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THIS is the most northerly but one of the counties of Scotland,
and is bordered on the north and we3t by the Atlantic Ocean,
which accounts for the rugged and deeply indented coasts on
those two faces; it also has a coast line of 26 miles on the Moray
Firth on the south-east, and 18 miles along th9 Dornoch Firth
on the south, its remaining boundaries on the east and south
being the counties of Caithness and Boss respectively, but though
it possesses this extensive sea coast it has only one port of any
importance, viz. Dornoch, on the south-east coast; from east to
west it extends 62 miles, and from north to south 49 miles. It
has aii area of 2,027. 9 square miles, or 1,297,349 acres, exclusive
of 47,631 acres of water, 12,812 of foreshore, and 1,553 of tidal
water. The population in 1891 was 21,896, and in 1901, 10,247
males and 10,992 females; total, 21,239; the inhabited houses
in 1891 were 4,713, and in 1901, 4,760. In size it ranks as the
fifth, and in population as the twenty-ninth, of the counties of
Early History. — This northern county appears to have been held
by the Picts, and though the Romans penetrated here, there seems
to be no record of any permanent occupation by them. The
Dalriads in 767 fought the Picts at Forteviot, Perthshire, but
did not succeed in penetrating further, though in 843 their king
succeeded to the Pictish throne, and these northern tribesi had
to turn their attention to resisting the constant invasions of the
Danes, and were also frequently engaged in clan feuds. King
James I. made several expeditions to the north to control the
clans, but these feuds continued; early in the 15th century the
Lord of the Isles invaded this county, but wa3 defeated at the
Sands of Fleet, and in 1517 the Mackays made an incursion, but
were repulsed. These feuds continued up to the early part of
the 17th century, and in 1650 Montrose ravaged these parte.
Surface, Soil, Produce &c. — This large county consists almost
entirely of an uninterrupted succession of mountains, valleys
and morasses. The northern and western coasts are bold and
rocky, deeply indented by inlets and bays, and with many large
promontories, among which Cape Wrath, at the north- we stern
corner, is most prominent. The shire comprehends the political
districts of Strathnaver (anciently a county of itself), Assynt
and Sutherland, the first-named including the northern part, and
the two latter the southern. The interior is divided naturally
into three districts — the Eastern, the Middle and the Western.
The first is a level narrow strip of land on the east coast, sheltered
from the north by a ridge of mountains from 300 to 800 feet
high; the second is occupied by the four straths of the rivers
Helmsdale, Brora, Fleet and Oykel ; and the Western district,
which borders on the Atlantic, is wild and mountainous, abound-
ing in salt and fresh water lochs. The mountains of greatest
altitude in the shire are Ben More, 3,235; Ben Clebrig, 3,157 and
Ben Hope, 3,010 feet above the level of the sea. The large extent
of Sutherlandshire was the last district in Scotland subjected to the
dmprovements of modern times. Until about the close of the
last century it was a country lying in nearly the same condition
as it must have exhibited centuries before, and, in many respects,
was shut out from the progress of civilisation. The great barrier
to improvement was the dangerous narrow firths to be crossed,
and the total destitution of roads, either along the shore or into
the interior. Two circumstances at length brought about the
introduction of efficient measures of improvement. The first was
the exertions made by the noble family of Gower, and the second
was by Parliament, which agreed to advance a moiety of the
expense for certain roads and bridges in the Highlands. Breed-
ing of sheep is the great staple business of the shire, for which
its sheltered straths and swelling hills, as well as its climate,
eminently adapt it. The county rears many thousands of sheep,
mostly of the Cheviot breed, of which a great number are an-
nually exported. The soil, being of a sandy, open-bottomed
nature, bears excellent crops of oats, barley, turnips and clover.
The chief crops in 1902, as shown by the " Agricultural Beturns
for Great Britain," are — oats, 8,040 acres; barley or bere,
1,166; the total corn crops being 9,295; turnips and swedes,
3,001 acres ; potatoes, 1,673 ; total green crops, 4,746 ; hay,
5,463 acres; clover, sainfoin and grasses, not for hay, 5,086
acres; permanent pasture, 8,287 acres; the total area of land
being 1,297,849 acres, of which 883,372 acres are mountain and
heath (used *for grazing), and woods and plantations, 19,641.
The five stock in 1902 comprised — horses used solely for agri-
culture and brood mares, 2,225; other horses, 305; cows and
heifers in milk or in calf, 5,827; other cattle, 6,566; ewes
kept for breeding, 74,432; other sheep, 120,393; sows kept
for breeding 97; other pigs, 588. The exports of farm produce
have been much assisted by the erection of piers at Helmsdale
and other places on the coast, chiefly at the cost of the late
Duke of Sutherland. Coal has for many years been wrought at
Brora, and the production of coal m the county in 1901 was 5,73fr
tons, value £2,296. Sandstone was raised in 1901 to the extent
of 5,460 tons. From the fishing stations on the coast there
are annually exported immense quantities of herrings, besides
cod and ling. This county is almost devoid of manufactures,
the only works being at Brora and Rogart, at which places
tweeds, blankets &c. are made. Hand looms are, however, still
worked in many of the crofters' houses.
There are in Sutherlandshire twenty-three deer forests, in-
cluding that of Reay, the largest in Scotland, comprising 54,137
acres; the total acreage for the county is 381,563.
The chief rivers are the Brora, Borgie, Naver, Helmsdale, Halla-
dale, Laxford, Inchard, Inver, Shin, Fleet, Strathmore and Gruke;
the chief sea lochs, the Fleet, Glencoul, Glendhu, Inver and Lax-
ford, and the principal fresh water lochs are the Assynt, Cama,
Garbetbeg, Hope, Loyal, Meadie, Merkland, More, Naver, Shin
(17 miles long) and the Vevatie. The railway system belongs to
the Highland Bailway Company and comprises a line which,
coming north from Inverness, turns to the west when it reaches the
Dornoch Firth and enters this county at Invershin, runs due north
to Lairg, when it turns eastward to Golspie, runs up the coast
to Helmsdale, where it turns again to the west and north-west,
quitting the county near Forsinard station and proceeding to
Wick and Thurso; from the latter place steamers run to the
Orkney Islands.
Division, Bepresentation &c. — Sutherlandshire comprises 13
parishes and 15 entire and 2 parts of ecclesiastical parishes,
in the synod of Sutherland and Caithness. It contains only one
town, Dornoch, which is a royal and parliamentry burgh, joining
with Kirkwall, Wick, Dingwall, Tain a.nd Cromarty in returning
one representative, and the county at large sends* another. The
parliamentary constitm-ncv in 1903 numbered 2,770. The valua-
tion for 1897-8 was £95,793.
Frederick Neville Sutherland Leveson-Gower esq. Berkeley house,
Hay hill, Berkeley square, London W
Convener, Andrew Lindsay, Golspie
Vice-Convener, John Fraser, Helmsdale
Electoral Divisions with Names & Addresses.
Assynt, James Gordon, Lochinver
Burgh of Dornoch, G. R. Kennedy, Dornoch
Clyne, John Melville, Brora
Creieh (East), James F. Hardie, Skibo
Creieh (West), Alex. Mackenzie, Bonar Bridge
Dornoch (East), John Mackintosh, Proncy, Dornoch
Dornoch (West), George Mcintosh, Pitgrudy, Dornoch
Durness, John Fraser, Helmsdale
Eddrachillis, William Black, Gruids, Lairg
Farr, Alexander Grant, Dornoch
â– Golspie, John Nicol, Golspie
Golspie, Andrew Lindsay, Golspie
Kildonan (North), Robert R. Hill, Navidale, Helmsdale
Kildonan ( South i. Thomas Matheson, Gartvmore
Lairg, Hugh Macdonald, Balcharn, Lairg *
Loth, Andrew Ross, Brora
Rogart, A. S. Innes, Rogart
Stoer, John Mackay, Kirkton, Assynt
Strathy, Angus Morrison, Melvich
Tongue, John Mackav, Tongue
List of the Members of the County Council arranged alphabetically
with the Electoral Divisions for which they respectively sit.
Names & Electoral Divisions.
Black William, Eddrachillis
Fraser John, Durness
Gordon James, Assynt
Grant Alexander, Farr
Hardie James F. Creieh (East)
Hill Robert R. Kildonan (North)
Inne3 A. S. Rogart
Kennedy G. R. Burgh of Dornoch
Lindsay Andrew, Golspie
Macdonald Hugh, Lairg
Mcintosh George, Dornoch (West)
Mackay John, Stoer
Mackay John, Tongue
Mackenzie Alexander, Creieh (West)
Mackintosh John, Dornoch (East)
Matheson Thomas, Kildonan (South)
Melville John, Clyne
Morrison Angus, Strathy
Nicol John, Golspie
Ross Andrew, Loth
County Clerk, Archibald Argo, solicitor, Golspie
Clerk to the Committee, Archibald Argo

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