A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
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NAIRN, a royal burgh, a parish, and the seat of a presbytery, in the county of Nairn; containing, with the village of Seatown of Delnies, 3393 inhabitants, of whom 2672 are in the burgh, 15½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Inverness, and 167 (N. N. W.) from Edinburgh. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, is said to have been originally founded by William the Lion, and derives its name from the river Nairn, on which it is situated. It is not distinguished by any events of historical importance except the encampment, in its immediate neighbourhood, of the Duke of Cumberland's army on the day previous to the battle of Culloden in 1746. The older portion of the town was formerly defended by a castle, of which the foundations are covered by the sea, and no remains are visible even at low water; such encroachment, indeed, has the sea made upon this part of the coast, that the present town is more than half a mile from the original site. The town is situated on the left bank of the river, near its junction with the Moray Frith, and consists of one spacious street, and several others which are narrow and irregularly formed, containing houses of very antique appearance, and also of some streets of more recent formation in which the houses are of handsome character. The streets are well kept and the roads Macadamized; the town is lighted with gas from works established by a company in 1839, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. Assemblies are held occasionally in Anderson's hotel, which is spacious and handsomely decorated, and has good arrangements for the accommodation of the numerous visiters who frequent the town during the summer months for seabathing, for which the beach affords every facility; there are likewise hot, cold, and shower baths, with every requisite appendage. The environs are pleasant, and the scenery finely varied: the river, over which is a good bridge on the Forres road, forms numerous windings in its course to the Frith; and among the scenes of interest within short drives of the town may be mentioned, the far-famed Cawdor Castle, Kilravock Castle, the Muir of Culloden, Fort-George, the blasted heath where Macbeth met the witches, Kinsteary, Lethen, Brodie House, Darnaway Castle, and the banks of the Findhorn, upon which are situated the mansions of Logie, Relugas, and Dunphail.
The trade of the port consists in the importation of coal, lime, groceries, and various other kinds of merchandise, for the supply of the town and neighbourhood; and in the exportation of timber, stones, fish, and grain. The number of vessels belonging to the port is seven, and their aggregate burthen 370 tons. The harbour is formed chiefly by a pier at the mouth of the river; but from the accumulation of sand, it is scarcely accessible to vessels of any large size; the pier was almost swept away by the flood of 1829, but has been partly restored. A salmon-fishery is carried on at the mouth of the Nairn, producing a rental to the proprietors of about £70 per annum. The cod and haddock fisheries are very extensive, affording employment to 200 persons during the season, after which they remove to the herringfishery at Helmsdale, which is their chief occupation, the boats in general returning with cargoes that during the season yield from £50 to £100 per man. There are houses for curing the haddocks, of which great quantities are exported. A considerable trade is also carried on in the town, in which are numerous shops well stored with merchandise and wares of every kind; the post is daily, and there are branches of the National, the British Linen Company's, and the Caledonian Banks, of which the first has a handsome building. The market, amply supplied with provisions of all kinds, is on Friday; and fairs for horses and cattle are held on the third Friday in April, which is also a statute fair; on the 19th of June if on Tuesday, or if not, on the Tuesday following; on the 13th of August, or the first day after Campbelton fair; on the fourth Friday in September; on the Friday after the third Tuesday in October, which is also a statute fair; and on the first Friday in November.
The government of the burgh, by a succession of charters confirmed and extended by James VI. and Charles I. and II., is vested in a provost, three bailies, a dean of guild, treasurer, and eleven councillors, assisted by a town-clerk and others. The provost, and the bailies and other officers, are elected from the towncouncil, by a majority of their number; and the council, since the passing of the Municipal Reform act, have been elected by the £10 householders. There are no minor incorporated trades: the freedom of the burgh is obtained by purchase. The dues on admission are £8 for a merchant burgess, and £1. 1. for a trade burgess, to strangers; but the eldest sons of burgesses are admitted for half those sums. The jurisdiction of the magistrates, which extends over the whole of the royalty, is in criminal cases now generally confined to petty thefts and assaults, and in civil cases is scarcely ever exercised, parties preferring to sue in the sheriff's court. In conjunction with Inverness and other towns, the burgh returns one member to the imperial parliament; the right of election is vested in the £10 householders, of whom there are seventy; and there are forty renting houses of £5 per annum, and upwards, but under £10. The town-house, situated in the main street, is a neat structure with a handsome lofty spire, and contains a spacious room for the town and county courts, which is also used for holding public meetings. The building includes also the prison for the burgh and county.
The parish, which is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, is about eight miles in length and six miles in extreme breadth, and comprises 5000 acres, of which 3220 are arable, 1380 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface on the north side of the river is level, but on the south side rises gradually, and near the south angle of the parish attains a considerable elevation at the hill of Urchany, formerly an unsightly barren height, but which has recently been planted with oak, larch, and fir, and constitutes a pleasing and conspicuous feature in the scenery. The soil near the town, and along the coast, is light and sandy; in the southern portion, a rich heavy mould; and along the banks of the river, a mixture of sand and clay. Considerable improvement in the system of agriculture has taken place of late years; the farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and numerous neat cottages have been built for the labourers. The rateable annual value of the parish now amounts to £4596. The general scenery is of pleasing character; the banks of the river are well wooded, chiefly with alder; and the plantations around the seats of the various proprietors add much to the beauty of the landscape. Geddes House is a handsome mansion, of which the grounds are tastefully laid out, and embellished with shrubberies and plantations; and from the hill of Urchany, immediately in front of it, are some fine prospects over the surrounding country. Viewfield, Househill, and Newton, are also good residences. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Nairn and synod of Moray; and the minister's stipend is £284, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £18 per annum: patron, Mr. Brodie, of Brodie. The church, erected in 1810, by assessment on the heritors, is a neat structure, and contains 902 sittings; the service is performed sometimes in the English and sometimes in the Gaelic language. There are places of worship for Episcopalians, the Free Church, the United Secession, and Independents. The academy, for which there is a handsome building at the western approach to the town, and which is in high repute, has, since the death of the late parochial schoolmaster, been connected with the parochial school by way of experiment; the master has a salary of £40, and the teacher £25, and the fees amount to £30. There are several other schools in the parish, and some friendly and benevolent societies contributing materially to the relief of the poor. On the north side of Geddes are vestiges of the ancient castle of Finlay; and to the east are remains of the castle of Rait, for some time the residence of the family of Cumyn, and apparently of great strength. At Easter Geddes are the remains of a chapel, the place of interment for many generations of the family of Kelravock.
NAIRNSHIRE, a county, in the north-east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, on the east by Elginshire and a detached portion of the county of Inverness, on the south by Elginshire, and on the west and south-west by Inverness-shire. It lies between 57° 22' and 57° 38' (N. Lat.) and 3° 40' and 4° 7' (W. Long.), and is about twenty-two miles in length and fifteen miles in breadth; comprising an area of 200 square miles, or 128,000 acres; 2338 houses, of which 2235 are inhabited; and containing a population of 9217, of whom 4231 are males, and 4986 females. This district formed part of the ancient province of Moray, and was in the diocese of that name; the county is now in the synod of Moray and presbytery of Nairn, and includes four parishes, with small parts of others. In civil matters it is under the jurisdiction of the sheriff of Elgin; it contains the royal burgh of Nairn, which is the county town, and a few villages. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV., it is associated with Elgin in returning one member to the imperial parliament; the election for Nairnshire takes place at Nairn, where the courts.are held. The surface in the northern part is tolerably level, but in the southern part hilly and mountainous. The principal heights are, Ben-Bui, CragOwer, Cragerachan, and the Leonach, on the confines of Inverness-shire; and Cairn-Glaschurn and Cairn-Dui towards the border of Elginshire; but none of them have any very great degree of elevation. The rivers are the Findhorn and the Nairn, of which the former enters the county at Strathdearn, on the south-west, and, flowing through that valley with a very rapid current, in a north-eastern direction, falls into the Moray Frith in the county of Elgin. The Nairn also pursues a north-eastern course through the county, which it enters at its western extremity from Invernessshire; and flows into the frith at Nairn. Both rivers abound with excellent salmon. There are several lakes, but the only one of any considerable extent is the loch of the Clans, about a mile in length and half a mile broad, with a small island in the centre, and from which a streamlet flows into the frith.
Rather more than one-half of the land is arable; of the remainder, the greater portion is meadow and pasture, and the rest unprofitable moss. The soil of the arable lands is in some places a rich clayey loam, and in other parts a light sand, with other varieties; the system of agriculture has been much improved, but is still inferior to that pursued in the south. The minerals are not important: limestone is found near the coast, and marl of different kinds has been applied to the improvement of the lands; freestone of valuable quality is also abundant, of good colour, and compactness equal to the Portland stone. There is a considerable quantity of natural wood remaining; and extensive plantations have been formed, which are generally in a thriving state. The chief commerce is the export of corn, sheep, cattle, salmon, and other fish, with great quantities of timber. Facility of communication is afforded by roads kept in excellent repair. The rateable annual value of the county is £16,796, of which £15,202 are returned for lands, £1403 for houses, and the remainder for other species of property.
NAVAR, county of Forfar.—See Lethnot.
NEARTAY, an isle, in the parish of Harris, county of Inverness. This is a small and uninhabited island of the Hebrides, lying in the sound of Harris, about two miles and a half north of North Uist, and three miles eastward of Bernera.
NEILSTON, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Renfrew; containing, with the villages of West Arthurlee, Crofthead, Gateside, and Uplamuir, part of the late quoad sacra district of Levern, and the late quoad sacra district of Barrhead, 10,577 inhabitants, of whom 1497 are in the village of Neilston, 9 miles (S. W. by W.) from Glasgow. This place is supposed to have derived its name from one of its earliest proprietors, and in the 12th century belonged to Robert de Croc, whose daughter and heiress conveyed the lordship by marriage to Stewart, of Darnley, ancestor of the earls and dukes of Lennox, and of Darnley, the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. The parish is about eight miles and a half in length and four miles and a half in breadth, and is bounded on the north by the Abbey parish of Paisley for nearly eight miles; on the east by the parish of Eastwood, on the south by Mearns, on the south-west by the parishes of Stewarton and Dunlop, and on the west by Beith and Lochwinnoch. The surface is irregular; towards the eastern boundary nearly flat, and towards the south and west, rising to a height of from 400 to 900 feet above the level of the Clyde. In some parts the ground forms hills of various elevation, of which the highest are the Pad and the Corkendale-law, the first about 800, and the second about 900, feet above the sea. Between these hills lies the narrow valley of the Levern, which that river waters for several miles, and along which passes the turnpike-road to Glasgow and Paisley. From the summit of the Pad is a magnificent view towards the east, comprehending much highly varied and richly beautiful scenery; and from Corkendale-law are seen, on a clear day, the vale of Levern, the rock of Dumbarton, Loch Lomond, with several of its picturesque islands, and, in the back ground, BenLomond and the Grampian range. To the east the view from Corkendale comprehends the fine vale of the Clyde, with the city of Glasgow, and the entire course of that river from its source till it loses itself in the Atlantic the Pentland hills, and the height of Tinto from its base to its summit; while on the south are the hills of Cumnock, Sanquhar, and others in the county of Kirkcudbright, and, in the distance, the tops of the Skiddaw and Saddleback mountains, in the county of Cumberland. To the south-west the prospect embraces the extended plains of Ayrshire, thickly studded with splendid seats and graceful villas, with the harbour and shipping of Ayr, the hills of Galloway, the rock of Ailsa, and the mountains of Morne and Newry on the Irish coast. The whole form an impressive assemblage of objects which for their number, variety, and beauty, are seldom equalled.
The chief river is the Levern, which has its source in Long loch, and for four miles divides the parish, passing the villages of Neilston and Barrhead, and uniting its waters with those of the White Cart near Cruikstone Castle, to which fortress Mary, Queen of Scots, retired for a time after the battle of Langside. The Kirkton stream, issuing from a reservoir of that name, falls into the Levern at Arthurlee after a course of about two miles; and the Brock, which takes that appellation on leaving the Walton dam, pursues a devious line of six miles, and falls also into the Levern. These streams in their course, which is rapid, exhibit much romantic beauty, and form picturesque cascades, some of which display in miniature the most striking features of the celebrated falls of the Clyde. There are several lakes, of which the principal are, Long loch, Loch Libo, and Loch Cawpla. Long loch, from which, as already observed, issues the Levern, is about one mile in length and half a mile broad, and eighteen feet in depth; the shores possess little beauty or variety of scenery. Loch Libo is of elliptic form, and surrounded by lofty hills, richly wooded to the water's edge, and has a strikingly picturesque appearance: from it issues a small stream called the Lugton water, which flows through the pleasure-grounds of Eglinton, and falls into the Garnock near Kilwinning. Loch Cawpla is but of small extent, though its waters are increased in winter; and is not characterised by any interesting features. There are also several reservoirs, connected with the various works carried on in the parish: of these the Hairlaw, which is the most extensive, covers seventy-two acres of ground, and is about sixteen feet in depth, deriving its principal supply from Long loch. The Comore reservoir is sixteen acres in extent and twenty-four feet deep; and another, to the north of the Pad, is about fourteen acres in extent and sixteen feet in depth: the Kirkton and Walton dams likewise contain a considerable body of water. There are numerous springs of an excellent description, the largest of which, called "Aboon the Brae," issues from a rock, and discharges about forty imperial gallons per minute; also several wells of the purest water, which never fail in the driest summers.
The soil in the eastern portion is a dry loam, occasionally intermixed with gravel; in the hilly district, of less fertility, but producing good pasture; and in other parts, moorland and mossy. The whole number of acres is estimated at 24,320, of which about 16,600 are arable, a large part in pasture, 870 acres in wood and plantations, and the remainder, whereof 3000 might be rendered productive, in moor and waste. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, turnips, cabbages, and beet. The system of agriculture is improved; draining has been carried on to some extent, and considerable portions of unprofitable land have been reclaimed, and brought into cultivation, under the auspices of the Neilston and Neighbourhood Agricultural Society, instituted 1826, and which is conducted with spirit and success. The lands have been well inclosed, and the fences are kept in good repair. Great attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms, upon which much dependence is placed; and about 1100 milchcows are pastured, chiefly of the pure Ayrshire breed; but few sheep are bred here, not more indeed than 200, of which the larger number are of the Highland or black-faced, and the others of the Leicestershire breed. The farm houses and buildings are generally substantial and commodious; and the more recent improvements in the construction of agricultural implements have been adopted. The woods are chiefly of beech, ash, elm, plane, and oak. The plantations consist of larch, and Scotch and spruce firs, intermixed with various kinds of forest-trees; they are well attended to, and in a thriving state. The principal substrata are, limestone, ironstone, whinstone, freestone, and coal: iron-ore is found in some places, and zeolite of every species is abundant. The limestone is largely wrought; and there are mines of whinstone, freestone, and coal. An extensive quarry of whinstone has been opened at Brownside, and more than 50,000 cubic feet are taken from it annually: the freestone, of very fine quality, is wrought at Uplamuir, and is in great request for building. The coal is at various depths and of various quality. A seam seven inches in thickness is found at a depth of seven fathoms from the surface; ten fathoms below it occurs a seam twelve inches thick; at a depth of nineteen fathoms lower is a seam of six inches; and at twenty-one fathoms below this last, is the main coal, which varies from three and a half feet to five and a half in thickness. There are three pits in operation, and the aggregate quantity of coal procured is about 1200 tons per week. The rateable annual value of the parish is £28,961.
The abundance of coal, and the numerous copious streams by which the parish is intersected, appear to have excited the attention of enterprising landholders to the introduction of manufacturers; and about the year 1768, the Rev. Mr. Miller, in conjunction with several of the heritors, established a factory for the manufacturing of inkle. The printing of calico was introduced soon afterwards, and works were erected on the banks of the Levern, at Fereneze, on a very extensive scale, in 1773; these works were carried on with great success, and upon so large a scale that the annual duties paid to the excise amounted to £3000, and the expenditure in wages to £2000. A bleachfield was formed in the same year, by Mr. Adair from Ireland, at Cross-Arthurlee, which was soon followed by numerous similar establishments founded by various proprietors; and additional printfields were gradually formed. The spinning of cotton was commenced in 1780, and a mill erected for that purpose at Dovecot-hall, on the banks of the Levern, by Messrs. Stewart, Dunlop, & Co.; and spinning-mills were subsequently erected, on a larger scale, at Gateside in 1786, at Broadlie and at Arthurlee in 1790, at Crofthead in 1792, and at another place in 1801. These several mills, most of which have been rebuilt or greatly enlarged, are of very spacious dimensions, and many of them five stories high; the number of mule spindles in all the mills at present in operation is 77,826, and of throstle spindles 1344. The number of looms at work is 230; and the number of persons constantly employed in spinning and weaving cotton in the works is 1659, of whom two-thirds are females. The value of the produce is estimated at £140,000 per annum, of which £51,575 are paid in wages. There are on the banks of the Levern four large printfields and three bleachfields; on the Kirkton stream, one printfield for dyeing Turkey red, and four bleachfields; and on the Walton stream, two printfields and one bleachfield. The aggregate number of people occupied in printing and bleaching is 2055, of whom about one-third are females; and the amount of wages is £47,700 per annum. An iron-foundry is carried on, for furnishing the different works with the requisite machinery, and for other articles of manufacture. Crofthead House and Lower Arthurlee House are spacious and handsome residences; and there are also several good dwellinghouses belonging to gentlemen connected with the works.
The chief villages are Neilston and Barrhead, which are inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the mills, bleachfields, and printfields, and in the various trades requisite for the supply of this populous parish with the usual articles of merchandise. The nearest market-town is Paisley; but the villages abound with every thing requisite for the accommodation of the inhabitants. The municipal regulations are wholly under the direction of the county magistrates, and the peace is preserved by constables of their appointment: a court is held alternately at Neilston and Barrhead, for the recovery of small debts, monthly. There are post-offices at Neilston and Barrhead, which have a good delivery; and facility of intercourse with Paisley, Glasgow, and Edinburgh is afforded by good roads kept in excellent order, the turnpike-roads from Glasgow to Irvine, and from Paisley to Ayr, passing through the whole length of the parish. Numerous bridges cross the various streams. There is a mechanics' institution called the Levern Institution, which has a library containing a wellassorted collection on scientific and literary subjects. Fairs are held at Neilston on the third Tuesdays in February, May, and October, O. S., for cattle, and on the fourth Tuesday of July, for horses, when a horse-race is celebrated, which is in general well attended; a fair is also held on the last Friday in June, at Barrhead, chiefly for horse-racing, and on the following Saturday for cattle. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Paisley and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The stipend of the incumbent is £263: the manse, erected about 1763, and enlarged and repaired in 1809, is a handsome and comfortable residence, delightfully situated; and the glebe comprises about eight acres of profitable land, valued at £24 per annum. The church is an ancient edifice of the later style of English architecture, repaired and new-seated in 1798; it is well situated for the parishioners generally, and is adapted for a congregation of 830 persons. There are places of worship for the Free Church and the United Associate Synod. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34, with a large house and garden, and the fees average upwards of £60 per annum, exclusive of extensive private tuition, yielding £30. There are five schools maintained by the proprietors of the cotton-works, for the instruction of the children employed by them, in reading, writing, and arithmetic; and seven others, of which four are for females, supported exclusively by the fees. The aggregate number of children taught in the several schools exceeds 1000. There are but very few vestiges of antiquity in the parish. Two of the springs, called Holy wells, point to the existence of some religious establishments here at an early period; but there are no remains, nor is any thing recorded of their history. Baron Mure of the exchequer, at one time member of parliament for the county, a man of profound learning and of great eloquence; and the late Dr. Monteath, an eminent physician, were natives of the parish. Mr. John Robertson, the inventor of the self-acting mule, which has contributed so greatly to the improvement and perfection of the cotton manufactures established here, was also a native.
NENTHORN, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Kelso; containing 446 inhabitants. This place, of which the name, of uncertain signification, is supposed to be partly derived from some remarkable thorns once in the vicinity of the church, appears to have belonged at a remote period to the De Morvilles, constables of Scotland, and subsequently to the bishops of St. Andrew's, who transferred the lands to the abbot of Kelso, in exchange for the church of Cranston, in the county of Mid Lothian. It seems to have suffered materially during the period of the border warfare, and in 1542 the village was burned down by the English forces. The parish, which is situated on the banks of the Eden, is about four miles and a half in length, and two miles in extreme breadth, but diminishing so much towards the centre on each side as to include an area of little more than five square miles; it is bounded on the west by the river, and comprises 3400 acres, of which 2800 are arable, 300 permanent pasture and meadow, and about 300 woodland and plantations. The surface is varied by successive undulations of pleasing form and gentle height, and near the northern extremity by a moderate ridge of hilly rock; and the scenery, enriched with the agreeable windings of the stream of the Eden, is in some parts picturesque. The river, which for several miles forms the boundary, flows in a few places between banks sloping gradually from its margin on the one side, and rising abruptly on the other in precipitous rocks to the height of nearly one hundred feet. The soil in the northern part is chiefly a reddish clay retentive of moisture, alternated with tracts of light and dry land; and in the southern portion, of richer quality, consisting mainly of clayey and gravelly loam. The crops are, barley, oats, wheat, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is in an advanced state; the lands have been well drained, and inclosed partly with stone dykes and partly with hedges and ditches. Guano has lately been applied with success as manure in the cultivation of turnips; the chief farm houses and offices are substantial and well arranged, and the recent improvements in implements of husbandry have been carried into practise. Considerable attention is paid to the rearing of live-stock, for which the pastures are extremely well adapted: the cattle, on an average numbering about 300, are chiefly of the short-horned breed; and 2000 sheep and lambs, mostly the Leicestershire, are annually reared. About 100 horses, principally for draught, are also bred; they are in good demand, and are worth £30 each on the average. The woods consist of oak, ash, beech, lime, chesnut, elm, maple, sycamore, and poplar; and the plantations of Scotch fir and larch, intermixed with the ordinary variety of foresttrees. The principal substrata are whinstone and coarse red sandstone; the trap-rocks in one place contain beautiful specimens of columnar basalt, arranged in pentagonal and hexagonal columns nearly perpendicular. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4326.
The chief seat in Nenthorn is Newton-Don, the property of Sir William Don, Bart., a spacious mansion, delighfully situated in an ample and richly-embellished demesne, near which the Eden, precipitated from a rocky ledge, forms a picturesque cascade; and commanding an extensive prospect over the river Tweed. In the house are preserved several memorials of the ancient and noble family of Glencairn, of which the proprietor is the representative. Nenthorn, a mansion that was formerly the residence of a branch of the Roxburghe family, is beautifully seated in a demesne enriched by the course of the Eden. The villages once existing here have altogether disappeared, and nothing deserving the name remains; the only approximation is a hamlet of two or three cottages on part of the Nenthorn property. The nearest market-town is Kelso, with which intercourse is maintained by a road in tolerable condition; a private carrier brings letters daily from the post-office of Kelso; and communication with Berwick, Dalkeith, and other places, is also afforded by good roads, and bridges which have within the last fifty years been built over the Eden. The parish is in the presbytery of Kelso and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is the minimum, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum. The ancient church, which was beautifully situated in a sequestered spot embosomed in trees, on the bank of the river, having become completely dilapidated, a new church was erected, but on a very contracted scale, in 1802, at a point where two roads meet, and without a churchyard. It has been since enlarged, yet possesses no claim to architectural notice: including the family galleries of Sir William Don and Mr. Roy, it is adapted for a congregation of 150 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords a useful course of instruction, and is well attended; the master has a salary of £25 per annum, with £18 fees, and a house and garden. There are no remains of the ancient chapel of Little Newton in this parish, which, together with the church and lands of Nenthorn, was given to the bishops of St. Andrew's, and by them transferred to the abbots of Kelso, to the monks of which place, also, was given a small portion of land near, to pray for the souls of the earls of Douglas. The site is still used as a burialplace for the family of the Dons, of Newton-Don.
NESS, county of Ross and Cromarty.—See Cross.
NESS, an island, forming part of the parish of Bressay, Burra, and Quarff, in the Shetland Isles; and containing 24 inhabitants. This island lies a short distance east of Bressay, is two miles long and a mile in breadth, and consists chiefly of natural pasture, the surface gradually rising from west to east; but in the western portion there is a considerable tract under cultivation. The coast is rocky, and in most parts precipitous; the few intermediate spaces of sloping beach are occasionally sandy, but in general formed of calcareous earth. The most prominent feature on the coast is the Noop, or, as it is called by mariners, Hangeliff, a headland on the eastern shore, about 600 feet high, and the resort in summer of swarms of migratory and other birds. On the south is Hova, another headland, 200 feet high; and contiguous to the coast are several holms, or uninhabited isles, of very small extent, among which the holm of Ness is the most conspicuous. This is a rock with a perpendicular elevation of about 200 feet, separated from Ness by a very narrow frith, and communicating with it by means of a cradle fastened to ropes, which is used for the transit of ten or twelve sheep, sent for two or three months in the summer to graze upon it.
Nesting, Lunasting, and Whalsay
NESTING, LUNASTING, and WHALSAY, a parish, in the Shetland Isles; containing 2294 inhabitants. This parish consists of the three districts or ancient parishes of Nesting, Lunasting, and Whalsay, with the small islands of Skerries on the north-east; and is from eighteen to twenty miles in length, supposing the whole of the land to be continuous, and about four miles in average breadth. About 1000 acres are arable, and the remainder undivided waste or pasture, common to the tenants of the two principal proprietors. Lunasting and Nesting are situated on the Mainland, but are separated from each other by an arm of the sea; the latter has the island of Whalsay on the east, and Catfirth voe or harbour on the south. The inhabitants are engaged principally in fishing, agriculture being but a subordinate occupation, and followed only so far as oats, potatoes, and other vegetables are urgently required as a part of their subsistence. The system of husbandry is therefore on the worst footing, and no improvements have been made in tillage during the last half century. The population, however, of the locality has advanced in numbers beyond the average ratio of other parishes in the Shetland Isles, in consequence of the efforts of the two chief heritors in making numerous new settlements, here called outsets, on lands formerly uncultivated. The rateable annual value of the parish is £862; and the average rent of land, about £1 per merk. Gneiss is the prevailing rock; but primitive limestone, mica-slate, sienite, and granite are also found; and peat, which constitutes the principal fuel, exists in great abundance. A costly mansion has been recently erected in Whalsay, at an expense of £20,000, by Mr. Bruce, of Simbister, of grey granite imported across the sound of Whalsay; it consists of three stories, and has a wing on each side with extensive and convenient offices.
The inhabitants' chief means of subsistence is piltocks and sillocks, which they live upon to a great extent, and are able to catch throughout the whole of the year. What is here termed the Haaf-fishing, however, comprising ling, cod, and tusk, employs nearly all the males, with the exception of those who go to the Greenland whale-fishery, and is carried on from the beginning of June till July or August; the produce is sent to Leith. About twenty-three herring-boats belong to the parish, and the aggregate amount of this description of fish is about 3000 barrels per annum. Provisions are frequently imported in years of scanty supply: the cattle produced for sale are sent to the market-town of Lerwick. The parish is in the presbytery of Burravoe and synod of Shetland, and in the patronage of the Earl of Zetland. The ministers' stipend, exclusive of a vicarage tithe of certain quantities of butter and oil, is £150, of which the sum of £69 is received from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of twelve and a half merks, valued at £12 per annum. The church of Nesting was built in 1792, and is in decent repair; that of Whalsay has been new-roofed, but is deficient in accommodation; and the church of Lunasting, which, with that of Whalsay, is visited by the minister eleven times in the year, has been recently repaired, and is well seated. A church at Skerries, situated at the distance of sixteen miles from the Mainland, is visited only once yearly. The parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches of education; the master has a salary of £25 per annum, with £2 or £3 fees. The parish contains a small subscription library, lately established.
NETHER GASK, Perthshire.—See Gask, Nether.
NETHERLEE, a hamlet, in the parish of Cathcart, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 1 mile (S. S. W.) from Cathcart; containing 56 inhabitants. It is situated in the south-eastern part of the parish, and on the western bank of the White Cart river. There is a very extensive printfield at this place, capable of giving employment to 300 persons, including children, and to which very large additions were made a few years since; but the works are at present either discontinued, or not in full operation.
NETHERMAINS, a hamlet, in the parish of Kinnaird, county of Perth; containing not more than 29 inhabitants.
NETHERTON-QUARRY, a village, in the parish of New Kilpatrick, county of Dumbarton, 5 miles (N. W.) from Glasgow; containing 111 inhabitants. This place lies in the south-eastern part of the parish, a little west of the high road from Glasgow to Kilpatrick, and on the line of the Forth and Clyde canal. It derives its affix from a considerable and very celebrated quarry, of which the stone is of a warm cream colour, easily chiseled as it comes from the quarry, but hardening by exposure. Roseneath House, Blythswood House, the custom-house at Greenock, and Garscube House, the last in the vicinity of the village, were built of this stone. At one time it was largely exported to Ireland and the West Indies.
NEVAY, county of Forfar.—See Eassie and Nevay.
NEW GALLOWAY.—See Galloway, New.—And all places having a similar distinguishing prefix, will be found under the proper name.
NEWABBEY, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright; containing 1049 inhabitants, of whom 330 are in the village, 7 miles (S. by W.) from Dumfries. This place, anciently called Kirkindar from the situation of the old church on an island in Loch Kindar, derived its present name from the foundation of an abbey which, in contradistinction to that of Dundrennan, was styled the New Abbey. In 1300, Edward I. of England encamped his army in the immediate vicinity of the abbey, and while here received through the Archbishop of Canterbury a bull from Pope Boniface VIII., rebutting the monarch's claim to the superiority of Scotland, and urging his own title to that kingdom as part of St. Peter's patrimony. Edward held a council at this place, to deliberate upon the pretensions of the pope; but as the question involved the interests of England, he declined coming to any decision till he should consult with the estates of the realm, for which purpose he disbanded his army, and proceeded to Lincoln, where he summoned a parliament to determine the affair. The parish, which is partly bounded on the east by the river Nith, is about ten miles in length and nearly two miles in average breadth; comprising an area of 11,000 acres, of which 4000 are arable, 600 woodland and plantations, and the remainder hill, pasture, moor, and waste. The surface is greatly diversified. Along the western boundary is a range of hills, of which Lowtis on the north, and Criffel on the south, are the most conspicuous: the higher, Criffel, has an elevation of 1900 feet above the level of the sea. On the north-eastern border is a similar ridge, of less height; between the two ranges is an extensive valley, and towards the south the land has a gentle declivity from the west to the banks of the Nith. The lower lands are watered by numerous small rivulets, rising in various parts of the parish, and which, uniting their streams, form what is called the Pow of Newabbey. There are also three lakes, of which the most extensive is Loch Kindar, near the base of Criffel, about a mile in length and three-quarters of a mile broad, and abounding with different kinds of trout. In this lake are two islands, on one of which are the remains of the ancient parish church, the ruins whereof have been preserved from further decay by a slight repair, and by the fitting up of a part for the accommodation of anglers. Loch End, at the foot of the hill at Lowtis, is three-quarters of a mile in length and half a mile broad, and abounds with perch and pike: near the shore is a small artificial island, richly wooded. Craigend loch, of nearly equal extent with Loch End, from which it is separated by a ridge of rocks, contains pike of large size. The shores of all these lakes are fringed with plantations, and in some parts of them the scenery is beautifully picturesque.
The soil of the arable lands is generally a gravelly loam, but in some parts clay and moss; the crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry is improved; the lands have been drained, and inclosed chiefly with fences of stone; the farmbuildings are substantial and comfortable, and on the various farms are eighteen threshing-mills, of which more than one-half are driven by water. The sheep on the hill pastures are of the black-faced breed, but on the low lands chiefly of the Leicestershire, with a few of the Cheviot, which kind has been recently introduced; the cattle are usually of the Galloway breed. There are considerable remains of natural wood; and the plantations, which are extensive and in a thriving state, are of oak, ash, beech, larch, and Scotch fir. The rocks in the parish are almost entirely of the sienite formation; there are some veins of coarse limestone and whinstone; and indications of coal have been observed, but no mines have as yet been opened. The rateable annual value of Newabbey is £4784. On the lands of Shambelly, which have been richly planted, is a handsome house, erected within the last twenty years by William Stewart, Esq., who resides in an ancient mansion in the village; and a house in the cottage style, on the lands of Kinharvey, has been recently purchased by Mr. Maxwell, of Terregles, as a residence during the shooting season. The village is pleasantly situated on the Pow of Newabbey, near its influx into the Nith, and is neatly built, containing several good houses. There is a parochial library, having a valuable assortment of volumes on history, travels, and divinity; it has been established for nearly forty years, and is supported by subscription. A hall erected for a Freemasons' lodge, and for the meetings of a friendly society, is now used as a ball-room and for public meetings. A mill for carding and spinning wool, a mill for grain, and a saw-mill, have been erected in the village; and the timber prepared at the last is generally shipped for Liverpool. An indifferent harbour has been constructed at the mouth of the Pow, which in spring tides is navigable to within a mile of the village for vessels of seventy tons, which land their cargoes of lime and coal for the parish, and return laden with agricultural produce. Salmon, flounders, and herlings are taken in abundance in the Nith, where the inhabitants have the right of fishing, upon paying one-third of what they take to the proprietor, who, however, commutes this payment for a nominal sum of money. A branch of the post-office of Dumfries has been established in the village; and facility of communication is afforded by good roads which pass through the parish. The small hamlet of Drumburn is pleasantly situated on a burn of that name flowing into the Nith.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery and synod of Dumfries. The minister's stipend is £233, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £33 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, contiguous to the conventual church of the abbey, of which it originally formed a part, is apparently of the 13th century, and was enlarged in 1805 by rebuilding the front wall; it is in good repair, and contains 470 sittings. A Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1823; but for the last few years no service has been performed in it. There are three parochial schools: the master of the principal school has a salary of £29. 18. 9., with a house and garden, and the interest of a bequest of £150; and the masters of the other two have each £10. 13. 10., and one of them the interest of £54. There are still, though greatly dilapidated, considerable remains of the Cistercian abbey already referred to, founded in 1284 by Devorgilla, mother of John Baliol, King of Scotland, who, after the death of her husband, had his heart embalmed, inclosed in a casket of ivory enriched with silver, and deposited in the choir of the church here, from which the abbey took the name of Sweetheart, afterwards changed to that of the New Abbey. The remains consist principally of the conventual church, an elegant cruciform structure in the early English style of architecture, 194 feet in length from east to west, and 102 feet across at the transepts, with a central tower ninety feet high: most of the other buildings were demolished to furnish materials for houses. On the farm of Lundis, about half a mile from the abbey, are the ivy-mantled ruins of a square edifice, the occasional residence of the abbots, near which a metal vessel was dug up a few years since; and two similar vessels have been found in Loch End, capable of holding from three to four gallons each. Soon after the battle of Waterloo, a granite column fifty feet high was erected on Glen Hill, an eminence in the parish, which has an elevation of 400 feet above the level of the sea, in honour of the Duke of Wellington and the British army, at the suggestion of Robert Johnston, Esq., author of Travels from Petersburgh to Moscow, and along the line of Napoleon's retreat from Russia. On the farm of Craigend is a large rocking stone of sienite, supposed to weigh more than fifteen tons.
NEWARK, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Port-Glasgow, Lower ward of the county of Renfrew; containing 2449 inhabitants. This place is united to Port-Glasgow, and the two are termed the burgh of Port-Glasgow and Newark, the latter forming the eastern portion of the town. It is connected with Port-Glasgow in all municipal affairs, but was till recently separated from it, as far as ecclesiastical matters were concerned, by an act of the General Assembly. The extent of the quoad sacra parish was about one square mile, partly rural; but with the exception of about forty persons, the whole population of the district, chiefly composed of ship and other carpenters, coopers, smiths, joiners, weavers, rope-makers, and other labouring classes, reside in the town portion. The bay of Newark is now converted into a spacious wet-dock, in which vessels of the largest burthen can lie at any state of the tide: at its eastern extremity stands the old decayed castle of Newark, on a point of land. The parish, formed in 1838, was in the presbytery of Greenock and synod of Glasgow and Ayr: the stipend of the minister was £100, arising from feu-duties and assessments. The church was built by subscription in 1774, and is a plain building, affording accommodation for about 1600 persons; patrons, the proprietors and seat-holders. There are several schools.—See Port-Glasgow.
NEWARTHILL, a village, in that part of the parish of Bothwell which formed the late quoad sacra parish of Holytown, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 1¼ mile (S. E. by E.) from Holytown; containing 968 inhabitants. This village is situated south of the post-road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, in the heart of a district abounding with coal and ironstone; and the inhabitants are chiefly employed in collieries, and in the iron and steel works which are carried on in the immediate vicinity. Schools are supported by the proprietors of the works, for the instruction of the children of their workmen; and to most of them are attached libraries of useful books.
NEWBATTLE, a parish, in the county of Edinburgh; containing, with the villages of Easthouses and Newton-Grange, 2033 inhabitants, of whom 159 are in the village of Newbattle, 1 mile (S.) from Dalkeith. This place, which forms a kind of suburb to the town of Dalkeith, originated in the foundation of a monastery by David I. in 1140, which he endowed for brethren of the Cistercian order, from the abbey of Melrose. The institution continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenue was returned at £1413 in money, and various payments in kind. At the Reformation, the small parish of Maisterton was joined to this parish, and the church of the abbey was made parochial. The patronage of the united church, with the lands of Maisterton, and the manor of Newbattle, was held by Mark Kerr, the last commendator of the abbey, and ancestor of the Lothian family, who died in 1584, and was succeeded by his son, Mark, who in 1587 obtained from James VI. a patent erecting these lands into a barony, and who in 1606 was created Earl of Lothian. The estate has since that time remained in the family, and is now the property of the eighth Marquess of Lothian. The parish, part of which is beautifully situated in a romantic valley watered by the South Esk, is about four miles in length, and forms an irregular triangular area of eight square miles, containing something more than 5000 acres, of which 4700 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface is finely varied, the main part rising gradually from the margin of the river, and terminating in a bold ridge, of which the highest point has an elevation of 700 feet above the level of the sea, and commands an extensive and richly diversified prospect over the adjacent country.
The soil in the lower lands is luxuriantly rich, and of great depth; but in the higher districts, comparatively light and shallow. The system of agriculture is in an improved state, and the rotation plan is prevalent; the crops are, wheat, oats, barley, beans, potatoes, and turnips. The farm-buildings, however, are generally old, and in very indifferent condition, inferior to many in the vicinity; and the few inclosures might be greatly bettered. The woods are under good management, and are regularly thinned and pruned; they consist of oak, ash, elm, beech, plane, and various kinds of fir. The plantations, also, are mostly in a flourishing state. The substrata are chiefly coal and limestone, which are both abundant and of good quality; and the former is wrought to a very great extent by the Marquess of Lothian, whose mines of parrot-coal of the finest description are apparently inexhaustible. The rateable annual value of the parish is £12,706. Newbattle Abbey, the seat of the marquess, is an imposing mansion erected on the site of the ancient monastery, and beautifully situated on the north bank of the South Esk, in a well-wooded park. The mansion contains many stately apartments; an extensive and valuable library, enriched with splendidly illuminated missals and curious manuscripts formerly belonging to the abbey; a large collection of paintings by the first masters, and numerous family portaits. The grounds are tastefully laid out, and embellished with thriving plantations, and with many trees of ancient and majestic growth, among which are some beeches of extraordinary size, planted by the monks. Within the park is an old bridge of one arch over the river, called the Maiden Bridge, said to have been erected by a young lady whose lover was drowned while attempting to ford the stream at this spot, and which, now overgrown with ivy, has a strikingly romantic appearance. In the pavement of the hall of the mansion was once a brass plate, in the form of a foot, inserted to mark out the spot on which His Majesty George IV. first trod on entering the mansion, when he visited the marquess in 1822. Woodburn, late the residence of Mr. Ker, is a handsome modern house on the east bank of the river, pleasantly situated in a well-planted demesne, and commanding some fine views.
The village consists chiefly of old and irregularlybuilt houses, inhabited by persons engaged in the various handicraft trades requisite for the wants of the neighbourhood, and of cottages for agricultural labourers. Easthouses, in its vicinity, is inhabited by persons employed in the collieries of the Marquess of Lothian, which are very extensive, and from which a line of railway, one mile and a half in length, has been formed at the expense of his lordship, to Dalhousie-Mains, where it joins the Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway, which thence proceeds north-westward. In its progress it is carried across a deep ravine of most romantic appearance, by a spacious bridge of cast-iron, of three arches resting on stone piers, sixty-five feet each in span, and of which the central arch, over the river, is seventy feet high. There are one or two other villages and several rural hamlets. Facility of communication with Dalkeith and the neighbouring towns is afforded by the railway, and by roads kept in tolerable repair. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dalkeith and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale: the minister's stipend is £188, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £21 per annum; patron, the Marquess. The church, situated not far from the river, near the principal lodge of Newbattle Abbey, was erected in 1727, and is a plain structure containing 400 sittings, a number that might be considerably increased by the erection of a gallery. There is also a regular minister at Stobhill, where a church has very recently been raised, adequate funds having been subscribed. The parochial school, to the west of Easthouses, is well conducted, and attended by about eighty children; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £25 per annum. A school in the village of Easthouses, an infant school likewise there, and a school for girls at Newton-Grange, are all specially attached to the coalworks; the scholars are numerous, and the teachers partly paid by salaries and partly from the wages of the colliers. There are also some friendly societies, which operate to diminish the number of applicants for parochial relief. On the summit of the ridge rising from the bank of the river, are distinct traces of a Roman camp about three acres in extent, the area of which has been planted with trees; and to the north of the abbey was till lately a conical mount, ninety feet in diameter at the base, and thirty feet high, on the removal of which, for the erection of the present mansion, a stone coffin seven feet long was found, containing a human skull. Archbishop Leighton was for some time minister of this parish, to which he was inducted in 1648.
NEWBIGGING, a village, in the parish of Carnwath, Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 2 miles (E. by S.) from the village of Carnwath; containing 217 inhabitants. This village is pleasantly situated in the south part of the parish, on the road from Carnwath to Dunsyre, and is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in weaving at their own dwellings for the manufacturers of Glasgow and Paisley.
NEWBIGGING, a village, in the parish of Auchtertool, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; nearly adjoining the village of Auchtertool, and containing 67 inhabitants. It lies in the eastern part of the parish, on the road from Kirkcaldy to Dunfermline; and is wholly agricultural. The church is distant from it about a mile, westward.
NEWBIGGING, a village, in the parish of Newtyle, county of Forfar, 5 miles (E. N. E.) from CuparAngus; containing 229 inhabitants. It is situated in the western part of the parish, on the borders of the county, and on the road from Dundee to Meigle; it is of rather old appearance, and consists of about sixty dwelling-houses, of which the owners of about thirty have small pendicles of land, each of from three to fifteen acres. The careful cultivation of these pendicles, and the agricultural business of the parish, afford employment to the chief part of the population.
NEWBIGGING, a village, in the parish of Tealing, county of Forfar, 3 miles (N. W. by W.) from Murroes; containing 88 inhabitants. This village lies in the eastern extremity of the parish, and about a mile and a half distant from the church, which stands westward of it.
NEWBOTTLE, county of Edinburgh.—See Newbattle.
NEWBRIDGE, a village, in the parish of Kirkliston, county of Edinburgh, 1 mile (S. by W.) from the village of Kirkliston; containing 153 inhabitants. This place is on the east side of the Almond water, which here separates the two counties of Edinburgh and Linlithgow; and is a pleasantly situated village, having an inn. The road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, by Bathgate, which runs through the southern division of the parish, passes through it. At Loughend, near Newbridge, are set up some large stones where a battle was fought in the year 995, between Kenneth, the natural brother of Malcolm II., and Constantine, the usurper of the crown; and about a mile and a half westward, several stone coffins have been from time to time discovered.
NEWBRIDGE, a hamlet, in the parish of Terregles, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 2 miles (N. W. by N.) from Dumfries; containing 24 inhabitants. It lies in the extreme north point of the parish, on a tributary to the Nith, which flows at a short distance eastward.
NEWBURGH, a village and sea-port, in the parish of Foveran, district of Ellon, county of Aberdeen, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Ellon; containing 393 inhabitants. This is a small but flourishing place, situated on the bank of the river Ythan, at its confluence with the German Ocean. The village is now much improved; it contains about 120 houses, some very substantial and commodious; and is well provided with shops, and has persons carrying on all the necessary trades for the convenience of the population. There is a bonemill, actively employed; also eight large well-built granaries. The soil in the immediate vicinity is a fine, strong, black earth, producing very rich crops of bear, potatoes, and turnips, and a small quantity of oats. The river is of a serpentine form, and navigable for nearly a mile and a half, affording an opportunity at low water for the loading and unloading of vessels; it is well stocked with sea-trout, salmon, flounders, and especially muscles, the last supplying several hundred tons annually, sold at £1. 10. per ton. The entrance to the river, however, is exceedingly bad, and often dangerous on account of the shifting sands. The beach, extending from its mouth nearly ten miles south, has stake and bag nets for taking salmon: the fish caught in the sea are, haddocks, cod, skate, and flounders; and there are two fishing-boats belonging to the village, and a ferry-boat on the Ythan, three-quarters of a mile above. The number of ships belonging to the port is eight, the aggregate burthen of which is 646 tons; they are employed in the coasting and foreign trade, and the exports consist of grain and cattle, and the imports of coal, lime, timber, and bones. A tide-waiter resides here, and a pilot-boat belongs to the station. There is a branch of the National Savings' Bank, in connexion with the Ellon Bank; also a society called the "Newburgh Shipmasters' Friendly Society." A school has been established for twenty children of poor fishermen, from a bequest of the late Mr. Mather; and a weekly lecture is delivered by the parochial minister or schoolmaster, supported by funds left also by Mr. Mather for that purpose. A turnpike-road has been recently formed leading from Meldrum into the village.
NEWBURGH, a parish, sea-port, burgh, and markettown, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 11 miles (S. E.) from Perth, and 40 (N.) from Edinburgh; containing 2897 inhabitants, of whom 2491 are in the burgh. This parish derives its name from a town built here long before the separation of the district from the parish of Abdie, or Lindores, of which, previously to the year 1622, the lands formed a part. The town appears to have been indebted for its increase to the encouragement of the abbots of the monastery of Lindores, near which it was situated, and which was founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, about the year 1180, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Andrew, for monks of the Benedictine order, who were placed in it from the abbey of Kelso. Soon after its foundation, the earl granted to the abbot of Lindores, and to the church of St. Mary and St. Andrew, the island of Fedinch, supposed to be the present Mugdrum, with the fisheries in the river Tay adjoining, and a right of taking from his quarries at Irneside, stone for the erection of conventual buildings. Additional grants were made by charter of William the Lion, Alexander III., and other kings of Scotland, for its endowment, which was subsequently augmented by James II., who gave to the monastery the lands of Parkhill, in Fife. The monastery continued to flourish under a long succession of abbots till the year 1600, when James VI. erected the abbacy into a temporal lordship; and in 1606 John, the last abbot of whom any notice occurs, is said to have assisted at a general council held at Westminster to deliberate on the expediency of establishing episcopacy in Scotland.
The town is advantageously situated upon the river Tay, which is divided by the island of Mugdrum into two channels, called respectively the North and South Deep, the latter being the principal roadway for ships approaching the port. The greater part of the town has been rebuilt within the last fifty years, and it has also been much increased by the recent erection of suburbs; the streets are paved, and lighted with gas by a company lately established here; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water from springs. The houses are large, and uniformly built of greenstone found in the neighbouring quarries; and the public buildings, of the same material, are embellished with freestone of good quality from Cupar-moor and other places. The whole appearance is cheerful and prepossessing; and from its sheltered situation, the salubrity of its air, and the beauty and variety of the surrounding scenery, it is fast growing into favour as a summer residence for families at a distance. The linen manufacture has long been established here, affording employment to several hundreds of persons in hand-loom weaving, and to more than 350 persons, chiefly women, in winding bobbins. The linen made here is chiefly dowlas sheeting, for which a ready market is obtained in London, Leeds, and Manchester, and of which great quantities are also exported to the West Indies and South America: the finest pieces are what are called "fourteen-hundred linens." The number of looms in the town is 560, producing on an average 23,600 webs, 140 yards in length, and from one yard to three yards in width, and in which are contained more than 826,000 spindles of yarn. There is also an extensive bleachfield, supplied with pure water from the spring called the Nine Wells, the waters of which are collected into one copious and powerful stream. A considerable trade is carried on in grain; and a market for stock, opened in 1830, is held on Tuesday, and numerously attended by dealers from all parts of the adjacent country. Fairs are held for horses, cattle, and sheep, on the first Tuesday in April, third Friday in June, and second Tuesday in October; and for hiring servants, on the first Tuesday in December. A post-office has been established, which has a good delivery; and facilities of communication are afforded with the neighbouring towns by excellent turnpike-roads, of which that from Cupar to Perth passes through the town.
The trade of the port consists principally in the exportation of the linens manufactured in the town and parish to the West Indies and South America, and the importation of timber from the Baltic, North America, and Norway, generally brought by vessels belonging to those ports. Ten vessels, varying from sixty to 150 tons, belong to Newburgh, and these are employed chiefly in the coal trade; there is also an inconsiderable coasting trade, and most of the potatoes and other agricultural produce of Strathearn, Kinross, and the surrounding district, are shipped from this port for the London market. Two packets are regularly engaged in bringing the raw materials for the linen manufacture from Dundee; and vessels bound for Perth are frequently obliged to wait here for the flow of the tide, and often are under the necessity of landing part of their cargoes before they can proceed further up the river, even with the tide in their favour. The steam-boats between Perth and Dundee touch at Newburgh; and a passage-boat has been established on the Tay between the Pow of Errol and this place. The port is situated on that channel of the river called the South Deep, and is accessible to ships of 500 tons, which can load and unload their cargoes on the quay; but beyond the confluence of the Earn, the channel will scarcely admit vessels of 150 tons to proceed to Perth. The landing-place consists of four piers, projecting boldly into the channel; warehouses and granaries have been recently built for the accommodation of the merchants, and several handsome dwelling-houses for the residence of persons connected with the shipping. The revenue paid to the customhouse is already considerable, and the trade of the port gradually increasing.
Many persons are occupied in the salmon-fishery of the Tay; the fish are of superior quality, and very much esteemed. The number of boats on the average is thirty, and about sixty seamen are engaged: there are several stations, on one of which, employing only two boats, 250 salmon, 610 grilse, and a proportionate number of trout, were taken in one season. Considerable numbers are still caught, which, after affording an abundant supply for the town and neighbourhood, are shipped to London by the Dundee steamers, which perform the voyage in about thirty-five hours. The sperling, or salmo eperlanus of naturalists, is also found here, though not in any other part of the Frith of Tay. The nets for taking them are fixed by stakes in the rapids of the current, and they are obtained in great quantities, even in the winter months, so long as the river is free from ice; they are much valued by the inhabitants of the place, and find a ready market also at Perth. The people of Newburgh received their earliest charter of incorporation from the abbot of the monastery of Lindores, who erected the town into a burgh of regality, and endowed the burgesses with the lands of Woodriff and the hills adjacent, which now constitute the principal revenue of the corporation; and in 1631, Charles I. confirmed the preceding charter, making the town a royal burgh, and investing the burgesses with various privileges and immunities, and the right of sending a member to the Scottish parliament, which, however, from neglect, soon fell entirely into disuse. Under these charters the government is vested in two magistrates, and a council of fifteen burgesses, assisted by a townclerk and other officers. The magistrates exercise jurisdiction over the royalty of the town, but not over the whole of the harbour and suburbs; they are elected by the council, by whom also all the other officers are appointed. Courts are held weekly, on Wednesday, for the trial of civil actions and of misdemeanors, the townclerk acting as assessor; but little business is done in these courts, and since 1820 not more than seventeen civil and eight criminal causes have been annually adjudicated. The town-house, a neat edifice with a spire, was erected in 1808; and recently, a building of considerable size has been added to it for the use of the stock market.
The parish, after its separation from that of Abdie, under the sanction of the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, in 1622, was enlarged by the addition of a portion of the adjoining parish of Abernethy, annexed to it by the same authority. The present parish is about three miles in length from north to south, and two miles in breadth from east to west, inclosing an irregular area, bounded on the north by the Tay, which washes the coast for about two miles. It comprises 1145 acres, of which 280 are meadow and pasture, ninety woodland and plantations, forty garden and orchard, and the remainder good arable land in a state of profitable cultivation. The surface towards the east is flat, but towards the west rises gently till it terminates in a tract of tableland, from which, in a southern direction, is a gradual ascent till it reaches the Black Cairn, elevated about 800 feet above the level of the sea. To the south-west, also, the land forms a ridge increasing in elevation, and which at Craig-Sparrow is 600 feet in height. The low lands are intersected by a stream that issues from the loch of Lindores, in the parish of Abdie, and falls into the river Tay at the north-eastern extremity of this parish; and also by another streamlet, flowing from Loch Mill, in the same parish, and joining the Eden at Auchtermuchty. The Tay, after receiving the waters of the Earn, expands into a breadth of almost two miles at this place; and its channel, as already observed, is divided nearly into two equal portions by the island of Mugdrum, in the parish of Abernethy. There are also many excellent and copious springs, of which the one called Nine Wells rises in the hilly district towards the south-west. The soil in the higher lands, though of little depth, is very fertile, consisting of a loose black loam; and in the low lands, a remarkably rich clay, which under proper management produces abundant crops. The system of agriculture is in the highest state of improvement; the crops are, barley, of which the chevalier species is fast growing into general use, oats, some wheat, potatoes, and turnips. The orchards in the vicinity of the town are very productive, and abound with fruit of the finest quality, which finds a ready sale at the market, and returns a high profit to the proprietors. The principal woods are those of Mugdrum, comprising about thirty acres on the banks of the Tay, and consisting chiefly of spruce-firs and larch; and Pitcairly, twelve acres in extent, producing some fine specimens of ash, beech, elm, and plane. The plantations on the Town's land comprise more than forty acres of spruce, Scotch fir, and larch, of recent growth, and in a thriving condition. The substratum of the parish is principally of the trap formation: in the lower part a fine-grained porphyritic greenstone, and in the upper a compact felspar, and some beds of trap tuffa, are found. In the small veins of the greenstone are crystals of quartz, carbonate of lime, barytes, and other minerals; and in the felspar occur nodules of claystone, and agates of jasper, approaching in quality to the Mocha stone. In the hills are frequently boulders of primitive rock, granite, gneiss, quartz, mica-slate imbedded with garnets, and primitive greenstone. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4958. Mugdrum House and Pitcairly are the principal mansions.
Newburgh is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife, and patronage of the Earl of Mansfield and the Hay family: the minister's stipend is £225. 14. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £40 per annum. The church, erected in 1833, and situated in the centre of the town, is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, and forms a conspicuous feature in the view; it is adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons. There are places of worship for the United Associate Synod, and for very small congregations of Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £22 fees, and a good house and garden, in addition to which he possesses about four acres of land bequeathed to the school many years since. There are also two Sabbath schools, to each of which is attached a juvenile library. The poor are partly supported by the interest of accumulated sums arising from lands purchased for their relief, and now producing £19. 17. 4. per annum; a female charitable society distributes annually about £15 in clothing and fuel to the poor, and there are two friendly societies, which prevent many of their aged members from applying for parochial assistance. Little remains of the ancient monastery of Lindores, which after its dissolution soon sank into a state of dilapidation and decay; but even its inconsiderable ruins, which for some time have been carefully preserved, afford sufficient indications of its former splendour. The porch of the church is in good preservation, and shows the original building to have been of elegant design, and of elaborate workmanship; the walls are massive, and appear to have been very extensive. Among the ruins of the abbey was found a stone coffin, said to have contained the body of the Duke of Rothsay, who was barbarously put to death in the palace of Falkland, and privately buried within the monastery; and it is traditionally recorded that James, the ninth earl of Douglas, who was taken prisoner at Barneswark Hill, was immured in the abbey, in which he continued till his death in the year 1488. In the hills to the south of the ruins, the sites of the monks' and abbots' wells are still pointed out; but no traces whatever remain of the causeway which extended from the abbey to the church of Magirdum, in the parish of Dron, and which was raised by the monks, who went annually to that place to unite with the nuns of Elcho in paying their devotions to the patron saint. Among the woods to the west of the town are the remains of an ancient cross, consisting of the upright shaft, inserted in a pedestal, and ornamented with curious antique devices on the several stages into which its surface is divided. The two upper compartments of the east face have in each the sculptured representation of a man on horseback, much mutilated; and in the two lower compartments are two horses of very unequa1 size, and the representation of a boar-hunt, very rudely sculptured. On another side are some scroll ornaments; but on the two other sides, the figures or devices are entirely obliterated. The transepts appear to have been broken off. The shaft is of sandstone, and about seven feet in height; it is called the cross of Mugdrum, supposed to be a corruption of Magridin, the saint to whom it was dedicated. By some antiquaries it is thought to have been raised to commemorate the defeat of the Danes in the battle of Luncarty, about the close of the 10th century, through the resolute valour of Hay and his sons, who compelled their retreating countrymen to return to the field of battle. About a mile to the south of this monument, on the confines of Strathearn, is another ancient relic of the same materials, called Macduff's Cross. It consists of one large block of stone, deeply indented in several parts, in each of which cavities were formerly an iron staple and a ring, said to have been intended for the securing of certain cattle offered by the Macduff family as an atonement for the crime of murder. The shaft was destroyed by the Reformers, on their route from Perth to the abbey of Lindores, in 1559. Near the site is a cairn of loose stones, called "Sir Robert's Prap," raised over the grave of Sir Robert Balfour, of Denmill, who fell in a duel not far from the spot towards the commencement of the last century. The Earl of Newburgh takes his title from this parish.