A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.
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EDINKILLIE, or Edenkeillie, a parish, in the county of Elgin, 8 miles (S.) from Forres; containing 1237 inhabitants. This place derives its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "the face of the wood," from the ancient forests of Darnaway and Drummine, of which the greater part of the former and the whole of the latter were once within the limits of the parish. A charter granted by David Bruce is still extant, appointing Richard Comyne, ancestor of the present proprietor of Altyre, keeper of the king's forest of Darnaway; and in 1478, a similar charter was bestowed by James III. upon Thomas Cummyne, of the same place, investing him with the office of warden of the forest of Drummine. The parish, which is frequently called Brae-Moray, is about thirteen miles in extreme length, and seven miles at the greatest breadth, varying considerably in form, and comprising an area of nearly 34,000 acres, of which 3400 are arable, 4700 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface is diversified with numerous hills, of which the highest, named Knock-Moray, has an elevation of about 1000 feet above the level of the sea, commanding from its summit an extensive and richlyvaried prospect over the surrounding country. The river Findhorn, which has its source in the county of Inverness, flows for nearly seven miles in a winding course through the parish, and falls into Findhorn loch, in the Moray Frith; the Divie rises in the hills in the southern boundary of the parish, and, after a north-east course of almost nine miles, runs into the Findhorn; and the Dorback, issuing from the lake of Lochindorb, falls into the Divie near the church. On the banks of the Findhorn, which passes through a tract of country remarkable for the picturesque beauty of its scenery, is an extensive heronry. At Sluie, on that river, is a valuable salmon-fishery, the property of the Earl of Moray, which, previously to the improvement of the fisheries nearer the sea, was amazingly productive; it is now let at an annual rent of 50, to a company who employ four men with drag-nets, taking on the average not more than 700 fish annually. The river abounds with trout, which are also found in the Divie and Dorback. The lake of Lochindorb, partly in this parish, is celebrated for the remains of a castle situated on an island within its limits, of which Edward I. of England took possession, on his route to Inverness, in 1303, and in which he resided for some time on his return, and received the submission of the northern estates of the kingdom. This castle, in 1336, became the abode of Catherine de Beaumont, widow of David Hastings, Earl of Atholl, and was besieged by Sir Andrew Moray, who had succeeded Douglas in the regency of Scotland during the captivity of David Bruce; but, on the approach of Edward III. of England, Sir Andrew retreated with his forces to his castle of Darnaway. Edward placed a garrison of English in the castle; and the fortress afterwards passed from the Earl of Moray to the Campbells of Cawdor, and is now the property of the Earl of Seafield.
The soil of the arable lands is in some parts a brown loam alternated with a rich black mould, and in others light, dry, and gravelly, with large tracts of moss; the crops are, oats, barley, wheat, peas, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry has within the last few years been greatly improved; much waste has been reclaimed and brought into profitable cultivation; the lands have been well drained, and inclosed chiefly with sunk fences, faced with stone, and planted with hedge-rows of thorn intermixed with forest trees. The black-cattle reared in the pastures are principally of the Highland breed, with a few of larger size bought in autumn, and, when fattened, sold to dealers for the southern markets; the sheep, of which about 2500 are reared, are the black-faced, and 250 of the Cheviot breed are annually purchased in September, and fed on turnips, either for the butcher, or to be sold with their lambs in the following year. The natural woods consist of oak, ash, beech, elm, sycamore, Spanish-chesnut, mountain-ash, poplar, birch, holly, alder, larch, and spruce and Scotch firs. A large quantity of wood which had arrived at maturity in the forest has been cut down of late years, and replaced with young plants, chiefly oaks, of which about 100,000 are planted every year. The plantations are still more extensive than the natural woods, and have been principally formed by the Earl of Moray, who, between the years 1767 and 1791, planted 10,591,000 trees, of which 9,687,000 were Scotch firs, 596,000 oaks, and the remainder various kinds of forest trees. The rateable annual value of the parish is 2774.
Dunphail House is an elegant mansion built after a design by Mr. Playfair, in 1829, and situated on a terrace on the bank of the Divie, in a demesne tastefully laid out in parterres and shrubberies, and richly embellished with plantations. The scenery, which is beautifully picturesque, is heightened by the ruins of an ancient castle, which are seen from the house rising above the trees that surround the base. Relugas House is a handsome mansion seated in a demesne between the rivers Findhorn and Dorback; it has been enlarged by an addition of a noble suite of apartments, ninety-six feet in length, within the last fifteen years, and the grounds are finely planted. Logie House is on the east bank of the Findhorn; and a handsome shooting-lodge has been erected by the Hon. John Stuart, and is occupied during the season by various members of the Moray family. The only village is a cluster of houses at Conicaval, situated in the north. There are two small inns in the parish; and facility of communication with Forres and the adjacent towns is afforded by the road from Forres to Perth, by excellent roads formed by Sir William G. G. Cumming, of Altyre, Bart., and others by Charles L. Cumming Bruce, Esq.; and by substantial bridges over the Divie and Dorback, to replace those destroyed by floods in 1829. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Forres and synod of Moray. The minister's stipend is 180, with a manse, and a glebe valued at 12 per annum; patron, the Earl of Moray. The church, situated on the east bank of the river Divie, is a plain structure built in 1741, and repaired in 1813, and contains 500 sittings. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of 34, with a house and garden, and the fees average 16; he has also an allowance from the trustees of Dick's bequest. There are schools at Conicaval and Tullydivie, both supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; and at Halfdavoch is a female school, to the mistress of which Sir William Cumming pays 5 per annum. There are some remains, as already noticed, of the ancient castle of Dunphail, of the foundation of which there is no authentic record: after the battle of the Standard, the fortress was besieged by Randolph, Earl of Moray, and gallantly defended by Cummin, its proprietor. The Doune hill of Relugas is of very great antiquity, and is supposed to have been a stronghold to which the inhabitants of the district retired with their cattle, on the frequent irruption of the Danes; it is a conical hill of very precipitous ascent, nearly surrounded at the base by the Divie, and, where undefended by the river, strongly intrenched with ramparts of stone. By some antiquaries it is connected with a chain of signalposts used in times of danger, and is said to have been at one time occupied by the Romans, who are thought to have had a chain of similar forts extending from Forres to Brae-Mar, and thence to Perth.
EDINVILLE, a hamlet, in the parish of Dallas, county of Elgin; containing 17 inhabitants.
EDMONDSTONE, a village, in the parish of Newton, county of Edinburgh, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Edinburgh; containing 143 inhabitants. It lies in the western part of the parish, and is one of several small villages within its limits, of which some consist of long rows of red-tiled houses, chiefly inhabited by colliers. The road from Edinburgh to Dalkeith passes at a short distance on the south; and a little westward of the village is Edmondstone House, an elegant residence finely situated amidst beautiful plantations.
EDNAM, a parish, in the district of Kelso, county of Roxburgh; containing 615 inhabitants, of whom 146 are in the village, 2 miles (N. by E.) from Kelso. The name of this parish, which is a contraction of the word Edenham, signifies a hamlet on the Eden, and is descriptive of the situation of the village near that river. Little is known concerning the very early history of the place, the few well-authenticated facts relating only to its ecclesiastical affairs, and reaching no further back than the twelfth century. About this period the church had two chapels attached to it, the one at a place in the parish called Newton or New-town, to distinguish it from the old village of Ednam, and the other situated at Naithan's-thirn or Nanthorn. Robert, Bishop of St. Andrew's, who died in 1158, ratified the connexion between the parochial church and the chapel of Newton; and Bishop Arnold, who died in 1162, confirmed to the monks of Coldingham the possession of all the three places of worship. There was also an hospital, dedicated to St. Lawrence, and supposed to have been founded by the Edmonstons of Ednam, who were its patrons; it is referred to in 1348, in a writ of Edward III., who therein directs that the establishment, with the hospital of St. Mary of Berwick, should be restored to Robert de Burton.
The parish is nearly square in form, its length being three miles and a quarter, and its breadth three miles, and it contains 5500 acres. The surface is pleasantly varied by undulations and gently-rising hills, well cultivated, or covered with rich verdure and flourishing plantations; and the parish being only about a mile and a half distant from the English border, the scenery partakes very much of the general character of that on each side of the Tweed. Ednam hill, on the east of the village, forms an interesting object in the picture; it is arable to the summit, and commands an extensive view of the surrounding country. The river Eden constitutes another striking feature in the parish, flowing through a district ornamented with hedge-rows and with numerous clumps of trees standing in the midst of well-cultivated fields: on the south-east runs the Tweed. The soil in some parts consists of loam resting upon a gravelly subsoil, and in others it is clay, with a less retentive subsoil than is usually found in such situations; upon the same subsoil, likewise, there is light gravelly earth, and in some places the soil is moorish. These four different descriptions are found in nearly equal portions. The cultivated land consists of about 3700 acres, two-fifths of which are in grain, two in pasture and hay, and one in turnips and fallow; seventy acres are in pasture along the banks of the rivers, forty in pleasure-grounds, and about seventy in plantations. Grain of all kinds is produced, with good crops of potatoes, turnips, and hay. The cattle are those usually termed the short-horned, and the sheep are of the Leicester breed, of which kind a flock was lately reared by one of the farmers of so superior a description that it excited the attention of agriculturists in distant parts of the kingdom. The lands are highly cultivated, and husbandry is thoroughly understood; the soil is well drained, and embankments have been constructed to a considerable extent. The whole of the substratum is calcareous, with very few exceptions; no quarries are wrought. The rateable annual value of the parish is 8329.
There is a mansion-house named Hendersyde, a handsome modern building, the residence of one of the heritors. The village is neat in its appearance, the houses being regularly built, and covered with tiles or slate; the woollen manufacture was once carried on, and there is still a brewery. The river Eden, which rises in the parish of Gordon, and divides that of Ednam into two parts, flows close to the village, and has two stone and two wooden bridges in the parish, all in the best state of repair: three turnpike-roads, one of them between Berwick and Kelso, intersect the parish, and there are several other roads. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Kelso and synod of Merse and Teviotdale; patron, the Crown. The stipend, with an allowance for communion elements, is 158. 6. 8., of which 111 are payable from the land, and the rest from the exchequer; an excellent manse was finished in 1834, and there is a glebe of the annual value of 15. The church stands near the village, and accommodates about 260 persons; it was built in 1800, and is in good repair. There is a parochial school, in which mathematics and French are taught, with all the ordinary branches of education; the master has the maximum salary, with about 36 fees, and a house and garden. Thomson, author of the Seasons, was born in the manse, his father, the Rev. Thomas Thomson, being minister of Ednam; and in 1820, an obelisk, fifty-two feet in height, was erected to his memory, on some rising ground about a mile from the village, at the expense of the Ednam Club, an association of gentlemen who annually celebrated the poet's birthday here. Mr. William Dawson, the distinguished agriculturist, who introduced turnip husbandry into Scotland, was also a native of the parish.
EDROM, a parish, in the county of Berwick, 3 miles (N. E. by E.) from Dunse; containing, with the village of Allanton, 1415 inhabitants. This place, of which the name, anciently Aderham, is said to have been derived from the situation of its village near the river Whiteadder, is distinguished as the scene of the death of Sir Anthony D'Arcy, a native of France, who, in 1517, was appointed warden of the marches and governor of Dunbar Castle, in the room of Lord Home, by the Duke of Albany, regent of Scotland during the minority of James V. D'Arcy is supposed to have inveigled his predecessor to Edinburgh, where, with his brother, Home was treacherously put to death; and in retaliation of this, David Home, laird of Wedderburn, attacked D'Arcy and his party at Langton, and put them to flight, and D'Arcy's horse being engulphed in a bog, he was compelled to fly on foot, and was overtaken at Broomhouse, in this parish, by the laird of Wedderburn, who killed him on the spot, and carrying his head in triumph through Dunse moor, fixed it on the battlements of Home Castle. In 1674, a very large meeting of Covenanters assembled at East Nisbet for the purpose of celebrating the sacrament, at which more than 3000 communicated. The parish is about five miles and a half in average length, and two miles and a half in average breadth, and comprises 8400 acres, of which 7500 are arable, 600 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is generally flat, with a slight degree of acclivity; and the scenery, which is enlivened by the windings of rivers, and enriched with woods and plantations, is in many parts exceedingly picturesque. The Whiteadder forms the northern boundary of the parish for nearly six miles, and, after embellishing much beautiful scenery, falls into the Tweed within two miles of Berwick: the Blackadder, a stream about fifty feet in breadth, intersects the parish, dividing it into two almost equal portions, and, after a course of about six miles within its limits, flows into the Whiteadder at the village of Allanton.
The soil in some parts is shallow and poor, in others a rich and fertile clay, with some tracts of barren moorland; the crops are, grain of all kinds, with potatoes and turnips. The system of agriculture is in an advanced state, and the five-shift course of husbandry is generally prevalent; the lands are well drained and inclosed, the farm-houses and offices substantially built, and all the more recent improvements in agricultural implements have been adopted. Great numbers of sheep of various breeds, with a cross between the Leicestershire and Cheviot, are annually reared, and also many cattle are pastured. The rateable annual value of the parish is 15,020. The woods and plantations are in a thriving condition; the former consist of the usual varieties of hard-woods, and the plantations, of fir, intermixed with different kinds of forest trees: the thinning of the wood on one estate produces a return of 300 per annum. The substrata are chiefly clay, marl, and sandstone, of which the rocks in the parish are usually composed; the sandstone is of a whitish colour, occurs in beds varying from twenty to thirty feet in thickness, and is quarried in several parts. Red sandstone, resting on conglomerate, is also found, and there is an extensive tract of shell-marl bog on the lands of Kimmerghame, from which great quantities of marl have been obtained, and of which one cubic yard is considered to be equal in efficacy to a boll of lime. In draining this bog and removing the marl, several beavers' heads and deers' horns were discovered.
Broom House, one of the seats in the parish, is a spacious and handsome mansion erected in 1813, on the site of an ancient baronial castle: in excavating for the foundation, several human skeletons were found, one of which, perfectly entire, was inclosed in a stone coffin. Within the grounds is the grave of D'Arcy. Nisbet House is a fine castellated mansion, beautifully situated; Kimmerghame is an ancient mansion on the Blackadder; and Kelloe, Allanbank, and Blackadder House, are all handsome residences, likewise seated on the banks of the Blackadder. In the grounds of the last is a beautiful conservatory in the early English style of architecture; the frame is of cast iron, and the windows, enriched with elegant tracery, are embellished with stained glass, the whole raised by the late Thomas Boswall, Esq., at an expense of several thousand pounds. Edrom House is beautifully situated, commanding some very rich scenery, with distant views of the hills of Dunse and Cockburn, and the Lammermoor and Cheviot hills. There are three corn-mills on the Blackadder, to two of which is added machinery for sawing timber; and on the Whiteadder is a paper-mill, chiefly for the manufacture of printing and writing papers, and which is conducted on a very extensive scale, affording occupation to eighty persons. The parish is in the presbytery of Chirnside and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is 242. 16., with a manse, and a glebe valued at 15 per annum. The present church, erected in 1732, and subsequently repaired, is a spacious and neat edifice, adapted for a congregation of 450 persons: from several inscriptions, with ancient dates, it would appear that portions of the old church have been incorporated with the building. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of 34, with 15 fees, a house, and an allowance in money in lieu of garden. There are three libraries in the parish for the use of young persons, supported by subscription and donations.
EDWARD, KING, county Aberdeen.See King-Edward.
EDZELL, a parish, partly in the county of Kingcardine, but chiefly in that of Forfar, 6 miles (N. by W.) from Brechin; containing 1064 inhabitants, of whom 290 are in the village. This place, in old records designated Edziel, perhaps derives its name from a Gaelic term signifying "the cleft," or "dividing of the waters." The most ancient proprietors of land are said to have been a family of the name of Stirling, from whom considerable property came by marriage to the Lindsays of Glenesk, who possessed nearly the whole of the parish, and have left a memorial of their connexion with the place in the exemption, remaining to this day, of the lands of Edzell from the payment of custom at the great June fair of Brechin. About the year 1714 the estates were purchased by the Earl of Panmure, who was wounded at Sheriffmuir, and the property, with the earl's other estates, afterwards escheated to the crown; it came subsequently into the hands of the York Building Company, and eventually passed by purchase to William, Earl of Panmure, in the peerage of Ireland, a near branch of the family, from whom it has descended to the present owner. The castle of Edzell, now an extensive ruin, consists of two towers, formerly connected by a splendid range of apartments; the southern portion, called Stirling's tower, is much older than the other, and is supposed to have been built and inhabited by the Stirlings. The fortress was occupied by a garrison of Cromwell's in 1651; and though it ceased to be a residence in 1715, it was held in March or April, 1746, by Colonel John Campbell, afterwards Duke of Argyll, who commanded the Argyll Highlanders, when the Duke of Cumberland was marching through the heart of the country.
The parish lies on the north-east border of Forfarshire. Its southern part is a peninsula about three miles long and two wide, formed by the two branches of the North Esk, called the North and West waters; and at the northern extremity of this peninsular portion, where the West water, entering the parish from Lethnot, takes a southerly direction, nearly at right angles with its former course, the parish expands in width to about four miles. The lands in the north are bordered by the North water, or principal branch of the North Esk, on both sides for several miles. About 4270 acres are arable, 200 are under wood, of which about ninety acres, chiefly larch, were planted at the beginning of the present century; and 1060 acres are waste, affording only a little pasture, though one-third of the extent is considered capable of improvement. Besides these lands, there is a hilly surface of about forty-six square miles, covered with brown heath, with here and there verdant patches, produced by the moisture of neighbouring springs, or the fertility of a superior soil. The crops consist chiefly of oats, barley, potatoes, turnips, and hay; the farms in general are of moderate size, and in many instances the obstructions presented by moors, moss, and high grounds forbid enlargement. The parish is wholly the property of Lord Panmure, with the exception of the Kincardineshire portion, which is one-seventh of the whole, and was formerly a separate parish, called New Dosk, the old burial-ground still remaining. The substrata consist partly of red sandstone, exhibiting several varieties; and granite, with some other rocks, is found. The rateable annual value of the parish is 2991, of which 486 are for Kincardineshire.
The village of Edzell, formerly called Slateford, has recently been much enlarged and improved, Lord Panmure having, in 1839, granted building-leases for ninety-nine years; many good houses have been erected according to a regular plan, and much benefit has resulted from the conditions requiring every tenement to be raised with stone and lime, and covered with slate, and to have small allotments in front for flowers, inclosed by low walls. The proprietor has lately erected in the centre a handsome building for a post-office and reading-room; there is an excellent and convenient inn, and many visitors take lodgings here in summer, attracted by the salubrity of the locality, and the beautiful scenery on the North Esk. A mill for the carding and spinning of wool, and the manufacture of blankets, has been in operation for some years in the parish, employing above thirty hands, men and women; and about twenty-seven looms are engaged in the manufacture of coarse linen for an establishment at Montrose. On the North Esk is a salmon-fishery, but of inconsiderable value. The dairy produce is generally carried for sale to the market at Brechin, and the grain is shipped at Montrose. There is a long-established fair, now on the decline, in August; and three of more recent date, originated by Lord Panmure, for sheep and cattle, and on the increase, are regularly held here in the months of May, July, and October, respectively. The parish is in the presbytery of Brechin and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Crown; the minister has a stipend of 158, with a manse, and a glebe valued at 9 per annum. The church was erected in the year 1818, at the end of the village. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school, situated in the village, affords instruction in the ordinary branches; the master has a salary of 34, with a house and garden, and 24 fees. A school has also been established, and premises built, in the Kincardineshire district, by the proprietor of that portion, John Gladstone, Esq., of Fasque; it has an endowment of 10 per annum, making an income for the teacher, together with the school fees, of about 24. At Colmellie are two Druidical circles, and the ancient place of execution for the district still retains the name of Gallow Hill: near the West water is the burial-place in which stood the old parish church, and which is still used by the inhabitants, though the edifice itself has been superseded by the present church, erected on a new site.
EIGG, an island, in the parish of Small Isles, county of Inverness; containing 546 inhabitants. This is one of a cluster of isles which constitute the parish; it is about three miles and a half in length and two and a half in breadth, and lies ten miles westward of Arisaig on the main land. The whole shore is rocky, with the exception of Lagg bay, on the west side; the surface is uneven, and diversified by hills covered with heath, which in some places is mixed with coarse grass. The low grounds are tolerably productive where there is a sufficiency of soil, and about a third part of the island is arable and pasture land, the rest being moor and moss, applied to the rearing of cattle, which is the chief occupation of the inhabitants. The highest elevation is towards the south, where is a singularly-formed hill, called the Scuir of Eigg, terminating in a lofty peak, said to be 1340 feet in height, and surrounded by per-pendicular precipices. Through the middle of the island runs a hollow, called in Gaelic Eagg, and hence is derived its name: on the south-eastern side are several caves. There are various Danish forts; and a barrow here, is said to be the burial-place of Donnan, the tutelary saint of the island.
EILDON, a hamlet, in the parish and district of Melrose, county of Roxburgh, 1 mile (E. S. E.) from Melrose; containing 56 inhabitants. It is situated in the south-eastern part of the parish, and on the road from Melrose to Jedburgh. In the vicinity is the elegant mansion of Eildon Hall, surrounded by fine plantations; and about a mile westward are the Eildon hills, which are partly in Bowden parish. They are three in number, and are of conical form, rising from one broad base; the elevation of two of them is about 1400 feet above the sea, and the north-east hill is chiefly remarkable for the vestiges of a regularly-formed Roman camp, communicating with military stations on the two other hills. The views from the summits are magnificent, and embrace a great part of the south-eastern district of Scotland.
Elan A Bhriu
ELAN A BHRIU, an isle, in the parish of Eddrachillis, county of Sutherland. It lies off the western coast, and derives its name, signifying "the Island of the Judge," from the bowels of Judge Morrison, of Lewis, having been interred here, after his murder by Little John Mac Dhoil Mhich Huishdan. The isle is about four acres in extent, and furnishes good pasture for lambs; it is always held by the minister of Eddrachillis, as the gift of the noble family of Mac Kay, lords Reay.
Elann A Gharin
ELAN A GHARIN, an isle, in the parish of Assynt county of Sutherland. It is a small islet, off the western coast, and is attached to the farm of Unapool, and appropriated to pasturage.
Elan An Du
ELAN AN DU, isles, in the parish of Assynt, county of Sutherland. They are a small cluster, of which the name signifies "the black islands," lying, like the preceding isles, off the western coast of the county; they are appropriated to pasturage, but are of little value.
ELAN MHUIN, an isle, in the parishes of Appin, county of Argyll, and Kilmalie, county of Inverness. It is situated in Loch Leven, and is of small extent, with two rocky islets adjoining it. The island is the joint property of the proprietors of Calart, in Inverness, and of Glencoe, in Argyllshire, to whom the rent of the land is paid alternately; and it is therefore generally considered as alternately in Inverness and in Argyll.
ELDERSLIE, lately an ecclesiastical district, in the Abbey parish of the town of Paisley, Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Paisley; containing 1086 inhabitants. The village, which is on the road from Paisley to Beith, is distinguished as the birthplace of the celebrated Sir William Wallace, who was born in an ancient house near its western extremity. In the garden of the house, close to the foundation of the wall, a stone was dug up, bearing the inscription W. W. W., with the legend "Christ is only my Redeemer," and which is preserved in the cabinet of Alexander Speirs, Esq., of Elderslie; and on the opposite side of the road is an old tree called Wallace's tree, in which that hero concealed himself when pursued by his enemies. The village is pleasantly situated, and is abundantly supplied with water from numerous fine springs, of which one, discovered while boring for coal, is called the Bore. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in weaving, and also in the spinning of cotton, for which two extensive mills have been erected, affording employment to about 400 persons. The Glasgow, Paisley, and Johnstone canal, and the Glasgow, Paisley, and Ayr railway, which pass in the vicinity, afford ample facilities of communication. The ecclesiastical district included also the villages of Quarrelton and Thorn, and was about three miles in length, and one mile in average breadth: the church is a neat structure in the later English style of architecture, erected by subscription, and containing about 800 sittings.
ELDRIG, a village, in the parish of Mochrum, county of Wigton, 3 miles (N. by W.) from Port-William; containing 217 inhabitants. It is situated in the south-west part of the parish, and in the vicinity of a stream which flows from Loch Eldrig into Luce bay.
ELGAR, an isle, in the parish of Shapinsay, county of Orkney. This place, also called Eller-Holm, lies a little to the south of the island of Shapinsay, from which it is separated by a reef of rocks that are almost dry at low water. It furnishes pasture for a number of sheep and young cattle in summer, and gives, by its favourable situation, the utmost security to the fine harbour of Elwick. There are evident marks of its having been formerly inhabited, though at present no one resides upon it.
ELGIN, a burgh, market-town, and parish, in the county of Elgin, of which it is the capital, 63 miles (N. W.) from Aberdeen, and 174 (N.) from Edinburgh; containing 5216 inhabitants, of whom 4325 are in the town. This place appears to have derived its name and foundation from Elgin, or Helgyn, general of the army of Sigurd, the Norwegian Earl of Orkney, who, about the year 930, made himself master of Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, and Moray, in the southern part of which last district he built a town, supposed to be the origin of the present, a few miles from the small harbour of Burgh-Head, where the Norwegians kept their shipping. A castle seems to have been erected at an early period, either for the defence of the town, or as a residence for its founder; and on some rising ground called Lady hill, there are still traces of an ancient fortress which, in the reigns of William the Lion and Alexander I. and II., is said to have been a favourite resort and an occasional residence of those monarchs. A charter of William is yet extant, in which that king grants to the Bishop of Moray an annual payment out of the fee-farm rent of "his burgh of Elgin;" and in 1224, Alexander II. sanctioned the removal of the seat of that diocese to Elgin, where a cathedral was erected, and also an episcopal palace. The town thus became distinguished, and in ecclesiastical affairs obtained a degree of importance inferior to the cities of St. Andrew's and Glasgow alone. In 1269, Alexander III. bestowed upon the inhabitants all the liberties and privileges of a royal burgh; and Robert I., in his charter granting the earldom of Moray to Thomas Ranulf, expressly stipulates that the burgesses of Elgin, in holding under the earl, should retain all their accustomed rights as fully as when they held them immediately under the charter of Alexander III. The town appears to have suffered severely at various times, and to have been frequently destroyed by fire. In 1390, the Earl of Moray conferred upon the burgesses an exemption from certain sums paid to his castle, in consequence of the various calamities to which they had been exposed; and his successor soon afterwards remitted to them the customary dues on wool, cloth, and all other merchandise exported from the harbour of Spey, in consideration of the same or similar disasters. Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray, in 1451, bestowed a charter reciting and confirming that of Alexander III.; and Charles I. of England, in 1633, ratified all previous grants by his predecessors in favour of the burgh, of which the form of government was finally settled by an act of the convention of burghs in the year 1706.
The town is pleasantly situated on the south bank of the river Lossie, which forms the boundary of the parish for some distance; and is sheltered in the rear by a richly-wooded and gently-sloping height, in the form of a crescent, which protects it from the severer winds. It is irregularly built, but contains several good houses and handsome villas of recent erection; the streets are paved, and lighted with gas by a voluntary assessment, and a contribution of 30 annually from the funds of the burgh. The inhabitants were until recently only supplied with water from the river, and from wells sunk in different parts of the town; but they have now a more adequate and convenient supply, derived from a spring in the hills, four miles distant to the south of Elgin, and conveyed by pipes to the houses. There is an extensive circulating library, containing many well-selected volumes of history and general literature; and a literary association, established in 1818, is supported by subscription, and has a well-assorted library of more than 700 volumes, with a reading-room recently added to it, supplied with newspapers and periodical works. The Morayshire Farmers' Club, established in 1799, holds its annual meetings here for the encouragement of husbandry, and, by the distribution of prizes to all successful competitors within the surrounding district, has greatly tended to the interest and improvement of this part of the country: an extensive and valuable library has been formed by the club, which contains a numerous collection of standard works on agriculture. There are no manufactures pursued to any extent; the traffic is principally in grain, which is sent to different markets, and, among others, to Leith, Liverpool, and London. A very extensive trade in flour has long been carried on with Aberdeen and other towns in that county, and also in the county of Banff; and it has lately increased. There are in the town a tannery and some breweries, and near it two distilleries; the shops are well supplied with articles of merchandise, and several of the inhabitants are employed in various handicraft trades.
A considerable degree of foreign trade appears to have been once carried on, and in 1698 a harbour was constructed at the mouth of the river Lossie, in the parish of Drainie, about five miles from Elgin, by the town council, who received the anchorage and shore dues. These dues, however, were by no means adequate to keep the harbour in an efficient state of repair, and until the recent construction of Stotfield harbour the retail dealers in the town consequently obtained their principal London goods by smacks trading to Inverness, which sometimes landed them at Burgh-Head; articles of lighter weight were generally brought by steam-boats to Aberdeen, and forwarded thence by land-carriage. Considerable quantities of grain are nevertheless shipped, and coal is landed, at the harbour of Lossiemouth, where there is a small village for the residence of persons connected with the port; but, from the want of sufficient depth of water, only vessels of very small burthen can enter. A jointstock company was recently formed for constructing a harbour at Stotfield point, at a very inconsiderable distance from Lossiemouth; and the completion of this important work has opened a direct communication with the London and other markets for agricultural produce at less expense, and to a much greater extent, than was formerly practicable. The market, which is on Tuesday and Friday, is abundantly supplied with grain, poultry, butter, and provisions of all kinds; fairs are held in the town on the Fridays preceding Martinmas and Whitsuntide, for the hiring of farm-servants and the sale of various wares, and ten fairs are annually held in the vicinity for cattle and horses. Facility of communication is afforded by excellent turnpike-roads branching off from the town in every direction; the great north road passes through it. The post-office has a tolerably good delivery.
The Burgh, under its charter, was governed by a provost, four bailies, a treasurer, dean of guild, and ten others, who formed the town council; but since the passing of the Municipal Reform act, the controul has been vested in seventeen councillors, together with a provost, town-clerk, and other officers, elected under the authority, and subject to the regulations, of that act. There are six incorporated guilds, the shoemakers, tailors, hammermen, glovers, wrights, and weavers, all of which, except the weavers, claim the privilege of exclusively carrying on their trades within the burgh. The freedom is obtained by birth, by servitude to a freeman of the incorporated guilds, or by purchase for the sum of 16, which has been fixed by the town council for all indiscriminately, though previously the payment varied according to the practice of the different guilds. The magistrates exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction within the limits of the burgh, and over all lands held under burgage tenure; but since the establishment of the sheriff's court few civil actions have been tried; and in their criminal jurisdiction, the magistrates invariably confine themselves to the adjudication of petty offences. The burgh is the head of an elective district, and, with the burghs of Cullen, Banff, Peterhead, Kintore, and Inverury, returns one member to the imperial parliament; the right of election is, by the Reform act, vested in the resident 10 householders. The number of voters within the municipal boundaries is 213, of whom ninetyfive are burgesses; and of similar residents beyond the municipal, but within the parliamentary limits, fifty, of whom six are burgesses. Of 5 householders within the burgh the number is 110, of whom forty are burgesses. The election of the member takes place here, and the assizes and sessions for the county are also held in the town. The old county hall and gaol, both very indifferent buildings, have been superseded by a new and elegant edifice.
The parish, which is of very irregular form, comprises 11,500 acres; 7000 are arable, 1500 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is varied: from the town it has a gentle acclivity towards the base of the Blackhills; and to the west of the river it is divided, by a precipitous ridge of considerable elevation, into the vales of Pluscardine and Mosstowie. The scenery is generally of a pleasing character, and in many parts beautifully picturesque and romantic. The river Lossie, which rises in the hills of Dallas, skirts the parish to the north, and in other parts winds through it with a silent course, frequently overflowing, and doing considerable damage to the adjoining fields: after a course of about eight miles, it falls into the Moray Frith at the village of Lossiemouth. The soil is various; most of the arable land is of a light and sandy quality; in some parts inclining to clay; and in others, especially near the river, a deep rich loam. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley of the Chevalier kind, which, from its adaptation to the soil, is raised in great quantities, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is improved; lime and bone-dust are extensively used for manure; the lands are well drained and inclosed; the farm-houses and offices are substantial and commodious, and those of the larger farms are built of stone, and roofed with slate. Threshing-mills have been erected, several of which are driven by water; there are numerous mills for grain, a mill for carding wool, and one for sawing timber. Great attention is paid to the breed of cattle and horses; the prevailing breed of cattle is a black kind resembling the Aberdeenshire, but inferior in size, with an occasional cross of the short-horned: very few sheep are reared. The rateable annual value of the parish is 15,592. The plantations consist of Scotch and spruce firs and larch, intermixed with every variety of forest trees; they are under careful management, and in a very flourishing state. The principal substratum is sandstone, of which the ridge separating the valleys of Pluscardine and Mosstowie is chiefly composed. Limestone, also, is found near the town, of a dark colour, in some parts alternated with sand and clay; it is quarried for building and other purposes, and burnt into lime for manure, and for making mortar for the use of builders. Westerton, the seat of Lieut.-Col. Alexander Hay, is a handsome modern mansion beautifully situated in the romantic vale of Pluscardine, commanding a view of the ruins of the abbey and the richly-wooded grounds of the Earl of Fife.
The parish is the seat of a presbytery, and of the synod of Moray; patron, the Crown. There are two ministers, each of whom has a stipend of 241; one minister has a manse, but the other has neither manse nor allowance in lieu; the glebe is equally divided. A home mission for the remoter parts of the parish has been maintained for more than a century, from the funds of the Royal Bounty and the interest of some legacies bequeathed for the purpose, and the minister dispenses the ordinances of religion to more than 600 persons. The parish church, situated in the centre of the town, was erected on the site of the old church of St. Giles, which had become dilapidated; it is an elegant structure of freestone, in the Grecian style of architecture, with a noble portico at the west end of six columns of the Doric order, having an entablature and cornice surmounted with a triangular pediment. At the east end is a square tower supporting a circular campanile turret, surrounded with columns. The interior of the edifice is neatly fitted up, well arranged, and adapted for a congregation of 1800 persons; the church was completed at an expense of 8300, and was opened for divine service in October, 1828. There are places of worship for members of the United Secession, members of the Free Church, Original Seceders, Baptists, and Independents, and an episcopal and a Roman Catholic chapel. The Elgin academy, partly supported by endowment, and partly from the common funds of the burgh, comprises three schools, each under the direction of a master; the classical master has a salary of 50 per annum, and the mathematical and English masters a salary of 45 each. The late James Mc Andrew, Esq., of Elgin, bequeathed 200, the interest to be distributed in prizes to three boys in the classical school. The Elgin institution for the support of old age and the instruction of young persons, established and endowed by Lieut.-Gen. Andrew Anderson, E.I.C.S., affords accommodation for ten aged and infirm persons, and for sixty children who are maintained and educated in a school of industry; and connected with the building is a free school for 230 children, with apartments for a master and mistress, who have a joint salary of 75 per annum. The teacher of the school of industry has a salary of 55, with lodging and maintenance. The buildings of the institution occupy a spacious quadrangular area, and are handsomely erected of freestone: the central range has a Doric portico supporting an entablature and pediment, on which latter are three sculptured figures representing the founder and the objects of the institution, the whole surmounted by a circular cupola and dome; and the wings are embellished with porticos of the same order. The interior is well adapted to the purposes of the establishment, and contains a neat chapel, schoolrooms, with refectories and dormitories for the children, and apartments for the aged persons; the gardens are well laid out, and the whole is inclosed with a stone wall and iron palisade. The expense of the buildings, which were completed in 1833, was about 12,000. An infant school is supported by subscription, the master of which has a salary of 25 per annum, with a house and the school fees; and there is a trades' school, with an endowment of 5 per annum from the common fund of the burgh.
The poor have the interest of lands and monies vested in the corporation, amounting to 23. 7. 6., and of property in the hands of the Kirk Session, amounting to 54. 15. per annum. James VI., by charter in 1620, granted to the provost, bailies, and community of the burgh, the site and revenues of the hospital of Maison Dieu, under which grant an almshouse has been erected for four bedesmen, who receive annually four bolls of barley, paid out of the rents of the hospital lands. Four bedesmen are also supported by the proceeds of money and land bequeathed by William Cumming, of Auchray, in 1693, and producing annually 71. 18., which sum is equally divided among them. Mr. Duff, in 1729, left lands for the support of a decayed burgess, which yield 23 per annum, paid to persons nominated by the Earl of Fife. A bequest by Mr. Petrie, in 1777, for the education of six poor orphans or children of the town of Elgin, is in the hands of the Kirk Session; and from the proceeds each of the children receives 4 per annum for three years. The Guildry charitable fund was established in 1814, by the guild brethren, for the relief of the widows and children of decayed members; and by good management, the funds have accumulated sufficiently to enable them to divide 250 annually among the objects of the institution. Grey's hospital for the sick poor of the town and county was founded in 1819, by Dr. Alexander Grey, of Calcutta, who endowed it with funds for its maintenance; and Dr. Dougal bequeathed 15 per annum for the purchase of medicines for the poor, which was given to the trustees of the hospital. The number of patients admitted annually is about 250, and the number in the house at one time about twenty-five; and since the addition of Dr. Dougal's bequest, medicines and advice have been gratuitously dispensed to 300 out-patients every year. The building is in the Grecian style of architecture, with a handsome portico of four Doric columns, supporting an entablature and cornice, and a stately dome rises from the centre of the edifice; the interior is well arranged. On the grounds belonging to it, and nearly adjoining, a county lunatic asylum for paupers has been built. Dr. Grey likewise bequeathed 2000, which, on the decease of his widow, will be augmented with an additional 1000, for the assistance of unmarried daughters of respectable but decayed burgesses: the interest of this sum is divided among them by the ministers and physicians of the parish, who are permanent trustees. A portion of land, also, was bequeathed by Mr. Laing for the assistance of a decayed merchant and guild brother; it produces 5. 10. per annum, which are paid to the nominee of the nearest surviving relative of the testator. The six incorporated trades distribute considerable sums among their poor members and widows and children; and a savings' bank was established in 1815, in which the amount of deposits is above 23,000.
There are some beautiful remains of the ancient cathedral, founded by the Bishop of Moray in 1224, and which was burnt by Alexander Stewart, generally called the Wolf of Badenoch, whom one of the bishop's successors had excommunicated for the unjust seizure and detention of his lands; it was, however, soon afterwards restored, and continued in all its original magnificence till the year 1568, when the Regent Morton directed the lead to be stripped off its roof, in order to pay his troops. From its exposure to the weather, it now began to decay; the wood-work of the great tower in time perished, and the foundation sinking, it fell in 1711. When entire the cathedral had five towers, two at the west end, two at the east, and one stately tower rising from the centre; it was a splendid cruciform structure in the decorated style of English architecture, 264 feet in length, and of proportionate breadth, and the central tower was 198 feet high. The remains consist partly of the walls and turrets of the choir; and the western towers, with the grand western entrance, are yet tolerably entire; but only a few fragments of the walls of the nave and transepts are standing. The chapterhouse, an octangular building nearly forty feet in diameter, with a richly-groined roof, supported on one central column, is still in good preservation. Of the college, which was an appendage of the cathedral, only the eastern gateway, with part of the wall by which it was inclosed, is now remaining, the episcopal palace and conventual buildings have all disappeared, and though enough is left to afford an idea of the style of this once stately structure, the ruins convey but a very imperfect memorial of its ancient grandeur and magnificence. By the laudable exertions of the barons of the exchequer of Scotland, and the commissioners of woods and forests of England, much of the accumulated rubbish has been removed, and many interesting details which had been long concealed have been brought to light. There are still some ruins of the church of a convent of Grey Friars, founded here by Alexander II.; and the site of the hospital of Maison Dieu may be traced in a field near the town. About six miles to the west of Elgin are the ruins of the abbey of Pluscardine, situated in the valley of that name; a considerable portion of the stone wall that inclosed it is yet remaining, and the dormitory, which has been roofed and restored in the original style, is fitted up as a place of worship for the inhabitants of the district. The remains are carefully preserved from further decay by the proprietor, the Earl of Fife; and the plantations which his lordship has formed in the immediate vicinity add greatly to the beauty of their appearance. On Lady hill is a monument to the memory of George, last duke of Gordon, who died in 1836. Elgin gives the title of Earl to the family of Bruce.
ELGINSHIRE, a county in the north-east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, on the east and south-east by Banffshire, on the south by a detached portion of the county of Inverness, and on the west by Nairnshire. It lies between 57 11' and 57 43' (N. Lat.) and 3 2' and 3 58' (W. Long.), and is about 40 miles in length, and 23 miles in extreme breadth; comprising an area of 840 square miles, or 537,600 acres; 8526 houses, of which 8154 are inhabited; and containing a population of 35,012, of whom 16,090 are males, and 18,922 females. This county formerly constituted a portion of the ancient province of Moray, which contained the shires of Nairn and Elgin, and a large part of the county of Banff, and which was for many ages distinguished as the "granary of Scotland." At a very early period Moray had an establishment of Culdees, and it subsequently became the seat of various religious societies, that emigrated from Italy, and settled here about the commencement of the 10th century. In the year 1100 it was made a diocese; and in 1150, an abbey for Cistercian monks was founded at Kinloss by David I. The priories of Urquhart, Pluscardine, and Kingussie were soon afterwards established; and in 1224, Andrew, Bishop of Moray, erected a cathedral for his diocese at Elgin, of which the remains form one of the most interesting ecclesiastical relics in the country. Since the Reformation the county has been included in the synod of Moray; it comprises parts of several presbyteries, and consists of about twenty parishes. For civil purposes it is joined with the shire of Nairn, under the jurisdiction of one sheriff, who appoints a sheriff-substitute for each; and it contains the royal burghs of Elgin and Forres, of which the former is the county town, the towns of Garmouth and Lossiemouth, and a few villages. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV., the two counties return one member to the imperial parliament.
The surface, which rises gradually from the shores of the Frith towards the Grampian range, is beautifully diversified with parallel ranges of hills of moderate elevation, intersecting the county from east to west, and between which are fertile valleys of pleasing appearance. The chief rivers are, the Spey, the Lossie, and the Findhorn, of which the first enters the county from Inverness, at Aviemore, and, pursuing a north-easterly course, and receiving the Dulnan and Avon, falls into the Moray Frith at Garmouth; it is scarcely navigable, from the extreme rapidity of its current, except for the floating of timber from the forests of Strathspey, but abounds with salmon, the fisheries of which produce a rental of 7000 per annum. The Lossie has its source in a loch of that name, within the county, and, taking a direction nearly parallel with the Spey, flows through the town of Elgin into the Frith at Lossiemouth. The river Findhorn rises in the county of Inverness, and soon after entering the county receives the streams of the Dorbac and the Divie, and runs northward into Findhorn bay, in the Moray Frith. The chief lakes are, Lochnaboe, covering about sixty acres, and surrounded with a forest of ancient firs; Inchstellie, of very small dimensions; Loch Spynie, which has been almost wholly drained; and Lochandorb, on the boundary between Elgin and the detached portion of the county of Inverness. The last is four miles in length, and about one mile broad; on the border are some remains of a castle, which was besieged by Edward II. of England in his wars with Bruce.
About one-fifth of the land is arable and in cultivation, and of the remainder less than one-half is in pasture, woodlands, and plantations. The soil in the lower districts is sand, alternated with clay and loam, which last is the most predominant; the system of agriculture, though inferior to that of some other counties, is still greatly improved, and the farm-buildings and offices are generally substantial and commodious. Considerable attention is paid to the rearing of live stock; the cattle are mostly a mixture of the Shetland and Lancashire breeds, and the sheep of the black-faced breed; the horses are the Clydesdale and the Lanark, with a few of the Suffolk and Yorkshire. The natural wood with which the county formerly abounded has been greatly diminished, and only some remains are found on the banks of the rivers. The minerals are not very important: iron-ore has been wrought, though the works have long been discontinued; and there are indications of lead-ore and coal. Limestone is found in several parts near the coast, and there are quarries of excellent freestone; slate is also wrought in some places. The rateable annual value of the county is 99,299. The principal seats are, Innes House, Duffus House, Darnaway Castle, Brodie House, the Grange, Burgie Castle, Ortown House, and Elchies House. The chief manufactures are the woollen and cotton, of which the former has been long established; there are likewise some bleaching-grounds, and the spinning of flax affords employment to a considerable number of persons. There are some tanneries, and also distilleries on an extensive scale, the latter paying collectively duties to government amounting to 50,000 annually. The county contains numerous remains of antiquity, of which the chief are the ruins of Elgin cathedral, the episcopal palace at Spynie, the priory of Pluscardine, and the castles of Lochandorb, Dunphail, and Relugas: there are also many memorials of the frequent battles which occurred between the inhabitants and the Danes, by whose incursions this part of the country was much infested.
ELIE, a parish, and burgh of barony, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 3 miles (S. S. E.) from Colinsburgh; containing 907 inhabitants, of whom 829 are in the village. This place is supposed to have derived its name from the marshy nature of the soil previously to the modern improvements in agriculture, and a portion of land bordering on the loch of Kilconquhar still retains that character. The manor has been for many generations in the family of Anstruther, of whom the first baronet, Sir William Anstruther, represented the county of Fife from the year 1681 to 1709, and was made a lord of session in the reign of Queen Anne, strenuously exerting himself for the establishment and maintenance of the Protestant religion. A small harbour on the coast here seems to have been formerly very much resorted to as a place of safety, in stress of weather, by ships navigating the Frith of Forth, as, if they missed this haven, there was no other till they were driven on the coast of Norway. It was easy of access, and perfectly secure; and in a petition presented to the privy council for its repair, it is stated that it had afforded protection to more than 300 troops that must otherwise have perished in a storm. It is now in a very ruinous and dilapidated condition, but, from a survey recently made, it appears that it might be completely repaired, and rendered one of the best harbours on the coast of Fife. The parish, separated from that of Kilconquhar about the year 1639, is two miles in length, from east to west, and one mile in breadth, and is bounded on the south by the sea; it comprises 1570 acres, of which 1464 are arable, 50 woodland and plantations, and the remainder pasture and waste. The surface is generally flat, and the sands along the shore are peculiarly commodious for bathing: a small rivulet, issuing from the loch of Kilconquhar, traverses the parish, and falls into the harbour; but there is no river.
The soil is mostly dry and sandy, and the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, and beans, with potatoes and turnips; the system of agriculture is in a highly improved state; the farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and the lands are chiefly inclosed with fences of thorn, to which considerable attention is paid. The plantations consist of beech and Scotch fir. The substratum is principally whinstone, limestone, sandstone, shale, and clay, interspersed with ironstone; the limestone is of inferior quality, and not quarried to any extent. Coal is thought to abound in this parish, which forms a section of the great independent coal formation; but it is not worked at present, though formerly several pits were open. The strata of coal are traversed by several dykes of trapstone, one of which, consisting of basalt, projects into the sea, and is very compact; the shale in many places has impressions of various plants, and stems and branches of trees are found imbedded in the sandstone. Sauchur Point, a bold headland, consists of basalt, greenstone, clinkstone, and trap tuffa, and abounds with a beautiful red gem called the Elie ruby, which is of a brilliant colour, varying in size from a garden-pea downwards, and is found only on this part of the coast. The rateable annual value of the parish is 3661. Elie House, the property of Sir W. C. Anstruther, is a noble ancient mansion, situated in grounds which have been tastefully disposed and richly ornamented; but, as the proprietor is not resident, it is not kept up, and is rapidly falling into dilapidation. The village, which is much resorted to during the summer months for sea-bathing, is well built, and has a remarkably neat and cheerful aspect: a subscription library has been established, which contains a tolerably extensive collection of interesting volumes. The post is daily, and is a branch from the office at Colinsburgh. A small fishery is carried on by a few of the inhabitants, for the supply of the village; a packet sails weekly to Leith, and the' Aberdeen and other steamvessels touch at this port twice or three times in the day, both going and returning. The parish is in the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife, and patronage of Sir W. C. Anstruther; the minister's stipend is 150, with a manse, and a glebe valued at about 50 per annum. The church, which was substantially repaired in 1831, is a neat and well-arranged edifice, adapted for a congregation of 600 persons, and is situated in the centre of the village. The parochial school affords a good education; the master has a salary of 40, with 60 fees, &c., a house, and a small garden, for the deficiency of which he has an allowance of 2 per annum. There are revenues vested in the minister and elders for the use of the poor, amounting to 78 per annum. A friendly society called the Sea Box, consisting of masters of vessels and seamen, associated for their mutal benefit, obtained from George III. a charter of incorporation; the funds, which are ample, are derived from land, houses, and other property, and as the demands are comparatively small, the society is rapidly increasing its capital.
ELLENABAICH, a village, in the parish of Kilbrandon and Kilchattan, district of Lorn, county of Argyll; containing 311 inhabitants. This is a small place, situated in the Kilbrandon portion of the parish.
ELLENERTON, a village, in the parish of Kirriemuir, county of Forfar; containing 108 inhabitants. It is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in agriculture and in the manufactures connected with the trade of the town of Forfar.
ELLIM, county of Berwick.See Longformacus.
ELLON, a parish, in the district of Ellon, county of Aberdeen, 16 miles (N. by E.) from Aberdeen; containing 2941 inhabitants. The name of this place is supposed to be derived from the Gaelic term Aibeann, signifying an island, and to have been applied on account of the situation of a small island in the river Ythan, near the village, and contiguous to the ferry formerly used on the principal line of road leading from Aberdeen to the north-eastern district of the county. The probability of this derivation is increased by the circumstance of the word Elleann being inscribed on some old communion cups presented to the Kirk Session by the family of Forbes, of Watertown. Ellon was from a very remote period the seat of the jurisdiction of the earldom of Buchan, and the court was held in the open air, on an eminence rising from the bank of the Ythan, and called originally the "Moot hill of Ellon," but in later times the "Earl's hill." The lands formerly belonged to the Cistercian abbey of Kinloss, in Moray, and in the thirteenth century Robert I. confirmed to the abbot the possession of the church of Ellon: at one period, also, this was a prebendal church of Aberdeen, and the bishop of that see had considerable lands here. The parish is mostly situated on the northern bank of the river Ythan; it measures between eight and nine miles in average length, and five in average breadth, and comprises nearly 20,000 acres, of which about 15,000 or 16,000 are arable, and the remainder moor, with the exception of 200 acres of plantations. Though there are no remarkable eminences, the surface is agreeably diversified with rising grounds commanding, in a clear day, extensive prospects, which comprehend the north-eastern range of the Grampians, Benochie, the Foudland hills, the summits of some of the Spey-side mountains, and a long stretch of the German Ocean reaching from the Girdleness lighthouse on the south, nearly to Rattray point on the north. The valley of the Ythan, bisecting the parish from east to west, is joined on the north by the small valley of Ebrie, extending in that direction for several. miles, and on the south by that of Brony, which reaches about the same distance towards the south-west. The river, rising in the parish of Forgue, falls into the German Ocean at the sands of Forvie; it expands, just before it joins the sea, into a broad shallow basin, and is navigable for lighters to the meadow of Watertown, about a quarter of a mile below the village, where there is a landing-place. The salmonfishing on the river was formerly worth several hundreds of pounds per annum; but, since the increase of stake-nets along the coast, it has been almost annihilated. The burns of Ebrie and Brony, however, falling into the Ythan, are well stocked with salmon-trout, common burn-trout, and finnock, affording excellent sport to the angler; and parties from Aberdeen frequently visit the district in the summer months to enjoy this recreation.
The soil is in part dry, resting on a gravelly bed; clay is found in some places, and there is a very considerable extent of fertile diluvial earth. In the northern portion, where the higher grounds are, the soil is mossy, and exceedingly poor, much mixed with white sand, encumbered with loose stones above, and worthless diluvial deposits below, and totally incapable of profitable cultivation. The grain chiefly depended on is oats; but bear, as well as turnips, forms a considerable portion of the produce, especially the latter. The crops are raised under the rotation system of husbandry; and most of the modern improvements being understood, agriculture is on a respectable footing, the chief impediment to more extensive advances being the want of encouragement for the outlay of capital. Threshing-mills are numerous, and the farm-houses and offices in general convenient and well built. Sheep-farming is unknown: the cattle, formerly the Aberdeenshire horned and Angus polled breeds, have been latterly much mixed with the Teeswater, which prevails to a considerable extent. Great encouragement has been afforded in the improvement of stock by the Formartine Agricultural Association, of which the Earl of Aberdeen is patron, and most of the farmers here members. The rocks are all of the primitive formation, and comprise granite, gneiss, quartz, &c. The impervious nature of the subsoil, and the proximity of a stormy sea-coast, render the parish unfavourable to the growth of wood; and the trees, consisting chiefly of Scotch fir and larch, are all of inferior size, with the exception of a few scattered specimens in the neighbourhood of the village. The rateable annual value of the parish is 9678.
The mansion-house of Arnage, seated in the valley of the Ebrie, and on the bank of the stream, is an ancient structure commanding a pleasing view of the scenery in the immediate locality. Turner Hall, situated on the estate so called, about two miles north of the village, embraces extensive prospects of the German Ocean, the high grounds of Aberdeen, and several of the mountains in the districts of the Don, the Dee, and the Spey. There is also a mansion-house on the estate of Eslemont, surrounded by fifty or sixty acres of plantation, ornamentally disposed; and a fourth, named Dudwick, a plain old house, occupies a cold marshy situation in the upland district. Ellon Castle, now deserted, and almost ruinous, was erected principally about the year 1780, by the late Earl of Aberdeen, who made it his residence, and enriched the surrounding grounds with a variety of plantations, which have since been to a great extent cut down. The village contains nearly 400 persons, and, being the principal market for a large district, and the residence of several thriving traders, is the scene of considerable traffic. There is a general postoffice, and the high road from Aberdeen to Peterhead and Fraserburgh passes through: a turnpike-road leads to the port of Newburgh, about five miles and a half distant, and there are also good commutation roads. A market is regularly held once in every fortnight, for grain and black-cattle, and is well attended, especially by the Aberdeen butchers, and dealers in grain, whose purchases are chiefly for exportation at Newburgh: two annual fairs take place in the village, and four in its immediate vicinity. The parish is the seat of the presbytery of Ellon, in the synod of Aberdeen, and is in the patronage of the Earl of Aberdeen; the minister's stipend is 219, with a manse, and a glebe valued at 18 per annum. The church, erected in 1777, is a plain commodious building, accommodating 1200 persons, and is lighted at the evening service with gas. There is an episcopal chapel near the village, containing between 300 and 400 sittings; also places of worship for members of the Free Church, Independents, and the United Secession. The parochial school, situated in the village, affords instruction in Latin, Greek, French, and mathematics, in addition to the usual branches; the master has a salary of 28, with a house, and 25 fees. There is also a school in the northern district, where instruction is given in the ordinary branches, and the master of which, besides his salary and fees, has, as well as the master of the other school, a portion of the Dick bequest. The parish has a savings' bank and three friendly societies.
ELLSRICKLE, or Elsridgehill, a village, in the parish of Walston, Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 1 mile (S.) from Walston; containing 211 inhabitants. It lies in the southern part of the parish, on the road from Peebles to Lanark, and is a pleasantly situated and picturesque village, of which the scattered cottages are sheltered by plantations, and trees of larger growth; and from the advantages it possesses, and the liberality of the proprietor of the soil around it, it is likely to increase in its extent and attractions. A burn proceeding directly hence unites with several others in the vale of Ellsrickle. Some of the inhabitants are employed in hand-loom weaving for the Glasgow manufacturers. There is a school, supported partly by contributions from the heritors and partly by the school fees.
ELPHINSTONE, a village, in the parish of Tranent, county of Haddington, 2 miles (S. by W.) from Tranent; containing 236 inhabitants. This village lies in the southern extremity of the parish, on the road from Dalkeith, by Penston, to Haddington; it is chiefly inhabited by colliers. The lands adjacent were formerly embellished with woods, of which nearly the whole have been cut down. The tower of Elphinstone is a square massive pile of building, supposed to have been erected in the early part of the 14th century, and in 1600 a dwelling-house was attached to it, which is still inhabited; but the stately trees by which it was surrounded have been removed. A school for the instruction of the children of persons employed in the collieries is supported by subscription.
Engine, New and Old
ENGINE, NEW and OLD, hamlets, in the parish of Newton, county of Edinburgh; containing respectively 51 and 49 inhabitants.
ENHALLOW, an island, in the parish of Rousay and Egilshay, county of Orkney; containing 26 inhabitants. It is a low and very small islet, somewhat in the form of a heart, lying to the westward of the island of Rousay, from which it is separated by a reef of rocks. The Sound of Enhallow is on the south, between this and the island of Pomona, and is narrow; but as the tide is rapid, its passage can only be attempted with a fair wind and in moderate weather, it being otherwise very dangerous.
ENSAY, an island, in the parish of Harris, island of Lewis, county of Inverness; containing 16 inhabitants. It lies in the Sound of Harris, and is about two miles in length and a mile in breadth; it has a good verdant soil, and is well cultivated.
ENZIE, lately a quoad sacra parish, formed of part of the parishes of Bellie and Rathven, in the county of Banff, 4 miles (N. E.) from Fochabers; containing 2103 inhabitants. The district is about six miles in length and from three to four in breadth, and is bounded on the north by the Moray Frith, and on the south by the Aldmore hills and Whiteash. The surface presents, generally, a very pleasing aspect, considerably heightened by the interspersion of wood; and the views embrace a large extent of the Frith and of the opposite coast of Ross-shire and Sutherland. The soil is various, in some places rich and fertile, and in others hard and thin; and the crops, which are usually early, consist chiefly of wheat, oats, and barley, the first being most cultivated. The Duke of Richmond is the principal proprietor of the land. On the hill of Parrymont, in the Rathven portion of the district, is a quarry, whence an abundance of blue slate and stone flags is obtained; and at Gollachie are a woollen-cloth factory and a carding-mill. White-fishing is prosecuted with advantage; cod and haddock are caught in considerable quantity, and the former, and ling, are cured by the inhabitants, and disposed of in the southern markets. There is a salmon-fishing station at Port-Gordon, the chief village, belonging to a company in the neighbourhood; and here, also, a pretty extensive trade is carried on in the exportation of grain, and the importation of coal and salt. Eight or ten vessels belong to the place, by which the commerce in these articles is for the most part conducted; and a kind of temporary harbour affords them a safe anchorage. The north coast-road from Banff to Fochabers, and the road from Keith to Port-Gordon, intersect the district. The ecclesiastical affairs are controuled by the presbytery of Fordyce and synod of Aberdeen, and the patronage is vested in the Committee for managing the Royal Bounty: the stipend of the minister is 62, and there is a glebe of eight acres, valued at about 1 per acre, and for which the minister pays a ground rent of two bolls of barley. The church is a small structure, built in 1785, and enlarged by a gallery at the end in 1815, and by a side gallery in 1822, and now contains 400 sittings; it is nearly equidistant from Rathven church and the church of Bellie, about four miles from each. The Roman Catholics have a place of worship near Achinhalrig, a small hamlet, where, and at Starryhaugh and Curfurrach, are schools supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; and at Port-Gordon is a school maintained by the Duke of Richmond. The late celebrated Dr. Alexander Geddes, a Roman Catholic divine, and a translator of Horace's Satires, and of a portion of the Bible, with critical notes, was a native of the place. Enzie confers the title of Earl on the Marquess of Huntly.
ERISKAY, an island, in the parish of South Uist, county of Inverness; containing 80 inhabitants. This is a small isle of the Hebrides, on the south side of South Uist, from which it is separated by a narrow and rocky sound. It is noted as having been the first place upon which the unfortunate prince Charles Stuart landed, in his wild enterprise to regain the throne of his ancestors in 1745. The island affords some pasturage, and the inhabitants are partly employed in fishing and in the manufacture of kelp. On a detached and high rock, at its southern end, are the ruins of an old square tower.
ERROL, a parish, in the county of Perth; including the villages of Drums, Grange, Leetown, Mains of Errol, and Westown; and containing 2832 inhabitants, of whom 1147 are in the village of Errol, 10 miles (E.) from Perth, and 12 (S. W. by W.) from Dundee. This place, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, is descriptive of its situation as a conspicuous landmark in the Frith of Tay, was, by charter of William the Lion, constituted a barony, and granted to the family of Hay, in the latter part of the twelfth century. A descendant from the elder branch of that family was, in the time of James II., created Earl of Errol, and this title is still possessed by the Hays, though all their estates here were sold in the reign of Charles I. of England, with the exception of the property of Leys, in the eastern portion of the parish, which, having been conveyed in the thirteenth century by the proprietor to a younger brother, is yet in the hands of his descendants. The parish is about six miles in length, and of irregular form, ranging from two miles and a half to three and a half in breadth; it is bounded on the south by the Frith, and comprises 8600 acres, of which nearly the whole is rich arable land in high cultivation, with small portions of pasture and woodland, chiefly around gentlemen's seats. The surface, though generally level, is broken by two lofty ridges of varying breadth, which traverse the western portion of the parish in directions nearly parallel, and by a smaller ridge almost in a similar direction, about half a mile distant from the former. The whole of the coast, which extends for six miles, is flat, and its elevation not more than twenty feet above the level of the river, which is here more than two miles in breadth. From the higher grounds are fine views of diversified scenery, embracing the Lomond hills, in the county of Fife, the vale of Strathearn, the hill of Moncrieff, near the confluence of the Earn and the Tay, with the summits of the western Highlands of the county of Perth. The village of Errol, from the beauty of its situation on the slope of an eminence crowned with the rich foliage of stately oaks, is a strikingly picturesque feature in the general landscape as seen from the river at the distance of less than half a mile; and the scenery immediately around it abounds with almost every variety. Beneath the village is one of the largest plains in the country, bounded on one side by the braes of the Carse of Gowrie, an extended range of hills cultivated nearly to the summit, and surmounted by the distant hills of Dunsinnan; and on the other side by the Frith, which, from the majestic breadth of its waters, with numerous vessels constantly passing, forms a fine contrast to the rich luxuriance of the vale. In the north and north-west parts of the parish are several pools, receiving the streams which descend from the higher grounds, and the water collected by the different drains that have been formed for carrying off the surface water from the farms. From these pools issue various streams, that find their way into the Frith; they are on an average from ten to fifteen feet in width, and from two to three feet deep, except after heavy and continued rains, when they acquire a considerable additional depth. The only springs are those that have been found by sinking wells.
The soil in the higher parts of the parish is generally a black loam resting upon clay, and occasionally on gravel; it is of various depths, and more or less wet in different places. On the lower lands the soil is mostly clay, intermixed with sand, and, by long cultivation and the plentiful use of manure, has been rendered extremely fertile. The system of agriculture is good, and the rotation plan of husbandry adopted; the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, turnips, and peas, all of which are abundant. The farm-buildings have been much improved, and draining has been carried to a considerable extent; embankments have been also constructed for protecting the low lands from the inundations of the Tay. The principal of these was completed by Mr. Allen in 1836, when about 100 acres were reclaimed from the river, now forming some of the richest land on his estate; the embankment is forty feet wide at the base, and two feet on the summit, and is eleven feet high; the lower portion of the bank, to the height of four feet, consists of a wall of dry stones, and the upper of earth and reeds intermixed with stones. A second embankment has been more recently constructed by Captain Allen, R.N., on a similar plan, to the east of Port-Allen, and of greater extent than the former to the west of the port; and in process of time, by continuing these embankments, a very large portion of most valuable land will be added to the farms contiguous to the river. The rateable annual value of the parish is 20,260. There are some plantations on the banks of the Tay, to resist the incursion of the tide, consisting chiefly of hard-woods: in the grounds of the principal proprietors the trees are chiefly larch; in Errol Park is oak of venerable growth, for which the soil is well adapted, and in some of the poorer lands that are uncultivated Scotch fir is predominant. The substrata are chiefly limestone of inferior quality, which is used for building, and sandstone, tolerably fine grained, but not very compact; and the minerals hitherto found, are calcareous spar, quartz, and chalcedony. The sandstone is wrought at Clashbennie, where an extensive quarry has been opened, from which between 4000 and 5000 tons are annually raised. In this quarry have been found at different times various fossils and organic remains; impressions of small fish have been frequently discovered, and in 1836 a portion of stratum was found, in which was an entire impression of a fish nearly twenty-seven inches and a half in length, and about thirteen inches in breadth, in form resembling a tortoise. The upper portion of the stratum, containing the entire body of the fish, was soon afterwards found, and purchased by the Rev. Mr. Noble, of St. Madoes. Errol Park is an ancient mansion finely situated; the park contains some fine specimens of stately timber, and the avenue to the house is formed of lofty oaks of venerable growth. The grounds adjoining the residences of the other proprietors are also well planted.
The village is irregularly built; but its situation on an acclivity, at a moderate distance from the river, gives it a very pleasing aspect, and it is well inhabited. The weaving of linen-cloth is carried on for the manufacturers of the town of Dundee, and affords employment to several families; a considerable number are also engaged in spinning and winding yarn. A kind of soft canvass, made from an inferior sort of hemp, is likewise manufactured here, chiefly for bags and packages for goods; and much business is done in a tile and brick work recently erected, upon a very extensive scale, by the Messrs. Adams, of Glasgow, on the property of Captain Allen, to the north of the village, with a view to promote the draining of the lands in the district. The salmon and sperling fishery is pursued to a moderate extent, producing to the proprietors an annual rental of 300. The navigation of the Tay is confined chiefly to Port-Allen, where there is a small, but commodious, harbour; and, from the progress which is still being made in the construction of embankments, the channel will be considerably deepened, and greater facilities of entrance afforded for the shipping. The exports are, grain, potatoes, and other agricultural produce, and the chief imports are lime and coal; about 5000 bolls of lime, and 1000 tons of coal, are annually landed. A passage-boat plies daily between this place and Newburgh, and on its return brings timber, iron, and other articles of commerce. The harbour dues are paid to the proprietor; and the ferry is also in his possession, and produces a rent of 200 per annum. About a mile and a half from the village of Errol, at a place called Flatfield, is a post-office, which has a branch in the village. Fairs are held in July and October, the latter having been recently revived; the July fair is numerously attended, though little business is done, except in hiring farm-servants. The nearest market-town is Perth, with which, and with other places in the neighbourhood, a facility of communication is obtained by good roads, one of which, a turnpike-road, passes through the parish for several miles.
Errol is for ecclesiastical purposes included in the presbytery of Perth and synod of Perth and Stirling; the minister's stipend is 268, with a manse, and a glebe valued at 16; patron, Capt. Allen. The church, pleasantly situated on a gentle acclivity at the extremity of the village, is a handsome cruciform structure in the later English style, with a lofty square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles; it was erected in 1832, at an expense of 6000, and is adapted for a congregation of 1434 persons. There are places of worship for the United Secession, members of the Free Church, and the Relief Church. The parochial school affords a useful education; the salary of the master is 34, with 35 fees, and a house and garden. There is, in addition to a small subscription library in the village, an extensive and valuable library connected with the Sunday schools, containing about 400 volumes; a friendly society has been established, and a savings' bank opened. At Clashbennie, and also at Inchmartin, is a solitary upright stone, of large dimensions but rude form, apparently raised as a memorial of some event not hitherto ascertained. At Westown, rather more than three miles from the village of Errol, are the ruins of a small ancient church, which in old documents is styled "the church of the Blessed Virgin of Inchmartin," and in which, till within the last half century, the ministers of Errol used to preach every alternate Sunday; the building is most romantically situated, and interments were not long since made in the cemetery surrounding it. In the grounds of Murie is a circular mound, about twenty feet in height, called the Law Knoll; the diameter at the base is about forty yards, and at the summit thirty feet. The acclivities are planted with trees, and around the top is a low wall of turf, on the outside of which is a broad walk; the base is inclosed in a triangular area formed by three walls of turf. It is situated at one extremity of an avenue of lofty oaks leaning in a right line to a spot anciently called Gallow Knoll, but now Gallow-flat; the mound is supposed to be the spot where the law was once administered, and Gallow-flat was the place of execution.
ERSKINE, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Renfrew, 10 miles (N. N. W.) from Glasgow; containing, with the village of Bishopton, 1407 inhabitants. This place, of which the name is of uncertain origin, is of considerable antiquity: according to most historians, the lands were conferred upon the founder of the Erskine family by Malcolm II., in reward of his valour at the battle of Murthill, in which he slew with his own hand Enrique, one of the Danish generals, whose head he presented to that sovereign after the victory. The parish is beautifully situated on the river Clyde, and extends along its south bank for nearly eight and a half miles, increasing in breadth from the western, where it is less than two miles, to the eastern, extremity, where it is more than three miles broad. It is bounded on the east by the parish of Inchinuan, on the south by that of Houston and Killallan, and on the west by the parish of Kilmalcolm. The surface, though level near the shore, rises rapidly towards the south; and the higher grounds command diversified prospects over the Frith of Clyde and the opposite coast of Dumbartonshire, embracing the castle of Dumbarton; on the west of the parish, appear Port-Glasgow and Greenock, and on the east, the park and pleasure-grounds of Erskine House, the splendid seat of Lord Blantyre. The more distant view of Dumbartonshire abounds with objects of romantic beauty and interesting character; the vale of Leven is interspersed with numerous elegant villas, and further off are seen, in clear weather, the waters of Loch Lomond, and the lofty mountain of Ben-Lomond. The river Clyde, near Erskine House, retains its original character, and its banks are conspicuous for picturesque scenery; it is crossed by two ferries within the limits of the parish. Erskine ferry, which communicates with the village of Old Kilpatrick, is under good management, and has an excellent inn, much frequented by parties of pleasure from Glasgow. The Western ferry, about six miles from the former, connects the parish with Dumbarton: it was lately proposed to place it under the direction of the Glasgow and Greenock Railway Company, and to erect commodious quays, and establish a communication by means of a steam-boat with the opposite coast; but these measures have not been carried into effect, and the ferry still remains in the hands of Lord Blantyre, the former proprietor.
The whole number of acres is 7109, of which 5123 are arable, 554 woodland and plantations, 800 meadow and pasture, and the remainder moss and waste. The soil is various, but in general light; in the northeastern portion, a dark grey mould mixed with gravel; and in other places, clay alternated with sand. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses; the rotation system of husbandry is prevalent, and much improvement in agriculture has been effected under the auspices of Lord Blantyre. Tile-draining has been extensively introduced, and works for the making of tiles, for which clay of excellent quality is found, have been established on their respective lands by Lord Blantyre and Mr. Rodger; the farm-houses are generally substantial and commodious, and most of the lands are inclosed either with fences of hawthorn, or with walls of stone. The dairyfarms are well managed: the cows are principally the Ayrshire, with some few of a mixed breed between the Ayrshire and Guernsey; the average number on the several farms is about 350, and 450 young cows and black-cattle are pastured on the hills. Few horses are kept except for agricultural use, and these are usually of the Clydesdale breed. The rateable annual value of the parish is 8182. The plantations are larch, and Scotch, spruce, and silver firs; and the prevailing woods, oak, elm, beech, ash, walnut, sycamore, and horse-chesnut, of which there are some fine trees. The substratum is partly gravel, mixed with clay, and interspersed with large boulders of greywacke and granite; in the southeastern part of the parish, carboniferous rock; and towards the western extremity, the hills are wholly of trap rock of porphyritic quality, containing crystals of felspar, with amygdaloids of calcareous spar. On the West ferry hill, while cutting through it for the formation of the Glasgow and Greenock railway, the workmen discovered some fine basaltic columns; zeolites have been found in the trap rocks; and in the Bishopton ridge is a new mineral, called "Greenockite" in honour of Lord Greenock, who discovered it, and which has, on analysis, proved to be a protosulphate of cadmium. There are two quarries of freestone on the lands of Lord Blantyre, from which were taken materials for the erection of the church, the mansion-house of Erskine, and other buildings; there is a similar quarry on the lands of Mr. Rodger, and in several parts of the parish whinstone is wrought for the roads.
Erskine House, beautifully situated on a terrace overlooking the Clyde, was erected by the late Lord Blantyre from a design by Sir Robert Smirke, of London; it is a fine structure in the Elizabethan style of architecture, ornamented with richly-crocketed pinnacles, and forming an imposing and highly interesting feature in the scenery of the coast. The principal building is 185 feet in length, comprising a splendid suite of state apartments, a picture gallery 118 feet in length, and a stately vestibule and hall; the interior is adorned with numerous oriel windows of elegant design, and the internal decorations are costly and magnificent. The demesne is richly wooded, and embellished with flourishing plantations; the pleasure-grounds are tastefully laid out, and contain an obelisk erected by the gentry of Renfrewshire as a tribute of respect to the memory of the late Lord Blantyre, lord lieutenant of the county, and major-general in the British army, who was accidentally shot during the revolution at Brussels in 1830. Drums is a handsome residence, pleasantly situated. Finlaystone is a modern mansion, built on the site of the ancient castle, the seat of the earls of Glencairn, where, for the first time after the Reformation, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered by the celebrated John Knox. The vessels used on that occasion were carefully preserved by the family, and lent to the parish church of Kilmalcolm; they are supposed to have been removed from Finlaystone by the last Lady Glencairn, who took them with her to England. Dargavel is an ancient mansion in that style of French architecture introduced into Scotland by Mary, Queen of Scots; it is a castellated structure, of which the lower story has a groined roof, and it is flanked with towers in which are loop-holes for the discharge of musketry.
The population is agricultural; but some of the females are employed in the spinning of fine yarn for the manufacture of thread, first introduced into Scotland by Miss Shaw, of Bargarran, who, by repeated efforts, succeeded in producing an article of superior quality, which, being carried by Lady Blantyre to Bath, was eagerly purchased by the lace manufacturers of that neighbourhood, and, under the name of Bargarran thread, obtained a high price. The making of this thread is carried on extensively in Paisley, and affords employment to numbers of the female population of the district. A post-office has been established at Bishopton, and facility of intercourse with the neighbouring towns is afforded by the road and railway from Glasgow to Greenock, which pass through the parish, and by good roads kept in repair by statute labour: boats, also, from Glasgow to Greenock touch almost every hour at Erskine ferry. There are some fisheries on the Clyde, but they are quite unimportant; the few salmon taken here are generally sent to Glasgow. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Greenock and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the minister's stipend is 279, with a manse, and a glebe valued at 9. 12. 9. per annum: patron, Lord Blantyre. The church, having become ruinous, was taken down in 1813, and a new church erected near its site, on ground given by Lord Blantyre; it is a neat structure in the Elizabethan style of architecture, containing 500 sittings. There is likewise a place of worship for members of the Free Church. A parochial library, containing about 400 volumes, is supported by subscription. The parochial school, for which a handsome and spacious building has been recently erected, is well attended; the master has a salary of 30, with a good house, and the fees average 30 per annum. There is also a subscription school, lately rebuilt. A friendly society until recently contributed greatly to the diminution of pauperism, and a savings' bank was likewise in operation, in which there were deposits to a moderate amount.
ESKDALEMUIR, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 13 miles (N. W.) from Langholm; containing 646 inhabitants. This parish, as its name partly imports, consists of the lands lying at the head of Eskdale, which were originally possessed by the clan of Beattieson, but which passed into other hands under the following circumstances. Cardinal Beaton and Robert Lord Maxwell, according to tradition, were sent by James V. as ambassadors to France, in the year 1537, to conclude a marriage between that sovereign and Mary of Guise, when Lord Maxwell, by commission, as proxy for the king, married the princess, and, having, with the cardinal, conducted her to Scotland, received as a reward from the crown the lands comprehended under the name of the Five Kirks of Eskdale. Lord Maxwell at once offered the occupiers a title to their several possessions on certain specified conditions; but, indignant at the royal grant, they objected, and matters ran into such severe altercation, that he was obliged to flee to save his life, and shortly afterwards he sold the estate to Scott of Branxholm, ancestor of the ducal family of Buccleuch, leaving him to obtain possession as well as he could. Upon this, Scott, who was warden of the middle marches between Scotland and England, having raised numerous friends, proceeded to Eskdalemuir, and expelled all the clan of Beattieson, except Roland Beattie, of Watcarrick, who had saved Lord Maxwell's life by lending him a horse on which to escape from the malcontents, and to whom that nobleman had confirmed a tenant-right in his property. Having thus cleared the domain, Scott gave feu rights of the greater part of it to his relations and dependents.
Eskdalemuir was originally a part of the parish of Westerkirk, but was erected in 1703 into a separate parish; it is the largest in the county, being about twelve miles long, from north to south, and eight miles broad, and contains 42,250 acres. The surface is strongly marked in the northern portion by part of a chain of mountains extending from the sources of the Clyde and Annan on the west to the source of the Tyne, in Northumberland, in the east: the highest hills are Lochfell and Eskdale pen. The White and Black Esk, so named from the sandy and mossy soils over which they run, take their rise in this parish, and, uniting at its southern extremity, form that beautiful river which, after receiving many tributary streams, loses itself in the Solway at Longtown, in Cumberland. There are three celebrated cascades called Goat-linn, Wellsburn Spout, and the Garvald Linns. The soil is deep in many parts, but is not fertile, on account of the elevated site of the district; the hills towards the south are green, but the more retired parts are moss, covered with coarse grass and different kinds of water-plants. The number of acres cultivated, or occasionally in tillage, is 482, the rest remaining constantly in pasture: there is very little wood to be seen in any direction. This is chiefly a grazing parish: the sheep, with a very few exceptions, are all Cheviots, and the cattle are of the Galloway breed, with some Ayrshire and Dutch; both are usually taken to the Langholm and Lockerbie markets. Many improvements have been effected by the embankment of the rivers, by mole-catching to a surprising extent, and by surface-draining, there being now nearly 400,000 roods of drains in the parish. The ring fences around the inclosed lands are commonly of stone, the subdivisions of thorn, and the march dykes between farms always of stone. The strata consist of greywacke and other transition rocks: the common fuel is peat, of which there is an abundant supply. The parish roads extend about twenty miles in length; and there are several bridges over the rivers, of which one, erected across the Black Esk, is on the line of road to Lockerbie, Lochmaben, Dumfries, and Moffat. The rateable annual value of Eskdalemuir is 6766.
The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Laugholm and synod of Dumfries; patron, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The stipend is 221, with a good manse, and a glebe of considerable extent, valued at 20 per annum. The church stands nearly in the centre of the parish, on the bank of the White Esk; it was built in 1826, and is a commodious and elegant structure, containing sittings for 393 persons. The Reformed Presbyterians have a place of worship. There is a parochial school, in which Latin, Greek, and French are taught, with the usual branches of education; the master has a salary of 34, with about 10 fees, and a house and garden. A library has been lately instituted, and is in a prosperous state. The chief relic of antiquity is the camp designated Castle-O'er, or Overbie, which is situated on the farm of Yetbyre, and though of an oval form, is generally considered as of Roman origin, and to have communicated with the camps of Middlebie and Netherbie: there is scarcely a hill within sight of it on which there is not some vestige of an outer encampment. Another camp, however, has more recently been discovered on the farm of Raeburnfoot, and has led to the opinion that the former is a Saxon work, and the latter the true Roman camp of Overbie; it exhibits all the lineaments, as far as they are visible, of a most complete military station, with the prtorium and every other mark of a Roman work. Were the lines on the west side of the entrances extended as far as those on the eastern side, so as to make it a square, it would cover seven acres. There are two Druidical circles on the farm of Coatt, measuring in circumference ninety feet and 340 feet, respectively. The parish and adjoining district confer the title of Baron Scott and Eskdale on the Duke of Buccleuch.
ESSIE, county of Aberdeen.See Rhynie.
ESSIE, Forfarshire.See Eassie.
ETTRICK, a parish, in the county of Selkirk, 18 miles (S. W.) from Selkirk; containing 525 inhabitants. The name, of uncertain origin, is supposed by some to be in the Gaelic language descriptive of the river on which Ettrick is situated. The parish is about ten miles in length, and nearly of equal breadth in the widest part, and comprises 43,968 acres, of which 217 are arable, 120 meadow, 270 woods and plantations, 150 water, and the remainder pasture. The surface is broken by numerous hills, some of which are of mountainous height, and all covered with verdure from their base to their summit, with the exception only of a few whose brows and summits of heath add to the variety and beauty of the landscape. Ettrick Pen, the highest of these mountains, has an elevation of 2200, Wardlaw of 1980, and Old Ettrick hill of 1800 feet above the level of the sea. The chief river is the Ettrick, which rises on the south side of a mountainous ridge, between Loch-fell and Capel-fell, and in its progress through the parish receives numerous streams descending from the heights; it generally flows with an equable and tranquil current, but, when swollen by continued rains, it acquires the impetuosity of a torrent, and, frequently bursting its banks, inundates the adjacent lands. After leaving the parish, it pursues a north-eastern direction, and falls into the Tweed near Abbotsford. The Timah, a small rivulet, has its source in the hills on the confines of the parish of Eskdalemuir, and, after a course of about six miles through this parish, falls into the Ettrick near the church: the Rankleburn, also a small rivulet, rises near the source of the Timah, and joins the Ettrick not far from the ruins of the castle of Tushielaw. These streams abound with trout; and in the Ettrick, salmon and sea-trout are found in the ordinary seasons.
The soil is very various; on the summits of the hills, a deep moss; on the slopes, a mossy gravel; on the low lands, a rich alluvial deposit, and in general fertile. The crops are, oats and barley, with potatoes and turnips; the system of agriculture is improved; the lands have been drained and partially inclosed, and the farm-buildings are commodious and well built. The principal attention, however, is paid to the rearing and pasture of sheep and cattle; the Cheviot breed of sheep has altogether superseded the old black-faced kind, and the average number annually pastured in the parish may be taken as about 26,000. Recently, Highland Kyloes have been introduced on some of the farms, and eat the refuse of the pastures, and render them more fertile. The milch-cows are all of the short-horned and Ayrshire breeds, and about 400 head of black-cattle are pastured every year. A due degree of attention to the improvement of live stock has been excited by the Pastoral Society, instituted in 1818, under the patronage of the late Lord Napier, and which holds one of its annual meetings here. The rateable value of Ettrick is 7844. Though formerly part of an extensive forest, there is very little old timber in the parish; the chief trees are, the mountain and common ash, birch, alder, willow, and thorn. The plantations, which are of comparatively recent formation, consist of Scotch and spruce firs and larch, intermixed with the various kinds of forest trees; they are well managed, and in a flourishing condition. The principal substrata are greywacke and clay-slate, of which the rocks are formed. A small nodule of antimony was once found in the channel of a burn, near the source of the Ettrick, but, after diligent search, no further appearance of it could be ascertained; pyrites of iron have been also discovered occasionally, and near the loch of the Lowes, which borders on the parish, is a black rock of glossy appearance, supposed to consist of aluminous slate. Thirlstane, the seat of Lord Napier, is a handsome mansion of modern erection, situated in a romantic and deeply-sequestered spot. Facility of communication is afforded by excellent roads, which traverse the parish for an extent of thirty miles, opening an easy intercourse between its most distant parts and with all the neighbouring towns. All were constructed, and brought to their present state of perfection, under the persevering efforts of the late Lord Napier, to whom the parish is deeply indebted for its present improved condition, and by whose liberality numerous pleasing and comfortable cottages have been spread over a tract of land previously little better than a dreary desert. Fairs are held in the end of March, for the sale of ewes and the hiring of farm-servants and shepherds; in the end of July, for lambs and wool, and the transaction of general business; at the end of September, for draft ewes, young lambs, and fat sheep; and in November, for fat sheep for the markets. The September fair is the most numerously attended, and generally nearly 10,000 head of stock are exposed for sale. There is a small prison called the "Round House," near the ground where the fairs are held.
Ettrick is in the presbytery of Selkirk and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of Lord Napier; the minister's stipend is 229. 9. 7., with a manse, and a glebe valued at 28 per annum. The church, situated nearly in the centre of the parish, was rebuilt upon a larger scale in 1824; it is a neat and handsome edifice, adapted for a congregation of about 450 persons. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of 34 per annum, with 15 fees, and a house and garden. A parochial library, containing more than 800 volumes, has been maintained by subscription and donations, to which Lord Napier has largely contributed; and a Bible and Missionary Society is also supported here, under the patronage of his lordship. In the retired valley of the Rankleburn, which is inclosed with lofty and precipitous hills, are two farm-steads called the Buccleuchs, from which the family of Scott take their ducal title; and in a deep ravine leading from them to the Hawick road, is the spot where the buck was killed, from which circumstance the name of these lands is said to have been derived. About a mile from the farm, and on the bank of the burn, may still be traced the foundations and part of the walls of the church or chapel of Buccleuch. On the road on the banks of the Ettrick are the ruins of the ancient castle of Tushielaw, formerly the stronghold of the Scott family, noted for their predatory excursions in the neighbourhood, and of whom two individuals were convicted, in the reign of James V., of exacting black mail, and the one hanged on a tree near the gate of his castle, and the other beheaded at Edinburgh, and his head fixed on the Tolbooth. About two miles from this spot are the remains of the ancient baronial castle of Thirlstane, surrounded by some ash-trees of very ancient growth; and on the opposite bank of the Ettrick are the ruins of the castle of Gamescleuch, the residence of a branch of the family of the Scotts of Thirlstane. On the lands of the farm of Kirkhope may be traced the boundaries of a cemetery formerly belonging to some church or chapel of which there are no vestiges remaining; and near the farm of Chapelhope are the site and foundations of another church or chapel, with a cemetery attached. An ancient tripod and two stone hatchets were found some years since, and are now in the possession of Lord Napier. About a quarter of a mile from the church was till lately a house, with a gable end, fronting the road, in which was born James Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd. Alexander Cunningham, minister to the state of Venice in the reign of George I., and author of a History of Great Britain from the Revolution in 1688 till the Accession of George I., written in Latin, and long after his decease translated into English, and published, in 1787, by Dr. William Thomson, was born here during the incumbency of his father. Boston, author of the Fourfold State, was minister of Ettrick from 1707 to 1732.
ETTRICK-BRIDGE, a village, in the parish of Yarrow, county of Selkirk, 7 miles (W. S. W.) from Selkirk, containing 108 inhabitants. It is situated in the eastern part of the parish, on the Ettrick water, and is chiefly inhabited by persons engaged in handicraft trades. There are a church and school in the village.
EVANTON, a village, in the parish of Kiltearn, county of Ross and Cromarty; containing 462 inhabitants. This village had no existence five-and-thirty years ago; it is built upon a waste piece of land, consists of about a hundred houses, and is of very regular and neat appearance. Two fairs, neither of them well attended, owing to the convenient supply of necessaries from the shops in the village, are held on the first Tuesdays in June and December. The United Secession have a place of worship here; and there is a school.
Evie and Rendall
EVIE and RENDALL, a parish, in the county of Orkney; containing, with the island of Gairsay, 1518 inhabitants, of whom 907 are in Evie, 18 miles (N. W. by N.) from Kirkwall. These two ancient parishes, which appear to have been united since the time of the Reformation, are situated on the mainland of the Orkney Isles, and are bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the north-east and east by Enhallow Sound or Frith, which separates them from the islands of Rousay and Shapinshay; on the south by the parish of Firth; and on the west by the parish of Birsay and Harray. The coast is not distinguished by any of those prominent features which are so conspicuous on the shores of the other islands; the chief headland is Costa, at the northern extremity of Evie, a bold hill rising from a wide base to a considerable elevation, and presenting towards the sea a large mass of precipitous rock. On the east, opposite to the deeply indented bay of Woodwick, is the island of Gairsay, forming a part of Rendall, from the main portion of which it is separated by a narrow sound. This island is of nearly circular form, and about four miles in circumference; the ground rises from the shore, and terminates towards the centre in a beautiful green hill, on the summit of which is a cairn.
The surface is diversified with hills forming a continuous range, averaging from 300 to 400 feet in elevation above the level of the sea, and dividing the parish from Birsay and Harray; and with several smaller hills, between which are some pleasing and fertile valleys. Towards the sea it has a gentle declivity, varying from half a mile to nearly a mile and a half in breadth. On the boundary between Evie district and Birsay is a beautiful lake, about two miles in length, and half a mile broad, in the centre of which is a small island; it abounds with trout of excellent quality, and, though of no great depth, is found very serviceable in propelling a corn-mill during the summer, when other mills are useless from want of water. The soil is partly a rich black loam, and partly clay alternated with sand, and in Rendall is of lighter quality than in Evie; there is a very considerable deposit of marl on the shores of Woodwick bay, and in the valleys which intersect the hills is an abundance of peat-moss. Peat bogs occur in the lower lands, and in Rendall is a valley of peat-moss, which is almost impracticable from the number of roots and branches of trees imbedded in the soil. There is no timber of any kind, and the only trees are some recently planted in the manse garden, of which the permanent growth seems very doubtful. The land in cultivation yields favourable crops, and the pastures are fertile; the natural grasses are thickly interspersed with wild flowers of every description: the cattle and sheep reared in the parish thrive well. The rocks are all of the secondary formation, and vary from blue slate to white sandstone. There is no village: fairs for cattle and horses are held in June and October. Cod, ling, haddock, dog-fish, skate, halibut, and the young of coalfish are found in abundance off the coast, and many of the inhabitants occasionally engage in the herring-fisheries, but, though the place is admirably suited for the purpose, no regular fishing establishment has been settled here.
The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkwall and synod of Orkney. The minister's stipend is 154. 6., of which more than half is paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at 50 per annum; patron, the Earl of Zetland. There was originally a church in each of the united districts, but, both falling into decay towards the close of the last century, one church was erected in a centrical situation in 1799, by the heritors, in lieu of the two; it is a neat structure containing 498 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and Independents. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of 30, out of which he pays 4 to an assistant for teaching a small number of children in the island of Gairsay; he has also a house and garden. A school is supported by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. Along the shores of the parish are numerous Picts' houses, and in Evie several tumuli, some of which, on being opened, were found to contain small areas from one to two feet square, inclosed with flat stones, and about eighteen inches in depth, and in which were ashes, charcoal, and small fragments of burnt bones. In 1832, on taking down an old farm-building in Rendall, 150 silver coins were found wrapped in coarse woollen-cloth, in a hole in one of the walls, supposed to have been concealed there during the visit of Cromwell; they were of the reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles I., with a few of Scottish currency.
EWE, an island, in the parish of Gairloch, county of Ross and Cromarty; containing 34 inhabitants. It is situated in Loch Ewe, on the western coast of the county; it is about two miles in length, and in some parts nearly a mile in breadth, and is a fertile and well-cultivated isle, upon the improvement of which much care and expense have been bestowed. The loch is between eight and ten miles long, and into its inner part pours the beautiful stream of the Ewe, which is the natural outlet from Loch Maree: this stream is celebrated for the abundance of its salmon.
EWES, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 4 miles (N.) from Langholm; containing 328 inhabitants. Ewesdale, the former appellation of this place, has been long contracted into Ewes, the name of its chief river, so called from the Celtic Uisge, signifying water. The parish is eight miles in length, and about five and a half in breadth, and contains 31,000 acres; it is bounded on the north and east by Roxburghshire, on the south by Langholm parish, and on the west by that of Westerkirk. It is pastoral and mountainous, and the country on both sides of the river Ewes, which runs through the parish for eight miles, is marked by numerous hills, nearly all green, with the exception of a few parts overspread with heath, and affording cover and food for various kinds of game. The rivers abound in fish. In the low lands by the Ewes the soil is light and gravelly, and produces, in favourable seasons, good crops of oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; on the higher grounds it approximates to a deep loam. The number of arable acres is 1100, of natural pasture 23,169, and in wood and plantations 200. The cattle are of the Galloway breed, and the sheep are the Cheviots, and in general amount to about 18,000; the parish consumes the produce of the ground at home, the chief profit consisting in the sale of wool, sheep, and cattle. All the necessary improvements have been carried into effect, and the farm-buildings are in the best order. The principal rocks are greywacke and greywacke slate. The means of communication are good; the great road from Edinburgh, by Carlisle, to London runs for eight miles within the parish, and there are two other public roads, one of which leads to the east, and the other to Dumfries and Moffat. The rateable annual value of the parish is 4951. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Langholm and synod of Dumfries; patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. The stipend is 221, with a good manse and offices, and a glebe of thirty arable acres. The church, an ancient structure, was repaired in 1831, and contains 200 sittings. There is a parochial school, in which the usual branches are taught, with French, Latin, Greek, and mathematics; the master has the maximum salary, with about 5 fees, and the legal accommodations. Some almshouses were founded in 1761, by the Rev. Mr. Malcolm, minister of the parish, for the support of four of the poorest families, to whom the Duke of Buccleuch gives about half an acre of ground for a garden. On the farm of Unthank, in the parish, are remains of a chapel connected with Melrose Abbey; the burialground is still in use. There are also vestiges of two encampments, either Saxon or Pictish.
EYEMOUTH, a sea-port, burgh of barony, and parish, in the county of Berwick, 3 miles (N. E.) from Ayton, and 8 (N. N. W.) from Berwick; containing 1401 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from its situation at the influx of the river Eye into the sea, appears to have been indebted for the degree of importance it possessed at a remote period to its connexion with the priory of Coldingham, to which it seems to have been granted by charter in the reign of William the Lion. From its advantageous position, it was probably early made available as a port for the landing and embarking of pilgrims visiting the priory, and for the supply of that establishment with various stores for the use of its numerous fraternity. Few events of historical importance are recorded in relation to the place prior to the erection of a fortress here by the Duke of Somerset in his invasion of the country in the year 1547, and which was dismantled on the conclusion of a treaty of peace between England and France in 1550; it was afterwards restored and garrisoned for a time, but was finally demolished at the period of the union of the two kingdoms. The town, which is pleasantly situated at the mouth of the river Eye, is irregularly built, but contains many good houses; it is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the corn trade, which is carried on to some extent, in the fisheries, and in the various handicraft trades requisite for the neighbourhood. The streets are well paved, and the inhabitants are supplied with water conveyed by iron pipes. The approaches are commodious, and a good bridge has been built across the Eye, near which the turnpike-road to Ayton branches off in two directions, the one leading by the north, and the other by the south, bank of the river. A chain-bridge, also, has recently been thrown over the Eye, by Capt. Brown, to form a readier communication with his estate of Netherbyres. A parochial library is supported by subscription, and has a tolerable collection of volumes on divinity and other subjects.
The trade in grain, since the establishment of the market, has been rapidly increasing, and is now very extensive. The quantity of grain sold in the first year after the opening of the market was estimated at 20,000; warehouses have been erected on the quay, and a spacious building formerly used for barracks has been converted into a store-house. On the river is a mill for preparing pearl-barley and oatmeal, of which great quantities are shipped for London. The manufacture of paper has been established at Millbank, on the borders of the parish, where a spacious mill with the requisite machinery has been erected, in which a considerable number of persons are employed; and at Gunsgreen, adjoining the harbour, but in Ayton parish, a distillery was till lately at work. The post-office, which has a good delivery, is a branch of the office at Ayton. The market is on Thursday, and is abundantly supplied with grain, and numerously attended; and two fairs are annually held here, but very little business is transacted. A lucrative fishery is carried on off the coast; the fish usually taken are, cod, haddock, and herrings. In the cod and haddock fishery about fifteen boats are regularly engaged, each of which is managed by six men, and the yearly produce is estimated at 3000. The herring-fishery is also very productive, and in 1820 afforded employment to more than 100 boats, whose cargoes in that year amounted to 10,000 barrels; but since that time it has materially diminished. The cod, either dried or pickled, is generally sent to London; the red or smoked herrings to London, Hull, Glasgow, and Newcastle; and the white or pickled herrings to Ireland, and the ports of the Baltic.
The business of the port consists chiefly in the exportation of grain and the produce of the fisheries and distillery; and in the importation of timber, bones for manure, rags for the paper manufacture, coal, slates, bricks and tiles, freestone, and paying stones, with various articles of general merchandise. The exports in a recent year were, 850 quarters of wheat, 4300 quarters of barley, 2800 quarters of oats, and 2800 gallons of spirits; the quantity of coal imported was 2367 tons, and the whole number of vessels that entered the port was 198. The harbour, which, previously to the year 1770, was exposed to the north-east winds, was then much improved and rendered more secure by the erection of a pier and breakwater under the direction of Mr. Smeaton; and it has been subsequently enlarged and deepened by the removing of shingle and the clearing away of rocks. In 1844, an extensive additional pier was completed. The depth of water at spring tides is sixteen feet, and at neap tides ten feet; and from its situation in the German Ocean, and its facility of access, the harbour is much frequented by vessels detained by contrary winds. The custom-house is superintended by a principal coast-officer and two tidewaiters, who reside on the spot; and the care and management of the port are under the controul of a board of trustees appointed by act of parliament. The town was erected into a burgh of barony by charter granted in 1597, by James VI., in favour of Sir George Home, of Wedderburn, with all the usual privileges, and is governed by a baron-bailie appointed by the superior of the barony. With the consent of the superior, the burgesses had power to elect magistrates, to erect a gaol, and hold courts for the trial of all offences not capital, and for the determination of civil pleas to an unlimited amount, together with a weekly market and two annual fairs; but the only jurisdiction exercised by the bailie is the occasional holding of a court for the determination of petty causes.
The parish is about a mile and a half in length, and nearly of equal breadth, and comprises 880 acres, of which, with the exception of about 20 in woodland, plantation, and a few acres of pasture, the whole is arable. The surface is varied, and in some parts rocky, and the scenery is diversified with wood and water. The river Eye has its source at Dodhill, in the parish of Oldhamstocks, and, after flowing through Cockburnspath, Coldingham, and Ayton, forms the eastern boundary of this parish for about a mile, and falls into the sea. The Ale, a small rivulet, runs for some miles through a picturesque valley, then constitutes the southern boundary, and joins the Eye at the south-eastern extremity of the parish. The soil is every where extremely rich and fertile; the system of agriculture is in a very advanced state, and the four and six shift rotations of husbandry equally prevail: the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips. Bone-dust and sea-wrack are amply used for manure; the lands are well drained and inclosed, and all the more recent improvements in implements have been adopted. The sheep are of the Leicestershire breed, and the cattle of the short-horned or Teeswater; very few of either are reared in the parish, but a considerable number are bought, and fed for the market on turnips and grass. The chief substrata are, greywacke, greywacke slate, and old red sandstone, with rocks of trap and porphyry; there is also a rock of breccia or coarse conglomerate, forming the promontory that bounds the bay. This stone, of which the breakwater and quays of the harbour were constructed, is of excellent quality; it is occasionally quarried for building, and can be raised in masses of any size. The rateable annual value of the parish is 2683. The manorhouse of Linthill is an ancient edifice, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Ale, near its influx into the river Eye, and commands a finely-varied prospect, embracing the harbour, with the shipping, and the sea in the distance. The parish is in the presbytery of Chirnside and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is 130.19.6., exclusively of a composition for tithes of fish, for which each boat pays 1. 13. 4., with an excellent manse, and a glebe of above 9 acres. The church, situated in the centre of the town, was erected in 1812; it is a neat edifice with a tower, containing little exterior embellishment, and is adapted for a congregation of 450 persons. There are places of worship for the Free Church, the Secession, and Primitive Methodists. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of 34, with 23 fees, and a house and garden. There are some remains of the fort erected by the Duke of Somerset, occupying a considerable site on the promontory projecting into the sea, which, from its commanding position, affords an extensive prospect: little is left except the foundations, now covered with verdure, but it would appear to have been a place of great extent and of massive proportions. The adjacent grounds have been tastefully laid out, and form an interesting and much frequented promenade. Eyemouth gave the title of Baron to the great Duke of Marlborough.