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Wemyss

WEMYSS, a parish of Fifeshire, Scotland, embracing the villages of East and West Wemyss and the police burgh of Buckhaven, a fishing port lying on the northern shore of the Firth of Forth, zj m. S.W. of Leven, on the North British Railway Company's branch line from Thornton Junction to Methil. Coal mining is the principal industry of the district, the coal being exported from the port of Methil, of which the harbour was constructed by David, 2nd earl of Wemyss (d. 1679), the town being made a burgh of barony in 1662. Population of Buckhaven, including Methil and Innerleven (1901), 8828; of East Wemyss, 2522; of West Wemyss, 1253; of Wemyss parish, 15,031. The district is of much archaeological and historic interest. On the shore to the north-east are two square towers which are supposed to have formed part of Macduffs castle; and near them are the remarkable caves (weems, from the Gaelic, uamha) from which the district derives its name. Several of them contain archaic sculptures, held by some to be the work of the Christian missionaries who found shelter here; by others ascribed to the same prehistoric agency as the inscribed stones of northern Scotland. Near East Wemyss is Wemyss Castle, the ancient seat of the family of the same name which has played a conspicuous part in Scottish history. It was at Wemyss castle that Mary, queen of Scots, first met the earl of Darnley, in 1565, and her room is still known as " the Presence Chamber."

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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