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The Author has frequently felt surprised at, and deeply regretted, the extreme ignorance of working-men as regards the description and history of the county of which they were natives; notwithstanding the torrent of books that issues from the press. The surprise vanishes, however, when we reflect that such works as have been written on the subject are, to the working-man, virtually sealed books; as none of them can be had under one, two, or even five pounds sterling. To avoid this expense, and supply the requisite information, are the objects he has in view.

Before we dabble into politics, arts, or sciences, we should be familiar with the geography and history of our own kingdom and county. These form the only sure foundation on which to erect the future superstructure; they do so by laying open an inexhaustible source of intellectual materials, by which much time and labour bestowed under opposite circumstances are saved.

The present work has not been hastily got up.

A residence of 35 years under favourable circumstances, in three important parishes, has enabled the Author to inspect most of the other parishes, towns, villages, estates, and public works at his leisure. The information of such as were not personally visited, was collected from written correspondence with the

authorities, clergy, teachers, or leading individuals, besides assistance derived from the most approved Guides, and other unexceptionable


It will be found to contain a mass of interesting historical anecdotes, narratives, and graphic sketches, illustrative of former ages--moral, political, commercial, and agricultural.

Much attention has been bestowed on all the prominent parts relative to Malcolm Canmore, Bruce, Wallace, all the James's, Queen Mary, Elizabeth Stuart of Falkland, who formed the root of her present Majesty's dynasty; and other conspicuous characters who performed their parts in the eventful dramas of their respective times.

A rapid though clear summary of history has been given. The work, though concise in language, and occasionally abrupt, will be found to be comprehensive, and complete in all its parts.

The work being written entirely for the operative class, its style, construction, and unavoidable digressions, were adopted to suit those whose education and opportunities were limited. To have done otherwise, with the limited space at command, would have been to put algebra into the hands of children. It was only by availing himself of an abstract, chronological, and irrelative arrangement, that the Author has been enabled to condense an incredible quantity of matter, and thereby instruct, amuse, and lead the reader, when so inclined, to larger works on the subject, though not without sacrificing the elegant graces of composition at the shrine of expediency.

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For the statistical parts of the work, the Author feels himself under a deep sense of obligation to Mr Dawson, author of "The Statistical History of Scotland," for permission to make extracts from his invaluable work; as also to Messrs Fullerton, publishers of The Gazetteer of Scotland," for the same privilege, as regards abridged anecdotes, narratives, and other interesting matter; and to many other authors who have kindly given their aid at a time he least expected it; aware, however, that the Author was now an invalid.

The following list of authors, alphabetically aranged, represents those quoted in the work; the passages from which will be duly taken notice of, unless in mixed ones, where the language of two or more, with that of the Author, render it impossible: but to avoid an endless repetition, the name of each authority will alone be given, by which space will be husbanded.


Anderson's Guide-In reference to cattle, &c.

do. Geology of Fifeshire.
Arnot's History of Edinburgh.
Bald, on the Coal Field of Clackmannan-In Wer. Mem. vol. 3.
Bárbour's History of Scotland.
Bede's History of the Saxons, Scots, &c.
Board of Trade Returns--referring to Manufactures.
Black’s Picturesque Tourist.
Boece's History-- 1526.
Boethius's History of Scotland.
Boyce's History of Scotland.
Buchanan's History of Scotland.
Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise on Geology.
Census for 1851–by Eyre and Spottiswood, London.

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