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The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Volume XII - Aberdeen
Parish of Ellon


PRESBYTERY OF ELLON, SYNOD OF ABERDEEN.
THE REV. JAMES ROBERTSON, MINISTER.

I-—Topography and Natural History.

Name.—The name Ellon is generally supposed to be a corruption of the Gaelic word Aileann [Perhaps Eilean], which signifies an island. Its appropriation as the name of this parish may be accounted for by the circumstance that a small island in the river Ythan, adjacent to the site of the village of Ellon, marks the position of the ferry formerly used on the principal line of road leading from Aberdeen to the north-eastern districts of Scotland. In support of the origin here assigned to the name Ellon, it may be remarked, that in an inscription on some old communion cups, presented to the kirk-session by the Forbeses of Watertown, the word is written Elleann. Port-Ellon, the name of a village in Perthshire, is understood to be of similar derivation.

Extent and Boundaries.—The parish of Ellon is from seven to eight miles in mean length, and about four miles in mean breadth. It contains upwards of thirty square miles. The figure of the parish is that of an irregular oblong. It is bounded on the west by the parishes of Udny, Tarves, and Methlick; on the north, by the parishes of Deer and New Deer; on the east, by those of Cruden and Logie-Buchan; and on the south, wholly by Logie-Buchan.

Topographical Appearances.—The surface in general presents to the eye an undulating appearance, but rises in several places into considerable eminences, from which, though they are not of such altitude as to deserve the name of hills, the prospect is, owing to the level character of the surrounding country, very extensive. The north-eastern range of the Grampians, Benachie, the Foudland hills, and the tops of the higher mountains on Speyside, are, when the state of the atmosphere is favourable, distinctly within the range of the observer's eye, which also commands an extensive view of the German Ocean, stretching from the Girdle-ness lighthouse in the south, to within a few miles of the point of Rattray in the north. A considerable range of high ground in the north side of the parish has not been brought under cultivation; but it is the worthless soil of the district, rather than its elevated situation, which has prevented the farmer from attempting its improvement.

The valley of the Ythan or Ituna bisects the parish from east to west. It presents no appearance worthy of particular notice. Two smaller valleys open into the valley of the Ythan, within the boundaries of the parish of Ellon, that of the Ebrie on the north, having a range of upwards of twelve miles in a northerly direction, and that of the Brony on the south, extending nearly an equal distance towards the south-west. Neither presents any object of sufficient interest to attract the special notice of the traveller.

Meteorology.—-The climate in the south side of the parish, along the valley of the Ythan, is, on the whole, for this part of Scotland, mild and temperate. The soil, being for the most part dry and gravelly, readily absorbs moisture, and is therefore a powerful corrective of the impurities of the atmosphere. The temperature in the neighbourhood of the river is perceptibly moderated by the influence of the tide. The spring tides flow on some particular occasions almost as far up as the bridge of Ellon. The climate in the northern districts is of a less genial character, which arises in part no doubt from the greater elevation of these districts, but chiefly, it is believed, from the retentive qualities of the subsoil, and from the circumstance that little has yet been done to correct the evil thence resulting by an improved system of drainage. The great inferiority of the climate of these districts was severely felt by the inhabitants during the years 1838 and 1839, their crops for these seasons having stood long back, and suffered much from the frost, while the harvest by the side of the Ythan was comparatively both early and abundant.

Hydrography.—There is no considerable stream in the parish of Ellon except the Ythan. This river takes its rise in the highest part of the parish of Forgue, flows for about seven or eight miles towards the south, when it takes a south-east, or rather east-south-east direction, and after an additional course of upwards of twenty miles, falls into the German Ocean at the sands of Forvie. It has a considerable volume of water, but, from the circumstance that when near the sea it spreads out into a broad shallow basin, it is navigable only by the smallest craft. And even were this basin of greater depth, the fragments of rock and large boulders which are to be found in the bed of the river where its channel becomes more contracted, must afford serious obstructions to the general purposes of navigation. Lime, coals, &c. are, however, brought up in flat-bottomed boats, called lighters, to the meadow of Watertown, a landing place about a quarter of a mile below the village of Ellon. Were the Ellon property in the hands of a spirited and improving proprietor, there can be little doubt that the channel of the river would soon be cleared and deepened to such an extent as to make it available, at least as far up as the lighters now reach, for the general export and import of this part of the country. Two or three thousand pounds judiciously expended would suffice to effect this important object, and would yield, it is confidently believed, a large and yearly increasing return. Before the introduction of stake-nets along the coast, the value of salmon caught in the Ythan was very considerable, the fishing having yielded an annual rent of several hundred pounds. The river fishing has dwindled now almost to nothing. Except for about two months in summer, the only attention paid to it is to look after the cruives. The Ythan, and the burns of Ebrie and Brony, which fall into it, are all capital trouting streams, containing salmon trout, common burn trout, and finnock in great abundance. Parties from Aberdeen often come out to this neighbourhood during the summer months, to enjoy a day or two in rod-fishing on the Ythan and its tributary streams. The Earl of Aberdeen is the present tacksman of the river fishings.

The parish of Ellon is abundantly supplied with excellent spring water, but it contains no spring known to possess medicinal qualities.

Geology and Mineralogy.—The rocks in this district of Scotland are all of the primitive class, lying in the direction of east of north, and west of south, and dipping for the most part to the south-east. In the valley of Ythan, and throughout the adjacent more fertile districts of the parish, they consist of varieties of the gneiss species. A bed of granite occupies the central districts, and the strata in the north side along the boundary of the parishes of Ellon and Deer, approach nearly to a pure quartz. The soil, however, is mostly diluvial, resting generally in the more fertile parts on a deep bed of yellowish open gravel. In a few instances where the gneiss rises to the surface, the soil consists, of course, of disintegrated rock. On the eastern side of the parish, there is a diluvial deposit of clay of considerable depth ; but the soil, with the exception of some spots, which, having been long under cultivation, have been repeatedly ameliorated by a plentiful application of lime, is retentive and unproductive.

The whole parish, with the exception of that part of it which rests on a bed of clay, is, due allowance being made for the less productive powers of the inferior soils, well adapted for turnip husbandry. The richer grounds along the course both of the Ythan and its tributary streams already mentioned, produce also abundant crops of oats, and seldom fail, if under good management, to show a rich sward of grass.

In the northern districts, the soil is, for the most part, composed of a loose blackish substance inclining to the nature of moss, with a plentiful admixture of white sand, and lies on a diluvial deposit of a white gravelly character. The loose stones on the surface have all that white or quartz-like appearance which it is believed uniformly indicates a poor soil, and certainly the soil in these districts is poor enough.

Plantations.—The extent of ground under wood is very limited. The Scotch fir and larch seem to thrive tolerably well; but the proximity of a boisterous ocean, all along the Buchan coast, renders this part of the country but ill adapted for the purposes of planting. The generally retentive character of the subsoil must also be considered to be highly prejudicial to the growth of wood. The number of acres laid out in plantations is probably under 150; and there is no full-grown timber in the parish, with the exception of a few straggling trees about the village of Ellon.

II.—Civil History.

The kirk and kirk lands of Ellon belonged to the Cistertian abbey of Kinloss in Moray. It is probable that they were conferred on this abbey at its foundation, in the middle of the twelfth century. They certainly belonged to it in the thirteenth century, as we find that, at an early period of the century following, Robert I. confirmed to the abbot of Kinloss, the advocation and donation of the Kirk of Ellon. The Kinloss monks probably acquired Ellon from one of the earliest Earls of Buchan. The Buchan family seem to have been partial to the Cistertian order, as they founded and endowed an abbey of this order at Deer.

In former times, Ellon, from its belonging to the abbey of Kinloss, was frequently designated "Kinloss Ellon." From an early period, the Bishop of Aberdeen also had lands of considerable extent in this parish.

Ellon appears to have been, from the most ancient period to which record extends, the head place of jurisdiction of the Earldom of Buchan. Among other proofs in evidence of this point, is a charter now in the possession of Captain Ferguson of Pitfour, granted before the year 1206, by which Fergus Earl of Buchan, in conveying certain lands to John, the son of Uthred, takes him bound to yield, along with his other vassals, suit and presence thrice a year at the Earl's head court of Ellon. The court in question was held, according to primitive usage, in the open air. Its sessions took place on a slight eminence, rising up from the left bank of the Ythan, about eighty or ninety yards below the site of the bridge of Ellon. This eminence, now occupied by the stables and farm-yard of one of the principal inns of the village, bore anciently the name of the moot hill of Ellon, but was commonly called in later times "The Earl's hill." It is specially mentioned in the charters of the Buchan family. Thus, in 1476, a seisin or livery of the earldom of Buchan was given unto James Earl of Buchan, super montem de Ellone, (attestation by the sheriff of Aberdeen, 28th October 1476), afterwards called Earl's hill. James was succeeded by his eldest son Alexander, and Alexander by his son John. This John was seised in the Earldom of Buchan, and Earl's hill thereof, as nearest kin to his father Alexander, on the 4th day of August 1547. The Earl's hill is included in a new charter of the Earldom, granted in 1574; and in 1615, Mary Douglas was infeft in the Earldom of Buchan and Earl's hill. The slight eminence or mound to which these charters and infeftments make reference, has now disappeared ; its site, as has been already observed, being otherwise occupied, but persons are still living in the village of Ellon who remember the time when the Earl's hill retained both its place and name.

The tenure of the lands of Kenmuick, now called the lands of Ellon in this parish, may have some interest for the antiquary. There is attached to the proprietorship of these lands the heritable office of constable of Aberdeen. This office, which at one time was of considerable dignity and importance, is probably as old as the thirteenth century, when the Castle of Aberdeen would seem to have been built. The lands of Kenmuick or Ellon are now in the possession of the Honourable William Gordon, second son of the late Earl of Aberdeen; but the name of the old family of Kenmuick, probably one of the oldest in this part of Scotland, was Kennedy or Kemptie.

The last Roman Catholic priest of Ellon was Andrew Leslie, who retained the benefice at least as late as the year 1563. The first Protestant minister was Alexander Ogilvy, who appears in the register of ministers and their stipends for that year as minister of Tarves, Methlick, Ellon, and Fyvie. It is not likely that he was in possession of the benefices of any of these parishes. His stipend, which is stated to be six score merks, was probably paid from the thirds.

The village of Ellon is thus described in Loch's Essay on the Trade, &c. of Scotland, Edinb. 1778, Vol ii. p. 121, "a small kirk -town, the property of Lord Aberdeen, containing in the whole parish about 3000 people. Much is done here in the knitting of stockings; no less than L.100 per week being paid by the Aberdeen merchants for this article alone. A good deal is also spun, and four looms are employed for the country use. Upon the whole, this place is improving fast, the country is populous, and the people very industrious." [For the particulars stated above, connected with the civil history of the parish, the writer is indebted to Joseph Robertson, Esq. Aberdeen.]

The estimate given in the above extract of the amount of the population will appear by and by to have been much exaggerated. The manufacture of stockings as an article of trade has long since been discontinued in this part of the country.

Land-owners.—There are eight proprietors of land in the parish, each of whom draws an annual income from it of upwards of L.50. These are, the Right Honourable the Earl of Aberdeen; the Honourable William Gordon of Ellon; Charles Napier Gordon of Hallhead; John Turner of Turnerhall; Lieutenant-Colonel Udny of Udny; John Leith Ross of Arnage; William Chambers Hunter of Tillery; and John Cruickshank of Peltachie. The measurements of their respective estates in the parish, according to the best, though, in several instances, imperfect, data with which the compiler has been furnished, are as follows:

Parochial Registers.— Some of the parochial registers reach as far back as 1630, but we possess a regularly kept continuous series of them only from 1711. They contain a record more or less full of the proceedings of the kirk-session, of the amount and distribution of the funds from time to time available for the relief of the poor, and of marriages and baptisms. From the negligence of parents, however, the register of baptisms is in most cases far from being complete. A well digested Legislative measure, enforcing upon parents attention to the duty of registration, appears to present the only effectual means of remedying the evil resulting from such negligence. A register of burials also has been kept by the gravedigger for the last thirty years; but as this record respects only the numbers that have been interred in burying grounds within the parish, it can furnish but imperfect means of estimating the actual amount of mortality.

Modern Buildings.—Ellon Castle, although, with the exception of the walls, it is now in a condition utterly ruinous, cannot be classed as an ancient building, the greater part of it having been erected about 1780, by the late Earl of Aberdeen, the father of the present proprietor. His Lordship made Ellon his principal place of residence, and at the time of his death, in 1801, left the castle, with the gardens and grounds, in a state of repair and order befitting the rank and wealth of their former occupant. At the period in question, a considerable extent of ground in the neighbourhood of the castle was occupied with thriving plantations ; and though the castle itself could have never had much to recommend it in an architectural point of view, yet, from the great capabilities of its locality, it must have presented to the eye of the traveller, when these capabilities were set off to advantage, an agreeable and interesting object. The present proprietor, who resides abroad, and who has not for many years visited his property in this part of the country, has, for what reasons the writer is unable to say, cut down the greater part of the wood, and suffered his patrimonial residence to fall into a state of premature decay.

There is a substantial mansion-house on the estate of Eslemont, in which the proprietor, Mr Gordon of Hallhead, usually resides. It is a plain building, standing on the right bank of the Ythan, about a couple of miles above the village of Ellon, and surrounded by from fifty to sixty acres of plantations, tastefully disposed, and carefully trained.

The mansion-house of Arnage has its site near the centre of the property, on the left bank of the Ebrie, about three miles above the junction of this tributary stream with the Ythan. It is a Gothic building, probably of considerable antiquity, and rather imposing in its appearance, though its accommodations, according to modern ideas of comfort, render it but ill fitted for a family residence. The late proprietor, however, occasionally spent a few months at Arnage during the summer season, and did much to improve the appearance of the family seat, by surrounding it with belts of planting, judiciously accommodated to the nature of the ground. The house is agreeably situated in the valley of the Ebrie, and commands, if not an extensive, yet a pleasing and variegated prospect.

Turner Hall, the seat of the Turner family, is situated about two miles north from the village of Ellon, on the acclivity of an elevation whose summit is probably the highest ground in the whole parish. It commands a most extensive prospect, comprehending a long range of the German Ocean, the higher grounds in the vicinity of Aberdeen, many of the Donside, Deeside, and several also of the Speyside mountains, together with an immense stretch of intervening country. The house is of an inferior description, patched-like in its appearance, and extremely limited in point of accommodation. The locality is not particularly favourable, but much has been done of late years to improve the grounds; and the circumstance that there are a few tolerably good trees in the lawn forbids peremptorily a change of site.

The mansion-house of Dudwick is now occupied by a tenant. It is a low common-place building, old enough to account for its being incommodious, but of no such pretensions to age as to give it the slightest interest in the eyes of the antiquarian. It stands to the north-east of Ellon, at a distance of about four miles from the village, in a cold marshy upland district, surrounded by a few miserable shrubs, which bespeak at once the poverty of the soil, and the severity of the climate.

The site of Haddo House, the country residence of the Earl of Aberdeen, lies in the neighbouring parish of Methlick. His Lordship has no seat on any of his estates in this parish.

III.—Population.

From the returns made to Government in 1801, 1811, and 1821, the population of the parish of Ellon during the first twenty years of the current century would appear to have been nearly stationary. Nor, if an estimate may be formed from the data furnished by the register of baptisms and marriages, would the number of inhabitants, though increasing upon the whole by a very glow ratio, seem to have undergone any considerable change for the half century immediately preceding. Of late years, however, as will be apparent from an inspection of the following returns, the increase of population has been much more rapid.

Population according to returns made to Government:

It is believed, from the great pains taken in making up the returns last given, and from the substantial confirmation of their accuracy afforded by another census subsequently taken by the minister, though with less care, that the results of the census of 1837, as stated above, may be entirely relied on. There may be some difficulty, however, in accounting, on satisfactory grounds, for the rapid increase of population which would thus appear to have taken place since 1831. Such increase, the writer conceives, may be ascribed, in part at least, to the three following causes, each of which has unquestionably operated, to some small extent, in adding to the amount of population. 1. Some additional houses have been built in the village of Ellon, and, as a single house in the village is frequently divided among several families, the increase of population arising from this cause may furnish no inconsiderable fraction of the amount to be accounted for;—2. In several districts of the parish, and particularly on those estates on which there was formerly a wide extent of waste land, cultivation has been extending itself for some years past by rapid strides. In various instances new cottages have been erected, each having attached to it a piece of reclaimable ground, in the improvement of which the cottagers, with their families, are now busily engaged. Much has been done also in the reclaiming of waste lands upon the larger farms, and an additional number of servants or day-labourers has been required in consequence;—3. As agriculture has been, upon the whole, in an improving condition for the last six or eight years, and as, more particularly in this district, a powerful stimulus has been applied to it by the new facilities afforded by steam navigation for the transportation of fat cattle to the London market, the farmers have found it to be their interest, even in cases where there was no waste land to be improved, to expend a greater amount of capital on their respective farms, and consequently to add to the number of their labourers.

If the united operation of the causes above-mentioned is deemed insufficient to account for the remarkable rise upon the population of this parish since 1831, the writer may be permitted to observe that he is convinced, by experience, that an accurate census cannot be obtained, and that the returns made will always fall below the truth, unless heads of families are required to specify the names of their children and dependents. He has found, in innumerable instances, that, in the gross return at first made to him, an omission had to be supplied, when the party questioned was required to specify the names of his family. From the circumstance, then, that the names of the inhabitants were not required in the census ordered by Government, he is disposed to think, without imputing the slightest negligence to the highly qualified and most respectable gentleman who was employed to take the census of the parish of Ellon in 1831, that that census might have probably come short of the actual amount of population.

According to the census of 1837, the number of persons in the parish, under fifteen years of age, is 935; the number of families amounts, according to the same census, to 564, by which, if we divide 2805, the gross population, we shall have within a very trifling fraction of 5 to a family.

The people are, in general, exemplary in their morals, respectful and courteous in their behaviour, and assiduous in their attendance on religious ordinances. They are intelligent in no ordinary degree; and, although, in regard to the religious, or rather ecclesiastical controversies now unhappily so prevalent, they may not be all established in the same mind, yet their good sense, or, as it is hoped, a much higher principle, leads them to express their differences without animosity, and in a spirit of meekness.

There is one deaf and dumb child in the parish, and three or four people, far advanced in life, have become affected with blindness. A man, who has been insane for many years, and who is the only individual among us deprived of the use of reason, is maintained in the Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum, partly at the expense of the Presbytery Lunatic Fund, and partly at the charges of the kirk-session.

IV.—Industry.

The estimated extent of this parish in Scotch acres has been already given, of which it has been also stated, that upwards of 12,000 are under cultivation. From a rough estimate it is presumed, that, were sufficient encouragement afforded, an extent of about 300 acres additional might be reclaimed, with a reasonable hope of its yielding ultimately a remunerating return. The greatest proportion of the land, however, which is still waste, seems, from its elevated situation, and from the absolute poverty of the soil, to be condemned to a state of perpetual sterility.

Rent.—The gross rental is within a trifle of L. 10,000, being about seven and a half times the amount of rent paid at the date of the last Statistical Account in 1792. It must be observed, however, to prevent mistakes in a matter of so much statistical importance, that the augmentation of the rental, though undoubtedly very great, is yet not quite so great as from the above statement it would appear to be. When the last Statistical Account was drawn up, a considerable number of the farms were held on leases, for which, in addition to the annual rent, a premium, or, as it is usually termed, a grassum, had been paid at the period of entry.—Still, due allowance being made for the item of grassums, the rental at present cannot be less than four or five times its former amount. Two of the largest farms in the parish are still rented much under the full value,—the old leases by which they are held, and for which grassums were originally paid, having not yet expired. On the expiry of these leases, the gross rental will amount to upwards of L. 10,000. Some of the land in the immediate neighbourhood of the village is rented at the high rate of upwards of L.5 per Scotch acre; but its actual annual value probably does not much exceed one-half of the rent which is now paid. It is farmed by the villagers in small parcels, less with a view to profit than pleasure and convenience. The average rent of land of the same quality, in more remote parts of the parish, is from L.2 to L.2, 10s. per acre. On the inferior soils, the rent per acre varies from 10s. to 15s. The average rent of arable land for the whole parish will be found, from the data already furnished, to be within a small fraction of 17s. per Scotch acre.

Live-Stock.—The breed of work-horses has of late years been Much improved. Superior mares have in several instances been brought from Clydesdale and other parts of the west country, celebrated for breeds of horses of good bone and action. Much has been done also for the improvement of the breed of horses by the spirited exertions of the Highland and Agricultural Society. The horses chiefly sought after for agricultural purposes, are not those of the largest size, but such as are of good mettle, and easily kept in good condition.

Until of late years almost the only breeds of black-cattle known in this district of country were the Aberdeenshire horned and Angus polled breeds. But what is called the short-horned or Tees-water breed is now prevailing to a considerable extent, and seems in spite of the opposition which its introduction has encountered from various quarters, to be daily gaining ground. Opinion, however, is still divided between this recent importation and the ancient breeds of the country, and it is not for the writer to presume to determine which party has the right side of the question. One thing is matter of fact, and forces itself upon the attention of even the most ordinary observer, that our farmers now bring their cattle to a much greater weight than in former times, and receive for them a price proportionally more remunerating. Various causes have contributed to bring about this result, one of which, and undoubtedly not the least important is, that much more attention and skill are now applied not only to the feeding off of full-grown stock, but also to the equally important departments of breeding and of keeping the rising cattle in a thriving condition. Had the same attention been formerly given to these important parts of the farmer's occupation, there can be no doubt that cattle even of the ordinary breeds of the country might have been brought to much greater weight than what, under the less perfect mode of management heretofore adopted, they ever attained. Still, as it seems to be admitted on all hands that the short-horns both attain to a greater size, and are capable, from their less active habits, and probably other concurring causes, of being fed off at a much earlier age, it is questionable whether, at least on a good farm, the same amount of profit could be realized by the breeding of cat-tie of the Angus or Aberdeenshire breeds. The beef of the short-horns is said to be inferior, which is probably the fact. Nevertheless, as no preference seems to be given to the pure Aberdeenshire breed in the London market, an inferiority in the article exposed by him, so long as that inferiority does not affect its exchangeable value, cannot be supposed to have much influence with the Scottish farmer. An apprehension now generally entertained is, that second and third crosses between the Teeswater and Aberdeenshire breeds may be attended with a deterioriation of both. Indeed, the most intelligent farmers seem to be of opinion that the two breeds should be kept as distinct and pure as possible, and no intermixture allowed beyond a first cross.

Sheep-farming is but little pursued in this district of country, and in the parish of Ellon is altogether unknown.

Husbandry.— The rotation of cropping now generally followed is what is called the seven-shift course. According to this rotation, the distribution of crops stands thus. First year, green crop, chiefly turnips ; second year, oats or barley, generally the former; third, fourth, and fifth years, pasture ; hay is raised but in small quantities. Sixth and seventh years, oats; in some rare instances, the seventh crop, or second crop after lea, is barley.

The cultivation of barley, that is, speaking more accurately, of bear or big,—for the latter is the variety generally grown in this part of the country,—although extensive in coast-side districts, is much more limited in the inland parishes. Here, the farmers find upon the whole, that oats is their most profitable crop; and it is, accordingly, to the cultivation of this species of grain that their attention is chiefly directed. About thirty years ago, the cultivation of wheat was introduced to some extent, but it was soon found, that unless in particularly favourable seasons, a wheat crop did not attain to maturity in our climate. A field of wheat on any of our farms would be now held to indicate a culpable disregard of the lessons of experience. Pease were formerly grown on some farms in this neighbourhood as a variety of green crop ; but, owing to the adoption of an improved system of agriculture, and particularly to the impetus given to turnip husbandry by the facilities which steam-navigation affords to the farmer for exporting his fat cattle to the London market, the cultivation of this species of crop is now almost universally abandoned. From the great extent to which the cultivation of turnips has of late years been carried, and from the greatly enhanced value, in consequence of the circumstances already adverted to, of the turnip crop to the farmer, he is now seldom disposed to depend for its production, exclusively on the dung prepared on his farm. Happily, the extra quantity of manure thus rendered necessary has been supplied by the important addition which has been recently made in the article of bone-dust, to the various species of manures formerly known. The quantity of bone-dust which, even in this immediate neighbourhood, is now applied every season as manure for land, is so great as almost to exceed belief. In addition to the large quantities of the article in question imported into Aberdeen and Peterhead, or manufactured in those places, the quantity sold annually at the intermediate sea-port of Newburgh and applied chiefly to the districts stretching along the Ythan cannot, according to data furnished by Newburgh merchants, be estimated at less than sixty thousand bushels. The annual expenditure, therefore, on this article of manure, of the limited district which draws its supplies from the village of Newburgh, falls little short of the large sum of L.9000. Bone manure is found to answer remarkably well on all light soils, provided that they have been for a considerable period under cultivation. Its effects are not so favourable when applied, particularly if it be applied by itself, without any admixture of dung from the farm-yard, either to soils which, though light, have been recently reclaimed, or to the heavier clays. The usual allowance, where no other species of manure is applied along with it, is 25 bushels per Scotch acre, or 20 bushels when it has been previously mixed with an equal quantity of peat-ashes. The more common way, however, of applying it in this part of the country is to add 12 or 14 bushels of bone-dust per Scotch acre, to half the usual allowance of dung from the farm-yard. The crops of turnips raised on land manured with bone-dust are to the full as heavy, if the land be well pulverized and of an open and unretentive character, as can be raised upon the same quality of land by a liberal allowance of common farm-yard dug. When bone-dust is the only manure applied for the production of the turnip crop, some of our farmers are in the practice of giving an additional half allowance of farm-yard dung, in sowing down with grass seeds in the spring following. They are of opinion that the extra expense thus incurred is more than repaid by the superior productiveness of the succeeding crops of the rotation.

Some time ago, the five year's shift, namely, 1st, turnips; 2d, grain; 3d and 4th, pasture; 5th, grain, was the rotation usually followed. But this shift is now very generally abandoned, it having been found by experience that the land requires a longer continuance of rest than the shift in question allows, for the recovery of such powers of production as are essential to the profitable cultivation of grain. Most practical farmers in this district have come to be decidedly of opinion, that land which has been pastured upon for three years, will yield, when broken up, a greater return of oats per Scotch acre, by from eight to twelve bushels, than what will be produced on land of the same quality, and apparently in the same condition, which has been depastured only for two years. To the eye of a superficial observer, both crops may appear to be equally luxuriant and equally rich ; but it will be found on a more careful examination, that the ears of the crop raised on the land which has been but two seasons in pasture, are, particularly the lowest parts of them, much less perfectly filled than those of the other, and hence that the former crop consists, in a much larger proportion, of the light sort of grain usually denominated shillocks. This superior productiveness of land which has been for a greater length of time depastured, is now in part at least generally ascribed to the circumstance, that excrementitious matter is thrown off from the roots of plants during the period in which their seeds are advancing to maturity, and that such matter being of a nature unfavourable to the future production of the same species of plant, the length of time requisite for the resolution of this matter into its constituent elements, must be allowed to elapse before the same sort of crop can again be successfully cultivated. The theory on which this explanation proceeds is confirmed by the fact, that land which has been exhausted by successive crops, for example of oats, is still in a condition to yield a profitable return of pease,—the excrementitious matter of the oat either serving as food for the latter species of crop, or at least subjecting it to no deleterious influence. Another reason, however, for the superior productiveness of land which has been for several years depastured, is to be found in the obvious circumstance, that on pas ture lands, the soil is not exhausted by the production of seeds. How materially the circumstance now mentioned affects the point at issue, must be well known to every practical farmer, inasmuch as the fact is confirmed by universal experience, that no crop whatever draws more from the soil, or leaves it consequently in a more exhausted state than a crop of hay seed. Indeed, of so exhausting a character is a crop of this description, that the grass lands on which it is raised lose considerably in their productive powers, notwithstanding the compensation made to them by the resolution into its constituent elements of such excrementitious matter of oat crops, &c. as they might have previously contained. The superior productiveness, therefore, as to crops of grain communicated to a field through its having been kept for several years in a course of pasture, is to be accounted for, it is believed, chiefly on the ground that during this period of rest, while no seeds are produced by it, it imbibes and accumulates from the atmosphere the elementary matter which forms the principal ingredient in their composition. The rest enjoyed by pasture lands is, in a great measure, to be considered then, rather as the occasion than the cause of their improved fertility : the true cause of the improvement in question being that, by the process of depasturing, the formation or at least the maturing of seeds is prevented, and time, therefore, allow-ed for the accumulation in the soil of their constituent elements, A principal ingredient in the composition of seeds has been found by the experiments of Sir Humphrey Davy and others to be nitrogen, which substance, it has been further ascertained by Liebig and his coadjutors, is communicated to the soil in sensible quantities, through the medium of rain water, snow, &c These are evidently important facts, and seem to promise that the farmer will soon be able, by means of artificial manures, to infuse into the soil that peculiar virtue in respect of the filling and maturing of the ears of grain, of which in the meantime, the rest allowed by a course of depasturing continued for several successive years is held to be, if not the efficient cause, at least the almost exclusive occasion. That the frequent stirring of the soil is not, per se, calculated to exert an impoverishing influence, and hence that the superior productiveness of pasture lands when first broken up after a long period of rest, is not to be ascribed to the mere element of rest taken by itself, is demonstrated by the fact, that the productive powers of soils are in every instance increased by subjecting them to the process of summer fallowing. The increased powers of fertility ascertained to result from this process of summer fallowing seem again to direct our attention to the nutritive matter which the soil in favourable circumstances is capable of extracting from the atmosphere, and hence to give probability to the hypothesis that such an analysis as shall detect the nutritive atmospheric matter thus extracted, may discover to the farmer an available method of enriching his fields by the addition of the same matter through the medium of artificial manures. The value of such a discovery would be very great, indeed, as even the seven shift is found in many cases to be of an exhaustive character; the crops of successive rotations under it becoming, notwithstanding plentiful supplies of common manure, less and less productive. To remedy this evil of decreasing productiveness, some of our best fare mers have adopted what is called the six shift, according to which, after three years' pasture, they take only one grain crop before fallowing. Such a shift, however, it is to be feared, cannot be generally adopted while rents continue at their present rate; and besides, on strong clays and other similar soils, which are but ill adapted to pasture and turnip husbandry, it must involve, under any circumstances whatever, an obvious loss.

The crops in this district of country have been, for many years, as they still are, cut down by the scythe,—a method of reaping which is not only less expensive, but which, on other accounts also, is deemed preferable to the mode of cutting with the sickle, formerly employed. In the stack-yard, indeed, some loss is sustained from the exposure to the weather of a greater proportion of ears of grain in the stubble end of the sheaf, than when the sickle is used ; but this trifling loss is more than made up to the farmer by the important circumstances, that the process of mowing takes the crop more effectually off the field, and renders it fit also in a much shorter period of time for being safely transferred to the stack-yard.—Females are employed for gathering the mown corn into sheaves, one to each scythe; and perhaps the greatest objection to this mode of reaping is, that when the crop is heavy it necessarily throws upon the female labourer an undue proportion of the hardest work. Females are employed also in hoeing, in barn work, and in the other lighter kinds of agricultural labour. Such work is not, indeed, too hard for them; but still it may be questioned whether the female part of the population are not now engaged in out of door employments to an improper extent; as a constant application to such employments, even if it were not otherwise injurious, necessarily leaves them less time for improving themselves in matters of domestic economy, and consequently for undertaking the management of a family.

Improvements.—In draining, in the reclaiming of waste land, and in the adoption and steady prosecution of the most improved systems of husbandry, the farmers in this parish have displayed, with very few exceptions, much spirit and energy. In some instances, indeed, they have been encouraged and assisted in carrying forward their more weighty improvements by the liberal cooperation of their landlords; but even where this stimulus has been wanting, or applied but in a very moderate "degree, their own well directed exertions have effected many improvements of an important character. Perhaps no part of the country possesses a more industrious or enlightened tenantry; and there are certainly few districts, in which the general style of agriculture exhibits a healthier or more improving aspect. The extensive importation of a larger and more profitable breed of black-cattle has already been noticed, and some idea has also been given of the value of bone-dust annually applied to the improvement of cultivation, and particularly of turnip husbandry. On many of the farms, more especially where the soil inclines to clay, there is, besides, a considerable annual expenditure for English lime. For some years, indeed, after the introduction of bone-dust, lime was applied in smaller quantities,—an idea having at first generally prevailed, that the necessity of applying the latter article would be superseded by the effects of the bone-dust.. This idea, however, has proved to be erroneous; the disuse of lime having been followed by a marked deterioration of the pasture grasses. Accordingly, lime is again applied by our farmers in much the same quantity in which they applied it in former times.

The chief obstacle to expensive improvements of a fixed character is to be found in the faulty nature of the Scotch law of entail, which precludes the possibility of giving a sufficient guarantee to the farmer of remuneration at the end of his lease for such improvements as he may have executed. Where the proprietor of an entailed estate is in comfortable circumstances, and has the prospect of being succeeded by a member of his own family, the evil now adverted to may not be much felt; but where matters stand otherwise, it exerts an influence in regard to farm-steadings, enclosures, &c. of the worst possible description. Unfortunately a large extent of the land in this parish is in the hands of an heir of entail, whose circumstances and advanced years, as he has no heir of his own body, alike forbid the expenditure of his means in permanent improvements. While, therefore, the farms upon his estates which are held on leases of nineteen years, are in general well cultivated, his tenants obtaining from time to time a renewal of their leases, and finding it their interest, in consequence, to keep the soil in good condition, little is done either in the way of enclosing, or towards the improvement of their farm-steadings, for this obvious reason, that for such expenditure no remuneration can be secured to them.—Whatever views may be taken of the Scotch law of entail, and how desirable soever it may be to have it retained in other respects in all its integrity, it is humbly submitted that it would be for the advantage of all parties to allow such a change to be made upon it as might do away with the evil now complained of, by rendering admissible under it an efficient guarantee for the repayment to a reasonable extent at least, by the proprietor in actual possession at the termination of a lease, of the sums vested by the tenant during the currency of that lease, in fixed and enduring improvements.—Another obstacle to improvement, which, however, is more partial in its operation, as it respects only the northern districts of the parish, where the possessions are either crofts or farms of very limited extent, is the great expense that must be incurred in the digging of lines of leading ditches before the districts in question can be subjected to an efficient system of drainage. It is obvious that the removal of this obstacle to improvement, if it is to be effected at all, must be effected by the proprietors ; as it is not to be supposed that the occupiers of the crofts and small farms alluded to can have either the skill or capital requisite for the execution of so extensive operations. Were the proprietors of this district, however, to be at the expense of opening up leading ditches on a sufficiently extensive scale, and were they further to give some little encouragement for improvements in draining to their cottars and small farmers, there can be no question that they would reap, even at the expiry of the current leases, an ample remuneration for the expenditure incurred, and that such remuneration would be after all, but an earnest of the profits to be ultimately realized. Few districts possess greater capabilities of improvement, and were these capabilities, by the execution of the works above spoken of, once fairly opened up to persons of industry and perseverance, such parties, even though their capital might be but limited, would not require very many years to convert into good corn land what is now little better than a morass. The climate at the same time would share in the improvement, and advantages would hence result also to the adjoining districts.

A farther, and indeed the greatest obstacle to agricultural improvement, which affects the whole range of the science in all parts of the country, is the want of an experimental farm, placed under the superintendence of an individual who should combine with the skill of a practical farmer, extensive chemical attainments, and particularly a thorough experimental knowledge of the various processes of the chemical laboratory. Agriculture hitherto has scarcely deserved the name of a science, its rules having been almost entirely empirical, and the experiments made in it having, with few exceptions, been superintended by persons incapable of keeping in view a scientific result. The recent publication of Liebig, however, announces the dawn of a better era, and establishes a platform on which the science of chemistry may be confidently expected to render as important services to agriculture as it has already rendered to arts and manufactures. But it is obvious, that, for the carrying out of Liebig's principles,—that, for the various processes of analysis requisite to the perfecting of his system,—and that for the originating and superintending of the experiments that may be necessary for testing the value of artificial manures, a knowledge of chemical science far beyond any attainments that can reasonably be expected on the part of even the most enlightened practical agriculturist, is an essential requisite. Such a task evidently requires, too, the undivided attention of the party undertaking it, and is, for this reason also, unfit to be committed to the care of an agriculturist who must live by his profession. Immediate profit is not the object that should be looked to. It is probable, indeed, that, leaving out of view other expenses, which, nevertheless, if a right establishment is set on foot, cannot but be considerable, the services of a properly qualified superintendent will alone involve a cost exceeding the annual value of the whole farm. But it surely cannot for a moment be supposed, that, when a reasonable prospect of benefits altogether incalculable is opened up to the agricultural interest, the expense of a few thousand pounds, should such a sum be found to be requisite, will deter our landed aristocracy from carrying through the experiments requisite for the realizing of such a prospect. Should but one experiment in twenty succeed, and the data furnished by Liebig entitles us to form a much more sanguine estimate, still, the advantages resulting to the agricultural interest would greatly outweigh the expense incurred. Indeed, with the prospects now opened up to them, our extensive landed proprietors will be altogether wanting to their own interests, if, while almost every large manufacturing establishment in the country engages, at a high salary, the services of a practical chemist, they fail) through the dread of a trifling expenditure, to realize the advantages which seem at length to be fairly within their reach. It is confidently hoped, however, that this subject will soon be taken up by the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, and that, under the auspices of a body which has already done so much to promote the best interests of the country, an experimental establishment will be set on foot, calculated to carry into full operation the enlightened views which have been recently thrown out, and thus to place agriculture on that elevated platform in the department of the sciences, to which, from its vital importance, it is so justly entitled.

The usual duration of leases is nineteen years. There are still two or three liferenters in the parish, and one of the old leases for the long term of fifty-seven years, or three nineteens, as it is called, has not yet expired. No farm, however, is now let for a longer period than nineteen years.

The farm-steadings, with the exception of some of those on the Ellon estates, are neat and substantial. Many of the farm-houses are slated, and those which have been recently erected are, generally speaking, large and commodious. The steadings, where newly built, are slated or tiled, most commonly slated. Where they are of longer standing, they are for the most part covered with thatch or heather. Threshing-mills have been erected almost in every instance in which the farm is of any considerable extent. Indeed, it would now be scarcely possible to procure servants willing to undertake what was wont to be denominated a heavy threshing.

Produce.— From the great extent of inferior land in the parish, and from the enhanced expense of cultivation consequent both on this inferiority of the soil and on the exertions that have been made, of late years, to reclaim waste ground, the gross value of raw produce annually raised on an average of years, exceeds in a greater than ordinary ratio, the value of produce annually disposable. In forming an estimate, however, of what ought to be the gross amount of the rental of an estate or parish, it is only the value of the disposable part of the annual produce, which, with propriety, can be taken into account. Nor can even this element be held to bear an invariable ratio to the gross amount of rental, since, though, in calculating the proportion of raw produce which may be disposed of, a deduction is previously made for the maintenance of the tenants' family, servants, horses, &c, and also for seed-corn, there still remains to be charged, on the marketable part of the produce, the variable item of wages, which will be greater or less according to the amount of labour required for tillage. It is true, indeed, that the additional proportion of produce, which, in the cultivation of inferior soils, requires to be expended on labour, is by no means lost to the 'country, inasmuch as it augments proportionally the rural classes of society, and adds, therefore, to the healthier part of the population. Still, whatever advantages may thus result from an increase of the number of agricultural labourers, it is obvious that rent and the expense of labour stand to each other in an inverse ratio, and, consequently, that, where the latter element is unusually large, the rent must bear a less proportion to the gross value of the disposable produce.—These observations having been premised, which were judged necessary, in order that a just comparison might be instituted between the rental of the parish and the gross value of its annual disposable produce, the return afforded by the latter will be found to yield nothing beyond a reasonable allowance for the heavy expenses of rent, wages, interest on capital, &c. with which it is chargeable. In an estimate of this nature, it is impossible to attain perfect accuracy; but, according to data which cannot be liable to any serious error, the average annual disposable produce of the parish will amount to from L.22,000 to L.23,000. Of this sum, about three-sevenths may arise from the sale of grain, a somewhat larger proportion from the disposal of black-cattle and other kinds of live-stock, while the remainder is made up chiefly from the produce of the dairy.

Manufactures.—There is no large manufacturing establishment either in the parish or neighbourhood, and consequently there is no part of the population which, properly speaking, belongs to the manufacturing classes. Ten or twelve persons, indeed, are employed at a small carding and spinning-mill on Lord Aberdeen's estate of Ardlethen, but they are happily, in no respects, distinguished either in their manners or sentiments from the agricultural population by which they are surrounded.

Formartine Agricultural Association.—Most of our principal farmers are members of this Association, which has for its chief object the improvement of the breed of black-cattle. The Earl of Aberdeen is patron of the Association, which is supported also by the other proprietors of the adjoining districts. There are upwards of 200 members, each of whom pays an annual contribution of 5s. The Association is conducted on the most liberal principles, the privilege of entering stock for competition being allowed to occupants of farms under L.50 of yearly rent, even although such occupants should not be contributors to the funds. The Formartine Society is, on the whole, perhaps the most thriving agricultural Association in Aberdeenshire ; and the benefits resulting from it, particularly in bringing improvements in the department of breeding within the reach of all classes of the agricultural community, are universally felt and acknowledged. It has tended, in no mean degree, to impress on the whole stock reared in this district that highly improved character, which, by the most competent judges, it is now admitted to possess. The efficacy of the Association has of late years been increased by the liberal patronage of the Highland and Agricultural Society, part of whose funds have been applied in placing at the disposal of the association additional premiums. In proof of the improvements effected on the breed of the district by the Formartine Agricultural Association, it ought to be stated, that, among many other premiums awarded to parties connected with this body by the Highland and Agricultural Society, at their general exhibition of stock, held at Aberdeen in October 1840, one of the members, Mr Hay of Shethin, had adjudged to him the premium for the best ox of any breed. The same individual, it ought farther to be observed, was a successful competitor also at the last show of stock held at Smith field.

V.—Parochial Economy.

Markets, Means of Communication, &c.—There is no regular market for provisions held in the village of Ellon, but, as we have generally one or two resident fleshers, fresh butcher-meat can be procured at all seasons, at least once a week.' Fish also is abundantly supplied from the neighbouring villages of Collieston and Newburgh, the female part of the fishing population carrying them almost daily into all parts of the adjacent country. The other articles usually furnished by a provision market are seldom in demand, as most of the Ellon feuars either occupy as much land as enables them to keep a cow and some poultry, or obtain a ready supply of butter, eggs, &c. from their nearest neighbours. There is a monthly market for black-cattle and grain, which, in the winter season, particularly, is well attended, the Aberdeen butchers drawing a considerable proportion of their supplies from this district, and the sales of grain shipped at Newburgh being chiefly effected at Ellon. In addition to the monthly markets, there are six annual fairs, two of which are held in the village, and the remaining four on a piece of waste ground in the immediate neighbourhood. Some years ago, the Ellon fair, held at Marymas, was one of the most important in the country, and attended by cattle-dealers from the south of Scotland and England ; as at this market the principal surplus stock of the district was annually exposed for sale. The opening up of the London market, however, through the facilities afforded by steam navigation, has given to the cattle trade an entirely new direction, and rendered the business transacted at our country fairs confined, in great measure, to the interchange of stock among home dealers. Two of the fairs above-mentioned are held at the respective terms of Martinmas and Whitsunday, chiefly for the purpose of engaging servants, This system of hiring at markets has been much condemned; but the evils attending it seem to have been exaggerated, as the experience of a few years is found to be sufficient to make the masters and servants of a particular district acquainted with each others characters, and qualified, therefore, to regulate with discrimination their mutual engagements.—In respect of means of communication, the situation of the parish of Ellon is particularly favourable. The village is accommodated with a post-office, —and on the turnpike road from Aberdeen to Peterhead and Fraserburgh, which passes through it, and lies for a distance of four miles within the parish, there is daily a double mail both from south and north. Runners also, either daily or on alternate days, afford a regular means of intercourse with Newburgh, Slains, New Deer, &c. Besides the mail coaches, a stage-coach, which leaves Strichen and Old Deer on alternate mornings, passes through the village to Aberdeen on every lawful day, and returns the same evening. We have two regular carriers to Aberdeen, each of whom makes the journey to the county town twice a-week; and the bridge over the Ythan at Ellon, being as it were the key to the whole Buchan district, weekly communication, by means of carriers travelling to and from Aberdeen, may be had with every part of that district. Ellon is distant from Aberdeen sixteen miles, from Peterhead nearly eighteen, and from Newburgh, the nearest shipping-port, about five or five and a-half, with all which places it is connected by lines of turnpike road. During the last twenty or thirty years, great exertions have been made to improve the condition of the commutation roads, which were formerly much neglected. They are now, for the most part, in a state of good repair, and, in several instances, new lines have been opened up, by which the progress of improvement has been much facilitated. The road money is applied, in every case, with great judgment and economy; and where the sums allocated by the trustees are found to be insufficient for the execution of improvements seen to be necessary, the proprietors, much to their credit, have, in many cases, made temporary advances, without interest, of the amount required, from their own funds. Something, indeed, still remains to be done to put the commutation roads into such a state of improvement as may bring out fully the resources of the parish; but much has been already accomplished, and both proprietors and tenants are now animated by such a sense of the importance of the work as affords the best guarantee that it will not be left in an unfinished state.—The Aberdeen Bank, the Town and County Bank of Aberdeen, and the North of Scotland Bank, which also has its head office in Aberdeen, have each a branch in the village of Ellon. It is understood that a considerable amount of business is transacted at these branches,—a circumstance not to be wondered at when it is kept in mind, that the village constitutes the principal market place of an extensive district of rich country.—The parish is rich in the medical profession, there being three surgeons in the village, and a fourth in the immediate neighbourhood. There are two merchant tailors in the village, each of whom gives regular employment to a considerable number of workmen, two bakers, and several general merchants for groceries, seeds, cloth, &c. some of whom carry on a very extensive business. The number of persons who have licenses to sell spirits is greater than is desirable. It must be remembered, however, that the well frequented roads which pass through the village, render houses of entertainment for different ranks of travellers, matter of absolute necessity.

Ecclesiastical State.—The parish church, which is a very plain erection, quite in the usual style of Scotch country churches, was built in 1777. Although it can boast, however, of no architectural beauty, it is a commodious and comfortable place of worship, having undergone, about twelve or thirteen years ago, a thorough and substantial repair. It is seated for nearly 1200 persons, allowing to each sitter the legal admeasurement; but it can accommodate without much inconvenience a congregation considerably larger, say from 1300 to 1400. In the autumn of 1839 it was tastefully lighted up with gas, by means of which improvement the evening service can now be continued through the whole year.—The church, although it has its site where the population is most dense, does not occupy a central position, its distance from the southern boundary of the parish being at an average only about two miles, while its mean distance from the northern boundary cannot be less than from six to seven. The inconvenience thence arising to the section of the population inhabiting the northern districts of the parish was long severely felt by them ; and, as appears from the Presbytery records, attempts had been made, from time to time, to remedy the evil complained of, by the erection in their neighbourhood of an additional place of worship. What gave greater weight to this proposal, and rendered all parties more anxious to have it carried into effect, was the circumstance, that the inhabitants of the adjoining districts of the parishes of Deer, New Deer, and Tarves were subjected to a like inconvenience, being equally distant from their respective parish churches. Accordingly, when in 1834, prospects were held forth by the establishment of a Church Extension Committee, that the church was disposed to make a vigorous effort to provide for the growing spiritual destitution of the community, the proposal above alluded to, which had been kept in abeyance only by the want of the requisite means for carrying it into effect, was again taken up by the parties more immediately interested, with redoubled energy. Their efforts were at length crowned with success, and by subscriptions raised in the destitute districts, by collections made through almost all the parishes of the presbyteries of Deer and Ellon, and by liberal donations received from the heritors, together with a grant of L.140 made by the Church Extension Committee, sufficient funds were provided for erecting, on a convenient site, a neat and substantial church, capable of containing from 600 to 700 sitters. The new church was opened for public worship in December 1834, and, though means have not yet been obtained for the maintenance of an ordained clergyman, the services of the sanctuary have ever since been regularly administered to a large and respectable congregation. On every third Sabbath day, the pulpit is filled by the minister of one of the parishes more immediately benefited by the new erection, while it is occupied on the intervening Sabbaths by a probationer resident in the neighbourhood. The sacrament of our Lord's Supper has been annually dispensed in the new church, for the last four years, by authority of the Presbyteries of Deer and Ellon, and the number of persons who partook of the ordinance in 1840 was upwards of 500. The writer is not aware that the ordinary attendance at the original parish churches, though the number of communicants of course is not so great as formerly, has been sensibly diminished.— The sittings in the parish church, with the exception of the minister's pew, are exclusively in the hands of the heritors or their tenants. No sittings in the parish church are let. The sittings in the new church above spoken of are let annually at a rate varying from 1s. 6d. to 4s. The seat rents, as the collections are applied exclusively for the relief of the poor, constitute the only fund available at the present time for defraying the expense of public ordinances.

The manse of Ellon was repaired and enlarged by the addition of two public rooms, a bed closet, kitchen, and sleeping apartments for servants, in 1826. It is now probably, in point both of comfort and accommodation, one of the best manses in the country. Though but a little way removed from the village, yet an intervening screen of Huntingdon willows gives to the grounds within the gate an appearance quite secluded and rural. The situation, for this part of the country, may be considered beautiful. It stands on a bank sloping to the Ythan, the intermediate ground between it and the river being laid out as garden. The offices also are sufficiently commodious and in good repair.

Theglebe, inclusive of the garden, may extend to about six Scotch acres. From its proximity to the village, although the soil is not in general of first rate quality, it would probably yield an annual rent of from L. 18 to L. 20. The stipend, as modified in 1823, amounts to sixteen chalders of grain, half barley half meal, payable by the fiar prices of the county, with an allowance of L. 10 for communion elements. The barley is estimated by the Linlithgow measure. The teinds, which belong to the heritors, may amount on an average of years to the value of L.800 per annum.

The patronage of the church belongs to the Earl of Aberdeen.

According to the census, already repeatedly adverted to, the distribution of the population with reference to religious communion stands as follows:

Number of Episcopalians, 147
Independents, 47
Roman Catholics, 1

There is a neat Episcopalian place of worship in the neighbour-hood of the village, capable of accommodating a congregation of from 300 to 400. Many Episcopalians belonging to the neighbouring parishes attend public ordinances at Ellon. The United Secession and Independents have also each a place of worship in the village, but the Independent church has not enjoyed the services of a resident clergyman for the last four or five years. The number of persons who, on an average of years, actually partake of the Lord's supper in the Established Church is about 1120; and, making an allowance for sickness, the infirmities of age, and other casualties, the total number of adults in full communion with the Church of Scotland will not fall much below 1200.

Education.—There are two parochial schools in the parish, both of which, and particularly the principal one, which has its site in the village, and at which the attendance is more regular, are conducted according to the most improved system of education, and with great ability and efficiency on the part of the teachers. The parochial school in the village is generally attended by upwards of 100 pupils, and the numbers, though somewhat less in summer than during the winter months, are, on the whole, more steady and uniform than is usual in country schools. At the other parochial school, which is placed in the northern district of the parish, at a distance of about four miles from the village, the attendance is far less regular, the number of pupils varying frond thirty to sixty, according to the season of the year. What has been termed the intellectual system of education has been adopted in both schools with such modifications of the plans usually followed, as the judgment of the teachers, enlightened by a practical acquaintance with the peculiar circumstances of a country school, have led them to approve. It is an object uniformly kept in view by the teachers, to call into exercise on the part of their pupils, the powers of reflection and judgment. A great proportion of that class of scholars in both schools, whose education was limited only a few years ago to the elementary branches of reading, writing; and the fundamental rules of arithmetic, are now instructed, and, in many cases, make great proficiency, in the higher departments of English grammar and geography. Indeed, an avidity for a knowledge of the subjects last mentioned seems to pervade all classes of the pupils; and such knowledge is happily beginning in consequence to be more and more regarded by the public at large, as an essential element of even the most ordinary education. Besides geography, and English grammar, geometry, practical mathematics, Latin, and, in some instances, the elements of Greek and French, are taught in the parochial schools. Both the parochial teachers are well qualified to give lessons in all these branches; but instruction in the higher departments last adverted to is seldom required, save in the original parish school. Religious instruction is carefully attended to in both schools; and Sabbath schools, for promoting the same object, are taught by each of the parochial schoolmasters for eight months of the year. The Sabbath schools are well attended, and the improvement of the young in religious knowledge, and, it is hoped, in a just sense also of the infinite importance of Divine things, has been much advanced by them. Mr Lillie, as master of the original parish school, has a house and garden. He enjoys the maximum salary, and receives, it is believed, from the Trustees of the Dick Bequest, the allowance awarded by them to their highest class of teachers. His school fees may amount to about L.40 per annum, and his gross yearly emoluments, therefore, will be upwards of L.100. The second parochial schoolmaster has only the minimum salary, and, to make up even this allowance, the annual value of his accommodations requires to be taken into account. Though, at the examination instituted by the Trustees of the Dick Bequest, for entrant schoolmasters in the three counties entitled to the benefit of their fund, he was found to be the first man of his year, yet, as the limited numbers attending his school have an effect, in terms of the regulations adopted by that body, in reducing the allowance to be awarded to him, his emoluments, from the same, do not probably exceed an annual sum of L.30. His school fees may be estimated at L.20 additional, so that his gross income, exclusive of the value of accommodations, will be somewhere about L.70 per annum.

In addition to the two parochial schools, there are four schools in the parish, taught by individuals, for the most part on their own adventure; and a fifth seminary, of the same character, on the boundary of the parishes of Ellon and Methlick, which draws, however, the principal part of its attendance from the parish of Ellon. Two of these schools are taught by males, and three by females. All the teachers, with the exception of one female, who is an Episcopalian, are members of the Established Church. The gross number of pupils attending the non-parochial schools may be about 200. Two of the schools in question, namely, that on the boundary of the parishes of Ellon and Methlick, which is taught by a male, and the female school, in the village of Ellon, each of which schools has a partial, though very inadequate endowment, are remarkably well conducted. The others, though less efficiently taught, are attended with much advantage to their respective neighbourhoods, as they afford, in their several localities, elementary instruction to children, whose tender age renders them incapable of reaching a more distant seminary. Even in the inferior schools, there is no falling off in the care bestowed on the religious instruction of the pupils. In some schools of this class, indeed, the Scriptures and the Shorter Catechism constitute, as of old, the only school books. While, however, regard being had to the amount of good thus effected by teachers who receive no adequate remuneration for their labours, it would be unbecoming, and almost unchristian, to speak of the seminaries conducted by them in terms of disparagement; yet, there can be no question, that many of their more advanced pupils would derive greater benefit from attendance at an efficiently taught parochial school. Entertaining this view, the writer is happy in being able to state that, through the munificent bequest of the late Mr Garden of Ardlethem, means will soon be forthcoming for erecting, in a suitable locality, and under such management as affords the best guarantee for its permanent efficiency, an additional endowed, if not, parochial school.

The proportion of the population engaged in the business of education, if we take as the data for our estimate, the numbers, at any one time, in actual attendance at school, will be found to be about one-eighth part of the whole amount. But, as many of the poorer children attend school only during the winter half year» being employed in summer in the herding of cattle, &c, the gross number of pupils enrolled, in the course of twelve months, will bear a considerably larger proportion to the entire population. The proportion, in the latter case, will be such, indeed, as to afford a reasonable ground of hope, that no individual of the rising generation is suffered to grow up altogether destitute of the merely elementary attainments of reading and writing. Still, the irregular attendance at school of the children of the poorer classes of society is much to be deplored, as it breaks their habits of attention, and interrupts that salutary course of moral and religious training in which, much more than in the superficial attainments above-mentioned, the value of a good education consists.

But while the imperfect education of the poorer classes, arising from irregular attendance at school, &c. cannot but prove prejudicial to their interests in after life, nor fail to exert, where its natural consequences are not averted, a pernicious influence on their religious and moral condition, it seems questionable, in taking a comprehensive view of the present state of society, whether the more complete education enjoyed by persons in less depressed circumstances be attended with all the beneficial consequences that ought to result from it. That the cultivation of the intellectual powers of the human mind has attained, in respect of the great body of society, a higher degree of eminence than what it occupied at any former period of history, cannot be denied ; but it certainly is not to be inferred, from any data afforded by the existing state of things, that society has undergone a corresponding improvement in the higher departments of religion and morals. On the contrary, the opinion is daily gaining ground, and seems to have a foundation in truth, that in these all-important respects, at least a very large section of the social body has become deteriorated. Indeed, no intelligent observer of men and manners can fail to remark the growing prevalence of a sensuous philosophy, inconsistent alike with that stern self-respect, and that high resolve of unconquerable faith which formed the characteristic features of the olden time. How far the prevalence of this philosophy is attributable to the changes which have been effected in the system of education, or to other cognate causes, we shall most readily discover by instituting a comparison between the character of the education formerly in use and that of the course of instruction which, in more recent times, has supplied its place. Education, in its just and most comprehensive sense, respects the whole course of human existence. The process of evolution implied by it, which is merely begun at school, is carried forward in the case of each individual with more or less happy consequences, according to circumstances, down to the period of his dissolution. It is only by regarding education in this extended point of view, that we can form a due estimate of its importance, or appreciate, even with tolerable accuracy, its influence on national character. Looking, then, at the process of education in the comprehensive range now assigned to it, there are two remarkable features of that process, as it was developed and wrought out at former periods of our history, which cannot fail to arrest our attention. The first important feature that distinguished the ordinary education of former times was impressed upon it by the circumstance, that almost the only school books then in use were the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The second, which is of kindred character, it received from the yet more influential circumstance, that the same Scriptures, or other religious works, having for their object the illustration and practical enforcement of scriptural truth, furnished the principal mental food of maturer years. Admitting, then, that the powers of the understanding might not, in the schools of former ages, be so vigorously exercised as they now are, yet, under the system of tuition which has just been pointed out, it seems impossible, that the heart should not have received early impressions of the most valuable character: and these impressions once made, must, in as far as the studies of a riper age could have influenced them, have continued indelible, since it was the natural effect of those studies not to efface but to deepen the engraving originally furrowed out. The consequence would be, that the whole man, gradually becoming illumined by the light of scriptural truth, would almost necessarily be led to contemplate, through the medium of that light, both the phenomena of nature and the events of life. Now, as it has been justly remarked, that the Bible, overlooking secondary causes, interposes, for the effecting of every change, the right hand of the Most High, a man thus educated would feel himself to be ever in a spiritual presence, and to be surrounded on all sides by those mysterious influences of which it may be affirmed, that, as the sense of them manifests the necessity, so does it constitute the strength of faith. Though such a man might be ignorant of much that is now held essential to a finished education, and of much that, when kept in the subordinate place which properly belongs to it, is truly valuable, as opening up new traces of the wisdom and goodness of God,—yet, in the conscious feeling of an ever-present Deity, in the fervent cherishing of that abiding sense of dependence on the Divine strength, which such a feeling inspires, and in the grateful recognition of those mysterious ties, which, through a common God and a common Saviour, bind in the "bonds of an everlasting brotherhood, man to his fellow man, he must have drunk deep at the fountain of that better lore which gives to the human soul its highest dignity, and which fits it both for acting and for suffering, whatever may be the circumstances in which it is placed, in a manner worthy of its immortal destiny. Hence, that high moral and religious bearing, and that manly firmness and strength of character which distinguished both the burghers and peasantry of the olden time, are explicable on principles, which approve themselves to enlightened reason, as the soil on which such fruits might be expected to be matured.

But now in modern education, the prominent qualities of which we have been speaking, and to which consequences so important have been traced, will, in many instances, be looked for in vain. With reference, indeed, to the elementary instruction of the parochial school, we have not to complain, either that the Bible has become a sealed book, or that the Bible lesson is negligently taught. The Bible, on the contrary, is still a school-book; and justice to that most valuable body of men, the parochial schoolmasters of Scotland, renders it our imperative duty to state, that, with no exception of which we are aware, due pains is bestowed by them, at the daily reading of the Scriptural lesson, in impressing upon their pupils the instructions which it conveys. But as the Bible is now but one of many school-books, and as the time that can be allotted for the reading of the scriptural lesson is necessarily limited, it becomes a most important subject of inquiry, whether the other treatises usually studied at school harmonize with the principles of Divine truth. And, for the establishment of such a harmony in this respect as the nature of the case requires, it is obviously not sufficient that the treatises in question contain nothing of a character positively anti-scriptural. Articles on biography, natural and civil history, physical science, arts and manufactures, ethical philosophy, &c. can easily be conceived chargeable with no offensive opposition to revealed truth, while it is yet their direct and necessary tendency to keep its doctrines in the back-ground, and to exclude from the mind of the learner all distinct recognition of an observant and overruling Providence. A course of reading composed of such articles can scarcely fail, particularly in the case of the young, to be attended with consequences extremely prejudicial; it puts man in the place of God; represents physical and even moral changes as abstracted from all but secondary causes, and thus, by excluding, or, at least, failing to recognize, the agency of that only living and vivifying power, which hath impressed on the worlds, both of mind and matter, their respective laws, builds up, imperceptibly indeed, but not therefore with less fatal success, the impious superstructure of a cold, earthly, and sensuous philosophy. In the course of reading now adverted to, which has obviously no tendency to stir up those deep and mysterious sympathies of the heart which make man conscious of his spiritual relationship, and impart to him the first taste of living wisdom,—the exercise of the merely intellectual powers of pupils will serve only to aggravate the evil, as the knowledge to be derived from such a source is that knowledge destitute of charity, which the Scriptures emphatically designate as the knowledge that puffeth up. It is admitted that an education so conducted may be attended, if we regard it in a merely temporal point of view, with considerable advantages. The knowledge which it supplies may extend commerce, improve manufactures, and furnish to the blind votary of wealth the accomplishments requisite for success in his pursuit. But it is not less true, on the other hand, that both the principles on which such an education is based, and the spirit which it breathes, stand diametrically opposed to the spirit and principles of the word of God, tending to efface from the mind all practical remembrance of Divine truth, and to make the heart hard as steel against every nobler affection and sympathy of our nature.

Where, then, in the business of education, the school-books conjoined with the Bible are of the character above described, the salutary impressions which the scriptural morning lesson might make on the minds of pupils will be almost necessarily obliterated by the uncongenial course of study, which forms the occupation of the subsequent part of the day. In such circumstances, the Bible lesson will be an isolated task, from which, impelled by the natural aversion of the carnal mind to spiritual things, the scholar will gladly make his escape to studies that, from their being conversant with sensible objects, from their supplying at less expense of thought, a less valuable, yet a more tangible and showy knowledge; and, above all, from their promising to promote more directly his views in life, he will regard with feelings of a livelier interest. In an education so conducted, although the religious instruction" of his pupils shall be carefully attended to on the part of the teacher, religious impressions of a permanent character cannot be expected to be stamped upon their minds; and hence, when their attendance at school has terminated, they will have to launch forth upon the troubled stream of active life with no fixed principle to guide their course.

It may be true that, even when the Scriptures were almost the only school-book in use, the principles of many on the termination of their school career had yet to be fixed; but admitting this assumption to be well founded, still the circumstances in which the youth of a former age were subsequently placed, were infinitely more favourable than are those furnished by the present state of society for deepening and confirming the religious impressions of early years. It has been already stated, that the Scriptures, at the period referred to, were not merely the only school-book, but formed also, in conjunction with treatises of kindred character, at least to the great body of the people, the chief subject of the study of mature life. On the magnitude and importance of the change which, in respect of the circumstance last mentioned, society, as now constituted, presents, it would be a mere waste of time to offer many observations. The fact is notorious, that the country is deluged with publications, some of which are conceived in a spirit of positive hostility to the principles of religion, and of which others again, though not directly of an irreligious character, are yet calculated, either to call off our attention from Divine things, or insidiously to substitute views of our present condition and future destinies, inconsistent with the views maintained on such subjects in the volume of inspired truth. Nor is it matter of less notoriety, that the publications in question, which are written, for the most part, in a style peculiarly captivating, attract a large share of public attention, and particularly from that class of the community whose youth and inexperience render them in an especial degree susceptible of new impressions.—Another element which, in modern times, is highly favourable to the growth of a sensuous philosophy, and noxious, therefore, in a like degree, to the best interests of religion, is to be found in the unceasing turmoil and bustle necessarily attendant on the greatly extended range of our commercial and manufacturing interests. The many fluctuations to which these interests are liable, the unremitting attention required for the successful prosecution of them, and, though last, not least, the congregating in one place of the myriads of human beings to whom they give employment, have all a natural tendency to incapacitate the mind for the serious and sustained reflection on spiritual things essential to the advancement of vital religion, and to rivet its powers of attention on the ever-changing aspect of passing events. The extent to which the element now mentioned, or the publications formerly adverted to, issued as they are in monthly, weekly, and even daily shoals, from an ever-teeming press, actually exert an unfavourable influence on the religious sentiments of the community, it would not be easy to overrate. That it must be very great, and that, in consequence, the present condition of society is calculated much more to weaken than to confirm the religious impressions received in early years, are facts which, it is presumed, no impartial observer will feel disposed to call in question.

Such, then, being the bearings on religion of the actual state of society, the character of the education tendered to the young obviously acquires an immeasurably increased importance, since it is evident that it is only an education thoroughly religious that can apply to the evils above pointed out an effectual remedy. Works of noxious tendency will then only cease to be poured forth from the press, when, through the abiding influence of early religious impressions, there shall have been eradicated from the public mind the depraved appetites which they now pamper; and then only will the evils necessarily incident to the extended range of our commercial and manufacturing interests be successfully counteracted, when the principles of those occupied with them shall have been previously established on the solid foundation of a scriptural, rational, and practical religion.

The all-important question then comes to be,—is the system of education now commonly pursued, calculated to meet the emergency which has arisen, and so to fix the religious principles of the young as to steel their hearts against the corrupting influences to which in after years they will have to stand exposed ? It were well, indeed, if this question could be answered in the affirmative; but the undeniable fact, that the religious education of youth has never commanded even a tithe of the attention to which its paramount importance so justly entitles it, forbids us to indulge the hope that such an answer can with truth be returned. In fact, so little importance has been attached to the department of religious instruction, that numerous instances are not wanting, more particularly of late years, in which attempts have been made to have it authoritatively excluded from the school curriculum. Of seminaries constituted on such a principle of exclusion, which happily, however, are not yet to be found in this part of the empire, it may be sufficient to remark, that, as the basis on which they are established affords the surest indication of the actual prevalence of the evils which it is the proper business of education to counteract and extirpate, so the only result that can be reasonably anticipated from them is the farther development of such evils in an aggravated form.

But, omitting all notice of seminaries, of a constitution so utterly preposterous, there is reason to apprehend, as has been already hinted, that in schools of a better character, and even in our parochial schools themselves, religious instruction is not interwoven in such a manner with the whole business of education, as an enlightened regard to the establishment and confirmation of sound principles of religion in the minds of the pupils seems obviously to require. It is believed, that in all our schools, without exception, the course of instruction pursued, is, in respect of this important matter, disjointed and fragmentary. Religion, indeed, in the schools more immediately under notice, is not an excluded branch of knowledge, nor in such schools is the place assigned to religious instruction, strictly so called, that is, to the exposition of the daily scriptural lesson, less prominent than, from the multifarious subjects to which a parochial schoolmaster must give his attention, it might be expected to be. The true ground of complaint is, that it occupies, amidst the general business of the day, an isolated position; that it blends not its sacred truths with the system of education considered as a whole; in short, that there is not stamped upon the entire course of instruction followed the genuine impress of a religious character. The remark, that religion holds, in modern systems of education, an isolated place, is to be taken, of course, with greater or less latitude, according to circumstances. Perhaps few school-books are to be met with, in which there may not be found occasional pieces, conceived in a scriptural spirit, and calculated to impress the reader with sound views of scriptural truth. But it is believed that the number of such works is still more limited, in the compilation or composition of which, particularly with regard to those of them intended for the use of more advanced pupils, the hand of an enlightened Christian philosophy has been steadily at work, in culling from the fields of science, history, literature, &c. such views of God, of nature, and of our common humanity, as, breathing the genuine spirit of revealed truth, might build up, in harmonious combination with intellectual excellence, the living temple of a moral and religious, and therefore truly noble and manly, character. The descriptions of processes of art and manufacture, the superficial statements of the naked results of scientific inquiry, and the many other articles of a like flimsy and purely mechanical character, with which our school-books now abound, would seem to have been drawn up almost for the express purpose of communicating that smattering of knowledge which is ever the ready minister of pride and vain-glory. We would not, indeed, have the knowledge which these articles convey left untaught, but we would have it taught in such a manner, as, by connecting it with the well-head or fountain whence it originally sprung,—with the many years of patient and persevering toil of which it was the reward,—and with the views which it unfolds, alike of creative wisdom and goodness, and of a constantly superintending and sustaining Providence,— should impress the mind of the pupil with a deep sense of his own ignorance and nothingness, and lead him to discern, both in the constitution of nature itself, and in the discoveries of that constitution vouchsafed to man, the gracious interpositions of an ever-present Deity. How often, again, are the short historical and biographical articles, which appear in our school-books, of a character as remote as possible from harmonizing with the spirit and principles of Divine truth, and how powerfully must they tend, therefore, in the case of the young, to weaken the force of religious impressions, and to give to the inexperienced mind the direction and bent of a practical infidelity ! Yet the events of history are many, and strikingly impressive, from which, without incurring any danger of judging presumptuously of the workings of Providence in human affairs, a master mind in literature, which should be also thoroughly imbued with the sound principles of a living Christian philosophy, might extract lessons for the young of the highest practical religious importance; and the altogether preeminent services, which, under the like auspices, might be rendered to the cause of education, by the still more productive field of biography, must forcibly present themselves to every re-fleeting mind. What examples of the purest and most disinterested patriotism, of the loftiest moral bearing, and of the most imposing attainments in the walks of literature and science, might be furnished by the annals even of our own country, illustrated and infinitely enhanced in value, by being found in conjunction with the humility characteristic of an ardent piety, and with the inflexible devotedness of the faith which worketh by love ! Who shall estimate the happy effects that might result to the youthful mind, were it, through the instrumentality of Christian genius, to be made conversant from its earliest years with examples so admirably calculated by their nature, beauty, and excellence, both to arrest its attention, and to form its character! It is easy to see, also, how poetry, and its sister art of music, for the employment of which in the work of education we have the authoritative example of God himself, might be brought to blend in entire harmony with the elements above-mentioned, in moulding, according to the Scriptural pattern, the dispositions and principles of the rising generation. These departments have heretofore been all but neglected; and hence are we supplied with another cause of the inadequate moral and religious tendencies of the system of education now in use.

If, then, our educational institutions are thus imperfect, in respect of the highest objects which the education of responsible beings ought to contemplate, while, at the same time, the corrupting influences to which, on leaving school, the minds of the young are exposed, have been greatly increased, both in number and intensity, we shall cease to wonder that society presents an unsettled and disjointed appearance, and that its prospects are becoming daily of a more gloomy and alarming character. For the evils under which we labour, and for the still greater evils with which we are threatened, the defective state of our educational system affords, in the circumstances in which we are placed, both an obvious and adequate cause; and hence the subjects of inquiry which present themselves are, 1st, What steps are to be taken for the removal of the defects with which our present system of education is chargeable? and, 2d, Who are the parties more immediately called on to perfect and apply such remedial measures as may be requisite?

On the first of these subjects of inquiry the narrow limits here assigned to us forbid us to add to the observations already offered. It evidently follows from these observations, that, while it would be no longer proper, even if it were possible, to limit the course of reading in schools to the inspired volume, the spirit and principles of this volume ought, nevertheless, to be intimately blended with the whole course of instruction pursued, and to communicate to every part of that course a decidedly religious tendency. What it has been our uniform purpose to show is, that the scientific, literary, and other secular information, now communicated in our schools, should have infused into it the vivifying spirit of a genuine Christianity, and that it ought ever to be the primary object of education, to which all merely secular views should hold a subordinate place, to build up the moral and religious man. To a due regard to this primary object, however, it is by no means requisite that the secular branches of education should be less efficiently taught than they now are, or that the course of instruction in our schools should be rendered in consequence less adapted to the business of secular avocations; but only that all secular knowledge should be grafted upon the stock of religious truth, and caused thus to manifest in its farther development the pervading influence of that better knowledge, which, whatever our secular pursuits may be, is essential to the dignity of our calling as men. It is allowed, that, for the perfecting in detail of a system of education, based on the principles now adverted to, and particularly that for the composition of school books, constructed in just conformity to these principles,—calculated, moreover, to rouse and sustain the interest of the youthful mind, and embracing, at the same time, the wide range of subjects, some knowledge of which is at the present day held to be essential, even to a good school education, a combination of genius, talent, and acquirement is requisite, such as is to be expected only in the most gifted and cultivated of our race. The amount of merely secular knowledge required it might not indeed be very difficult to obtain ; but that intimate acquaintance with the constitution of the human mind, that profound practical insight into the genius and spirit of our most holy faith, and that fine perception of the analogies subsisting between natural and revealed truth, which are essentially necessary to the working up, into attractive forms, instinct with spiritual religion, of the raw materials which secular knowledge provides, obviously imply the possession of a very high order both of capacity and cultivation.

Unquestionably, with reference to our second topic of inquiry, the Established Church is the party which is bound, by considerations of the highest possible moment, to use its best energies in devising, perfecting, and applying an effectual remedy. The duties of the presbyteries of the Church, in visiting and examining the schools within their respective bounds, have generally been performed, it may be admitted, with sufficient fidelity; and it is due also to the General Assembly to state, that it has displayed of late years a most praiseworthy zeal in increasing the means of education in districts heretofore inadequately supplied with them. But an effective superintendence of the education of a country implies, not merely a periodical inspection of its schools, or, as circumstances may require, an occasional increase of their number, but a regard also to the perfecting of the instruction which it is their object to communicate. It is here that our national Church appears to us to be called on to make still farther exertions. Physical science has been unremitting in the prosecution of its discoveries, and year after year have new harvests of physical truth been presented to the public mind, clothed in the most attractive and popular forms; the periodical and daily press also has opened up to all classes of the community an extended acquaintance with arts, manufactures, commerce, &c, and involved them, moreover, in intricate discussions regarding the principles of government, and other subjects of a like abstract character, while yet comparatively nothing has been done by the Church to impregnate, through the medium of education, the new truths thus brought to bear on society with a religious spirit and tendency. That it is the imperative duty of our National Church to take care, not only that the interests of religion be protected from aggression, but also that the whole progress of society be rendered subservient to the advancement of those interests, cannot for a moment be disputed. Would the General Assembly once take up the subject with a spirit of earnestness and determination commensurate to its infinite importance,—would they unfold to the people of Scotland, in an affectionate pastoral address, a clear and comprehensive idea of an education adapted to the present advanced state of secular knowledge, which, by imbuing every department of that knowledge with the genuine spirit of a living Christianity, should thus render it in the highest degree instrumental in evolving and perfecting, both for the business of time and the enjoyments of eternity, the whole powers and capacities of man's intellectual, moral, and spiritual being;—it may be safely predicted that, for the accomplishment of so truly great and glorious a work, there would forthwith be supplied, with unhesitating readiness, both adequate pecuniary resources,—the grateful offering of an enlightened Christian sympathy,—and the assiduous and persevering efforts of the most richly endued Christian genius. In such a state of things, opposition would be constrained to yield to the irresistible force of Divine truth; in the light of this truth, prejudice, ashamed, would hide its head; and thus religious education, having its intrinsic worth once clearly revealed to the public eye, would go forth with the prayers of a united church, and with the rich blessing of the God of all grace, conquering and to conquer.

Friendly Societies.—There are three Friendly Societies in the parish,—in some respects variously constituted, but having, as their general object, the payment of small annuities to the widows of deceased members, and of a limited allowance in cases of sickness to members whose circumstances require such aid. Two of these societies also make a small allowance for defraying the funeral expenses of deceased members. The average annual disbursement of all the three, for the years 1838, 1839, and 1840, amounted to upwards of L.84. These Societies appear to be well conducted, and they have proved in many cases, eminently serviceable to the poorer classes of the community.

Savings Bank.—A savings bank, in terms of the acts of Parliament regulating such institutions, was established here in November 1839. The operations of the bank extend to several of the adjoining parishes; as the village of Ellon, from its central situation, is found to be a convenient place for the transaction of business. The sums deposited in the bank from the parish of Ellon alone amounted, in May 1840, to nearly L.1100. The amount of sums withdrawn, from the commencement of the institution, up to the same date, was something less than L. 160. The savings bank promises to answer well the purposes of its institution. Many individuals of the working classes have now deposits to a very considerable amount; and the circumstance, that all sums, however small, are receivable, evidently tends to foster among them habits of foresight and economy.

Poor and Parochial Funds.—There are usually about 40 persons who receive a stated allowance out of the funds for the poor, at an average rate, when they are not bedrid or peculiarly in-firm, of from L. 1, 10s. to L.2 per annum. In the case of bedrid paupers, or widows who have been left in destitute circumstances with large families, a weekly allowance is made, varying, according to the exigencies of the case, from 2s. to 4s., and even 5s. Of late years there has been an unusually large number of such cases in the pa* rish, which, of course, has pressed with proportional severity on the funds. There is from time to time, also, particularly in the winter season, a considerable number of occasional paupers who require temporary supplies from the kirk-session. In the se-vere winters of 1838 and 1839, when day-labourers were thrown out of work for many weeks, a serious inroad was made on the permanent funds of the session, the expenditure having for each of these years exceeded the income by about L.50.

The ordinary collections made in the church throughout the year average nearly L.90, which, with an extraordinary collection made annually for the pauper lunatic fund, will make the whole sum collected for the poor, in the course of twelvemonths, amount to about L.95. The permanent funds belonging to the kirk-session are upwards of L.300 ; but the amount cannot be stated with perfect accuracy, from the circumstance that part of them was long ago vested in house property in Aberdeen, which is of uncertain value. The annual return from the permanent funds, inclusive of a mortgage of L.20 Scots on a small field adjoining the village, may be stated at from L.14 to L.15; thus making the amount of the whole sum annually available for the relief of the poor, and for the payment of the session clerk's and kirk officer's fees, about L.110.

In 1838, on account of the peculiar severity of the season, small donations were received from most of the heritors in aid of the funds of the kirk-session, amounting in all to L.25; but in this part of the country such contributions have seldom been had recourse to, except at periods of more than ordinary difficulty. There can be no question, however, that, even in country parishes, the difficulty of making a suitable provision for the wants of the poor, by the ordinary methods of collection, &c. is rapidly increasing; and that the period is not far distant when the subject of pauperism must force itself more prominently on public attention. Indeed, in the case of large towns, this period appears to have already arrived. A hope, however, may be entertained, that, with the fatal example of the large manufacturing towns before them, the heritors of country parishes will be roused to provide effectual means for the moral and religious education of every child that may be trained up upon their estates, and to see also that the means so provided be diligently and faithfully applied to the object in view. The writer has no wish that heritors should assess themselves in large sums for the actual maintenance of the poor, as he conceives that this maintenance should always be partly dependent on the voluntary charity of a Christian neighbourhood; but he has long been deeply impressed with the opinion, that they might do incalculable good, at a cost altogether trifling, by assisting the poor labourer in the education of his family, and by giving it to be distinctly understood, that any of their dependents who should ne-gleet to have his children instructed, the means of education being within his reach, must incur, by such neglect, their serious displeasure. Were the education of the families of their dependents to be thus attended to by the higher classes of society,—were it made known over an estate, for example, that, while the proprietor would willingly give assistance to all that should be ascertained to stand in need of it, he would positively expect that the children of every family resident upon his domain should receive the benefit of a thorough grounding in at least the elementary branches of education, and, more particularly, in the fundamental doctrines and precepts of our holy religion;—and were he to direct his tenantry to keep a watchful eye, in regard to this all important matter, over their hinds and cottars, that man is but little acquainted with the state of society in our country parishes, or rather with the genuine feelings of our common humanity, who could hesitate to anticipate, that, by the blessing of God upon such an order of things, it would be attended with consequences of the. most beneficial character. If pauperism is to be traced in too many instances to the early formation of idle and dissipated habits, we may hold it to be impossible, on the broad principles of a well-ascertained experience, that such an order and discipline as that to which we have adverted, should not exert the most salutary influence in repelling the inroads of this formidable evil.

May 1841.


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