Peterhead

town burgh

PETERHEAD, a seaport, market town, burgh of barony-, and parliamentary burgh of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is situated on a rocky peninsula on the North Sea, about 30 miles north-north-east of Aberdeen and 2 north of Buchan Ness. It has railway- communication by a section of the Great North of Scotland line, opened in 1862, The town is built of the red granite of the district. At the extrem-ity of the peninsula is the insular suburb of Keith-Inch. Among the principal buildings are the town-hall (1788), with a granite spire 125 feet high, the music hall, and the court-house. The reading society (1SOS) possesses a library with upwards of 5000 volumes, and the mechanics' insti-tute one with about 1000 volumes. The Arbuthnot Museum contains natural history specimens, a. collection of coins, and objects of antiquarian interest. In front of the town-hall is a statue to Field-Marshal Keith (1696- 1758), presented to the burgh by William I. of Prussia in 1868. A market cross was erected in 1832 when the town was created a parliamentary burgh. Peterhead at an early period had an extensive trade with the ports of the Baltic, the Leva,nt, and America. Formerly it was a bonding sub-port to Aberdeen, but wa,s made independent in 1832. The north and south harbours lie between the town and Keith-Inch, and the isthmus dividing them is pierced by a canal, which is crossed by an iron swing-bridge. In the north harbour are two graving-doeks. A new harbour WaS completed in 1878, and the south harbour has been deepened and enlarged. The south bay is to be converted into a national harbour of refuge. The Arctic seal and whale fishing, which in 1802 was prosecuted by only one vessel, employed in 1S57 as many as 32 vessels, but since that time it has declined somewhat. The herring fishing, in which the port has long held a leading position (631 boats in 1883), was begun in 1818 by a joint-stoek com-pany. The general trade is of considerable importance. The chief exports are herrings (4;180,000 in 1883), granite, cattle, and agricultural produce. In 1883 the number of vessels that entered the port with cargoes and in ballast was 864 of 87,8:39 tons, the number that cleared 840 of 86,318 tons. The town possesses ship and boat building yards, saw-mills, an iron-foundry, cooperages, agricultural implement works, woollen manufactories, breweries, and distillery. In the neighbourhood there are extensive granite and polishing works. The limits of the police burgh and the parliamentary burgh are identical, with a population in 1871 of 8535 and in 1881 of 10,922.

The WWII and lauds of Peterhead belonged anciently to the abbey of Deer, built by William Cumming, earl of Buchan, in the 13th century. When the abbey was erected into a temporal lordship in the family of Keith, the superiority of the town fell to the earl marisebal, with whoin it continued till the forfeiture of' tile earldom in 1715. The town and lands were purehased in 1720 by a fishing company in England, and on their failure by the Merchant -Maiden Hospital of Edinburgh for X.3000, who are still the superiors of the town. Peterhead was made a burgh of barony in 1593 by George Keith, fourth earl marischal of Scotland. It was the scene of the landing of the Pretender, 25th December 1715. Peterhead is in-cluded in the Elgin district of burghs.

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