A previous resident of Pittencrieff House was Brigadier General John Forbes (1707-1759). Forbes fought in the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War in the USA), running from 1754 to 1763 – which is actually nine years, by the way! He is credited with turning the tide of American history in favour of British forces when he defeated the French, capturing the strategically important Fort Duquesne.
As a patriotic soldier, he named the area after the Leader of the House of Commons and later Prime Minister, William Pitt the Elder – adding the Scots word for town (burgh) to become Pitts-‘burgh’ (pronounced ‘burru’). Today, Americans pronounce the ‘gh’ as a hard ‘g’, do you think the first residents called it pitts-burru or Pitts-berg?
Pittencrieff House changed hands until Andrew Carnegie purchased it and the estate which he then gifted to the town in 1903. It recently acted as a local museum until the town opened a new museum in 2017 at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries on Abbott Street.