David Gillespie

David was a Fifeshire laird who helped found the Episcopal church in Cupar, and supported the Established church in his estates: a pious paternalism perhaps learned from his redoubtable mother-in-law.

26 April 1777 (5) - 1827
John Gillespie of Kirkton
Janet Scrimegour, daughter of David Scrimgeour of Birkhill, one of the most intimate friends of his future wife Mary's redoutable mother. When she died Mrs Carnegie wrote, 'A most pleasant, cheerful, worthy woman, who conscientiously fulfilled her duties as a daughter, wife, and mother, and who followed peace with all men. Nobody was readier to give up her own wish or interest, to please those with whom she was connected... She was daughter to David Scrimgeour of Birkhill, who claimed to be hereditary standard-bearer of Scotland, and of Katharine Wedderburn, daughter to Wedderburn of Blackness.' (4)
Kirkton and Mountqhuanie
Religious views
In 1820 David was second on the list of Trustees of St James Episcopal Church in Cupar, who 'having represented to us, that moved by zeal for the honour of God, and the interests of religion, they have built this chapel' had their chapel consecrated by Rev David Low, on behalf of Bishop Daniel Sandford (3). In his will he remembered the Established churches in his estate, and which had social responsibility, before the Episcopal church of which he was a member: 'To each of the Kirk Sessions of Kilmany Creich, Forgan, Logie and Leuchars the sum of fifty pounds sterling ... for the benefit of the poor for these parishes. For behoof of the Episcopal Chapel Cupar Fife one hundred pounds sterling to be appropriated as the acting Committee of the Congregation shall think proper.' (2)
Wealth at Death
20,000. He made his will 'for the love and favour which I bear to David Gillespie my only son'
Chapel connection
1813 (baptism)
Mary Carnegy
David (1813) 'born at Edinburgh' (1)



  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Inventory and will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/1/40/739 and SC70/1/40/743
  3. Act of consecration of the Episcopal Chapel at Cupar, Fife, 1820, National Archives of Scotland, CH12/12/2262
  4. William Fraser, History of the Carnegies, Earls of Southesk, and of their kindred (Edinburgh 1867) p.310
  5. Old Parish Registers, Scottish Family History Centre

Back to index