DUNDEE, Angus - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"DUNDEE, a parish in the county of Forfar, Scotland. It consists of a main body and a detached district. The main portion is bounded on the S. by the Firth of Tay, on the W. by Liff, on the E. by Manifieth, and on the N. by the parishes of Liff, Mains, and Murroes, or Muirhouse. This portion measures from S.W. to N.E. 6 miles, with a breadth of from 12 mile to 2 miles. The detached body is situated to the N.E. of the main portion, and is surrounded by the parish of Muirhouse on all sides except the W., which is bounded by Tealing. The surface of the main body rises gently northward from the firth until to the N. of the town, where it attains the height of about 500 feet in the hill called Dundee Law (from which there is a magnificent view in all directions), and the more western and lesser eminence of Balgay Hill. These slopes present a very beautiful appearance from the firth and the opposite shore. The soil in the W. of the parish is for the most part poor, while that in the eastern division is good. Here the estuary of the Tay varies in width from 1 mile to 22 1 miles. There are large masses of porphyry on the lands of Balgay, and freestone is abundant in the detached district. The principal estates are Craigie, Claypotts, Pitkerro, Dudhope, Clepington, Blackness, Baldovie, Drumgeith, Duntroon, and West-Ferry. There are great facilities of communication in all directions by land and by water. This parish is the seat of a presbytery in the synod of Angus and Mearns. There are five parish churches, each with its minister, under the patronage of the town council. The first minister has a stipend of £320, and each of the others £275. There are also three chapels-of-ease: St. Andrew's, Chapelshade, and Wallacetown. The ministers of the two former of these have each a stipend of about £200. There arc besides eleven Free churches, six United Presbyterians, four chapels belonging to the Independents, and four to the Baptists. There are also places of worship for the Reformed Presbyterians, the Original Secession, the Episcopalians, the Old Scottish Independents, the Glassites, the Wesleyan Methodists, the Primitive Methodists, the Christian Unionists, the Roman Catholics, and the Latter-Day Saints. The principal educational institutions are the English school, grammar school, and academy, which are united in the Seminary Buildings, at the head of Reform-street. In these are taught the chief branches of a liberal education. Besides these there are many other schools, some of which have a deservedly high reputation."

"DUNDEE, a royal burgh in the county of Forfar, Scotland. This town is an extensive seaport and seat of manufacture, and is the third largest town in Scotland. It is situated for the most part in the parish of Dundee, but also partly in the parish of Liff and Benvie, in 56° 27' 33" N. lat., and 3° 2' 55" W. long., on the N. side of the Firth of Tay, 4 miles W. of Broughty Ferry, and 14 S. by W. of Forfar. The ground which Dundee occupies may be described as a strip extending along the Tay, and rising gently to the northward towards Dundee Law and Balgay Hill. The town is irregularly built, and the chief streets extend W. and E. nearly 2 miles, and are named Perth-road, Nethergate, High-street, Seagate, and the Croft. Nearly parallel to these streets there is another line to the northward of the former, and composed of the streets named Hawk-hill and Overgate, which last, after joining the High-street, passes eastward under the name of Cowgate. There is also a third line with a general north-westerly direction, extending three-quarters of a mile from the shore, and consisting of Castle-street, Murraygate, Wellgate, and Bormet-hill. The town is gradually extending northwards towards the acclivities in its rear. Many of the old streets are picturesque from their narrowness, and the absence of straight lines in their construction. The bustle and life also exhibited on, the, crowded quays, and the general opulence everywhere visible, add greatly to the interest which the surrounding beautiful landscape confers upon it. The High-street is the most important part of the town, and is a square 360 feet long by 100 broad. The houses are of freestone and lofty; and the townhall, with its spire 140 feet in height, ornaments the S. side of the square, while the trades'-hall is situated at the E. end, and the Luckenbooths closes up the W. end. The Cowgate, in which a large portion of the business of the town is carried on, and which served formerly as an exchange, has at its E. end the gate from which George Wishart preached during the plague in 1544. Some of the streets, such as Reform-street, are not inferior to some of the most admired in Edinburgh. Among the more remarkable of the public buildings may be mentioned the Exchange Coffee-room, at the S.E. corner of Castle-street; the public seminaries, at the N. of Reform-street; the barracks, enclosing the remains of Dudhope Castle, on an elevation at the foot of Dundee Law; the old custom house, in Green Market-square, with the adjacent Victoria Arch, erected to commemorate the landing of Queen Victoria at Dundee, in September, 1844; the royal exchange, at the N. end of Panmure-street; the county prison and police buildings, at the S.W. angle of the public gardens; the new infirmary, founded in 1852, and stretching its magnificent frontage of 350 feet along the southern side of the heights of Tudhope; the lunatic asylum, about half a mile N. of the town; and the now custom-house, including also the excise-office, at the E. end of Dock-street. In 1863 it was resolved to erect the Albert Institute in Dundee, on ground opposite the Royal Exchange. The institution is intended to comprise a lecture-room, reading-rooms, library, museum, and a free library and museum for the working-classes should the Free Libraries Act be adopted. The cost was estimated at £20,000. The ecclesiastical edifices, however, here as elsewhere, constitute the most prominent architectural features of the town. Foremost among these is the tower, 156 feet in height, which stands at the W. end of the cruciform cathedral-like structure composing the East, South, and Steeple churches, which were built in their present restored state after the fire which, in January; 1841, consumed the whole more ancient group. The churches are situated W. of the Luckenbooths, between the Overgate and the Nethergate. The original buildings included four churches, and had been subject to many additions and alterations in the course of ages. A magnificent view of the town and harbour is obtained from the top of the tower. All the other ancient ecclesiastical buildings have disappeared, and their successors, the modern edifices, as worthily supply their places as do the churches of any other town in Scotland. Among them may be mentioned St. Andrew's, on the N. side of the Cowgate; St. David's, in North Tay-street; Free St. Peter's, in Hawkhill; Free St. Paul's in the Nethergate; the United Presbyterian churches in Bell-street; Ward Chapel, belonging to the Independents; the Episcopal churches of St. Paul's, at the head of the Seagate, and St. Mary Magdalene, in Blinshall-street; and the Roman Catholic church in Nethergate. Much of the commercial prosperity of Dundee is owing to its magnificent docks, which stretch from Craig Pier on the W. to the shipbuilding yards on the E. They have all been formed, at an expense of more than £500,000, since 1815, when commissioners were first appointed by Act of Parliament for the improvement of the harbour. These improvements have been effected chiefly by deepening and widening the tide harbour, and by the construction of sea-walls and quays. There are four wet docks, one of them, made between 1815 and 1830, being named William IV.'s Dock, occupying a space of 8 acres, and having a graving dock annexed to it; the other, called Earl Grey's Dock, formed 1830 by enclosing a large part of the tide harbour. On the land immediately beside these works, space has also been gained for the erection of ware-houses and for ship-building. The Firth of Tay is here about 2 miles broad, and the aforesaid docks, besides their commodiousness, have the additional advantage of being easily accessible from the depth of water at very reduced states of the tide; while the natural obstructions arising from sandbanks have been practically removed by being marked out by buoys. Dundee has numerous public literary and charitable institutions, and two local banks, named the Dundee Banking Company and the Eastern Banking Company, besides branches of other Scottish banks. The following newspapers are published: the Dundee Advertiser and the Dundee Courier daily; the Northern Warder on Tuesday and Friday; also the People's Journal and Weekly News weekly. The chief manufactures are the working of iron and the construction of machinery; the refining of sugar, the making of kid gloves, hand cards and cards for wool, silk, cotton, and tow; ship-building, and lastly and principally the manufacture of flax-yarns and linen fabrics. The fabrics consist of Osnaburgs, duck, sheeting, and coarse linens. Besides these linen-yarn, canvas, and cordage are largely made. This manufacture, which has sprung up since 1815, has increased in an unprecedented manner, there being about fifty steam spinning-mills and some ton power-loom factories, besides many establishments in which weaving is performed by hand labour: Linen goods to the value of nearly £2,000,000 are made yearly in Dundee. The foreign trade of the port of Dundee in 1853, inwards, comprised 658 vessels of about 130,000 tons, and outwards, of 407 vessels of 70,646 tons. The customs' duties in 1851 amounted to 63,342. The chief imports are flax hemp, timber, iron, tar, lime, coals, ashes, tallow, and whale blubber; and the principal exports are linen fabrics, linen-yarn, machinery, iron and steel, cotton and woollen goods, spirits, coals, fish, &c. By means of the Dundee, Perth, and London Shipping Company, the Tay and Tyne Shipping Company, the Dundee and Perth Steam Packet Company, besides regular traders to Liverpool, Stockton, and Glasgow, abundant communication is had with the S. and W. Steamers ply at frequent intervals daily to Newport, once a day to Newburgh and Perth, and once a week to London. By rail Broughty Ferry, Arbroath, Newtyle, and Perth, and other places beyond, are easily accessible. Dundee is governed by a provost and 4 bailies, a dean of guild, and a town council of 20 members. The magistrates exercise jurisdiction over the whole of the royalty, and take cognizance of all criminal cases within the burgh, and of debts to any amount. The jurisdiction of the sheriff substitute is co-extensive with that of the magistrates within the royalty, and also extends over the landward part of the parishes. The magistrates and town council are the police commissioners under the General Police Act for Scotland passed in 1850. There are nine incorporated trades and three united trades, which possess funds chiefly employed in assisting decayed members. The town has endowments amounting to about £60,000 for charitable and educational purposes. The property of the town was estimated in 1853 at about £50,000, and consists of lands, churches, houses, and salmon fishings. The revenue in 1851 was about £5,600. Dundee, together with its suburb, sends one member to parliament. The population of the parliamentary burgh in 1851 was 78,931, and in 1861 90,424. Children at school in 1861, between the ages of 5 and 15, 11,698. Dundee was anciently surrounded by walls, the names of the gates being still retained in the names of some of the streets. It was twice burned by Edward I., and again by the Duke of Lancaster in 1385. In the 16th century Dundee was the first of all the Scottish towns to renounce Popery, chiefly through the influence of James Haliburton, the Reformer. In the 17th century it was pillaged by General Monk. Dundee claims many ancient sons and citizens, among whom may be mentioned Alexander Scrymgeour, the first of the hereditary constables of Dundee, and the friend of Wallace; Hector Boethius, the Scottish historian, Robert Pittilock, or Patullo, the first captain of the Scottish Guard under Charles VII. of France; James Halliburton, the Reformer; Sir John Scrymgeour, slain in the battle of Marston Moor on the side of Charles I.; George Mackenzie, Lord Advocate, and founder of the Advocate's Library, in Edinburgh; George Yeaman, of Murie, who represented Dundee in the last of the Scottish parliaments; Robert Fergusson, the poet; and Admiral Duncan. The title of Viscount Dundee has been conferred on two different occasions, the first by Charles I. in 1641 on Sir John Scrymgeour, hereditary constable of the town and standard-bearer to the king; and the second in 1688 on Graham of Claverhouse."

"CRAIGIE, a village in the parish of Dundee, in the county of Forfar, Scotland, 3 miles E. of Dundee."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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