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The History of Brechin to 1864
Chapter XII. Brechin in 1864


Haying finished the historical part of our work, we propose to devote this chapter to a statistical account of Brechin, town and parish, and to a notice of the non-ecclesiastical buildings and other particulars worthy of observation in the burgh—in brief, having looked on Brechin, hitherto, mainly as it was, we mean now to look to it as it is.

The Parish of Brechin extends in length, from east to west, about seven miles; and in breadth, from north to south, about six miles. It contains about 24 square miles. The river South Esk runs through the parish in a south-easterly direction, and is the only river in it: Esk is simply the English pronounciation of the Gaelic word uisge, water. The parish of Brechin is bounded by the parishes of Menmuir and Stracathro on the north, by Farnell on the south, by Careston on the west, and by Dun on the east; while, on the south-west, it marches with Aberlemno. The only hill of any considerable eminence in the parish is the hill of Burkell, to the south-west of the town, sometimes spelled Burghill and Buttergill Hill; but the sloping ground on which the town is built is no mean hill, and the high lands of Maisondieu, Pittendriech and Barrelwell, on the north-west of the town, are rising grounds of some consequence. The greater part of the parish, however, is composed of level or gently sloping ground. The soil i/s, in general, light but good. The total number of imperial acres in the parish is estimated at about 14,423, of which 14,056 are capable of tillage; while there are actually cultivated annually about 8300 in corn, turnips, and potatoes, and 3300 in grass; about 450 acres are in wood; 239 in roads; 18 in railways, and 110 in water. The area of the royalty of the burgh is 224 acres nearly; of which about 18 are in roads and streets, and four in water; while within the Parliamentary boundaries the area is about 417 acres, thus leaving for the landward parish 13,781 acres. Large quantities of com, the produce of the parish, are annually exported. The cumulo valued rent of the parish is 8772 Scots. The rental of the landward part of the parish is 16,017; of the burgh, 15,082; while the railway is assessed, within burgh, on a rental of 15,820, and, without burgh, on 17,625; the total rental of the parish thus being for land and houses, 31,100; for railway, 2345. The average rent of arable land is supposed to be about thirty shillings the imperial acre; and of grass, for the season, forty shillings. The mode of husbandry followed is, for the most part, agreeable to the modem improvements. The principal green crops raised in the parish are turnips and potatoes for domestic purposes and for the feeding of cattle. Potatoes were pretty largely exported for some years, but that trade is now again much restricted. Wheat is generally sown after the potato crop. From the fourth to the sixth part of each farm is usually sown with turnips, or planted with potatoes each year, unless on farms adapted for wheat, in which case a proportion is fallowed. No beet, and few cabbages, are cultivated. No meadow hay is raised in the parish. Of flax there are only a few acres annually sown. Few sheep are reared in the parish, and these are generally of the kind called blackfaced. The horses are now of the common size usual throughout the southern parts of Scotland. The other cattle are mostly of that breed, known as peculiar to Angusshire, middle-sized, and well formed; although a good many short-homed are now fed off in the parish, and a few Teeswater and Ayrshire cows may be seen on the pasture lands. The management of cattle is well understood and attended to. The length of leases is generally nineteen years; leases of this duration being considered more favourable than those for a shorter period; but lands, in the close vicinity of the town, are often let on leases to endure from five to fourteen years. The state of farm-buildings and enclosures is good, the buildings being usually of stone and lime, and slated, and the fences principally dry-stone walls, although hedge-rows are becoming more prevalent. For temporary enclosures flakes are generally used, consisting of four longitudinal spars of nine feet each, morticed into a spar of about four feet of .height at each end, the flakes being bolted together by pins, and supported at each joining by lateral posts, sloping to the ground, at an angle of fifty degrees or so. Improvements have been general throughout the parish during the last sixty years. Some seventy years ago a medical practitioner in the town took a good deal of land in the vicinity of the burgh, and set to work seriously to improve it. For this purpose he bought great quantities of dung, and raised the price from ninepence or tenpence to one shilling the cart-load, when a worthy magistrate of the city, also a farmer in a small way, gave up purchasing manure, declaring “he would drive no one shilling dung." Manure now fetches, in the burgh, from five to ten shillings each load, according to the quality.

The following has been hazarded as the average gross amount of raw produce yearly raised in the parish, which some friends, with whom we have consulted, consider to be rather under than above the mark:—Oats, 8000 quarters; barley, 6000 quarters; wheat, 1200 quarters; turnips, 2000 acres; potatoes, 1000 acres; hay, 500 acres; flax, 20 acres. Agricultural male labourers receive about fifteen shillings per week; females, so employed, six shillings per week, or rather one shilling per day; but the latter class is mostly employed during the summer only, while the former may command work in draining, &c., all the year round. The wages in harvest are something more, being, males twenty, and females eighteen shillings per week. The number of agricultural workers in the parish is supposed to be, males, 200; females, 100, as field workers, generally called “out workers." Including allowance of meal, milk, and potatoes, a ploughman’s wages may be estimated at 36 per annum. The usual food of the peasantry is milk, meal, and potatoes, with a little butcher meat and fish. The fuel is principally coals and wood.

The inhabitants, according to the census of 1831, were found to be, males, 3048; females, 3460; together, 6508; consisting of 1673 families lodged in 900 houses, of which number of families 306 were ascertained to be engaged in agriculture. This, of course, included the urban district. The rural district contained, males, 699; females, 749; together, 1448; families, 286; employed in agriculture, 186 ; in trade, 68; other families, 32; inhabited houses, 285; uninhabited, 20; males upwards of twenty years of age, 361; female servants, 145; male labourers, 186. In 1755, the population of the parish was supposed to amount to 3181 ; and in 1790, it was guessed at 5000; the census of 1811 returned 5559, and that of 1821 gave 5906. As seen in our appendices, the population in 1841 was reported to be 7555; in 1851 it was found to be 6638; and in 1861 it was. 7180. The number of burials in the parish, during the year 1836, was 193; and during the year 1837, it was 191, both being unhealthy seasons; in 1838, the number was 129, which was supposed to be about an average of ordinary years. There is an ancient burial-place at the eastern extremity of the parish, called Magdalene Chapel, although no traces of the chapel now remain. Very few bodies are interred in this cemetery, and those so buried are not included in the register kept by the sextons of the Brechin churchyard, who were our authorities for the details we have given. In 1864 the deaths were, landward part of parish, males, 6; females, 13; total, 19; in the town, males, 72; females, 86; total, 158; together, 177; the greatest age being that of an old shoemaker in town, who had attained to ninety-three years. Births the same year were, in the landward, 47; town, 254; together, 301; of which, in the town, 43 were illegitimate, and in the country 6. The marriages in the country part of the parish in 1864 were 6; in the town, 44; together, 50. These statistics we have from the registrar, Mr Macintosh, who also adds, that of the 301 birtlis registered in 1864, there were 266 successfully vaccinated; 24 died before vaccination; 2 were insusceptible of vaccination; and 9 were bora before the Vaccination Act came into operation.

The climate of Brechin is considered temperate and salubrious. Low, intermittent fever is the most general complaint, but agues, formerly prevalent, are now rarely heard of, this disease having disappeared when wet lands were drained.

The northern part of the pariah is composed of the old red sandstone, the strata of which range from east to west. The dip of this rock is to the north, with an inclination of about thirty-five degrees. It encloses within it two strata of limestone of various dimensions. The first stratum is from eighteen inches to two feet in thickness. The second stratum is composed of loose boulders, mixed with thin layers of argillaceous sandstone, having the same dip as the rock. No animal or vegetable remains are found in the lime or sandstone strata. Veins of calcareous spar, however, are occasionally met with amongst the lime, which sometimes enclose crystals of sulphate of barytes. In the southern part of the parish several stone quarries are wrought, each of which exhibits a fine section of the gray sandstone. This rock is well adapted for building, being of great durability and susceptible of a high polish. The position of the sandstone is nearly horizontal. No metals have been discovered in any part of the parish. There are no plants or animals peculiar to the parish. The linnea borealis, a very rare plant, is often found in the woods of Kinnaird, which are partly in this parish and partly in the neighbouring parish of Farnell. Jhe kinds of trees generally planted on moors are Scotch firs, with sometimes a mixture of larch and spruce, sometimes larch alone; of late years a proportion of hardwood has been planted with the firs, &c. In belts of planting and in gentlemen’s policies, and where there is depth of soil, hard wood is generally planted, no more soft wood being put in than is necessary for shelter to the hard wood, and the soft wood being cut out after a few years, when the other trees have attained sufficient strength and age.

The chief heritors of land in the parish are, the Earl of Southesk ; the Earl of Dalhousie ; the Earl of Fife; John Inglis Chalmers, Esq., of Aldbar; Henry Speid, Esq. of Ardovie; T. M. Grant, Esq., of Pitforthie; Francis Aberdein, Esq., of Keithock ; Mrs Elizabeth Smith of Cairnbank ; George Robertson Chaplin, Esq., of Cookston, and Alexander Collie, Esq., of Murlingden.

In the parish there are 3 miles 880 yards of turnpike road to the west, leading to Forfar, and 2 miles 594 yards to the north in the direction of Aberdeen, and 3 miles 880 yards to the south, proceeding in the direction of Dundee by the Stannachy Bridge across the Esk, a neat bridge of one arch, built in 1823. South, towards Arbroath, there are 1 mile 220 yards of turnpike; and east, towards Montrose, 3 miles 880 yards are also in the parish. Thus, there are altogether 15 miles 454 yards of turnpike road in the parish of Brechin. All the other roads are maintained by an assessment raised under an act of Parliament, and laid partly upon houses and land, and partly upon the number of horses, carts, and carriages kept There are 22 roads of this description in the parish, the total mileage of which is 31 miles; so that, irrespective of streets in the town, there are 46 miles of roads in the parish.

The Citt of Brechin is the centre of the parish of that name in the county of Angus, commonly called Forfarshire, because Forfar is the county town. Brechin is situated in 2 18' west longitude, and 56 40' north latitude, is 8 miles from the seaport of Montrose, 13 from the county town of Forfar, and 42 miles distant from each of Aberdeen and Perth. The town lies upon the face of a hill, on the left bank of the river Southesk, and consists of one main street running north and south, and breaking off towards the south into two branches. The street formerly called Timber Market, now named Market Street, commences at the North Port, and continues till the place where it is intersected by Swan Street and the Upper West Wynd, now called St David Street, and below that the street bears the name of the High Street, till it branches off into two divisions. The eastern branch, which formerly was termed the Cadger Wynd, while within the boundaries of the burgh, is now designated Union Street, and beyond these boundaries this branch formerly bore the names of the Cadger-hillock and Upper Tenements, now changed into Montrose Street. The western branch, again, had the titles of the Path Wynd and Muckle Mill, now Bridge Street; and when it stretches beyond the confines of the burgh, it was termed the Nether Tenements, but is now River Street The road to Arbroath is by River Street, across a bridge over the Southesk, an ancient fabric of two arches. The road to Montrose, an excellent road, passing through a most beautiful piece of country, is by Montrose Street, formerly called the Upper Tenements of Caldhame. These two suburbs of Upper and Nether Tenements, according to their old names, now Montrose Street and River Street, are connected together by means of paths, as they are termed. Running west from the north end or head of the High Street, is the Upper Wynd, now called St David Street, and running west from the centre of the High Street is the Old Nether Wynd, now Church Street, both of which streets are connected by St Mary Street at the west end, from which proceeds the road to Forfar, by the street now called Castle Street Running west from St David Street, where St Mary Street commences, is a street formerly called Gold’s Yards, now Airlie Street, with Pearse Street branching off from it, and connecting it with the Latch Road, all of which form egresses to the country on the west side of the town. Running east from the High Street, and in a line with St David Street, is Swan Street, which leads into Clerk Street, and thence northward across a mound over the Den Nursery to the Gallowhill, from which the road to Aberdeen, a capital toll-road, proceeds. Clerk Street, at the north, is connected with Market Street by Distillery Road, and these run on by another road, the Latch Road, at the junction of which the Cookston Road turns off, forming an outlet to the north, being the road used by the inhabitants of the parishes of Lethnot and Navar, and also by most of the inhabitants of the parishes of Menmuir, Dunlappie, &c. From the top of Clerk Street, down the west side of the Den to Montrose Street, a new road has been opened, termed Southesk Street, from which branches off Panmure Street in a straight line with Swan Street, cutting across the bottom of Clerk Street. From the point where Panmure Street, running past James’s Place, intersects Clerk Street, the City Road runs south, down to the South Port, so that Clerk Street and City Road pursue the same line on the east which Market Street and High Street do on the weet. Besides the streets enumerated, there are wynds and closes “too tedious to mention." The river Esk runs upon the south-west side of the town. Parallel to it runs a burn, designated the Michael Den Bum, where it runs through Michael Den, part of the policies of Brechin Castle; the Kirkyard Bum, where it runs below the churchyard brae; and the Skinners’ Bum from the churchyard to the river Esk, because the skinners or tanners formerly had pits upon the side of the bum at this place for tanning leather. This bum is of pure water till it leaves Michael Den, but there it begins to collect the impurities of the town, and at th$ foot of the Mill Stairs the principal common sewer of the city has long joined this bum, which, therefore, has little to boast of in point of beauty or cleanliness. Down the Den again runs another burn which formerly was pure, but is now loaded, during its course through the burgh, with the refuse of the North Port brewery and North Port distillery, and afterwards with that of the gas work and other works; and having become more a nuisance than an ornament, is now put under cover for almost its entire course through the confines of the city. Another burn, the Caldhame Bum, joins this one, near the south end of the Den Nursery, and as it only brings with it the refuse of Glen-cadam distillery, it is comparatively pure; but neither of the two tallies with our juvenile recollections of the bonnie wee wimplin’ burnie of the Den, here hid with grass and daisies, there expanded into a broad pool, and anon converted into a miniature waterfall.

The properties within the burgh are generally held by burgage tenure, but many are held of the town council in feu from the town, or under that body as patrons of the hospital, some of the pweceptory, and a few of the kirk-session. The properties in River Street are all held in feu from the family of Southesk, and those in Montrose Street again are held in feu from the family of Panmure. In all cases the feu-duties are small, and the casualties of superiority are not rigorously exacted. All these properties are situated within the parliamentary boundaries, and the inhabitants and proprietors, possessing sufficient qualification, are entitled to vote for a member of Parliament. The parliamentary boundaries, or the boundaries within which property of 10 of annual value must be situated, to give the proprietor or tenant a right to vote in the election of a member of Parliament, are thus described in the Act 2 and 3 William IV., cap. 65, “ From the point, on the south of the town, at which the Skinners' Burn joins the South Esk River, down the South Esk River to the West Den of Leuchland, thence up the hollow of the West Den of Leuchland, and up Barrie s Burn, to the point, near the source of Barrie’s Burn, at which the several boundaries of the properties of Caldhame, Pitforthie, and Unthank meet; thence in a straight line, in a westerly direction, to the point at which the several boundaries of the properties of Maisondieu and Cookston, and Mr Mitchell’s land meet; thence, in a south-west direction, along the boundary of the Maisondieu property, to the point at which the same meets the Menmuir road; thence, in a straight line to the westermost point at which the Skinners’ Bum crosses the Forfar road; thence, down the Skinners’ Bum to the point first described.” The registered electors in the parliamentary boundaries of Brechin join with those in Montrose, Arbroath, Forfar, and Inverbervie, in the election of a member to Parliament. The number of persons registered as entitled to vote for a member of Parliament, at the Brechin polling station, in September 1864, was 273.

In 1831, the population within the royalty was estimated at, males, 1615; females, 1902; together, 3517; and in the Upper and Nether Tenements; males, 734; females, 809; together, 1543; giving for the parliamentary boundaries 2349 males and 2711 females, making a total of 5060. The number of inhabited dwelling-houses in the royalty was, at this time, found to be 425, without the royalty 190, making within the parliamentary boundaries 615 houses, inhabited by 1387 families, of whom 944 resided within the royalty, and 443 in the suburbs, the latter employing 18, the former 190 female servants, giving a total of 208 female servants. The male servants in the royalty were then 26, of whom 17 were above 20 years of age, and 9 under that age—none in the suburbs. The uninhabited houses were, royalty 8, suburbs 4. The number of families residing within these boundaries engaged in agriculture was then reckoned at 120, being 72 within the royalty, and 48 without the royalty; and of the members of these families, 68 were labourers residing within the royalty and 35 in the suburbs, together 103. The families engaged in trade, residing within the royalty, were, in 1831, ascertained to be 645, suburbs 317, total 962. Other families within the royalty were estimated at 227, suburbs 78, together 305. The number of unmarried men upwards of 50 years of age was supposed to be 144, and of unmarried females upwards of 45 years of age 469; these classes of course including, respectively, widows and widowers. The number of males upwards of 20 years of age was then ascertained to amount, in the royalty, to 878, in the suburbs, to 389, total 1267. The average number of births was supposed, in 1831, to be about 150; of deaths, about 100; and of marriages 55. The number of Objects was then found to be 37, consisting of 24 fatuous persons, 10 blind persons, and 3 deaf and dumb. We give in our appendix the census tables for the three succeeding decennial periods. In 1861, the total population in the parliamentary boundaries is estimated at 7180, whereas, as above stated, it was only 5060 in 1831, having in these thirty years increased by 2120.

The habits of the people are, in general, orderly. They are, like most Scotch people, cautious and observant. Many of them are fond of reading, especially works on history, practical theology, and politics. Indeed, the people of Brechin, in general, take a very keen interest in political movements; an interest which they have occasionally displayed in rather a forcible manner. The usual food of the labouring people in the burgh, is meal, milk, and potatoes, with wheaten bread and fish, or a bit of butcher meat once a day. Almost every individual has a garden attached to his house, which adds not a little to his comforts and to his amusement. The modem built houses are dry; but those of ancient structure, used by the working classes, are too frequently damp, and not always so cleanly as could be wished. The rents paid by tradesmen for their houses yearly, are generally about 50s. In their own persons, the inhabitants, especially the females, are neat and tidy. Wages in Brechin, as elsewhere, vary according to the nature of the employment. There are two tobacco works in Brechin, manufacturing above 60,000 lbs. of dry leaf tobacco annually; paying to Government nearly 10,000 of duties; and employing five journeymen at above 20s. of weekly wages, four apprentices at 4s. 6d., and thirty-three little boys at 2s. 4d. weekly each. Again, at the Brechin Gas Works, common labourers earn 17s. per week, ordinary workmen, 19s.; superior workmen, 21s.; but the work is not pleasant In 1864 the gas company manufactured 9,332,100 feet of gas, and had 8,523,721 feet accounted for, the balance being waste. This gas was consumed by seven public works, eight churches, and 181 street lamps, and a host of other consumers, not easily numbered, but it may be stated that 2000 gas meters were employed. The coals used were 875 tons of parrot, and 119 tons of small coal. There are four quarries in the parish of Brechin, namely, Bridgend, Reisk, Hillhead, and West Drums, which employ about fifty men, who work ten hours daily, gaining, labourers, 15s. per week, and quarrymen, 16s.; but of course bad weather often lessens the week’s wages. There are six master masons in Brechin, employing about fifty journeymen and fifteen apprentices; the apprentices are allowed 5s. weekly, and journeymen earn 24s. per week, working ten hours per day, interrupted of necessity by broken weather. Roadmen have 2s. 3d. per day, but are affected also by the seasons. There may be about 100 common labourers in Brechin, who, for ten hours work daily, gain from 148. to 15s. per week. Carpenters' wages are 19s. weekly, but then they have constant employment, the weather not affecting their work; apprentices are allowed 4s. weekly; there are six master carpenters in Brechin, keeping about forty journeymen; besides all which there are eight or ten jobbing wrights. It should be mentioned that all tradesmen now have the Saturday afternoon to themselves, and thus, for the wages mentioned, only work fifty-seven hours per week. The licensed houses and shops for the sale of exciseable liquors within the burgh, number thirty-four, of which nine are inns or hotels; the pawnbrokers, almost a new trade in Brechin, are six in number. The other trades within the parliamentary boundaries may be thus enumerated :—Auctioneers, 2; bakers, 7; blacksmiths, 7; booksellers, 4; boot and shoemakers, 21; druggists, 3; earthenware dealers, 5; coal merchants, 4; confectioners, 3; coopers, 3; corn merchants, 2; fleshers, 10; grocers, 19, of whom 9 are also spirit dealers; hair dressers, 2; small-ware dealers, 3; ironmongers, 3; joiners or carpenters, 15; drapers, 9; linen manufacturers, 5; milliners and dressmakers, 17; painters, 4; plasterers, 2; plumbers, 4; saddlers, 3; shopkeepers or dealers in provisions, Ac., besides the grocers enumerated above, 14; slaters, 5 ; stone masons and builders, 4; tailors, 14, including 4 clothiers; veterinary surgeons, 3; besides a variety of small trades, scarcely admitting of enumeration, and no less than thirty-two agents for fire and life insurance companies, many of the companies having more than one agent, and several of the agents acting for more than one company, but absurd in number in any view.

Coals are the chief feul used by all classes, and are brought by land carriage from Montrose, generally by railway, although. three or four coal-carters still linger on the road. A barrel of English coals, which contains 163 lbs., costs, on an average, about 1s. 4d.; Scotch coal, 16s. per ton, and chews, 15s., delivered into private dwelling-houses. A small quantity of wood is used as fuel, but peats have gone entirely out of use. The town is well supplied with butcher meat, which is generally sold at from 7d. to lOd. per pound imperial. Fish are also plentiful, brought in carts from the coast, and varying in price with the change of weather and abundance of supply, but, generally, only about a fourth dearer than at the sea side. Butter, cheese, and eggs are abundantly supplied by the neighbouring country district; the first selling from Is. to Is. 2d. per imperial pound the second from 6d. to 8d., according to quality; and the last at from lOd. to Is. per dozen, according to the season of the year. Chickens bring from 2s. 6d. to 2s. lOd. per pair; hens, each, from Is. 4d. to 1s. 6d.; ducklings, 8d.; pigs, of which a number are now brought to the market every Tuesday, bring from 14s. to 15s. each; large pork is sold at from 34s. to 36s. per cwt.; small, at from 44s. to- 46s. The quartern loaf, in August 1864, was sold at 5d., the second, quality at 4d.; flour, 2s. per stone; barley flour, Is. 4d.; oatmeal, Is. 5d. per stone, and potatoes 10d. The professional gentlemen in the town are, 9 clergymen, 4 physicians, 4 surgeons, or 8 doctors, as they are generally termed, and 8 writers, total, 25, besides the different schoolmasters. In 1790, there were 1 physician, 2 surgeons, and 3 writers in Brechin. The British Linen Company Bank has an office in Clerk Street; the Royal Bank and Union Bank have offices in Swan Street, and the City of Glasgow has an office in St David Street The Brechin National Security Savings Bank is held in the burgh schoolroom every Tuesday evening; the Upper and Nether Tenements Savings Bank is held in Bank Street schoolroom every Saturday evening ; and the Post Office Savings Bank is open daily at the Poet Office in Church Street. The office of the superintendent of the parochial cemetery, and of the collector of the police-rates, and also of the collector of the poors-rates, and inspector of poor, and registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, are in the same house in Church Street. The office of the local newspaper, the Brechin Advertiser, published every Tuesday, is in Swan Street, and the town clerk’s office is also in Swan Street The stamps and taxes office is in High Street.

The chief manufacture in Brechin is the different branches of the linen trade. The fabrics made in Brechin, at present, are of considerable variety, but may be all ranked under the head of coarse linens. These, again, may be divided into two classes, the one for the home and the other for the foreign market. The linens made for the.foreign market generally range from a reed of 24 to 32 porter ; but, in some cases, higher numbers are used such as reeds of 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40 porter of 25 inches. These linens are made from flax yams of from 2 to 31b. per spindle before being bleached, and are called Spanish goods; but these are neither so regularly in demand nor so easily made here as the kinds sent to the New York and West India Markets. For these markets, 24, 26, and 28 porter dowlas are made from flax warps of 3 lb. per spindle, wefted with tow of from 3$ to 6 lb. per spindle; also 28, 30, and 32 porter dowlas of 25 to 27 inches in breadth, from 3 lb. flax yarns, warp and weft. Previous to being woven, the yarns are all bleached, in which process they undergo a waste of from 20 to 25 per cent. The same sizes of yarns, also bleached, are made into sheetings of 35, 38, and 40, inches in width for the same markets. Osnaburghs and diapers are occasionally made here for the New York market, but they are not to be considered as regular staple manufacture. Those fabrics made for the New York market are considered light labour, and are, therefore, much sought after by the weavers. The goods manufactured in Brechin for the home market are chiefly dowlas and sheetings, made from flax yarns varying in size according to the fineness of the cloth. Those most commonly made are 34 to 36 porter dowlas, of from 27 to 30 inches, and sheetings of same reed, varying in breadth from 36 to 42 inches, all made from flax yarn, both warp and weft, the size of which is 3 lb. per spindle before being bleached. Of late there has been a gradual inclination to finer fabrics than the above, and now, 38, 40, and 45 porters of from 30 to 40 inches, form a part pf the regular manufacture. They are made of smaller sized yarns of a finer texture, all bleached before being wrought. Goods similar to those used in our own country were at one time freely sent to France, but that trade has not been pushed of late. A few webs are occasionally made by some of our manufacturers from brown or self-coloured yams, which undergo a simple process of steeping, plashing or knocking, wringing and drying. The greater part of such webs are considered to be for the home market, and are chiefly made from flax yams. It may be proper to say, for the sake of the general reader, that the reed is that part of the apparatus used in weaving which more immediately divides the warp and drives up the weft. Reeds in this part of the country are made on a scale of 37 inches, varying in thickness according to the fineness or coarseness of the fabrics to be made ; for instance, a thirty porter, or 600 reed is divided into 600 openings in the breadth of 37 inches; 20 of these openings are called a porter; into each opening there are put two threads making 1200 threads of warp and as many of weft in a square yard of linen, through a 30 porter reed. The weaving trade in Brechin is meantime in a transition state from hand-1 oom weaving to power-loom weaving. Messrs Lamb & Scott, and Messrs D. & R. Duke are in the course of erecting large power-loom factories for 300 looms each, in Southesk Street, on the ground formerly called the Lower Den; and Messrs J. k J. Smart are largely increasing their works in River Street. These looms when in full employ will turn out weekly as much cloth as could be wrought by 3000 hand-loom weavers.

There is a bleachfield on the Inch of Brechin, conducted on chemical principles, which employs on an average, during the year, 70 males and 30 females, at wages varying from 14s to 20s per week for men, and from 7s to 9s for women ; but this bleachfield is also being enlarged, and will soon do one-half more business than at present. At the Inch there is also a paper work which manufactures annually from 400 to 500 tons of cartridge paper, and paper for newspapers, employing 33 males and 40 females, and paying weekly 35 in wages.

The spinning of lint by machinery into yarn was begun in Brechin, about 1796, at a small mill then erected on the Den burn within the piece of ground known as the Witch Den, now occupied by the gas company, and part of the original buildings is still used by that company as a warehouse. Thomas Jamieson, a millwright in town, was the originator of the scheme, and was aided in his endeavours by three gentlemen of some capital in Brechin. Jamieson made the machinery himself, and so much was thought of the affair, that within the mill-house, where the machinery was made, no stranger was allowed to enter, and the door of the building was duly sealed with the words “ No Admittance," on it Jamieson made four frames, so that each partner had a spinning frame for his interest in the matter. It is said the partners met regularly in a small house occupied by Jamieson at the gate of the premises, and each Saturday night duly liquidated the profits of the week. Jamieson, who was a clever workman, but unsteady man, soon left the Witchden Mill, and started other similar works in different parts of the country, always, however, struggling with the world. The Witchden Mill was continued under different managements till 1826, when it was finally disannulled. In 1837 a mill for sawing wood was erected within the old spinning-mill house. The mill was wrought by two wheels, the one above the other, both driven at the same rate of speed by the water of the Den burn, but that, too, was no success.

The East Mill Spinning Company was started in 1799, and the machinery being driven by the Southesk, the concern was originally much larger than Thomas Jamiesons work. These premises are without the' burgh, but within the parliamentary boundaries. A cotton-mill was carried on at Eastmills for a year or so, but that was soon abandoned, and a lint spinning-mill of 24 frames was started. On 20th April 1799, their pay-book states that 3, 12s. 5d. were disbursed in wages, and 60 spindles of yarn spun for the first week, but these are soon increased to 6 of wages, and 220 spindles. In 1810 four power-looms were opened at Eastmills. The highest wages paid was, 10s. 6d. to the foreman, and the lowest Is. to girls, while 3s. seems to have been the average wages of ordinary hands. The Eastmills of the present day are thus described in an account kindly furnished us by Mr James Ireland, the manager:—“ There is a flax spinning-mill and bleachfield on the banks of the river Southesk, which is driven both by water and steam-power. The indicated horsepower for the spinning-mill is equal to about 450 horses, which requires about 2250 tons of coals annually. They import the flax principally from Russia, which is spun into yarns of various sizes and then bleached, and the yarns are sold to manufacturers in Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Dundee, and Fifeshire, to be manufactured into cloth, and a considerable part is exported to Spain, Germany, and other parts of the Continent. In 1864 they consumed 1450 tons of flax and tow; this was spun into yams of various sizes by 78 spinning frames, containing 5084 spindles, which produced 844,000 spindles of yarn, the value of which would be about 125,000 sterling. The people employed was, 153 males; 266 females; the wages paid amounted to 8300; the hours of labour, 60 per week. The bleachfield has two water-wheels of 30 horses power. In 1864 they bleached 1820 tons of yarn, and employed 104 males and 50 females, and paid in wages 4000; hours of labour 60 per week, and consumed about 500 tons of coals for drying the yarns.” Mr Ireland adds—“ I was led into making a calculation of how many miles of yam we spin in the course of the year, and I find it amounts to 6,905,454 miles in length; and assuming the circumference of the globe to be 25,000 miles, it would go round it 276 times. The length spun per week is 132,793 miles; this would go round the world fully more than 5 times."

Formerly the neighbourhood of Brechin was much infested with bands of smugglers, carrying whisky from the Grampian Highlands to the low country; and Brechin itself depended on these merchants for its supply of mountain dew. Now the matter is reversed. There is one extensive distillery in the town, called the North Port Distillery, which consumes upwards of 4000 quarters of barley annually, sending out yearly above 70,000 gallons of whisky, and employing constantly 25 men at 14s. weekly and upwards, besides gentlemen of the Excise, not employed by the distillery company. There is another neat distillery, called the Glencadam Distillery, in the immediate vicinity. These distilleries supply a far purer spirit than was formerly drunk, under the name of smuggled whisky. There is only one brewery in the town, a long established concern, at the North Port. Whisky, however, is the chief potation of all classes, raw, in grog, or in punch.

Messrs Dickson and Turnbull of Perth have long had a nursery in the lower part of the town of Brechin. Mr Charles Young had a similar establishment on the west side of the city, which, some years ago, merged into that of Messrs Dickson and Turnbull, and is now considerably extended, and known as the “City Nursery" On the east side of the town, Messrs Henderson and Sons occupy the Den, besides a large field of their own, and some other ground in the neighbourhood, for a nursery. Messrs Mitchell and Young have also a field in the lower part of the town, and another in the east side of the burgh, occupied as nursery grounds. Altogether upwards of thirty-five imperial acres are occupied as nursery grounds, affording healthy employment to a number of men and women, and paying yearly about 1000 in wages. These nurseries raise forest and fruit trees of all kinds, ornamental shrubs and bushes, seeds, &c.; and have hothouses and green-houses attached to each establishment.

A regular market is held in Brechin every Tuesday, at which very considerable quantities of grain are bought and sold. The grain merchants meet the farmers in town; a bargain is made by sample; the grain is delivered at some of the neighbouring sea-ports during the week: a printed receipt is then granted for the quantity delivered, and on the following Tuesday the farmer presents his receipt to the merchant and receives his cash. It is astonishing, out of the great number of bargains thus made, how few disputes arise, and the fact is equally creditable to farmer and merchant. During the autumn and winter months there are also weekly markets, each Tuesday, for cattle, and during the months of February and March, commencing on the last Tuesday of February, and ending on the last Tuesday of March, markets for the sale of horses are held. The first Tuesday after Whitsunday, old style, is a great market day, chiefly for the hiring of country servants; and so is the first Tuesday after Martinmas, old style. If any of these term-days happens on a Tuesday, then the market is held that day. Formerly these term markets were attended by chapmen, who formed a society amongst themselves, termed “ The Chapmen of Angus,” and on market days they had a double row of booths on the High Street, forming a street of itself, each booth being open to the front, and well supplied with all manner of haberdashery and soft goods. The chapmen met at the cross at a certain hour the day previous, and drew lots for the situation of their stands or booths, which were framed of wood, and neatly covered with blanketing to keep out the wet. A cooper in Brechin made a trade of hiring out the wooden framework of these booths. These chapmen travelled in the country regularly, carrying their goods some in spring-carts, some on horseback, the bales being slung on each side of the horse, and some on foot; an inferior class, called packmen, travelled always on foot, and some of them carried immense packs on their backs. Then the farmers’ wives were supplied with most of their braws by the chapmen and packmen, and the farmer himself got his best suit from a like source. As the chapman waxed old and wealthy, he settled down as a merchant in some borough town. The race is now all but wholly extinct On a piece of ground of nearly 33 acres in extent belonging to the burgh, and about a mile north of it, called Trinity, or more generally Tamty Muir, a great fair is annually held for three days, commencing on the second Wednesday of June, to which cattle-dealers and horse-dealers resort from all parts of Scotland and some parts of England. Wednesday is the sheep-market day, most of the business being done in the morning; Thursday, all day, is given to the sale of nowt, (cows and oxen;) and horses are exposed for sale on the Friday. There are other markets held on this ground in April, August, and September, but the June market w par excellence termed “the Trinity Fair.” The April market, called the Spring Tryst generally a large market, is held on the third Wednesday of that month. The August market takes place on the second Thursday, and is called Lammas Muir. The last market, held in September, and which takes place on the last Tuesday of the month, is styled the Autumn Trinity Tryst, and sometimes the “ Convener’s Market,” in commemoration of Mr David Mitchell, repeatedly convener of the trades of Brechin, who took an active interest in the establishment of this market, but it is now a market of no note.

The town is governed by a provost, two bailies, and dean of guild, with nine other councillors, chosen by the municipal electors, the registered number of whom, in September 1864, was 235. The property of the burgh, at Sept 1864, was valued at 23,856, 6s. 1d., the debts at 11,505, 10s. 10d., leaving a surplus of 12,350, 15s. 3d. The income of the burgh arises chiefly from feu duties and rents of properties let on long leases; but there are certain subjects let annually by public roup, and in 1864, the common customs of the burgh brought 140; the dues of the shambles and weigh-house, 51; and the public washing-house, 20. The last item varies considerably: in 1861, the rent was 52,10s.; in 1862, 31; and in 1863, 40. The other two subjects generally remain at about 190, The expense of lighting, watching, cleaning, maintaining streets, &c., are all defrayed from the police assessments, which are equal to Is. Id. per pound, being for watching, 5& ; lighting, 2d.; cleaning, Id.; paving, 4d. The expense of water is, in the meantime, defrayed from the burgh funds, but evidently a water rate must soon be imposed. The stipends of the Established clergymen are paid from the teinds of the parish. The entry money, for a stranger, to the corporation of Brechin, including stamp-duty, is only 17s.; the sons and sons-in law of freemen pay no more than 14s. 6d. A guildry incorporation exists within the burgh, ruled by the “ dean of the guildry/' the fees of admission to which incorporation are, for strangers, 10, 10s.; freemens' sons, 13s. 4d.; and freemens' sons-in-law, 1, 6s. 8d., while free apprentices are also entitled to be entered at a reduced rate, although few or none avail themselves of the privilege intended for free apprentices. The guildry give their decayed members 4, and their poor widows 2, annually; but these allowances are given as a favour and not as a right. The hammermen, bakers, shoemakers, weavers, and tailors, are also existing—barely existing—incorporations, charging from 8 to 10 for the admission of stranger members, and nominal fees for the admission of the sons and sons-in-law of freemen. All these incorporations contribute to the support of widows, orphans, and decayed members.

The magistrates hold a burgh or bailie court each Wednesday, except during short recesses in spring, autumn, and winter, and a police court each Wednesday, and oftener if required. The dean of guild holds courts as occasion requires. The town-clerk is clerk and assessor of all these courts, and the procurator-fiscal the public prosecutor in each. A justice of peace court is held the first Wednesday of each month, and the sheriff holds a court, for the disposal of cases under the Small Debt Act, on the third Tuesday of each alternate month. The police of the burgh is maintained by one superintendent, one sergeant, and four constables, besides the town-officer. The livery worn by the town-officer consists of a scarlet coat trimmed with lace, scarlet vest, dark corduroy or plush breeches, white stockings, and black gaiters—rather a showy livery:

The town is supplied with water from the high grounds of Cookston, on the north, collected there in two reservoirs, having small houses built above them, and in a third large reservoir under ground ; and from the high grounds of Burghill, on the south, collected there in a reservoir built under a liberal lease granted by the late Lord Panmure. The water is conveyed through the town by means of lead pipes, and the fountain^ heads stand so high, that every house in the burgh, with the exception of a very few in Market Street, might command the water in the attics; but in consequence of the constant drainage at the public wells, and by private dwelling-houses on a lower level, this is not the case. It is very plain, from the increase of the population, and, it may be, from the increasing cleanliness of the inhabitants, that an additional supply of water must soon be got; and the friendly South Esk running past the Inch, which is composed of sand and shingle, offers a supply for a large well dug in the bleaching-green.

Brechin is the seat of a Presbytery. The pastoral charge of the old parish church is collegiate. Each of the ministers has now a manse and glebe. The stipend of the clergyman of the first charge is, 1 quarter 6 bushels wheat; 116 quarters 4 bushels 2 pecks 1 gallon 3-10ths pints barley; 2 quarters 6 bushels 1 gallon 3-10ths pints bear; 166 bolls 1 firlot 3-10ths pounds meal, and 29, 2s. 6}d. in money—equal to 22 chalders, besides 10 for communion elements. The stipend of the clergyman of the second charge is 20 chalders, half meal, half barley, besides 21, 5s. 6d. from the bishop’s rents, and 10 for communi6n elements. The communion is administered twice a-year, in May and in October, each of the established clergymen presiding alternately. A new church, containing 864 sittings, in connexion with the Establishment, was opened in the City Road in 1836. Part of the old parish was set aside, quoad sacra, to this church, and this section is designated the east parish; but at present there is no minister attached to it, although there is a talk of uncollegiating the parish church, redividing the parish, and placing one of the ministers in the east church, while the other remains in the cathedral. There are two Free Churches, one in Church Street; built in 1843, called the West Free Church, and the other the East Free Church, erected in 1857 at the junction of Panmure Street and Southesk Street There is a church belonging to “ the Second United Associate Congregation,” re-edified in Maisondieu Lane in 1849. Another church, belonging to “ the First United Associate Congregation,” is in City Road, and was rebuilt in 1859. There is likewise the third congregation of the United Presbyterians, which meets in High Street in a building enlarged from the old English Episcopal Chapel. There are thus seven Presbyterian churches in Brechin, and there is also a Scotch Episcopal Chapel in Maisondieu Lane, called Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Chapel, and ever since Episcopacy was established in Scotland there has been an Episcopal congregation in Brechin. On the opposite side of the road from the chapel, there is a library built to contain the books belonging to the Episcopal Diocese of Brechin, some of which are very valuable, and attached to the library there is a schoolroom and schoolmaster s house; but the school is in abeyance, and scarcely seems to be needed in Brechin. A few Roman Catholics belong to the parish, but there is no priest or teacher of that communion nearer than Arbroath, and the priest only visits Brechin occasionally, when he officiates in the Mason Lodge in Church Street, then converted into a temporary chapel. The different churches assemble, during winter, at eleven o'clock forenoon, and two o’clock afternoon; and during summer, at eleven o’clock in the forenoon, and a quarter after two o’clock in the afternoon, holding the summer to commence on the first Sunday of March, and winter on the first Sunday of September.

Besides the public schools in the handsome building at the junction of St Mary Street and Church Street, in which are the rector’s school, the parish school, and the burgh school, there is a commodious school in Bank Street, built by the Free Church communion, under the charge of a master and a mistress; and a handsome set of schools in Montrose Street, called the Tenements Schools, built mainly at the expense of Mr Smith of Andover, in which there are a male and female teacher. There is also an infant school, which communicates with Bridge Street and Union Street, and is very commodiously situated for juveniles. There are, farther, several schools for girls merely, and several private schools for both boys and girls, one of which, in Market Street, is in the evenings converted into what is popularly known as a Bagged School. The rector of the grammar-school teaches the languages and higher branches of education, and under an arrangement with the town council, he receives a salary of 50 annually, having conveyed to them all right he has, for his lifetime, to the praceptory of Maisondieu, the funds of which are estimated as being worth about 1000. The salary of the parochial schoolmaster is 50, besides 10 in lieu of house rent. The burgh teacher has a salary of 35. None of the other teachers in the burgh has any salary. The master of the Muirland school, situated near the village of Little Brechin, about two miles northwest of Brechin, has a free house, school, and garden, and a small annual allowance from a fund mortified by Mr Johnston, minister of Brechin, about 1770. There was a mortification by the Bev. John Glendye, Dean of Cashel, who about 1690 founded a bursary in the University of St Andrews, but it was lost sight of fromehow, and is now given by the patron to any one he pleases-' Mr John Fyfe, minister at Navar, by a deed dated 12th Mslj 1658, and recorded in the Presbytery Records on 17th July 1706, mortified 500 merks due by the town of Brechin, and 500 merks due by the laird of Findowrie, the interest to be applied by the Presbytery for helping to maintain “ a pious young man and student at the New College of St Andrews, and whenever that occasion cannot be had of a student standing in need thereof,

"I appoint,” says the deed, “the said annual rent to be employed for helping of some poor honest man's bairns at the school of Brechin.” The Presbytery draw yearly 1, 7s. 6d. from the town of Brechin, and the like sum from the laird of Findowrie, and apply the money in educating boys at the schools in Brechin. There are other two mortifications, the one, Dakers’, constituted in 1859 for the education of boys; the other, Black's, given in 1861 for the education of girls—both under the management of the town council; but they are burdened with the liferents of certain parties, and have not yet become efficient. The fees payable in the public schools are regulated by a schedule approved of by the patrons, and most of the private schools have adopted the same rates. At present there is a movement for an alteration of the fees of the public schools, and a new arrangement of the classes to be taught by each master; so we do not specify the fees, but state generally that they are very moderate. There are also Sabbath schools in different parts of the town, taught by laymen in connexion with the several Presbyterian churches; and the Episcopal clergyman generally labours most assiduously during the Sundays of the spring, summer, and autumn in catechising the young folks of his congregation.

In the town there is a parish library, consisting of above 600 volumes of a useful and religious kind; similar libraries belonging to each of the Free churches, one belonging to the Second United Associate congregation, and a library of pretty much the same description belonging to Saint Andrew’s Episcopal chapel; also the extensive library belonging to the Mechanics’ Institution.

A Bible Society has been long in active operation in the town, and societies in aid of those for propagating Christianity in India, and for missions, schools, and tracts, have existed for many years. The several congregations in town have likewise annual contributions for aiding in the propagation of Christianity at home and abroad; and there is a Book and Tract Society.

A dispensary for administering medicines and medical advice, gratis, to the poor, was established in 1824; and in 1810 a Ladies’ Society for the relief of aged and indigent women was also established. These ladies distribute one shilling monthly to about sixty poor females. A coal fund, under the charge of the ladies of the burgh, has been in operation for several years, and by distributing from two to three barrels of coals in winter amongst a number of poor families, has done an immensity of good.

There are also in Brechin a curling club, having a nice*pond at Brechin Castle; a bowling club, rejoicing in a handsome green in Pearse Street; several cricket clubs, which play over the Trinity Muir market stance; the horticultural and ornothological societies, which give displays of flowers and birds twice a year; and last, but not least, there is the Brechin Amateur Vocal Society, which occasionally favours the public with a concert for some charitable purpose.

The Town House of Brechin is in the middle of the town, near the cross, or market place. It was built in 1789, and is a respectable edifice, containing a court-room below, with a well proportioned and neatly-finished town-hail above* growing too small for the increasing population of the burgh. We give a view of the Town Hall, and part of High Street and Church Street, with the Mechanics’ .Institution in the distance. The council-rooms communicate with the town-hall, and are immediately above the prison, a melancholy building, which originally contained a debtor’s room, and two cells for criminals, all as well ventilated as a building so placed in the centre of the most crowded part of the town could be. On the establishment of a regular police, the debtor’s room was converted into a police office, and the criminal cells were improved, while temporary “ lock-ups” wfere erected in the police office. The Tolbooth of Brechin has, we believe, always stood where the present Town House stands, and we find the present site indicated about 1537 as the site of the Tolbooth. The inmates of this building, in the course of the year 1837, were twenty criminals and four debtors; but no debtors can now be imprisoned in Brechin, nor can any criminals be detained for punishment, the jails of Forfar and Dundee being the only legalised prisons for criminals and debtors at present.

Adjoining the Court House is a property which formerly belonged to the Earl of Airlie, and of which that noble earl is still the superior or over-lord. It appears to the right in the wood-cut, and good eyes may read “ Baking Company” on the sign above the shop. The Airlie family were proprietors of the house in 1633, as appears from some title deeds of that date. The children of Brechin play a game, where one sets aside for him, or hefrself, a small space, which is termed the green, and the others trespass more or less upon this space, singing at same time, “I set my foot upon Airlies green, and Airlie daur na catch meand if the occupier of the green succeeds in catching an intruder, this intruder is compelled to become “Airlie.” This game is said to have reference to this property, which was exempted from the jurisdiction of the magistracy, and was solely under that of Lord Airlie, who exercised the powers of constabulary vested in that noble family, on all who intruded upon his green.

In Church Street there is a large three storey dwelling-house, known as “Lady Ballownie’s House,” and said to have been the town residence of the Earls of Crawford; and in it there is a draw-well of very fine water, and a large arched fire-place, confirming the theory of it having been a house of note. A dwelling-house on the north side of the Black Bull Close, with such another arched fire-place in it, now occupied by very poor tenants, was the residence of Provost Doig of Cookston, and in it was born his daughter Agnes, afterwards Lady Carnegie of Southesk.

The Swan Inn was long the principal inn of the town; but it has recently been wholly removed, and its place filled up by the City Hall in Swan Street. The Commercial Hotel in Clerk Street is now the principal inn; but there are several other highly respectable houses, amongst which may be named the Cross Guns in Market Street, the Crown Hotel in St David Street, and the Star Hotel in Southesk Street.

The former school was a neat plain building of three apartments, facing the western entrance to the town, and surmounted by a belfry and clock face. The late Lord Panmure, however, with the noble generosity of a great mind, caused to be erected on the site of the former schools a handsome building of two storeys in the Gothic style, with square-headed mullion windows, and having a front of eighty feet, with a square tower, rising in the centre to the height of eighty feet. The lower floor contains the schoolrooms for the different masters, and the second floor consists of apartments for the accommodation of the Mechanics' Institution, the lecture-room of which forms a magnificent hall, fifty-five feet by thirty feet, growing, like the Town Hall, too small for the burgh.

The Brechin Mechanics’ Literary and Scientific Institution, instituted in 1835, with such ample accommodation as that provided by Lord Panmure, and endowed as it was by him with a gift of 1000 and a legacy of another 1000, of which, however, from circumstances only 500 have been got, an institution so endowed, has, as might have been expected, proved a decided success. The library, daily increasing, possesses above 3000 volumes; each winter some dozen of lectures are delivered on interesting subjects, and the membership, constantly increasing, numbers some 500 individuals. The inhabitants of Brechin seem, generally, to hold, with Shakespeare, that Knowledge the wings wherewith we fly to heaven and we have no doubt they will continue to avail themselves of the facilities for acquiring knowledge so amply provided for them by the institution.

A gas-light company, also instituted in 1835, has thriven remarkably well, almost every house in the town and tenements being lighted with this fluid. The works are situated in the lower part of the town, at the Witch Den.

There is a mason lodge, a very neat building, situated in Church Street, in which the brethren of the mystic tie occasionally assemble, under the name of St James’s Lodge of Masons. A friendly society, consisting of about eighty members, is connected with the lodge. The entry-money to the society varies from 5s. to 7, 15a, according to the age of the entrant, besides which, the members pay Is. 6d. quarterly. The benefits given for these payments are, 3s. per week during the first six weeks of bad health, and 2s. per week thereafter; Is. weekly to each member above sixty-five years of age; 20s. of funeral money, and 3s. quarterly to widows, or the like sum to the children, where there is no widow, till the youngest attain twelve. St Ninian’s Lodge of Masons, the oldest established lodge in Brechin, is purely a lodge of masons, and keeps its character up in good style. The Old Wright Society of Brechin, to which the members contribute Is. quarterly, gives pretty similar allowances. A benevolent society or Lodge of Odd Fellows also exists, which provides for sick members only. Some yearly societies are annually established for the same purpose. And there is an Olive Lodge of Gardeners, promising allowances to sick and to widows. Besides these, there is a society of a higher grade, styled the Merchant Society, intended to provide an annuity of 10 per annum to widows or children. An encampment of Knights Templars has been more than once established, but the camp has never been sufficiently protected, for, hitherto, it has not been able to keep its ground in Brechin. A Royal Arch Lodge, connected with the encampment, has gone with it.

Carriers have almost disappeared from the roads, and stagecoaches have gone altogether, since we last wrote—the railway having superseded carts and coaches in most directions, still there are three or four daily carters between Brechin and Montrose. Our Slateford neighbours have their two carters twice a-week to Brechin, and the Highland district of Lochlee sends down a similar conveyance each Monday, which returns north every Tuesday. Fearn and Lethnot have each their Tuesday carrier, while to Luthermuir there is a cart with goods twice a-week.

The through mails are now also carried by the railway. The hours of delivery by the letter-carriers begin from the south at 7 o’clock morning for the summer months, and 7.30 morning for the winter months; and from England and the south at 12.15 p.m. all the year round, and from the north again at the window to those having boxes at 2.30, and to the public by the letter-carriers at 6.30 p.m. On Sundays the delivery is only from the window from 1 to 2 p.m. The mail is despatched for the north, that is, for Montrose, Aberdeen, Inverness, Ac., each day at 10.10 a.m. and 10 p.m., while the bags for the south close at 1 and 4.45 p.m. With one penny additional stamp, letters may be posted, in each case, five minutes later than the hours named; but letters to be registered must be presented fifteen minutes sooner. A mail gig goes to Edzell, where there is a regular post-office; the other parish posts are all carried by runners. The local despatches are all in the morning.

The arms of the town of Brechin are the figure of Saint Ninian sitting in a Gothic porch, with his left hand on a crucifix, bearing an image of Christ, and his right hand raised in the attitude of blessing, and below a shield with three piles upon it. There is no motto. The seal of the city is the same, with the addition of a thistle issuing from each side of the shield, and the words in black Saxon characters in a circle round the arms, “Sig: Civitatis de Brechin/’—the seal of the city of Brechin. The arms of the Bishop of Brechin are described in heraldic language, as, “Argent, Three Piles meeting in the point in base, Gules.” In common language, this means: On a white shield, three red piles meeting in the point at the bottom. The “ three piles ” of the bishop are also in the armorial arms of the town, as already noticed. These “ piles” by some are understood to represent the three nails by which Jesus Christ was fastened to the Cross. In 1848, a brass matrix was found in the Links of Montrose, showing the head of a bishop, with a hunting-horn below, and the inscription, “Sigillum Curie Officialis Brechinensis;” and amongst the documents which had belonged to the Messrs Spence, formerly town-clerks of Brechin, there were some years previously found the seal of the official of the provincial of the Dominican friars of Perth, and of Bishop David Strachan, and also the brass matrix for the seal of the chapter of the cathedral church, an elaborately executed engraving in brass. All these seals are now deposited in the museum of the Society of Antiquaries.

The Spottiswoode Miscellany gives this description of Brechin about 1680:—“Brechin is a royall burgh. The bishopp is provost thereof; hath the electione of a bailie. Earl Panmure hath the electione of the eldest bailie, and the toune has one. It lyes very pleasantlie upon the north syde of the water of Southesk, which runneth by the walls thereof. The yards thereof to the south end of the tenements thereof, where there is a large well-built stone bridge of two arches, and where Earl Panmure hath a considerable salmond fishing, and lykwayes croves under the castle walls, which lyes pleasantly on the water, and is a delicat house, fyne yards, and planting, which, with a great estate thereabout, belonged formerly to the Earl of Marr, and now to the Earl Panmure, and is called the Castle of Brechine. The toune is tollerablie well built, and hath a considerable trade, by reason of their vicinity to Montross, being fyve (Scots, or eight imperial) myles distant from it; but that which most enriches the place is their frequent faires and mercats, which occasion a great concourse of people from all places of the countrey, having a great faire of cattle, horse, and sheep, the whole week after Whytsunday, and the Tuesday thereafter a great mercat in the toune; they have a weekly mercat every Tuesday throughout the yeare, where there is a great resort of Highlandmen, with timber, peats, and heather, and abundance of muirfoull, and extraordinarie good wool in its seasone. Item, A great weekly mercat of cattle, from the first of October to the first of Januare, called the Crofts Mercat. Item, A great horse mercat weekly throughout all Lent. Item, A great horse fair, called Palm Sunday's Fair. It is a very pleasant place, and extraordinare good land about it. Earl of Southesk has a great interest lykwayes in the parish. Ballnabriech, belonging to the Laird of Balnamoone, a good house, and a considerable thing. Cookstoune, belonging to John Carnegy, lyeth very pleasantly at the North Port of Brechine, and is good land. The Laird of Findourie hath a considerable interest there, the most of it in acres ahout the toune; a good house, and well planted. Arrot, belonging to the Viscount of Arbuthnot, is a fine little house, lying upon the north syde of Southesk, with a fishing. Auldbar hath lykwayes an interest there,—Pitforthie, Bait, Keathock, Edgar; with a good new house, built by this present laird, Mr Skinner, minister.”

Brechin Castle, the seat of Lord Panmure, (as we generally style that nobleman in Brechin, although he now bears the higher title of the Earl of Dalhousie,) stands on the brink of a perpendicular rock, above the Southesk, a little to the south of the town, from which it is separated by a continuation of the ravine behind the cathedral. This castle was besieged by the English under Edward I. in 1303, and was, for twenty days, gallantly defended by Sir Thomas Maule, then Governor in the interest of The Bruce Sir Thomas, who was the ancestor of the family of Panmure, was slain by a stone cast from an engine placed on the opposite rising ground, upon which the castle was instantly surrendered. Part of the tower where Sir Thomas Maule was killed is still pointed out; and on the opposite rising ground, from which the fatal stone was thrown, a number of rude coffins, composed of loose stones, were lately found, in one of which was a skull with a nail driven through it, probably part of the missiles thrown from the castle. The south front of the castle, which is romantically situated above the river, has been recently rebuilt, and a square tower added. The west front forms a regular building in the style of the seventeenth century, with round towers at the flanks. Here the castle was protected by a ditch, (filled up partly when additions were made to the building in 1711, and partly at subsequent times,) while the river Esk on the south, and the ravine on the north and east, formed natural barriers against intruders; so that, originally, the castle has been pretty well protected with defences. The interior, which has been lately renovated, is handsomely and comfortably furnished, and adorned with a number of beautiful paintings, busts, and other works of art.

Brechin has given birth to several eminent men, most of whom we have already alluded to; we here enumerate them:— Bishop Gawin Douglas, author of the “Palace of Honour" and other poetical works, was born in Brechin in 1471. Alexander Scott, who wrote several poetical pieces about 1562, is understood to have been a native of Brechin. Thomas Dempster, professor successively in the colleges of Nimes, Pisa, and Bologne, is believed to have been bora in Brechin in 1580. He wrote the “Ecclesiastical History of Scotland,” in twenty-nine books, besides many miscellaneous works, and died at Bologne in 1625, while occupying the Greek chair of that university. Then there are the Rev. William Guthrie of Fenwick, born in 1620, author of “The Christians Great Interest;” the Rev. John Glendye, dean of Cashel, and prebend of St Michael's, Dublin, the founder in 1690 of the Glendye bursary in the College of St Andrews; William Maitland, the author of the “Histories of London and Edinburgh,” born about 1690; William Guthrie, the author of the “Geographical Grammar” which bears his name, and a variety of other works, born 1708; David Watson, author of the “History of the Heathen Gods,” Ac., born in 1710; the Right Honourable George Rose, clerk of Parliament, author of “ Observations on the Works of Fox,” Ac., bom in the neighbourhood in 1744, and educated in Brechin; John Gillies, LL.D., author of the “History of Greece,” and historiographer for Scotland, bom in Brechin in 1746, died in 1836, in his eighty-ninth year; the Honourable Adam Gillies, one of the senators of the College of Justice under the title of Lord Gillies, born in 1766, died in 1842; a younger brother of Dr Gillies; Alexander Laing, author of “Pawkie Adam Glen,” "Wayside Flowers,” and many- other poems, born in 1787; William Pennycook, manufacturer, and James Crabb, painter, both born about 1790, each wrote many pretty pieces of poetry, which were printed in the newspapers of the time, but neither ever published anything on his own account; Robert Lowe, teacher of dancing, an accomplished musician, author of many musical pieces, and an amateur painter of no mean powers, born in 1791; the Rev. John S. Memes, LL.D., minister of Hamilton, the author of the “Life of Canova,” and a general writer on literary subjects, born in 1795; the Rev. James Martin of Edinburgh, a writer on theological subjects, born in 1803; the Rev. John Pringle Nichol, LL.D., professor of astronomy in the College of Glasgow, and author of many works on astronomy, born 30th January 1804; John Henderson, architect in Edinburgh, also born in 1804; and, finally, our quondam apprentice, John Hendry, Writer to the Signet, a writer on conveyancing, born on 18th Nov. 1833, and who died on 13th May 1863, at the early age of twenty-nine. All these we record amongst the dead,—Alive at the present day we may name:—The Rev. James Welsh of New Deer, a mathematician of no mean power, who, about 1810, composed a treatise on algebra, manufactured many of the types and diagrams requisite, set up the types, printed the book, and bound it, in his father’s house in Blackbull Close; Colvin Smith, Esq., R.A., a portrait-painter of fame; the Rev. Thomas Guthrie, D.D., of Edinburgh; the Rev. Alexander Ferrier Mitchell, professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages in the University of St Andrews ; Andrew Jervise, Esq., her Majesty’s Inspector of Registrars, author of the “Memorials of Angus and Mearns” and many other works, and who can use his pencil as well as his pen;—and if we omit others it is because our list would otherwise swell out to an unreasonable length.


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