Colinton / Hailes Parish Church

Colinton, possible location of medieval church, 2

Summary description

Nothing remains of the church on its presumed medieval site. A new church was built on a different site in 1650, which was rebuilt in 1771-3, and remodelled in 1837 and 1907-08.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Cuthbert

Dedicated to St Cuthbert,(1) the first surviving reference to Hailes occurs in King David I’s great charter of confirmation to the monks of Dunfermline, issued around 1128, in which the land of Hale was noted as having been granted to the abbey by his elder brother Æðelred, son of King Malcolm III.(2)  Amongst the rights of lordship over those lands which that grant delivered appears to have been possession of the church, which was confirmed to the uses of Dunfermline by Bishop Robert of St Andrews in a general charter confirming the abbey’s possession of all of churches that had been granted to it, and in subsequent general confirmations by his successors Arnold and Richard.(3

It is likely that only the patronage of the church was conveyed by these twelfth-century grants for it was Bishop William Malveisin who confirmed the church to the monks in proprios usus, with a confirmation following from the prior and chapter of St Andrews.(4)  A confirmation of the appropriation of Hailes and the church of Kinglassie, with provision for the decent sustentation of a vicar who would be instituted on the death or resignation of the incumbent rector, followed from Pope Honorius III in 1226.(5)  Tradition reported in the mid-fifteenth century by Walter Bower in his Scotichronicon claimed that Malveisin ‘arbitrarily took from the church of Dunfermline….the right to nominate to the vicarages of Kinglassie and Hailes, because on one occasion when he was spending the night at Dunfermline he had insufficient wine to drink for his refreshment in his room after supper’.(6)  There is no independent contemporary witness for that event, but it might be significant that in the rolls of the papal tax-collector in Scotland compiled in the mid-1270s, the first reference is to a rector of Halis, and then subsequently to simply the ‘church’ (usually implying a free parsonage) and only in the final term’s entry to a vicarage.(7)  Furthermore, Richard, parson of Hailes, was recorded in a Dunfermline instrument in 1282, as ‘Master R rector of Hailes’ and ‘Master Richard parson of Hailes’ in two subsequent documents.(8)  Interestingly, there is no indication that the appropriation was confirmed by Bishop David de Bernham, who dedicated the church on 27 September 1248(9) and who elsewhere in his diocese was an energetic regulariser of vicarage settlements.

Rectors of Hailes are recorded down to the early fifteenth century. In 1378 William Chalmers, rector of the church, was provided to a canonry of Moray, and in 1394 Richard Hunter, rector of the church, was described as a confidant and counsellor of David Lindsay, earl of Crawford, remaining as rector until his death around 1408.(10)  On Hunter’s death at the curia, rival provisions were made in favour of John Carrick and Nicholas Child, the latter of whom was successful and who remained incumbent until at least 1419.(11)  There seems no reason to believe that any of the priests serving the church down to this point were in fact simply vicars, although ‘frequently styled parson’, as Ian Cowan suggested(12) and that Bower’s tale of Malveisin’s revocation of the right to present vicars at Hailes was a memory of some dispute between Dunfermline and the bishop, but, as discussed below, questions remain.

A second appropriation of the church came in July 1446 when the pope confirmed the annexation of the ‘church’ of Hailes to the Hospital of St Anthony at Leith.(13)  This was achieved by James Kennedy, bishop of St Andrews, with the consent of the chapter of St Andrews, and was to take place upon the resignation or death of the incumbent rector and with reservation of an annual pension of £14 with a fitting dwelling-house from the fruits of the said parish church for the perpetual vicar.  The pope confirmed the supplication with a mandate to the abbot of Inchcolm to investigate the circumstances and, if found correct, to ratify the annexation with reservation of a yearly pension – stated at 14 merks rather than £14 – and a decent manse for a perpetual vicar.  The total value of the church was given as £20.(14)  The subject-matter of the appropriation seems clear enough – the church – but it seems to have been the vicarage that was annexed, leaving a fixed stipend for a ‘perpetual’ vicar pensioner.  Dunfermline’s possession of the parsonage is not mentioned.

Despite this appropriation, the status of the church and its serving clergy therefore still remains unclear.  No vicars appear in the records, but Robert Lindsay was named as rector of Colinton, the alternative name for the parish, in a notarial record of a sasine given at Linlithgow in 1526.(15)  Much has been made of reference in 1538/9 and 1545 to teind being collected for the archibishop of St Andrews from the ‘church of Hailes’.(16)  Ian Cowan assumed that this reflected the uplifting of revenue for the archbishop as commendator of the abbey,(17) but while Andrew Forman and James Beaton had been commendators from November 1514 to 12 March 1521 and 10 October 1522 to 14 February 1539 respectively, David Beaton, archbishop of St Andrews from 1539, was never commendator.  Furthermore, the other churches amongst which the church of Hailes was listed in the St Andrews financial records where these teind accounts are noted were mensal churches – Kirkliston and Monimail – with no reference being made to Dunfermline.  A further complication is that the reference is actually to ‘the church of Halis and Trapryn’, and the lands from which the teind was uplifted are listed as ‘Esterhalis, Trapryn, Halfhouston and Gourlaybankis’.(18)  These were all properties within the Hepburn lordship of Hailes in East Lothian, which were within the parish of Prestonkirk/Linton and were confirmed to James Beaton, archbishop of St Andrews, under the Great Seal in February 1535/6.(19)  There is no link to the Midlothian church and parish of Hailes.  Reference to teinds payable to the archbishop from Hailes at the time of the Reformation is likewise in respect of the East Lothian lands.(20)  There is no question that the lands in East Lothian were kirklands pertaining to a parish church of ‘Hailes’; the reference to a ‘church of Hailes’ in the archiepiscopal rentals seems to be a scribal error.  There is thus neither clear evidence for a continued link with Dunfermline nor any interest in the church by the archbishops.

It is only after the Reformation that hard evidence for a continued interest in Hailes by Dunfermline Abbey emerges, with it being noted in the 1560s that the kirk had been set for 100 merks to Mr Henry Foulis.(21)  In 1587, when rights in the church of Hailes were amongst elements of Dunfermline’s lordship south of Forth that were resigned to the king and granted to John Maitland of Thirlestane within the lordship of Musselburgh that was created for him, it is not made clear whether this interest extended beyond the patronage to possession of the parsonage teinds.(22)  It is only post-Reformation, too, that St Anthony at Leith’s interest in Hailes is identified clearly as relating to the vicarage.  Specific reference is made to ‘the pairt of the kirk of Haillis pertenyng [to the hospital]’, extending yearly to 100 merks at set, with £10 allocated for the vicar’s pension.(23)  In 1591, the vicarage of the whole parish of Hailes was part of the former St Anthony endowment that was granted to John Hay.(24)

Notes

1. Registrum de Dunfermelyn (Bannatyne Club, 1842), nos 219-220 [hereafter Dunfermline Registrum].

2. Dunfermline Registrum, no.1.

3. Dunfermline Registrum, nos 92-4.

4. Dunfermline Registrum, nos 103-104.

5. Dunfermline Registrum, no.257.

6. Walter Bower, Scotichronicon, eds D E R Watt and others, iii (Aberdeen, 1995), 295.

7. A I Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll: Statement of the Tenths of the Kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi (1939), 34, 55, 56.

8. Dunfermline Registrum, nos 218-220.

9. A O Anderson (ed), Early Sources of Scottish History, ii (Edinburgh, 1922), 526 [Pontifical Offices of St Andrews].

10. Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon 1378-1394, ed C Burns (Scottish History Society, 1976), 10; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Petitions to the Pope, ed W H Bliss (London, 1896), 602, 605 [hereafter CPP]; Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon 1394-1419, ed F McGurk (Scottish History Society, 1976), 7, 141, 146 [hereafter CPL, Benedict XIII].

11. CPL, Benedict XIII, 176, 376; CPP, 637; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, i, 1418-1422, ed E A Lindsay and A I Cameron (Scottish History Society, 1934), 91; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, vii,1417-1431, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1906), 114.

12. I B Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society, 1967), 79.

13. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, iv, 1433-1447, ed A I Dunlop and D MacLauchlan (Glasgow, 1983), no.1316.

14. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, ix, 1431-1447, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1912), 567.

15. Protocol Book of Dominus Thomas Johnsoun, 1528-1578,  eds J Beveridge and J Russell (Scottish Record Society, 1920), no.384.

16. Rentale Sancti Andree, ed R K Hannay (Scottish History Society, 1913), 78, 79, 209 [hereafter St Andrews Rentale].

17. Cowan, Parishes, 80.

18. St Andrews Rentale, 78.

19. Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, iii, 1513-1546, ed J B Paul and J M Thomson (Edinburgh, 1883), no.1549.

20. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 6-7.

21. Kirk (ed), Books of Assumption of Thirds of Benefices, 26.

22. Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, v, 1580-1593, ed J M Thomson (Edinburgh, 1888), no.1305 [hereafter RMS, v].

23. Kirk (ed), Books of Assumption of Thirds of Benefices, 114.

24. RMS, v, no.1850.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: The church was confirmed to Dunfermline Abbey by David I, though this evidently involved only the patronage, since parsons subsequently appear on record. In 1440x46 a vicarage was erected by James Kennedy, though the holder was frequently styled as parson. The parsonage itself was annexed to the hospital of St Anthony in Leith, with the cure a vicar pensionary.(1)

Mackinlay notes that the church was dedicated to St Cuthbert.(2)

c.1202-38 Bower recounts a legend in which William Malvision, bishop of St Andrews (1202-38), ‘arbitrarily took from the church of Dunfermline….the right to nominate to the vicarages of Kinglassie and Hailes, because on one occasion when he was spending the night at Dunfermline he had insufficient wine to drink for his refreshment in his room after supper’.(3)

1226 Confirmation of grant to Dunfermline of the churches of Hailes and Kinglassie, given by the patrons (unnamed) of those churches, vicars to be presented to the bishop by the abbey.(4)

1378 Mandate to provide William de Camera (MA, nobly born and student of canon law) rector of Hailes, to canonry of Moray.(5)

1394 Richard Hunter is rector (captain and counsellor of David Lindsay, earl of Crawford and secretary of the Duke of Orleans; studied for 4 years at Paris).(6)

1408 Hunter dead, Nicholas Childe his kinsman and a poor scholar is collated (value £22), rector until at least 1419.(7)

1446 James Kennedy, bishop of St Andrews, perpetually incorporates the church, wont to be governed by seculars, to the Hospital of St Anthony, Leith, at cession or decease of current rector, to have a £14 perpetual vicar thereafter.(8) In Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal letters, pension is 14 marks and the vicar gets a house.(9)

1460 Parsonage of Hailes is described as vacant; supplications by George Kinnimouth (familiar of Philip, Cardinal of Bologna) and Thomas Lauder (official general of St Andrews), the latter collated by bishops of St Andrews. Further litigation in 1462 by Robert Forrester (MA).(10)  [No result recorded]

1526 Robert Lindesay, rector of the church.(11)

#1544-45 Dunlop suggests that the church was probably destroyed in Hertford’s invasion of that year.(12)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The ‘victuals’ of Hailes (not specifically of the church) pertain to archbishops of St Andrews. The vicarage is with the Hospital of St Anthony in Leith, ‘part of the kirk of Hailles’ set for 100 marks with £10 reserved for a vicar pensioner.(13)

1597 (24 July) Commission organised by the Presbytery of Edinburgh for the planting of Hailes church.(14)

1598 (11 Apr) Visitation of the church and discussion of the heritors describes the Lord of Colinton as the patron (David Fotheringham to be minister).(15)

1599 (7 Aug) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Edinburgh finds the minister to be competent; the choir is ruinous. The visitors are to speak to the provost for repairing of the choir.(16)

[New Church built in 1650? Mentioned in New Statistical Account but nothing clear in Kirk Session - presbytery records have not survived for that period]

1652 (5 Aug) In the kirk session an order was made for the helping of the poor and that the repairing of the church might be provided for.(17)

1654 (5 Apr) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Edinburgh [unfortunately the presbytery records do not survive for this period].(18)

1660 (20 Nov) The session notes that the heritors are to be reminded about their proportions for [paying for] the mending of the kirk.(19) [no other references to this work]

1664 (29 Oct) The treasurer reports to the session that he had agreed with a man for the repairing of the kirk which cannot be carried out for 50 marks. The heritors are willing to pay aside from Alexander Brand of Balverton who ‘was off times deficient’.(20)

1683 (13 Nov) The treasurer presents his compt noting that 144 marks have been disbursed for the necessary repairs of the church; it was noted that the repair of the church had been made in 1681.(21)

[Nothing, except note below, anent the new church in the presbytery or session records]

1775 a note in the kirk session that the seats in the church had been divided up in 1772 [suggesting that the new church was ready by then].(22)

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev Dr John Walker, 1791):‘The church was built in the year 1773’.(23)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev Lewis Balfour, 1838 rev 1839): ‘The church of Hailes is very ancient… Some have stated, on what grounds I know not, that the church once stood where the mansion house of Hailes at present stands… It stands, and has stood since 1650, next to the stream. In 1771 the old church having become quite ruinous, it was rebuilt in a plain manner’.(24)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 79.

2. Mackinlay, Non-Scriptural Dedications, p. 254.

3. Chron. Bower, iii, 295.

4. CPL, i, 167.

5. CPL, Clem, 10.

6. CPP, 602 & 605, CPL, Ben, 7, 141 & 146.

7. CPL, Ben, 176 7 376, CPP, 637, CSSR, i, 91.

8. CSSR, iv, no.1316.

9. CPL, ix, 567.

10. CSSR, v, nos. 779, 780 & 918.

11. 1560 Transumpt of an earlier charter, Prot Bk of Thomas Johnsoun, 1528-1578, no. 384.

12. The kirks of Edinburgh, pp. 385-86.

13. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 6-7 & 114.

14. NRS Presbytery of Edinburgh, Minutes, 1593-1601, CH2/121/2, fol. 222.

15. NRS Presbytery of Edinburgh, Minutes, 1593-1601, CH2/121/2, fol. 228.

16. NRS Presbytery of Edinburgh, Minutes, 1593-1601, CH2/121/2, fol. 295.

17. NRS Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1, fol. 9.

18. NRS Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1, fol. 26.

19. NRS Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1, fol. 87.

20. NRS Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1, fols. 176-177.

21. NRS Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1, fol. 201.

22. NRS Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1722-1830, CH2/123/4/1, fol. 186

23. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1791), xix, 581.

24. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1838 rev 1839), i, 126-27.

Bibliography

National Records of Scotland, Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1.

National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Edinburgh, Minutes, 1593-1601, CH2/121/2.

Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal letters, 1893-, ed. W.H. Bliss, London.

Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal Petitions, 1893-, ed. W.H. Bliss, London.

Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon, 1976, ed. F. McGurk, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon, 1976, ed. C. Burns, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1418-22, 1934, ed. E.R. Lindsay and A.I. Cameron, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1433-47, 1983, ed. A.I. Dunlop and D MacLauchlan, Glasgow.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1447-71, 1997, ed. J. Kirk, R.J. Tanner and A.I. Dunlop, Edinburgh.

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

Kirk, J., 1995, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, (British Academy) Oxford.

Kirks of Edinburgh : the congregations, churches, and ministers of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, Church of Scotland, 1560-1984, 1988, ed. A. I. Dunlop (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

Mackinlay, J.M, 1914, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland. Non-Scriptural Dedications, Edinburgh.

New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, Edinburgh and London.

Protocol Book of Dominus Thomas Johnsoun, 1528-1578,  1920, eds. J. Beveridge and J. Russell (Scottish Record Society) Edinburgh.

Scotichronicon by Walter Bower in Latin and English, 1987-99, D. E. R. Watt, Aberdeen.

Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, ed. J. Sinclair, Edinburgh.

Architectural description

The lands of Hailes, which later came to be known as Colinton were evidently granted to Dunfermline Abbey by Ethelred, a son of Malcolm III, and this was confirmed by David I. The church was confirmed to the uses of Dunfermline by Bishop William Malvoisin (1202-38), and the vicarage was later annexed to the hospital of St Anthony in Leith by Bishop James Kennedy at a date between 1440 and 1446, with the cure a vicarage pensionary.(1) Bishop David de Bernham carried out a dedication here on 27 September 1248.(2)

The medieval church is thought to have stood close to Hailes House, at NT 211 695, and the author of the entry in the New Statistical Account recorded that ‘the church once stood where the mansion house of Hailes at present stands’.(3) Finds of bones when the foundations of a dovecote were being dug in the eighteenth century supported the idea that there was a churchyard in that vicinity.(4)

There are no identifiable upstanding remains of the medieval church, though it has been suggested that an early gravestone near the west door of the present church may have come from its predecessor. It has also been speculated that a stone carved with three figures that has been reset above a garden wall door at Hailes House could be a relic of the church.(5) The area of land perhaps most likely to have been the site of the church is now occupied by a group of lock-up garages to the west of Hailes House, which is closely hemmed in by modern housing.

By 7 August 1559 the church was said to be ruinous,(6) and it was relocated to a new site in 1650.(7) That new church in turn proved to be structurally problematic, and on 13 November 1683 it was said that £144 had been spent on it two years previously.(8) In 1770 James Robertson and Alexander Gowan reported that it was beyond repair,(9) and it was rebuilt in 1771-3.(10) The work was carried out by the mason Robert Weir and the wright William Walters. It was remodelled by David Bryce in 1837, and extensively remodelled by Sydney Mitchell in 1907-8.(11)

The new church is on steeply sloping ground; its main face, which is directed up the hill to the west, is composed of an echelon arrangement of three intersecting gables, with a re-set inscribed tablet below the upper window of the central gable stating ‘REBUILT. MDCCLXXI’. At the south-west angle is a slender Italianate tower, and above the entrance in its south face an inscription states ‘...REBUILT TO THE GLORY AND DEDICATED TO THE WORSHIP OF GOD MCMVIII’.

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, pp. 79-8-

2. Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, Edinburgh, 1922, vol. 2, p. 526.

3. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 1, pp. 126-7.

4. W. Lockhart, ‘Notes on the Early History of the Parish of Colinton’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 17, p. 370.

5. W. Lockhart, ‘Notes on the Early History of the Parish of Colinton’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 17, p. 370.

6. National Records of Scotland, Presbytery of Edinburgh, Minutes, 1593-1601, CH2/121/2, fol. 295.

7. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 1, pp. 126-7.

8. National Records of Scotland, Colinton/Hailes Kirk Session, 1651-1701, CH2/123/1/1, fol. 201.

9. Howard Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 4th ed., New Haven and London, 2008, p. 876; National Records of Scotland, HR 728/1.

10. Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, vol, 19, p. 581; New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 1, pp. 126-7.

11. John Gifford, Colin McWilliam and David Walker, The Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh, Harmondsworth, 1984, p. 515. 

Map

Images

Click on any thumbnail to open the image gallery and slideshow.

  • 1. Colinton, possible location of medieval church, 2

  • 2. Colinton, possible location of medieval church, 1

  • 3. Colinton later church, exterior, from south west

  • 4. Colinton later church, exterior, from west

  • 5. Colinton later church, exterior, south-west porch

  • 6. Colinton later church, datestone on west front

  • 7. Colinton later church, mortsafe

  • 8. Colinton later churchyard, gravestone

  • 9. Colinton later churchyard, monument