Renton - Ross & Cromarty

A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1846.

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Samuel Lewis, 'Renton - Ross & Cromarty', in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846) pp. 416-430. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

Samuel Lewis. "Renton - Ross & Cromarty", in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846) 416-430. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

Lewis, Samuel. "Renton - Ross & Cromarty", A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, (London, 1846). 416-430. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,

In this section


RENTON, a village, in the parish of Cardross, county of Dumbarton, 3 miles (N. by W.) from Dumbarton; containing 2472 inhabitants. This is a considerable and prosperous village, situated in the eastern quarter of the parish, on the west bank of the Leven, and on the high road from Dumbarton to Luss. It was founded in 1782, by Mrs. Smollett, of Bonhill, and named by her after her daughter-in-law, Miss Renton, of Bridgend, a suburb of Dumbarton. The population are chiefly engaged in the bleachfields and other works of this large manufacturing district; and at the Dalquhurn factory, in the immediate neighbourhood, about 300 hands are employed in calico printing and dyeing, particularly a Turkey red in the latter branch, for which this establishment is remarkable. The pure water and powerful stream of the Leven are peculiarly adapted for the works so extensively carried on here. In the village are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and Old-Light Burghers, and a chapel in connexion with the Associate Presbytery: there is also a school erected by subscription among the farmers. Tobias Smollett was born at the old house of Dalquhurn, close by the village, on the 19th of March, 1721.


RERWICK, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 6½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Kirkcudbright; containing, with the villages of Auchincairn and Dundrennan, 1692 inhabitants, of whom 1117 are in the rural districts of the parish. This place, in various records called Dundrennan and Monkland, is conjectured to have received its present name, which is of uncertain origin, from the position of Auchincairn at the head of a creek in the Solway Frith. It derives its chief historical importance from the foundation of the celebrated abbey of Dundrennan, and from its having afforded to Mary, Queen of Scots, in her retreat from the battle of Langside, an asylum where she passed the night before her embarkation for England; both of which events are detailed in the separate notice of the village of Dundrennan. The parish, which is bounded on the south and south-east by the Frith, is about ten miles in length and six miles in average breadth; comprising an area of 20,447 acres, whereof 13,088 are arable and in good cultivation, 561 woodland and plantations, and the remainder chiefly moor and waste. The surface is rugged, and abruptly varied with hills, which towards the northern boundary attain a mountainous elevation; the loftiest, Bengairn, rising to the height of 1200 feet above the level of the sea. From the summit of this hill, which is covered with heath, and surmounted by an ancient cairn whence it takes its name, an extensive prospect is obtained over the whole length of the Solway Frith and the English coast, with the mountains of Cumberland, the Isle of Man, and the mountains of Morne, in Ireland. Several burns, descending from the higher grounds, flow through the parish into the Frith, acquiring in their course sufficient power to turn mills. The coast is indented with numerous bays: the chief are, Auchincairn, at the entrance of which is the verdant island of Heston, affording excellent pasture for sheep; Balcarry; Burnfoot; and Mulloch, at the south-western extremity of the parish; all of which might be made good harbours at a very inconsiderable expense.

The soil is in general wet and spongy, but by careful management is rendered productive; and good crops of oats, barley, and potatoes are obtained. Wheat is raised only in small quantities; but from the improvements in husbandry which have recently taken place, there is every prospect of advancement. The lands have been drained and partly inclosed, and extensive plantations have been formed around the seats of the principal proprietors. A very large proportion of the land is appropriated to pasturing black-cattle, to the rearing of which much attention is paid; and great numbers are annually sent to the south of England when three years old, and then fattened for the London markets. The surplus grain, and the fat-cattle and sheep, beyond the supply of the home market, are forwarded to Liverpool. The hills are principally of granite; and the substrata towards the coast, freestone of excellent quality, of which great quantities have been quarried for building: in the rocks that overhang the rivulet in the hill of Screll, are found rock crystals of purple hue, of a prismatic form, and beautifully transparent. An iron-mine has been opened under the management of an English company, from which nearly 3500 tons of excellent ore are annually raised, and sent chiefly to Birmingham; and in the island of Heston is a copper-mine leased to an English tenant, of which the produce is sent to Swansea. The rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £10,240. The mansion-houses are, Dundrennan, the seat of Thomas Maitland Esq.; Orroland, Orchardton, Netherlaw, Balcarry, Collin, Nestwood, and Port-Mary. The only villages are Auchincairn and Dundrennan. A fair is held annually in August, but very little business is now transacted; and facility of internal communication is afforded by good roads, and of intercourse with distant places by the harbours on the coast of the Frith. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and synod of Galloway: the minister's stipend is £232. 19.2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £40 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church is an ancient structure, successively enlarged in the years 1743, 1790, and 1828, and containing 565 sittings. In the village of Auchincairn are places of worship for Baptists and members of the Free Church. There are two parochial schools; one at Dundrennan, of which the master has a salary of £30; and one at Auchincairn, of which the master has £21. 6. 8.: each of the masters has also a house and garden, and the school fees of the two average about £60 annually. There are some Druidical remains, and numerous Roman, Saxon, and Danish camps, within the parish; and in the rocks on the coast, at Barlocco, are two spacious caverns of romantic appearance, called the White and Black Cove. The venerable remains of the abbey are described in the article on Dundrennan.


RESAWRIE, a hamlet, in the parish and county of Inverness; containing 66 inhabitants.


RESCOBIE, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Forfar; containing, with the hamlet of Bole and part of Marestone, 788 inhabitants. The etymology of the name of this place is altogether uncertain, it having been written at different times Rescolpyne, Rescolbyne, and Roscolpin. The parish is about nine miles long, and from one and a half to two and a half broad; and comprises 5888 acres, of which 4735 are cultivated, 617 permanent pasture, and 536 under wood. The ground rises in several parts into striking elevations, some reaching the height of more than 800 feet above the level of the sea; and among the most conspicuous of the hills are those named Dunnichen or Burnside, on the southern boundary; the Green-hill of Burnside; the hill of Carse, in the north-western quarter; and the Double hill, called, on the east part, the hill of Turin, and on the west, the hill of Pitscandly. All these command views of both land and sea, of the finest description. The loch of Rescobie stretches for more than a mile between the hills of Dunnichen and Turin; and through this sheet of water runs from west to east the Lunan stream, which rises in the north-west part of Restennet moss, and, passing also through the lake of Balgavies, falls, after a course of ten miles further, into the sea at Lunan bay. The circuitous Lemna burn, rising in the parish of Aberlemno, forms part of the boundary line on the south between Rescobie and Forfar, and, turning northward, separates this parish and Kirriemuir: after a course of four or five miles more in a north-eastern direction, it falls into the Esk near Finhaven Castle, almost opposite to its source. The principal fishing is in the loch of Rescobie, which varies in depth from two to twenty feet, and produces eels, perch, and pike; the last are sometimes very large, but the supply is much diminished by the numerous fishing-parties from Forfar, who keep the stock comparatively low.

The soil sometimes exhibits, in a very small tract, almost every variety, and runs through the different kinds of a thin moorish earth, sharp gravel, clay, and loam; that on the estates of Carse and Pitscandly is the most fertile, and above the average quality. The arable land differs much in value; it lets in some parts at 16s. per acre, from which it rises to £2. 10., and the permanent pasture fetches from 5s. to £1. 10. per acre. A few sheep are kept, and the cattle are generally of the Angus breed, with a mixture of the Durham. The parish belongs to a district highly interesting in a geological point of view, and, according to Mr. Lyell, forms part of a great line of lakes and marshes which extends through Strathmore to the loch of Forfar, and thence to Lunan bay. The same eminent geologist adds that, like most of these lakes, it is surrounded by hillocks, and ridges of sand and gravel, containing boulders of many Grampian rocks, mixed with fragments of pavingstone and other formations, such as occur in the immediate neighbourhood. The hills of Pitscandly and Turin consist of grey paving-stone, interstratified with conglomerate or pudding-stone, the whole forming one of the oldest members of the old red sandstone formation; and freestone is obtained from a quarry in Turin hill, valuable for its colour and for its taking a fine polish. Grey-slate quarries, also, have long been in operation; and in the conglomerate rock, white quartz, chloriteslate, trap, and various other minerals are obtained. Boulders of many different kinds and shapes abound, some of which have been transported from great distances; and about fifty feet below the summit of the hill of Pitscandly is a block of mica-slate, thirteen feet in length and seven in breadth, supposed by some to have been conveyed from the Grampians by the agency of ice, in some manner not clearly understood, across the valley of Strathmore. The plantations, though of no great extent, are in a thriving condition, and consist of larch and spruce fir, interspersed with ash, oak, birch, and elm. The rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £6670. The mansions are, Burnside; the house formerly called Balmadies, now Ochterlony, built in 1821; Pitscandly, an old residence, situated pleasantly on the west side of the hill of the same name; and the residences named Carse, Drimmie, and Reswallie, the last on the south-west side of the lake of Rescobie.

The population, which has been gradually decreasing for the last thirty years, on account chiefly of the consolidation of some of the smaller farms, is entirely agricultural, with the exception of about sixty persons, partly women, employed in the manufacture of coarse white linen. A turnpike-road runs from west to east, on the south side of the loch, from Forfar to Arbroath, and another on the north side of the loch from the same place to Montrose: the turnpike-road, also, from Forfar to Brechin runs through the west and north-west quarters of the parish; and the Auldbar turnpike-road, from Brechin southwards, skirts a small part of the eastern district. About four and a half miles of the railroad from Forfar to Arbroath, opened in 1838, cross the parish. The produce is usually disposed of at Forfar or Arbroath, and the coal used here is chiefly obtained from the latter place. A fair was held in ancient times, but subsequently transferred to Forfar, called St. Triduane's, vulgarly St. Trodlin's, fair; and a stone is still standing near the kirk-style, where, according to tradition, Lord Strathmore, the superior, or his deputy, held his court on fair days. The parish is within the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Earl of Strathmore: the minister's stipend is £219, with a manse, and a glebe of eleven acres, valued at £16 or £17 per annum. The church was built in 1820, and accommodates 560 persons with sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £31, with a house, and £10. 12. fees. There is a parochial library under the superintendence of a committee. King Donald VII., brother of Malcolm Canmore, is supposed to have died in confinement here in 1097. The castle of Rescobie has long since entirely disappeared, like the kirktown; and the site of it is not now known. On the estate of Balmadies is a cemetery called the chapelyard, containing numerous tombstones belonging to the Pearsons, who possessed that property; and there are ruins of several strongholds, concerning which no historical records or authentic traditions remain.


RESOLIS.—See Kirkmichael and Cullicudden.


RESTALRIG, an ancient village, and formerly a parish of itself, though now in the parish of South Leith, county of Edinburgh, 1½ mile (E.) from Edinburgh; containing 92 inhabitants. The barony early formed part of the possessions of the Logan family, after whose forfeiture it became the property of the Balmerino family, with whom it remained till 1746, when, on the attainder of Arthur, the sixth lord Balmerino, it passed to the Earl of Moray, though Lady Balmerino continued to reside in the family seat till her decease in 1765. It is now the property of the present earl. James III. founded in the parish church a collegiate establishment, which was increased by James IV., and also by James V., who endowed it for a dean, nine prebendaries, and two choristers. The establishment continued to flourish for some time; and John Sinclair, dean of Restalrig, solemnized the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, with Lord Darnley. At the Reformation the society, then consisting of a dean and eight prebendaries, was dissolved, the church was ordered by the General Assembly to be demolished as a monument of idolatry, and the parishioners were directed to assemble for divine service in the chapel of St. Mary the Virgin, in South Leith. By act of parliament in 1609, the parish and church of Restalrig were more completely divested of all their legal rights and revenues, which were transferred to South Leith, then made an independent parish. In the churchyard is the spacious aisle of the ancient church, now the sepulchral chapel of the earls of Moray. The village, which consists only of a few houses, is pleasantly situated in a plain near the Piershill barracks, and is surrounded with meadows, and with gardens in which great quantities of fruit and vegetables are raised for the Edinburgh market.


RESTON, a village, in the parish of Coldingham, county of Berwick, 2½ miles (S. W. by S.) from Coldingham; containing 219 inhabitants. It lies in the south-eastern part of the parish, and is a small place with a population chiefly agricultural. One of two parochial schools is in the village.


REWCASTLE, a hamlet, in the parish of Bedrule, and Jedburgh district of the county of Roxburgh; containing 24 inhabitants. This, though now a very small and decayed hamlet, is supposed to be a place of great antiquity; and it is said that the courts of justice were once held within it, and afterwards removed to Jedburgh. The hamlet lies in the north-east part of the parish, upon a spot of considerable elevation.

Rhind, or Rhynd

RHIND, or RHYND, a parish, in the county of Perth, 2 miles (S. E.) from Perth; containing 402 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name, of Gaelic import, from its situation on a point of land at the confluence of the rivers Earn and Tay, was the resort of the celebrated Wallace, who, while meditating the deliverance of his country from a foreign yoke, was often obliged to take shelter among its woods and recesses. The parish is about four miles in length and one mile in average breadth; it is bounded on the north and east by the Tay, which separates it from the parishes of Kinfauns and St. Madoes, and on the south by the Earn, which separates it from the parish of Abernethy. It comprises 1700 acres, of which, with the exception of 100 in woodland and plantations, and about fifty waste, the whole is arable. The surface is varied; towards the rivers forming a tract of level land, and in other parts rising gradually till it attains a considerable elevation. From the recent connexion of some islands in the Tay with the main land, by the construction of an artificial isthmus of reeds and branches of trees to collect and detain the mud deposited at the reflux of the tide, a compact and solid bank of fertile soil has been formed, which adds both to the extent and variety of the surface. The scenery is rich; the banks of the rivers in general are lofty and abrupt, and are finely planted with trees of various kinds, of stately growth. The hills, also, are embellished with thriving plantations, and command extensive and interesting views over a wide tract abounding with picturesque objects, and enlivened by the constant passing and repassing of numerous vessels in the Tay, which here attains a very considerable breadth.

The soil in the lower districts is a clay intermixed with a rich black loam; and in the upper, of a more light and gravelly quality, but under good management rendered fertile. The water, which might otherwise lodge on the level lands, is carefully removed by draining, and the system of agriculture is in every respect much improved; the crops are, wheat, of excellent quality and raised in great abundance, barley, oats, beans, and lately potatoes, whereof large quantities are grown for the London markets. The farm buildings and offices are substantial and commodious, and every improvement in implements of husbandry is eagerly adopted by the tenants. The rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £5485. A salmon-fishery in the Tay affords employment to some of the inhabitants, and produces to the proprietors a rental of £600 per annum. There is no village. The roads are kept in repair by statute labour. Rhind is in the presbytery of Perth and synod of Perth and Stirling, and patronage of the Earl of Wemyss and March: the minister's stipend is £225. 10. 3., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £17 per annum. The old church was inconveniently situated in an angle of the parish, and had become dilapidated; a new church has been erected in a more convenient position. The parochial school affords a liberal education to about seventy children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £25 fees, and a good house and garden. There are some slight remains of the nunnery of Elcho, which, from the beauty of their site, form a picturesque and romantic ruin; and on the bank of the river Tay are the ruins of the ancient castle, consisting chiefly of a lofty tower, the walls of which are formed of hard and very durable stone. The tower is crowned with a battlement, the ascent to which, by a spiral staircase, is still in tolerable preservation; a new roof has been recently added to preserve it from further decay, and from the battlement is obtained a most extensive and pleasing view of the surrounding country. The castle was for many generations the residence of the ancestors of the present noble proprietor, the Earl of Wemyss and March, who takes the title of baron from this place. There is a chalybeate spring; but it is not much frequented.


RHONEHOUSE, a village, in the parish of Kelton, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 1½ mile (S. W.) from Castle-Douglas; containing 235 inhabitants. This place, also called Kelton-Hill, lies in the northern quarter of the parish, and was formerly noted for its horse-fairs, all of which, except one held about the end of June, are now transferred to Castle-Douglas. The great military road passes through the village, where is a post-office. Of three parochial schools, the original school is at Rhonehouse; the other two, branches of it, being at Castle-Douglas and Gelston.

Rhynie and Essie

RHYNIE and ESSIE, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 3½ miles (W. by N.) from Clatt; containing 1035 inhabitants, of whom 240 are in the village of Rhynie, or Muir of Rhynie. This place occupies the south-western portion of the ancient lordship of Strathbogie, granted by King Robert Bruce to the family of the Gordons, of whom Sir James Gordon took the title of baronet from the lands of Lesmore, in this parish, and of whose residence, Lesmore Castle, there are still some remains. The lands, together with the title, were held by his descendants for a considerable period: on the demise of the last Duke of Gordon, they passed to the Duke of Richmond, who is the sole proprietor of the parish. Few events of historical importance are recorded in connexion with the place: some tumuli at the foot of the hill on the north-west of the parish, were raised over the remains of those who fell in a battle that occurred in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, between the forces of Macduff and those of the usurper Lulach, in which the usurper was slain. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Bogie, and is nearly five miles in length and almost of equal breadth; comprising about 4000 acres of arable land, and some extensive tracts of moorland pasture, moss, and waste. The surface is diversified with several hills of considerable height; but the only one deserving the name of a mountain is that of Noth, which has an elevation of more than 1000 feet above the level of the sea. The river has its source in the adjoining parish of Auchindoir, and, flowing north-eastward, falls into the Doveran at Huntly; the water of Kirkney has its source in the moss of Essie, and, after a course of nearly eight miles through this parish and part of the parish of Gartly, flows into the Bogie. These two streams abound with trout of excellent quality, affording good sport to the angler; and there are several smaller streams in various parts, of which the principal is the Craigwater, all forming tributaries to the Kirkney. The soil is various; near the banks of the Bogie, a deep rich loam; around the bases of the hills, light and gravelly but fertile; in some of the lower grounds, clay; and in others, tracts of moss. The crops are, grain of different kinds, potatoes, turnips, and the usual grasses; the system of husbandry has for some years been rapidly improving; and large tracts of land, previously unproductive, have been brought into a state of profitable tillage. The facility of obtaining lime from the neighbouring parishes has greatly contributed to the amelioration of the lands, and bone-dust has been introduced as manure in the cultivation of turnips; the hills and moorlands afford good pasturage for sheep and black-cattle, and from the mosses of Essie may be procured ample supplies of peat for fuel. The chief substrata are, sandstone, whinstone, and slate; boulders of granite occur in various places, and quartz is also found in small quantities. A sandstone quarry has long been wrought. The rateable annual value of the parish, according to returns made under the income-tax, is £2716.

The village, situated on the west bank of the Bogie, was built on lands leased by the Gordons, for the accommodation of the surrounding district, about the close of the last century; and is chiefly inhabited by persons engaged in agricultural pursuits and in various handicraft trades. A post-office has been established under that of Aberdeen, with which it has daily communication by a mail-gig; to Huntly there is a runner; and facility of communication is afforded to the inhabitants by the turnpike-road from Huntly to Aberdeen, which passes through the parish and the village. Fairs for sheep, cattle, and horses are held in April, June, September, and October; and also, for hiring servants, at Whitsuntide and Martinmas. The grain and other agricultural produce are sent chiefly to Inverury, but partly also to Banff and Portsoy. There are two hamlets in the parish; the one, in the district of Essie, called Belhennie; and the other, called the Raws of Noth, in the district of Rhynie; but neither of them is of any importance. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Strathbogie and synod of Moray. The minister's stipend is £158, of which £10 are paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £13 per annum: patrons, the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Fife. There were originally churches in both districts, in which divine service was performed on alternate Sundays, by the minister of the united parish, from the time of their union till about the year 1774, when the service at Essie was discontinued. The present parochial church, at Rhynie, was built in 1823, and enlarged in 1838 by the addition of an aisle; it is a plain substantial structure, and in good repair. There are also places of worship for Independents and members of the Free Church. The parochial school, to which is attached a library, affords instruction to about eighty children; the master has a salary of £24. 7. 8., eight bolls of meal, and a house, and the fees average £20 per annum. A parochial library at Essie is supported by subscription. On the hill of Noth, which is of oblong form, and rises into a conical peak towards the eastern extremity, are the remains of a vitrified fort; the walls appear to have been ten feet in thickness. In making the turnpikeroad several stone coffins were discovered, some of which contained human bones of large dimensions; and Roman coins have also been found in the parish. There are likewise remains of Druidical circles.


RICCARTON, a parish, in the district of Kyle, county of Ayr; containing, with the villages of Hurlford and Sornhill, 3226 inhabitants, of whom nearly 1200 are in the village of Riccarton, ¼ mile (S.) from Kilmarnock. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name, originally Richardstown, from its ancient proprietor, Sir Richard Wallace, to whom the lands were granted in the early part of the 13th century by Walter, high steward of Scotland. One of the descendants of that family was uncle of the celebrated Sir William Wallace, who seems to have frequently resided here with his relative during the intervals of his military career; and it is expressly stated that, after setting fire to the barns of Ayr, which had been converted into temporary barracks by the English forces under Edward I., who at that time occupied the castle of Ayr, he retired to this place. Numerous incidents connected with that hero during his stay at Riccarton are recorded; but they are too well known to need repetition. The baronial residence of the family has been entirely destroyed, and the site is now occupied by the farm of Yardside. The only memorials of it which have been preserved are, the original mantelpiece of the dining-room now placed in the kitchen of the manse, and a pear-tree said to have been planted by Sir William Wallace, which is still in the gardens of the farm.

The parish is bounded on the north by the river Irvine, and is about eight miles in extreme length, and from two to three miles in breadth; comprising 18,000 acres, of which 500 are woodland and plantations, 700 moor and moss, and the remainder arable and in cultivation, with a due proportion of meadow and pasture. The surface is pleasingly varied, rising by gentle undulations towards the south and east, and terminating in a ridge of hills, of which the highest has an elevation of 500 feet above the level of the river, and commands extensive prospects over the surrounding country, embracing the whole of the vale of Irvine and the town of Kilmarnock. The rivers are the Irvine and the Cessnock. The Irvine has its source to the east of Loudoun hill, in the parish of that name, and, flowing westward along the northern boundary of this parish, falls into the Frith of Clyde near the town of Irvine. The Cessnock has its source in the adjacent parish of Galston, from which it separates this parish on the west; and winding in graceful curves towards the north, it intersects Riccarton for the remainder of its course, and runs into the Irvine. Both these rivers abound with trout of good quality, affording excellent sport to anglers, by whom they are much frequented; and the latter, in many places flowing between richly-wooded banks, adds much to the beauty of the scenery. There are also numerous copious and perennial springs in the parish; but many of them are strongly impregnated with different mineral substances, and are consequently unfit for domestic use. The soil is generally of a stiff clayey quality, but, when under proper management, is capable of producing heavy crops of grain, and, on the holm lands immediately adjoining the rivers, is luxuriantly fertile; indeed some of the farms on these lands are among the most valuable in the county. The crops are, oats wheat, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses. The system of husbandry is in a very advanced state, and a due rotation of crops is every where carefully observed, according to the nature of the soil: great improvements, also, have been made by tile and furrow draining, which has added materially to the value of the lands. The average quantity of land which has been annually drained within the last few years, has been about 200 acres; and in several instances the drainings have been made at the expense of the landlords, especially on the farms held under the Duke of Portland, the tenant paying five shillings a year additional per acre for the term of his lease. The farms are mostly about eighty acres in extent, and the farmhouses are substantial and commodious, many of them two stories high, and roofed with slate; the lands are inclosed chiefly with hedges of thorn, kept in good order; and all the more recent improvements in the construction of agricultural implements have been adopted. Great attention is paid to the management of the dairyfarms, on all of which the cows are of the Ayrshire breed, and the produce is in high repute; about 160 tons of cheese are annually sent to the neighbouring markets, where that of the best quality obtains a price of twelve shillings per stone Dutch weight. No sheep are reared, except a few on the lands attached to the houses of landed proprietors: the horses, of which a number sufficient for agricultural purposes are kept, are chiefly of the Clydesdale breed. The plantations, which are of very moderate extent, are principally in the demesnes of the gentlemen's seats, and are under careful management, and in a thriving condition.

The substrata include coal, limestone, sandstone, and clay of an excellent description for making bricks and tiles; the coal-fields are numerous, and, though differing in species, are all of good quality. Some of the coal found on the lands of Caprington, Skerrington, and Barleith is very superior, and in extensive operation for ordinary uses: the blind coal, also, or Anthracite, though not confined to this parish, is chiefly obtained at Caprington. This coal, which burns without emitting either smoke or flame, occurs among the lowest strata, and is mainly used for drying grain and malt, and in the burning of lime to a small extent. For these purposes large quantities are sent by a railway from the Caprington collieries to Troon, whence it is shipped for Ireland; and the coal from the other mines is conveyed in carts to Ayr and Irvine. The limestone is excellent either for building purposes or for manure, and two large quarries of it are in operation: in the quarry of Knockmarloch, on the side of Craigiehill, and at a height of nearly 500 feet, are found numerous petrifactions both of vegetable and animal substances. The freestone is also of good quality and extensively wrought; the quarries in some parts contain stone of a reddish colour, and in others the stone is of a yellowish hue. The clay is manufactured into bricks, and tiles for draining; they are in great demand throughout the district, and are sent in large quantities to various places. The rateable annual value of Riccarton amounts to £17,159. The principal mansion-house in the parish is the castle of Caprington, an ancient structure situated on the south bank of the river Irvine, and once the baronial seat of a branch of the Wallace family. The building, which is spacious and of great strength, though improved by recent additions, still retains much of its original character; in the centre of the front rises a lofty tower, to which the entrance is by an arched gateway flanked with towers of inferior dimensions; and from the extent and beauty of the surrounding demesne, which is embellished with stately timber and thriving plantations, it may be regarded as a splendid residence. About a mile to the south of the castle is Treesbank, a neat structure beautifully situated in grounds tastefully laid out, and commanding some finely varied prospects. The other mansions are, Shaw Hill, Dollars, and Bellfield, all handsome residences; and Milrig, recently rebuilt in a very elegant style.

The village of Riccarton, which is of great antiquity, and was anciently a burgh of barony, is on the south bank of the river Irvine, and has a handsome bridge of three spacious arches, connecting it with the burgh of Kilmarnock, to which it forms a suburb, and within the parliamentary boundaries of which it is included under the Reform act. The houses are built on an eminence rising gradually from the bank of the river, and have generally an appearance of antiquity, forming one irregular street of considerable length, on the turnpike-road from Ayr to Edinburgh. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in hand-loom weaving for the manufacturers of Paisley and Kilmarnock; the principal articles are, shawls, mousselins-de-laine, and similar fabrics, in making which more than 200 persons are employed. A great number of females, also, are engaged in sewing and embroidering muslin, called here Ayrshire needlework. The manufacture of shoes for the foreign markets was formerly largely carried on; but within the last few years it has been gradually declining, and at present affords employment to a very small number of persons. Letters are delivered twice daily from the post-office at Kilmarnock; and facility of communication is partly maintained by the turnpike-roads from Glasgow to London and to Ayr and Portpatrick, which intersect the parish; and by the turnpike-road from Ayr to Edinburgh, which passes through the village. Other roads are kept in good repair by statute labour; and there are three bridges over the Irvine, and one over the Cessnock, all of which are in substantial repair. A private railroad has been laid down from the collieries at Caprington to the Kilmarnock and Troon railway. The villages of Hurlford and Sornhill are described under their respective heads.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The minister's stipend is £241. 3. 9., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £50 per annum; patron, John Smith Cuninghame, of Caprington, Esq. The church, built in 1823, to replace the ancient church, of which the burial-ground is still preserved, is situated in the centre of the village of Riccarton, on a lofty mound said to have been the seat for administering justice. It is a substantial and neat structure with a handsome spire, erected at a cost of £4000, and contains 1200 sittings, most of which are free, or let at a nominal rent. From its elevated situation, the church forms a very conspicuous and interesting feature in the landscape. The parochial school affords instruction to about 120 children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £50 annually. There is also a school at Hurlford, of which the master has a house and garden, in addition to his fees; the house was built by subscription, on a site given by the Duke of Portland. A parochial library, containing about 500 volumes of historical, biographical, and religious works, is supported by subscription; and there are several friendly societies. Among the distinguished persons formerly connected with this place are several of the Cuninghame family. John Cuninghame, of Caprington, created a baronet by Charles II., and a lawyer of great eminence, was employed as counsel for his country, against the Duke of Lauderdale; and as a man of profound learning and incorruptible integrity, honourable mention is made of him by Bishop Burnet in his History of his own Times. Mr. John Cuninghame, second son of Sir John, who was the first that delivered lectures on the Roman law in Scotland, and who died in 1710; and Sir James Shaw, Bart., the first Scotsman that ever filled the office of lord mayor of London, and who died in 1843, were natives of the parish.


RIESS, a village, in the parish of Wick, county of Caithness, 4 miles (N. N. W.) from the town of Wick. This is a small village situated on the coast-road between Wick and Keiss, from which places it is nearly equidistant. The town-land of Riess gives name to the spacious bay on this coast, also called Keiss and Sinclair bay.


RIGGEND, a village, in the parish of New Monkland, Middle ward of the county of Lanark; containing 355 inhabitants. This is one of the numerous thriving and increasing villages in this and neighbouring parishes, that owe their prosperity to the establishment of coal and iron works.


RISSA, an isle, in the parish of North and South Walls, island of Hoy, county of Orkney. This is a small islet, lying in Scalpa Flow, and on the east side of Hoy, near Pegal head: it does not appear to be inhabited.


RISTOL, an island, in the late quoad sacra parish of Ullapool, parish of Lochbroom, county of Ross and Cromarty; containing 19 inhabitants. It is situated in Loch Broom, on the western coast of the county, a short distance from the main land, and is one of the most northern of a group called the Summer Isles.


ROADSIDE, a village, in the parish of St. Cyrus, county of Kincardine, 5½ miles (N. by E.) from Montrose; containing 110 inhabitants. This place, and Burnside, form a line of cottages along the high road from Montrose to Bervie, and a short distance from the kirktown of the parish. It is chiefly inhabited by feuars and crofters.


ROAN, an island, in the parish of Tongue, county of Sutherland; containing 42 inhabitants.—See Ealan na Roan, and Tongue.


ROBERTON, a village, in the parish of Wiston and Roberton, Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 2¼ miles (S. S. W.) from the village of Wiston; containing 201 inhabitants. This village is pleasantly situated in the south-eastern quarter of the parish, and is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in agriculture, and in the various trades requisite for the supply of the vicinity. There is a place of worship for members of the Relief, of which the minister derives his income from the rents of the seats and the contributions of his congregation; and the parochial school of Roberton, formerly a separate parish, is still kept here.


ROBERTON, a parish, partly in the county of Selkirk, but chiefly in the district of Hawick, county of Roxburgh, 3 miles (W.) from Hawick; containing 757 inhabitants, of whom about 100 are in the village of Deanburnhaugh. This place is distinguished by few events of historical importance. It was, however, the chief residence of the family of the Scotts of Harden, who at one time bore the title of earls of Tarras; and during the border warfare it was signalized by many predatory exploits of Walter of Harden, a well-known and formidable border chieftain, of whose castle there are still some interesting remains. It is said that, on his return from an expedition into the neighbouring districts, he brought home an infant who was fostered by a descendant of the family of Scott, known by the appellation of the Flower of Yarrow, and at that time Lady of Harden; and that the child afterwards became eminent as a bard, and was the author of the most admired and popular of the border songs. The parish is about thirteen miles in length and nearly five miles in breadth, and comprises 30,550 acres, of which about 2000 are arable, 550 woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is broken by hills of bold elevation, of which the most lofty are those of Craickmoor, the Culm or Coom, and the Criblaw of Craick, the last of conical form; but none of them exceed the height of 1300 feet above the level of the sea. A range of hills intersects the parish from north to south; and two chains of less elevation branch off from it in an eastern direction, including between them the vale of Borthwick, watered by the river of that name. The lower lands are beautifully diversified with lakes, of which Alemoor, a fine sheet of water of circular form, is the source of the river Ale. Hellmoor lake, of less depth, but of much greater extent, is partly in the parish; and to the west is Moodlaw lake, equally divided between the parishes of Roberton, Eskdalemuir, and Ettrick, and in the centre of which the respective counties of Roxburgh, Dumfries, and Selkirk unite. The river of Borthwick has its source in the hills to the west, and, after a rapid course to the eastward for nearly thirteen miles, flows into the Tiviot about two miles west of Hawick. Most of the lakes abound with perch, pike, and eels; and in those in which there are no pike, trout of excellent quality are found in great plenty.

The soil is of good quality in the vale of Borthwick; upon the acclivities, which in some places are rather precipitous, it is thinner, and gravelly; and towards the summits of the hills, which are generally flat, it is wet and boggy. The system of agriculture is improved, and the five-shift course generally prevalent. The prevailing kinds of timber are, larch, spruce, and Scotch fir; but there is also a considerable quantity of oak, ash, elm, beech, and plane, and the number of these is progressively increasing. The common breeds of cattle are the shorthorned and the Highland Kyloe. Vast numbers of sheep are bred, the chief of which are the Cheviot crossed with the Leicestershire, which are found profitable for the butcher, and in the weight and quality of the fleece; there are also a portion of the black-faced hirsel kind. The number of sheep of all kinds reared and fed is little less than 20,000; and within the last few years, considerable numbers of Kyloes, bought at the Falkirk fairs, are pastured in common with the sheep during the winter. The farm-buildings are generally good, and many of the farm-houses are spacious and handsome: the fences in the lower lands are hedges, and in the higher grounds stone walls; both kept in good order. Lime and bone-dust, the chief manures, have been introduced with much benefit to the lands; and among other improvements are the sheep-drains, which have also been productive of great advantage. The substratum of the parish is mostly the greywacke rocks; ironstone is also found in some parts; and beneath the mosses, which are extensive, shell-marl and peat are found in abundance. Decayed trees are often discovered imbedded in the moss, and also the horns of deer and other animals. The chief fuel is peat; and coal is also obtained, at a moderate price, and in sufficient quantity. About one-half of the lands are the property of the Duke of Buccleuch, and the remainder divided among several proprietors: the rateable annual value of the parish is £6395. Chisholme, Borthwickbrae, Hoscoat, and Borthwickshiels are handsome modern residences embellished with thriving plantations. Harden, the property of Hugh Scott, Esq., is a venerable mansion, which retains a little of its former magnificence, and some vestiges of its ancient fortifications. The ceiling of the old hall is still partly embellished with stucco; and the mantel-piece in one of the rooms is decorated with an earl's coronet and the cipher "W. E. T.", that is, Walter, Earl of Tarras. In front of the house is a deep glen, into which were driven the cattle that were carried off by the chieftains during the wars of the border.

This place seems to have been erected into a parish about the year 1650, and consists of parts of the former parishes of Hawick, Selkirk, Wilton, and Hassendean. It is in the presbytery of Selkirk and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £205. 12. 9., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £18 per annum. The glebe-lands are intersected by the boundary line between Roxburgh and Selkirk, and the minister has a vote for each of those counties. The church, from an inscription bearing date 1659, appears to have been erected when the parish was constituted; it is in good repair, and adapted to a congregation of 250 persons. The parochial school, for which a handsome schoolroom, and a residence for the master, have been recently built by the heritors, affords an excellent education to a considerable number of scholars; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £24 fees, and a garden. Remains of ancient camps are found in various parts of the parish, some of which are square, and others of elliptical form. Of these the largest and most complete is on the farm of Broadlee, in the west of the parish; another is on that of Highchesters, in a most commanding situation; there are also two on the farm of Todshawhill, and one called Camp Castle on the lands of Borthwickshiels. In one, a ball weighing one and a half pound was found; and in another, some daggers in a very decayed condition. The remains of an old chapel may still be seen on the farm of Chapelhill, where a curate from Hassendean used to officiate; and also at Borthwickbrae, the cemetery of which is still the chief burying-place of the parish.


ROCKFIELD, a village, in the parish of Tarbat, district of Mainland, county of Ross and Cromarty; containing 118 inhabitants. This village, which is situated on the western shore of the Moray Frith, is inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the fisheries, for whose accommodation a small but substantial pier has been erected, at the joint expense of the Commissioners of the Northern Fisheries and the proprietor, Mr. McLeod of Geanies.

Roe, Little and Muckle

ROE, LITTLE and MUCKLE, islands, in the parish of Delting, county of Shetland; the one containing 11, and the other 214, inhabitants. Little Roe is situated on the northern coast of the parish, in Yell sound; and Muckle Roe in St. Magnus' bay, on the western coast of the Mainland of Shetland. The former is of very inconsiderable size, and its inhabitants, consisting of two or three families, employ themselves in fishing; but the latter is a comparatively large island, about twenty-four miles in circumference, having some spots of land brought into cultivation within the last hundred years, while the other portions are covered with a fine kind of heath, which affords good pasture to sheep and black-cattle, great numbers of both which are annually reared.


ROGART, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 10 miles (W. N. W.) from Golspie; containing 1501 inhabitants. This place is generally supposed to have derived its name from a compound Gaelic word, of which Rogart is a corruption, signifying a "lofty inclined plane," and applied on account of the high ground and acclivities in various parts of the parish, and especially on account of the elevated land on which the village stands. The locality appears to have been in remote times the scene of many sanguinary conflicts, as the remains of encampments and some tumuli are still visible: several of the latter are to be seen on a ridge of hills running from north to south in the eastern quarter of the parish, from Strathbrora to Strathfleet; and stone coffins, daggers, and other warlike instruments have been discovered. At a place called Rhin, in the valley of Strathfleet, the brave Montrose halted for a night, when on his return from Orkney; upon the next day marching to Strathoicail, on whose heights he fought his last battle. The parish is an irregular square in its form, about ten miles long and ten broad, and contains 62,800 acres. It is bounded on the north by parts of the parishes of Clyne and Farr; on the south by parts of those of Dornoch and Criech; on the east by parts of Dornoch and Golspie; and on the west by the parish of Lairg. The surface is altogether uneven, chiefly consisting of two valleys about five miles apart, which run through the parish from east to west, and the intermediate space of which is marked by moors, rocky hills, tracts of moss, and some few meadows. One of these valleys, called Strathfleet, is ten miles long, and varies in width from three-quarters of a mile to only a few yards, its sides contracting themselves almost to the narrowness of the Fleet river, which flows through it. The sides of this valley, which occasionally are cultivated and produce crops, rise from 500 to 700 feet above the level of the stream, in most parts ascending in a gradual manner, but in some places exhibiting the features of an abrupt acclivity. The other valley, named Strathbrora, is much more wild and rugged in its aspect than the former. The river Brora, which runs through it, having, on account of its frequent and violent floodings, cut deeper into the banks, forms in several places extensive chasms, completely altering the character of the scenery, and assimilating it in a great degree to that of the adjacent mountainous district. The land in tillage, and the meadows and haughs formed by the Fleet and Brora, and by the burns and other waters, cover but a small space compared to the extent of the moors, which form by far the largest proportion of land in the parish. The hills stretching between the two valleys are all of nearly equal height, and about 800 or 900 feet above the level of the sea. Among the animals that visit the hills and wastes are, the roe-deer, the red mountain-deer, the grey mountain-hare, the brown hare, and large numbers of rabbits: black game and moor-fowl are also numerous, especially the former. The rivers are the Fleet and the Brora, in which salmon, grilse, and sea-trout are taken. They are but small streams, though the latter becomes formidable in the flooding season, when its current is considerably widened and its banks overflowed, and when the waters frequently carry havoc and desolation to the adjacent lands. There are also numerous lakes, though of no great extent, which abound in good trout, and are much frequented by the lovers of angling.

The soil on some of the hilly grounds is light and gravelly, and near the streams often approximates to an alluvial mould; but the largest proportion of the parish, as already observed, is moor or moss. Not more than 1200 acres are at present cultivated, though it is supposed that about 1000 might be added to the land in tillage. Small alder-trees are sometimes seen along the streams, and also bushes of ground-birch; but there is no other wood in the parish, with the exception of one plantation in Strathfleet of about twenty acres, consisting of oak, larch, and common fir. All kinds of grain are raised, amounting to the average total value of £2250 annually; potatoes are also produced, and turnips in large quantities. On some of the small farms there is a species of sheep of diminutive size, but with a fine fleece, and of excellent flavour; they were formerly the only sheep known in the district, but are now fast yielding to the Cheviots, which are preferred on account of their superior size. Between 9000 and 10,000 sheep are kept, and about 1000 head of cattle, mostly the native black. Surface-draining has been carried on to a great extent, by which the sheeppasture has been improved in quality, and much increased in quantity; and little now remains to be done in this department in any part of the district. The prevailing rock is gneiss, varied in many instances with quartz veins; it is large-grained, partakes considerably of mica, and being easily wrought, supplies a cheap material for the cottages and houses of the inhabitants. Rolled blocks of granite are freely distributed over the main surface, as well as in the hollows, where they are covered with thin mould. The moss runs sometimes twelve feet deep; in parts where the depth is less, it grows rapidly, and exhibits a fresh and verdant appearance. The rateable annual value of the parish is £240. A road extends along Strathfleet, and another leaves it at the eastern end for Strathbrora; the former is part of the road from Golspie to Tongue, upon which a mailcurricle carrying four passengers has been established.

The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Dornoch and synod of Sutherland and Caithness; patron, the Duke of Sutherland: the stipend of the minister is £156, of which £3. 1. 4. are received from the exchequer; and the glebe is of the annual value of £9. 10. The church and manse stand near each other, in a bleak exposure, and command, from their elevated position, a view of the peaks of almost all the high mountains in the county: the church was built in 1777, and is conveniently situated for the bulk of the parishioners. There is a parochial school, in which are taught the ordinary branches of education, with mensuration and land-surveying; the master's salary is £34. 4., with a house, and about £18 fees. In the parish are also two schools supported by the General Assembly, and a school supported by the Gaelic School Society, in the former of which the usual branches of a plain education are taught, with Gaelic and the rudiments of Latin; while in the latter, the reading of Gaelic alone is taught. The Gaelic schoolmaster, who is not stationary in any one place, is not allowed to take fees; but he receives a salary of £25, with the necessary accommodation. The masters of the Assembly's schools have a salary and a house, but, though allowed to take fees, are seldom able to obtain them, on account of the poverty of the people. The language used in the district is the Gaelic, which however is fast yielding to the English. The interest of a bequest of £200 is annually divided among the poor. Among the antiquities in the parish are the remains of a Druidical temple at Corrie.


RONA, an island, in the parish of Portree, Isle of Skye, county of Inverness; containing 165 inhabitants. This island lies in the sound of the same name, between the main land of Scotland and the Isle of Skye. It is about four miles in length and two in breadth, having a level surface, and a tolerably fertile soil. There is a good harbour. Around the coast are extensive caves, some of which afford fine specimens of stalactytes.

Ronaldshay, North

RONALDSHAY, NORTH, an island and a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Cross and Burness, county of Orkney, 30 miles (N. E. by N.) from Kirkwall; containing 481 inhabitants. This island, the most northern of the Orkneys, is bounded on the south by the Frith to which it gives name, and by which it is separated from the island of Sanda; it is nearly five miles in extreme length, and above one mile in breadth. On the south and east sides the coast is low, and the beach shelving and sandy; but on the west and north-west, the coast, though not very elevated, is rocky and precipitous. There are three considerable bays, the bay of Linket on the east, the South bay, and Ness bay on the south-east; none of them afford any shelter for vessels, but towards the north-west the shore is protected by two reefs of rocks called respectively the Altars of Lina and the Shelky Skerry. The surface of the interior is level, with the exception of a portion near the centre, which has a gentle acclivity; the soil is generally dry, from the great proportion of shell-sand with which it is intermixed. About three-fourths of the land are under cultivation; most of the remainder is rendered sterile by the incessant dashing of the spray along the west and north-west coasts, and there is a small tract of waste inland which has not yet been reclaimed. The whole island is the property of William Traill, Esq., whose agent formerly resided here, and under whose direction considerable improvements have taken place in agriculture. The chief crops are oats and bear, of which, on the average, about 1200 bolls of the former, and 1500 of the latter, are raised annually, with turnips and other green crops; the principal manure is seaweed, which is found in great abundance, and which also furnishes a supply of food for the sheep during the winter. The breed of cattle, formerly very small, has been much improved by a cross with the Dunrobin breed, and is upon a par with the generality of the Orkney cattle; the breed of horses has also been improved in size and strength, but the sheep are of the poorest kind, and kept chiefly for their wool.

The manufacture of kelp is still carried on, though not to the same extent as formerly; the average quantity was 120 tons annually, and the quality always obtained a preference in the market. It has been lately discovered that kelp made from the drifted sea-weed contains a large quantity of iodine, which renders it of much greater value. The fisheries afford employment to many of the inhabitants. The lobster-fishery engages six boats, of two men each, from the beginning of May till the end of June; and the produce is sent to the London markets in smacks fitted up with wells for the purpose, and which call for the fish weekly during the season, at the adjacent island of Sanda. The herring-fishery, for which the principal station is at Stronsay, is also profitably conducted, and on the average fourteen boats are employed in it, each from twenty-four to twenty-eight feet in length; these boats are built by two men in the island, and are considered as the best of the Orkney boats. The cod-fishery has of late been cultivated with success, as a substitute for the diminution in the making of kelp. Considerable disadvantage in the fisheries is experienced from the want of a sheltered harbour, which renders it necessary for the fishermen to shift their boats in bad weather from one side of the island to the other, or to draw them up on the shore for their protection. The island was for ecclesiastical, as well as civil, purposes formerly united with the parish of Cross and Burness, from which it was separated in 1833, and formed into a quoad sacra district; it is in the presbytery of North Isles and synod of Orkney, and patronage of the Crown. The minister's stipend is £120 per annum, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £3. 10. per annum. The church is a plain building erected about thirty-five years since. A school once supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, is attended by about seventy scholars; the teacher has a salary of £30 per annum, paid from the exchequer, and the usual fees. A parochial library, containing about 300 volumes, is supported by the inhabitants. On the north-east corner of the island is a lighthouse, which was maintained for several years by the Commissioners of Northern Lights; but the light has been transferred to Sanda; the building is now in a very dilapidated state. There are some remains of an ancient fortress called Burrion Castle, consisting chiefly of the foundations; also an upright stone about twelve feet high, supposed to have been part of a Druidical temple.

Ronaldshay, South

RONALDSHAY, SOUTH, a parish, in the county of Orkney; containing 3194 inhabitants, of whom 1867 are in the district of St. Peter, 789 in that of St. Mary, and 538 in that of Burray. This parish includes the old parish of St. Peter in the northern, and the old parish of St. Mary in the southern, portion of the island of South Ronaldshay, with the isles of Swona and the two Skerries in the Pentland Frith, of which the former and one of the latter are inhabited; it also includes the old parish and island of Burray, with the isles of Hunda and Glemsholm in the bay of Holm Sound, of which the latter is uninhabited. These three parishes have been united from time immemorial. The island of South Ronaldshay is supposed to have derived its name from one of its ancient proprietors, Ronald, a Danish count. From the great irregularity of its form, its extent has never been correctly ascertained; it is about six miles in length, and four miles in average breadth. The island of Burray, which is situated to the north of it, and is separated by the ferry of Water Sound, about one mile broad, is four miles in length, and averages from one mile to two miles in breadth. Swona, which is nearly four miles to the west of South Ronaldshay, and in the Pentland Frith, is a mile and a half in length and nearly one mile in breadth; the northern of the Skerries, on which a lighthouse has been erected, is something more than a mile in circumference; and the other is of still smaller extent.

The surface of the parish is generally low, the highest lands not attaining an elevation of 300 feet above the level of the sea. The soil is various, consisting of clay, black loam, sand, and moss, frequently in combination, and sometimes in all their varieties upon one field; that in Burray is generally a light sand, and in the isle of Swona, a black earth mixed with sand and gravel. The chief crops are oats and bear, with potatoes and turnips; and there are some fine fields of red and white clover, and natural grasses yielding luxuriant pasture. The system of agriculture is, however, in a very unimproved state; and, from the abundance of shell-sand, more than double the quantity of land now in cultivation might be made to produce excellent crops of corn. The farm-buildings, also, are of very inferior order. The substratum is principally blue or black clay-slate, alternated with sandstone, and sandstone flag; lead-ore has been found here, and some attempts were made to work it, but without success. The village of St. Margaret's Hope is pleasantly situated on the eastern coast, on the shore of the bay of that name, which forms a safe and commodious harbour; and on the western coast is the harbour of Widewall, opening to the Pentland Frith and Stromness. The former of these is much frequented by smaller vessels and smacks employed in the fisheries, and the latter is accessible to ships of 600 or 700 tons, which frequently have recourse to it for shelter. There are several bold headlands, some of which rise perpendicularly to a height of nearly 300 feet above the level of the sea. The population are engaged both in agriculture and in the fisheries; and many of the females are employed in the platting of straw. There are eleven sloops engaged in the cod-fishery till the season for herrings commences, during which many thousand barrels are annually cured for exportation; the quantity of cod, ling, and hake taken and cured here averages nearly 120 tons. In the village of St. Margaret's Hope is a post-office with a daily delivery; and a subscription and parochial library has been established there. A fair for lean cattle is held annually in November, and others are growing into use.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkwall and synod of Orkney. The minister's stipend is £200, with an allowance of £8. 6. 8. for communion elements, a manse, and a glebe valued at £12. 6. 8. per annum; patron, the Earl of Zetland. The church of St. Mary, in the south, is situated near the western shore; and that of St. Peter, in the north portion of the parish, within a few yards of the sea, on the eastern coast. They are both ancient buildings, and were repaired in 1802; the former contains 273, and the latter 413 sittings. The church of Burray has been in ruins nearly from the commencement of the present century. Considerable addition might be made to the number of seats by the erection of galleries in the two existing churches. There is a place of worship for members of the United Secession. The parochial school is near the village of St. Margaret's Hope; the master has a salary of £26, with a house and garden, and the fees average about £15 per annum. A school was founded by William Tomison, Esq., who endowed it with a house and £40 per annum for the teacher, for the gratuitous instruction of children of the three united parishes. Mr. Tomison also bequeathed £200 for the poor of the South parish, of which he was a native, and a sum for the erection and endowment of a female school, which is being suffered to accumulate for that purpose. William Sutherland, Esq., a resident heritor of the North parish, bequeathed £200 for the benefit of the poor of that parish. There are several subscription schools. The poor are supported by collections at the church and by the proceeds of the abovenoticed bequests. There are some remains of Picts' houses and tumuli, and numerous vestiges of intrenchments consisting of mounds of earth. Near the manse is a subterraneous building, eleven feet long, three feet wide, and nearly of equal height; the interior is paved with stones evidently taken from the beach. Several ancient coins have been found; and there are Druidical relics, and remains of ancient chapels.


RONAY, an island, in the parish of North Uist, county of Inverness; containing 9 inhabitants. It is an isle of the Hebrides, lying between Benbecula and North Uist, and east of Græmsay; and is very barren.


ROSEBANK, a village, in the parish of Dalserf, Middle ward of the county of Lanark, 2½ miles (E. S. E.) from Larkhall; containing 184 inhabitants. It is situated on the west side of the Clyde, which bounds the parish on the east; and is a beautiful village, standing nearly opposite to Mauldslie Castle. It has arisen within the last thirty-five years, to supply the deficiency of dwellings occasioned by the decaying state of Dalserf village; but building has latterly nearly come to a close in it, from the want of ground for feuing. There is a deficiency of house accommodation in this part of the parish, and at present about forty families reside in about twenty-five houses here. The high road from Lanark to Glasgow passes close to the village.


ROSEHEARTY, a burgh of barony and small seaport, in the parish of Pitsligo, district of Buchan, county of Aberdeen, 4 miles (W.) from Fraserburgh, and 18 (E. by N.) from Banff; containing 750 inhabitants. This place, which is situated at the northern extremity of the parish, upon a point of land projecting into the Moray Frith, was in the reign of Charles II. erected into a burgh of barony, and invested with all the usual privileges and jurisdiction; but its charter is not now available, nor is there a public officer of any kind appointed. The town appears to owe all its importance to its harbour, and to the fisheries, which are carried on to a considerable extent; the fish principally taken here are cod, ling, haddock, and skate, and the produce is sent to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London, in vessels which on their return bring coal for the supply of the district. About forty boats, also, each having a crew of five men, or four men and a boy, are regularly employed in the herring-fishery, which is attended with great success. The fishermen pay to the superior of the burgh, John Duff Dingwall, Esq., £1 per annum for the privilege of landing their fish, and finding bait, and for forming their beds for muscles. There are three vessels belonging to the port, and the harbour is accessible for vessels of from eighty to one hundred tons' burthen; the trade is chiefly the export of fish and grain. There is a post-office under that of Fraserburgh, with which town it has daily communication; and a market for provisions of all kinds is held weekly, on Saturday.


ROSEISLES, two hamlets, in the parish of Duffus, county of Elgin, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Elgin; the one containing 70, and the other, called Old Roseisle, 38 inhabitants. These places lie near the shore of BurghHead bay; and in their vicinity is the hill of Roseisle, an eminence, with the exception of which the parish presents in its general aspect an entire and unbroken level. Roseislehaugh is the seat of the Brander family.


ROSEMARKIE, a parish, in the Mainland district of the county of Ross and Cromarty, 11 miles (N. N. E.) from Inverness; containing, with the burgh and late quoad sacra parish of Fortrose, 1719 inhabitants, of whom 637 are in the rural districts of the parish. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "a headland or promontory, and the resort of mariners," from the elevated situation of its church on the shore of the Moray Frith. The parish, which is bounded on the east by the Frith, is about six miles in length, varying from two to three miles in breadth, and comprising an area of nearly fifteen square miles. The surface rises gradually from the shore to a considerable elevation, and towards the north and south is pleasingly diversified with hills of various height, of which the greater number are arable and in good cultivation. The coast towards the northern extremity is bold and elevated, and at Chanonry point projects far into the Frith, and forms a fine bay, affording good anchorage, and safe shelter for vessels during strong westerly gales. There are numerous springs of excellent water; and a small burn which flows into the bay, to the north of the town, after rains is much swollen, and in its rapid course makes some pleasing cascades. The soil in the upper portion of the parish is a deep clay of great fertility, and in the lower lands a fine black loam resting upon gravel; the crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry has been considerably improved under the auspices of the Black Isle Farming Society, but much still remains to be done; the farm houses and buildings are of very inferior order, and the lands but very partially inclosed. A few sheep of the small native breed are reared on some of the farms, and generally much attention is paid to live stock. About 900 acres are in plantations, chiefly of modern growth, and in a thriving state. The prevailing rocks along the coast are of the sandstone formation and gneiss, with veins of white quartz: the sandstone, which is of good quality for building, is wrought to a considerable extent, several quarries having been opened. Raddery House, the seat of H. M. Fowler, Esq., Flowerburn, and Hawkhill, are the mansions in the parish.

Burgh Seal.

The town of Rosemarkie is beautifully situated on the shore of the Frith. It is a place of great antiquity; it obtained from Alexander II. a charter conferring on the inhabitants all the privileges of a royal burgh, and in 1455 was by charter of James II. united with the Chanonry of Ross under the common name of Fortrose. There are neither any manufactures nor any trade carried on here, except for the immediate supply of the parish: a few of the inhabitants are employed in the salmon-fishery, of which the principal station is at the point of Fortrose. Fairs are held in April, June, and November, for cattle, and for the sale of cotton goods, coarse cloths, and various other wares. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3744. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Chanonry and synod of Ross. The minister's stipend is £249. 9. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £9 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, erected on the site of the ancient edifice about the year 1821, is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, and contains 800 sittings. A church to which an adjacent district of the parish was till lately annexed quoad sacra by act of the General Assembly, has been raised in the town of Fortrose, where are also an episcopal chapel, a place of worship for members of the Free Church, and one for Baptists. The parochial school, of which the master's salary was early transferred to the grammar or burgh school, and afterwards to the academy at Fortrose, has been just re-established; and there are three Sabbath schools, all well attended. The principal antiquities are the ruins of the cathedral of Ross, in which are interred the remains of the family of the Mackenzies and other families. Among the distinguished residents of the parish have been, Sir George Mackenzie, of Rosehaugh, an able statesman; Dr. George Mackenzie, author of Lives of the most Eminent Writers of the Scottish Nation; and the late Sir James Mackintosh, who received the rudiments of his education at this place.—See Fortrose.


ROSENEATH, a parish, in the county of Dumbarton, 3 miles (W. by N.) from Helensburgh; containing 941 inhabitants, of whom about 50 are in the village. By some writers the name of this place is said to be a modification of Ross-Neoth, descriptive of its form and original appearance as a bare and unwooded promontory; while others derive it from Ross-de-Nevyd, signifying "the extremity of the country of Nevyd," which at a very early period formed part of the lordship of Lennox. Other writers, again, deduce the name from Ross-na-Choich, or "the promontory of the Virgin," on account of the foundation of a church here by the earls of Lennox in honour of the Virgin Mary. The earls appear to have retained the lordship till near the close of the 15th century, when the lands of Roseneath were granted to Colin, the first earl of Argyll, by James IV., who appointed him lord high chancellor of Scotland, and subsequently sent him as his plenipotentiary to the conference held at Northampton. The earl was a zealous adherent to his sovereign during the rebellion of the nobles; and on the accession of James IV., he also stood high in that monarch's confidence. The lands have ever since remained in the possession of his descendants, and are now the property of the present duke.

The parish, which anciently included part of that of Row, is bounded on the east by the Gareloch, on the south by the Frith of Clyde, and on the west by Loch Long. It is about eight miles in length, and varies from a mile and a half to two miles in breadth; comprising 6140 acres, of which about 2000 are arable with a moderate proportion of meadow and pasture, 1240 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moor and waste. The general form is that of a long narrow peninsula, the parish being surrounded by water except at the northern extremity, where it is connected with the mainland of the parish of Row by an isthmus little more than a mile in breadth. The surface ascends gradually from a level tract along the shore of the Frith towards the centre, and thence rises by successive undulations to the hill of Tamnahara, which has an elevation of more than 800 feet above the sea. These undulations attain a mean height of about 400 feet, and form a wide tract of table land chiefly covered with heath and moss, from the sides of which the lands slope gently to the coast, and are divided into arable farms and pastures. The higher parts command extensive and richly-diversified prospects over a country abounding with features of impressive grandeur; and the prevailing scenery throughout the whole parish is beautifully picturesque, and in many places romantic. There are no rivers; but the grounds are intersected with numerous rivulets and brooks descending from the higher lands, and which, after continued rains, swell into torrents, and in their courses form various pleasing cascades. Near the base of Tamnahara is a small lake, not more than a mile in circumference, and of inconsiderable depth, abounding with perch, and from which issues a rivulet that flows into Loch Long at the north-western extremity of the parish. There are also a few perennial springs, one of which preserves the same degree of temperature in all seasons, and is much resorted to in dry summers; and another, called the Minister's well, is slightly chalybeate.

The coast is in some parts low and sandy, and in others rocky, but not precipitous; and is indented with several small bays, of which the most important are Calwattie and Campsaile, the latter situated in the Gareloch, between the Row ferry and the Castle point. This bay affords excellent anchorage and secure shelter for vessels of any burthen, and was used by the kings of Scotland as a station for their ships of war; it has within the last few years been chosen by the Royal Yacht Club for laying up their vessels for the winter. The Gareloch is sheltered from all those winds to which Loch Long is so much exposed; the holding-ground is firm, and the loch forms a spacious harbour in which the whole of the British navy might ride in complete security at any time of the year. The Gareloch and Loch Long abound with herrings during the season, and fisheries are carried on there to a very considerable extent; salmon are also taken in moderate quantities, and there are ferries, from the former to Greenock, and from the latter to Row. Sea-trout, haddock, cod, ling, whiting, skate, mackerel, flounders, halibut, mullet, sperling, the John-dory, and gurnard are sometimes obtained. Muscles are plentiful; there are two beds of oysters, and lobsters and crabs are found occasionally on the shore of Loch Long. In the moors, grouse are found in considerable numbers, as well as other species of game; partridges have greatly increased in numbers since the cultivation of the adjacent lands, and snipes and woodcocks are also plentiful; but though many attempts have been made to introduce the pheasant, they have been rather unsuccessful.

The soil is extremely various in different localities; but the arable lands on the slopes, and especially the lowest grounds, are fertile and productive. The crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with the usual grasses; and the farms are generally in a state of profitable cultivation. The system of husbandry has been gradually improving under the auspices of an association recently established; considerable tracts of waste land have been reclaimed by draining; and inclosures of stone dykes and hedges of thorn have been made on most of the farms. The farm houses, also, have been greatly improved, and the offices are substantial and well arranged; the cottages are comfortable, and kept in good repair; and all the more recent improvements in the construction of implements have come into general use. Few sheep are reared: the cattle are mostly of the Ayrshire breed, but in the parks attached to the principal mansions many of the West Highland and black-breed are grazed. Great attention is paid to the live-stock, and several oxen fed on the lands of Roseneath have obtained the premiums awarded by the Highland Society at their annual meetings. The most ancient of the woodlands, which comprise 720 acres of natural timber, consist of ash, elm, beech, plane, lime, oak, yew, horse-chesnut, holm-oak, cedar, and various kinds of fir, of which there are numerous specimens of venerable growth in the grounds of the castle, the environs of the church, and on the site of the ancient house of Campsaile. The more modern plantations, of which there are 520 acres, chiefly in the southern portions of the parish, comprise all the varieties of the pine, with oak, ash, and birch, which seem to be indigenous to the soil; they are regularly thinned and in a flourishing state, and harmonise well with the timber in the castle-grounds, and the copses of natural wood which extend along the shores of the Frith and the lochs. Near the site of the mansion of Campsaile are two silver firs of luxuriant and venerable growth, which are supposed to have been the first planted in this part of the country. Their trunks at a height of five feet from the ground are nineteen feet in girth; and from them rise numerous lofty stems, branching out into a profusion of spreading boughs combining a graceful symmetry of form with an impression of majestic grandeur. The principal substrata are, clay-slate, limestone, and sandstone, with occasional boulders of granite. The slate is of various colours and of good quality: two quarries were opened some years since on the lands of Roseneath Castle and Baremman respectively, and, after being in operation for some time without yielding an adequate remuneration, were both abandoned; but the latter has recently been re-opened with a probability of greater advantage. The limestone has not been wrought to any considerable extent: the facility of obtaining abundance of lime from the north of Ireland, at all times, and at a very moderate expense, has hitherto rendered the extensive working of it unnecessary. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4006.

The old Castle of Roseneath, the ancient baronial seat of the Lennox family, was partly restored and fitted up by the Marquess of Argyll, as a temporary residence, about the year 1630, and continued to be occasionally occupied by the family till the late Duke of Argyll enlarged a small castellated building on the south point of the bay of Campsaile, and added to it a commodious suite of apartments. This mansion, which obtained the appellation of Roseneath Castle, was destroyed by fire about the commencement of the present century; and the duke in 1802 commenced the erection of the present splendid seat, on a site at a greater distance from the shore, and more towards the centre of the bay. The new mansion is a spacious structure in the modern Italian style of architecture, erected after a design by, and under the superintendence of, J. Bononi, of London. The principal front, towards the north, is embellished with a stately portico of the Ionic order, boldly projecting from the main building, and affording ample room for a carriage-drive underneath; and the south front, though less striking in its character, is also a composition of elegant design. From the centre of the building, which contains many apartments magnificently decorated, rises a lofty circular tower of two stages, crowned with battlements, and commanding from the platform a richly-varied prospect over the demesne, which is tastefully laid out, and an extensive view of the adjacent country, which abounds with features of highly romantic character. Clachan House, another mansion of the Campbell family, and formerly their principal seat in this part, is remarkable for the beauty of its situation, and its avenue of venerable yew-trees and stately limes. The houses of Peattoun and Baremman are handsome residences; and there are also numerous pleasing villas and picturesque cottages on the banks of the Gareloch. The village, or Kirkton, is very inconsiderable, consisting only of small houses in the vicinity of the church; and in various parts of the parish are other small clusters of cottages, which during the summer months are partly occupied by strangers, who resort hither for the purpose of seabathing. A subscription library, containing several hundred volumes, has been for some years established; and there is also a juvenile library, consisting chiefly of religious publications. No manufactures of any kind are carried on in the parish; but several of the inhabitants are employed in the handicraft trades requisite for the wants of the district. The beauty of the scenery, and the numerous objects of interest in the immediate vicinity, attract great numbers of visiters from all parts of the surrounding country. There are two inns in the parish, situated at the ferries of Row and Kilcraigie; and a branch office under the post-office at Helensburgh has been established, which has a daily delivery. Internal communication is maintained by private roads intersecting the parish in various directions, and connecting Loch Long with the Gareloch, all of which are kept in excellent repair; and steamers which ply in the lochs, and the ferry-boats, afford every facility of intercourse with places at a distance.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The minister's stipend is £190. 16. 5., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum; patron, the Duke of Argyll. The old church, situated about two miles from the southern boundary of the parish, and on the shore of the Gareloch, originally a cruciform structure dedicated to the Virgin Mary, having fallen into decay, was taken down in 1780, with the exception of the belfry, which has been preserved. The present church is a neat plain substantial structure, containing sufficient accommodation for the parishioners, but remarkable only for the beauty of its belfry. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school, situated in the village, is a handsome and commodious building, recently erected by the heritors; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £40 annually. There is also a school at Knockderry, on the shore of Loch Long, of which the master has a salary of £35 from the Duke of Argyll, by whom the school-house was built, in addition to the fees. At Knockderry are some remains of an ancient fort, supposed to have been occupied by the Danes or Norwegians during their incursions into this part of the country. To the north of the castle of Roseneath is a precipitous rock called Wallace's Leap, from which that hero is said to have thrown himself into the Gareloch, when closely pursued by his enemies. Of various ancient chapels which formerly existed here, and to which bodies of the dead were often brought from the Hebrides, and even from Ireland, for interment, there are scarcely any vestiges now remaining. In the fields near Port-Kill, upon the shore of the Frith of Clyde, several stone coffins rudely formed, and containing ashes, were discovered about the commencement of the present century; and on the farm of Mamore, the last remains of what appeared to have been a religious house were removed to furnish materials for inclosing the lands. Among the distinguished persons connected with the parish were, Dr. John Anderson, professor of natural philosophy in the university of Glasgow, and founder of the Andersonian Institution in that city, who was born here while his father was minister; and Matthew Stewart, father of the celebrated Dugald Stewart, who was for some years minister.


ROSEWELL, a village, in that part of the parish of Lasswade, which formed the late quoad sacra parish of Roslin, county of Edinburgh, 4½ miles (S. W. by S.) from Dalkeith; containing 133 inhabitants. This is a roadside village, on the road from Penicuick to Newbattle, in the eastern quarter of the parish, and on the east side of the North Esk. The population is chiefly employed in the coal-mines of the neighbourhood.


ROSLIN, a burgh of barony, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Lasswade, county of Edinburgh; containing 1807 inhabitants, of whom 430 are in the village, 2 miles (S. W.) from Lasswade, and 7 (S.) from Edinburgh. This place at a very early period became the property of the St. Clairs, whose ancestor, William de St. Clair, second son of Margaret, daughter of Richard, Duke of Normandy, settling in this part in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, obtained large grants of land in the county of Mid Lothian, to which considerable additions were made by succeeding sovereigns. In the reign of David I. the barony of Roslin, to which that of Pentland and others were afterwards joined, was the chief residence of the St. Clairs, who were earls of Orkney, and of whose baronial castle there are still considerable remains, though the time of its original foundation is not precisely known. In 1302, the English army under the command of John de Segrave, regent of Scotland for Edward II. of England, was encountered near the village by the Scottish troops led by the Regent Cumming and Sir Simon Fraser, on the 24th of February, when the three divisions into which it had been formed were successively defeated. The lands attached to the castle were erected into a burgh of barony by James II.; and the place continued to flourish under the auspices of the St. Clair family, of whom William in 1446 founded the chapel of Roslin, which he dedicated to St. Matthew the Apostle, and endowed for a provost, six prebendaries, and two choristers. The castle was partly burnt by an accidental fire in 1447. It was also, with that of Craigmillar and others, burnt by the English in 1554; and in 1650 it was besieged and taken by General Monk.

The chapel, which had been defaced and stripped of its ornaments at the time of the Reformation, was greatly injured in 1688 by a lawless mob who, in their zeal for the destruction of idolatrous monuments, reduced it almost to ruins, and afterwards attacked the castle, which they plundered of all its valuable furniture. The sacred edifice was, however, restored by General St. Clair, and has since been carefully preserved by the earls of Rosslyn. The remains of this beautiful structure, which was one of the richest specimens of the decorated English style of architecture in the kingdom, and contained also details of the early Norman and the various intermediate styles in their gradual transition, consist chiefly of the choir and part of the transept of the original church. The choir, which is sixty-eight feet in length and thirty-four in breadth, is divided into a nave and two aisles by ranges of clustered columns. These columns have richly-flowered capitals, are ornamented with numerous devices of exquisite sculpture, and sustain series of gracefully pointed arches deeply moulded, and embellished with foliage, heads of human figures and various animals, with other ornaments of elegant design and elaborate execution. The roof, forty feet high, is delicately groined; and the edifice is lighted by ranges of windows of beautiful design and symmetry, enriched with flowing tracery. Beneath the pavement of the chapel is the vault of the Rosslyn family, the soil of which is so perfectly free from damp that the bodies of many of its tenants have been found in a perfect state, eighty years after their interment: here are many of the ancient barons of Roslin buried in their armour without coffins, several of the earls of Caithness, and other distinguished descendants of the St. Clair family.

The village of Roslin is beautifully situated on the banks of the North Esk, and in a district abounding with scenery of the most striking and romantic character. In the immediate vicinity is the ancient castle, now a majestic pile of ruins, situated on a rocky promontory overhanging a deep ravine said to have been formerly the bed of the Esk, and over which is a lofty narrow bridge, forming an approach from the village. The castle appears to have been about 200 feet in length and ninety feet in breadth; and the walls, of which some portions are still remaining, are nine feet in thickness: the only part now inhabited is a comparatively modern house, with the initials S. W. S. and the date 1622 over the entrance. The houses in the village are neatly built; and there is a small subscription library, containing about 300 volumes. The manufacture of gunpowder is carried on to a very considerable extent, affording employment to more than seventy persons; there is also an extensive bleachfield. The manufacture of writing and printing paper has been established with success, and gives employment to a large number of persons both male and female. The market formerly held here has long been discontinued; but the pedestal of the ancient market-cross is still remaining in the centre of the village. A pleasure fair, at which gymnastic sports take place, is held annually. The adjacent village of Rosewell contains 130 inhabitants who are chiefly employed in the neighbouring collieries, of which that on the lands of Dryden, though it has been in constant operation for many years, has been ascertained to have more than thirty millions of tons yet unwrought. Facility of communication is afforded by roads kept in due order; there are about five miles of turnpike road in the parish, and the great road to Dumfries intersects it for more than a mile. There is a post-office which has two pretty good deliveries daily.

The late quoad sacra parish was formed from Lasswade by the presbytery of Dalkeith in 1835. It was bounded on the north by the rest of the parish of Lasswade, on the east by the parishes of Cockpen and Carrington, and on the south and west by those of Penicuick and Glencross; it was about five and a half miles in length and three and three-quarters in extreme breadth, comprising an area of nearly ten square miles, or 6400 acres. The soil of the district is fertile, and by far the greater portion of the lands in high cultivation; there are some extensive tracts of woodland and rich meadow and pasture. The system of agriculture is advanced; draining has been much practised, and there is little waste. The principal mansions are, Rosebank, a lovely residence; Dryden, beautifully situated on the right bank of the North Esk, in grounds tastefully laid out; and Firth, the seat of Robert Brown, Esq. The church was erected in 1827, at an expense, including the manse and school-house, of £1600, raised by subscription; it is a neat structure in good repair, and contains 444 sittings, to which number 250 might be added by the erection of galleries, for which the building is adapted. The minister, who is chosen by the male communicants, has a stipend of £150, derived from the seats, and secured by bond of the trustees. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and United Secession; also several schools under the superintendence of the minister of Roslin, one of which is endowed with a small permanent salary.


ROSS, a small fishing-village, in the parish of Mordington, county of Berwick, 2½ miles (S. S. E.) from Eyemouth. This place is situated on the sea-shore, at the base of an almost perpendicular mass of rock which rises to a considerable height immediately behind it; and a small rivulet issuing from a fissure in the rocks, and forming many beautiful cascades in its descent, gives a peculiarly romantic and picturesque effect to the few scattered cottages of which the village consists. It is inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the fishery off the coast, which is very abundant in all the various kinds of white-fish. The principal are, cod, ling, and haddock, which are taken in great quantities and sent to Edinburgh; lobsters and crabs of very good quality are also taken during the season, the former of which are shipped on board the smacks passing this part of the coast, and thus forwarded to London. Salmon are frequently found, and generally taken with bag-nets, but not in sufficient numbers to form an article of merchandise.


ROSS, a village, in the parish of Comrie, county of Perth; containing 154 inhabitants. This village and Dalginross adjoin that of Comrie: the population is chiefly engaged in the manufactures of the parish, of which the principal branch is cotton-weaving.

Ross and Cromarty

ROSS and CROMARTY, two counties in the north of Scotland, of which the several districts, mutually interjacent, are under the jurisdiction of the sheriff of Ross; bounded on the north by Sutherlandshire, on the east by the German Sea, on the south by Invernessshire, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. They lie between 57° 7' 40" and 58° 5' (N. Lat.) and 3° 45' 30" and 5° 46' 20" (W. Long.); extending for about sixtyseven miles in length and fifty-eight miles in breadth, and comprising an area of 3799 square miles, or 2,431,360 acres, of which 223,560 are in the county of Cromarty; containing 16,694 houses, whereof 16,286 are inhabited; and having a population of 78,685, of whom 36,779 are males, and 41,906 females. The territory within these boundaries seems to have nominally formed part of the earldom of Orkney, and to have belonged at different periods to different proprietors; but from the peculiar situation of Ross, it appears to have retained its independence, and to have been an earldom of itself, to which were attached some of the Western Isles; and in several ancient charters William, son of Hugh, Earl of Ross, who was killed at the battle of Hallidon-Hill, is not only styled Earl of Ross, but also Lord of Skye. John, "Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles," apparently exercised a kind of regal authority, and, as an independent prince, entered into treaties with Edward of England; but it was not till about the year 1630 that Ross was made a sheriffdom, including the district of Cromarty, which formerly gave the title of earl to a branch of the Mackenzies, of Seaforth. Prior to the Reformation, the counties were in the diocese of Ross; they are at present mostly in the synod of Ross, and comprise several presbyteries, and thirty-one parishes. For civil purposes they are under the superintendence of three sheriffs-substitute, of whom one holds his courts at Cromarty and Tain, and another at Dingwall and Fortrose, and the third at Stornoway, in the island of Lewis. They contain the royal burghs of Dingwall, Tain, and Fortrose; the market-town of Cromarty, which is a burgh of barony; and numerous smaller towns and villages. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV. they return one member to the imperial parliament, the election taking place at Dingwall.

The general surface of Ross and Cromarty, which include the districts of Ardross, Easter Ross, Ardmeanach or the Black Isle, Kintail, Strathcarron, and the island of Lewis, is wild and mountainous, diversified with numerous glens and some pleasant and fertile valleys, and enlivened with several rivers and lakes. The western coast is indented by many lochs and bays of beautifully picturesque appearance, of which some form commodious havens. Ardmeanach, or the Black Isle, so called from its bleak moorland character, is nearly surrounded by the Friths of Cromarty and Moray. The district of Lewis, separated from the main land by the Great Minch, is, from deep indentations of the sea on both sides, apparently an island of itself, but in fact is joined to Harris, forming together the largest of the Western Islands: though less mountainous than Ardmeanach, it is equally dreary and barren. The highest of the mountains, which usually occur in groups, is Ben-Wyvis, elevated 3720 feet above the level of the sea. The principal rivers are, the Ewe, the Carron, and the Broom, on the western, and the Conan, the East Carron, and the Alness, on the eastern coast; the Conan falls into the Cromarty Frith, the Carron into the Frith of Dornoch, and the others into the sea. They all abound with salmon. The salt-water lochs are, Enard, Broom, Greinord, Ewe, Gairloch, Carron, Torridon, and Loch Alsh; there are also several freshwater lakes, but the only one of any extent is Loch Maree, on the west. There are some small remains of the ancient forests, which were very extensive, consisting chiefly of birch and oak; the plantations are exceedingly numerous, and rapidly increasing.

A very small proportion of the land is in cultivation. The soil on the eastern coast and on the low lands is rich and fertile; in some parts a loamy clay, and in others light and sandy. The system of agriculture has been greatly improved, and excellent crops of wheat are now raised, of which more than 10,000 quarters are annually exported; there are some good tracts of meadow-land, and the mountainous parts afford pasturage for sheep and cattle. The chief minerals are, copper, which has been wrought, and ironstone, which at some distant period was extensively raised: there are still some remains of furnaces for smelting the ore, near Poolewe. There are indications of coal; and limestone is found in the eastern and in greater abundance in the western districts. Several springs are strongly impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas; and of the numerous chalybeate springs, the principal, at Strathpeffer, was formerly in great repute. The seats are, Brahan Castle, Tulloch Castle, Mountgerald, Fowlis Castle, Balconey, Novar House, Invergordon Castle, Balnagown Castle, Tarbat House, Shandwick House, Bayfield House, Rosehaugh, Red Castle, Cromarty House, and various others. The principal manufactures are those of biscuit and cotton bagging, which are carried on to a very great extent; the spinning of flax was introduced by the trustees for the fisheries, but was not successful. The herring-fishery is extensively pursued, and a considerable number of fish are taken in the lochs: black-cattle, sheep, and great quantities of wool are shipped from the several ports. Facility of communication is maintained by good roads, which have been much improved by the commissioners appointed under act of parliament. The total annual value of real property assessed to the income-tax in Ross-shire is £136,294, whereof £120,824 are returned for lands, £6440 for houses, £3378 for fisheries, £205 for canal property, £20 for quarries, and the remainder for other species of property not comprised in the foregoing items. The value of Cromarty is £6921, of which £5857 are for lands, £631 for houses, and £345 for fisheries.