1888 December 21 The Scotsman


A MINISTER CENSURED FOR NEGLECT OF DUTY. - A pro re nata meeting of the North Isles Presbytery, Orkney, was held in Cross Church, Sanday, yesterday, in consequence of a letter of complaint from some of the members of the congregation in Rousay with respect to an intimation made by the Rev. Mr Spark to the effect that he would preach in Rousay only once a month during the winter. Mr Spark admitted that he had made the intimation, whereupon the Presbytery expressed their disapprobation of his conduct, their regret that he had been guilty of the neglect of duty referred to, and enjoined him to reside within the bounds of his parish, and attend to the regular discharge of his duties. In consequence of the Rousay manse being under repair, Mr Spark has been residing in Kirkwall.


1889 April 15 Glasgow Herald


SCHOOL BOARDS. ROUSAY AND EGILSHAY. - The School Board of Rousay and Egilshay met and considered, and disposed of a considerable amount of routine business. Thereafter a letter was read from the Rev. A. McCallum, chairman of the Board, in which he intimated that, as he was leaving the parish from ill-health, he regretted to have to resign his office as chairman and also his seat as a member of the Board. The Board resolved, in accepting the resignation, to record their profound sympathy with Mr McCallum in the circumstances, especially regarding his health, and also their deep regret at parting with one who had done so much to relieve the schools of the parish of a burdensome debt, and who had as chairman put educational matters on a solid, economical, and satisfactory footing. The clerk was instructed to furnish Mr McCallum with an excerpt of the Board's minute, It was then moved and seconded that the Rev. A. Spark, Established Church, Rousay, be elected as chairman in succession to Mr McCallum. It was also moved and seconded that the Rev. A. J. Pirie, United Presbyterian Church, Rousay, be elected.  By the casting vote of Mr Marwick, Guidall, chairman pro tem, the Rev. A. J. Pirie was elected.



1889 April 30 John o’ Groat Journal


ORKNEY FREE PRESBYTERY. - At meeting held at Rousay on Wednesday, the Presbytery granted moderation in a call in favour of Mr Bonellie, preacher, Glasgow, to be minister of Rousay Free Church. The call was harmonious, and a letter was read from Mr Bonellie intimating his intention of accepting.


1889 May 29 Morning Post




MESSRS. J. WATSON LYALL and CO., Land Agents, 15, Pall-mall, London, are instructed to SELL, by AUCTION, at the Mart, Tokenhouse-yard, Bank of England, London, on THURSDAY, June 27, at two o'clock precisely.

    The extensive and attractive ESTATE of ROUSAY and VIERA, in the county of Orkney. The extent of the estate is about 12,000 acres, of which about 3,148 acres are arable, 8,827 acres pasture, and about 25 acres plantation. The climate is most salubrious, with little frost or snow in winter, and the whole district is most picturesque. The estate is about 10 miles from Kirkwall, the chief town of the Orkney Islands. The route is by rail to Thurso, thence by steamer to Kirkwall and Rousay; also by steamer from Leith or Aberdeen to Kirkwall: or from Liverpool or Glasgow to Stromness (Orkney). There is a post-office about 2½ miles distant, and a pillar letter-box at the lodge gate. Telegraph-office at Kirkwall, 10 miles dlstant. The estate is surrounded and intersected by good roads. There are two residences, namely, the Mansion-house of Trumland and Westness House. Trumland House occupies a beautiful position surrounded by 50 acres of policies, pleasure grounds, gardens, &c. The mansion was built in 1875 from designs by the well-known architect, Mr. D. Bryce, R.S.A., and is a very handsome characteristic Scotch house, with large accommodation. Westness House (shooting lodge) is nicely situated, and has also accommodation for a large party. There is a good stock of game on the estate, including grouse, snipe, plover, wild duck, hares, rabbits, &c. A great variety of wildfowl, including wild swans, visit the island in winter, and there are seals in summer. It is, in fact, an excellent all-the-year-round shooting. There is excellent Loch trout fishing, and good sea-trout fishing - exclusive right to both. The whole district is picturesque and interesting, and the views from the Mansion-house very fine. There are veins of lead, copper, and a sort of curly shale, and also pavement flagstones. Secure anchorage for yachts in the Sound close to Trumland House all the year round, and secure summer anchorage at Westness. The rental of the estate is £3,365 6s. 3d., and the public burdens amount to £625 5s. 7d., leaving a clear rental of £2,680, not including Trumland House and shootings in proprietor’s occupation, valued at about £625.

    Printed particulars of sale may be had from Messrs. J. Watson Lyall and Co.,

land agents, 15, Pall-mall, London.


1889 November 16 The Orcadian


ROUSAY FREE CONCERT. – On the evening of Friday, 8th November, a free concert was given by the ladies of Westness House in the Frotoft Public School. Rev A. Pirie occupied the chair, and General and Mrs Burroughs were present on the platform. The inhabitants of Rousay should feel deeply indebted to the ladies of Westness for providing them with such a treat as was afforded on Friday evening. The services of Misses McDonald and Ewbank toward the success of the concert cannot be over-rated; and the accompaniments played by Mrs McDonald left nothing to be desired. The songs sung by Mr Hugh Inkster did not fail to tickle the comic faculties of every individual in the audience. Several solos were exquisitely rendered by Miss McDonald on the banjo. Master D. Learmonth’s rendering of “Duck Foot Sue” was excellent, and loudly applauded. Mr Marwick’s contributions to the programme do him great credit. The recitations were well rendered. The plantation songs reflect great praise both on the conductor and the chorus. The school children performed their part well under the able superintendence of Mr Muir.

    Programme. – Plantation song, ‘Clitter Clatter’, chorus; song, ‘Powder Monkey Jim’, Mr Hugh Inkster; recitation, ‘Boys’ Rights’, Mr John Craigie; song, ‘Just as well’, Miss Ewbank, Violin; ‘Scotch Airs’, Mr N. Mainland; song, ‘Ballyhooly’, Mr Marwick; duet, ‘Down where the Blue Bells grow’, Mr Craigie and Mr D. Learmonth; song, ‘The Fishers’, Mrs Pirie; recitation, ‘Hodge and the Vicar’, Mr Muir; song, ‘Sailing’, Mr W. Learmonth; plantation song, ‘Dinah’s Wedding’, chorus; violin and song, ‘Serenade’, Miss Ewbank and Miss McDonald; song, ‘Razors in the Air’, Mr Hugh Inkster; banjo solo, ‘Darling Clementine’, Miss McDonald; duet, ‘A.B.C.’, Miss Low and Mr Mainland; song, ‘The Three Dreamers’, Mr W. Learmonth; song, ‘Duckfoot Sue’, Mr D. Learmonth; chorus, ‘Silverlake’, school children; melodeon, ‘Scotch Airs’, Mr R. Flett; song, ‘No Sir’, Miss S. Ewbank; piano, ‘Dance Music’, Miss Pirie; recitation, ‘ Modern Music’, Mr James Craigie; banjo solo, ‘Peptia’, Miss McDonald; plantation song, ‘Goodnight’, chorus.

    General Burroughs in a neat speech proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the ladies from Westness House for getting up the concert, and also to the performers who had taken part. A vote of thanks was given to the Rev A. Pirie for his conduct in the chair. After singing ‘God Save the Queen,’ a very enjoyable evening was brought to a close.


1889 November 28 Glasgow Herald


COURT OF SESSION. – First Division – Wednesday, November 27. (Before the Lord-President, Lords Shand, Adam, and McLaren.)

    COMMERCIAL BANK v. SINCLAIR’S EXECUTORS, &c. – Robert Sinclair, senr., sometime farmer at Swandale, Rousay, Orkney, died at Swandale on 24th February, 1884, survived by his wife, Mrs Christian Inkster or Sinclair. At the time of his death he had a sum of over £800 in deposit-receipt with the Commercial Bank. After the death of Mrs Sinclair in 1887 questions arose as to the right of the relatives to the fund, which was held to have been the property of the husband. The Commercial Bank accordingly raised this action to settle the claims of parties. Samuel Sinclair, 22 Dean Park Street, Edinburgh, and Betsy Sinclair or Craigie, farmer, widow of the late John Craigie, farmer, Falldown, Rousay, claimed the fund as executors dative of the late Robert Sinclair for the purpose of administration. By the late Robert Sinclair’s settlement, he bequeathed his property to his widow in liferent, and to four of his six children in fee equally among them, declaring that in respect two of his sons, Thomas and Hugh, had been set up and furnished by him in their farms at a cost equal to any share of his estate that they, or either of them, could by law or otherwise claim, they should receive no part of his estate at the time of the death of his wife. Both, however, claimed on the estate, Thomas for £103 5s 2d and Hugh for £51 11s 4d.

    Lord Trayner repelled the claims of the two sons, and preferred the claim of the executors to the fund. The two sons were found liable in expenses. Counsel for Executors – Mr Wilson. Agent – T. M. Morris, S.S.C. Counsel for Thomas and Hugh Sinclair – Mr Galbraith Millar. Agent – James Gibson, S.S.C.


1890 June 13 Peterhead Sentinel & General Advertiser


PRESENTATION TO AN OLD DEER MAN IN ORKNEY. - Mr George Murrison, J.P., some fifteen years factor on the estates of Rousay and Veira, has recently left Orkney, and on the occasion of his departure was presented by General and Mrs Traill Burroughs with a handsome drawing-room clock, bearing the following inscription:- Presented by Lieutenant-General F. Traill Burroughs, C.B., of Rousay and Veira, Orkney, to Mr George Murrison, J.P., as remembrance his able, active, zealous, and faithful services as factor on his estate from 1875 to 1890, and as a token of his sincere regret at parting with him on account of the action of the Crofter Commission having stopped ail estate improvements, and having rendered useless the further services of a resident factor.” Mr Murrison is a native of the parish of Old Deer, and his old friends in the district will no doubt be gratified that he has been held in such high esteem in the far north.


1890 June 27 Dundee Advertiser


SEVERE STORM IN THE NORTH. - One of the most severe gales ever experienced in Orkney during the summer mouths raged here early on Wednesday. The skipper the Fiery Cross, Cullen, was lost twelve miles off Hoy. A boat is reported ashore at Rousay; but it could not be ascertained whether the crew was saved. Another boat went ashore at Shapinshay, but afterwards got off; whilst a third boat, which drifted from its anchor in Kirkwall Bay, was wrecked at Weyland. It is also reported that a boat is ashore at Skaill, and another was seen on the West coast of Orkney floating bottom up. There has been a great loss nets. A South Ronaldshay boat and the Inverness boat Pioneer (437) lost their whole drift, whilst other boats from Thurso and Wick have nearly all lost a few nets.

1890 August 18 The Scotsman


THE MOORS – ORKNEY. – Mr Cluny Macpherson, Mr J. F. Lawson, and General Burroughs, were out on the Trumbland Moor, Rousay, on the 13th, and in five hours bagged 16 brace grouse, 1½ brace of snipe, 3 hares, and 6 rabbits. They were shot over pointers. The day was bright and warm. Coveys ranged from 5 to 10 birds. There is no disease, but some barren birds were observed. Birds generally are strong.


1890 October 16 Sheffield Independent


LANDLORD TYRANNY IN ORKNEY. THE ACTION OF THE CROFTERS' COMMISSION. - General Burroughs, the holder of some crofting property, is creating some excitement in the Orkney Islands by the bad grace with which he receives the decisions of the Crofters' Commission, which is concerned in adjusting for the Crofters the legal rights which Parliament has given them. According to some recent issues of The Orcadian, copies of which have been sent to us, the general seems to hold himself entitled to thwart the purposes of the Act, even to the exposure of his own foolishness. It appears that the dwelling house on the croft of Swartafiold having become unfit for habitation, the crofter, Mr. John Inkster, took it down and proceeded to erect, at his own charges, a new house with stones from “an old use-and-wont quarry on the commons." This course was dictated by considerations that might be called personal, but also by regard for the law which imposes on crofters the duty of keeping their holdings in good condition. However, the eye of General Burroughs was upon him, and Mr. Inkster, along with another crofter, was treated to a solicitor's letter, intimating that if the quarrying was not instantly stopped an action of interdict would be raised, and, over and above, the offenders would be reported to the Procurator-Fiscal for theft. An instructive correspondence followed. General Burroughs was informed of the circumstances under which the quarrying was being done; that the dwelling house had been taken down; that the crofter was house-less; and he was asked - (1) whether there was any quarry on the estate from which the crofter could obtain stones; (2) or, alternatively, whether he might open a quarry on his own croft; (3) whether he might be permitted to use the stones he had already quarried on payment of surface damage or a small lordship. To this the general replied that he could not prevent a crofter erecting any building on his holding, but he could prevent him quarrying stones; and that he was determined to do. This was absolute enough, but the crofter ventured one more appeal, “Was he at liberty to quarry stones from waste or other suitable ground on his own croft?" to which General Burroughs answered “neither on his own croft nor elsewhere." So, if it be at all within the compass of General Burroughs’s power, the crofter is to remain houseless; he is to contravene the Act by allowing his holding to become dilapidated, or he is to take his fate in his hands and his stones from the quarry and hazard a sentence for theft. The Scottish Leader, under these circumstances, advises the crofter to build his house with the best stones he can get from his croft, and to let General Burroughs do his worst, adding, he could not go to gaol in a better cause. But the gaol is not so easily made ready. General Burroughs, in spite of his tasteless threat, will find it rather hard to prove that a crofter who takes stones from his own croft to build a respectable house on General Burroughs' property is committing a felony. Whatever be the true motive, General Burroughs is lending a service to land law reform; and if he will only have the crofter clapped in gaol, Radicals will have the more to thank him for.

    Writing in his own defence, General Burroughs says: - “My case is this. Some 1900 acres of my land in Rousay have been forcibly taken from me without compensation, and have been handed over to a class of persons who have no more right to it than has any reader of this newspaper. These people are called crofters, and my land has been handed over to them and to their heirs and successors for ever, so long as they choose to continue to pay for it a rent below its market value, and fixed by the Crofter Commission - a Commission consisting of three men, who, contrary to all law until recently in force in Britain, have been invested with the despotic power of a Czar of Russia, and the infallibility of the Pope of Rome, and against whose unjust decrees there is no appeal! And at the mercy of these three men have been placed the reputation and the estates of landowners in the so-called "Crofting counties" of Scotland. He complains that John Inkster and Peter Yorston, who, before the Commission, made out that they were too poor to pay their rent, as soon as they had succeeded in getting it reduced and obtaining fixity of tenure, their poverty was soon forgotten, and they set about pulling down the existing buildings and erecting new ones on his land without consulting him, and without his permission they took stone from his quarries to do this.


1890 October 18 Shetland Times



The following correspondence has passed between Messrs Macrae & Robertson, solicitors, Kirkwall, and Mr John Inkster, Swartafiold, Sourin, Rousay, and Mr Andrew Thomson solicitor, Kirkwall. Messrs Macrae and Robertson, agents for the General, wrote as follows to John Inkster: - “We are informed that you are quarrying stones upon General Burroughs’ property without his permission. If we do not hear from you within five days from this date that you have ceased quarry, we shall raise an action of interdict against you in the Sheriff Court and report you to the Procurator-Fiscal for theft.” To this Mr Thomson replied: - “Your letter of 16th instant to Mr John Inkster, Swartafiold, Sourin, Rousay, has been handed me. The veto put by you upon his quarrying stones in the old use-and-wont quarry on the commons will be strictly observed. I understand you are aware that the former dwelling-house on the croft, having become ruinous, and threatening to fall, has been taken down and that Mr Inkster was in course of erecting, at his own expanse, a new dwelling-house upon the croft in substitution for the old one. In this way he went to the quarry, which he understood had all along been freely open to the whole tenantry. As he is at present houseless, I shall esteem it favour to be informed at your early convenience whether Mr Inkster can quarry stone in any quarry upon the estate, to enable him to re-erect his dwelling-house, and, if so, from what quarry, or alternatively whether he can open a quarry on his own croft. Mr Inkster has about as many stones quarried in the quarry referred to as will enable him to erect his house. Cannot he have these on paying surface damage, or on payment of a small lordship?” Messrs Macrae & Robertson, in answer to this, wrote: - “As we are aware, under the Crofters Holdings Act, General Burroughs is powerless to prevent a crofter erecting any building upon his holding. He can, however, prevent their quarrying stones on his property, and we are now instructed to inform you that if either the tenant of Oldman, or Inkster, the tenant of Swartafiold, quarries or removes or makes use of any stone from General Burroughs’ property, they will be at once interdicted.” Mr Thomson then asked: - “ Would you kindly inform me whether General Burroughs will allow the crofters to quarry stones from waste or other suitable ground on their own crofts?” and, in reply, received the following: - “General Burroughs will not allow quarrying on any part of his lands, either on their own crofts or elsewhere.” The last letter is from Mr Thomson, who says: - “I need not recapitulate the circumstances. These crofters are bound not to dilapidate their holdings. Their houses having become ruinous and dangerous had been taken down, and were in course of being rebuilt in terms of the Act. General Burroughs steps in with threats of both civil and criminal prosecution, both of which are unwise, the letter reprehensible. The result is that these crofters are meantime prevented absolutely not only from rebuilding their houses, but they and others are prevented from draining and improving their land.”

    The People’s Journal commenting on the above, says: - People who take an interest in the affairs of the crofters are not unacquainted with General Burroughs. The General is one of the landlords whose high and mighty notions of his rights on the face the earth have greatly helped advance the cause of the Land Law Reform in the North. Of course he hates the Crofters’ Act and everything connected with it, and his latest performance among his tenants is evidently designed to show his contempt for the Act and his desire to get some of his tenants back into the grips from which it has rescued them. Under the statute, crofters are required to keep their houses in good repair. It they fail to observe this condition they may be removed. Now, some of General Burroughs’ tenants are the occupants of tumble-down houses. These they resolved to rebuild at their own expense and for this purpose they took stones from a quarry on the estate which has hitherto been open to the tenantry. The General by all sorts of threats stopped them from taking stones from this quarry, he refused to let them have the stones for payment, he forbade them to open a quarry on their own crofts, and, lastly, he has refused to let stones be taken from any part his lands. What is to be thought of a landlord who thus shows his childish impotence against an Act of Parliament, which the more he kicks against its provisions will be the more strengthened to restrain him from mischief?

1891 February 19 Aberdeen Free Press


TELEGRAPH EXTENSION TO ORKNEY. Following up the recommendation of Lord Lothian’s Committee’s report, the Government telegraph engineers are busily engaged in surveying the different districts where the Commission have recommended the telegraph to be extended. It is expected that the cable will be laid this year to Westray, one of the most important islands of the northern group, where a large business is being done in fish. The other districts are Rousay, Eday, Birsay, Evie, and Dounby.


1891 July 18 Aberdeen Free Press


KIRKWALL - GENERAL HOLIDAY.  - Yesterday was held as the annual holiday, and all places of business were shut. The ss. Orcadia, which intended going to Fair Isle on a pleasure trip, had to abandon the project owing to an easterly sea and foggy weather, going instead to Westray. Trips to Shapinshay, Sanday, and Rousay were well patronised, and every available conveyance was engaged for private parties going to picnics to all parts Orkney. The wind was easterly, and heavy fog came on.


1891 July 20 Aberdeen Free Press


BELATED ORCADIAN EXCURSIONISTS. - Friday, as has already been reported, was observed as the annual holiday in Orkney, and a number of excursions by water took place. A very dense fog, however, set in at night, and it was feared that many of the excursionists would not get home. The s.s. Lizzie Burroughs, from Rousay, and the rest of the sailing boats, got in about ten o’clock; but, owing to the dense fog the s.s. Orcadia, at Westray, and the Star of Bethlehem, at Sanday, could not leave, but both arrived at Kirkwall on Saturday morning with their excursionists. The wind was fresh from the south-east, and it was still foggy.


1892 January 6 Glasgow Herald


THOMAS SINCLAIR v. EXECUTORS OF MR AND MRS ROBERT SINCLAIR. - This is an action at the instance of Thomas Sinclair, sometime farmer and miller, Hurtiso, presently residing at Swandale, in Rousay, Orkney, against Samuel Sinclair, presently residing at 22 Dean Park Street, Edinburgh, and others, as executors dative qua next of kin, and general disponees of the decreased Robert Sinclair, Swandale, Rousay, and also against Samuel Sinclair and others as executors dative qua next of kin of Mrs Christian Inkster or Sinclair, his widow, and also as individuals, for count, reckoning, and payment of his share of the estate of his father falling to the widow jure relictae, on the ground that she had never acquiesced in the provisions made to her under her husband's settlement, and also for his legitim cut of his father's estate. The defenders pleaded that the widow had accepted of the liferent of her husband's estate in lieu of her legal rights, and that the pursuer was now barred from claiming a share of her jus relictae as one of her next of kin, and in regard to the pursuer’s claim for legitim they maintained that it was extinguished by advances made to him by his father, and in respect of which he was excluded from sharing in his estate under his will. Lord Low has sustained the defences with reference to the pursuer’s claim in reference to the jus relictae of the testator’s widow, but with regard to his claim for legitim he was allowed a proof before answer.


[jus relictae : - Scots Law: the share of a deceased spouse's moveable goods to which a surviving wife (relictae), is entitled, one-third if there are surviving children and one-half if there are none.

Legitim: - the portion of an estate usually including both real and personal property reserved to the children and sometimes other heirs upon the death of the father under Scots law]


1892 February 10 Aberdeen Free Press



CERTIFICATED (MALE) TEACHER wanted for the Wasbister Public School, Rousay, Orkney: Salary, £70 sterling per annum, with excellent new House and Garden; Duties to commence immediately. Applications, with Testimonials, to be lodged, on or before the 23rd curt., with

JAMES G. CRAIGIE, Clerk of the School Board.

Rousay, Orkney, 4th Feb, 1892.


1892 May 3 John o’ Groat Journal


SALE OF THE s.s. LIZZIE BURROUGHS. - lt having been agreed to wind up the Rousay, Evie, and Rendall Steam Navigation Company, the steamer Lizzie Burroughs was offered for sale at Kirkwall on Monday the upset price of £250. After spirited competition, the vessel was knocked down to Mr Robert Garden, merchant, for £484. Mr T. S. Peace was the auctioneer. One of the conditions of the sale was that the name of the steamer was to be altered within three months. The steamer will therefore be called the Aberdonian, and will continue in the present trade between Kirkwall, Rousay, Evie, Rendall, etc.


1892 June 23 Aberdeen Free Press


Owing to an outbreak of scarlet fever in the Island of Rousay, Orkney, the schools of Wasbister and Sourin have been closed.

1892 October 3 Glasgow Herald


SEVERE THUNDERSTORM. – Reports to hand from Orkney state that the thunderstorm which was experienced there last week was the most serious for many years. The lightning was very vivid and the thunder very loud, but the radius was not large. The damage to crops was very great. In Rousay the hail was very heavy, and two horses grazing near the high cliffs took fright - one running over, the other wheeling round just at the edge.....


1892 October 6 Aberdeen Press & Journal


DR W. G. INKSTER, M.D., C.M., of McGill University, Montreal, and L.R.C.S. and P., Edinburgh and Glasgow, has been appointed medical officer of Rousay and Egilshay. Dr Inkster's father, at present residing in Canada, is a native of Rousay.


1892 December 15 Dundee Advertiser


AN ORKNEY SHOOTING CASE. - Samuel Craigie. Breckan, Rousay, was on Tuesday apprehended and taken to Kirkwall charged with shooting at his neighbour, David Inkster, Innister. He was brought up before Sheriff Armour yesterday, and, after emitting a declaration, was released on a bond of £5.


1893 January 25 Aberdeen Press & Journal


ORKNEY - TWO FISHERMEN FOUND DROWNED. - Bodies of two seamen have been washed ashore at Eday and Papa Westray, as well as some wreckage. It is thought that a Norwegian vessel has been wrecked off the islands during last week’s gales.

    Large quantities of wreckage continue coming ashore on the west coast of Orkney, and there is room for doubting that a vessel has gone down with all hands. The report that a life-belt had been found at Deerness with the words “Ino, Stavanger,” on it has been authenticated. This article, however, was picked up on the east side of the islands, whilst the wreckage is coming ashore on the west coast, and thus doubts have been raised to whether the Ino is the vessel which has been lost. Among the wreckage is a feather bed, part of a mahogany table, and compass, as well as bodies and boats as already reported.

    Our Kirkwall correspondent says the general opinion among seafaring people there is that a vessel must have struck on Sacquoy Head, Rousay, and not gone down at once, as a lifeboat which came ashore and the Norwegian praam at Eday were nowise damaged. A telegram from Westray last night states that three cabin cushions - one initialled “A.S.” - a flask of turpentine, and a light screen were found at the north side. At the West Crags a sofa was seen floating.


1893 August 18 Dundee Courier


LORD AND LADY GRANVILLE GORDON arrived at Kirkwall, per steamer St Clair, yesterday, shortly afterwards proceeding, per yacht, to Rousay. Lord Gordon has taken Westness House, Rousay, for the shooting season, but on the Rousay Moors this season grouse are to be protected. There are, however, plenty of snipe, plover, hare, rabbits, and ducks.


1893 October 14 The Orcadian


SAD BOATING ACCIDENT IN EYNHALLOW  SOUND.  -  MAIL  BOAT  AND  SIX  LIVES  LOST.  - A terrible boating accident occurred in Orkney on Wednesday, resulting in the loss of six lives. The island of Rousay is separated from the mainland by Eynhallow Sound, which is about two miles in breadth, and through which the tide runs with great velocity. With a south-westerly gale, such as was raging on Wednesday, there is always a nasty sea in this Sound; but notwithstanding this, the little boat which plies between Rousay and the mainland with the mails, successfully made the run to Evie that forenoon. After taking on board the mails from the South, and Mrs [Lydia] Gibson, of Lochside, Stenness, and her three children, the boat left Evie on the home journey. When only a short distance from the land, however, the boat was struck by a sudden squall, and the agonised spectators on shore saw it overturn with its living freight. Boat and occupants were swept away with the tide, before any assistance could be rendered – and crew, passengers, and mails were lost. The boat was managed by two Rousay men – one named John Reid, (56 years of age), residing at Frotoft, and the other named James Sinclair, (75 years of age), residing at Tratland, Frotoft. Mrs Gibson, who with her three children had been lost, was going across to Rousay to visit some friends. When the upturned mail boat was last seen, it was rapidly drifting out of Eynhallow Sound.

    Later information regarding the accident is to the effect that when the ill-fated boat left Evie on Wednesday, it was close reefed. All went well while it was under the lea of the land, but immediately it rounded Aikerness Point, it was struck by a squall and was upset. The two boatmen - Reid and Sinclair – were seen clinging to the boat for a minute or two, but it partly righted itself throwing them in the water – and they were never seen again. A small boat manned by William Wood, Wads, and John Mowat, Woodwick, Evie, was at that moment within 150 yards of the scene of the accident, but owing to the terrific gale then blowing, had great difficulty in getting up to the place, and by that time men, woman, and children had disappeared. A boat manned by David Miller, merchant, and Magnus Mowat, Evie, also put off from the shore, but could get no trace of the unfortunate people who were on board the mailboat. The boat was seen to turn over several times, and was carried away past Rousay towards the Atlantic.


1893 October 14 Orkney Herald


SAD BOAT ACCIDENT. LOSS OF SIX LIVES. - A sad boat accident, resulting in the loss of six lives, occurred in Enhallow Sound about noon on Wednesday. A small square-sterned boat, which was temporarily being used to carry the mails between Evie and Rousay, capsized off Aikerness, Evie, soon after starting for Rousay. The boat had safely crossed from Rousay earlier in the day, and though there is always a rapid tide through the sound, and a strong gale was blowing from the south-west, the men did not think there was any danger. Beside the two boatmen, John Reid and James Sinclair, there were on board Mrs. Gibson, jr., of Lochside, Stenness, and three of her children. The boat was close-reefed, and was only a short distance from the shore when she was suddenly struck by a squall and capsized. She turned over several times and then drifted northwards between the island of Enhallow and Rousay out to the Atlantic. The woman and children seem to have gone down almost at once, but the men were seen for a little time, Reid clinging to the bottom of the boat till it turned over again and he lost his hold. The accident was seen from the shore, and steps were at once taken to render help. A boat which was lobster-fishing in the neighbourhood and boats from the shore went to the spot where the accident had occurred and after the drifting boat, but were too late to render any assistance. Much sympathy is felt with the relatives of those who have lost their lives. The two mail-bags came ashore at Westness, Rousay, on Friday, and the mails were delivered the following day. Many of the addresses were almost illegible. The oars and loose boards in the bottom of the boat have also been washed ashore, but no trace of the missing bodies has yet been found.

1893 October 21 The Orcadian


THE RECENT BOATING DISASTER. - Some further accounts are coming to hand of the terrible boating disaster which occurred at Evie on Wednesday last. It seems that though a severe gale of south-westerly wind was blowing, neither crew nor passengers had any misgivings regarding the two-miles’ passage across Eynhallow Sound. Mrs Gibson and her children seemed quite delighted at the prospect of the sail. The boat, however, had scarcely rounded Aikerness Point when it was swamped by the sudden squall. Mrs Gibson and her three children were never again seen, but one of the two boatmen, John Reid, was observed scrambling onto the keel of the boat. He was only there a few minutes, however, when the little craft gave a heavy lurch, pitching the unfortunate man once more into the sea. The two mail bags which were in the boat have been washed ashore at Rousay. A small boat, 10½ feet keel, square-sterned, and painted light blue outside, supposed to be the one  lost at Evie, was driven ashore on the north side of Papa Stronsay last week. It has three fixed thwarts in it, two fitted for a mast, evidently for either a smack or lug rig, but there were no traces of either a mast or sail attached. It had a square iron rollock on each side, fastened with a chain, and two small sail thimbles, fastened one on each quarter, evidently for the sheet. Feeling allusion was made to the sad event in many of the pulpits in Orkney last Sunday. None of the bodies have yet been recovered.


1893 November 15 Orkney Herald


BODY FOUND. - The body of a boy, son of Mr [Robert] Gibson, jr. Lochside, Stenness, and one of the children drowned through the capsizing of the Rousay post boat in Eynhallow Sound on October 11th, came ashore near Burgar, Evie, on Tuesday last week.


1893 November 22 Orkney Herald


BODIES FOUND. - The body of a man, which has been identified as that of John Reid, one of the boatmen who were drowned by the capsizing of the Rousay post boat in Enhallow Sound on the 11th of October, came ashore  on  Saturday on the west side of the Sand of Evie. The body of Mrs Gibson, Lochside, Stenness, who was lost in the same accident, has been found at Rousay.


1893 December 13 Orkney Herald


BODY FOUND. - The body of James Sinclair, one of the boatmen lost in the Rousay post boat on the 11th October in Enhallow Sound, was found on Saturday morning. This makes the fourth body that has been found of the six lost by the accident.


ROUSAY. PRESENTATION TO A SABBATH-SCHOOL TEACHER. - Frotoft School was on Tuesday night last week the scene of a large and interesting meeting, when Mr. James Mainland, of Tratland, was presented by the scholars of  the  Sabbath-school with a Bible in recognition of his long and valued services as a teacher. The Rev. A Irvine Pirie made the presentation in name of the scholars, and in doing so said that Mr Mainland had been a teacher in the school for forty-seven years, that owing to advancing age he felt himself unable to continue longer in the work, and that consequently the scholars and other friends desired to express to him their gratitude for all his faithful services, and the earnest hope that he may be long spared amongst them. Mr Pirie stated that Mr Mainland had in the school as his colleague the late Mr James Sinclair, of Newhouse, who for the long period of fifty-four years had laboured as a Sabbath-school teacher. If Mr Sinclair had been spared he would doubtless have received a similar expression of good feeling and gratitude. He had, however, been taken from them to receive a higher award, and his class had heartily united with the rest in offering this token of esteem and affection to Mr Mainland. Mr Mainland, who was much affected, said in reply that he did not know how to thank them all for this unexpected kindness. His labours in the school had been one of his greatest sources of pleasure, but since his old much-esteemed friend and fellow-labourer, Mr Sinclair, had been taken away, and also his own beloved son-in-law by that sore boat accident, he felt he was not able to meet his class as formerly. The burden of increasing years was also telling upon him, so that he had resolved to retire from the school. He had seen a great number of his class go out into the world, and set up homes for themselves, and when he heard of them doing well he was as proud of it as if they were members of his own family. He looked upon them all as his children, and his prayer was that the choicest blessings of the gospel may ever rest upon them. The members of the Bible class enlivened the proceedings by singing a number of beautiful hymns.


ROUSAY MAILS. - SIR, - I observe in your last issue a statement that during the previous week the mail boat went only twice to Evie, Your informant might make himself more certain as to facts before publishing them, as the mail boat went three times notwithstanding the stormy character of the weather. As this mis-statement must wound hearts already sore enough from the recent sad mail-boat fatality, I deem it a duty to correct it. I will add that, while we have been accustomed to such faithful daily service between Rousay and Evie by those who have paid dearly with their lives, we have already found in their successors men as faithful and as brave, against whom if we have any complaint, that complaint must be that they should venture to cross those wild seas in uncertain weather, which the public would rather they should not. – Yours, &c.,


                                                      ALEXANDER SPARK.     Rousay Manse, 15th Dec. 1893.


1894 January 20 Dundee Evening Telegraph


THE ORKNEY MAIL BOAT ACCIDENT. GRATUITIES FROM ROYAL BOUNTY. - The Postmaster of Kirkwall has been informed by Mr Gladstone that gratuities out of the Royal Bounty Fund have been issued to the widows of the two boatmen lately lost in the mail boat accident at Rousay - viz., £50 to Mrs Sarah Reid, and £25 to Mrs Mary Sinclair. Mr Gladstone has been induced to do this at the instance of the Rev. Mr Pirie, U.P. Church, Rousay, and the Postmaster of Kirkwall.

1894 July 14 Glasgow Herald



Extent, about 281 Acres Arable and 2600 Pasture. It carries 55 Shorthorn Cattle and about 700 Leicester and Cheviot Cross Sheep. Little frost or snow. Sheep never sent South for wintering. Excellent Soil. Fields Enclosed. Manor House and Garden of Westness, with Trout Fishing and Grouse, &c. Shooting over about 5000 Acres can, if desired, be Let with the Farm.

Apply to Duncan J. Robertson, Solicitor, Kirkwall. 29th May, 1894.


1894 September 18 Aberdeen Press & Journal


SEA MONSTER ASHORE AT ORKNEY. - Our correspondent at Kirkwall says a sea monster has come ashore at Tratland, in Rousay. It resembles a walrus, and is from ten to twelve feet long. Though partly decomposed, the body appears to have been of a light-grey colour. Statements vary considerably as to its exact description, but no one seems to know to what species it belongs.


1894 October 20 Shetland Times


MR HUGH INKSTER, farmer, Haroldswick [Unst, Shetland], has become tenant of the large agricultural and pastoral farm of Westness, Rousay, the proprietor of which is General Burroughs of Orkney eviction fame. The rent is reported to be over £400. Mr Inkster has been a hard working and careful farmer, and deserves his success.


1894 November 3 Aberdeen Press & Journal


AGRICULTURAL NEWS. EXTENSIVE DISPLENISH SALE AT ORKNEY. - The displenish sale at Westness, Rousay, Orkney, took place on Wednesday. There was a large concourse of people from all parts of Orkney, a steamer having run a special trip from Kirkwall, returning in the evening. Ten horses brought from £20 to £30; thirteen cows in calf, £12 to £16 10s; sixteen six-quarter-old cattle, £8 to £12; eighteen calves, £3 to £7; shorthorn bull, rising three years old, £12 10s. The sale was considered dear. Mr T. Smith Peace acted as auctioneer.


1894 December 11 Aberdeen Evening Press


F.C. ORDINATION AT ROUSAY. - To-day the Free Church Presbytery of Orkney proceeded to the Island of Rousay per steamer Fawn to the ordination of Rev. J. McLennan to the pastorate of the Free Church in that island, in place of the Rev. Robert Bonellie, who removed to Darvel, Kilmarnock. After the ordination the Presbytery will be again conveyed back by steamer to Kirkwall.


1894 December 24 Coventry Herald


A Warwickshire Gentleman Buying An Island. – There was sold on Monday by public auction the island of Eynhallow, in the parish of Rousay, county of Orkney. The island, says the Scotsman, is at present entirely pasture, but a considerable part of it was formerly in cultivation, and there is a fine rabbit warren. It was purchased at the upset price of £700 by Messrs. Macnae and Robertson, for Mr. Middlemore, Warwickshire, tenant of Westness Shootings, Rousay.


1895 May 30 Edinburgh Evening News


ORKNEY TELEGRAPH SERVICE. - H.M. telegraph steamer Monarch arrived at Kirkwall this morning from the south of England. The vessel is to be engaged repairing or relaying the cable between Fair lsle and Shetland, and will afterwards lay a cable from Rousay to the mainland. It was reported that North Ronaldshay would have been connected with the Shetland cable, as it is the most isolated island of the group, and where many shipwrecks take place. It is the most northern lighthouse in Orkney.


1895 August 2 Glasgow Herald


ORKNEY AND SHETLAND ELECTION. - Yesterday afternoon Mr MacLeod Fullarton, Unionist candidate for Orkney and Shetland, addressed a meeting of electors on the beach at Rousay Island. He said he wished Glasgow had chucked out Sir George Trevelyan too, as he was the worst Secretary for Scotland that Scotland ever had. His views on the land question were the views which the Unionist Government were committed to, which they had put in force in Ireland, and which was the very best thing that could happen to Orkney and Shetland, whether General Burroughs, the proprietor of Rousay, objected to his views or not, and he (General Burroughs) had sent him a letter objecting to his views. When land came into the market, or if the landlord and the tenant could agree, they could go to Government and say they had agreed upon a fair price. Let the Government then pay the landlord that fair price, and the tenant would pay the Government 4 per cent. on the amount for 49 years. The crofter immediately became the landlord and could do what he liked. He advocated foreign cattle being killed and inspected at the port of entry. They should have an Act to forbid beef and mutton being sold for what it was not.....

1895 August 6 Gloucester Citizen


THE ORKNEY CONTEST. ELECTIONEERING UNDER DIFFICULTIES. - There can be doubt, says the "Pall Mall Gazette," that Mr. Macleod Fullarton, the Unionist candidate for the Orkneys and Shetlands, is doing the square thing by the Union. It is a very difficult thing for a Q.C. to turn Viking past middle age. Mr. Fullarton is a tall, heavy, elderly gentleman, of picturesque and imposing presence. The Picts, who have left rude stone memorials about these rocky islands, the Norse sea rovers whose ghosts inhabit them, the weird squealings of the sea fowl flapping heavily against the wind, must all regard his appearance as doing credit to the traditions they have left behind. But excellent Viking as Mr. Fullarton would have made if he had been brought up to it, the fact remains that circumstances have made him portly and a Q.C. So he finds taking to the Viking business at his time of life a rather serious matter. He has sciatica very badly. He opened his campaign in the Shetland Islands, and invigorated by the Arctic air, the sunsets, and the wild coast scenery, and inspired by a fierce enthusiasm for the Union, he began with great energy. He bore down on out of the way islands in his yacht the Carlotta, he landed in a small boat among damp rocks; he drove in the rain by rocky paths over moorland hills to remote villages, where he got himself into a state of perspiration by addressing suspicious crofters a preliminary to sleeping in damp beds. Consequently he contracted an attack of sciatica. Notwithstanding his sciatica, and the pitching and tossing in cross currents and rushing tideways, Mr. Fullarton keeps up the role of political Viking with great conscientiousness. One of his buccaneering expeditions was against the hereditary Liberals of the Island of Rousay, a crofting and fishing island a couple hours' steam northward from Kirkwall. His yacht cast anchor in the bay, and Mr. Fullarton, with great anguish, came off in the boat, and was lifted out on to the little causeway. The meeting was ready assembled. When all were comfortable Mr. Fullarton raised his voice and chanted earnestly the Saga of the Union. A shaggy-maned little Shetland pony, on which a crofter had ridden over the moor, looked curiously over the edge of the bank, the seagulls circled and swooped and sailed, and a green plover raised her despairing, incredulous cry. Mr. Fullarton, bareheaded, and with his picturesque locks streaming in the breeze, talked earnestly on. A little fish gave a leap where the tide came swinging and splashing among the stones of the jetty, and all the faces rising behind one another on the steps turned to the spot and looked intently at the circles in the water. “A fesh !" one of them whispered in explanation, and every face assumed a look of intense interest. They were a rugged, bronzed, and bearded crowd, some them with the fair beards and blue eyes of their Norse extraction, and they wore rough, homely garments. They set themselves to listen with the serious, intent earnestness with which group of inhabitants of some newly-discovered land would set themselves for parley with an explorer on the beach. Mr. Fullarton was eloquent, indignant, scornful, pathetic, patriotic, didactic, pleading; he exhausted all the arts of the advocate and orator. But they did not seem much moved. They listened with open-eyed attention, but they did not show much sign of feeling. After a time Mr. Fullarton changed his theme, and sang of the purchase of crofter holdings, the iniquities of trawling, and the importation of foreign cattle. Then they woke up. At the end of the speech the Established clergyman asked a question or two on the great subjects of trawling and live cattle, and Mr. Fullarton expressed himself as being in favour of maintaining an indefinite number of gunboats to stop the depredations of the trawlers, of confiscating offending trawlers' boats and gear, and of putting heavy penalties upon the fraudulent sale of foreign-bred meat as English. When the meeting was over, the Viking Q.C. hobbled painfully back to his boat, climbed painfully aboard his yacht once more, and steamed off to address another meeting on a neighbouring island. His late auditors hung about the steps till the yacht started. When Mr. Fullarton got back to Kirkwall it was eleven o'clock at night, and cold and damp. After he had gone through the ordeal of getting in and out of the landing-boat, and had clambered up the steps to the grateful warmth of Dunnet's Hotel, he was cheerful with the consciousness of a good day's campaigning. But the sciatica was, if anything, a trifle worse.


1895 December 9 Aberdeen Press & Journal


ORKNEY – THE WRECK AT ROUSAY – GALLANT RESCUE OF CREW. – The weather still continues very stormy, with occasional blinding showers of sleet and snow. The vessel ashore on Scockness Holm, Rousay, is the Swedish schooner Jolle, of Arendal, from Stugesund for Brazil, wood laden. She went ashore there on Thursday morning. A boat put off from Egilshay and landed seven men and the master, one seaman having been washed overboard on Wednesday by a very heavy sea before the vessel went ashore. The vessel will in all likelihood become a total wreck, as she is far beached up on the island. The Egilshay men who went across to Scockness Holm had great difficulty landing the crew. They dragged them through the sea by lines. The seaman who was lost overboard on Wednesday night was the second mate. After the crew were landed they had to be rowed to Egilshay, and lodgings found among the farmers, as there are no houses in Scockness Holm. Indeed it is uninhabited, and is solely used as a sheep farm.

    Our correspondent at Kirkwall, telegraphing last night, says there is no hope of the vessel being saved. He adds:- Too great praise cannot be given to the five men for their gallant conduct in risking their lives to save the crew in a small boat on such a tempestuous night. On the arrival of the steamer Fawn on Saturday at Rousay she proceeded to the wreck, but could see no person on board, and it was only on returning to Egilshay, preparatory to again visiting the wreck, that the captain of the steamer was apprised of the safety of the crew. The superintendent of customs and chief officer of coastguard proceeded to Egilshay on Saturday. The last vessel wrecked in the same place was the barque Atlantic, with a cargo of ice for Belfast, about ten years ago.

1895 December 12 Aberdeen Press & Journal


THE SCHOONER JOLLE A COMPLETE WRECK. - Yesterday afternoon the surveyors arrived from their inspection of the schooner Jolle, wrecked on Scockness Holm, Rousay, Orkney. The schooner had 170 standards of white and red deals, and of the 36 standards of the deck cargo only about 8 remain. The vessel is beached very far up, and masts, yards, and sails are destroyed. Owing to the expense of floating the vessel and the exposed place she is lying in, they recommend that the vessel be condemned. Most of the stores have been destroyed.


1896 January 15 The Scotsman


TEACHER (CERTIFICATED FEMALE) WANTED for FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY, ORKNEY; to enter on duties as soon as possible; salary, £60 stg. per annum, with free house and garden. Apply immediately, with testimonials, to Clerk of the School Board, Rousay, Orkney.


1896 March 20 Aberdeen Press & Journal


FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR KIRKWALL. - lnformation was received at Stronsay last night that John Mainland, tenant of Millfield, Stronsay (a native of Rousay), had met with a fatal accident. The men had been thrashing, and Mr Mainland went up to the second floor of the farm while it was dark. He fell down about from a height of nine feet, and was carried into his house unconscious. Medical aid was called, but death speedily supervened. Mr Mainland was a man in the prime of life, and leaves a widow and son.


1896 July 7 Aberdeen Press & Journal


THE NEW FIREMASTER OF ABERDEEN. - Mr William Inkster, who was yesterday appointed firemaster of Aberdeen, is a native of Rousay, Orkney Islands, and is in his 36th year. A ship carpenter to trade, he sailed in foreign-going vessels for eight years. It was in April, 1889, that he became a member of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, and being located at the Whitechapel Station, he has had many opportunities of acquiring both a practical and theoretical knowledge of the most approved methods of dealing with conflagrations large and small. In the construction and repair of fire appliances his five years’ experience in the workshops of the brigade at headquarters has been of much advantage to him. He has also taken considerable interest in the internal construction of buildings, and in what he considers the best methods of providing for the security of the inmates. On several occasions Mr Inkster has visited this city, and has very good knowledge of the main thoroughfares and principal streets. Capt. Simmonds, late chief officer of the London Fire Brigade, in a testimonial, says that Mr Inkster is a man of good abilities, and thoroughly understands the duties of a fireman.


1896 August 15 Aberdeen Press & Journal


THE MOORS - ORKNEY. - The Twelfth in Orkney was ushered in with fine weather, but shortly after midday rain fell in torrents. Not many of the moors in Orkney have as yet been shot over. At Westness, Rousay, in an hour or two on the Twelfth 15 brace of grouse were got for four guns; while on the Trumbland moors 10 brace were got for three guns. The weather was very wet on Thursday and yesterday rain fell incessantly all day.