Dumbartonshire, Scotland


DUMBARTONSHIRE, a county, in the west of Scotland, bounded on the north by Perthshire, on the east by the counties of Perth and Stirling, on the south by the Firth of Clyde, and on the west by Argyllshire. It lies between 55° 53' 30" and 56° 19' 40" (N. Lat.) and 3° 54' 50" and 4° 53' (W. Long.), and, including the detached parishes of Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld, which extend towards the east for 12 miles between the counties of Stirling and Lanark, is about 57 miles in length. It varies from 24 to 2 miles in breadth, and contains an area of 261 square miles, or 167,040 acres; 8369 houses, of which 7985 are inhabited; and a population of 44,296, of whom 22,542 are males and 21,754 females. This district was originally inhabited by the British tribe of the Attacotti, whose descendants retained their possessions long after the British kingdom of Strathclyde had been subdued by Kenneth Mc Alpine, and subsisted as a distinct race till the middle of the twelfth century. That part of the county bordering on the river Leven obtained the appellation of Levenach, afterwards corrupted into Lennox, and in the reign of William the Lion belonged to a powerful Saxon family, of whom Alwyn was by that monarch created Earl of Lennox. The earldom was subsequently raised to a dukedom; and on the demise of the sixth duke without issue, the title and estates were conferred upon Charles Lennox, whom Charles II. created Duke of Richmond. During the disputes relating to the succession to the throne after the death of Alexander III., the county was frequently the seat of war; and the castle of Dumbarton was alternately in the possession of the contending parties. In times of episcopacy the county was included in the diocese of Glasgow; at present it is in the synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and comprises a large part of the presbytery of Dumbarton, and a portion of that of Glasgow, the number of parishes being twelve. The various courts are held at Dumbarton, which is the county town, and the only royal burgh; there are four burghs of barony, and several villages. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV., the county returns one member to the imperial parliament.

Transcribed from Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851
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