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Thursday, 27 December 2007

Best Scottish Tours of Stirling

Stirling is a historic town on the River Forth, Scotland, in a strategic position to the northeast of Glasgow and to the northwest of Edinburgh, controlling access by land from the Lowlands to the Highlands, not least because it was the lowest bridging point on the Forth until comparatively recent times. The old town is on a steep volcanic rock crowned by Stirling Castle. The 15th and 16th century Church of the Holy Rude, was where James VI was crowned. Tour Stirling, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Stirling in 1846. Stirling, a royal burgh, sea-port, and parish, mostly in the county Stirling; containing, with the villages of Cambuskenneth, Raploch, and part of Causeway-head, 9095 inhabitants, of whom 8307 are in the burgh, 35 miles (W. N. W.) from Edinburgh. This place, in the more ancient documents called Striviling and Styrlyng, and in the present seal of the burgh designated Oppidum Sterlini, is of remote antiquity, and is supposed to have been a Roman station connected with that of Camelon, whence a road to the north of Scotland passed close to the Castle hill here, on which was one of the numerous fortifications raised by Agricola in this part of the country. On the face of the rock overlooking the road, and commanding the river Forth, which is here of comparatively inconsiderable width, has been found a Roman inscription ascribing to the second legion the erection of this fortress, which is thought to have occupied the site of the present castle, whose precise date has not been distinctly ascertained. Towards the latter part of the 9th century, Ella and Ostricht, princes of Northumbria, having defeated Donald V., King of Scotland, and taken him prisoner, advanced to Stirling, rebuilt the castle, and placed in it a strong garrison, which retained possession till it was restored by treaty to Kenneth III., who, about the year 975, not only recovered his territories in this part of the country, but made himself master of the whole district of Strathcluyd. The castle appears to have attained a considerable degree of importance in the course of the 12th century. It was one of the four principal fortresses of the kingdom delivered to the English in 1174, by William the Lion, as part of his ransom from captivity, and in fulfilment of the treaty by which Henry II. of England was acknowledged superior of the whole of Scotland. This claim of superiority, however, being subsequently renounced by Richard I., the castle of Stirling and the other fortresses were restored to the Scottish monarchs, and remained in their possession till the revival of that claim by Edward I., when, on the defeat of the Scottish army at Dunbar in 1296, the English, in order to secure the conquest of the country during the disputed succession to the throne, made themselves masters of all the chief fortresses of the kingdom. William Wallace, however, the intrepid champion of his country's freedom, recovered Stirling from the English, and afterwards laid siege to the castle of Dundee. While he was engaged in reducing that fortress, the English again assaulted the castle of Stirling; but, the Scottish army taking their position on the north side of the Forth, to dispute the passage of the river by the troops of Edward, which had encamped on the south, Wallace hastened from Dundee to the relief of Stirling, and obtained a signal victory over the English while attempting to cross the river. The result of this battle, in which many of the English were slain, with only a very inconsiderable number of the Scottish forces, was, the temporary delivery of the country from the English invasion.

In the following year, however, Edward entered the kingdom with an army of 80,000 men, and having defeated the Scots at Falkirk, again took possession of Stirling, and repaired the castle, which, in his retreat, Wallace had burnt. The castle was in 1298 besieged by the Scots, to whom, after a series of reverses in the fortunes of Edward, it was surrendered by capitulation; but in 1300 it was again taken by the English after a siege of three months, during which it was bravely defended by the garrison under its governor, Sir William Oliphant. In 1304, Edward, in his progress towards the south, approached to Stirling, and, after a feeble attempt on the part of Cumyn, guardian of the kingdom, to intercept his passage, crossed the river Forth, and laid siege to the castle, which, however, held out so resolutely against his assaults that, when he ultimately obtained possession of it, he refused all terms of capitulation, and sent Sir William Oliphant prisoner to London. In 1314 the castle, which till then had been garrisoned by the English, was invested by Edward Bruce, brother of the King of Scotland, who, after a siege of some months, obtained from the governor a promise of surrender if not relieved within a stipulated period. On the day previous to the appointed time, a detachment of 800 cavalry from the army sent by Edward for the relief of the several garrisons, and of which the main body had been interrupted by Bruce, having advanced by a circuitous route to dislodge the besiegers of Stirling, were pursued by Randolph, Earl of Moray, who, with a body of 500 horse, put them completely to the route. The spot where this conflict took place is still called Randolph Field. After the battle of Bannockburn, which finally established the independence of the Scottish monarchy, the town and castle were evacuated by the English; and the garrison, according to the terms of capitulation, returned unmolested into England. In the reign of James I., Murdoch, Duke of Albany, who had acted as regent of the kingdom during the captivity of that monarch in England, was, with his father-in-law, the Earl of Lennox, and his two sons, beheaded on the Mote hill, a small mount near the castle, pursuant to a verdict pronounced by a jury of twenty-one members of a parliament held for the purpose. In 1437, Sir Robert Graham and several of his associates were executed on the same spot, for the assassination of the king in the convent of the Black Friars at Perth.

The castle about this time had become a royal residence; James II. was born within its walls, and James III. repaired and embellished several portions of the structure that had fallen into dilapidation, and erected many additional buildings. Among these were, the house of parliament, containing a fine hall 120 feet in length, now occupied as a barrack by the garrison; and also the chapel royal, converted into an armoury by the government during the late war, but now in part restored to its original purpose as a chapel, though only for the garrison. A palace was erected within the precincts of the castle by James V., which was completed by Queen Mary; it was a quadrangular edifice surrounding an area in which the king's lions are said to have been kept. The building was profusely embellished with statuary, among which were well-sculptured figures of King James and his daughter, and numerous grotesque figures; it contained several magnificent apartments, and a spacious hall with a roof of oak exquisitely carved. James V. was crowned in the castle; as was also Mary, when scarcely nine months old; and James VI., soon after his birth, was baptized here with great pomp, on which occasion Queen Elizabeth presented a massive font of gold, to be used at the ceremony. Stirling soon followed the example of Perth and St. Andrew's in adopting the reformed doctrines. In 1559, the lords of the congregation took possession of the town, in order to prevent the introduction of a French force which had been sent to the assistance of the Earl of Murray; and in their zeal for the abolition of popery, the inhabitants demolished the abbey of Cambuskenneth and the convents of the Black and Grey Friars. In 1571 Hamilton, formerly archbishop of St. Andrew's, who had assisted at the baptism of James VI., was executed here for his participation in the death of the Regent Murray; and in the same year a parliament was held in the castle by the Earl of Lennox, who was then regent. On the 4th of September, in that year, the town was surprised by the Earl of Huntly and about 400 of his adherents, who, surrounding the houses of the principal inhabitants, carried off the Regent Lennox and ten other noblemen as prisoners. Huntly's party was eventually defeated by the Earl of Mar, and the noblemen were rescued from their power; but the Regent, who had been severely wounded in the conflict, died of his wounds on the following evening, and was interred in the chapel royal. Twenty-six of Huntly's party were brought into the town as prisoners, and two of them publicly executed on the following day. After the resignation of Mary, Queen of Scots, James VI. was crowned in the church of Stirling, after a sermon preached by the reformer, John Knox; and during his minority the castle was the constant residence of the prince, under the tutelage of his preceptor, the celebrated George Buchanan. That monarch held his first parliament in the castle in the year 1578, and, after his marriage to Anne, princess of Denmark, frequently resided here with his queen, who gave birth to the infant prince, Henry, at Stirling. In 1584 the Earls of Angus and Mar, the master of Glammis, and others who had been concerned in the Ruthven conspiracy, took forcible possession of the town. Being expelled by the garrison, they fled into England; but they returned in the following year, and having raised a powerful force, were preparing to besiege the castle, at that time but ill prepared to hold out, when the king sent commissioners to treat with them, and a compromise was effected by the pardon of their rebellion, the reversal of their forfeitures, and the restoration of their eligibility to offices in the state.

On the proclamation, in 1637, of the mandate for the adoption of the Liturgy of the Church of England, the privy council and the courts of session were by royal command removed from Edinburgh to this town, where they continued for many months to hold their meetings. The Liturgy was proclaimed at the market-cross; upon which, the Earl of Home, with other nobles and a number of the ministers, entering a public protestation against its reception, a body of about 2000 Presbyterians assembled in the town in the course of the evening, and on the following morning marched to Edinburgh. After the battle of Dunbar, in 1650, the remains of the Scottish army retreated to this town, in which the magistrates of Edinburgh, and the Committees of Church and State, held their meetings; and the last Scottish parliament in which the sovereign personally presided was assembled in the castle, and afterwards adjourned to Perth. Pursuant to the resolutions at this parliament, an army was collected at Aberdeen, which, after marching to Stirling, and being joined by the troops at this place, encamped at Torwood under Charles II., who commanded in person; but the prince was ultimately compelled to retreat before the troops of Cromwell, and, retiring to Stirling, encamped in the King's Park. Upon Cromwell's retreat soon afterwards into England, he was followed by Charles at the head of this army, which was subsequently defeated at the battle of Worcester. Soon after Cromwell's departure, General Monk advanced to Stirling with a powerful force, and taking possession of the town, erected batteries on the tower of the church, and in the adjoining burying-ground, in order to reduce the castle, which, after a protracted siege, he ultimately obtained by capitulation. During the siege, the registers and national records, which had been for greater security deposited in the castle, were removed to the Tower of London, where they remained till the Restoration; but they were unfortunately lost in a storm that overtook the ship in which they were being brought home. The Duke of Argyll, previously to the battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, encamped his forces in the King's Park, adjoining the town; and in 1745, during the progress of the Young Pretender's career, the walls were repaired by government, and the castle put into a state of defence. On his return, however, in the following year, the town was occupied for some time by his adherents, who, violating the terms upon which they had obtained admission, pillaged the houses of the inhabitants, and invested the castle, which must ultimately have surrendered for want of provisions, had not the approach of the army under the Duke of Cumberland compelled the Pretender to withdraw his forces from the neighbourhood. On the 13th of September, 1842, this place was visited by Her Majesty, in the course of her tour in Scotland; the royal cortége arrived at the barrier at half past eleven o'clock, and the provost attended by the town-clerk and magistrates, presented the keys of the burgh to Her Majesty, who then proceeded through the town.

Few other events of historical importance have occurred in connexion with this town, of which the history is mostly identified with that of its ancient castle, to whose foundation it is indebted for its origin. In the reign of Queen Anne, the fortifications of the castle, which, according to the articles of the Union, was one of the four principal fortresses guaranteed to be kept in repair, were considerably extended, and the internal arrangements rendered more commodious for the garrison. The garrison now consists of a lieutenant-governor, deputy-governor, fort-major, and other officers, a chaplain, barrack-master, barrack-serjeant, and master-gunner, with a force of infantry generally averaging from 250 to 300 men. The demesnes attached to the castle include the royal park and gardens; the Ladies' Hill; the Valley, a level inclosure in which tournaments and other feats of chivalry were formerly celebrated for the entertainment of the court; the Ballingeich road; the Gowling Hills; and a few houses in that part of the town called the Castle Hill. These, with the exception of the Valley, constitute what is styled the constabulary, under the management of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests. The castle, which for some centuries consisted only of a single tower, has, from frequent additions and improvements, been greatly improved, and is now one of the most splendid buildings of the kind in the kingdom. The principal entrance was once defended by four massive circular towers, of which, however, two only, and those now much reduced in height, are remaining. From its elevated situation on a precipitous rock rising abruptly from the surrounding plain, the view obtained from this entrance is singularly interesting, embracing a vast expanse of Highland scenery including the lofty summits of the mountains of Benvoirlich, Benledi, Benvenue, and Ben-Lomond. The intermediate tracts of country are embellished with stately mansions, villages, and hamlets; enriched with woods and thriving plantations, and enlivened with the meandering courses of the rivers Allan, Teith, and Forth, flowing through a fertile plain bounded on the one side by the Campsie hills, and on the other by the Ochils. This entrance leads into a spacious quadrangle, where are the remains of the stately palace of James V., the parliament house, now converted into barracks, and the chapel royal: in the centre of the quadrangle is a court still retaining the name of the Lion's Den. From this a low gateway leads into the Nether Bailiery, in which are the magazines and offices belonging to the castle, and from which an old gateway, anciently the principal entrance, opens into a narrow path conducting to the town. Between the town and the fortress is the esplanade, on the south and west of which is the King's Park; here the Stirling races are regularly held, the course having been preserved from being ploughed, by a clause inserted in the lease of the tenant. Immediately under the castle walls, on the south side, are the royal gardens, in which is a circular mound of moderate elevation, called the "King's Knot," surrounded by a concentric bank at the distance of a few feet, of nearly equal height: this mound and bank served as seats for the king and the nobility, in the celebration of the sports of the Knights of the Round Table, in honour of King Arthur. Beyond, for some distance, is a plain inclosed by the traces of what was formerly a canal. The banks of the Castle Hill are here richly-wooded, and have been laid out with great taste as a promenade, which, at almost every step, both in its ascent and descent, commands an interesting prospect of picturesque and romantic scenery. The castle itself, also, from the stately magnificence of its remains, and the rich style of its architecture, abounding with beautiful details, as well as from its situation on the acclivities and summit of a rock, forms a striking feature in the landscape.

The town is finely situated on the south bank of the river Forth, and consists of numerous well-formed streets, several of them of modern date and handsome appearance. King-street is a wide and spacious thoroughfare, in which are the market-places, numerous substantial houses, and some of the public buildings; and a new street opened in 1840 forms a communication with Bridge-street, leading to a bridge of five arches over the Forth, to the north of the town, on a line with the great north road. Beyond this, at a little distance, is an ancient bridge of four arches over the same river, which, preserving much of its original character, has a very picturesque aspect. Spittal-street, conducting to St. John's-street, in which are the church and an old hospital; and Baker-street, in a parallel direction; are both good streets, though the latter is in some parts steep and narrow, and contains several houses of very ancient date. Broad-street is spacious, and has at one extremity the unfinished palace of the Earl of Mar, hereditary governor of the castle, commenced in 1570, and built with the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey. In the Castle Wynd is the mansion called Argyll House, now occupied as an hospital for the garrison, a spacious quadrangular building erected in 1632 by Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Stirling, and which subsequently became the property of the Duke of Argyll, who entertained James II. of England for some time in it when Duke of York, and whose descendant held his council of war here during the rebellion of 1715. The streets are well paved, and lighted with gas; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from public wells, under the superintendence of the corporation.

The Stirling Subscription Library, founded in 1805, and supported by a proprietary of shareholders, has a collection of more than 4000 volumes on general literature, and is annually augmented: this library is kept in the Athenæum, a handsome building with a lofty spire, in King-street, erected in 1817, and of which a part is occupied as a public reading-room. There are also some circulating libraries. The School of Arts was instituted in 1826, for the promotion of mechanical study and improvement in the arts and sciences: it has a library of 1000 well-chosen books, a museum, some philosophical apparatus, and a theatre for the delivery of lectures during the winter; it is well supported by subscription, and has about 200 proprietary members. Two weekly newspapers are published, the Stirling Observer on Thursday, and the Stirling Journal on Friday; and both maintain an extensive circulation in the surrounding district. A medical society has been recently established by the practitioners in the town and vicinity, for the promotion of literature, and the general pursuits of science, connected with the profession. A horticultural society was founded here in 1812, and an agricultural association in 1834; and in 1840, an appropriate building was erected by Messrs. Drummond as an agricultural museum, which contains an extensive collection of specimens of seeds, roots, grains, minerals, implements of every variety, improvements in draining-tiles, and every thing else connected with the study and promotion of husbandry. The approach to the town from St. Ninian's is through a pleasing tract of country, embellished with handsome mansions and picturesque villas, adorned by thriving plantations; and the public promenade called the Back Walk, on the south of the Castle Hill, tastefully laid out in 1723 by Mr. Edmondstone, of Cambus-Wallace, and subsequently much improved, is a favourite place of public resort.

The woollen-manufacture, which since 1830 has very greatly increased, is now the principal branch of trade; while the cotton-manufacture, which was previously extensive, has become inconsiderable. There are three large steam-mills for the spinning of woollen yarn, in which about 170 persons are employed, and nearly 700 are occupied in weaving at their own dwellings; the articles manufactured at present are, tartans, shawl-pieces, and other similar goods. The weaving of carpets is carried on to a moderate extent. There are several dyeing establishments, and rope-making is also conducted on a tolerable scale; coach-building is pursued to a considerable extent, affording employment to more than a hundred persons; there are tanneries and some large malting establishments, and the manufacture of soap and candles is conducted with success. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the various other trades necessary for the supply of the neighbourhood; and there are numerous handsome shops, well stocked with all the articles of merchandise required for the use and convenience of the inhabitants; and also some hotels for the reception of the families and visiters who, during the summer and autumn, make Stirling their temporary residence. Of these, the Royal Hotel, a spacious and elegant building erected in 1840, in front of the Friars' Wynd, and containing very superior accommodations, forms an ornament to the town. The market, on Friday, is abundantly supplied with grain, and with provisions of every kind. Fairs for cattle and horses are held on the Friday before Old Hansel Monday; the first Fridays in February, March, April, May, August, and November; the second Friday in December, the third in September, and the last in May: there are also hiring-markets on the last Friday in March, and the third in October. The Corn Exchange, where the grain market is held, is a spacious edifice of recent erection, containing above the area a stately apartment for public meetings; and the branch establishments of the Commercial Bank, in Spittal-street, the Bank of Scotland, in King-street, and the National Bank, in Baker-street, are all substantial buildings. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads which pass through the town and parish, and by steamers plying constantly between the town and Newhaven, of which never less than two, and often three, are continually in attendance. The port of Stirling, a member of that of Alloa, carries on an extensive trade in grain, of which considerable quantities are shipped from this place; and there is a mode-rate extent of foreign trade, consisting chiefly in the importation of timber from Norway, and bark from Holland. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port is twenty-two, varying from fifty to 350 tons in burthen; of these, two are employed in the foreign trade, and the others in the coasting-trade, and to ports within the United Kingdom. The harbour is formed by a bend in the Forth, and has a good quay for the loading and unloading of vessels; but the navigation of the river is much impeded by shallows, which retard the approach of vessels of great burthen, and a plan is now being carried out for deepening the river, and consequently improving the trade of the port, and promoting the prosperity of the adjacent district. The salmon-fishery has been long carried on with success, and is still a lucrative pursuit; the rents of the several fisheries in the parish amount to about £770 per annum. Salmon are found also in the river Teith, beyond the limits of the parish; the salmon taken in the Forth are sent chiefly to the Edinburgh and London markets. Several railways have been projected, to pass through or near the town.

The inhabitants received a charter of incorporation from Alexander I., constituting the town a royal burgh, to which he afterwards added the privileges of a merchant-guild; and by another charter he exempted them from tolls and customs throughout the kingdom. These charters were confirmed, with additional grants, by David II.; the fisheries of the Forth, and the right of levying small customs, were added by Robert II.; and subsequently, by charter of James IV., the inhabitants were invested with the customs on salt and leather, and the right of appointing a sheriff within the burgh. By charter of Mary, Queen of Scots, they obtained a grant of lands, tenements, and buildings, and of the churches, chapels, and colleges founded within the liberties, and various other immunities and privileges, all which were ratified by charter of Charles I. in 1641. This charter continued in force till the year 1773, when the burgh was disfranchised by a decree of the Court of Session. It was, however, soon afterwards restored by the king in council, who also made several alterations in the constitution, and vested the government in a provost, four bailies, a dean of guild, a convener, and fourteen other councillors, in all twenty-one, of whom fourteen were chosen from the merchant-guild, and seven from the incorporated trades. By act of the 3rd and 4th of William IV., the government is now vested in a provost, four bailies, a treasurer, and fifteen town-councillors; the provost in all public proceedings is, under charter of James IV., styled the high-sheriff, and the bailies are called sheriffs. They exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction within the burgh, and hold courts twice in the week, for the trial of offences, and the determination of pleas, in which they are assisted by the town-clerk, who acts as assessor; and one of the magistrates attends daily for the hearing of cases under the police. The revenue of the corporation arises from the tolls and customs of the bridge and port, the markets, and the fisheries; and they have the patronage of the church, the burgh schools, and charitable institutions. There are seven incorporated trades, viz., the hammermen, weavers, tailors, shoemakers, skinners, bakers, and fleshers, the admission fees to which vary from £1. 10. to £3. 10. for sons of freemen, from £5 to £15 for apprentices, and from £20 to £50 for strangers. The police is under the superintendence of the magistrates of the burgh, which is divided for this purpose into four wards, over each of which one of the bailies presides; the force consists of four serjeants and thirty-six constables. The chief officer of the county police has also his principal station in the town.

The sessions for the county are held in the town-hall, a spacious and handsome building in Broad-street, with a lofty steeple in which are a clock and a chime of musical bells. It contains the council-chamber, with the various apartments for transacting the public business of the burgh, and the several court-rooms; and the standard pint measure, called the Stirling Jug, an ancient vessel of brass, in the form of a truncated cone, and weighing 15lb. troy, is preserved here. The old gaol, situated in St. John's-street, though secure, was ill adapted for the classification of the prisoners, and a new gaol has consequently been erected, on a very extensive scale, and in a more eligible situation than the former building. The elective franchise, under the provisions of the Reform act, is vested in the £10 householders resident within the parliamentary boundaries, which include certain parts of the adjoining parish of St. Ninian's. The number of householders of £10 and upwards is about 550, of whom 221 are burgesses; and the number of householders of the value of £5 and upwards, but under £10, is 401, of whom ninety-seven are burgesses. The burgh is associated with Dunfermline, Culross, Inverkeithing, and Queensferry, in returning a member to the imperial parliament.

The parish is two miles in length from west to east, and about one mile and a half from north to south, and comprises an area of 1030 acres; it is of very irregular form, determined by the winding of the river Forth on the north, and on the east deeply indented by the parish of St. Ninian's. The surface is beautifully varied, rising gradually from the south-east to an elevation of more than 200 feet towards the north-west, and terminating in the precipitous rock crowned by the castle, which, especially when viewed from the south and west, presents an object of venerable grandeur. The soil of the rural district of the parish is generally a carse land, but in the King's Park, which has an undulating surface, is warm and dry, and well adapted for oats, barley, and turnips; the whole is in a high state of cultivation, and, with the exception of that portion which forms the constabulary of the castle, is divided into farms of about 100 acres. The farm-buildings are suited to the size of the farms, are comfortable, and in good repair; and under the encouragement of the Agricultural Society, every improvement in draining, manuring, and managing the lands, and in the breeds of sheep and cattle, has been brought to the highest perfection. The prevailing timber is oak, ash, elm, beech, alder, and plane, of which, in various parts of the parish, there are many fine specimens; and the plantations, which are extensive and flourishing, add greatly to the beauty of the scenery. The river Forth, receiving in its approach to this place the waters of the Teith and Allan, attains a tolerable breadth, and, flowing in beautiful windings along the shores, forms a feature of great interest in the landscape; it abounds with salmon, grilse, smelts, pike, perch, trout, eels, and other fish, and is navigable for vessels of seventy tons to the bridge of Stirling. The rocks are of basaltic formation, and coal is abundant, though no mines are in operation within a less distance than two miles; greenstone and sandstone are also found. In the coal formation are thin strata of ironstone, and in the greenstone, veins of calcareous spar. Clay is also abundant, occurring in beds of great thickness, of which one has been ascertained to be more than seventy feet in depth: in this seam were lately found imbedded, at the depth of fourteen feet, the antlers of a deer, and at a depth of twenty feet, the scull of a dog, both in perfect preservation. The rateable annual value of the parish is £15,285.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Stirling and synod of Perth and Stirling, the former of which has its seat here, and the latter alternately at this place and at Perth. From the time of the Reformation till 1607 the parish was under the care of only one minister; but in that year a second was appointed, to whom a fixed stipend was granted by the corporation in 1643; and subsequently to 1731, upon petition from the inhabitants, a third minister was for some years maintained, who officiated in the western portion of the church, while the first and second ministers did duty alternately in the eastern. Upon the deposition of this third minister, however, in 1740, for secession, the Western church was used only on sacramental occasions, for the accommodation of such as could not find room in the Eastern church, till 1817, when the third charge was revived, and the Western church re-opened. Under the present arrangement, the minister of the first charge officiates in the Eastern church, and the minister of the second charge in the Western: the minister of the third charge till lately officiated alternately in both, as colleague to the first and second ministers; but a new church has been just erected for the third minister, and each has now his own separate congregation and parochial district. The stipend of the first minister is £348. 17. 10., with an allowance of £40 in lieu of manse, and a glebe of about five acres; the stipend of the second minister is £250, and that of the third £200, both paid by the Corporation, who are the patrons. The church of the Franciscan monastery founded by James IV. in 1494, is now appropriated as the parish church; it is an ample and handsome structure in the decorated English style of architecture, with a massive tower rising from the west end to the height of ninety feet. The nave is divided from the aisles by ranges of light clustered columns supporting the lofty roof. The eastern portion, of circular form, and said to have been added to the original structure by Cardinal Beaton, is embellished with a spacious window of elegant design; and the west window of the nave, which is also of large dimensions, is enriched with delicate tracery, and ornamented with stained glass. The building forms one of the finest specimens of its style in this part of the country. The interior was divided in 1656 into two distinct places of worship, called respectively the East and West church, and the whole was put into a complete state of repair in 1817; the East church contains 1187, and the West 1177, sittings. The Spittal-square church, originally belonging to a congregation of the Old-Light Burgher synod, was lately in connexion with the Established Church; the minister was supported by the seatrents and collections. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, the United Secession, Cameronians, Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists, and an Episcopalian and a Roman Catholic chapel. Stirling has no parochial schools strictly so called, but there are four schools under the patronage of the corporation, in which nearly 500 children receive instruction. Of these, the High or Grammar school is under the direction of a rector, who receives a salary of £50 per annum, and an allowance of £20 for an assistant; the writing-school, in which, also, are taught arithmetic, book-keeping, the mathematics, navigation, and various other branches, is under the care of a master who has a salary of £50 a year; and the masters of the first and second English schools have each a similar sum. These salaries are all paid by the corporation, who appoint the masters. There are numerous other schools in the parish, of which some are partly supported by the corporation, and others exclusively by the fees.

Spittal's Hospital was founded in 1530 by Robert Spittal, who endowed it with funds that were vested in land now producing an income of about £400 per annum, for the relief of decayed members of the several incorporated trades. The objects of the charity formerly lived in the house called the Trades' House in Spittal-square: about seventy-four individuals now receive a weekly allowance each varying from one shilling and sixpence to two shillings and sixpence. Cowane's Hospital was founded in 1639, by John Cowane, merchant, who endowed it with £2222, which sum was vested in the purchase of land now producing £2000 per annum, for the support of twelve decayed members of the merchants' guild, for whose reception a building was soon afterwards erected. As few, however, could be prevailed upon to reside in the house, the income is distributed by the corporation among 140 out-pensioners in weekly payments varying from one shilling and sixpence to eight shillings, and among eleven who receive quarterly payments varying from £1 to £2. 10. The hospital, which is situated close by the church, is a handsome building with a statue of the founder in front, and is crowned with battlements and pinnacles; the lower apartment is used as the guildhall, and the upper as a schoolroom. Allan's Hospital was founded in 1724 by John Allan, who endowed it with £1666. 13., which were vested in lands yielding £300 per annum, for the maintenance, clothing, education, and apprenticeship of sons of indigent tradesmen. A house was built in Spittal-street, in which the boys were formerly boarded, and taught by the master; but this arrangement was afterwards altered, and the lower part of the building is now occupied as schoolrooms, and the upper let out in tenements. About twenty-three boys are educated on this foundation. Alexander Cunningham, merchant of the town of Stirling, in the year 1809, bequeathed the residue of his estate, amounting to £5724. 11. 2., for the maintenance, clothing, education, and apprenticeship of sons of guild-merchants and mechanics, of whom about twenty receive the benefits of the endowment. The dispensary was established in 1830, and is supported by subscription, under the direction of a committee; the medical department is under the management of a surgeon and three consulting physicians, and it is open three days in the week, such of the patients as are unable to attend being visited at their own homes. Among the eminent persons once connected with this place, in addition to those previously noticed, are, Dr. Robert Pollock, the first principal of Edinburgh College; Dr. Henry, the historian; and Dr. John Moore, author of Views of Society and Manners in France, Italy, and the Continent, and father of the gallant General Sir John Moore, who fell at the battle of Corunna.—See the article on Cambuskenneth.

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