- 1) LETHAM, a village, in the parish of Monimail, district of Cupar, county of Fife, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Cupar; containing 383 inhabitants. It is situated in the western part of the parish, about a mile north of the high road from Cupar to Collessie; and is a considerable village, of which the population is chiefly engaged in the weaving of linen. The Independents have a place of worship. A large subscription school was established here in 1821; and there is a miscellaneous circulating library, besides a religious library in the vestry of the parish church, which is about half a mile distant.2) LETHAM, a village, in the parish of Dunnichen, county of Forfar, 5 miles (E. by S.) from Forfar; containing 745 inhabitants. This village, which is of comparatively recent origin, stands principally on the lands of the late George Dempster, Esq., of Dunnichen, by whom the plan of its erection was laid down. It is pleasantly situated, and regularly built, containing many neat and several handsome houses, inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in manufactures, and in the various handicraft trades requisite for the supply of the district. A public library is supported by subscription, and has a collection of more than 500 volumes of works on religion, morals, history, and general literature, several of which were donations from individuals interested in its success. The principal trade carried on is the weaving of the coarse linen cloth called Osnaburghs, and the finer sorts of linen for shirting and sheeting, in which great numbers of females are employed. In connexion with these, a mill has been erected in the Den of Letham, near the village, the works of which are propelled by the Vinney water, for spinning lint and tow into yarn. Several attempts have been made to introduce power-looms, but hitherto without effect, the weaving being still carried on in the houses of the weavers, many of whom have small farms, or portions of land, which they cultivate at their leisure hours for health and amusement. Connected with the manufacture is a linen-hall, which has for some time been appropriated as a schoolroom, and on the Sunday as a place of worship for a congregation of Seceders. The number of children attending the school varies from eighty to 100; and many of the children employed in the spinning-mill are taught the rudiments of general learning. Fairs are held twice in the year, for cattle, and for hiring farm servants. Near the Den of Letham graves have been discovered, containing vast numbers of human bones, and several urns, which crumbled into dust on exposure to the atmosphere.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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