Oxcars ABO CoO NT203818 395 0m

the Oixtaris 1621 RPC xii, 458 [beacons (beakynnis) to be set up ‘upoun the blind craigis in the Watter of Forthe callit the Oixtaris’ (presumably an error for Oixcaris)]
the Oxscaris 1621 RPC xii, 535 [‘the blind craigis within the Firthe callit the Oxscaris’]
the Oxscaris 1621 RPC xii, 535 [three beacons now ‘upoun the Oxscaris’]
Ockstaires 1683 Adair/Forth [presumably for Ockscaires]
Oxscares 1703 Adair/Sea-Coast (Forth)
Oxcares 1775 Ainslie/Fife

Sc ox + Sc *car(r)

‘Ox rocks’. See PNF 5, Elements Glossary for more on *car(r), which probably also occurs in Car Craig ABO. On OS Pathf. the rocks to the south are called Cow & Calves. Such animal imagery is fairly common in relation to small islands and skerries and may well have inspired a neighbouring ox. It is in fact more likely that the process was reversed, with the original ox of Oxcars inspiring Cow & Calves, since the latter is called simply Stone on Ainslie/Fife (1775) and Mikry Stone on SGF (1828).

On OS 1 inch 7th Series (1965) the small skerry of Oxcars, with its conspicuous red and white striped tower-beacon, is assigned to the county of Fife, but not to a parish. On OS 6 inch 1st edition, it is assigned neither to a parish, nor a county. Despite the fact that it is nearer to DGY than ABO, it is here assigned to ABO since other nearby offshore islands such as Inchcolm and Car Craig belong to that parish.

NOTE from Colin Forsyth Nov. 2012 [checked against printed text and emended by ST]: RPC (Register of the Privy Council) xii (1619-1622).

pp. 395-6: 16 January 1621 [Need for beacons on blind craigs in the Forth, especially to assist strangers trading into the Forth; Sir George Bruce of Carnock to take forward.]

p. 458: 27 March 1621... ‘The quhilk day in presence of the Lordis of Secreit Counsaill comperit Mr Alexander Hamiltoun of Kinglas [Kinglass Bo’ness & Carriden WLO], and promeist and undertooke to sett up sufficient beakynnis upoun the blind craigis in the Watter of Forthe callit the Oixtaris upoun his awne proper chargeis and expenssis betuix and Lambmes nixt.’

pp. 535-6: 19 July 1621 ‘The quhilk day James Hoome skippair in Leythe, compeirand personalie befoir the Lordis of Secreit Counsaill, reportit and declairit that he accompanied with some skippairs in Leythe, past and visite the beakynnis sett up be Mr Alexander Hamiltoun upoun the blind craigis within the Firthe callit the Oxscaris, and fand that thair wes three beakynis upoun the Oxscaris and one upoun ane craig callit /p. 536/ Bimer, and that thair wes ane blind roke at the Oxscaris that wantit a beakyne.’


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1