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Forfar

Forfar

Forfar, lies at the east end of the Loch of Forfar in the valley of Strathmore, and is 13 miles North by Eeast of Dundee. On a gravel bank or spit in the north-west of the loch stood a castle which was sometimes used as a residence by Margaret, queen of Malcolm Canmore. The staple industries were linen and jute manufactures, but brewing, tanning, bleaching, rope-making and iron-founding were also carried on.

Forfar is at least as old as the time of Malcolm Canmore, for the first parliament after the defeat of Macbeth met in the old castle, which stood on a mound on the northern side of the town. The parliaments of William the Lion, Alexander II. and Robert II. also assembled within its walls. The town, which was created a royal burgh by David I., was burnt down about the middle of the 13th century. Edward I. captured the castle on one of his incursions, but in 1307 Robert Bruce seized it, put its defenders to the sword and then destroyed it, its site being now marked by the town cross. Previous to the Feign of James VI. the weekly market was held on Sunday, but after the union of the crowns parliament enacted that it should be held on Friday.

The town sided with Charles I. during the Civil War, and Charles II. presented the Cross to it out of regard for the loyalty shown to his father. Forfar seems to have played a less reputable part in the persecution of witches. In 1661 a crown commission was issued for'the trial of certain miserable creatures, many of whom were condemned to be burnt. In the same year one John Ford for his services as a witch-finder was admitted a burgess along with Lord Kinghorne. The witches' bridle, a gag to prevent them from speaking, whilst being led to execution, is still preservedl. One mile to the East lie the ruins of Restenneth Priory, where a son of Robert Bruce was buried.



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