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This page contains an edited extract from the following book. You are advised to read the original publication if you are seriously researching the content.

(An 'updated' version appears below.)

Extracts from Raphael Holinshed

An Historicall description of the lland of Britaine

The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland

1587

Of Boene, Anze, Buchquhane, Mar, Mernis, Fiffe, and Angus, with the 
Lakes, flouds, abbies, townes and other notable things conteined in the same.

 The Sixt Chapter.

. . .Next into Mar, we have Mernis toward the sea, a verie fat soile, full of pasture, and abundantlie replenished with every sort of cattell. In this portion standeth Dunnother the marshall of Scotlands house, and likewise the towne of Fordon, in which the bones of Palladius do rest, who is taken generalie for the apostle of our nation. The water of Eske is bound unto this region, which is otherwise called Northeske, a verie dangerous chanell, and wherein manie have perished for the default of a bridge, as they have attempted to passe and repasse over the same. Angus bordereth upon the Mernis, it was sometime part of Moreffa and now watered with thee notable rivers, and the Northeske alreadie mentioned, and marvellouslie replentished with salmons, likewise the Southeske; and finallie the Taie, the noblest water in all Scotland, and remembered by the Romane writers under the name of Tau.

            In Angus also is an high mounteine or promontorie, called the Red braes, which lieth out far off unto the Almaine seas. The Taie also riseth farre beyond the mounteins of Granpen out of loch Taie, which is a poole of 24 miles of length, and 10 of breadth, wherein are not onlie divers lands, with castles in them, but the water of the lake it selfe (being most fine and subtle) is notablie replenished with great droze of fish, and therefore verie commodious to such as dwell about it. It falleth into the Almaine Sea before Dundee, a towne called in old times Aledun, wherein twas borne, and in which the people travel[1] verie painfullie about about weaving and making of cloth. There are in Angus also manie other cities and rich abbeies, as Mountros, Brechin and Forfaire, beside so manie castels as lieth not mane to number[2]. This likewise is not to be passed over with silence, that whereas Forfaire was in times past a notable citie, strengthened with two rotall castels, as the ruines doo yet declare, now it is brought unto little more than a countrie village, replenished with simple cotagers. Manie lakes & pooles are also in Angus, and those well fraught with fish. There is also in this countrie one place called the vale of Eske, whose sheepe have such white, fine, and excellent wool, as the like unto it is lardlie to be found againe within the whole land.

 
[1] travail
[2] literally “too many to number”

 . .  and now an 'updated' version . .(if you disagree with any, please advise!) . .  

Extracts from Raphael Holinshed

A Historical description of the land of Britain
The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland

1587

Of Boyne, [Anze?], Buchan, Mar, Mearns, Fife, and Angus with the lochs,
floods, abbeys, towns and other notable things contained in the same.

The Sixth Chapter.

Next into Mar, we have Mearns towards the sea, a very fat (rich?) soil, full of pasture, and abundantly replenished with every sort of cattle. In this portion stands Dunnottar, the Earl Marischal of Scotland's house (Castle), and likewise the town of Fordoun, where the bones of Palladius rest, he who is generally taken as the apostle of our nation.

The Water of Esk is bound unto this region, which is otherwise called Northesk, a very dangerous channel, and where many have perished for the lack of a bridge, as they have attempted to pass and re-pass over the same. Angus borders the Mearns, it was at one time part of [Moravia?] Morayshire and now watered with three notable rivers: the Northesk already mentioned, marvellously replenished with salmon, likewise the Southesk, and finally the Tay, the noblest water in all Scotland and remembered by the Roman writers under the name of Tau.

In Angus is also a high mountain or promontory called the Red Braes [the coastal cliffs north of Arbroath towards Montrose?] which lies far off unto the [German Ocean) North Sea.  The Tay also rises far beyond the Grampian Mountains out of Loch Tay, which is a pool 24 miles long and 10 broad, wherein are not only diverse lands with castles on them, but the water of the lake [loch] itself (being most fine and subtle) is notably replenished with great shoals of fish, and therefore very commodious to those as dwell about it.

It falls into the Almain Sea [German Ocean] North Sea before Dundee, a town called in old times Aledun, wherein it was borne, and in which the people very painfully about weaving and making of cloth.  There are also many other cities and rich abbeys, as Montrose, Brechin, and Forfar, beside so many castles as are too many to number here.

This is likewise is not to be quietly passed over, that whereas Forfar was in times past a notable city, fortified by two royal castles as the ruins do yet declare, now it is little more than a country village, replenished with simple cottagers.  Many lochs and pools are also in Angus and those are well fraught with fish. There is also in this countryside one place called the Vale of Esk, whose sheep have such fine, white and excellent wool that the like is hardly to be found elsewhere within the whole land.

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This page was updated - 09 December, 2014