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


PRESBYTERY OF DEER, SYNOD OF ABERDEEN.
THE REV. WILLIAM DONALD, MINISTER.
[Drawn up by Roderick Gray, Esq. Peterhead.]

I.—Topography and Natural History.

Name.—The ancient name of the parish was Peterugie, arising, perhaps, from the rocky headland or promontory near the mouth of the Ugie. A small island between the town and sea is called Keith Inch; the town in the charter of erection, in 1593, by George Earl Marischall is named Keith Inch, alias Peterhead; and since that time the name of the whole parish and town has been Peterhead. In old charters, the name is Petri promontorium and Petri polis; for other etymologies the reader is referred to the former account of the parish.

Extent, &c.—This parish extends along the coast in a straight line about four miles, bending along the sea shore about five miles, and from east to west it extends from three to four miles. It is bounded on the south, by the parish of Cruden; on the west, by Longside; on the north, by Saint Fergus; and on the east, by the German Ocean.

The area of the parish is about 9085 imperial acres, or nearly 15 square miles. The bounding line on the south, and partly on the west, is elevated, and is denominated the Stirlinghill, the hill of Invernettie, Blackhill of Peterhead, and hill of Cowsrieve.

Topographical Appearances.—The Stirlinghill rises 282 feet above the level of the sea; the highest part of the Blackhill is about the same elevation ; the other parts of the range are somewhat lower. The Meethill, (on the estate of Invernettie,) which is of a conical shape, and rises from 150 to 200 feet above the level of the sea, is a deep mass of clay resting upon granite, and is not connected with the above-mentioned range. The other parts of the parish are not much elevated above the level of the sea; the surface, however, is diversified by eminences alternately with hollows, and exhibits a connected state of regularly cultivated fields. The Stirlinghill, which terminates at the village of Boddam, forms the well known promontory of Buchanness. Between the parish of Cruden and the fishing village of Boddam, in this parish, the sea is bounded by high cliffs of granite and other primitive rock, forming mural precipices; and this part of the coast is indented with many chasms, fissures and caves, and these in some cases divide the granite from the trap rock. Opposite to Stirlinghill is the small green island of Dundony, where, in former times, it is said, there was a salt pan. Opposite to the village of Boddam is another small island, upon which the Buchanness Light-house is erected. From Boddam to the Bay of Sandford, the coast is low and rocky. The Bay of Sandford, extending some distance inland, is bounded by a flat sandy shore, intermixed with pebbles. The point of Salthouse-head bounds the bay of Sandford on the north, and the bay of Peterhead on the south. The bay of Peterhead extends nearly a mile inland, from the outer point of Keith Inch, by which, and the town of Peterhead, it is bounded on the north. The shores of this well known bay are flat and rocky, terminating in sand and pebbles towards the west. The town of Peterhead is built on a peninsula or flat rocky headland, the coast on the north side receding inland until it reaches the mouth of the Ugie, a small river which forms the boundary between the parishes of Peterhead and St Fergus. The sources of the Ugie are in the upper part of the district, where it has two branches, the North and South Ugie, which unite in the parish of Longside.

Meteorology.—The following table exhibits the average temperature and weight of the atmosphere for every month, and also the quantity of rain which has fallen for the three years, 1835-36-37, as shown by instruments kept at the Buchanness Light-house, at the distance of three miles from the town of Peterhead.

* In reference to the want of any observations of the atmospherical pressure in the months of June, July, and August 1835, it may be mentioned that the barometer kept at the Light-house was then broken, and was not replaced by another during that time.

The climate is variable, but has been much improved in consequence of extensive drainage. Within the last thirty years, the crops, partly from the improved state of the land, and partly from earlier sorts of grain being sown, come to maturity from ten days to two weeks earlier than formerly.

Hydrography.—Peterhead was much resorted to as a watering-place for a period of two centuries. The principal mineral well is a chalybeate, situate in the town, near the sea; there are, however, other wells near the town, especially one a little to the north of it, which is much resorted to in summer; these are also strong chalybeates. Dr Laing found upon analysis that the mineral waters of Peterhead held in solution aerated and muriated iron, muriate of lime, Glauber salt, common salt, and were impregnated with fixed air. Under proper regimen the mineral waters of Peter-,.head were found by Dr Moir to be deservedly in repute for general debility, disorders of the stomach and bowels, flatulencies and indigestion, nervous complaints, &c. In almost every part of the parish, but especially in Stirlinghill and Blackhill, there are copious springs, strongly impregnated with iron, which are found to possess the same medicinal qualities as those in Peterhead and its vicinity. The cool and salubrious air on the sea coast, the excellent accommodation for sea-bathing, and the variety of mineral springs, rendered Peterhead, in former times, the resort of invalids during the summer months. Until lately the town of Peterhead was not supplied with good spring water; but the country part of the parish has always been well supplied with spring water of excellent quality. The Ugie is the only river in the parish. There is an excellent stone bridge of two arches over the Ugie, at the distance of two miles from the town of Peterhead. This bridge was built in 1686, by virtue of an Act of Parliament, at the joint expense of the shires of Aberdeen and Banff, and is still in good repair.

The tide off Peterhead flows from Rattrayhead, in the parish of Crimond, south and south-east, and ebbs north and north-west. During spring-tides it runs three and a-half miles an hour. There are, however, considerable variations, in consequence, it is supposed, of the adjoining headlands. The sea at Peterhead is very salt, and the temperature is never so low as in friths, or in the vicinity of large rivers.

Geology and Mineralogy.—The whole of the parish of Peterhead is upon primitive rock. In the Stirlinghill, Blackhill, and Hill of Cowsrieve, the granite or syenite rises to the surface. Along the coast, and in other parts of the parish, it is covered with clay, supposed to be diluvial, and other matters to a greater or less depth. Upon the Stirlinghill, the granite rises to the surface, or nearly so, over an extent of from 100 to 150 acres. In every place where the syenite or granite is laid bare, imbedded masses, veins or dikes of primitive trap, gneiss, quartz, and compact felspar are alternate with, and run through it. In some cases one-half of a block is granite and the other primitive trap in complete cohesion, and often passing into each other. At the old Castle of Boddam, the rock is separated by a fissure or chasm, one side of which is granite and the other primitive trap. This chasm runs east and west, the granite being on the south and the trap on the north, with a considerable angle to the horizon. Near the Buchanness Lighthouse, there is a pretty extensive bed of hornstone-porphyry, also a rock resembling clinkstone-porphyry. The rock along the coast, from Buchanness to the mouth of the Ugie, may be seen at low-water mark, and consists of granite, primitive trap, syenite, gneiss, compact felspar, felspar-porphyry, and quartz, variously associated with each other. The bed or cleavage of these rocks, as they lie in the quarry, is generally from east to west; and in granite, the laminae of which it is composed, (and it appears generally to be so composed,) are to be seen in the same direction. [Professor Jameson, who, we are informed, examined this parish some years ago, met with molybdćna in the granitic rocks of Peterhead.] The beds of pebbles along the shore, and the boulders are very extensive, and embrace fragments of rocks and minerals which are seldom to be found upon the land in the neighbourhood. Agates and jasper are to be found; flints are also abundant, and are not unfrequently found, on being broken, to contain impressions of sea-plants, shells, &c. The Meethill is covered with a deep mass of diluvial clay; at the brickwork, which is about fifty yards from the beach, and where the clay has been cut to the depth of from thirty to forty feet, it exhibits various strata, which appear to have been deposited at different times, from their differences in quality and colour; some of the deposits are not above an inch in depth, while others are several feet. The skeleton of a bird was lately dug out of the clay here, at the depth of 25 feet from the surface, and about 15 or 20 feet above the level of the sea.

From the Meethill, embracing the lands of Clerkhill, Grange, Windmill of Peterhead, Blackhouse, Balmoor, Mountpleasant, and Alehousehill, to Downiehills, the surface is covered to a considerable depth with clay, mixed in some parts with rounded pebbles. The links of Peterhead, part of the braes between the links and brickwork, and some fields near the Kirk-town, form an exception, being covered with sea-sand to a considerable depth. Below the sand there is generally clay, but in some instances moss and vegetable remains. The Stirlinghill is separated from the hill of Invernettie by a deep morass. There are very few flints on Stirlinghill; but on the hill of Invernettie and the Blackhill, the surface is almost covered with rounded flints, many of which, on being broken, are found to contain animal and vegetable remains, chiefly the impressions of sea-shells. These shells embrace considerable variety of the Echini family, occasionally entire, but more frequently only small portions of the impressions of these shells are found. Single spines frequently occur, and are distinctly marked. The Inoceramus, Pectens, and Terebratulse are very abundant. In the parish of St Fergus, near the mouth of the Ugie, in the limestone, the Cornua ammonis and mussels of a distinct variety from those now existing are found. The same range of high ground, which commences at Stirlinghill, passes into the parishes of Cruden, Longside, and Old Deer, and along the whole range, which rests upon granite, or other primitive rock, the same kinds of flint have been found containing remains, chiefly of shells. The locality of these flints has attracted the attention of geologists. In the granite quarries there is, in the fissures of the rock, gravel mixed with oxide of iron ; and in situations where the soil is gravel, or clay mixed with gravel, there is an incrustation of iron between the soil and subsoil, —the latter is in consequence rendered impervious to water until the incrustation be destroyed.

Extensive fields of granite are found in a state of decomposition. When these fields are laid open as gravel pits, the vertical section has much the appearance of sound granite in the quarry, exhibiting the outlines of blocks of various sizes, divided from each other by fissures filled with clay and other matters, coloured by oxide of iron. Upon examining some of these apparent blocks, parts of them are found to be in an undecomposed state, while the other parts are found from one gradation of decomposition to another, until the decomposition is so complete as to form a mass of clay and gravel, fit for forming a soil capable of cultivation. In some cases the decomposed granite is almost white, while in others it is of a darkish red. A considerable part of the parish of Peterhead had been covered with peat moss, consisting chiefly of the roots and branches of trees, which compose the first stratum ; the second stratum is not unfrequently composed of the coarser grasses; the third of heath, and the upper of fog. The remains of wood found in the mosses are, oak, alder, birch, &c.; and there are also masses of bog-iron ore. At no very remote period, the low grounds, commencing at the sea near Buchanhaven, had been covered with moss. This moss had nearly joined the one called Megg's Moss, which again passed through the lands of Auchtygall and Collielaw, and joined the moss of Faichfield in the parish of Longside. Excepting in those places already mentioned which are covered with diluvial or alluvial clay, the other parts of the parish had been covered with heath or moss, and the subsoil had been separated from the soil by the iron incrustation already described. In these situations the soil is various, being in most cases clay and gravel, sometimes the one and sometimes the other predominating, arising chiefly from the decomposition of granite and flint intermixed with remains of moss. The deposits of gravel, flint, and clay, mixed with rounded stones or pebbles on the hills, have evidently resulted from the action of water, as they exhibit all the appearances of similar deposits on the shores; and these deposits are separated from one another by incrustations of iron, lying at various angles, and not unfrequently inclosing the deposits of gravel, &c. by curved lines. The matters of the separated strata are often very different, as clay, gravel, flint, &c. The plants which had grown on the mosses and moors were chiefly heath, bent, and the coarser grasses. Upon penetrating, however, into the subsoil, and mixing it with the top soil, after complete drainage, clover and some of the better sorts of grass make their appearance.

Zoology.—Notwithstanding the very little shelter from wood, there is considerable variety of wild animals found in this parish. The domesticated animals are not different from those found in other parts of the country. Among the feathered tribe, the common hen, duck, goose, turkey, peacock, and pigeon, are reared in abundance. Among quadrupeds there are swine, sheep of the Cheviot and Highland breeds, and occasionally goats, as well as many varieties of the dog and cat. Of the larger animals there are horses, and black-cattle of the Aberdeenshire breed. These last are well known as the cattle of the district, and have been long esteemed for various good qualities as the polled Buchan breed. The Teeswater or short-horned breed has lately been introduced. The long-horned are occasionally to be seen, and many Orkney and Shetland ponies and black-cattle are imported. The latter are generally fed, and the beef is superior to that of the native breeds. Asses are occasionally employed for the carriage of milk and other purposes. Of game, the hare, rabbit, moorfowl, partridge, and snipe are the most common.

The following list of birds, killed within fifteen miles of Peterhead, and other animals found in its vicinity during the last ten years, has been kindly furnished by Adam Arbuthnot, Esq. Prepared specimens of most of these have been preserved in Mr Arbuthnot's museum,—a large collection of natural curiosities and specimens in Natural History and mineralogy, which is obligingly shown to visitors and strangers by the proprietor.

Quadrupeds found in the parish and neighbourhood.

* An Albino specimen was lately found in this neighbourhood.
t Two varieties of spotted Northern diver family, Colymbus.

Fishes.—The east coast of Scotland abounds with great variety of fish; and, as Peterhead has been long known as an excellent fishing station, the following attempt has been made to classify those fishes which have been found off the coast of Peterhead, according to the arrangement of Cuvier.

Botany.—The plants to be found in this parish are not of very rare kinds; there is, however, considerable variety. [Vide List in retenlis.]

Conchology.—-The following is a list of shells found on the shores of Peterhead and the neighbouring shores of St Fergus, which were submitted to Dr Fleming of King's College, Aberdeen, and named by him, as stated in the Statistical Account of St Fergus.

The shores of the parish being rocky, are covered with weed or ware to the low water-mark; and beyond it, as far as the bottom of the sea can be seen through the water, there are forests, if they may be so designated, of submerged algae. These are so different in their external characters, and of such variety, that a wide field is presented for investigation and classification. A few of those best known and most abundant may be named, viz.

Fungi.— Of these there are many species growing on the links and by the sides of dikes. The Agaricus campestris, or common mushroom, is very abundant, and is gathered for catsup sauce.

Lichens and musci are also to be found in great variety upon the rocks and shrubs, and in the mosses; and afford an ample field for investigation to those already acquainted in some degree, or desirous of becoming acquainted, with this branch of natural history.

II.— Civil History.

Peterhead is mentioned in various acts of the Scottish Parliament. The original charter of erection has been published. It is a very distinct deed, and shows the commencement of the burgh of barony, and the vocations of the original inhabitants.

Account of the Parish.—The late Dr William Laing, of the Episcopal chapel of Peterhead, published, in 1793, "An Account of Peterhead, its mineral wells, air, and neighborhood." The Statistical Account of Dr Moir was published in 1795. In 1815, the late James Arbuthnot, Junior, Esq. published "An Historical Account of Peterhead, from the earliest period to the present time, comprehending tin account of its trade, shipping, commerce, and manufactures; mineral wells, baths, &c. with an Appendix containing a copy of the charter of erection," &c. In 1819, Mr Peter Buchan published "Annals of Peterhead," containing the same information as Mr Arbuthnot's account, with such additional matter as he had been able to collect.

Historical Notices.—The Earls Marischall had their chief residence at Inverugie Castle, on the opposite side of the Ugie, in the parish of St Fergus; but a large portion of the parish of Peterhead was embraced in their estates. It would be out of place here to enter into a historical account of that ancient family, which will be found in the general history of Scotland. The founder of Peterhead was also the founder of Marischall College, Aberdeen. The last Earl forfeited his estates in 1715, in consequence of his adherence to the family of Stuart. The Pretender landed at Peterhead in December 1715. The inhabitants were attached to the Marischall family, and in general embraced their views; and, in consequence, they on that occasion espoused the claims of the house of Stuart.

There have been six Presbyterian ministers since the Revolution, viz. Mr Guthrie, Mr Brown, Mr Farquhar, Mr Walker, Dr George Moir, and the present incumbent, Mr Donald. Two of them, Mr Brown and Mr Farquhar, left Peterhead, and were settled, the former at Belhelvie, and the other at Chapel of Garioch.

Land-owners—The present heritors of the parish are, the Governors of the Merchant Maiden Hospital of Edinburgh; Mrs Gordon of Boddam and Sandford; George Skelton of Invernettie Lodge; George Arbuthnot of Invernettie; William Arbuth-not of Dens and Downie-hills; Dr Cruickshank of Little Cock-law; George Mudie of Meethill; Thomas Arbuthnot of part of Meethill; James Sangster, part of Invernettie; Kenneth M'In-tosh, part of Invernettie; Charles Brand, part of Invernettie; William Donaldson of Cowhills; William Gamack, part of Invernettie; Robert Arbuthnot of Mount Pleasant and Blackhouse; George Walker of Balmoor; Mrs Walker's Trustees, part of Balmoor; Robert Walker, Senior, Grange; Robert Walker, Junior, Richmond; Alexander Stuart, Coplandshill; the Heirs of James Hutchison of Richmond; the Trust-Disponees of Mrs Hay Mudie of Meikle Cocklaw; the Trustees of the late Peter Hay of Hayfield; James Shirras of Berryhill; Robert Mayor of Windy-hills; the Heirs of James Reid of Ellishill; and Roderick Gray, part of Blackhill.

Antiquities.-—There are two old castles in the parish, Ravens-crag and Boddam. Ravenscrag, in the barony of Torterston, is said to have belonged to the family of Keith, who afterwards acquired the lands of Inverugie by marriage. It is a fine ruin and specimen of an old baronial castle. The walls are in some places eleven feet thick. It is supposed to have been built in the eleventh or twelfth century. Boddam Castle was the residence of a branch of the Marischall family: but it is not so ancient as Ravenscrag. Within the last twenty years various antiquities have been discovered within the parish of Peterhead and its immediate neighbourhood. On the estate of Cairngall, in the adjoining parish of Longside, two oak coffins or chests were discovered on removing a tumulus of moss. One of them was entire, the other was not. They had been hollowed out of solid trees, and measured each seven feet by two feet. The sides were parallel, and the ends were rounded, and had two projecting knobs to facilitate their carriage. The bark of the trees of which they had been formed remained on them, and was in the most perfect state of preservation. No vestige of bones was found in either of them. They had been covered over with slabs of wood, and lay east and west, which indicated they had been used as coffins; but the absence of bones or other human remains is difficult to be accounted for. In the parish of Cruden, in a little hill, about four feet below its apex, a stone crypt or sarcophagus was discovered, containing a considerable portion of two human skeletons; the one that of an adult, the other of a young person, perhaps of twelve or thirteen years of age; and also part of the skeleton of a dog; two clay urns, (a larger and a lesser one,) rudely ornamented with bars or hoops scratched around the outside of them; seven flint arrow points; two flint knives, (one of them considerably worn); a polished stone about four and one-fourth inches in length, neatly drilled through its four corners, and slightly concave on the one side, and convex on the other. It is probable the polished stone had been applied to the centre of the bow, to secure a more accurate discharge of the arrow. A neck chain and battle-axe were dug out of a tumulus near to the place in the parish of Cruden, where it is supposed that Malcolm II. and Canute fought a severe battle, and where many tumuli were formerly to be seen. The neck chain is formed of jet and amber. The jet beads retain their original polish. The lower bead measures about four inches, the others from two and a half inches to one inch. These beads were separated from one another by little formless masses of amber, covered with a brown crust; but otherwise the amber was unchanged, unless that it may have been more brittle. The battle-axe is formed of black flint. It is about seven inches long, and is less heavy than those generally found; most of which are formed of granulated stones, and are larger and weightier than the one above alluded to. The necklace had no doubt adorned the person of some Scandinavian chief.

A pewter flagon, of no inelegant shape, and capable of holding nearly a Scotch pint, was discovered in cutting a deep water course through a peat bog. The metal was considerably oxidized. From the form of the flagon antiquaries suppose it to have been in use about the time of James IV. or V. of Scotland. A small shot of malleable iron was dug out near the base of Ravenscrag Castle. It is one inch and three-quarters in diameter, and is the second one found near the same place. It is supposed that it had been discharged from a wall-piece, and that the wall-piece had been fired from the Castle of Inverugie, on the opposite side of the river. These antiquities are noticed here in consequence of having been investigated by Mr Arbuthnot, and a record of them preserved in his musuem.

Upon the top of Meethill, about a mile and a quarter from Peterhead, there was a tumulus which had been allowed to remain for ages untouched; and tradition assigned to it the place where justice had been administered, and where the ashes of some chief reposed.

The inhabitants of Peterhead received the promise of a perpetual right to this tumulus, and about a quarter of an acre of ground around it, in order to build a tower upon it, in honour of Earl Grey and his political principles. In digging for a foundation a stone crypt was found, containing an urn, or what had been used as such, very different in shape, however, from common urns, being long and broad, and much in the shape of a bowl or dish. Around the mouth, it was ornamented by a band of circular impressions, in depth nearly one-eighth of an inch, and in field rather larger than a shilling. The human remains found were very few, being only a fragment or two of the leg or thigh bones, and part of the lower jaw, with the teeth still adhering. These remains were placed in a glass case, and exhibited to the public, at one shilling a head, and the proceeds applied towards the expense of the tower; which, however, still remains in an unfinished state.

On the north side of the Den of Boddam, in a deep morass, there are various pits, generally known by the name of the Picts Camps; but they are with greater probability supposed to have been an encampment of the Danes, when they made landings on the east coast of Scotland.

Public Buildings.—The Town-House, situated in Broad Street, was built in 1788. It consists of two floors and a ground area. The ground floor is used for shops, the first floor is occupied for school-rooms, and the second is used for public business. It is surmounted by a handsome spire of granite, 125 feet in height.

The parish church is situated at the entrance of the town; it was built in 1803, and is calculated to contain upwards of 1800 sitters. It also has a spire built of granite, 118 feet in height; The building of this church gave rise to an important question, viz. whether the feuars in the town were obliged to bear a share of the expense along with the landward heritors, which was litigated in the Court of Session and House of Peers. It was finally decided that the building of the church was a parochial burden, and that the heritors and feuars were liable in this burden according to their real rents. The church is in good repair, and has lately been lighted with gas.

The Episcopal Chapel, in Merchant Street, is a very neat building, having a Gothic front of axe-dressed granite. It was built in 1814, and is calculated to contain 800 sitters.

The present Cross was erected in 1832, partly by voluntary subscription, on the occasion of the inhabitants obtaining the privilege of voting for a Member of Parliament. It is a Tuscan pillar of granite, surmounted by the arms of Earl Marischal!, the founder of the town.

There are various public halls in the town for the accommodation of those who require them: a reading-room, a billiard-room, and hot and cold baths.

The houses, both in the town and parish, are in general built of granite, of excellent quality and colour, found in the neighbourhood. Many of the fronts are ashlar, pick-dressed, while others are axe-dressed and closely jointed.

Other Buildings.—There are two mills within the town, one impelled by wind and the other by steam, for sawing timber. There are also two mills in the parish for manufacturing grain, chiefly for the London market; one at Ravenscrag, and the other at In-vernettie, both of which carry on a considerable trade. On the estate of Boddam there is a spinning and carding-mill, impelled partly by water and partly by steam.

III.—Population.

Although there does not appear to have been any official record of the population previous to the year 1764, Dr Moir, from data contained in the charter of erection, estimated the inhabitants at that time, 1593, to amount to 56. From an anonymous manuscript, he found that in 1727 they amounted to 900.


IV.—Industry.

Agriculture.—The whole surface of the parish, exclusive of that part on which the town of Peterhead is built, extends to 9006 imperial acres, as nearly as can be at present ascertained; about 8266 acres are under cultivation; about 72 are planted; about 544 may still be brought into cultivation, including what is under moss servitude; the remainder of 124 acres can only be partially cultivated, in consequence of rock rising to the surface.

Planting.—Planting on the east coast of Scotland, especially near to Peterhead, has hitherto been attempted only to a limited extent. The attempts which have been made have succeeded better than was anticipated. Near the sea hard-wood, chiefly ash, elm, birch, beech, mountain-ash, plane, alder, and willows have been planted. The first trees which had been planted in this parish last century were at Ellishill and Invernettie, and, notwithstanding the little extent and want of shelter, they have risen to a considerable size, and are still thriving.

The late James Ferguson, Esq. of Pitfour, planted some small clumps and corners on the estates of Balmoor and Richmond ; these have made considerable progress, and continue in a healthy state. The Governors of the Merchant Maiden Hospital planted a small belt around a piece of ground about half a mile from Peterhead, intended to be a public garden. This belt continued to thrive for some years, and the trees made rapid progress; but for two or three years in succession, owing to north-easterly storms, the leaves were destroyed about the month of May ; and, in consequence, a considerable number of the trees died. The blanks, however, have been filled up with young plants, which are thriving.

George Arbuthnot, Esq. of Invernettie, has planted about seven and a half acres. The plants which he used were, ash, elm, plane, Dutch alder, birch, lime, horse-chestnut, and mountain-ash; and he mentions that the alder, ash, plane, and elm have succeeded best. He also tried some of the fir tribes, which did not succeed at first; but he now finds that the white American spruce and silver firs are making strong and healthy shoots.

At some distance from the sea, and where the elevation above it is greater, about forty acres have been planted with Scotch fir, larch, and spruce, by the Governors of the Merchant Maiden Hospital. Whether the wood may come to be of value remains to be seen. On the east coast, the young trees are often destroyed by the north-easterly storms, from which they require to be sheltered, by being planted very thick, especially on the side exposed to the sea. Early pruning seems very detrimental, if not performed sparingly.

Rent.—The rent of the arable land within the parish may be stated at from 5s. to L. 6 per acre, according to the quality and situation.

Live-Stock.—The cattle raised are chiefly of the polled Buchan breed. Of late the Teeswater short horns have been partially introduced, and crossed with the native breed. Differences of opinion are entertained regarding the Teeswater cattle and the cross breeds from them,—some being of opinion that the Teeswater come much sooner to maturity at not much more expense for rearing, and yield equally good milk and beef; while others think that the native breed is more easily reared, yielding better milk and flesh, and, with equal attention, would come to the same weight, although not in the same time. Both breeds are allowed to be excellent of their kind, and farther experience can alone determine whether the one is destined to supersede the other; or if both should be retained, and kept distinct or crossed.

Sheep are not reared in sufficient numbers to deserve any particular remarks. The horses are also of the native breed, and are well fitted for the cart or plough. The following is nearly the number of the live-stock in the parish in February 1837, viz.— horses, 417; stots or oxen, 554; cows, 775; calves, 181; sheep, 108; swine, 99.

Husbandry.—In the immediate neighbourhood of the town, the lands are let in small lots to the inhabitants on leases of eight years, and the following rotations are followed:—A four-shift course, consisting of one division in turnips or potatoes ; one division in bear or oats, sown with grass seeds; one division in grass ; and one division in bear or oats, after grass; or potatoes from two years old grass; oats or bear after potatoes or turnips with grass seeds; first year's grass and second year's grass. In some instances, the lots are nearly all in grass, in consequence of the rents received from fishermen employed in the herring fishery, who pay from L. 2 to L. 6 per acre for the use of the ground to dry their nets. Upon the farms in the parish, the rotation is generally either a five or a seven-course shift. The five-course shift consists of two grass crops in two successive years, one white crop after lea, a green crop or fallow, and then another white crop. The seven course shift consists of three grass crops in three successive years, two white crops after lea, a green crop or fallow, and then another white crop.

Within the last thirty years, the improvements in agriculture have been very extensive; the whole lands in the parish have been drained, and roads have been made for the accommodation of the farms. A regular system of farming has been adopted ; the fields have been laid out, and, in many cases, enclosed to answer the improved system of cropping ; and an extent of waste land, not less than 1500 imperial acres, has been brought into cultivation. Much benefit has been derived from deep ploughing, so as to mix the subsoil with the topsoil, and to destroy the ferruginous incrustation or pan, which in many places divided the one from the other, and rendered the soil impervious to water. By attending to the improvements already effected, and adopting, when necessary, the same means, much may still be done to increase the value of land in this parish, as there are many facilities of obtaining manure from the town of Peterhead, which do not exist in more remote parishes.

Improvements.—It may not be out of place here to mention shortly the progressive improvements of the parish, and the means by which they have been effected. At the time of the last Statistical Account, the alternate system of husbandry had not been adopted, and the state of agriculture had not been much improved for a very considerable period before. The late James Ferguson, Esq. of Pitfour, was the first who introduced the alternate system of husbandry. He gave an example of the great benefit resulting from good farming upon the estate of Balmoor, by draining, inclosing, dividing into regular fields, planting clumps of wood, fallowing, liming, green-cropping, and laying out in grass. A considerable part of this estate remains in grass, as laid out by Pit-four, and returns high rents. The estates of Peterhead, Clerk-hill, Auchtygall, and Torterston, belonging to the Merchant Maiden Hospital of Edinburgh, and the estates of Invernettie and Boddam, were the next which began to be improved. The tenants were bound to a regular rotation of cropping, roads were made, the old fences were levelled, open ditches and drains were formed, hedges were planted, the old ridges levelled, and the land divided into regular fields to answer the rotations agreed upon. The same means were resorted to upon the other estates in the parish, and the fields soon exhibited a very improved appearance, and became of much greater value, both to the proprietors and tenants.

The improvements on the estates of the Merchant Maiden Hospital have been extensive;—8851 ells of old feal dikes were pulled down and levelled; 28,285 ells of open drains or ditches have been cut; 11,146 ells of covered drains or sewers, built on both sides, and covered with granite, were made; 26,900 ells of double ditch and sunk or mound between the two ditches, planted with double hedges of hawthorn, and 3786 ells of double stone dikes have been formed and built; and 13,155 ells of roads have been made for the accommodation of the tenants.

While the already cultivated land was thus under progressive improvement, the waste and (hitherto) uncultivated ground was not neglected. Considerable progress was made by trenching with the spade and mattock, on the estate of Invernettie, and the other estates in the parish; but this mode was too expensive to afford a reasonable return for the capital expended. It was afterwards found that it was possible to improve these lands by the plough, and this method was adopted very extensively on the estates of the Merchant Maiden Hospital, and is now very generally followed on other estates. It is shortly as follows: First, To remove the stones from the surface, and from the soil in so far as they can be seen; and this is done more easily, and at less expense, while the surface has not been broken. Second, To drain the land effectually ; and it has been found that one very deep drain, properly placed, supersedes the necessity of many others. Third, If the upper soil is worthless, to plough it slightly, and burn the heath and dead moss, which may be done at a very trifling expense in dry weather. Fourth, To plough the land with a very strong trench plough, drawn by four steady horses or oxen, taking care to keep the plough below the moorband, where such exists. The first ploughing with the trench plough should be done when the land is wet; during the dry season, in most cases, it would be impracticable. Fifth, After the land has been trench ploughed, the stones that have been ploughed up are also removed, inequalities in the soil are made up by a levelling box, and the land is regularly fallowed, dunged, limed, and cropped according to the nature of the soil.

By the means which have now been mentioned, 407 acres on the Blackhill of Peterhead, belonging to the Merchant Maiden Hospital, have been brought into cultivation, which had been reported upon by the late Mr Alexander Low of Berwickshire as follows: "The hill is very worthless, and bids defiance to the operation of the plough for improvement." This hill is now nearly all under a regular system of cultivation, and yields crops nearly equal to the formerly cultivated lands in the neighbourhood. In improving this hill, roads have been made to the extent of 3780 ells; earth fences, 3621 ells; open and covered drains, 5312 ells; and stone dikes, about 4000 ells.

Rental.— At the time of the last Statistical Account, the rental of the parish amounted to L. 3000; in 1803, it was L. 4094; in 1837, it amounted to L. 10,136.

The following account is given to show the number of acres brought into cultivation in this parish since 1795, the estates on which these are situated, and the extent remaining uncultivated and waste at the present time:


Produce.—It is somewhat difficult to approximate very near to the truth, in estimating the gross value of the produce of this parish, owing to the produce of the lands in the immediate neighbourhood of the town being of considerably greater value than that of those parts of the parish lying at a distance, and the great difference in the rents of the one from the other; but the following may be taken as being not very far from a fair estimate.

The cultivated land is 8309 acres. The rotations are seven, five, and four. Assume a five shift rotation, viz.—

It has been generally held that the value of the gross produce of land should be about equal to thrice the amount of the rental, thus

And the amount approximates very near to that of the value of the gross produce as given above.

Quarries.—There are extensive quarries of granite in the parish. From Stirlinghill, stones have been taken for the building of various public works, including the Naval Docks at Sheerness, bridges, pedestals, the pillar at the Horse Guards, Carlton Gardens, to the memory of the Duke of York, &c. Blocks of large size may be raised, and the granite is of excellent quality, resembling, perhaps, nearer than any other rock in this country, the Egyptian granite or syenite. It admits of being finely polished, and is now extensively used for that purpose by Mr Alexander Macdonald of Aberdeen, who has erected a steam engine for polishing granite, and has produced very fine specimens of his work, in chimney-pieces, pillars, pedestals, vases, &c. As granite can be polished at less expense and in a more perfect manner, by steam than by manual labour, it is likely to come into general use. The granite of Peterhead is not inferior to that of Stirlinghill, while it is clearer in colour. At Salthousehead is a quarry of beautiful gray or white granite of excellent quality, but the rock is covered with a thick mass of clay. The quarries on the Blackhill are extensive, and afford blocks of large size ; the colour is somewhat different from that of the Stirlinghill or Peterhead rock, but it is equally durable and more easily wrought in the quarry, being generally of large sizes with open joints, and admitting of being easily squared by the hammer. The granite of Blackhill, in one quarry, is similar to that of Salthousehead.

The following is an account of the granite shipped at Peterhead, from February 1817 to January 1822:—

From the inexhaustible resources arising from these quarries, the excellent and durable quality of the rock, and their proximity to the harbours of Peterhead and Boddam, there can be little doubt, that, in the execution of public works of importance, the working of them will afford employment to many labourers, and tend to the improvement of the neighbourhood.

Fisheries.—'The fisheries of Peterhead have always been of great importance to the town. The whale-fishery was for many years of the first importance; of late it has not been attended with its former success; but there are still ten vessels employed in that trade, and it is not improbable that it may again become more successful, as the late failures have been occasioned more by bad seasons and an altered state of the ice at the fishing ground, than by a decrease in the number of the whales.

It may be interesting to trace the success of the vessels belonging to Peterhead, employed in the Greenland and Davis' Straits Whale Fisheries since the commencement of that trade in 1788 to the present time. With this view the following account of the success of these vessels, collected from the best sources of information, is given:

The altered state of the whale fishing has been made up in a great measure to the community by the success which has of late attended the herring fishery. Notwithstanding the Dutch had from time immemorial carried on a successful herring fishery on the coast opposite to Peterhead, it is not many years since this fishery was prosecuted to any extent at this place. It commenced in 1820, at the suggestion of the writer of this account, by the gentlemen of Peterhead, who entered into subscriptions with him to give it a fair trial, and it has gone on increasing gradually and steadily. Last season 262 boats were employed, and upwards of 40,000 barrels of herrings were caught. It is supposed that Peterhead, being farther east than any other point in Scotland, must at all times be one of the best stations for carrying on the herring fishery, as, if the fish pass along the coast, they must pass very near to this headland; and as the tides are strong, the best fish can only make head against them. In point of fact, the curers acknowledge that the herrings caught at Peterhead are of superior quality.

The shoals of herrings are followed by spout whales, and an attempt, not without success, was last season made to catch these whales. The necessary apparatus was invented by Mr Robert Hutchison of this place; and there remains little doubt that, in the present season, he will be able to establish the practicability of whale fishing on our own shores ; and thus introduce a trade which may be of no small consequence to the country. Mr Hutchison's object is to kill the large finners. Last season he succeeded in killing three; but in consequence of their having sunk, he afterwards lost them. When they had lain some time at the bottom, they again floated, in consequence of the expansion of gases generated in them, and were afterwards found. He thinks, however, that this season he will be able to keep hold of them by the lines. The cod, ling, haddock, and whiting, are to be found in great abundance on this coast, and are caught and exported in their seasons. Besides these, flounders of all kinds, roughback, plaise, sole, halibut, turbot, skate, dog, and catfish, and a great variety of others, including the lobster, mackerel, and crab are to be found. All these afford ample means for the extension of the white fishery, and a mine of wealth yet remains to be explored as a reward to the exertions of those who may embark in the fisheries at Peterhead.

Manufactures.—There are no extensive manufactures of woollen or cotton goods in Peterhead; there are, however, experienced and well employed tradesmen and mechanics in every department usually found in larger towns. It is to be regretted that manufactures have not hitherto been introduced. Peterhead seems well adapted for such establishments ; for although there are not sufficient waterfalls near the town, there are such in the parish. There is a sufficient quantity of water in the town for working by steam, and the harbours afford facilities for exporting and importing. As has been before-mentioned, a carding and spinning-mill, on a small scale, has lately been erected on the estate of Boddam; and if the projector of it shall be successful, others may be induced to commence works of a similar nature, a sufficient quantity of water could be accumulated as a moving power, and there are various falls unoccupied.

From the increase of population in Peterhead, the excellence of the harhours, the highly cultivated district adjoining, the consequent abundance of provisions, and the excellent and cheap materials for building, found in the neighbourhood, it may be presumed that those having a knowledge of manufactures would find it their interest to settle at Peterhead.

Brick-work.—The Invernettie brick-work has been in operation for about forty years. It is now within the Parliamentary boundary of the burgh, and is situated about a mile to the south of the town. The bed of clay is wrought to the depth of thirty to forty feet. Building bricks and tiles of excellent quality are made at this work; and, besides what are required in the district, a very considerable quantity is exported annually, chiefly to the Moray Frith. The proprietors have lately erected a small harbour in the immediate vicinity of the work, for the accommodation of their trade.

Rope-work-—A rope-work is carried on, on the west side of the turnpike road, between the town and the brick-work, and another in the town. The business done is considerable, chiefly in making ropes for ships belonging to Peterhead, or frequenting the port.

Gas-work.—In 1833, a joint-stock company was established in Peterhead for the manufacture of gas. The buildings are situated in Longate, and the business is conducted by a board of directors and a manager.

Kelp or Sea-ware.—The kelp shores in this parish during the late war were of considerable value, yielding a rental of upwards of L. 120 per annum. They are now unlet, as it has been found here that kelp will not yield more than the expense of manufacturing it; it is, therefore, of importance to find out any other useful purpose to which the sea-ware or fuci can be applied. It will be found that the kelp-ware may be cut, dried, and carried to a considerable distance at less expense than the wet ware cast on shore by the violence of the sea; and a single cart-load of dried ware is equal to six cart-loads of wet ware,—for example, a cartload may be cut and carried on shore for 6d. and dried for 3d., which is equal to 4s. 6d. for a load of dried ware; and as six loads of wet ware are only equal to one of dry ware, and the expense of carrying a load of wet ware to a distance of four miles is 2s., the carriage of the six loads would be 12s., while an equal quantity of dried ware would only cost for cutting and drying 4s. 6d. and carriage 2s., in all 6s. 6d., leaving a balance of 5s. 6d. in favour of the dried ware when carried an equal distance, supposing it, in either case, to be got without any other price than the expense of cutting and gathering. It will also be found that the ware does not lose any of its powers as a manure by being dried. The ware may be used, 1st, mixed with earth or peat-moss, by which it is decomposed; 2d, mixed with stable-yard dung; 3d, as a litter for cattle or horses; 4th, as fodder (in part) for cattle, it having been found that cattle will feed upon it. The three first of these uses have been experimented upon with success in this parish. The last suggestion, that it might be used for the purpose of feeding cattle, would require to be more fully put to the test of experience before any thing can be asserted with confidence regarding its qualities in that respect. During the last season, it was, in a few cases, used for the above purpose, and said to be relished by the cattle. The best mode of using it would, perhaps, be to cut it along with the straw, and mix both together. It is probable, that it might be improved by being steamed before being used. It may be added that the species of ware most esteemed by kelp-makers, called black ware, will be found to be more powerful as a manure than the red ware cast upon the shores during storms. In both cases, whether used as a manure or for feeding cattle, it is an object well worth the attention of agriculturists near the coast; and it is to be hoped that experiments may be made, and the result communicated to the public.

V.—Parochial Economy.

Town of Peterhead.—The town of Peterhead stands upon a peninsula projecting into the German Ocean, and forming the most easterly point of land in Scotland. The isthmus which connects the town and country part of the parish is about 800 yards in breadth. Dr Moir states that the town, which had then been only a small fishing village, with the adjoining lands of considerable value, belonged to the abbey of Deer in 1560, and that, in that year, Queen Mary appointed Robert Keith, son of William fourth Earl Marischall, commendator of Deer. Peterhead was erected into a burgh of barony by George Earl Marischall in 1593. It continued a part of the estates of the Earls Marischall until the attainder of the last Earl, in consequence of his accession to the Rebellion in 1715. It was then purchased by the York-Buildings Company, who sold it to the present proprietors, the Governors of Maiden Hospital, founded by the Company of Merchants of the city of Edinburgh and Mary Erskine, in 1728.

The original inhabitants appear to have been fishers, and the chief trade carried on at Peterhead, for a long time after it became a burgh of barony, was the white-fishing, in which the proprietor had an interest by drawing teinds of the fish caught. The fishermen were taken bound to assist in the erection of a harbour, which they did, and which still remains under the name of Port Henry. By the original charter in 1593, the Earl Marischall established a municipal government in the town in the following terms: "For gyding and rewiling of the quilk brugh, the said Erle and his foresaidis sall elect, nominat, and chuse baillies, clerkes, and otheres officeares, necessares and meit for the governement of the samin, of the nichbouris, and fewares of the said brugh, actuall in-duellers for the time, within the same, the said Erle alwyse and his foresaidis remaning proveist or sd baillie yairof," &c. And this system of municipal government continued until the passing of the Parliamentary Burgh Reform Act. By this act the munipal government has been vested in twelve councillors, who, from their own number, choose a provost, three baillies, and a treasurer, and the boundaries of the town have been defined and considerably extended, embracing part of the lands of Black House and Invernettie, beyond the limits of the barony of Peterhead. The barony of Peterhead, besides the estates of Peterhead proper, embraces the lands of Clerkhill, Auchtygall, and Collielaw. The lands of Torterston are erected into a separate barony, under the name of the Barony of Torterston.

The town of Peterhead has been much extended, and the number of its inhabitants has greatly increased since the last Statistical Account was written. The ground now occupied by the town extends to about 70 imperial acres, of which about 20 are occupied by streets. The length of the streets is about 4 miles 5 furlongs and 148 yards. The number of inhabited houses is about 1000. The rental of houses and warehouses in the town is about L.7500.

Ronheads.—The Ronheads is situated within the burgh, opposite a ridge of rocks on the north side of the north harbour. It is inhabited chiefly by fishermen, who supply the town with fish, and act as pilots. Some of these at least may be reasonably supposed to he descendants of the original inhabitants. They have hitherto got the stances of their houses rent free, in consequence of being bound by the original charter to pay teind fish to the proprietors of the ground. Owing to the fishermen being also pilots, and some of them seamen and shipmasters, they do not pay that attention to the fishing which its importance deserves. The original harbour, built in 1593, and named Port Henry, is occupied by the fishermen's boats.

Buchanhaven.—This village is also now within the Parliamentary boundary of the burgh. The inhabitants are employed in the white and herring fisheries. Five herring boats, and five white-fishing boats belong to it. A small harbour has been erected for the accommodation of the fishermen belonging to the village.

Community of Feuars.— Certain properties and privileges of commonty and common pasturage, fuel, feal, and divot were granted to the original feuars of Peterhead, by Earl Marischall in the charter of erection. In 1774, these properties and privileges were confirmed by the Governors of the Merchant Maiden Hospital, who agreed to divide the commonties, and they accordingly conveyed those parts of them which fell to their feuars, to certain of the feuars, for themselves, as feuars of the town of Peterhead, and as trustees for and in name of the haill other (then) feuars thereof, and of all such persons as should at any time thereafter become feuars of the said town or lands, and the heirs and successors of all (the then) present and future feuars, to be improved and applied as a majority of the said feuars, at the time, and from time to time, should think fit, for the public good and utility of the said town. In the charters subsequently granted a share of these properties and privileges is conveyed to the individual feuars. The rental of the feuars' properties now amounts to about L. 260 per annum. These properties are claimed by the magistrates, in virtue of the Burgh Reform Act; and this claim has been resisted on the part of the hospital and their feuars, on the ground that the same are private property, arising out of legal deeds between superior and vassal. In order to have this point decided, mutual actions of declarator have been raised, and are now depending in the Supreme Court. These actions, it is probable, would not have been necessary if proper inquiries had been made before the act was passed.

Museum belonging to Adam Arbuthnot, Esq.—The formation of this museum has been the work of about twenty years. It contains subjects and specimens connected with the various branches of natural history, mineralogy, geology, &c. There is also a collection of antiquities, a portion of which is rendered particularly interesting, as they have been found in our own country, and some of them in our own immediate neighbourhood. The museum em-; braces likewise a valuable and interesting collection of coins. The English coins embrace the whole period from the time of Edgar to that of William IV; the Scotch, from William the Lion to James VI. The Grecian coins consist of those of the principal petty states; of Philip, King of Macedon, and Alexander the Great. The Roman coins comprehend not only those of the Emperors, but also of the consuls, coadjutors, and usurpers. The museum is always accessible to the public.

Police.— The town of Peterhead obtained an act of Parliament, in 1820, for supplying the inhabitants with water, and for paving, lighting, and otherwise improving the streets. Previous to the passing of this act, the inhabitants were supplied with water from the roofs of their houses, or from wells dug in the neighbourhood of them; and in either case the supply was precarious, and the water of bad quality. Considerable expense had been incurred in searching for good spring water within a moderate distance from the town, but without success. At length, in draining upon the estate of Auchtigall, a very copious spring was found, yielding upwards of forty gallons of pure spring water per minute. This spring is now conveyed to the town, a distance of 2 miles, 5 furlongs, and 10 yards; and the inhabitants enjoy the comfort of an adequate supply of excellent water fit for every domestic purpose. Before the Police Act was obtained, the streets had been much improved by removing obstructions and inequalities, and substituting metalling for rough undressed stones, with which they were paved. Side paths were laid off, and paved either with dressed granite, or crib and pebbles. The expenses incurred in bringing water into the town amounted to L.3167. The annual rate of assessment has hitherto been 1s. 9d. per pound, which is applied to pay the interest of the money borrowed, and for lighting the streets and executing the other purposes of the act.

Post-Office.—-The revenue of the post-office for the last seven years has been as under.

making in all L. 5724, 12s. 0˝d., which, divided by seven, gives for the average revenue L.817, 16s.

Turnpike Roads.—The turnpike roads are, the south road to Aberdeen, the west to Banff, and the north to Fraserburgh, amounting altogether in length to about nine or ten miles within the parish.

Coaches.—There are four coaches connected with Peterhead: the Mail to and from Aberdeen daily; the Mail to and from Banff daily; the Defiance stage-coach to and from Aberdeen daily; and the Lord Saltoun stage-coach betwixt Peterhead and Fraserburgh every alternate day.

The Harbours.—These harbours, from their peculiar situation at the termination of the most easterly promontory of land in Scotland, and the great resort to them, deserve particular notice.

The earliest notice taken of these harbours is in the charter of erection of the town of Peterhead, by George Earl Marischall, in 1593. In that charter the Earl binds himself to "build ane bulwark in the mouth of the haven called Port Henry. This bulwark was accordingly erected by his Lordship, and is the same formerly noticed as being used by the fishermen in the Ronheads for landing their boats. The bulwark is built in a very rough manner, with masses of undressed granite. It has never required to be repaired, and the original pieces of oak timber used as mooring posts, are still in a serviceable state. This harbour is capable of holding from six to eight vessels, not exceeding 100 tons bur-den; but is seldom used except by the fishermen for their boats.

It does not appear at what time the south haven or harbour had been erected, but it does not seem to have been of much importance at the beginning of last century; for in 1702, the whole revenue arising from it was only L. 71, 6s. Scots, and it was capable of containing a very few vessels of small size. It would seem that at this time the pier of the harbour had fallen into decay, and was in need of repair. In the year 1705, in consequence of the great public utility of these harbours, an act of the Privy-council of Scotland was passed, authorizing a voluntary contribution for repairing the harbours of Peterhead, to be made throughout the three Lothians, and all north of the Forth. No collection, however, was made in consequence of this act, the Earl Marischall having been of opinion that he would be able to obtain more efficient assistance from the British Parliament; but in consequence of his being engaged soon after in the Rebellion, the matter was never by him brought before Parliament, and the harbour continued in the same ruinous state at the time of his forfeiture in 1716.

The estate and harbours of Peterhead, after Earl Marischal!'s attainder, were purchased from Government by the York-Buildings Company; but this company adopted no measures for repairing the harbours, although a petition was presented to the managers, pointing out the urgent necessity of having them repaired. In 1726, the estate was sold, along with the harbours, to the Governors of the Merchant Maiden Hospital of Edinburgh, who still continue superiors of the town and harbours. At that time, from the limited extent of the harbours, and the state of repair they had fallen into, the revenue amounted only to L. 12 per annum ; and only three small vessels belonged to the port. In July 1729, an act of the Convention of Royal Burghs was obtained in favour of the town of Peterhead, for a voluntary contribution throughout all the burghs of the country for repairing these harbours. It does not appear what the extent of the contribution obtained was, but it would appear it had not been adequate to the repairs, for, in 1730, the ship-masters of Leith, and merchants of Edinburgh gave an attestation of the great public utility of these harbours; and the town council of Edinburgh authorized a collection to be made in all the churches of the city and its neighbourhood, which was made accordingly, and amounted to L. 240, 14s. 6d. Sterling; and so much anxiety was evinced for the repairs of these harbours, that, in February 1740, an assembly was held in Edinburgh in aid of the other collections for this purpose.

From the year 1740 to the year 1771, it may be supposed that the trade of the town had not made rapid progress;—the following being the annual amount of the harbour duties at different periods in that interval; in 1741, L. 20, 8s. 4d.; 1751, L.30; 1761, L.50, 15s.; 1771, L. 59, 10s.

In 1771, it would appear that the south harbour had again fallen into disrepair, and, with the aid of contributions from the royal burghs, from the superiors, from private individuals, and from money raised upon the security of the property belonging to the community of feuars, the harbour began to be again repaired. About this time the plan of the present south harbour was obtained from the late Mr Smeaton, engineer, and the building of it according to his plan commenced in June 1773. The construction of the old south harbour was just the reverse of that of the new one. The old harbour was enclosed by two curved piers towards the sea, having an opening for the mouth, and the effect of this was, that the harbour was not quiet within. The present south pier is concave towards the sea, so as to make the waves run along it from each end until they meet in the centre, when they destroy each other and are thrown off seaward. The west pier is nearly at right angles with the south pier, and is covered by it, and the former has a jetty running eastward, parallel with the south pier, which protects the interior of the harbour from the seas which may yet get round the end of the south pier.

By a contract entered into between the governors of the hospital and their feuars in 1774, the latter acknowledged that the harbours, quays, anchorages, shore-dues, and petty customs, and emoluments arising therefrom, were disponed, and belonged to the hospital as part of their estate. Nevertheless, the governors, for the encouragement of their feuars, and for promoting the public good and utility of the town, agreed that the rents and profits of these subjects should be received and applied by their feuars for the time being, or the majority of them, for enlarging, building, repairing, and upholding the harbours, piers, shores, and other public works within the town, in time coming, but always under the inspection, and subject to the control of the governors, or such person or persons as they should appoint, from time to time, for that purpose. The piers of the south harbour were completed in 1781, and cost L. 3256, 6s. 10d.; but even after that expenditure, the harbour was only capable of containing about twenty sail of small vessels. The rock and other stuff continued to be excavated from the interior of the harbour, in consequence of which the accommodation to vessels was rendered greater, and the trade and revenue increased, as will be seen from the following account of the annual revenue, at different times, from 1772 to 1807:

At the latter period the harbour had been so much enlarged as to be capable of containing 50 or 60 sail of vessels; but even this increased means of accommodation was found inadequate to the trade of the place; and the late Mr John Rennie, engineer, was applied to for a plan and estimate for extending the south harbour, and for building a new north harbour; and an act of Parliament was applied for and obtained, for the further improvement of the south, and the erection of the north harbour. Soon after this, 50,000 cubic yards of rock and other stuff were excavated from the bottom of the south harbour,—the jetty of the west pier was extended 40 feet,—a quay, extending 300 feet in length, was built upon the east side of the harbour,—an addition of about 200 feet in length was made to the west pier, which cost about L. 13,800, including a grant of L. 3900 obtained from the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges out of the Forfeited Estates' Fund. By these improvements the south harbour was rendered capable of containing from 100 to 120 vessels in complete safety. The rock and other stuff taken from the bottom of the south harbour, was deposited in the direction of a small rocky island, called the Greenhill, so as to connect it with the south, and form the boundary of the north harbour; and this stuff was protected from the sea by a bulwark. The trade and shipping still continued to increase; and in 1815 it was found that additional accommodation had again become necessary. Under these circumstances, the governors of the hospital and the trustees of the harbours again applied to the Parliamentary Commissioners for Roads and Bridges, and made offer to find security for one moiety of the expense of erecting the north harbour, and building a graving dock, which had become very necessary, in consequence of many vessels being stranded, and sustaining damage during the winter season upon the coast near to Peterhead. The Commissioners having agreed to grant one moiety, ordered a survey and estimate to be made by the late Mr Thomas Telford, civil-engineer. Mr Telford accordingly gave in a report and plans for the works. The harbour was begun to be built in 1818; but, owing to the exposed situation of the breakwater or great pier, and its having to sustain the great force of the sea from the east and north, when in an unfinished state, and in consequence unprotected, it was totally destroyed by a tremendous storm which occurred in October 1819. Upon being applied to, the Commissioners agreed to bear one-half of the expense of rebuilding the pier, which was immediately set about; and the north harbour, according to Mr Telford's plan, was finished in September 1822, at an expense of L. 25,194, 2s. 3˝d. This harbour, being unprotected on the north side, the trustees soon after commenced to build a pier in that direction, which is now to be completed, and is at present under execution, by contract, for the sum of L. 4680.

The first Act of Parliament for the improvement of these harbours was to continue for twenty-one years, and, therefore, it became necessary to apply for a new act; and accordingly, in 1827, an act was obtained with additional powers to the trustees and unlimited in duration.

The effects produced by the improvement of the harbours of Peterhead will be seen from the increase of shore dues from 1807 to the present time, 1st March 1837.

Various improvements of these harbours have been contemplated, which are well deserving of being undertaken at the national expense, their object being of national importance.

The area of the south harbour is 6.6 imperial acres. The area of the north harbour 10.86 imperial acres. The length of the south quay of the south harbour is 480 feet, its greatest breadth is 42 feet, the height from the base to the top of the parapet 40 feet. The extreme length of the west quay is 653 feet; length of parapet, 325˝ feet; height of parapet, 26 feet; greatest breadth at entrance, 90 feet. The total length of quays at the north harbour is 2219 feet. Area of these quays 4 acres, 3 roods, 28 poles imperial.

Exports.—From 1st January 1836 to 1st January 1837; the leading articles of export were

The whale fishery failed last year; but, taking an average of the five years preceding, 11 vessels brought yearly 4958 tons of blubber, yielding 3305 tons of oil; and 271 tons of whale fins, which were again exported.

Imports.—The imports during the same period were as under:


Harbour Revenue.— The revenue of the harbours for the year, from 1st March 1836 to 1st March 1837, arose from:

The number of vessels which entered the harbours during the same period was 832, and their tonnage 48,136. The number of ships belonging to the Port of Peterhead on the 1st January 837 was 82, and their tonnage 11,022.

The number of wind-bound vessels which have entered the harbours for the four years from 1833 is as follows:—


which shows of what importance these harbours are to the general trade and shipping interests of the country; and this importance will be greatly increased, when the pier now under execution is finished, as the harbours will then be capable of affording accommodation to steam vessels.

Custom-House.—The merchants and ship-owners of Peterhead have often applied to have the full establishment of a customhouse, but hitherto without effect. Of late, the officers have been reduced in number, while their duties have increased. [Since the above was written, the establishment of a Custom-house has been granted to Peterhead.]

Village of Boddam.—This village is situated about three miles to the south of Peterhead, on a projecting point of land, a little to the north of Stirling-hill. It has a south and north boat harbour, the latter being also capable of receiving ships of moderate draught of water; these harbours are only separated from each other by a beach of small rounded stones. The light-house at Buchanness is situated on an island, separated from the mainland and the village by these harbours. Population of the village 460.

The number of herring boats belonging to Boddam will amount for this year to 23. The annual produce of the Boddam herring fishery may be fairly stated at L. 100 per boat on an average of seasons.

There are three principal fishings, called the summer, the herring, and the winter fishings. The summer or haddock fishing, which occupies from March to July in catching, preparing, and going to market with the produce, is carried on in 22 smaller sized boats, manned with four men each, and generally a boy, who has a small share. From 25,000 to 30,000 fish are considered a fair fishing, and they generally bring from L. 3 to L. 4 per thousand, according to their size and quality.

The herring fishing occupies the months of July, August, and September: after this the fishermen go for their bait, and occasionally go to sea, or prepare for the winter or cod fishing. This last is carried on in twelve boats, of a size between that of a herring boat and common fishing yawl, each boat being manned by six men. From 1200 to 1800 cod fish to each boat is considered an excellent fishing, and these bring 4d. to 6d. each, according to size. This fishing ends at Candlemas, when the fishermen again go to supply themselves with bait, and thereafter prepare for the summer fishing.

The common kinds of fish caught here are, the cod, the haddock, and whiting, with occasionally the turbot, ling, and skate. The fishing is made at no very great distance off the coast. Until a market was found in summer for haddocks, which is the time they are in poorest condition, the fishermen were in the habit of going to what was called the deep sea fishing, at a bank, a long way off the coast, where they were very successful in catching ling, cod, turbot, skate, and flat fish of different kinds; but for some years back this fishing has been entirely given up, as the summer dried haddocks have proved more profitable. From the locality of Boddam, extending into the German Ocean, and nearly as far east as Peterhead, the haddocks are always within the reach of the fishermen. These haddocks, when taken from the boat, are split up, carefully washed, and salted in heaps upon the beach ; after lying a sufficient time, they are carried to the rocks and spread out, one by one, great care being taken to preserve them from occasional rain. They are every night gathered into heaps, and again spread out in the morning. After being sufficiently dried, and in condition for preserving, they are taken home and stored up. Previous to being taken to market, they are smoked on spits with peat smoke, which gives them a fine colour and an agreeable flavour. They are then put into one heap, and strongly pressed down, which gives them a fine marketable appearance.

The fish from Boddam obtain a decided preference in the market,—partly from the great care taken upon them, by the people themselves, but in a great measure owing to the rocks along the shore on which the fish are dried, and which are quite clean and free from sand.

The average value of the last five years' fishing has been nearly as follows:—

It would be improper to overlook the outlay incurred by the fishermen, which is considerable. Each boat while at the herring-fishing requires to have a hired man, whose wages are equal to one-eighth part of the price of a crane of herrings. Female servants are engaged, not for the half year, but during the fishing, perhaps for three months, and their wages are from L. 2 to L. 2, 10s. A considerable quantity of salt, bark, hemp, hair, &c. are necessary for the general fishings, and the boats used are of the best quality, and are never kept above seven or eight years, when they are disposed of to less wealthy fishermen, and replaced by new ones. A summer line costs L. 3, and a winter one L. 4, and many of these are annually lost.

All the haddocks caught during the past winter have been sold to curers in Peterhead, and the haddock-fishing in winter has now become a new branch of industry; formerly the cod-fishing was the principal winter fishing, in the course of which the fishermen generally caught a sufficient supply for their own use and the home market; since this opening has occurred, however, they have thought it worth their while to prosecute the haddock-fishery, and during last season they have been benefited to the extent of about L. 2 each man. The winter is the season when the haddocks are in the best condition; and it is supposed, that if the finest of these were packed with ice, in the same manner as salmon, they could be conveyed to the most distant market in fine condition.

Boddam has greatly increased within a few years. It has derived much benefit from its proximity to the Buchanness Lighthouse, affording as it does a land-mark to the fishermen. If a harbour were erected it might soon be expected to become a large trading-place. With the exception of Newburgh there is no other place between Aberdeen and Peterhead where a harbour could be erected. It is thought that an outlay of from L.1500 to L.1800 would make a most commodious little harbour. There would always be a greater depth of water there than in the present harbours of Peterhead, and an entry could be made from the south or north. [An extensive harbour has been contracted for, and is in the course of being erected.]

Many of the fishermen appear, both from name and remaining habits, to be of Dutch extraction; they are doubtless the descendants of those fishermen who were brought over by King William, and planted along the east coasts of Scotland and England. They retain a good deal of primitive simplicity. There are now few of the young men who cannot read, write, and cast up accounts in a very creditable way. Like all others of the same occupation, both sexes generally live to an advanced age; they marry young, and have in general large families.

Buchanness Lighthouse—In the year 1819, a petition was presented to the Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouses by the merchants, ship-owners, ship-masters, and others interested in shipping, representing the dangers of the coast from Girdleness to Buchanness, and from thence to Kinnaird's head, and pointing out the advantages that were likely to result from the erection of a lighthouse upon the Buchanness, not only to the shipping interest, but also to those engaged in the herring fishery. A second petition was presented in 1822 to the same effect, detailing some shipwrecks which had then recently occurred; and in January 1824, the commissioners resolved to build a lighthouse at Buchanness, and it was soon afterwards completed. It is about 118 feet in height, and built of granite from Stirling-hill. The light afforded is what is called a flashing light, which in every five seconds of time emerges from a state of partial darkness, and exhibits a momentary light, resembling a star of the first magnitude. It is visible at the distance of five or six leagues, and lesser distances, according to the state of the atmosphere. It has answered all the good purposes anticipated, both in regard to the shipping interest generally, and those engaged in the herring-fishery at Peterhead and along the coast.

Burnhaven.—Besides Boddam, Burnhaven is the only village in the parish not now included within the Parliamentary boundary of the burgh. It is a small fishing village, which has lately been erected under that name, on the north side of the bay of Sand-ford, by George Mudie, Esq. of Meethill. The houses are nearly on a level with the high water-mark at the bottom of the sea braes, and near the mouth of the burn of Invernettie—hence its name. There have been already built 23 houses, and six more have been contracted for. Seven herring boats belong to this village; three of which are to fish this season at home, and four at Peterhead. A small harbour or landing place for the accommodation of these boats has been erected by Mr Mudie, at an expense of about L.300.

Ecclesiastical, State.—The parish church has already been described as standing at the entrance into the town from the south and west. It is about three miles and a half distant from the extremity of the parish. It was built in 1808, has repeatedly undergone repairs, and is at present in excellent condition. It is capable of containing nearly 2000 sitters. There are twelve free sittings appropriated for the elders. A new manse was built soon after the last Statistical Account was written. The glebe consists of upwards of nine Scots acres of good land, which is worth annually about L. 50, and the gardens extend to about one acre and a quarter, the manse being situated in them. The stipend was last modified in 1821. It is 18 chalders of victual, half meal, half barley, payable at the highest fiar prices for the county, and L.10 for communion elements, which was afterwards extended by the heritors to L.20, in consequence of the sacrament being dispensed twice a year.

East or quoad sacra Parish Church.—This church was opened as a preaching station in connection with the Established Church in October 1834. The Rev. James Yuille was inducted minister in 1835. The church is seated for 700 persons, and the number of communicants (February 1837) was 415. The stipend is L.120 per annum, and, in the event of the revenue amounting to L.200, the stipend is to be augmented to L.150. There is an endowment of L.10 in aid of the revenue.

Episcopal Chapel.—The present church was erected in 1814. It is seated for 800 persons. The number belonging to the congregation is from 1400 to 1500.

United Associate Congregation.—The church belonging to this congregation is calculated to contain about 450 sitters. The late Mr John Robertson, farmer in Collielaw, in this parish, mortified some property, for behoof of the Seceders in Windmill Street, which, since that congregation ceased to exist, has been transferred to this congregration. The property yields about L.80 per annum, of which L.10 is applied to charitable purposes, and the remainder towards payment of the clergyman's stipend.

Independents.—The place of worship of this congregation, formerly belonging to the Secession, is not quite so large as that belonging to the United Associate congregation. The number of persons belonging to this congregation has not been ascertained; but it is believed that it has rather been on the decrease of late.

Methodists.—There is a place of worship belonging to this sect, capable of containing about 200 persons. They are supplied with a preacher once a fortnight from Aberdeen. The congregation is understood not to be equal to the extent of accommodation in the church.

Members of Established Church.—The number of families attending the parish church has not been precisely ascertained; it probably amounts to 1000,—the whole number of families in the town and parish being about 1700. The number of persons of all ages connected with the Established Church is not less than 5000, the gross population being reckoned 8000, which must be very near the truth ; for, adding to 6695, the population according to the census in 1831, 1000 as the number of seamen who were not included, and 305 as the probable increase for the last six years, we have 8000.

Here the practice of exacting seat rents universally prevails Sums varying from 2s. to 6s. are charged and paid for each sitting. The sacrament of the Lord's supper, since 1822, has been dispensed twice a year, previous to which period the number, of communicants was as high as 1900, and there has without doubt been an increase since that time. The number of communicants in both the Established Churches at each celebration now varies from 1200 to 1500, and as the seafaring part of the population is for the most part absent at the summer sacrament, and many of those in the country part of the parish cannot conveniently attend in winter, the number of those belonging to the Established Church, who communicate at least once a year, cannot be less than 2000.

Education.—The parish school has for upwards of forty years been taught in a room in the town-house, which is vested in the community of feuars, and for which the landward heritors pay a small sum of yearly rent. Of late the room has been found to be inconvenient, in consequence of the noise arising from apartments immediately below it, these apartments being used as market-places, and from the market stance being immediately in front of the town-house. The present schoolmaster, in consequence of these circumstances, has applied to have a school and school-house erected in terms of the statute; and this has led to an inquiry whether the landward heritors are bound to erect such a parish school as is required for the town and parish of Peterhead; or whether the erection of a parish school and school-house is not a parochial burden, to be borne, the same as the erection of the parish church, by both the heritors of the parish, and the feuars of the town according to their real rents. In order to avoid the adjudication of this point in a court of law, the principal heritors lately agreed to assess themselves in the sum of L.400, if the feuars and inhabitants would raise L.300 by voluntary contribution, and the Governors of the Maiden Hospital, with their usual liberality, agreed to give a site for the school and school-house, gratis, to the extent of a quarter of an acre. A near prospect was thus afforded of having such a parish school and school-house as the extent of the parish of Peterhead seemed to require. But in the meantime, a delay has taken place in consequence of one or two of the smaller heritors having refused to contribute their share of the L.400, and in consequence of some individuals wishing to supersede the parish school, by the establishment of an academy on a larger scale, to be conducted, as has been held out by some of the projectors, independently of the supervision of the clergy of the Established Church, while others of the supporters of the academy scheme are decidedly against the voluntary principle, and there can be little doubt that these will form a large majority.

It is not to be expected that an academy could supply the place of a parish school, although it might with advantage be joined to it, and, therefore, it may be anticipated, that, at no distant period, the heritors and feuars will be able to carry into effect their determination to have a proper and suitable parish school, and at the same time avoid the expense of a litigation to ascertain their legal liabilities.

At present the parochial schoolmaster has the maximum salary of L.34, 4s. 4˝d., and an allowance of L.13 for a dwelling-house and garden, besides participating in the Dick bequest.

Another school is taught in the town-house, in a room afforded gratuitously by the feuars. This school has been denominated the Town's School. The present teacher received his appointment from the baron bailies and the feuar's managers; and he was appointed to teach seven poor children, for which he receives L.10 per annum, in terms of a bequest by the late Mr William Rhind, baker.

There is a Lancasterian school under the superintendence of the clergyman of the Episcopal chapel, the master of which receives a salary of L. 20 per annum, from funds mortified by the late Dr Anderson of St Christophers. There are besides, in the town, two schools conducted by ladies, in which the higher branches of female education, such as Music, French, Drawing, &c. are taught by experienced and well qualified instructors.

Besides these, there are six other schools in the town, and two in the country part of the parish, chiefly for the ordinary branches of education, viz. reading, writing, and arithmetic.

The branches taught in the parish school not only embrace English from its lowest stages, Grammar, arithmetic, and Latin, but also the various subdivisions of mathematics, geography, history, Greek, and French; and this renders additional accommodation the more necessary, and which, it may be expected, will, ere long, be obtained.

At a former period, the schools in the town-house were conducted so as to confine each to a particular department, the parochial schoolmaster taking the languages, and the other writing, arithmetic, and mathematics. This arrangement, it is believed, was conducive to the interests of both, as well as to the abridgement of the labour of the teachers, and it may again prove advantageous, if adopted.

The number of scholars attending the different schools throughout the year may probably exceed 700.

Although the people in this parish are generally alive to the benefits of education, yet there can be no doubt that some of them are brought up without receiving an adequate education, and that ample room remains for the endowment of a charity school, where the poorest children might be educated at very reduced fees.

The extreme distance from the parish school is four miles, that is, to the south and west of the parish. The children in these districts attend either the school at Boddam or the school at Miekle Cocklaw; and it is a question worthy of consideration, when the proper time arrives, whether these schools should not be erected into parochial schools.

Sabbath Schools.—There are several Sabbath schools, both in connection with the Established Church, and with other denominations. These schools are numerously attended, particularly by females; and they appear to have effected much good. The school under the superintendence of the church-session has lately been much extended, and is now taught within the church. There is also a numerous Sabbath school taught in the East or quoad sacra Parish Church.

Literature.—There is no library connected with the parish church; but it is understood that there are several small libraries belonging to the religious congregations in the town. [There is now a library in connection with the parish church.]

Connected with the quoad sacra parish church, more particularly, there is a library supported by congregational subscription, consisting of 240 volumes. There is also another library, consisting of 106 volumes, belonging to a religious instruction class, which is taught by the pastor, and meets every Monday evening.

The principal library in the town is that belonging to the Reading Society, instituted in 1808. This Society is managed by a committee of its own members elected annually. The members pay a yearly subscription of a guinea, and none but members are entitled to the use of the books. The library consists of about 1500 volumes of standard works, embracing the Bridgewater Treatises; the seventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, now publishing; the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and London and Westminster Reviews; the New Statistical Account of Scotland, now publishing; Sir Walter Scott's works; Alison's History of Europe; the philosophical works of Reid and Stewart, Hume, Beattie, &c.

Another library was instituted in October 1836, under the name of the "Peterhead Mechanics' Library." It already contains upwards of 200 volumes, consisting of religious, historical, and scientific works.

Scientific Association.—The only scientific society here is the "Peterhead Association for Science, Literature, and the Arts." This Society was established in 1835. At its monthly meetings there are occasional lectures, and the Society is in the course of fitting up a museum, to which various donations have already been made of shells, minerals, antiques, &c.

News-Room.—The news-room is supported by the annual subscription of a guinea from each of the readers. There are received three London daily papers, a daily shipping list, an Edinburgh paper thrice a week, and the Aberdeen Journal.

Friendly Societies.—When the last Statistical Account of this parish was written, there were nine friendly Societies in the town; subsequently several others were formed, and the greatest number at any time was seventeen. After the passing of the Act 10 Geo. IV. which made it imperative on Societies to remodel their rules, and adopt tables founded on the scheme of mutual assurances, a general panic arose among the members of nearly all these Societies. Few of them could be convinced of the advantages which the Legislature had in view by the alteration which was thus forced upon them, and so averse were they to adopt the scheme proposed, that they refused to make that inquiry into the state of their funds which time had rendered necessary.

No fewer than ten friendly Societies in the town of Peterhead were entirely broken up in the course of a year or two, and their funds divided among the members. This was the more to be regretted, as the greater part, if not the whole of these Societies were possessed of very considerable funds, and, up to the time of their dissolution, had continued to pay annuities to the widows and children of deceased members, and to members in old age, the want of which, particularly among a certain class of the community, has since been severely felt; and although in some instances it might have been found on investigation, that a reduction in the amount of annuities would have been necessary, in order to put all on an equal footing, and secure the stability of the institutions, yet, in every case the funds were in such a state that great advantages would have resulted from the Societies being kept up. An instance of this extraordinary spirit has recently shown itself among the members of the Seamen Friendly Society, formerly the Pilot Society. The funds of this Society amount to about L. 1500; both the contributors and those receiving relief are comparatively few in number, and many of the former are in the better ranks of life. In the course of the present year it has been resolved to dissolve this Society, and divide the funds.

At present the following Societies, much to the credit of the members, exist in the town:—


None of these Societies have as yet availed themselves of the information collected and published by the Highland and Agricultural Society5 and prepared tables of the rates on which the members ought to be admitted and contribute to the funds according to their ages; although some of them adopted the means of ascertaining the state of their funds a few years ago, and altered the amount of their annuities accordingly.

The Farmer Society has within these few years adopted a graduated scale for the admission of new members; but it does not appear to have been prepared according to any correct data, nor with the view of the present state of the society's funds. By this scale each member of 25 years of age and under pays on admission L.5. Those above 25 and under 41 years of age pay 10s. additional for every year their age exceeds 25; and those of 41 years of age and upwards pay L. 2 for every year exceeding 40. When the age of a member on admission exceeds by ten years that of his wife, he pays L. 2 additional of entrant dues for every year above ten that his wife's age is under his own. When the difference in the age does not exceed ten years, there is no additional payment required.

Savings Bank.—A Savings Bank was established in Peterhead in May 1824. It has been attended with very considerable benefit to the working-classes. The treasurer and one of the directors attend every Tuesday night to receive deposits. The accounts are audited once a year, and have been found to be kept with the greatest accuracy. On the 9th of March 1837, there were 295 depositors, and, including periodical interest, the sum deposited amounted to L.2095, 7s. 2d.

Poor and Parochial Funds.—The number of persons receiving parochial aid is from 270 to 280, and the average allowance to regular paupers is about 15s. per annum. The annual average amount of contributions for relief of the poor is L.252; of which from L.160 to L.170 arises from church collections, including the proportion of the collections from the East or quoad sacra Parish Church; L.20 to L.25 derived from the fees for the proclamation of banns, certificates, registration of births, &c. appropriated to that purpose by the session at the appointment of the present clerk; L.22 to L.26 interest of L.650 from 3˝ to 4 per cent.; about L. 10 a year from penalties exacted in cases of church discipline, and for the use of the mortcloth; and from legacies and donations, which, of course, are variable, being seldom under L. 5, and more rarely exceeding L.50. No other mode of procuring funds for the poor has hitherto been adopted; but, from the increased number of claimants within the last few years, arising in part from the dissolution of friendly societies, it is probable that some other means must soon be resorted to.

Coal Fund.—This fund was established about sixteen years ago. It is supported by voluntary contributions made annually about the beginning of the year, and is managed by the representatives of the congregations of every religious denomination in the town. The managers meet together and examine the claims of all applicants, and admit such cases as they know to be fit, whether the parties have made application or not.

The objects of the charity are the poor belonging to the town ; and it has only been in a very few instances that parties in the country part of the parish have been allowed to participate in the benefits, in consequence of particular recommendation.

The amount of donations has varied during the last sixteen years from L. 53, 16s. 6d., the lowest, to L. 68, 2s., the highest. The number of poor supplied with coals has also varied from 287 to 342, (the average number throughout the whole period having been 311,) and the quantity of coals given to each has been equal to 4˝ cwts.

As soon as the annual contributions are collected, the coals are distributed at that season of the year when the poor are in the greatest want of them. The whole management reflects the greatest credit on those who have undertaken it, (it being conducted gratuitously,) and has given great satisfaction.

The managers of the fund have received several small legacies, some of which they are left at liberty to apply to the purposes of the fund, and others are under the restriction, that only the annual rent shall be so applied. From the liberality of the public the managers have been enabled to reserve the whole amount of legacies, only applying the annual rents. These they have lent out on good security to the amount of L. 100, besides a small sum in the bank; and they intend, if circumstances permit, to act on the same laudable principle in regard to other legacies which may be left them by benevolent individuals.
Pauper, Lunatic, and Orphan Fund.—An association was formed in 1827, under the name of the Peterhead Pauper, Lunatic, and Orphan Fund. It is supported by an annual collection from each of the congregations in the town, and by donations and bequests. The objects entitled to relief from the fund are orphans and lunatics having a legal claim on the parish. This institution is managed by delegates appointed by the session and managers of the different churches. The present number of objects is ten lunatics and ten orphans. The receipts and expenditure average from L. 60 to L. 80 per annum.

This fund has been judiciously administered, and of the greatest advantage to the public; and has, to a considerable extent, mitigated the sufferings of those for whose benefit it was established. It is to be regretted that more ample means have not been placed at the disposal of the managers.

Female Society.— This Society was instituted in 1819. Its object is to assist deserving poor females, who are not in the practice of receiving weekly charity ; but in cases of sickness this condition may be dispensed with. It is under the management of three ladies, viz. a president, treasurer, and secretary, and a committee of twelve ladies, all elected annually. Two of these ladies in rotation visit the poor, and distribute the charity every month. The number of poor receiving aid from this institution is limited to 85. Young widows left with children receive aid until the youngest arrives at the age of six. From L. 70 to L. 80 are annually distributed by this institution, It has fully realized the benevolent intentions of its projectors, and is well deserving of the patronage and support of the public at large, which it has hitherto received.

Fairs.—The weekly market here is held on Fridays, and is well supplied with all sorts of provisions and garden stuffs. There are two half-yearly markets, chiefly for the feeing of servants, held respectively on the first Tuesday after Whitsunday, and the first Tuesday after Martinmas. These markets are of very long standing, having been established in 1669 by authority of an act of Charles II. passed in that year, in favour of William Earl Marischall.

Inns, &c.—There are 46 licensed public-houses, and 28 licensed spirit-dealers in the town. The new inn, kept by Mr D. Fraser, is the principal one, where the daily coaches arrive and depart. The inn is large, commodious, and neatly fitted up; and, under Mr Fraser's management, affords every comfort at a reasonable expense. Mr Fraser has a lease of the Mason Society's Cold Baths, and has lately added to his establishment a handsome billiard-room.

Fuel.—About twenty or thirty years ago moss found in the neighbourhood was very generally used for fuel; but this has been now almost superseded by coal, which is the common fuel throughout the town.

Miscellaneous Observations.

The improvements which have been effected in this parish since last Account was written are considerable. Some of these will be seen by the short comparative view subjoined of the state and circumstances of the parish before the time of Dr Moir and the present time. This will serve a double purpose, in presenting and preserving a statement of the more prominent parts contained in Dr Moir's account relative to the then state of the parish; while, at the same time, it will exhibit, in a condensed form, and of easy reference, much of the information contained in this account.

Population.—In Dr Moir's time, the population in the town amounted to 2550, and in the landward part of the parish to 1141; total 3691. By the census of 1831, the population in the town amounted to 5112, and in the landward part of the parish to 1583; total 6695. To which add the estimated number of seamen, 1000, and the probable increase since that time 315, which gives as the present population, 8000.

In Boddam, separately, there were 192 inhabitants; houses and families, 49. The population of Boddam is now 460 ; houses and families, 99.

The average number of births per annum was 105; it is now 270.

The average number of deaths was 68; it is now 144.

The average number of marriages was 28; it is now 51.

Agriculture.—The extent of the parish is stated by Dr Moir to be 7000 Scots acres, of which there were under cultivation 5000. It has been ascertained that there are 7087 Scots acres, or nearly so, in the parish, of which there are now cultivated 6505 Scots acres, = 8266 imperial acres.

Turnips and grass were only partially cultivated. Turnips and grass now form an essential part of the rotations of cropping followed here, and are very extensively cultivated.

The arable land was interspersed with bawks or patches between the ridges of waste and uncultivated land. The bawks have now been cultivated, the land drained and partly enclosed, and laid off in regular fields to answer the rotations agreed upon.

The implements of husbandry were in general very inferior. The ploughs formerly in use here, called Scotch ploughs, were, according to Dr Moir, often drawn by two horses with a cow or young steer. "I have even seen," he says, "a plough with one horse, a cow, and a young steer." The implements of husbandry are now greatly improved in their construction and increased in number, embracing all those which have been found useful in other districts of the country.

There were no thrashing-machines, and but few fanners. There is now no farm of any importance to which there is not attached a thrashing-machine; and fanners are possessed by the crofters.

The average rent in the country part of the parish was 12s. per acre. Near the town it was from L. 1, 10s. to L. 4, 4s. The gross rents of land in the parish amounted to from L. 2800 to L. 3000. The wages of male servants were from L. 5 to L. 8 ; maid-servants from L. 1 to L. 1, 10s. The average rent of land in the country part of the parish is now about L. 1, 2s.; near the town it is about L. 4, 10s. The rents now amount to L. 10,136, 19s. 8d. as near as can be ascertained. The amount of servant's wages may be fairly stated to be at least doubled.

The building of earthen fences cost from 2d. to 3d. per yard; faced with stones, 6d.; complete stone fences, 1s. Earthen fences now cost from 5d. to 7d. per yard; faced with stone 1s. to 1s. 6d,; complete stone fences, 2s. to 3s.

Dr Moir complains that the roads were kept in bad repair; and that there were no turnpike roads. Turnpike roads were made in 1812, and other roads leading to and from the various possessions in the parish have been much increased in number, and are kept in good repair.

Trade and Shipping, &c.—The number of taverns was 30. There are now 46.

The post-office revenue was L. 280 per annum. The post-office revenue has amounted to L. 817, 16s. per annum on an average of the last seven years.

There were two bank agents. There are now four.

The number of ships belonging to this place was 26, and the tonnage of these 3000 tons. The number of ships is now (July 1837) 85, and their tonnage 11,429 tons.

There was one ship sent to Greenland. There are now ten ships employed in the whale fishing.

There were no London traders. There are now five vessels regularly employed in the London trade. These find ample employment in conveying cattle and other produce of the district to the English market, and supplying the merchants and traders of this place with goods.

There were exported on an average of the five years from 1789 to 1794—of beans and pease 186 bolls; of bear 1173; of oats 771; total 2130. The quantity of grain exported in 1836 was 27,164 quarters; and this is about the average amount.

The meal exported from 1789 to 1794, on an average of the five years, was 9216 bolls. The meal exported in 1836 was 14,424 bolls.

The harbour dues amounted to L. 94. The harbour dues amounted for the year ending at 1st March 1837, to L. 2879.

Manufactures.—A thread manufactory was at one time carried on in this place. The manufacture of thread has been discontinued, but there is reason to believe, that it might be again carried on with advantage.

Woollen cloth was rather extensively manufactured. This business is now carried on only to a very limited extent.

There was formerly a distillery of whisky. There is now no such distillery.

Fishing.—Boddam and Ronheads were the only fishing villages in the parish. The village of Boddam has been greatly enlarged. The Ronheads remains the same as when the last Account was written. Other two villages have arisen—Buchanhaven and Burnhaven—at both of which the different fishings are carried on to a considerable extent.

There was then no herring-fishery. This is a new and most extensive branch of industry, of which a short account has already been given.

There was no light-house on this part of the coast. This defect has now been remedied, and a short account of the Buchan-ness Light-house has also been given.

Salmon sold at from 2d. to 2˝d. per lb. Salmon now sells at from 6d. to 1s.

The salmon exported yearly amounted to from 50 to 60 barrels. There are not now so many exported,—the Ugie salmon-fishing having fallen off considerably.

The rent of the Ugie salmon-fishing was L.100. The rent of it is now only L. 45.

Stipend, &c.— The stipend was 5 chalders meal, 3 chalders bear, and L.41, 13s. 4d. in money, and L. 8, 6s. 8d. for communion elements. The stipend is now 18 chalders, half meal, half barley, at the highest fiar prices for the county, and L. 20 for communion elements.

The number of those receiving parochial aid was from 70 to 80. There are now from 270 to 280 receiving parochial aid.

The schoolmaster's salary was 13 bolls and 2 firlots of meal, and L. 3, 6s. 8d. in money. The schoolmaster now enjoys the maximum salary of L. 34, 4s. 4˝d., besides what he may receive from the trustees of the late Mr Dick.

The town was not supplied with spring water. The town is now supplied with excellent spring water, and in sufficient abundance for every purpose.

The streets were in want of repairs. The streets are now kept in good repair. Side paths with crib paving have been made— obstructions have been removed—and the town protected by bulwarks from the sea.
The streets were not lighted in winter. They are now lighted with gas.

Drawn up September 1837; Revised September 1840.


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