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Peterhead is situated on the east coast of Scotland and is built of the red granite for which it is famous. It was a major herring fishing port and formerly had an extensive trade with the ports of the Baltic, the Levant and America, and was once a sub-port to Aberdeen, but was made independent in 1832. It was also for a long period the chief seat of the Greenland trade, but the Arctic seal and whale fishery is now extinct.

The town and lands belonged of old to the Abbey of Deer built in the 13th century by William Comyn, earl of Buchan but when the abbey was erected into a temporal lordship in the family of Keith the superiority of the town passed to the earl marischal, with whom it continued till the forfeiture of the earldom in 1716.

Peterhead, made a burgh of barony by George Keith, fifth earl marischal, was the scene of the landing of the Pretender on Christmas Day 1715.

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