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royal burgh (town) and North Sea port, council area and historic county of Angus, Scotland, situated at the mouth of the River South Esk. Montrose received its first charter from David I of Scotland (reigned 1124-53) and was designated a royal burgh in 1352. It was there in 1296 that King Edward I of England accepted the surrender of Scotland from the Scottish king John de Balliol. Montrose prospered as a market town and fishing port and by the 18th century had developed into a popular spa. The town has been known for its jute-processing and jam-making industries, but the production of goods and services for the North Sea oil industry is now more important to the local economy. The town, no longer a spa, is still a popular holiday resort. Pop. (2001) 10,845.