Tannadice Parish Church

Tannadice Church, exterior, south flank

Summary description

Rebuilt in 1866.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Adomnan? (1)

The original charter recording the grant of the church of Tannadice to the priory of St Andrews has not survived, but the canons were confirmed in possession of the church and all things pertaining to it by Pope Gregory VIII’s general confirmation of their properties and rights issued in 1187.(2)  King William’s confirmation of various properties to the priory, granted 1189 x 1195, included the church of Tannadice and all its just pertinents and noted that the original gift had been made by Richard de Melville.(3)  Possession was further confirmed by Bishop Roger de Beaumont (1198-1202) but although two further confirmations of possession of the church and all things pertaining to it were made by Pope Innocent IV it seems that the priory had succeeded only in gaining possession of the rights of patronage.(4)

No indication of the status of the church is revealed in the record in St Andrews’ Pontifical Offices of its dedication by Bishop David de Bernham on 11 August 1242.(5)  The status of Tannadice as a free parsonage is revealed in a request to the pope in 1245 by Marie de Coucy, queen of Alexander II, for dispensation for Mr Richard Veirement, her chancellor, to hold the rectory of the church along with other benefices.(6)  It was still as a free parsonage that the church was recorded in the accounts of the papal tax-collector in Scotland for 1274-5, when it was noted as paying six merks in tax.(7)

From the 1320s through to the 1470s most records of the church relate to requests for provision or to disputes over possession.(8)  The extent of litigation involving the parsonage is remarkable and stands as clear testimony to the wealth of Tannadice.  It was probably for that reason that in 1473 an attempt was made to annexe the church, along with several others, to the mensa of the newly-promoted archbishop of St Andrews.(9)  This first attempt proved to be ineffective and a second attempt was made in 1487, but that was equally ineffective.(10)  It was only in February 1537/8 that an effective union was established, not with the archiepiscopal mensa but with the newly-founded college of St Mary in the University of St Andrews, with further confirmations received in 1552 and 1553/4.(11

The union of Tannadice to St Mary’s College continued at the Reformation.  At that date it was noted that the parsonage and vicarage were together valued at £237 5s 4d.  In the College rental it was recorded that the church was in the hands of Mr Henry Lumsden, who had been Chamberlain of the Archbishopric of St Andrews from at least 1533.  Lumsden was described as ‘usufructur’ of the church but that he paid the college, which had title to Tannadice, a yearly fee of £66 13s 4d.(12)

Notes

1. J M Mackinlay, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland: Non-scriptural Dedications (Edinburgh, 1914), 58.

2. Liber Cartarum Prioratus Sancti Andree in Scotia (Bannatyne Club, 1841), 64 [hereafter St Andrews Liber].

3. Regesta Regum Scottorum, ii, The Acts of William I, ed G W S Barrow (Edinburgh, 1971), no.333.

4. St Andrews Liber, 93, 100, 231.

5. A O Anderson (ed), Early Sources of Scottish History, ii (Edinburgh, 1922), 522.

6. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, i, 1198-1304, ed W H Bliss (London, 1893), 220.  In 1352, Queen Joan, wife of King David II, requested the presentation of her clerk, John of Kettins, to the church, which was one of the wealthiest free parsonages in Angus.

7. A I Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll: Statement of the Tenths of the Kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi (1939), 36.

8. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, ii, 1305-1342, ed W H Bliss (London, 1895), 208, 227; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, iii, 1342-1362, ed W H Bliss and C Johnson (London, 1897), 184, 442; Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon 1378-1394, ed C Burns (Scottish History Society, 1976), 136-182; Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon 1394-1419, ed F McGurk (Scottish History Society, 1976), 12, 19, 21, 130-131, 141, 217, 287-8; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, ii, 1423-1428, ed A I Dunlop (Scottish History Society, 1956), 235; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, iii, 1428-1432, eds A I Dunlop and I B Cowan (Scottish History Society, 1970), 151, 158; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, iv, 1433-1447, eds A I Dunlop and D MacLauchlan (Glasgow, 1983), nos 127, 134, 375, 378a, 676, 687, 689, 832, 845, 1024; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, v, 1447-1471, eds J Kirk, R J Tanner and A I Dunlop (Glasgow, 1997), nos 126, 213, 529, 812, 1316, 1414, 1485, 1492, 1507; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Petitions to the Pope, ed W H Bliss (London, 1896), 227.

9. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xiii, 1471-1484, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1955), 17.

10. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xiv, 1484-1492, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1960), 180-181.

11. Evidence, oral and documentary, taken and received by the Commissioners for visiting the Universities of Scotland (London, 1837), 357-358, 360-366.

12. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 64-5, 364.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: The church was granted to the priory of St Andrews by Richard de Melville c.1187. This grant involved the patronage alone, as the church continued as an independent parsonage. In 1473 it was appropriated to the archiepiscopal mensa of St Andrews, though this proved ineffective and the church was finally joined to the College of St Mary, St Andrews, in 1537-38.(1)

According to Mackinley the church was dedicated to St Adomnan.(2)

1245 Dispensation at the request of the Queen of Scotland (Marie de Coucy) for Richard Veiremont to hold rectory of Tannadice and other benefices.(3)

1320 Alexander de Kinomet described as rector of Tannadice (as well as Kinkell (Aber), and a canonry and prebend of Brechin.(4)

1345 John de Hathens collated to church 1352 John de Kethenes (MA) provided at the request of Queen Joan as he is her clerk; church void by promotion of Patrick of Leuchars to bishopric of Brechin (1351-73x83).(5)

1387 Tannadice held by William Ramsay - in 1393 he still holds the church despite being archdeacon of Brechin.(6)

1394 Richard Knight (Militis, student of canon law)) described as chaplain of Tanadas, a church without cure. In same year William Ramsay (also a canon of St Donations, Bruges) exchanges church with Malcolm de Aula (perpetual vicar of Kilconquhar and chaplain to Queen Annabella Drummond).(7)

1405 Richard Hunter (lecturer in canon law at university of Paris) supplicates for church (value £55 sterling of silver) claiming that it is unlawfully held by Malcolm.

1413 Malcolm still holds church and is confirmed in possession.(8)

1428 Church held by Walter Stewart (described in 1430 CSSR, iii, 151, as a son of Robert III and later in 1431 CSSR, iii, 158, as uncle of James I), also holds deanery of Moray, and canon and prebends of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Moray.(9)

1434 Walter dead, rectory accepted by James Kennedy (later bishop of St Andrews); shortly followed by suit between James and Ingram Lyndsay over the church (value £60).

1437 Ingram resigns and James Bruce takes up the suit against James. Further suit in same year by Thomas Tulloch (later bishop of Ross 1440-61); settlement sees Thomas get Tannadice and Bruce gets archdeaconry of Caithness.(10)

1440 Tulloch exchanges church with David de Crannach (brother of John de Crannach bishop of Brechin).(11)

1442 New suit over church between William Turnbull (late bishop of Glasgow) and David, resolved in 1444 with David retaining church.(12)

1448 Further suit between David and Richard Wylie over the church; David wins again and keeps church, value £60.(13)

1454 David is dead, John Donaldson and James Kennedy compete over church; James wins by 1460 when he is described as parson of Tannadice.(14)

1468-1471 After death of James, there are further suits between another James Kennedy and various others including Nicholas Graham (MA) and John Abernethy. John finally collated to church by 1471.(15)

1473 Church appropriated along with others to archiepiscopal mensa of St Andrews.(16)

1491 Walter Abernethy collated on death [from exhaustion?] of John Abernethy who had been suffering from old age and madness.(17)

1533-40 Henry Lummisdene was the Chamberlain of the Archbishopric of St Andrews and the rector of Tannadice.(18)

1539 (4 May) Further reference to Henry Lummidane, rector of Tannadice and deputy commissioner of St Andrews.(19)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church pertains to St Mary’s College, St Andrews, parsonage value £237 5s 4d. Vicarage held by  Henry Lummisden, revenues £66 13s 4d.(20)

Account of Collectors of Thirds of Benefices (G. Donaldson): Third of parsonage and vicarage £56 13s 4d .(21)

1676 (12 Jan) Meeting held at the church anent the glebe. Thomas Ogilvie desires a seat in the far east corner of the choir. The heritors agree to the repair of the church (no details).(22) A further visit of 1685 (3 Aug) finds that money from the poor box has been used to repair the church.(23)

1758 (3 May) Visitation of Tannadice to inspect manse and kirkyard dykes. £77 laid out for their repair.(24) [although the Statistical Account mentions repairs to both manse and church in 1743-1767, only the above repairs to manse and kirkyard dykes feature in the surviving records].

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev John Jamieson, 1791): ‘Patronage belongs to St Mary’s College, St Andrews. During Mr Weath’s incumbency (1743x67) [dead by September 1766] both the church and manse were repaired. The church is supposed to be pretty old; but it is not known when it was built’.(25)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev J Buist, 1835):‘The church has had choir and an oriel window - indicators of Roman Catholic origin. It is in a tolerable state of repair, but otherwise inconvenient and uncomfortable’.(26)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 194.

2. Mackinley, Non-Scriptural Dedications, p. 58.

3. CPL, i, 220.

4. CPL, ii, 208 & 227.

5. CPL, iii, 184 & 422, CPP, 227.

6. CPL, Clem, 136 & 182.

7. CPL, Ben, 12, 21 & 130-31.

PL, Ben, 141 & 287-8.

9. CSSR, ii, 235. CSSR, iii, 151 & 158.

10. CSSR, iv, nos. 127, 134, 375, 378a.

11. CSSR, iv, nos. 676, 687,

12. CSSR, nos. 689, 832, 845 & 1024.

13. CSSR, v, no. 213.

14. CSSR, v, no. 529 & 812

15. CSSR, v, nos. 1316, 1414, 1485 & 1507.

16. CPL, xiii, 17.

17. CPL, xiv, 284-85.

18. Rentale Sancti Andree, p. 88-.

19. NRS Prot Bk of James Androson, 1535-48, NP1/5A, fol. 14r.

20. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 64 & 364.

21. Donaldson, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, 10.

22. NRS Presbytery of Forfar, Minutes, 1662-1683, CH2/159/1, fol. 110.

23. NRS Presbytery of Forfar, Minutes, 1662-1683, CH2/159/1, fol. 153.

24. NRS Presbytery of Forfar, Minutes, 1749-1774, CH2/159/5, fols. 127-130.

25. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1791), xix, 381-82.

26. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1835), xi, 203.

Bibliography

NRS Presbytery of Forfar, Minutes, 1662-1683, CH2/159/1.

NRS Presbytery of Forfar, Minutes, 1749-1774, CH2/159/5.

NRS Prot Bk of James Androson, 1535-48, NP1/5A.

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

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

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

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1423-28, 1956, ed. A.I. Dunlop, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1428-32, 1970, ed. A.I. Dunlop; and I.B. Cowan, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rentale Sancti Andree, 1913, ed. R. Hannay (Scottish History Society), Edinburgh.

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

Architectural description

Tannadice was granted to the Augustinian cathedral priory of St Andrews by Richard de Melville, a grant that was confirmed in 1187 by Pope Gregory VIII, though this grant evidently involved only the patronage. In 1473 there was an ineffective attempt to annex the church to the episcopal mensa, but eventually in 1537/8 both parsonage and vicarage were annexed to St Mary’s College in St Andrews.(1) Bishop David de Bernham carried out one of his dedications here on 11 August 1242.(2)

The medieval church appears to have survived the Reformation. In the Statistical Account it was said ‘during Mr Weath’s incumbency (1743-66) both the church and manse were repaired’, but that nevertheless ‘the church is supposed to be pretty old; but it is not known when it was built’.(3)

The author of the New Statistical Account was more specific in assuming the church was medieval:

The church has had a choir and an oriel window, - indications of a Roman Catholic origin. It is in a tolerable state of repair, but otherwise very inconvenient and uncomfortable.(4)

The specific reference to a choir may indicate that it was a two cell structure. It is not clear what the author can have meant by an oriel window, since it is unlikely to have had anything as architecturally ambitious as an oriel like those at Linlithgow St Michael or Edinburgh St Giles; it may have been a traceried window that was intended. The only relic of the medieval church is an octagonal font bowl with a cable moulding round its lower edge.

The church was eventually rebuilt in 1866 to the designs of John Carver,(5) probably on the site of its predecessor,. It is a rectangle with an octagonal spired turret rising from a square base at its south-east corner. The south face, built of pink ashlar, is of five buttressed bays with paired lancets beneath hood mouldings in each bay. The entrance is in the east face, where there is a projecting porch beneath a two-light plate-traceried window, flanked on each side by a buttress and a single lancet. The rubble-built north face is treated more simply having no hood moulds to the paired windows in the end bays; the three middle bays are blank  

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, pp. 194-95.

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

3. Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, vol. 19, p. 382.

4. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 11, p. 203.

5. John Gifford, The Buildings of Scotland, Dundee and Angus, New Haven and London, 2012, p. 675.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Tannadice Church, exterior, south flank

  • 2. Tannadice Church, exterior, from south east

  • 3. Tannadice Church, exterior, east front

  • 4. Tannadice churchyard, gravestone, 1

  • 5. Tannadice churchyard, gravestone, 2