The development of the port and trade of Dundee, 1815-1967
Dundee is an estuarine port situated on the left bank of the Tay, outside industrialised coal- and ore-bearing Forth-Clyde of Central Scotland. Its hinterland therefore comprises only a part of the north-east Midland Valley and of the Scottish Highlands with limited and declining agricultural production and population, so that from the late eighteenth century at least, traffic at the port has been generated almost entirely by industry and population within the city itself.Until 1815 Dundee's population (29,616 in 1811) and industry were small: linen manufacture, which was entirely dependent on imported flax and hemp for raw material, was the city's "principal and staple industry"2 at that time, yet in 1815 only 2,187 tons3 of those fibres were landed at the harbour. The port traffic was similarly limited (see 1815 trade on Figures 5 and 6) and the harbour small and primitive, consisting only of two small tidal basins fronting, and a little-used jetty nearly a mile east of the city nucleus, the whole drying 2-4 feet at low-water (see Figure 9). Dundee at present-day is a large port (1961 population 182,9781) with wet docks and deep-water wharves.This thesis aims, by reference to four periods - 1815 to 1839, 1840 to 1855,1856 to 1939, and 1940 to 1967 - to trace the development of the port from the low level of 1815, and to show that its growth was inspired primarily by textile manufacture in the city.