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DERNOCK, or Darkock, or Darnwick, a small
stirring village in Roxburghshire, near the south
bank of the Tweed, about a mile above Melrose.
It stands on the road from Edinburgh to Carlisle by
way of Jedburgh, and on that between Melrose and
Selkirk. Its appearance is smiling and comfortable,
and indicates prosperity and content. It was one of
the villages of the halidom of Melrose abbey, and
still retains some ruinous towers which must have
been occupied by rich vassals of the abbot.
DERVAL, or Derville, a regularly built, pros-
perous, manufacturing village, on Irvine water, at
the southern verge of the parish of Loudon, Ayr-
shire. It is 9 miles east of Kilmarnock, on the
road between that town and Strathaven. In 1811,
it contained about 400 inhabitants ; in 1836, 150
houses, and 1,160 inhabitants. The lands of Der-
val anciently belonged to the Knights Templars,
and were independent of tenure, not even holding of
the Crown.
DESKFORD, a parish in Banffshire, bounded on
the north by Cullen ; on the north-east and east by
Fordy ce ; on the south by Grange ; and on the west
their number present — to reverse the sentence of the synod,
and order the settlement of the presentee to take place. Against
this sentence the people, of course, reclaimed, and once more
appeared at the bar of the assembly. But the sentence of the
commission was affirmed ; and the presbytery of Stirling en-
joined to take the necessary steps for ordaining the intruder.
Yet the same assembly, on the following day, agreed to an act,
in which they declared, " that it is, and has been since the Re-
formation, the principle of this church, that no minister shall
be intruded into any parish contrary to the will of the congre-
gation." The business, however, did not stop here. The pres-
bytery refused to execute the sentence of their own church.
This refusal, on the part of the presbytery, occasioued another
complaint to be made to the assembly by the presentee's friends.
Whereupon the venerable court appointed a committee of 21
members to prepare an overture on the whole affair j and at a
subsequent sederunt, an overture was brought iu, and approved
of, declaring the dissatisfaction of the assembly with the con-
duct of the presbytery, in neglecting or refusing to fulfil the
appointment of the assembly [1736] ; aod enjoining the presby.
tery to proceed immediately with the trials of Mr. Stirling, and
to have the whole finished before the 1st of September next.
And, lest the presbytery should still prove contumacious, the
synod of Perth and Stirling were ordered to take him upon
trials, and to proceed, so as to have the settlement completed
before the 1st of March. It was further declared, that any 10
or more of them might proceed to ordain Mr. Stirling, even
though all the rest of their brethren should be opposed to the
execution of the act; and that "in case the synod, or such
number of them as above-mentioned, shall not, before the 1st
of November next, enter upon trials the said Mr. Stirling, or
before the 1st of March next finish the same, the assembly em-
power a special commission of this general assembly, to con-
vene at Edinburgh, in the Old kirk aisle, on the third Wednes-
day of November or March respectively, with power to adjourn
themselves as they shall think tit, in order to take trials, and
ordain Mr. Stirling as minister of Denny." In the meantime,
Mr. Stirling, the presentee, died before his trials for ordination
could be completed. Upon an application made to the presby-
tery, a new moderation was appoioted to take place among
them. One candidate was proposed on behalf of the few who
had hitherto supported the claims of the patron, — and another
on behalf of the congregation ; but when the votes were aboot
to be taken, none of the elders were permitted to vote on the
ground that they were not qualified to the present civil gov-
ernment; the beads of families were denied the same privilege,
inasmuch as it was alleged that they had no right to it, by the
laws either of the church or of the state; and the votes also of
heritors were refused, unless they were infefted in their pos-
sessions, and unless they paid cess. Notwithstanding these
arbitrary measures, a call to the popular candidate was sub-
scribed by a large majority of the congregation, and presented
to the presbytery at their first meeting, by wliom it was re-
jected, while the call of their opponents was sustained, and their
candidate ordered to be taken on trials for ordination. Against
this decision the people protested, but did not think proper to
appeal to any higher court. They, however, were resolved
that they would not tamely submit to the intruder. On the
day set apart for the ordination, 117 heritors, elders, and heads
of families, went publicly to the kirk of Denny, and after ser-
mon, immediately before the imposition of hands, entered a
solemn protest against the proceedings of the presbytery, de-
claring that the person whom they were now pretending to
set apart to the office of the ministry, being intruded upon the
parish contrary to the laws of Christ, was not, nor could be,
regarded as lawful minister of the congregation, to whom they
could Bubmit in the Lord. Having made this declaration, and
having taken instruments in the hand of a notary-public, they
withdrew, and soon after connected themselves in a body with
the then infant Secession church.
by Rathven, parishes. From the last it is separated
by the Altmore and Darbriech burns. It is nearly
in the form of a parallelogram, and is about 5 miles
in length from north to south, and 2 to 3 in breadth
from east to west. It consists of a valley running
from south-west to north-east, between two ranges
of hills, whence numerous rivulets descend through
small ravines or glens which are beautifully fringed
with hazel and birch. These rivulets from both
sides unite in the valley with the burn of Deskford,
whose primary source is at the head of the valley, in
the adjoining southern parish of Grange. It runs
north-east through the Cullen burn to the sea. As
the banks of the Deskford burn are also finely bor-
dered with natural wood, the parish altogether con-
stitutes " one of the most beautiful little straths in
the whole country." There are cascades in many
of the rivulets which, in the summer-floods and win-
ter-thaws, descend with great impetuosity through
the trees, and exhibit many romantic and picturesque ,
scenes. The Linn is the most remarkable cascade
in the parish. It has a very fine fall of almost 30
feet. The soil of the lower land in the valley is
loam resting on strong deep clay ; but towards the
hills it is a light black mossy soil upon clay and
gravel. It is stated in the New Statistical Account
that, of land, either cultivated or occasionally in
tillage, there are 2,800 imperial acres ; — waste or in
pasture 5,100; — of which 250 might be profitably
cultivated: — under- wood 600: — average rent of
arable land 1 7s. 6d. per acre. The average gross
amount of raw produce raised in the parish, as nearly
as can be ascertained, is stated to be £6,062 8s.
In 1752, the then Lord Deskford — afterwards Earl
of Findlater and Seafield — established a bleachfield
in the north end of the parish, where about 1,500
pieces of cloth and 1,700 spyndles of thread yarn were
annually whitened ; but a few years since, from the
decay of the linen manufacture, and household spin-
ning here, the bleaching also fell off, and was given up.
There is no market-town in this parish. Cullen, 4
miles distant, is the nearest. A very excellent turn-
pike road has been recently made from Cullen to
Keith Near the centre of the parish was formerly
the tower of Deskford, an ancient castle, said to
have been built by the Sinclairs, the immediate pre-
decessors of the Ogilvies, in the property of the
lordship of Deskford. Its remains were a few years
ago pulled down ; but Cordiner has preserved a view
of it. In the same vicinity also is the castle of
Skuth, which has now also become ruinous. It is a
striking object to passengers. In the institution at
Banff is a curious antiquity consisting of a brazen
swine's head, with a wooden tongue moved by
springs. It was found about 25 years ago in a mossy
knoll at Liechestown, near the farm of Inalterie,
which is supposed to mean the place of the altar,
and where there are remains of a very old and mas-
sive but anomalous structure, in one part of which
there is a deep circular hole enclosed by a wall rising
to a considerable height in the interior of the build-
ing. Close to it is a vault with a stair descending
into it. In the immediate vicinity, also, there stood
till recently an artificial conical eminence named the
Law-hillock — said to have been the ancient seat of
justice. Another artificial hillock stands within
view of this on the other side of Deskford burn.
There is no modern or other edifice of any note in
this parish. The assessed property, in 1815, was
.£1,882. Houses, in 1831, 189. Population, in
1801, 610; in 1831, 828 This parish is in the
presbytery of Fordyce, and synod of Aberdeen. It
was originally part of Fordyce, and was afterwards
included in Cullen. Patron, the Earl of Seafield.
Stipend £193 12s. 10d.; glebe £8. Unappropriated

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