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historical facts. The first record of these is undoubtedly due to the liberality of the brothers Strang, merchants in Stockholm, and natives of Forfar, who, in 1657 presented to the town three very handsome bells, of which the citizens are justly proud. They were originally hung in the old crazy tower which, until 1814, occupied the site of the present handsome steeple, to which they were then with all due formality transferred. The inscriptions on the largest of the three bells is worth transcribing: viz
"THIS BELL IS PERFECTED AND AUGMENTED BY
WILLIAM STRANG AND HIS WYFE MARGRET PATTILLO IN STOCKHOLM ANNO 1656.
The other inscription is on the east side of the bell—viz :
FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
AND LOWE HE DID BEARE TO HIS NATIVE TOUNE,
WHO DECEASED IN THE LORD IN STOCKHOLM THE 21 DAY OF APRIL,
The following quotations from the Evangelist and Psalmist, surround the rim of the bell, at the top and bottom respectively:
"GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO
ANNO 1656. "
ET IN TERRA PAX HOMINIBUS BONA VOLUNTAS. "LAETATUS SUM IN HIS QUÆ DICTA SUNT MIHI IN DOMUM DOMINI IBIMUS STANTES ERANT PEDES NOSTRI IN ARTRIIS TUIS Jerusalem.
ME FECIT GEROT MEYER. 1656.”
In the letter of William Strang to the magistrates of Forfar accompanying the gift, he naively says. "Pay the skipper his reasonable fracht for I behowed to gift him 2 bells for his ship, and hous wse befor he would grant to take it in.—Per skipper whom God preserve."
Forfar had always stood firm to the cause of Episcopacy, its magistracy and council boldly protesting when occasion required against the pretensions of the covenanters. In the reign of Charles II. the following remarkable declaration
against the legality of the Solemn League and Covenant, was fulminated from the Council Chamber :
"Wee Prowest, Baillies, and Counsellers of the burghe of Forfar, under subscryvand and evry ane of Ws Doe sincerly affirme and declaire That we judge it wnlawful To subjects vpon pretence of reformatione or other pretence whatsoever, To enter into Leagues and Covenants, or to take vp armes aganest the King or theise commissionated by him. And all theise gatherings, conwocations, petitiones, protestationes, and erecting and keiping of counsell tables, that wore used in the beginning, and for careing on of the late troubles, wer wnlawfull and seditious; And particularlie that theise oathes wherof the one was comonlie called The Nationall Covenant (as it wes sworne and explained in the jm vje and thirtie eight, and therefter, and the vther entituled A Solemne League and Covenant, wer and are in themselfes unlawful oaths, and wer taken by, and imposed vpone, the svbjects of this kingdome aganest the foundamentale Laws and Liberties of the same: And that ther lyeth no obligations vpone ws or any of the subjects from the saids oathes, or aither of them, to endeavoure any change or alteratione of the government, aither in churche or state, as it is now established by the Lawes of this Kingdom In witnes whereof wee put owr handis heirto att Forfar this tuentie one day of December jm vje thriescore thrie
CHARLES DICKESON, prouest. | JHONE MORGAN.
T. GUTHRIE, bailie.
TH. BENNY, Consoler.
CHARLES THORNTOUNE, balzie. MR. WILLIAM SUTTIE, Cown
A. SCOTT, counseller.
DA. DICKSON, Counseller.
JAMES BENNY, counsellor.
H. CUTHBERT, coonceller.
The "Sutors" of Forfar are equally distinguished in ancient annals as those of their neighbours, the "Weavers" of Kirrie
muir. Their petty feuds, and the stinging satire of Drummond of Hawthornden, thereanent, have already been alluded to in the preceding chapter. At what period the manufacture of shoes or "brogues" was introduced into Forfar has not been very accurately ascertained, but it must at all events have been a considerable time before the visit of Drummond in 1645. The learned Dr. Arthur Johnstone in his Poemata, 1642, assigns to the trade a fabulous antiquity, as appears from the following translation given by Jervise, in his "Memorials of Angus and Mearns" :
"The ruines of a Palace thee decore,
A fruitfull Lake, and fruitfull Land much more,
To Keep their feet unhurt with Yce and Snow.
The ancient Greeks their Boots from this Town brought
This the Tragedians did with Buskings fit,
And the Commedian-shooes invented it.
Let not Rome henceforth of its Puissance boast
Nor Spartans vaunt much of their warlick-host:
Farfar doth tye their feet and leggs with bands."
Dr. Jamieson, the learned compiler of the Scottish Dictionary, resided for seventeen years in Forfar, during which time from 1780 to 1797, he was pastor of the Anti-burgher congregation there, and
"Living blest on Fifty pounds a year."
During his residence in Forfar he enjoyed the society and friendship of Mr. George Dempster of Dunnichen, at whose hospitable board he formed the acquaintance of Grim Thorkelin,
professor of Antiquities at Copenhagen. The learned antiquary had noted the similarity of many purely Gothic words then spoken in Forfarshire, with the Icelandic idiom, and from this hint the Doctor formed the resolution of writing a Dictionary of the Scottish language.
Some valuable paintings adorn the County Hall of Forfar, embracing excellent portraits of the hero of Camperdown; Dempster of Dunnichen; Scott of Dunninald; and Henry Dundas, Lord Melville. At a county dinner, shortly after the picture of the famous Tory, Dundas, had been hung up in the hall, the late Lord Panmure a zealous adherent of the whig party, in a frolicsome mood applied a lighted taper to the portrait. The picture did not sustain much injury, but the incident gave rise to the following stinging satire by the Honourable Miss Wortley, whose relations were of the same politics as Dundas :
"To vent his spleen on MELVILLE's patriot name,
MAULE gave his picture to the ruthless flame;
Nor knew that this was MELVILLE'S fame to raise-
At Black Dykes, and Haerfaulds, in the neighbourhood of Forfar, there are traceable remains of two Roman Camps. Between these, and at a distance of about a mile and a half east from Forfar, are the extensive remains of another camp, by some alleged to be of Roman, and by others of Pictish origin. It is supposed, that anciently a fosse extended from the Loch of Forfar to that of Restennet, and Dr. Jamieson is of opinion," that the ditch and the rampart had been cast by the Picts under Feredith, for guarding their camp against the attack from the Scots under Alpin, before the battle of Restennet." Ruins of a priory still exist at Restennet. This priory was connected with the Abbey of Jedburgh, and the charters and other important documents of that Abbey were deposited for safety at Restennet. Spottiswoode says, that about the year 697, one Boniface, an Italian, came to Scotland, where he erected several churches, one near the mouth
of the Tay, a second at Tealing, and a third at Restennet. According to Boece, Fergus had appointed Iona to be a repository for the public records, but that Alexander I., on account of the great difficulty of the access to Iona, had caused our annals to be transported to the Priory of Restennet in Angus. From the Prior of Restennet, the magistrates and town-council of Forfar purchased the right of patronage to Forfar-Restennet in 1652, for the sum of 2250 merks Scots.
In 1643, the glebe of Forfar-Restennet, or more properly— Rostinoth-Forfar, was removed nearer to the town, and, in lieu of the glebe allotted to the then incumbent Mr. Thomas Pierson, from the lands of Restennet, he had, as given by Jervise from archives of Burgh,-" All and heall that craft of arribill land callit the Bread croft lyand within the territorie of the said burgh of Forfar, betwixt the lands of William Scott at ye wast, the lands of Jhon Morgoun on the east, the Ferrietoun fields on the south, an the Kings gait ledand to Dundie at the north pairts, Extending to four ackers of arrabill land or thairby, to be holden in frie burgage and heretage for ye yeirlie payment of the Kings meall and wthors common anuells and debbit furth yrof of befoir, by the said Mr. Thomas Pierson, and his successors, ministers, serueing the kirk and cuir y'of as a constant gleib to him and them in all time coming."
Misinterpreting, or rather interpreting too literally, the words in Exodus-"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," James VI. promulgated his celebrated statute for the punishment of witches. Forfar, like many other towns in Scotland, had her due share of the disgrace attendant upon the rigorous enforcement of this barbarous decree. The last execution for witchcraft which took place at Forfar, seems to have been about the year 1682. By a special Commission appointed by the Crown in 1661, it was decreed that "persones jimprisoned for witchcraft shall have no watch with them jn ther prisones, nor fyre nor candle, but that sex men nightly and dayly attend and watch them jn the vper tolbooth, and that the quartermaster shall order the watchmen to visit them at every