Record

CodeNA7303
Dates1599-1975
Person NameRoyal Burgh of Arbroath; 1599-1975
ActivityArbroath owes its development to the abbey founded in 1178 by William I, who granted the monks the right to establish a burgh with a port and a weekly market. Founded as a burgh of regality, the town underwent a change of status after the Reformation, which saw the removal of the abbot and convent as its superior lords and the introduction of a secular commendator in their place. Arbroath was created a royal burgh in 1599 by James VI (1567-1625). The abbey was formally dissolved in 1608, though even before this it had become a vast stone quarry. By the 18th century, when the town council condemned the practice of robbing the abbey buildings of their stone, a large part of the burgh had already been built out of the monastery's fabric.

In 1836 the burgh adopted most of the provisions of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV c.46), giving resposibility for watching, paving, lighting and cleansing in Arbroath to a body of twelve police commissioners, nine of whom were to be elected by the householders. In 1866 the town adopted the whole of the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act 1862 (25 & 26 Vict. c 101), whereby the municipal and policing functions of the burgh were effectively unified under a single elected town council. This state of affairs was consolidated from January 1901 under the Town Councils (Scotland) Act 1900 (63 & 64 Vict., c. 49) which integrated fully the council's functions and gave the burgh's governing body the corporate style 'The provost, magistrates and councillors of the burgh of Arbroath'. The main industries in the town were fishing and fish processing: the Arbroath Smokie, a form of smoked haddock, is still famous today. There was also a certain amount of tourism. From 1930, in accordance with the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo. V c.25), Arbroath was classed as a large burgh and enjoyed powers comparable to those of the four cities, the main difference being that the education authority was the county council, which in Arbroath's case was Angus CC. Arbroath Town Council was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c. 65). Its powers were assumed by Tayside Regional Council and Angus District Council. These in turn were replaced by Angus Council in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39).
Corporate NameRoyal Burgh of Arbroath
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