Historical Events.- Situated on the boundary betwixt the Roman possessions on the south, and those of Caledonia on the north, many sanguinary encounters took place in ancient times in this parish. Among these, there was one in the year 415, In which Robert Graham, a commander under King Fergus II., fell, while repelling the Roman forces; and from this event the Wall of Antoninus, originally formed in A.D. 140, is supposed to have received the appellation, which it bears to this day, of Graham's Dyke. From the inscription upon a slab of marble found at taking down the old church in 1810, it appears that Graham was buried in the adjoining church-yard.

On the north of the town, and near to where the village of Grahamston now stands, a battle was fought on 22d July 1298, between the forces of Edward L of England, and the Scots, led on by the patriotic and undaunted William Wallace. The attack on each side was violent, but, overpowered by superior numbers, the Scots retreated, and, crossing the river Carron, marched northward. In this battle Sir John Graham of Dundaff and Sir John Stewart of Bonkill, commanders in the Scottish army, were slain, and were both interred in the church-yard, where their grave-stones are still to be seen.

In the reign of James III. the town was for some time occupied by the army of the discontented lords, who had risen in rebellion against that monarch. His Majesty intended to have attacked them there. They, however, anticipated his purpose, and met him at Sauchie burn, near Stirling, where the conflict took place, which terminated in his defeat and death.

While Queen Mary was yet an infant, Henry Viii cherished the hope of subjugating Scotland by her union in marriage with his son Edward. The Earl of Arran, then Regent, favoured the scheme; but Cardinal Beaton and the Earl of Murray were its determined opponents These personages agreed to have a meeting at Falkirk on 4th September 1543; and at Callendar House a treaty was signed, which put an end to the proposal.

This celebrated but unfortunate sovereign appears to have been on an intimate footing with the family of Callendar. On the 12th of August 1562, she dined there with a part of her train on her way to the north; and on 1st July 1565, she stood godmother to the infant Baron of Callendar, son of William, sixth Lord Livingstone. She slept at Callendar with the infant Prince James, on the night of the 18th January 1567, and again on the 24th of the same month1 when on her way to visit her husband Darnley, then ill of the small-pox at Glasgow; with whom she returned to Falon the 28th, and proceeded to Edinburgh on the following day. Soon After this, Mary was a captive at Lochleven. After her escape from thence, Lord Livingstone was one of those who welcomed her on her arrival at Niddry Castle; and on the field of Langside, distinguished himself by his gallant conduct at the head of his vassals, composed of inhabitants of Falkirk. He rode with the Queen from that fatal field, and, along with her, was confined in different prisons by Elizabeth. At Bolton they were joined by Lady Livingstone, who, with her husband, were for several years the principal attendants, or rather companions, of the captive Queen. In 1578, they were both released from their sufferings by death, and their remains were conveyed to Falkirk for interment.

In the nonage of James VI., Scotland was for some time governed by the Earl of Morton, a function which, from tile unpopularity of his measures, he was induced to resign. Having, however, obtained possession of the King's person, and of the Castle of Stirling, his friends came to his assistance, and the Earl pitched his camp at Falkirk. Thither the army of his enemies soon resorted. When ready to engage, a truce was agreed to, followed by a treaty, which was published at the market-crosses of Stirling and Falkirk1 on 14th August 1578.

The year 1688 was remarkable as the period in which the Solemn League and Covenant was subscribed by persons of all ranks throughout the Lowlands of Scotland. The measure was opposed by Charles I., and the Covenanters had recourse to arms. Voluntary contributions in aid of the cause were collected at the doors of the parish churches. The sum of L.158, 11s. 2d. Scots was raised by this parish, and from thence numbers flocked to join the army. Among these were Alexander Livingstone the Laird of Bantaskine, and Mr Thomas Spittal the minister, the former of whom fell in battle. In Falkirk the Covenant was subscribed with much solemnity. A table was placed before the pulpit on which the deed lay, and the elders were stationed at the entrances of the church, who ushered in the intending subscribers

James, the first Earl of Callendar, was a staunch adherent of King Charles, and became a commander in the army which marched to relieve him when a prisoner in the Isle of Wight, being at-tended by a body of his Falkirk retainers. His army having been discomfited, the Earl retired to Holland; but his Falkirk troop valiantly forced their way through the victorious republicans. On their return home, they were summoned before the congregation, at the instance of the kirk-session, and were publicly "admonished" for being upon what is called " the late unlawful engadgement." The session record contains the names of seventy-seven of the persons so dealt with. Among these, the names of Sir William Livingstone of Westquarter, and of other gentlemen appear.

The plague which broke out in Scotland in 1645, raged with great violence at Falkirk. It was supposed to have been introduced from Edinburgh. Those infected were confined to their houses by command of the kirk-session, and were not allowed to have any intercourse with their neighbours. These restrictions continued until the pestilence had disappeared, and their houses, clothes, and furniture been fumigated at the change of the moon, by "smeikers and cleansers," who were brought from Linlithgow and Borrowstounness. The session ordered that no person without testimonials should enter the bounds of their jurisdiction from Leith or Edinburgh.

- On this subject there is the following entry in the records of the kirk-session. October 31st 1648: " It is ordained that on Sunday, when the Covenant shall he subscribed, the persons following shall attend the Several part, of the kirk, viz

To attend the north aisle, Wastquarter and Patrick Grindlay; to attend the wast end of the kirk, John Monteath and John Wyse; to attend the east end, Waiter Scott and Patrick Guidlat; to attend tile wast loft, Alexander Watt and hew hail; to attend the east loft, Robert Burn and Patrick Guidlat."

The dead were interred in Graham's Muir, on the north of the town, each grave being covered with. a flat stone, and the whole were enclosed with a stone-wall. The relics were removed, about fifty years ago, by the then occupier of the field. After the fatal battle of Dunbar, Cromwell marched to the Torwood in this neighbourhood, in pursuit of the army of Charles II. On his way he stormed and took possession of Callendar House, where the King had a garrison. The slaughter was great, and on removal of the old gates by the late proprietor, numbers of human bones were dug out, probably the remains of those who had fallen at the siege. The republican troops were guilty of many excesses,-plundering the houses, and turning the churches into stables for their horses. The church of Falkirk shared the general devastation. " September 23d, 1855, Ordains those whose seats were broken down in the kirk in the tyme of the troubles, should com and own thaim, and repair thaim, otherways the session will dispone upon them." This, and similar notices to be found in the parish records, illustrates the manners of the times and the effects of war.

Alexander, second Earl of Callendar, was a zealous Covenanter, and a copy of the Solemn League is still preserved in Falkirk, bearing his signature, with that of many others. On two different occasions, the troops of Government took possession of his house; but, in the last of these, in 1678, a mob from Falkirk put the intruders to flight. The other branch of the Livingstone family adhered to the Royal cause, and members of it were engaged at the battle of Bothwell Bridge, and otherwise against the Covenanters*

The events connected with the chivalrous attempt of Prince Charles Edward to regain the throne of his ancestors, next made this parish conspicuous in history. On 17th January 1746, a battle was fought on the moor about a mile south-west from the town, on ground now traversed by the Union Canal and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. The parties were the Highlanders under the Prince, and the Royal forces commanded by General Hawley. Both armies were well matched in point of numbers, each consisting of about 8000 men, and the day terminated in the total defeat of the Government troops, with 280 killed and wounded. The irregular nature of the ground and other causes led to the discomfiture of Hawley; but after the battle of Falkirk, Charles's success terminated.

* the writer has been indebted for several of the foregoing statements to the pages of the Falkirk Magazine, -- a publication which issued from the local press in 1827; but was discontinued after reaching the seventh number.

Amongst the slain in the Royal army were Sir Robert Munro of Foulis, Baronet, and his brother Dr Munro, to whose memory a splendid monument was erected near the centre of the church-yard. Many incidents in regard to this eventful day have been handed down. One of these may be mentioned. On the day following, a son of the chief of Glengarry, who bad been engaged in the conflict, was accidentally shot from a window in the principal street of the town. He was carried to his lodgings in the near neighbourhood, in a house then possessed by an ancestor of the writer of this article, where he lingered for several days, and, after every attention paid to him, he expired, and was interred in the church-yard.*

'The house from which the shot came was Several years ago taken down and rebuilt by the writer of this account. The death of this young officer was occasioned by one of his own men whose gun had missed fire during the engagement; and while cleaning his piece, the shot went of at the expense of a life he would have done much to save.''

During the revolutionary excitement which pervaded the lower orders in the year 1820, a skirmish took place on a rising ground four miles westward of the town, which has been called the battle of Bonnymuir. On Wednesday, the 25th of April, a party of armed Radicals, chiefly from Glasgow, were overtaken near to the scene of action by Lieutenant Hodgson of the 10th Hussars, and Lieutenant Davidson of the Stirlingshire Yeomanry Cavalry, with a detachment of their respective corps. On observing this force the Radicals cheered, and advanced to a wall, over which they commenced firing at the military. They were soon, however, overpowered, and nineteen of them were taken prisoners and lodged in Stirling Castle. In the encounter Lieutenant Hodgson received a pike wound through the right hand, and a sergeant in the Hussars was severely wounded by a shot in the side and by a pike. Several of the Radicals were also wounded, and three horses. In this affair, five muskets, two pistols, and about one hundred round of ball cartridge were taken by the military. The result showed the hopelessness of any attempt on the part of the Radicals to cope with regular troops, and the disturbances of that period speedily subsided.

Eminent Characters .- The family of Livingstone has been long distinguished in this quarter. it is supposed to have had its origin about the year 1075, and to be of Hungarian extraction. In course of time, it branched out into the three families of Linlithgow, Callendar, and Kilsyth. At the period of the Rebellion in 1715, the titles of Linlithgow and Callendar centred in James, fifth Earl of Linlithgow, and fourth Earl of Callendar. He and William, third Viscount Kilsyth, having joined in that rebellion, their estates were confiscated and their titles forfeited. The Earl escaped to the continent, where he died. Sir Thomas Livingstone of Westquarter and Bedlormie, Bart., is said to be his lineal descendant. The estate of Callendar was sold about the year 1720 to the York Buildings Company, whose affairs having become disordered, it was brought to sale under authority of the Court of Session in 1783, and was purchased by the late William Forbes, Esq., merchant in London, father of the present proprietor. William Boyd, fourth Earl of Kilmarnock, married Lady Anne Livingstone, only surviving child of the above-mentioned James Earl of Linlithgow and Callendar. He connected himself with the Rebellion of 1745, and having been convicted of high treason, was beheaded at London on 18th August 1746 In the 42d year of his age, and his remains were interred in the Tower. While the estate was the property of the York-Buildings Company, they granted a lease of it to the Earl and his Countess, which expired about the year 1777.

The estate of Kerse, now belonging to the Earl of Zetland, was formerly the property of the family of Hope. In 1638, it was purchased by Sir Thomas Hope, King's Advocate, from Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth. By destination it fell to his second son, Sir Thomas Hope, one of the Lords of Session, and afterwards Lord Justice-General. The estate was purchased many years ago by Lawrence Dundas, Esq., merchant in Edinburgh, who was created a Baronet in 1762; and, in 1794, his son, Sir Thomas, was advanced to the Peerage under the title of Lord Dundas. He died in 1820, and was succeeded by his son, Lawrence, who, in 1838, had conferred on him the title of Earl of Zetland. In consequence of his death in the following year, the estate and honours devolved on his son, Thomas, the present Earl.

James Wilson, D. D., minister of the parish, was a native of Lanarkshire; became pastor of a Dissenting chapel at Stockport, in England; was translated to Mid-Calder in 1793, and to Falkirk in 1794. He died in 1829. In 1801, he published a History of Egypt in three volumes, and, in 1819, Prayers for Families and Individuals. Besides these, he was the author of some smaller publications. He had a numerous family, all of whom predeceased him, excepting one son, the present minister of Irvine, who is the author of several works in Theology.

Mr William Symington of the Wanlockhead mines, inventor of a method of moving wheel-carriages by steam, constructed, in 1802, a steam-vessel for the Forth and Clyde Canal, which towed two loaded sloops of seventy tons burden each, from Lock No.20, to Port Dundas, a distance of 19½ miles, in six hours against a head wind. It appeared, however, that the agitation of the water would destroy the canal banks, and the design was laid aside. Mr Symington lived many years in Falkirk, and died in London a few years ago.

The Rev. John Brown Patterson, A. M., was ordained minister of this parish in 1830. He was a native of Alnwick, in Northumberland. He became distinguished as the author of an essay on the National Character of the Athenians, which gained the prize of one hundred guineas, offered in 1827 by the Commissioners for visiting the Universities of Scotland. He died in 1835, and his remains lie interred in the porch leading into the church, where an elegant monument has been erected to his memory. Since his death, memoirs of his life, with a selection from his discourses, have been published in two volumes; and, more recently, a volume of lectures.*

Henry Belfrage, D. D., was a native of this parish, being a son of tile Rev. John Belfrage, minister of the Associate Congregation in Falkirk. He was ordained colleague and successor to his father in 1794, and died in 1885. He published several volumes of sermons and other theological works.

James Walker, Esq., LL. D., the celebrated engineer, London, was born and educated in Falkirk. His father was a respectable merchant in the town, and was proprietor and occupier of an extensive farm in tile neighbourhood.

The Rev. James Burns, A. M. was a native of Falkirk. While at college he gained several prizes. He was ordained to the first charge of the parish of Brechin in 1798, and was the author of the Account of that parish, which appeared in the first number of this work, -- besides other publications. He died on 2d January 1837.

Commodore Charles Napier was born at Merchistonhall in this parish. He is renowned for the part he acted in the late brilliant affair of St Jean D' Acre, and for other martial achievements.

*He was succeeded as minister of the parish by the Rev. Alexander- Melville, who was ordained on 22d January 1836, and died on 2d December 1839.

Land-owners.-The chief land-owners are, William Forbes of Callendar; the Earl of Zetland ; Sir Thomas Livingstone, Bart.; Henry Stainton, Esq. London; Carron Company; The Union Canal Company; Heirs of Joseph Stainton, Esq.; John B. Ralston of Ellrig, John Strachan of Thornton, Yorkshire; John Callander of Woodburn; Alexander Macfarlane of Thornhill; Robert Russell of Dalnair, Thomas C. Hagart of Bantaskine; Andrew Speirs of Lochgreen; Thomas Marshall of Broomhill; General Straiton of Underwood; John Baird of Camelon; Henry Salmon of Bonnyside; and the Rev. Thomas Sworde, Rector of Thetford.

Parochial Registers -The date of the earliest entry is 4th January 1594. They are voluminous, and have been regularly kept until the present time.

Antiquities.---- Under this head, may be noticed the ruins of the præsidia or forts which were built by Agricola in the 80th year of the Christian era, for securing his conquests on the south. These forts appear to have been erected in the same track where Antoninus afterwards formed the wall now called Graham's Dyke. At Castlecary, the remains of one of these forts is still to be seen. They cover six acres of ground, now forming a grass field, being vaulted underneath. Part of the foundation of the fort still continues, and many of the square stones of which it was built are used in the enclosure of the field. At Roughcastle, two miles eastward, another of these forts was placed, but of which no vestiges can be discovered; and its situation is only marked by a slight elevation of the ground. About half a mile north-west of the modern village of Camelon, there are said to have been the ruins of a fortification or camp; but, as the ground has long been under tillage, no remains of it are visible. What is commonly called the wall, consisted of a ditch or vallum, having a wall on the south, which was formed of the earth thrown out in digging the ditch. Stones with inscriptions have been dug up in various parts of it, which throw light on its history, several of which are in the College of Glasgow. Traces of the ditch are to be seen in various places eastward from Castlecary, and also in the grounds of Mr Forbes, and of Mr Hagart. It is particularly conspicuous in Callendar Park, and at Laurieston. About a mile east of that village, it enters the parish of Polmont. A Roman highway entered the parish at Castlecary fort, and ran along the south side of Graham's Dyke. Half a mile east of Roughcastle, it crossed the wall of Antoninus, and came to the ancient station at Camelon, from which it held on to the river Carron, where it entered the parish of Larbert. Some parts of it remain, and are now used as a road. At the time of cutting the Forth and Clyde Canal, which is at no great distance, a Roman granary or cell was discovered, which contained a considerable quantity of wheat of a blackish colour. Portions of this wheat are in the possession of different individuals in the neighbourhood.

The old tower or keep of the Castle of Castlecary is still in tolerable repair, and is inhabited by the Earl of Zetland's forester, The other parts of the building are in ruins. It is a very ancient structure, and the tradition is, that it was built in the time of the Romans.

In the course of the excavations at Grangemouth, two vertebrae of a whale were discovered imbedded in the clay. Lately, when digging clay at the Earl of Zetland's brick field, about three miles from the sea, a similar relic was found, eighteen inches below the surface. It measured a foot in length, by nine inches in diameter.

In April 1840, the trunk of a tree in a petrified state was found in the centre of the railway tunnel at Falkirk, 129 feet from the surface.. It is about five feet in circumference. Several other organic remains have been found there.

Mansion-Houses.- Among these, Callendar House, the seat of William Forbes, Esq. undoubtedly holds the first place. It is in the fashion of the olden time, being remarkable for length rather than width,-- of great thickness in the walls, and adorned with turrets of an antique form. It must have been built several centuries ago, but was in part modernized by the late proprietor. Viewed from the highway, it has a magnificent appearance. The situation, however, is low, and hence the prospect is limited. It is well sheltered in a park containing 400 Scotch acres, of which 250 are covered with coppice-wood, mostly oak, upon ground rising gently to the south. The lawn is ornamented with trees of great size, and supposed to be 200 years old, having been planted by the Earl of Callendar on his return from the exile into which he had gone with Charles II. Within the wood there is a mausoleum erected by the late Mr Forbes, in which his remains are deposited. It is of a circular form, ornamented with Doric columns. Over the door there is a Greek inscription, which has been translated thus:

" All things we mortals call our own

Are mortal too and quickly flown;

But could they all for ever stay,

We soon from them must pass away!"

Kerse House, the seat of the Earl of Zetland, is pleasantly situated in the middle of a finely wooded park, and is the chief ornament of the eastern Carse. The original part of the building is ancient, but successive additions have been made to suit the convenience or taste of the possessor. Its present appearance is of a mansion of the Elizabethan times.

Bantaskine House, the residence of T. C. Hagart, Esq., is an elegant and substantial mansion of modern architecture. It stands on an elevated spot, half a mile south-west of the town, and partakes of the fine prospect which has already been adverted to. The grounds are encircled by luxuriant plantations.

Modern Buildings. -- The office and dwelling-house for their agent, lately erected by the Commercial Banking Company, in the High Street, is a superb structure, and beautifies the part of the town where it stands The meeting. house of the Secession at the east, and the Relief Church at the west end of the town, are large plain buildings, and do not contribute advantageously to the. appearance of the place.