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useful for family or general reference. The work is divided into thirty-one chapters, each taken up with a separate walk or section, in which all the memorials of departed worth are passed under review, the inscriptions in many cases being given in full, and in all as much interesting collateral information presented as keeps the book from being a mere dull or monotonous chronicle of the tombs. He does not claim, nor was it well possible, even if desirable, to give the names of every member of the great company resting within the area of St. Michael's, but from his minuteness, and the care with which for years he is known to have passed through its quiet walks, it may be assumed that no family burial-place with any memorial or noteworthy member has been passed by unnoticed. The book has thus an interest for friends far distant and long absent distinct from relatives nearer who may wish to renew their memories by a personal visit to the graves, book in hand. Whenever, writes Mr. M'Dowall, the persons commented upon figured in history or were connected with important events, local or national, a brief biography or descriptive sketch has been given. To town councillors and trades, with the provosts and bailies, conveners and deacons, many of them heroes of John Mayne's “Siller Gun” - considerable prominence has been given, as is the case also with those who bore rule in spiritual things, or ministered to the bodily health, or looked after the legal business of the lieges. The Latin epitaphs have in translation had the benefit of the rare scholarship of Dr. Cranstoun, rector of the Burgh Academy, whose “Catullus” and “Tibullus ' most readers of old classics in an English dress are familiar with. In the tenth chapter the walk naturally leads our author to the cholera mound, and this in turn suggests an account of the grievous pestilence referred to in the inscription :-"In this cemetery, and chiefly within this enclosure, lie the mortal remains of more than 420 inhabitants of Dumfries who were suddenly swept away by the memorable invasion of Asiatic cholera A.D. 1832. That terrible pestilence entered the town on 15th September, and remained till 27th November, during which period it seized at least 900 individuals, of whom 44 died in one day, and no more
than 415 were reported as recovered. That the benefit of this solemn warning might not be lost to posterity, this monument was erected from collections made in several churches in this town." Among the oldest monuments in St. Michael's is one erected by “a grateful spouse and pious children to commemorate the virtues of Francis Irving, merchant and magistrate, who died November, 1633 In addition to a Latin Inscription, the following lines have been added as expressing the personal opinion of the old citizen :
King James at first me Balive named
We should not omit to mention that a fair index of names and subjects permits Mr. M‘Dowall's book to be turned up with the utmost readiness by all wishing to know what can be known about the work done while it was day by the now silent occupants of the old burying-place of St. Michael's, Dumfries.
DUMFRIES ROOD FAIR.
WHILE nothing is easier to note than the mere market or trade aspect of fairs, there is a difficulty sometimes in accounting for the vitality of old customs, which has helped to raise certain gatherings of this kind almost to the dignity of national institutions. Fairs in Scotland have originated in various ways. In days when the Church was learned as well as powersul, she invariably fung her protecting arm round the little community gathered near the monastery or cathedral, and even conferred upon them special privileges in the way of trade, or exemption from dues. Glasgow and Paisley, Dunfermline and Brechin, all owe their fairs to the Church. Ayr and Stirling, again, with Perth and Inverness, are of civil or royal origin. A third class, such as Falkirk, Muir of Ord, and Carman, may more properly be set down as “trysts,” or markets originating from the ordinary necessities or conveniences of stock trading. Civil in origin, yet with a brotherhood of Grey Friars in their midst, and possessed at the same time of special “tryst” or market features, Dumfries Rood Fair may be said to present features belonging to all three classes. The gathering itself is of old date, in all probability. coeval with the foundation of the burgh by William the Lion. His character of erection is not in existence, nor has any copy of it been seen in modern times. The usual form observed was for the sovereign to declare to all concerned that the town or "vil” described, had been raised to the dignity of a burgh, and possessed all the liberties enjoyed by the King's other burghs. The burgesses were freed from tolls throughout the kingdom, and a certain cohesion was given to their corporate existence, by a grant of lands contiguous to the town. Stated fairs as a rule were also permitted to be held in the course of the year, and toll and customs due to the burgh, fell to be collected at places set forth in the charter. A second charter of King Robert III., dated at Glasgow, 1395, confirms all previous
customs and privileges, with the addition of Nith fishings, excepting only such portion as had been granted by predecessors out of Divine charity to the Minorite Brethren. A formal but apparently uncompleted precept for a new charter by King James VI., in 1621, purports to confer upon the Magistrates and Council authority "to have and use within the burgh upon ilk Monday and Friday, ane publick mercat day, togidder with twa fairis in the year, the ane thereoif to begin upon the [blank] day of Apryle, and the aither upon the fourtene day of September yearlie, and aither of them to continue for the space of aucht days theireafter." Influenced, apparently, by the festival day of the burgh's patron, St. Michael the Archangel (Sept. 29), the autumn or Rood Fair was fixed at a stated period between this date and the other Church festival known as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross or Rood, “Exaltatio Sanctæ Crucis." St. Michael himself composedly trampling the dragon under foot, may still be seen, as graven by a cunning hand, in front of the midsteeple buildings, the Town's Chamber for many years before removal to Buccleuch Street. About this St. Michael much amusing literature, diverting at any time, but especially suitable at fair time, has been written by grave clergymen. In the “New Statistical Account” one reverend gentleman, ignorant apparently of the traditions gathering round the name of him who in Heaven made war against the Woman, describes St. Michael as "a Popish saint of extreme sanctity,” while another identifies his “Kirkmichael” with the burial-place of the archangel.
In early days, and in accordance with what was known as “ The Laws of the Four Burghs,” after the peace of the fair was proclaimed, it was not lawful to capture or attack any wrong-doer within the burgh, unless he had broken the peace of the fair, or was a traitor to the King, or had been guilty of some misdeed for which Holy Church itself could not give "gyrth” or sanctuary. None have as yet been able to trace the “ Pied Poudre ” Court in Scotland, but from the readiness with which appeals could be made to “the bailies of the fair” in the case of articles lost or stolen, it may be inferred that such magistrates formed a ready court of reference in all disputes between the burgesses and the “dustyfoot”
or travelling merchant.
As a salutary warning to evil-doers, market or fair days were generally fixed upon for carrying out extreme sentences of the law. It is mentioned in M‘Dowall's excellent “History of Dumfries" that in April, 1659, nine unfortunate women, condemned as witches, were inhumanly strangled and burnt at the usual place of execution, on a Wednesday afternoon. The local clergy, on this occasion, being unable to overtake the task of spiritual consolation, was assisted on the day of execution by brethren from Galloway. In the face of all the changes in trade caused by railways, the Rood Fair gathering in the south has, from generation to generation, been considered the event of the year. Young and old have been alike interested in the return of the welcome season; and to it in troops they flock from every point of the compass—from the green holms of Annandale to the solitary Glenkens—from breezy Kyle to Solway shore-all direct their journey to “Maggie, by the banks of Nith." Then they are of all classes. In the space between Church Place and Assembly Street, there may be seen the laird and the factor, the farmer and the cottar, wives and daughters, man-servant and maid-servant. Elderly fair-goers have a habit of contrasting the splendour of the fair nowadays with what it was in past times, when the seven incorporated trades turned out with their gaudy trappings on the Thursday, or town's holiday, and a glimpse might even have been obtained of King James' famous gift, “the Siller Gun," as it was borne in triumph to their own hall. In "the shows," especially, the falling off is described as a local calamity. And certainly with Jerry Wombwell on the White Sands, and old Ord on the Green, a poor substitute is presented by a gaudy show of shooting ranges and a ricketty caravan or two, even though they do happen to contain Peruvian Pangythans. David Street, too, has been shorn of its crockery display, and all the china or Staffordshire ware to be seen there might be packed within the space of a common crate. Burwell's Bazaar, a very Cave of Aladdin, with its sanded floor and gay contents, not to speak of the desperate excitement of the lottery, was first removed from its time-honoured stance in Buccleuch Street, and now seems to be altogether