From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.

David Guthrie of Kincaldrum - 12th January 1574



The descent of the family of GUTHRIE of Guthrie and their relationship to Dundee has been explained where the admission of ALEXANDER GUTHRIE, Fiar, of that Ilk, is noted, under date 20th June, 1559 (vide page 33). DAVID GUTHRIE of Kincaldrum was an uncle of this ALEXANDER, and consequently son of ANDREW GUTHRIE and of CHRISTIAN GARDYNE of Gardyne. Kincaldrum was the estate usually given to younger sons of the Lairds of Guthrie, and though the name of DAVID does not appear in the genealogy of the family, his existence is proved by his signature to several charters, in which he is described as the son of ANDREW. It was his brother ALEXANDER who was assassinated at Inverpeffer by his cousin PATRICK GARDYNE, as already related. The most important event, however, with which his name is associated took place two years after his admission as Burgess of Dundee. On the 18th July, 1576, he appeared in presence of the REGENT MORTON and the Lords of the Privy Council, at Edinburgh, together with his nephew, WILLIAM GUTHRIE of Halkertoun, WILLIAM RYND of Carse, and JAMES ARBUTHNOT of Len¬tusche, and gave in a bond and obligation making himself surety with them for the printing of the first Scottish Bible. The terms of this contract are of sufficient interest to be transcribed here, as they are entered in the Records of the Privy Council:

"Be it kend till all men be thir present lettres, we ALEXANDER ARBUTHNOT merchand, and THOMAS BASSINDEN imprentair, Burgesses of Edinburgh; that forsamekill as oure Soverain Lord, with avise and consent of his rycht traist Coursing JAMES, ERLL OF MORTOUN, LORD OF DALKEYTH, Regent to his Hienes, his realme and lieges, has grantit us not onelie licence for imprinting of the Bybill, bot als hes causit us be avanceit of the pryces of a greit nowmer of the same Bybillis afoirhand, for furthering of the werk, - that be contributioun of parrochynaris of the parroche Kirkis, inbrocht and collectit be the labouris and diligence of the Bischoppis, Superintendentis, and Visitouris of the Dyoceis and Cuntreis, according to ane ordour and aggrement maid betwix thame and us, allowit and anthorizit be the REGENTIS, grace. And in respect that the werk lies not yit takin effect, in respect of the impedinientis occurring, as alsua that - sen the conditioun making, the souritie fund be me the said ALEXANDER ARBUTHNOT is departit this lyff - it hes plesit the REGENTIS grace yit to grant unto us the space of nyne monethis following the last day of Marche instant for wirking and performing of the said werk, within the quhilk space we have promittit that the werk salbe accomplissit and the bukis deliverit to the debursaris of the said avancement and con¬tributioun, conforme to the said aggrement; thairfoir to be bundin and obleist, and be the tennour heirof bindis and obleissis us, conjunctlie and severalie, as principallis; DAVID GUTHRIE Of Kincaldrum, WILLIAME GUTHRIE of Halkertoun, WILLIAME RYND of Kerse, and JAMES ARBUTHNOT of Lentusche as sourties, conjunctlie and severalie for me the said ALEXANDER ARBUTHNOT, and JAMES NORWELL Burges of Edinburgh, as souirtie for me the said THOMAS BASSINDEN, our airis and executionris; that we sall wirk, and perfyte the said werk of imprenting of the Bybill dewlie and sufficientlie, within the said space of nyne monethis nixt following the said last day of Marche instant, and sall deliver the Bukis, bund in black and claspit, to the use of every parrochyn that hes avanceit and gevin the said contributioun for furthering of the said werk, howsone eftir the end of the saidis nyne monethis as we salbe requirit be ony ane of the parrochyn, or ony uther in name of the same havand thair directioun to ressave the said Bybill, but forder delay, fraude or gyle; and in case of failye, sall rander and deliver the money ressavit be us, to every ane parrochyn thair awin part and portioun."

This important historical bond was dated 18th March, 1575, and signed by all the persons named.
A series of misfortunes overtook this Bible. On the 11th January, 1576 77, ALEXANDER ARBUTHNOT complained that THOMAS BASSINDEN was not executing the work with all possible diligence, and stated that "he on na wayis will do the samyn without he be compellit, quhair¬throw the saii werk lyis ydill in the menetyme, to the greit hurt of the commoun weill of this realme." The Privy Council ordered that BASSINDEN should at once hand over, not only that portion of the work which he had completed, but also his "prenting irons and necessaris appertening thairto meit for setting furthwart of the said werk." Even after the Bible was finished, great difficulty was experienced by the subscribers in obtaining the copies for which they had paid, and an action was raised against DAVID GUTHRIE of Kincaldrum and the other sureties in 1587 nine years after the date of the bond by ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS, Messenger in Old Aberdeen, for 102 " Biblis bund in blak and glasspitt," which the deceased ALEXANDER ARBUTHNOT and THOMAS BASSINDEN had failed to deliver. Three years afterwards these Bibles had not reached their destination, and letters of horning were granted in 1590 against DAVID GUTHRIE of Kincaldrum. The last trace of this notable Burgess of Dundee is under date 1592, and he appears to have been succeeded at that time by his eldest son ALEXANDER.