"RENFREWSHIRE, maritime Co., in SW. of Scotland, bounded N. by the river Clyde and Dumbartonshire, E. by Lanarkshire, S. by Ayrshire, and W. by the Firth of Clyde; greatest length, NW. and SE., 31 miles; greatest breadth, NE. and SW., 14 miles; area, 156,785 ac., pop. 263,374. The principal streams, all flowing to the Clyde, are the Black Cart, the White Cart, and the Gryfe. The surface in the S. and SW. parts of the Co. is hilly, and somewhat bleak and moorish; it thence undulates to the banks of the Clyde, along which there is some rich and low lying land. Coal, ironstone, and limestone are abundant; copper ore occurs near Gourock and Lochwinnoch. The principal industries, besides mining and agriculture, are the mfr. of cotton and thread, sugar-refining, and shipbuilding. The Co. comprises 20 pars. with parts of 4 others, the parl. and police burghs of Greenock (1 member), Paisley (1 member), and Port Glasgow and Renfrew (part of the Kilmarnock Burghs), the police burghs (suburban of Glasgow) of Crosshill, Kinning Park, Pollokshields, and Pollokshields East, and the police burghs of Gourock, Johnstone, and Pollokshaws. For parliamentary purposes the Co. is divided into 2 divisions -viz., Eastern and Western -each returning 1 member. The representation of the county was increased from 1 to 2 members in 1885."
[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]