloy, in the parish of Girthon. He ordered four of them to be instantly shot, while William Hunter and Robert Smith were carried prisoners to Kirkcudbright, where a mock trial was gone through. They were found guilty, hanged, and afterwards beheaded. The inscription on the gravestone is still quite legible, and is as follows:-

William Huntre - Robert Smith 1684 -
This monument shall show posterity
Two headles martyres under it doth ly
By bloody Grahme were taken and surpris'd
Brought to this toune and afterward's were saiz’d
By unjust law were sentenced to die
Them first they hang'd then headed cruelly
Captains Douglas, Bruce, Grahame of Cleverhous
Were these that caused them be handled thus
And when they were into the gibbet come
To stope their speech they did beat up the drum
And all becawse that they would not comply
With indulgen and bloody prelacie -
In face of cruel Bruce, Douglas, Grahame
They did maintain that Christ was Lord supream
And boldly ouned both the Covenants
At Kirkcudbright thus ended these two saints” -

Galloway, in the days of prelatic persecution, was the scene of much oppression and suffering, and in these times it was famous for the number of its adherents to the cause of the Covenants. When post-Reformation Episcopacy was forced on Scotland, the inhabitants of Kirkcudbright simultaneously rose to prevent the settlement of an Episcopalian minister in their church. A judicial commission, appointed by the Privy Council, made inquiry into their conduct, and adjudged some women as ringleaders to the pillory. "Whether the women or the Privy Council," sardonically remarks the author of Caledonia, "were on that occasion the most actuated by zeal, it is not easy to decide.”

John Hallume, an inoffensive lad, about 18 years of age, was pursued by a Lieutenant Livingston, with a party of dragoons, and without being asked a single question, fired upon and wounded. He was again barbarously cut on the head by a sword. Conveying him a prisoner to Kirkcudbright, they ordered him to take the abjuration oath. Upon his refusing to do so a jury of soldiers was empanelled, who, as a matter of course found him guilty, and he was executed in the usual manner. His body was also interred in the churchyard of Kirkcudbright, and the stone bears the following inscription:- "Here lyes John Hallume, who was wounded in his taking, and by unjust law sentenced to be hanged. All this done by Capt. Douglas, for his adherence to Scotland's Reformation Covenants Nationall and Solemn League, 1685."

There are many very ancient and curiously carved stones in this churchyard, which would amply repay a leisurely inspection by those who possess in any measure the tastes of Old Mortality.