- MONAN'S, ST., a fishing-town, in the parish of Abercrombie, county of Fife, 1 mile (W. S. W.) from Pittenweem; containing 1029 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on the Frith of Forth, seems to have owed its origin to the erection of a chapel by David II., in gratitude for the escape of himself and his queen from shipwreck on this part of the coast, and which, upon the annexation of the barony of Monan's to the lands of Abercrombie, became the church of that parish. The inhabitants are partly engaged in the herring-fishery, of which this is one of the most important stations on the eastern coast of Scotland. Herrings are taken in the autumn and winter within a moderate distance from the harbour; but the principal fishery is off Peterhead, where about sixty boats from St. Monan's, of fifteen tons' burthen each, are engaged, affording employment to about 300 persons. The codfishery is also carried on to a considerable extent, and many persons are occupied in curing and packing cod for exportation, chiefly to the London and Liverpool markets; turbot and haddock are likewise taken, and sent in large quantities to Edinburgh and places adjacent. Weaving, which once employed a limited number of persons, and the manufacture of kelp, formerly a very profitable trade, have been altogether discontinued. Many people are engaged in making nets for the fishermen; and there is a very extensive brewery and malting concern. The harbour, which is formed by the extension of two parallel ridges of rock, and by a strong pier carried out from the shore, is safe and commodious, affording good shelter for the fishing-boats and for vessels of larger dimensions; the depth at spring-tides is from eighteen to twenty feet, and at neap-tides from thirteen to fifteen feet. The principal exports are, cured cod, herrings, and potatoes; and the chief imports, coal and lime. In addition to the numerous herring-boats already referred to, there are several yawls, the crews of which, each six in number, are employed nearly throughout the entire year, and with considerable success, in the cod, haddock, and turbot fisheries mentioned above; and until recently there were two vessels belonging to the port, one of seventy-eight and the other of forty tons, employed in the coasting trade. The town received a charter of incorporation from Sir William Sandilands, dated 1622, by which it was erected into a burgh of barony, and the government vested in three bailies, a treasurer, and fifteen councillors. The bailies are chosen by the feuars and burgesses, and after their election appoint the council; and twelve constables are chosen annually by the corporation, for the preservation of the peace and the regulation of the town. The bailies are justices of the peace; but they exercise little jurisdiction except in cases of petty misdemeanors. The town-house, a plain building, once containing a prison for the temporary confinement of malefactors, consists of two apartments on the ground-floor and two immediately above them. Some further particulars respecting St. Monan's are given in the article on the parish of Abercrombie.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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