Brechin (Angus)

Records, sources & information about the Parish, City and Royal Burgh of Brechin

Parish number 275

map of Brechin

More maps of Brechin

Bailies of Brechin
Births & baptisms
Books & articles
Bishops of Brechin
Burgess records
Burgh records
Census records
Church Session
Clock & watch tax
Commissary Court
Craft records
Deans of Guild
Deaths & burials
Episcopal Church Records
Estate & family records
Farm horse tax
Jacobites, 1745
Land owners
Marriage contracts
Ministers of the parish
Monumental inscriptions
Old parish registers
Parish Church
Photographs of places
Places of interest
Population statistics
Presbytery records
Provosts of Brechin
Statistical Accounts
Testaments & wills
Town clerks
Town treasurers
Valuation rolls
War memorial
Window tax


The parishes of Kilmoir and Buttergill (or Buthergill) were united with Brechin by 1574. The parish of Careston was disjoined from the parish of Brechin in 1641.

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Arms of the
lordship of Brechin

seal of Brechin

The Common Seal of the
City of Brechin

Please also visit the page of general information applicable to all of Angus & Kincardineshire.


NLSNational Library of Scotland
NRSNational Records of Scotland, formerly called the National Archives of Scotland [NAS] and, before that, the Scottish Record Office [SRO]
HM General Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YY (Tel: +44-131-535-1314)
OPROld Parish Registers of Births/baptisms, Banns/marriages & Deaths/burials (pre-1855)


Books & articles

Photo-books - old photographs of Brechin


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Arms of Arbuthnott of Findowrie

Statistical accounts of Brechin


Maps of Brechin

John Wood - Plan of the City of Brechin (Edinburgh, 1822).

The Reform Act plan of Brechin of 1832.

1:500 Plan of the city of Brechin - surveyed 1852, published 1862

1:2500 (approx. 25-inch-to-a-mile) Ordnance Survey map - surveyed 1862, published 1865

1:10560 (Six-inch-to-a-mile) Ordnance Survey map - surveyed 1862-3, published 1865

1:25000 Ordnance Survey map - published 1957 (part of the parish)

Plan of the estate of Eskmount - 1842

For the full range of maps of Brechin, see National Library's Maps.

Copies of the old Ordnance Survey plan of Brechin, dated 1901 & reduced from 25 inches to the mile to about 15 inches to the mile, can be bought from Alan Godfrey Maps. These are not coloured maps.

See also ScotlandsPlaces: Brechin - recent & old photographs of Brechin; also maps, plans & other records.

map of Brechin

Above: modern street map of the city of Brechin (© OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA)
Click on the map above to go to OpenStreetMap centred on Brechin


Photographs of places Brechin - recent photographs of Brechin

Images of Brechin Cathedral and Round Tower

Aerial photos of Brechin & neighbourhood

ScotlandsPlaces: Brechin - recent & old photographs of Brechin; also maps, plans & other records.

Photographs of places and people

Angus Archives has a Photographic collection


Parish church

Brechin Cathedral is located at National Grid ref. NO596601, in the City & Royal Burgh of Brechin.

Brechin Cathedral

Above: Brechin Cathedral: the south-west corner

Further photos and details of Brechin Cathedral

Other churches

Former Maisondieu Church

Above: the former Maisondieu Church, Witchden Rd, Brechin, built 1891 as replacement for the church in Maisondieu Lane


Parish ministers of Brechin

adm.: admitted, ass.: assistant, bapt.: baptised, consecr.: consecrated, contr.: contract, dem.: demitted, dep.: deposed, ind.: inducted, lic.: licensed, mar.: married, min.: minister, ord.: ordained, pres.: presented, rel.: related, res.: resigned, suc.: successor, test.: testament, tr.: translated

Ministers of the 1st charge 1560-1941

Sir Robert Abercromby1561vicar of Buttergill 9 Oct 1561
John Hepburn1562-1601thought apt & able to act as min. 20 Dec 1560; treasurer of Brechin 1561; appointed to preach in Moray 29 Dec 1562; had Panbride also in his charge 1567; had Auldbar, Farnell, Cuikston (Kinnaird), Buttergill and Kilmoir in charge 1574; had Cuikston (Kinnaird), Buttergill and Kilmoir in charge 1587; had gift of the Chaplaincy of St Leonard in Finavon (Oathlaw) 15 Jan 1587-8; still min. 1601
John Hay1563reader
John Sharp1563reader
David Watt1566-1578/9vicar
Richard Finlayson1576reader 3 Jun 1576
John Erskine1579pres. to vicarage 27 Feb 1578-9 on death of David Watt
Robert Kinneir1576-1608vicar 31 Jul 1576; pres. to vicarage, with manse & glebe 26 Nov 1579 on death of John Erskine; d. aft. 15 May 1608; issue: John
John Merschell1600-1607M.A. Edinburgh 1598; adm. bef. 7 Nov 1600; had gift of sub-deanery 13 Jan 1602; still min. 1607; d. bef. 16 Jul 1635; mar. Marjory Smith, who was still living 3 Nov 1659
Alexander Bisset1608-1644M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1605; pres. to parsonage e& vicarage of Kilmoir 26 Aug 1611 and 10 Feb 1612; gave communion cup 1643; d. 29 Jan 1644, aged ca. 59; mar. (1) Jean Ogilvy; (2) Margaret Fullerton, who survived him; issue: Robert, Margaret
James Watt1623reader 29 Apr 1623
William Rait1644-1661M.A.; tr. from Marykirk; adm. 3 Dec 1644; gave communion cup 1643; tr. to be principal of King's Coll., Aberdeen 1661; later min. of Dundee
David Strachan1662-1672tr. from Fettercairn; consecr. bishop here 7 May 1662
John Dempster1665-1676M.A.; adm. (prob. ass. or chaplain to bishop) bef. 23 Mar 1665; tr. to Monifieth 16 Jan 1676
Robert Laurie1672-1678M.A.; dean of Edinburgh; consecr. bishop here 14 Jul 1672; d. 1678
Henry Lindsay1676-1682M.A.; appinted ass. or chaplain to bishop bef. 16 Feb 1676; tr. to Farnell bef. 15 Jan 1682
George Haliburton1678-1682D.D.; tr. from Coupar Angus; consecr. bishop here 13 Jun 1678; tr. to bishopric of Aberdeen 15 Jul 1682
Robert Douglas1682-1684M.A.; tr. from deanery of Glasgow; consecr. bishop here 25 Jul 1682; tr. to bishopric of Dunblane 10 Aug 1684
Alexander Cairncross1684-1684tr. from Dumfries; consecr. bishop here 10 Aug 1684; tr. to archbishopric of Glasgow 18 Dec 1684
James Drummond1684-1689tr. from Muthill PER; consecr. bishop here 25 Dec 1684; deprived at revolution
Laurence Skinner1689-1691eldest son of Laurence S., min. of Navar; M.A. St Andrews 1637; master of Brechin Grammar School May 1642; ord. to Navar 18 May 1648; tr. to 2nd charge here 24 May 1650; tr. & adm. 1689; d. Aug 1691, aged ca. 74; mar. Margaret, dau. of James Guthrie of Pitforthie; issue: John, min. of 2nd charge; Janet; Margaret (mar. James Guthrie, min. of Cambusnethan LKS); Anna; one of the dau. mar. John Kinnear of Bodders, burgess of Brechin
John Willison1703-1716ord. 3 Dec 1703; tr. to 2nd charge Dundee 6 Sep 1716
Robert Gray1717-1738b. ca. 1685, son of Gilbert G., Elgin; ord. to Cabrach ABD 30 Jan 1711; tr. to Edzell 26 Aug 1714; tr. & adm. 8 May 1717; d. 12 Jul 1738; mar. Anne Swinton; issue: Alexander, surgeon, Sumatra; Robert, Edinburgh apprentice; and others
David Blair1738-1769b. 1701; M.A. St Andrews 1719; chaplain to Col. Patrick Ogilvie; ord. to Lochlee 10 Sep 1729; tr. to 2nd charge 6 Jun 1733; tr. & adm. 11 Oct 1738; d. 20 Apr 1769; mar. (1) 1730 Christian, dau. & heiress of John Doig of Cookston; issue: Christian; Magdalene; Isobell; Symmer; James; John, of Providence, Essequibo; Homer; Cumberland William; David, of Cookston; mar. (2) 1759 Ann, dau. of Charles Hope, bailie of Edinburgh; issue: Mary Murray
John Bisset1769-1797b. 1725, son of John. B., min. of 2nd charge Aberdeen; ord. to Culsalmond ABD 20 Nov 1751; tr. & adm. 9 Nov 1769; d. 9 Oct 1797; mar. 1759 Eliz., dau. of John Angus, min. of Culsalmond; issue: Ann; John, M.A., min. of St John's, New Brunswick 1792, prof. New York; Wm; Agnes; Keith [f.]; Jean
James Burns1798-1837b. 1774 Falkirk, son of John B., surveyor of customs, Bo'ness WLN; M.A. St Andrews 1793; ord. 4 Oct 1798; d. 2 Jan 1837; mar. 1802 Christina, dau. of James Chalmers, printer, Aberdeen; issue: John; Margaret; James Chalmers, D.D., min. of Free Kirk; Anne (mar. Thomas Guthrie, D.D., min. of Arbirlot, later of Free St John's Edinburgh); David, editor, "Brechin Advertiser"; Cath.; Walter Wm; Christina Eliz.
James McCosh1839-1843b. 1 Apr 1811, son of Andw McC., farmer, Straiton AYR; M.A. Edinburgh 1833; ord. to Abbey Ch., Arbroath 17 Dec 1835; tr. & adm. 24 Jan 1839; joined Free Kirk 1843; min. of Free Kirk, Brechin 1843-51; prof. of logic, Queen's, Belfast 14 Nov 1851; president of Princeton, N.J. 1868-88; LL.D. Aberdeen 1850 Harvard 1868; D.D. Brown 1868 Washington & Jefferson 1868; D.Litt. Queen's Ireland 1882; d. 16 Nov 1894 Princeton; mar. 1845 Isabella, dau. of Alexr Guthrie, surgeon, Brechin; issue: Mary Jane; Andw; Alexr Guthrie; Margaret Sarah; Andw James; see also this article
Nathaniel Morren1843-1847b. 3 Feb 1798 Aberdeen, son of Geo. M.; M.A. Marischal 1814; teacher near Fort George INV, later at Caen, France; ord. to N. Blackhall St, Greenock RFW 20 Jun 1823; tr. & adm. 28 Sep 1843; d. 28 Mar 1847; mar. 1825 Mary, dau. of Alexr Shand, advocate in Aberdeen
Andrew Halkett1847-1874b. 2 Nov 1810 Edinburgh, son of Samuel H., commission agent; ass. St George's Edinburgh; ord. to St Andrew's Ch., St John's, New Brunswick 7 Sep 1843; tr. & adm. 23 Sep 1847; d. 1 Sep 1874 St Andrews; mar. 1844 Frances Ann, dau. of Wm Taylor, New Brunswick; issue: James Brooke; Sarah Taylor; Wm; Andw; Frances Ann; Andw, naturalist, Canada; Ellen Eliza; Wm; Robt Moir; Chas Sam.
James Mackay1875-1891b. 20 Jan 1835 Tough ABD, son of Wm M.; ass. Aberdeen West; ord. to St Clement's Dundee 22 Dec 1864; tr, & adm. 26 Aug 1875; res. 5 Nov 1891; d. 17 May 1899 St Andrews; mar. 1869 Isabella, dau. of David Nicoll, mill-spinner, Dundee; issue: Helen Boyle; Wm; Alice; Robt Henry, min. of Boarhills FIF; Lizzie Herd; David Nicoll, attorney, Oregon; James; Harry; Caroline Luise (mar. James Leask, banker); Douglas Reay, R.N.A.S.
John Alexander Clark1892-1900b. 29 Aug 1859 Glasgow, son of Laurence C.; M.A. 1880 B.D. 1883 Glasgow; ass. Monigaff and St Enoch's Dundee; ord. to Coltness Memorial 23 Apr 1886; tr. & adm. 11 May 1892; d. 29 Oct 1900; mar. 1890 Margaret Eliza Anna, dau. of Peter McIntyre; issue: Elspeth Eadie; Nancy Stewart; Janet Mary; Barbara Macmillan; Dorothy Campbell; Edith Margaret
Walter William Coats1901-1941b. 18 Jun 1856 Glasgow, son of John Coats of Dykehead, M.D.; M.A. 1875 B.D. 1878 Glasgow; ass. Galashiels SEL and Barony LKS; ord. to Girthon KKD 1 Jul 1880; tr. & adm. 16 May 1901; D.D. Glasgow 1904; d. 21 Jun 1941; mar. 1888 Margaret Janet, dau. of Dundas Hamilton, Glasgow; issue: Margaret Jane; lieut. John Dundas Orr, B.A. (Oxon), 5th Black Watch

Ministers of the 2nd charge 1631-1942
The 1st and 2nd charges were united 10 Feb 1942

David Carnegie1631-1633adm. 1631; tr. to Farnell 1633
William Marshall1633-1639M.A.; schoolmaster and min. here 1633; tr. to Saline FIF bef. 2 Apr 1639
Robert Norrie1639-1642M.A.; schoolmaster and min. here 3 Oct 1639; tr. to Lethnot 1642
Laurence Skinner1650-1689M.A.; tr. from Navar; adm. 24 May 1650; tr. to 1st charge 1689
John Skinner1687-1697bapt. 27 Jan 1662, son of above; ord. 9 May 1685; ass. 1687; refused to take oath of allegiance & abandoned charge, which was declared vacant 1 Aug 1697; intruded 1700; dep. 14 Sep 1700 but continued to act as min.; prosecuted & imprisoned; d. ca. 1725 Edinburgh; mar. (1) Margaret Little; (2) Jean Guild; issue: Margaret
John Johnston1710-1732ord. 18 May 1710; d. 3 Nov 1732; mar. (1) Marjory Marshall; (2) Jean Dow
David Blair1733-1738M.A.; tr. from Lochlee; adm. 6 Jun 1733; tr. to 1st charge 11 Oct 1738
William Shank(s)1740-1744bapt. 20 Jun 1714, son of Alexr S., min. of Drumoak ABD; M.A. Kings Aberdeen 1730; ord. 16 Jan 1740; d. 11 Apr 1744
James Fordyce1745-1753ord. 28 Aug 1745; tr. to Alloa CLK 12 Oct 1753
Thomas Mathison1754-1760writer in Edinburgh; lic. 1 Nov 1748; held appointment in N. England; ord. to Inverkeilor 27 Sep 1750; tr. & adm. 11 Jul 1754; d. 19 Jun 1760; mar. 1752 Margaret Whyte; issue: Anne; Margaret; Mary
Andrew Bruce1760-1801b. 1722, son of John B.; ord. (ass.) Pitsligo ABD 21 Sep 1757; ass. Montrose; adm. 13 Nov 1760; d. 23 Sep 1801; mar. 1757 Rebecca Forbes; issue: John, min. of Forfar; Rebecca; Margaret; Sophia; Isabell; Wm
Robert Coutts1798-1803b. 27 Aug 1771 Largo FIF, son of Ebenezer C., factor to David earl of Leven; ass. to prof. Vilant, St Andrews; ass. here; ord. (ass. & suc.) 27 Dec 1798; d. 18 Jun 1803 Forfar; mar. 1801 Janet, dau. of Robert McCulloch, D.D., min. of Dairsie FIF; issue: Ebenezer; Robina (mar. Dr James Spence, Cupar FIF)
George Whitson of Parkhill1804-1835b. 1775, bro. & co-heir of taillie of Alexr W. of P., Rattray PER; ord. 15 Mar 1804; d. 23 Nov 1835; mar. 1806 Mary, dau. of John Molison, provost of Brechin
Alexander Leith Ross Foote1834-1843b. 6 Feb 1805, son of Robt F., min. of Fettercairn; M.A. Marischal 1821; ord. (ass. & suc.) 18 Sep 1834; joined Free Kirk 1843; min. of West Free Kirk, Brechin 1843-78; D.D. Edinburgh 1870; d. 6 Sep 1878; mar. (1) 1835 Margaret, dau. of William Dingwall Fordyce, yr of Culsh; mar. (2) 1847 Jessie, dau. of Andrew Murray of Murrayshall; issue: Robt James; Alexr; Jessie; mar. (3) 1859 Alison Keir, dau. of Maj.-gen. John Cunningham of Newton of Huntingtower, H.E.I.C.S.; issue: Alice Marjory Cunningham (mar. [2, apparently] Augustus John William Henry Kennedy-Erskine, 19th of Dun); Archd
Alexander Gardner of Esbie1843-1893b. 8 Jul 1812, 3rd son of Matthew G., farmer, Cambusnethan LKS; M.A. Glasgow 1834; ass. Annan DFS, Lanark, Roberton LKS and here; ord. to Lethnot & Navar 12 Aug 1842; tr. & adm. 31 Aug 1843; d. 12 Apr 1893; mar. 1851 Jemima Marnie of Deuchar, yst dau. & heir portioner of James Marnie of Deuchar, Fern; issue: James Alexr, M.A., advocate
Adam Duncan Tait Hutchison1893-1942b. 20 May 1868 Kirkliston WLN, son of Robert Hutchison of Carlowrie; M.A. Edinburgh 1888; ass. Aberdeen West and Barony LKS; ord. 15 Nov 1893; dem. 10 Feb 1942; d. 8 Jan 1949; mar. 1895 Margaret, dau. of Andrew Menzies of Balornock, LKS; issue: Maj. Cecil Tait, M.C., R.F.A.; Lowrie Menzies

Ministers of the united charge 1942-1985

James Anderson1942-1964
Peter M. Gordon1965-1985

Other ministers of the established church

Ministers of Brechin East quoad sacra
A chapel was built on the east side of City Road in 1836; the East Parish was disjoined from Brechin on 6 Jul 1874

Mungo Fairlie Parker1837-1843b. 1807, 2nd son of John P. merchant, Kilmarnock AYR; ord. 24 Aug 1837; joined Free Kirk 1843; min. of East Free Kirk, Brechin 1843-51; retired to Ruthrieston, Aberdeen, where he carried on a mission; d. 1 Apr 1867
Daniel McLean1859-1862ord. 18 Aug 1859; res. on appointment to presb. church, St Vincent, West Indies 16 Feb 1862
John Cumming Grant1862-1864b. ca. 1830, son of Robt G., ground officer, Duthil; M.A. Marischal 1854; schoolmaster Daviot ABD 1854 and Meldrum; ord. 18 Sep 1862; d. 19 Jul 1864
John Young Scott1867-1871ord. 17 Oct 1867; tr. to Invertiel 24 Aug 1871
Andrew Russell1871-1874ord. 7 Dec 1871; tr. to Stirling North 17 Sep 1874
David Miller1874-1883b. 14 May 1836 Galashiels SEL, son of James M.; M.A. St Andrews 1867; B.D. Aberdeen 1875; ass. missionary Blackburn WLN; ord. first min. of the parish 31 Dec 1874; tr. to Ardclach NAI 2 Feb 1883; d. 23 Feb 1920 Nairn; mar. 1879 Rebecca, dau. of Charles Will, solicitor; issue: James Webster, M.B., C.M.; Maud Mary (mar. Wm Wilton Johns, M.D.)
Robert Paisley1883-1905ord. 28 Jun 1883; tr. to Careston 11 Jan 1905
Henry Chalmers Cargill1905-1921b. 24 Mar 1874 Anstruther Wester FIF, son of John C.; ass. Prestonpans ELN, St Enoch's Dundee and Tolbooth Edinburgh; ord. 12 Jul 1905; provost of Brechin, Nov 1920; res. charge & status 1 Feb 1921; d. 1958 Inverallan; mar. 1906 Agnes Wood McQueen, only dau. of Alexr Inglis, Prestonpans; had issue
Reginald Frederick Whiteley1921-1927b. 12 Jan 1895 Edinburgh, son fo Fredk W.; M.A. 1915 B.D. 1920 Edinburgh; ass. Dunnottar; ord. 11 May 1921; tr. to Thornliebank 7 Jun 1927; d. 1971 Strathaven; mar. 1921 Gwendolen, dau. of Walter Breach
John Meikle Gray1927-1937M.A. Glasgow; b. 1887 Glasgow; formerly of Georgetown Brit. Guiana and (in 1922) Elderslie; adm. 5 Oct 1927; dem. 10 Jan 1937; adm. to Fetlar SHI 4 May 1938; tr. to Bressay SHI 4 Sep 1942; dem. 21 Oct 1946; adm. to Lauder West BEW 11 Dec 1947; d. 1954 Inverness; mar.; had issue

Ministers of Gardner Memorial quoad sacra
The church, erected in memory of the Rev. Alexander Gardner of Esbie, minister of the 2nd charge here, was dedicated on 8 Nov 1898. The parish was disjoined from Brechin on 14 Jul 1899.

Alexander Middleton1899-1937b. 26 Sep 1858 Birse ABD, son of Hugh M.; M.A. Aberdeen 1880; B,D, Edinburgh 1884; ass. Barony LKS; ord. to St Margaret's Arbroath 12 Jul 1892; tr. & adm. first min. of the parish 27 Sep 1899; dem. 1937; d. 9 Nov 1942; mar. 1893 Margaret Stevenson, dau. of Andrew Gillespie, Helensburgh

Ministers of other denominations

Ministers of Brechin Free Church [? East Free - unclear which church this is]

James McCosh1843-1851see above ministers of 1st charge
Donaldson Rose?-1863-1881-?bapt. 19 Jul 1818 St Nicholas, Aberdeen, son of Donaldson R.; mar. 1848 Margaret Anne Pringle; issue: Donaldson; Wm James; Geo. Pringle; Alexr Simpson; Chas Robt; Margaret Ann (mar. Thomas Leitch Ritchie, Free Kirk min. here); Mary Grace

Ministers of Brechin East Free Church; later, United Free Church, at corner of Panmure & Southesk Streets

Mungo Fairlie Parker1843-1851see above ministers of East Parish
Donaldson Rose?-1892-?ord. 1843 [same man as above ?]
Thomas Leitch Ritchie?-1892-1896-?M.A.; b. ca. 1853; from Edinburgh; ord. Aug 1880 as colleague & succ. to Mr Rose; d. 1919 Edinburgh; mar. Margaret Ann, dau. of the above Rev. Donaldson Rose; issue: Edith Grace
Edmund Thomas Thomson1900-1909-?ord. 1891; from Abington; ind. Jan 1900

Ministers of Brechin West Free Church; later, West U.F. Church, Church Street
Demolished; it was on the north side of Church Street, opposite Church Lane; now a car park

Alexander Leith Ross Foote1843-1878see above ministers of 2nd charge
John Fraser?-1892-1907-?ord. 1865

Ministers of City Road Church, Brechin (Antiburgher)
Services were at South Port Church (see below), from 1855 until 1859, when a new City Road Church was opened.

John Gray1768-1802from Edinburgh (Nicolson Street); ord. 22 Dec 1768; d. 8 Sep 1802
James Gray1794-1821b. ca. 1771, son of above; lic. Jul 1792; ord. 16 Apr 1794 as colleague; refused to accept the Union of 1820 & thus loosed May 1821; moved with those opposed to Union to a new church in South Port, Brechin, 1822; d. 5 Jul 1848
John Craig1823-1833min. at Kinkell, which he res. 1821; inducted 28 Aug 1823; res. 4 Jun 1833; preacher at Pell Street, London in 1838, forming his own congregation; d. 28 Jul 1847 Glasgow; mar. (1) dau. of the Rev. James Pringle, Kinclaven; (2) dau. of the Rev. John Thomson, Belford, Northumberland; issue: Catherine Pringle
James Boyd1835-1845b. ca. 1809; M.A.; from Glasgow (Wellington Church); ord. 26 Aug 1835; dem. 12 Aug 1845; became min. of Free Church 23 Aug 1845; inducted 23 Sep 1846 Polmont STI; d. 14 Apr 1885 London
William Sinclair Heddle1847-1850b. 1819 Kirkwall OKI; ord. 27 Jan 1847; retired through ill health 12 Mar 1850; inducted Nov 1851 Rosehill, Jamaica; 1854 moved elsewhere in Jamaica; returned to live in Kirkwall; d. 15 Feb 1881 Kirkwall
Samuel Huston1851-1853b. ca. 1811, Larne, Ireland; student of the English Presbyterian Church; ord. 22 Jul 1851; res. 12 Apr 1853; settled in Newcastle as proprietor of Elswick Academy; missionary and chaplain to soldiers, Alderney 1877; d. 31 Jul 1899 Belfast
Hugh Aird1855-1895b. ca. 1824 Glasgow; M.A.; from Glasgow (Greyfriars); ord. 31 Jan 1855; D.D. Glasgow 1889; d. 18 Jul 1895; an elder brother, John, was a missionary in Jamaica; mar. 1861 Eliza Mitchell; issue: Jane; John; Chas Mitchell; James Leckie; Isabella Hendry; Anna Maria
David McEwan Morgan1895-1904-?b. 19 May 1858 Edinburgh, son of John Bookless M., comm. traveller; M.A.; student of theology 1881; min. at Partick (Newton Place) by 1883; ind. 24 Dec 1895; no longer min. here in 1907

Ministers of South Port Church, Brechin (Antiburgher; opposed Union of 1820)
Formed from anti-Union faction at City Road; reunited with City Road 29 Aug 1854; the building is marked as a temperance hall on the 1:500 plan of 1862.

James Gray1822-1848see above entry for him at City Road
David Simpson1851-1852ord. 1.1.1851; with his congregation, joined Free Church 1852; called to Laurencekirk 1854

Ministers of Maisondieu Lane (Maisondieu from 1892), Brechin (Burgher); later, Maisondieu U.P., later U.F. Church
The original building was on the south side of Maisondieu Lane; congregation moved to the new church in Witchden Road in 1892.

David Blackadder1804-1843b. ca. 1771 Blackadderton, Edrom BEW; from Blair-Drummond; ord. 4 Apr 1804; d. unmar. 4 Aug 1843
William Thomson Rankine1844-1860b. ca. 1818; from Galashiels (East) SEL; ord. 2 Sep 1844; d. 24 Jun 1860
Alexander Hutton Drysdale1861-1867M.A., D.D. (Edin); b. ca. 1837 Bridge of Allan; ord. 23 Jun 1861; tr. to United Trinity Church, Rochdale, Lancashire 4 Jun 1867; tr. to St George's Presbyterian Church, Morpeth, Northumberland 1883; moderator of the Presbyterian Church of England 1903; d. 2 Jan 1924 Morpeth; mar. 1867 Roberta ("Robina") Beveridge; issue: James A., Ethel, John Geo., Margaret
Thomas Kirk1868-1873from Stirling (Erskine Church); ord. 22 Apr 1868; tr. to Edinburgh (Haymarket) 26 Mar 1873
George Morrison1874-1874b. ca. 1841; M.A.; res. Gourock 1871; inducted 18 Mar 1874; d. 12/13 Nov 1874 Coupar Angus
James Landreth1876-1884b. 8 Aug 1850 Cupar FIF, son of Peter L., late min. of secession kirk, Aberchirder; M.A. Edinburgh 1874; ord. 26 Jan 1876; adm. to Ch. of S. 2 Jun 1884; adm. to Logie Pert (ass. & suc.) 18 Sep 1884; d. 22 Feb 1934; mar. (1) 1889 Eliz. dau. of Thos Stewart, farmer, Little Dunkeld; mar. (2) 1914 Janet Patton, dau. of David Gorrie, farmer, Logie Pert; had issue
William Gray1885-1896M.A.; from Stonehouse LKS; ord. 22 Apr 1885; tr. to Cambuslang LKS 7 Dec 1896
John T. Allan1897-1907-?from Edinburgh (Broughton Place); ord. 26 May 1897

Ministers of Bank Street, Brechin (Relief); later, Bank Street U.F. Church
The congregation originally met in a former Episcopal Chapel in the High Street [? error for Maisondieu Lane]. The Bank Street church was opened 22 Sep 1875.

James Goodwin1831-1847b. 1799 Kilsyth STI; from Kilsyth; ord. 21 Dec 1831; d. 4 Jul 1847
James Gibson1848-1856min. at Dunfermline FIF; inducted 14 Mar 1848; dem. 9 Apr 1856; moved to Canada and inducted to Sydenham, Owen Sound there; moved to New York; d. 7 Apr 1860 New York; issue: Rev. Dr John Monro
Peter Davidson1856-1862b. ca. 1822 Tarves ABD; from Craigdam; ord. 24 Dec 1856; dem. 7 Feb 1862; moved to Adelaide, South Africa; retired there 1893; d. 31 Dec 1895; mar. 1857 Cath. Webster; issue: Helen Argo; Cath. Harvey
Robert Workman Orr1863-1930b. 5 Nov 1837 Fenwick AYR, son of the Rev. William Orr; ord. 22 Dec 1863; d. 2 May 1930 Brechin; mar. 1869 Helen Barclay Scott; issue: Wm; Mary A.M.; Robt W.; Frances B.

Ministers of the Evangelical Union, Southesk Street, Brechin

Alexander Mitchell?-1881-1907-?b. ca. 1849 Coatbridge LKS; ord. 1880

Ministers of the Congregational Church in Brechin

See Congregational ministers in Brechin.

Ministers of St Andrew's Episcopal Church, Brechin
St Andrew's episcopal chapel was on the south side of Maisondieu Lane in 1862.
The present building, of 1888, in Argyll Street: St Andrew's Episcopal Church

Alexander Davidson?-?also episc. min. of Menmuir; d. 29 Jun 1782; bur. Menmuir; mar. Margt Stewart; issue: Alexr, writer
George Straton?-?b. ca. 1743; d. 2 Jan 1820; mar. 1776 Margt, dau. of capt. John Graham of Duchray; issue: Christy, Mary, Jean
John Moir?-1851-1861-?b. 20 Aug 1814 Brechin, son of David M., bishop of Brechin; 1871 in Jedburgh; dean of Glasgow & Galloway; d. 5 Dec 1889 Newport-on-Tay; mar. 1851 Jane Guthrie; issue: Isabella J.; Jane E.; Alice. M.; Alexr P. D.; James Wm; Emily G.; Francis J.
James Crabb?-1871-1891b. 22 May 1830 Brechin, son of James C., draper; 1861 in Pittenweem FIF; dean of Brechin; d. 24 Aug 1891 Brechin; mar. 1854 Mary Sophia, dau. of John James; issue: Eliz. P.; Cath. S.; Mary S.; Alice E.; James D. O.
David Hepburn Brown?-1894-1896-?b. 26 Aug 1859 Linlithgow, eldest son of David B., W.S.; M.A.(Oxon.); 1891 in Derbyshire; ord. 1892; d. 30 Jan 1913 Mapleton, Hull; mar. (1) 1884 Jessie Eliz. Robertson; issue: David H.; Kenneth H.; mar. (2) 1890 Helen Mary Veitch; issue: Quintin H.
Ernest Beresford Cooke?-1897-1907-?b. 1860 Haughton, Lancashire, son of John T. C., hatter; ord. 1896; d. 7 Jul 1936; mar. Kate Wonnacott; issue: Ernest B.; Hilda C. B.

Bishops of Brechin, 1454-1638 and 1662-1689
See: Robert Keith - An Historical Catalogue of the Scottish Bishops down to the Year 1688 (new edn, Edinburgh: Bell & Bradfute, 1824)
and also Black's History of Brechin, 2nd ed., pp. 298-326, for bishops of Brechin down to 1847.

(1) Before the Reformation

19George Shoreswood1454
20Patrick Graham1463
21John Balfour1470
22William Meldrum1494
23John Hepburn1517
--Donald Campbell1558Abbot of Coupar; d. 1562
24John Sinclair1563

(2) After the Reformation; Bishops of the Church of Scotland, 1566-1638

25Alexander Campbell of Carco & Monboy1566b. ca. 1550, son of Sir John Campbell of Ardkinglass; alienated many lands of bishopric to his relative, the earl of Argyll; d. Feb 1608 Kinclaven
26Andrew Lamb of South Tarrie1610formerly min. of 2nd charge, South Leith MLN; tr. to see of Galloway 1619
27David Lindsay1619M.A.; formerly min. of Dundee; tr. to see of Edinburgh 1634
28Thomas Sydserff1634M.A.; formerly dean of Edinburgh; tr. to see of Galloway 1635
29Walter Whitford1635son of Adam Whitford of Milton; formerly min. of Moffat DFS; dep. 13 Dec 1638; d. 1647 England

(3) Bishops of the Church of Scotland, 1662-1689

30David Strachan1662b. ca. 1601, yst son of James Strachan of Monboddo; M.A. Edinburgh 1622; formerly minister, Fettercairn
31Robert Laurie1672b. ca. 1606, son of Joseph Lawrie, min. of Perth; M.A. St Andrews 1636; formerly dean of Edinburgh; d. Mar 1678
32George Haliburton1678b. 1635; M.A. 1652 St Andrews; formerly minister, Coupar Angus; tr. to see of Aberdeen 1682
33Robert Douglas1682formerly dean of Glasgow; tr. to see of Dunblane 1684
34Alexander Cairncross1684formerly min. of Dumfries; tr. to see of Glasgow Dec 1684
35James Drummond1684b. 1629, 3rd son of James Drummond of Deanston, min. of Fowlis Wester; M.A. St Andrews 1645; formerly min. of Auchterarder PER, later Muthill PER; dep. 1689; d. 13 Apr 1695 Cruden

(4) Bishops of Brechin of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, 1689-

39James Rait1742-1777son of Mr William Rait of Pitforthie, minister of Monikie
42John Strachan1788-1808b. ca. 1719 Redford, Garvock, son of John S., tenant farmer [probably!]; d. unmar. 28 Jan or 1 Feb or 2 Feb 1810 Dundee, depending on the source; buried 8 Feb 1810 Howff, Dundee; see also Strachan family connexions
43George Gleig1810-1837d. Stirling
44David Moir1837-1847b. 2 Oct 1777 Fordoun, son of John M., mason; d. 21 Aug 1847 Brechin; mar. 1813 Janet Jolly; issue: John, min. here; Chas; Margt; David; Wm Y.; Robt; Jean; Helen; Anne; Peter; Mary
45Alexander Penrose Forbes1847-1875b. 1817; D.C.L.; d. 8 Oct 1875 Dundee
47Walter John Forbes Robberds1904-1914-?b. 1863; primus 1914; d. 1944

Early clergy

For bishops, deans, archdeacons, precentors, commissaries and other officials of the diocese of Brechin from ca. 1150 to 1638, see D.E.R. Watt & A.L. Murray (eds) - Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae Medii Aevi ad Annum 1638 (revised edn, Edinburgh: Scottish Record Soc., 2003), pp. 53-77. Only the book's title is in Latin.

Clergy of the Episcopal Church in Scotland since 1689

For bishops, deans, archdeacons and other clergy of the diocese of Brechin since 1689, see David M. Bertie - Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689-2000 (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2000) [Google Books preview].


Monumental inscriptions

Monuments in the Kirkyard of Brechin Cathedral (ca. 450 stones), in Brechin New Cemetery (ca. 20 stones) and in the kirkyard of the Magdalen Chapel at Arrat (9 stones) bearing pre-1855 information are listed in Alison Mitchell (ed.), "Pre-1855 Monumental Inscriptions in Angus, Vol. 1: Strathmore" (Edinburgh: Scottish Genealogy Soc., 1993), which can be bought from the Scottish Genealogy Society. (It's listed as "Angus MI - Vol. 1. Pre-1855 Strathmore" in their online shop.)

See also Andrew Jervise's The Inscriptions from the Burial-Grounds of Brechin and Magdalene Chapel (Brechin, 1864).

Surname index to monuments in Brechin Cathedral Kirkyard [Angus Archives ref. 21:929.3]

Inscriptions on monuments in Brechin Cathedral Kirkyard recorded by Sydney Cramer in 1959 are available on microfilm [NRS RH41/4/4]

The following are three of the inscriptions in Brechin Cathedral Kirkyard. [M1], etc., indicate Mitchell's numbering:

In memory of JOHANNA BELFORD wife of JAMES LINDSAY shoemaker, Brechin, born 17th September 1800, died 27th July 1865. Also of the said JAMES LINDSAY, who died 30th November 1876, in the 84th year of his age. Also of their son JOHN, who died 19th January 1889, in the 59th year of his age. And of his wife CHRISTINA SCOTT who died 26th May 1906, in the 86th year of her age. Also their daughter MARGARET DUTHIE who died 8th April 1871, in the 13th year of her age. Erected by the family 1869

[M86] 1824 Erected by ROBERT ADAMSON, tenant in Middledrums in memory of his late spouse ANN GUTHRIE, who died 14th February 1824, aged 70 years. Also of his father JAMES ADAMSON, and of his mother HELEN GUTHRIE, all of whom died at Middledrums and are interred here. Also in memory of ROBERT ADAMSON, late tenant in Middledrums, who died 11th July 1848, in the 81st year of his age. And his second spouse MARY THOMSON, who died 24th October 1862, aged 75 years.

[M174; west] Erected 1825 In affectionate remembrance of Rev. THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D. (7th son of DAVID GUTHRIE, Provost of Brechin) Born in Brechin 1803; interred in the Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh, 1873. Also in memory of Major CHARLES GUTHRIE, 46th Regiment H.E.I.C.S. (8th son of the above mentioned Provost DAVID GUTHRIE) who died in India, from wounds received in action. Born 1804. Died 1843.
[In fact, 8th and 7th sons, respectively; Charles was born in 1801, not 1804]


Brechin war memorial

Brechin War Memorial, including the 1914-19 Brechin Roll of Honour


Births, Marriages & Deaths, 1855 to present

Indexes and actual records for Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages & Deaths, beginning 1 Jan 1855, are available online, following registration and the purchase of credits, at the official web-site, ScotlandsPeople.

Births, Marriages & Deaths, before 1855

Indexes and actual records for all extant Old Parish Registers (OPRs) (pre-1855) of the Established Church of Scotland are available online, following registration and the purchase of credits, at the official web-site, ScotlandsPeople.


Marriage contracts

DateTypePartiesNRS ref.
ca 5 May 1623-Andrew Scot, son of John Scot, braboner, Meikle Mill of Brechin
Jonet Robertson, dau. to umqll John Robertson, indweller in Brechin and Margaret Mair, his relict
18 Apr 1678antenuptialWilliam Kynneir, son of John Kynneir, portioner of Bothels
Margaret Innes, dau. of dec. John Innes, physician in Brechine


Church Session Records of Brechin East Parish Church

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/41/...
Managers' minutes1837-18445
Trustees' & congregational minutes1912-19366
Proclamation certificates1875-18948
Communion roll1933-193610
Record of deeds & securities187411

Church Session Records of Gardner Memorial Church
The church was dedicated in 1898, and the parish was erected quoad sacra in 1899. United with Brechin East in 1937; later, Southesk; later, again, Gardner Memorial

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/1520/...
Scroll minute pagen.d.2
Church Extension Chimes19704
Managers' minutes1899-19378
Congregational board minutes1937-19459
Parish supplement19499A
Congregational board minutes1946-196710
Abstract of accounts197412
Committee on church extension in Brechin minutes1887-188913
Baptismal register1899-193614
Copy correspondence1888-188916
Basis and plan of temporary linking between Brechin Gardner
Memorial and Brechin West and St Columbas

Church Session Records of Brechin Relief Session
High Street Relief Church; later Bank Street U.P.; Bank Street U.F.; united with City Road U.F. as St Ninian's U.F.; St Ninian's Ch. of S.; congregation dissolved in 1963

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH3/439/...
Managers' minutes1830-18439
Baptismal register1832-1863? (or 1856?)15
Baptismal register1864-191416
Proclamation register1932-196318
Communion roll1830-185419
Register of death185719

Church Session Records of Brechin Associate Session (Antiburgher)
later, City Road U.P.; City Road U.F.

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH3/440/...
Managers' minutes1764-18944
Baptismal register1896-19146

Church Session Records of Maison Dieu Lane (Burgher)
later, United Presbyterian; United Free

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH3/590/...
Managers' minutes1800-18182
Managers' minutes and congregational minutes1844-18604
Managers' and congregational minutes1876-19067


Records of the Presbytery of Brechin
(Church of Scotland)

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref. CH2/40/...


Episcopal Church Records

Records of the diocese of Brechin, 1774-1995, including synod minutes, are among the Brechin Diocesan Library Manuscripts at Dundee University Archives [ref. BrMS 4].

A collections book, 1800-1807, for Brechin Chapel is among the Brechin Diocesan Library Manuscripts at Dundee University Archives [ref. BrMS 5].

Records of St Andrew's Episcopal Church, Brechin, 1812-2007, including registers, 1812-1994, are among the Brechin Diocesan Library Manuscripts at Dundee University Archives [ref. BrMS 16].

Surname and subject index to Brechin Episcopal Documents, 1309-1698 [Angus Archives ref. 21:274.1]



Information, maps & photographs of Brechin Almshouse.


Land owners

The chief proprietors of land in the parish in 1833:

The chief proprietors of land in the parish in 1867:


Estate & family records

Papers of Molison family, Brechin, 1764-1812 [Angus Archives ref. MS 417]

Speid of Ardovie papers, 1689-1861 [Angus Archives ref. MS 413: Repertory]


Farmers / Tenants

ArratRepresentatives of Hugh Alexander-1902-
doJames Carnegie [d. 1916]-1891-1916
doRobert Carnegie-1918-1942-
ArratsmillHugh Alexander [d. 1900]-1881-1900
doPatrick J. Abbot-1906-
doJohn W. Soutar-1914-
doF.W. Munro-1924-
doHenry Elder Spence-1933-
doMrs Spence-1938-1942-
BalnabreichJohn Johnston-1902-1942-
doWilliam McLaren Crichton-1952-
BarrelwellDavid Hume [d. 1908]-1891-1908
doTrustees of David Hume-1910-1924-
doMrs Hume-1928-1931-
doJames Kerr-1934-1943-
BroomfieldAlexander Bell-1881-
doMrs M.F. Wells-1906-1928-
doS. Smith-1931-1942-
BurghillMary A. Goodlet-1891-
doWilliam McG. Philip-1902-1914-
Burn & Stoney BriggsWilliam Calder [d. 1914]-1891-1914
doWilliam Calder-1914-1942--
doJames B. Calder-1953-
CairnbankRobert Fraser-1881-
doFrancis Ballone Paton-1891-
doDavid Milne-1902-1906-
CaldcotsWilliam Addison-1881-
doWilliam Lewins-1891-
doWilliam F. Brown-1902-1906-
doDavid D. Mitchell-1910-1921-
doA. & W. Wood-1924-1931-
doWilliam Wood-1935-1942-
CookstonJohn Stevenson-1881-
doAndrew Stevenson [d. 1896]-1896
doJames Greig-1902-1906-
doDavid Lamb-1910-1924-
doWilliam Haughs-1928-1942-
Craigend of CarestonJames Grant1893-1926
doJ. Morrison-1931-1942-
James Vallentine-1881-
doJohn Vallentine-1891-1921-
doGowans & McIntyre-1924-
doChivers & Sons, Ltd-1928-1942-
DrumachlieDavid Milne [d. 1908]-1881-1908
doRobert R. Milne-1910-1931-
doW.B. Philip-1935-1942-
Drummond ParkWilliam Sheratt-1910-1921-
DubtonAgnes Webster-1881-
doArchibald Allison-1891-1921-
doBrechin United Coop. Soc. Ltd-1924-1942-
East DrumsDavid Sharpe [d. 1908]-1881-1891-
doDavid Finlay Sharpe-1902-1952-
East KintrockatDavid Hume-1902-
doD. Aitken-1921-1931-
East Mains of KeithockDavid C. Soutar-1881-
doDavid Lyall-1902-
doG. Stewart-1906-1924-
doJohn Wylie Couper [d. 1932]-1928-1932
doAlexander Milne-1935-1942-
East Pitforthie & Leighton HillDavid Arnot-1902-
doDavid R. Arnot-1906-
East PitforthieDavid R. Arnot-1910-1931-
East PitforthieRobert Milne-1938-1942-
East PittendreichJames Scott-1881-1891-
doJames Risk [d. 1914]-1902-1914
doWilliam Binny-1918-1931-
doT.J. Binny-1935-1942-
GrosefieldGeorge Stevenson [d. 1906]-1902-1906
doJohn Wilson-1910-1921-
doBought by George GuildJul 1922
doRobert Buchan-1922-1924-
doGuild Bros-1928-1931-
doAndrew N. Guild1932-1955-
HaughmuirRepresentatives of James Wallace-1902-1906-
doMrs Wallace-1910-1928-
doHugh Wallace-1924-1955-
Hillhead of BurghillWilliam Bowick-1881-
doJames Watt-1902-1906-
doGeorge Easton [d. 1925]-?-
doR. Easton-1910-1928-
doW. Davidson-1931-1942-
KeithockWilliam McNab of Keithock-1906-
KincraigAnn Henderson-1881-
doJames Henderson-1891-1902-
doRobert C. Henderson-1906-1928-
doMrs Henderson-1931-1935-
doJohn Sim-1938-1942-
LeightonhillRobert Milne-1935-1942-
LeuchlandRobert Lyall Mustard [d. 1898]-1881-
doAlexander Mustard [d. 1886]-?-
doJohn Soutar [d. 1912]-1902-1910-
doStewart Leighton Soutar [d. 1931]-1914-1931
doChivers & Sons Ltd.-1937-1951-
LimefieldJames Scott & Sons-1906-
doDavid Scott-1910-1914-
doWilliam Haughs-1918-1924-
doW. Gordon-1928-
Little BrechinWilliam Sherrat-1906-
Little HaughmuirDavid Silver-1902-
doMrs Smith-1906-1924-
Little KeithockJohn Hall [d. 1866]-1866
doDavid Bruce-1902-1928-
doWilliam T. Bruce-1928-1942-
Mains of ArdovieGeorge Doig-1863-
doJames D. Winton [d. 1938]-1881-1902-
doDavid Hood-1906-1935-
doJames Gardiner-1938-1942-
Mains of FindowrieJames Smith-1881-1902-
doAlexander Smith [d. 1907]-1906-1907
doThomas B. Hamilton-1909-1914-
doR. Barron-1918-1921-
doJames Barron-1924-
doJames Runcieman Barron-1928-1942-
Mains of PitforthieWilliam Ross-1902-1921-
doD.C. Lamond-1921-1931-
doWilliam Melvin-1933-1942-
MaisondieuDavid G.C. Scott-1881-
doMrs & David G.C. Scott-1902-
doDavid G. Scott-1906-
doJames Todd-1910-1928-
doWilliam Mather-1931-1942-
MaulesdenJohn B. Don-1906-1931-
MavisbankWilliam Smollet-1881-
doAlexander Brimer-1891-1910-
doHugh Smith-1914-1928-
doJames Stott-1930
doTo LetJun 1930
doJ. Leslie-1935-1942-
Middle DrumsRobert Adamson [d. 1848]-1824-
doJames Adamson-1851
doDavid Jack-1862
doAndrew Doig [d. 1902]-1881-1902
doGeorge Doig-1906-1931-
doD.F. Sharp-1935-1942-
MontboyJames Kinnear-1891-1931-
doRobert Allison-1935-
doMisses Barron-1938-1942-
Muirside of AldbarGeorge Davidson-1881-1924-
doGeorge Davidson, jun.-1928-1931-
doWilliam McGregor-1935-1942-
Muirton of ArdovieTo LetJan 1863
doJoseph Hodge-1881-
doJoseph Thomson-1903
doCharles Mollison-1902-
doJohn Amos [d. 1908]-1906-1908
doAlexander Carnegie-1910-1931-
doJohn Carnegie-1934-
doMessrs Carnegie-1935-
doJames Robertson-1938-1942-
doFor sale by roupOct 1953
MurlingdenDavid Inglis-1891-
StannochyJoseph Mitchell-1881-
doMrs Margaret Mitchell-1891-
doRepresentatives of Joseph Mitchell-1902-1906-
doJohn Wilson [d. 1919]-1910-1919
doMrs Wilson-1924-
doA. Middleton-1928-1931-
doA. Middleton & Sons-1935-1942-
StoneybriggsDavid Grieve-1881-
TemplewoodGeorge T. Henderson of Templewood-1906-1928-
doDavid R. Arnot-1933-1942-
Three Laws of ArdovieJames Robertson1896-
doJames Birse-?-
doRepresentatives of James Birse-1923
doTo Let, 55 acresMay 1923
doDavid Allan-1943
doJames A. Riddler-1946-1953-
doFor sale by roupOct 1953
TillygloomHendry Peter ("Tilly") [d. 1927]-1881-1927
doC. Christie-1931-1942-
doR.T. Thorns-1951-
UnthankDavid Sheriff [d. 1923]-1891-1923
doHendry Sheriff-1928-1942-
Wards of PitforthieFarmers' Mart Co. Ltd-1906-1942-
West DrumsWilliam Smith-1881-
doJohn Robertson [d. 1915]-1902-1915
doRobert Bruce Robertson [d. 1948]-1917-1942-
West KintrockatCharles Mitchell [d. 1894]1874-1893
doAndrew Couper, jun.-1902-1931-
doW.A. Reid, jun.-1935-1942-
West Mains of KeithockD. Black-1928-1942-
West Muir of BrechinWilliam Black [d. 1902]-1902
doJohn B. Black-1906-
doDavid Inglis-1914-1921-
doMrs Robertson-1924-1942-
West PittendreichWilliam Duncan [d. 1913]-1881-1913
doMrs Duncan-1918-1921-
doArchibald Allison-1924-1931-
doJ. Cameron-1935-1942-
WindyedgeJohn Officer [d. 1931]-1902-1921-
doJohn Gordon Officer [d. 1932]-1924-1932
doJohn Officer-1935-1942-


Census records

Records of the official censuses of the parish in 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1921 are held in Register House, Edinburgh and are open to the public on payment of a fee.

Indexes to all the original census records, and the records themselves, can be accessed online at modest charge at ScotlandsPeople.

Microfilm copies are also widely available in libraries. The 1881 census is available on CD-ROM.

The early censuses of 1801-31 do not name individuals.


Population statistics

17553181Dr Alexander Webster
17905000Old Statistical Account

* of whom, about 5000 were in the burgh, the rest in the landward part of the parish


Street and trade directories

These include: Local Almanac and Obituary Notices of Public Men; names of Public officials, School teachers, etc.


Testaments & wills

Brechin was in the Commissariot of Brechin.

List of pre-1824 testaments for Brechin people

Indexes to all extant pre-1926 testamentary records (wills & inventories of moveable property) can be searched free of charge at ScotlandsPeople. Digital (and paper) copies of the documents can be purchased at that site. See further the introduction to Angus & Kincardineshire at Testaments.


Royal burgh of Brechin: records in the NRS

Nature of recordDatesNRS ref.
Register of sasines, 1st series1648-1809B8/1/1 to B8/1/8
Register of sasines, 2nd series1810-1946B8/2/1 to B8/2/21
Minute books of register of sasines1748-1946B8/3/1 to B8/3/6
Register of probative writs1747-1826B8/4/1 to B8/4/5
Register of deeds, protests, etc. (old series)1740-1809B8/5/1 to B8/5/8
Register of deeds, protests, etc. (new series)1810-1907B8/6/1 to B8/6/4
Minute books of the burgh court1822-1895B8/7/1 to B8/7/2

Royal burgh of Brechin: burgh records in Angus Archives

Angus Archives' page Catalogues - Burgh Records provides this file listing burgh records of Brechin held by Angus Archives. Earliest document is dated 1309.


Provosts of Brechin, to 1975
See also Black's History of Brechin, 2nd ed., pp. 334-360, for members of Brechin Town Council, 1672-1864; there were 13 members of the council: the provost, 2 bailies, the town treasurer, the dean of guild, the hospital master, 5 merchant councillors, 2 trades councillors.

NameIn officeBornDiedInfo
James lord Ogilvy1560-?
Thomas Lyell?-1611-?
John Ochterlony?-1641-?, ?-1649-?bef. 21 Apr 1674
John Skinner?-1650-?bef. 1676
Alexander Young1696-1699
John Doig1700-1702bef. 4 Mar 1727merchant in Brechin; see The Doig Family Society for more about him
David Gray1702-1705
Alexander Young1706-1708
John Doig1709-1715 & 1716-1726bef. 4 Mar 1727merchant in Brechin; see The Doig Family Society for more about him
Robert Whyte1726-1728bef. 7 Jul 1730
John Knox1728-1733ca. 16707 Jun 1754
David Doig of Cookston1733-1741Jul 1699 Brechin5 Aug 1763 Montroselater, provost of Montrose
son & heir of above John D.; see The Doig Family Society for more about him
John Knox1741-1745ca. 16707 Jun 1754
John Molison elder1747-1766
John Molison younger1766-178921 Jun 1791son of John M., elder
John Smith1789-1800bef. 23 Feb 1800
Thomas Molison1800-181527 Jul 1815son of John M., younger
David Guthrie (I)1815-18201761 Menmuir12 Mar 18243rd son of John Guthrie, tenant in Knowehead, Menmuir
Colin Gillies of Murlingden1820-1823ca. 1750 Brechinflour & corn merchant; bankrupt 1811[?]
bro. of John Gillies, Historiographer for Scotland
son of Robert Gillies of Little Keithock, merchant in Brechin
James Speid of Forneth1823-1836Nov 1780 Fearn1872 Clunie PERsolicitor in Brechin
David Guthrie (II)1836-185429 Oct 1786 Brechin28 May 18543rd son of David (I)
David Guthrie (III)1854-186415 Sep 1813 Brechin19 Nov 1883 Panbridenephew of David (II)
Alexander Guthrie1864-186713 May 1792 Brechin22 Aug 1869surgeon; 4th son of David (I)
David Craig?-1870ca. 180316 May 1871
David Scott1870-18719 Nov 1812 Brechin7 Jan 1890 Brechinlinen manufacturer
John Guthrie, M.D.1871-18746 Feb 1830 Brechin18873rd son of the above Alexr
William Duncan1874-1876ca. 1805 Brechin1892grocer, wine & spirit merchant
Charles Will1876-18783 Dec 1878 Brechin
John Lamb of Glencadam1878-188826 Jan 1831 Brechin24 Jan 1916 Brechinmanufacturer
Charles Mitchell1888-18918 Jan 1826 Fettercairn25 Apr 1894 Brechinfarmer at West Kintrockat; son of Benjamin M.
William McInroy Vallentine1891-18971 Dec 1846 Fettercairn22 Feb 1903 Brechinbank agent; Photo; son of James, tenant, Arnhall, Fettercairn
George Alexander Scott1897-19001 Nov 1839 Brechin20 Sep 1915 Montroselinen manufacturer; eldest son of above David S.
Alexander Annandale1900-1903ca. 1831 Fordoun21 Jun 1912 Brechinnurseryman & seedsman, Den Nursery
Thomas Maule Guthrie1903-190911 Jun 1870 Brechin30 Mar 1943 Brechinson of James, who was 2nd son of the Rev. Dr Thomas, who was 8th son of David (I)
Murdoch Beaton1909-1911ca. 1844 Dundee31 Jan 1923 Brechindraper
William Ferguson1911-1914
George Henderson1914-1920
Rev. Henry Chalmers Cargill1920-19211874 Anstruther Wester1959 Inverallanminister of Brechin East Church, q.v.
James Williamson Addison1921-19231865 Marykirk20 Dec 1948 Brechin
Alan Reid1923-1929Feb 1929 London
James Barrie1929-1931
Archibald Whyte Duke1931-19341893 Brechin10 Sep 1956 Brechinresided at Bearehill
John McLeod Dunn1934-19371863 Glenbervie1944 Brechinphotographer; Article + photo
Henry Greig Mitchell, O.B.E.1937-1942ca. 1878 Montrose[?]6 Jan 1962 Brechinaccountant
Alexander Ogilvie1942-1944Feb 1957engine driver
Walter Scott1944-1947ca. 19008 Jun 1957 Perth Prisonsolicitor; found guilty of embezzlement 1956
James Stafford Kinghorn1947-19511906 Edinburgh1989 Brechinsolicitor
William Eddie1951-1957
John Hart, B.A.1957-1960chemist
Alexander Buchan1966-1975ca. 1923 BrechinAug 2010 Montrose


Bailies (Magistrates) of Brechin, to 1974

In office1st2nd
1690-1694Francis MollisonAlexander Young
1694-1695James CowieWilliam Baillie
1695-1696Alexander YoungWilliam Baillie
1696-1697William BaillieJames Cowie
1697-1698David LiddellDavid Gray
1698-1699David GrayJ. Doig
1699-1700Alexander FairweatherDavid Young
1700-1701William BaillieAlexander Fairweather
1701-1702David GrayAlexander Fairweather
1702-1703William BaillieAlexander Fairweather
1703-1704Alexander FairweatherJames Spence
1704-1706Francis MolisonJames Spence
1706-1707David YoungDavid Robertson
1707-1708James CowieDavid Young
1708-1709David YoungJames Spence
1709-1710James SpenceAndrew Doig
1710-1712Andrew DoigWilliam Clark
1712-1716James SpenceAndrew Doig
1716-1718Andrew DoigRobert Whyte
1718-1721Andrew DoigJames Cowie
1721-1723Andrew DoigJohn Knox
1723-1726Andrew DoigDavid Doig
1726-1728James CowieDavid Windrem
1728-1729Robert AllardieDavid Windrem
1729-1731Robert AllardiceCharles Gordon
1731-1733John MolisonCharles Gordon
1733-1736John MolisonEdward Leslie
1736-1740John MolisonDavid Mather
1740-1741Edward LeslieHomer Grierson
1741-1746John MolisonDavid Mather
1747-1751John LowDavid Allardice
1751-1752Edward LeslieDavid Allardice
1752-1762Edward LeslieJ. Molison yr
1762-1765Edward LeslieDavid Molison
1765-1771David AllardiceDavid Molison
1771-1784David Allardice, elderJohn Clark
1784-1788John ClarkJohn Smith
1788-1789John SmithWilliam Cay
1789-1799William CayThomas Molison
1799-1800Thomas MolisonDavid Guthrie
1800-1803David GuthrieJames Smith
1803-1815David GuthrieAlexander Mitchell
1815-1818Alexander MitchellDavid Don
1818-1819David DonJames Speid
1819-1820James SpeidDavid Reid
1820-1823James SpeidJohn Guthrie
1823-1826John GuthrieAlexander Mitchell
1826-1828John GuthrieDavid Ogilvy
1828-1830David OgilvyDavid Guthrie
1830-1833David GuthrieJohn Smith
1833-1835David DakersWilliam Sharpe
1835-1836David GuthrieWilliam Sharpe
1836-1837David LambWilliam Sharpe
1837-1839James MillarRobert Welsh
1839-1843James HoodRobert Welsh
1843-1846James HoodWilliam Duncan
1846-1849William DuncanDavid Craig
1849-1854David CraigGeorge Reid
1854-1855William DuncanGeorge Reid
1855-1859William DuncanWilliam Anderson
1859-1862William DuncanJohn Don
1862-1863Charles WillWilliam Davidson
1863-1864William WhitsonWilliam Davidson
1900David MurrayGregor Cumming
1914George HendersonHenry Chalmers Cargill
1941-- Ogilvie-- Gibb
1957F. C. CooperJames Millar


Town treasurers of Brechin, to 1974

NameIn officeBornDiedInfo
David Guthrie1825-1826
David Craig1845-1846
George Reid1846-1847
J. L. Aird1900
David Fleming1914
D. W. Stevens1951
--- Mitchell1957


Deans of Guild of Brechin, to 1974

NameIn officeBornDiedInfo
James Thom1700-1701
William Baillie1701-1702
Francis Molison1702-1704
A. Fairweather1704-1706
James Cowie1706-1707
James Spence1707-1708
William Clark1708-1710
James Spence1710-1712
William Clark1712-1715
David Young1715-1716
David Robertson1716-1718
James Doig1718-1721
David Doig1721-1723
Alexander Moug1723-1727
Alexander Baillie1727-1732
Edward Leslie1732-1733
David Mather1733-1736
Edward Leslie1736-1737
Homer Grierson1737-1740
William Shepherd1740-1741
John Low1741-1745
John Lyon elder1747-1757
David Molison1757-1762
J. Molison yr1762-1766
Alexander Low1766-1783
A. Durie elder1783-1792
A. Durie yr1792-1813
David Don1813-1815
Colin Gillies1815-1820
William Baillie1820-1822
Colin Rickard1822-1824
David McKenzie1824-1826
Alexander McKinlay1826-1828
James Watson yr1829-1830
David Dakers1830-1832
David Lamb1832-1833
Thomas Ogilvy1833-1835
David Lamb1835-1836
James Baxter1836-1839
William Duncan1839-1843
James Scott1843-1848
David Guthrie yr1848-1855
James P. Jack1855-1856
William Davidson1856-1862
James L. Gordon1862-1864
Alexander Annandale1892
John S. Baxter1900
John Lamb1909
David G. Shiell1910
Thomas Moir1914
William Young1951
James S. Kinghorn1955
--- Kennedy1957

See also The Guildry of Brechin


Town clerks of Brechin

NameIn officeBornDiedInfo
Thomas Schellane?bef. 14 Oct 1642
John Spence?-1668-168929 Oct 1689
George Spence1681-1717bef. 13 Jun 1752son of above John; conjunct t/c with his father to 1689
John Spence1717-1773ca. 169610 Nov 1773son of above George; appointed ass. & suc. 1713
John Spence1748-1790ca. 17221 May 1790son of above John; conjunct t/c with his father to 1773
John Spence?Dec 1814 [1817?]
Alexander Ritchie1796-1826Nov 1826clerk depute from 1790; conjunct t/c with his father-in-law from 16 Jun 1796
David Dakers Black1825-1864ca. 1797 Brechin22 Oct 1875 Brechinconjunct t/c with Ritchie from Nov 1825
James Loudon Gordon1864-18931823 Brechin3 Sep 1893 Brechin
James Craig1893-1909ca. 1831 Brechin21 May 1909 Brechin
Thomas Maule Guthrie1909-192011 Jun 1870 Brechin30 Mar 1943 Brechinformerly provost 1903-9
Frederick Anerley Ferguson1920-19461881 Brechin1960collections, notes, papers & correspondence 1925-59/60, re history of Brechin: see Angus Archives ref. MS59
Alexander O. Small1946-1958-?1907 Brechin1971 Brechinson of David Small
Raymond Thom?-1971-1974-?ca. 1939


Brechin burgess records

Surname index to Burgesses prior to 1698 (compiled from Brechin Episcopal Documents) [Angus Archives ref. 21:941]

Brechin burgess roll, 1710-1930 [Angus Archives refs B1/5/10 to B1/5/14]

Surname index to Brechin burgess roll, 1710-1974 [Angus Archives ref. 21:941; also held in Brechin Library]

Surname index to Brechin Guildry, 1660-1820 (index to merchants and other trades) [Angus Archives: a database]


Brechin craft records

Papers of Brechin Bakers' Incorporation, 1602-1888 [Angus Archives ref. MS 493]

Surname index to Brechin Hammermen's Book, 1600-1762 [Angus Archives ref. 21:366]. See also

David G. Adams - The Brechin Hammermen's Incorporation 1600-1762 & later Fine Metal Craftsmen to c 1850 (Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 130, 773-793, 2000)

Surname index to Brechin Shoemakers Incorporation, 1671-1783 [Angus Archives ref. 21:366]

Papers of Brechin Old Wrights Society, 1625-1885 [Angus Archives ref. MS 44]

Surname index to Brechin Guildry, 1660-1820 (index to merchants and other trades) [Angus Archives: a database]


Brechin Commissary Court records, 1576-1823

See the Summary of the Records of Brechin Commissary Court on the page for court records.

The records include Act Books and Registers of Deeds, as well as Testaments. Lists of the parties mentioned in some of the early 17th century Act Books and Registers of Deeds can be reached from the Summary of the Records of Brechin Commissary Court.


Valuation rolls

Valuation roll of properties in the Burgh of Brechin, 1855-1856, is held by Angus Archives, ref. MS 483.

Valuation rolls of properties in the Burgh of Brechin, 1900-1901, 1932/33; 1939/40 - 1940/41; 1942/43 - 1946/47; 1950/51; 1952/53; 1954/55; 1957/58 - 1960/61, are held in Brechin Library

Valuation rolls of properties in the County of Angus, for the years 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1920, 1925 and 1930 only, can be seen at ScotlandsPeople.


Jacobite rebels - 1745 rebellion
From: A List of Persons concerned in the Rebellion (Edinburgh, Scottish History Soc., vol. 8, 1890)

NamesDesignationsAbodeActs of rebellion
& circumstances
Where at present
John Adam, junrshoemakerBrechin
John AdamsonshoemakerBrechin
John AikenheadmerchantBrechin
James AitonmasonNether Tenements of Caldhame
John Aiton-Kincraig
Robert Allanson to Thomas AllanKeithock
James AllardicetenantDrums
Charles AndersonshoemakerBrechin
David AndersonworkmanBrechin
David Arsil-Kincraig
James BowmanresidenterBrechin
David BrucebutcherBrechin
George BrucebutcherBrechin
James Bruceson to above George BruceBrechin
John BrucebutcherBrechin
James Carnegy of Findowrie-Findaury [Findowrie]
James CarnegysurgeonBrechin
James CarnegymasonBrechin
Robert CarnegyweaverTenements of Caldhame
John DavidsonservantBrechin
William Dearmeal mongerBrechin
James DeasemerchantBrechin
John Duncanmerchant & stamp masterBrechin
Alexander DuthiesmithBrechin
John Edgar, yr of Keithock-Keithock
Peter Fairweatherbaker's servantBrechin
David FerriermerchantBrechin
John FirzelmasonNether Tenements of Caldhame
James FotheringhamfishmongerUpper Tenements of Caldhame
James Hood, junrsmithBrechin
Adam Hunterexcise expectantBrechin
David Inveraritymeal mongerTenements of Caldhame
David InverarityshoemakerBrechin
Thomas Keillservant to James FerrierKintrockat
John Leithbrother to Wm LeithBrechin
William LeithresidenterBrechin
David Littlejohnservant to William RobbBurkhill [Burghill]
Alexander LowmerchantBrechin
William LowchapmanBrechin
Robert Mackieservant to Alexr LowBrechin
Alexander MatherbrewerBrechin
James MathermerchantBrechin
David Mathersbaker; son to David M.Brechin
George Mathersbaker; son to David M.Brechin
David Miller, junrshoemakerBrechin
Alexander RamsayshoemakerBrechin
Alexander Reidservant to George SmithBrechin
George ReidcottarmanDrums
Robert Reid, junrshoemakerBrechin
Peter RichieservantLeuchland
William RitchiechapmanBurn of Arrot [Arrat]
Andrew SandymanworkmanTenements of Caldhame
John ScottcooperBrechin
John SheepherdmerchantBrechin
Walter SmartworkmanKeithock
George SmithwrightNether Tenements of Caldhame
John SmithsmithTenements of Caldhame
George SpeedservantKintrockat
John StrachanservantBridge End of Brechin
John StrachanbutcherNether Tenements of Caldhame
Colin Tindal-Nether Pitforthy
David TindaltenantNether Pitforthy
George WadeworkmanBrechin
James WardendrummerBrechin
William WebsterchapmanBrechin
Charles WilloxmasonUpper Tenements of Caldhame
Robert YoungtenantLeuchland


Clock & watch tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Brechin:

NRS ref. E326/12/2/47


Farm horse tax, 1797-8

Images of the original records for Brechin:


Window tax records

For the royal burgh of Brechin, 1753-1798 [NRS ref. E326/1/137]





Brechin Library


Places of interest



This page updated 13 Feb 2024