The Ancient Royal Burgh of Dunfermline


The ancient capital of Scotland

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An assorted collection of Douglas connections with Dunfermline:

Dunfermline is a town and former Royal Burgh, and parish, in Fife, Scotland, on high ground 3 miles (5 km) from the northern shore of the Firth of Forth.

The earliest known settlements in the area around Dunfermline probably date as far back as the Neolithic period. The area was not regionally significant until at least the Bronze Age. The town was first recorded in the 11th century, with the marriage of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, and Saint Margaret at the church in Dunfermline. As his Queen consort, Margaret established a new church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which evolved into an Abbey under their son, David I in 1128. Following the burial of Alexander I in 1160, the abbey graveyard confirmed its status as the burial place of Scotland's kings and queens up to and including Robert The Bruce in 1329.

1). Situated off east Baldridge Drive
2). Possibly named after Mr. John Douglas, Depute Town Clerk, Motherwell and Wishaw, he was appointed Town Clerk of Dunfermline in 1946. [D‟Line Press 100 years]

3). Mr. John Douglas, who was Town Clerk of Dunfermline for 29 years, had died at his home at Pitbauchlie Bank aged 64 years. Mr Douglas, who spent most of his life in local government, came to Dunfermline as Town Clerk in 1946. In a distinguished career, Mr. Douglas served as Session Clerk to Dunfermline Abbey for 16 years as a representative of the Convention of Royal Burghs on the Police Council for the UK: and as a member of the Police Advisory Board for Scotland. He was Governor of the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Scottish Central Library. In 1971 Mr Douglas was awarded the OBE for his services to Dunfermline. [D‟Line Press 11.11.1977]


1). Situated off Douglas Drive Dunfermline.
2). Possibly named after - R.B.T. Douglas Sheriff-Clerk & Justice of the Peace
Depute circa 1850.
3). Andrew Douglas, Adjutant Lieutenant of the Scots Brigade 4.6.1795 B. & G.
There are another seven entries listed. [Burgess Roll of Dunfermline by David Dobson]


1). Situated between the High Street and Pilmuir Street at the General Post Office.
2). Named after James Douglas Esq. Writer and Propriety here.
3). 1829-Douglas Street -During the spring of 1829 a venerable specimen of “Grey Dunfermline” was removed to make way for the thorough opening up of Douglas Street. It had a pended front of three large arches, with peaked windows above them; the middle arch covered the common entry which led up from High Street to “the toun‟s mercate.” Traditionally, it was known as the French Ambassador‟s House. [Annals of D‟Line P.627]
4). The old tenement and adjacent house on the East, noticed under date 1829 being removed along with some old back-dikes, the street was in May this year opened for passengers and traffic and had the name of Douglas Street given to it in compliment to the proprietor of most of the property her viz. James Douglas Esq. Writer. [Annals of Dunfermline P.628]

Mr. James Hill Douglas, Procurator-Fiscal at Dunfermline, was retiring after more than 30 years in the Fiscal Service. [D‟Line Press 17.9.1982]

Note: Possible connection with Charles Hill Douglas, son of David Douglas W.S.


John Drummond, son of Robert Drummond, a weaver burgess 5.9.1791, and Robert Drummond, son of Robert Douglas, a weaver burgess, 5.9.1791. [Burgess Roll of Dunfermline by David Dobson]


The trustees of the late Reverend Allan Maclean, senior minister of the parish, after whom it is named etc. Mr McLean‟s Trustees, viz. James Hunt of Pittencrieff, Esq., Robert Douglas of Abbey Parks, Esq., and Rev. P. Chalmers, had left to them about £2000, at their discretionary disposal, for benevolent purposes of which the above is part. North Church Golfdrum 1840, quad sacra, built in connection with the Establishment. [Chalmers Vol.1.P.321-2]


The newly-built £250,000 John Douglas Residential Home, Golfdrum Street, was opened on Tuesday. “Because we have someone like John Douglas, who has served the town so well over so long a period, we have no difficulty in naming the home after him.” [D‟Line Press 11.10.1974]


Brief of Division of the lands of Grange alias East Barns addressed to Alexr. Seytoune Lord of Urquhart, principal bailie of the Regality and his deputes one or more, charging them to divide said lands among Gavin Douglas portioner of four 7ths George Turnbull portioner of two 7ths and William Lugton portioner of one 7th.10 July 1597. [S.R.O. RH11.27.2/80 & 85]


8 Feb 1611 – The Quk day Mr Thomas Wadlaw dimittit his takkis and kyndnss of tat qrtor of ye mukit land of Kingseathill occupeit be him in favour of Archibald Douglas, according to ye qlk the provost baillies & c‟saill ressavit ye said Archd tenent to ye toun I ye said Mr Thomas takkis and ryt of ye said qrter lands.


British Linen Company re-established a Branch Bank in Dunfermline, on 31st July 1831. Robert Douglas Esq. St. Margaret‟s Street Agent. [Annals of D‟Line P.631]

Note.—This Banking Company established a Branch in Dunfermline in 1804. Shortly afterwards it was withdrawn.


The Railway Club in Townhill Road was a lemonade works owned by Douglas and Company who had very nice lorries, but not better painted than the one which delivered battle axe toffee. [A Boys Life in Townhill by Robert Wilson P.8]
Probably Robert Douglas of Kirkcaldy

Cairneyhill schoolmaster, James Douglas, ??1752


1). Situated north off Cairneyhill Road, Crossford
2). Named after Philip Douglas, Manager of Co-operative who built the first house on the corner of this Drive. Units of other famous Scottish regiments were stationed in and around the burgh, among them the 4th K.O.S.B. In the ranks of this battalion was youthful Sergeant Philip Douglas, who became Sergeant-Major Douglas. Perhaps the liking for the bustling Fife burgh and its people acquired then influenced his decision to accept the position of Cooperative managing-secretary some 30 years later. [The Story of the Century D‟Line Co-operative Society Ltd. P.31]


1). Situated north off Wood Road.
2). Named after Rear Admiral Sir Charles Douglas, Captain of Lord Rodney‟s ship HMS Formidable at the Battle of the Saints 1782. He was the proponent of flint-lock firing on naval guns in place of the slow-match. [D‟Line Carnegie Library]
3). Sir Charles Douglas Rodney‟s Captain of The Battle of the Saintes 1782. [Story of
Rosyth 158]


•  Douglas, William. Born Dunfermline. Merchant in New York. Drowned January 8, 1839.
He was the only brother of Euphemia Douglas,. She, also a native of Dunfermline, was wife of William Sloane; four sons and one daughter survived him.

See also:
•  Dunfermline Abbey
•  18th century deeds
•  Dunfermline records
•  16thC births in Dunfermline
•  Dunfermline Abbey burial records



Sources for this article include:

•  Dunfermline Press

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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024