Demperston AMY S NO224114 1 362 75m SEF

    Malcolmo de Demstartona 1315 x 1315 x 1353 Skene of Pitlour Muniments (Cupar) [o.c.; witness; inspeximus of a charter of 1315 x c.1353 inspected 1359 x 1372]
    (James of) Demstarton’ 1395 St A. Lib. 3
    (Henry of) Dempstartoune 1450 RMS ii no. 394 [son of James of Demperston]
    (lands of) Dempstartoun 1450 RMS ii no. 394
    (Henry of) Dempstaretoune 1451 RMS ii no. 435
    (lands of) Dempstarestoun 1451 RMS ii no. 435
    (Henry) Dempstartoun’ 1466 Dunf. Reg. no. 458 [of that ilk]
    (James) Dempstaretoune 1481 RMS ii no. 1467 [of that ilk]
    (half of) Dempstartoun 1502 RMS ii no. 2635 [Sir William Scott sells 12 merk annual rent from his lands of half of Demperston to Sir John Lundy of that ilk]
    (half of) Dempstartoune 1503 RMS ii no. 2733 [John of Lundy gives 12 merks from his half of Demperston and other monies to a new chapel in Largo FIF]
    Dempstartoun 1510 RMS ii no. 3427 [see discussion, below]
    molendino de Dempstartoun 1510 RMS ii no. 3427
    Dempstertoun 1529 RMS iii no. 760 col. 2 [with its mill, to Scott of Balwearie]
    Warde de Dempstertoun 1529 RMS iii no. 760 col. 2 [see Laing’s Land AMY]
    Dempsterstoun 1548 RMS iv no. 200 [‘in the common muir and land of Auchtermuchty’ (in communi more et terra de Auchtermukty)]
    petr<a> de Dempstartoun 1591 RMS v no. 1946 [‘the stone of Demperston’; see AMY Intro., Royal Burgh]
    Dempstertounes Eister et Wester 1605 RMS vi no. 1564
    Demperston 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
    Dempstarton 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
    Demperstounes Eister et Wester 1665 Retours (Fife) no. 374 [in the barony of Strathmiglo; wrongly punctuated ‘Demperstounes, Eister et Wester Skilbirsland et Skelboland’]
    Demperstone 1722 Geog. Coll. i, 296 [‘belonging to Lord Burliegh (sic)’]
    Demperstone 1775 Ainslie/Fife
    Demperstone Easter and Wester 1818 Sasines no. 12,006 [ ‘... parts of the barony of Strathmiglo viz town and lands of Demperstone, Easter and Wester Skilbosland and Skiboland, and that part named Walkersland’ (no parish given)]
    Demperstone 1828 SGF
    Demperston Hill 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn

Sc dempster + Sc toun

The dempster was a legal official descended from the Gaelic breitheamh, Latin judex. Demperston would have been the lands which went with this office at the sheriff court of Cupar. For the decline in importance of the office of dempster in the feudal era, see Fife Ct. Bk. pp. lxvi–lxix; for breitheamh, see Sellar 1985, 3–4; also Barrow 1973, 69–82. 1.6 km to the north-east of the present steading of Demperston, and probably once contiguous, lies Mairsland AMY. This first appears as ‘the land <of> the mair (terra le Mare)’ in 1294 (PRO E101/331/1) (see AMY Intro., Secular History, above; and PNF 5, App. 2 for full text); and in 1517 as Marisland (RMS iii no. 168). The mair was also an originally pre-feudal legal official, discussed in Fife Ct. Bk. pp. lxii ff.

    In 1510 the barony of Strathmiglo granted to William Scott included Demperston, and part of the rent or reddendo of this barony was the obligation to pay ‘one common suit at the courts of the sheriffdom of Fife, which [entailed that] at the will of the king he should be judge, viz the dempster’ (unam communem sectam ad curias vic. de Fyffe, que ad voluntatem regis esset adjudicator, viz le dempstare) (RMS ii no. 3427). This condition is repeated in 1529, when it is stated that for the barony of Strathmiglo, which again included Demperston, William Scott junior should pay common suit at the sheriffdom courts, which [entailed that] at the will of the king he should be judicator of those courts, ‘Scotice dempstar’ (RMS iii no. 760 col. 4; for full text, see SLO Intro., The Scotts and Strathmiglo, pp. 659–60, below).

    The lands of Demperston are linked with those of Kylboysland and Scolloland in 1481, all three of which are granted to John Scheves of Kilwhiss CLS on the resignation of James Demperston of that ilk (RMS ii no. 1467).

    Demperston Hill is shown on OS Pathf. rising to 250 m about 1 km north-west of Demperston. This hill is part of the parish commonty of *Auchtermuchty Hill.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 4