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(374) Page 292 - CUP
boat regularly plies. Carriers' carts leave Cupar re-
gularly for the conveyance of heavy goofls to and
from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and all inter-
mediate towns and villages. Cupar contains a public
library, instituted in 1797, which now contains con-
siderably above 6,000 volumes. It is supported by
the annual subscriptions of the proprietors, and of
occasional monthly or yearly readers. Many scarce
and curious books were bequeathed to this library,
by the late Dr. Gray of Paddington Green, London.
The lawyers of Cupar have begun recently to form a
law-library, which it is expected will soon become
valuable to that body. There is also a circulating
library. There is a public news-room, supported by
yearly subscription, where a well-selected supply of
the leading London and provincial journals is re-
ceived, besides a few monthly publications. A
mechanics' reading-room has also been recently insti-
tuted, in which the working classes are accommo-
dated with newspapers at a very cheap rate. Two
newspapers are published in the town A branch
of the bank of Scotland was opened here in 1787 ;
and in 1792 the British Linen company also
established a branch. In 1802, the Cupar bank
was formed, which gave up business in 1814 ; an-
other bank, which also began business here in 1802
under the name of the Fife bank, continued in opera-
tion till 1825. In 1812, the Commercial bank opened
a branch here. The banks now in operation in Cupar
are the British Linen company's branch, and the Com-
mercial bank branch. There is a savings bank.
Cupar, as already stated, is a place of considerable
antiquity. At an early period the Macduff's, thanes
of Fife, had a castle here, in the midst of the marshy
grounds which bordered the Eden and St. Mary's burn.
It continued the seat of the court of the stewardry of
Fife, until the forfeiture of Albany, Earl of Fife, in
the reign of James I., when that court was removed
to Falkland. During the darker ages, theatrical re-
presentations, called Mysteries or Moralities, were fre-
quently exhibited here. The place where these enter-
tainments were presented, was called the Playfield.
" Few towns of note," says Arnot, in his 'History
of Edinburgh,' " were without one. That of Edin-
burgh was at the Greenside-well ; that of Cupar in
Fife was on their Castle-hill." The pieces presented
in the Playfield of Cupar, however, seem not, at the
era of the Reformation, to have had any connection
with religious subjects, but were calculated to in-
terest and amuse, by exhibiting every variety of
character and every species of humour. To illus-
trate the manners which prevailed in Scotland in the
16th century, and as a specimen of the dramatic
compositions which pleased our fathers, Arnot, in
the appendix to his History, gives a curious excerpt
from a manuscript comedy, which bears to have been
exhibited in the Playfield at Cupar, and which had
been in the possession of the late Mr. Garrick. That
part of the excerpt only, which relates to the place
where the play was presented, is here transcribed :
" Here begins the proclamation of the play, made by David
I.inusay of the Moant. knight, in the Playheld, in the month
of , the year of God 1555 years."
" Proclamation made in Cupar of Fife.
" Our purpose is on the seventh day of June,
If weather serve, and we have rest and peace,
We shall be seen into our playing place,
In good array about the hour of seven.
Of thriftiness that day, I pray you cease ;
But ordain us good drink against allevin.
Fail not to be upon the Castlehill,
Eeside the place where we purpose to play
With gude stark wine your flagons see yon fill,
And iiad yourselves the merriest that you may."
" Cottager. I shall be there, with God's grace,
Tno' there were never so great a price,
And foremost in the fair :
And dri'ik a quart in Cnpar town.
With my gossip John Williamson,
Tho' all the nolt should rair!" fee
During the residence of our kings in Scotland, Cupar
often received visits from royalty. Almost all the
Jameses, and the unfortunate Mary, repeatedly visited
it, and were entertained within the town. The last
royal visit was made by Charles II. on the 6th of
July, 1650, when on his way from St. Andrews to
Falkland. He was entertained at dinner by the
magistrates in the town-hall ; then forming part of
the tolbooth or gaol. " He came to Cowper," says
Lamont, " where he gatt some desert to his foure
houres : the place where he satte doune to eate was
the tolbooth. The towne had appointed Mr. Andro
Andersone, scholemaester ther for the tyme, to give
him a musicke songe or two, while he was at table.
Mr. David Douglysse had a speech to him at his entrie
to the towne. After this he went to Falklande all night.
All this tyme the most part of the gentelmen of the
shyre did goe alonge with him." From an ancient
plan of the town, 1642 — lately engraved from the
original in the Advocates' library, by the Abbotsford
club — it appears that Cupar had anciently gates or
ports. One of these stood at the west end of the
Bonnygate, called the West port; one at the middle
of the Lady wynd, called the Lady port; one below
the castle, called the East port ; one at the bridge,
called the Bridge port ; one at the Millgate, called
the Millgate port ; and another at the end of the
Kirkgate, called the Kirkgate port. It is curious to
observe, from this plan, how little alteration has
since taken place in the streets of the town ; and that
the names of both streets and lanes are still the same
they then were. The principal alteration — with the
exception of buildings in the suburbs — is the taking
down of the old jail and town-house at the Cross,
and opening up St. Catherine-street. Where the
markets are still held, opposite the town-house, at
the junction of Crossgate and Bonnygate, the ancient
cross of Cupar once stood. It was an octagonal build-
ing, with a round pillar rising from it, surmounted by
a unicorn, the supporter of the royal arms of Scot-
land. When the jail was taken down, this structure
was also removed, and at the request of Colonel
Wemyss, the pillar was presented to him, when he
caused it to be re-erected on the top of Wemyss hall-
hill, where it still remains marking the spot on which
the famous treaty between Mary of Guise and the
Lords of the Congregation was subscribed.
CUPAR-GRANGE, a village in the shire of
Perth, and parish of Bendothy ; 2 miles north-east
of Cupar- Angus. It is famous for a particular kind
of seed-oats. Here is a ferry over the Eroch for
foot-passengers. Near this village was discovered
a repository of the ashes of sacrifices which our an-
cestors were wont to offer up in honour of their
deities. " It is," says Pennant in his Second Tour,
"a large space of a circular form, fenced with a wall
on either side, and paved at bottom with flags. The
walls are about 5 feet in height, and built with
coarse stone. They form an outer and an inner
circle, distant from each other 9 feet. The diameter
of the inner circle is 60 feet, and the area of it is of
a piece with the circumjacent soil; but the space
between the walls is rilled with ashes of wood, par-
ticularly oak, and with the bones of various species
of animals. I could plainly distinguish the extremi-
ties of several bones of sheep ; and was informed that
teeth of oxen and sheep had been found. The top
of the walls and ashes is near 2 feet below the sur-
face of the field. The' entry is from the north-west,
and about 10 or 12 feet in breadth. From it a path-
way, 6 feet broad, and paved with small stones,
leads eastward to a laige free-stone, standing erect

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