Table XVII.—Chief Ports (1905).
In and Out.
In and Out.
Shipbuilding.—Many of the most important improvements in the construction of ships, especially steam vessels, are due to the enterprise and skill of the Clyde shipbuilders, who, from the time of Robert Napier of Shandon (1791-1876), who built and engined the first steamers for the Cunard Company, formed in 1840, have enjoyed an unrivalled reputation for the construction of leviathan liners, both as regards mechanical appliances and the beauty and convenience of the internal arrangements. The principal Clyde yards are situated in the Glasgow district (Govan, Partick, Fairfield, Clydebank, Renfrew), Dumbarton, Port Glasgow and Greenock. At several of the ports on the lower firth, as at Ardrossan and Fairlie, famous for its yachts, the industry is also carried on. On the east coast the leading yards are at Leith, Kirkcaldy, Grangemouth, Dundee, Peterhead and Aberdeen, which, in the days of sailing ships, was renowned for its clippers built for the tea trade. There are yards also at Inverness.
Postal Service.—Towards the end of the 16th century the practice arose of regular communication by letter between the magistrates of the larger towns and the seat of government in Edinburgh. After the accession of James VI. to the throne of England, the necessity for an ordered method of intercourse between the Scottish capital and London became urgent, but the plans adopted involved extraordinary delay, for it not infrequently happened that there was an interval of two months between the despatch of a letter and the receipt of a reply. Such a leisurely fashion of transacting business soon grew intolerable, and in 1635 a system of relays was instituted which enabled the journey between the two cities to be accomplished in three days, the charge for a letter being 8d. The service was reorganized in 1662, and in 1711 the postal establishments of the United Kingdom, hitherto conducted independently in each country, were consolidated into one. When this reform was effected the cost of a letter to London was reduced to 6d. Three years before this date a local penny post had been provided in Edinburgh by private enterprise, carried on by a staff of seven persons, and after the success of this effort had been demonstrated the concern was taken over by the post office. Subsequently postal business stagnated, mainly owing to the greatly increased charges (the postage of a letter from London to Edinburgh is stated to have cost 1s. 4½d.), until the system of uniform penny postage came into operation. The telephones are mainly conducted by the post office and the National Telephone Company, but the corporation of Glasgow has a municipal service.
Religion.—The bulk of the population is Presbyterian, this form of Church government having generally obtained, in spite of persecution and other vicissitudes, since the Reformation. It is accepted equally by the Established Church, the United Free, the Free and other smaller Presbyterian bodies, the principal point distinguishing the first-named from the rest being that it accepts the headship of the sovereign. The Episcopal Church of Scotland, which is in communion with the Church of England, claims to represent the ancient Catholic Church of the country.
Parliamentary Government.—By the Act of Union in 1707 Scotland ceased to have a separate parliament, and its government was assimilated to that of England. In the parliament of Great Britain its representation was fixed at sixteen peers elected in Holyrood Palace by the peers of Scotland at each new parliament in the House of Lords, and at forty-five members in the House of Commons, the counties returning thirty and the burghs fifteen. The power of the sovereign to create new Scottish peerages lapsed at the Union, and consequently their number is a diminishing quantity. By the Reform Act of 1832 the number of Scottish representatives in the Commons was raised to fifty-three, the counties under a slightly altered arrangement returning thirty members as before, and the burghs, reinforced by the erection of various towns into parliamentary burghs, twenty-three; the second Reform Act (1867) increased the number to sixty, the universities obtaining representation by two members, while two additional members were assigned to the counties and three to the burghs; by the Redistribution of Seats Act in 1885 an addition of seven members was made to the representation of the counties and five to that of the burghs, the total representation being raised to seventy-two. The management of Scottish business in parliament has since 1885 been under the charge of the secretary for Scotland.
Law.—At the Union Scotland retained its old system of law and legal administration, a system modelled on that of France; but since the Union the laws of England and Scotland have been on many points assimilated, the criminal law of the two countries being now practically identical, although the methods of procedure are in many respects different. The Court of Session, as the supreme court in civil causes is called, which is held at Edinburgh, dates from 1532, and was formed on the model of the parlemenl of Paris. Since the Union it has undergone certain modifications. It consists of thirteen judges, acting in an Inner and an Outer House. The Inner House has two divisions, with four judges each, the first being presided over by the lord president of the whole court, and the second by the lord justice clerk. In the Outer House five judges, called lords ordinary, sit in separate courts. Appeals may be made from the lords ordinary to either of the divisions of the Inner House, and, if the occasion demands, the opinion of all the judges of the Court of Session may be called for; but whether this be done or not the decision is regarded as a decision of the Court of Session. Appeals may be made from the Court of Session to the House of Lords. The lord justice general (lord president), the lord justice clerk and the other judges of the Court of Session form the High Court of justiciary, instituted in 1672, for criminal cases, which sits at Edinburgh for the trial of cases from the three Lothians and of cases referred from the circuit courts. The latter meet for the south at jedburgh, Dumfries and Ayr; for the west at Glasgow, Inveraray and Stirling; and for the north at Perth, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness. The law agents who undertake cases to be decided before the supreme courts' are either solicitors before the supreme courts (S.S.C.) or writers to the signet (W.S.), the latter of whom possess certain special privileges. The lawyer authorized to plead before the supreme courts is termed an advocate. The principal law officer of the crown is the lord advocate, who is assisted by the solicitor-general and by advocates depute. The practical administration of the law in a county is under the control of the sheriff-depute, who combines with his judicial duties certain administrative functions. The office, which once implied a much less restricted authority than at present, is as old as the reign of Alexander I. (d. 1124), when the greater part of the kingdom was divided into twenty-five sheriffdoms. In the latter part of the 13th century they numbered thirty-four, but now there are only fifteen sheriffs in all, who, excepting the sheriff for Lanarkshire, need not reside in the counties to which they are appointed and are not prohibited from private practice. They-arc assisted by sheriffs-substitute upon whom the bulk of the work falls, who must be residential and are debarred from private practice. At one time the functions of the sheriff-principal were confined to one county, but by an act passed in 1855 it was arranged that as sheriffdoms fell vacant certain counties should be grouped under the control of one sheriff-principal. Thus Aberdeen, Kincardine and Banff form one group, and the three Lothians with Peebles another. The public prosecutor for counties is the procurator-fiscal, who takes the
- A separate secretary of state for Scotland was in existence after the Union, but this office was abolished in 1746. From 1782 to 1885 the secretary of state for the home department was responsible for the conduct of Scottish business, being advised in these matters by the lord advocate. The secretary for Scotland is not one of the principal secretaries of state.