Adam Smith 300: baptism re-enactment in the place and day Smith was baptised

Adam Smith's baptism re-enactment will feature a procession through townAdam Smith's baptism re-enactment will feature a procession through town
Adam Smith's baptism re-enactment will feature a procession through town
Kirkcaldy will turn back the clock to 1723 with a special re-enactment of the baptism of its most famous son, Adam Smith, and a horse-drawn procession through the town featuring the leading lights of the day.

It will take place in the Old Kirk, exactly 300 years to the day, and in the very place, where the renowned economist and philosopher was actually baptised.

Although Smith’s actual date of birth isn’t known, June 5, 1723 is preserved in the records as the day of his baptism - and why Kirkcaldy can lay claim to his global; legacy to this day.

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And, on Monday, June 5, 2023, local folk will recreate that ceremony to launch a week of events to celebrate his tercentenary.

Members of the Auld Kirk Players, Friends of the Auld Kirk, Kirkcaldy Civic Society, Fife Opera, Kirkcaldy Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Kirkcaldy Orchestral Society will participate, bringing to life some of the key figures from that day three centuries ago - and it free to everyone to see a unique moment.

Adam's mother will be there. She was a widow before Smith was born, so supporting her will be James Oswald of Dunnikier, son of Kirkcaldy's former MP, who lived in the recently built Dunnikier House, and Henry Miller of Purin, cousin of Kirkcaldy shipowners and like them, now buried in Kirkcaldy Old Kirkyard. David Potter will take on the role of the Minister, Rev. Henry Dall who will conduct the baptism.

The horse and carriages will collect Smith’s mother from her house at the foot of Kirk Wyn around 10:15am, and proceed down to the harbour and back up Dunnikier Road to the Old Kirk - a journey they made three centuries ago.

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The service should last around 20 minutes, and the morning will then feature John Yule as Henry Miller and George Proudfoot, from the Adam Smith Global Foundation, talking about the great man’s importance and relevance to this day.

There will also be music from the time, and poetry and an organ recitals before the procession makes its way round the town, hopefully taking Beveridge and Ravenscraig Parks and the town centre so as many people as possible can see it.

Smith’s global influence will be underlined with a presentation by Emeritus Professor Eli Cox III, from the School of Business Studies in Austin University in Texas at the Old Kirk.

Professor Cox has written a book "Seeking Adam Smith: Finding The Shadow Curriculum Of Business" in which he demonstrates that greed is a highly destructive motive for conducting business and the notion that greed is good is nowhere to be found in the Wealth of Nations - a theme to be reflected later in the week in the Adam Smith Global Foundation Academic Programme in the Old Kirk on Thursday and Friday June 8 and 9.

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Refreshments will be served and the church will remain open until 4:00pm with opportunity for visitors to take a guided tour up the tower, weather permitting.

The celebration will continue on Tuesday, June 6 with a garden party in Smith’s very own garden.

Organised by the foundation, it will see many local people invited to a special afternoon ahead of the keynote speakers arriving in town - and get a glimpse of the restored garden.

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