Forfarshire, Scotland


FORFARSHIRE, a maritime county in the east of Scotland, bounded on the north by the counties of Aberdeen and Kincardine; on the east, by the German Ocean; on the south, by the Firth of Tay; and on the west, by Perthshire. It lies between 56° 27' and 57° (N. Lat.) and 2° 28' and 3° 22' (W.Long.), and is about 38½ miles in length, and 37½ in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 840 square miles, or 537,600 acres; 38,255 houses, of which 36,184 are inhabited; and containing a population of 170,520, of whom 79,375 are males and 91,145 females. This district, which was formerly called Angus, is said to have received that name from Angus, brother of Kenneth II., to whom it was granted by the king, after his victory over the Picts; and it continued for many generations to be governed by a succession of thanes, of whom Macbeth, the associate of Macduff, Thane of Fife, in the murder of Duncan, was the last. The county was subsequently governed by earls, of whom Gilchrist, the first earl, flourished in the reign of Malcolm III., and was succeeded by his son, the second earl, who attended David I. at the battle of the Standard, in 1138. The earldom was conferred by Robert II. on the Douglas family; and at present the shire gives the inferior title of Earl to the Duke of Hamilton. Prior to the abolition of episcopacy, the county was included in the diocese of Brechin; it is now in the synod of Angus and Mearns, comprises several presbyteries, and about fifty-five parishes. For civil purposes it is divided into the districts of Forfar and Dundee, in each of which towns is a resident sheriff-substitute. It contains the royal burghs of Forfar, which is the county town, Dundee, Arbroath, Montrose, and Brechin, and the market-towns of Kirriemuir and Glammis, with several smaller towns and 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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