History of Dunfermline

                               Wednesday, February 21, 2018 
The Gaelic name for Dunfermline is Gaelic "Dùn Fearam Linn" which translates as "the fort in the bend of the stream," and was in fact the capital of Scotland until the mid-15th   century Dunfermline is one of the districts in Fife, the Scottish Gaelic name is Fìobha, in Scotland the others districts are, North-East Fife and Kirkcaldy.

One of the earliest centuries when Dunfermline was documented in writing was in the mid-11thcentury King Malcolm III and was later nicknamed Canmore “Big Head.” and or “Long Neck” of a couple of the many nicknames he was given. He was the King of Scots though his Kingdom didn’t cover all of Scotland as we would have expected. He fought many wars against the Kingdom of England so to extent his own Kingdom further. He was married twice first to Ingibiorg, daughter of Finn Arnasson of Halland and then to Margaret, daughter of Edward the Aetheling son of Edmund II of England. His second wife Queen Margaret Consort to the King of Scotland is the only Scottish royal to beatified and became Saint Margaret of Scotland. She is the Patron Saint of Dunfermline and in her lifetime she did a lot of good work to help the less fortunate and also remained ever faithful and true to her Catholic religion. Her remains after her death were placed in Dunfermline Abbey. She died within nine days, after hearing that her husband and son were killed at the Battle of Alnwick in 1093. King Malcolm died in battle with his son from his second marriage, and the son of Queen Margaret. It is reputed that when her husband King Malcolm was reburied either in Dunfermline Abbey or a place called Iona of the small islands in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. 

King Robert I was also known as Robert the Bruce, his remains also lay in Dunfermline Abbey; King was the King of Scots from 1309 until 1329 the year of his death. He had helped in securing Scotland’s Independence at the time; he has supported William Wallace after Wallace was defeated. He is also famous because of the story about him and the Spider.

King Edward I of England, made Robert the Bruce an outlaw in his own Scottish land after he was defeated in battle and had escaped capture and hid for a number of months.  Robert the Bruce took refuge in some caves. He was in the depth of despair and the lowest point of his life, his loved ones and family captured and having to decide what action he should take next. In deep contemplation at the opening of the cave he saw a spider trying to spin its web each time failing but then trying again and again. After several attempts the spider succeeded. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. This phrase is what he had gone on to tell his men. Having witnessed the spider’s determination Robert the Bruce felt  he would try again and would continue the battle for Scotland he was now encouraged by this little spider to never give up and continue his fight.

With his new found confidence he left the north coast of Ireland and headed back to Scotland. The battle against the English went on for many years and finally victory would be his at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 finally driving out the English. King Robert I was one of Scotland’s greatest Kings.

King William II of Scotland also known as (King William III of England and Ireland) was the last King of Scotland his reign was from 1689 until his death in 1702. His successor was Queen Anne who was to be the last Monarch of Scotland, Queen of Scots, because by the year 1707 on the 1st of May, under the acts of Union 1707 Scotland and England were united as the Kingdom of Great Britain a single sovereign state. To this day, many Scots still yearn and want their Independence from England and so the political fight continues.

Dunfermline - Recent Times

Moving on to more recent times, and to a gentleman called Andrew Carnegie. He was born in Dunfermline on the 25th November 1835. When he was a child, Andrew and his parents migrated to the United States in the hope of a better life. They had taken out a loan from a friend to fund the trip and paid it back in full when they were able to make a living in America. His first job was in the United States when he was a teenager and he worked in various factories working hard to improve him and working his way up and improving his working status. Wise investments and business deals went on to make him the richest men in the world because in 1901 his company Carnegie Steel, he went on to sell his steel company to J.P Morgan for approximately $480 million dollars.

Andrew Carnegie went on to spend his final years in Scotland on his estate. He also became a philanthropist giving much of his fortune away, hundreds of millions of dollars to project for example; to libraries, universities, education and scientific and technological research and last but not least world peace. The first Carnegie library was opened in Dunfermline in 1883; he also opened a number of them in the United States as well as Canada and other destinations across the globe.

The private estate which Andrew Carnegie purchased in Dunfermline, he gave back to the people of Dunfermline it became and was called Pittencrieff Park, a public park for the general public and a trust was also set up in his name, the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust to benefit the people of Dunfermline. His place of birth was purchased for him by his wife Louise and became a Museum of his life and of his rag-to-riches story. “The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum.”

Now back to current times to the life of Lee Stewart, he has lived most of his life in Dunfermline, and like the area continues to show the world that some amazing and interesting people still live and work in Dunfermline and Lee Stewart just happens to be one of them, an up and coming and much awaited talented Poet from Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland.