[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]
ROSEHEARTY, a fishing-village and burgh-of-barony, in the parish of Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire. It stands on the coast of the Moray frith, 4 miles west of Fraserburgh, 16 east by north of Banff, and 19 north-north-west of Peterhead. The herring-fishery, beginning about the middle of July, and ending about the last of August, employs at least 40 boats, each worked by 5 persons; and competes in prosperity with the best of the flourishing fisheries in the frith. The harbour of the village, in consequence of its being situated on an exposed part of the coast, and having so considerable a depth of water as 9 feet in neap and 14 in spring tides, may eventually become important; and, since 1810, when a discovery was made that the shore-dues belong, not to the superior, but to the feuars, it has been the principal occasion of the prosperity of the village. The revenue from the shore-dues, previous to 1810, never exceeded £3; but it afterwards gradually increased, and amounted, in 1819, to £52, and, in 1833, to £96. Some important improvements, either recent or contemplated, will add much to the harbour’s value. The exports are fish and grain; and the chief imports are coals, salt, and timber. A weekly market is held on Saturday. The village has a United Secession meeting-house. Rosehearty was erected into a burgh-of-barony in 1681; and possesses by charter the right of creating burgesses, of annually electing bailies, a dean-of-guild, a treasurer, and all other magistrates and officers necessary for its government, and even of deposing these magistrates “for reasonable causes, as shall seem expedient.” Yet it is de facto no burgh; has no police, no magistracy, not one public officer; and succumbs, in its pecuniary affairs, to the voluntary management of a few individuals who have the concurrence of the feuars. Even a tolbooth belonging to it has – nobody can tell how or when – become private property! Some mosses, 30 acres of links, 2 acres of ground at the harbour, and the harbour itself, constitute the burgh-property; but are burdened with a debt of £200. Population, in 1833, between 700 and 800. Houses of upwards of £10 yearly value, 23.