Rathillet KLM S NO365209 1 351 75m
Radhulit 1160 x 1162 RRS i no. 190 [17th c. copy; king grants Rathillet and other lands to Duncan, earl of Fife, and his heir, born of his wife Ada]
molendino meo de Rathulith 1233 x 1239 Balm. Lib. no. 37 [14th c. copy; see Rathillet Mill, below]
(teinds of) <R>a<t>htulit 1240 x 1253 St A. Lib. p. xxviii no. 45 [printed Zachtulit; see KLM Intro., above]
in emendac<i>one … aule manerii de Rahulli 1294 PRO E 372/141/m. 56 [‘for the repair of … the hall of the manor of Rathillet’; see PNF 5, App. 2]
in emendatione aule manerii de Rathuly 1294 PRO E 101/331/1 A
gardenariis de Rathuly 1294 PRO E 101/331/1 A [‘to the gardeners of Rathillet’ and of Balfarg MAI 14 s. 4 d., paid by earl of Fife; see PNF 5, App. 2]
Rathulyschyr’ 1294 PRO E 101/331/1 B [earl of Fife; see PNF 5, App. 2]
manerio de Rathuly 1294 PRO E 101/331/1 B
Rathulyth 1318 RRS v no. 141 [15th c. copy of an inspection by Robert I of an inspection by Alexander II of a 1217 charter by Malcolm earl of Fife to Culross Abbey; see note RRS v, p. 419; and Mountquhanie KLM, above]
de firmis terrarum de Rothulyte 1451 ER v, 467 [‘from the fermes of the lands of Rathillet’; also ‘from the fermes of the grain mill of that same toun’ (de firmis molendini granorum ejusdem ville), a reference to Rathillet Mill]
Rothulith 1451 ER v, 472 [£5 rent paid yearly to the Dominicans of Cupar]
Rothulite 1453 ER v, 526
Rothulyt 1454 ER v, 682 [rents to royal exchequer]
annuum redditum 5 librarum de terris de Rathuliet 1519 RMS iii no. 196
terras de Rathulit 1528 RMS iii no. 711 [with mill; earl of Crawford]
terras de Rathulit 1529 RMS iii no. 753 [to George earl of Rothes]
Rathuliet 1543 RMS iii no. 2964
Rathalert 1611 Retours (Fife) no. 220
Rathillet 1627 Retours (Fife) no. 356 [Richard Cunningham, lands of Rathillet ‘with the brewlands <called> lie Brewlandis, and astrict multures of the lands of Murdochcairnie and Star, and of the same lands of Rathillet’ (cum Breweriis lie Brewlandis’ <nuncupatis> et astrictis multuris terrarum de Murdocarney et Star, et earundem terrarum de Rathillet)]
Radthullet 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Rathalet 1656 Retours (Fife) no. 1449
terris de Rathillit 1670 Retours (Fife) no. 1075 [David Halkerstoun]
terris de Rathillet 1682 Retours (Fife) no. 1210 [John Falconer, £188 in rent from ‘the lands of Rathillet and Dams’ (et Dam)]
Ruthellat Place 1775 Ainslie/Fife [‘Halkston Esqr’; OS Pathf. Rathillet House]
Ruthellat 1775 Ainslie/Fife [= OS Pathf. Rathillet]
Halkerstones of Rathillet 1845 NSA ix, 639 [Mr Helenus Halkerston sold Rathillet to Mr Sweet about 1772 or 1773]
Rathillet 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Rathillet Mill 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
G ràth + ?
‘Fort, fortified enclosure of ?’. W. J. Watson proposed that the second element was Ulad (gen. pl.) ‘of (the) Ulstermen’ (1926, 239). However, if it is this word, it is perhaps more likely to be gen. sing. Ulaid, ‘of (the) Ulsterman’, given the predominance of early forms with the slender vowel i in the final syllable.
NMRS (NO32SE 23) records the site of the thirteenth-century hall of the manor of Rathillet (see under 1294, above) at NO359208, giving Laing 1876, 448 as a reference, and adding that there is now no trace of this visible. It also gives (ibid. no. 15) the site of medieval Rathillet Mill at NO36012116, as well as a medieval drainage system at NO35 20 (see Rathillet Mill, for more details).
From the 1160s, if not before, Rathillet belongs to the earls of Fife (RRS i no. 190). It was the caput of the secular territory of Rathilletshire (Rathulyschyr’ 1294), an area probably at one time co-extensive with the parish of Kilmany.
OS Pathf. shows, in addition to Rathillet, Rathillet House, Rathillet Wood and Rathillet Mill (disused).
Rathillet must be one of the few Fife place-names which has become a verb, albeit now obsolete: Sir Robert Sibbald, in his autobiography, writing of the time of his brief conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1685, tells of ‘an angry mob’ (not further identified), who ‘came in a tumult to my house to assassinate me. ... They searched the bed, and not finding me, went away, after they had sworn that they would “Rathillet” me...’. A footnote explains: “an allusion to the murder of Archbishop Sharpe [in 1679], in which Halkerston of Rathillet was the principal actor. Hence the populace adopted the phrase ‘to Rathillet’ in lieu of ‘to assassinate’” (Sibbald Autobiography, 38). He avoided being ‘Rathilleted’ by escaping out of a window. He concludes this episode with the words ‘I repented of my rashness and resolved to return to the church I was born in’.
/rəˈθɪlət/ or /raˈθɪlət/
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4