Kossuth in Dunfermline


Lajos Kossuth visited Dunfermline twice in 1856 to deliver lectures - on June 24th and July 11th.
We did some research in the Dunfermline Carnegie Library's Historic Collection,
and found some newspaper reports from the time...

(with the help of Chris Neale and other library staff, for which we're most grateful)

The above notice appeared in the Dunfermline Journal of May 16, 1856.

Announcement of Kossuth's visit to Aberdeen

From the front page of the Dunfermline Journal, June 20th 1856.
(This is the best quality copy available.)

Readers are informed that Kossuth's lectures will take place
"within Queen Anne Street Church at eight o'clock.  
Those intending to be present are recommended to secure Tickets without delay,
as there will be no admission on payment at the Door."

Interestingly, the date of Kossuth's first visit coincided with a large meeting in Stirling.
The advert next to the above in the newspaper calls it:

"A Grand National meeting for the
purpose of adopting RESOLUTIONS for
the erection of a MONUMENT on the Abbey
Craig near Stirling, to the SCOTTISH HERO

Kossuth, of course, is often likened to Wallace.
Indeed, he notes this himself during his Dunfermline speech (see link below).

The third notice (above) is from the front page of the Dunfermline Monthly Advertiser, 4th July 1856.
This notice advises of extra tickets being made available at half the previously cheapest price.


On his visits to Dunfermline, Kossuth stayed in "Milne's Hotel", Bridge Street. Today, this is the "City Hotel".

(picture to be added)

Queen Anne Street Church (above) was latterly called the "St. Andrews Erskine Church",
and can be found at the top of Queen Anne Street at the entrance to the Kingsway Shopping Centre.

The statue is of Ralph Erskine, renowned Church of Scotland minister,
whose followers built the original church on this site for him.
(Click on the image for a larger picture)


Lengthy reports of Kossuth's speech, and local reactions, were printed over the following weeks
in both the "Dunfermline Journal" and "Dunfermline Monthly Advertiser".

The speech is notable for Kossuth's mention of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and St. Margaret.

Text from the Dunfermline Monthly Advertiser (July 1856) article, including part of Kossuth's speech, can be read by clicking here.

The "Annals of Dunfermline", a semi-official history of the town written by Ebenezer Henderson,
also record Kossuth's visit.
The annals also record that Kossuth was presented with
the Freedom of the Burgh on July 14th, although the actual extract from the Register
dates this as July 11th (see below)
. Perhaps Ebenezer was mistaken in this instance.

Click here to read the "Annals of Dunfermline" entry.

Extract from "Register of Burgess Entries, Burgh of Dunfermline.

"July 11 - Lewis Kossuth, Ex-Governor of Hungary admitted an Honorary Burgess this day"