Shipping, pp.xxviii-xxix.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

The shipping of Scotland, at a comparatively recent period, was inconsiderable; and even so late as 1656, comprised only 137 vessels, of from 250 to 300 tons each; and aggregately, 5,736 tons. In 1760, the vessels employed in the foreign and coasting trade, and in fisheries, were 999 in number, and 53,913 in tonnage. In 1800, the number was 2,415, carrying 171,728 tons, and employing 14,820 seamen. In 1828, the number carrying more than 100 tons each was 983, the number carrying less than 100 tons each was 2,160, and the aggregate tonnage of both classes was 300,836. Of this gross amount of tonnage, Aberdeen claimed 46,587 tons; Greenock, 37,786; Glasgow, 36,220; Leith, 26,107; Grangemouth, 24,635; Dundee, 24,227; Montrose, 15,778; Irvine, 14,230; Dumfries, 12,283; Kirkcaldy, 11,540; Borrowstounness, 8,740; Port-Glasgow, 7,155; Banff, 6,431; Inverness, 5,092; Anstruther, 4,130; Perth, 4,116; Kirkwall, 3,247; Stornoway, 3,133; Campbeltown, 3,088; Lerwick, 2,622; Thurso, 2,241; and Stranraer, 1,448. A considerable increase has been made in the aggregate amount, and a very material change has occurred in the distribution since 1828; and both will be best seen in a tabular view, of the number of ships belonging to Scottish ports on the 31st of December, 1835, and of the amount of tonnage, and number of hands. 

Ports. Ships. Tons. Men. 
Glasgow, 312 58,478 4,321 
Dundee and Perth, 387 44,869 3,002 
Aberdeen, 359 41,743 3,095 
Greenock, 367 42,722 2,723 
Leith, 227 23,558 1,786 
Grangemouth, 184 22,887 1,239 
Montrose, 181 18,012 1,133 
Kirkcaldy, 179 13,493 1,301 
Irvine and Ayr, 128 13,393 889 
Dumfries, 192 11,798 779 
Borrowstounness, 121 8,452 488 
Inverness, 160 7,597 630 
Port-Glasgow, 50 7,500 400 
Kirkwall, 77 4,218 323 
Banff, 75 4,218 322 
Lerwick, 101 3,967 744 
Thurso, 40 2,573 180 
Stornoway, 56 2,302 231 
Campbeltown, 54 2,251 203 
Stranraer, 37 1,789 135 
Total. 3,287 335,820 23,924 

On the 31st December, 1840, the number of vessels belonging to Scotland was 3,479, of an aggregate tonnage of 429,204 tons, and manned by 28,428 men. The number of vessels built in Scotland, in the year ending 5th January, 1841, was 263, of an aggregate tonnage of 42,322 tons. – Steam navigation, which was introduced, or for the first time successfully experimented, in 1812, and which, for many years, was comparatively tiny and timid, has, for about 14 years past, received rapid increase, undergone great improvements, and singularly enhanced the country’s commerce. Steam-vessels of all descriptions, from the superb ship of 400 tons or upwards, to the sturdy tug-boat or the toy-like shallop, almost everywhere smoke along the coast, or athwart the friths, or across the ferries. Their number, in 1838, – their tonnage, exclusive of engine-room, – and their distribution among the several ports, will be best stated in a table. 

 Ships. Tons. 
Aberdeen, 13 2,630 
Alloa, 352 
Campbeltown, 311 
Dumfries, 160 
Dundee, 10 1,773 
Glasgow, 53 5,491 
Greenock, 186 
Inverness, 18 
Irvine, 58 
Kirkcaldy, 286 
Leith, 1,225 
Montrose, 469 
Perth, 19 
Port-Glasgow, 54 
Stranraer, 221 
Wigton, 146 
Total, 106 13,399 

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