Records of the burgh of Auchtermuchty, Fife

Scope and Content

Register of sasines, 1661-1705; Register of deeds and protests, 1757-1874; Court books, 1595-1623, 1671-1688, 1699-1756; Council minutes, 1717-1754, 1758-1928, 1935-1975; Police commissioners minutes, 1874-1898; Valuation rolls, 1935-1958, 1974-1975; Assessment rolls, 1910-1924; Burgess and constables admission register, 1827-1915; National Registration Act registers, 1915-1919; Education register, 1888-1895; Register of bonds and mortgages, 1930-1975; New cemetery burials and lairs accounts, 1904-1940; Dean of Guild Court minutes, 1950-1975; Abstracts of accounts, undated; Miscellaneous mostly legal documents, 1591-1921, including crown charters in favour of the burgh, photograph of 1517 foundation charter and court book fragments (1696-1710); Uncatalogued loose documents, undated; Miscellaneous letter book, 1810-1831. Auchtermuchty Parochial Board/Parish Council minutes, 1892-1908; Auchtermuchty Victoria Hall Company minutes, 1868-1957; Strathmiglo heritors minutes, 1773-1800, 1818-1845.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1517 King James V (1513-1542) made Auchtermuchty a royal burgh, but it was never represented in Parliament or in the Convention of Royal Burghs, and became one of the four inactive royal burghs in Fife. Royal burghs normally had elected councillors who looked after the burgh's interests, but only a small number of inhabitants had the right to vote in the council elections or to be a councillor. Burgh courts were held, which had some civil and criminal jurisdiction, although these competencies were eroded as time passed and the cases were increasingly petty local disputes. The franchise for parliamentary elections was radically changed in 1832, and the Royal Burghs (Scotland) Act 1833 (3 and 4 Will. IV, c.76) imitated the change for the election of councillors.

Main sources of employment in the town included linen weaving and distilling. It became a police burgh in 1874 when it adopted the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act 1862 (25 and 26 Vict., c.101). Burgh administration was carried out by police commissioners who were responsible for the cleansing, lighting, policing and public health of the burgh. Its population was 1,082 in 1871 and 1,475 in 1971. Under the Town Councils (Scotland) Act 1900 (63 and 64 Vict., c.49) the police commissioners were replaced by Auchtermuchty Town Council in January 1901. Auchtermuchty Town Council was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c.65). Its powers were assumed by Fife Regional Council and North East Fife District Council. These in turn were replaced by Fife Council in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c.39).

Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted. Special conditions apply to photographs.

Acquisition Information

Held under charge and superintendence of the Keeper of Records for Scotland.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project, based on description created by Alan Borthwick, Scottish Archive Network project, 27 February 2003 and modified on 5 August 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in St Andrews University Library Department of Special Collections and in National Archives of Scotland search rooms.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Geographical Names