LINLITHGOW, a royal burgh, a parish, and the seat of a presbytery, in the county of Linlithgow, of which it is the principal town; containing, with part of the village of Linlithgow-Bridge, 5950 inhabitants, of whom 3872 are in the burgh, 8 miles (E. S. E.) from Falkirk, and 16 (W.) from Edinburgh. This place derives its name, signifying in the Saxon language "the lake of the sheltered valley," from the beautiful expanse of water on which it is situated, in a secluded and richlyfertile vale. It is supposed to have been constituted a royal burgh by David I., who had a castle and a grange here, which formed part of the royal demesnes, and around which the town, still wearing an appearance of great antiquity, gradually arose. The earliest charter extant is one granted by Robert II.; but, long before that period, the town had been governed by two bailies, whose names were subscribed to the deed of submission tendered to Edward I. of England in 1292; and during the occupation of the Scottish burghs by the English in the reign of David II., it had been constituted one of the four principal burghs of the kingdom. On the night previously to the battle of Falkirk, Edward I. encamped his forces on the plains adjoining the town; and in 1300 he erected a castle at this place, where he spent the following Christmas, and in which he left an English garrison. The castle was, however, taken by Robert Bruce, who, introducing a few armed men concealed in a waggon-load of hay, obtained admittance for his followers, and put the whole of the garrison to the sword.
   James IV., while at the palace of Linlithgow, visited the church previously to his expedition into England, and is said to have received, when offering up prayers for his success, a supernatural warning of the melancholy fate which attended him in the battle of Flodden Field, in 1513. A severe engagement took place at LinlithgowBridge in 1526, between the forces of the Earl of Angus, whose party, during the minority of James V., held that prince in their power, and those of the Earl of Lennox, who sought to obtain possession of the royal person, and deliver him from their arbitrary controul. The Earl of Lennox, after receiving promise of quarter, was killed by Sir James Hamilton; and the place of his interment was long distinguished by a mound called Lennox's Cairn. In 1570, the Earl of Moray, then regent, was shot while passing through the town, from the balcony of a house belonging to the Archbishop of St. Andrew's, by Hamilton, of Bothwell-Haugh; his remains were conveyed to Holyrood House, and interred in the church of St. Giles, at Edinburgh. During the prevalence of the plague in Edinburgh in 1646, the meetings of the parliament were held in the palace of Linlithgow, in which the members, upon various occasions, had previously assembled, and the town also derives no inconsiderable degree of interest from the circumstance that it was the birth-place of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was born in the palace on the 8th of December, 1542. Linlithgow was visited by her present Majesty on the 13th of September, 1842, in the course of her tour through Scotland; and every demonstration of respect and loyalty was made by the inhabitants.
   The palace, which, from a very early period, was the occasional residence of the Scottish kings, is supposed to have been first erected on the site of a Roman station: the original buildings, however, were destroyed by fire in 1424. The present structure, built by James I., received considerable additions in the reigns of James IV. and V.: upon the marriage of the latter with Mary of Guise, it became the favourite residence of that queen; and it was afterwards much improved by James VI., on his visit to Scotland in 1617. The buildings at this time occupied a quadrangular area, 175 feet in length and 165 feet in breadth; and though the exterior had a heavy appearance, the interior of the quadrangle displayed much elegance of style and beauty of decoration. In the centre of the inner court was a fountain of freestone, elaborately sculptured in various devices; the surrounding buildings were also ornamented with sculpture. Placed in a canopied niche, was a well-executed statue of Pope Julius II., who presented the sword of state to James V. on his coronation, and on each side of this was the figure of an ecclesiastic, in a smaller niche; but these were destroyed in the eighteenth century. In the rebellion of 1745, General Hawley, who commanded a detachment of the English forces under the Duke of Cumberland, quartered his troops in the palace, which, during their occupation of it, was by some accident set on fire, and reduced to its present ruinous condition. The principal portions now left are, the hall in which the parliaments were held, a noble apartment ninety-nine feet long, thirty feet wide, and thirty-five feet high to the summit of the walls, which alone remain; the room where Queen Mary was born; the banquet-room; and the chapel. What exists of this venerable structure is preserved from further decay by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, and is under the superintendence of Sir Thomas Livingstone, Bart., as representative of the earls of Linlithgow, hereditary keepers. Very judicious repairs have been just executed; the staircase of the north-west turret has been made good, and in 1845 the outer gateway was very completely restored.
   The town is beautifully situated on the south bank of the lake from which it takes its name, and extends for about a mile along the high road from Stirling to Edinburgh, consisting principally of one street, which, towards the middle, expands into an open area. In this part is the Cross, an hexagonal structure, richly sculptured with grotesque figures, and surmounted by a unicorn, the whole rebuilt in 1807 in close imitation of the ancient structure, which had fallen into decay; it is connected with a well of pure water, which issues from thirteen different openings, for the supply of the town. The houses are generally of ancient and venerable aspect, though interspersed with many of more modern style, and the town is well lighted with gas. The tanning and currying of leather are among the main trades carried on here: in the former are five establishments, affording occupation to about thirty men; and in the latter, nine, in which fifty men are employed. The manufacture of boots and shoes is also very considerable, giving constant employment to about 300 persons. An extensive distillery, and a large brewery, engage many hands; there are also some works for the making of glue; and a part of the female population are occupied in needlework for the Glasgow houses. The market, which is on Friday, is abundant; and fairs are held on the first Friday after the second Tuesday in January, the last Friday in February, the third Friday in April, the second Friday in June, and the first Fridays in August and November. Facility of communication with the surrounding districts is afforded by excellent roads, and by the Union canal and the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway, which pass through the parish: the last has a station here, where all the regular trains stop, and from which there are omnibuses for conveying passengers and luggage to Bathgate and Borrowstounness. The town contains a post-office, and a branch of the Commercial Bank; and a small monthly paper called Dick's Advertiser is published here, and circulated through the county.
   The burgh, under a succession of charters, confirmed and extended by Charles I., is governed by a provost, four bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and a council, together amounting to twenty-seven members. The magistrates have jurisdiction within the royalty, and for a mile beyond its boundaries; but the residence of the sheriffsubstitute in the burgh relieves them from exercising any jurisdiction, except in trifling police cases. There are eight incorporated trades, the smiths, weavers, bakers, wrights, tailors, shoemakers, fleshers, and coopers; the fee of admission to a stranger, as a trade burgess, is one guinea, and as a member of the guild £5. The townhouse, built in 1668, contains the hall for the transaction of the public business of the burgh, the sheriff's courthouse, and the apartments which until July, 1845, formed the gaol: the present prison, just erected, is well secured, and every attention is paid to the health of the inmates, of whom, including those for the county, the number was, in 1843, 125. In the rear of the town-house are the county-buildings, plain in their exterior, but internally well arranged; the hall is a spacious and handsome apartment, and is embellished with portraits of John, Earl of Hopetoun, by Raeburn, and of Sir Alexander Hope, by Gordon. The burgh, in connexion with those of Falkirk, Airdrie, Hamilton, and Lanark, returns a member to the imperial parliament; the number of persons within the parliamentary boundaries, occupying houses of £10 per annum and upwards, is 121, of whom seventy-seven are burgesses.
   The parish is bounded on the west by the river Avon, separating it from the county of Stirling; and is about five miles in length, from east to west, and three miles in breadth; comprising an area of 11,960 acres, of which, with the exception of a moderate portion of land inaccessible to the plough, and under plantations, all are arable. The surface towards the east and northeast is tolerably level, but towards the south is intersected by a continuous range of hills of various elevation, of which the highest, Cocklerue and Binny Craig, are each about 600 feet above the level of the sea. On the north side of the loch of Linlithgow, also, are the Irongath hills, of inferior height, but commanding fine views of the Frith of Forth and the adjacent country. The lake is about a mile in length and a quarter of a mile in breadth, and is of considerable depth, communicating with the Avon by a small rivulet called the Loch burn: towards the centre it is deeply indented by the site of the ancient palace, the grounds of which form a kind of peninsula. The scenery of the lake is strikingly beautiful, its shores rising into eminences richly wooded, and being embellished with the gardens and pleasuregrounds of the palace, of which the stately and venerable ruins form a prominent feature. The Avon, likewise, flows through a tract of country abounding with picturesque scenery; and the aqueduct which continues the Union canal across the valley, and the viaduct of the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway, add greatly to the beauty of the landscape. The soil in the lower districts is a loam alternated with gravel; and in the higher, of lighter quality, resting on a retentive clay: the system of agriculture is in the most improved state, and the crops are generally abundant. The farms vary from 125 to 500 acres in extent; the lands are well inclosed and drained, and the farm-buildings substantial and commodious. The cattle are for the most part of the Ayrshire breed, especially on the dairy-farms; there are also many of the short-horned kind. Few sheep are reared, though considerable numbers are pastured: the horses are mostly of the Clydesdale breed. The plantations, many of which are of recent date, are well managed, and in a thriving state; and the parish generally is well wooded. Limestone is plentiful, and is extensively wrought; coal, also, occurs in thin seams in the southern district, but no mines are in operation. At Kingscavil and East Binny are extensive quarries of freestone: from the former was taken the stone for the erection of the palace, and in the latter is found a bituminous substance which is sometimes made into candles. On the lands of the Earl of Hopetoun, a vein of silver was formerly wrought; but every attempt to recover it has failed. The rateable annual value of the parish is £21,384.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the controul of the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. The minister's stipend is £304. 19. 2., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £11 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, supposed to have been founded by David I., as the chapel-royal, and dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient and venerable structure in the early English style of architecture, with a square embattled tower formerly surmounted by a turret in the form of an imperial crown. It is 180 feet in length and 105 feet in breadth; and the walls were once decorated with statues, of which, however, only that of the patron saint is now remaining. In the south aisle, dedicated to St. Catherine, and near which is the family vault of the earls of Linlithgow, James IV. received the premonition of his defeat at Flodden Field, already noticed. The whole building, which is one of the finest specimens of the kind in Scotland, displays elegant details; it was repaired and enlarged in 1813, and now contains 1100 sittings. There are also a Free Church, two places of worship for members of the United Secession, and one for Independents. The burgh school, under the patronage of the town-council, was formerly conducted by a rector who had a salary of £30 per annum, and an assistant with a salary of £15; but, since the last appointment, it has been taught by a rector only. The scholars are numerous, and the fees amount to many pounds per annum. A school for girls was founded by the late Mrs. Douglas. Dr. Henry, the historian, bequeathed his library to the parish; and there is a library at Linlithgow-Bridge. The incorporated trades give small annual payments to decayed members; there are also numerous friendly societies. The traces of a Roman road, on the summit of a height on the north side of the lake, are plainly discernible, and near it was recently found an urn containing ashes; at the base of the hill of Cocklerue are vestiges of a Roman station, and on the Boroughmuir 300 Roman coins were discovered a few years since. To the west of the town are two eminences, of which one was in ancient times the place for administering justice; the plain below is still designated Domesdale. On the eminence called Friars' Brae, to the south of the town, was a Carmelite convent, supposed to have been founded in 1290. There was likewise a monastery of Black friars, of which some traces may be seen in the eastern portion of the town, where was also the hospital of St. Magdalene for lazars, subsequently appropriated by James I. for the entertainment of strangers, and the site of which is now covered by the Union canal. A tablet of stone was many years since found while digging a grave in the churchyard, elegantly sculptured in compartments. In one compartment, the Saviour is represented in the attitude of prayer, with the three Disciples asleep; and in another, saluted by Judas, and seized by the guards, while healing the ear of Malchus, with a figure of Peter sheathing his sword.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Linlithgow — gälisch Gleann Iucha scots:  Lithgae …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Linlithgow — (spr. linlithgo), Hauptstadt (royal burgh) der danach benannten schott. Grafschaft, das Versailles der Könige Schottlands, mit einem Schloß (l5. Jahrh.), in dem Maria Stuart geboren wurde, liegt im Innern der Grafschaft, an einem kleinen See und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — (spr. lithgoh), West Lothian, Grafschaft in Südschottland, 311 qkm, (1901) 65.699 E. Die Hauptstadt L., am See L., 4279 E., Schloßruinen; Bahnviadukt über den Avon; Hafen ist Borrowstounneß …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — (Linlisgo) oder Westlothian, kleine südschott. Grafschaft von 5 2/3 QM., wohlangebaut u. fruchtbar, mit wichtiger Pferde u. Rindviehzucht, Bergbau auf Steinkohlen, Quadersandstein und Kalk. 31000 E. Hauptort das gleichnamige Städtchen mit 6000 E …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow —   [lɪn lɪθgəʊ], Stadt im Verwaltungsdistrikt West Lothian, Schottland, westlich von Edinburgh, 11 900 Einwohner; Papier , pharmazeutische Industrie, Whiskybrennereien.   Stadtbild:   Der ehemalige Palast der schottischen Könige, in dem Maria… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — [lin lith′gō] former name for WEST LOTHIAN …   English World dictionary

  • Linlithgow — infobox UK place country = Scotland official name= Linlithgow gaelic name= Gleann Iucha scots name= Lithgae population= 13,370 os grid reference= NS996774 latitude=55.97905 longitude= 3.61054 unitary scotland= West Lothian lieutenancy scotland=… …   Wikipedia

  • Linlithgow — 55° 58′ 45″ N 3° 36′ 38″ W / 55.97905, 3.61054 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Linlithgow — Original name in latin Linlithgow Name in other language Gleann Iucha, Linlitgou, Linlithgow, Lithgae, Линлитгоу, Лінлітгоу State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 55.97639 latitude 3.60364 altitude 51 Population 13863 Date 2010 08… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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