Dundee (Scottish Gaelic: DÃ¹n DÃ¨agh) is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and, fully named as Dundee City, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. It lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea.
Evidence suggests Dundee has been continuously occupied since the Mesolithic. The town developed into a burgh in Medieval times, and expanded rapidly in the 19th century largely due to the jute industry. This, along with its other major industries gave Dundee its epithet as the city of "jam, jute and journalism".
In mid-2006, the population of Dundee City was estimated to be 141,930, with a metropolitan population of 159,522. Dundee's recorded population reached a peak of 182,204 at the time of the 1971 census, but has since declined due to outward migration.
Today, Dundee is promoted as the City of Discovery, in honour of Dundee's history of scientific activities and of the RRS Discovery, Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic exploration vessel, which was built in Dundee and is now berthed in the city harbour. Biomedical and technological industries have arrived since the 1980s, and the city now accounts for 10% of the United Kingdom's digital-entertainment industry. Dundee has two universitiesâ€”the University of Abertay Dundee and the University of Dundee.
Dundee became a walled city in 1545, owing to a period of hostilities known as the rough wooing. In July 1547, much of the city was destroyed by an English naval bombardment. In 1645, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Dundee was again besieged, this time by the Royalist Marquess of Montrose.
In 1651 during the Third English Civil War, the city was attacked by Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentarian forces, led by George Monk. Much of the city was destroyed and many of its inhabitants killed. Dundee was later the site of an early Jacobite uprising when John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee raised the Stuart standard on Dundee Law in support of James VII (James II of England) following his overthrow, earning him the nickname Bonnie Dundee.
Dundee greatly expanded in size during the Industrial Revolution mainly because of the burgeoning British Empire trade, flax and then latterly the jute industry. By the end of the 19th century, a majority of the city's workers were employed in its many jute mills and in related industries. Dundee's location on a major estuary allowed for the easy importation of jute from the Indian subcontinent as well as whale oilâ€”needed for the processing of the juteâ€”from the city's large whaling industry. A substantial coastal marine trade also developed, with inshore shipping working between the city of Dundee and the port of London. The industry began to decline in the 20th century as it became cheaper to process the cloth on the Indian subcontinent. The city's last jute mill closed in the 1970s.
The original Tay Bridge (from the south) the day after the disaster. The collapsed section can be seen near the northern end
In addition to jute the city is also known for jam and journalism. The "jam" association refers to marmalade, which was purportedly invented in the city by Janet Keiller in 1797 (although in reality, recipes for marmalade have been found dating back to the 1500s). Keiller's marmalade became a famous brand because of its mass production and its worldwide export. The industry was never a major employer compared with the jute trade. Marmalade has since become the "preserve" of larger businesses, but jars of Keiller's marmalade are still widely available. "Journalism" refers to the publishing firm DC Thomson & Co., which was founded in the city in 1905 and remains the largest employer after the health and leisure industries. The firm publishes a variety of newspapers, children's comics and magazines, including The Sunday Post, The Courier, Shout and children's publications, The Beano and The Dandy.
Dundee also developed a major maritime and shipbuilding industry in the 19th century. 2,000 ships were built in Dundee between 1871 and 1881, including the Antarctic research ship used by Robert Falcon Scott, the RRS Discovery. This ship is now on display at Discovery Point in the city, and the Victorian steel-framed works in which Discovery's engine was built is now home to the city's largest book shop. The need of the local jute industry for whale oil also supported a large whaling industry. Dundee Island in the Antarctic takes its name from the Dundee whaling expedition, which discovered it in 1892. Whaling ceased in 1912 and shipbuilding ceased in 1981. The estuary was the location of the first Tay rail bridge, built by Thomas Bouch and opened in 1879. At the time it was the longest railway bridge in the world. The bridge fell down in a storm less than a year later under the weight of a train full of passengers in what is known as the Tay Bridge disaster. None of the passengers survived.