Perth


Perth
   PERTH, a city, a royal burgh, and anciently the metropolis of the kingdom of Scotland, in the county of Perth, of which it is the capital; comprising the parishes of East Church, Middle Church, St. Paul, and West Church, and the late quoad sacra district of St. Leonard; and containing 19,293 inhabitants, of whom 12,616 are in the burgh, 44 miles (N. by W.) from Edinburgh, and 61 (N. E.) from Glasgow. This place, which is of very remote antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name, originally Bertha, from the Celtic terms Bhar, "high," and Tatha, "the Tay," signifying "the Height of the Tay," from a lofty eminence on the opposite bank of that river, on the west side of which Perth is situated. The origin of the town is involved in much obscurity; but it is generally ascribed to the Roman general Agricola, who, about A.D. 85, established a winter station here, and founded a colonial town, which he fortified with walls, and with a strong castle surrounded by a broad and deep fosse supplied with water from the Almond, a stream tributary to the Tay, over which river he erected a bridge of wood. Little, however, is known of the history of the town from this period till 1210, when William the Lion, confirming a series of charters from the year 1106, and which are still extant, erected it into a royal burgh. From these several charters, it appears to have been at an early date a place of considerable importance, the seat of government, and the residence of the Scottish kings, who were crowned in the abbey of Scone, in its immediate vicinity. The remains of the ancient house of parliament were still in existence in 1818, when they were removed to afford a site for the erection of the Freemasons' Hall, on the north side of the High-street, in an area yet called the Parliament-close. The Flemings frequented the port at a very remote period, and several of them fixed their abode in the town; but from the impolitic restraints imposed upon them by David I. and his grandson, William the Lion, they ultimately emigrated to England, where, meeting with a more favourable reception, they established the woollen trade, and thus laid the foundation of that country's manufacturing prosperity. In 1210, the town was almost destroyed by an inundation of the rivers Tay and Almond, which swept away the bridge, an ancient chapel, and other buildings; the king, with his family and household, and many of the inhabitants, made their escape in boats, and such as remained found safety only on the flat roofs of their houses.
   
   In the reign of Alexander III., the inhabitants carried on a very extensive trade with the Netherlands in vessels of their own, for the encouragement of which that monarch used every means in his power, making provision for the protection of their shipping from the attacks of pirates, and for guarding it against detention in foreign ports. During the disputed succession to the throne, Perth largely participated in the hostilities of that disturbed period. After the battle of Falkland in 1298, Edward I. of England, having obtained possession of all the Scottish fortresses, rebuilt the walls of the ancient castle, and fortified the town, which he placed under the government of his deputies, and in which his son, Edward II., resided for some years; but on the establishment of Robert Bruce in 1312, that monarch took active measures for the recovery of the fortresses and the expulsion of the English garrisons. Of all the strongholds, the castle of Perth was the most formidable, not only from its situation, being surrounded with a deep fosse, which prior to the use of artillery rendered it impregnable, but also from the numbers of the garrison; and though repeatedly assailed by the Scottish forces, it long resisted all their efforts to recover it. On his return from an incursion into England, Bruce laid siege to it in person, but, after a protracted attempt, fearing for the health of his forces, abandoned the enterprise. Still, however, persevering in his resolution to effect his purpose, he soon renewed the assault, and furnishing his forces with ladders, took the opportunity of a dark night, and while the garrison, fancying themselves in perfect security, were off their guard, partly swam across, and partly waded, the fosse at the head of his forces; carried the castle by escalade; and overpowering the garrison, made himself master of the fortress, and set fire to the town. Thus reducing the whole of Perth and Strathearn into his power, he completed the expulsion of the English from his dominions. In 1332, Edward Baliol, after the battle of Dupplin, seized Perth, and was crowned at Scone; but, returning southward to open a communication with the English marches, the loyal adherents of Bruce again besieged the castle, expelled the garrison which had been placed in it by the usurper, and recovered possession of the whole town.
   In 1336, Edward III. of England, standing before the great altar in the church of St. John, in conversation with his brother, the Earl of Cornwall, who had recently arrived from England, reproached him for some highly aggravated cruelties inflicted on the inhabitants of the western counties on his route to Perth. The earl repelling the accusation, a violent altercation ensued, in the heat of which the king drew his dagger, and stabbed him to the heart. In 1339, the regent, Robert Stuart, afterwards king, who had succeeded to the regency on the death of the Earl of Murray, besieged the castle of Perth, at that time defended by an English garrison; but it had been so strongly and so skilfully fortified by Edward, that, after three months' siege, he resolved to give up the enterprise. At this moment, however, Douglas, Lord Liddesdale, who had been sent to France on an embassy to David Bruce, returning with several ships and a plentiful supply of men and provisions, Robert renewed the contest with vigour. Douglas, in attempting an escalade, was severely wounded, and the castle still held out for a considerable time; but at length, the Earl of Ross, having contrived to drain off the water from the fosse, opened a passage for the assailants by land, and the governor, Sir Thomas Ochtred, finding the place no longer tenable, surrendered it on honourable terms, after having sustained a second siege of one month. Not long after this time, a deadly feud arose between the powerful clans of the Mc Intoshes and the Mc Kays; and Robert III. sent the Earls of Dunbar and Crawfurd with a strong force, to reduce them to order, for which purpose they proposed to the chiefs to select thirty men from each clan to decide the contest at Perth, in presence of the king. On this occasion, one of the Mc Intoshes was not forthcoming, and his place was taken by a saddler of the town named Wynd, upon condition of receiving half a French dollar of gold. After a sanguinary battle, in which twentynine of the Mc Kays were killed, the surviving individual, seeing no hope of victory over Wynd and the ten remaining Mc Intoshes, bursting from the lists, swam across the Tay, and made his escape. In 1437, James I. was barbarously assassinated in the monastery of the Black Friars, by Walter, Earl of Atholl, Robert Stuart his grandson, and Sir Robert Graham, who were subsequently taken, and executed, after being put to the torture: the mangled remains of the king were interred in the Carthusian monastery, which he had founded in 1429. In 1512, the plague committed dreadful havoc in the city; and for the purpose of arresting its spread, a proclamation was issued by James V. to the magistrates, a copy of which is still preserved among the records.
   The doctrines of the Reformation were eagerly embraced by the citizens of Perth, on their earliest introduction; and to check their progress, Cardinal Beaton, with the bishops and clergy, obtained under the sanction of the Regent Hamilton, Earl of Arran, a commission for the punishment of such of the inhabitants as maintained the new opinions. For this object, the cardinal and Hamilton came to Perth to hold a court for the trial of heretics, when Robert Lamb, with his wife, and eight others of the citizens, were convicted, and confined in the Spey Tower. Intercession was made for them by a number of the people, who, relying upon the promise of Hamilton that they should be pardoned, peaceably dispersed; but the cardinal, who had the regent under his own influence, insisted on their execution, and the men were consequently hanged, and the woman drowned. In 1559, John Knox, the reformer, having returned from Geneva, visited Perth, and preached in the church of St. John a sermon in which he vehemently condemned the idolatry of the Romish Church. After the conclusion of the service, the congregation were quietly dispersing, when, a priest coming forward and preparing to celebrate the mass, those of the congregation that still remained were exasperated into open violence: they defaced the altar, broke the images, and destroyed the other ornaments of the church; and afterwards proceeded to the monasteries, which they plundered, and almost levelled with the ground. The queen, incensed at the destruction of the monasteries, and more especially at that of the Carthusians, in which were enshrined the ashes of her ancestors, advanced to Perth with an army consisting chiefly of French troops, to punish the authors of that violence. But the adherents of the Reformation, animated with zeal for the maintenance of their religious principles, assembled in a body to defend the town, and were sufficiently numerous to face the army of the queen, commanded by D'Oysel, the French general. A mutual accommodation, therefore, took place, by which it was stipulated that both armies should be disbanded, and the gates of the city opened to the queen, who entered on the 29th of May; but after the Protestant army had dispersed, the queen introduced the French forces, dismissed the magistracy, and re-established the old religion. The citizens, upon this, again assembled a considerable force, and, imploring the aid of the lords of the congregation without delay, Argyll, Ruthven, and others marched to their assistance, summoned the garrison to surrender, and, on their refusal, laid siege to the place. Ruthven attacked the town on the west, and Provost Halyburton, with his men from Dundee, played on it with artillery from the bridge; the garrison capitulated on the 26th of June, and the reformers, assembling in great numbers, went forward to Scone, destroyed the palace and the abbey, and set fire to the village.
   In 1600, James VI., then residing at Falkland, was while on a hunting party allured by John Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, and his brother Alexander, to the castle of that nobleman in Perth, and detained there for some hours as a prisoner till rescued by his attendants, who, in the scuffle that ensued, killed the earl and his brother. Three of Gowrie's attendants, being convicted of assisting him in an attempt on the king's life, were afterwards executed at Perth. The exact nature of this transaction has never been satisfactorily explained, though it is generally supposed that the object of the earl was, to extort from the king some concessions in favour of the Presbyterians. In 1651, the citizens raised a body of 100 men, whom they marched to Burntisland to watch the movements of Cromwell, who with a fleet and army had some time before arrived in Scotland; and being soon afterwards joined by a detachment of the royal army at Dunfermline, they were attacked by a superior number of Cromwell's forces, which had landed at the Frith of Forth under the command of General Lambert. An obstinate battle ensued, in which the Scots were defeated: such of the citizens as escaped returned to Perth, which they fortified against the usurper; while the king with his army retreated to Stirling, on his route to England. Cromwell and General Lambert, advancing towards Perth, halted for one night at Fordel, and on the following morning appeared before the gates of the city, which they summoned to surrender; but the inhabitants assumed an air of contemptuous defiance, and Cromwell, thinking them more powerful than they were, offered honourable conditions, and the gates were opened to admit him. In order to keep the citizens in awe, he built a citadel on the South Inch, for the erection of which he demolished the walls of the convent of Grey Friars, removed 300 tombstones from the cemetery, destroyed the school-house and 400 dwellings, pulled down the ancient cross, and took away even the buttresses of the bridge, to furnish the materials. The building was a quadrangle, inclosing an area 266 feet in length and of equal breadth, with a circular bastion at each of the angles; and was surrounded by a moat. In 1715, the Pretender, under the title of the Chevalier de St. George, made Perth his head-quarters, but was soon dislodged by the Duke of Argyll; and in 1745 Prince Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, was proclaimed king in the town. He made a new election of magistrates, and endeavoured to fortify the place; but he was shortly defeated by the forces under the Duke of Cumberland, to whom the provost and council presented the ancient castle of Gowrie, in honour of his victory over the rebels. In 1842, the city was visited by Her present Majesty, accompanied by Prince Albert, arriving here in the afternoon of the 6th of September. At the South Port they were received by the magistrates and council, and the lord provost presented the keys of the city, which were returned; the gates were then thrown open, and the royal cortége passed under a magnificent triumphal arch, and proceeded through the city, the streets of which were occupied by multitudes of people, interspersed with the various public bodies of the place, in their appropriate dresses. In the evening, Her Majesty honoured Lord Mansfield with her presence at dinner, at Scone.
   The town is beautifully situated on the western bank of the Tay, over which is a handsome bridge of ten arches, built in 1771 to replace the ancient structure, destroyed by an inundation of the river in 1621. The present bridge is more than 900 feet in length, and about twenty-two feet in width between the parapets, and was completed under the superintendence of the architect Smeaton, at an expense of £27,000, chiefly through the exertions of the Earl of Kinnoull; affording a communication with the populous village of Bridgend, and with the road to Dundee. The streets are spacious and regularly formed; and the houses, especially those of more modern erection, are substantial and handsomely built. The principal streets, High-street and South-street, intersect the city from east to west in a parallel direction: crossing these at right angles are, Speygate, Watergate, and George-street, in a line with each other, the last leading to the bridge; also Princes-street, Kirkgate, and Skinnergate. Still further westward are the pile of New-row, and some pleasing villas at the extremity of the city; while on the north side are several handsome streets, crescents, and terraces of recent date. Perth is lighted with gas from works erected in 1824, at an expense of £19,000; and the inhabitants are supplied with water from works established in 1830, at a cost of £13,609: the water, filtered from the river, is conveyed into a spacious reservoir at the eastern end of Marshall-place, and forced by steam into a lofty circular tower, which forms a great ornament. The ancient cross, situated in the centre of High-street, and demolished by Cromwell, as already observed, in 1652, was rebuilt after the restoration of Charles II.; but being found an obstruction to the public thoroughfare, it was removed in 1765, and the materials sold by order of the magistrates. Of the walls of Perth, scarcely a vestige is remaining; and of the several towers by which the gates were defended, the last, the Spey Tower, was taken down at the commencement of the present century. Adjoining the town, on each side, are spacious greens called respectively the North and South Inch. The former, which is on the margin of the river, was considerably enlarged in 1785, and forms a beautiful appendage to the city. On the west side of this green is the ancient mansion of Balhousie, embosomed in lofty and venerable trees, above which is an old mill driven by water from the canal originally formed from the Almond for supplying the fosse by which the town walls were surrounded; and on the east of the green is a fine level race-course, more than a mile and a quarter in length. The South Inch is surrounded with avenues of trees, and interspersed with pleasing villas, and has on the north side Marshall-place and King's-place, and on the west the villas of St. Leonard's Bank: the high road to Edinburgh passes through the centre of this green, between stately trees. The approaches to Perth on every side are beautifully picturesque; and from many points the city, in combination with its noble river and the sylvan scenery upon its banks, has an air of impressive magnificence.
   There are six circulating libraries, of which the principal is the Perth Library, instituted in 1786, and supported by annual subscriptions of fifteen shillings; it contains about 6000 volumes, which are kept in an apartment appropriated to its use in the building called Marshall's Monument, and is under the care of a librarian who attends for two hours daily. The Exchange Coffee-house in George-street is well supported. There are three weekly newspapers published: of these, the Courier was established in 1809, the Advertiser in 1820, and the Constitutional in 1835. The Literary and Antiquarian Society was founded in 1784 by the Rev. James Scott, and is under the direction of a president and committee. It has an extensive and valuable collection of scarce and interesting books, manuscripts, coins, and medals, with various other antiquities and relics illustrative of the history of Scotland; and it has received many additions from natives of the county, and from its president, Lord Breadalbane. Its annual meetings are held in the hall assigned to its use in Marshall's Monument, when papers on literary, scientific, and antiquarian subjects are read before the society, prior to being deposited in the library. The building styled Marshall's Monument was erected by public subscription of the citizens, in honour of their provost, the late Thomas Hay Marshall, Esq., of Glenalmond; and is an elegant structure in the Grecian style of architecture, of circular form, surmounted by a spacious dome, and embellished with a portico of the Ionic order: it is finely situated at the north end of George-street. The Theatre was built in 1820, at an expense of £2625, but is not much frequented. The Freemasons' Hall, erected in 1818, on the site of the ancient house of parliament, is a handsome building, and contains a large hall occasionally used for public auctions. The races, which are held annually, are well attended. The barracks, originally intended for cavalry, but now fitted up for infantry, were erected in 1793, at the western extremity of Atholl-street; they form a neat range of buildings, and are well adapted to their purpose. The extensive depôt erected by government in 1812, at an expense of £130,000, and capable of receiving 7000 prisoners of war, has been recently converted into a penitentiary.
   Among the principal manufactures carried on in the town and its vicinity are those of gingham, muslin, shawls, cotton goods and linens, handkerchiefs, scarfs, and trimmings, in which more than 1600 persons are employed. Of the ginghams, those for the making of umbrellas are most produced, and great quantities are forwarded to London and Manchester, and to other towns in England; the rest of the manufactures are chiefly exported to North and South America, and the East and West Indies, and many of the shawl pieces are sent to Turkey. A mill for spinning flax and tow has been lately established, in which were at first but 850 spindles, and the number of persons employed was only one hundred, the greater portion of whom were females; but the number of spindles has been augmented to 1250, and the number of persons proportionally increased. In the neighbourhood are extensive bleachfields and printing establishments. There are several breweries and distilleries, and numerous corn-mills; the Perth and St. John's iron-foundries, and some brass-foundries, are in operation on a large scale; and there are rope-walks, tanneries, and dye-works, in which considerable numbers of persons are engaged. The manufacture of bricks and tiles is extensive; and there are several coach-building establishments, and some saw-mills worked by steam for the preparation of timber, with which the neighbourhood abounds, for various uses.
   The trade of the port consists chiefly in exporting agricultural produce to the London market, principally potatoes, which are said to have been first grown here on their introduction into Scotland, and of which the quantity annually shipped is about 30,000 tons: of grain of various kinds, 40,000 quarters are exported; and a considerable quantity of timber and slates is sent off. From the proximity of Dundee, the manufacturing produce is generally forwarded to that place in lighters for exportation. The imports consist chiefly of flax, clover seeds, and linseed, cheese, foreign spirits, bark, hides, madder, tar, Norway, Baltic, and American timber, bones for manure, salt, lime, and coal from England and different parts of Scotland. The number of ships registered as belonging to the port, in 1843, was ninetyfour, and their aggregate burthen 9624 tons; and the number of vessels that entered in a recent year was 758, of which twenty-two were from foreign ports, and 736 coasting-vessels. The duties paid at the custom-house in 1843 amounted to £13,481. The harbour, at first near the bridge, was in 1752 removed lower down the river; but, though at that period accessible to ships of tolerable size, it was in the course of a few years, from its want of depth, frequented only by small craft. In 1830, therefore, considerable improvements were projected by Mr. Jardine, and a commodious pier was constructed; but the works were discontinued, and the original improvements not carried into effect, till 1834. At that time others, also, on a more extended scale, including the deepening of the river from Newburgh to Perth, the removal of several fords by dredging machines, and the construction of a tide harbour, a ship canal, and wet-docks, rendering the harbour accessible in springtides to vessels of 380, and at neap-tides of 130, tons, were adopted by the town-council at the suggestion of the Messrs. Stevenson, and are now in progress, with every prospect of being fully accomplished. The tide harbour has been completed; vessels of 300 tons now reach Perth with ease, and the amount of the shipping belonging to the port is on the increase. Ship-building is carried on here to a very considerable extent, the surrounding country affording abundance of timber; and several vessels of 500 tons have been built in the dockyards. A ship-building company was established in 1838, chiefly through the great impulse communicated by the firm of the Messrs. Graham, who in their commercial transactions employ vessels of their own, of which the aggregate burthen exceeds 2400 tons. The first iron steam-boat on the eastern coast of Scotland was made here, in the foundry of Messrs. A. Mc Farlane and Sons: this vessel, which plies on the river, between Perth and Dundee, is 112 feet in length, and, with 500 passengers on board, draws three feet water, being propelled by an engine of seventy-horse power. Since that time, several iron and other steam-vessels have been launched from the port.
   The salmon-fishery of the Tay is carried on with very encouraging success. The whole of the fisheries on the river afford employment to nearly 500 men; and the average number of fish taken annually at this place only is 25,000 salmon, and 50,000 grilse, all of which are exported direct to the London markets. With a view to promote the commerce and manufactures of the town, there are two provincial banks established, namely, the Perth and the Central Banks, with branches of the Bank of Scotland, the British Linen Company, the Commercial, and the National Banks. A savings' bank was founded in 1815; the amount of deposits is above £4000. The post is frequent; and the revenue of the office formerly amounted on an average to about £4000. Facility of communication with the towns of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Dunkeld, is afforded by excellent roads diverging from the city; and these means of intercourse will be vastly increased by the construction of the Scottish-Central, Dundee and Perth, Edinburgh and Northern, and Scottish-Midland-Junction railways, the statutes authorising which were all passed in the session of the year 1845, so remarkable for its railway projects. The works connected with these important undertakings are in active progress, and all the four lines pass through, or terminate in, the city as a common centre. The general market, which is on Friday, is plentifully supplied with corn and provisions of every kind; and there is a market on Wednesday, also well attended. Fairs are held on the first Fridays in March, April, and July, and the second Friday in December, for horses and cattle; on the first Friday in September, for the hiring of servants and general business; and on the third Friday in October, for cattle, horses, and cheese.
   The government of the burgh, by a succession of charters from its erection into a royal burgh by William the Lion to the time of James VI., who confirmed all previous grants, was till lately vested in a provost, dean of guild, three merchant-bailies, and one trades'-bailie, a treasurer, and nine merchant and three trades' councillors, assisted by a town-clerk and other officers. The present magistrates are, a provost, a dean of guild, four bailies, and a treasurer; and the number of councillors is now nineteen. The ancient seal, which bore upon the obverse the decollation of St. John the Baptist, and on the reverse the enshrinement of that saint, was disused after the Reformation, and the present seal, alluding to the foundation of the town by the Romans, adopted in its stead. The provost, the bailies, and other officers, are elected by the council from among their own body; and the council, under the Municipal Reform act, are chosen by the £10 householders: the dean of guild is elected by the guildry, or merchants' incorporation. There are seven incorporated trades, the hammermen, bakers, glovers, wrights, tailors, fleshers, and shoemakers, in which the fees for admission vary from £1 to £4 for the sons of freemen, and from £20 to £100 for strangers. The jurisdiction of the magistrates extends over the whole of the royalty, of which, however, the limits are not clearly defined. The provost, who is also sheriff and coroner, with the bailies, holds burgh courts regularly every week, upon Tuesday, for the determination of civil causes; there is also a court holden for the recovery of small debts; and a court of guildry is held monthly, and occasionally at other times. The criminal jurisdiction of the magistrates is rarely, if at all, exercised; though it extends to capital offences, and there are instances on record of persons having suffered the extreme penalty of the law. The burgh, previously to the passing of the Reform act, sent a member to the imperial parliament in conjunction with those of Dundee, Cupar, Forfar, and St. Andrew's; but since that period it has returned its own representative.
   The County Buildings, which are conveniently situated at the end of South-street, near the margin of the river, were erected in 1819, at a cost of £32,000, after a design by Mr. Smirke; they form an elegant structure of freestone in the Grecian style, of which the principal front has a stately portico of twelve fluted columns, supporting an entablature and cornice surmounted by a triangular pediment. The centre comprises the court of justice, of semicircular form, sixty-six feet in length, and containing a gallery for the accommodation of 1000 persons: behind the bench are the judges' rooms and rooms for witnesses; and leading from the bar is a flight of steps communicating with a subterraneous passage from the prison. The county-hall, which occupies the south wing, is a handsome apartment sixty-eight feet long and forty feet wide, elegantly fitted up, and embellished with portraits of the late Duke of Atholl and the late Lord Lynedoch by Sir Thomas Lawrence, and one of Sir George Murray by Wilkie; the committeeroom is thirty feet square, and on the floor above is a tea and card room forty-four feet long and thirty feet wide, with other apartments. The sheriff's-court and clerk's offices form the north wing; and above them are, an office for the collector of cess, and a fire-proof room in which the city and county records are deposited. Behind the County Buildings is the new City and County Prison, inclosed within a lofty wall, and containing two divisions, one for debtors, and the other for criminals; the latter has ten cells and one large dayroom, with an airing-yard, for males, and three cells, a day-room, and airing-yard, for females. The governor's house is in the centre; but the prison is not well adapted for classification. The old prison has been fitted up partly for a police office, and partly as a house of correction; it contains eight cells, of which one is appropriated to refractory prisoners. The inmates are employed at their ordinary trades, and on leaving the prison receive a portion of their earnings.
   The rural district, which is bounded on the east, like the town, by the river Tay, and on the north by the Almond, comprises 3410 acres, whereof more than 2500 are arable, about 750 woodland and plantations, chiefly of pine and larch, and the remainder meadow and pasture. The surface is diversified with ridges of moderate elevation, and with several hills, of which that of Moncrieff rises to the height of 756 feet above the level of the sea; the scenery is varied, combining features of beautifully picturesque and strikingly romantic character, and the view of the surrounding country from the summit of Moncrieff hill is one of the most interesting in Scotland. The soil in the uplands is a rich loam, and along the Tay a fertile clay resting upon gravel, and is well adapted for grain of every kind. The system of agriculture is highly improved; draining has been extensively practised, and the lands lying on the side of the river have been protected from inundation by effective embankments. The farm-buildings, also, are generally substantial and commodious; but little inclosure has taken place, and what fences there are, are chiefly of stone. The substratum is mostly of the red sandstone formation, which extends throughout the vales of Strathearn and Strathmore. Nodules of granite, primitive limestone, and porphyritic trap, are frequently imbedded in the sandstone, but no organic remains: trap-rocks and an extensive bed of conglomerate are found in the southern parts of the district. There are some quarries of freestone, and one appears to have been largely wrought; but the stone is of soft texture, and the buildings which have been erected of it have soon become ruinous. There are also quarries of trap-stone of durable texture, affording excellent materials for the roads. The rateable annual value of the town and rural district, according to the returns made under the income-tax, is £56,539.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the synod of Perth and Stirling and presbytery of Perth; the former holding their meetings alternately at Stirling and here. The parish of St. John the Baptist was formerly the only one, and the ancient church was supplied by but one minister till the year 1595, when a second was appointed; in 1716 a third minister was appointed by the town-council, to meet the wants of a rapidly increasing population, and the church was converted into three separate churches, called respectively East, Middle, and West. Since that period the parish has been divided into several parishes, and the churches of St. Paul, St. Leonard, and St. Stephen erected. The parish of East Church comprises nearly the whole of the rural district, the town having been parted from the original parish of Perth, by authority of the Court of Teinds, in 1807; it is about five miles in length and two miles in breadth, and contains a population of 7031. The minister's stipend is, £130 in money paid by the corporation, and eighty bolls of meal and seventy bolls of barley paid by the heritors, together equivalent to £255: there is neither manse nor glebe. The ancient church of St. John the Baptist, of which the choir is appropriated as the church for this parish, is a very ancient structure in the early English style of architecture, with a massive square tower surmounted by a spire 155 feet in height. After it was given to the abbey of Dunfermline in 1226, it was suffered to fall into dilapidation, but was repaired and partly restored by King Robert Bruce; the eastern portion was afterwards rebuilt, and in 1400 the whole of the edifice was in good repair. The numerous altars at various times erected within it were, with the exception of the high altar, at the east end of the choir, subsequently removed. In the tower is a set of musical chimes. The portion of this venerable structure which forms the East church contains 1286 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Original Burghers, and Glassites, and a Roman Catholic chapel, in the parish; also some Sabbath schools in connexion with the Established Church and dissenting congregations. The parish of Middle Church, which is wholly a town parish, is about 250 yards in length and 160 yards in breadth, and was formed in 1807 by authority of the Court of Teinds: the population is 4498. The minister's stipend is, eighty bolls of meal and seventy of barley paid by the heritors, and £130 paid by the corporation, who are patrons of this and the East, West, and St. Paul's churches; the whole income being equivalent to £255. The church consists chiefly of the area between the four massive and lofty columns that support the tower of St. John's, and which was fitted up for the purpose in 1771; it contains 1208 sittings, and has some interesting details. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the South United Secession, Original Seceders, the First Relief, and Baptists.
   The parish of West Church, almost entirely in the town, is about half a mile long and nearly equal in width; it was formed by the Court of Teinds in the year 1807, and contains 5024 inhabitants. The minister's stipend is £200, payable by the corporation: the church consists of the nave of the collegiate church of St. John, and retains many vestiges of its ancient character, among which is a fine west window; it contains 967 sittings. There are a Free church and an episcopal chapel. The parish of St. Paul, wholly a town parish, was formed also by the Court of Teinds, is about a mile in length and a quarter of a mile in breadth, and has a population of 2740: the minister's stipend is £200, paid by the corporation. The church, which is situated on the confines of the parish, is a handsome structure in a modern style of architecture, with a tower surmounted by an elegant spire; it was erected by the corporation in 1806, at an expense of £7000, and contains 884 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, for the North United Secession, and for Independents. The late parish of St. Leonard was separated for ecclesiastical purposes only from the parishes of East and West Church, by act of the General Assembly, in 1835; it was about half a mile in length and one-eighth of a mile in breadth, and chiefly a town parish, with a population of 3039. The minister's stipend was £100, with an allowance of £20 for communion elements, all paid by the congregation from the seat-rents: there was neither manse nor glebe. The church, situated in King-street, is a handsome structure erected in 1835, at an expense of £2450, raised by subscription and donations; and contains 960 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the "Holy Catholic Apostolic" congregation, the Second Relief, and General Baptists. The incumbency of St. Stephen's was created by act of the General Assembly, in 1836; it has no definite area, but comprehends all the Highland population scattered within a distance of four miles from the church, which was built for their accommodation. The minister's stipend was originally fixed at £80, secured by bond, but without either manse or glebe. The church was erected by voluntary subscription and donations; it contains 762 sittings, and the service is of course invariably performed in the Gaelic language.
   The Grammar School is of ancient foundation, and is under the superintendence of a rector and his assistant, of whom the former has a salary of £50, and the latter of £25, paid by the corporation, who are patrons of all the public schools of the town; the course of instruction comprises the Latin and Greek languages, ancient geography, history, and other subjects. The Academy, originally instituted in 1760, and for which a very handsome building has been erected in the centre of Rose-terrace, is under the care of a rector and an assistant, with salaries respectively of £100 and £25; the course includes arithmetic, algebra, geometry, surveying, mathematics, navigation, natural philosophy, astronomy, and chemistry. There are, under the same patronage, a school for the French, Italian, and Spanish languages, of which the master has a salary of £25; a school for writing and arithmetic, and one for drawing and painting, of which the masters have each a salary of £25; a school for English, of which the master receives likewise £25 a year; and a school for singing and church music, of which the master has £15. In these several schools the fees vary from £1.8. to £4. 6. for the whole term of ten months and a half. There are also endowed schools for the Trades, the master of which receives a salary of £76; and for the poor, with a salary of £50. The Manufacturers' school, of which the master is paid £20; the Guildry school, with a salary of £26; two infant schools, of which the mistresses have each £50; and a female school, of which the mistress receives a salary of £20, are all supported by subscription. A sum of £400 was raised a few years since for building additional schools for the poor, to which a grant of £400 was added by the treasury; the masters have a salary of £10, paid by the corporation, and the fees, which vary from sixpence to eightpence per month for each scholar. Altogether there are thirty-five schools in the town and parish, in which the various branches of education are taught; and numerous Sabbath schools in connexion with the Established Church and seceding congregrations. The Hospital founded and amply endowed by James VI., in 1569, with all the lands and revenues of the dissolved monasteries, chapels, and altars in the city, was destroyed by Cromwell in 1652; and the building near the site of the Carthusian monastery, erected in its stead, has, with the exception of the master's apartments and the room containing the records, been appropriated to other purposes, and the inmates made out-pensioners. The annual proceeds of the endowment, which has been greatly diminished, are £597. 8. 6., divided among more than sixty pensioners.
   The City and County Infirmary, at the extremity of South-street, on the new Glasgow road, is a spacious and handsome structure, erected in 1836 from a design by Mr. Mackenzie, architect; and contains wards and accommodation for fifty-six patients. The institution possesses funds of considerable value, derived from donations and bequests, of which £500 were left by Dr. Browne; £600 were appropriated to its use from a bequest of £3000, by the first marquess of Breadalbane, to the public charities of Perth; and £400 subsequently added by the second marquess. It is also supported by subscription. The Royal Lunatic Asylum, not far from Perth, which has been incorporated by royal charter, was commenced in 1827, and greatly enlarged in 1834; it is a handsome structure of the Grecian Doric order, from a design by Mr. Burn, of Edinburgh. The building, which is 256 feet in length, and three stories high, is beautifully situated on an eminence on Kinnoull hill, commanding a view of the Grampian hills, the river Tay, and the adjacent country; and is surrounded with a fine park of twelve acres. The funds for its erection and partial endowment were bequeathed by James Murray, Esq., of Perth; and the institution is further supported by donations. In 1660 James Butter, sheriffclerk of Perthshire, left two-fifths of the lands of Scone-Lethendy, for the maintenance of four poor persons of Perth; in 1686 Mr. Jackson devised one-tenth of the same lands, for the support of one poor relative, or, in failure of such, of a person of the name of Jackson; and in 1743 Mr. Cairnie bequeathed two-fifths of the lands to the poor of Perth, reserving two-thirds to two of his descendants nearest to the age of fourteen years. This property comprises 610 acres, of which 145 are under plantation, and produces a rental of £513. 8. 6. Two persons of the name of Cairnie receive together £130, and the hospital £50; twelve annuitants receive £170, and the remainder is reserved for the liquidation of a debt of £1500, incurred by the erection of buildings and the improvement of the lands. Considerable sums are distributed to the poor by the incorporated trades, amounting in the aggregate to more than £2000 annually; and there were formerly numerous friendly societies, of which the greater number have been discontinued. The Destitute Sick Society, the Aged and Indigent Female Society, the Society for Clothing Indigent Females, and the Society for Clothing Aged Men, also distribute large sums in relieving the poor throughout the city.
   Among the numerous religious houses destroyed at the Reformation, was the monastery of the Black Friars, founded by Alexander II. in 1231, and, after the demolition of the castle of Perth, the residence of the Scottish kings till the removal of the seat of government to Edinburgh in the reign of James II.: in its church the parliament occasionally assembled. The monastery of the White Friars was instituted in the reign of Alexander III.: the revenues were eventually annexed to the hospital of James VI. The Carthusian monastery was founded by James I. in 1429, and contained the tombs of the founder, his queen, and Queen Margaret, mother of James V.; the Franciscan monastery was founded in 1460 by Lord Oliphant, and in 1580 its site was appropriated as the common cemetery of the parish. There were the nunneries of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Leonard, with their chapels, and the hospital of the latter; also numerous chapels, of which that of Our Lady forms part of the old prison: the chapel of St. Lawerence belonged to the ancient castle; and those of St. Anne, St. James, St. Paul, the Holy Cross, and St. Katherine, had attached hospitals for the entertainment of the poor.
   In 1807 some workmen, when digging for the foundation of St. Paul's church, discovered, at about ten feet below the surface, a portion of well-built masonry extending from north to south, and in the front of which were several massive rings and staples of iron, seeming evidently to have been erected as a pier. The surface of the street in this place has an elevation of twentythree feet above the level of the river. At some distance, in a northern direction, in Stormont-street, two willow-trees were found standing erect at a depth of twenty feet: another tree of the same kind, also erect, was discovered at a depth of eight feet. In digging the foundations for houses at a more recent date, some rich black earth was found, in which were imbedded small cuttings of leather, a spur of antique form, a pair of scissors, a small copper shield with a bend dexter, and various other articles. Pavements have also been met with, at a depth of even ten feet below the present pavements; and in erecting the buildings on the south side of the church, occupied by Mr. Ballingall, a boat about ten feet long was found imbedded in a layer of black earth, resting on its keel, with a caulking-iron and the soles of shoes near it. All these appearances indicate the elevation of the site of the town subsequently to the inundations of 1210 and 1621, by which it was nearly overwhelmed. Among the eminent characters connected with the city have been, the Earls of Gowrie, Atholl, and Erroll, Lord John Murray, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, and Lord Chancellor Hay, all of whom had houses in Perth; Halyburton, bishop of Dunkeld; Patrick Adamson, bishop of St. Andrew's, who was born in 1536, and educated at the grammar school, and who was author of the tragedy of Herod Agrippa, and a poetic paraphrase on the Lamentations of Jeremiah; Mylne, a celebrated architect, and father of Robert Mylne, the architect of Blackfriars bridge, London; and James Crichton, commonly called the Admirable, who is supposed to have received his early education in the grammar school. The last-named is thought to have been born at Eliock House, in the county of Dumfries; but soon after his birth, which occurred in 1560, his father removed to an estate in the parish of Clunie, only seventeen miles from Perth.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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