Record

CodeNA6920
Dates1631-1975
Person NameRoyal Burgh of Newburgh; 1631-1975
ActivityNewburgh (Fife) was a royal burgh by 1631, although as it was never represented at Parliament or admitted to the Convention of Royal Burghs it was one of four inactive royal burghs in Fife. It had been a burgh dependent on the abbey of Lindores, from 1266, and in 1600 it was erected a burgh of regality for Patrick Leslie, son of the commendator of Lindores.

Royal burghs normally had elected councillors who looked after the burgh's interests, but only a small number of inhabitants had the right to vote in the council elections or to be a councillor. Burgh courts were held, which had some civil and criminal jurisdiction, although these competencies were eroded as time passed and the cases were increasingly petty local disputes. The franchise for parliamentary elections was radically changed in 1832, and the Royal Burghs (Scotland) Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV, c.76) imitated the change for the election of councillors. In 1858 Newburgh became a police burgh when it adopted certain sections of the General Police (Scotland) Act 1850 (13 & 14 Vict., c.33): the Act was adopted partly as the burgh wished to retain its own police force rather than amalgamate with the County force. In the late nineteenth century the linoleum industry replaced weaving as the main source of employment, although there was a certain amount of trade through the harbour. The population was 2,182 in 1871, and 2,062 in 1971. Newburgh Town Council was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c.65). Its powers were assumed by Fife Regional Council and North East Fife District Council. These in turn were replaced by Fife Council in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c.39)
Corporate NameRoyal Burgh of Newburgh
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