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Bradshaw’s Guide


This is a respectable and flourishing seaport town, in a parish of that name; 151 miles north-east of Edinburgh, 42 north-east of Aberdeen, 22 east of Banff, and 18 north-west of Peterhead; situated on the south side of Kinnaird Head, which is a bold promontory, surmounted by a lighthouse.

The parish occupies the north-eastern angle of land in this part of the county, and extends about 3½ miles each way. Fraserburgh is a burgh of barony and royalty of old called Faithly, conform to king James’s Charter, dated 1st July, 1592, and Charter of Erection, dated 13th February, 1613. It is governed by a provost, baillies, and 13 town councillors Lord Saltoun is hereditary provost or chief magistrate, but in consequence of his absence, the Baron Baillie acts under a commission from him as chief magistrate. By this charter considerable powers are vested in the proprietor, Sir Alexander Fraser. The rental ot the town of Fraserburgh is conform to last valuation under the valuation of Lands Act, £7,610 4s. 6d. An excellent market place was constructed along with the new town house, a magnificent edifice, which was built by the town in 1855.

There is an excellent harbour, which has been improved very much of late years, under powers granted by an Act of Parliament, 2nd and 3rd Vic, cap. 65. It is managed by the magistrates and town council, and five fenars, who are appointed commissioners for executing the Act. Up to 1846 £25,702 4s. 7d had been expended on the harbour. Since that time a new harbour has been constructed, containing an area of eiht acres, and offering a frontage for berthing of 2,110 feet, making with the former berth, ge, viz., 2,900, an aggregate of 5,010 feet.

Contiguous to the harbour is a tolerable rod for shipping, in a bay nearly three miles in length, and upwards of one in breadth, with good anchorage ground, which affords capital shelter to vessels bound southward, in the event of stormy weather, and the wind being contrary. The herring fishing is prosecuted to a great extent at Fraserburgh, and there are generally from 200 to 300 boats engaged in this vocation each year. The general fishing is begun about 20th July, and continues for eight weeks. It is supposed that about 3,296 persons are employed as fishermen, coopers, gutters, packers, and labourers ^besides 745 employed in gathering bait and making and mending nets, and 123 in vending fish, making in all 4,164 persons. The population of the parish of Fraserburgh, which comprehends the town and the fishing village of Broadsea and a district of arable land around amounts to 4,511. The area of the parish will exceed 7,000 acres, whereof 6,914 are arable.

Within a circle of 12 miles round Fraserburgh the farmers bring their agricultural produce to the town and receive coal, lime, seaware, and other manures in exchange. There are two markets held on Tuesday and Friday weekly, and at Fraserburgh the general business of the country is transacted. The circle around Fraserburgh is almost all arable except in the neighbourhood of Strichen, where there is a great deal of mossy land. The geneeal exports of Fraserburgh are grain, potatoes, whrte and red herrings, seal and whale oil sealskins, dried fish, meal, kelp, Ac., &c. The imports are timber, flour, iron, stoneware, tar, ale and porter, bricks, sugar, soap, molaaaes, horses, cattle, coal, hoops, lime, cutch, tiles, guano, and other manures, salt, slates, pavement, &c. &c. Quantity of exports in 1863 — grain, 9,525 quarters, potatoes, 475 bolls, white and red herrings, 32,502 barrels, seal and whale oil, 210 tons, seal skins, 21,445, dried lish, 10½ tons, meal, 932 bolls, kelp, 99 tons. Quantity of imports in 1863 — value of timber, £5,325 0s. 7d., flour, 2,000 sacks, iron, 144½ tons, stoneware, 85 crates, tar, 104 barrels, ale and porter, 605 barrels, bricks, 17,300, sugar, 131 casks, soap, 22 tone molasses, 94½ puncheons, horses, 45, cattle, 326, coal, 5,270 tons, hoops, 6,206 bundles, lime, 4,435 bolls, cutch, 26 tons, tiles, 17,200, guano and other manures, 450 tons, salt, 2,779 tons, slates, 163 500, pavement, 18,436 feet. The number of vessels belonging to the port is 29, of an aggregate tonnage of 7,402. The arrivals in 1863 were 527, representing an aggregate tonnage of 33,584. There are two ships engaged in the seal and whale fishing. The value of the cargoes of these last year amounted to £10,000. There are several manufacturing works in Fraserburgh, including one ropework, patent slip, ship-building yard, bone mill, saw mills, &c. Good hotel accommodation, excellent roads, and moderate posting in the town and district.

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