INVERNESS-SHIRE, an extensive county, in the north of Scotland, bounded on the north by Ross-shire and the Moray Firth; on the east, by the counties of Nairn, Elgin, Banff, and Aberdeen; on the south, by Perthshire and the county of Argyll; and on the west, by the Atlantic Ocean. It lies between 56° 54' and 57° 50' (N. Lat.), and 4° 20' 10" and 6° 35' (W. Lon.), and is about ninety miles in length, and nearly eighty in extreme breadth; comprising an area of 7200 square miles, or 4,608,000 acres, exclusive of the several islands attached to it; and containing, according to the last census, 19,779 houses, of which 19,194 are inhabited; and a population of 97,799, of whom 45,538 are males and 52,261 females. This county, which takes its name from its chief town, originally formed the western portion of the ancient province of Moray, and, prior to the union of the Scottish and Pictish kingdoms under Kenneth II., was inhabited by the Picts, who are said to have had frequent battles with the Danes, by whom their territories were invaded. The town of Inverness is thought to have been the residence of the Pictish kings, and is so identified with the historical events of the county as to render any notice of them here superfluous. Prior to the abolition of episcopacy, the county was part of the diocese of Moray; it is now included in the synods of Moray, Ross, and Glenelg, containing several presbyteries, and about forty-five parishes. For civil purposes, it is under the superintendence of four sheriffs-substitute, appointed by the sheriff, and who hold their courts respectively at Inverness, Fort-William, Skye, and Long Island. The county contains the villages of Fort-George, Fort-Augustus, Portree, Grantown, Campbelton, Kingussie, Beauly, and several others. Under the act of the 2nd and 3rd of William IV., it returns one member to the imperial parliament: the constituency numbers 850.
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