SCOTLAND, or NORTH BRITAIN, the northern division of the Island of Great Britain, is situated between 54° 38' north latitude, and between 1° 47' and 6° 7' west longitude of Greenwich: according to other calculations the north latitude is 54° 37'. This does not include the Orkney, Shetland, and many of the Western Islands. The kingdom is surrounded on all sides by the sea, respectively known as the German Ocean, the Northern Sea and Pentland Frith, the Atlantic, and the North Channel; except on the south, where the Tweed and other streams partly form the boundary with England, and partly by a line supposed to be drawn along the Cheviots and other mountains in that direction. This line extends from the debouch of the Tweed on the north-east, to the Solway Frith on the south-west.

The length and breadth of the mainland of Scotland are variously stated, but the difference is generally a few miles. The greatest breadth is admitted to be between Buchanness, on the coast of Aberdeenshire, and the Rowanmoan Point, on the west coast of Ross-shire; but there are points where it is not much less, if not greater. The Friths of Forth and Clyde considerably peninsulate the country, and reduce the breadth, between Alloa and Dunbarton, where it is only 32 miles. The same observation applies to the Dornoch Frith and Loch-Broom, the breadth between which is less than 30 miles. According to Arrowsmith's map, the mainland contains 25,520 square miles, and 494 square miles of fresh water lakes. The same authority computes the Orkney, Shetland, and Western Islands to comprise 4224 square miles, of which 144 square miles are covered by fresh water lakes. This gives a total, including the lakes, of 30,238 square miles. Another, and probably more accurate calculation, is, that the length of the mainland, from the Mull of Galloway, in lat. 54º 39' N., to Dunnet-Head, in lat 58º 40' N., is 278 miles; the breadth from Buchanness, in long. 1º47' W., to the most westerly point in Ross-shire, in long. 5º 52' W., is 150 miles, and the area, including the Orkneys, Shetland, and the Western Islands, 32,167 square miles, or 20,586,880 acres ; of which 5,485,000 are estimated to be cultivated, 6,662,000 uncultivated, and 9,039,930 unprofitable. From the several other different statements which could be adduced, it appears that no accurate survey of the entire kingdom has ever been made, and the task would be attended with no ordinary difficulty and labour.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of Scotland, 1841
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Scottish Counties

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