"Arbroath or Aberbrothock, a royal burgh in Forfarshire, situated at the estuary of the river Brothock. The parish of Arbroath or Aberbrothock, is of small extent, being an erection about two centuries ago, of the town and royalty into a separate parish from St Vigeans, in which it was formerly included. It lies in the direction of the Great North Road, about 17 miles East of Dundee. The body of the town consists of one street, nearly half a mile in length, running north and south from the sea, and another on the west side of smaller extent. Both these are intersected by cross streets, and are in general well built, though without much regularity. To the eastward of the town, and locally situated in the parish of St Vigeans, there are two neat regular streets; at the top of one of which is situated an elegant chapel of ease, built about three years ago. On the west side of the river Brothock there are also several neat streets newly built, consisting chiefly of small houses of one storey, forming a suburb of considerable size. The harbour is small but commodius, and can be taken by vessels in a storm, when they cannot enter any neighbouring ports. It is defended by a neat battery, mounting six 12-pounders, erected in 1783, on account of an attack made by a small privateer, commanded by one Captain Fall during the American War."
Edited from The Gazetteer of Scotland, W Chalmers, Dundee 1803