MAYBOLE Kirk, Ayrshire

"The original church of Maybole was founded, in 1193, by the Earl of Carrick. The church, like many others, stood in the midst of the burying ground, and near the centre of the town. It was superseded, in 1455, by a larger building, of a plain style, which was in use until about 1606, at which time it was in so ruinous a condition that many people refused to worship in it. In 1609, it was deemed advisable to erect a new church, which. was accordingly done, on a site outside of the old burying-ground. After the Reformation, the first minister was the Rev. John M'Corne. Of the other ministers connected with Maybole Church, those who have most distinguished themselves are William Abercrombie, Dr James Macknight, and Dr George Gray. Abercrombie is well known as the historian of Carrick. He ministered at Maybole in the capacity of a curate during the Episcopal supremacy. Dr MacKnight was the author of sundry theological books, his chief work being entitled Harmony of the Gospels. Dr George Gray was appointed Professor of Hebrew in Glasgow University in 1840. The present minister is the Rev. Dr Porter, a native of Galston parish, inducted in 1870."

"The churchyard, which has been used as a place of burial for nearly 700 years, contains a number of tombstones interesting for their antiquity, but probably the most noteworthy is that erected in memory of John M'Lymont of Auchalton, who suffered in the Covenanting persecution. The thruchstane lay buried for a long time under the soil, but it has now been unearthed and reset on a firmer basis. The stone bears the following lines:"

"Under the neighbouring monument lies
The golden dust of man and wife,
Of pious line ; both soon shall rise
To long-expected, glorious life.
They for their constancy and zeal
Still. to the back did prove good steel
For our Lord's royal truths and laws,
The ancient Covenanted cause
Of Scotland's famous Reformation,
Declining laws of usurpation."

"The Collegiate Church of Maybole is famous as the burying-place of nearly the whole line of the old 'Kings of Carrick'. It was founded, in 1371, by Sir John Kennedy of Dunure, and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Rev. R. Lawson, Maybole, in his interesting account of the old Collegiate Church, says: 'It was on the 19th of May 1563, that Mass was last celebrated within the walls of the 'Auld College'. The act was illegal at the time in Scotland, and might have been punished severely. Nevertheless, a band of 200 Kennedys assembled here with arms in their hands on that day and worshipped God in the old fashion, and one cannot help respecting them for it. It was the same principle that fired the hearts of the Covenanters afterwards, though shewn in different guise. And there is a touch of pathos too, about the gathering. It was the last public testimony to the old mode of faith. It was Carrick's goodnight to the old scheme of things, before its face was finally turned to the wall. 'Besides the graves of the old Cassillis earls, and probably of the whole race of the former 'Kings of Carrick', this church contains the burying places of the lairds of Baltersan, the Culzean lairds, the Kirkmichael family, and the late provost Kennedy of Ayr, who was the last survivor of the Kennedys of Cove. Among the many interesting ruins scattered over the shire, none is more worthy of a visit than the Collegiate Church of Maybole."

"Ayrshire Nights Entertainment: A Descriptive Guide to the History, Traditions, Antiquities of the County of Ayr" by John MacIntosh of Galston, Ayrshire, published in 1894, by John Menzies & Co. of Kilmarnock, Dunlop and Drennan.

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[Last major update 12th June 2002 - Brian Pears]
[Last updated 23 Nov 2010 - 13:34 by Mel Lockie]