KINCARDINESHIRE, or The Mearns, a maritime county, in the east of Scotland, bounded on the north-west by the river Dee and part of Aberdeenshire, on the east and south-east by the German Ocean, and on the south-west by the county of Forfar. It lies between 56° 46' and 57° 7' (N. Lat.), and 2° 1' and 2° 45' (W. Lon.), and is about thirty-two miles in length, and twenty-four in extreme breadth; comprising an area of 380 square miles, or 243,444 acres; 7620 houses, of which 7304 are inhabited; and containing a population of 33,075, of whom 15,829 are males and 17,246 females. The county is supposed by some to have derived the name Mearns (which is proper only to a particular portion of it) from Mernia, brother of Kenneth II.; but, with greater probability, others deduce it from the Vernicones, by whom the district was inhabited in the time of Ptolemy. Few events of historical importance are recorded: it is conjectured that the battle between the Caledonians under Galgacus and the Romans under Agricola took place here. Prior to the abolition of episcopacy, the county was included partly within the archdiocese of St. Andrew's, and partly within the dioceses of Aberdeen and Brechin; it is at the present time chiefly in the synod of Angus and Mearns, and comprises the presbytery of Fordoun, in that synod, and part of the presbyteries of Kincardine O'Neil and Aberdeen, in the synod of Aberdeen. With the counties of Aberdeen and Banff, it constitutes the Eastern or Aberdeen circuit for justiciary and civil purposes, and the courts are held in the former county twice a year, in spring and autumn. It contains Stonehaven, which is the county town; Bervie, or Inverbervie, which is a royal burgh; and the villages of Gourdon, Laurencekirk, Johnshaven, Auchinblae, and Fettercairn. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV., the county returns one member to the imperial parliament; and the Kincardineshire burgh of Bervie is associated with Montrose, Forfar, and Brechin, in the county of Forfar, these four burghs forming the Montrose district, represented in parliament by one member. The number of parishes in Kincardineshire is nineteen.
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