Dalserf Kirk Session Records


Transcriptions from the Kirk Session records, Dalserf.

Anne Brown's 1st Compearance
Dalserf Kirk 10th December 1854
Post Preces Sederunt. The Reverend Mr. Rorison Moderator and Messers G. Martin and J. Gibson Elders. Compeared Anne Brown craving to be taken in discipline - she having brought forth a child in uncleaness nearly two years ago of which she declared William Cate, Mason then employed at Mauldside Castle to be the father and she having produced a written acknowledgment of 
paternity of said child from the said William Cate the Session agreed to comply with her request. And she was accordingly admonished for the first time, and after being summoned Apud Acta, to attend a meeting of Session on the 1st Sabbath of next month was dismissed. Concluded with prayer. William Rorison Moderator.
Receipt and Distribution of Mr. Stuart's Legacy
Dalserf Kirk 4th January 1835
Post Preces Sederunt, Minister and Elders present Mr. T. Anderson, Mr. J. Cooper, Mr. G. Martin and J. Gibson Elders - The treasurer (J. Gibson) reported that he received in full of last year's interest of three hundred pounds of Mr. Stuart's Legacy the sum of twelve pounds from Mr. Lahore(?) of Birkenshaire, and of interest for the same period of one hundred and fifty pounds of ditto Legacy from Mr. Burr(?) of Braehead the sum of six pounds eight shillings amounting in all to 18 pounds - 8 which was divided forthwith among the said Elders according to their respective lists, presented and adhered(?) of by the Session - Concluded with prayer - John Russell Moderator - John Gibson Session Clerk.
William Leighbody, Agnes Witherspoone & James Prentice absolved Dalserf Kirk 7th December 1834 - Post Preces Sederunt Minister & Elders Compeared William Leighbody and Agnes Witherspoone guilty of Antinuptual fornication also James Prentice whose wife was not present, guilty of the same offense - which three persons after being seriously admonished were all 
absolved and dismissed. Also Giles Rinto - Compeared also Giles Rinto (see preceding minute) who after being seriously admonished was likewise absolved and dismissed.
...Farmer Howlet Hole was the father of said child Archd Rimpleton being compeared and the woman having repeated the above Declaration in his presence he acknowledged himself guilty of carnal connection with the said Jean Forrest. The parties were accordingly admonished for the first time and the Moderator having stated that Daniel Forrest Farmer Auldton Father of the said Jean Forrest now to all appearance fast approaching the gates of death had expressed a very anxious wish to him to have his said grandchild baptized as soon as possible that he might have the satisfaction if possible before his going the way of all the earth of seeing the said child baptized. The Session agreed to accede to his wishes and summoned both parties to attend a Sederunt next Lord's Day.  
J. Brown charges James Struthers of being the father of her child Compeared also Jean Brown Daughter of John Brown Weaver Auldton Declaring that she had ?oldy brought forth a child in uncleaness and that James Struthers Weaver Dalserf was the father of it. James Struthers on being 
called compeared - the woman having repeated her Declaration before him he the said James Struthers denied ever having had carnal knowledge of the said Jean Brown - The said J. Brown having been asked if she could bring any proofs of the said James Struthers ever having kept private company with her said she could not. That J. Struthers had dragged her one evening off the road into the entrance of a park where the child was begotten. J. Struthers denied ever having been in private company with her in his life. J. Brown having been asked if she could adduce proof of any kind said that he (J. Struthers) had a conversation with Maxwell Brown weaver Dalserf which as she supposed would lead to substantiate his guilt and that the said M. Brown was now in attendance - The said M. Brown being called compeared Being solemnly sworn juryed of malice and partial council Depones(?).

That J. Struthers came to his house on a Sabbath morning immediately after having been charged by J. Brown mother as being the father of the said J. Brown's child and told him what had occurred - to which Dep(?) replied that he (defendant) must just marry her to which J. Struthers replied if she had 
been as decent a woman as her sister Mary and Janet (at the same time swearing by his maker and applying very foul epithets to J. Brown) he would never have denied it - That about ? relations being then in company with Dep his (Disp?) brother James, David Brown, Sawyer, Howlet Hole and James Muir weaver Dalserf James Struthers said that he made her (Jean Brown) ?old me to swear that the child was his and that he would take with it but would not bring it up as a father - Causa(?) &C and all this is truth &C - Signed Maxwell Brown

The case of J. Brown & James Struthers resumed D. Brown's Deposition Janet Brown & J. Struthers being called both compeared the woman still adhered to her former Declaration and the man to his denial - Witnesses (see last minute) were then called - David Brown, Sawyer Howlet Hole, being 
solemnly sworn &C Depones - That about three weeks ago he was in company with James Struthers in Stephen Brown's house along with James Brown, Maxwell Brown, and James Muir - that James Struthers on that occasion said that J. Brown would give her oath that her child was his he (Defendant) would father it - Thanks but is not sure that he added he would not bring it up as a 
father - That further &C (signed David Brown)

James Muir Deposition
James Muir weaver Dalserf being solemnly sworn &C Depones that he was present at the conference mentioned in the Depositires(?) of Maxwell Brown and David Brown - Heard James Struthers say he would give J. Brown full liberty to swear the child upon him but he would do nothing as a father for it - That further the Deponsit(?) knoweth not. Signed James Muir

Interim Decision of the Session
Carlus(?) having been removed and the Session having taken the case into serious consideration came unanimously to the following resolution - that though the woman had succeeded in throwing a considerable suspicion of guilt on the man yet not to that degree to satisfy him of the propriety of taking her oath at present - They therefore agreed to postpone further procedure in the case till after the birth of the child. The parties having been called in, this resolution was intimated to them - concluded with prayer John Russell Moderator.

J. Struthers craves procedure
Dalserf Kirk 25th January 1834
Post Preces Sederunt, The Reverend James Russell, Messers Cooper, Anderson, Martin, & Gibson Elders - compeared James Struthers craving procedure in his case (see the Minutes of the 10th November last) - It having been certified to the Session that the woman had been delivered some time ago since and was going about her usual avocations the Session granted the prayer and 
accordingly instructed their officer to summon Jean Brown to compear before them next Lord's Day - concluded with prayer

J. Struthers & J. Brown's case decided
John Gibson Session Clerk - Dalserf Kirk 2nd February 1834 Post Preces Sederunt the Rev Dr. Russell Messers Martin, Cooper, Anderson and Gibson Elders - James Struthers & J. Brown being called both compeared - First the woman & then the man were asked if they still adhered to their former Declarations and being seriously admonished to tell the truth both parties persisted in their original Declarations - The Session having taken the matter into their most serious consideration did not think themselves warranted to take the oath of either the one or the other - They accordingly 
unanimously agreed to lift all further procedure in the matter for the present time by hoping that God in his all wise and judicious Providence will we Pray throw more light upon it concluded with prayer, John Russell Moderator - John Gibson Session Clerk

Dalserf Kirk 7th December 1834
Further procedure in the case of James Struthers and Jean Brown (see the Minute of the 2nd February last) - The man produced a decision of the sheriff in every respect similar to that given by the Session and craved procedure - the Moderator at the request of the Session solemnly interrogated first the man and then the woman if each of them was willing to make Oath to their 
former Declarations and both having Declared their willingness to do so the Session strongly and unanimously refused all further present procedure in the case and adhered to their