1854 October 26 Inverness Courier


WESTRAY. - The harvest is now about finished with us, and we are happy to say there has been an abundant crop, especially of grain. The potatoes are partially affected with the blight, but not to such an extent as the appearance in the shows would have led us to suppose. We have had very good cod fishing in the North Isles, but poor herring fishing. The weather for some time back has been very rainy, with some intervening days of dry weather, which saved the crops. On the 1st current a fishing boat was driven ashore on the south-west side of this island, containing the dead body of a man, which was carefully taken to a house, dressed in linen, and put into a coffin. It was afterwards identified as that of a man belonging to the island of Rousay, named John Gibson, who has left a widow and eight children to lament his untimely and mysterious death. Gibson was little more than forty years of age; had rented a small farm; he had been alone at the fishing the evening before, and stopped too late, when the tide got against him. It is supposed that he pulled against the tide until he became exhausted, and fell back over the shaft of the boat where he had been pulling. The tide and wind then carried the boat to Westray. His remains were taken to Rousay by his friends for interment. [John, his wife Rebekah and family, lived at Pow, Sourin. He was interred in the Scockness kirkyard].


1855 March 16 John o’ Groat Journal


A GAME HORSE. – A horse, purchased by Mr Malcolm Corsie, Rousay, from a farmer in Egilshay, was brought over to Rousay, but, disliking his new quarters, started again to cross for Egilshay, with an east wind and ebb tide which forced him to go ashore on the island of Weir, where he got supper. The night, we may remark, was piercing cold, and the passage both difficult and dangerous.



1856 September 18 Inverness Courier


LOSS OF A HERRING BOAT. - On the morning of Tuesday, 26th ult., while the herring boat ‘Chance,’ belonging to Rousay, was making land, she struck on Inyald Skerry, and was lost. The accident was seen from the shore, when Mr John Learmonth of Houseby put off in a yawl and got the crew of the wrecked boat on board; but as a heavy sea was running at the time, and the yawl appearing to be in danger, the herring boat 'Coronation' went off, and afforded the necessary assistance; the whole were got safely ashore, and met with every necessary attention at Houseby.


1856 October 3 John o’ Groat Journal


Captain Burrows, of the 93rd Highlanders, arrived here on Sabbath morning last by the ‘Duke of Richmond’ steamer. He has greatly distinguished himself in the late Crimean campaign, during the whole which he was present along with his gallant regiment. The laird of Rousay is to have a hearty welcome from his numerous tenantry and the inhabitants of the island on his arrival among them, and great preparations are at present making for the occasion.


1859 January 20 John o’ Groat Journal


WRECK. – We regret to record the total loss of the Rousay packet ‘Remember’, upon the island of Egilshay, on Monday last week. This fine little vessel was very recently purchased by a company, to ply between Rousay and Kirkwall. The packet was lying at anchor when the gale came on, and she slipped her chains, and went to pieces.


1859 May 26 John o’ Groat Journal


QUARTERLY RETURN OF BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS. - The Registrar's return of births, deaths, and marriages for the quarter ending 31st March, has just been published. It shows that during the quarter there were registered in Scotland 26,035 births, 17,112 deaths, and 4,872 marriages, being for the estimated population, the rate of one birth in every 30, one death in every 45, and one marriage in every 162 persons. Of the 26,035 births, 23,549 were legitimate, and 2,486 illegitimate. This gives the proportion one illegitimate in every 10.3 births, or 9.5 per cent. of the births as illegitimate - a proportion somewhat higher than during the corresponding quarter last year.....ROUSAY AND EGILSAY. - The number of births is three less than last quarter - all legitimate. Five of the persons whose deaths have been registered were aged respectively 73, 77, 78, 87, and 104 years - total, 419 years. The individual noted 104 was George Reid, a native of the Island of Westray. He enjoyed good health and the use of his faculties until within three days of his decease.


1859 June 2 John o’ Groat Journal


THE REV. NEIL P. ROSE. - We have much pleasure in stating that the Rev. Neil P. Rose has just been elected by the Free Church of Rousay, Orkney, to be their pastor. We congratulate the congregation at Rousay the choice they have made, which will be highly gratifying to the reverend gentleman's friends in this county. For upwards of ten months, from the time of his receiving his license, Mr Rose has been labouring in the parish of Tarland, Aberdeenshire, with marked success.....


1859 June 9 John o’ Groat Journal


DERELICT TIMBER. – In the Kirkwall Sheriff Criminal Court on Tuesday, John Gibson, John Craigie, and Hugh Sinclair, were charged at the instance of the procurator fiscal, with having found and retained derelict timber which had been driven ashore on the island of Rousay in the months of February and March last. The charges were proved against the three parties, and they were fined, the first two in 20s, and the third 16s. Similar charges were brought against Peter Reid, Alexander Logie, John Logie, John and Thomas Louttit, all from Rousay, and William Logie, residing in the parish of Orphir; but, as it was shown by the evidence of Alexander Logie’s case, that from the severity of the weather at the time, it was impossible for any of these parties to have delivered up the wood sooner than when the officer arrived from Kirkwall and demanded it, and also that the wood was at once delivered upon demand, the charges against these parties were abandoned by the prosecutor.

1859 October 13 John o’ Groat Journal


PRESENTATION OF THE FREEDOM OF KIRKWALL TO MAJOR BURROUGHS. The Town Council of Kirkwall met on Wednesday week for the purpose of presenting the Freedom of the Burgh to Major Burroughs, of H.M. 93rd Regiment, on occasion of his present visit to his estates of Rousay and Viera, after his distinguished services in two campaigns, viz., in the late Crimean War and India. In presenting the freedom, written out on parchment, with the usual seals attached, Provost Spence spoke to the following effect:-


Major Burroughs, - We are met as representing this community, to offer you our congratulations on your return to this land of your inheritance and adoption, and to express to you our admiration of your bravery and gallant services, not only during the arduous campaign under the almost polar regions of the Crimea, but also in the perils and sufferings of our country's troop’s beneath the burning sun of India, where you were yourself severely wounded. Among the warlike people of former times the returning victor received a laurel crown; admission to the freedom of the city or burgh is one of the forms in which such honour is now paid to the brave. As Magistrates and Councillors of this burgh, we welcome your return after all your brave services and sufferings; we congratulate you on your preservation through them, and we place in your hands, in token of our esteem and appreciation, this diploma of your admission to the rights and privileges of citizenship. The Royal Burgh of Kirkwall is remarkable both as the most northern of Her Majesty's Burghs, and also one of the most ancient, dating back to the almost fabulous periods of antiquity, and mentioned in the poems of Ossian, under the name of Carrickthura. In the well-known lines on the death of the gallant Wolfe, is said


When victory shines on life's last ebbing sands,

Oh who would not die with the brave?


I may be permitted to adopt an amendment, and say -


Oh who would not LIVE with the brave


who return from the battle-field? and I would express the hope that the day is not distant when you will return to take up your residence permanently in what I have called the land of your adoption, and your place in the society of Kirkwall, to enjoy, in the retirement of domestic life, the highest happiness which earth can afford, and that repose and comfort which you have justly earned.


The gallant Major replied as follows:-


Provost and Gentlemen, - I thank you for the honour that you have this day done me in electing me a Free Guild Burgess of your ancient and Royal Burgh. I thank you, Provost, for the very indulgent manner in which you have been pleased to notice my modest services to my country. There are few greater rewards to the home-returning soldier than to find, on his return to his country, that friendly eyes have been watching his actions, step by step, and to find that those actions have merited the approval of his friends. I am not vain enough to think that it is myself alone that you wish to do honour to on this occasion. No; I regard this Burgess ticket as an expression of your approbation of the services of Her Majesty's armies in the last two wars, in which I have taken part; as the expression of your approbation conferred upon me as the representative of those armies amongst you. On personal grounds it is most pleasing to me to receive this mark of approbation at your hands, for, being the first of my name settled in Orkney, this inaugurates a good beginning, and, I trust, a long continuation of it amongst you. I leave Orkney after each successive visit with more regret, and I look forward with pleasure to the day when I shall be settled in Rousay, and personally assisting in the great works of improvement and cultivation in progress throughout the county. In the mean time it shall be my endeavour to make myself yet more worthy of the honour you have now conferred upon me, and I trust you may never have cause to be ashamed of the Free Guild Burgess you have this day elected.


The Provost then warmly congratulated the gallant Major by a hearty shake of the hand, which was followed by the senior and junior Bailies, and the other members of Council in turn.


The proceedings were witnessed by number of the principal inhabitants, who joined in a hearty burst of applause upon the entrance the gallant Major into the Council Chamber.

1859 November 17 John o’ Groat Journal


ENTERTAINMENTS ON MAJOR BURROUGHS’ ESTATE. – On Tuesday the 11th ult., Major Burroughs of Rousay and Viera, entertained his tenantry to dinner in Westness House, Rousay. Mr Scarth of Binscarth was also present. The entertainment was all that could be desired. A number of loyal and patriotic toasts were given, and ably supported by suitable addresses, in which the several speakers among the tenants eulogised their worthy landlord, and his go-ahead factor. The utmost good feeling prevailed, and evidence was abundant that the best understanding prevails between the gallant Major and his tenantry. There were upwards of 60 present. In the evening, pursuant to arrangement, an excellent supper was provided for the youth on the estate, who attended in large numbers, of both sexes, and enjoyed themselves to their hearts’ content till a late, or rather an early, hour.


1860 July 10 Orkney Herald


ROUSAY. FREAK OF NATURE. - Among a number of chickens recently hatched belonging to Mrs McLellan, U.P. Manse, Rousay, was one having two distinct bills. Its head was considerably larger than that of ordinary chickens; in other respects it resembles its species.


1860 July 31 Orkney Herald


ROUSAY. NEW POTATOES. – On Monday last, the 23rd current, a dish of new potatoes, the first we have heard of in the island this season, was served for dinner at the U.P. Manse here.


RURAL AFFAIRS. – Cod-fishing continues to be prosecuted here to a limited extent; but numbers of the men have left for the herring fishing at Stronsay. Of those who remain on the island some are engaged in carting peats, and a line of peat banks is being erected along the shore opposite Egilshay, to be conveyed across in boats at some suitable time. The thinning of turnips is also progressing, and hay coils are rising here and there. For picturesque beauty our island can hardly be surpassed by any other in Orkney. The fine hills covered with heath, and the beauteous lakes calmly sleeping in their bosom, afford a pleasing variation from the comparative flatness of some other islands. On the other hand we are less highly favoured in respect of more useful qualities. The soil is light and shallow, and unless kept up by a very abundant supply of manure its strength is exhausted, and it produces little else than weeds after being cropped for a year or two. Drainage is also much required, but in this respect we are glad to report progress, many patches being now thoroughly drained, while in other places the work is going on.


1860 August 2 John o’ Groat Journal


ROUSAY FREE CHURCH. - Estimates have been taken for making certain alterations on the Free Church. It is proposed to make the roof higher, and otherwise to improve the church. The desire is general in the congregation to have the improvements begun as soon possible, both for their own benefit and the comfort of their pastor, the Rev. N. P. Rose, who is much esteemed and loved by all parties on the island.

1860 September 4 Orkney Herald


ROUSAY. - Owing the changeable weather for some time back the harvest is now certain to be late, and the various crops are considerably damaged by the cold and the excess of moisture. The herring fishing, in which some of our islanders were engaged, has also proved a partial failure. Some few boats, however, have been tolerably successful, some having from 30 to 40 crans of fish. We hear sad complaints of damage done by dog-fish, which sometimes destroy whole takes of herring. Two weeks ago, however, there was a very fair take by all the boats, the highest being 20 crans, and the average 10 or 12 crans. [Crans were barrels made to hold a measure of herrings].


ROADS. - We noticed some time ago that the inhabitants of Sanday had placed themselves under the Orkney Roads Act, and had thus taken one step towards securing for themselves good roads. If it would secure good roads to this island we would recommend the inhabitants to follow the example of their neighbours, as it does not seem likely that the roads will be much the better of the repairs now going forward. In the north-east district, indeed, instead of re-pairing they are im-pairing it. Instead of most industriously putting stones on the road, they most punctiliously pick them off, while the earth as a blind is loosely thrown on, with here and there a few stones as metal, resembling pepper and salt on dark cloth. These few days of rainy weather have rendered the new road so soft that it was actually hard enough to prevent a horse sinking further than an inch above the fetlock. Now we maintain that such a repair is unsatisfactory to all concerned. It is a loss to those whose capital is expended, because year after year the same road will require continual repairs. It is unsatisfactory to those who use the road, as it is very apt to damage both horse and cart, and it prevents those who wish from visiting other parts of the island with any degree of comfort. We are aware that the amount to be expended must necessarily be limited; and that how to make a small sum do wonders Is a problem difficult to solve; and we know also that the public is a hard taskmaster. But it would, in our opinion, be wiser and more satisfactory were a smaller portion road made in a workmanlike manner than that a large part be slurred over with gilded dross. It is not sufficient to fill up a rut with a large stone in the middle; it should be filled at the ends also, otherwise the cart wheel going over the large stone makes a hole where it begins to meet resistance and another where it falls. We have no fault to find with any one, but would it not be better to place the island under the Roads Act? At present the road is not what it ought to be in the locality we have indicated; and if the intention was to make not a good road at present it has been fully accomplished. On the other hand, to give credit where it is due, we observe the eastern and north-eastern sides of the island a great improvement in some places. A good sound bridge has been erected, and some roads formerly exceedingly bad have been made tolerably hard and firm.

1860 November 13 Orkney Herald


ROUSAY. THE ROUSAY PACKET. - In reading the Herald of the 23d ult., our attention was drawn to an announcement which, though not strictly correct at the time, has, we are happy to say, been most substantially realised. Under the head “Mails and Packets,” of that date, we noticed the arrival the Rousay packet. At that time it must have been the embryo of the present one, which has since grown to maturity, and taken a substantial and comfortable body. The present packet, the Cyclops, the “sailings” of which are now advertised, well merited the encomium which we noticed with pleasure in your paper of 5th current, and is well entitled to the name of “The Rousay Packet.” It is well fitted in every respect, whether as regards accommodation or crew, to satisfy the requirements which the increasing prosperity of the island now demands. It is no small matter to be enabled to go to Kirkwall in safety, and comfort, and with something like speed, instead of going in what was dignified by the name of “Packet", a thing warranted not to go; and the whole returns of which would be required to render her water tight. We sincerely hope and trust the Cyclops will meet with that encouragement which her captain and crew deserve.


THE HARVEST. - The harvest is now over, and everything, we believe, is gathered in in good condition, the weather latterly having been very propitious.


1861 January 17 Shields Daily Gazette


FATAL BOAT ACCIDENT IN ORKNEY. - On the evening of the 2nd inst, a melancholy accident occurred off the island of Wyre, which resulted in the death by drowning of four men, named respectively John Sabiston, married, and with a family of two children; Alex. Sabiston, a brother of the former, and unmarried; Hugh Craigie, married, but without family; and James Baikie, belonging to the parish of Tob. The men had gone down to the mill of Frotoft, in the island of Rousay, in a small yawl, and were returning with a cargo of four bolls of meal. As they were sailing along the shore of Wyre, the slings of the yard broke, and a man on the island observed the sail came down. One of the men was then seen at the mast-head taking down the traveller, and it is considered likely either that his weight upset the boat, or that he fell overboard, and that the boat was upset in the attempt to get him again on board. The actual upsetting of the boat was not seen; but in a short time cries for help were heard. James Marwick, who had been across at Rousay, and had his boat unhauled, immediately pushed off to the spot. He found the boat upset, and the oars and three caps floating about. He picked up the caps, hoping that the bodies might be near them, but no bodies were seen. The same night, however, the body of James Baikie was observed lying at the bottom of the water, and was hauled up with a grapnell, and the others have since been recovered. James Baikie has been for some time in America, and it is understood he was to have married a sister of the brothers Sabiston, with whom he was on a visit.

1861 January 22 Orkney Herald


The Government Inspector’s Reports on the Schools of Orkney, for last year, are as follows:-............

     ROUSAY. – This school [Westside] is situated in a district once populous, but upwards of six years ago turned into a sheep farm. A fair attendance, consequently, cannot be had even in winter. Some of those interested in the school are anxious for its removal to a more populous part of the island, but hitherto nothing definite has been done. The master seems fitted for his work; and it is to be regretted that the removal is not at once effected.


SOURIN. – At this season numbers small, and instruction very elementary, but faithfully imparted. The school-room, itself small, is made more confined by a bad arrangement of desks. By being placed along the wall or in parallel rows, greater space would be secured. The residence is in a very bad state, and is injuring the teacher’s health. It is much to be regretted that greater encouragement is not given to a very deserving man by those in the district whose interest it is, and who have it in their power to do so.


1861 April 30 Orkney Herald


ROUSAY. Presentation. - On Tuesday evening the 23rd current, at the public district prayer meeting in Wasbister, the Rev. John McLellan, U. P. Church, was requested to present, in the name the people there, the sum of five guineas to Mr William Linklater, teacher, Free Church school, as a token of the esteem in which he is held by the families of all denominations, both as a teacher and a private Christian. Mr Linklater has laboured in that district for nearly the period of nine years, and during that time he has won for himself the good opinion of all classes by his ability and diligence a public teacher, and the interest he has taken in every measure for the moral and religious improvement of the people.


1861 August 13 Orkney Herald


CAPTURE OF WHALES. - “From the late unfrequency of the visits of the bottle-nosed wanderers from the polar regions, it might perhaps have been inferred that they had bottled up the recollection of the sad fate of such of their race as had previously visited our shores, and had finally ‘turned tail’ upon us, if they had not indeed resolved to abide henceforth within the comparatively safe precincts of their own icy homes. Not so, however, for on the morning of Wednesday last the inhabitants of Sourin, in the Island of Rousay, observed another large arrival moving about the anchorage of Holm [Bay of Ham], and not more than 300 yards from shore. Crowds of men, women, and children were forthwith collected, while several boats put off to intercept the retreat of the whales seaward. The huge animals allowed themselves to be quietly driven towards the shore by the men in the boats, and in a short time they were stranded, the boats still keeping close together to prevent their escape. Immediately the men, with sharp instruments, rushed on them, and in a short space the whole of them, to the number of nearly sixty, were captured. Some of the fish measured about eighteen feet long by sixteen feet in circumference. On Friday the whole were sold, and realised the sum of nearly £240, the principal purchasers being Mr. Craigie, Hullion, Rousay, and Mr. Malcolm Green, Kirkwall, in company with some others. In the comparative failure of the herring fishing, we congratulate our Rousay friends on this ‘windfall’ – we should rather say ocean gift.”

1861 September 10 Orkney Herald


Letters to the Editor


THE WHALES IN ROUSAY. – Sir, - Sanitary precautions being at all times necessary, I think attention ought to be apid to the following, and insertion in your paper will, I doubt not, have the desired effect.

     The purchasers of the whales, which were driven ashore in Sourin, have studiously omitted removing the carcases, thereby allowing them to become nearly putrid. I do not know who is responsible for the public health, or indeed if there be any one, but I think it is plainly the duty of the authorities to see, or enforce their removal. The effluvia arising is, as you may imagine, very noxious, and spreads through the isle, and if they are not removed serious consequences may arise. I think the local authorities, id est in Kirkwall, ought to have power to interfere, and that it is their duty at least to warn the purchasers to remove the nuisance, ere it become the source of malaria.

                                                I am, &c., - A Constant Reader.


1861 December 3 Orkney Herald


THE WEATHER. - The weather continues still very stormy, and business of all kinds much retarded in consequence. The keen frost which seemed to have set in ten days ago, speedily gave way, and has been followed by very unsettled weather, rain, hail, and frost alternating with each other. On Thursday afternoon about four o*clock, after a shower of hail, a brilliant flash of lightning dashed from a dense black cloud in the eastern part of the sky, which was followed by a loud and long peal of thunder. Another equally bright flash followed, and another peal of thunder growled in the distance after which the cloud gradually disappeared. The wind has been chiefly either in the west or south, but once or twice also farther to the eastward. The temperature has been low, and the frequent showers have usually been mingled with hail or sleet.

1862 June 17 Orkney Herald


Important Sale of Household Furniture. There will be Sold, by Public Auction, at the House of Westness, Rousay, on Wednesday, the 2nd July.

     A QUANTITY of Excellent HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, comprising Dining-room Tables and Chairs; Drawing-room Table and Chairs; several very handsome Book-Cases; a Piano; Sofa; Opera and Four-post Bedsteads, and quantity of first-rate Bedding, Pillows, and Mattresses; Iron Bedsteads; several first-rate Chests of Drawers; Dressing Glasses and Tables; Wardrobes; Carpets; Rugs; Bed and Table Linen of the best quality; Blankets; Crockery and Kitchen Utensils; besides a variety of other articles. Also, a number of Geraniums, Roses, Myrtles, and other Plants in Pots.

     A large Boat will leave Kirkwall on the morning of the day of Sale, and a Boat will ply between Aikerness and Rousay, for the convenience of intending purchasers.

     For further particulars apply to J. C. Scarth, or to JAMES S. HEWISON, Auctioneer.


1862 September 30 Orkney Herald


NOTICE. – Any Person found TRESPASSING on the Ground of Banks, Frotoft, Rousay, after this date, will be prosecuted as law directs.

Banks, Frotoft, Rousay. 19th September 1862.


1862 October 7 Orkney Herald


FINDING CURIOUS CARVED STONES IN ROUSAY. - The workmen engaged upon the road near to the west side of the Kirk in Rousay came recently upon two curious carved stones, which looked as if they had originally formed part of an old baronial residence. One of the stones seemed to be a piece of a lintel, and the other was apparently a small pillar. There is a wall twelve feet thick in the immediate vicinity of the spot where the stones were found. Further discoveries may throw light on the matter.


1862 October 21 Orkney Herald


THE WEATHER has now become broken and cold. On Saturday and Monday heavy showers of sleet and hail fell. The wind was from the north. Farmers would require to seize every favourable moment to gather in the grain, a large quantity of which, we are sorry to say, is still in the fields.

1862 October 28 Orkney Herald


LONGEVITY. – In the island of Rousay, a man named John Kirkness [Quoyostray] died recently at the extreme age of 102 years.


THE WEATHER. - During the greater portion of last week, the weather was very boisterous, with heavy falls of rain, which drenched the outlying crops. Over the whole of England and Scotland the weather has been equally bad. On the night of Sunday week there was a strong gale in the south, and upwards of a hundred wrecks have been reported. In the Highlands snow has fallen in considerable quantities, and winter has fairly set in on the Grampians. There has been a severe snow-storm in Badenoch.


TERRIFIC THUNDERSTORM - MIRACULOUS ESCAPES. On the morning of Sunday week a fearful thunderstorm, short in duration, but terrible in its effects, burst over a portion of the island of Rousay. At 6.30 the inmates of the U. P. Manse were startled by a fearful peal, followed by a stunning crash, which seemed to make the whole house collapse. Mr McLellan, the respected minister, describes it as terrific, and says that it seemed as if the walls were being torn up by the foundation. There were nine persons within the house, including Mr and Mrs McLellan, their family, strangers, and servants, and when the morning light showed the scene of devastation, it appeared almost miraculous how any them had escaped a sudden and terrible death. Some the escapes were certainly hairbreadth. From information supplied by the Rev. Mr McLellan, and Mr Hankey - an English gentleman resident at the manse - we are able to give the particulars of the catastrophe. The lightning had apparently first of all struck the western gable of the house, and then passed down the vents, carrying grates and everything before it, and sweeping through the house with destructive speed. No fewer than seventy-two panes of glass were broken. Every room was entered, and damage done in all. The greatest scene of havoc was in Mr McLellan’s study. A false chimney built on the wall was torn down. The grate and mantel-piece were lying in the middle of the room. The flooring was torn up, the carpet was blown into strips, and forced under the flooring. The castors had been stripped from a writing table, and the chair in which the clergyman usually sat was lying shivered into pieces. Scarcely less was the havoc committed in Mr McLellan’s bed-room. Plaster and lime were scattered over the bed; a wardrobe was torn down; and various articles were scattered about in all directions. The parlour and a small bed-room in which Miss McLellan slept were considerably blackened. In the parlour the mantel piece, cornice, and wood-work were charred, the sideboard was damaged, and glass, crockery, and pictures were broken and seriously damaged. The lightning had struck a hole through the parlour wall, and then swept up stairs to the apartments above. The wails along the staircase were much injured, and a barometer was knocked down and broken. In the room above McLellan’s bed-room, the grate and mantel-piece had been blown into the centre of the floor. The grate was split through the middle, and the paper on the walls was torn and damaged. The door of the bed-room where the gentleman already referred to slept, was blown down. The curtain of his bed was torn into shreds, the bed-clothes were tossed about, the sheet on which he lay and the mattress were slightly scorched, and the whiskers on the left side of his face were singed. This was the most miraculous escape of all. In an adjoining outhouse a cow was killed. The sulphurous smell that succeeded the crash almost stifled the inmates of the manse. The house with its broken windows and battered furniture presents a sad aspect of desolation, and the family have been obliged to disperse to more comfortable quarters in the neighbourhood. The people have shewn great kindness to the family. It is a somewhat remarkable circumstance that the U. P. Church of Rousay was struck by lightning two years ago.

1862 November 4 Orkney Herald



To be Sold, by Public Roup, at the Free Church School, Rousay, on Wednesday, the 19th current,

     A Quantity of White Oats, with the Fodder; a Field of Turnips; 1 Milch Cow; 1 Live Pig; 1 Tent Bed; 1 Feather Bed; 2 Mattresses; 8 Mahogany Chairs; 1 Mahogany Table; 1 Hardwood Table; Carpets; Grates, Fenders, Fire Irons &c., &c.

Sale to commence at 12 o’clock, noon. Malcolm Green, Auctioneer.


1862 December 16 Orkney Herald


STREAMERS [Northern Lights / Merry Dancers] played over the whole heavens on Sunday night, emitting for a time a light mild and diffused like that of the moon shining through wreaths of vapour.


1863 February 10 Orkney Herald


COMET. – There is a comet at present visible in the heavens, though it is yet beyond the range of unassisted vision. It is expected soon to become visible to the naked eye, and will be most favourably situated for observation in our northern latitudes, about the middle of February. In good telescopes it already presents a splendid appearance.


1863 April 9 Inverness Courier


A few nights ago, some boys had set fire to the heather on the Rousay hills, Orkney, and the conflagration soon spread to such an extent that it seemed as if the island was about to be burned to the water’s edge. This bonfire certainly excelled all the Orkney burnings of the previous week in honour of the Marriage Celebration. [Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, eldest son and successor of Queen Victoria, was married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark at the St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.]


1863 May 26 Orkney Herald


THIS WEEK set in dry after a large tract of wet weather, but the air is still cold, and not very summer-like. Most people have got their peats cut. Oat-sowing is over for the season, and farmers are now busy planting potatoes, and sowing bere. That unwelcome visitor, the grub, has again made its appearance on some farms.


GAME has considerably increased in this Island during the past few years. This is chiefly attributable to the appointment of a gamekeeper who, though the protector of game, is the inveterate enemy of hawks and other pests.


THERE ARE several boats engaged in the lobster fishing at present, some using nets and others creels, but without any great success. We have only two large boats at the cod-fishing this year.


1863 June 9 Orkney Herald


MR ROSE OF ROUSAY'S SERMON IN THE ASSEMBLY HALL. - Mr Rose of Rousay, who preached in the Free Assembly Hall on Sunday week, took for his text Heb. ix, 24. The Daily Review has the following on the subject: - “Mr Rose, who, in our Ultima Thule, is not, perhaps, so well known to the Church as Mr Robertson, preached a most admirable discourse. The people of Rousay may consider themselves very much favoured in having such a man for their minister, if only they can manage to keep him always to themselves.”