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History of Montrose
Containing important particulars in relation to its Trade, Manufactures, Commerce, Shipping, Antiquities, Eminent Men, Town Houses of the Neighbouring Country Gentry in Former Years. &c. by David Mitchell (1866)


It is hoped that the community will look with a favourable eye upon this attempt to write a History of Montrose. It is not pretended that it contains all that should be said, but as far as the materials would go, the best use has been made of them. Not one, but two years at least, would be required to investigate the antiquities of the town,—indeed, something worthy of record occurs almost every day.

In the early part of the History, I have been much indebted to Mr. Jervise’s elaborate work, “Memorials of Angus and Meams,” and Bowick’s “Life of John Erskine of Dun,” besides a number of parties residing in the town.

Dr. Alexander Gibson, laird of Auchindrioch, having been a school-fellow, I naturally took to be a native, but although as the Yankees say, he was “raised” at Montrose, he was born at Laurencekirk. He was Conservator of Forests in India, and at the termination of his service, received the following compliment from the Government, in a separate G. O., published in 1860, not a very common distinction:—


Dr A. Gibson’s employment on Special Duty having ceased, and his connection with the forest management of the Presidency being thereby ended, His Excellency, the Governor in Council, desires publicly to acknowledge Dr. Gibson’s unremitting zeal in the discharge of the office of Conservator of Forests, during a period of twenty years, and the beneficial results which the measures conducted under his direction have secured to the State.

By order,

Acting Secretary to Government.
27th September, 1860.

It is hoped that nothing is advanced which can give offence to any (the person referred to at page 21 was not the late W. Nichol). Some part of Chapter VI. might find a more appropriate place in a life of the Author.

The following is the translation of the part of the Charter, granted by David II., quoted at page 9, which confirmed the first Charter by David I. :—

“With the territories, and common pasture of the said burgh, adjacent thereto, with the fisheries, within the waters of Northesk and Southesk, by cruives, yaires, and nets of old accustomed, and. belonging to the said burgh, with the wind and water-mills, and their multures, with tolls, petty-customs, courts, and their issues, to be held and kept in the appointed and accustomed places of the said burgh, with muirs and marshes, paths and ways, as also with all and every the liberties, advantages, easements, and rights, thereto belonging whatsoever, as well within said burgh as without, as well below as above the earth, pertaining to said burgh, in future, as freely and peacefully, fully, wholly, and honourably, rightly, and agreeably as to any others of our burghs in Scotland * * * * is granted.”


Chapter I.
Introduction—Early History
Chapter II.
The Old and New Steeples
Chapter III.
Religious State
Chapter IV.
Education in Montrose
Chapter V.
Meeting of General Assembly at Montrose in 1600
Chapter VI.
Trades’ Schools, now Dorward’s Seminary
Chapter VII.
Approach to the Town from the South, Lament of the Montrose Wooden Brig
Chapter VIII.
Montrose as a Town
Chapter IX.
Banks, &c.
Chapter X.
Linen Trade
Chapter XI.
Ship-Building, Shipping Trade, Wood Trade, Cabinet Making, Shipping, &c.
Chapter XII.
Churches, &c.
Chapter XIII.
Town Houses of the Neighbouring Country Gentry, &c.
Chapter XIV.
Distinguished Natives, Joseph Hume, Sir Alexander Bnmes, Sir James (Dr.) Bnrnes, Sir James Duke, Dr Robert Brown, Dr Alexander Gibson of Auckinrioch, Sir William Burnett
Chapter XV.
Corn Trade, Flour Mills, Starch Manufacturies, Potato Trade
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Savings Banks
Chapter XVIII.
Characters: John O’ Arnha, Tam Sangster, Jamie Sutherland, Deacon Grim, David Pole, Jamie Steven
Chapter XIX.
Volunteer Movement in Montrose, The Press-Gang
Chapter XX.
The Harbour
Chapter XXI.
Asylum, Infirmary, Dorward’s House of Refuge
Chapter XXII.
The Meal-Mob, Foundries, Population
Bonnie Montrose.
Poems and Songs By William F McHardy

Montrose Year Book 1907 (pdf)
Montrose Year Book 1909 (pdf)

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