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ANSTRUTHER (locally pronounced Anster), a seaport of Fifeshire,
Scotland. It comprises the royal and police burghs of
Anstruther Easter (pop. 1190), Anstruther Wester (501) and
Kilrenny (2542), and lies 9 m. S.S.E. of St Andrews, having a
station on the North British railway company’s branch line from
Thornton Junction to St Andrews. The chief industries include
coast and deep-sea fishERIES35606-h.htm'>fisheries, shipbuilding, tanning, the making
of cod-liver oil and fish-curing. The harbour was completed in
1877 at a cost of £80,000. The two Anstruthers are divided
only by a small stream called Dreel Burn. James Melville
(1556-1614), nephew of the more celebrated reformer, Andrew
Melville, who was minister of Kilrenny, has given in his Diary
a graphic account of the arrival at Anstruther of a weatherbound
ship of the Armada, and the tradition of the intermixture
of Spanish and Fifeshire blood still prevails in the district.
Anstruther Fair36735-h.htm'>Fair supplied William Tennant (1784-1848), who
was born and buried in the town, with the subject of his poem
of “Anster Fair36735-h.htm'>Fair.” Sir James Lumsden, a soldier of fortune
under Gustavus Adolphus, who distinguished himself in the
Thirty Years’ War, was born in the parish of Kilrenny about
1598. David Martin (1737-1798), the painter and engraver;
Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), the great divine; and John
Goodsir (1814-1867), the anatomist, were natives of Anstruther.
Little more than a mile to the west lies the royal and police
burgh of Pittenweem (Gaelic, “the hollow of the cave”), a
quaint old fishing town (pop. 1863), with the remains of a priory.
About 2 m. still farther westwards is the fishing town of St
Monans or Abercromby (pop. 1898), with a fine old Gothic church,
picturesquely perched on the rocky shore. These fisher towns
on the eastern and south-eastern coasts of Fifeshire furnish
artists with endless subjects. Archibald Constable (1774-1827),
Sir Walter Scott’s publisher, was born in the parish of Carnbee,
about 3 m. to the north of Pittenweem. The two Anstruthers,
Kilrenny and Pittenweem unite with St Andrews, Cupar and
Crail, in sending one member to parliament.
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