MONTROSE

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“Mare ditat: Rosa decorat.”

“Montrose — a beauty that lies concealed, as it were, in the bosom of Scotland; most delicately
dressed up, and adorned with excellent buildings, whose foundations are laid with polished stone, and
her ports all washed with silver streams that trickle down from the famous Ask.”— RICHARD FRANK,
A.D. 1658.

MONTROSE, a royal burgh and sea-port town of Forfarshire, is agreeably
situated on a level plain, or peninsula, bounded on the north-east by the German
Ocean, on the south by the river South Esk, and on the west by a large expanse of
this river, called the Basin of Montrose. The erection of this town into a royal burgh has
generally been referred to the year 1352, being the twenty-third of the reign of David II. ;
But it appears to have been a place of some note long before it acquired this dignity,
and is connected with many important events in the history of Scotland. It is mentioned
by Froissart, as the port from which the gallant Sir James Douglas embarked in 1330,
for the Holy Land, attended by a numerous and splendid retinue, and carrying with him
the heart of King Robert Bruce. This, as the reader knows, was in execution of the last
charge committed to him by his royal master, namely, to carry the heart of the deceased
monarch to Jerusalem, and there deposit it in the Holy Sepulchre. The disastrous failure
of this pious enterprise is too well known to require further notice in this place.

The principal manufactures carried on in Montrose are the spinning and weaving
of flax. For this purpose there are several steam-mills for spinning, and one on the North
Esk driven by water. These steam-mills produce annually upwards of 800,000 spindles.
There are also in the town soap, starch, rope, and sail manufactories; and others for
making steam-machinery. Shipbuilding is carried on to a considerable extent, and
there is a patent slip, introduced for repairing ships. There are also in addition various
breweries, tan-works, candle-works, a foundry, and a steam-mill for grinding meal and
flour.

Montrose is the port of the Customhouse, and, as such, comprehends within its
bounds that entire district between the lights of Tay on the south, and the Todhead on
the north, thereby including Arbroath, and other places of less importance.

The principal foreign imports into Montrose consist of flax, hemp, tallow, whale-
fins and oil, fir-timber, oak and oak-planks, deal and deal-ends. But as the goods
manufactured here are sent coastwise to London, Glasgow, Dundee, and other towns,
there are few or no exports to foreign places from Montrose. Owing, however, to the
bonded system having been extended to this port, nearly all the foreign wines and
spirits consumed in the district, are brought coastwise to the bonded warehouses, and
pay duty at the Customhouse when taken out for consumption.

The exports from this district by the coasting-trade consist of wheat, oats, barley,
rye, peas, beans, and potatoes; salmon, codfish, and pork, the latter chiefly for the
London market: great coal, culm, parret, lime, blue slate, iron, tallow, rosin, barilla, kelp,
salt, and herrings from the Moray Frith, chiefly smoked and sent to the Hull and London
markets. The principal import from the English coast is coal; but various other articles
are imported and exported by regular traders to London, Glasgow, and Leith.

Montrose contains several public edifices, all designed with considerable taste
and substantially executed. Among these are the church, with a fine gothic tower, St.
John’s church, St. Peter’s Episcopal chapel, the Town-hall, the Academy, the Lunatic
Asylum, and the Jail The finest object, however, and which combines ornament with
utility, is the new Chain-bridge, erected, like many others In the United Kingdom,
after a plan by Captain James Brown, of the Royal Navy. The foundation stone of
this admirable structure was laid on the 18th of September 1828, and the whole was
completed before the close of the following year. The distance between the towers at
the two extremities of the bridge, measured from the centre, is four hundred and thirty-
two feet. The height of each tower is seventy-one feet, namely, twenty throe and a
half from the foundation to the road- way; forty-four from the roadway to the top of the
cornice; and three feet and a half forming the cornice. It spans the river. South Esk, and
is justly considered the finest specimen of the kind in Scotland. The whole cost is stated
at twenty thousand pounds.

The population of Montrose continues rapidly to increase. The society is very
superior to that of most country towns, and includes amongst its members men who
have distinguished themselves in every department of the state. It was formerly
represented in Parliament by Joseph Hume, Esq., a native of the place, and so well
known as a leading member in the House of Commons.

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