The autobiography of Baber (by Leyden and Erskine) gives interesting details about the country in the 16th century.
He had an intimate acquaintance and sympathy with English institutions, and two of his published works - an address, Biographie de Lord Erskine (1866), and Etude sur l'acte du 5 avril 1873 pour l'etablissement d'une cour supreme de justice en Angleterre (1874) - deal with English questions; he also gave a fresh and highly important direction to French policy by the understanding with Russia, which was declared to the world by the visit of the French fleet to Cronstadt in 1891, and which subsequently ripened into a formal treaty of alliance.
James Guthrie (1612-1661), the martyr, and Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1794), founder of the Scottish Secession Church, were two of the most distinguished ministers.
Broad Street contains the ruins of Mar's Work, the palace built by John Erskine, 1st (or 6th) earl of Mar, about 1570, according to tradition, out of the stones of Cambuskenneth Abbey; the old town house, erected in 1701 instead of that in which John Hamilton, the last Roman Catholic archbishop of St Andrews, was hanged for alleged complicity in the murders of Darnley and the regent Moray; the town cross, restored in 1891, and the house which was, as a mural tablet says, the "nursery of James VI.
Besides the New Abbey church, the United Free church in Queen Anne Street founded by Ralph Erskine, and the Gillespie church, named after Thomas Gillespie (1708-1774), another leader of the Secession movement, possess some historical importance.