Fifeshire Index
Written and Researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

"The Peninsula of Fife is surrounded by the North Sea, the Firth of Forth, and the Firth of Tay. ... The Kingdom of Fife with its pleasant climate, rich agricultural land and celebrated coastline is one of Scotland's most favored counties" (Osmand, Intro.).

Places in Fifeshire That My Malcolm Family Lived and Worshipped:

Leisure water activities can be found at Dysart, Elie, St. Andrews, Tayport, and Woodhaven.

The principal fishing harbor is at Pittenweem. During the 18th century, the majority of Fife fisherman were participating in the white fishery trade.

  • Dysart manufactured table linen and checks and ticks.

    Other textile towns in Fifeshire were Cupar, St. Andrews, Falkland, and Auchtermuchty. Leven and Leslie produced coarse cloth, especially osnaburghs, a type of linen. The textiles produced in Fife were sold to English and American markets. The introduction of water power led to the establishment of a number of spinning mills on the waterways in Fife. At the beginning of the twentieth century Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline looms dominated the market. Smaller communities such as Leven, Leslie, Auchtermuchty, Cupar, Newburgh, and Tayport continued to produce these items too. Fife had the third largest concentrarion of paper mills in Scotland by 1890.

    Fifeshire's Landmarks:

    Some Fifeshire landmarks include Inchcolm Abbey, the Royal Palace of Falkland, and Kellie Castle. In Mesolithic times, Fife was wooded. Birch, hazel, and elm trees were all well established by 8000 years ago, and oak and pine a short time later.

    Robert Coxwell was an attendent of King James I during his eighteen year imprisonment, after he was captured by English buccaneers off Flamborough Head on March 22, 1406. When James I returned to Scotland in 1424, he showed his thanks for Robert Coxwell's service by giving him a pension and a large part of the estate of Auchtermuchty complete with Myres castle. Coxwell owned Myres until his death in 1453.

    Fifeshires natural resources are lime and coal. The processing of iron ore began in Fife at the turn of the 19th century. This is the time period when Balgonie Iron Works was founded.

    Earls and Lords of Fifeshire:

    Records of the Earls and Lords of Fifeshire, are not recorded until the late 12th century. Some of the peerage is thought to have descended from the MacDuffs or a 10th century king of Scotland known as Dub mac Maelcoluim/MacMalcolm (d. 966). Ethelred, son of Malcolm III, held earldom from 1097, when the MacMalcolms returned from exile in England. The Earl of Constantine held this title from 1095-1130.

    Perhaps this is the first recorded history of the Malcolm surname? It is worth a study.

    The Abernathy family held the lordship of Markinch. His son Hugh was a knight who granted his celide community to the priory of St. Andrew. An earlier Abernathy, named Hugh, son of Gille-Micheil, held significant amounts of land in the time of David I and Malcolm IV. He also held the lordship of the former abbey of Abernethy.

    There were also some Gaelic rulers in Fife. Ness, son of William was a Norman. Ness's daughter, heiress of Orabile, married Robert de Quincy. This union was to strengthen their relationship with the earls of Fife. Countess Ada married David I's son, Earl Henry in 1153. They had Warenne kin. Nither niece, Ela, married Earl Duncan II of Fife. Malcolm IV gifted them the royal estates of Strathmiglo, Falkland, and Rathillet in Fifeshire and Strathbraan in Perthshire. After this the Warrennes held more land in Fife. They were benefactors of Lindours and Culross Abbeys. In the later 13th century, the Earls of Fife shifted their seat from Cupar to Falkland. The Earls of Fife built a 12th century church in Markinch, only the tower remains today. Ness, son of William de Quincey, built a Romanesque church in Leuchars. Earl Duncan II resigned the churches of Scoonie, Cupar, and Markinch. Ness de Quincey had released his control of the canons of St. Andrews priory. Duncan II and Malcolm gave the nuns of St. Andrew the churches of Kilconquhar, Largo, Logie, and Aithernie. These changes transferred the rights of patronage from the lay lord to a religious corporation which would then have the responsibility of appointing the parish priests.

    Saints and Fifeshire:

    Saint Andrews - Fifeshire attracted many missionaries and ascetics from early Christian times. Fife became the ecclesiatical center of Scotland. Their caves, hills, and islands were popular haunts for early hermits and missionaries. Dunfermline Priory was founded in the second half of the 11th century. From that date until the first half of the 16th century, forty to fifty houses of God were established in Fifeshire. St. Andrews was a place of pilgrimage in Medieval Scotland and Europe. Scotland adopted St. Andrews as their patron saint. St Andrew was the brother of St. Peter. The cult of St. Andrew thrived from 1144. St. Regulus was said to have sailed to the shores of Fife with the relics of St. Andrew. These relics included an arm, a kneecap, three fingers, and a tooth of the Apostle of Christ. The cult of St Andrew was maintained by the Augustinian canons.

    Saint Margaret - St. Margaret was also highly revered in Fife. Margaret and Malcolm founded Dunfermline Abbey and they are both buried there. King William the Lion made a pilgrimage to Dunfermline Abbey. The Dunfermline Register shows that the Earl of Fife did homage to the Abbot of Dunfermline in 1250 for his lands of Cluny on the day that Margaret's body was placed in Dunferline Abbey. King ALexander III, seven bishops and seven Scottish earls attended this event.

    St Margaret's relics are held in a reliquary, and it retains her skull with her flowing auburn-gold hair still attached. Dunfermline was a popular pilgrimage site since her interment. The cult of Saint Margaret was maintained by the Benedictines. Their first home was in Dunfermline, Scotland.

    St. Adrian and St. Monan also had cults in Fife. The cult of St. Adrian of Fife was associated with his martyrdom at the hands of the Vikings in 875 on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth. Adrian came from Pannonia (Hungary with his 6606 companions. Archeaological evidence was found of a skelton. The man was buried in front of the high altar of the priory church on the Isle of May. His mouth held a scallop shell, a symbol of pilgrimage in Medieval times.

    The burghs of Pittenweem abd Anstruther had connections with the cult of St. Adrian. Pittenweem succeeded the priory of the Isle of May. St Adrian was thought to have lived in the Caiplie Caves (between Crail and Cellardyke) on the coast. Today this cave is called Chapel Cave. The cult of St. Monan was maintained by the Dominicans at Inverie and Pittenweem. The Dominicans mostly likely maintained the cult of St, Adrian as well.

    Iona Island, in the Firth of Forth, has a cathedral built in the name of St. Columba ("Sainte Columbe") in Inchcolm. Columba is the most worshipped of all Scottish saints. His feast day is June 9th. St. Columba left Ireland in 563. He traveled to Iona. Malcolm is said to mean "follower of Colm (Columba)."

    St. Fillan was credited with the evangelization of Perthshire. He had a cave and holy well at Pittenweem, Fife.

    Saints and the Orders that kept their cults were an important religious commodity in Fifeshire:

  • Cistercian monks were at the abbeys of Balerino and Culross.

  • Knights Templars were thought to have had a preceptory at Carnbee.
  • Dominicans were at Cupar, St Andrews, and St Monans.
  • Franciscans were in Inverkeithing and St, Andrews.
  • Poor Clares (Franciscan),the only nunnery in Fife, were at Aberdour.. The modernization of the Scottish medieval church took place in Fifeshire.

    Sites About the Malcolm Family:

    Sites About the Malcolm/McCollum Clan:

    Places the Malcolm Family Lived and Worshipped in Scotland:

    Families Who Married Malcolms::

    Peerage Associated with Places the Malcolm's Lived::

    The Earls of Dysart/Talmash(Tollemache) family

    Fifeshire Families Who Married Wilsons:

    Fifeshire Attractions::

    • Fifeshire Castles


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