Dysart Burghs


Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Burntisland (1820), Kinghorn (1826), Dysart (1830), Kirkcaldy (1831) all in Fifeshire


12 Aug. 1830JAMES ALEXANDER ST. CLAIR ERSKINE, Lord Loughborough

Main Article

Dysart, on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth, ten miles north of Leith and 16 miles south-south-east of Cupar, was dominated by Dysart House, the subsidiary seat of James St. Clair Erskine†, 2nd earl of Rosslyn, of Ravenscraig Castle, the owner of most of the properties and valuable coal seams nearby. The harbour and wet dock serving its coal and coarse linen trades, however, belonged to the town council, a self-elected body of 24, all resident in 1822, when 21 had property in the burgh.1 The population (burgh and parish) rose from 6,529 in 1821 to 7,104 in 1831.2 Burntisland, nine miles north of Edinburgh and six miles south-west of Kirkcaldy, was reckoned to be the ‘best harbour on the Firth of Forth’ and was an important steam ferry terminus for traffic to Perth and Dundee.3 Its wartime herring trade had declined and attempts to boost the local economy in this period through distilling, holiday bathing and a nascent whaling trade had mixed success.4 At 2,136 in 1821 and 2,166 in 1831 the population was stagnant, as was the £4,150 burgh debt. In 1822, when the largest landowner, Robert Ferguson of Raith, was provost, 20 of the overlarge council of 21 (three bailies, a dean of guild, ten guild and seven trades councillors) were resident. In 1832 the guildry had only 82 members (75 resident) and the combined trades 36.5 Kinghorn, a former Rosslyn stronghold three miles south-west of Kirkcaldy and six miles north of Leith, retained a small lint manufactory, but remained in serious decline while plans to spend £20-30,000 to improve its ruined harbour at Pettycur lay dormant. Its population (burgh and parish) was 2,443 in 1821 and 2,579 in 1831. According to a return to the 1822 committee on Scottish royal burghs, all but one of its council of 22 were resident. There were five incorporated trades but no guildry.6 The estates of Raith and Dunnikier bounded Kirkcaldy, the ‘lang toun’ of Fife, stretching parallel to the shore ten miles north of Edinburgh and 18 south-south-west of Cupar. Unlike Dysart, it had grown rapidly since 1811 and was described by the 1831 boundary commissioners as the ‘most thriving town on the north coast of the Firth of Forth’. Its population (burgh and parish) increased from 4,552 in 1821 to 5,034 in 1831 and its council of 31 (24 ‘guildmen’ and seven deacons of crafts) was comprised of ‘sailors, merchants and trades[men]’, who were ‘required by sett’ to be resident. Its town revenue (£1,911 in 1831-2) derived entirely from its harbour, serving steam ferries to Midlothian, the Greenland fisheries and a substantial trade in coal, linen and naval stores.7 The representation had, with Rosslyn’s acquiescence, been vested since 1806 in Ferguson’s brother Sir Ronald Ferguson, an ardent Foxite and lieutenant-general in the army, knighted for his services in 1815. The last contest in 1812 had confirmed the combined ability of Rosslyn and Ferguson, then both Whigs, to return the Member, despite the Liverpool ministry’s Scottish manager Lord Melville’s interference at Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy (on behalf of Admiral Philip Charles Durham† of Largo), and in 1818 Ferguson had been unopposed.8

At the general election of 1820 Sir John Oswald of Dunnikier, a Tory, and Robert Ferguson contested Fifeshire, where James Wemyss prevailed. Oswald wrote to Melville, 25 Feb., suggesting a diversion:

In our burghs Burntisland and Kinghorn give the electors this return; both these may be called open till the delegate is chosen! Any appearance of a monied candidate would have great effect, for I believe the finances of the enemy are in no flourishing condition.9

Melville, however, heard from the lord advocate Sir William Rae* on the 26th that Sir Ronald Ferguson was safe and scotched the attempt.10 After the election Oswald claimed ‘the disposal of all the government patronage in the Kirkcaldy district of burghs’ (which irked Wemyss) and wrote on 14 and 30 Aug. urging Melville to make partisan appointments in the customs office at Kirkcaldy, so that it could be ‘detached’ from the ‘current interest’ at the Michaelmas elections.11 According to his memorial of 14 Aug. 1820:

The gaining [of] Kirkcaldy is a most important object, for every circumstance renders it the most influential borough in the district. Nevertheless, the boroughs may yet be considered as presenting a fair object for a ministerial candidate. Upon the next vacancy Burntisland and Kinghorn return the Member, and they are at all times to be gained; the last occasion they might have been so after the delegates were chosen, who were in fact most desirous of properly disposing of the trust confided in them.12

Melville, who recommended Lord Pitmilly’s brother W.T. Monypenny, replied, 25 Sept. 1820, that Oswald’s strategy was ‘too risky’.13

The abandonment in November 1820 of the bill of pains and penalties against Queen Caroline was celebrated with bell ringing, bonfires, and illuminations at Dysart, Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn, where the magistrates immediately addressed her.14 The Fergusons were among the queen’s chief partisans and Parliament received petitions from the magistrates, councils and inhabitants of all the burghs protesting at her treatment by ministers, 26 Jan.-19 Feb. 1821. Those from the magistrates and councils also urged the restoration of her name to the liturgy.15 One from the burgesses, householders and inhabitants of Kirkcaldy, presented to both Houses, 12 Mar., attached distress to the queen’s cause and called for economy and retrenchment.16 Ferguson resigned in protest from the 1821 select committee on the royal burghs, where the Tories prevailed, and Kinghorn petitioned against passing the ensuing regulation bill unamended, 17 June 1822.17 At Burntisland, the inhabitants petitioned the Lords for measures to prevent body snatching, 20 May 1822,18 and a meeting at the townhouse, 20 July 1823, set up a subscription fund in support of the Spanish refugees.19 The magistrates and town council of Burntisland and the presbytery of Kirkcaldy petitioned against the abortive 1824 poor bill and against West Indian slavery, 17 Apr. 1826.20

Most of the district’s petitions were on issues affecting trade. They included several objecting to alterations in the timber duties favourable to the North American trade, sent up by the ship owners of Kirkcaldy, 3 July 1820, 19 Mar., and Alexander Balfour, a local timber merchant and sawmill owner, 9 Apr. 1821.21 Kirkcaldy and Dysart ship owners petitioned for repeal or revision of the duties affecting the Scottish coastal coal trade, 5 Mar. 1821, and against the Leith docks bill, 17 Mar. 1825.22 Petitions against repealing the navigation laws were received from the ship owners of Kirkcaldy, 10 May, 4 June 1822, and those engaged in whaling petitioned in favour of the London and Westminster oil-gas bill, 12 Apr. 1824, and ‘in alarm’ at the proposed withdrawal of the protective tariff on imported rapeseed oil, 18 Apr. 1825.23 Kirkcaldy’s spinners petitioned in protest at the linen manufacture bill’s provisions for stamping linen, 7 May 1823, and, when their trade slumped, the manufacturers petitioned for tariffs on linen imports, repeal of the duty on imported yarns and ‘such alterations in the corn laws by the admission of foreign corn into the country at all times on a protective duty, so that the principle of free trade may, by degrees, be applied generally and not partially’, 29 Apr. 1825.24 The magistrates and councils of Burntisland, Dysart and Kirkcaldy petitioned against interference with the Scottish banking system in the wake of the 1825-6 crisis. The Kirkcaldy petition was adopted, 4 Mar. 1826, at a meeting of ship owners and inhabitants, chaired by the provost George Millar and organized by the Glasgow banker Walter Fergus of Strathmore, who also stated his objections to tampering with the Scottish currency in correspondence with Rosslyn and in his testimony to the Lords select committee on banking, which reported that change was unnecessary.25

The 1821 Dysart and Fife ferries bill superseded the 1813 Act and was sponsored by the Leith-based London, Leith, Edinburgh and Glasgow Shipping Company, managed locally by their agent George Crichton. It received royal assent, 23 June, after being petitioned against by the magistrates and inhabitants of all four burghs and by Rosslyn, who secured important concessions governing the appointment of the Company’s chairman.26 The enactment on 5 May 1826 of the contentious Forth ferries bill linking Leith, Newhaven, Dysart, Kinghorn and Burntisland was preceded in March 1825 by the establishment of the Kirkcaldy Steam Ship Company, trading to London, and the award of a £25,000 loan (carried by Robert Ferguson at a Fifeshire meeting, 22 Mar.) to develop Burntisland harbour.27 Petitions against the ferries bill were received by the Commons from the councils of Dysart, 7 Apr., Kinghorn, 12 Apr., and Burntisland, 13 Apr., and the issue dominated politics in Fifeshire and the Dysart burghs before and after the general election of 1826: Oswald protested at the Fifeshire meeting, 8 June, that Kirkcaldy was expected to subsidize the harbour at Burntisland and lose trade to it.28 There was concern also over the ‘complete stagnation’ of the corn market at Dysart and the ‘small wages’ of the labourers and weavers.29 Rosslyn’s son and heir Lord Loughborough had made no secret of his ambition to replace Ferguson when a dissolution was anticipated in September 1825. Talk of turning him out for serving only Kirkcaldy interests persisted and a vigorous campaign had to be mounted to secure his return at the 1826 general election.30 Rosslyn, who received regular reports from his factor at Dysart, James Bain,31 and Fergus at Kirkcaldy, was informed by the latter, 15 May, that

the provost’s friends, although they expect to be able to [make] him delegate for the burgh [Kirkcaldy] ... are determined to a man to give up all future connection with the affairs of the burgh ... Indeed now, if he does not put himself to some trouble and cease to give way to a careless indifference respecting his situation as chief magistrate, he will soon cease to bear the burthen ... There is also a political malignant fever in Dysart. To what height it has come I am ignorant, but the factionist [William] Paton was with Tosh every day last week from which I cannot help concluding there is an inclination of mischief. Our provost informs me the General will be here on Saturday. I wish it had suited him to be here on an earlier day of the week ... although the provost and clerk are steady friends and there is still an opening for opposition [at Kinghorn] which can only be closed by the General’s personal appearance in the burgh.32

Bain remained confident that Rosslyn could carry Dysart ‘with the exception of three or four’.33 His letter of 18 May confirmed newspaper reports of ‘a Colonel Aitcheson setting up in opposition to Sir Ronald’ and cast doubt on tales of ‘houses being opened in Kinghorn and Burntisland’; but not until the 30th, when the danger had evaporated, did he inform Rosslyn that the Scottish solicitor-general John Hope had started. Fergus, writing on the 23rd, predicted a ‘division of the council for the election of a [Burntisland] delegate, but the majority will go right’.34 Partly to appease the Fergusons, Rosslyn barred Loughborough from starting and asked him to canvass on Sir Ronald’s behalf. Refusing to comply fully, he replied that he would act only to safeguard his family’s interest and

not as an agent to secure the return of Sir Ronald with whom I can in no way act in concert. ... I am also anxious to impress upon you that my endeavours to serve your interests and forward your wishes must be confined to Dysart and even for that burgh I shall decidedly decline being chosen delegate or taking any open part in the election. I cannot agree with you in thinking that by the course I have determined to adopt I incur any risk of losing or weakening my interest in the burghs should I hereafter be inclined to continue or resume so troublesome a connection, which nothing would induce me to undertake unless acting independently for myself and without any connection with a third party. I also differ with you in thinking that had you brought me forward there would have been an increased risk of losing the seat, for I have the best grounds for believing that had I stood in the place of Sir Ronald, there would have been no opposition from the quarter whence it now springs and you may remember that in a conversation with you at Dysart about 18 months ago I told you I had received information through a channel which I could not divulge to this effect. The event has I think proved this information authentic and correct, for till it was known through this district that I was not to come forward there was no appearance or talk of an opposition and you may depend upon it that Sir John Oswald and the solicitor-general are not the authors, though sure to be the supporters [of] the present one.35

According to Fergus, by 23 May all was ‘quiet’. Sir Ronald’s personal canvass had secured him Burntisland and Kinghorn, where the town clerk Thomas Barclay, a reformer, had refused government bribes.36 Loughborough’s letter to Rosslyn from Dysart that day was more sanguine:

[Provost] Beveridge has expressed his determination to adhere to you and states that the opposition is merely known in Dysart by report. Indeed, I believe Colonel Aitcheson’s name has hitherto been kept quite in the background and that no attempts have been made to [break] upon Burntisland and Kinghorn, the former of which is lost; the latter I consider quite safe as long as Barclay and Whyte continue firm. I have not seen Paton ... I have no doubt he will support you, but he and his party will do all they can, unless they can be persuaded to the contrary, to keep the council from declaring for Sir Ronald till the last minute, in hopes of raising themselves into some sort of importance, or as they express themselves letting him know their value. I know that discontent has been expressed at his decided preference for Kirkcaldy and at your having looked to H. Normand and Fergus as your agents to keep this burgh and they will do what they can to manifest that displeasure and make their party of value and importance ... I have reasons for believing that should ... Aitcheson’s party not be successful in gaining Kinghorn the opposition will be abandoned.37

Rosslyn and the Fergusons (joined by Joseph Hume* at Burntisland, 16 June) attended the four delegates’ elections, the ‘magistrates of the different towns having contrive[d] to have a free day between ... each ... [so] that the dinners may not come too fast upon those that attend all of them’. Ferguson was returned unanimously, 4 July 1826.38

During the 1826 Parliament, Rosslyn went over to administration as lord privy seal in the duke of Wellington’s cabinet (1828-30) and became a committed Tory. Ferguson’s opposition to ministers was muted by his appointment by Wellington in 1828 as colonel of a ‘crack regiment’, but he remained an ardent reformer and advocate of economies in church and state. The magistrates and council of Dysart petitioned Parliament in 1827 for relaxation of the corn laws and the magistrates and council of Kinghorn for their outright repeal; and Kirkcaldy’s ship owners contributed to the national petitioning campaign for protection for the shipping interest, 2 May 1827.39 The provosts, magistrates and councils of Burntisland and Dysart petitioned for repeal of the Test Acts in 1828.40 Kirkcaldy kirk session (in the name of their moderator Thomas Grey) petitioned against the concession of Catholic emancipation in 1829.41 The magistrates and councils of Dysart, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy and Kirkcaldy chamber of commerce petitioned Parliament in March and May 1830 for an end to the East India Company’s trade monopoly;42 and the Commons received a petition from Kirkcaldy for mitigation of the death penalty for forgery, 24 May.43 The main local issue was the bankruptcy in November 1826 of Andrew Greenhill and the subsequent failure of his scheme to operate a Newhaven-Burntisland ferry with road links to Aberdour, Dysart, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy. The burghs and their harbours, the shareholders and local banks were all affected and Fergus carried a resolution at Cupar, 2 Mar. 1827, that Kirkcaldy would consider its agreement with the ferry company void at Martinmas.44 A stormy meeting of the Burntisland and Midlothian Ferry Company chaired by Rosslyn, 8 Oct. 1828, failed to persuade the council of Kirkcaldy to negotiate with them or with Greenhill’s trustees.45 The Kirkcaldy harbour bill, sponsored by the council, merchants and inhabitants at the request of the Kirkcaldy Shipping Company, received royal assent, 1 June 1829, notwithstanding the hostility of the fleshers’ incorporation, expressed in petitions to the Commons, 7 May, and the Lords, 21 May; and the provost, magistrates and council also supported the 1830 Broomfield railway and tunnel scheme.46 That year the council of Dysart completed work on its new dock.47

Rosslyn had waited until George IV’s death before informing Sir Ronald Ferguson ‘with too little ceremony’ that Loughborough would be substituted for him as the Member at the general election of 1830, when Dysart was the returning burgh. This quashed a reputed scheme by the council of Dysart to return Hope, ‘probably ... caused ... opposition to Lord John Hay* in Haddingtonshire’ and left Ferguson (who came in for Nottingham) searching for a seat.48 Reports of an active canvass for Ferguson in Burntisland, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy persisted and he was obliged to issue three separate notices (1, 8, 15 July) confirming his retirement. That of the 8th, which he subsequently disowned, had hinted that he might yet stand ‘on public grounds’ in response to a requisition from Kinghorn, as William Murray and the Edinburgh Whigs had hoped he would.49 Loughborough dined 180 guests and was returned unopposed at Dysart, 23 Aug., when he expressed his support for the government and their policies. The Kinghorn delegate Barclay stayed away, having sent up his commission and praecept with an explanatory letter to his fellow commissioners. The latter was not read out, but returned to Barclay, who had it published in the local newspapers. It described Loughborough as a ‘stranger’ with no proven interest in Kinghorn, whose ‘preintended and unqualified support in the People’s House ... to the future measures of ministers, without previous inquiry and investigation into their nature and tendency’ assumed a ‘dangerous prerogative’.50 Kirkcaldy rallied for Sir Ronald at a dinner for 100, 3 Sept. 1830, when he denied reports that he had spoken ‘slightingly’ of the Burghs at Nottingham and confirmed his opposition to slavery and support for civil and religious liberty and reform. Echoing Hume’s call for petitions for Scottish burgh reform, he complained that none of the great manufacturers of Kirkcaldy had voting rights and proposed a toast to the provost, the ship owner John Malcolm.51

Both Houses received anti-slavery petitions adopted at civic meetings in October at Dysart, where Bailie Philip was praeses, Kinghorn, 15 Nov., when Provost Whyte officiated, and by the inhabitants of Burntisland and seceders and others of Kirkcaldy in the winter of 1830-1.52 The campaign for burgh reform had been revived at Michaelmas and after some public wrangling, on 17 Nov. Loughborough presented a petition from the magistrates and town council of Kinghorn for alteration of municipal government in the Scottish royal burghs.53 Following the collapse of the ministry that month, the councils, trades and inhabitants of Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy and Dysart (the last despite a caveat from Loughborough) met again and forwarded petitions for Scottish burgh and parliamentary reform to their late Member and Rosslyn for presentation.54 At Kirkcaldy, 30 Nov., where the timber merchant George Malcolm, Donald Landale, James Bogue, Archibald Macdonald and the cotton manufacturer James Aytoun were among the requisitionists and provost William Swan presided, Swan, Landale and Aytoun acknowledged the ‘diversity of opinion on the subject’ in their speeches and, resisting pressure from the mill owner Ninian Lockhart and ironmonger J. Fraser for explicit declarations for reform, universal suffrage and the ballot, they carried a petition for Scottish burgh and parliamentary reform. Oswald, who attended, though ‘it was a mistake to say I approved of its assembling’, said on proposing the vote of thanks to Swan that he objected to being called an ‘anti-reformer’, but he refused to sign the requisition for a county reform meeting.55 Petitions for enfranchisement at burgh and parliamentary elections, the ballot and short parliaments were received from the weavers and operatives of Kinghorn, 13 Dec. 1830, 4 Feb. 1831, and the burgesses, heritors and inhabitants of Kirkcaldy, 23 Dec. 1830, and Dysart, 21 Dec. 1830, 3 Feb. 1831. At Burntisland, where the younger William Young presided, 16 Dec., their petition (presented to the Commons, 4 Feb., and the Lords, 22 Mar. 1831) pleaded for an extended franchise for Scotland, expressed support for the new Grey ministry and called for retrenchment and lower taxes.56

The ministerial reform scheme announced in March 1831 introduced a £10 franchise but left the district unchanged. Favourable petitions were hurriedly adopted and sent to both Houses from Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy and Dysart. Loughborough presented the latter to the Commons as requested, with another from Kirkcaldy against altering the timber duties, 16 Mar. Ferguson also presented the magistrates and the hammermen of Kinghorn’s petitions endorsing the English and Scottish reform bills that day, but Loughborough left the Kirkcaldy reform petition unpresented.57 His hostile speech and vote against the English bill at its second reading, 22 Mar., and his failure to present the Kirkcaldy petition assisted a campaign, led by Kinghorn, to unseat him. Reporting the illuminations that marked its passage by a single vote, the Fife Herald of 7 Apr. commented:

From the appearance of this district of burghs, it is not likely that ... Lord Loughborough will be the successful candidate. The Burntisland rulers have expressed themselves displeased with his lordship’s recent conduct: the sentiments of the community of Kinghorn are well known, the Kirkcaldy council are pledged to the inhabitants to support the present plan of reform; and in Dysart, which was justly considered to be his stronghold, his influence appears to be lost.

His majority vote for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr., and letter to Barclay on the 22nd justifying it, in which he commented favourably on Henry Hunt’s* opposition to the bill (he sent down copies of Hunt’s speech), sealed his fate. On 25 Apr., all four burghs issued declarations that they would support ‘no one but a reformer’ at the next election’.58 Those from Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy had been secured by Barclay at meetings only an hour apart. It was agreed at the same meetings that Kinghorn should requisition Robert Ferguson of Raith, who accepted. Had he declined, Kirkcaldy intended to invite Fergus. The Caledonian Mercury mentioned Lady Anstruther’s husband (Marshall) and Johnstone of Rennie Hill as likely candidates.59 Writing publicly to Loughborough, 5 May, Barclay, whose biting sarcasm was commended in The Times, denied his allegations of 22 Apr. that Kinghorn had been taken over by radicals promoting universal suffrage, the ballot and annual parliaments. He derided ‘visionary reformers’ and asked Loughborough to ‘approve, as the electors of the burghs have done already, of the choice which they intend to make of your friend Mr. Ferguson of Raith’.60 Hundreds of weavers attended the delegate’s election at Kinghorn and proclamations for peace were issued at Kirkcaldy preparatory to the election on 26 May 1831.61 ‘Delegations from Falkland, Freuchie, Leslie, Markinch, Kettle, Colinsburgh, Leven, East and West Wemyss, Dysart, Linktown, Gallatown, Pathhead, Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn, marshalled four abreast, with bands of music and flags proclaiming loyalty, liberty without anarchy, reform’ escorted the Fergusons’ carriage through an arch of laurels to Kirkcaldy town hall, where the delegates (Provost Swan of Kirkcaldy, Bailie Young of Burntisland, Bailie Normand of Dysart and Barclay) declared unanimously for Robert Ferguson. Accepting, he attributed his return to ‘connection and reform’, praised his brother and commended the four councils for ‘abandoning their exclusive rights for the benefit of the people’. Noting their non-attendance, the Caledonian Mercury reported that the ‘zealous reformers of Burntisland kept a low profile’ once Ferguson’s candidature was settled.62

Ferguson, despite voicing minor reservations, supported the reform bills throughout and attended carefully to the interests of the local textile manufacturers when the factories bill was considered. The magistrates of Burntisland and the farmers of Burntisland and Kirkcaldy forwarded petitions against the use of molasses in brewing to Sir Ronald, as a member of the select committee, for presentation and referral, 3, 6 Aug. 1831.63 Kirkcaldy successfully resisted proposals to reorganize the constituency in order to accommodate the award of a separate Member to Perth, and the Lords received petitions urging the English reform bill’s passage from Kinghorn, 30 Sept., the magistrates and councils of Burntisland and Kirkcaldy, the provost of Dysart, and the inhabitants and heritors of Kirkcaldy, 4 Oct.64 The council of Dysart were divided on reform. Ten anti-reformers excluded the reformers, including their leader Bailie Philip, from the 1831 municipal elections, but being inquorate, the issue, which the Fife Herald exploited to discredit the Conservatives, was referred to the court of session, which disfranchised Dysart, 24 Dec. 1831.65 The heritors, burgesses and inhabitants of Dysart and Kirkcaldy petitioned the Lords urging the ‘precipitate’ passage of the revised English reform bill, 7 May 1832, and rallied again that month to petition for the withholding of supplies pending its enactment. The Kirkcaldy petition was presented to the Commons by Sir Ronald, 5 June, but the Dysart one was left unpresented. Encouraged by the Fergusons, Kirkcaldy also petitioned the Lords against the ‘obnoxious clause’ imposing a £300 property qualification for burgh Members, 9 July 1832.66 Petitions against the government’s Irish education policy were received in June 1832 from the magistrates and town council of Kinghorn.67

The Kirkcaldy District (as it became known under the Reform Act) had a registered electorate of 700 in December 1832, when Robert Ferguson, standing as a Liberal, was returned unopposed. Kirkcaldy dominated the constituency despite the addition of Parkhead, Gallatown, Hawkleymuir, Pathead and Sinclairtown to Dysart, as the boundary commissioners had recommended. Although contested five times, 1832-84, the representation, which the Fergusons of Raith monopolized until 1862, remained exclusively Liberal and the Conservatives failed to field a candidate until 1874.68

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1895), ii. 455-6; PP (1823), xv. 703; J. Swan and C. McNeill, Dysart: A Royal Burgh, 91.
  • 2. PP (1831-2), xlii. 81; (1835), 371.
  • 3. Ibid. (1831-2), xlii. 79; Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, i. 202.
  • 4. PP (1835), xxix. 233.
  • 5. Ibid. (1823), xv. 703; (1835) xxix. 238.
  • 6. Ibid. (1823), xv. 703; (1831-2), xlii. 83; (1836) xxii. 253; Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, iv. 399.
  • 7. PP (1823), xv. 702; (1831-2), xlii. 85; (1836), xxiii. 261; Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, iv. 413.
  • 8. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 596, 597.
  • 9. NAS GD51/1/198/10/86.
  • 10. NLS mss 11, f. 17; The Times, 8 Apr. 1820.
  • 11. NAS GD51/1/198/10/88; NLS mss 11, ff. 104, 106.
  • 12. NLS mss 11, f. 100.
  • 13. NLS mss 11, f. 110.
  • 14. British Gazette and Berwick Advertiser, 18, 25 Nov.; The Times, 22 Nov. 1820, 2 Jan. 1821.
  • 15. CJ, lxxvi. 12, 15, 97; LJ, liv. 10, 50.
  • 16. CJ, lxxvi. 159; LJ, liv. 91.
  • 17. CJ, lxxvii. 350.
  • 18. LJ, lv. 187.
  • 19. The Times, 27 July 1823.
  • 20. CJ, lxxix. 395; lxxxi. 249; LJ, lviii. 193.
  • 21. CJ, lxxv. 384; lxxvi. 179, 246.
  • 22. Ibid. lxxvi. 135,137; lxxx. 215.
  • 23. Ibid. lxxvii. 251, 319; lxxix. 279.
  • 24. Ibid. lxxviii. 292; lxxx. 355
  • 25. Ibid. lxxxi. 120, 176; LJ, lviii. 124, 193; Fife Herald, 9 Mar. 1826; NAS GD164/1781/1-7.
  • 26. CJ, lxxvi. 135, 177, 232, 467; LJ, liv. 175, 450, 507, 521, 537.
  • 27. Fife Herald, 3, 24 Mar. 1825; CJ, lxxxi. 325.
  • 28. Fife Herald, 3, 24 Mar. 1825; CJ, lxxxi. 325; LJ, lviii. 241, 265, 272, 293; Caledonian Mercury, 12, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29 Apr., 6, 15 May, 1, 3, 8, 10 June 1826.
  • 29. NAS GD164/1779/11, 12.
  • 30. Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 6 Sept.;Caledonian Mercury, 8, Oct. 1825.
  • 31. NAS GD164/1779/11.
  • 32. NAS GD164/1781/7.
  • 33. NAS GD164/1779/11.
  • 34. NAS GD164/1779/12, 15; 1781/8; Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser, 25 May 1826.
  • 35. NAS GD164/1782/1.
  • 36. NAS GD164/1779/13; 1781/9.
  • 37. NAS GD164/1782/3.
  • 38. Caledonian Mercury, 15, 24 June; NAS GD164/1779/15; Scotsman, 5 July 1826.
  • 39. CJ, lxxxii. 167, 190, 426; LJ, lix. 72, 74, 86.
  • 40. CJ, lxxxiii. 220; LJ, lx. 154, 160.
  • 41. CJ, lxxxiv. 182; LJ, lxi. 340.
  • 42. Fife Herald, 18 Mar. 1830; CJ, lxxxv. 193, 382; LJ, lxii. 93, 114, 115, 158, 305.
  • 43. CJ, lxxxv. 463.
  • 44. Scotsman, 5 July; Caledonian Mercury, 14 Dec. 1826; NAS GD164/1781/10; 1303/4-7, 15-17, 21.
  • 45. Caledonian Mercury, 11 Oct. 1828.
  • 46. CJ, lxxxiv. 127, 271, 303, 354; lxxxv. 192; LJ, lxi 486; Fife Herald, 3 June 1830.
  • 47. Fife Herald, 18, 25 Mar. 1830.
  • 48. Creevey mss, Sefton to Creevey, 2 July; Fife Herald, 8 July; Caledonian Mercury, 12 July 1830; Hopetoun mss 167, f. 130; Add. 36554, f. 135.
  • 49. Stair mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Murray to Dalrymple, 2 July; Fife Herald, 15, 22 July 1830.
  • 50. Fife Herald, 26 Aug. 2 Sept.; Caledonian Mercury, 28, 30 Aug. 1830.
  • 51. Caledonian Mercury, 6 Sept.; Fife Herald, 9 Sept. 1830.
  • 52. Fife Herald, 28 Oct., 25 Nov. 1830; CJ, lxxxvi. 130; LJ, lxiii. 110, 134, 287.
  • 53. CJ, lxxxvi. 107; Fife Herald, 25 Nov.; The Times, 1 Dec. 1830.
  • 54. Fife Herald, 25 Nov. 1830.
  • 55. Caledonian Mercury, 4 Dec.; Oswald of Dunnikier mss VIA/2, G. Campbell to Oswald, 28 Dec., reply, 31 Dec. 1830.
  • 56. Fife Herald, 23 Dec. 1830; CJ, lxxxvi. 169, 202, 209, 221; LJ, lxiii. 189, 205, 357.
  • 57. CJ, lxxxvi. 406; LJ, lxiii. 325, 337, 339; Fife Herald, 9, 23 Mar. 1831.
  • 58. Fife Herald, 28 Apr., 7 May 1831.
  • 59. Caledonian Mercury, 28 Apr., 2 May 1831.
  • 60. Fife Herald, 12 May; Caledonian Mercury, 16 May; The Times, 16 May 1831.
  • 61. Caledonian Mercury, 19, 21 May 1831.
  • 62. Ibid. 26 May; The Times, 31 May 1831.
  • 63. CJ, lxxxvi. 722, 733.
  • 64. Ibid. lxxxvi. 873; LJ, lxiii. 1025, 1043, 1044, 1048.
  • 65. Oswald of Dunnikier mss VI/A/2, Rosslyn to Oswald, 22 Oct.; Caledonian Mercury, 26 Dec.; The Times, 29 Dec. 1831.
  • 66. Caledonian Mercury, 14, 21 May; The Times, 6 June 1832; CJ, lxxxvii. 375; LJ, lxiv. 185, 363.
  • 67. LJ, lxiv. 287.
  • 68. PP (1831-2), xlii. 81; Scottish Electoral Politics, 226, 268, 269.