FALKIRK, a Scottish parliamentary burgh, finely situated on a rising ground in the midst of a populous mineral and manufacturing district in Stirlingshire, and overlook ing an expansive "earse," through which the river Forth, with its beautiful landscapes and constant life of sailing-vessels, slowly winds its devious way. F. consists princi pally of a long, irregular street, where there is an equestrian statue to the duke of Wel lington, erected by public subscription in 1854. In 1859, a commodious exchange was built, in which a well-attended stock-market is held every Thursday. In 1868, excel lent county buildings were erected, as well as also a new prison and county police-office. A hall, with accommodation for prosecuting various studies, was opened in 1878, for the Falkirk school of arts. A little to the s. of the town, the Union canal passes through a tunnel nearly half a mile in length. Pop. '71, 10,338. In 1600, F was made a burgh of barony by king James VI., in favor of Alexander lord Livingstone, afterwards earl of Callander, in whose favor also it was in 1646 created a burgh of regality by king Charles I. In 1715, it passed to the crown by the forfeiture of the earl of Linlithgow and Callander; and it was not till the passing of the reform bill in 1832 that it was made a parliamentary burgh, and received a municipal constitution, with a council of twelve, including a provost, three baffles'', and seven councilors. It unites with Airdrie,
Hamilton, Lanark, and Linlithgow, in sending a member to parliament. It has nine yearly fairs, an extensive inland trade, various local manufactures, and charitable insti• tutions. Its parish church—the Eglais Bhrec, Varia Capella, or Speckled Kirk of our chartularies and of local tradition—has one or two monuments of some antiquity, but was itself rebuilt in the year 1810. The church, church lands, and barony belonged of old to the abbey of Holyrood. Near F., in 1298, sir William Wallace made his mas terly retreat from the disastrous battle (see FALKIRK, BATTLE OF) in which he lost his brave companions in arms, sir John Graham and sir John Stewart, both said to be interred in the parish church-yard. The inscribed stone alleged to cover the grave of sir John Graham, is apparently more modern than his time. In 1746, the neighborhood of F. was the scene of another battle, in which the royal troops were defeated by those of prince Charles Edward. It is now chiefly noted for its cattle-trysts (cattle fairs), at which stock is yearly sold to the value of about £1,000,000. In the immediate vicinity are the Carron iron-works. F. is a station on the North British railway, and has water communication by the Forth and Clyde canal.