|Administrative History||Rosehearty, located 4 miles west of Fraserburgh in the parish of Pitsligo, was created a Burgh of Barony in 1681 in favour of Alexander Forbes, 2nd Lord Pitsligo. It became a Police Burgh in 1892, and was granted a coat of arms by the Court of the Lord Lyon in 1929. The surviving records in the collection cover its administrative and economic history in the 19th and 20th centuries.|
Much of the town's historical success derived from its harbour (see AS/Arhy/3), which was operated by the Town itself (from 1863 this was achieved through the Rosehearty Harbour Commissioners) and a prosperous fishing industry mostly based on herring, haddock and cod, developed throughout the 19th century, leading to several improvements of the harbour in the mid 1860s, mid 1870s and mid 1880s. The improvements, however, were not enough to help the industry survive the crash that occurred in 1882 as a result of overfishing in the area. Significantly, the tidal nature of the harbour meant it was not deep enough to allow access to larger fishing vessels with greater fishing range and capacity that might locate and fish more remote stock. This, coupled with the absence of access to the railway led to the end of any further significant developments of the harbour and the remaining fishing industry that operated from it.
This started a long-term decline in the town, but fishing survived long after 1882. Significantly, it survived through the ban on East Coast fishing that was imposed throughout the First World War, and which features so significantly in the record series concerning the local administration of the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund for the support of those affected adversely by the War (see AS/Arhy/11/1-2). It also survived through the bombing raids of the Second World War, including the disaster of 29 January 1942 when the harbour and several domestic properties in Pitsligo Street suffered direct hits, killing 11 people (see AS/Arhy/1/6 and also the Aberdeen County Register of Incidents, AC/11/4).
The decline of the fishing port continued however, with many resident fishing folk choosing to operate their vessels and businesses out of neighbouring Fraserburgh, instead of Rosehearty itself, and in 1975 the governance of the Town passed from the Town Council to the Grampian Regional Council.