The Howff

The Scots Magazine - - Focus On… Dundee -

IN the cen­tre of the city lies a burial ground that con­tains one of the most im­por­tant col­lec­tions of tomb­stones in the coun­try. The Howff was es­tab­lished in 1564, on land granted by Mary Queen of Scots for use as a ceme­tery for the ad­ja­cent Greyfri­ars Monastery.

It was used as a meet­ing place for Dundee’s Nine In­cor­po­rated Trades and be­came known as The Howff from the old Scots word mean­ing house. A visit is to be rec­om­mended but you will glean some in­ter­est­ing facts and fig­ures by tak­ing a guided tour or­gan­ised by the Friends of Dundee Archives.

Among the 80,000 buried there are James Chalmers, in­ven­tor of the ad­he­sive postage stamp, and sev­eral for­mer provosts of the city.

How­ever, one of the most in­trigu­ing in­hab­i­tants is Jules Le­gen­dre, lieu­tenant in the Im­pe­rial French Army, who was cap­tured dur­ing the Napoleonic Wars. Af­ter in­car­cer­a­tion in Perth Prison, he ended his days in the High School of Dundee – teach­ing French!

For more de­tails, go to

A city cen­tre ceme­tery

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