STONEHAVEN.

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“The flocks are white upon the moor,
The forest’s filled with deer;
There’s industry at every door,
And shipping at the pier.”

STONEHEAVEN, like Aberdeen, has its old town and it’s new; but “with this
distinction, that of the latter, the new town is the older of the two.” The old town of
Stonehaven, or Steenhive as it was formerly written, was built on feus granted by
the “Earls Marischal,” by one of whom it was erected into a burg of barony. The new
town, or “Links of Arduthie,” is separated from the old town by a brook, called the water
of Carron, and is built upon the estate of the patriotic Mr. Barclay Allardyce, of Ury. It is
the county-town; and hither, in 1660, the sheriff-court was removed from Kincardine by
Act of Parliament.

On the southwest of a bare rocky promontory, called Garron point, at the
entrance of Stonehaven Bay, are seen the ruins of Cowie Chapel, which is said to have
been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. From this point on the north, called Garron, to that
of Downie on the south, is what is termed the Bay of Stonehaven. The town stretches
from the bridge over the Cowie river, on the north, to the above-mentioned head-land,
Downie Point, on the south; but it is divided, as already stated, into two parts by the ”
Carron;” the north part being the new, and the south the old, or sea-town; close to which
last, and to Downie Point, which is a protection to it from south-east gales, stands the
Harbour, erected, like most others on the east coast, sea-ward. It is a capacious basin,
and would contain a great number of vessels, but until lately, when two cross-jetties
were built, it was very insecure, or afforded little protection to vessels during north-east
and east gales, to which it is much exposed, the entrance being to the east. It is now,
however, comparatively secure; and gas-lights being erected, the one bearing on the
other, vessels bound southward in winter find it a very agreeable retreat, and about
thirty so situated have been seen in it at one time.

The exports consist of grain, timber, herrings, and other fish; the imports are
principally coals and lime, of which a great quantity is required for agricultural purposes.

The Harbour, in spring tides, will admit vessels drawing fourteen feet water,
sometimes upwards; but in ordinary tides the depth can hardly be reckoned at more
than from ten to eleven feet.

The trade of curing fish by smoke-drying, in imitation of the Finnan haddies, is
carried on with much spirit: several large houses have been fitted up for this purpose
and for red-herrings; and a stranger would scarcely believe the extent done in this
business, the haddocks thus cured being sent to London, Edinburgh, and other markets
in the south, by all conveyances.

The other trade of the place is principally in manufacturing woollen, linen,
and cotton cloths, a branch of native industry in which great numbers of people are
employed. The Glenury distillery is a large concern, and close to the town, from which a
great quantity of whiskey is constantly shipped off.

Among the disasters which, in its day, Stonehaven has had to deplore, we
may cite the following, as characteristic of those unhappy times when the country was
torn by the violence of faction, and fire and sword laid waste this ill-fated district. On
the 20th of March, 1645, the Marquis of Montrose, then quartered at Stonehaven,
addressed a letter to Earl Marischal, at his castle of Dunnottar, about two miles from
this, exhorting him to espouse the royal cause; but receiving no answer, he proceeded
to wreak his vengeance on the earl’s lands and dependants. “Thereafter,” says the
historian Spalding, “he fires the Tolbooth, a prison of Stonehaven, wherein there was
store of grain, and the whole town, with all the barnyards, houses, and other buildings,
except those of James Clark, wherein Montrose himself was quartered. They plundered
a ship lying in the harbour, and then set fire to her, as well as to all the fishing-boats
then in the harbour. They burnt up the whole town of Cowie, houses, buildings, corn,
and corn-yards; and in like manner plundered the whole goods, gear, horses, and oxen,
sheep, which they could get; plundered the parson of Dunnottar’s house and set it
on fire. The people of Stonehaven and Cowie, it is said, came out, men, women, and
children at their feet and children in their arms, crying, howling, and weeping, praying
the earl, for God’s sake, to save them from this fire as soon as it was kindled; but
these poor people got no answer, nor knew they where to go with their children. How
lamentable to behold!”

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