Although now best known as the Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky, the history of Lindores Abbey does not just involve whisky. Over the past 20 years by the current Custodian of Lindores Abbey, Drew McKenzie-Smith, has gathered and researched much of the history of Lindores Abbey.
Calendar of History at Lindores Abbey
Perhaps the most important and historic event ever witnessed at Lindores Abbey was the meeting here in 1306 of three puissant knights, Sir Gilbert Hay of Errol, Sir Neil Campbell of Lochaw, and Sir Alexander Seton, and the sealing before the high altar of the vow they made to ” defend the King Robert Bruce and his crown to the last of their blood and fortunes”. These Knights were some of the Bruce’s staunchest friends and they were all well rewarded for their loyalty by the King when he took power.
21st 1283, Prince Alexander, heir to the Scottish throne, died at Lindores after a short illness. His death caused great sorrow across the land and was the cause of the Wars of Accession, which he foretold on his deathbed at Lindores. On the night before he died, he talked wildly about an approaching contest with his Uncle (Edward I), and suddenly exclaimed “Before tomorrow’s sun rise, the sun of Scotland will have set”.
30th 1753 Dr Robert Laing, Minister and Historian of Newburgh sold the Abbey lands to Peter Hay of Leys, whose family owned it until 1913.
24th 1566 Abbot John resigned in favour of John Leslie, the last Abbot of Lindores , who became a life-long supporter and friend of Mary Queen of Scots. Mary bestowed on him the Abbacy of Lindores ‘In Commendam’, subsequently he was appointed Bishop of Ross and by a Papal dispensation was allowed to hold both posts.
14th 1265 King Alexander III visited Lindores, accompanied by John Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Justiciar of Scotland, and William, Earl of Mar, Great Chamberlain. The presence of these officials indicates that Alexander was on one of his annual circuits for the administration of justice, for which he was so justly celebrated.
23rd 1392, King Robert III confirmed by Charter that the Abbey of Lindores had settled the sum of 40 merks on David Aberkirder as repayment of a loan by him.
25th 1401, The ill-fated Duke of Rothesay was buried at Lindores after being starved whilst held ‘captive’ by his Uncle the Duke of Albany at nearby Falkland Palace. His tomb became a site of pilgrimage, described as a “Place of Miracles”.
5th 1514, Act of Parliament passed, erecting Lindores into a “Regality”
15th 1488, James 9th Earl of Douglas, the last of the The Black Douglas line, died and was buried at Lindores after being exiled there by King James III. When this happened the Douglas said “He that can do no better must needs be a Monk”.
21st 1585, Edinburgh town council purchases the Abbey Clock, the dismantling of the Abbey was obviously underway by this time.
27th 1256, Pope Alexander IV granted the Monks permission to create schools in Dundee, one being Dundee High School which still has a “Lindores” house. Ironically it was from Dundee that the reformers came from in 1543 to sack the Abbey.
28th 1738, Lady Newark and her husband, Sir Alexander Anstruther , granted the lands and the Lordship of Lindores to Sir Alexander Leslie.
14th 1219, William, Prior of Durham, died after a terrible accident at Lindores where he died after a fire in his bed chamber, “ Wich, took fyre in the night by chance, his Chamberlain being very drunk and he asleep”.
1st 1494 The Exchequer Roll records, “To Friar John Cor, 8 bolls of Malt, wherewith to make Aqua Vitae for King James IV” – this is the earliest written reference to what is now called whisky, in Scotland and cements Lindores Abbey as the Spiritual Home of Scotch Whisky.
12th 1298, William Wallace stayed at Lindores after his victory over the English at the nearby Battle of Blackearnside, this was Wallace’s last victory before being captured and executed.
15th 1548, John Philp, Abbot of Lindores was called upon to furnish men for an army to assemble at Roslin Moor.
17th 1219, Both David, Earl of Huntingdon, founder of the Abbey, and Guido, the first Abbot and “architect” of Lindores died on this day.
20th 1749, Sir Alexander Leslie (Lord Lindores) sold the Abbey lands to Dr Robert Laing, late Minister and Historian of Newburgh.
23rd 1559, John Knox recorded;”In the whilk of the abbay of Lindores, a place of Black Monks, distant from St Andrewis twelve myles, we reformed: their altars overthrew we; their idols, vestements of idolaterie, and mass books we burnt in their presence, and commanded them to cast away their monkish habits.”
28th 1314 the Battle of Bannockburn occurred, a direct result of the untimely death of Prince Alexander at Lindores.
29th 1309 A trial occurred at Lindores, officiated by Bishop Lamerton of St Andrews and the Abbot of Arbroath whereby the Burgesse’s of Newburgh had objected to the payment of the Brew house tax, evidence of Brewing at Lindores.
3rd 1432, Laurence of Lindores elected to the Dean of faculty of St Andrews University.
10th 1296, John Baliol surrendered the Scottish crown to Edward I, an act precipitated by the untimely Death of Prince Alexander at Lindores.
11th 1606, John Leslie’s title of “Lord Lindores” is ratified by Parliament.
13th 1913, The Lindores Abbey “estate” was bought for three thousand pounds by Mr John Howison, Great grandfather of the current custodians.
16th 1913 Mrs Amy Patterson-Balfour-Hay sold the Abbey lands to Mr John Howison, farmer of Neighbouring Parkhill, Mr Howison’s great, great grandchildren still live their today.
23rd 1291 King Edward I visits Lindores, and it is recorded that John, the Abbot, Sir William of Fenton and Sir Simon Freschle (Fraser), ‘Touched the host, kissed the gospels,’ and swore upon the great altar of the Abbey church, allegiance to England’.
23rd 1433 Paul Crawar, like James Resby before him was condemned (By Laurence of Lindores “Grand Inquisitor of Scotland”) as a heretic and burnt at the stake in St Andrews.
24th 1523 Pope Adrian VI signed a petition whereby Abbot Henry Orme, due to his old age, passed over the Abbacy of Lindores to a Monk, John Philp.
1st 1294, Lindores was visited by John Baliol and his officers of state, John Comyn, Earl of Buchan, Constable of Scotland, Alexander De Baliol, Chamberlain, and other attendants.
3rd 1364, King David II visits Lindores Abbey, where he confirmed a charter by Sir David de Lindsay of Crawford providing for a light to be burned daily at his family tomb in the choir of Lindores Abbey
9th 1296 King Edward I visits Lindores for a second time, He was travelling through Scotland and people of all classes were compelled to gather and swear allegiance to the Crown. Edward and his party stayed at Lindores on Thursday 9th and remained on the Friday for St Laurence’s day, and then left for St Andrews on the Saturday. It was on this journey that he visited Scone Palace and removed the stone of destiny.
15th 1507, Abbot Cavers of Lindores, sent his man to Falkland Palace “With Plowmyss (plums) for the King” for which the King gave the messenger three shillings, this is recorded in the High treasurer vol. iii p. 410
23rd 1305 William Wallace was executed in London, his last victory over the English being by Lindores at the Battle of Blackearnside where he defeated the Earl of Pembroke, after which he, and his men retired to Lindores to rest and fortify themselves.
26th 1190, David, Earl of Huntingdon, founder of Lindores Abbey married Matilda, daughter of the Earl of Chester.
28th 1296, Thomas, Abbot of Lindores attended the Parliament at Berwick and swore fealty to King Edward I.
13th 1290, Pope Nicholas IV granted the monks permission to wear skull caps and animal furs as many had died from the cold, though the monks had to remove their caps when at Prayer.
27th 1367, King David II, was incapable of ruling Scotland and the country deteriorated to such an extent that a Parliament was called at Scone to consider the condition of the Kingdom and devise means to replenish an empty Exchequer. William of Angus, Abbot of Lindores, attended this Parliament.
5th 1587 Patrick Leslie granted a tack of land in the parish of Dudhope to James Scrymegour, Constable of Dundee, this was one of the last records from Lindores Abbey.
7th 1510, All the possessions of Lindores Abbey were erected to a “Regality”, giving the Abbot almost “Regal” powers over the community and lands owned by the Abbey.
15th 1600 James VI bestowed to John Leslie, the “Lands of Lindores”.
19th 1355, Sir David Lindsay paid the Abbey two merks annually for the maintenance of a wax light to be kept burning eternally at the tomb of his late wife, Lady Mary, who was buried at Lindores.
27th 1497, Abbot Andrew Cavers of Lindores is appointed by King James IV to oversee the building of Linlithgow Palace.
13th 1288, de Quincy, Earl of Winchester also gave the monks of Lindores “the further favour, patronage and revenues of the church of Collessie; this was confirmed by Pope Nicholas IV, on condition that a suitable portion of the revenues be reserved for a perpetual Vicar.
18th 1718 David Leslie, the 5th Lord Lindores was without issue and conveyed the lands of Lindores to Dame Jane Leslie, Lady Newark.
25th 1365 King David and the Royal Household (100) stayed at Lindores for week over the Christmas period. The guests and their horses had to be sheltered and fed, with all festivities laid on for the Royal party, however, characteristically y he left without reimbursing the Abbot for the massive outlays, almost bankrupting the Monastery. After the King died in 1372, the Monastery was reimbursed and the Chamberlains rolls contain an entry for ‘£6, 13s. 4d “Allowed for the expenses of the late king when he kept Christmas at Lindores.
25th 1600, King James VI “Knights” John Leslie, making him a Lord of Parliament, with the title “Lord Lindores”.