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A SKETCH

OF THE

HISTORY OF FIFE AND KINROSS

“Who will to Cupar maun to Cupar.”-Old Fife Proverb.

“All the country between the Forth and the Tay grows narrow like a wedge eastward, even to the sea, and it is called Fife, a district provided within its own bounds with all things necessary for the use of life."-GEORGE BUCHANAN, 'History of Scotland,' 1582.

“The peninsula of Fife, a county so populous, that, excepting the environs of London, scarce one in South Britain can vie with it; fertile in soil, abundant in cattle, happy in collieries, in ironstone, lime, and freestone-blest in manufactures; the property remarkably well divided, none insultingly powerful to distress and often depopulate a county-the most of the fortunes of a useful mediocrity," -THOMAS PENNANT, 'Tour in Scotland,' 1772.

“Fife contains the concentrated essence of Scottish history and character.”-'Round Fife with a Golf Cleik,' 1890.

A SKETCH

OF THE

HISTORY OF FIFE AND KINROSS

A STUDY IN
SCOTTISH HISTORY AND CHARACTER

BY

Æ. J. G. MACKAY

SHERIFF OF THESE COUNTIES

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCXC

All Rights reserved

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7 Albyn Place, Edinburgh,

Summer Vacation, 1890. DEAR MRS LORIMER,

Will you accept this sketch as a slight mark of my sense of your constant kindness, and a slighter tribute to the memory of one whose name you bear? I hoped to have sent it to my old colleague and friend, whose interest in the history and the people, the future and the past, of Fife, was as keen as that of its natives. But this may not be. He regarded the History of Fife, as I have tried to do, not as a subject for the library of an antiquary, but as a Miniature of the History of Scotland, The History of Scotland was in his eyes not a dead language, but the expression of Scottish life and character.

A happy opportunity enabled him to restore a bit of that history, without using the imperfect medium of words, in the better way of a thoughtful deed, by repairing the roof-tree and rekindling the hearths of one of the deserted castles of Fife. To make the past live in the present, and for the use of the future, is not this the aim which, in spite of some dark passages, renders history a hopeful study ? That you and yours, living on the land and amongst the people of the little ancient kingdom, no longer, as Drummond of Hawthornden called it, a demi-island, but a united part of a United Kingdom, may long enjoy the pleasures of the fireside, the garden, the old Castle, and the older Law of Kellie, is the wish of

Yours sincerely,

Æ. J. G. MACKAY.

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