Balcomie CRA S NO625099 1 364 25m EAF

fon<s> de Balcolmy 1178 x 1185 RRS ii no. 196 [late copy; see Wormiston CRA]
fon<s> de Balcolme 1178 x 1185 RRS ii no. 196 [late copy; see Wormiston]
terras de Balcolmy 1178 x 1185 RRS ii no. 196 [late copy; see Wormiston]
(Sir William of) Balcolmy 1253 Lind. Cart. no. 64 (p. 72)
(John de Hay lord of) Balcolmy 1278 Balm. Lib. no. 42
(Robert of) Balcolmy 1297 CDS ii no. 880 [constable of Crail]
(Robert of) Balcolmi 1305 CDS ii no. 1670
Johanne Balcolmy 1329 ER i, 146
(John of) Balcolmy 1363 RRS vi no. 291 [w.]
(John of) Balcolmy 1375 RMS i no. 617 [resigns whole land of Cambo KBS]
(Thomas of) Balcolme 1390 x 1406 RMS i app. 2 no. 1677 A [16th c. index]
(superiority of) Balcomy 1394 RMS i app. 2, no. 1703 B [17th c. index; granted to David Lindsay, belonging to Nicoll Hay; ibid. A has Balonye]
(George Lauder laird of) Balcomie 1445 NLS MS Adv. 15.1.18 no. 103 [Lauder (who was also bishop of Argyll) grants leave to canons of St Andrews to quarry building stone from the hill commonly called Cragmore][96]
Balcomy 1537 RMS iii no. 1710 [to James Learmonth (Leirmonth) and Griselda Meldrum, the lands of Balcomie with the port, the mill, and the rabbit warrens (within specified limits), [97] with common pasture in the muir called Kingsmuir (Kingis-mure)]
(George Learmonth of) Balcolmy 1555 RMS v no. 883 [Dominicans of St Andrews give various lands to him and his wife, Eufemia Leslie]
Balcomy 1600 Retours (Fife) no. 80 [John Learmonth (Leirmonth) of Birkhill, in the lands of Balcomie, with common pasture in the muir called Kingsmuir (Kingismure); also the lands of Sauchope (Sauchop) in the parish of Crail]
Baalcomy 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Balcomy 1654 Blaeu (Pont) East Fife
Balcomye 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Balcombie 1680 Retours (Fife) no. 1182 [John Matters, son of Janet Carstairs and John Matters, shepherd of Cults; see also ibid. nos. 951, 952]
Balcormy 1753 Roy sheet 19, 5
Balcomie 1775 Ainslie/Fife [Genl. John Scott]
Balcomie 1790s OSA, 171
Balcomie 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [also shows Balcomie Castle]

G baile + pn Colmán or pn Colm + – in

‘Colm’s or Colmán’s estate’. The ending is either a reduced form of the diminutive suffix -án or, more probably, it is derived from the common locational suffix –in, ‘place of Colm’s estate’. That the posited final n is not recorded in the late twelfth century forms, where it would be expected at this relatively early date, may be explained by the fact that this document is a late (and probably conflated) copy of an original (for which see RRS ii p. 250 (note to no. 196); see also Wormiston CRA, below).

The name occurs in an east Fife context in David I’s charter recording his grant of half of *Balgally CBE to May Priory 1145 × 1153, when one Gillecholuim (Gillcolm) mac Chinbethin, along with Macbet(h) mac Torfin and Maolmhuire (Malmure) thane of Kellie CBE, perambulated the land to be granted. Names such as Gillecholuim, with the prefix gille ‘lad, servant’, can appear both with and without the prefix.

Note that in 1278 the laird of Balcomie was still using the ‘de Haia’ title (see entry above), but soon the lairds were calling themselves by the name of Balcomie. In 1297 the Constable of Crail was calling himself Robert of Balcomie (de Balcolmy, CDS ii no. 880). ‘From the Register of Sasines it appears that George, bishop of Argyll, was placed in possession of Balcolmie in 1442’ (Millar 1895 i, 384). This was the George Lauder, mentioned above (1445), who allowed the canons to quarry stone. Though he was bishop of Argyll, in 1467 he was granted papal leave to dwell outside his diocese for reasons of safety (Fasti (Watt and Murray), 36).

Note also “Mary of Guise ‘quha was maritt on Kyng James, landitt in Scotland at Balcome, in Fyfe’ 10 June 1538,” from the Chronicle of Aberdeen, quoted in Spalding Misc. ii, 33.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 3