|Activity||Fortrose, more commonly called Chanonry or Chanonry of Ross until 17th century, was the cathedral town of the former diocese of Ross. Situated in the parish of Rosemarkie, the town lay successively within the sheriffdom of Inverness to 1661, the county of Ross 1661-1889, and the county of Ross & Cromarty 1889-1975. It was erected into a free burgh in 1455 for the bishops of Ross, but at the same time was annexed to the existing episcopal burgh of Rosemarkie, 1.5km to the north-east. The two burghs lapsed to the crown after the Reformation, but their relationship initially remained the same: although Chanonry was re-constituted as a royal burgh in its own right in 1590, charters from 1592 to 1642 confirmed that it was annexed and subordinate to the royal burgh of Rosemarkie. It was only Rosemarkie's economic decay that prompted parliament to transfer the principal burghal rights to Fortrose, and after 1661 a more unified burgh under the name of and dominated by Fortrose emerged. |
Remaining a royal burgh, Fortrose became a police burgh in 1867 under the terms of the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act 1862 (25 & 26 Vict, c 101), governed by a provost, 3 baillies, a dean of guild, a treasurer and 9 councillors who acted as police commissioners. For its parliamentary representation it united with Inverness, Forres, and Nairn to return one MP. After adopting the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892 (55 & 56 Vict., c.55) the town was governed by a provost, two bailies, and seven other commissioners. From 1930 it was classed as a small burgh under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo. V, c.25), and retained this status until 1975, in which year Fortrose Town Council was abolished under the terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c. 65). Its powers were assumed by Highland Regional Council and Ross and Cromarty District Council. In turn these bodies were replaced by Highland Council in 1996 in conformity with the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39). The earliest extant records date from 1455. The burgh's population stood at 1,148 in 1851 and 869 in 1881, and at the 1971 census, the last conducted before the town council's abolition, it was 1,081.