Covanenter’s Tomb

A Woodland Walk on the Estate

A pleasant walk with spring flowers, dappled summer shade or colorful autumn leaves in season can be found in the estate’s eastern woodland where the old Covenanter’s ruined tomb is located. It is assumed to be the last resting place of Sir James Scott and his wife Antonia Scott. The woodland walk is accessed over a stone style then subsequent second high style (not easy) and slippery in the rain, from the south east. An alternative route without styles can be taken from the car park. Woodland plantings of ferns, bluebells (deer dependent) and of course daffodils grow along with the wild primroses and violets which can be seen near the old tomb.

Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome, please pick up after your dog. (Thank you).

  • Sir James Scott first appears in the historical record with his acquisition of Rossie. At that time he was married to Antonia Willobie (Willoughby) (of whom little is known) and they had two daughters: Mary and Anna.
  • Sir James Scott is known to have pursued a military career outside Scotland and is mentioned as an officer in the army of the Republic of Venice who fought for the Republic in the Thirty Years War.
  • Sir James Scott next appears in the historical record as having an official role at the June 11, 1634 funeral of the 1st Earl of Buccleuch

He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Fife on November 26, 1634 and again on November 11, 1635 – in the company of John Brown of Fordell – his successor at Rossie who as Colonel Sir John Brown fought with the Covenanter armies against the forces of King Charles I from 1644 – 1646. Sir James Scott also appears in the Privy Council record in 1641 – on the Rolls of Delinquents.

Sir James Scott of Rossie is mentioned as an experienced if eccentric military officer commanding the left wing of the Covenanters army directly opposing James Graham, 5th Earl and 1st Marquis of Montrose, overall commander of the Royalist forces who took field command of the right wing of the Royalist army in the Battle of Tippermuir on September 1, 1644. Montrose carried the day with his 3,000 strong army against the 6,000 man strength of the Covenanters. Sir James Scott distinguished himself in a losing cause.

There is no further mention of Sir James Scott in this campaign, though General Baillie is recorded in July 1645 as pursuing Montrose’s army past Rossie and Lindores accompanied by three Fife regiments. The Fife Regiments under General Baillie rendezvoused at Rossie on August 13, 1645 before marching off to participate in the Battle of Kilsyth, again lost to Montrose, on August 15, 1645.

Joan Blaeu in his Atlas of Scotland published in Amsterdam in 1654 mentions “Scott of Rossie” – although it seems probable that this was written considerably earlier than 1654, either by Sir John Scot of Scotstarvit during his visit to Amsterdam in 1645 or by Robert Gordon who wrote a number of the historical accounts in the Atlas once released by King Charles I in 1641 for that purpose.

Sir James Scott is last mentioned as living in February 1648 in the charter conveying Rossie to Sir John Brown on his betrothal to Mary, the eldest daughter of Sir John and Lady Antonia Scott. A later charter in 1653 makes clear his is no longer alive.

It seems likely that Sir James Scott and Lady Antonia Scott are the two individuals buried in the small chapel in the ‘Tomb Wood’ at Rossie. The Lady Rossie died at Rossie on May 18, 1663 and was buried there on May 27th ‘in the day time’.

Sir James was an officer in the Venetian army during the 30 years war – was a Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King James I and after he bought Rossie, fought on the Covenanter side (against the Earl of Montrose and also against Cromwell). His daughter first married a local gentlemen who commanded a cavalry troop trough those troubles and died in Leith prison from fever after the defeat at Inverkeithing. They had at least two daughters: Ana who married Sir Robert Montgomerie of Skelmorlie and Mary who married Sir John Brown of Fordel; then Richard Barclay, Laird of Collairnie and finally William Muir, Laird of Rowallan – she died in 1706 and is buried in Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh. The daughter Antonia (of John Brown) married the Laird of Dunlop in the same ceremony as her Mother in Edinburgh in 1667. In 1648, Mary Scott, the eldest daughter of Sir James and Lady Antonia Scott, married Colonel John Brown(e) of Fordell – Parish of Arngask (Perthshire) – a prominent member of the gentry and soldier – a Justice of the Peace colleague of Sir James Scott in 1635 and a brother officer in the Covenanter armies.

This Chapel was excavated in 1937 in the presence of a local Minister and a doctor. A male and female skeleton were discovered buried there, side by side. After a brief examination, a photographic record was made and the bodies were covered by a cloth and re-interred. No positive identification of the bodies proved possible from the remains examined, but it is assumed these are of Sir James Scott and his wife.