Perth St John the Baptist Parish Church

Perth St John, exterior, from south east, 1

Summary description

A major cruciform burgh church with aisles to both nave and choir and a central tower and spire. Rebuilding of the choir began in 1440. An ambitious later campaign to rebuild the nave with tall aisles and a tower porch appears to have been aborted, possibly leaving the interior in its fourteenth-century state. Major modifications in 1828, 1892-96 and 1923-26. 

Historical outline

Dedication: St John the Baptist

The church of Perth had been granted to the monks of Dunfermline Abbey before 1128 when it was listed amongst their possessions in King David I’s great charter of confirmation to the abbey.(1)  King Malcolm IV re-confirmed his grandfather’s grant of the church in his general confirmation to Dunfermline of 1154 x 1159 and, together with the chapel of the castle of Perth, in a separate charter of 1156 x 1160.(2)  It is in Bishop Robert of St Andrews’ confirmation of the possession of the church of St Leonard beside Perth as a ‘member’ of the church of Perth, granted to the abbey in 1128 x 1159, that its dedication to St John the Baptist is first recorded.(3)  Bishop Robert also included confirmation of possession of the church of Perth in his general charter in favour of Dunfermline.(4)  Through this period the possessions and rights of the church appear to have been gaining sharper definition, a further charter of Malcolm IV in 1161, for example, granting the church a teind of all fish caught in the Tay between Balmackennedy and Inveralmond.(5)

Confirmations continued to be received through the later twelfth century, beginning with King William’s ratification of possession of the church of Perth, castle chapel, a manse, all things appurtenant to those things, and a teind of his own demesne at Perth in his general charter to Dunfermline which he granted soon after 1165.(6)  Shortly afterwards, Bishop Richard of St Andrews confirmed Dunfermline in possession of the parish church, the schools of the town of Perth, the castle chapel and the church of St Leonard, as part of his general ratification of all previous charters concerning the abbey’s properties.(7)  No grant in proprios usus is to be found in the surviving Dunfermline records but it had evidently occurred before 1237 when a settlement was made by Bishop William Malveisin between the abbey and the vicars of Perth over the fruits of the church.  By that composition, the bulk of the fruits, amounting to 50 merks, were assigned to the abbey, while the residue was left to the vicar.(8)  The next landmark in the records of the church came on 5 September 1242, when Bishop David de Bernham dedicated it.(9)

The second half of the thirteenth through to the first quarter of the firteenth century are fallow periods in the records of Perth St John’s, possibly on account of losses of parchment records in the course of the Wars of Independence, which saw the burgh occupied by English garrisons until retaken by Robert Bruce, and then re-occupied from 1333 until recaptured almost a decade later after a long and devastating siege.  Across that period, reference to the church occurs in external material, such as the accounts of the papal tax-collector in Scotland in 1274-5, in which the vicarage was taxed at one merk for the first year of the taxation.(10)  Nothing then is heard until 1328, when King Robert I requested that the canons of Scone Abbey give access to their quarries at Kinkarachi and Balcormoc on the Tay (near to the modern Quarrymill at the south gate of the Scone Palace policies) for stone with which to build at the church of Perth and for the bridges over the Tay at Perth and the Earn.(11)  There is no other record relating to building-work at the church in the fourteenth century and it is probable that the main efforts in the burgh after 1333 were directed towards the rebuilding of the defensive circuit around it which had been levelled after Robert Bruce’s recapture of the burgh from the English in 1312.  Apart from references to named clerics in the church – a chaplain in 1414 and the vicar in 1438(12) – there is no further significant surviving evidence for the development of St John’s until 1440.

The 1440s saw the beginning of a radical reconstruction programme at the church and a change in its relationship with the monks of Dunfermline.  On 20 May 1440, a covenant was settled between the abbot and convent of Dunfermline and the community of the burgh of Perth concerning the building, sustenance and repair in perpetuity of the choir and porch of the church, and the provision of vestments and other ornaments.(13)  Provost, baillies and community agreed to take on at their own expense the cost of rebuilding the choir and porch of the church from the foundations, and to take on its future repair, explicitly assuming the responsibility for its roofing and windows, doors, glasswork and paving, and also accepting the obligation to meet the recurring cost of books, chalices and all other vestments and ornaments for the choir and altars.  As ‘parson’ of the church, this burden had been the responsibility of the monks of Dunfermline.  The abbot and convent in turn agreed to make over the existing supply of books and chalices to the community of the burgh.  Moreover, they also conceded to the community the right of burial in the new choir and that no-one should be interred there without the consent of the community of the burgh, and that the burgh would in future receive all burial charges for interments in the choir as they already did in the nave and elsewhere outside the choir of the church.(14)  The burgh community was to take on the ferme of the church for six years for an annual payment of fifty merks and were to pay a pension of thirty-five merks, along with additional sums for the provision of the essential wine, bread and wax (for candles) for masses, to the vicar.  The abbey confirmed these arrangements in a letter of obligation, dated 16 June 1440, whereby they promised to pay 200 merks Scots to the provost, baillies and community of Perth in return for the latter undertaking the building and maintenance of the choir and porch of the church, and agreeing its lease to the provost, baillies and community of Perth for 50 merks Scots yearly.(15)  Papal ratification of this arrangement was sought and on 19 July 1442 the supplication was accepted, the full agreement noting that the income derived from burial-charges in the choir would fall to the burgh and be used to help defray the costs of the building and maintenance work.(16)

Work on erecting the new, grander and more spacious choir appears to have progressed quickly and from about December 1448 onwards there is evidence that indicates work was either completed or sufficiently advanced for altars to be (re)founded in the new east limb and services conducted there.  The first reference dates from 20 December 1448 when the altar of St John the Evangelist was founded and endowed by Brother John of Bute, who had been engaged formerly by King James I in building-work on the Carthusian priory founded by him just outside the burgh.  The new altar’s location was described as on the north side of the choir near the high altar.(17)  The foundation and development of the other altars in the church is discussed in detail below.  In 1453, the first surviving record of the sale of a burial lair in the new choir occurs, when John Lorne, merchant, paid for the right for himself, his mother and his heirs buried  to be interred in the ‘new choir’, payment being made to Morice, master of the fabric of the church.(18)  John of Bute is next recorded as having founded or refounded the altar of St Laurence by 1 November 1454, which was described as adjacent to the altar already founded by him (St John the Evangelist’s) in the north part of the new choir. John also stipulated in his endowment charter that a lamp was to be hung over the altar and kept burning in perpetuity.(19)  He had founded a third altar by 12 August 1457, St Sebastian’s, which was also situated on the north side of the new church near the high altar.(20)  This suggests that three bays of the five in the new north aisle of the choir were fitted out as chapels in the decade after 1448.

For most of third quarter of the fifteenth century there are few records of the church other than material relating to the steadily proliferating altars and chaplaincies attached to them that were distributed around the building (discussed in detail below).  Most information otherwise relates simply to petitions for provision, records of collation, and notices of death of successive vicars pensionary of the church.(21)  Work on the building appears to have recommenced in the 1480s and in 1489 King James IV made a personal contribution of 18s towards the ‘kirk werk’ of Perth.(22)  A further gift of 11s 8d was made in 1498, at which time it has been suggested that his master mason, Walter Merlioun, was contracted to undertake building-work on the church for a half-year fee of £20.(23)  There is no clear evidence for where in the church this work was being undertaken, but by the early 1500s it seems that re-building was concentrating on the central tower.  It may have been in connection with that programme that in 1502 Walter Rhynd, the burgh’s master of the fabric of the bridge and church, received payments arising from charges for burials in the church.(24)  By 1506 the tower was being furnished with bells, including one decorated with a statuette of St John the Baptist which is still in the church.  Weighing 1429 kg, it was made by Peter Waghavens of Mechelin.(25)  The obituary notice of 2 August 1507 for John Myrtoun, prebend of Forgund, noted that he had left 10s towards the cost of the bell tower of the parish church, which must have been nearly completed by that date.(26)  The promulgation on 20 June 1510 of a council ordinance concerning payment for the ringing of the church bells suggests strongly that the work had reached a point where the bell-chamber was fully functional.(27)  The stipulation in the contract of employment drawn up in August 1511 for the new parish clerk, George Dunning, included the obligation to find strings and chords for the bells.(28)  The completed tower and spire was used as a model in designs elsewhere in Scotland, in 1511 a contract made on behalf of William Elphinstone, bishop of Aberdeen, with the wright John Fendour, stipulated that John would make and complete the timber work of the central steeple of the cathedral at Aberdeen, ‘substantially jointed and hewn as the steeple and prik of the kirk of St Johnstone’.(29)

The bells of the newly-completed tower figured prominently in the expenses for the obsequies of Bishop George Brown of Dunkeld in 1513.  As well as payment of £12 4s 10d to the choir chaplains for 296 masses to be celebrated in the choir of the church of Perth and other ‘religious places’ over the space of four days, the vicar and choristers of the choir received 59s 8d to celebrate the vigils of the dead and requiem masses for two days, while the keeper and bell-ringers of the church of Perth, and the bellman for his labour during three days, together received a further 23s.  One-and-a-half stones of beeswax were bought for 30s to make the candles for the services, the manufacture of which cost an additional 3s 6d.  Furthermore, 24 painted coats-of-arms were produced for the funeral ceremony, costing 14s; and finally the minister of the Charterhouse received 8d for carrying the jewels – the bishop’s mitre, crozier and ring – to Perth at the time of the exequies.(30)

Further bells continued to be added to what seems already to have been an impressive collection in the tower.  In 1520 the common bell (which remained in the church until 1804) was cast by George Waghavens of Mechelin.(31)  Six years later in 1526 five Flemish chime bells which are still in the church were installed. These were probably the work of William van de Ghein of Mechlin.(32)  The installation of this five-bell chime appears to have completed the pre-Reformation complement of bells.

It was to the vicarage pensionary of a completed church that George Cook was admitted by a mandate dated 15 June 1535 of Archbishop James Beaton of St Andrews, who was commendator or administrator-general of Dunfermline Abbey, sent to the Dean of Gowrie instructing him to induct George following upon his collation by the archbishop.(33)  Cook was to be the last pre-Reformation vicar of the church, presiding over the substantial establishment of chaplains and choristers who served in the choir and at the many altars located throughout the building.  Although referred to on one occasion as a ‘college’, despite the wealth of the church, its splendid building, and the large contingent of clergy who served in it, the parish church of Perth was never erected into a collegiate church.(34)  As revealed in a charter of sir James Myrtoun, canon and prebendary of Dunkeld, issued at Perth in September 1493,(35) by which he granted annual rents from various properties in and around the burgh to ten chaplains choristers and hebdomadars, including a chaplain to perpetually celebrate the prime mass daily in the church, the clergy of the choir could and did function as a group and may have constituted a ‘college’ for collective actions, but there was never a move to formalise that association or, at least, Dunfermline, as appropriator, was never prepared to countenance such a move that might jeopardise its possession of the parish church.

The actions of one of this complement of clerics in opening up the screening doors of the tabernacle-work reredos on the high altar of the church on 11 May 1559 immediately after John Knox had been preaching a sermon in the church denouncing idolatory sparked a riot which resulted in the destruction of the altars and furnishings of St John’s and the plundering of its valuables.  By the time that order was restored, the Carthusian priory, Carmelite, Dominican and Franciscan friaries, as well as the lesser chapels of the burgh, had all been plundered and ruined.(36) Through all of this destructive storm, George Cook continued to possess the vicarage pensionary and in the register of taxable benefices produced in the aftermath of the Reformation his possession was recorded and valued at £20 per annum.(37)

In common with the other great burgh churches of the diocese of St Andrews, St John’s in Perth experienced a steady proliferation in the number of altars and associated chaplaincies located within it over the course of the medieval period.  Endowments by pious individuals, religious confraternities and trade associations underpinned this development, steadily filling up the interior space of the building and encouraging the enlargement of the structure to better accommodate or make allowance for the addition of yet more altars.  It is not known when the provision of secondary altars began at St John’s, for the loss of much of the church’s pre-fifteenth-century record material reveals only a process that was already well underway.  For the most part, too, we do not know exactly when many of the altars were founded, the surviving record often marking only the point at which a chaplaincy was endowed at a particular altar rather than the foundation of the altar itself.  It is clear from the record, nevertheless, that a great expansion in the number of altars in the church arose from the rebuilding programme in the choir in the 1440s, when the endowment of the aisle chapels to contain them provided part of the funding necessary for the construction work.  Calculations of the total number of altars in the church vary.  Fittis listed a total of 35, while Hunter identified 32 altars (but his list includes several chaplaincies established at other altars), while Simpson refers to 37 altars but does not list them.(38)  Forty-seven foundations that were labelled as altars have now been identified but it is not clear if every altar survived as an independent establishment from the date of their first erection through to the Reformation.  The discussion below also identifies cases where what may have originated as secondary dedications at an altar, or a named chaplainry founded at the altar of a primary saint, subsequently achieved an independent existence with an altar of their own, or where potentially poorly-endowed altars lost their original identities when a ‘newer’ and better-endowed secondary dedication came to be regarded as the primary saint. In the following section, the altars and chaplaincies are discussed in date order of their first surviving record but it must be stressed that this almost certainly does not reflect a true chronology of their foundation. 

It can be assumed that the high altar, which was already dedicated to St John the Baptist in the first half of the twelfth century, was the first altar established in the parish church.  It is, however, almost never referred to as a specific element of the building and does not feature in any surviving record, for example, as a place where oaths were taken and pledges redeemed.  Through the fifteenth century it is given as a locational point-of-reference for fixing the position of other altars in the church.  It was used as the venue for solemn acts of great public importance, as in 1502 when a formal submission was to be performed in front of the high altar before the start of high mass by the former Dean of Guild John Bryson, and his manservant, for their insulting behaviour and ‘gret offence’ committed towards one of the baillies, William Crawford.(39)  As an establishment in its own right, however, it seems first to appear in an instruction issued by the council to the master of works at the church on 20 June 1510, directing him to keep and take care of the vestments, books, chalices, towels and all other ornaments of the town, pertaining to the altar, presumably during a vacancy in the vicarage in the midst of the continuing building operations at that date that might otherwise disturb the services at the altar.(40)

The first subsidiary altar for which there is independent testimony was dedicated to St Ninian.  A charter of 14 August 1401 records its foundation by Robert Brown, burgess of Perth, for the souls of himself and his wife, and its endowment with annual rents totalling 10 merks from tenements without the Turret Bridge, Northgate and Southgate, and tenements near the church yard of St John’s.  The patronage of the altar was to remain with his heirs.(41)  The charter contains no data which would locate the altar within the building.  This is a rather early date for the foundation of an altar with this dedication outside the core area of his cult in southern Scotland and before the almost ‘national’ expansion of the cult in the later fifteenth century.  A similarly early date, however, occurs in the provision of an altar of St Ninian in St Giles’ at Edinburgh (qv), where by 1405 it occupied one of the chapels of the new south aisle that had been commenced in 1387.  The spread of the cult in the late fourteenth century might be a manifestation of the popularity which Ninian seems to have enjoyed in some circles, as evidenced by the writing in Scots of a new life of the saint at some point late in the third quarter of the century.

St Ninian’s altar is next mentioned in 1466 in an ordinance from the guild court of the burgh instructing the patrons of six altars, including that of St Ninian, to choose ‘discrete men’ to serve at their altars and also to provide daily service in the choir of the parish church at matins, mass and evensong.(42)  The patronage of the altar remained with the Brown family until 1476 Gilbert Brown, son and heir of Robert Brown, granted it to Patrick Wells, a fellow Perth burgess.(43)  Wells added to the altar’s endowment, his charter of 12 November 1513 recording a grant to the chaplain of the altar of St Ninian within the parish church of Perth, ‘lately founded by him’, of a tenement on the east side of the burgh’s Watergate.(44)  A month later on 16 December 1513 Wells made over the patronage of the altar to John Ramsay his grandson, who was the son and apparent heir of Archibald Ramsay.(45)  On 4 February 1530 Sir Thomas Ramsay gifted the patronage to Alexander Chalmers, burgess of Perth.(46)  Ramsay interest, however, continued to a degree in that the chaplain, William Ramsay, was a kinsman of Sir Thomas.  On 2 August 1541 William Ramsay, chaplain, gave 28s to his altar for his soul post-mortem; he was still alive in 1554.(47)  The Chalmers patrons made further gifts to the altar, a charter of 11 November 1544 recording the gift by Alexander Chalmers of Petty, burgess of Perth and patron of the altar, to Sir Henry Elder, chaplain, of an annual rent of 12d from tenement on the east side of the Watergate.(48)  Also in 1544 [the full date in the record is defaced] a notarial instrument recorded that Chalmers had made and appointed Elder the irrevocable patron of the altar and chaplainry, transferring to him his right of patronage and advowson for one donation only.(49) Given that William Ramsay was still alive at that date and apparently in possession of the one known chaplaincy of St Ninian’s altar, Elder’s relationship to the altar is unclear but points to the possible presence of a second chaplain attached to it.  While there is no hard evidence for such a second chaplaincy, there were certainly subsidiary cults represented at St Ninian’s altar, it being recorded in 1551 that James Marshall, dean and treasurer of Gowrie, was perpetual chaplain of the chaplaincy of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel at the altar of St Ninian.(50)

An altar and chapel of St James was in existence by c.1402 when John Aitchison, burgess of Perth, granted to his kinsman John Fairlie, and his intended spouse Marjory, a tenement from which a 20s annual rent was to be paid to the chaplain of the altar of St James.  The altar was described as ‘in the new chapel on the south side of the parish church’.(51)  On 30 November 1423 charters were granted by Alexander de Whitsum burgess of Perth, who was described as patron of the new chapel of St James in the south side of the parish church of Perth, to the chaplainry at the altar, endowing it with an annual rent of 10s from a tenement on the road leading to the Spey Tower in Perth, and also additional rents elsewhere in the burgh.(52)  An additional gift of annual rent income came in 1480 when William Orkney granted David Toshoch of Monzievaird a tenement on the north side of the town, to be held burgage and for payment of 13s 4d to the altar of St Thomas and certain additional sums to the altar of St James and St Katherine the Virgin.(53)  Whitsum appears to have bequeathed the patronage to both the burgh of Perth and the canons of Scone, with the intention that they exercise the right in alternating provisions.  By 1495, however, a dispute had arisen between the two holders of the patronage and resulted in a decreet arbitral that year to settle the cause between James, abbot of Scone, and his convent on the one hand and Robert Mercer, baillie, on the other.  The decreet referred to the altar of St James the Apostle as having been founded by the deceased Alexander Whitsom and stated that the patronage was to be exercised by the two parties alternately.(54).  It appears that same year that the chapel of St James contained an additional altar, it being noted in a charter of 10 February 1495 by Mr Patrick Scott, made to the Brethren of the Altar of the Holy Trinity, that the Trinity altar was situated within ‘the new chapel of St James’.(55) Apart from two sixteenth-century references to chaplains of St James’s altar, there are no subsequent records of the chapel, altar or chaplaincies.(56)

An altar of St Katherine of Alexandria is recorded to have been in existence by 1408-9 with the provost, burgh and community of Perth as its patrons.(57)  There appears to be no association with the wrights’ craft at this stage, although Katherine, due to the traditional manner of her martyrdom, had a recognised role as patroness of the craft.  It is not again referred to until 18 March 1468 when William Kinglassie, burgess of Perth, bequeathed an annual rent of 2 marks from a tenement on the north side of the Northgate to an unnamed chaplain of the St Katharine’s altar.(58)  In 1470 John Brown, chaplain of the St Katharine’s altar, granted Andrew Gardiner, a Perth burgess of Perth, an annual rent that he possessed due from a tenement in the Watergate.(59)  An additional dedication was added to the altar in 1484 when John Spalding, dean of the Brechin, founded a chaplaincy dedicated to St Dionysius/St Denis the Martyr at the altar and granted it an annual rent of 20s payable from a tenement that belonged to the canons of Inchaffray Abbey located on the north side of the North Gate, 26s 8d from a second tenement in the North Gate, and other annual rents from lands belonging to the canons of Scone, also in the North Gate.  After Spalding’s death, the patronage of the new chaplainry was to pertain to the canons of Scone.(60)  There is no further surviving reference to St Katherine’s altar after 1484.

St Martin’s altar was in existence by 1410 when it is said that an oath was taken before it by the Countess of Strathearn.(61)  It is next referenced on 14 February 1462 when a writ was described as being witnessed near the altar of St Martin in the parish church of Perth.(62)  The altar may have been refounded, or a chaplaincy at it established, before 1470 when Andrew Pitscottie was described as ‘founder’, and further endowed by Walter Pitscottie, his ‘nephew’, with a very generous £10 4s 8d of annual rents.(63)  Andrew Pitscottie, the former vicar of St John’s, was the father of Walter, who held the lands of Luncarty, north of Perth.  The patronage seems to have been given to Sir James Crichton of Redgorton, as his permission is included in the 1470 charter.  The foundation of an additional chaplainry by the Pitscotties appears to be the more likely scenario, as in January 1500 there is record of the resignation of possession into the hands of the baillies being made by one of the chaplains of the altar of St Martin.(64)  On 2 October 1508 there is record of a second resignation made by the chaplain of St Martin’s altar of a tenement belonging to the deceased David Scott (the former chaplain.(65)  There is no subsequent record of either the altar or the chaplaincies in surviving documents.

At some point in 1424, John Spence of Bowhoppil, burgess of Perth, founding the chaplainry of St Nicholas and granted it certain annual rents payable from tenements in the Watergate, Northgate and Southgate.(66)  Given the role of St Nicholas as patron of sailors, it is not surprising to find an altar dedicated to him in the church of community that was involved in international trade.  In 1429 Spence further endowed the chaplaincy with £7 15s annual rents.(67)  The early references were only to a chaplaincy but it is clear that there was a distinct altar of St Nicholas in the church, or at least one existed by January1500 when Patrick Young, chaplain of the altar of St Nicholas, resigned possession of a tenement in the burgh.(68)  On 28 June 1542) James Balnavis inherited from his father, the late John Balnavis, alias Piper, various lands in the burgh together with the patronage of St Nicholas’ altar.(69) The chaplain is first named in 1549, when the chaplaincy was held by Walter Ramsay, brother of William Ramsay chaplain of St Ninian’s altar (see above).(70)  Walter was named in the1569 allocation of the rental of the altar to the new burgh hospital as ‘last chaplain’, the value of his benefice being given as £8 7s 8d annually.(71)

In1429 Richard Creich, rector parish church of Errol, founded the altar of St Michael in the church of Perth and was said to have endowed it with £28 of annual rents.(72)  On 25 April 1445, David Fleming, burgess of Perth, mortgaged an annual rent of 40s to Richard Creich, suggesting that the altar’s founder was relatively cash-rich and well capable of making such a significant endowment.(73)  A royal confirmation at mortmain dated 14 Dec 1498 ratified the charter dated at Perth 10 March 1497of sir John Tyrie, provost of the collegiate church of Methven, by which John had granted, in pure alms, with consequent sasine, to the chaplainry of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph the Confessor, father of Christ, at the altar of St Michael in the parish church of Perth, and to one chaplain chaplain there, an extensive raft of annual rents.(74) The next record of St Michael’s altar occurs on 4 January 1525 when Tyrie (re)founded the chaplainry in honour of St Joseph there, the new foundation being made for the soul of King James IV and for John’s own family. John granted a tenement on the east side of the Kirkgate of Perth, an annual rent of 40s from the tenement of Alexander Horner on the south side of the Southgate and an annual rent of 13s 4d from a tenement on the west side of the Watergate.  These were all to be held in burgage and for payment of certain sums yearly to the canons of Scone, the Carthusians, the chaplains of the altar of St Peter and the master of the fabric of the Bridge of Tay, John reserving to himself the incumbency of St Joseph’s chaplainry during his lifetime and bequeathing it to be in the presentation of the Carthusians, who were to be bound to present his nearest kinsman to it. The chaplain was to take care of the ornaments of the chaplaincy, namely the books, missals, altar cloths, chalice, phials, chasubles, amices, stoles, copes, hangings, tapestries, curtains and other things necessary for the celebration of divine service.(75)  The Michael dedication may have been supplanted by the Joseph dedication in the late 1540s, there being no reference to St Michael’s altar after 1542.

It is only in 1431 that first reference occurs of the Holy Cross or Rood altar in the church, although there is likely to have been an altar either in front of the great rood or in the rood loft from early in the development of St John’s.  The 1431 reference is contained within a confirmation of 1553 in an instrument of transumpt that was obtained by sir John Ross and others, chaplains of the choir of the parish church, before John Hamilton, archbishop of St Andrews, and others, of clause contained in a confirmation by King James I of charter by John Spence of Bouchoppill, burgess of Perth, who was also associated with St Nicholas’s altar (see above), made to the chaplains (sic) of the altar of the Holy Cross within the church of an annualrent of 7s from land in the Blackfriars’ croft near the Nortlach.(76)  A chaplaincy of the Holy Cross was certainly in existence by 1462, when a chaplain is referred to in a charter of that date and in 1486 a chaplain was named as a beneficiary in the will of William Frew, burgess of Perth.(77)  The generous benefactor of St John’s, John Tyrie, provost of the collegiate church of Methven, granted a charter to the chaplains [sic] of the altar in 1518, but it is not known when the number of chaplains at the altar had been increased or by whom.(78)  A last reference to the altar occurred in a charter of November 1535 by Constantine Symmer, chaplain of the altar of the Holy Rood, made with the consent of the Guildry of the Perth, who were patrons of the altar, to Finlay Davidson, skinner, burgess of Perth, of various of the properties that pertained to his chaplaincy.(79)

Two further altars make their first appearance in 1431.  The altar of St Eloi is recorded in a charter of 30 April 1431, which received royal confirmation on 7 May 1431, whereby Andrew Lufe, goldsmith, burgess of Perth, granted to a chaplain serving perpetually at that altar an annual rent of 30 shillings from his three acres of land next to the waulkmill of Perth, between the high road and the mill lade, and from another property in the Kirkgait of the burgh, saving the king’s ferme.  He also made the gift of a 10s annual rent to the second altar, that of St Peter, and a 6s 8d annual payment to the Bridge of Tay.(80)  Fittis, probably correctly, identified the Eloi altar as belonging to the Goldsmith or Hammermen’s guild. It is recorded that there was a chaplaincy of St Triduana at the same altar by 1518.(81)  No surviving additional record of the altar has been traced.  St Peter’s altar has likewise left few other references.  After the 1431 mention it is not again named until 1503, when it belonged to the Fleshers guild and received a grant of 26s 8d in annual rents from John Rattray.(82)  In 1525, the altar of St Peter received the gift of an annual payment from the endowment to the chaplaincy of St Joseph made by John Tyrie (see above).(83)  In October 1532 its chaplain, John Matheson, was involved in a legal process concerning lands on south side of the Southgait.(84)  The last surviving pre-Reformation mention of the altar and chaplaincy occurs on 9 October 1554.(85)

The first reference to the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary dates from January 1432 when Alan Myrtoun, burgess of Perth, granted a charter founding the altar and endowing it with annual rents from the lands of Arduthie, Hardhaugh and Mill of Auchtergaven, pertaining to Robert Pittencrieff, and also tenements in the Watergate, Northgate and Southgate of Perth.(86)   By an agreement made in 1455 between Alexander Bonkil, burgess of Perth, with Thomas Currie, burgess of Perth, concerning a piece of ground in the Southgate, Thomas was to hold the land for payment of 6s to the altar of Mary the Virgin.(87)  A second chaplaincy was founded by 15 August 1475, on which date a decree by Robert Hirdmaston, sub-prior of St Andrews, was made in favour of the provost, baillies and council of Perth in the case of the disputed presentation of a chaplain to the altar.  The chaplaincy had been founded by Robert himself and the then incumbent chaplain was one Alexander Sharpe.(88)  An act of caution of 15 April 1544 provides a snapshot of the ornaments and equipment of the altar, listing items in the hands of one John Smeaton as one new print mass book, one old parchment mass book, three pairs of towels, four great candle sticks, four smaller ones, a jug for wine, and one silver candlestick with two forks for candles.(89)  Chaplaincies to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary were also located at the altars of St Ninian and St Michael (see above).

In view of the already three-hundred-year-old association of the church of Perth with the abbey of Dunfermline, it is unlikely that the first reference to the altar of St Margaret of Scotland in 1438 represented the first establishment of an altar with that dedication in St John’s.  Nevertheless, it was described in 1438 as founded by Andrew Pitscottie, vicar of Perth, and completed by Walter Piscottie of Luncarty, referred to as his nephew but in reality his son (see above), who endowed it with £11 4s 5d of annual rents.(90)  As with St Martin’s altar, also founded by the Pitscotties (see above), in 1469 Walter Pitscottie granted the patronage of St Margaret’s altar to Sir James Crichton of Redgorton.(91)  By 1547, when one William Anderson was chaplain, the patronage was in the hands of John Werthson of Shallemid.(92)  There are no further pre-Reformation references to this altar.

The eleven altars named above, plus the high altar, constituted the recorded devotional foci in the parish church before the beginning of the rebuilding of the choir in the 1440s.  Apart from St James’s, which occupied a separate chapel on the south side of the church, probably in either the south transept or in the south aisle of the nave, and the Rood altar which was located either on the floor of the nave in front of the rood screen or in the rood-loft above, there is no evidence offered in any of the surviving record of these altars for even their most general location within the church.  In the records of the later fifteenth-century altars, however, there is some greater level of detail concerning their position within the building, although precise locational information is still lacking for most of them and even general detail is not provided for the sixteenth-century foundations.

The first altar recorded in the new choir, as discussed above, was that of St John the Evangelist.  It was founded on 20 December 1448 by John of Bute, who gave an endowment of £10 6s 8d in annual rents for its support.  The altar was described as located on the north side of the choir near the high altar.(93) Further endowment came in April 1452 when Clement Whitsum, burgess of Perth, granted John Bute an annual rent of two merks from a tenement on the south side of the Southgate to support the new altar.(94)  On 20 March 1453, Patrick Tyrie, burgess of Perth, also granted Bute an annual rent of 12s from a tenement in the Northgate for the altar.(95)  All of these gifts were confirmed by King James III in 1469, in a general ratification of all donations, grants, and foundations made by John Bute, to the Holy Trinity and altarages thereof, namely those of St Laurence and Sebastian, St John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth, and annual rents payable to them from tenements in the Southgate, in the Clayhills, the croft in the Common loaning, Northgate tenements above the Mills, Castlegave, the tenement called Gilfillans hole in the Kirkgate, Kinfauns, Watergate, Easter Wynd and so on.(96)  In October or November 1472, King James III also confirmed a charter of Thomas Oliphant of Dron, who had erected a chaplainry at the altar of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, St Laurence and St Sebastian, martyrs, which was described as otherwise founded by the late sir John Bute, and with the consent of the patron of the said altar and the provost, baillies and council of the burgh of Perth, and endowed it for the salvation of the souls of the king, of himself and his wife Lady Elizabeth, various annual rents from his burgh properties.(97)  The last clear pre-Reformation reference to the altar dates from 1 January 1527, when Lawrence Lorimer, chaplain of altar of John the Evangelist, laid claim to land belonging to the late David Mory.(98)

Bute was also responsible for the foundation of the altar of St Laurence which, despite the reference to a single altar of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, St Laurence and St Sebastian in 1472, was evidently a separate establishment.  The altar of St Laurence was first recorded on 1 November 1454 when it was founded by Bute. It was described as situated next to the altar founded by him (St John the Evangelist) in the north part of the new choir. In his charter of endowment, he stipulated that a lamp was to be hung over the altar and kept burning in perpetuity.(99)  In the exchequer accounts of the baillies of Perth for the term 12 July 1454 to 18 July 1455, payment of six merks was made to the chaplain of St Laurence of Perth from the burgh ferme ‘by the king’s alms of old’.(100)  This reference, however, seems to be to a chapel of St Laurence that was not within the church of St John.  The next certain reference to the altar is King James III’s 1469 charter confirming all of John Bute’s grants and foundations, which included the altars of St Laurence and Sebastian, and St John the Evangelist, together with the annual rents to support them from tenements in the Southgate, in the Clayhills, a croft in the Common loaning, Northgate tenements above the Mills, Castlegavel, a tenement called Gilfillans hole in the Kirkgate, Kinfauns, Watergate, Easter Wynd etc.(101)  By the early sixteenth century the patronage of the altar appears to have lain in part with the bishops of Dunkeld.  On 15 September 1519, an instrument of sasine in favour of William Marshall, merchant burgess, in respect of a tenement in Perth following on the resignation of the property by Alexander Mercer, chaplain of St Laurence’s altar, was made with the consent of Gavin Douglas, bishop of Dunkeld.(102)  Clear reference to the bishops’ role as patron occurs in a charter of 1536, granted by Sir Thomas Colin, chaplain of St Laurence’s altar, which was made with the consent of the Bishop of Dunkeld, patron thereof, and Thomas Affleck and Janet Rollock his spouse, of a tenement on the road leading to the Cow Causeway, as the patron of the altar.(103)  In1545, Colin was still chaplain, and Bishop George Crichton was identified as patron in another property record.(104)  There is no further surviving reference to this altar in an identified and surviving pre-Reformation record.

In the same year as the foundation of St Laurence’s altar, on 10 July 1454, a charter by John Bunch, burgess of Perth, founded the altar of St Clement and endowed it with certain annual rents worth £10 payable from tenements in the Northgate, a tenement near the Castlegavel, one in Southgate, and one in Watergate.(105)  The next surviving reference to this altar appears to be on 15 September 1508, when an unnamed chaplain of the altar resigned a tenement belonging to David Boswell.(106)  By a charter of 27 January 1513, King James IV ratified at mortmain a charter of 28 August 1511 by Alexander Tyrie, burgess of Perth, founding two chaplainries in honour of St Clement and St Christopher the Martyr at the altar of St Clement in the parish church of Perth, and granting thereto certain tenements in the Northgate, Watergate(107).  By 1547, when Thomas Glass was chaplain, the altar might have been referred to as St Christopher’s and appears to have acquired a secondary dedication to ‘Clara the Virgin’ (Clare of Assisi?), and we learn at this time that the altar was under the patronage of the prior and convent of the Carthusians of Perth.(108)  What appears to be the last pre-Reformation record of the altar is a reference on18 June 1552 to chaplain serving at the altar of St Clement in the parish church.(109)

John of Bute founded a third altar in St John’s, St Sebastian’s, which was described as located on the north side of the church near the high altar.  The new altar was established by a charter dated 12 August 1457, which provided for a chaplain to perform service there between the hours of 9 and 10. Bute endowed it with £10 5s 4d of annual rents, and provided a small lamp to hang before an image of the saint.(110)  The 1469 charter by King James III referred to above, confirming all of Bute’s grants, included the altars of St Laurence, St Sebastian, and St John the Evangelist.(111)  There are few reference to additional endowments made to the altar, but on 22 September 1534 there is a mention of a trade booth in the burgh belonging to the chaplainry, which was not on the lands granted to it for its support by John of Bute.(112)  One further endowment was made on 27 September 1542, when William Monypenny, burgess of Perth, granted Sir Andrew Charteris, chaplain of the altar an annual rent of £3 6s 8d from a tenement on the south side of the Cross.(113) This grant appears to be the last surviving reference to the altar before the Reformation.

If the double reference to altars of St Thomas in a list of six altars named in a1466 ordinance of the guildry court is not a scribal error, there were altars of both St Thomas the Apostle and St Thomas of Canterbury in the church by that date.  The guildry court instructed the patrons of these altars to choose discrete men to serve at them who would also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(114)  The only definite dedication recorded, however, is St Thomas the Apostle, first explicitly named in a 1474 charter by James Scott, son and heir of the deceased Thomas Scott, burgess of Perth (described as founder of the altar), which granted the chaplain of St Thomas the Apostle’s altar an annual rent of 6s from a tenement outside the Castle Gavel Port and other annual rents and tenements, namely those in the Curfew Row, North Gate and South Gate.(115)  A 1480 charter by William Orkney to David Toshoch of Monzievaird of a tenement on the north side of the burgh, stipulated that the property was to be held in burgage and for payment of 13s 4d to the altar of St Thomas, with no further identification of which Thomas, and certain sums to the altar of St James and St Katherine the Virgin.(116)  The final reference to the altar of St Thomas – again with no further identification as apostle or martyr - is from its 1569 rental record, which was allocated to the burgh’s new hospital.  The last chaplain was Henry Elder, and the patrons were recorded as the provost and council, the value of its then rents amounting to £5 12s 8d.(117)

The same 1466 ordinance of the guildry court as mentions the Thomas altar(s) also names the altar and chaplain of St Salvator, whose probable patron, James Scott, was likewise instructed to choose a discrete man to serve at the altar who would also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(118)  The altar occurs next in a charter of February 1492 by Alexander Scott, son and heir of Alexander Scott, burgess of Perth, to Sir Patrick Rae, chaplain of the altar, of a tenement on the north side of the Southgate.(119)  Further endowments followed, the first on 4 March 1495 when Henry Bryson, burgess of Perth, granted Rae an annual rent of 13s 4d from a tenement on the south side of the Northgate.(120)  The same day Rae founded a second chaplainry at his own altar in praise and honour of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and All Saints, especially St Fillan, confessor and abbot.  The new chaplain was to perform daily services for the safety of Rae’s soul and that of James IV.  He funded the new chaplain with an annual rent of five merks from a tenement in the Watergate, £3 from another tenement, 13s 4d from a tenement in the North Gate, 11s 2d from a tenement in the New Row, and 20s from a tenement in the Watergate.  After Rae’s death, the patronage of the altar was to pertain to the Carthusians.(121)  Further endowment of the altar was received by a charter of 14 July 1498 whereby John Gardner, son and heir of Andrew Gardner, burgess of Perth, granted Rae a tenement on the west side of the Watergate.(122)  This grant was the last of the run of later fifteenth-century gifts, the next – and last recorded – endowment occurring on 6 December 1546.  On that date Alexander Peebles, son and heir of John Peebles, baker and burgess of Perth, issued a charter to Sir John Swinton and others, described as ‘prebends’ of the parish church of Perth and officiating at the altar of St Salvator therein, of an annual rent of £7 6 8 from two tenements in the North Gate.(123)

Two other altars are named for the first time in the 1466 guildry court ordinance but clearly already were established by that date, those of St Mary Magdalene and St Andrew, with their patrons being probably Gilbert Bruce and John Chalmers respectively.(124)  There appears to be only one further surviving reference to St Mary Magdalene’s altar, an endowment made to it before 1485 by James Young, provost of Methven.(125)  St Andrew’s altar appears to have been an altogether more prestigious establishment.  It attracted additional endowment from its founding family, the Chalmers.  A royal confirmation at mortmain of 9 July confirmed a charter by Robert Chalmers or Chambers, MA, burgess of Perth, to the altar, which had been founded by John Chalmers his grandfather, granting it certain annual rents from tenements in the Northgate, Southgate, and a yard outside the Speygate brig.(126)  This endowment founded the chaplaincy of the Presentation of the Virgin.  It seems to have been altogether distinct from the establishment made on 9 August 1491 in a charter which was granted by Mr James Fenton, vicar of Tibbermore, founding an altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Consolation in what was described as the aisle Andrew the Apostle within the Parish Church of Perth.(127)  In 1524 a further chaplaincy of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded at the altar by James Fenton, who was still vicar of Tibbermore, along with chaplaincies dedicated to St Kentigern and St Bridget in St Andrews Aisle, which appear to have been at separate altars rather than also at St Andrew’s altar.(128)  A last pre-Reformation reference to the chaplainry occurs on 18 April 1543 when Robert Anderson was described as its rightful patron.(129)  After the Reformation, St Andrew’s aisle appears to have become the gathering place for elders for meetings of the Kirk Session.(130)

Quite distinct and earlier than the chaplainry of the Holy Trinity at the altar of St Salvator founded in 1495, there seems to have been a separate altar of the Holy Trinity founded in St John’s before 1469.  In King James III’s charter confirming John of Bute’s various endowments, one was Holy Trinity.(131)  That this was a distinct altar is confirmed in a charter of 11 March 1479, confirmed by King James III at mortmain on 15 January 1480, whereby William Hacket of Belses and Janet Fenton his wife, granted for the salvation of the soul of William Scheves, archbishop of St Andrews, to William Kers, chaplain and his successors at the altar of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in the parish church of Perth an annual rent in the burgh.(132)  The location of the altar is given in a charter of 10 February 1495 as ‘the new chapel of St James’ in the church.  This charter, granted by Mr Patrick Scott, was in favour of a confraternity known as the Brethren of the Altar of the Holy Trinity, and conveyed to them an annual rent from a property on the north side of the Southgate.(133)  Patrick Rae’s founding in 1495of a second chaplainry which included a Holy Trinity dedication in its focus at his altar of St Salvator might be explained by his appearance as Chaplain and Dean of the Brethren of the Holy Trinity in the Parish Church of Perth in a charter of 1508.  This document, granted to Rae by Brother Robert Bryson, Provincial of the order of Carmelites in Scotland, settled on him an annual rent of 13s 4d of a land near the Bridge of Tay on the east side of the tolbooth of Perth.(134)  Further endowment flowed to the altar on 16 March 1518, when a charter by Mr John Ireland, vicar of Perth, granted the Trinity altar certain annual rents and tenements lying in the Southgate, a tenement near the Bridge of Tay on the north side of the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary (which stood at the bridgend) without the Spey brig, Meal Vennel, Northgate, and Watergate.(135)

On 14 August 1471, Simon Bain, priest, founded the altar of St Simon and St Stephen (rather than Jude, the usual pairing with Simon), and gave the presentation to the Carthusians.(136)  By a second charter granted the same day , Bain granted the altar annual rents from a croft on the road leading to St Leonards on the north side of the Gowhall lands adjoining the Carthusian monastery.(137)  In March the following year, King James III ratified a charter by Bain founding the altarage of St Simon and St Stephen within the parish church, for divine service to be performed for the souls of various beneficiaries including that of the late Thomas Blair of Balthayock, Bain’s former master, and endowing it with annual rents.(138)  Evidence for the Carthusians’ exercise of the patronage of the altar occurs in December 1489 in an instrument taken by Sir John Abernethy, and the prior and convent of the Carthusians, concerning their presentation of Abernethy to the altar of St Simon the Apostle and St Stephen the Martyr on the death of its late chaplain, sir Robert Deuchley.(139)  In 1504, Robert Clerk, burgess of Perth, granted a charter founding the altar of St Stephen within the parish church of Perth.(140)  This may be a wholly separate altar as there is no reference to the paired Simon dedication and, in 1569 the rental of the altar of St Stephen alone, whose last chaplain was John Sadler, patrons the Carthusians, was given as £11 9s 8d.(141)  It likewise appears as a sole dedication in the records of the taxation of the old benefices in the 1560s, where Sadler was again named as chaplain and its value was given as 16 merks annually.(142)  There is no certain evidence for the continued existence of a paired Simon and Stephen dedication after 1489 but the fact that the altar described as ‘founded’ in 1504 continued to lie in the patronage of the Carthusians is strongly suggestive that this was the same one as founded by Bain in 1471 but that the Simon dedication had been for some reason removed from it.

According to the late nineteenth-century account of the church by Fittis, St Bartholomew’s altar was founded c.1472 and belonged to the Glovers craft guild.(143)  It was certainly in existence by 1486 when William Frew, burgess of Perth, was mentioned as being a benefactor of a chaplain at the altar.(144)  George Penny, the Perth antiquarian, writing in 1836 noted the existence of a reference in one of the burgh charters dated 26 May 1534 to a missal, vestments and other ornaments of the altar of St Bartholomew founded by the Skinners and Glovers.(145) The association with the Glovers appears to be confirmed on a painted wooden panel originating in the eastern Baltic and in the possession of the guild, which depicted St Bartholomew and bore the date1557.(146)  It was David McRobert’s opinion of this panel, whose figure of the saint was painted in the Classical style so popular in the central decades of the sixteenth century, that it represented a surviving element of a new retable provided by the Glovers’ for their altar in the years immediately preceding the explosion of support for Protestant reform in Perth.  It could barely have been installed in the Glovers’ chapel when the first outburst of violent iconoclasm occurred, rendering the survival of the painting all the more remarkable in a Scottish context.  There are no further certain references to this altar in surviving published records.

According to Fittis, the altar of All Saints with its associated chaplainries of St Gregory and St Augustine was in existence by 1488.(147)  Firmer evidence for its existence, however, first occurs on 2 August1507 in a reference to ‘St Gregory’s land in the burgh of Perth’ in the obit of John Myrtoun, prebend of Forgund, but this does not specifically name an All Saints altar.(148)  Indeed, it is only on 20 April 1529 that Sir Simon Young, vicar of Pitcairn, granted a charter for the souls of King James V, the royal family and his own family, by which he founded a chaplainry in honour of St Gregory and St Augustine at the altar of All Saints within the parish Church.  This promotion by a cleric of the diocese of Dunkeld in a church of the diocese of St Andrews of a twin cult that represented the beginning of the conversion of the pagan English to Christianity is unexplained.  To support the chaplain Young granted an annual rent of 15 merks from two tenements on the south side of the Southgate. Patronage of the altar was to rest with Simon for his lifetime and after his death it was designated to fall to the Carthusians of Perth. If possible they were to choose chaplains who were members of Young’s kin. By 1549 Young was a canon of Dunkeld and still holding the patronage of his altar in St John’s.(149)  An instrument of possession dated 13 November 1532 in favour of Mr William Mercer, described as first chaplain of the altar of All Saints, identified him as also being the founder of the altar.  The instrument placed him in possession of the annual rent made over by Simon Young.(150)  While Mercer was described as ‘first chaplain’ at the altar, in February 1528 Alan Balvaird was identified as chaplain of All Hallows altar, of which he was still chaplain in 1546, at which time Peter Sandilands, rector of Midcalder, was described as patron.(151)  In post-Reformation sources, the All Saints altar effectively disappears but there are references in 1569 to a distinct former altar of St Gregory, with revenues associated pertaining to ten choristers.  The altar was described as having been founded by John Myrtoun, and endowed with rents to the value £6 6s 8d.(152)  It occurs again as a separate altar of St Gregory and St Augustine, rather than chaplainry, on 23 April 1574.  On that date the commendator of the Carthusian priory gifted its patronage to James Drummond.(153)

In view of the close association of the cult of St Blaise with the wool trade, a commercial activity in which Perth was heavily involved throughout the medieval period, it is unlikely that the foundation of an altar and chaplainry in his honour on 2 March 1490 represents the first establishment of his cult in St John’s.  On that date, Andrew Cavers, abbot of Lindores, and his convent, founded the chaplainry and altar within the choir of St John’s and endowed it with an annual rent of five merks from the Crofts or Acres of Earls dykes and Unthank, and other annual rents from tenements in the North Gate, Southgate and outside the Castle Gavel Bridge at Perth.(154)  No firm evidence exists for any link between the altar and the wool-merchants’ guild.  In May 1491 King James IV confirmed the founding charter by Abbot Cavers, which detailed how for the salvation of the soul of sir William Widderspune, chaplain, and also Katherine Tailyour, and others, Cavers had granted to a chaplain celebrating at the altar of St Blaise in the choir of the parish church of Perth, an annual rent of five merks from various burgh properties.(155)  A second charter at mortmain by King James IV, dated 26 Feb 1501, confirmed a grant by Cristine Brown, daughter and heiress of the late John Brown, burgess of Perth, by which with the consent of her husband William West, burgess of the said burgh, she had endowed the chaplainry of St Roch at the altar of St Blaise, described as located on the north side of the choir, with annual rents totalling16 merks.  Her charter, dated 20 February 1501, was authenticated with the seal of John Charteris, one of the baillies, gave sasine to sir Peter Fentoun, chaplain on his being presented to the chaplainry, placing the image of St Roch in his hands as a symbol of his infeftment.(156) The altar is not recorded in any other surviving pre-Reformation source and in the immediate post-Reformation period, on the death of its last chaplain, Alexander Swinton, its revenues were assigned to the burgh hospital.(157)

James Fenton, vicar of Tibbermore, who was a significant patron of St John’s and founder of several chaplaincies within St Andrew’s aisle in the church, was responsible on 9 August 1491 for founding an altar to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Consolation in that aisle.  To support the chaplaincy, he endowed it with a tenement on the east side of the Watergate, yielding an annual rent of 20s 8d, a tenement on the west side of the Kirkgate, a booth in the North Gate, and others.(158)  According to Alexander Myln in his Lives of the Bishops of Dunkeld, Fenton endowed two chaplains and included in the altar foundation were payments for a reredos, antemural, sedilia and decorated ceiling for the chapel.(159)  Land belonging to the chaplainry of St Mary of Consolation was noted in a memorandum of 22 September 1534.(160)  The altar continued to attract endowments into the 1550s, with Simon Young, canon of Dunkeld, granting it further income in 1551.(161)  On the death of the last pre-Reformation chaplain, Walter Ramsay, the rental income of the altar was allocated to the burgh hospital, totalling the significant sum of £21 14s in 1569.(162)

St Fillan, along with the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary and All Saints, was one of the dedicatees of a new chaplainry founded on 4 March 1495 at St Salvator’s altar by Patrick Rae, chaplain.(163)  As discussed above in respect of St Salvator’s altar, Rae provided a generous endowment of annual rents to the altar and willed that the presentation to the chaplainry would pass on his death to the Prior and Convent of the Carthusians.  The chaplainry appears to have become a distinct altar by 26 July 1511 when, on the resignation of Patrick Rae, the founder of the chaplainry, William Rae was placed in possession of the tenement on the west side of the Watergate that had been granted to St Fillan’s.(164)  Most subsequent references to the altar relate to legal processes concerning the tenements from which the chaplains drew their income.(165)  An instrument narrating that Sir Thomas Colt produced letters of presentation to the chaplainry of St Fillan was drawn up at the altar, which was described as on the east side of the church behind the high altar,(166) which indicates that the high altar was not positioned against the inner face of the east wall but stood against a screen between two of the choir piers to leave an ambulatory space to its east.  After the Reformation, possession of the patronage of the altar and its resources appears to have reverted to the Rae family and on 28 February 1577 Patrick Rae (merchant), described as patron of the altarages of St Fillan, St Ninian and St John the Baptist, granted the altarages and income for life to Alexander Rae, student and bursar in the School of Perth.(167)

According to Fittis, the altar of ‘St Duchane’, which is probably a garbling of Duthac, and saints Crispin and Crispinian, belonged to the shoemakers craft before 1496.(168)  Clear reference to a probable Duthac dedication only appears in a resignation of October 1514 by Robert Keillor, described as ‘chaplain of the altar of St Duchay’ of a tenement in the burgh.(169)  That this was an altar of St Duthac emerges in 1515 in the record of a notarial instrument drawn up on 19 July 1513 in which it was noted that Colin Campbell of Glenorchy and Margaret Moncreiff, widow of Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, Colin’s father, compeared in St John’s before altar of St Duthac the Confessor, where she renounced her terce in favour of Colin.(170)  This was the first of several occasions on which the altar was used as the venue for formal legal processes to be solemnised, a role which does not appear clearly in respect of any of the other altars in the parish church.  It was, for example, the venue at which two processes – the granting of a feuferme charter on 11 June 1539 and the instrument of sasine arising from it on 10 July 1539 – were completed.(171)  In 1548, two burgh court cases involving Robert Smith ended in judgements in which payment of financial settlements was to be made St Duthac’s altar in the parish church.(172)  There appear to be no further surviving references to St Duthac’s altar in existing records and the only references to Crispin and Crispinianus occur in a separate record from 1550 (see below).

The case of the altar and chaplaincy of St Matthew, which is the next in sequence by date of first appearance, highlights the fragmentary nature of the surviving record and the chance nature of survival of documentary source material relating to the altars.  There is a single surviving reference to St Matthew’s altar and a chaplain serving there, a resignation of January 1500 whose wording makes it explicit that both the altar and the chaplaincy had been established at an unknown date earlier than 1500.  The document, however, is damaged and, while we know the lands involved, the chaplain’s full name is lost [only ‘Sir John …’ is legible], and while the resignation was made to one Sir David Scot, we do not know if he was the next chaplain or the patron, who is otherwise unidentified.(173)

The recording in 1504 of an altar of St Severus or Severinus led Fittis to suggest that the altar was associated with the weavers’ craft guild, although the founder of the altar is nowhere explicitly connected to that craft.(174)  The foundation charter was issued on 6 September 1504 by Robert Clerk, burgess of Perth, for the souls of King James IV, the royal family, and Robert’s first and second wives, Janet and Elena.  Clerk founded an altar dedicated to ‘St Severus’ and granted it two annual rents of eight merks each from tenements in the North Gate. The patronage of the altar was to remain with his heirs.(175)  It was only on 21 February 1526 that confirmation of Clerk’s foundation of the altar and its endowment with rents was confirmed by James Beaton, archbishop of St Andrews.(176)  Neither of the two surviving documents relating to this altar mention an association with the weavers.  There appears to be no further documented reference to the altar after 1526.

It appears that an altar of St Columba was founded in the parish church before 1512 by a bishop of Dunkeld, possibly George Brown, who was a noted promoter of the cult of the patron of his see and who had close links with Perth through his residence at Tullielum adjacent to the convent of the Carmelite friars just outside the western suburbs of the town, or Bishop James Livingstone or his successor Bishop Thomas Lauder, who were responsible for the chaplaincy of St Columba founded in the church of St Giles in Edinburgh in the third quarter of the fifteenth century (qv).  The first record of such a dedication in St John’s occurs in 1512 when Sir Alexander Bunch was noted as being the chaplain of the altar of St Columba in Perth.(177) In the accounts of the bishopric of Dunkeld for December 1515 to January 1516, payment of 40s was recorded as being made to sir Robert Peebles, canon of Scone, for celebrating at St Columba’s altar in the church of Perth, by mandate of the late Bishop George Brown.(178)  From this record, it cannot be shown whether Brown’s mandate was in respect of the altar generally or just of Robert Peebles.  No further reference to this altar appears to survive.

When Patrick Wells (re-)founded the altar of St Ninian in 1513 and endowed a chaplaincy to serve at it (see above), his charter also contained a secondary gift of money to Thomas Esok, who was described as chaplain of the altar of Our Lady and St Gabriel.(179)  If this was a separate altar, it was clearly already in existence before November 1513 when Wells added to its endowment, but there remain questions over whether it was indeed a separate establishment or represented a secondary dedication at St Ninian’s altar.  It is, however, as a discrete entity that the altar of St Gabriel the Archangel, with an associated chaplainry held by James Marshall, dean and treasurer of Gowrie, is next referred to in 1548, but in 1551 there is reference to the same man holding the perpetual chaplaincy of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Gabriel at the altar of St Ninian.(180)  In 1569, however, the rental of the altar of St Gabriel, valued at £13 6s 8d, formerly held by Henry Elder and in the patronage of the Carthusians, was allocated to the support of the burgh hospital.(181)  It is impossible to disentangle the contradictory strands in this surviving data, which highlights the probability that some altars in the church which had multiple dedications and multiple chaplaincies associated with them might on occasion be known by the name of one saint or another, with the potential that single altars with multiple dedications might appear as multiple altars.

Even less certainty surrounds the next possible altar in the sequence.  It has been suggested that an altar of the Visitation of Our Lady’s Grace was founded around 21 April 1514 by Simon Young, vicar of Pitcairn, and endowed by him, with the patronage subsequently falling to the burgh council.(182)  Although there is no firm evidence for the date of foundation or the identity of the founder, the altar itself was certainly in existence by the 1540s.  On 1 March 1547, a notarial instrument recorded the terms of an obligation made by Sir John Piper, who was identified as the chaplain of the altar of the Flesher’s Guild, which is called the altar of the Visitation of Our Lady.(183)  There appears to be no further surviving reference to this altar.

John Tyrie, the pious provost of the collegiate church of Methven who was such a prolific patron of altars and chaplaincies at Perth, was identified on 30 March 1519 as the founder of a chaplaincy at the altar of the Name of Jesus.  The record of his benefaction, a transumpt made for Andrew Forman, archbishop of St. Andrews, describes Tyrie as both provost of Methven and also ‘Dean of the Brethren of the Name of Jesus within the Parish Church of Perth’.  This record indicates that the altar not only pre-dated this first record but was sufficiently well-established to have become the focus of another religious confraternity.  He endowed the chaplaincy with a tenement on the north side of the South Gate, yielding 6s 8d, a further 6s 8d from a tenement on the north side of the North Gate, a tenement on the south side of the South Gate and a tenement in the Kirkgate.  The first chaplain was named as Sir Walter Bunch.(184)  On 5 September 1519 Andrew Barber, skinner, burgess of Perth, granted Bunch, described as chaplain of the altar of the Name of Jesus, an annual rent of 6s 8d from a tenement in the South Gate.(185)  Bunch was still chaplain at the altar on 20 July 1554.(186)  The last pre-Reformation reference to the altar occurs on 26 March 1559, when Sir William Anderson was named as chaplain in succession to the late Sir Walter Bunch.(187)  Despite Andrew Barber’s identification as a skinner by trade, there is no reason to associate this altar with the skinners’ craft guild and it is quite possible that Barber made his grant to the altar as a member of its confraternity.

There is some confusion in the surviving sources between the altars of the Holy Cross/Rood and Holy Blood, raising the possibility that the latter was a service at the former.  If so, however, it was by far the most important of the additional services provided for in St John’s in the later Middle Ages.  In the other large burgh churches of the Scottish east coast, such as Dundee, Edinburgh, Haddington, Linlithgow, St Andrews and Stirling (all qv), the fifteenth-century development of the Holy Blood cult was especially associated with those involved in international trade, particularly with Flanders, where there was a strong patronage of the cult amongst the merchant class.(188)  The Rood altar (see above) had been established in the earlier part of the fifteenth century at the latest, but it was only in September 1512 that there was specific reference to the Holy Blood altar.  Reference to a prominent devotion to the cult of the Holy Blood in the burgh, however, occurs as early as January 1496 in a record of guild elections, where anyone interfering with the due process of the elections was to pay 20s to ‘the Haly Blud’.(189)  Likewise, on 9 March 1498, anyone found guilty of breaching certain burgh ordinances was bound to pay a fine of £3 to the Holy Blood.(190)  One of the most detailed entries in the Perth Guildry records is an ordinance of the guild court held on 15 November 1504, which set out arrangements for the conduct of the Holy Blood mass, requiring all of the guild brethren to convene every Thursday at the ninth hour before noon when the bells were rung, they were to follow the procession bearing the Eucharist through the church and then attend the mass.  Failure to attend the mass without reasonable cause or special licence incurred a penalty of 1d for each non-appearance.(191)  The same ordinance also required all guild brethren to make regular supplication at the Holy Blood light during the time of the mass, any failing to do so were to pay 12d towards the light’s maintenance for each failure.  The first reference to the focus for this devotion actually being an altar occurs in a Guildry Book minute of 4 September 1512 where John Ermar presented his accounts, within which payment of ten merks had been made for buying vestments for the celebration of devotions ‘ad altare cruoris divini’ and their delivery to sir Andrew Eldar.(192)  In November 1522 reference occurs in a bond by John Armour, burgess of Perth, given to Sir Constantine Symmer, who was described as chaplain of the Holy Blood altar.(193)  It must be this altar that in 1535 was recorded as in the patronage of the Guildry of Perth and which in 1569 was allocated to the new hospital, Alex Swinton, the last chaplain being dead and the patrons the Deacons of the Guild agreeing.  The last fine made by the Dean of Guild and applied to the upkeep of the altar occurred on 18 August 1556 when Andrew Schoir was fined half a stone of wax for slandering John Gaw.(194)  The rental value of the chaplainry properties was given as £13 7s.(195)

John Tyrie was not the only prominent local cleric to shower significant endowments on St John’s and the altars within the parish church. Mr James Fenton, former vicar of Tibbermore and subsequently canon, precentor and prebendary of Dunkeld, was almost equally generous in his patronage.  On 12 January 1523 he granted a charter by which he founded an altar to St Bride or Bridget the Virgin, located in St Andrews aisle (see above), and endowed a chaplain to serve at it.  His charter bestowed a feu in the North Gate, tenements in the Castle Gable, and an annual rent of five merks from a tenement on the south side of the South Gate. These properties were to be held in burgage and after his death presentation to the chaplaincy was to pertain to the Carthusians.(196)  In 1569, the last chaplain being dead, the rental of the altar was allocated to new hospital, the patronage being noted as still with the Carthusians, the annual value being £10 0s 8d.(197)

Fenton founded a second altar in St Andrew’s aisle on 8 November 1523, dedicated to St Kentigern.  The foundation, which was made for his soul, the remission of his sins and to avert the pains of purgatory, and for the souls of his family, was located near his other altar foundations dedicated to St Mary of Consolation and St Bridget.  To endow it, he mortified several annual rents and tenements, the patronage to remain with him during his lifetime and after his death to fall to the Carthusians.(198)  The property endowment of the chaplainry was confirmed in June 1525 by the executors of Fenton’s will, with further gifts of annual rents being made to the chaplain, Richard Bryson, in January and February of that year by other burgesses.(199)  A second significant endowment appears to have been made in the 1540s, with Robert Lawson, heir to James Lawson, confirming in 1546 various grants of annual rents that had been made by his father to chaplains serving at the altars of saints Ann, Kentigern and Zita.(200)  It was recorded in 1569 that the rental of the altar pertained to David Colying, with the patronage lying with the Carthusians, and the total value of the endowed property being £12 13s 4d annually.(201)

A third altar recorded for the first time in 1523 was that of Zita of Lucca (referred to as St Syith/Fithie), one of the most ‘exotic’ saints within the panoply represented in St John’s.  Only one other altar dedication to this saint in Scotland is known, in the parish church of St Michael at Linlithgow (qv), where her presence might be connected with the court and household of King James I and Queen Joan Beaufort.  Although this Perth dedication to Zita is not recorded until decades after the Linlithgow example it is possible that the royal household under James I and Joan is the common denominator for her appearance, the royal apartment at the Blackfriars monastery being one of the king’s most favoured residences.  It should, however, be noted that Zita or Sythe as she was most often referred to in Scotland, was included in 1510 in the calendar produced by Bishop William Elphinstone and published in the so-called Aberdeen Breviary.  The first surviving record of a Zita dedication is a charter of 8 May 1523by Findlay Anderson, burgess of Perth, made to the altarage of ‘St Fithie the Virgin’, of annual rents from tenements on the east side of the Watergate, in the Meal Vennel, and on the south side of the North Gate.(202)  The only other reference to the altar is in the 1546 confirmation by Robert Lawson of his father James’s grants to chaplains at the altars of saints Ann, Kentigern and Zita(203).  No subsequent record of this altar appears to survive.

There is probably no significance in the fact that the group of saints to whom the altars first recorded down to the mid-1520s are dedicated appear to be mainly female.  After Bride and Zita in 1523, the next to be identified is St Barbara, whose altar was founded and endowed before 20 October 1525 by Alexander Tyrie, the charter being confirmed on that day by Simon Young, dean of Christianity of Gowrie.(204) Alexander had endowed it with annual rents from tenements in the North Gate and Watergate, and had stipulated that after his death that the patronage of the altar would remain with his heirs.  The first chaplain was evidently a kinsman, William Tyrie.(205)  Alexander Tyrie died in November 1525 and by July 1528 a dispute had arisen over the patronage of the altar.  The resolution of the dispute was evidently to make over the patronage rights to the Carthusians, for in the 1569 rental St Barbara’s altar, valued at £14 annually, had been allocated to the new hospital, with the patronage being vested in the monks of the priory.(206

The sequence of largely female saints ends in 1526 with the first surviving reference to the altar of St Paul.  On 4 June 1526, Simon Young, vicar of Pitcairn, who was already a noted benefactor of altars founded in St John’s, granted Tomas Paul, chaplain of St Paul’s altar, an annual rent of eight merks from a tenement in the Southgate and three merks from a second tenement adjacent to it.(207)  It is clear from this grant that the altar was already well established by that date and the chaplainry was already attached to it.  To whom the patronage pertained only becomes clear post-Reformation, and this information also indicates that Young was not the founder and first benefactor of St Paul’s altar.  In 1569 the rental income of the altar – totalling £9 - was allocated to the burgh’s new hospital, but at that time it still pertained to John Piper, the nominal chaplain.  The patrons were named as the heirs of the late John Balnavis, who was also a former benefactor of the altar of St Nicholas.(208)

As with St Paul’s altar, the first surviving reference to the altar of St Ann is clearly dealing with an already established altar with associated chaplainry.  Its first documented occurrence is an instrument of possession dated 17 November 1528 whereby Sir Patrick Young was appointed to lead the mass to be performed for the soul of Sir Walter Eviot at St Ann’s altar.(209)  The only other pre-Reformation record of this altar is a confirmation made in 1546 by Robert Lawson, heir to James Lawson, of the grants of annual rents made by his father to the chaplains of the altars of saints Ann, Kentigern and Zita.(210)  There appear to be no further references to the altar and its income does not appear to have been assigned in the 1560s towards the support of the burgh hospital.

Given the regularity with which Perth appears to have been affected by plague epidemics from the middle of the fourteenth century onwards, it is remarkable that there is so little evidence for any strong cult activity focussed on one of the ‘plague saints’.  The earliest identifiable devotion to a saint regarded in the later Middle Ages as a key intercessor in averting plague is in respect of the cult of St Sebastian, whose altar was founded in 1457, but in none of the surviving records relating to his altar is the ‘anti-plague’ dimension of his intercessory persona mentioned.  Sebastian had other associations as patron of archers and soldiers, and it is just possible that his presence amongst the saints represented at Perth is unrelated to his plague-aversion role but it is unlikely that his altar did not become a focus of prayers during epidemics.  Of the saints for whom protection against or cure from plague was the primary attribute, St Roch or Roque was perhaps the most prominent and is well represented in chapels close to the ‘foul muirs’ at other Scottish burghs (e.g. Dundee, Edinburgh and Stirling) where those suspected of infection were removed for quarantine purposes.  His status as patron of the plague-stricken rather than as a protector against plague explains why his main cult presence is in the chapels outside the burghs rather than in their parish churches, as from the 1450s the infected were being removed from the community into the ‘foul muir’ encampments.  A cult presence for Roch within parish churches in Scotland is therefore rare, the earliest known altar to him seems to have been in St Giles’, Edinburgh (qv), founded in 1502,(211) but a chaplainry of St Roch was established at St Blaise’s altar in Perth in 1501 by Cristine Brown with the cult focus being an image of the saint, possession of which was granted to the new chaplain.(212)  Brown’s endowment does not explain her motives for establishing the chaplainry but it is possible that it was as thanksgiving for recovery for herself or a close family member and the date of foundation coincides with a period of extended plague epidemics in Scotland.  At some point between 1501 and 4 July 1543, the chaplainry at St Blaise’s altar had become a separate altar to St Roch.  This altar makes its first appearance on that latter date, when a precept by the Archbishop of St Andrews directed to the Dean of Christianity of Gowrie admitted Sir David Colin, chaplain, to St Roch’s altar, vacant by the demission of Sir John Young, last chaplain, and to which he had been presented by its patron John Michael.(213)  There are no further surviving pre-Reformation reference to the altar but in 1563 and 1573 its chaplain, David Colin, was pursuing tenants of the tenements from which the annual rents which sustained his benefice were drawn for arrears of their rents.(214)

While the body of evidence relating to the Roche dedication is frustratingly incomplete, it is at least clear in revealing that there had been an initial chaplainry foundation at another altar which had subsequently been expanded into a fully independent foundation.  With St Mark’s altar, there is only the most fragmentary of records which reveals neither date of foundation nor identity of patron.  It is first mentioned in a surviving source in February 1547 in an instrument assigning lands in Perth in warrandice to Sir James Gundy, who was identified as chaplain of the chaplaincy and altar of St Mark in the parish church.(215)  It appears again only once, in an incidental reference in 1555 to Patrick Weltwood, who was described as chaplain at the altar.(216)  There is no indication in post-Reformation records of to where the endowments of the altar were reallocated.

Amongst the last of the altars to be founded in the parish church was that of St John the Baptist, which was distinct from the dedication of the church associated with the high altar.  Its first recorded appearance is in a charter of 24 December 1549 by William Ramsay, chaplain at the altar, made with the consent of the generous endower of altars in the parish church Sir Simon Young, dean of Christianity of Gowrie, who was identified as the altar’s founder.(217)  Further endowments flowed to the altar in 1551 and 1554 from the Cock or Cook family, with William Ramsay being referred to in their charters as the first chaplain to serve at the altar.(218)  Ramsay was still in possession on 28 April 1556 when he issued a charter which stated that Simon Young had formerly founded the altar and had conferred the right of patronage of it upon him.  Having become ‘very heavy of body and exhausted by his labours and his mind impaired by age and infirmity’, Ramsay granted to the chaplain of the altar an nnual rent of seven merks from a tenement on the west side of the Watergate and 2s from another tenement in the Castlegavel.(219)  By an unknown process, before April 1572 the patronage of the altar had passed to William Siroggs, burgess of Perth, who disponed to Patrick Rae, merchant burgess of Perth, some of the altar’s properties.(220)  Siroggs evidently eventually disposed of his whole interest in the altar, which by February 1577 was in the patronage of Patrick Rae.(221)

Three other potential altars have left only the most ephemeral of traces in the record. St Adomnan’s altar is mentioned in a court action of 1549 when its chaplain, Thomas Gibson, sued in court for unpaid rents owing to the altar.(222)  It is probably this altar, referred to as ‘St Tennent’s’, whose revenues – given as £11 annually - were allocated in 1569 to the new hospital, its last chaplain Thomas Gibson having left the burgh, value £11.(223)  The second case occurs in a notarial instrument of 10 November 1550 narrating a letter of tack by the prior and convent of the Carthusians which refers to property bounded on one side by lands pertaining to the altar of saints Crispin and Crispinian in the parish church.(224)  The dedication suggests a connection with the shoemakers’ guild but there is no further evidence for their possession of an altar in the church.  Fittis suggested on not altogether clear grounds that Crispin and Crispinianus were part of a joint dedication with St Duthac (see above) but none of the references to his altar make that connection.  The final altar appears only in a document of 1600, an assignation by Robert Skynner, burgess of Perth, who was described as ‘chaplain of the altarage and chaplainry of Sanctmonane’ (St Monan), which was formerly located in the parish church.(225)  This single late and long post-Reformation reference points to the general problem of survival of material relating to the altars in even this otherwise – for Scotland – well recorded parish church and exposes the possibility that other altars and the chaplaincies attached to them have left no surviving race of their former existence.  As a case in point it might be suspected that St Aubert, the patron saint of the bakers’ or baxters’ craft, had an altar within the church given the long survival of Aubert – or Towbert as he was named in the Kirk Session minutes – festivities organised by the baxters’ craft.  In 1578 Gilbert Robertson, William Morton, Thomas Rollock, Thomas Jack and John MacBaith confessed to the kirk session that they had ‘passed about the town on Tobertis day, even disguised in piping and dancing, and torches bearing’.(226) On 11 December 1587 the kirk session ordered that the baxters who the previous Saturday had ‘played St Aubert’s play’ were to be warded when apprehended.(227)  In January 1588 there was a further act in the kirk session concerning the ‘idolatrous pastime’ of playing of ‘St Towburt’s’ play ‘to the great greif and slander of the whole congregation’. Anyone caught taking part in these activities was to be taken in custody, fined 20s, and humiliated at the town cross.(228)  Finally, on 30 January 1588, the Deacon of the Baxter’s craft appeared in front of the session and agreed to take responsibility for the repression of this activity amongst the members his craft.(229)  It is questionable to what extent the religious plays performed by the baxters had any truly devotional function or real religious significance by the later 1580s but the persistence of the performances a generation after the Reformation points to the former centrality of such activities in the spiritual lives of both members of the guild and the wider burgh community.  The most important of these performances were those that revolved around the Corpus Christi processions.  It seems that observance of Corpus Christi, which was promoted as a universal observance in the western Church in the early fourteenth century, possibly through the efforts of Pope John XXII (1316-34),(230) had reached Scotland by 1327.  It was to secure widespread popular support and a focus in processions and publicly-performed plays.(231)  It is first referred to in Perth in Guildry Book minutes of 27 April 1485 when Robert Galloway received the right to have burial in the church ‘for his work and expense made in connection with the Corpus Christi procession and play.(232)

Notes

1. Charters of David I, ed G W S Barrow (Woodbridge, 1999), no.33; Registrum de Dunfermelyn (Bannatyne Club, 1842), no.1 [hereafter Dunfermline Registrum].

2. Regesta Regum Scottorum, i, The Acts of Malcolm IV, ed G W S Barrow (Edinburgh, 1960), nos 118, 157 [hereafter RRS, i].

3. Dunfermline Registrum, no.90.

4. Dunfermline Registrum, no.92.

5. RRS, i, no.182.

6. Dunfermline Registrum, no.50.

7. Dunfermline Registrum, no.94.

8. Dunfermline Registrum, no.108.

9. A O Anderson (ed), Early Sources of Scottish History, ii (Edinburgh, 1922), 522 [Pontifical Offices of St Andrews].

10. A I Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll: Statement of the Tenths of the Kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi (1939), 40.

11. Liber Ecclesie de Scon (Bannatyne Club, 1843), no.143; Regesta Regum Scottorum, v, The Acts of Robert I, ed A A M Duncan (Edinburgh, 1988), no.350.

12. Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon 1394-1419, ed F McGurk (Scottish History Society, 1976), 291-2 [1414 John de Busby (secretary of Robert, Duke of Albany and a canon of Moray) is chaplain of the altar of St Lawrence in the parish church of Perth]; Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, Perth, ed R Milne (Perth, 1891), 24 [8 September 1438, obit of Andrew Pitscottie, vicar of Perth].

13. Dunfermline Registrum, no.413

14. For the detailed agreement and arrangements concerning the burial dues in the choir, see Dunfermline Registrum, nos.414, 415.

15. PKDA Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/3.

16. Calendar pf Scottish Supplications to Rome, iv, 1433-1447, eds A I Dunlop and D MacLauchlan (Glasgow, 1983), no.884 [hereafter CSSR, iv].

17. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/57; R S Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth to the Period of the Reformation (Perth, 1888), 311.

18. The Perth Guildry Book, 1452-1661, ed M Stavert (Scottish Record Society,1993), no.1074.

19. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/76; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 311.

20. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/137-8; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 312.

21. For John Donjon or Dungrye, vicar from 1446 to 1462, see: CSSR, iv, no.1321; Perth Guildry Book, no. 14; Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 22. His successor, John Binning or Binnie, died in 1471, when Matthew Thomson supplicated successfully for provision, beating of a challenge from John Rough: Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, v, 1447-1471, eds J Kirk, R J Tanner and A I Dunlop (Glasgow, 1997), nos 1515, 1519.

22. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, i, ed T Dickson (Edinburgh, 1877), 121 [hereafter TA, i].

23. TA, i, 323, W D Simpson, A History of Saint John’s Kirk, Perth (Perth, 1958), 22.

24. Perth Guildry Book, no.1127.

25. C W Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire, St John’s Kirk, Perth’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, cxxiv (1994), 525-541 at 525, 528-29.

26. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 23.

27. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 16.

28. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 22.

29. Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeen, ed D Littlejohn, volume 1 (New Spalding Club, 1904), 102-3; A T Simpson and S Stevenson, Historic Perth, the archaeological implications of development, (Scottish Burgh Survey, 1982), 11; Simpson, A History of Saint John’s Kirk, 22-23.

30. Rentale Dunkeldense (Scottish History Society, 1915), 237.

31. Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire’, 525, 538-39.

32. Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire’, 525, 536-37.

33. Dunfermline Registrum, no.525.

34. Registrum Secreti Sigilli Regum Scotorum, ed M Livingstone, ii (Edinburgh, 1908), no.2601 [hereafter RSS, ii].

35. Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, ii, 1424-1513, ed J B Paul (Edinburgh, 1882), no.2178 [hereafter RMS, ii].

36. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 189-190; I B Cowan and D E Easson, Medieval Religious Houses: Scotland, 2nd edition (London, 1976), 87, 119, 132, 138.

37. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 74, 315.

38. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 298-316, identifies (bold indicates not in Hunter) the High Altar (John B), Town’s altar, Holy Blood (Guild), Eloi (Hammermen), Bartholomew (Glovers), Peter, Duchane and Crispin and Crispinian, Severus, chapel containing Thomas the Martyr and James altars, Ninian, Nicholas, Blessed Virgin Mary, Michael, Lawrence, John the Evangelist, Sebastian, Stephen, Clement (with Chap of St Christopher attached), Barbara (later annexed to Christopher), Katherine (with chap of Dionysius), Margaret of Scotland, Martin, Andrew, Mary Magdalene, All Saints,  Thomas the Apostle and Thomas Becket, Simon and Stephen, Blaise, Salvator, Adomnan, Fillan, Name of Jesus, Holy Trinity, Zita of Lucca, Roche, Our Lady of Consolation and Gabriel.  T Hunter, St John’s Kirk. A History (Perth, 1932), 5, lists (bold indicates not in Fittis), Kentigern, Bridget, Holy Cross or Holy Blood, Blaise, Nicholas, Our Lady of Consolation, Gregory and Augustine (possibly error for Gregory of Augustine), Stephen, Barbara, Adomnan, Gabriel, Thomas the Apostle and Thomas the Martyr, Monan, Christopher, Name of Jesus, Sebastian, Martin, All Saints, Margaret of Scotland, Michael, Joseph, Fillan, John the Baptist, Ninian, John the Evangelist, Lawrence, James, Dionysius, Roch, Mary Magdalane, Clement.  Simpson, A History of St John’s Kirk, 24, does not name all of the altars.

39. Perth Guildry Book, no. 254.

40. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 299.

41. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/106.

42. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

43. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/107.

44. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/111.

45. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/112.

46. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/117.

47. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.123; NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.  110v.

48. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/119.

49. Protocol Book of Sir Robert Rollok 1534-1552, ed W Angus (Scottish Record Society, 1931), no.166.

50. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.  90v-91r.

51. J P Lawson, The Book of Perth. An Illustration of the Moral and Ecclesiastical State of Scotland before and after the Reformation (Perth, 1847), 60. Lawson’s source for this information appears to be no longer extant.

52. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/63 and GD79/4/64.

53. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/145.

54. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/65.

55. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/148.

56. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 9; B59/12/1, ii, fol. 7.

57. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 312-3.

58. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/71.

59. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/72.

60. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/34.

61. Simpson, A History of Saint John’s Kirk, 23.

62. NRS Spens of Lathallan Writs, GD1/1042/5.

63. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 313; NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/89.

64. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.1.

65. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.11.

66. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/128.

67. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 309; NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/128.

68. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.1.

69. RSS, ii, no.4720.

70. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 41r.

71. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, Perth, ed R Milne (Perth, 1891), 14-15.

72. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 311.

73. Lawson, The Book of Perth, 62. It is not clear what source Lawson used for this reference as this charter is no longer extant and otherwise unreferenced.

74. RMS, ii, no.2470.

75. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/90.  The Joseph dedication was described as the altar of St Joseph in 1547, NRS GD79/4/70.

76. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/8.

77. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/2/19; RMS, ii, no.1648.

78. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/6.

79. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/7.

80. RMS, ii, no.197.

81. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 303.

82. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 306.

83. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/90.  

84. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.77.

85. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/2/67.

86. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/11; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 309-10. The charter is in poor condition. The dedication is not clear in the text but a note by Patrick Allan, notary public, on the reverse states that it is the foundation charter of the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the parish church of Perth.  M A Hall, ‘Wo/men only? Marian devotion in medieval Perth’, in S Boardman and E Williamson, The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland (Woodbridge, 2010), 105-124 at 115.

87. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/12.

88. PKDA Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/6.

89. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, ii, fol. 3; Hall, ‘Wo/men only?’, 115 suggests that this inventory is for the Altar of the Visitation of Our Lady’s Grace, but the Council minute book only mentions the altar of Our Lady.

90. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 313.

91. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/82; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 313.

92. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.18.

93. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/57; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 311.

94. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/59.

95. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/60.

96. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

97. RMS, ii, no.1090.

98. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.54.

99. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/76; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 311.

100. The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vi, 1455-1460, ed G Burnett (Edinburgh, 1883), 33.

101. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

102. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.39.

103. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/77.

104. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 2r.

105. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/30; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 312.

106. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.8.

107. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/29; RMS, ii, no.3806.

108. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 18.

109. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/2/62.

110. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/137-8; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 312.

111. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

112. Protocol Book of Robert Rollok, no.81.

113. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/138.

114. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

115. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/144.   Fittis suggests joint dedication with Thomas of Canterbury but charter only mentions Thomas the Apostle: Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 315.

116. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/145.

117. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 20.

118. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

119. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/131.

120. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/132.

121. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/133.

122. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/134.

123. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/136.

124. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

125. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 314.

126. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/20; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 314.

127. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/88; Rentale Dunkeldense, 322-23.  The two appear to have been conflated in some accounts.  See M Hall, ‘Wo/men only? Marian devotion in medieval Perth’, in S Boardman and E Williamson (eds), The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland (Woodbridge, 2010), 105-124 at 115.

128. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 314.

129. Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, iii, 1513-1546, eds J B Paul and J M Thomson (Edinburgh, 1883), no. 2897.

130. Perth Kirk Session Bks, 339.

131. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

132. RMS, ii, no.1435.

133. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/148.

134. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/152.

135. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/155.  Fittis suggests that the altar was founded by Ireland but it was clearly already in existence by that date: Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 316.

136. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/141; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 315.

137. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/143.

138. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/142.

139. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/143.

140. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/140.

141. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 17-18.

142. Kirk (ed), Books of Assumption, 306.

143. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 305-6.

144. RMS, ii, no.1648.

145. G Penny, Traditions of Perth: Containing Sketches of the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, and Notices of Public Occurrences During the Last Century (Perth, 1836), 318.

146. D McRoberts, ‘A sixteenth-century picture of Saint Bartholomew from Perth’, Innes Review, 10 (1959), 281-286; M A Hall, ‘Burgh Mentalities. A Town-in-the-Country Case Study of Perth, Scotland’, in K Giles and C Dyer, Town and Country in the Middle Ages (Leeds, 2005), 220-222.

147. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 314.

148. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 23.

149. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/2; NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 57v.

150. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/3.

151. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 62; NRS Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 18.

152. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 16-17.

153. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/50.

154. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/26, GD/79/4/28-A/B/C further endowments of altar in 1503 and 1551; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 315.

155. RMS, ii, no.2041.

156. RMS, ii, no.2568.

157. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/28B; Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 14.

158. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/88.

159. Alexander Myln, Vitae Dunkeldensis Ecclesiae Episcoporum (Bannatyne Club, 1831), 59.

160. Protocol Book of Robert Rollok, no.81.

161. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 94.

162. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 15-16.

163. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/133.

164. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/35.

165. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/37; GD79/4/38.

166. Protocol Book of Robert Rollok, no.143.

167. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/43.

168. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 307.

169. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 29.

170. NRS Breadalbane Muniments, GD112/25/6.

171. NRS Feu charter of churchlands in Kinloch parish, Perthshire, GD1/525/1.

172. Perth Guildry Book, nos 384, 386.

173. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 1.

174. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 307.

175. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/140.  The subject-matter is wrongly recorded in the NRS catalogue as an altar dedicated to St Stephen.

176. The actual confirmation dates from 1524, NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/139.

177. Rentale Dunkeldense, 226.

178. Rentale Dunkeldense, 243.

179. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/111; Fittis Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 308-9.

180. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.  31r, fol.  90v-91r.

181. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.19-20.

182. Lawson, The Book of Perth, 66. It is not clear what Lawson’s source for this charter was as the original seems to be no longer extant.

183. Protocol Book of Robert Rollok, no.21.

184. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/16; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 316.

185. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/17.

186. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/18.

187. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/19.

188. D Ditchburn, ‘The “McRoberts thesis” and patterns of sanctity in late medieval Scotland’, in S Boardman and E Williamson (eds), The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland (Woodbridge, 2010), 177-194 at 179.

189. Perth Guildry Book, no. 235.

190. Perth Guildry Book, no. 243.

191. Perth Guildry Book, no. 261.

192. Perth Guildry Book, no. 277.

193. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/9.

194. Perth Guildry Book, no. 452.

195. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/7; Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 13-14.

196. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/24.

197. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 11.

198. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/94.

199. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/96, GD79/4/97, GD79/4/98.

200. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 15r.

201. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 10.

202. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/49; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 316.

203. NRS Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1, fol.15r.

204. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/22, GD79/4/23; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 313.

205. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/2/50.

206. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 18.

207. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/129.

208. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 12.  It was noted in respect of St Nicholas’s altar that John Balnavis was also known as John Piper, which raises the distinct possibility that the possessor of the altar in 1569 was a kinsman.

209. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/21.

210. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 15r.

211. RMS, ii, no.2685.

212. RMS, ii, no.2568.

213. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/130; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 316.

214. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/79; GD79/4/80.

215. Protocol Book of Robert Rollok, no.13.

216. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 149v.

217. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/51.

218. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/52; NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 121v.

219. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/55.

220. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/56.

221. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/43.

222. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1, fol. 39v; Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, 316.

223. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, 19.

224. Protocol Book of Robert Rollok, no.65.

225. PKDA Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/10.

226. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1577-1586, CH2/521/1, fol. 16r; Chronicle of Perth; A Register of Remarkable Occurrences chiefly connected with that city, from the year 1210 to 1668, ed J Maidment (Maitland Club, 1831), App 1, 50.

227. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 14v; Chronicle of Perth, App 1. 57.

228. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 17r.

229. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 17r.

230. M Rubin, Corpus Christi: The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture (Cambridge, 1991).

231. A J Mill, Medieval Plays in Scotland (Edinburgh, 1927), 61-73.

232. Perth Guildry Book, no. 1114.  Similar concessions were made on 30 August 1486 and 7 March 1488 to Andrew Kers and Donald Robertson: Perth Guildry Book, nos 1115, 1119.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: The church was confirmed to Dunfermline by David I in 1128, and further confirmed to the abbey by Robert, bishop of St Andrews (1126-59), with its pendicle of St Leonards.  A vicarage settlement took place in 1237 by which the major part of the fruits were given to the abbey. Certain residual fruits were left to the vicar, and in the fifteenth century the vicar’s pension was fixed at 35 marks.(1)

1328 Evidence of building work in progress. Robert I requests that the abbey of Scone allow stone to be taken from their quarries at Kinkarachi and Balcormoc for construction of the church and bridge of Perth.(2)

1414 John de Busby (secretary of Robert, Duke of Albany and a canon of Moray) is chaplain of the altar of St Lawrence in parish church of Perth.(3)

1438 (8 Sept) Obit of Andrew Pitscottie, vicar of Perth.(4)

1440 [Rebuilding of the choir]

1440 (16 June) Letter of obligation by the abbot and convent of the monastery of Dunfermline promising to pay 200 merks Scots to the provost, baillies and community of Perth in return for the latter undertaking the building and maintenance of the choir and vestibule of the parish church of Perth. Furthermore the abbot and convent lease to the provost, baillies and community of Perth the said parish church with its fruits, revenues and profits for 50 merks Scots yearly.(5)

1442 Concord following dispute between Dunfermline and the provost and community of Perth anent the repair of the choir of the parish church [full agreement written out in Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal letters, ix, 267]. Agreement that in future provost, baillies and community repair the walls, roofs, doors, books, chalices, copes, chasubles, albs and all the things needed for divine worship. For the support of this the provost shall receive emoluments arising from burials in the choir, just as hitherto they have received from burials in the nave and without the church.(6)

1446 Thomas Mercer, vicar pensionary of church is dead, replaced by John Donjon (MA) value £9.(7)

[Evidence that new choir was finished with the foundation of altars dedicated to John the Evangelist, St Lawrence and St Sebastian between 1448-1457 and reference in 1453 to burial of John of Lorne in the new choir.]

1448 (20 Dec) Altar of John the Evangelist founded by Friar John of Bute, £10 6s 8d endowment of annual rents, located on the north side of the choir near the High altar. Charter by John de Bute Chaplain founding the Altar of St. John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto certain Annual rents furth of tenements in the Castlegavel, North Gate, Southgate Perth.(8)

1453 John de Lorne, merchant, pays to have himself, his mother and his heirs buried in the ‘new choir’; pays Morice, master of the fabric of the church.(9)

1454 (1 Nov) Altar of St Lawrence founded by Friar John of Bute (builder of the charterhouse of Perth for James I). Altar is situated next to the altar founded by him [see John the Evangelist] in the north part of the new choir. John also stipulates that a lamp is to be hung over the altar and kept burning.(10)

1457 (12 Aug) Altar of St Sebastian founded by Friar John of Bute, providing a Chaplain thereto to perform Service between the hours of 9 and 10. Endowed with £10 5s 4d of annual rents, provided a small lamp to hang before an image of the saint. Further endowments in 1506, 1519 and 1540 [not specified]. Described as situated on the north side of the new church near the high altar.(11)

1454 John Dungrye described as vicar of Perth. [John Donjon in Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, v; see above 1446].(12) 1462 Obit of said John.(13)

1471 Current vicar John Binning dead, Matthew Thomas collated.(14)

1489 Gift by James IV of 18s to the ‘kirk werk’ of Perth.(15)

1498 Further gift by James IV of 11s 8d. #According to Simpson at this time the Royal Master Mason Walter Merlioun was engaged upon the work at a fee of £20 for 6 months.(16)

1502 Walter Rhyn described as master of the fabric for the bridge and church (receives payments for burials in church).(17)

1506 Bell decorated with statuette of John the Baptist (still in the church). Weighs 1429 kg, made by Peter Waghavens of Mechlin.(18)

1507 (2 Aug) Obit of John Myrtoun, prebend of Forgund; leaves 10s toward bell tower of the parish church of Perth.(19)

1510 (20 June) Council ordains an act anent payment for the ringing of the bells.(20) [Entry mostly illegible, perhaps suggests that steeple was finished?]

1511 (Aug) George Dunning employed as parish clerk (replacing David Hay); duties include employing someone to play the organ during divine service, and finding strings and cords for the bells.(21)

1511 Work on steeple finished. A contract of that between Andrew Elphinstone of the Selmys on behalf of William Elphinstone, bishop of Aberdeen, and the wright John Fendour’/Findour, that the said John will make and complete the timber work of the great steeple of Aberdeen ‘substantially jointed and hewn as the steeple and prik of the kirk of St Johnstone.(22)

1520 Former common bell (in church until 1804) cast in that year by George Waghavens of Mechlin.(23)

1523 Reference to Sir John Ireland, vicar of Perth, tutor of Egidia Young, daughter and heir of late Thomas Young.(24) (Ireland was vicar from1503 to 1528 with the assistance of at least two curates).(25)

1526 Five Flemish chime bells dating from that year, still in the church. Probably the work of William van de Ghein of Mechlin.(26)

1530 (3 Sept) Instrument of Sasine in favor of Mr Walter Allanson, chaplain of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lorretto in Perth founded by Sir Edward Gray, Rector of Lundie, of parts of a tenement on the North Side of the Southgate newly built and an Annual rent of 26/- furth of a tenement in the Watergate on the resignation of the said Edward Gray.(27) [Separate church dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary of Loretto founded c.1530].

1533 (24 Nov) Discharge by John Marshall, master of work, to William Herrane of the sum of 20s for his ‘lair silver’ in the parish church.(28)

1540 (23 Nov) Ordinance by the deacons of the crafts that any craftsman who disobeys his deacon shall contribute one stone of wax to the altar of St John [probably high altar but not specified] and also to his own craft’s altar.(29)

#1535 George Cook is described as vicar pensionary; his curate was one Alexander Cook (later master of work for the reformed church).(30)

1548 Secret seal charter instituting Richard Duffers as chaplain of the altar of St Fillan refers to the ‘collegiatum de Perth’.(31)

1551 (Dec) Series of payments to Henry Nicholson for carrying loads of timber and stone to Perth from Dundee harbour [not specifically stated that these were for the church].(32)

#1559 (11 May) John Knox preached a sermon in the church, leading to a riot in which the other ecclesiastical buildings in Perth where destroyed and the church of St John was despoiled of its altars and valuables.

Altars/Chaplainries within the church of St John

Altars in Perth according to R S Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth: ‘Ancient choir taken down and rebuilt in c.1440, all the altars removed apart from the High altar (John the Baptist); new altars set up thereafter’.(33)

Fittis’ list of altars total 35.(34) Thomas Hunter in St John’s Kirk, A History, has 32 altars (including several chaplaincies established at other altars).(35) W D Simpson refers to 37 altars but does not list them.(36)

High altar/John the Baptist

1510 (20 June) Council directs the master of works to keep and take care of the vestments, books, chalices, towels and all other ornaments of the town, pertaining to the altar [no reference to dedication, probably the high altar?].(37)

Holy Blood/Holy Cross

Merchant Guild altar

1430 Grant by Patrick Spens of £2 3s 4d for mass and maintenance of the lamp.(38)

1522 (Nov) Bond by John Armour, burgess of Perth to Sir Constantine Symmer, chaplain of the Holy Blood altar situated within the Parish Church of Perth (regarding a tenement pertaining to altar).(39)

1535 (Nov) Charter by Sir Constantine Symmer, chaplain of the Altar of the Holy Cross within the Parish Church of Perth with consent of the Guildry of Perth Patrons of said Altar to Finlay Davidson Skinner Burgess of Perth and Margaret Robertson his Spouse of a Tenement on the East side of the Castlegavel.(40)

1569 Allocated to the new hospital; Alex Swinton last chaplain (dead); patrons the Deacons of the Guild, value £13 7s.(41)

All Saints (SS Gregory and Augustine)

#b. 1488 (According to Fittis, All Saints altar mentioned in a charter of that year, founder unknown [see below, William Mercer?].(42)

1507 (2 Aug) Reference to ‘St Gregory’s land in the burgh of Perth’ in the obit of John Myrtoun, prebend of Forgund.(43)

1529 (20 April) Charter by Sir Simon Young, Vicar of Pitcairn for the souls of James V, the royal family and his own family, founding a chaplainry in honour of SS Gregory and Augustine at the Altar of All Saints within the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto an annual rent of 15 merks furth of 2 tenements on the South Side of the Southgate Perth. Patronage with Simon for his lifetime and after his death to fall to the Carthusians of Perth. If possible they are to choose chaplains who are his kin.(44)

1532 (13 Nov) Instrument of Possession in favour of Mr William Mercer, 1st Chaplain of the Altar of All Saints within the Parish Church of Perth founded by the said Mr William Mercer of an Annual rent of £10 furth of two tenements on the South Side of the Southgate on the resignation of Sir Simon Young Vicar of Pitcairn.(45)

1528 (Feb) Process by Alan Balvaird, chaplain of All Hallows altar over non-payment of various rents.(46)

1546 Allan Balviard still chaplain at altar, Peter Sandilands, rector of Calder Comitis described as patron.(47)

1549 Simon Young, canon of Dunkeld patron of the chaplainry of SS Gregory and Augustine at the altar of All Saints.(48)

1569 Rental of St Gregory’s altar pertaining to ten choristers of Perth, founded by John Myrtoun, (died 1507) prebendary of Forgund, value £6 6s 8d.(49)

1574 (23 Apr) Gift by George Balfour Prior of the Carthusians in favour of James Drummond of Cardynnes of the Patronage of the Altarage of St. Gregory of Augustine in the Parish Church of Perth during his lifetime with the Annual rents and others pertaining thereto.(50)

Blessed Virgin Mary (2 chaplainries, 1432 and 1475 at same altar)

1432 (Jan) Chaplainry (1), Charter by Allan de Myrtown, Burgess of Perth, founding the Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary within the Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Perth, endowing it with certain annual rents furth of the Lands of Arduthy, Hardhaugh and Mill of Ochtergavenny, pertaining to Robert Pittencrief and tenements in the Watergate, North Gate and South Gate Perth.(51)

1475 (15 Aug) Chaplainry (2), Decree by Robert Hirdmaston, subprior of the cathedral church of St Andrews, in favour of the provost, baillies and council of Perth in the case of the disputed presentation of a chaplain to an altar in the parish church of Perth (the Blessed Virgin Mary, founded by Robert). Current chaplain is Alexander Sharpe.(52)

1534 (9 Sept) Charter by Andrew Christison, chaplain of the Blessed Virgin Mary altar, granting a tenement to William Monypenny.(53)

1544 (15 Apr) Act of caution by Adam Ramsay, burgess of Perth, on behalf of John Smeton.. of certain ornaments belonging to Our Lady altar that are in John’s hands. These include, 1 new print mass book, 1 old parchment mass book, 3 pairs of towels, 4 great candle sticks, 4 smaller ones, a jog for wine, and 1 silver candlestick  with two forks for candles.(54) [Hall suggests that this inventory is for the Altar of the Visitation of Our Lady’s Grace.(55) See below. Council minute book only mentions Our Lady.]

Mary of Consolation

1491 (9 Aug) Charter by Mr James Fenton Vicar of the Parish Church of Tibbermuir, founding an Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Consolation in the aisle Andrew the Apostle within the Parish Church of Perth - and granting to the a tenement on the East Side of the Watergate an annual rent of 20/8 furth of a tenement therein, tenement on the West Side of the Kirkgate, booth in the North Gate, South Gate and others.(56) Included in the altar foundation were payments for a reredos, antemural, sedilia and ceiling.

1551 Chaplain is James Marshall (See St Ninian below). Further endowment of altar by Simon Young, canon of Dunkeld.(57)

1569 Rental of altar allocated to the new hospital; last chaplain Walter Ramsay, value £21 14s.(58)

Visitation of Our Lady’s Grace (possible)

#1514 (21 Apr) Endowed by Simon Young, vicar of Pitcairn; patronised by the burgh council.(59)

Name of Jesus

1519 (30 Mar) Transumpt by Andrew Archbishop of St Andrews of Charter by John Tyrie Provost of the Collegiate Church of Methven and Dean of the Brethren of the name of Jesus within the Parish Church of Perth founding a Chaplainry to the honour of Jesus, and tenement on the North Side of the South Gate 6/8 payable furth of a tenement lying as said is - 6/8 from a tenement on the North Side of the North Gate - tenement on the South Side of the South Gate and tenement in the Kirkgate for the sustentation of Chaplain thereof - Sir Walter Bunch being the first presented thereto -.(60)

1519 (5 Sept) Charter by Andrew Barber, Skinner, Burgess of Perth to Sir Walter Bunch Chaplain of the Altar of the name of Jesus of an Annual rent of 6/8 furth of a Tenement in the South Gate.(61)

1554 (20 July) Charter by Sir Walter Bunch, chaplain of the Altar to the name of Jesus within the Parish Church of Perth to Mr Andrew Simson Burgess of Perth and Preceptor of the Grammar School thereof, a tenement on the South Side of the South Gate.(62)

1559 (26 Mar) Instrument of Possession in favour of Sir William Anderson, chaplain of the Altar of the Name of Jesus vacant by the decease of Sir Walter Bunch.(63)

Holy Trinity

Fraternity at the altar

1469 Charter by King James III Confirming all Donations, grants, foundations whatsoever made by John de Bute, to the Holy Trinity and Altarages thereof viz. St Laurence and Sebastian, St John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth, and Annual rents payable thereto furth of Tenements in the South Gate, in the Clayhills, croft in the Common loaning, Northgate tenements above the Mills, Castlegavel tenement called Gilfillans hole in the Kirkgate, Kinfauns, Watergate Easter Wynd &c.(64)

1495 (10 Feb) Charter by Mr Patrick Scott to the Brethren of the Altar of the Holy Trinity situate within the new Chapel of St. James of an Annual rent of 40d furth of a tenement on the North Side of the Southgate.(65)

1508 Charter by Brother Robert Bryson Provincial of the order of Carmelites in Scotland to Sir Patrick Rae Chaplain and Dean of the Brethren of the Holy Trinity in the Parish Church of Perth of an Annual rent of 13/4 of a land near the Bridge of Tay on the East Side of the Council house of Perth.(66)

1515 (16 Apr) Resignation by Thomas Spalding, chaplain of the Trinity altar in Perth, of a tenement.(67)

1518 (16 Mar) Charter by Mr John Ireland, vicar of the Parish Church of Perth, to the Altar of the Holy Trinity of said Parish Church of certain Annual rents and tenements lying in the Southgate, tenement near the Bridge of Tay on the North Side of the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin without the Spey brig, Meal Vennel, Northgate, Watergate.(68)

St Salvator (Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints and Fillan)

1466 Ordinance from the guild court that John Chalmer [see de Camera], Gilbert Bruce, Robert of Dunyre and James Scott [probably patron of this altar, see below], patrons of the altars of SS Salvator, Thomas, Andrew, Ninian, Mary Magdalene and Thomas, chose discrete men to serve their altars who will also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(69)

1492 (Feb) Charter by Alexander Scott, son and heir of Alexander Scott, Burgess of Perth to Sir Patrick Rae Chaplain of the Altar of St Salvador in the Church of Perth of a tenement on the North Side of the Southgate.(70)

1495 (4 Mar) Charter by Henry Bryson Burgess of Perth to Sir Patrick Rae Chaplain of the Altar of St Salvador of an Annual rent of 13/4 furth of a tenement on the South Side of the North Gate.(71)

1495 (4 Mar) Charter by the above Sir Patrick Rae Chaplain as said is founding a Chaplainry in praise and honour of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and All Saints, especially St Felan, confessor and abbot, at the said Altar (St Salvator), to perform daily Services for the safety of his Soul and that of James IV and of an Annual rent of 5 Merks furth of a tenement in the Watergate £3 furth of the tenement No. 202 - 13/4 furth of a tenement in the North Gate - 11/2 furth of a tenement in the New Row 20/- furth of a tenement in the Watergate - And the presentation to the same after his decease to pertain to the Prior and Convent of the Carthusians.(72) [This appears to have initially been a chaplaincy but, see below later evolved into a distinct altar solely dedicated to St Fillan.]

1498 (14 July) Charter by John Gardner, son and heir of Andrew Gardner Burgess of Perth to Sir Patrick Rae Chaplain of the Altar of St Salvador, of a tenement on the West Side of the Watergate.(73)

1546 (6 Dec) Charter by Alexander Peebles, son and heir of John Peebles, Baker Burgess of Perth to Sir John Swinton and others Prebends of the Parish Church of Perth and officiating at the Altar of St Salvador therein - of an Annual rent of £7.6.8 furth of two Tenements in the North Gate.(74)

St Adomnan

1549 Thomas Gibson is chaplain; sues in court for unpaid rents owing to altar (no reference to founder).(75)

1569 Rental of the altar (called St Tennent’s altar) allocated to the new hospital; last chaplain Thomas Gibson who has left the burgh, value £11.(76)

St Andrew (located in the aisle of the same name)

1466 Ordinance from the guild court that John Chalmer [see de Camera, patron of Andrew altar], Gilbert Bruce, Robert of Dunyre and James Scott [patron of St Salvator], patrons of the altars of SS Salvator, Thomas, Andrew, Ninian, Mary Magdalene and Thomas, chose discrete men to serve their altars who will also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(77)

1491 (9 Aug) Charter by Mr. James Fenton, Vicar of the Parish Church of Tibbermuir, founding an Altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Consolation in the aisle Andrew the Apostle within the Parish Church of Perth - and granting to the a tenement on the East Side of the Watergate an annual rent of 20/8 furth of a tenement therein, tenement on the West Side of the Kirkgate, booth in the North Gate, South Gate and others.(78) Included in the altar foundation were payments for a reredos, antemural, sedilia and ceiling.

1491 (9 July) St Andrew: Charter by King James the IV verbatim ratifying Charter by Robert de Camera, Master of Arts Burgess of Perth to the Altar of St Andrew founded by John de Camera his grandfather within the Parish Church of Perth of certain Annual rents furth of tenements in the Northgate, Southgate, yard without the Speygate brig.(79)

#1524 Further chaplaincy of the Blessed Virgin Mary founded at the altar by James Fenton, vicar of Tibbermuir along with chaplaincies dedicated to St Kentigern and St Bridget in St Andrews Aisle [these appear to have been separate altars, see below].(80) [? All these are separate dedications in the aisle of St Andrew.]

1543 (18 Apr) Robert Anderson described as rightful patron of the chaplainry of St Andrew in the parish church of Perth.(81)

St Ann

1528 (17 Nov) First reference to altar. Instrument of Possession by Sir Patrick Young, Chaplain to Sir Swinton appointing him Chaplain of the mass to be performed for the Soul of Sir Walter Eviot at the Chaplainry of St Ann the mother of Mary.(82)

1546 Robert Lawson, heir to James Lawson confirms grants of annual rents by his father to chaplains of the altars of SS Ann, Kentigern and Zita.(83)

St Barbara

1525 (20 Oct) Charter by Sir Simon Young dean of Christianity of Gowrie confirming Charter by Alexander Tyrie, dead 24 Nov 1525,(84) founding the Altar of St Barbara the Virgin in the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto certain Annual rents furth of tenements in the Northgate, Watergate. Patronage to remain with his heirs. (Later rents annexed to the chaplaincy of St Christopher; see St Clement altar below).(85) William Tyrie chaplain.(86)

1569 Rental of the altar of St Barbara allocated to new hospital; last chaplain John Swinton, under the patronage of the Carthusians, value £14.(87)

St Bartholomew 

c.1472 Belonged to the Glovers craft guild.(88)

1486 James III confirms a charter of William Frew, mentioned as patron of a chaplain at the altar of St Bartholomew in the parish church of Perth.(89)

1557 Date on a panel originating in the eastern Baltic which depicted St Bartholomew and belonged to the Glovers craft guild.(90)

St Blaise

1490 (2 Mar) Charter by Andrew Cavers, Abbot of the Monastery and Convent of Lindores founding the Chaplainry and Altar in honour of St Blusius the Bishop and Martyr within the choir of the Parish Church of Perth - of an Annual rent of 5 Merks furth of the Crofts or Acres of Earls dykes and Unthank and certain other Annual rents furth of tenements in the North Gate, Southgate and without the Castle Gavel Bridge Perth.(91)

1551 (8 July) Receipt by Sir Patrick Ross, chaplain of St Blais altar in parish kirk of Perth, to John Monypenny, burgess of same, for 13s. 4d. as annual rent pertaining to said altar.(92)

1569 (1 Aug) Discharge by sir Alexander Swinton, possessor of St Blase altar in parish kirk of Perth, of all annual rents owed to him by John Monypenny, burgess of same, for land of deceased Sir William Davison, which owes 1 mark of annual rent to said altar.(93)

1569 Rental of altar allocated to hospital, last chaplain Alexander Swinton (dead), no reference to patron, value £10 15s.(94)

St Bride/Bridget

1523 (12 Jan) Charter by Mr James Fenton, Precentor of the Cathedral Church of Dunkeld founding an Altar to the honour of St. Bridget the Virgin and Chaplain in the parish church of Perth - Of a feu in the North Gate of Perth Tenements in the Castle Gable, annual rent of 5 Merks furth of a Tenement in the South Side of the South Gate To be holden burgage - and After his decease the presentation thereof to pertain to the Convent of the Carthusians. Located in St Andrews aisle (see above St Andrew).(95)

1569 Rental of the altar allocated to new hospital; altar pertains to John Balnavis (dead) and the patrons are the Carthusians, value £10 0s 8d.(96)

St Clement (St Christopher)

1454 (10 July) Charter by John Bunch, burgess of Perth, founding the Altar of St Clement within the parish church of Perth, of certain annual rents (£10) furth of tenements in the Northgate, tenement near the Castle- gavel, Southgate, Watergate.(97)

1508 (15 Sept) Resignation by the chaplain (unnamed) of St Clement’s altar in the parish church of Perth, of a tenement belonging to David Boswell.(98)

1513 (27 Jan) Charter by King James IV verbatim ratifying Charter by Alexander Tyrie, burgess of Perth, dead 24 Nov 1525,(99) founding two chaplainries in honour of St Clement and Christopher the Martyr at the altar of St Clement in the parish church of Perth and granting thereto certain tenements in the Northgate, Watergate.(100) [new chaplaincy rather than altar?]

1540 (22 Feb) Sasine in favour of Lawrence Oliphant, chaplain of the altar of St Clement, of a tenement in Perth.(101)

1547 Thomas Glass chaplain of the altar of SS Christopher the Martyr and Clara the Virgin [Clare of Assisi?], under patronage of the prior and convent of the Carthusians of Perth.(102)

St Columba

c.1516 Founded by George Brown, bishop of Dunkeld [no further references].(103)

St Duchane (sic Duthac?), Crispin and Crispinian

#b.1496 Belonged to the shoemakers. [St Duchay/Duchane - various spellings, probably Duthac, see below](104)

St Duthac

1514 (Oct) Resignation by Robert Keillor, chaplain of the altar of St Duchay of a tenement.(105)

1515 Record of instrument from 1513 by which ‘Colin Campbell of Glenurquhart and Margaret Moncreif, relict of Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhart, kt, father of said Colin, which is recited; they compeired in parish kirk of Perth, before altar of St Duthac the Confessor, 9 July; page of protocol book dated 27 October 1513, and instrument taken before William, lord Ruthvane, provost of burgh of Perth, Mr James Wischart, prolocutor and in name of said Colin, kt, son and heir of said deceased Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhay, kt, whereby Margaret, his widow, renounced her terce in favour of said Colin’.(106)

1541 (31 Aug) Confirmation on that date of a (i) feu-farm charter, 11 Jun 1539, by William Douglas, chancellor of cathedral church of Dunkeld, to Mr Simon Schaw, subchantor of Dunkeld, whom failing Robert Schaw, whom failing William Schaw, of lands of Wester Gormok [parish of Kinloch, Perthshire], with rectory and vicarage teinds of same, and (ii) instrument of sasine, 10 July 1539, following thereon. Done in parish church of Perth, before altar of St Duthac the Confessor.(107)

1548 Two burgh court cases involving burgess/merchant Robert Smith, payment to be made St Duthac’s altar in the parish church.(108)

St Eloi (St Triduana)

b. 1431 (30 Apr) Belongs to the Goldsmith/Hammermen guild. Chaplain founded at the altar in that year by Andrew Lufe, goldsmith, 40s annual rents. St Triduana had a chaplaincy at the same altar by 1518.(109)

St Fillan

1495 (4 Mar) Charter by the above Sir Patrick Rae Chaplain as said is founding a Chaplainry in praise and honour of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary and All Saints, especially St Felan, confessor and abbot, at the said Altar (St Salvator), to perform daily Services for the safety of his Soul and that of James IV and of an Annual rent of 5 Merks furth of a tenement in the Watergate £3 furth of the tenement No. 202 - 13/4 furth of a tenement in the North Gate - 11/2 furth of a tenement in the New Row 20/- furth of a tenement in the Watergate - And the presentation to the same after his decease to pertain to the Prior and Convent of the Carthusians.(110)

1511 (26 July) Instrument of Possession in favour of Sir William Rae Chaplain of the Altar of St Fillan within the Parish Church of Perth of a tenement in the West side of the Watergate - on the resignation of Sir Patrick Rae, Vicar of Logymurtho founder of the said Chaplainry.(111) [Chaplainry becomes a distinct altar by 1511?]

1513 (8 Aug) Instrument of possession of Patrick Rae, symbolised by delivery of the Silver chalice, Book, Phial, Vestments and other ornaments.(112)

1519 (20 July) Obligation by David Walker and his Spouse to Andrew Constantine, Chaplain of the Altar of St Fillan and the Prior and Convent of the Carthusians, Patrons of said Altar that they shall uphold a Tenement pertaining to the said Altar lying on the East Side of the Meal Vennel.(113)

1548 Secret seal charter instituting Richard Duffers as chaplain of the altar of St Fillan refers to the ‘collegiatum de Perth’.(114)

1577 (28 Feb) Gift by Patrick Rae (merchant) Patron of the Altarages of St. Fillans, St. Ninian and St John the Baptist, to Alexander Rae, Student and Bursar in the School of Perth during the life of the said Altarages and annual rents thereof.(115)

St Gabriel

1548 John [James?] Marshall, deacon and treasurer of Gowrie, chaplain of the altar of St Gabriel the Archangel in Perth.(116) [Possibly the chaplaincy at the altar of St Ninian, see below.]

1569 Rental of the altar of St Gabriel allocated to new hospital; last chaplain Henry Eldar (protocol book author), patronage over the Carthusians, value £13 6s 8d.(117)

St James

#c.1402 John Aitchison, burgess of Perth, granted to his kinsman John Fairlie, and his intended spouse Marjory, a tenement…out of which 20s is to be paid to the chaplain of the altar of St James in the new chapel on the south side of the parish church.(118)

1423 (30 Nov) Charters by Alexander de Whitsum burgess of Perth, Patron of the new Chapel of St James in the South Side of the Parish Church of Perth, to the Chaplainry of the Altar thereof of an Annual rent of 10/- furth of a tenement on the road leading to the Spey Tower- Perth.(119) Further charter with additional rents the same day.

1495 Decree Arbitral in the cause between James Abbott of Scone and Convent thereof and Robert Mercer of Ballie on the one and other parts as to the Patronage of the Altar of St James the Apostle founded within the Parish Church of Perth by the deceased Alexander Whitsom decerning the same to pertain to the said parties alternately Perth [no clear conclusion].(120)

1508 (2 Oct) Unrelated entry in council records refers to James Marshall, chaplain of the altar of St James.(121)

1546 (6 July) Sasine in favour of David Coling, chaplain of St James altar of a tenement.(122)

St John the Baptist

1549 (24 Dec) Earliest reference to altar. Charter by William Ramsay, Chaplain of the Altar of St John the Baptist within the Parish Church of Perth with consent of Sir Simon [Simon Young, see below] the founder thereof to Alexander Honeyman Burgess of Perth of a tenement and yard on the South Side of the Southgate.(123)

1551 (9 Mar) Charter by David Cock Shoemaker Burgess of Perth to Sir Alexander Ramsay, Chaplain of the Altar of St John the Baptist of an Annual rent of 4 Merks furth of a tenement without the Castlegavel Port and 4 Merks furth of a tenement in the West Side of the Watergate.(124)

1554 Further chaplain endowed by Violeta, wife of David Cok; William Ramsay referred to as the first chaplain.(125)

1556 (28 Apr) Charter by Sir William Ramsay, Presbyter, bearing that Sir Simon Young, Dean of Christianity of Gowrie had formerly founded the Altar of St John the Baptist within the Parish Church of Perth and had conferred the right of Patronage of said Altar upon the said Sir William Ramsay, upon his becoming very heavy of body and exhausted by his labours and his mind impaired by age and infirmity who thereupon grants to the Chaplain of said Altar and an Annual rent of 7 Merks furth of a tenement on the West Side of the Watergate and 2/- furth of a tenement in the Castlegavel.(126)

1572 (22 Apr) Charter by William Siroggs burgess of Perth, Patron of the Altar of St John the Baptist in the Parish Church of Perth, to Patrick Rae Merchant Burgess of Perth of a yard on the North Side of the Northgate.(127)

1577 (28 Feb) Gift by Patrick Rae (merchant) Patron of the Altarages of St Fillans, St Ninian and St John the Baptist, to Alexander Rae Student and Bursar in the School of Perth during the life of the said Altarages and annual rents thereof.(128)

St John the Evangelist

1448 (20 Dec) Founded by Friar John of Bute, £10 6s 8d endowment of annual rents, located on the north side of the choir near the High altar. Charter by John de Bute Chaplain founding the Altar of St John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto certain Annual rents furth of tenements in the Castlegavel, North Gate, Southgate Perth.(129)

1452 (Apr) Charter by Clemens de Whitsum burgess of Perth to the above Sir John Bute of an Annual rent of 2 Merks furth of a tenement on the South Side of the Southgate.(130)

1453 (20 Mar) Charter by Patrick Tyrie Burgess of Perth to the above Sir John Bute of an Annual rent of 12/- furth of a tenement in the Northgate Perth (for the altar).(131)

1469 Charter by King James III Confirming all Donations, grants, foundations whatsoever made by John de Bute, to the Holy Trinity and Altarages thereof viz. St Laurence and Sebastian, St. John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth, and Annual rents payable thereto furth of Tenements in the South Gate, in the Clayhills, croft in the Common loaning, Northgate tenements above the Mills, Castlegavel tenement called Gilfillans hole in the Kirkgate, Kinfauns, Watergate Easter Wynd &c.(132)

1527 (1 Jan) Lawrence Lorimer, chaplain of altar of John the Evangelist, makes claim over land belonging to the late David Mory.(133)

St Katherine (St Dionysius)

#b. 1408-9 Patrons the Provost, burgh and community of Perth.(134)

1468 (18 Mar) Charter by William Kinglassie, burgess of Perth, making a bequest to the chaplain (unnamed) of the Altar of St Katharine situated in the parish church of Perth, of an Annual rent of 2 marks from a tenement on the North Side of the Northgate.(135)

1470 Charter by John Brown, chaplain of the Altar of St. Katharine the Virgin in the Parish Church of Perth, to Andrew Gardiner Burgess of Perth of an Annual rent of furth of a tenement in the Watergate.(136)

1484 Charter by John Spalding, Dean of the Cathedral Church of Brechin, founding a chaplaincy dedicated to St Dionysius the Martyr at the altar of St Katherine within the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto an Annual rent of 20/- furth of a tenement ‘terra abbatis et conventias monasterii Isule missarum’ on the North Side of the North Gate - 26/8 furth of a tenement lying as said is and certain Annual rents from the Lands belonging to the Abbot and Convent of Scone all lying in the said North Gate, and after the decease of the said Sir John the Patronage to pertain to the said Convent of Scone of the order of St Augustine.(137)

St Kentigern

1523 (8 Nov) Charter by James Fenton, Precentor of the Cathedral Church of Dunkeld for his soul, sins and to avert the pains of purgatory, and for the souls of his family, founding an altar dedicated to St. Kentigern, bishop and confessor within the aisle of St Andrew in the Parish Church of Perth (near his other altar foundations dedicated to Mary of Consolation and St Bridget) - mortifying several Annual rents and tenements thereto. Patronage to remain with James during his lifetime and after his death to be given to the Carthusian priory of Perth.(138) Described simply as the altar of St Kentigern by the executors of James’ will in 1525. Located in St Andrews aisle (see above St Andrew).(139)

1525 (30 Jan) Charter by Beatrix Matthew Spouse of John Clark Burgess of Perth to Sir Richard Bryson (chaplain) of an Annual rent of 13/4 furth of a tenement on the North Side of the Road leading to the Carmelite Friars of Tullylum.(140)

1525 (25 June) Charter by James Arnott, burgess of Perth to Sir Thomas Paul, chaplain and one of the Executors of James Fenton Precentor of the Cathedral Church of Dunkeld in behalf of the Chaplainry of St Mungo the Confessor to be founded in the Parish Church of Perth conform to the last Will of the said James Fenton of an Annual rent of 40/- furth of a Tenement on the North Side of the Northgate or Market Place To be holden burgage.(141) (various other grants to the altar by the executors of James Fenton’s will).(142)

1546 Robert Lawson, heir to James Lawson, confirms grants of annual rents by his father to chaplains of the altars of SS Ann, Kentigern and Zita.(143)

1569 Rental of altar pertains to David Colying; the patrons are the Carthusians. Total value £12 13s 4d.(144)

St Lawrence

1454 (1 Nov) Altar founded by Friar John of Bute (builder of the charterhouse of Perth for James I). Altar is situated next to the altar founded by him [see John the Evangelist] in the north part of the new choir. John also stipulates that a lamp is to be hung over the altar and kept burning.(145)

1469 Charter by King James III Confirming all Donations, grants, foundations whatsoever made by John de Bute, to the Holy Trinity and Altarages thereof viz. St. Laurence and Sebastian, St. John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth, and Annual rents payable thereto furth of Tenements in the South Gate, in the Clayhills, croft in the Common loaning, Northgate tenements above the Mills, Castlegavel tenement called Gilfillans hole in the Kirkgate, Kinfauns, Watergate Easter Wynd &c.(146)

1519 (15 Sept) Sasine in favour of William Marshall, merchant burgess, of a tenement on the resignation of Alexander Mercer, chaplain of the altar of St Lawrence, with the consent of Gavin Douglas, bishop of Dunkeld.(147)

1536 Charter by Sir Thomas Colin, chaplain of the Altar of St Laurence in the Parish Church of Perth with consent of the Bishop of Dunkeld [not named, but probably George Crichton (1526-44)], patron thereof and Thomas Affleck and Janet Rolloch his Spouse of a tenement on the Road leading to the Cow Causeway as the patron of the altar.(148)

1545 Colin still chaplain; George Crichton patron.(149)

St Margaret of Scotland

#1438 Founded by Andrew de Pitscottie, vicar of Perth, completed by Walter de Piscottie of Luncarty his nephew, £11 4s 5d annual rents.(150)

1469 Charter by Walter de Pitscottie of Luncarty to Sir James Crichton of Redgorton of the Patronage of the Altar of St Margaret the Queen.(151)

1547 William Anderson is chaplain of the altar, patron John Werthson of Shallemid [second word obscured].(152)

St Mark (possible)

1555 Patrick Weltwood described as chaplain of altar of St Mark [name of dedication is a little unclear].(153)

St Martin

#1410 An oath was taken before the altar by the Countess of Strathearn.(154)

1462 (14 Feb) Writ witnessed near the altar of St Martin in the parish church of Perth.(155)

1470 Founded by Andrew of Pitscottie sometime before 1470 and further endowed by Walter de Pitscottie his nephew with £10 4s 8d annual rents.(156) As with altar of St Margaret patronage seems to have been given to James Crichton, his permission is included in 1470 charter.(157)

1500 (Jan) Resignation into the hands of the baillies by one of the chaplains of the altar of St Martin.(158)

1508 (2 Oct) Resignation by the chaplain of St Martin’s altar of a tenement belonging top the deceased David Scott (the former chaplain).(159)

St Mary Magdalene

1466 Ordinance from the guild court that John Chalmer [see de Camera patron of St Andrew altar], Gilbert Bruce, Robert of Dunyre and James Scott, patrons of the altars of SS Salvator, Thomas, Andrew, Ninian, Mary Magdalene and Thomas, chose discrete men to serve their altars who will also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(160)

b.1485 Further endowment by James Young, provost of Methven, no original founder named.(161) [Probably Gilbert Bruce mentioned above, other patrons can be connected to the other altars mentioned.]

St Matthew

1500 (Jan) Resignation of certain lands by Sir John …, chaplain of the altar of St Matthew in the parish church of Perth, to Sir David Scot.(162)

St Michael (St Joseph)

1429 Founded by Richard Creich, rector parish church of Errol, endowed with £28 annual rents [seems excessive?]. Chaplaincy of St Joseph founded at the same altar by John Tyne, provost of Methven b.1547.(163)

# 1445 (25 Apr) David Fleming, burgess of Perth, mortgages a annual rent of 40s to Richard de Creich, who had founded the altar of St Michael in the parish church of Perth.(164)

1525 (4 Jan) Charter by John Tyrie, Presbyter (Priest) and Provost of the Collegiate Church of Methven, founding a Chaplainry in honour of St Joseph at the altar of St Michael the Archangel within the Parish Church of Perth for the soul of the departed serene prince James IV and John’s own family. John grants thereto a tenement on the East Side of the eastside of the Kirkgate of Perth Annual rent of 40/- furth of the Tenement of Alexander Horner on the South Side of the South Gate and Annual rent of 13/4d furth of a tenement on the West Side of the Watergate to be holden burgage and for payment of certain sums yearly to the Convent of Scone, the Carthusians the Chaplains of the Altar of St Peter and the master of the Fabric of the Bridge of Tay reserving to himself the incumbency thereof during his lifetime and after to be in the presentation of the Convent of the Carthusians who shall be bound to present his Nearest of Kin to said Chaplainry if found qualified. The chaplain is to take care of the ornaments of the chaplaincy, namely the books, missals, altar cloths, chalice, phials, chasubles, amices, stoles, copes, hangings, tapestries, curtains and other things necessary for the celebration of divine service.(165) [John is related to Alexander Tyrie, founder of various chaplainries in Perth and is recipient of prayers in several of his charters.]

1542 (13 Nov) Charter by Alexander Blair, burgess of Perth, to Sir John Ross Chaplain of the Altar of St Michael the Archangel in the Parish Church of Perth - of an Annual rent of 20/- furth of a tenement on the North Side of the Northgate.(166)

1547 (17-18 May) Charter by Sir Simon Young, Official of Dunkeld and Chaplain of Altar of St Joseph the Confessor founded in the Parish Church of Perth founded by Sir John Tyrie Provost of Methven to John Davidson, Tailor [ ] Burgess of Perth of a tenement belonging to said Chaplain, lying on the East Side of the Kirkgate.(167)

St Monan

1600 Assignation by Robert Skynner, burgess of Perth, chaplain of the altarage and chaplainry of Sanctmonane, sometime founded and situated within the parish church of Perth, in favour of William Mathie, deacon, and brethren of the tailors of Perth of the yearly maills and duties of said altarage for the duration of granter's lifetime.(168)

St Nicholas

1424 (No specific date) Charter by John de Spence of Bowhoppil, Burgess of Perth founding the Chaplainry of St Nicholas within the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto certain Annual rents furth of tenements in the Watergate, Northgate, Southgate – Perth.(169)

1429 Further endowed by John Spens of Bowhoppil, £7 15s annual rents. Only described as a chaplaincy.(170)

1500 (Jan) Resignation by Patrick Young, chaplain of the altar of St Nicholas of a tenement.(171)

1542 (28 June) James Balnavis inherits from his father the late John Balnavis, alias Piper,  various lands and the patronage of St Nicholas altar in the parish church of Perth.(172)

1549 William and Walter Ramsay (brothers), chaplains of the altars of SS Ninian and Nicholas respectively.(173)

1569 Rental of the altar allocated to the new hospital; Walter Ramsay last chaplain, value £8 7s 8d.(174)

St Ninian (Blessed Virgin Mary and Gabriel)

1401 (14 Aug) Charter by Robert Brown, burgess of Perth, for the souls of himself and his wife,  founding an altar dedicated to St Ninian within the Parish Church of Perth of certain Annual rents (10 marks in total) payable furth of tenements without the Turret Bridge, Northgate, Southgate, tenements near the Church yard of St John. Patronage to remain with his heirs.(175)

1466 Ordinance from the guild court that John Chalmer [see de Camera Andrew patron], Gilbert Bruce, Robert of Dunyre [Ninian patron?] and James Scott [Salvator patron], patrons of the altars of SS Salvator, Thomas, Andrew, Ninian, Mary Magdalene and Thomas, chose discrete men to serve their altars who will also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(176)

1476 Gift by Gilbert Brown, Son and heir of Robert Brown Burgess of Perth to Patrick Wells, obit 4 Jul 1516,(177) burgess of said Burgh of the Patronage of the Altar of St Ninian the Confessor within the Parish Church of Perth.(178)

1478 (19 Nov) Obit of Thomas Cors, perpetual chaplain of the altar of St Ninian.(179)

1492 (20 Sept) Charter by Thomas Henryson Chaplain of the Altar of St Ninian in the Church of Perth to Robert Constable of a tenement on the South Side of the Southgate.(180)

1511 (Jan) Resignation by Robert Seton, chaplain of St Ninian’s altar, of a tenement into hands of the baillies, normally pays 40s to altar pa. Same day [in exchange?] Robert granted sasine of a booth following a decreet by the provost and baillies.(181)

1513 (12 Nov) Charter by Patrick Wells, obit 4 Jul 1516,(182) burgess of Perth, to the Chaplain of the Altar of St Ninian within the Parish Church of Perth, lately founded by him, of a tenement on the East Side of the Watergate Perth. In same charter gives money to the Thomas Esok, chaplain of altar of the Salvation of Our Lady and St Gabriel [see 1551 below, perhaps chaplaincy already in existence in 1513?].(183)

1513 16 Dec Charter by the above Patrick Wells, obit 4 Jul 1516,(184)  to John Ramsay his Grandson, Son and Apparent heir of Archibald Ramsay of Denson, of the Patronage of the Altar of St Ninian within the Parish of Perth.(185)

1522 (4 June) Charter by the above Sir Simon Young to Sir William Ramsay, chaplain of the Altar of St Ninian within the Parish Church of Perth of an Annual rent of 13/4 furth of a tenement on the west side of the Kirkgate.(186)

1530 (4 Feb) Gift by Sir Thomas Ramsay to Alexander Chalmers, burgess of Perth, of the patronage of the Altar of St Ninian.(187)

1541 (2 Aug) Charter by William Ramsay, chaplain, of 28s to his altar for his soul post-mortem.(188)

1544 (11 Nov) Charter by Alexander Chalmers of Petty, burgess of Perth and Patron of the Altarage of St Ninian within the Parish Church of Perth to Sir Henry Elder, chaplain of an Annual rent of 12d. furth of tenement on the East side of the Watergate.(189)

1549 William and Walter Ramsay (brothers) chaplains of the altars of SS Ninian and Nicholas respectively.(190)

1551 James Marshall, dean and treasurer of Gowrie described as perpetual chaplain of the chaplaincy of Blessed Virgin Mary and Gabriel at the altar of St Ninian.(191)

1554 William Ramsay, chaplain receives bequest of 28s annual rents from Lawrence Blackwood, burgess of Perth.(192)

1570 (5 Jan) Gift by Alexander Chalmers of Petty, Burgess of Perth and Patron of the Altar of St Ninian within the Parish Church of Perth to Walter Elder Burgess of Perth, of the said Altar together with all Annual rents, tenements and others belonging thereto during his lifetime and to one qualified person a Member of Jesus Christ.(193)

1577 (28 Feb) Gift by Patrick Rae (merchant) Patron of the Altarages of St Fillans, St Ninian and St John the Baptist, to Alexander Rae Student and Bursar in the School of Perth during the life of the said Altarages and annual rents thereof.(194)

St Paul

1526 (4 June) Charter by Sir Simon Young Vicar of Pitcairn to Sir Thomas Paul, chaplain of the Altar of St Paul in the Parish Church of Perth - of an Annual rent of 8 merks furth of a tenement in the Southgate, and 3 merks from a tenement adjacent thereto and others.(195)

1549 John Lovell is the chaplain of the altar.(196)

1569 Rental of the altar allocated to new hospital, pertains to John Piper; patrons the heirs of John Balnavis (dead), value £9.(197)

St Peter

#b. 1503 Belonged to the Fleshers guild, grant in 1503 of 26s 8d annual rents by John Rattray.(198)

1532 (Oct) Process by John Matheson, chaplain of the altar of St Peter, as to lands on south side of the Southgait.(199)

St Roche

b. 1543 (4 July) Earliest reference. Precept by John, Archbishop of St Andrews, directed to the Dean of Christianity of Gowrie, to admit Sir David Colin, chaplain to the Altar of St Roche within the Parish Church of Perth and to the rents and profits thereof vacant by the admission of Sir John Young, last Chaplain thereof, and to which he had been presented by John Michael, Patron thereof.(200)

1563 (22 July) Signet letters commanding provost and bailies of Perth to take cognition of complaint by sir David Colyne, chaplain of altarage of St Roche in parish kirk of Perth, that John Kynloche, heritor of a tenement lying in the ‘Castell Gawell’ of Perth, has refused to make payment to said sir David of an annual rent of 2 merks due from said tenement to said altarage.(201)

1573  (19 Aug) Extract decree of burgh court of Perth in favour of sir David Colyng, chaplain of St Roukis altar in parish kirk of Perth, against Oliver Cok, merchant, for payment of 48s. as annual rent for Whitsunday term, 1573, from house feued to said Oliver by chaplains of said altar, lying in the Northgait of said burgh; and later copy thereof.(202)

St Sebastian

1457 (12 Aug) Founded by Friar John of Bute, providing a Chaplain thereto to perform Service between the hours of 9 and 10. Endowed with £10 5s 4d of annual rents, provided a small lamp to hang before an image of the saint. Further endowments in 1506, 1519 and 1540 [not specified]. Described as situated on the north side of the new church near the high altar.(203)

1469 Charter by King James III Confirming all Donations, grants, foundations whatsoever made by John de Bute, to the Holy Trinity and Altarages thereof viz. St Laurence and Sebastian, St John the Evangelist within the Parish Church of Perth, and Annual rents payable thereto furth of Tenements in the South Gate, in the Clayhills, croft in the Common loaning, Northgate tenements above the Mills, Castlegavel tenement called Gilfillans hole in the Kirkgate, Kinfauns, Watergate Easter Wynd &c.(204)

1519 (14 Nov) Sasine in favour of George Sanders, chaplain of the altar of St Sebastian, of a tenement pertaining to Alexander Langland in default of a payment therefrom.(205)

1539 (18 Oct) Sasine in favour of Andrew Charteris, chaplain of St Sebastian altar, of a tenement.(206)

1542 (27 Sept) Charter by William Monypenny, Burgess of Perth to Sir Andrew Charteris, chaplain of the Altar of St Sebastian the Martyr in the Parish Church of Perth of an Annual rent of £3. 6. 8. furth of a tenement on the South Side of the Cross.(207)

1598 (12 June) Very late reference to Simon Monypenny, chaplain of the altarage of St Sebastian, who freely gives up the debts and annuals pertaining to the chaplainrie to the masters of the hospital of Perth.(208)

St Sever(in)us

Fittis suggests altar of the Weavers craft guild (founder Clerk is not specified as a weaver)

1504 (6 Sept) Charter by Robert Clerk, Burgess of Perth, for the souls of James IV, the royal family, and his first and second wives Janet and Elena, founding an altar dedicated to St Severus in the Parish Church of Perth and granting thereto two Annual rents of 8 marks each furth of tenements in the North Gate. Patronage is to remain with his heirs.(209) [Wrongly recorded in the National Records of Scotland catalogue as an altar dedicated to St Stephen but is definitely Severus.]

1526 (21 Feb) Confirmation by James Betoun, Archbishop of St Andrews of Charter by Robert Clerk, Burgess of Perth founding the Altar of St Severus the Confessor within the Parish Church of Perth of certain Annual rents furth of tenements in the Southgate, Northgate.(210)

St Simon and St Stephen

1471 (14 Aug) Founded by Simon Bane, presbyter, as a distinct joint dedication altar. Presentation right given to the Carthusians who present John Abernethy as chaplain in 1489 (altar describes as dedicated to St Simon the apostle and Stephen the Martyr).(211)

1471 (14 Aug) Same day, further charter by Simon Bain, Presbyter, to the Altars of St Simon and Stephen of certain Annual rents furth of a Croft on the road leading to St Leonards on the North Side of the Gowhall lands adjoining to the Carthusian Monastery.(212)

1472 (Mar) Charter by King James III verbatim ratifying Charter by Sir Simon Bain Presbyter founding the Altarage of St Simon and St Stephen within the Parish Church for divine service to be performed for the Souls of those therein mentioned and inter alia the Soul of the late Thomas Blair of Balthayock his master of certain Annual rents furth of tenements.(213)

1489 (Dec) Instrument taken by Sir John Abernethy, the Prior and Convent of the Carthusians on the Presentation by them in favour of Sir John Abernethy to the Altar of St Simon the Apostle and St Stephen the Martyr founded by Sir Simon Bain within the Parish Church of Perth on the demise of Sir Robert Deuchley late Chaplain thereof.(214)

1569 Rental of altar of St Stephen [not joint], last chaplain John Sadliar, patrons the Carthusians, value £ 11 9s 8d.(215)

St Thomas (the apostle)

1466 Ordinance from the guild court that John Chalmer [see de Camera], Gilbert Bruce, Robert of Dunyre and James Scott [patron of altar and of St Salvator], patrons of the altars of SS Salvator, Thomas, Andrew, Ninian, Mary Magdalene and Thomas, chose discrete men to serve their altars who will also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(216)

1474 Charter by James Scott Son and heir of the deceased Thomas Scott, burgess of Perth (founder of the altar) to the chaplain of the Altar of St Thomas the Apostle of an Annual rent of 6/- furth of a tenement without the Castle Gavel Port and other Annual rents and tenements viz. in the Curfew Row, North Gate, South Gates.(217)

1569 Rental of the altar of St Thomas [not specified which one] allocated to the new hospital, last chaplain Henry Eldar, patrons the Provost and Council, value £5 12s 8d.(218)

Thomas of Canterbury

1466 Ordinance from the guild court that John Chalmer [see de Camera], Gilbert Bruce, Robert of Dunyre and James Scott, patrons of the altars of SS Salvator, Thomas, Andrew, Ninian, Mary Magdalene and Thomas chose discrete men to serve their altars who will also be obliged to make daily service in the choir at matins, mass and evensong.(219)

[Reference to two separate St Thomas altars in the above ordinance (not specified as apostle or Becket). Fittis suggests Thomas the Apostle altar was joint with Thomas of Canterbury.](220)

1569 Rental of the altar of St Thomas [not specified which one] allocated to the new hospital; last chaplain Henry Eldar, patrons the Provost and Council, value £5 12s 8d.(221)

Zita of Lucca (Syith/Fithie)

1523 (8 May) Charter by Findlay Anderson, burgess of Perth, to the Altarage of St Fithie the Virgin, of certain Annual rents furth of Tenements on the East Side of the Watergate, Meal Vennel, South Side of the North Gate.(222)

1546 Robert Lawson, heir to James Lawson confirms grants of annual rents by his father to chaplains of the altars of SS Ann, Kentigern and Zita (Sithie the virgin).(223)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church - vicar pensionary held by George Cook, value £20.(224)

Altars and Chaplainries

Chaplainry of St Stephen, held by John Sadlers, value 15 marks.(225)

Account of Collectors of Thirds of Benefices (G. Donaldson): Third of vicar pensionary £6 13s 4d.(226)

[Post-Reformation changes (eventually c.1600, East, West and Middle churches).]

1560 (20 Dec) John Row represented the church at the first meeting of the General Assembly in Edinburgh.(227)

1571 (15 Jan) The Minister is nominated to be one of the 21 members of the chapter of the Archbishop of St Andrews.

1582 (12 Feb) The kirk session granted the Wrights Incorporation permission to erect seats in the north transept of the church.(228)

1586 (27 June) The kirk session decries the ‘pitiful’ and ‘lamentable’ condition of the church. The Minister is ordained to appoint a good man to coordinate the restoration of the church ‘in all points’ with the cooperation of the magistrates and burgesses of Perth [no specific details of what is required are given].(229)

St Towbert/Aubert festivities 1578 and 1587

1578 (16 Dec) Gilbert Robertson, William Morton, Thomas Rollock, Thomas Jack and John MacBaith confessed to the kirk session that they had ‘passed about the town on ‘St Obert’s’ day [in the original it is ‘Tobertis’ day], even disguised in piping and dancing, and torches bearing’. [Were these men Baxter’s? Kirk session does not specify.](230)

1587 (11 Dec) Kirk Session orders that the Baxters who the previous Saturday ‘played St Obert’s play’ [in the original it appears to be St A/HHhhhubert’s]; to be warded when apprehended. [Reference to St Obert/Hubert, common patron of Baxter’s; no other evidence of a dedication to the saint in St John’s].(231)

1588 (Jan) Further act in the kirk session anent the ‘idolatrous pastime’ of playing of St Towburt’s play (to the great greif and slander of the whole congregation). Anyone caught taking part to be taken in custody, fined 20s and humiliated by the town cross.(232) 1588 (30 Jan) Deacon of the Baxter’s craft appears in front of the session and agrees to take responsibility for the repression of this activity amongst the members his craft.(233)

#1588 Andrew Mercer of Meikleour and James, earl of Gowrie were buried in the church. The latter, who was only 14, was buried in the north east corner and choir of the church, the spot marked by a memorial tablet.(234)

1589 (3 June) Minister and Elders give licence to ‘play the play’ [Corpus Christi?], it being deemed not to offer an offence to our religion.(235)

1589 (10 Jan) On 7 Sept Kirk session confirms an ordinance made on the 10 Jan 1587 that,  following a nationwide ordinance, no persons shall be buried in the church and that the kirk floor shall not be raised or broken any further except with the express consent of the minister, elders, crafts etc and the payment of a fee of £10.(236)

1595 Whole south side of the choir was new laid on [new paving stones?], payment by James Adamsone, Master of the Works.(237)

1598 (Nov) The chronicle of Perth records that the town began to repair the new kirk in walls and windows.(238) First partition of the church made in that year when the West or ‘little Kirk’ was partitioned off from the Nave.(239)

#c.1600 The church had been divided into three; the East church (choir), the West church (west bays of the Nave) and Middle church (Transepts and east bays of the nave).

1603 Council asked for permission to bury the Laird of Ballindean, who was as yet in Dundee unburied, in the parish church of Perth, for the obligation they have to his forbears. (consent was given and an order made for an application to be made to the kirk session).(240) The chronicle of Perth states that he was buried (12 July 1603) ‘be east the council house door under the blue stone of the Ryne’.(241)

1604 (24 Jan) Chronicle of Perth records that ‘the stepill of stone fell’.(242) Simpson suggests that this referred to the conical stone helmet of the Halkerston tower.(243)

1607 (2 Mar) Chronicle of Perth records that a great wind blew the lead of the steeple into John Malcolm’s back yard.(244)

1611 (18 Apr) A visitation of Perth records that the kirk and fabric thereof are found to be in good care and that burial within the church is forbidden.(245)

1617 (20 Feb) David Sibbald appointed by the kirk session to repair the decayed parts of the steeple, (£20) taken from the hospital writs chest to fund the repairs.(246)

#1621 The north transept known as Mercer’s aisle, because it contained the burial vault of that family, was repaired and the roof renewed.(247)

1623 (3 June) Ordinance by the kirk session that from 1 July collections to be made on Sundays for the reparation of the church.(248)

1623 (13 June) The kirk session records note £4 4s given for the reparation of that part of the kirk which was demolished by the downfalling of stones of the pend beside the tower.  Work still incomplete in 1631 when the Kirk Session imposed a fine of £100 on a citizen for libel, which was applied toward the repair of the vaults of the kirk.(249)

#1631 The great west window was repaired by order of the kirk session, the money coming from a fine.(250)

1643 (3 Feb) Chronicle of Perth records that Isobel Wentoun was buried in the kirk of Perth under the scholars seat.(251) Family paid £100 for the privilege.

1645 (13 Dec) Lawrence Mercer, of Meikleour buried in the church of Perth in his own place [north transept].(252)

#1675 The ‘priket of the steeple’ was repaired and a second ‘horologe’ was added to the south face of the tower.(253)

#1684 Portions of the fabric may have been ruinous as the Marquis of Atholl was granted leave by the Kirk Session to remove stones from the West Kirk.(254)

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev James Scott 1795): [Long section on the parish church of St John.](255)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev William Thomson, 1837): ‘1828 re-edification of this part (West Church). Involved the throwing down of two arched windows and a wall’.(256) [Contains a further extended discussion of new arrangements.](257)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 164.

2. RRS, v, no. 350.

3. CPL, Ben, 291-292.

4. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p. 24.

5. PKDA Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/3.

6. CSSR, iv, no.884, CPL, ix, 267.

7. CSSR, iv, no.1321.

8. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/57, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 311.

9. Perth Guildry Book, no. 1074.

10. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/76, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 311.

11. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/137-8, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 312.

12. Perth Guildry Book, no. 14.

13. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.22.

14. CSSR, v, no. 1515.

15. TA, i, 121.

16. TA, i, 323, Simpson, A History of Saint John’s Kirk, p. 22.

17. Perth Guildry Book, no. 1127.

18. Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire’, 525 & 528-29.

19. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

20. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 16.

21. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 22.

22. Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeen, i, pp. 102-3, Simpson & Stevenson, Historic Perth, p.11, Simpson, A History of Saint John’s Kirk, pp.22-23

23. Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire’, 525 & 538-39.

24. Prot Bk of John Foular, 1514-28, iii, no. 421.

25. Verschuur, Politics or Religion, p.22.

26. Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire’, 525 & 536-37.

27. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/1.

28. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 68.

29. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 131.

30. Verschuur, Politics or Religion, pp. 22-23.

31. RSS, iii, no. 2601.

32. DDARC Dundee Burgh and Head Court Books, 1550-1555, fol. 124.

33. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 298.

34. These (bold indicates not in Hunter) are the High Altar (John B), Town’s altar, Holy Blood (Guild), Eloi (Hammermen), Bartholomew (Glovers), Peter, Duchane and Crispin and Crispinian, Severus, chapel containing Thomas the Martyr and James altars, Ninian, Nicholas, Blessed Virgin Mary, Michael, Lawrence, John the Evangelist, Sebastian, Stephen, Clement (with Chap of St Christopher attached), Barbara (later annexed to Christopher), Katherine (with chap of Dionysius), Margaret of Scotland, Martin, Andrew, Mary Magdalene, All Saints,  Thomas the Apostle and Thomas Becket, Simon and Stephen, Blaise, Salvator, Adomnan, Fillan, Name of Jesus, Holy Trinity, Zita of Lucca, Roche, Our Lady of Consolation and Gabriel, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, pp. 298-316.

35. These include (bold indicates not in Fittis), Kentigern, Bridget, Holy Cross or Holy Blood, Blaise, Nicholas, Our Lady of Consolation, Gregory and Augustine (possibly error for Gregory of Augustine), Stephen, Barbara, Adomnan, Gabriel, Thomas the Apostle and Thomas the Martyr, Monan, Christopher, Name of Jesus, Sebastian, Martin, All Saints, Margaret of Scotland, Michael, Joseph, Fillan, John the Baptist, Ninian, John the Evangelist, Lawrence, James, Dionysius, Roch, Mary Magdalane, Clement, Hunter, St John’s Kirk, p. 5.

36. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p.24.

37. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 299.

38. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 314.

39. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/9.

40. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/7.

41. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.13-14.

42. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 314.

43. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

44. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/2.

45. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/3.

46. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 62.

47. NRS Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 18.

48. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 57v.

49. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.16-17.

50. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/50.

51. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/11, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 309-10. Charter is in poor condition. Dedication is not clear in the text but note by Patrick Allan, notary public, on the back mentions that it is the foundation charter of the altar of the BVM in the parish church of Perth.

52. PKDA Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/6.

53. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.101.

54. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, ii, fol. 3.

55. Hall, ‘Wo/men only? Marian devotion in medieval Perth’, 115.

56. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/88, Rentale Dunkeldense, 322-23.

57. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 94.

58. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p. 15-16.

59. Lawson, The Book of Perth, p. 66. (it is not clear what Lawson’s source is for this charter which is no longer extant).

60. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/16, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 316.

61. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/17.

62. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/18.

63. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/19.

64. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

65. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/148.

66. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/152.

67. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 31.

68. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/155, Fittis suggests founded by him but was clearly already in existence, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 316.

69. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

70. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/131.

71. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/132.

72. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/133.

73. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/134.

74. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/136.

75. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1, fol. 39v, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 316.

76. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p. 19.

77. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

78. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/88, Rentale Dunkeldense, 322-23.

79. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/20, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 314.

80. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 314.

81. RMS, iii, no. 2897.

82. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/21.

83. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 15r.

84. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

85. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/22, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 313.

86. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/23.

87. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.18.

88. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p.305-6.

89. RMS, ii, no. 1648

90. Hall, ‘Burgh Mentalities’, 220-222.

91. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/26, GD/79/4/28-A/B/C further endowments of altar in 1503 and 1551, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 315.

92. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/28A.

93. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/28B.

94. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.14.

95. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/24.

96. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.11.

97. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/30, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 312.

98. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.8.

99. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

100. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/29.

101. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.126.

102. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 18.

103. Rentale Dunkeldense, 228 & 243.

104. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 307.

105. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 29.

106. NRS Breadalbane Muniments, GD112/25/6.

107. NRS Feu charter of churchlands in Kinloch parish, Perthshire, GD1/525/1.

108. Perth Guildry Book, nos. 384 & 386.

109. RMS, ii, no. 197, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 303.

110. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/133.

111. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/35.

112. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/36.

113. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/38.

114. RSS, iii, no. 2601.

115. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/43.

116. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.  31r.

117. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.19-20.

118. Lawson, The Book of Perth, p. 60. (it is not clear what Lawson’s source is for this charter which is no longer extant).

119. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/63 & GD79/4/64.

120. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/65.

121. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 9.

122. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, ii, fol. 7.

123. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/51.

124. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/52.

125. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 121v.

126. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/55.

127. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/56.

128. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/43.

129. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/57, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 311.

130. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/59.

131. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/60.

132. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

133. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.54.

134. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 312-3.

135. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/71.

136. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/72.

137. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/34.

138. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/94. Seal attached belonging to James. Simple motif of three crescent moons (writing around edges is illegible).

139. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/97.

140. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/96.

141. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/98.

142. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/99, 101, 102 & 104.

143. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 15r.

144. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.10.

145. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/76, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 311.

146. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

147. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.39.

148. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/77.

149. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 2r.

150. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 313.

151. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/82, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 313.

152. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.18.

153. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 149v.

154. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 23.

155. NRS Spens of Lathallan Writs, GD1/1042/5.

156. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 313.

157. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/89.

158. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.1.

159. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.11.

160. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

161. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 314.

162. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 1.

163. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 311.. Joseph dedication described as simply the altar of St Joseph in 1547, NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/70.

164. Lawson, The Book of Perth, p.62. (it is not clear what Lawson’s source is for this charter which is no longer extant).

165. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/90. Joseph dedication described as simply the altar of St Joseph in 1547, NRS GD79/4/70.

166. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/91.

167. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/70.

168. PKDA Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/10.

169. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/128.

170. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 309, NAS GD79/4/128.

171. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.1.

172. RSS, ii, no. 4720.

173. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 41r.

174. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.14-15.

175. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/106. Robert has appended his own seal with an interesting design including a shield (on which is a four legged beast, perhaps a lion), over which is a helmet of some sort supported by two lions rampant.

176. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

177. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

178. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/107.

179. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.22.

180. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/110.

181. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.17.

182. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

183. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/111, Fittis suggests chaplaincy is a joint dedication to SS Salvatore, BVM and Gabriel but it is clear from the charter that the bequest to the chaplain of St Salvatore is separate from BVM and Gabriel, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 308-9.

184. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.23.

185. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/112.

186. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/116.

187. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/117.

188. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.123.

189. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/119.

190. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 41r.

191. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.  90v-91r.

192. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol.  110v.

193. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/121.

194. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/43.

195. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/129.

196. NRS Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1 fol. 65v.

197. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.12.

198. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 306.

199. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol.77.

200. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/130, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 316.

201. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/79.

202. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/80.

203. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/137-8, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 312.

204. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/147.

205. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 41.

206. PKDA Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1, fol. 117.

207. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/138.

208. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1597-1604, CH2/521/3, fol.31v.

209. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/140.

210. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 307. Confirmation dates from 1524, NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/139.

211. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/141 , Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 315.

212. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/143.

213. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/142.

214. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/143.

215. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p. 17-18.

216. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

217. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/144, Fittis suggests joint dedication with Thomas of Canterbury but charter only mentions Thomas the Apostle, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 315.

218. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.20.

219. Perth Guildry Book, no. 111.

220. Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 315.

221. Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, p.20.

222. NRS Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/49, Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, p. 316.

223. NRS Protocol Books: Henry Elder, B59/1/1, fol.15r.

224. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 74.

225. Ibid, 307.

226. Donaldson, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices15.

227. Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, i, p.3.

228. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1577-1586, CH2/521/1, fol. 72r. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 29.

229. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1577-1586, CH2/521/1, fol. 126v, Simpson & Stevenson, Historic Perth, p. 11, Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 27. From 27 June 1586-7 Nov 1586 there is a hiatus in the session records so there is no further references to the chosen ‘honest man’ or whether work on the church was carried out.

230. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1577-1586, CH2/521/1, fol. 16r, Chronicle of Perth, App 1, 50.

231. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 14v, Chronicle of Perth, App 1. 57.

232. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 17r.

233. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 17r.

234. Hunter, St John’s Kirk, p. 11.

235. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2, fol. 27r.

236. Hunter, St John’s Kirk, p.11.

237. Perth Guildry Book, no. 893.

238. Chronicle of Perth, 7, Simpson, A History of Saint John’s Kirk, pp. 28-9.

239. Hunter, St John’s Kirk, p. 12.

240. PKDA Perth, Register of Acts of Town Council, 1601-1622, B59/16/1, fol. 53.

241. Chronicle of Perth, 9.

242. Chronicle of Perth, 10.

243. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 28.

244. Chronicle of Perth, 11, Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p.28.

245. Selections  from the minutes of the Synod of Fife, pp. 15-16.

246. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1615-1618, CH2/521/6, fol. Chronicle of Perth, App.1. 75-76, Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 28.

247. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p.30.

248. NRS Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1619-1624, CH2/521/7, fol. 427v.

249. Chronicle of Perth, App.1. 88 & 96, Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 30.

250. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 30.

251. Chronicle of Perth, 38.

252. Chronicle of Perth, 42.

253. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 32.

254. Simpson, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, p. 32.

255. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1795), 530-31

256. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1837), 107.

257. Ibid, 111.

Bibliography

Manuscripts

Dundee District Archives and Record Centre (DDARC)

Dundee Burgh and Head Court Books, (2) 1550-1555.

National Records of Scotland

Breadalbane Muniments, GD112/25/6.

Feu charter of churchlands in Kinloch parish, Perthshire, GD1/525/1.

Perth, Protocol Books: Henry Elder, 1544-45-1568.B59/1/1.

Records of King James VI Hospital, Perth, Altarages, GD79/4 passim.

Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1577-1586, CH2/521/1.

Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1587-1597, CH2/521/2.

Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1597-1604, CH2/521/3.

Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1615-1618, CH2/521/6.

Spens of Lathallan Writs, GD1/1042/5.

Perth and Kinross District Archive (PKDA)

Perth Court Books and Court Minute Books, 1507-1554, B59/12/1.

Perth, Documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs, B59/28/3.

Perth, Register of Acts of Town Council, 1601-1622, B59/16/1.

Printed primary 

Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1839-45, ed. T. Thomson (Bannatyne Club), Edinburgh.

Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon, 1976, ed. F. McGurk, (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.

Chronicle of Perth; A Register of Remarkable Occurrences chiefly connected with that city, from the year 1210 to 1668, 1831, ed. J. Maidment (Maitland Club), Edinburgh.

Donaldson, G., 1949, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, (Scottish History Society), Edinburgh.

Ecclesiastical Records. Selections  from the minutes of the Synod of Fife, 1611-87, 1837, ed. C. Baxter (Abbotsford Club), Edinburgh.

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

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

Perth Guildry Book, 1452-1661, 1993, ed. M. Stavert (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh.

Protocol Book of John Foular, 1514-28, 1944, ed. M. Wood (Scottish record Society), Edinburgh.

Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeen, 1904-07, ed. D. Littlejohn (New Spalding Club), Aberdeen.

Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, 1882-1914, ed. J. M. Thomson (Scottish Record Office), Edinburgh.

Rental Book of the King James VI Hospital, Perth, 1891, ed. R. Milne, Perth.

Rentale Dunkeldense, 1915, ed. R. Hannay (Scottish History Society), Edinburgh.

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

Relevant secondary works

Clouston, C. W, 1994, ‘The bells of Perthshire, St John’s Kirk, Perth’, PSAS, cxxiv, 525-41.

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

Fittis, R. S., 1888, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth to the Period of the Reformation, Perth.

Hunter, T., 1932, St John’s Kirk. A History, Perth.

Hall, M. A, 2010, ‘Wo/men only? Marian devotion in medieval Perth’, in S. Boardman & E. Williamson The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland, Woodbridge, 105-124.

Hall, M. A, 2005, ‘Burgh Mentalities. A Town-in-the-Country Case Study of  Perth, Scotland’, in K. Giles & C. Dyer, Town and Country in the Middle Ages, Leeds.

Lawson, J. P, 1847, The Book of Perth. An Illustration of the Moral and Ecclesiastical State of Scotland before and after the Reformation, Perth.

Simpson, A & Stevenson, S., 1982, Historic Perth, the archaeological implications of development, (Scottish Burgh Survey), Glasgow.

Simpson, W. D, 1958, A History of Saint  John’s Kirk, Perth, Perth.

Verschuur, M., 2006, Politics or Religion. The Reformation in Perth, 1540-1570, Edinburgh.

Architectural description

There was a church at Perth from at least 1128, when its grant to the recently re-established Benedictine abbey of Dunfermline was confirmed by that abbey’s patron, David I.(1) In its late medieval state it was one of the most impressive churches of any of the great trading burghs, but there is relatively little documentation specifically relating to the phases by which it reached that final state. A dedication by Bishop David de Bernham on 5 September 1242 is unlikely to have any direct bearing on its structural history, particularly since it was one of over forty churches that de Bernham dedicated in that year.(2)

Some rebuilding must have been envisaged or in progress in 1328, however, when Robert I asked Scone Abbey to allow stone to be taken from its quarries for the purpose;(3) while that request was unspecific as to the work being carried out at that time, the possibility will be discussed below that the nave arcades, as the earliest identifiable part of the building, could have been one of its products.

The first stage of what was perhaps intended as a general rebuilding of the church began in 1440 when, as a prelude to building a new choir, it was agreed that the burgh would assume the abbey’s financial responsibility for the work in exchange for Dunfermline relinquishing a proportion of the teinds, together with fees for burials within the choir over a period of six years.(4) There was a clarification of this situation in 1442, following disagreement between the burgh and abbey.(5)

It is likely that work on the choir was nearing completion by 1448, when an altar dedicated to St John the Evangelist was founded by Sir John de Bute to the north of the high altar.(6) Bute founded two further altars on the north side of the new choir in 1454 and 1457, those of St Lawrence and St Sebastian.(7) Further confirmation that the choir was complete comes in 1453, when John de Lorne specified that the family burial place he was purchasing was in the new choir.(8)

Following completion of the choir, work evidently moved on to the transepts and crossing, which show some continuity of detailing with the choir, before moving on to the nave; it will be suggested below, however, that reconstruction of the nave was never completed. Royal gifts are recorded to building works in the Treasurer’s Accounts for 1489 and 1496 of 18s and 11s6d respectively.(9)

Work on the tower and spire was evidently nearing completion in the first decade of the sixteenth century, and a bell was acquired from Peter Wagheven of Mechelen in 1506, an item that is not likely to have been acquired until there was the prospect of putting it to use.(10) A bequest of 10s was made to the bell tower in 1507 by John Myrton, prebendary of Forgund.(11) Those parts must certainly have been complete before 1511, since they were cited in that year as models on which those at Aberdeen Cathedral were to be based.(12)

In its final form the church was a cruciform structure with a five-bay choir, a central tower flanked by transepts, and a five-bay nave with a tower-porch - traditionally known as the Halkerston Tower - in the second bay from the west on its north side.(13) Apart from some truncation of the north transept, that remains the layout of the church. However, significant parts of what is now seen are the result of post-Reformation modifications and restorations, and it is therefore important to assess something of the impact of those interventions before describing what is now to be seen.

The ‘cleansing’ of the church that had followed a sermon by John Knox on 11 May 1559 may have left the building in some disarray. In 1586 the minister complained of the ‘pitiful’ and ‘lamentable’ condition of the building,(14) following which repairs were carried out in the 1590s.(15)

For much of its post-Reformation life the church was subdivided to serve two - and later three -  separate congregations. The three west bays of the nave were walled off as early as 1598 to form what came to be known as the West or Little Church, though the East Church in the choir was only eventually completely walled off from the crossing area in 1771. This left the two eastern bays of the nave and the transepts as the Middle Church, housing a third congregation that had been formed in 1716.(16)

The church records make reference to a number of misfortunes. On 24 January 1604 it is said that a stone steeple fell, perhaps meaning the spirelet on the east side of the north tower porch.(17) But it appears that before the early nineteenth century finding funds for repairs and maintenance was a perennial problem, and that when works were carried out they were executed with as little expenditure as possible. It seems, for example, to have taken about a decade for the spire to be repaired after the lead was blown off it on 2 March 1607.(18)

Further repairs to the spire in 1747 and 1767 are commemorated in inscriptions in the leadwork. Amongst other works that had an impact on the medieval fabric, at a date soon after 1817 the upper storey of the tower-porch on the north side of the nave, which appears to have been in poor repair, was removed, and in about 1823 the north transept was shortened to improve the movement of traffic.

Many of these actions indicate that, quite apart from any considerations of the cost of required works, little respect was as yet felt for the church’s historic appearance. This was to change as interest in the middle ages and its structural remains began to increase in the course of the nineteenth century, though for some time to come many of the works that were carried out suggest that the architects involved considered that it was enough that a generally medieval appearance was achieved. Thus, in 1828 James Gillespie Graham initiated major works on the East Church that entailed cutting back decayed masonry, applying a cement coating to the window arches, remodelling the existing dormer windows at the aisle wall heads that lit the internal galleries, and constructing arcaded balustrades along all wall heads of the east limb.

More devastating was the same architect’s commencement of the reconstruction of the Middle and West Churches in the nave, in the course of which he proposed to form a taller central vessel with a clearstorey, flanked by remodelled aisles. To achieve this he demolished the projection on the west side of the north transept together with the incomplete medieval north nave windows to its west.(19) In their place he built two bays of a heightened north aisle wall, together with the corresponding bays of a clearstorey wall above the central vessel; in none of this was any lead taken from the historic fabric. Perhaps mercifully, work was stopped before he progressed any further than those first two bays.

Further - and more historically sensitive - restoration was carried out by Andrew Heiton of Heiton and Granger in 1892-6, following rejection of his earlier proposal that the internal divisions of the church should be removed. As part of Heaton’s work Gillespie Graham’s aborted aisle and clearstorey in the nave was removed.

The final phase of restoration that had a significant impact on the fabric was the work of Robert Lorimer in 1923–6, by which time agreement had been reached that the internal divisions were to be removed, making it possible to appreciate more fully the medieval spatial intentions. This work was carried out as a memorial to the dead of the First World War, and it was to provide a War Memorial Shrine that the offshoot that had stood on the west side of the north transept before Gillespie Graham’s restoration was reinstated. The craftsmanship of Lorimer’s phase of the work is very fine, though it is not always easy to understand the extent of his intervention in the medieval fabric.

Description of the church will begin with the choir, where views taken before any of the nineteenth- or twentieth-century restorations indicate that the size of the four-light windows along the aisles perpetuates the original intention. This is also true of at least some of the tracery designs, in which reticulation and spiralling daggers within circlets predominate. There is a doorway on each side in the second bay from the west, both of which are framed by a shallow porch of Gillespie Graham’s invention. Eighteenth-century views show that the medieval south door was blocked at that time, and that there was an impressive porch in the east bay which is traditionally said to have been brought from the Perth Charterhouse following its dissolution. Within the reopened medieval south door is an ogee arched holy water stoup, which is of a form related to piscinae provided for altars at the east end of the both the aisles and the central vessel.

Internally the choir arcades occupy about two-thirds of the height of the elevation, and are carried on eight-lobed clustered-shaft piers, the cardinal shafts being filleted and the diagonally-set shafts broadly keeled. The bases are of ogee profile, and the capitals are moulded. The majority of the arcade arches have a sequence of three hollow chamfers, and in this they are like the internal reveals of the aisle windows. The arches of the two eastern bays are more richly moulded, with a filleted roll flanked by smaller rolls to the soffit order and a further filleted roll to the outer orders; this greater enrichment was evidently to emphasise the site of the presbytery area housing the high altar. The first pier from the east of the south arcade has a carved band with an inscription commemorating John and Mariota Fuller, who were presumably major contributors to the work.

The clearstorey differs on the two sides, as was also the case in the naves of Edinburgh St Giles and Stirling Holy Rude. In this case the south clearstorey has a single round-headed window to each bay, while that on the north has pointed two-light windows with a dagger at the head of each. There is no string course to separate arcade and clearstorey, and there are no wall shafts to indicate the bay divisions above the piers. The roof over the choir is a rare medieval survival, though it was heavily restored and possibly augmented by Robert Lorimer in 1923–6, after the removal of a plaster ceiling that had concealed it. It is basically of tie-beam construction, with two principal couples to each bay, those between the bays being supported by wall-posts and arched braces. There is a collar-beam at a higher level of each couple, with secondary rafters below the level of the latter. Vertically connecting the tie-beams and collars are crown-posts and queen-posts combined with cross-braces. Horizontal bracing is provided by purlins.

The truncated north transept as now seen bears little relationship to its medieval state, though the respond of the arch from the transept into the north nave aisle is a re-set medieval feature. The south transept, although heavily restored, has retained more of its medieval appearance, and its four light south window with intersecting tracery appears to be a replica of its medieval predecessor, though the oculus which used to be in the gable above it is gone.

The central tower rises a single storey above the surrounding roofs, and there is a two-light window to each face. A crenellated parapet pierced by quatrefoiled openings, is carried on a substantial corbel table. Behind the tower parapet is a lead-sheathed splay-foot spire, the lead work of which has been renewed on a number of occasions, but which still appears to reflect its medieval design.  The complex timber framing of the spire also appears likely to be substantially medieval. Internally, the tower is carried on four massive piers. Most of these are composed of four filleted shafts separated by rectangular spurs; the south-west pier, however, is greatly enlarged in order to contain a spiral that leads up first to the rood loft, and from there up into the tower. The rood loft was carried on heavy corbels that are built in with the western crossing piers. Above the crossing is a quadripartite vault with ridge ribs; the ribs, which are pierced with holes for bell ropes, converge on a central bell hole. The vault is set at a lower level than the roofs that flank it.

Externally the nave has preserved very little of its medieval appearance, most of what is now seen dating from Lorimer’s restoration of 1923-6, which itself had reversed many of the changes made first by Gillespie Graham and later by Heiton. The best evidence for its late medieval external state is found in views of 1806 and 1775. The former shows that the second and third bays from the east on the north side, together with an aisle or chapel on the west side of the north transept, and thus in the first nave bay from the east, had been enveloped by a wall that rose a little higher than the adjacent transept. In the fourth bay from the east a tall two-storeyed tower-porch is shown.(20)

There appears, however, to have been nothing of the same kind in the much lower westernmost aisle bay, and the most plausible explanation of this is that it was part of the church that had been in process of being replaced. This suggests that work had started to encase an existing nave within new work that would have resulted in an altogether more magnificent western limb, but that had never been completed.

The likelihood that it was never taken further than the four east bays of the north nave aisle is supported by the view of the south side of the church as it was in 1775. That view shows roofs sloping steeply down over both the central vessel and the south aisle of the nave, with no more than a minimal break over the arcade wall, with a low outer wall to the aisle and a two-storeyed porch in the second bay from the west of a much simpler design than the tower-porch on the north.(21) It may be added that the south aisle as depicted in the 1775 view is very like the west bay of the north aisle as depicted in 1806.

On the basis of the view of 1806, the re-casing that was commenced along part of the north side had resulted externally in bays that were divided by buttresses with multiple offsets, which rose through the parapet and were evidently intended to be capped by pinnacles. The windows depicted in this wall were remarkably large, rising to the full height and extending to the full width available, and they were framed by hood mouldings with finials a little below what appears to have been an openwork parapet.

There is nothing to indicate that any tracery had been inserted within the openings, though it may have been lost, since the window arches appear to have been blocked by the time the view was drawn. The porch had a large pointed-arched opening at its base, above which was a tall round-arched recess decorated with elaborate cusped cusping to its soffit, and with what appear to have been multiple image corbels across the wall framed by the arch. The gable at the top of the porch was set back behind an openwork parapet, in a way that is analogous to the treatment of the west front at Haddington St Mary.

The most plausible interpretation of this evidence may be that work had been started to adapt an existing aisled nave to create a much loftier hall church, with a tower-porch rising to the same level as the greatly heightened aisle walls. But the incomplete state apparently depicted suggests that the burgh’s funds had run out before it could be completed, a situation that is doubly unfortunate when it is remember that the burgh had shouldered Dunfermline Abbey’s responsibility for rebuilding the choir.

The only known Scottish precedent for a hall church on this scale was the choir that had been created at Edinburgh St Giles in the late fourteenth century; however, since it had already been modified to a basilican section in the mid-fifteenth century, Edinburgh could hardly have provided a model for Perth. Is it perhaps instead possible that the details of what we see in the early views of the nave, including the way in which the porch rises to the same height as the outer aisle walls, has closer parallels with what is to be seen at a number of churches in the northern provinces of the Low Countries?

Amongst comparable examples that might be cited are the church of St Joris in Amersfoort, where work was in progress at about the same time as Perth,(22) or the church of St Michael at Zwolle, where a high porch was added to an existing hall church in the early sixteenth century.(23) In view of the limitations on our ability to understand what must have happened at Perth, it would be wrong to offer this as more than a tentative suggestion. Nevertheless, taking account of the continuing importance of trading links with the Low Countries for the great burghs, and of what appear to be clear debts to Netherlandish prototypes at the burgh churches of Haddington and Dundee, it is at least worth considering that the abortive scheme for the nave at Perth had drawn some inspiration from across the North Sea.

The only parts of the abandoned scheme to survive externally in recognisable form are the badly weathered caps of the re-cased entrance storey of the porch, which have foliage winding around a horizontal rod. Within the porch the tierceron vault amply attests to the quality of what was built. The round arched door from the porch into the church is carried on three orders of engaged shafts with moulded caps. Internally the nave arcades are of two chamfered orders carried on octagonal piers with chamfered bases and moulded caps. Sunk into the west side of the second pier from the east of the north arcade is a cusped triangular-headed niche that was perhaps associated with an adjacent altar.

There has clearly been considerable interference with the historic fabric in the course of Lorimer’s campaign of works, as part of which he replaced an earlier coved plaster ceiling over the central vessel with the present ribbed barrel ceiling. Nevertheless, comparison with pre-restoration photographs and drawings confirms that the details of the arcade are broadly trustworthy, and there seems little reason to doubt that they are earlier than the choir arcades. Taking this into account, while there can be no certainty, it should be seen as at least a possibility that the arcades date from the works for which Scone was requested to permit quarrying in 1328.

Notes

1. Registrum de Dunfermelyn, ed. Cosmo Innes (Bannatyne Club), 1842, nos 1, 40, 92;  Ian B Cowan, The Parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), 1967, p. 163.

2. Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History, vol. 2, Edinburgh, 1922, p. 522

3. Regesta Regum Scottorum, vol. 5, the Acts of Robert I, ed. A.A.M. Duncan, Edinburgh, 1988, no 350.

4. Registrum de Dunfermelyn, no 413.

5. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, 1433-47, ed. A.I. Dunlop and D. MacLauchlan, Glasgow, 1983, no 884; Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon, ed. F. McGurk, (Scottish History Society), 1976, p. 267.

6. National Records of Scotland, Records of King James VI Hospital Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/57; Robert Scott Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth, Edinburgh and Perth, 1885, p. 311.

7. National Records of Scotland, Records of King James VI Hospital Perth, Altarages, GD79/4/76 and GD79/4/137-8.

8. The Perth Guildry Book, 1452-1601, ed. Marion L. Stavert, (Scottish Record Society). 1993, no 1074.

9. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, vol. 1, pp. 121, 323.

10. C.W. Clouston, ‘The bells of Perthshire, St John’s Kirk, Perth’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 124, 1994, pp. 525-41.

11. Rental Book of King James VI Hospital, Perth, ed. R. Milne, Perth, 1891, p. 23.

12. Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeenshire, ed. D. Littlejohn, (New Spalding Club), Aberdeen, 1904, vol. 1, p. 102.

13. Accounts of the church include: Fittis, Ecclesiastical Annals, pp. 10-45;  David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, the Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, Edinburgh, vol. 3, 1897, pp. 104-23; Richard Fawcett, A History of St John’s Kirk Perth, (guidebook), 1987; John Gifford, the Buildings of Scotland, Perth and Kinross, New Haven and London, 2007, pp. 570-82.

14. National Records of Scotland, Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1577-86, CH2/521/1 fol. 126v.

15. Perth Guildry Book, no 893.

16. Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-99, vol. 18, p. 531.

17. The chronicle of Perth; a register of remarkable occurrences, chiefly connected with that city from the year 1210 to 1668, (Maitland Club), Edinburgh, 1831¸p. 10.

18. The chronicle of Perth, p. 11; National Records of Scotland, Records of Perth, St John’s Kirk Session Minutes 1615-18, CH2/521/6.

19. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-5, vol. 10, p. 107.

20. J. Cant, Memorabilia of the City of Perth, Perth, 1806.

21. The chronicle of Perth. The view is reproduced in MacGibbon and Ross 1896–7, vol. 3, p. 110.

22. Rijkscommissie voor de Monumentenbeschrijving, Kunstreisboek voor Nederland, Amsterdam, 1977, pp. 289–91.

23. Kunstreisboek voor Nederland, p. 182.

Map

Images

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

  • 1. Perth St John, exterior, from south east, 1

  • 2. Perth St John, exterior, choir from north east

  • 3. Perth St John, exterior, choir from south west

  • 4. Perth St John, exterior, from north west, 1

  • 5. Perth St John, exterior, from north west, 2

  • 6. Perth St John, exterior, north porch, north transept and tower

  • 7. Perth St John, exterior, north transept and tower

  • 8. Perth St John, exterior, south transept, nave and tower from south west

  • 9. Perth St John, exterior from south west, 1

  • 10. Perth St John, exterior, choir from the south east

  • 11. Perth St John, exterior, from the south west, 2

  • 12. Perth St John, exterior, north flank of choir

  • 13. Perth St John, exterior, north porch

  • 14. Perth St John, exterior, north transept and nave

  • 15. Perth St John, exterior, south flank of choir

  • 16. Perth St John, exterior, south flank of nave

  • 17. Perth St John, exterior, south transept

  • 18. Perth St John, exterior, tower from the north east

  • 19. Perth St John, exterior, tower from the south west

  • 20. Perth St John, exterior, west door

  • 21. Perth St John, exterior, choir from south east, 1

  • 22. Perth St John, exterior, choir from the south east 2

  • 23. Perth St John, exterior, choir north flank

  • 24. Perth St John, exterior, choir south flank from south west

  • 25. Perth St John, exterior, from north east

  • 26. Perth St John, exterior, from north west

  • 27. Perth St John, exterior, from south east, 2

  • 28. Perth St John, exterior, from south west, 1

  • 29. Perth St John, exterior, from the south west, 2

  • 30. Perth St John, exterior, north flank of choir

  • 31. Perth St John, exterior, north porch

  • 32. Perth St John, exterior, north porch arch east cap

  • 33. Perth St John, exterior, north porch arch west cap

  • 34. Perth St John, exterior, north porch door

  • 35. Perth St John, exterior, north porch east capital of door

  • 36. Perth St John, exterior, north porch north face

  • 37. Perth St John, exterior, north transept and nave

  • 38. Perth St John, exterior, south flank of choir

  • 39. Perth St John, exterior, south flank of nave

  • 40. Perth St John, exterior, south transept from south

  • 41. Perth St John, exterior, spire inscriptions in lead

  • 42. Perth St John, exterior, tower and transept from south west, 1

  • 43. Perth St John, exterior, tower from north east, 1

  • 44. Perth St John, exterior, tower from south west, 1

  • 45. Perth St John, exterior, tower from north east, 2

  • 46. Perth St John, exterior, tower from south west, 2

  • 47. Perth St John, exterior, west door

  • 48. Perth St John, interior, north choir arcade, 1

  • 49. Perth St John, interior, north choir arcade, 2

  • 50. Perth St John, interior, blocked window above south choir door

  • 51. Perth St John, interior, chandelier

  • 52. Perth St John, interior, choir arcade base

  • 53. Perth St John, interior, choir arcade cap

  • 54. Perth St John, interior, crossing vault

  • 55. Perth St John, interior, from west, 2

  • 56. Perth St John, interior, high altar piscina

  • 57. Perth St John, interior, ledger slab against east wall north choir chapel

  • 58. Perth St John, interior, north choir chapel piscina

  • 59. Perth St John, interior, north door

  • 60. Perth St John, interior, north porch vault

  • 61. Perth St John, interior, recess in north transept

  • 62. Perth St John, interior, reconstructed north transept respond

  • 63. Perth St John, interior, south choir arcade, 1

  • 64. Perth St John, interior, south choir arcade, 2

  • 65. Perth St John, interior, south choir arcade inscribed band

  • 66. Perth St John, interior, south choir chapel piscina

  • 67. Perth St John, interior, south choir door stoup

  • 68. Perth St John, interior, south nave arcade

  • 69. Perth St John, interior, south east crossing pier

  • 70. Perth St John, interior, south west crossing pier, 1

  • 71. Perth St John, interior, south west crossing pier, 2

  • 72. Perth St John, interior, tabernacle in north nave arcade pier

  • 73. Perth St John, interior from west, 1

  • 74. Perth St John, interior, choir arcade pier

  • 75. Perth St John, interior, choir roof, 1

  • 76. Perth St John, interior, choir roof, 2

  • 77. Perth St John, interior, choir, north arcade wall

  • 78. Perth St John, interior, choir, south arcade wall

  • 79. Perth St John, interior, nave from north west

  • 80. Perth St John, interior, spire frame, 1

  • 81. Perth St John, interior, spire frame, 2

  • 82. Perth St John, interior, tower bell frame 2

  • 83. Perth St John, interior, tower vault

  • 84. Perth St John, interior, tower, bell frame, 1

  • 85. Perth St John, interior, tower, first-floor chamber

  • 86. Perth St John, the West Church before restoration

  • 87. Perth St John, rubbing of matrix stone

  • 88. Perth St John, exterior, from south in 1775 (Chronicle of Perth)

  • 89. Perth St John, exterior, from north west in 1806 (Memorabilia of Perth)

  • 90. Perth St John, exterior, from north west (MacGibbon and Ross)