Counties of Scotland

Counties of Scotland

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The counties of Scotland were the principal local government divisions
Subdivisions of Scotland
For local government purposes, Scotland is divided into 32 areas designated as "council areas" which are all governed by unitary authorities designated as "councils"...

 of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 until 1975. Scotland's current lieutenancy areas
Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
The lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives, in Scotland. They are different from the local government council areas, the committee areas, the sheriffdoms, the registration counties, the former regions and districts, the...

 and registration counties are largely based on them. They are often referred to as historic counties.

Sheriffdoms or shires



In the 12th century the office of sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

 was introduced to Scotland. The areas under the jurisdiction of sheriffs - known as "shires" or "sheriffdoms" - were eventually adapted to become the counties of Scotland. Malcolm III
Malcolm III of Scotland
Máel Coluim mac Donnchada , was King of Scots...

 appears to have introduced sheriffs as part of a policy of replacing native "Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic" forms of government with Norman feudal
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 structures. This was continued by his sons Edgar
Edgar of Scotland
Edgar or Étgar mac Maíl Choluim , nicknamed Probus, "the Valiant" , was king of Alba from 1097 to 1107...

, Alexander I
Alexander I of Scotland
Alexander I , also called Alaxandair mac Maíl Coluim and nicknamed "The Fierce", was King of the Scots from 1107 to his death.-Life:...

 and in particular David I
David I of Scotland
David I or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians and later King of the Scots...

. David completed the division of the country into sheriffdoms by the conversion of existing thanedom
Thane (Scotland)
Thane was the title given to a local royal official in medieval eastern Scotland, equivalent to a count, who was at the head of an administrative and socio-economic unit known as a shires or thanages....

s.

The earliest shires or sheriffdoms were a lowland system that subsequently spread along the east coast which remained under royal control. The shires of the Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

 were completed only in the reign of King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

.

Shires extant by 1305


In 1305 Edward I of England
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, who had deposed John of Scotland
John of Scotland
John Balliol , known to the Scots as Toom Tabard , was King of Scots from 1292 to 1296.-Early life:Little of John's early life is known. He was born between 1248 and 1250 at an unknown location, possibilities include Galloway, Picardy and Barnard Castle, County Durham...

 issued an Ordinance for the Government of Scotland. The document listed the twenty-three shires then existing and either appointed new sheriffs or continued heritable sheriffs in office.
: Gospatric
Gospatric (sheriff of Roxburgh)
Gospatric is the first known sheriff of Roxburgh, a burgh in Teviotdale. His father is thought to have been Uhtred son of Ulfkill.A Cospatricio vicecomite is mentioned in the foundation charter of Selkirk Abbey...

 was mentioned as sheriff in a number of charters of Earl David
David I of Scotland
David I or Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians and later King of the Scots...

. The shire was not listed in the ordinance, and in 1305 appears to have been partly under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff of Selkirk, with the remainder comprised in the constabularies of Jedburgh and Roxburgh under the jurisdiction of the constable of Berwick. The shire was one of those surrendered to Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 in 1334.

Shires formed after 1305


The remaining shires were formed either by the territorial expansion of the Kingdom of Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, or by the subdivision of existing sheriffdoms. Many of the new shires had highly irregular boundaries or detached parts as they united the various possessions of the heritable sheriffs.
  • 1305: Ross
    Ross-shire
    Ross-shire is an area in the Highland Council Area in Scotland. The name is now used as a geographic or cultural term, equivalent to Ross. Until 1889 the term denoted a county of Scotland, also known as the County of Ross...

     formed from part of Argyll by act of 1503. Barony of Tarbert was annexed to Cromarty in 1685, but later returned.
  • c.1326: Argyll
    Argyll
    Argyll , archaically Argyle , is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western coast between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath...

     (or Argyle): lordship subdued by Alexander II
    Alexander II of Scotland
    Alexander II was King of Scots from1214 to his death.-Early life:...

     in 1222. Norwegian claims over the area finally ended in 1266. First record of appointment of sheriff dates from 1326.
  • 1369: Kirkcudbright
    Kirkcudbrightshire
    The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright or Kirkcudbrightshire was a county of south-western Scotland. It was also known as East Galloway, forming the larger Galloway region with Wigtownshire....

     formed when area between Rivers Nith and Cree granted to Archibald the Grim. Archibald appointed a steward to administer the area, hence it became a "stewartry".
  • c.1388: Bute. The islands formed part of Kintyre district of Argyll. A heritable sheriff was appointed to the shire in 1388.
  • 1402: Renfrew
    Renfrewshire
    Renfrewshire is one of 32 council areas used for local government in Scotland. Located in the west central Lowlands, it is one of three council areas contained within the boundaries of the historic county of Renfrewshire, the others being Inverclyde to the west and East Renfrewshire to the east...

    : separated from shire of Lanark by Robert III
    Robert III of Scotland
    Robert III was King of Scots from 1390 to his death. His given name was John Stewart, and he was known primarily as the Earl of Carrick before ascending the throne at age 53...

    .
  • 1503: Caithness
    Caithness
    Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

    : Separated from the sheriffdom of Inverness by act of 1503 during the reign of James IV
    James IV of Scotland
    James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

    . Under the legislation the sheriff of Caithness was to sit at Dornoch and Wick, and the area of the sheriffdom was to be identical to that of the Diocese of Caithness
    Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness
    The Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness is one of the seven dioceses of the Scottish Episcopal Church. It covers Caithness and Sutherland , mainland Ross and Cromarty , and mainland Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Moray and Banffshire . The diocesan centre is St. Andrew's Cathedral in Inverness...

    .
  • 1581: Orkney was erected into a lordship with the right of sheriffship. It was annexed to the Crown
    The Crown
    The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

     in 1612, although the term "lordship" continued to be applied to the area.
  • 1633: Sutherland
    Sutherland
    Sutherland is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic administrative county of Scotland. It is now within the Highland local government area. In Gaelic the area is referred to according to its traditional areas: Dùthaich 'IcAoidh , Asainte , and Cataibh...

     separated from Inverness.


: In 1583 the Earl of Huntly, hereditary sheriff of Inverness, granted the Earl of Sutherland jurisdiction over the sheriffdom of Sutherland and Strathnaver. This was only the south-eastern area of the later county, with Halladale River forming the boundary. The shire was formed in 1631 by Crown Writ of Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, severing Sutherland from Inverness. The new county comprised the Earldom of Sutherland along with Assynt
Assynt
Assynt is a civil parish in west Sutherland, Highland, Scotland – north of Ullapool.It is famous for its landscape and its remarkable mountains...

 and the baronies between Ross and Caithness. Dornoch was appointed the head burgh of the shire. The writ was confirmed by the Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 in 1633.

The 1707 Act of Union and the ending of heritable jurisdictions


Following the union of Scotland with England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, the term "county" began to be applied to the sheriffdoms in acts of the united parliament
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

. The full machinery of county government that existed in the rest of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 was not immediately established. This was largely due to the fact that the office of sheriff or steward had become hereditary in certain families in the majority of sheriffdoms. At the accession of George II twenty-two sheriffs were hereditary, three were appointed for life and only eight held office at the pleasure of the monarch. Following the unsuccessful Jacobite Rising of 1745
Jacobite Rising of 1745
The Jacobite rising of 1745, often referred to as "The 'Forty-Five," was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart. The rising occurred during the War of the Austrian Succession when most of the British Army was on the European continent...

 the government took the opportunity of overhauling county government. The Heritable Jurisdictions Act 1747 revested the government of the shires in the Crown, compensating those office holders who were displaced. The Sheriffs (Scotland) Act 1747 reduced the office of Sheriff Principal to a largely ceremonial one, with a sheriff depute or sheriff substitute appointed to each "county, shire or stewartry". Twelve of the smallest counties were paired to form sheriffdoms, a process of amalgamation that was to continue until the twentieth century. In 1794 Lord-Lieutenants were appointed to each county, and in 1797 county militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 regiments were raised, bringing Scotland into line with England, Wales and Ireland.

Names


In official documents a shire was given as "the Shire of X" rather than Xshire, just as in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 officialdom referred to "the County of X". Nevertheless this does not appear to reflect common usage. ("Haddingtonshire" and "Stirlingshire" amongst others are found in the twelfth century.) Thus in parliamentary proceedings one may find, for example, a heading referring to "Act for the shirrefdome of Dumbartane" but the text "the sevine kirkis to Dumbartane schyr"

The first accurate county maps of Scotland appear in the late seventeenth century and contain a first-hand record of shire names. John Adair (maps c. 1682) gives the names of Midlothian, East Lothian, Twaddall and Wast Lothian (the latter also as "Linlithgowshire"). The eighteenth century county maps of Herman Moll (dated c. 1745), preferred to keep the "Shire" suffix a separate word, as for example "Berwick Shire", "Roxburgh Shire", "the Shire of Selkirk otherwise known as Etterick Forest", and in the north to "Murray" (Moray), "Inverness Shire", "Aberdeen Shire", "Banff Shire", "Ross Shire". The map of Boswell's and Johnson's A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland
A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland is a travel narrative by Samuel Johnson about an eighty-three day journey through Scotland, in particular the islands of the Hebrides, in the late summer and autumn of 1773...

 (1773) gives "Shire" to every one shown, including "Angus Shire" and "Fife Shire".

Several shires have alternative names of long standing. These include:
  • Angus
    Angus
    Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

     – Forfarshire
  • East Lothian
    East Lothian
    East Lothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy Area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Midlothian. Its administrative centre is Haddington, although its largest town is Musselburgh....

     – Haddingtonshire
  • Kincardineshire
    Kincardineshire
    The County of Kincardine, also known as Kincardineshire or The Mearns was a local government county on the coast of northeast Scotland...

     – Mearns
  • Midlothian
    Midlothian
    Midlothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area. It borders the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh council areas....

     – Edinburghshire
  • Moray
    Moray
    Moray is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. It lies in the north-east of the country, with coastline on the Moray Firth, and borders the council areas of Aberdeenshire and Highland.- History :...

     – Elginshire
  • Peeblesshire
    Peeblesshire
    Peeblesshire , the County of Peebles or Tweeddale was a county of Scotland. Its main town was Peebles, and it bordered Midlothian to the north, Selkirkshire to the east, Dumfriesshire to the south, and Lanarkshire to the west.After the local government reorganisation of 1975 the use of the name...

     – Tweeddale
  • Selkirkshire
    Selkirkshire
    Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Berwickshire to the north-east, Roxburghshire to the east, and Dumfriesshire to the south...

     – Etterick Forest
  • West Lothian
    West Lothian
    West Lothian is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland, and a Lieutenancy area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire....

     – Linlithgowshire

'Shire' and 'County'


From their earliest appearance the counties of Scotland have been called "shires". The word "county" did not become the usual usage until the nineteenth century.

By contrast, in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 "shire" and "county" have been interchangeable, with "county" prevailing as the standard term. In Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, "shire" is little used.

Kirkcudbrightshire is commonly called the 'Stewartry of Kirkcudbright', or just 'the Stewartry'.

Local government


From the seventeenth century the shires started to be used for local administration apart from judicial functions. In 1667 Commissioners of Supply
Commissioners of Supply
Commissioners of Supply were local administrative bodies in Scotland from 1667 to 1930. Originally established in each sheriffdom to collect tax, they later took on much of the responsibility for the local government of the counties of Scotland. In 1890 they ceded most of their duties to the county...

 were appointed in each sheriffdom to collect the land tax. The commissioners eventually assumed other duties in the county.

In 1858 police forces were established in each county under the Police (Scotland) Act 1857
Police (Scotland) Act 1857
The Police Act 1857 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The legislation made the establishment of a police force mandatory in the counties of Scotland, and also allowed existing burgh police forces to be consolidated with a county force.-Establishment of County Police Forces:The...

. It should be noted, however, that burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

s were largely outside the jurisdiction of county authorities.

The counties became a basis of modern local government, alongside burghs, when 34 county council
County council
A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.-United Kingdom:...

s were created in Scotland by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
The Local Government Act 1889 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which was passed on 26 August 1889. The main effect of the Act was to establish elected county councils in Scotland...

. About 90 years later, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
The Local Government Act 1973 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, that reformed local government in Scotland, on May 16, 1975....

, these county authorities were abolished as local government bodies and were replaced with regions and districts and island council areas. Areas for Lieutenancy
Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
The lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives, in Scotland. They are different from the local government council areas, the committee areas, the sheriffdoms, the registration counties, the former regions and districts, the...

, areas similar to those of the counties, were created at the same time. Local government was reorganised again under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994
Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994
The Local Government etc. Act 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which created the current local government structure of 32 unitary authorities covering the whole of Scotland....

 to create the currently existing council areas.

Some of county names, such as Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...

 and Ayrshire
Ayrshire
Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. The town of Troon on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the...

, have been revived for the post-1996 council areas. Some also remain in use for lieutenancy areas
Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
The lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives, in Scotland. They are different from the local government council areas, the committee areas, the sheriffdoms, the registration counties, the former regions and districts, the...

 and for area committee
Area committee
Many large local government councils in the United Kingdom have a system of area committees, with responsibility for services in a particular part of the area covered by the council....

s of the present councils.

Land registration



In 1868 a new system of land registration was introduced to Scotland. Sheriffs were to maintain presentment books recording writs relating to lands and heritages, with a different series for each county. Thirty-three registration counties were formed: they differed in number from the thirty-four civil counties then existing as the Barony and Regality of Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 was to be treated as a county, while four counties which shared a sheriff were paired (Rosshire with Cromarty and Orkney with Zetland).

The thirty-three counties of 1868 remain in use by the Scottish Land Register under later legislation.

Postal direction



The Royal Mail
Royal Mail
Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide...

 included counties
Postal counties of the United Kingdom
The postal counties of the United Kingdom, now known officially as the former postal counties, were postal subdivisions in routine use by the Royal Mail until 1996. The raison d'être of the postal county – as opposed to any other kind of county – was to aid the sorting of mail by...

 in most postal addresses in Scotland until 1996. On the mainland these counties approximated to the boundaries of the civil counties. Offshore islands, however, were regarded as distinct counties for postal purposes. This meant that there was no postal county of Buteshire
County of Bute
The County of Bute is one of the registration counties of Scotland. In 2001 its usually resident population was 13,720.-Local government county:...

, which was instead divided between the Isles of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae. Larger post towns such as Edinburgh and Glasgow did not form part of a postal county.

Counties until 1890






Counties of Scotland until 1890
  1. Caithness
    Caithness
    Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

  2. Sutherland
    Sutherland
    Sutherland is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic administrative county of Scotland. It is now within the Highland local government area. In Gaelic the area is referred to according to its traditional areas: Dùthaich 'IcAoidh , Asainte , and Cataibh...

  3. Ross-shire
    Ross-shire
    Ross-shire is an area in the Highland Council Area in Scotland. The name is now used as a geographic or cultural term, equivalent to Ross. Until 1889 the term denoted a county of Scotland, also known as the County of Ross...

  4. Cromartyshire
    Cromartyshire
    Cromartyshire was a county in the Highlands of Scotland, consisting of a main portion between Sutherland and Ross-shire and a series of exclaves within Ross-shire. Ross-shire and Cromartyshire were combined as the single county of Ross and Cromarty by the Local Government Act 1889, and this...

  5. Inverness-shire
    Inverness-shire
    The County of Inverness or Inverness-shire was a general purpose county of Scotland, with the burgh of Inverness as the county town, until 1975, when, under the Local Government Act 1973, the county area was divided between the two-tier Highland region and the unitary Western Isles. The Highland...

  6. Nairnshire
  7. Morayshire
    County of Moray
    Moray is one of the registration counties of Scotland, bordering Nairnshire to the west, Inverness-shire to the south, and Banffshire to the east...

  8. Banffshire
    Banffshire
    The County of Banff is a registration county for property, and Banffshire is a Lieutenancy area of Scotland.The County of Banff, also known as Banffshire, was a local government county of Scotland with its own county council between 1890 and 1975. The county town was Banff although the largest...

  9. Aberdeenshire
    Aberdeenshire (historic)
    Aberdeenshire or the County of Aberdeen is a registration county of Scotland. This area is also a lieutenancy area.Until 1975 Aberdeenshire was one of the counties of Scotland, governed by a county council from 1890...

  10. Kincardineshire
    Kincardineshire
    The County of Kincardine, also known as Kincardineshire or The Mearns was a local government county on the coast of northeast Scotland...

  11. Angus
    Angus
    Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

  12. Perthshire
    Perthshire
    Perthshire, officially the County of Perth , is a registration county in central Scotland. It extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south...

  13. Argyll
    Argyll
    Argyll , archaically Argyle , is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western coast between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath...

  14. Bute
    County of Bute
    The County of Bute is one of the registration counties of Scotland. In 2001 its usually resident population was 13,720.-Local government county:...

  15. Ayrshire
    Ayrshire
    Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. The town of Troon on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the...

  16. Renfrewshire
    Renfrewshire (historic)
    Renfrewshire or the County of Renfrew is a registration county, the Lieutenancy area of the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, and one of the counties of Scotland used for local government until 1975. Renfrewshire is located in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland, south of the River Clyde,...

  17. Dumbartonshire
    Dunbartonshire
    Dunbartonshire or the County of Dumbarton is a lieutenancy area and registration county in the west central Lowlands of Scotland lying to the north of the River Clyde. Until 1975 it was a county used as a primary unit of local government with its county town and administrative centre at the town...

  18. Stirlingshire
    Stirlingshire
    Stirlingshire or the County of Stirling is a registration county of Scotland, based around Stirling, the former county town. It borders Perthshire to the north, Clackmannanshire and West Lothian to the east, Lanarkshire to the south, and Dunbartonshire to the south-west.Until 1975 it was a county...




  1. Clackmannanshire
    Clackmannanshire
    Clackmannanshire, often abbreviated to Clacks is a local government council area in Scotland, and a lieutenancy area, bordering Perth and Kinross, Stirling and Fife.As Scotland's smallest historic county, it is often nicknamed 'The Wee County'....


  2. Kinross-shire
    Kinross-shire
    Kinross-shire or the County of Kinross is a registration county, electoral ward and historic county in the Perth and Kinross council area in the east central Lowlands of Scotland...


  3. Fife
    Fife
    Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...


  4. West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)
    West Lothian
    West Lothian is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland, and a Lieutenancy area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire....


  5. Midlothian (Edinburghshire)
    Midlothian
    Midlothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area. It borders the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh council areas....


  6. East Lothian (Haddingtonshire)
    East Lothian
    East Lothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy Area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Midlothian. Its administrative centre is Haddington, although its largest town is Musselburgh....


  7. Berwickshire
    Berwickshire
    Berwickshire or the County of Berwick is a registration county, a committee area of the Scottish Borders Council, and a lieutenancy area of Scotland, on the border with England. The town after which it is named—Berwick-upon-Tweed—was lost by Scotland to England in 1482...


  8. Roxburghshire
    Roxburghshire
    Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Dumfries to the west, Selkirk to the north-west, and Berwick to the north. To the south-east it borders Cumbria and Northumberland in England.It was named after the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh...


  9. Dumfriesshire
    Dumfriesshire
    Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries is a registration county of Scotland. The lieutenancy area of Dumfries has similar boundaries.Until 1975 it was a county. Its county town was Dumfries...


  10. Kirkcudbrightshire
    Kirkcudbrightshire
    The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright or Kirkcudbrightshire was a county of south-western Scotland. It was also known as East Galloway, forming the larger Galloway region with Wigtownshire....


  11. Wigtownshire
    Wigtownshire
    Wigtownshire or the County of Wigtown is a registration county in the Southern Uplands of south west Scotland. Until 1975, the county was one of the administrative counties used for local government purposes, and is now administered as part of the council area of Dumfries and Galloway...


  12. Lanarkshire
    Lanarkshire
    Lanarkshire or the County of Lanark ) is a Lieutenancy area, registration county and former local government county in the central Lowlands of Scotland...


  13. Selkirkshire
    Selkirkshire
    Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Berwickshire to the north-east, Roxburghshire to the east, and Dumfriesshire to the south...


  14. Peeblesshire
    Peeblesshire
    Peeblesshire , the County of Peebles or Tweeddale was a county of Scotland. Its main town was Peebles, and it bordered Midlothian to the north, Selkirkshire to the east, Dumfriesshire to the south, and Lanarkshire to the west.After the local government reorganisation of 1975 the use of the name...


Not shown:
Zetland
Shetland Islands
Shetland is a subarctic archipelago of Scotland that lies north and east of mainland Great Britain. The islands lie some to the northeast of Orkney and southeast of the Faroe Islands and form part of the division between the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the North Sea to the east. The total...

 (Shetland)
Orkney
Orkney Islands
Orkney also known as the Orkney Islands , is an archipelago in northern Scotland, situated north of the coast of Caithness...






It may be noted that the map depicts a large number of exclaves physically detached from the county that they were politically deemed to be part of. Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire was a county in the Highlands of Scotland, consisting of a main portion between Sutherland and Ross-shire and a series of exclaves within Ross-shire. Ross-shire and Cromartyshire were combined as the single county of Ross and Cromarty by the Local Government Act 1889, and this...

's borders, a particularly fragmentary example, were achieved as late as 1685, although at that time the word "county" was not applied to the sheriffdom
Sheriffdom
A sheriffdom is a judicial district in Scotland.Since 1 January 1975 there have been six sheriffdoms. Previously sheriffdoms were composed of groupings of counties...

.

Counties from 1890 to 1975





  1. Caithness
    Caithness
    Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

  2. Sutherland
    Sutherland
    Sutherland is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic administrative county of Scotland. It is now within the Highland local government area. In Gaelic the area is referred to according to its traditional areas: Dùthaich 'IcAoidh , Asainte , and Cataibh...

  3. Ross and Cromarty
    Ross and Cromarty
    Ross and Cromarty is a variously defined area in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. There is a registration county and a lieutenancy area in current use...

  4. Inverness-shire
    Inverness-shire
    The County of Inverness or Inverness-shire was a general purpose county of Scotland, with the burgh of Inverness as the county town, until 1975, when, under the Local Government Act 1973, the county area was divided between the two-tier Highland region and the unitary Western Isles. The Highland...

  5. Nairnshire
  6. County of Moray 
    (also known as Elginshire until 1918)
  7. Banffshire
    Banffshire
    The County of Banff is a registration county for property, and Banffshire is a Lieutenancy area of Scotland.The County of Banff, also known as Banffshire, was a local government county of Scotland with its own county council between 1890 and 1975. The county town was Banff although the largest...

  8. Aberdeenshire
    Aberdeenshire (historic)
    Aberdeenshire or the County of Aberdeen is a registration county of Scotland. This area is also a lieutenancy area.Until 1975 Aberdeenshire was one of the counties of Scotland, governed by a county council from 1890...

  9. Kincardineshire
    Kincardineshire
    The County of Kincardine, also known as Kincardineshire or The Mearns was a local government county on the coast of northeast Scotland...

  10. Angus
    Angus
    Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

     
    (Forfarshire until 1928)
  11. Perthshire
    Perthshire
    Perthshire, officially the County of Perth , is a registration county in central Scotland. It extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south...

  12. Argyll
    Argyll
    Argyll , archaically Argyle , is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western coast between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath...

  13. County of Bute
    County of Bute
    The County of Bute is one of the registration counties of Scotland. In 2001 its usually resident population was 13,720.-Local government county:...

  14. Ayrshire
    Ayrshire
    Ayrshire is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. The town of Troon on the coast has hosted the British Open Golf Championship twice in the...

  15. Renfrewshire
    Renfrewshire (historic)
    Renfrewshire or the County of Renfrew is a registration county, the Lieutenancy area of the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, and one of the counties of Scotland used for local government until 1975. Renfrewshire is located in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland, south of the River Clyde,...

  16. Dunbartonshire
    Dunbartonshire
    Dunbartonshire or the County of Dumbarton is a lieutenancy area and registration county in the west central Lowlands of Scotland lying to the north of the River Clyde. Until 1975 it was a county used as a primary unit of local government with its county town and administrative centre at the town...

  17. Stirlingshire
    Stirlingshire
    Stirlingshire or the County of Stirling is a registration county of Scotland, based around Stirling, the former county town. It borders Perthshire to the north, Clackmannanshire and West Lothian to the east, Lanarkshire to the south, and Dunbartonshire to the south-west.Until 1975 it was a county...

  18. Clackmannanshire
    Clackmannanshire
    Clackmannanshire, often abbreviated to Clacks is a local government council area in Scotland, and a lieutenancy area, bordering Perth and Kinross, Stirling and Fife.As Scotland's smallest historic county, it is often nicknamed 'The Wee County'....

  19. Kinross-shire
    Kinross-shire
    Kinross-shire or the County of Kinross is a registration county, electoral ward and historic county in the Perth and Kinross council area in the east central Lowlands of Scotland...

  20. Fife
    Fife
    Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

  21. East Lothian
    East Lothian
    East Lothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy Area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Midlothian. Its administrative centre is Haddington, although its largest town is Musselburgh....

     
    (Haddingtonshire until 1921)
  22. Midlothian
    Midlothian
    Midlothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area. It borders the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh council areas....

     
    (County of Edinburgh until 1890)
  23. West Lothian
    West Lothian
    West Lothian is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland, and a Lieutenancy area. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire....

     
    (Linlithgowshire until 1924)
  24. Lanarkshire
    Lanarkshire
    Lanarkshire or the County of Lanark ) is a Lieutenancy area, registration county and former local government county in the central Lowlands of Scotland...

  25. Peeblesshire
    Peeblesshire
    Peeblesshire , the County of Peebles or Tweeddale was a county of Scotland. Its main town was Peebles, and it bordered Midlothian to the north, Selkirkshire to the east, Dumfriesshire to the south, and Lanarkshire to the west.After the local government reorganisation of 1975 the use of the name...

  26. Selkirkshire
    Selkirkshire
    Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Berwickshire to the north-east, Roxburghshire to the east, and Dumfriesshire to the south...

  27. Berwickshire
    Berwickshire
    Berwickshire or the County of Berwick is a registration county, a committee area of the Scottish Borders Council, and a lieutenancy area of Scotland, on the border with England. The town after which it is named—Berwick-upon-Tweed—was lost by Scotland to England in 1482...

  28. Roxburghshire
    Roxburghshire
    Roxburghshire or the County of Roxburgh is a registration county of Scotland. It borders Dumfries to the west, Selkirk to the north-west, and Berwick to the north. To the south-east it borders Cumbria and Northumberland in England.It was named after the Royal Burgh of Roxburgh...

  29. Dumfriesshire
    Dumfriesshire
    Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries is a registration county of Scotland. The lieutenancy area of Dumfries has similar boundaries.Until 1975 it was a county. Its county town was Dumfries...

  30. Kirkcudbrightshire
    Kirkcudbrightshire
    The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright or Kirkcudbrightshire was a county of south-western Scotland. It was also known as East Galloway, forming the larger Galloway region with Wigtownshire....

  31. Wigtownshire
    Wigtownshire
    Wigtownshire or the County of Wigtown is a registration county in the Southern Uplands of south west Scotland. Until 1975, the county was one of the administrative counties used for local government purposes, and is now administered as part of the council area of Dumfries and Galloway...

  32. Zetland 
    (Shetland)
  33. Orkney



The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
The Local Government Act 1889 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which was passed on 26 August 1889. The main effect of the Act was to establish elected county councils in Scotland...

 established county council
County council
A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.-United Kingdom:...

s in Scotland. Unlike in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, where corresponding legislation created new entities called administrative counties
Administrative county
An administrative county was an administrative division in England and Wales and Ireland used for the purposes of local government. They are now abolished, although in Northern Ireland their former areas are used as the basis for lieutenancy....

, the Act amended the existing counties for local government purposes, including merging Ross and Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire was a county in the Highlands of Scotland, consisting of a main portion between Sutherland and Ross-shire and a series of exclaves within Ross-shire. Ross-shire and Cromartyshire were combined as the single county of Ross and Cromarty by the Local Government Act 1889, and this...

 into Ross and Cromarty
Ross and Cromarty
Ross and Cromarty is a variously defined area in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. There is a registration county and a lieutenancy area in current use...

, and setting up a boundary commission to make further changes as necessary. Generally speaking, exclaves were abolished, the only significant exclave left untouched being the part of Dunbartonshire
Dunbartonshire
Dunbartonshire or the County of Dumbarton is a lieutenancy area and registration county in the west central Lowlands of Scotland lying to the north of the River Clyde. Until 1975 it was a county used as a primary unit of local government with its county town and administrative centre at the town...

 between Stirlingshire
Stirlingshire
Stirlingshire or the County of Stirling is a registration county of Scotland, based around Stirling, the former county town. It borders Perthshire to the north, Clackmannanshire and West Lothian to the east, Lanarkshire to the south, and Dunbartonshire to the south-west.Until 1975 it was a county...

 and Lanarkshire
Lanarkshire
Lanarkshire or the County of Lanark ) is a Lieutenancy area, registration county and former local government county in the central Lowlands of Scotland...

.

These local government counties excluded from their area the 'counties of cities' in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. Originally only the city and royal burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 of Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 had this status, but Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

 and Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

 were added in 1893, 1894 and 1899 respectively. Each of these counties of cities were enlarged on a number of occasions at the expense of the surrounding counties. These are not shown on the map below as separate entities.

Name changes


Following the 1889 act, the County of Edinburgh became Midlothian (a name previously used unofficially). The County of Elgin became known officially as Morayshire or the County of Moray by 1918. Early in the twentieth century, the county council of Dumbarton adopted the form "Dunbartonshire" in preference to "Dumbartonshire" and this became the accepted official form. In 1921 the County of Haddington became East Lothian, and three years later the County of Linlithgow became West Lothian. In 1928 Forfarshire was renamed Angus.

Reform


In 1930, the county councils were re-constituted, including two joint county councils covering the "combined counties" of Perthshire
Perthshire
Perthshire, officially the County of Perth , is a registration county in central Scotland. It extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south...

 and Kinross-shire
Kinross-shire
Kinross-shire or the County of Kinross is a registration county, electoral ward and historic county in the Perth and Kinross council area in the east central Lowlands of Scotland...

, and Morayshire and Nairnshire by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929
The Local Government Act 1929 reorganised local government in Scotland from 1930, introducing joint county councils, large and small burghs and district councils...

.

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947
The Local Government Act 1947 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, that reformed local government in Scotland, on 1 October 1947....

 created new administrative areas named 'counties', 'counties of cities', large burgh
Large burgh
In 1930, the Scottish burghs were split into two types, large burghs and small burghs. The councils of large burghs had more responsibilities and power than those of small burghs....

s and small burgh
Small burgh
Small burghs were units of local government in Scotland created by the Local Government Act 1929 in 1930.The Act reclassified existing burghs into two classes, large and small burghs. While large burghs became largely independent of the county councils of the county in which they lay, small burghs...

s. Although these had been established by earlier legislation, the Act listed the various counties and other divisions for the first time.

In 1963 the Government published a white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...

 which proposed a reduction in the number of counties from thirty-three to between ten and fifteen. A process of consultation between county councils and officials from the Scottish Office
Scottish Office
The Scottish Office was a department of the United Kingdom Government from 1885 until 1999, exercising a wide range of government functions in relation to Scotland under the control of the Secretary of State for Scotland...

 was begun to affect the amalgamations. Following a change of government, it was announced in 1965 that a "more comprehensive and authoritative" review of local government areas would be undertaken. Accordingly a Royal Commission on Local Government in Scotland, chaired by Lord Wheatley was appointed in 1966. The commission's report
Wheatley Report
The Wheatley Report is the name generally given to the report published in September 1969 by the Royal Commission on Local Government in Scotland, or Wheatley Commission, under the chairmanship of Lord Wheatley...

 in 1969 recommended the replacement of the counties with larger regions. Another change in government control in 1970 was followed by the publication of a white paper in 1971 implementing the commission's reforms in a modified form. The abolition of counties for local government purposes was enacted by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
The Local Government Act 1973 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, that reformed local government in Scotland, on May 16, 1975....

, with counties playing no part in local government after 16 May 1975.

Parliamentary constituencies


By the reign of James IV
James IV of Scotland
James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

, the sheriffdoms were used to select Commissioners (MPs) to the Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

, forming the basis of the "landward constituencies", which existed distinct from the burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 constituencies until the Representation of the People Act 1918
Representation of the People Act 1918
The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in the United Kingdom. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act...

. Before the Union of 1707
Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts - the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706 by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706,...

, Commissioners could represent multiple counties, or, on occasions, a part of one. After Union, eight counties were paired, electing a member at alternating elections to the Unreformed House of Commons
Unreformed House of Commons
The unreformed House of Commons is the name generally given to the British House of Commons as it existed before the Reform Act 1832.Until the Act of Union of 1707 joining the Kingdoms of Scotland and England , Scotland had its own Parliament, and the term refers to the House of Commons of England...

. A number of sheriffdoms, such as those of Ross and Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire was a county in the Highlands of Scotland, consisting of a main portion between Sutherland and Ross-shire and a series of exclaves within Ross-shire. Ross-shire and Cromartyshire were combined as the single county of Ross and Cromarty by the Local Government Act 1889, and this...

 were also merged during the 18th century. As a result of the 1832 Reform Act
Scottish Reform Act 1832
The Scottish Reform Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the election laws of Scotland. The act was passed at approximately the same time as the Reform Act 1832, which applied to England and Wales. The chief architects of the act were Francis Jeffrey and Henry...

 the pairing system ended, and Elginshire and Nairnshire were merged into a single constituency, as were Ross and Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire
Cromartyshire was a county in the Highlands of Scotland, consisting of a main portion between Sutherland and Ross-shire and a series of exclaves within Ross-shire. Ross-shire and Cromartyshire were combined as the single county of Ross and Cromarty by the Local Government Act 1889, and this...

 and also Clackmannanshire
Clackmannanshire
Clackmannanshire, often abbreviated to Clacks is a local government council area in Scotland, and a lieutenancy area, bordering Perth and Kinross, Stirling and Fife.As Scotland's smallest historic county, it is often nicknamed 'The Wee County'....

 and Kinross-shire
Kinross-shire
Kinross-shire or the County of Kinross is a registration county, electoral ward and historic county in the Perth and Kinross council area in the east central Lowlands of Scotland...

. Bute and Caithness
Caithness
Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

, previously paired, became separate constituencies.

Scotland still has county constituencies of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 (Westminster), and the same term is used in reference to constituencies of the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

 (Holyrood
Scottish Parliament Building
The Scottish Parliament Building is the home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh. Construction of the building commenced in June 1999 and the Members of the Scottish Parliament held their first debate in the new building on 7...

), created in 1999.

Historically, county constituencies did represent specific counties (minus parliamentary burghs within the counties). Now, however, county in county constituency means predominantly rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

. Similarly, burgh constituencies are predominantly urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 constituencies.

See also

  • List of counties of Scotland in 1951 by population and by area
  • List of counties of Scotland in 1971 by population and by area
  • List of Scottish counties by highest point
  • List of burghs in Scotland
  • Local government areas of Scotland 1973 to 1996
  • Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
    Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
    The lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives, in Scotland. They are different from the local government council areas, the committee areas, the sheriffdoms, the registration counties, the former regions and districts, the...

  • Subdivisions of Scotland
    Subdivisions of Scotland
    For local government purposes, Scotland is divided into 32 areas designated as "council areas" which are all governed by unitary authorities designated as "councils"...

  • List of places in Scotland
  • Counties of the United Kingdom
    Counties of the United Kingdom
    The counties of the United Kingdom are subnational divisions of the United Kingdom, used for the purposes of administrative, geographical and political demarcation. By the Middle Ages counties had become established as a unit of local government, at least in England. By the early 17th century all...


External links