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Introduction to the

Town History of Montrose

Montrose has a very old history. The charter for the town was granted by King David I, though it is now lost, while early place names show the existence of a Norse settlement in the present harbour area. A mediaeval church, on the site of the present Old Church, together with a hospital date from the 13th century. In 1329, the year of his death, King Robert the Bruce donated money to a teacher, the earliest record of the school, now Montrose Academy.

Montrose had a prominent role at the Reformation. John Erskine of Dun, George Wishart and Andrew Melville were important reformers, while John Knox celebrated the first protestant communion at Erskine's country house. In the troubled period of the 17th and 18th centuries, the town made important contributions. James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, signed the National Covenant, but switched to the King's side only to be captured and executed in Edinburgh. The 1715 Jacobite rebellion ended when King James escaped back to France from Montrose. A Jacobite army moved through the town in 1745 and the following February the largest naval battle of the war was fought in Montrose Harbour.

Since then Montrose has been more sedate. Trade with the Baltic, whaling, flax spinning have all been major industries. Now oil and pharmaceuticals provide work. But Montrose continues to flourish with a history stretching back a thousand vears.

If you're looking for pictures of old Montrose, then visit Tom Valantine's pages.

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