By J.J. McKay
I have already said we do not know who the original tenants of Keirfield were previous to J. Ross McVicar who left there to take up an appointment with a Bank in Stirling. Had Mr Alexander Morrison, late Town Clerk of Bridge of Allan been alive I am quite sure he would have known, not only because he was well versed with the leading personalities in the village, but was at one time in the office of Keirfield before changing his profession to that of the law.
However, my own surmise is that the firm previous to J.R. McVicar was a Dunfermline business firm. My presumption is based on these facts.
- I have been told that my Great Grandfather drove one of the horse lorries from Dunfermline to Keirfield with cloth for bleaching
- When he died he was buried in the Abbey Burial ground (I have seen his grave – Mr Pottie told me where to look for it.) That shows he must have resided in Dunfermline.
There was no railway then and another point when I was a boy people referring to Keirfield in conversation called it “The Bleachfield” In those days, now over one hundred years ago, the cloth was dried in the fields.
So my contention is that the first tenants of Keirfield were Dunfermline Folk. I may be wrong of course, but that is my opinion.
Letter written by John Ross McVicar.
15th April 1826.
Addressed to John MacMillan.
Bank of Scotland, Stirling.
I have learned that you are now about to wind up the affairs of my father’s sequestered estate and that the final dividend proposed is expected to be 2 to 3 pso.
The situation of my father is very distressing and the only hope I have of seeing his spirits restored and himself enabled to assist in supporting the family is the prospect of the Creditors being inclined by some execution on the part of his friends to grant him a discharge. With a view to this I have been recently making approaches to all our friends and have succeeded in the promise of getting a sum raised which will be sufficient to enable you to make the final dividend provided the sum necessary shall not exceed £350 which I am ready to pay over to you as soon as the Creditors shall agree to grant the Discharge upon payment of such a final proposition.
You know the situation on which my father has been ever since the derangement of his affairs and I trust you can assure the Creditors that he made a most faithful surrender and has afforded you every aid in winding up his affairs and trust upon your representation they be inclined to listen favourably to this proposal, which I assure you is the very utmost that can ever be offered them and you may believe I have not affected this without great difficulty.
I am yours sincerely,
John Ross McVicar
David Rutherfoord lost £141.5s in this sequestration – far more than most!
National Archives of Scotland CS96/1879 Title Walter Stirling, physician, Stirling. Trust sederunt book Dates 1798-1818
Trust Disposition and Settlement. Also deals with effects of late Charles Stirling, Keirfield, Walter's brother. Charles had bleachfield and lime works. Inventory of household furniture, farm utensils and stock. Rental of property in Stirling. Payments to Dr John Glas in India. Extent 178pp Previous numbers Process: CS237/G11/1. Ex CS237/Misc.17/2
Stirling Walter 30/06/1803 Dr, physician in Stirling. Stirling Commissary Court CC21/6/98 (4 pages)
CS96/2072 Roup Roll of Household Furniture of N. and J. MacVicar, Bleachers in Keirfield, 5 February 1827
John MacVicar, born 1780, married Ann Ross on the 20th April 1805 in Lecropt.
1. Neil Macvicar – Christening: 22 APR 1806 Lecropt
2. John Ross Macvicar – Christening: 25 MAY 1807 Lecropt
3. Jean Helen Macvicar – Christening: 05 NOV 1808 Lecropt
4. George Macvicar – Christening: 20 MAY 1811 Lecropt
5. MARY ANN MACVICAR – Christening: 08 MAR 1812 Lecropt
6. Mary Macvicar – Christening: 08 MAR 1813 Lecropt
John Ross MacVicar married Catherine Young on the 8th June 1833 in Lecropt.
1. JOHN MACVICAR – Birth: 09 APR 1834 Lecropt (christened in Edinburgh)
2. CHARLES YOUNG MACVICAR – Christening: 30 AUG 1835 Lecropt
3. MARY ANN SHIRREFF MACVICAR -Birth: 20 SEP 1836 Lecropt
4. NEIL MACVICAR – Christening: 14 FEB 1838 Lecropt
5. NEIL MACVICAR – Christening: 21 APR 1839 Lecropt
6. CHARLES YOUNG MCVICAR – Christening: 30 AUG 1840 Lecropt
7. GEORGE EDWARD MACVICAR – Christening: 09 SEP 1842 Lecropt
8. JANE HELEN MACVICAR – Christening: 20 JUN 1844 Lecropt
9. FLORA CATHERINE MACVICAR – Birth: 27 SEP 1847 Lecropt
10. CATHERINE MCVICAR – Christening: 12 MAY 1854 Stirling
J McVicar and D. Rutherford subscribed to The ORIGINAL COLLECTION OF THE POEMS OF OSSIAN 1816.
1841 census - Keirfield, Lecropt John R McVicar, Head, age 30, Bleacher, born Stirlingshire Alexr M Taylor, age 25, Cotton Manufacturer, born Scotland Agnes Armstrong, age 15, Family Serv, born Stirlingshire