Aberdeen, city (1991 pop. 218,200) and council area, NE Scotland, on the North Sea at the mouth of the Dee River. It is Scotland's third largest city. Aberdeen is a major fishing port and granite-quarrying center. It is also the financial and administrative center for Britain's North Sea oil industry. Aberdeen became a royal burgh in 1176 and was a leading port for trade with England and the Low Countries as early as the 14th cent. The town was burned by the English in 1336. It was a stronghold of royalist and episcopal sentiment in the religious wars of the 17th cent. Aberdeen is noted for its granite Cathedral of St. Machar. The Univ. of Aberdeen includes King's College (founded 1493) and Marischal College (founded 1593).