George Henderson Kinnear.

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He first came into prominence as counsel for the
Douglases in the Douglas case, and in 1767 he was
made a Lord of Session, a position he held for thirty
years. His Origin and Progress of Language, in which
he anticipated the Darwinian theory, is very learned
and acute, but very eccentric. Lord Neaves, a versatile
successor in the Court of Session, sings of him :

" His views, when forth at first they came,

Appeared a little odd O !
But now we've notions much the same,
We're back to old Monboddo.

" Though Darwin now proclaims the law,

And spreads it far abroad O !

The man that first the secret saw,

Was honest old Monboddo."

Lord Gardenstone, another Lord of Session, was like
Monboddo, somewhat eccentric, but did much for the
village of Laurencekirk, which he got erected into a



Burgh of Barony. Still another judge was Sir John
Wishart, who died in 1576, a native of Fordoun. He

James Burnett, Lord Monboddo

was a comrade of Erskine of Dun in the days of the
Reformation, and fought at Corrichie.

Of ecclesiastical dignitaries the county can show a


generous muster-roll, an outstanding feature being the
relatively large number of bishops. One was Bishop
Wishart of St Andrews. Bishop Mitchell, a native of

Dr Thomas Reid

Garvock, was deprived of his office in 1638, and during
his exile in Holland worked as a clockmaker. Bishop
Keith (1681-1757) was born at Uras, and held the See
of Fife. He compiled a valuable history of Scottish
affairs from the beginnings of the Reformation to Mary's
departure for England in 1568. Gilbert Burnett, Bishop


of Salisbury and friend of William III., was a descendant
of the Burnetts of Crathes. Alexander Arbuthnott
(1538-1583), son of Andrew Arbuthnott of Pitcarles,
became Principal of King's College, Aberdeen, in 1569,
and soon after received the living of Arbuthnott. Dr
James Sibbald, who died about 1650, was a Mearns man.
He was minister of St Nicholas, Aberdeen, and a stout
opponent of the Covenant. Equally stout on the other
side was Rev. Andrew Cant (1590-1663), a native of
Strachan. Another native of Strachan was Dr Thomas
Reid (1710-1796), parish minister of New Machar in
Aberdeenshire and Professor of Philosophy at King's
College, Aberdeen. He wrote a renowned book
Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of
Common Sense and created the Scottish school of
philosophy opposed to David Hume. He succeeded
Adam Smith in Glasgow.

In literature the greatest name is Dr John Arbuthnot
(1667-1735), son of an Episcopalian clergyman at
Arbuthnott. One of the Queen Anne wits and the
friend of Swift and Pope, he wrote the History of John
Bull and was the chief author of the Memoirs of Martinus
Scriblerus. " The Doctor," said Swift, " has more wit
than we all have, and his humanity is equal to his wit."
Dr James Beattie (1735-1803), a native of Laurencekirk,
and schoolmaster of Fordoun, was appointed to the
Chair of Moral Philosophy in Marischal College, Aber-
deen. His Essay on Truth had a great reputation, while
his Spenserian poem The Minstrel still finds readers.
George Beattie (1786-1823), author of John of Arnha,


was a native of St Cyrus. Thomas Ruddiman (1674-
1757), for five years schoolmaster of Laurencekirk, was
a famed Latinist, whose Rudiments had great vogue

Dr John Arbuthnot

for many years. David Herd (1732-1810), who belonged
to Marykirk and edited the first classical collection of
Scottish Songs ; Dean Ramsay (1793-1872), author of
Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character ; Dr John
Longmuir (1803-1883), historian of Dunnottar Castle ;
and Dr John Brebner (1833-1902), a native of Fordoun,



organiser, and for twenty-five years head, of the
educational system in the Orange Free State, cannot be
left unnamed.

Captain Robert Barclay

(On his walk of a thousand miles)

Various members of that family of strong men, the
Barclays of Urie, achieved fame in different ways.
The first was Colonel David Barclay, an old soldier of


Gustavus Adolphus, who purchased Urie. He turned
Quaker, and was accordingly persecuted. Readers of
Whittier will remember the poem beginning :

" Up the streets of Aberdeen,
By the kirk and college-green,
Rode the Laird of Urie."

Dying in 1686, he was succeeded by his son Robert
(1648-1690), who in 1672 had walked in sackcloth through
Aberdeen as a protest against the wickedness of the
times. Robert was an eminent man, and his Apology
is the standard exposition of the principles of the Friends.
A descendant of his, who died in 1790, was the famous
agriculturist ; while another, Captain Robert Barclay
(1779-1854), was a noted pedestrian, whose feat of
walking 1000 miles in 1000 consecutive hours took place
at Newmarket in 1809.

22. The Chief Towns and Villages of

(The figures in brackets after each name give the population
in 1911, and those at the end of each section are
references to pages in the text.)

Auchinblae, a picturesquely situated village 2 miles north
of Fordoun Station, is a famous summer resort. Here is
the entrance to the beautiful Glen of Drumtochty. (p. 56.)

Banchory (1633), in the parish of Banchory-Ternan, was
founded in 1805 and is now a Police Burgh. The most
popular of resorts on Lower Deeside, it is pleasantly situated
on the north bank of the Dee, 18 miles west of Aberdeen.



The picturesque Falls of Feugh are less than a mile from
the town. The Nordrach-on-Dee Sanatorium stands in
pine woods a little to the west. The Hill of Fare, to the
north, was the scene of the battle of Corrichie. (pp. 5, 7,
10, 14, 22, 47, 55, 72, 74, 99.)

Bervie (1173), formerly and still officially Inverbervie,^ a
royal burgh since 1362, has prosperous flax-spinning mills.

Nordrach-on-Dee Sanatorium, Banchory

Salmon - fishing is successfully carried on. David II.
landed here in 1341, after his exile in France, (pp. 5, 7,
12, 18, 55, 57, 74, 99, 100, 103.)

Catterline is a fishing hamlet in Kinneff parish, midway
between Stonehaven and Bervie. Todhead lighthouse is
near. (pp. 40, 58.)

Cove, a fishing village about 4 miles south of Aberdeen,
has also fish-manure works, (pp. 36, 56, 58, 101.)

Cowie, a fishing hamlet i mile north of Stonehaven.
(pp. 20, 23, 37, 58, 65, 76, 101.)


Drumlithie (207), an irregularly built village in Glenbervie
parish. The steeple, erected in 1777, is a circular tower
surmounted by a belfry. Drumlithie became a Burgh of
Barony in 1329. (pp. 69, 100.)

Fettercairn, in the centre of a good agricultural district,
is a Burgh of Barony, 5 miles north of Laurencekirk. It
has a Gothic arch erected to commemorate the visit of

Mending Nets, Gourdon

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1861 ; and also a
turreted fountain tower, a memorial to Sir John Hepburn
Stewart Forbes, Bart. (1804-1866). The old market cross
of Kincardine stands in the village, (pp. 13, 47, 48, 55, 56,
61, 72, 74, 83, 98.)

Findon, a village between Cove and Portlethen, the original
home of the well-known "Finnan haddock." (p. 36.)

Fordoun, a village with station on the Caledonian Railway
line. The parish has historical associations with St Palla-


dius, Lord Monboddo, and James Seattle the poet ; and
contains the site of the old county town, Kincardine. The
chief village is Auchinblae. (pp. I, 13, 57, 61, 63, 70, 80,
98, 100, 108, no, in.)

Gourdon, a fishing village i mile south of Bervie, has a
flax mill. (pp. 5, 40, 55, 58, 59.)

Johnshaven, a fishing village and coastguard station in
the parish of Benholm, has also a spinning mill. (pp. 5, 40,
55, 58, 59, 94-)

Laurencekirk (1438), a Burgh of Barony, has a large
local country trade, a flourishing weekly mart, a brewery,
coach works, and some handloom weaving. The renowned
Latinist, Thomas Ruddiman, was for a few years school-
master here. (pp. n, 13, 52, 55, 56, 65, 98, 100, 107, no,

Luthermuir, a small village in Marykirk, dating from
1771, had formerly handloom weaving.

Marykirk, a village beautifully situated on the left bank
of the North Esk, a short mile from Craigo railway station,
(pp. 13, 17, 72, 95, 96, ioo, in.)

Muchalls, a neat little village and coastguard station
4 miles north of Stonehaven, is famed for its rock scenery
and is much frequented by summer visitors, (pp. 13, 29,
30, 36, 69, 88.)

Portlethen, a small fishing village, 6 miles south of
Aberdeen, (pp. 30, 36, 53, 58, 99.)

St Cyrus, a village with a salmon-fishing station in the
S.E. corner of the county, was formerly called Ecclesgreig.
Both St Cyrus and Ecclesgreig contain the name of a king
of the Scots towards the close of the ninth century, Grig
or Girig, who won the title of " Liberator of the Scottish
Church." (pp. 12, 21, 24, 28, 40, 52, 57, 63, 83, 94, 99, in.)


Skateraw, a small fishing village, close to Newtonhill
railway station, (pp. 36, 58.)

Stonehaven (4266), stands on the bay some 14 miles S.S.W.
of Aberdeen, at the mouths of the Carron and the Cowie.
In the beginning of the seventeenth century it superseded
Kincardine as the county town, and in 1889 was made a
Police Burgh. It consists of an old and a new town. The
old town, south of the Carron, in Dunnottar parish, is
irregularly built, and inhabited mostly by fishermen. The
new town, in Fetteresso parish, lies between the two streams.
It is regularly laid out and well built. Prominent in the
central square is the market house with its lofty steeple,
and in Allardyce Street the Italianate town hall. Other
notable buildings are the two parish churches and the
other churches United Free, Episcopalian, and Roman
Catholic. The Mackie Academy was opened as a Secondary
School in 1893. The fishing industry is important ; but
for general trade the harbour admits only small vessels.
Of recent years Stonehaven has been much resorted to by
summer visitors, attracted, for health and pleasure, by its
bracing climate, fine cliffs and woods, sea-bathing and
boating, golf course and recreation ground, (pp. 5, 7, 19,
21, 22, 37, 44, 45, 47, 49, 55, 56, 58, 60, 61, 64, 65, 69, 73,
74. 93, 96, 98, 99, ioo, 102, 103.)

Strachan, or Kirkton of Strachan, a village 4 miles from
Banchory-Ternan, is in the largest and hilliest parish. At
the western boundary of the parish is Mount Battock,
the converging point of three shires Kincardine, Forfar,
Aberdeen. Famous natives were Rev. Andrew Cant and
Dr Thomas Reid. (pp. 4, 72, 99, no.)

Torry (11,428), which less than fifty years ago was a small
fishing village, is now an important ward of Aberdeen.
It unites with the city for parliamentary, municipal, and
educational purposes. The construction of the Victoria
Bridge, to take the place of the ferry, and the introduction
of trawl-fishing led to the rapid growth of Torry. (p. 50.)




(excluding Water)
29,708 sq. miles


Fig. I. Area of Kincardineshire (382 square miles)
compared with that of Scotland


Kincardine |~

Fig. 2. Population of Kincardineshire (41,007) compared
with that of Scotland at the last Census



Kincardineshire 108

Scotland 157

Lanarkshire 1633

Sutherland 10

Fig. 3. Comparative density of Population to the square

mile at the last Census
(Each dot represents ten persons)










Fig. 4. Growth of Population in Kincardineshire



Other Crops, & Bate Fallow (53 acres)
65,553 acres

Fig. 5. Proportionate area under Corn Crops com-
pared with that of other cultivated land in

(including Bere)

10,581 acres

Fig. 6. Proportionate areas of Chief Cereals in



Fig. 7. Proportionate areas of. Land in

Fig. 8. Proportionate numbers of Live Stock
in Kincardineshire

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below

JUN2 4 1975


* <.


University Research Library




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Online LibraryGeorge Henderson KinnearKincardineshire → online text (page 6 of 6)