In Print

Newsprint – 1910

1910 January 15 The Orcadian

A four days’ storm, followed by snow, broke out in Orkney on Saturday, the wind appearing to reach its height on Sunday night. There were vivid flashes of lightning on Sunday, but fortunately, so far as we can learn, no damage was done. The Pentland Firth passage was maintained without interruption, but owing to a breakdown of the telegraph some inconvenience was caused to business people owing to the delay on the wire through messages having to be transmitted via Lerwick.

1910 January 19 Orkney Herald


CERTIFICATED FEMALE TEACHER Wanted for Wasbister Public School
at a salary of £70 stg. per annum, with free house, partly furnished; or,
provisionally, CERTIFICATED TEACHER, qualified under Art. 71 of the
Code, at a salary of £50 stg. per annum, with free house. To enter on
duty as soon as possible. Apply immediately, with testimonials, to
Clerk of School Board, Rousay, Orkney. 17th January, 1910.

[This position was filled by Martha (Mattie) Wards, who married Mark Mackay Kirkness, Quoyostray, in 1913.]



Mr Alex. Russell, Stromness, contributes to ‘Notes and Queries’
the following superstitions which he has collected in Orkney: –


Fishermen count it unlucky –

1. To meet a flat-footed person or a woman or to see any animal crossing one’s path when leaving for the fishing.
2. To turn the boat the opposite way to the course of the sun.
3. To find a fin in one’s mittens.
4. To mention “minister” or “kirk” by these terms on board the boat.
5. For anyone to throw water on a person going to the fishing.
6. For anyone to look at the bait when it has just been gathered.
7. For anyone to wish them good luck as they are putting out.
8. To catch a ling as their first take.
9. To be asked the number of their catch.
10. To go fishing on Christmas Day.
11. For anyone to cruise in their boat if they are going fishing the same day.
12. To meet a squint-eyed person.
It is unlucky to fix the knife in the mast.


Sailors count it unlucky –

13. To leave port on a Friday.
14. To see a pig on land when about to set sail.
15. To whistle on board ship; it will bring wind.
16. To fight on board ship; the ship will sink within twenty-four hours.


17. A blue flame in the fire foretells bad weather.
18. A cock crowing after he has gone to roost is a sign of rain: – A cock crowing going to bed – He will rise with a watery head.
19. If Saturday is fine, the following week will be bad.
20. If you kill a toad rain will follow.
21. A rainbow with both ends on one island is a sign of death.


It is unlucky –

22. To marry in May or when the moon is waning.
23. For the bride to try on her wedding dress before she is married.
24. When the sun does not shine on your wedding day.
25. To be proclaimed in one year and married in the next.
26. For the bride and bridegroom to lose their gloves.
27. For the newly married couple to go home from church the same road they came.
28. For the bride to lose her ring or to try on another’s ring.
29. If you lick the porridge-stick, you will have a rainy wedding-day.
It is counted the best of luck –
30. To break anything at a wedding.
31. To get two spoons in your tea cup, or to fall going up the stairs: you will be invited to a wedding.


It is unlucky –

32. To have a black cat cross your path, unless you spit.
33. To put a black cat away harshly from the door.
34. To break a mirror: bad luck for seven years.
35. To look in a mirror after the lamp is lit.
36. To see the new moon through glass.
37. To change house on Saturday.
38. To wash on Saturday.
39. To turn back on a journey for anything forgotten.
40. To spill salt.
41. To kill a spider: – If you wish to thrive – Let the spider go alive.
42. To open an umbrella in a house.
43. To put shoes on the table: there will be thunder and lightning, or you will quarrel with someone.
44. To pay back borrowed salt.
45. To put on the left boot first.
46. To tell Friday’s dream on Saturday.
47. To cut your nails on Friday.
48. To baptise girls before boys: the girls will have whiskers.
49. To pick up your umbrella yourself if you let it fall.
50. To put a garment right if you find that you have put it on outside in.
51. To read one’s own cup.
52. To see a black coal fall out of the fire.
53. To start a new piece of work on Friday: “A crow would not carry a straw to her nest on Friday.”
54. To leave a pin or a horseshoe lying on the ground.
55. To rock an empty cradle.
56. To break your shoe-lace.
57. For a dog to cross the path of a funeral party: the relatives of the deceased will never prosper till the dog has been killed.
58. For crows to come near the house.
59. To have a minister first-foot you.
60. To get a present on the first of the month.
61. To pat a cow on the back: it takes away her milk.
62. To see a black lamb as the first of the season.
61. To kill an animal when the moon is waning.
64. For the fire to send out sparks in front of you: you will receive a scolding from someone.

It is lucky –

65. To have something in your hand when you see the new moon.
66. For a spider to crawl on you: it denotes riches.
67. To make a cross with a spittle on your boot when you see a white horse.


68. To let a knife fall means a gentleman visitor, a fork a lady visitor.
69. Little white marks on the finger nails betoken gifts.
70. If the spout of the kettle be turned inward, you are said to be inviting a visitor.
71. To keep a visitor away for a long time, spill salt on the doorstep as he leaves.
72. If at table you have a piece of bread and take another piece and finish it before you notice the first piece, it means that some friend is hungry.
73. If the sole of your foot itches, you will walk on strange land.
74. If your right hand itches, you will shake hands with a stranger.
75. If your left hand itches, you will receive money.
76. If your left ear is hot, some friend is speaking well of you.

1910 February 2 Orkney Herald

THE COUNTY ELECTION. – Next Tuesday and Wednesday the electors of Orkney and Shetland will have an opportunity of recording their votes in the election of a representative to the House of Commons…..

MEETING AT ROUSAY. – A meeting was held in Sourin School, Rousay in the afternoon. The school was well filled. The Rev. Mr Pirie, U.F. Manse, occupied the chair, and in the name of the electors of Rousay, extended a hearty welcome to Mr Wason. The Chairman’s remarks were received with great applause. Mr Wason spoke for over an hour on the principal issues before the electors, and at the close of his address invited questions. Mr John Logie asked if Mr Wason would support a provision for giving grants from imperial funds to small and sparsely populated parishes towards the expense of parish medical officers. Mr Wason expressed himself as favourable to grants being given on the lines suggested by Mr Logie. Questions were also asked regarding an elected Second Chamber and Women’s Suffrage, and were answered by Mr Wason to the evident satisfaction of the meeting. A vote of continued confidence in Mr Wason as moved by Mr William Grieve, Upper Knarston, seconded by Mr George Gibson, Avelshay, and carried unanimously.

In the evening Mr Wason addressed a meeting in Frotoft School. All the afternoon the snow had been drifting and the roads in many parts were impassable. Consequently this meeting was not so large as it would otherwise have been. The chair was occupied by Mr David Gibson, Hullion, who, in his opening remarks, referred to Mr Wason’s past services to the constituency. Mr Wason having dealt with the questions of the House of Lords, the Budget, Tariff Reform, and other matters offered to answer questions electors might wish to put. There being no questions, Mr John Gibson, No. 3 Cottage [Brough], moved and Mr George Reid, Tratland, seconded a vote of continued confidence in Mr Wason which was carried unanimously.

[Mr Cathcart Wason (Liberal) was returned with an increased majority of 3123 votes].

1910 March 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Friday, 4th inst., on the farm of Banks, Sourin, in a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr [Robert] Seatter. The weather was dry and cold, and the field in good condition for ploughing. Eighteen ploughs turned up for competition including six champions. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments during the day. The judges were Messrs John Fraser and William Ritch, jun., Rendall; and John Spence, Urrigar, Costa, whose awards are as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1, silver cup and medal, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 2, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 3, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 4, John Corsie, Knarston; 5, Walter Muir, Breckan; 6, Malcolm Leonard, Faraclett. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s Medal, Ben Moodie, Trumland; 2, John Marwick, Knarston; 3, James Craigie, Falquoy; 4, James Smith, Westness; 5, David Moar, Saviskaill; 6, Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 7, Bertie Louttit, Nearhouse; 8, Robert Grieve, Langskaill; 9, Alex. Craigie, Innister; 10, Robert Mainland, Essaquoy; youngest ploughman, Robert Grieve, Langskaill; best feering, James W. Grieve; best ploughed rig, straightest ploughing, and best finish, Thomas Gibson, Broland.

HARNESS. – 1, David Moar; 2, Bertie Louttit; 3 William Robertson, Trumland; 4, James W. Grieve; 5, Hugh Robertson.

GROOMING. – 1, Malcolm Leonard; 2, David Moar; 3, John Seatter, Banks; 4, Ben Moodie, 5, Bertie Louttit.

In the evening the judges, committee, and a number of friends sat down to an excellent dinner prepared by Mrs [Sybella] and Misses [Marion & Sybella] Banks. Mr John Logie acted as chairman, and the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James S. Gibson, Hullion. The usual toasts were given and responded to. The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who subscribed to the funds of the Association.

CONCERT. – One of the most successful concerts ever held in Sourin School took place there on the 24th ult. The weather was rather worse even than the usual, and, in consequence, very many were prevented from coming up – especially from the other districts. Notwithstanding all this, there was a very good audience – the sitting accommodation being practically all occupied. The Rev. A. I. Pirie acted as chairman in his usual efficient manner. The children’s items were enthusiastically received, the fan drill being particularly beautiful, but the elders were no less warmly applauded. The choir pieces were all well rendered, and Mr. J. W. Grieve, the conductor, deserves the highest praise for the successful manner in which everything went off. Among the soloists, it is invidious to make distinctions, but two seem to call for special note – Miss Bella Grieve, for her solo, “Camin’ thro’ the Rye, and Mr William Grieve, who was very deservedly encored for his second solo. Rev. Mr Abel proposed a vote of thanks to the performers, and a similar vote of thanks to the chairman, brought a delightful meeting to a close. Annexed is the programme: –

Part song, “Ye Mariners of England,” choir; solo, “I’m the safest o’ the family,” Mr J. W. Grieve; hoop drill, scholars; part song, “Come, gentle May,” choir; recitation, Mr R. Mainland; solo, “Keep on doing it, Sandy,” Mr Wm. Grieve; action song, “Merry song and drill,” children; solo, “Samwel Towson,” Mr J. Harrold; part song, “We rock away,” choir; recitation, “Are boys or girls the best?”, Std. II.; solo, “Comin’ thro` the rye,” Miss Bella Grieve; banner drill, infants; solo, “When I get back again,” Mr John Grieve; interval; part song, “We ride the foaming sea,” choir; recitation, Mr R. Mainland; solo, “The Poacher,” Mr Fred. Grieve; recitation, “A rhyme for little folks,” senior infants; fan drill, girls; solo, “Riding down from Bangor,” Mr J. W. Grieve; part song, “Chime again, beautiful bells,” choir; solo, “Dublin Bay,” Mr H. Munro; dumb-bells, children; quartette, “I had a dream,” Miss Gibson, Mrs Grieve, and Messrs Grieve; violin and piano selections, Miss Marwick and Mr Grieve; solo, Mr William Grieve; part song, “Home-ward bound,” choir.

1910 March 10 The Orcadian

TO CORRESPONDENTS. – Correspondents should note to send in reports as early in the week as possible. We often get reports just as we are going to press, referring to events about a week old. Coming to hand at such a late hour, these reports, as a rule, cannot be used.

1910 March 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SOCIAL. – The United Free Church Guild held its closing meeting for this winter on Thursday evening last week in Ritchie Church. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie presided, and with him on the platform were the Rev. Mr Abel and the two Guild vice-presidents. These gentlemen during the evening gave interesting and instructive speeches. The singing of a well balanced choir, under the leadership of Mr James W. Grieve, was the feature of the entertainment, and was very much appreciated by the audience. Mr Robert Mainland recited “The Last Shot” in splendid style, Mr J. W. Grieve gave a humorous reading, and Miss Reid and Miss Munro provided an excellent tea.

1910 March 30 Orkney Herald

AURORA BOREALIS. – A fine display of Northern Lights was witnessed at Kirkwall on Sunday evening. The moon had just risen, but was well down in the horizon, where there was somewhat of a haze, but overhead the sky was cloudless. Shortly before nine o’clock the wind fell to a calm, and there was an unusual warmth in the air for the season of the year, when a little to the north-east of the zenith, the lights began to play with magnificent variations. At one time they would appear as if fixed in the sky, like some powerful search-light, and then, when the eye had got at rest upon them, they would suddenly spread out in luminous splendour, and the whole heavens would be lighted up by their brilliancy. The display did not last long. After about an hour’s time, the lights began to lose their brilliancy, and soon there-after faded away into space, and were seen no more. Perhaps they betoken a change for the better in the weather. The first two days of this week have been exceptionally fine, bright sunshine, with a warmth in the air seldom experienced in the month of March.

1910 April 2 The Orcadian

AURORAL DISPLAYS IN ORKNEY. – On the nights of Sunday and Monday last, fine displays of the northern lights were witnessed at Kirkwall. About eight o’clock each evening a large bank of filmy white could gathered above the north and north-west horizon, and following this the atmosphere became exceedingly cold, raw, and damp. About half an hour later “merry dancers” began to pierce this cloud, the streamers jutting up in all directions. On Monday evening the display was specially fine, the aurora borealis rising high above the heavy cloud, bands of streamers reaching the zenith, where an immense circle was formed. Here the aurora opened and contracted somewhat in the shape of a lady’s fan. On each occasion the display lasted less than half an hour.

1910 April 6 Orkney Herald

FISHING NOTES. – The exceptionally fine weather of last week was fully taken advantage of by the Kirkwall boats. From Monday to Saturday they were out regularly. With the exception of two or three boats, the fleet were all engaged fishing for halibut, and some good shots were got. The principal fishing grounds were in Wyre Sound and Rendall Sound, from which some very large fish were taken. The “Try Again” had two halibut which weighed 12 stones each, and the “Speedwell” one of 11 stones. The highest daily shots were got by the “Try Again” and the “Mary Sinclair,” each of them having 3½ cwts. The three best fished boats for the week were the “Try Again,” 8 cwts.; the “Speedwell,” 7 cwts.; and the “Margaret,” 6 cwts.; while the other shots ranged from 1½ to 5 cwts. The total for the week amounted to about two tons. Prices ranged from 5s 6d to 5s 9d per stone, which is a record price for Kirkwall at this season of the year, now that Lent is over. Owing to the high prices obtained, the halibut fishing has proved very remunerative to the fishermen, some of whom have done remarkably well. The amount of round fish landed was a little over a ton. Cod are reported to be scarce on the usual grounds, while there is hardly a haddock to be got at all. A shot of about half-a-ton of cod was landed at Scapa by a South Isles boat, and sold at 8s per cwt. On Monday this week the boats were out, and the quantity of halibut landed exceeded that of any day for the season, the total being about 25 cwts. The “Myra” had a catch of 17 fish, which weighed over 8 cwts., while the “Rose” and the “Norse” had shots of 3 cwts. each. The other catches ranged from half a cwt. up to 2¾ cwts. Prices, 5s per stone. About a ton of cod was landed at Scapa. The local curers are getting ready for their usual supplies of cod from Iceland, which are landed by trawlers at this season and during the next month or two.

1910 May 7 Orkney Herald

Halley’s Comet, at present a morning star, may now, when the atmospheric conditions are favourable, be seen a little north of east from shortly after three o’clock until it is lost in the light of the rising sun.

ORCADIANS ABROAD. IN HAMILT0N, ONTARIO. – On March 8, the Hamilton, Orkney and Shetland Society were delighted to have with them the Rev. John Gibson Inkster, B.A., of London, Ont., who delivered an illustrated lecture on “Orkney, Home of the Vikings,” or “The Land of the Midnight Twilight.” The Rev. gentleman was introduced in a neat and able manner by Mr W. G. Scott, who was the chairman of the evening.

Mr Inkster was well received by the largest and most representative gathering of Orcadians that ever meet in Hamilton, there being upwards of 360 present, and the school room of Knox Church, where the lecture was held was well filled. The various views and remarks of the speaker brought well home to the minds and imaginations of the attentive audience those isles of the ocean,

Where the waves dash on in headlong haste,
By a wide world of waters pres’t.
There ruined hall and nodding tower
Hint darkly at departed power;
Their domeless walls, time worn and grey,
Give dimly back the evening ray,
Like gleams from days long passed away.

Mr Inkster gave a very fine descriptive story of the Cathedral, from the time of St Rognvald up to the present, when there is so much talk of restoration.

St Magnus’ pile of ages fled,
Thou temple of the quick and dead,
While they who raised thy form sublime
Have faded from the things of time;
While hands that reared and heads that planned,
Have passed into the silent land,
Still hath thy mighty fabric stood
Mid sweeping blast and speeted flood.

The native island of the speaker was well and worthily mentioned, and it was fine to hear the Rev. gentleman speak out on behalf of the hard worked and heavily taxed crofters of that isle.

To Rousay’s isle I might refer
Wild nature’s ardent worshipper,
A temple meet he there might find
Mid dells of calm and hills of wind –
Hills of the gloomy brow that make
A night-shade sadden o’er each lake –
Where drooping shrubs weep o’er each stream
That glides away like being’s dream;
And all is still, save on the gale,
When wanders by the plover’s wail.
But from the vale so still and stern,
Climb we the mountains’ crowning cairn,
And round Eynhallow’s walls of rock
See billows dashing into smoke,
Which rises from their thunder crash,
As cannon’s cloud succeed its flash;
Tossed from the hell of their turmoil,
It canopies the isle.
Oh, what can match their whelming roll
Save passions racking o’er the soul.

The Vikings who lived on these islands in the days of long ago had the courage to go to fight and capture such places as Dublin, and to rule the whole of the northern part of Scotland from these islands. These were the men who have given to posterity that spirit of independence, also that love for the homeland which is so dear to the heart of every Orcadian. Several of the industries were also made mention of, such as farming, fishing, etc.

The concluding part of the lecture introduced several splendid views of our coast line – those cliffs, stern and defiant in all their majesty and rugged grandeur. Then followed some views, which to us seemed to be at the top of their class. They were sunset and twilight views, and the calm peacefulness of those contrasting with the turmoil of stormy seas and wild rocks, left an impression on the mind that felt like an inspiration. The lecturer did not show any views of modern Orkney with its motor buses, automobiles, motor boats, motor power threshing machines, etc., neither was any mention made of our up-to-date farming in the Orkneys which compares favourably with other places in Scotland.

However, Mr Linklater proposed a vote of thanks to the speaker, and hoped that we would be favoured with his presence again in the near future. The audience heartily responded, and the meeting was closed by the singing of “God Save the King.”

[John Gibson Inkster was the son of William Inkster, Cogar, and Mary Gibson, Langskaill, and he was born on February 8th 1867. Having emigrated to Canada he married Alice Rowsome, and they raised a family of four daughters: Elizabeth, Mary, Miriam, and Ruth.]

1910 May 21 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Rev A. Spark preached on Sunday last an appropriate sermon regarding the death of King Edward VII from Job xiv, 10, “But man dieth, and wasteth away; yea man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?”

[Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910.

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe. He was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. During the long reign of his mother, he was largely excluded from political power, and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite. He travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, and represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval, his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother.

As king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War. He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called “Peacemaker”, but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor. The Edwardian era, which covered Edward’s reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords.]

1910 May 28 The Orcadian

PRESENTATION TO MISS SINCLAIR, PHOTOGRAPHER. – When it became known in Kirkwall that Miss [Mimie] Sinclair, of the Studio, had resolved to give up business here, and to proceed to New York, a Committee was formed to get up a testimonial for her, so as to show how much the public appreciated her many services to the community. The time at the disposal of the Committee was short, but so heartily was the proposal taken up, that they easily secured the necessary funds for the purpose in view. Accordingly Miss Sinclair was asked to meet with the Committee in the Town Hall, Kirkwall, on Saturday evening. Provost Slater presided, and amongst others present were: Councillors Flett and White, Messrs A. Stewart, M. Heddle, Jas. Sinclair, John Inkster. G. D. Bain. W. K. Mackintosh, P. Brass, James Flett, and W. D. Peace. Provost Slater, in making the presentation, said it had frequently been his lot – and it had always been a great pleasure to him – to preside at meetings like the present. This, however, was entirely different in one respect from any other that he had presided at in that they were on this occasion to present to a lady and not to a gentleman a tangible token of their esteem, goodwill, and good wishes for one who was leaving her home. Miss Sinclair had been for long time – as she was a lady it would be unfair to be precise – (laughter) – in the forefront in furthering all sorts of worthy movements in the community, both of a social and general nature, too many to enumerate, indeed, all kinds of good works, including particularly church work. In some respects Miss Sinclair had been one of the most helpful ladles Kirkwall had had for a long time. She had many accomplishments. In business she could acquit herself well alongside any of the citizens. As an artist in her profession she had been outstanding in producing work of the highest order, which had given the greatest satisfaction to her patrons. Miss Sinclair had helped in so many ways that she would be much missed now that she was leaving. She would not be forgotten by them, however, and in a general way her name would be remembered by Orcadians all over the world when they looked at her pictures of those nearest and dearest to them. He had much pleasure in handing to her that gold watch, one of the most suitable gifts that could be made, for it would remind her daily of her well-wishers in the home of her birth – the City – (applause) – and Royal and ancient Burgh of Kirkwall. (Renewed applause.) In addition to the watch, he had pleasure in presenting a nice bangle. The gifts had been subscribed for by a great many of her friends in Kirkwall. They wished her every success in the new home in the far-off land to which she was going. (Applause.)

The inscription on the watch is: – “Presented to Miss Mimie Sinclair by friends in Kirkwall as a token of esteem on the occasion of her leaving for New York. – 24th May, 1910.”

Miss Sinclair suitably and feelingly replied. Though she had not been in a public position requiring her to make speeches, she wished on that occasion to say that she would never forget Kirkwall. She had tried to do her best for the various objects which she had been asked to assist, and it had been no trouble, but a pleasure to be of some service. She thanked them all very much for their kindness.

Councillor Flett said that after listening to the eloquent periods of the Provost, who performed these things so well, and to the words of thanks of Miss Sinclair, he would just in a word corroborate all the Provost had said of the excellences of their friend and neighbour, Miss Sinclair. He had known her for a long time; he knew what assistance she had given in every movement, artistic and useful, and it was the universal feeling that she should not be allowed to go without some expression of their esteem and regard.

Mr M. Heddle also referred to Miss Sinclair’s services, particularly in regard to church work and the musical part of the services. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Provost Slater, proposed by Councillor White.

[Examples of Mimie Sinclair’s studio portraiture photographs are well-known to viewers of Rousay Remembered – courtesy of the Tommy Gibson Collection and Orkney Library and Archive.]

1910 June 15 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – We understand that Mrs [Theodosia] Middlemore, of Melsetter, is having the shooting lodge on Eynhallow furnished, and intends spending a brief holiday there for the purpose of studying bird life. She is expected by special steamer on Wednesday, the 15th inst., and should the weather keep good we have no doubt she will spend a most enjoyable holiday, as Eynhallow is one of the beauty spots of Orkney.

1910 June 18 The Orcadian

THE WEATHER. – Seldom of late years have we enjoyed a long spell of lovely weather. During the past few days the hours of sunshine must have been well above the average. Farmers are complaining of drought. The heat of the sun on Wednesday last was phenomenal – 120 degrees being registered [48.88 celsius]. Weather prophets declare that we are to have a return of the old-fashioned weather – warm summers and snowy winters – since Halley’s comet has passed in safety. What criterion there is to guide them, it is difficult to say. Let us hope there is some truth in it all the same.

1910 June 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – In the Sourin Public School on Saturday, Miss [Elizabeth] Lamond, from Edinburgh, under the auspices of the Orcadian Women’s Suffrage Society, delivered an interesting and cleverly reasoned address in favour of the enfranchisement of women. Much interest was manifested in her arguments. A hearty vote of thanks was awarded Miss Lamond, and a similar vote to the Rev. Mr Pirie who acted as chairman.

1910 August 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Mr Bryans and party arrived at Westness for the shooting season last Wednesday. On Saturday Sir Victor and Lady Horsley and party arrived at Trumland House. We understand trout fishing is very good and game plentiful, so that good sport is anticipated for this season.

Mr Frederick A. Scott, son of Mr John Scott, Hurtiso, Rousay, has successfully passed as second engineer before the British Board of Trade at Singapore. Mr Scott served his apprenticeship with Messrs W. & J. Leslie, engineers, Kirkwall. He served with Barclay Curle & Coy., and Fairfields, Glasgow, and also at Trinity House, London, He is presently in the employment of the British India Company, sailing in the Strait Settlements on the Royal Mail steamship Hongwa.

1910 August 13 The Orcadian

FLOWER AND CATTLE SHOWS AT ROUSAY. – The annual flower and cattle shows were held at Rousay on Tuesday, which was favoured with excellent weather. A number from Kirkwall and Shapinsay visited the island.

The flower show was held in the Sourin School, and the flower section was greatly improved, compared with last year; the baking and dairy section was an average in point of exhibits; but there was unfortunately a marked falling off in the industrial work…..

The turnout of stock at the cattle show was a credit to the island. The number of horses forward was up to the average, but there was a falling off in the cattle sections…..Cup for Best Cow in the Yard, presented by Mr James Gibson, Hullion, finally won by David Inkster, Furse – an animal of exceptional quality…..Medal for Best Mare, presented by Mr William Craigie, Broughtyferry, won by James Craigie, Furse – an animal which was easily first in the yard.

AMUSING SCENE IN ROUSAY. – Friday last was the Birsay holiday, and a good number of parishioners spent the day in Rousay, proceeding thither per s.s. Fawn.

Two lads of the company thought to vary the trip a little by having a sail on their own. Seeing a small boat lying a short distance along the beach from the pier, they shoved off, though subsequent events proved they knew as little about the handling of these small craft as might be expected of those who spent their whole lives in some inland city.

The boat was only a small one, and the combined weight of the two would-be-yachtsmen as they jumped aboard made it lurch dangerously. In a panic they seized hold of the mast, which, of course, only had the effect of toppling the boat further over, and filling it with water. One of the young fellows, however, had the sense to jump out and make for the shore. The other “stuck to the ship” with a look of abject despair on his countenance, whilst the spectators simply rocked with laughter.

Meantime the remaining occupant thought he saw a means of escape. The stern and quarter of the boat were out of the water, and the young man, having extricated his legs from the ropes with which he had become entangled, made a frantic leap aft. But again he was deluded, for the water followed him, and the boat went from under him.

There was really no danger, for the whole scene occurred within two boats’ lengths from the shore, but the great amusement created can be better imagined than described.

1910 August 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RETIREMENT OF EDINBURGH POSTMAN. – Mr Samuel Sinclair, 9 Comely Bank Avenue, Edinburgh, on account of having reached the age limit, has retired after forty years’ active service as a postman. Mr Sinclair has seen many changes at the G.P.O. He was the ninety-sixth postal carrier when he started work – now there are between eight and nine hundred. Of the chief officials who were then at the head of the postmen’s department not a single one remains. On a rough average Mr Sinclair has walked fifteen miles per day, so that during the four decades he has traversed something like 184,800. Mr Sinclair is a keen bowler, being an enthusiastic member of the Dean Bowling Club.

[Samuel was born at Swandale on June 1st 1846. He married Mary Louttit, Faraclett, in 1869. Her uncle, John Louttit was postmaster in Coatbridge and later in Edinburgh, and it was through his influence Samuel obtained work in the Post Office in Edinburgh.]

1910 August 27 The Orcadian

VEIRA – SCHOOL PICNIC. – A most enjoyable picnic was held here on Thursday the 18th inst. The weather in the morning was dull, but the rain held off, and the day was delightful. The children gathered at the school at noon, and marched to Cubbierow Castle, with flags flying. When all the people had assembled, refreshments were served – milk and buns – to which full justice was done. Games were then entered into with zest by the children and young people, and kept up till five o’clock, when all marched back to the school for tea, after which the prizes were distributed. Much of the success of the picnic was due to Sir Victor and Lady Horsley, whose kindness helped very much to make the outing all that could be desired.

1910 September 10 The Orcadian


Where the white waves leap, and the tide sweeps past,
And the lashing spray from the sea is cast
‘Mid the roaring roosts of an angry ocean,
Boiling and eddying in swift commotion,
Beaten by every wind that blows,
Thro’ the summer’s sun and the winter’s snows,
Lashed by the ruthless northern seas,
Lies the ”Holy Isle” of the Orcades.

In the distant past when the Celtic race
In these isles of ours found a dwelling-place,
Long ere the Vikings had plied the oar
To conquer on every Orcadian shore,
Ere History’s pages could yet reveal
Our island’s story of woe and weal.
‘Mid the waves’ mad turmoil and ceaseless play,
The enchanted isle of Eynhallow lay.

In those mystic days of forgotten lore,
Ere mortal had trod on its virgin shore,
Spell-bound where the roosts and the white waves leap,
Eynhallow was held by the mighty deep.
The home of the Finmen of ancient story,
But rarely beheld in its pristine glory,
Save when it rose with mysterious motion
To vanish unknown ‘mid the turbulent ocean.

None knew of its coming; none told of the spell –
It came and it vanished was all they could tell.
Full many a craft has been shattered amain.
Full many a perilous venture in vain,
To ruin the charm of the sea-dwellers’ home,
And bring this lone isle from the depths of the foam;
And many a brave heart has battled the storm,
But the vanishing island retained its charm.

There was a wizard who hied him forth
To capture this vanishing isle of the North;
He controlled the tides with a master hand,
And the mysteries he solved of this phantom land;
With steel in his grasp and with power in his eye,
When Eynhallow rose from the waters high,
Onward he sped on his perilous way,
And the angry roosts where the island lay
Were hushed into peace by his stern decree,
And Eynhallow was won from the depths of the sea.

With a roaring roost upon every side
It was left to stand ‘mid the angry tide.
Yet won, so long since, from the Men of the Sea,
Its enchantment it holds in a lesser degree,
For steel in its mystical soil cannot rest
When the sun disappears on the ocean’s crest;
And death-doomed the rodent that enters the strand
Of this once supernatural, vanishing land.

When the sea fog rolls on the waters grey,
And the western sun lends a farewell ray
To the green mounds marking the resting place
Of a pre-historic Orcadian race,
The scene is majestic, yet weird and strange.
So full of phantasm and mystical change
The remains of another age are there.
And a monastery’s ruins laid waste and bare –
The long-sought remains of an ancient pile
To explain the name of the “Holy Isle.”

J. G. S. F.

1910 September 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Mr E. Bryans and party, who have been staying at Westness House for the last six weeks, have now left. Mr Bryans had the Westness shootings last year also. This year his bag has been as follows, viz.: – Grouse 300, rabbits over 500, snipe 88, wild duck 14, hares 4, golden plover 18, rock pigeons 21, trout 303, various 67. Grouse were plentiful, well grown, and strong on the wing by the 12th. Snipe were not so many as last year. Rabbits, golden plover, and rock pigeons were very plentiful. Trout were of a good average weight, and fine baskets were got up to the end of August.

ROUSAY, EGILSHAY, AND VEIRA CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY. – On Tuesday the 13th inst., a very successful public meeting was held in the Schoolhouse at Sourin to commence the co-operative movement in the parish of Rousay. After tea, to which Sir Victor and Lady Horsley had invited the tenants and occupiers throughout the three islands, the meeting, which was very large and representative, began. Sir Victor Horsley, as chairman, in a few opening remarks, urged the national importance of cooperation to all sections of workers throughout the empire and its value not only in increasing material prosperity but also in promoting social fellowship.

He then called upon Mr J. B. Grahame of Eday, who gave a most interesting account of the development of Agriculture Co-operative Societies throughout the world, and in particular the share taken by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society in developing the thirteen societies which are doing so much good work in Orkney. Mr Grahame showed how in Eday and elsewhere the evolution of the co-operative societies began with the egg industry (collecting and marketing), and that this was followed by combined purchase of farming materials, especially seeds and fertilisers, while finally the general trading of a co-operative society was superadded as soon as the organisation and staff admitted of this being undertaken successfully. He dwelt especially on the need to all agriculturists of supply of seeds, the purity and germination of which was ascertained with certainty, and of fertilisers, the analysis of which was accurate, and further demonstrated that the only possible way of obtaining these essentials was cooperation. Rousay, with Egilshay and Veira, offered an excellent field for co-operative work, inasmuch as the work of collection and distribution could so readily be focussed. In conclusion, he hoped the society would be formed that day, and he wished the islands all the prosperity which could be confidently anticipated from its organisation.

After Mr Grahame’s address, questions were invited and put through the chair to Mr Grahame, who kindly responded fully on each point. The following resolutions were then put separately and carried unanimously: – (1) That it is desirable to form a Rousay, Egilshay and Veira Co-operative Society. (2) That a provisional committee be appointed to register the society according to the model rules of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, and to prepare a draft scheme for consideration at a subsequent meeting. The meeting then nominated the Provisional Committee as follows: – For Rousay, Messrs Robert Seatter, Fred Inkster, William Grieve, John Logie; for Egilshay, Mr Hugh Robertson; and for Veira, Mr William Craigie. As secretary, Mr James P. Craigie was appointed. On the motion of the Rev. A. I. Pirie, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr J. B. Grahame for his address, and with thanks to the chair the meeting terminated.

It is intended that the organisation of the new society shall be on a wide basis, so that the members should obtain the fullest possible advantages of trading on the co-operative system. For this purpose it is desirable that every house-holder should be a member and shareholder to secure a speedy development of the scheme, and to this end it is intended that each single share shall be small, though of course it is hoped that those who are interested in the extension of the society’s operations will take up a number of shares so as to provide at once for the necessary staff and administration.

1910 October 1 The Orcadian

A FIREMAN WORTH £1500. – Peter Marwick, at one time fireman on traders between Kirkwall and Rousay and other North Isles, and latterly on board s.s. Express, died in Leith Hospital on Sunday. Deceased belonged to Rousay, but has now no near relatives resident in the island. His estate is said to be over £1500 in value, and goes to a daughter of a sister of his who stays in Leith. Peter, as he was familiarly called, was a man of very peculiar habits, and was of an exceptionally saving disposition. It is related of him that some years ago he was found in a state of starvation, and yet had no less than £800 in his pockets, and his death is understood to be due to a cause similar to this.

[Peter Marwick, born on December 11th 1850, was the son of William Marwick, Clook, Frotoft, and Mary Craigie, Knapknowes, Quandale.]

1910 October 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Sir Victor Horsley, F.R.S., F.R.C.S., and family left Orkney by steamer on 27th Sept. They had Trumland House, Rousay, along with the shooting, last season and this season. Unfortunately Sir Victor, being a busy man, can only allow himself about six weeks’ holiday. His bag for the season has been: – Grouse, 208; golden plover, 55; green plover, 37; rabbits, 261; snipe, 123; rock pigeons, 58; trout, 242; seals, 4. Sir Victor spent a few days in Westray and Papa Westray, where he had good snipe shooting, and visited the various places of interest in the two islands.

1910 October 8 The Orcadian

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – At the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr D. J. Robertson for the Heritors of Rousay stated that the whole works in connection with the new manse had now been completed, and asked that the manse be declared free, and a date fixed for the debate on the question of expenses. Mr Low for the minister stated that his client informed him certain repairs on the steading had not been carried out, and the case was continued for a week to allow the questions raised by the minister to be communicated to the heritors’ agent.

1910 October 12 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – LOCAL EXHIBITORS TO THE HOME INDUSTRIES EXHIBITION AT INVERNESS. – At the recent exhibition of Home Industries at Inverness, we are pleased to note our local manufacturer of Orkney stools, Mr John Sinclair, Vacquoy, exhibited five stools of different patterns, which met with a ready sale. Mr Sinclair makes stools in fumed oak, green stained, and plain varnished, with or without rush bottoms, and of various designs, and, for workmanship and finish, they are equal to any that are sent out of the county. This may account for the large and increasing demand Mr Sinclair has had for his Orkney chairs of late. He not only sends them all over England and Scotland, but at a very recent date sent a good consignment to America. We are also pleased to note our local maker of Orkney homespun cloth, Mr Alexander Grieve, Nethermill, Sourin, took second place at the same exhibition for a piece of fine Orkney homespun. We understand it was at the request of Miss Rose, Niggley, Evie, who is much interested in home art, that these exhibits were forwarded to Inverness.

1910 October 15 The Orcadian

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – The application by the heritors of Rousay to have the Rousay manse declared a free manse again came before Sheriff Harvey in the Orkney Sheriff Court at Kirkwall on Tuesday. Mr D. J. Robertson for the heritors said he had inquired into the objections raised by the minister, and a defect complained of in regard to the water from the byre was in course of being remedied. The garden wall was bulging in several places, and his information was that it would stand for four or five years, and perhaps a considerable time longer; the garden gate was in a state of disrepair because the minister had not kept it up; no defect could be found in the kitchen range; and the only signs of dampness about the windows were the marks of water which had come from flower pots. He held that in view of the Sheriff’s interlocutor it declaring that the manse had been constructed in terms of the plans and specification, the minister was barred from raising objections at this stage. Mr T. P. Low for the minister held that in view of Mr Robertson’s statement in regard to the garden wall his lordship could not declare the manse a free manse. The garden gate was bought from the previous minister, and being of wood it had to be about done. At any rate it was the duty of the heritors to supply a gate. In regard to the range the minister was prepared to take down a representative from the manufacturers, and if his complaint that the range had not been properly built in was wrong, he would pay the whole expense. Mr Robertson would not agree to this. The sheriff made a remit to Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, to report on the state of the garden walls and gate, the kitchen range, and as to the objection that water came in at the staircase window and kitchen door. He reserved consideration of the heritors’ plea that the Court is precluded by the interlocutor of 19th October, 1909, from dealing with the defects, if any.

1910 October 29 The Orcadian

FATHER’S LOAN TO HIS SON. – In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, the record was closed in the action at the instance of John Sinclair, Vacquoy. Rousay, executor nominate of the late Hugh Sinclair, Sketquoy. Rousay, against Mrs Jemima Craigie, or Sinclair, widow of David Sinclair, Onziebust, Weir. The pursuer’s claim is for payment of a sum of £83 14s. being the principal sum of £75, and interest thereon from 28th January, 1898 to 1st August, 1910, less a sum of £14 15s paid to account of said interest. The case for the pursuer is that the deceased Hugh Sinclair lent his son, defender’s late husband. the principal sum of £75 sued for, to enable him to stock his farm of Onziebust, and after his death, defender adopted the debt, and granted a receipt therefore. Defender pleads that the receipt was signed under a misunderstanding, and in error. The defender was induced to sign the receipt on representations being made to her to the effect that Hugh Sinclair claimed to have made advances to his son (defender’s deceased husband), that the said Hugh Sinclair was old and in a weak state of health, and that if the defender did not sign the receipt, it might affect his health prejudicially. The defender was assured by the wife of Hugh Sinclair (now deceased), and in his presence, that if she signed the receipt the money would never be asked from her, but that she was asked to sign the receipt merely to satisfy the old man before he died. The defender believes that no advances, by way of loan had been made to her husband (who died 15 years ago) by his father, and that she was induced to sign the receipt by misrepresentation and without having an opportunity of taking advice. The defender without prejudice to her rights offered to pay pursuer £50 in full of his claim, to avoid litigation, and on record makes a similar offer. Proof was fixed for 29th November, but it was stated the parties hoped to come to a settlement out of court. Pursuer’s agent – Mr W. P. Drever; defender’s agent – Mr D. J. Robertson.

1910 November 5 The Orcadian

In the Orkney Sheriff Court at Kirkwall on Tuesday a minute was lodged by Mr D. J. Robertson, offering on behalf of his client, Mrs Jemima Craigie or Sinclair, Onziebust, Weir, to pay £75 and the expenses of the action, in full of the claim of the pursuer (John Sinclair, Vacquoy, Rousay, executor nominate of the late Hugh Sinclair, Sketquoy, Rousay) of £83 14s. The action, as we explained in our last issue, was for payment of a loan said to have been given to defender’s deceased husband by his father, the late Hugh Sinclair.

1910 November 9 Orkney Herald

There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at HUNCLETT, ROUSAY, on WEDNESDAY,
16th November, the FARM STOCK and IMPLEMENTS thereon, consisting of: -STOCK. – 2 Work Mares, 5 cows in calf (one at drop and two early);
Three-year-old Quey in calf (early); 5 One-year-old Cattle, 5 Calves, 4 Sheep.
IMPLEMENTS. – 2 Carts, Plough, Pair Wood Harrows, Set Iron Harrows,
Grubber, Scuffler, Turnip Slicer, Hand Mill, Barn Fanners, Plough-trees,
Harrow-trees, Riddles, Pitch Forks, Forks, Spades, Hooks, Scythes,
Hand Rakes, Hand Barrow, Ladder, Stone Feeding Trough,
Large Tub, Large Pot, Cart and Plough Harness;
some household furniture, a variety of other articles,
also a quantity of potatoes.
Four months’ credit on bills, signed by purchasers and sufficient cautioners,
for sums of £5 and upwards, or discount at the rate of 4d per £ for cash.
Sale to commence at 11 o’clock forenoon. The s.s. “Fawn” will leave
Kirkwall at 8 a.m. on the morning of Sale, returning in the evening.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.

1910 November 23 Orkney Herald


LIST OF NOMINATIONS. – …..ROUSAY AND EGILSHAY – Nine nominations for seven seats [for which there will be a poll]: – John Logie, Trumland, Rousay; John Craigie, Triblo, Sourin, Rousay; Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin, Rousay (2 papers); William Grieve, Upper Knarston, Rousay; Thomas Garson, Grugar, Egilshay; Hugh Robertson, South Tofts, Egilshay; David Inkster, Furse, Rousay; George Gibson, Avelshay, Rousay; David Gibson, Langskaill, Rousay.

ROUSAY – The Rousay United Free Church Guild opened its winter session on Thursday evening with a social in Ritchie Church. The weather being favourable, there was a large congregation, mostly of young people. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie presided. The feature of the evening was the singing of a large well-balanced choir under the able leadership of Mr James W. Grieve, the guild precentor. Choruses, quartettes, and duets were sung with splendid taste and skill, and were greatly appreciated by the audience. An address by the Rev. James Halliday, presently congregational assistant; readings by Mr William Grieve, and recitations by Mr Robert Mainland, added much to the entertainment. Miss Munro provided an excellent tea, and Miss Reid, with willing assistants, made the necessary arrangements for serving it. Votes of thanks concluded a most successful and enjoyable evening.

1910 December 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – FATAL BURNING ACCIDENT. – On Sunday last a young child, two years old, belonging to John Craigie, The Glebe, Rousay, met with a serious burning accident to which it succumbed the following morning. It appears the mother had gone out, leaving the child playing with the older members of the family, and somehow it went too near the fire and its dress got ignited. The older ones ran out calling for help, and the child following them, the wind in the door fanned the flame, in consequence of which the child was very badly burned. Medical aid was promptly called, and all possible was done for the child, but as before mentioned it died the following morning.

[The youngster was James Craigie, born in 1909, the fifth child born to John Craigie and his wife Ann Seatter Russell, Evie. The family later move to Furse.]

1910 December 14 Orkney Herald

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS. – …..At Rousay there were nine candidates for seven seats. The votes were counted at Kirkwall on Thursday forenoon, and the result was: –

Robert Seatter, Banks – 42
George Gibson, Avelshay – 41
Thomas Garson, Grugar, Egilshay – 39
John Logie, Trumland – 38
Hugh Robertson, South Tofts, Egilshay – 37
David Gibson, Langskaill – 35
David Inkster, Furse – 28
William Craigie, Upper Knarston – 23
John Craigie, Triblo – 18

In Print

Newsprint – 1909

1909 January 6 Orkney Herald

GALE AND SNOWSTORM. – The gale and snowstorm of last week was experienced over the whole country from the English Channel to Unst, seriously deranging traffic and interrupting telegraphic and postal communication. Many trains were blocked by the snow, and it was not till Friday afternoon that the trains on the Highland line, which had been snowed up since Tuesday morning, got through.

In Orkney the storm took off on Wednesday, and gangs of men set to work to clear the streets of Kirkwall of the snow which in parts lay to a depth of several feet. During that and the following day, assisted by a heavy thaw, the country roads were also made passable.

On Tuesday there was an almost complete telegraphic breakdown, both throughout the islands and with Shetland. Communication was also interrupted between Shetland and the South. With some of the Orkney offices and with Shetland and Wick there was intermittent communication on Tuesday. On Wednesday communication with the South was restored, and on Wednesday night the delayed telegrams were received. The mail steamer St Ola crossed the Pentland Firth on Wednesday, but only returned with Monday’s mails. Crossing again on Thursday she remained at Scrabster till Friday night, when the mail train got through, and then returned with four days’ mails. An increased staff of sorters and deliverers enabled the mail, which was one of the largest ever received at Kirkwall, at one time, to be distributed at the usual hour on Friday morning.

Reports from the country districts show that the snow was severely felt. Houses were in some cases entirely buried in the snow, and great difficulty was experienced in feeding the stock. In Rousay a number of sheep were lost. At Westness considerable damage was done to the steading. In Orphir some sheep were also lost, and near Houton a number of dead sheep, probably blown from Flotta, were washed ashore.

PENSION DAY. The first payments of old-age pensions were made at the Scottish Post Office on Saturday. At Kirkwall there was a rush of pensioners in the forenoon, and a good many claimed payment at the other offices throughout Orkney. In some cases payment had to be postponed as the pensioner did not appear and the person who did appear had not proper authorisation to receive payment. The total number of pensioners in Orkney is 1384, of whom 139 are in the Burgh of Kirkwall, 76 in the Burgh of Stromness, and 1169 in the rest of the county. Nine-tenths of the pensioners received the maximum of 5s per week.



Wur Willock has got raither big
Tae write aboot the soiree,
An’ so I thowt I’d tak’ his place
An’ tell ma peerie story.
In takin’ up ma pen tae write,
There’s wan thing I must mention –
We’re a’ delichted in oor hoose
Since Granny’s got her pension.

At first she couldna think it was
The Government’s intention
Tae gie a cratur sich as her
A reg’lar weekly pension.
But when she got her book o’ cheques
She saw ’twas nae invention;
Five shillings every week tae her
Wad be a welcome pension.

An’ oh! hoo prood oor granny was –
Her mind noo free frae tension –
When in her han’ she grupped last week
A bright croon for her pension.
O, but ye’d lauch tae hear her talk:
She says it’s her intention
Tae gie us presents every one
Oot o’ her weekly pension.

Oor Wull’s tae get a phonograph –
That winerfu’ invention
An’ Jock’s tae get a bicycle
Frae granny’s new fun’ pension.
Then Maggie she’s tae get a dress;
An’ something a’ll no mention
Is promised me, if a’m been guid,
Oot o’ ma granny’s pension.

An’ then am glad tae tell ye this:
It’s granny’s firm intention
Tae mind the kirk an’ help its wark
An’ no tae waste her pension.
The doctors hae a vast o’ drugs
For cure or for prevention;
But the tonic that make’s old folk young
Is the reg’lar weekly pension.

An’ noo I want tae tell ye this –
I think it’s worth tae mention –
That granny’s valued in oor hoose
Since she has got her pension.
She’s brichter and she’s fresher noo,
An’ says it’s her intention
Tae leeve till she’s a huner year
An’ draw her weekly pension.


1909 January 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – A CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT postponed through stress of weather from the previous week was held on Friday the 8th inst., in Sourin School. A Christmas tree had been prepared, and when lit up by Chinese lanterns and other lights, it looked very pretty indeed. The school was well filled, but a good number had been detained at home by the weather, which had been boisterous all day. The Rev. Mr Pirie presided with all his usual skill, and gave a short address to the children. Dr Murchison kindly give a recitation, which was very much appreciated, while the Rev. Mr Abel quite surpassed himself, and altogether delighted the audience after his own inimitable fashion. Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve also gave some much appreciated piano and violin selections, but the rest of the programme was entirely the work of the children themselves. Throughout, the pieces were exceedingly well performed and heartily applauded, but the action songs, the fan drill, hoop drill, and dumb bell exercises, together with the recitations of the infants might be mentioned as being specially popular. At the close there were the usual votes of thanks, and each child was presented with a gilt off the tree. The following is the programme: –

Children’s chorus, “The Angel’s song”; chairman’s remarks; children’s chorus, Xmas hymn; song, “Do your best,” school children; dumb-bell drill, boys; recitation, “The Little Girl who would not say ‘Please,'” Master Peter Corsie; song and chorus, “A Hunting Song,” Miss M. A. Grieve; recitation, “Little Boy Blue,” Miss Alice Horne; song, “Row weel, my Boatie,” children; trio, “Star of the Twilight,” Misses Lizzie Corsie, Bella Grieve, and Katie Lyon; recitation, “The Torch of Life,” Master David Gibson; hoop drill, children; song and chorus, “The very worst Girl in School,” Miss Annie Harrold; recitation, “Dollies,” by Standard I.; action song, “The Birdies’ Ball,” little children; recitation, “Hanging a Picture,” Dr Murchison; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve; song and chorus, “Sweet Chiming Belle,” Miss Sybil Seatter; recitation, “A Lecture” (to a doll), Miss Lydia Horne; solo, “Comin’ thro’ the Rye,” Miss Bella Grieve; address, Rev. Mr Abel; recitation, “ Wee Willie Winkie,” Master John Craigie; fan drill, girls; action song, “Jolly song and drill,” children; recitation, “Visitors,” Master George Grieve; solo, “My Bonnie,” Miss Katie Harrold; recitation, “The Fugitive Slave,” Master Willie Corsie; children’s chorus, “Old Folks at Home”; recitation, “The Sea-King’s burial,” Master James Lyon; children’s chorus, “Canadian Boat Song”; recitation, “Grandmamas,” Misses Lizzie Craigie and Mary A. Hourie; recitation, “Are Boys or Girls the best?” Standard I.; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr J. W. Grieve.

1909 February 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT AND DANCE. – On Friday evening last a concert and dance was held in the barn at Avelshay, where room was kindly granted by Mr [George] Gibson for the occasion. The weather being favourable, there was a large attendance of the islanders. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and introduced the programme, which was a varied one, and the efforts of the various performers were greatly appreciated by all present. A song composed by Mr Dunardo, to the tune of ” When Johnnie comes marching home again,” was vociferously applauded. During an interval in the programme, tea and cakes were handed round. At the close of the programme, a vote of thanks was moved by the chairman to the Rev. A. Spark for his kindness in assisting in several items of the programme. Mr Spark proposed a vote of thanks to Mr and Mrs [Annabella] Gibson, the singers, the committee in charge of the arrangements, and to all who contributed to the success of the concert, and to the chairman by Mr Gibson, all of which votes were heartily responded to. Miss Veira L. Spark performed her duties as accompanist in a very efficient manner. The barn was thereafter cleared of the seats, and dancing was enjoyed in until about 5 a.m., when a most successful evenings enjoyment was brought to a close by the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” The following is the programme: –

“The Village Chorister,” choir; chairman’s remarks, Rev. A. I. Pirie; song, “The Rousay Express,” Mr A. Dunardo; recitation, Dr Murchison; “The Banner of Reform,” choir; song, “A Fellum grew in learning,” Mr A. Dunardo; address, Rev. A. Spark; duet, “When ye gang awa’ Jamie,” Miss Veira L. Spark and Mr A. Dunardo; —— dialogue, Messrs Moodie, Horne, and A. Gibson; part-song, “Battle o’ Stirling,” choir; recitation, Dr Murchison; song, “Will you buy my pretty Flowers,” Miss Gibson; recitation, “Old Mother Hubbard,” Mr A. Dunardo; quartette, “Pro Phundo Basso,” Misses Janet Corsie and Gibson, and Messrs Moodie and Gibson; dialogue, “Men and Women’s Rights.” Misses A. Corsie and Gibson, Messrs Logie and Isbister; part song, “All among the Barley,” choir; duet, “De Camptown Races,” Messrs A. Dunardo and Gibson.

1909 February 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – This match was held on Friday the 12th inst., on the farm of Trumland, on a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr James Craigie. The weather was all that could be desired and the ground in good condition, consequently the work all over was well done. Eighteen ploughs turned up for competition, including three champions. The ploughmen were well supplied with refreshments on the field and after their work was done. The judges were Messrs John Fraser and Norquoy, Rendall; and Spence, Urrigar, Costa, who awarded the prizes as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1, cup and medal, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; 2, Tom Gibson, Broland; 3, Hugh Robertson, Scockness. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, John Craigie, Curquoy; 2, John Russell, Brendale; 3, John Seatter, Banks; 4, Alex. Craigie, Nears; 5, Chas. Louttit, Westness; 6, Ben. Moodie, Avelshay; 7, James Russell, Langskaill; 8, Hugh Marwick, Saviskaill; 9, John Marwick, Knarston; 10, Robert Marwick, Essaquoy; 11, Bertie Louttit, Westness; youngest ploughman, R. Mainland, Essaquoy; fest feering, best finish, and straightest ploughing on field, J. W. Grieve, Faraclett; best ploughed rig on field – a massive silver cup to be thrice won, presented to the society by Mr John Logie, estate steward, Trumland, won for the first time by J. W. Grieve, Faraclett, who has also won the Shearer medal, likewise for the first time.

GROOMING. – 1, James Craigie, Trumland; 2, Hugh Robertson; 3, Hugh Marwick; 4, John Seatter; 5, Alex. Craigie; 6, J. W. Grieve.

HARNESS. – 1, Hugh Marwick; 2, J. W. Grieve; 3, Alex. Craigie; 4, Hugh Robertson; 5, John Seatter; 6, John Russell.

A large number of special prizes were distributed among the ploughmen. In the evening the judges, committee and a number of friends were entertained to dinner by Mr and Miss Craigie, Trumland. Mr John Logie occupied the chair, while the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James Gibson, Hullion. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes and all those who submitted to the funds of the Agricultural Society.

1909 March 13 The Orcadian

Just at a time when most people were congratulating themselves that most of the winter weather was over for the season, Orkney has been visited by a violent snow storm. Snow is lying over the country on the plain to a depth of about six inches, and on Tuesday most of the roads on the mainland were blocked. In this way business has been pretty much at a standstill, mail communication has been interrupted, and all outside work has been stopped.

1909 March 24 Orkney Herald

OLD AGE PENSIONS – A HARD CASE. – “W. J. S. D.” writes as follows to the Scotsman: – The following case will illustrate the injustice of this Act: – There is an old soldier, an Indian Mutiny veteran, resident in the parish of Harray, Orkney. His name is John Curran, locally known as “Soldier John.” Born in Limerick, he joined the 93d Regiment in 1854, served with that regiment in the Crimea and in India, where he saved the life of General Burroughs (the late Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs) at the capture of Delhi. He still bears in his hand the mark of the weapon which he caught as it was aimed at the life of his commanding officer. After ten years service he was discharged at Aldershot, having had an attack of rheumatic fever, and thus being unfit for service; he received a pension of Is. per day for two years. Since that time he has lived in Orkney, to be near his General, who was very kind to him while he lived, and has supported himself by selling small articles among the islanders. He is a well-known and inoffensive character, and everybody has a welcome for “Soldier John.” He is now over seventy years of age, and no longer able to go his rounds regularly, so he applied lately for an old age pension. It has been refused him because he lives at present in a small house rent free belonging to the Parish Council, and locally called the poorhouse – a miserable cot on the bare hill-side. A few years ago he was evicted from a house he lived in for a considerable time, belonging to one of the “peerie lairds” (small lairds) of Harray; the Parish Council, pitying him under the circumstances, allowed him to occupy it rent free, and for this reason he has been refused the pension. The parish minister brought the case before the local Pension Committee, and it was unanimously agreed to give him a pension of 5s a week, but the pensions officer appealed, and the Local Government Board sustained the appeal. There are cases in Orkney where persons having £300, £400, and even £800 in the bank have got pensions of 5s per week. Surely if there is anyone who deserves a pension, it is one like “Soldier John,” who has served his country faithfully, and has honestly endeavoured to provide for himself and his wife all these years. There is universal sympathy for him in the parish, and all who know him say that no person is more needful and deserving. Cases like this show how unfairly the Act, passed in such haste and without due consideration, works in practice. The sooner a change is made in favour of those for whom the hard circumstances of life necessitate some temporary assistance from the parish authorities the better.

1909 March 27 The Orcadian

TO BE LET on Lease, with Entry at Martinmas, 1909, WESTNESS FARM,
in the Island of Rousay, extending to 2904 acres or thereby, whereof 200
acres are good Arable Land, all enclosed. The sheep run is capable of
carrying from 600 to 700 Ewes (Cheviot cross). Mr Logie, Trumland,
Rousay, will show the Farm, and Conditions of Lease may be seen
with him or in the hands of the Subscribers, who will let the farm
as soon as a suitable offer is received.
The present tenant will not be an offerer.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1909 April 10 The Orcadian


STATE OF ROUSAY ROADS. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee of Orkney was held at Kirkwall on Tuesday. Present – Messrs G. Sutherland (in the chair), Logie, and Capt Reid.

The reports of the several island road surveyors, with estimates of the cost of upkeep during the coming year, were submitted…..Rousay, £146 5s., compared with £88 last year…..The reports were adopted with the exception of that on Rousay, in which case the quantity of metal recommended was reduced to bring the cost to £125.

In regard to Rousay roads, Mr Logie said he thought the west side ought to be left out. The rate had to be kept under 9d.

The Chairman – You can’t keep up your roads and keep down your rates. (Laughter). It is a case of what the roads require.

Mr Logie – We cannot give what the roads require all at once. I think we should reduce the west side by 50 yards at least.

The Surveyor – I would only keep the west side road passable. It is not in the right line at all.

Mr Logie – Then we can allow on 20 yards for patching. I think that would be enough.

The Surveyor – Ample.

Mr Logie – How much does that make the rates? We must keep it below 9d.

The Clerk – It does not matter how much the rate is if we do not get it in. (Laughter.)

Mr Logie – I am going on Mr Heddle’s advice. He says some parts of the road should not be repaired.

The Chairman – You must either go by the inspector or not.

Mr Logie – Those who are paying the rates must have a little say.

The Chairman – The whole cry from Rousay is to put the roads in order.

Mr Logie – But we can’t do the whole thing at once.

The Surveyor – You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The Clerk – You are stultifying yourself, Mr Logie.

Mr Logie – I do not think so. We will reduce the metal for Wasbister as well from 190 to 100 yards.

The Clerk – That makes the estimate £125, so that you are not doing so much after all. Will that be sufficient to allay the revolution? (Laughter.)

Mr Logie – I think so.

The matter then dropped…..

1909 May 22 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Mr [George] Meikle, teacher of music, has, during the last two months, been conducting singing classes in connection with the United Free Church in Rousay and Egilshay with remarkable success. The snowstorm in March at first interfered somewhat with the attendance, but the interest and enthusiasm quickly grew. The two classes in Rousay – one meeting in the churches, and the others in Wasbister School – numbered together 86 members, and there were gained 24 elementary, 16 intermediate, and 2 first-grade staff notation certificates. There were also two children’s classes with an attendance of 33, and 15 junior certificates were taken. There were two classes in Egilshay with a roll of 30 pupils and these gained 10 elementary and 5 intermediate certificates. The children’s class in Egilshay had 10 pupils on the roll and two junior certificates were taken. At the close of the classes, public services of song were given in Ritchie and Egilshay Churches. The singing, under the able leadership of Mr Meikle, was very much appreciated by the large congregations in both places of worship.

1909 May 29 The Orcadian

AN ORCADIAN MARKSMAN. – We record, with pleasure, that our countryman, Private John Reid, 5th Scottish Rifles (late 1st L.R.V.), No 8 Company, Glasgow, had top score in a competition held on their range, 8th May. The regulations were the same as Bisley, viz., 6 inch bull at 200 yards and 21 in. bull at 500 and 600 yards. His score which was a most magnificent one – being only 4 points short of the possible – is as follows: – 200 yards, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5 – 33; 500 yards. 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 – 35; 600 yards, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5 – 33; total 101. Private Reid, who is a native of Rousay, and served his apprenticeship with Messrs S. Baikie and Son, Kirkwall, and worked for Mr S. Baikie, Stromness, has shot at Bisley, but unfortunately in one competition his rifle went off accidentally and spoiled his chances for a prominent prize.

[Marksman John was the son of John Reid and Sarah Sinclair Mainland, Tratland, his father being one of the two boatmen lost in the post-boat tragedy in Eynhallow Sound in 1893.]

1909 May 22 The Scotsman

To be LET for season 1909 or on lease, the FIRST-CLASS SHOOTINGS
and FISHINGS of ROUSAY, in either one or two beats, with Excellent
Well-Furnished Houses. The Trout Fishings can be rented separately,
with one of the Houses, for June and July, which are the best months.
For further particulars apply to
Messrs MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1909 May 29 The Orcadian

The farm of Westness, Rousay, has been let to Messrs Mainland and Stevenson.

[This was John Mainland of the Bu, Wyre and his brother-in-law William Stevenson, Kirbist, Egilsay].

1909 June 23 Orkney Herald


THE CROFTER AND HIS EGGS – A WIFE’S COMPLAINT. “Crofter’s Wife” writes: – “Since co-operation was started in the parish where I reside eggs have become a luxury. Prior to its advent, the gathering and disposal of the eggs on the croft was considered to be my special privilege, and no one questioned my right to them. But now this is changed. A spirit of competition, fostered by the society, has arisen among the farmers – and my guidman is as keen as anybody, let me say – and each is trying to outdo his neighbour in the quantity he exports of this marketable commodity. It is perhaps hardly correct to say that my guidman knows every hen that is going to lay each day, but he does what he never did before, he removes the eggs from the hen-coops, counts them, and puts them by.” – I’m certain “Crofter’s Wife” will have the sympathy of everybody who knows the drudgery of the life her class leads. But, perhaps, the fad of her “guidman” and his neighbours will soon wear itself out, and then, doubtless, she will come to her own again. I would like, however, to hear what the goodmen have to say on this subject. Make your letters short, please.

1909 June 26 The Orcadian

RAIN AT LAST. – After a period of drought at a season when the fields cannot very well stand too much of anything – rain came, and refreshed the drooping blade. Sown grass, which a week ago looked miserable, has a different colour today while turnips have made rapid strides, and in many cases have had enough moisture for a bit. The oats and bere are greatly improved, and the general appearance of things agricultural is decidedly better. Midsummer day, June 21st, was very fine and extra warm, but the 22nd was simply dreadful. The rain did not bother to come down in drops, for on many occasions it came in sheets to be broken up into smaller quantities on arrival. Joking aside it did rain. What a day for the middle of summer. “We’ll have heat after this,” somebody prophesied. Let us hope we will.

1909 July 10 The Orcadian

DEATHS: – SPARK. – At Kirkwall on 3rd July, Jane Livingston Oatt, wife of the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of Rousay and Egilshay, Orkney, aged 54.

1909 July 24 The Orcadian

ROUSAY PARISH CHURCH – MEMORIAL SERVICE. – On Sunday (18th) a memorial service was held in Rousay Parish Church in memory of the late Mrs Spark. There was a large and sympathetic congregation. The Rev. Robert Rigg, Congregational Church, Kirkwall, conducted a most acceptable and appropriate service, choosing as the subject of his sermon, “The Christian View of Death.” At the close he said: – My dear brethren to-day we stand within the cold shadow of death. That stern, grim messenger has summoned from your midst one whose life was radiant with sunshine, and whose presence seemed to shed forth a genial warmth. The late wife of your esteemed minister was one whose friendship I was proud to claim; one of those for whose friendship one was all the better and richer – so happy, so hopeful, so entirely self-sacrificing. Her interest in everything that made for the advancement of pure and undefiled religion was very real and unaffected. And the quiet unobtrusive ministry of her life exerted an influence that reached far. The letters of condolence, some of which I have had the privilege of reading, which have been received by the bereaved family, have made that abundantly plain. It was only conforming to the eternal fitness of things that, having lived a life of faith, and hope, and charity, Mrs Spark died a peaceful, fearless, triumphant death. We commend to the God of all grace, comfort and strength the stricken husband and family.”

The Iessons read were Psalm 90 and John ii.i-46. The praise list, which included Mrs Spark’s favourite hymns, was: – Psalm 103, 1-5: Tune, St Paul; Par. 3: Tune, Kilmarnock; hymns, 207, 391, 314. At the end of hymn 314 the following two verses, written by the minister In Memoriam, were sung to the tune of hymn 314: –

Daybreak and morning star –
Star of Eternity –
‘Tis God who calls me to my Home afar
With love that beckons me.
The last adieus how sad to think them here!
On quitting port at last,
I sail away with Christ my Pilot near
Home – borne so fast.
Daybreak and home at last –
That Home where God is light-
From out Earth’s surging sea of sorrows vast
My God guides right.
For Angel choirs ‘mid deepening symphonies
Give music charms for me,
And in Christ’s arms I rest and am at peace
In this Eternity


ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors of Rousay, informed Sheriff Harvey that the new manse had now been completed. The steading was not yet finished as the material from the old manse, when it was being removed, was to be used for that. Mr Low, for the minister, said the water supply was unsatisfactory. It was quite satisfactory so far as quantity went; but the water had been carried into the manse through uncoated pipes, the consequence being that it was unfit for domestic use, on account of rust. The Sheriff – And how can that be remedied? Mr Low – Only by putting in new pipes. Another important point was the drainage running from the manse to the sea. He did not understand what the objection really was, but that was a matter for an expert. Mr Robertson said uncoated pipes were very commonly used. Mr Low replied that Mr Spark had consulted an expert, whose opinion was that the water was unfit for use. He also sent two samples to Mr Robertson. Mr Robertson – Certainly the water was in a very bad condition at first; but after being used the rust goes away. A great many of the pipes in Kirkwall are uncoated. The Sheriff said he would make a remit to Mr T. S. Peace, architect, to make a report.

1909 August 11 Orkney Herald

Sir Victor and Lady Horsley and party arrived at Trumland House on Saturday last for the shooting season. Mr Bryan, shooting tenant for Westness, and party are expected to arrive to-day (Wednesday).

[Sir Victor Alexander Haden Horsley FRS FRCS (1857–1916) was an accomplished scientist, professor, and surgeon. He was a supporter for women’s suffrage, and was an opponent of tobacco and alcohol.

Sir Victor was born in Kensington, London, the son of Rosamund Haden and John Callcott Horsley R.A. His given names, “Victor Alexander”, were given to him by Queen Victoria.

In 1883 he became engaged to Eldred Bramwell, daughter of Sir Frederick Bramwell. Subsequently, on 4 October 1887, Victor and Eldred married at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. They had two sons, Siward and Oswald, and one daughter, Pamela.

He was knighted in the 1902 Coronation Honours, receiving the accolade from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October that year.]

1909 August 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – THE Rousay Agricultural Society held their annual cattle show on the farm of Banks [Sourin] on Tuesday, 10th inst. The number of stock forward was much above the average for a number of years. The judges were – Messrs Scarth, Binscarth; and Anderson, jun., Hobbister, whose awards were as follows: –

SPECIAL PRIZES. – Silver cup from Mr J. Gibson, Hullion, for best cow in yard (to be twice won), David Inkster, Furse. Silver medal from Mr Moir, Aberdeen, for best yearling in yard (to be thrice won), David Inkster. Silver medal for best gelding in yard, George Gibson, Avelshay. A prize from Mr Robertson, cattledealer, for best group of three, David Inkster, Furse. A prize from Mr J. Harrold, merchant, Rousay, for best mare in yard, James Craigie, Trumland.

CATTLE. – Shorthorn Cows – 1, Robert Marwick, Scockness; 2, David Inkster; 3, John Scott, Hurtiso; hc, David Gibson, Langskaill; c, J. Craigie. Polled Cows – 1 and hc, David Inkster; 2 and c, G. Gibson, Avelshay; 3, James Russell, Brendale. Two-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, John Gibson, Faraclett; 2, P. Sinclair, Bigland; 3, D. Gibson; hc and c, W. Moar, Saviskaill. Two-year-old Polled Queys – 1, D. Gibson; 2, D. Inkster; 3 and c, J. Scott; hc, J. Craigie. Two-year-old Shorthorn Stots – 1, J. Craigie; 2, W. Moar. Two-year-old Polled Stots – 1, P. Sinclair; 2 and 3, Jas. Craigie. One-year-old Shorthorn Stots – 1, G. Gibson; 2 and hc, David Gibson; 3 and c, J. Gibson. One-year-old Polled Stots – 1, J. Scott; 2 and 3, W. Moar; hc, Jas. Craigie; c, J. Gibson. One-year-old Shorthorn Queys – 1, J. Scott; 2, D. Gibson; 3, W. Moar; hc, David Inkster; c, R. Seatter, Banks. One-year-old Polled Queys – 1, D. Inkster; 2, J. Gibson; 3, G. Gibson; hc and c, R. Seatter, Banks. Calves – 1 and hc, R. Seatter; 2 and 3, J. Craigie; c, J. Gibson.

HORSES. – Mares with foal at foot – 1, W. Moar; 2, John Marwick, Knarston; 3, R. Seatter. Foals – 1, G. Gibson; 2, J. Marwick; 3, W. Moar. Yeld Mares – 1, R. Marwick; 2, W. Moar; 3 and c, J. Gibson; hc, Thomas Gibson, Broland. Draught Geldings – 1, G. Gibson; 2, J. Craigie; 3, J. Gibson. Two-year old Geldings – 1, Jas. Craigie; 2, T. Gibson. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, D. Gibson; 2, W. Moar; 3, J. Scott; hc, Hugh Gibson, Oldman; c, R. Seatter. One-year-old Fillies – 1, Jas. Craigie; 2, R. Marwick; 3, D. Gibson. One-year-old Gelding – 1, J. Gibson; 2, D. Gibson; 3, J. Robertson, Frotoft; hc, John Corsie. Knarston.

The committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes; also Mrs [Sybella] and Miss [Marion] Seatter for preparing the cattle show dinner.

1909 August 25 Orkney Herald

SIR VICTOR HORSLEY, Surgeon to the King, who is this year the tenant of Trumland House and shootings, Rousay, has been asked and has consented to deliver a lecture in Kirkwall on Wednesday, September 1st. Dr Clouston of Holodyke will preside. Sir Victor, who is a son of the late J. C. Horsley, the famous Royal Academician, is a distinguished surgeon. He has been Professor Superintendent of the Brown Institution; Secretary of the Royal Commission on Hydrophobia; Surgeon to the National Hospital, for Paralysis and Epilepsy; Fullerian Professor at the Royal Institution; President of the Pathological Section of the British Medical Association; Professor of Pathology at University College; and, since 1906, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Surgery and Consulting Surgeon at University College Hospital, London, along with Dr Mary Sturge. Sir Victor is the author of a work on “Alcohol and the Human Body.” He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and received the honour of Knighthood in 1902. The subject of the lecture is the effect of alcohol on the human system, a subject the importance of which can hardly be over-estimated.

1909 September 4 The Orcadian

SIR VICTOR HORSLEY’S LECTURE. – Effect of Alcohol on the Human Body. – In presence of a huge audience drawn from all parts of the county, Sir Victor Horsley, the great brain specialist, at present shooting tenant of Trumland, Rousay, delivered a lecture in the Paterson United Free Church, Kirkwall, on Wednesday evening.

Sir Victor’s subject was “Alcohol and the Human Body,” and the meeting was held under the auspices of the Temperance Committees of the Church of Scotland and United Free Church.

Dr T. S. Clouston, of Smoogro, presided, and the platform party included Sheriff Harvey, Dr Dickey, Mr James Johnston, Ex-Provost Spence, Rev. J. M. Ramsay, Dr Bell, Mr John Flett, Rev. John Rutherford, Dr McNeill, Rev. W. P. Craig, Rev. A. W. Watt, Rev. Chas. Runciman, Ex-Provost Sclater, Mr George Sutherland, Colonel Peace, Dr Craig, Mr A. Stewart, etc., etc.

After the singing of a solo, “Honours and Arms” (Handel) by Mr Richardson of London, whose finished interpretations have been delighting Orkney audiences the past few days, Dr Clouston, who was received with loud applause, intimated apologies for absence from the Rev. George Millar, Mr A. Baikie, Convener of the County; Dr Trail W.S; Dr Flett of the Geological Survey; and lastly, but not least, from the head of the medical profession not only in Orkney, but in the North of Scotland. “Dr Logie of this city.” (Applause.) The doctor continued: –

Ladies and gentlemen, – I have always been proud of the medical profession, but there has never been an occasion upon which I have been more proud than I am this evening. The reason of that is that we are to have delivered an important address by one of the great men of our profession. (Applause.) I do hate to bring a blush to the face of Sir Victor, but he is one of perhaps the six greatest surgeons of the world at present. (Loud applause.) He is not only a surgeon but he is also a great physiologist, and what many of you will consider places him on a still higher level – he is a great humanitarian. He has never taken a narrow or technical view of medicine or surgery. He has looked upon it as being the servant of humanity, and in the course of his wide experience and investigation and thought on the subject it has evidently occurred to him that in addition to what he is doing for humanity there is something else he could do, and that is to give at first hand his knowledge, his investigations, his experience, in regard to the relation of alcohol and its effects on human beings. (Applause.) Now, ladies and gentlemen, Sir Victor does not come here expressing any particular theory. He comes here as a scientific man telling us scientific facts. He is prepared to give you facts, the main facts that in his experience alcohol has on human beings. We can form any conclusions we like; but above all things it is necessary, especially for the young, to know the facts of the case. Now, Sir Victor will place facts before us from the point of view of original investigations (Applause.) I took the liberty of saying in the Town Hall last year, without any disrespect to the clergy, that they preached too much, and we of the medical profession too little. (Applause.) I was not in the least aware then that we should hear one of the great leaders in medicine and surgery preach in the largest Church in Kirkwall. I think we are all indebted to Sir Victor, and when we consider he has come to Orkney for a rest, it seems almost cynical to say he is taking a rest by addressing an audience like this. He came here to spend some weeks in the island of Rousay, but his enthusiasm for humanity has brought him to speak to you this evening. I have great pleasure in introducing Sir Victor Horsley.

Sir Victor Horsley, who was received with loud applause, at the outset remarked that he in the first place had to explain who he was not – he did not have the honour of being Surgeon to the King. The subject he was to speak on concerned them all. Not only was he to discuss the effect of alcohol on the human body, but he would also refer to the temperance question from a national and patriotic point of view. He thought they had all been considering the temperance question, to how it would affect them personally, if they became total abstainers. They had left out of sight the much greater question that if they adopted total abstinence to make their body better, what influence was it going to have on the nation, which is a much larger body – the body politic? He was, from these two standpoints to show why they should become total abstainers…..

[After a long and very detailed address] – Colonel Peace proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer; Dr Bell to the Kirk Session for the use of the Church; and Sheriff Harvey to the Chairman.

Dr Clouston in acknowledging the compliment said it had been an unalloyed pleasure to him to meet his friend Sir Victor Horsley in the capital of the north and he was glad to tell them that they in the north had so captured the hearts of Sir Victor and Lady Horsley – (loud applause) – that they must not be surprised if Sir Victor and Lady Horsley in a year or two were as good Orcadians as any of them. (Laughter and applause.)

1909 October 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – This case came before Sheriff Harvey in the Orkney Sheriff Court yesterday (Tuesday). A report was lodged by Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, to whom the Court had remitted to report as to the completion of the new manse, and a minute of objections were lodged by the Rev. A. Spark, minister of Rousay, in regard to the drainage and the pipes used for the water supply. After hearing Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors, and Mr T. Peace Low, for the minister, the Sheriff found, in accordance with the report, that the Manse had been completed in a satisfactory manner. Mr Robertson said he did not ask the Court to declare the manse a free manse at this time, as the old manse was to be taken down and the materials used on the steading.

1909 October 23 The Orcadian

Bad Weather for Harvest Week. – Seldom has there been such a continuance of stormy and wet weather during harvest. On one or two of the larger farms the last of the standing crop has to be cut by the scythe. Self-binders or even reapers are out of the question, the ground being so sodden that the machines sink and become clogged.

1909 November 3 Orkney Herald


On Thursday evening, the 21st ult., a meeting was held in St Mary’s U.F. Church, Edinburgh, to celebrate the jubilee as a minister of the Rev. Neil Patrick Rose, M.A., who is an elder in St Mary’s. Among those present were Principal Whyte, Dr Sandeman, St Andrew’s Church; Revs. Messrs Purves, St James’s, Dunbar; Durran, Queen St.; Mrs Rose, Miss Rose, Mrs Davidson.

In the absence of the Lord Provost, the chair was taken by the minister, Rev. George Davidson. B.Sc., who read a number of telegrams and letters from friends who were unable to be present.

Over 50 years ago Mr Rose was connected with Free St Mary’s as a missionary in the time of the Rev. Dr Main. In July, 1858, he was licensed and was appointed to take charge of the congregation at Tarland, Aberdeenshire. Shortly afterwards he received a call from Rousay, in Orkney, which he accepted, and carried on work there for 21 years. In 1880 Mr Rose came to the McCrie Church, Edinburgh, retiring after five years, when the McCrie and Roxburgh congregations were united. Since then he has been connected with St Mary’s, doing work among the congregation, and supplying the places of ministers of the church laid aside by illness. Mr Rose has preached in 61 churches in the city, and 468 throughout the country. He is still hale and hearty, and his reminiscences were greatly enjoyed by the meeting.

[Among the addresses presented to Mr Rose was one from the U.F. Presbytery of Orkney]. Mr [John] Davie, in making the presentation, said….. Fifty years ago the tide of the Disruption was in full flood. The intellectual and spiritual life of the islands centred round the young Church….. Feeling at that time ran high with us, as it did everywhere, and we welcomed Mr Rose as a good acquisition to our strength – a tall, dark-haired, handsome young man, able and commanding. He had listened to the preaching, of the Highland Fathers – Macdonald, Mackay, Kennedy, Gunn – and a spark of the Celtic fire was in him, splendid material to make a minister, indeed, I think, indispensible material. The Celt is without doubt a greater orator than the Sassenach, so we took him to our hearts in our own undemonstrative way, but none the less real because of its quietness. In our moments of deepest feeling we become very silent. We shake hands and say nothing, but we may be relied upon to the last gasp. If you saw us in a small boat, overtaken by a storm, you would see every man at his post, but you would not hear a word spoken. Such are we Orcadians, as Mr Rose has seen us often, and I am sure that he will agree that he never had a more loyal and trustworthy people round him than he had in the island of Rousay. Everyone was his friend, from the hero of Lucknow to the herd boy on the moor. Now Mr Rose was worthy of our loyalty, and has responded splendidly. He has identified himself with us thoroughly, and joined in every scheme which we have for the good of the islands. In this matter I speak from personal knowledge, and I know the trouble he has taken to help young people to get situations in the south; and it is a great satisfaction for him to know how well the Rousay boys have done – the Marwicks, the Gibsons, the Craigies. Mr Rose left us for the richer pastures of the south, but we are proud of that rather than otherwise. We gave Principal Jack to the University of Aberdeen, and we educated Principal Fairbairn in the island of North Ronaldshay, and sent him south one of the foremost scholars of his day. We like to go back upon reminiscences of that kind. The greatest men Scotland has ever had have served their generation in the Church, and we like to think that we in these far off islands of the sea have had some of them. Fifty years is a long time of service, and we are glad to see Mr Rose so hale and hearty, and still able to do such good work for his Church; and I count it a great honour in being present this evening to present to him and his dear wife the congratulations of my Presbytery on this day of jubilee.

Sheriff Watt, K.C., handed over a purse of sovereigns to Mr Rose, and a silver salver to Mrs Rose from their friends…..

Mr Rose in reply said: – Mr Chairman. Christian friends and brethren, I find it difficult, in offering you my warmest thanks, to find words to express the grateful emotions of my heart. You have done me a very great honour, and bestowed very valuable gifts upon me which I feel very unworthy to receive; but since it has been your pleasure to bestow them, I accept them with the utmost cordiality and joy. In the course of a long life, it has been my lot to receive a good many gifts and tokens of goodwill; but nothing in comparison with what you have so kindly conferred upon me this evening. Being in the midst of friends, in the few observations which I take the liberty to make, I feel that I can calculate upon your indulgence, in any imperfections which may be laid to my charge, not in the appreciation of the honour and kindness shown, but in my attempt to return suitable thanks for them. On the ninth of last month (September) I finished the 50th year of my ministry, and on the 29th of the same month, I entered upon the 79th year of my life, and I have to bear testimony that goodness and mercy have followed me during all these years!…..

[Mr Rose then gave a short retrospective view of his life in the holy ministry, this extract referring to his time in Rousay. He was licensed in the month of July 1858, and appointed to take charge of the congregation at Tarland, Aberdeenshire. Eventually a ‘call’ came from Rousay, which he accepted]….. One of my fellow-students remarked “Oh Rose, you are going into voluntary banishment.” Well, I never had cause to regret the choice then made. No minister ever had a more attached congregation. Not long after my settlement, the wave of revival passed over the Orkneys. The great work began in the congregation of Sanday, when I happened to be assisting Mr Armour at the time of the Communion. Owing to the stormy weather I had considerable difficulty and some risk in reaching it. It was Martinmas. I had agreed to conduct the service on Sunday, but it was Sabbath morning ere I got to the manse. Starting on Saturday afternoon in a good boat, with two skilful boatmen, we crossed the Westray Firth, in daylight, and rounded to the south end of the Island of Eday, and took the bearings to Sanday, expecting to catch the tide to carry us up the Sound at Spurness. A fog came down upon us. We sailed so long as we thought we had reached the point wished, when a tide like a mill-lade met us and Iand on both sides. After a tack, the boat came to the same point. The tide was against us. My boatmen got frightened. One of them pulled down the main-sail, while the other turned the boat. I said “Where are we going?” when the answer was “We must try to get into CaIf Sound for the night, as we cannot reach Sanday.” Sailing along, I descried the land on the right side, and suggested that the sail might be hoisted, and we might go ashore. If the land be the Calf of Eday it is a large calf. We sailed into a small creek. One of the men landed and found that it was inhabited as he felt stubble on the field. We pulled up the boat and set out for a house whose light we saw in the distance. After a weary walk across wet fields and ditches we reached what turned out to be the farmhouse of Stove. Mr McKenzie, the farmer, a fine specimen of the Christian gentleman entertained us and made supper. To our joy we found that we were on the island of Sanday, but 8 miles from Mr Armour’s house. Being anxious to reach it, our kind host made ready a pony for me and one of his lads was sent to bring the pony back. It was now 11 p.m. I reached the manse at 2 a.m. Sabbath morning, but Mr Armour was waiting and expecting me.

Years after I had occasion to visit the same locality returning from the Communion at North Ronaldshay. I went to see the creek where we landed. Had we sailed in the course proposed, the tide would have whirled us along to a great reef of rocks that lay between Stove and the Calf of Eday. I needed no proof that we were guided by a divine gracious Providence! Nothing special happened on the Sabbath. There was a large congregation, great expectations cherished, many earnest prayers for a time of refreshing. Drops of the coming shower had been falling in other places. On Monday, observed as a day of thanksgiving, a very large congregation gathered, and at the close of the service Mr Armour ascended the pulpit and said, “As our young brother is to be with us, we shall meet again this evening at 7 o’clock to ‘wait for the promise of the Father.’ ” When the hour of service arrived, the church was crowded. I was asked to open the meeting, and give the address. My subject (so far as I remember) was Luke xv. – “This man receiveth sinners.” &c., the three parables (1) The Lost Sheep, (2) The Lost Coin, (3) The Lost Son. I had not proceeded far when there was such an outburst of emotion that many had to retire to the session room and the vestry, and such prayers and confessions of sin! The meeting was prolonged to a late hour. In fact, the people would not go away, and after being dismissed, they lingered outside at the walls of the church, and when Mr Armour and myself appeared, they clung to us, and said, “Oh, tell us a little more about Jesus !” It was intimated that there would be a meeting on the next evening. The multitude came together, for it was noised abroad that the revival had began. I was asked again to open the meeting, and a similar experience took place. Mr Paul, the U.P. minister of forty years’ standing – a man of seventy – had come with his family. He was asked to address the people. There was a similar outburst. He stated that when he heard of what had occurred he was doubtful, but lifting up both his hands, he thanked the God of Heaven that he had been spared to witness such a season of wondrous power and grace, while tears of joy flowed freely down his cheeks.

The awakening spread rapidly. Next day, on my return home, I had to travel by the sailing packet via Kirkwall. Many on board the packet were under deep conviction, and I got special work to do during the passage. Amongst others who obtained peace was the skipper of the boat. He was in deep distress, but ere we reached the pier, he was a changed man, and became an outstanding witness for Christ. On reaching the town I was beset by several friends, all anxious to hear the news. I was conveyed into the house of a merchant, and earnest questions were asked, but I was unable to utter a single word. After a little rest, however, I recovered my voice, and was able to answer the questions.

On reaching Rousay, I felt a great longing for a similar visitation as I had witnessed in Sanday but a good many weeks passed before the time of the spiritual awakening arrived, and the blessed work began in the school-house three miles distant from the church. We had prayer meetings every evening for about a month, and expectation of a divine baptism. For two weeks I was constantly engaged. I had no time for the usual pulpit preparation. I felt restless on Saturday evening. Rising early before dawn, I walked down to the church. Entering, I had a remarkable experience – felt that God had been working! How dreadful was the place! I knelt down to pray. When I rose from my knees the sun was shining on me through the windows of the vestry where l was. Walking slowly up to the manse, I had to pass through the garden where I had an experience which I could not describe of nearness to my Saviour, and I felt as if the earth was an unfit place for me to live in! As it was too early to awake the inmates of the manse, I walked for some time on the pavement in front, anxious to get a subject for preaching. I wearied for the service though unprepared. From the window of my study I watched the people coming along the hillsides. At length the hour of service arrived, and as I was moving down to the church, one of the elders, quite excited, came running to meet me, and said, “My dear pastor, you will not be able to get into the church, it is so crowded.” In reply, I said, “This will be a memorable day to Rousay,” and so it was. With some difficulty I reached the pulpit. Before I had time to begin the worship, a man in the centre of the church stood up and shouted, “Let us praise God,” and sat down. I thought it was time for me to begin. As I rose to offer the intercessory prayer, what a sight ! What an earnest looking congregation! Some with eyes beaming full of joy, and some with the lines of pain and sorrow for sin, craving for peace! It was a day to be remembered. The word was accompanied with power. The result is known to God. At the communion, which shortly followed, there was a large increase of new members. The Communion Roll went up from 198 to 250.

During that year and the next there was great demand for special services, and I accompanied Mr Armour in a tour of visitation over the islands and preached to very large congregations in Kirkwall, Stromness, and other parishes. Much deep impression was produced. There was no difficulty in getting people to fill the churches, even on week-days, and it was delightful to preach in those days! And it was my privilege for one and twenty years to be spared to minister to a congregation of quickened souls! No doubt we had our trials – ups and downs in spiritual life – but great was our enjoyment. You can readily understand what a wrench it was to be separated from such a congregation. The people of Rousay were kind, obliging, and extremely affectionate, loyal, industrious, and sober. No public houses, no drunkenness, no squalid poverty, no taxes, no rates; no representative of Civil authority, no magistrate, no lawyer, no doctor, no druggist, a quiet, orderly people, intelligent, well versed in a knowledge of God’s Word.

Several proposals were made to move me to a new sphere of labour, especially in connection with Home Missions, but I had resolved not to look at any unless harmonious. At last a call came from the McCrie Church in this city and it was unanimous. I had little knowledge of the congregation and neglected to make special enquiry. I had very great difficulty in accepting it; and after accepting it I was in agony, and I can never forget the strange fear that came over me on my way south when crossing the Pentland Firth…..    

1909 November 6 The Orcadian

The Rousay packet boat whilst beating out of Kirkwall Bay on Saturday last stranded on the Iceland Skerry. No damage was sustained, and the boat got off at night, at high water, unaided.

1909 November 10 Orkney Herald


It is understood, says The Observer that the Admiralty intend to undertake certain works in the neighbourhood of Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands, which will better fit that magnificent harbour to act as the base of part of the Home Fleet. During the present year the Home Fleet has spent most of its time in the Orkney Islands, either at Kirkwall, or in Scapa Flow. The latter is a splendid harbour, fifteen miles long and eight miles broad, formed by the juxtaposition of the island of Pomona, South Ronaldshay, Burray, Walls, and Hoy. The object which the Admiralty have in view is, of course, to crown their policy of North Sea concentration and North Sea enclosure. During the last three years the “Arming of the East Coast” has proceeded rapidly. Dover has been completed, Sheerness has been made the base, first of the Home Fleet and then of a division of that fleet forming a fine reserve for the main body. Harwich has become the base at once of the first destroyer flotilla and a flotilla of nine sea-going submarines; Grimsby and the Tyne are to be made torpedo bases; Rosyth is becoming a first class repairing base; Dundee is the headquarters of another flotilla of submarines, while Cromarty is frequently used as the Home Fleet’s base. Wireless stations have been erected at frequent intervals down the coast, and others are to be constructed at Wick and Kirkwall. With the Home Fleet stationed at Scapa Flow, the North Sea will become, in the event of war with a Power of Northern Europe, a British lake. No force which Germany can muster now, or for some years to come, would make its way past the Fleet of sixteen battleships, ten armoured cruisers, and forty-eight destroyers, which comprises the active fully-commissioned strength of the Home Fleet, and, with war confined to the North Sea, British trade would be perfectly safe, while that of our enemy could easily be stifled. One serious drawback to the selection of Scapa Flow as a fleet base is that it is cut off from the mainland, and a base at its best should be in railway communication with the administrative and constructive centres. It is believed that, in order to overcome this difficulty, Wick will undergo some sort of development as a mainland outpost of the real Fleet headquarters.

The weather of October was unusually severe. There were three well-defined cyclones which passed across this county on the 5th, 7th, and 14th, when the wind velocity reached respectively 64, 58, and 75 miles [per hour]. Hail fell during a few days of the first and last weeks. A severe thunderstorm occurred on the 6th. There were only six dry days during the month. Pressure was low. It has only been once lower during the last twenty-five years, viz., 1903. Temperature was normal. The rainfall of 5¼ inches has only been exceeded four times during the last twenty-five years. The rainfall of one inch on the 13th in 2½ hours is the heaviest fall recorded at this station [in Deerness] in so short a time. Hours of sunshine were the highest since 1902. A bright meteor was seen on the 27th.

1909 November 27 The Orcadian

QUARTERLY RETURN OF BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES. – Annexed is the quarterly return of the births, deaths and marriages registered in Orkney and Shetland, during the quarter ending 30th September, 1909, published by authority of the Registrar-General: – ….. Rousay & Egilshay. – Population in 1891, 988; in 1901, 829. Births, 3; deaths, 2; marriages, 2.

1909 December 4 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The United Free Church Guild in Rousay opened its winter session with a very successful social on Thursday night. Although the weather was very wet, Ritchie Church was well filled with young people. The Rev Mr Pirie presided and the speakers were the Rev. Mr Abel, assistant, and Messrs Alex. Grieve and John Inkster. The speeches were humorous and well received, and Mr William Grieve gave an amusing reading which was also enjoyed. Mr James W. Grieve, the Guild conductor of praise, led a well-trained choir, and a number of hymns, trios, and quartettes were efficiently and skilfully sung. Miss Reid and her assistants provided as usual an excellent tea.

1909 December 11 The Orcadian

THE WEATHER IN ORKNEY – MONTH OF NOVEMBER. – The month of November has been wet, cold, and generally boisterous. Even the fortnight of fine weather – the Orkney peerie summer – that falls due this month has been withheld, and instead we have been visited with floods. The outstanding feature of the month’s record was the flood of two and a half inches here, and even more in a few other localities, on the 11th and 12th, followed by a snow-storm of nearly a week’s duration. Wind velocity reached gale force only twice. The statistics show that pressure was normal, although unusually changeable. Temperature was 1.6 degrees in defect of the mean. The nights of 14th and 15th, with 29.8 degrees, were the coldest November temperatures for six years. The rainfall of 5.39 inches was the heaviest since 1893, and nearly one and a half inches in excess of the mean. Hours of sunshine were five and a half above the mean.

1909 December 22 Orkney Herald

SNOWSTORM. – A very severe snowstorm began on Saturday, and heavy snow showers continued to fall till yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, when there was a slight shower of rain. Owing to the stormy wind on Monday morning and Monday night there are many deep drifts a snow, and nearly all the roads throughout the country are blocked. In some cases the rural postmen have been able to make their rounds by leaving the roads and crossing fields, but in several cases this has not been possible. On the plain the snow lies to a depth of nine to twelve inches. The weather has generally been frosty, though there have been slight thaws of short duration.

In Print

Newsprint – 1908

1908 January 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CHILDREN’S CONCERT AND CHRISTMAS TREE. – A very pleasant evening was spent last Friday in Sourin School. A Christmas tree had been erected for the children, and in spite of the rough weather a large number of parents and others turned out to enjoy themselves with the children. The tree looked very pretty, lit up by candles and Chinese lanterns, and with the various presents hanging from its branches. A varied programme of song, recitation, and physical exercises was submitted by the children and much appreciated by the elder folks. The chairman, Rev. Mr Pirie, gave an interesting address to the children on their “Knowledge Box,” while the Rev. Mr Abel, in the course of the evening, made everyone laugh with his humorous remarks. At the interval there was a service of cake and biscuits, and at the end the children each received some present off the tree. Votes of thanks and a verse of “God save the King,” brought a very pleasant evening to a close. The following is the programme: –

Christmas hymn, Children; Chairman’s remarks, Rev. Mr Pirie; song, “Star of the Twilight,” Children; dumb-bell exercises; recitation, “Cuddle Doon,” Miss Lydia Robina Horne; duet, “Brooklet on the Plain,” Misses Isa Grieve and K. Lyon; remarks by Rev. Mr Abel; song, “The Birdies’ Ball,” Children; violin and piano selections, Miss Marwick and Mr Grieve; recitation, “The Infant Orator,” Master Hugh Craigie; bar-bell exercises; song and chorus, “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,” Miss A. T. Harrold; Japanese Fan song, Girls; recitation, “Gentleman John,” Master Hugh Gibson; song, “I’se gwine back to Dixie,” Children; hoop drill; recitation, “A fair little girl” by Misses Grieve, Mainland, and Corsie; remarks by Rev. Mr Abel; piano and violin selections, Miss Marwick and Mr Grieve; song, “Marching through Georgia,” Children; “God Save the King.”

1908 January 11 The Orcadian

EGILSHAY. – A correspondent writes – The Egilshay young men have stopped crossing to Rousay to see their sweethearts as the famous sea-serpent or some uncanny monster has been following their boat. It seems that on a recent occasion two young men belonging to the island were crossing Rousay Sound when “something” appeared first on one side of the boat and then on the other. The occupants took fright and landed on a small island nearby (the Holm of Scockness we presume) and there stood shivering for some time till they summoned up courage to betake themselves to their boat once more.

1908 January 14 The Scotsman

SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND. – …..The usual monthly meeting of this Society was held in their library at the Museum, Queen Street, Edinburgh, last night – Dr George Macdonald in the chair….. A TRIANGULAR DAGGER. – Mr J. W. Cursiter, Kirkwall, exhibited and described a very rare example of the thin triangular dagger characteristic of the early part of the Bronze Age, which was found in 1905 in a peat moss in the island of Rousay. The peculiarity of this example is that it still retains its hilt of ox-horn affixed to the broad butt end of the blade by three rivets of bronze, and is the only Scottish specimen which preserves its handle. The pommel of the horn handle is wanting, but the short projecting tang on which it was fixed still retains the wooden pins by which it was fastened…..

1908 February 8 The Orcadian

DEATHS: TRAILL-BURROUGHS. – At 70 Warwick Square, London, on the 1st February, Lady Eliza D’Oyly Traill-Burroughs, widow of General Sir Frederick William Traill-Burroughs, K.C.B., of Rousay and Veira, Orkney, and daughter of the late Colonel W. Geddes, C.B., in her fifty-eighth year. This is the only intimation.

1908 February 15 The Orcadian

THE LATE LADY BURROUGHS – MEMORIAL SERVICE. – A memorial service was held in Trumland Church, Rousay, on Tuesday at the same hour at which the funeral of Lady Burroughs took place in London. There was a large attendance of the tenants, the servants from Trumland House, and other friends. The service was conducted by the Rev. A. Irvine Pirie, assisted by the Rev. R. H. Abel. In the course of the service Mr Pirie made the following reference to the deceased: –

“Lady Burroughs has been the most prominent lady in our social life for well nigh forty years. In the year 1870 the late proprietor of Rousay – Sir Frederick Traill-Burroughs – brought her as a young bride to Rousay, and the tenants gave her a hearty welcome on landing at Westness House. Since that day she has gone out and in amongst the people, acquiring as the years passed, an ever-increasing attachment to her island home, and the people have been acquiring an ever-increasing esteem for her. She filled her high position with dignity, grace, and brightness. Her home life was full of love and a high and pure atmosphere enhanced and sanctified by Christian devotion. Possessed of a bright and cheerful disposition, and full of active energetic life she took a deep interest in everything going on around her. Home industries had strong attractions for her, and she constantly laboured to encourage and help forward such work. The education of the children was a subject that she thought much about, and sought in many ways to promote. There are many people on the estate, and many who have left the parish and gone to reside in other islands and in other lands, who will retain as long as they live pleasant memories of the children’s entertainments at Westness House, and latterly at Trumland House, and there are many homes holding as cherished possessions the beautiful prizes given year after year for the best sewing and knitting in the four schools on the estate. When I came to Rousay twenty-five years ago I found her carrying on a Sabbath school in Trumland House. After the girls grew up and left school Lady Burroughs still maintained her interest in them, and for many years she had a strong local branch of the Scotch Girls’ Friendly Society. She was an attached member of the Episcopal Church, but for twenty years she has found it convenient to worship with the congregation meeting in this church. She always manifested a devout spirit, and frequently spoke to me about the subjects I preached upon, and shewed by her conversation that she loved gospel truth, and wished to encourage me in my work. Living beside her for a quarter of a century I can say that she wished to encourage what was good, and that her life and conversation had an elevating and refining influence on all who were privileged to be in her company. She has had a brief widowhood. She has appeared amongst us during the past three years stricken, lonely and desolate. All hearts have been drawn out to her because of her loneliness and grief. She has been called away, whilst life to her was still strong, and work attractive and we sorrow deeply that we shall see her face no more. We believe, however, that we can say of her: – “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea saith the spirit that they may rest from their labours and their works do follow them.”

1908 February 22 The Orcadian



To the general public the passing of Lady Traill Burroughs would be a matter of small importance, but of those who had the privilege of a more intimate acquaintance, deep and sincere would be the regret felt, genuine would be their sorrow. She who had gone out and in amongst us for so many years, and who as the years went by gained for herself ever truer and truer affection had now passed to the great Beyond, and we had not had even the mournful satisfaction of bidding her farewell. The position which she filled so elegantly, so graciously, as lady of the estate, may be filled by some other equally elegant, equally gracious, but in the minds of many who have known her from their childhood, there will linger a halo round the memory of Lady Burroughs which cannot easily be eclipsed. From the time when she came to our island a youthful bride in all her girlish bloom, and ever on through the years she took a keen interest in the life and well being of the people on her island home, gaining for herself well-merited affection and esteem. Perhaps our hearts went out to her with deepest affection and sympathy when she came back to us in her lonely widowhood, bereft of the soldier husband who for so many years had been the loving helpmate, the sharer of her joys and sorrows. Even then she did not shut herself up with her grief, but still extended with chastened dignity her hospitality, especially to the children on the estate. She all along took a very keen interest in the school children and wished to inspire in their hearts a love for what was pure and noble, wished them to grow up worthy sons and daughters of the British Empire. To those of us who knew her more intimately was revealed something of her inner life, but to those not so privileged perhaps a deeper and more beautiful insight into her character than already known may be shown by quoting part of an address given by her to the children of Rousay in the summer of 1907…..”What do you think makes worthy sons and daughters? Just think of it in our own homes – Obedience and respect to your parents, to your teachers, to your elders. Truthfulness in word and deed, kindness and unselfishness to your brothers and sisters and companions…..never taking a mean advantage of anyone but trying to go straight…..Now I want to speak of another Great Empire, and another Great King, greater than our own King Edward, for this King is the King of Kings and His Empire is the world, and you and I and everyone are his sons and daughters. Let us be very fearful lest we become His enemies. We must study His book which is to be our guide, in which He plainly tells us we are to love Him and do to others as we would have them do to us. Now these orders are not always quite easy to obey but if you ask him every morning, quite simply, how you are to serve in His Empire every day and be sure you mean it, that is quite sufficient, and He will make and keep both you and me worthy sons and daughters in his universal Empire.”


ROUSAY PLOUGHING MATCH. – The Annual Ploughing Match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held last Friday, on a field on the farm of Furse, kindly granted for the occasion by Mr David Inkster. The weather was all that could be desired for the work and the ground was in excellent order for ploughing, consequently the work all over was well done. Eighteen ploughs entered for competition, including four champions. The ploughmen and others were well supplied with refreshments through the day. The judges were – Messrs R. Fraser and Norquoy, Rendall, and Mr Barclay, Royal Hotel, Kirkwall, who after a most careful inspection of the work awarded the prizes as follows: –

Champions – 1st and medal, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 2, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 3, John Corsie, Knarston; 4, Malcolm Leonard, Quoys.
Ordinary – 1st and Highland Society’s Medal, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 2, John Marwick, Knarston; 3, David Moodie, Trumland; 4, John Craigie, Falquoy; 5, David Craigie, Avelshay; 6, James Russell, Langskaill; 7, John Gibson, Avelshay; 8, James Craigie, Falquoy; 9, Hugh Marwick, Trumland; 10, David More, Saviskaill.
Youngest ploughman, James Moodie, Glebe.
Best feering on field, best finish on field, straightest ploughing and best ploughed rig, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; neatest ends, Robert Sinclair, Skatequoy.
Grooming – 1, John Seatter, Banks; 2, David Moar, Saviskaill; 3, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 4, John Gibson, Avelshay; 5, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 6, Hugh Marwick, Trumland. Best matched horses, James Russell, Langskaill.
Harness – 1, David Moar; 2, James W. Grieve; 3, Malcolm Leonard; 4, John Seatter; 5, James Moodie. Best decoration, Malcolm Leonard.

At the close of the match, Dr Forrest handed out the prizes to the successful competitors, for which she, along with the judges, was awarded three hearty cheers. In the evening the judges, the committee, and a number of friends were entertained to dinner in Furse. Mr Logie, Trumland House, acted as chairman, while the duties of croupier were performed by Mr James Gibson, Hullion. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors of the special prizes, also all those who so liberally subscribed to the funds of the Society.

1908 March 4 Orkney Herald

SNOWSTORM. – The first heavy fall of snow in Orkney this winter took place on Thursday, and was accompanied by a strong gale from the west and north-west. Snow also fell heavily on Friday, and lay to a considerable depth. On Saturday, however, a rapid thaw set in, with showers of sleet and rain, and the snow quickly melted. Owing to the stormy weather the steamer St Ola returned from Scrabster on Friday and Saturday without waiting for the arrival of the afternoon mail train at Thurso.

1908 March 7 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – To maintain the unbroken interest of an audience in a programme of violin music lasting two hours is a feat of which most violinists might well be proud, and it says much for the measure of Miss Agnes Copeland’s accomplishment as a violinist that at her recital in the Freemason’s hall (says the “Scotsman“) she set herself this difficult task, and overcame it with complete success. A varied and exacting programme, which contained the Mendelssohn Concerto, the well-known Tartini Sonata in G minor, the Beethoven Romance in F, and the Rondo Capriccioso of Saint-Seans, tested her abilities at all points, and with uniformly satisfactory results. Miss Copeland joins a breadth and volume of tone which is almost masculine, while alike in the interpretations of her music and in the quality of her tone, last night’s performance displayed a real charm and distinction. Since her first appearance as a concert-giver, a little over a year ago, Miss Copeland has made an advance in her art which augurs well for her future career. (Miss Copeland is a sister of the Rousay doctor.)

1908 March 14 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The United Free Church Guild held its closing social on Thursday evening in Ritchie Church. There was a full house, and the whole proceedings were most enjoyable and successful. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie who presided had with him on the platform the Rev. Messrs MacLaren, Kirk, and Abel. These gentlemen gave racy and humorous speeches, whilst Messrs MacLaren and Kirk contributed much to the evening’s enjoyment by singing several pieces. The guild choir, under the skilful leadership of Mr James W. Grieve, sang a number of hymns with spirit and taste. Mr William Grieve, church leader of praise gave a solo in fine style, and he and his little daughter Mary [10] sang the Welsh tune, “Diadem” as a duet with excellent precision. A committee provided a sumptuous tea. The meeting was closed with votes of thanks proposed by Mr Alexander Grieve in a humorous speech.

1908 March 18 Orkney Herald

INTERESTED IN A BIG ROLLING MILL. – The following is from an Ohio paper: – ‘Mr Marwick is a native of Rousay, and when a young man went to South Ronaldshay with his parents. Thence he emigrated to the United States, settling first in Chicago: – Mr D. B. Marwick, who came to Warren from New Brittain, Conn., last fall to place the Penn Shovel Manufacturing Co.’s rolling mill plant on a paying business, as well as become general manager of the company, has resigned his position. Mr Marwick has just returned from a business trip to Canada, where he was successful in interesting American capital to the extent of 200,000 dollars in the forming of the Canadian Steels Rolling Mill Co. This is not Mr Marwick’s first venture in this kind of work as he has erected and operated mills in various portions of the country, one being the Columbia Steel Works, at Elyria. Mr Marwick is to be president and general manager of the new company, which will erect its big mills at Campbellsford, Ontario, Canada, about midway between Toronto and Montreal, on the river Trent. Several inducements led the company to erect mills there. First, the River Trent furnished untold water power, which will not cost the company more than 10 dollars per horse power for continuous service during the year; second, there is no firm in the Canadian province which is manufacturing sheets, bar and cold drawn steel, which will be the products of the plant. There are over 6,000,000 dollars worth of these brands of steel imported into Canada each year on which a duty of 585,000 dollars is paid. Without the duty to pay the company figures it stands a good chance to get a portion of this import business.’

[David Baikie Marwick was the son of James Marwick, Ervadale, latterly Bankburn, South Ronaldsay, and Mary Baikie, Evie. He married Elizabeth Norquay in 1892, and their five children were born in the USA between 1895 and 1908.]

1908 April 29 Orkney Herald

SNOW STORM. – After about a week of very cold weather, snow began to fall last Wednesday, and during the night and the following morning there was a heavy fall. There were frequent snow showers throughout Thursday, and again a heavy fall on Thursday night, the result being that on Friday morning snow lay to a depth of eight inches on the plain. On Friday and Saturday there were occasional periods of thaw but at night keen frost again set in. On Sunday rain fell, and the snow melted rapidly. The wind was generally from the North and North West, though for an hour or two on Friday morning it blew from the South West. From the country districts it is stated that a number of lambs have been lost. Not for many years has a snow storm of such severity been experienced so late in the season. In April 1862, forty-six years ago, there was a gale of north wind with snow, which lasted for three days, 11th to the 13th. The unseasonable weather this year has not been confined to the Orkneys, but has extended over the whole of Great Britain and part of the Continent.

1908 June 3 Orkney Herald

VISIT OF CROFTERS COMMISSION. – The Crofters Commission have given notice that they will arrive in Orkney on June 20, and hold sittings to dispose of a number of local cases. These comprise twenty-three applications for fair rent, six for compensation for improvements, four for resumption of holdings, four for enlargement of holdings, one to fix boundaries, one to sist procedure in action for removal, and there are four other applications. There are also six appeals, three of which are with reference to the fair rents.

1908 June 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOLASTIC. – Under the auspices of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a prize has been awarded to Mary Ann Sinclair, a pupil in Frotoft Public School, for writing an essay on “Some Benefits we Derive from the Lower Animals” (excluding the domesticated animals).

[Born in June 1896, Mary Ann was the youngest of six children born to James Hugh Sinclair, Newhouse, and Margaret McKinlay, Sound, Egilsay.]

1908 June 20 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was celebrated in the Parish Church here on Sunday last, 14th June. The parish minister was ably assisted by his brother, the Rev. John Spark, M.A., of Clyne Parish, Sutherlandshire, who preached from Isaiah 44, 22, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins.”

The sacrament was also celebrated at Glebe Cottage at 2 p.m., and at Wasbister School at 4 p.m., where the assistant minister gave an excellent discourse from Rev. 21, 1 – last clause – “And there was no more sea.”

1908 June 27 The Orcadian

CROFTERS’ COMMISSION IN ORKNEY. MONDAY’S SITTING. – The sittings of the Crofters’ Commission in Orkney commenced in the Sheriff Court House, Kirkwall, on Monday. The Commissioners are Sheriff Kennedy, K.C., Mr P. B. MacIntyre, and Mr Forsyth…..


The next application was one for compensation by William David Gibson, Hurtiso, Holm, formerly a tenant on the Rousay estate, for £114 2s 4d for improvements on the croft of Curquoy, on the Rousay estate.

Applicant, replying to Mr Low, said – In 1900 I succeeded my father. In 1907 I renounced the tenancy of Curquoy. Curquoy had been in the family for about 27 years, and Brittany was added in 1880. The whole place was practically broken in by my grandfather and father, and I broke in some myself. Curquoy extends to 30 acres, and Brittany about 170 acres including outrun, of which about 15 acres were arable. All the buildings on the place were built by my grandfather and father. My father put up a stable on Brittany. A barn and two byres, a stable, pig-sties, and a cart shed were put up on Curquoy. The proprietor contributed nothing. It is a considerable time since some of the buildings were put up. The barn was erected about 15 years ago, and the other buildings have been repaired and rebuilt from time to time. I have been told by my father that the place was started on the bare hill, and was broken out. The rent rose from 27s in 1854 to £10 10s. in 1858; and after Brittany was added to £17. In 1877 the rent was raised by the Commission to £18 10s. In that application there was a mistake of 10 acres in the acreage and on that being proved the rent on revaluation was reduced £16. The buildings were in a good state and were kept up regularly till I left. It is false to say that the stable on Brittany was erected by a boarder kept by my father. My father erected that stable for keeping Shetland ponies. This boarder, Mr McCrie, was not a dealer in ponies. He bought one, which we kept. Some of the stones in that stable were trenched out of the land and others taken from six miles away. I could not say what the buildings cost my father; but I consider the claim a moderate and reasonable one. There were 43 chains of drains and 44 chains of five feet ditches. I wrote the proprietor and offered to show him all the drains I had claimed for; but he never came. The ground that the ditches were in was very hard. The stones for the drains were trenched out of the land as the proprietor would not allow us to quarry. I was refused permission to quarry. When I left the farm the drains and ditches were all in working order. I consider the amount of my claim, reckoned at 2s a day, is moderate. My claim for a dyke is for one round the kailyard. I claim for 17 acres of ground reclaimed. I think £1 an acre is a moderate charge. My claim is £2 15s for building a dam and water race. The proprietor states that the land and buildings had been allowed to deteriorate through neglect. My last crop I suppose was the best I ever had. I also claim for unexhausted manures, and it is my wish that the Commission fix the amount as compensation.

By Mr Robertson – I came back to the croft when my father became unwell, in 1899. Up to 1855 part of the same farm steading was let to another man, and when my grandfather came in the rent was £2 10s. When the hill was added in 1858 the rent was raised to £10 10s, and then Brittany and the grazing on Kierfea Hill was added at a rental of £25. When the grazing was taken away the rental came down to £17. In 1895 the rent was reduced to £16, and remained at that till I left. When I left it was worth as much as when the Crofters Commission re-valued it. It was the custom on the estate to raise the rent one-third, and the first seven years that amount was not paid, in lieu of draining. General Burroughs never allowed a penny piece for improvements on Curquoy. I was living at home when the stable was built at Brittany. I say this – McCrie did not build this stable. I know that Mr McCrie paid William Reid, carpenter, some money for this stable. He did not breed Shetland ponies. He had a stallion, and a foal. One of the animals was kept at Woo. The stable was built on the foundation of an old house at the place. My grandfather made all ditches, and all the boundary ditches on the north and west. The dyke round the kailyard was dry built before I remember. I repaired it. I broke in some of the land reclaimed. Some of it was trenched. I think there was use for a water mill. The incoming tenant would not buy the water wheel, so it was sold at the sale. Q – So there is no use for the dam? A – Yes if they like to put a wheel here as we did. It is a great saving of labour. When renounced the croft I offered £10 for the croft and had been paying £16.

Mr Low said he wished to question his witness as to a statement made by General Burroughs that if applicant persisted in his claim for compensation he would make him spend all his means.

The Chairman – Well, I think you better let that disappear with the General.

James Cooper, Stumpie [Lower Gripps], Sourin, Rousay, answering Mr Low – I know the farm of Curquoy, and think the farm was as well cultivated the last four years as the previous four years. I saw nothing to lead me to think that the farm was neglected or not properly cultivated. I saw no evidence of neglect from the crops.

William Marwick, White Meadows, Wasbister, Rousay, answering Mr Robertson said – I was tenant of Curquoy the year after Mr Gibson left. I paid £16, and left because I found it was too much. The dwelling house was in good enough order, but the steading was in very bad condition. I could not have worked the farm with the steading as it was. One or two flags on the roof of the house were cracked, and took in water. I know nothing about the stable on Brittany. Q – Is it called McCrie’s stable? A – I don’t know. I never used it. It was too small for horses and I had no Shetland ponies. I know nothing about the drains. The ditches at Curquoy were deep enough, but those at Brittany were almost full up, and had not been cleaned out for long. The kailyard was only partly enclosed. The dyke standing would keep out cattle but not sheep. The wooden part of the mill race was of no use as it was all rotten. I never used the dam, and I think the tenant who came after me also thrashes with a hand-mill. If I had stayed on, the stable was in such bad condition it would not have done. A new stable has now been erected.

John Logie, land steward on Rousay estate, answering Mr Robertson said – I have been in General Burroughs’ service since 1870, and know the farm of Curquoy. The general rule on the estate was to allow off one third of the rental for the first seven years, the tenants to make all necessary improvements in the way of ditching and so on. Mr McCrie told me he had been refused permission by the General to put up the stable for breeding Shetland ponies as the General thought it would only be throwing away money. He afterwards told me that General Burroughs had given him the permission. Mr McCrie kept ponies and I have negotiated with him for the purchase of ponies. This stable is of no use for a stable on the place as it is only suited for Shetland ponies. When Gibson left, Marwick took the farm for one year at a rental of £18. It was a great deal better after Marwick left than when Gibson left; but owing to the state it was in great difficulty was found in getting a tenant. It was let to a man John Craigie on a five years’ lease and he says he will not stay unless he gets the house repaired, and a new byre.

By Mr Low – I do not know if Gibson offered to point out the drains and ditches to the General. I should think it would be very difficult to point out drains made 50 years ago. The question is if they are drains now. Some of the buildings are not safe to go into. Q – But that is quite common in Rousay? A – No. It is not at all common in Rousay.

1908 July 15 Orkney Herald

VISIT OF WARSHIPS. – We understand that one of the destroyer flotillas attached to the Home Fleet, with parent ships, will, if nothing unforeseen takes place, probably arrive at Scapa on the 27th inst., and may make Scapa its headquarters for some time. There will in all, be about twenty-seven warships.

1908 July 22 Orkney Herald

ORKNEY AND THE TERRITORIAL ARMY. –  The Military Mail contains the following: – From far-away Orkney comes the report that the number of men enrolled is the satisfactory total of 351, exclusive of officers. The establishment of the corps – the Orkney Garrison Artillery – is 529. It says a great deal for the patriotic spirit of the Orcadians, such a large number responding to the country’s call, and it is a remarkable fact that in proportion to the population the Orkney establishment is three times that of the rest of the country. Bravo Orcadia !

1908 August 1 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – HOEING MATCH. – On Tuesday evening, 21st inst. a hoeing match was held at Trumland Farm on a field kindly granted by James W. Craigie. The weather was somewhat threatening in the afternoon, but cleared up towards evening, when between 60 and 70 hoers took part in the competition. The field being in splendid condition for hoeing, all the work was of first class quality. The hoers worked till 9 p.m., and then were kindly entertained to supper by Mrs and Miss Craigie, after which the young people took part in a very enjoyable dance which was kept up till the early hours of the morning. Mr George Gibson, farmer, Avelshay, and Mr John Cutt, gardener, Trumland House, acted as judges, and awarded the prizes as follows: – 1, Maggie Mainland, Weyland, Egilshay (silver medal); 2, Thomas Garson, Crugar, Egilshay; 3, David Moar, Saviskaill, Rousay; 4, James Flaws, Castlehall, Veira; 5, John Harrold, merchant, Rose Cottage, Rousay; 6, James W. Craigie, Trumland, Rousay; 7, James Hourie, mason; 8, Hugh Mainland, Weyland, Egilshay; 9, Alex. Donaldson, Watten, Egilshay; 10, John Corsie, Knarston, Rousay.

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay Boat Club took place in Veira Sound on Friday, the 24th inst. Being the annual July holiday in Kirkwall, the Fawn arrived about 10.30 a.m., with a full complement of holiday seekers, who took a lively interest in the day’s proceedings. There was a good number of entries for all the races, and the regatta was one of the most successful yet held by the club. Mr Thin’s yacht, the Snowflake, looked very pretty, lying anchored off the pier, with a full display of bunting. Mr Baikie’s sailing yacht also arrived during the forenoon and came to anchor, and with the several boats cruising about, the Sound presented a very lively appearance. The day was very calm in the morning, but towards noon a nice light breeze sprang up from the south east, and though not very strong, proved sufficient to carry the boats round the course. The course was the usual triangular one, being from the markbuoy off Trumland Pier round a markbuoy at Avelshay, thence to the Grand of Egilshay and back to Trumland Pier.

The first race was for boats 16 feet waterline and under, for which there were five entries, viz. : – Alice, Thistle, Janet, Ceska, and Nelly. After the first gun was fired there was the usual jockeying for places, and all the boats made a good start, the Thistle and Ceska being the first to cross the line, followed by Alice, Nelly and Janet. Thistle was first to round the buoy at Avelshay, but on the beat up to Grand buoy, Alice took the lead and improved her position right to the finish, and came in an easy first. The Thistle was second to arrive, followed by Nelly and Ceska; Ceska took third place on time allowance. The finish was as follows: – Corrected time

Alice, Dr Forrest – 1h 31m 57s
Thistle, Jas. Johnstone – 1h 32m 45s
Ceska, John Gibson – 1h 34m 46s
Nelly, J. Alexander – 1h 34m 50s
Janet, R. Fraser – Retired.

The second race was for racers, 22 feet waterline, for which there were only two entries, viz. Hero and Pretoria; and as there was also a race for 22 feet ordinary boats both classes were started at the same tune. For the ordinary class there were five entries, viz.: – Sigurd, Aim, Sweyn, Lily, and Sylphyte. This race, with the exception of one or two, made a bad start, and some little time elapsed after the starting gun had been fired before all the boats got well away. In the racer class the Pretoria took the lead and maintained her position all through, coming in an easy first. The finish was as follows: –

Pretoria, James Groat – 1h 16m 35s
Hero, M. Grieve – 1h 21m 52s

In the ordinary class the Sweyn took first place, Lily with a bad start coming second, and Aim third; and, with the exception of Lily, which improved her position very much throughout the race, there was little changing of places. The following was the finish: – Corrected time.

Sweyn, John Garriock – 1h 22m 5s
Lily, R. Miller – 1h 25m 47s
Aim, P. Finlayson – 1h 28m 8s
Sigurd, E. C. Thin – 1h 28m 32s
Sylphyte, A. Cursiter – 1h 28m 52s

The last and best race of the day was the all-comers, for which there were 8 entries, viz.: – Hero, Pretoria, Sigurd, Sweyn, Lily, Annie, Alice, and Aim. The first to cross the line on the starting gun being fired was Hero, followed closely by Pretoria, Sweyn, Lily, and Sigurd, with Annie behind. On the run down to Avelshay all boats kept their respective positions. However, on sighting up Egilshay Sound, Annie was seen to lead, followed by Pretoria and Hero, with the others some little distance behind. These positions were maintained throughout the race, Annie always increasing her lead; however, on time allowance, she had to take second place, and Pretoria again came out first. The following was the finish: – Corrected time.

Pretoria, Jas. Groat – 1h 12m 23s
Annie, John Logie – 1h 14m 48s
Hero, M. Grieve – 1h 16m 59s
Lily, R. Miller – 1h 23m 58s
Sweyn, John Garriock – 1h 28m 59s
Sigurd, E. C. Thin – 1h 28m 53s
Aim, P. Finlayson – 1h 32m 29s
Alice, Dr Forrest – retired

The last items on the programme were the rowing races, and the fouls, etc., caused the usual amount of amusement among the spectators. In the ladies’ rowing race the first place was taken by Mrs Cunning and Mrs Partridge, with Mrs Giles and Miss Walker an easy second. At the request of the first prize winners, their prize was handed over to the other successful competitors.

In the men’s rowing race, which was to Veira and back, an exciting race took place between one of the local boats and a crew from the Snowflake. The latter took first place, but had the advantage of a superior rowing boat. The following were the winners in the rowing races: –

Boys – 1, J. Cooper and J. Gullion; 2, J. Marwick and Jas. Moodie; 3, J. Sinclair and W. Traill; 4, Murray Spark and Jas. Craigie.
Ladies – 1, Mrs Cunning and Mrs Partridge; 2, Mrs Giles and Miss Walker; 3 Miss Marwick and Miss Sinclair.
Men – 1, Capt. McBay and D. Reid; 2, Geo. Reid and J. Rendall; 3. J. Thomson and J. Stout; 4, Jas. Petrie and J. Stout; 5, R. McBay and W. Craigie.

At the close of the races Mrs Thin handed over the prizes to the successful competitors for which she was accorded three hearty cheers. As usual the Club had a tea-room for the benefit of visitors, and much credit is due to the ladies who presided, for the able and efficient manner in which they carried out all the arrangements.

A dance was held in the store in the evening which was largely attended and kept up with much spirit till 12 o’clock. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who contributed towards the funds and helped to make the Regatta a success.

The Kirkwall boats returning at night had a very rough time, the wind continuing to increase all evening. Mr Groat in the Pretoria, after passing the Grand of Egilshay, found that even double-reefed, he had too much canvas, and had to unbend his mainsail and put on a try-sail. The experience was rather a trying one, and the passage to Kirkwall occupied nearly five hours. A number of Kirkwall youths, no doubt attracted by the dance, remained in Rousay all night, and those in one boat, returning in the early hours of the morning, had rather an unpleasant time on coming into the tide off Veira, their boat shipping a considerable amount of water. Ultimately they were forced to return to Rousay and await a more favourable opportunity of returning to Kirkwall.

1908 August 8 The Orcadian

CROFTERS COMMISSION DECISIONS. – The Crofters Commission has issued the following decisions: – …..Application by William David Gibson, Curquoy, and Brittany, Rousay, for compensation for improvements. Sum claimed by tenant £114 2s 4d. Compensation fixed at £69.

The Commissioners having heard parties, considered the evidence adduced, and one of their number assisted by two assessors having made inspection of the subjects for which compensation is claimed on 29th July, 1907, in anticipation of the hearing: find that the applicant was a crofter within the meaning of the Act in respect of the holding of Curquoy and Brittany on the estate of Rousay, now belonging to the Trustees of the late Lieut.-General Sir Frederick William Traill Burroughs, K.C.B., and renounced the tenancy of the said holding as at the term of Martinmas, 1901: find that the said renunciation was duly accepted by the landlord, and that the applicant removed from said holding at that term: find that the application is made for compensation in respect of permanent improvements under sections 8 and 10 of the Act: find that the claim is well founded in so far as said improvements are suitable to the holding, have been executed or paid for by the applicant, or his predecessors in the same family, and have not been executed in virtue of any specific agreement in writing under which he was bound to execute same: finds further that the amount of compensation payable falls to be assessed of such sum as fairly represents the value of said improvements to an incoming tenant, but under deduction always of any deterioration committed or permitted by the applicant within the four years preceding the date of his quitting his holding: find that the total sum claimed by the applicant is £114 2s 4d: finds that the sum to which he is entitled is £69: ordains the respondents to make payment to applicant of the said sum of £69 in name of compensation, and decern. Find no expenses due to or by either party. – N. T. D. Kennedy. P. B. Macintyre. James N. Forsyth.

1908 August 12 Orkney Herald

HARRAY – GUILD PICNIC. – The U.F.C. Guild, along with older members of the congregation and friends, went on a picnicking excursion to the island of Rousay on Thursday last. Numbering over 100, the company were conveyed in brakes to Finstown, and thence by s.s. Fawn to Trumland pier. On their arrival the party, by the kind permission of Mr Thin, walked through the garden and grounds of Trumland House, thereafter sitting down to lunch in a field kindly placed at their disposal by Mr Craigie, Trumland farm. The company then scattered for a few hours’ ramble over the island, reassembling at 4.30 at Trumland farm where, after games, entered into with zest, a substantial tea was served. Before leaving, votes of thanks were given to Mr Thin and to Mr and Mrs Craigie, whose kindness throughout the day was highly appreciated; and also to the donors of prizes and all others who had helped in the day’s programme. After a pleasant return sail, the company left Finstown about 8 o’clock, all delighted with the day’s outing.

1908 September 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT TO PARISHIONERS. – By the kindness of Mr and Mrs Thin, a large and representative number of the parishioners were entertained at Trumland House on the afternoon of Tuesday of last week. Unfortunately, owing to the weather, the intended garden party had to be abandoned, but everything was done to make the guests enjoy themselves indoors. Tea was served, to the strains of a fine gramophone, after which all assembled in the library. Mr Thin gave a most genial word of welcome, saying how much pleasure it gave Mrs Thin and himself to have them all there, especially as they were met in honour of Mrs Thin’s birthday. A programme of songs, choruses, recitations, etc. was submitted by members of the house-party dressed as Pierots. An enthusiastic vote of thanks was given on the motion of Rev. Mr Pirie, seconded by Rev. Mr Spark, jr. The National Anthem brought to a close a most successful and highly appreciated gathering.

1908 October 31 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – AGE OF MIRACLES. – People will he pleased to know that the age of miracles has not entirely passed away, for an Orkney island still possesses the miraculous! While the miracle of turning water into wine at Cana was performed on one occasion of a marriage there, the old manse of Rousay has enjoyed the unique privilege of having its water turned into “wine” for nigh 20 years! And it is a matter of fact already that the new manse is about to adopt the miraculous role of the old one. Weaklings always prefer mystery to matter-of-fact. But “seeing is believing” even with higher critics, and the mystery has been solved, so Providence is not to be blamed. This levelling-up-age of equality gives water-supplies by metal pipes both to devil and divine alike. The precipitate of iron is the result of corrosion of metallic surfaces and the Rousay manse water has, by the folly of the unscientific, been changed into chalybeate. Verily, wonders will never cease!

[chalybeate: of or denoting natural mineral springs containing iron salts.]

1908 November 21 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – SOCIAL MEETING. – The Guild of the United Free Church held its opening social for the winter session in Ritchie Church on Friday evening. Mr Pirie, the minister of the congregation, presided over a very large audience. Interesting and instructive addresses were delivered by the Rev. James Whyte and the Rev. John Hendrie, and the two vice-president, Mr John Inkster and Mr Alex. Grieve. Two well-rendered recitations were given by Dr. Murchieson, and the Rev. Mr Whyte and Mr William Grieve, congregational precentor, gave solos in excellent style. Mr James W. Grieve, Guild conductor of praise, led a well balanced choir, which rendered a number of hymns with ability and precision. Tea was provided by an active committee. The whole proceedings were most successful and enjoyable.

HARVEST THANKSGIVING SERVICES were held in the Rousay churches on Friday. Mr Pirie was assisted by the Rev. John Hendrie of Egilshay. The Sacrament was observed by the United Free Church congregation on Sunday in Trumland Church. Mr Pirie was assisted by Mr Whyte of Deerness. In the evening, Mr Whyte preached an able and appropriate sermon in Ritchie Church, under the auspices of the Guild.

1908 December 2 Orkney Herald

GALE. – On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, very severe weather, with a strong westerly gale, was experienced in Orkney. On the former day the steamer Fawn was unable to leave Kirkwall on her round of the North isles, and on the following day the steamer St Ola did not cross the Pentland Firth, nor did the Iona cross from Shapinsay.

1908 December 5 The Orcadian

Firemaster Inkster of Aberdeen is on the short list of nine chosen from sixty-one applications for the post of Firemaster of Glasgow. The “Free Press” referring to the above says: – Firemaster Inkster, who as noted above, is a candidate for the vacancy in Glasgow, was appointed to the Aberdeen brigade in 1896, and at that time was a member of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. He has had a large and varied experience, and is familiar with every detail of Fire Brigade equipment and administration. Since he came to Aberdeen, the Fire Brigade has been put into a condition of thorough efficiency, and its operations have been conducted with conspicuous success. Firemaster Inkster is a native of Rousay.

1908 December 12 The Orcadian

SUNDAY WEATHER. – Last Sunday evening was very rough and wild in the early part. A strong gale was blowing from the west when several flashes of lightning were seen, and the third flash was of a vivid blue nature, with a strong sulphuric smell, while the peal of thunder was very loud, followed with what the people would call, a “cruel” shower of hail. In some parts the hail lay on the ground like snow. So far as known no damage was done.

1908 December 19 Aberdeen Press & Journal

SOCIETY AND PERSONAL. – …..Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick William Traill-Burroughs, K.C.B., of Trumland House, Rousay, Orkney, and Veira, some time colonel of the Warwickshire Regiment, and who saw service with the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders in the Crimea, also during the Indian Mutiny and in the Umbala Campaign of 1863, and who died on April 9, 1905, aged 74 years, left personal estate valued at £1750 19s 10d, in addition to which he had real estate apparently worth more than £2000 per annum, the amount of rents due to him at his decease amounting to more than £900…..

1908 December 19 The Orcadian

KIRKWALL TOWN COUNCIL. – A monthly meeting of the Town Council was held last Wednesday. Present – Provost Slater, Baillie Baikie, Dean of Guild Garden, and Councillors Scott, White, Flett, Spence, and Shearer…..


Letters were submitted from the Rev. J. B. Craven, D.D., asking, on behalf of Lady Sinclair of Dunbeath, for permission to erect a memorial tablet to the late General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, K.C.B., and Lady Burroughs, in St Magnus Cathedral.

The wording of the tablet is as follows:

In Loving memory
of Rousay and Veira
Colonel of the
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the 2nd Battn.
of which (the 93rd) he served throughout the
Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny War,
and the Umbeyla Campaign.
Vice-Lieut. of Orkney,
Died in London, 9th April, 1905,
aged 74;
also to the memory of
his wife
his faithful companion
through storm and sunshine.
Died 1st February, 1907, aged 58.
Erected by her devoted niece,
Lady Sinclair of Dunbeath.

In Print

Newsprint – 1907

1907 January 2 Orkney Herald

SNOWSTORM IN ORKNEY….. On Monday last week a heavy gale from the south-west, broke out. In the afternoon the wind went round to the north, and there were snow showers. During the night a good deal of snow fell, and throughout Tuesday, when the wind blew with gale force from the north-west, snow fell heavily. Wednesday and Thursday saw little improvement in the weather, but on Friday the wind took off considerably, though snow continued to fall both on that and the two succeeding days. In the North Isles the fall of snow is reported to have been particularly heavy, many of the roads being rendered quite impassable, the snow lying in some places to a depth of nine feet…..

1907 January 30 Orkney Herald


The weather during the past few days has been extremely stormy. Much snow has fallen, but most of it has quickly melted. On Monday the weather was particularly severe, a violent gale blowing from the west and north-west throughout the day, with frequent showers of snow. The gale reached its height about one o’clock, At this time the steamer lona was changing her position at Kirkwall Pier when a warp got entangled with the propeller, and she was driven ashore near the Mount. She sustained no damage and was got off in the evening. Some damage was done to the roof of the Coastguard Station, and during one of the squalls the Coastguard boat, which was laid up near the Burn of Weyland was lifted by the wind clean over a wall four feet high and set down about twelve feet inside the adjoining field. Some farm buildings were unroofed at Weyland and Corse, and there are reports of similar damage from nearly all parts of the country; while much minor damage – such as blowing down of ventilators and breaking of windows – has been done…..

1907 February 6 Orkney Herald

RESIDENT MEDICAL OFFICER (Male or Female) Wanted for Parish of ROUSAY
and EGILSHAY, to enter on duties 1st April prox. Salary £51 stg. per annum.
Apply to Clerk of Parish Council, Rousay.

1907 February 13 Orkney Herald

A magnificent display of aurora borealis was seen all over Orkney on Saturday evening.

1907 February 27 Orkney Herald


A severe gale, accompanied by heavy showers of snow, which, however, until Friday, did not lie for any length of time, broke out last Tuesday. Owing to the gale the mail steamer St Ola did not cross the Pentland Firth from Tuesday till Saturday, so that four days’ mails were due on Saturday. Telegraphic communication was interrupted for several hours on Wednesday, the interruption being south of Wick. On Friday and Saturday snow lay to a depth of several inches, accompanied by a keen frost; but on Saturday night a thaw set in. Since Saturday strong winds have prevailed, but they have not been so strong as to interfere with traffic by sea.

1907 March 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Wednesday the 27th Feb. Twenty-one ploughs turned up for competition – 17 ordinary in a field kindly granted for the occasion by Mr [Robert] Marwick, Scockness; and 4 champions in an adjoining field on the farm of Faraclett. The weather was all that could be desired for the work, and the fields during the day were visited by a large number of people. The ploughmen were well supplied with refreshments. A massive silver medal and ten shillings, presented to the society by Firemaster Inkster, Aberdeen, for competition in the champion class, having now been won for the third time by Thomas Gibson, Broland, becomes his own property. The Committee were fortunate in securing the services of Messrs Wm. Harvey and Alex. Voy, jr., St Ola, to act as judges, and their decisions were as follows: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1 and medal, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 2, John Harrold, Bigland; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Gripps; 4, Walter Muir, Brecon; best feering and finish – J. Harrold. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s Medal, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 2, James W. Grieve, Langskaill; 3, John Marwick, Knarston; 4, John Craigie, Curquoy; 5, Alex. Pearson, Saviskaill; 6, John Russell, Langskaill; 7, Ben Moodie, Glebe; 8, John Gibson, Faraclett; 9, John Gibson, Avelshay; 10, Hugh Marwick, Trumland; 11, David Moodie, Avelshay; best feering – James W. Grieve; best finish – Hugh Robertson; straightest ploughing – H. Robertson; best ploughed rig – H. Robertson; youngest ploughman – Robert Sinclair, Stennisgorn.

GROOMING. – 1, John Seatter, Banks; 2, A. Craigie, Trumland; 3, John Craigie; 4, John Harrold; 5, Hugh Inkster, Westness; 6, Ben. Moodie.

HARNESS. – 1, M. Leonard; 2, H. Robertson; 3, John Craigie; 4, B. Moodie; 5, Hugh Craigie, Swandale; 6, John Seatter.

A large number of special prizes were distributed among the ploughmen. In the evening the Committee, the judges, and a number of friends were entertained to dinner in Scockness. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a pleasant evening spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so handsomely subscribed to their funds, the donors of the special prizes, Firemaster Inkster for his medal, the judges, and all who helped to make the ploughing match a success. They are also indebted to Mr James Gibson, Hullion, for visiting the field and thus enabling them to obtain the Highland Society’s medal.

1907 April 10 Orkney Herald

qualified under Article 79 of the Code, to commence
duties as soon as possible. Salary, £50 stg. per annum.
Apply, with Testimonials, to Clerk of School Board, Rousay, Orkney.

1907 April 13 The Orcadian

LAST WEEK’S GALE. BOATING ACCIDENT, ONE MAN DROWNED. – Information only reached Kirkwall on Friday night of a boating accident which occurred in Egilshay Sound on Wednesday afternoon. Two men, named Flaws and Inkster, belonging to Egilshay, had been across at Rousay and were returning home in the height of the gale, when their boat was swamped by a sea breaking on board. David Flaws, tenant of Cott, who was between 60 and 70 years of age, was drowned, but the other was fortunately able to keep himself afloat with the aid of an oar till assistance arrived from the shore.

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – On Sunday last the Rev. A. Spark preached from the text St Matt. v. 4 – ” Blessed are they that mourn,” and ended his sermon by referring to the sad fatality in Egilshay Sound in these words: –

The sad boating accident in Egilshay Sound on Wednesday last resulting in the drowning of one man and the saving of another has cast a cloud of gloom over this parish. Little did these two realize that, on leaving Trumland Pier for Egilshay they were to run their course within an hour and an inch of eternity. When will man learn wisdom? The dire experiences of past days should, undoubtedly, teach man a lesson – to apply himself to perfect life-saving appliances. Floats of some kind, life-belts, cork jackets, buoys, etc., should be included in the equipment of every boat. Besides this, swimming should be part of our education outfit. We are duty-bound to save life as far as human skill can apply. In the present fatality it was one floating oar which effected its purpose, so saving the young man, John Inkster, but David Flaws had no float, so found his grave in the unseen depths of the sea. All so sad and all so sudden. We mourn and weep with her who thus suddenly and unexpectedly becomes a widow for the second time, and with the four members of his family by his first wife, who must all feel the sharpness of this stroke. May God bless them “until the day break and the shadows flee away.” Fair death is welcome to wound, but it is the tragic event that tears the heart. A peace-loving, quiet-living, upright man, an obliging and respected neighbour, a man of few words, and time-worn boatman, claiming a home first in Rousay, latterly in Egilshay, David Flaws divides his grave between the two. Just as the body of Moses was laid to rest upon an unknown spot of the lonely mountain, so that of David Flaws lies in some unknown spot of that devouring sea. It is meet for me to speak thus, for, although attending the U. F. Church of Egilshay, his second earthly home, David Flaws died an elder of the Church of Scotland, having been ordained on 18th March 1886. It looks like yesterday since I preached on 25th November last in Egilshay U. F. Church for the worthy and respected minister there Mr Hendrie – and I still feel, as it were, the hearty shake of David Flaws’ hand. Now he has left us once and for all for the home that is “fairer than day.” “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord,” and “Blessed are they that mourn. May the lesson of the young man spared be the lesson of his life to lead him to live for God and for eternity. “Man never is but always to be blest.” Every home has yet to be emptied, and we must all cross the bar, equipped or un-equipped.

“Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.”



[David Flaws was born in1841, the son of James Flaws, Hammerfield, and Isabella Gibson, Stennisgorn. On February 13th 1861 he married Margaret Louttit, daughter of Alexander Louttit, Northouse, Quandale, later Lower Blackhammer, and Janet Craigie. David and Margaret had five children, the second of which, also named David and born in 1865, was also drowned in Egilsay Sound when just a lad. Margaret died in 1893, three years after which event David married widow Ellen Mainland, nee Costie, and settling at Cott, Egilsay. – John Inkster, born in May 1867, was a farm servant at Cott. He was the oldest of the nine children of Hugh Inkster, Gorn, Hammer, Geo, later Knapper, and Georgina Harcus, Westray.]

1907 April 17 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The United Free Church Guild held its closing social on Tuesday evening in Ritchie Church. There was a large gathering of young people. The Rev. A. Irvine Pine, who presided, gave a brief address on the purposes served by a Guild. The Rev. Mr Russell spoke on “Redeemed Life”. Readings were given by Messrs John Logie, J. W. Grieve, and William Grieve. Dr Thomlinson gave two recitations in splendid style. Solos from Mrs Russell, and Mr William Grieve, church praise leader, were greatly appreciated. A well balanced choir was conducted by Mr J. W. Grieve, guild praise leader. The singing was a special feature of the evening, and was very much enjoyed. An excellent service of tea was provided by an energetic committee. Votes of thanks moved by Mr A. Grieve, closed a delightful entertainment.

1907 May 18 The Orcadian

THE RECENT DROWNING ACCIDENT IN ROUSAY SOUND. PUBLIC INQUIRY AT KIRKWALL. – An inquiry was held in the Sheriff Court House at Kirkwall, on Monday afternoon, before Sheriff Harvey and jury, as to the death by drowning of David Flaws, farmer, Cott, Egilshay, which took place in Rousay Sound on 3rd April. Mr Begg, Procurator-fiscal, led the evidence.

John Inkster, farm servant, Cott, Egilshay, deponed – I was in the employment of David Flaws, farmer, Cott. Egilshay on 3rd April last. He was married, and was about 69 years of age. On Wednesday 3rd April he and I went over to Rousay pier in a small boat to get some work done at the smithy – to get some implements repaired. We left Rousay on our return to Egilshay about one o’clock in the afternoon. It was then a bit rough – the wind blowing strongly from the South-East. We had to tack across Veira Sound, and when we set the boat straight for Egilshay we were sailing close to the wind. We had got as far as the middle of the Sound when the accident took place – between the Point of Avelshay in Rousay, and the house of Vady in Egilshay. It was flowing water at the time, which made the sea rougher than it would otherwise have been. I was steering, and trying to run the waves. I managed this for a few seas, but at last one coming behind broke in over the quarter, the boat filled from the lee side, and went down. The boat only took a second or two to sink. The boat was an open one, with a lug sail. The length of keel would be about 11 feet. After the accident I got hold of one of the seats of the boat, which kept me floating, and afterwards I clutched an oar. Subsequently an Egilshay boat picked me up. James Craigie and James Seatter were in the boat. This would be twenty minutes or half an hour after the accident happened. Immediately after the boat went down I saw David Flaws. He would be on the surface of the water two or three minutes. I was then also in the water. I could not assist him in any way. Flaws did not manage to get hold of anything to keep himself afloat. The tackle on our boat was in good order. I think she was a fair good sea boat, but she was rather small. I wanted to wait in Rousay till the wind abated, but Flaws would not agree to that. I thought it was rather stormy for such a boat. The accident happened about half-past one o’clock. Besides the ordinary ballast we had some plough irons in the boat. The deceased was a fair good seaman. He had experience of the sea all his life. We had two reefs in when we left Rousay.

By the Court – Flaws had more experience of boating than me.

James Craigie, deponed – I am a farmer, and reside at Vady, Egilshay. On Wednesday 3rd April, at 1.15 I was standing at the end of my house and saw the boat belonging to Cott coming across the Sound. There were two people in it. It was then about the last of the flood tide, which was running against the wind. There was a good strong breeze of South-East wind blowing, and the Sound was pretty rough. When the boat was about half way across, I saw it go over. It went down by the lee bow. She was going rather before the wind. I think the sea struck her and sent her over. As soon as I saw what had happened I ran down to get my boat ready to launch, and sent my wife to Onziebust to get other men to heIp. The people there, however, had seen the accident, and were then on their way down to the beach. Five of us manned the boat and pulled to the scene of the accident. Here we picked up John Inkster, who was clinging to an oar. We saw nothing of David Flaws but his sou’-wester. We remained on the scene about ten minutes. Inkster was a good bit exhausted, and we were afraid to wait longer, as he might get worse in our hands. Flaws was an experienced seaman. Inkster had had some experience, but not so much as Flaws. The boat was a fair good one. I think I have crossed the Sound with her in as bad weather as it was that day. It did not appear to me as if there were too much sail on the boat. Neither body nor boat have been found.

George Seatter deponed – I am a farmer residing at Onziebust, Egilshay. On Wednesday 3rd April I was standing at the end of my house along with one of my sons, and saw a boat coming across from Rousay. It was then the last of the flood tide, with a strong breeze from the South-East. Whilst standing watching my son said the boat was gone. We then ran to the shore, and found James Craigie with a boat ready launched. We went out to where the accident took place, and picked up Inkster. He was then very much exhausted. I think we remained on the spot from five to ten minutes. Flaws and Inkster were both good boatmen, and accustomed to the sea. I think the boat was just little enough for such weather. I do not know whether they had in any reef or not. I do not think there was too much sail on the boat.

This concluded the evidence.

The Sheriff, addressing the jury, said this was the first inquiry held here under the new statute as to fatal accidents and sudden deaths, passed in 1906. He said the scope of the previous act had been considerably widened by this latter measure, but he did not think that in this particular case it threw on the jury any additional duties.

The jury then gave in a verdict in accordance with the evidence led.

1907 May 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CASE IN THE COURT OF SESSION. – The action, General Burroughs’ Trustees v. Craigie of Saviskaill, has ended, the parties having lodged in the Court of Session a joint minute settling the case extrajudicially. Lord Salvesen, on the 22nd inst., interponed authority to the minute, and in terms thereof assoilzied the defender from the conclusions of the action and found the defender entitled to expenses. Counsel for pursuers, Mr J. S. Millar; agents, Mackenzie & Kermack, W.S., Edinburgh. Counsel for defender, Mr Scott, Brown; Edinburgh agent, James Gibson, S.S.C.; local agents, Drever & Heddle, solicitors, Kirkwall.

[ extrajudicial – beyond the usual course of legal proceedings: interpone – to intervene so as to prevent (something), of a court or judge: assoilzied – to free, or to be absolved of guilt.]

1907 May 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL NOTES. – Farming operations, owing to the cold, briny easterly winds, have been dragging rather leisurely along for the past week or two, and although farmers have been daily at work preparing their turnip land, very little has yet been done in the way of putting in the seed. The braird and the young grass is also suffering from the severe drought, and is looking very brown and stunted, and a shift of wind with rain is very much needed to start all kinds of vegetation.

ECCLESIASTICAL. – The union between the two dissenting churches in this island, which was so peacefully accomplished last year, has hitherto been working very harmoniously. The Rev. Mr Pirie, the minister in charge, seems to give general satisfaction to all parties who are interested in promoting the welfare of the two united denominations. His preaching powers which are of no mean order, as well as his affable nature and kindly disposition, makes him a general favourite in the homes of the people. Mr Pirie, during the winter and spring months, has been very ably assisted in all his ministerial duties by the Rev. James Russell, M.A., a thorough evangelical preacher, whose earnest and stirring addresses have, it appears, made their influence felt in the hearts of the people. It might, we think, be said of this young minister, as was said of some of the apostles in the years of long ago, that he preaches the gospel to the people with great boldness. Mr and Mrs Russell, who leave Rousay this week for Edinburgh, both gave farewell addresses in Ritchie Memorial and Trumland Churches last Sunday which were listened to with rapt attention by large congregations. Mrs Russell, who has been of great assistance to her husband in singing the gospel at all the evening services, is possessed of a rich, well-trained soprano voice, which she uses with much pathos and feeling in her well-chosen songs and solos, and is also in the habit of addressing gospel meetings, and is able to tell the story of the Cross with rare eloquence and fervour. We have reason to believe that Mr and Mrs Russell, through their devoted labours in this island, have made many lasting impressions for good on the hearts and lives of many who have been privileged to hear them – impressions which we hope may in due time bear much fruit. And now that they have gone from our midst, perhaps never to come back again, they will carry with them to their future spheres of labour the prayers and good wishes of the many friends whom they have now left behind them.

1907 June 12 Orkney Herald

FARMERS, Farm Servants, Gardeners, Stablemen, Carters, Railway Surfacemen, Navvies, Miners, who desire to follow Farming or Railway Construction Work in Canada, also Female Domestic Servants, will receive the services of the Canadian Government Employment Agents in securing employment and other information on arrival at their destination in Canada. For this assistance no charge is made. Tickets, forms, and full particulars on application to W. PEACE & SON, Albert Street, Kirkwall.

1907 June 22 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – A very successful concert was held in Frotoft School on Friday evening last week. There was a crowded house. Mr Pirie, who presided stated that the members of the Star of Peace Lodge of Good Templars had arranged to present Bibles and New Testaments to the scholars as an expression of their gratitude to the School Board for the use of the school room for their meetings for several years. Mr Pirie also stated that as there were amongst them several gifted musical visitors advantage had been taken of their presence, and the concert had been got up, along with the presentation of Bibles. The programme consisted of songs and recitations. Miss Couper, from Edinburgh opened the proceedings with selections on the piano with splendid manipulation. Miss Tomlinson from Partick, Glasgow, and Miss Kirkness from Leith contributed several songs which were tastefully and charmingly sung. Dr Tomlinson gave a number of humorous recitations with skilful expression and action. Several of the scholars took part and did very well. Misses A. Johnston, Sinclair and Craigie sang a trio. Miss Jeannie Harrold, Miss Maggie Sutherland, and Master James Craigie gave recitations. The meeting was greatly enjoyed by the large audience and very hearty votes of thanks were given at the close to the young ladies who had contributed so liberally and so efficiently to the evening’s entertainment.

1907 June 26 Orkney Herald

The mansion house and shootings of Trumland, Rousay, have been let to Mr Fletcher of Saltoun.

[Captain Andrew Mansel Talbot Fletcher of Saltoun Hall, Pencaitland, East Lothian, married Frances Jane Winnington in 1902, the daughter of Sir Francis Salwey and Lady Winnington 5th. Bart. of Stanford Court, Worcester. She was the grand-daughter of Lady Alfred Churchill and cousin of The Duke of Marlborough and Sir Winston Churchill.]

1907 August 10 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – A very interesting and instructive lecture and phonographic sacred concert was given on Saturday night in the Ritchie Church by Mr Stewart, Commercial Bank, Kirkwall. The Rev. Mr Pirie introducing the lecturer said that Mr Stewart took a deep interest in Guild work, and had kindly come out for the weekend in order to help forward and encourage their Guild. Mr Stewart gave a brief account of the invention of the phonograph by Mr Edison, and the various useful purposes to which it can be applied. He then gave an excellent selection of hymns on a fine Edison phonograph. A very hearty vote of thanks was awarded the lecturer at the close. Mr Stewart was to address the young people on Sunday evening, but owing to the very heavy rain no meeting was held.

1907 August 21 Orkney Herald

GALE. – Early on Wednesday morning a strong westerly gale broke out over the Orkneys doing a good deal of damage. From four to five o’clock the wind blew at the rate of sixty miles an hour, and from five to six at sixty-three miles an hour, after which it gradually abated. The Grimsby smack, Alice Gertrude, which was discharging a cargo of salt fish at Shapinsay dragged her anchor and went ashore. Some anxiety was felt regarding the fate of two herring fishing boats, but both of these turned up safely on Thursday. On the Market Green, Broad Street, Kirkwall, the tents and stands [set up for the Lammas Fair] were overturned and much damage done. Trees, fruit, and flowers suffered severely from the gale.

1907 August 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY FLOWER SHOW. – The annual flower and industrial show was held in Sourin Public School, Rousay, on Tuesday, 20th inst. The weather was fine and great interest was taken in the exhibition by a large number of people. Owing to the backward season and the inclement weather which has been experienced lately, the show of flowers was rather short of last year. The industrial work was up to the average, and the baking section showed a decided improvement. Annexed is the prize list: –

SPECIAL PRIZES. – New Potatoes, – J. S. Gibson, Hullion. Cut Flowers, – J. S. Gibson. Pot Plants, Miss Annie Harrold, Bigland.

FLOWERS AND VEGETABLES. – Single Geraniums, – 1, Miss Cissie Harrold, Bigland; 2, Mrs Grieve, Whitehall. Blush Roses, – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. White Roses, – 1, Miss Gibson, Langskaill; 2, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. Cut Geraniums, – 1, 2, and 3, J. S. Gibson. Single Stocks, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Shirley Poppies, – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. Begonia, – 1, Miss Reid, Wasdale. Double Geranium, – 1, Mrs Sutherland, Brinian; 2, Mrs Grieve. Pelargoniums, – 1, Miss Annie Harrold; 2, Mrs Kirkness, Quoyostray. Iris, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Honeysuckle, – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. Petunia, – 1, Mrs Sinclair. Pansy, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Stocks, – 1 and 2, J. S. Gibson; 3, Robert Inkster, Cogar. Yellow Calceolaria, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Red ditto, 1, J. S. Gibson. Chrysanthemum, – 1, Mrs Sinclair. Marigolds, – 1, Miss B. Cooper. Sweet William, – 1, J. S. Gibson; 2, Miss Cissie Harrold, Bigland. Turnips, – 1, J. S. Gibson; 2, Mrs Sinclair, Skatequoy; 3, Miss Inkster, Brittany. Peas, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Cauliflower, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Apples, –  1, James Low, Westness. Black Currants, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Bouquet Wild Flowers (school children), – 1, Mary Ann Hourie; 2, M. A. Cooper; 3, M. J. Inkster. Round Potatoes, – 1, Miss Inkster, Brittany. Kidney White Potatoes, – 1, J. S. Gibson; 2, John Mainland, Cubbierew; 3, Mrs Craigie, Swandale. Black Kidney Potatoes, – 1, Mrs Seatter, Banks. Cabbages, – John Mainland, Cubbierew; 2, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy; 3, Miss Inkster, Brittany. Lettuce (cabbage), – 1, J. M. Harrold. Lettuce (cos), – 1 and 2, J. S. Gibson. Parsley, – 1, Robert Inkster, Cogar; 2, J. S. Gibson. Potato Onions, – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. Leeks, – 1, Robert Inkster, Cogar; 2, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy; 3, John Mainland, Cubbierew. Onions, – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy; 2, J. S. Gibson. Shallots, – 1, George Reid, Tratland; 2, Mrs Inkster, Swartifield; 3, Mrs Clouston, Tou. Radishes, – J. S. Gibson. Parsnips, – J. S. Gibson. Beetroot – Long Red, – 1, John Mainland, Cubbierew. Turnip, – 1, J. S. Gibson. Carrots, – 1, John Mainland, Cubbierew; 2, Robert Inkster, Cogar; 3, J. S. Gibson.

INDUSTRIAL WORK. – Knitted Lace Curtains, – 1, Miss Munro. Print Patchwork Counterpane – Complimentary, Miss Grieve, Blossom. Crazy Silk Patchwork Quilt, Miss Jean Scott. Chemise Tops (crochet), – 1, Miss Munro. Crochet, – 1, Miss Munro; 2 and 3, Miss A Scott. Drawn Thread Work, – 1, Miss A. Reid, Tratland; 2, Miss J. Reid; 3, Miss A. Scott. Sewed Embroidery, – 1, Mrs Reid, Wasdale; 2, Miss A. Scott, Hurtiso. Crochet Tea Cloth, – 1, Miss Munro. Linen Counterpane – Complimentary Prize, – Miss Munro. Knitted Doyleys, – 1, Helen Craigie. Hearthrugs, – 1, Miss Craigie. Tatted Doyleys, – 1, Miss A. Scott; 2, Miss Grieve. School Sewing, – 1, Mary Jane Inkster; 2, Annie Corsie; 3, Sybella Seatter. School Knitting, – 1, Ellen Craigie; 2, M. A. Cooper.

BAKING AND DAIRY PRODUCE. – Oven Scones, – 1 and 2, Mrs Harrold, Pier; 3, Mrs Gibson, Hullion. Flour Scones, – 1, Mrs Craigie, Breck; 2, Mrs Sutherland, Brinian; 3, Mrs Harrold, Pier. Drop Scones, – 1, Mrs Harrold, Pier; 2, Miss Munro; 3, Mrs Sutherland. Pancakes, – 1, Mrs J. S. Gibson. Fancy Bread, – 1, Mrs J. S. Gibson; 2, Mrs Harrold, Pier. Short-bread, – 1, Mrs Mowat; 2, Miss Ida Gibson. Fruit Cakes, – 1, Miss Ida Gibson; 2, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy; (Complimentary.) Jam Sandwich, – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. Bere Bannocks, – 1, Mrs Craigie, Breck; 2, Mrs Mowat; 3, Mrs Hourie. Oat Cakes, – 1, Miss Maggie J. Corsie, Knarston; 2, Miss Seatter, Banks; 3, Mrs Hourie. Salt Butter, – 1, Miss Inkster, Cogar; 2, Mrs Reid, Tratland; 3, Mrs Gibson, Avelshay. Fresh Butter, – 1, Mrs Reid, Wasdale; 2, Miss Munro; 3, Mrs Gibson, Avelshay. Cheese (Skimmed Milk), – 1, Mrs Reid, Tratland. Cheese (Sweet Milk), – 1, Mrs Reid, Tratland. Butter (for table use), – 1, Miss Jane Scott; 2, Miss Seatter, Banks; 3, Mrs Gibson, Avelshay. Eggs, – 1, Miss B. Cooper; 2, Miss Inkster, Brittany. Rhubarb Jam, – 1, Miss M. J. Grieve; 2, Mrs J. W. Grieve. Black Currant Jam, – 1, Mrs Gibson, Hullion (Complimentary). Black Currant Jelly, – 1, Miss Gibson, Langskaill (Complimentary). Orkney Chair (Plain Pine), – 1, Craigie Marwick and C. Logie (equal). Do. (Fumed Oak), 1, J. Sinclair.

The judges were – flowers – Mr A. Reid, Longhope. Industrial Work – Miss Gibson, Mrs Watson, and Miss Obel. Baking, etc. – Mr R. Spence.


ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual cattle show was held at Sourin, Rousay, on Tuesday last week. The s.s. Fawn ran a special trip from Kirkwall, which was well patronised both from Kirkwall and Shapinsay – at which island a call was also made. The show was much larger than last year, and was visited by large numbers of people from all parts of the island. The judges were – Messrs Clouston, Graemeshall, Holm; Mackay, Flaws; and Scarth, Burgar, Evie. The following is the prize list: –

CATTLE. – Medal for best cow in yard – John Craigie. Polled Cows, – 1, John Craigie, Saviskaill; 2, and c, Geo. Gibson, Avelshay; hc, John Scott, Hurtiso. Shorthorn Cows, – 1 and hc, John Scott, Hurtiso; 2, J. Craigie, Trumland; c, R. Marwick, Scockness. Two-year-old Queys, polled, – 1, G. Gibson, Avelshay; 2, D. Gibson, Langskaill. Two-year-old Steers, – polled,  – 1 and 3, John Scott, Hurtiso; 2 and c, Jas. Craigie, Trumland; hc, R. Marwick. One-year-old Quays, polled, – 1, John Craigie, Saviskaill; 2, Jas. Craigie, Trumland. One-year-old Quays, shorthorn, – 1, Geo. Craigie, Saviskaill; 2 and 3, John Gibson, Faraclett. One-year-old Steers, shorthorn, – 1 and 3, John Gibson, Faraclett; 2, hc and c, R. Marwick, Scockness. One-year-old Steers, polled, – 1 and 2, John Craigie, Saviskaill; 3, hc and c Geo. Gibson, Avelshay. Calves, – 1 and 2, John Gibson, Faraclett; 3, John Craigie, Saviskaill; hc, James Craigie, Trumland; c, D. Gibson, Langskaill.

HORSES. – The medal for the best mare in the yard was awarded to George Gibson, Avelshay, whose property it now becomes, he having won it three times. Draught Geldings, – 1, and hc, John Gibson, Faraclett; 2, Jas. Craigie, Trumland; 3, John Craigie, Saviskaill; c, D. Gibson, Langskaill. Draught Mares, – 1, G. Gibson, Avelshay; 2, John Craigie, Saviskaill; 3, R. Marwick, Scockness; hc, John Gibson, Faraclett. Mares with foal at foot, – 1, Jas. Craigie, Trumland; 2, John Scott, Hurtiso; 3, R. Sinclair, Skatequoy; hc, Mrs Louttit, Brecon. Two-year-old fillies, – 1, John Craigie. Saviskaill; 2, H. Craigie, Swandale; P. Sinclair, Bigland. One-year-old fillies, – 1, R. Marwick, Scockness; 2, R. Sinclair, Skatequoy; 3, John Gibson, Faraclett. Two-year-old geldings, – 1, J. Craigie, Saviskaill; 2, D. Inkster, Furse. One-year-old geldings, – 1, G. Gibson, Avelshay; 2, H. Craigie, Swandale; 3 and hc, D. Gibson, Langskaill. Foals, – 1, John Scott, Hurtiso; 2, Jas. Craigie, Trumland; 3, Mrs Louttit, Brecon; hc, R. Sinclair, Skatequoy. Ponies, –  1, R. Marwick, Scockness; 2, H. Sinclair, Newhouse.

At the close of the show the committee and judges sat down to dinner in Banks. The committee take this opportunity of expressing their indebtedness to Mr and Mrs Seatter for their extreme kindness and courtesy, and for the use of their park for the show.

1907 September 4 Orkney Herald

At the end of this month, Mr John Louttit, postmaster at Coatbridge (who belongs to Rousay), will retire, after 45 years’ service, having been 22 years in the Edinburgh Post Office, and a quarter of a century in Coatbridge. In 1884 only 18,000 letters were delivered weekly in Coatbridge, while the deliveries now are 52,000 weekly.

[John Louttit, born at Faraclett in 1843, was instrumental in obtaining post office positions for several relatives and friends from Rousay.]

1907 October 2 Orkney Herald

SERIOUS BURNING ACCIDENT. – On Monday morning, Elizabeth Corsie, daughter of Malcolm Corsie, Faro, Rousay, was admitted to the Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, suffering from severe burning injuries. The girl, we learn, is rather subject to fits. She was sitting at the fireside alone on Sunday afternoon, the other members of the family being outside, and it is supposed that she had had a fit and straightened out her limbs towards the fire. Before she was found she had sustained severe injuries to her legs, one of which, it is feared, will have to be amputated. The slippers she was wearing were entirely burned. The girl, we are glad to say, is progressing as favourably as possible.

FISHING NOTES. – There was a moderate supply of cod, haddocks, and flounders landed at Kirkwall last week by the local boats. During the first three days of the week most of the boats were out, and some good catches were got, the highest shot being 9¼ cwts. of cod. The average on Wednesday for 7 boats was about 6 cwts. A breeze of wind on Thursday, and a dense fog during the rest of the week, put a stop to further operations. The total landings for the week amounted to over three tons. Cod sold at 6s to 8s 6d per cwt.; haddocks, 8s 6d per cwt. There is a good appearance of fish on the grounds, both east and west, and the outlook for the winter fishing is somewhat better than for a number of years past. Quantities of small cod (“pooties”) are being got at various places, and two to four scores per boat are being got daily in Kirkwall Bay and the sounds in the vicinity. Sillocks and cuithes are plentiful, but are difficult to get inshore owing to the growth of weeds.

1907 October 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – TRUMLAND HOUSE ENTERTAINMENT. – On the invitation of Mrs [Frances] Fletcher, between 50 and 60 elderly parishioners assembled on Wednesday last, 25th inst., at Trumland House. The day was fair and the afternoon sun was shining brightly when the party assembled at 3 p.m. The Rev. Alex. Spark, parish minister, and Mrs [Jane] Spark and family were specially invited to be present. Gramophone programmes – which had been written out for the occasion by Miss [Iris] Winnington – Mrs Fletcher’s sister – were distributed to the visitors as they arrived by Master John and Miss Jean Fletcher from tiny baskets which they carried. The party met in the business-room, where the gramophone was placed, and Mrs Fletcher herself favoured the party by manipulating the instrument. The programme, consisting of 27 pieces, included: – “Stop your tickling, Jock,” by Harry Lauder; “Jewel Song,” from Faust, Mme. Donalda; “Auld Robin Grey,” pipes; “Goodbye,” Mme. Melba; “Departure of a Troopship”; “Rigoletto Song,” Caruso; “Chorister’s Waltz”; “Yodel Duet”; “Whistling Rufus,” band; “Auld Lang Syne,” Mme. Melba. The programme, which was received with rounds of applause, having been finished, Mrs Fletcher invited the party to adjourn upstairs to the dining-room for a cup of tea. The dining-room was most tastefully laid out, and all its tables were loaded with all kinds of cakes. The visitors next re-assembled in the business-room to return thanks to Mrs Fletcher. The Rev. Mr Spark addressing the company said: –

“Ladies and gentlemen, the entertainment which we have all so heartily enjoyed – the gramophone and the “cup” which refreshes but never intoxicates, call for the expression of our gratitude, and all our hearts unite in thanking Mr and Mrs Fletcher for such an unexpected yet much appreciated treat. Mrs Fletcher, with your kind permission I would improve this occasion by a brief reference to the person and place from whence our host and hostess hail. Scottish history has recorded upon its page one outstanding name – that of Andrew Fletcher of Salton, who, born in 1653, was a celebrated Scottish patriot and politician – descended, on his father’s side, from an aristocratic and titled family of Yorkshire, and, on his mother’s side, from King Robert Bruce of Scotland. Aristocracy and monarchy were then oft in conflict, and Andrew Fletcher, having offended the Duke of York (who afterwards became James II.) fled for dear life first to Holland, then to Spain, then to Hungary, and, at length, landed in London at the Revolution. There he met another great Scotchman – William Paterson – founder of the Bank of England, and projector of the Darien Expedition. It was at Fletcher’s suggestion that Paterson visited Scotland and offered Scotland to its advantage in that project what he had intended for Germany. Fletcher died in 1716, and 21 years after that event his writings were collected and published under the title of “The Political Works of Andrew Fletcher, Esquire.” So much for the person of your ancestry Mrs Fletcher, and now for the place from which you hail – Haddingtonshire or East Lothian. This county stands on Scotland’s eastern sea-coast and extends to about 280 square miles of the finest land in Scotland, bordered on its south side by the Lammermuir Hills. This shire is a pioneer in many respects. About 200 years ago there lived a great agriculturist John Cockburn of Ormiston, who was regarded as the father of improved Scottish husbandry. He helped and encouraged his tenantry by giving favourable leases. He himself had growing at Ormiston in 1725 the first turnips in drill, and there also the first potatoes – a field in 1734. The first thrashing machine was introduced into this county by Andrew Meikle a native, and the first steam-plough possessed by a tenant farmer in Scotland was introduced into this same county by Mr Sadler of Ferrygate. According to the agricultural statistics of 1857, Haddingtonshire stood first in Scotland for oats. Passing from agriculture to the ecclesiastical line, we must remember that the great Scottish Reformer, John Knox, hailed from Haddington, having been born at Gifford-gate close to that town in 1505. Thus the person and place of our host and hostess merit highest praise, and we do heartily tender to Mr and Mrs Fletcher our unqualified thanks for all their kindness which we have so very much appreciated. We shall honour the family by giving 6 hearty cheers: – A hearty cheer for Mr Fletcher (in absence) – hip, hip, hurrah, 2 hearty cheers for his better half, Mrs Fletcher and daughter – hip, hip, hurrah, etc., – and 3 hearty cheers for the son and heir – hip, hip, hurrah, etc., etc.

DANCE. – On Friday night last week a dance was given in the Glebe barn, when about forty of the youth and beauty of the district attended. The gramophone was lent from Trumland House to help the entertainment, and Mrs Fletcher and Miss Winnington graced the dance with their presence. Tea, in the course of the evening, was provided in the manse, and the party broke up about 2 a.m., delighted with the entertainment.

1907 October 16 Orkney Herald

The girl Elizabeth Corsie, daughter of Mr Malcolm Corsie, Faro, Rousay, who was severely burned by falling on the hearth in a room of her father’s house, on Sunday the 29th ult., when in a fit, died in Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, on Sunday last from her injuries. The body was taken to Rousay yesterday (Tuesday) for interment.

[Elizabeth was the fourth eldest of seven children of Malcolm Corsie and Mary Inkster. She was 28 years of age when she died, her younger brother Malcolm dying in Larbert, Stirlingshire, in January the same year.]

1907 October 23 Orkney Herald

BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS. – …..Mr and Mrs Corsie return sincere thanks to their numerous friends for kind sympathy extended to them in this their time of trouble. – Faro, Rousay.

1907 November 6 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER OF OCTOBER. – ….. October, like September, was milder, drier, and sunnier than the average. It was really the case of nature making up the defects of a dull, wet, sunless summer, by a mild, dry, sunny autumn. The dense fogs of the last days of September continued for the first two of October. Winds throughout were of light velocity, and frequently there were dead calms. The statistics show that pressure was below the mean, and, with the exception of 1903, the lowest for 25 years. Mean temperature was one and a-half degrees in excess of the avenge. Rainfall was one and a-quarter inches below the mean. On the 15th the rainfall was 1.16 inches. Hours of sunshine were 6.8 in excess of the mean.

1907 November 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SOCIAL MEETING. – The Rousay United Free Church Guild opened its winter session with a social on Thursday evening. The weather being favourable, there was a large gathering in Ritchie Church. Mr Pirie presided, and in his opening remarks gave a cordial invitation to the young people to join the guild. The Rev. R. H. Abel, presently assisting Mr Pirie, and who spent part of his ministry in South Africa. gave a racy and humorous address on features of native life in Africa. Mr Abel also gave two recitations in a taking manner. Dr M. Forrest gave very acceptable recitations with excellent elocution and taste. Mr John Inkster and Mr Alex. Grieve, vice-presidents of the guild, gave short speeches, which were much appreciated for their pawky humour. Mr William Grieve, congregational precentor, contributed solos with his usual skill, and his little daughter, Mary, charmed the audience with a hymn rendered with wonderful precision and sweetness of voice. Mr James W. Grieve, guild leader of praise, led a well balanced choir, which contributed a number of pieces in capital style. A committee provided an excellent tea. Votes of thanks concluded one of the most successful and enjoyable socials ever held by the guild.

SAD BOATING ACCIDENT. – A very sad boating accident, resulting in the death of Mr Robert Kemp, cattle dealer, [Langskaill] Gairsay, occurred near Egilshay on the night of Wednesday the 20th current. Mr Kemp had been in Rousay attending the sale at Saviskaill, and being very anxious to get to Egilshay that night, he left Rousay in a small sailing boat about 7 p.m. There was a light breeze from the south-west, and being an expert boatman he seemed perfectly capable of managing the boat alone. No danger was apprehended until the following day, when it became known that the boat had never reached Egilshay. As soon as this was known a boat left Egilshay for Rousay to make further inquiries, and fearing that an accident must have happened, they landed at the Holm of Scockness on their way to Rousay, where they found two oars and a walking stick. The boat subsequently came ashore at Mill Bay, Sanday, but no trace of the missing body has, so far, been found. How the accident happened must remain a mystery, but it seems that there was much heavier sea on the Egilshay side than at Rousay, and with the flood tide and the wind rising, it is thought most probable that the boat was swamped. Great sympathy is felt for the widowed wife and family in their sad bereavement.

1907 December 7 The Orcadian

THE ROUSAY MANSE. – At the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Mr D. J. Robertson, for the heritors, said that one or two small alterations suggested by Mr. T. P. Low on behalf of the minister had been agreed to. The Sheriff approved of the plans, but reserved a question raised as to the new garden and steading. As to the water supply Mr Robertson said experiments had been going on with a view to tapping the spring from which present supply was got so as to give a gravitation scheme. That had failed, however, and it was now proposed to put down a ram at the well. He thought that would give an ample supply of water.

1907 December 21 The Orcadian

THE DROWNING ACCIDENT IN ROUSAY SOUND. PUBLIC INQUIRY. – Under the Fatal Accidents Inquiry (Scotland) Act, 1895, and the Amendment Act, 1906, a Public Inquiry was held in the Sheriff Court House, Kirkwall, on Tuesday, before Sheriff Harvey, and a jury, in regard to the death of Robert Kemp, cattle dealer, Langskaill, Gairsay, who was drowned on the evening of 20th November last, in the Sound of Rousay, by the capsizing or swamping of the boat in which he then was, while in the course of his industrial employment as a cattle dealer.

Mr James Begg, S.S.C., Procurator-Fiscal for Orkney appeared on behalf of the Crown.

EVIDENCE FOR THE CROWN. – Robert Seatter, farmer, Banks, Sourin, Rousay, said he remembered 20th November last. There was a sale at the farm of Saviskaill, Rousay, that day. He was at that sale, and saw Robert Kemp, Langskaill, Gairsay. He spoke to him there. He left the sale about four o’clock, and went straight home, and remained at home the rest of the evening. Mr Kemp came along to his house about seven o’clock and purchased a beast from him and gave him a cheque in payment. Mr Kemp afterwards asked him for the loan of his boat, remarking that he was going across to Egilshay. He said he would rather Mr Kemp would stop with him all night – indeed he urged him to stay rather than take his boat, as he did not approve of crossing that night alone. Mr Kemp replied that it was important he should be in Egilshay that night, and as he persisted in going witness went down to the shore with him.

By the Court – He kept his boat below his house in Sourin Bay, and they went down there together.

Examination continued – He had his boat hauled up, and Mr Kemp assisted him to launch it. When it was launched, Mr Kemp got into it, and witness handed him some stones for ballast. He then set the mast, shipped the rudder, and hoisted the lug sail. The wind was fair – from the south-west – and the tide was about half-flood. The wind was against the tide. That tended to make the sea a little rougher. The boat was about 13 feet of keel, with black bottom, and blue above the water line. Kemp left in the boat by himself. He watched him till he was about two-thirds across the Sound. At this time it was bright moonlight, and it was a fine night on the Rousay side. From the direction of the wind, the Rousay side would be rather more sheltered than the other side. He considered Kemp was perfectly qualified to cross the Sound. He himself had put him across the Sound before, but he generally went with the post boat. Kemp had a walking stick with him when he left Rousay. (Shown walking stick.) The stick Mr Kemp had was something like that produced. On the following day about one o’clock he met the postman from Egilshay, and asked him if Mr Kemp had arrived the previous evening, and he said he was not aware of it. About four o’clock the same afternoon he met James Alexander and Hugh Robertson and they told him they had picked up two oars at the Holm of Scockness which he identified as belonging to his boat. They also found the walking stick which had already been produced. He did not know what would be the cause of the accident. Perhaps the wind was a little stronger on the Egilshay side than on the Rousay side of the Sound, and perhaps the sea would be a little more choppy. The finding of the oars and walking stick on the Holm of Scockness bears out that opinion.

By a Juryman – He did not think it likely that the boat struck upon the Holm of Scockness. Kemp was not near the place.

By the Court – Mr Kemp understood perfectly the working of a boat. In witness’s opinion there was sufficient ballast in the boat.

John Seatter, farmer, Banks, Sourin, Rousay, said he was acquainted with Robert Kemp. He remembered him coming on 20th November and asking for the use of the boat to go across to Egilshay. He went to the shore, and helped his father and Kemp to launch the boat. They put ballast in it, and Kemp set the mainsail. The wind was from the south-west, and it was a fine night on the Rousay side of the Sound; but the wind would be felt more on the Egilshay side. The tide was about half flood, and was running against the wind. He had no opinion as to the cause of the accident. Mr Kemp had a walking stick with him on the occasion of his visit to his house. (Shown walking stick.) That is like Mr Kemp’s walking stick. He had seen the oars of the boat found at the Holm of Scockness, and he thought they were those belonging to his father’s boat.

By the Court – It would be between seven and eight o’clock that night when Robert Kemp left Rousay.

Hugh Robertson, farmer, South Tofts, Egilshay, said he remembered Thursday, 21st November. That afternoon the postman told him that Mr Kemp had left Rousay the night before with the intention of coming to Egilsay. James Alexander and himself took a boat, and went to the Holm of Scockness to make a search. On the west side of that Holm they found a walking stick and two oars. They took these to Rousay. Mr Seatter identified the oars, and he himself recognised the walking stick as belong to Mr Kemp. He crossed Rousay Sound on Wednesday, the 20th, to attend the sale at Saviskaill. He saw Mr Kemp at that sale. He was to come across to Egilshay with them, but said he had some business to do first, and would follow them. They crossed the Sound about six o’clock. On the Rousay side they had shelter, but on the Egilshay side it was rough, there being a strong wind and some sea. The wind was increasing, and about eight o’clock there was a single reef breeze blowing. In his opinion Kemp would come suddenly into the rough sea, and once in it he would find it impossible to take in a reef. He could not have left the helm to take down the sail; but he might have eased the sheet. Assuming that the boat was swamped the oars and stick would remain in the Sound for some time, and would ultimately be carried by wind and tide to the Holm of Scockness, and his opinion was that the only place where they would find anything belonging to the boat would be in the vicinity of the Holm of Scockness. Anyone leaving Rousay on the night of the accident could have no idea of the strength of the wind on the other side. It was a rising wind. He thought the boat was quite sufficient for the sea, but he was of opinion that the sail would be too much for it when it came into the tide. If there had been two men in the boat they might have had a better chance, as one could have tried to get in a reef, whilst the other remained at the helm.

By the Court – With the wind and tide going in opposite directions, a boat is more likely to be swamped than when the wind and tide are running together.

By a Juryman – The sea would be heavier when Kemp crossed than when he did, because there was more tide and more wind. The sea is generally heaviest on the Rousay side, but under the special conditions that night it was worst on the Egilshay side. Probably the swamping of the boat was caused by the rough sea and too much sail being carried.

By another Juryman – When the boat suddenly entered the tide carrying so much sail she may have given a lurch and the ballast shifted.

James Alexander, farmer, Nether Skaill, Egilshay, said he remembered on Thursday 21st November Hugh Robertson coming to him, and telling him about a boat which had left Rousay the previous night, and had not arrived at Egilshay. He accompanied Robertson in a boat, and made a search at the Holm of Scockness. At the west side of the Holm they found two oars and a walking stick. They then proceeded to Rousay and called on Mr Seatter, Banks, who identified the oars as those which had been in his boat. He was in Rousay the day before at the sale at Saviskaill. He went back to Egilshay the same night along with Robertson and six others. The tide had flowed a good bit at that time. They got home a little after six o’clock and the wind was then increasing. He thought it was too much sail, and the strength of the wind against the tide which caused the accident. They went to Scockness to look out for the missing boat. The flood tide is generally fully stronger on the Rousay than on the Egilshay side. The main run of the tide goes between Scockness and Rousay. The strongest ebb tide is generally on the Rousay side too. Looking to this, notwithstanding the direction of the wind, it was quite natural to find the oars and the walking stick belonging to Mr Kemp on the west side of Scockness.

By the Court – If he had been carrying too much sail when he entered the tide he would have let go the sheet, crawled forward, let down the sail, and put in a reef. To let go the sheet is the first thing to do if there is too much wind in a heavy sea. In a tideway a boat may be swamped even if the sheet is let go.

By a Juryman – On the night in question there was more sea on the Egilshay side than on the Rousay side.

By the Court – The distance from Rousay to Egilshay is about a mile and a half.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the evidence led, and, on the suggestion of the Sheriff, agreed, through him, to express their sympathy with the relatives of deceased.

In Print

Newsprint – 1906

1906 January 3 Orkney Herald

STORM AND DETENTION OF MAILS. – Owing to a heavy south-easterly gale which prevailed on Monday and yesterday, the mail steamer St Ola did not cross the Pentland Firth on either day. The steamer Orcadia, which was to have proceeded to Westray yesterday morning to return to Kirkwall by the other North Isles, was unable to make the passage, and the steamer Fawn, which had been engaged by Mr Wason, M.P., to enable him to visit Rousay and Egilshay, had also to remain in Kirkwall. The steamer St Ninian, from Lerwick, has also been detained.

1906 February 17 The Orcadian

SUDDEN DEATH – On Sunday, John Logie, cattle dealer, Rousay, while on board the steamer Fawn on his way home, suddenly expired. He fell ill on the passage to Rousay, and on the arrival of the steamer there the doctor was summoned. About noon, however, he expired. Death is said to be due to heart failure following apoplexy. Logie was about sixty years of age, and was for many years shepherd on Westness, Rousay.

[John was in fact 55 years of age when he died. The son of Alexander Logie and Barbara Murray, Quoygrinnie, he was born on July 26th 1850. He married Mary Gibson on March 15th 1872, the daughter of John Gibson, Vacquoy, and Barbara Craigie, Grithin, and they raised a family of three children – Mary Gibson, Maggie Ann, and John Gibson Logie, who was to lose his life in WW1.]

1906 February 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on the farm of Avelshay on Friday, the 16th inst., in fields kindly granted for the occasion by Mr George Gibson. There were 3 competitors in the champion section and 15 in the ordinary. The morning was stormy, but the weather improved during the day. Eighteen ploughs turned up for competition, including three champions. The work all over was well done, but especially so in the champion class, where the judges had the greatest difficulty in deciding. Owing to judges from Evie not turning up, local men had to be appointed, and the following were chosen by the ploughmen, viz., Messrs J. Logie and Cutt, Trumland House, for grooming and harness; and Messrs Gibson, Avelshay; Gibson, Myres; and Harrold, Bigland, for ploughing, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction. Annexed is the prize list: –

Ploughing – Champions. – 1, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 2, Malcolm Leonard, Gripps; 3, Thomas Sinclair, Westness. Ordinary. – 1 and Highland Society’s medal, John Corsie, Knarston; 2, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 3, Hugh Marwick, Westness; 4, Ben. Moodie, Glebe; 5, James Craigie, Falquoy; 6, James W. Grieve, Trumland; 7, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 8, William Craigie, Trumland; 9, John Gibson, Faraclett; 10, John Gibson, Avelshay; 11, John Marwick, Knarston; Youngest ploughman, Alex. Pearson, Saviskaill; Best feering, John Corsie; Best finish, Thomas Gibson; Straightest ploughing, John Marwick; Best ploughed rig on field, Thomas Gibson.

Grooming. – 1, John Seatter, Banks; 2, Alex. Pearson; 3, Hugh Robertson; 4, John Pearson; 5, Hugh Marwick; 6, William Craigie; 7, David Moodie, Avelshay.

Harness. – 1, Malcolm Leonard; 2, Hugh Robertson; 3, John Gibson, Faraclett; 4, John Seatter; 5, John Pearson; 6, Alex. Pearson; 7, Hugh Marwick.

A large number of special prizes were distributed according to the wishes of the donors. In the evening the judges and a number of friends were entertained to an excellent dinner by Mrs and Miss Gibson, Avelshay. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and duly responded to, and a very pleasant evening was spent. The committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so handsomely subscribed towards the funds of the society, also the donors of the special prizes, and to all who helped to make the ploughing match a success. They are also indebted to Mr James Gibson, Hullion, for visiting the field, and thereby enabling them to obtain the Highland Society’s medal.

1906 February 28 Orkney Herald

CALL TO REV. MR McLEMAN. – A congregational meeting of Methil U.F. Church, Fifeshire, was held on Tuesday evening to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of the Rev. Robert Francis, who has gone to New Zealand. Three names were proposed and seconded, and the voting resulted as follows: – Rev. John McLeman, Rousay, 51; Rev. Roderick McIvor, assistant, St John’s, Glasgow, 30; Rev. Thomas Jeffrey, M.A., Bishopbriggs, 4. As Mr McLeman had a clear majority of the other two candidates, the minority agreed to present a unanimous call to Mr McLeman.


Letters to the Editor


SIR, – Kindly allow me a small space of your valuable paper to draw your readers’ attention to the judges’ decisions at this match. In looking over the report of the match I see that the judges’ decisions gave entire satisfaction. Now this is very far from being the case; either your correspondent must have been wrongly informed or he erred on the side of truth, for it is perfectly well known that there was never more dissatisfaction after a ploughing match in Rousay. The Rousay ploughmen will bear with a good deal, but when it comes to making flesh of one and fish of another they will not have it. Unless other arrangements are made another year the greater part of the ploughmen will stay at home rather than run the risk of being judged by local judges. Your correspondent also remarks that there was great difficulty in deciding the champion class. I do believe it was very difficult to come to a decision like what they gave. It is just possible, had the judges who were appointed from Rendall and Evie been in Rousay it would not have been such a difficult task to them. I think if the judges had reversed their decision it would have given more satisfaction, but instead of that they decided to put “the champion” at the latter end; but he has the consolation of knowing that his work remains to be seen, both ploughing and finish. Now to come to the ordinary ploughing, I do not wish to say anything in regard to the first and second prize winners, but how the judges managed to get the third prize winner where he is, is more than mortal man can tell, except themselves. The general opinion of men who can judge ploughing is that the man who got fifth the prize should have been third. Kindly allow me to make one remark more in regard to the tenth and eleventh prize winners. The ploughing of the man who got the tenth prize was rough all over, and I believe he had the worst finish on the field. It certainly was very strange indeed that the man who only got the eleventh prize had the straightest ploughing on the field. Surely there was something very far wrong in the decision of those two prizes. I understand some of the ploughmen have said that they got higher than what they deserved. Thank you in anticipation for encroaching on your valuable space. – Yours, &c., – A SPECTATOR.

1906 March 7 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I notice in your issue of last week a letter signed “A Spectator,” in which he tries to criticise the judges’ awards and also your correspondent’s report on above-named match.

Before alluding to his ungrounded and uncalled for remarks, kindly allow me to make an explanation regarding the appointment of the judges. The day, as everyone who was present knows, was very rough, and when it became known that the judges appointed could not get up, the Committee decided to allow the ploughmen to appoint local judges for themselves, and the three judges mentioned in your correspondent’s report were chosen to judge the ploughing. Apparently the ploughmen were quite unaware that such an expert judge as “Spectator” was in their midst.

“Spectator” begins his miserable epistle by throwing out a low, mean insult on the judges, and I am not surprised that he seeks to hide his identity under the cover of a nom-de-plume. Next he starts giving his judgement of the champions, and to everybody’s surprise reverses the finding of the judges, but adds that “champion” has the consolation that his work remains to be seen – both ploughing and finish. I wonder if he means to infer that both the other champions’ work has vanished into thin air. Then he goes on to deal with the ordinary work. He passes over the first two prizes, for what reason I don’t know. When he gets to the third he gets very highly exalted and wonders how any mortal man but the judges could give such a decision. However, his superior knowledge is short-lived, and when he arrives at the filth he appears to be in a bit of a dilemma, but says, “The general opinion was that No. 5 should have been third.” Now, poor deluded “Spectator” goes on to the tenth and eleventh prizes and says, “Ten was very rough, and eleven had the straightest on the field,” and adds, “Surely there was something very far wrong in the decision of these two prizes.” Certainly there was something very far wrong, which everybody at the match knew except “Spectator,” who was apparently too thick-headed to take it in. Now, I can forgive him for his remarks on the ploughing as these are too ridiculous for any sensible man to take any notice of; but his remarks regarding the judges I cannot overlook. The judges – at least two of them – have before been called upon to do the same work, and I never heard of them being accused of partiality to any ploughman. However, the reason in this case is, I think, not very far to seek. Had he signed himself “Disappointed Ploughman” instead of “Spectator,” it would have been nearer the mark. Further, I trust that the judges will take no notice of the insults heaped upon them, which are nothing more or less than the outcome of petty spite.

In conclusion, I trust when next the Rousay match comes round, “Spectator” will again be ready for the fray. Might I humbly suggest that when the time comes he will wend his way there with a pair of sturdy oxen, when, I trust the steadiness of the yoke and the cunning of his hand and eye will enable him to carry off the long-coveted prize. Apologizing for taking up so much of your valuable space. – I am, &c., – HUMBUG.


Sir, – In the last issue of your paper I notice an uncalled-for attack by one signing himself “Spectator,” on the judges who acted at our recent ploughing match, also on the writer of the report published by you. As I was the writer of that report and also acted as one the judges, I cannot allow this matter to pass unnoticed. The committee gave the ploughmen the chance to appoint judges for themselves. This they did after due deliberation, and under the distinct understanding that the judges’ decision was final. I have no doubt they selected whom they thought were the best men available, not knowing that such an expert as “Spectator ” was in their midst. In his letter he says there was “never more dissatisfaction after a ploughing match in Rousay.” This dissatisfaction must rest entirely with “Spectator” himself. Although I have been in conversation with many of the ploughmen since, not one of them has expressed the slightest dissatisfaction to me. There are some people who imagine they never get fairplay, and “Spectator” is one of these. He condemns some of our decisions both in the champion and ordinary classes; all I have to say is we acted with honesty of purpose and without regard to outside criticism, and we strictly adhere to our decisions. Perhaps “Spectator” will give his name and address before another year so that our committee, instead of having to look abroad for judges, could apply to him, when, no doubt, his decision alone would give the desired satisfaction. Strange to say, although there, “Spectator” was never thought of as a judge by any of the ploughmen. This gross mistake on their part and his disappointment with the judges’ decisions has so wrought on his feelings that he has taken this unsportsmanlike course of maligning the judges, who, I may say, came to their decisions unanimously. – I am, &c., – A. C. GIBSON Secretary.

1906 March 14 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – The decisions of the Sourin judges are apparently above criticism if we are to believe “A.C.G.” and “Humbug’s” full-blown letters. I may say my last letter has served the purpose for which it was written, therefore I treat the first part of “Humbug’s” letter with the contempt which it is due. His remarks that two of the judges have been called upon before to do the same work and have never been accused of using partiality to any ploughman. “Pass the buck with that, please.” Then he thinks I should have signed myself “A Disappointed Ploughman.” If I could have had the pleasure of using the cunning of my hand and eye at that great match it is quite possible I might have been disappointed; and yet who knows? perhaps they might have given me the coveted prize. There does not appear to have been much cunning of hand and eye with “Humbug” when he threw his assegai, but if he thinks he has hit the target it would be a pity for him to change his mind, because he might turn his cunning eye some other way. I don’t quite see his meaning when he refers to the sturdy oxen, but I might just be allowed to return that compliment to some of the sturdy Sourin ploughmen who are in the habit of working those humble animals: they might find them much more steady than some horses I know of. Your correspondent, “A. C. Gibson” remarks at the end of his letter that they came to their decision unanimously. I quite believe it. “Birds of a feather flock together.” – Yours, &c., – A SPECTATOR.

1906 March 19 The Orcadian

THE ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – In this action, Mr MacKinnon, architect, Aberdeen, reported on the condition of the manse, and recommended a new building. Following on the receipt of that report, objections were lodged by both parties. The Sheriff-Substitute has now pronounced the following interlocutor:-

Kirkwall. 5th March, 1906. The Sheriff-Substitute now remits to Mr A. H. L. MacKinnon, architect, Aberdeen, to consider and report on the objections lodged by the parties to his former report (Nos. 77 and 78 of process), and in particular to report what would be the probable cost of future repairs to the present manse if repaired in accordance with his suggestions compared with what would be required for a new building. – (Signed.) W. HARVEY.

NOTE. – The reporter will, of course, only consider and report on the objections so far as falling within the scope of his previous report and involving question of architectural skill. (Intd.) W. H.

1906 March 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SACRED CONCERT. – A sacred concert was given in the Frotoft Public School, on Friday the 16th inst., under the auspices of the Star of Peace Lodge, I.O.G.T. The night was fairly good, and the school-room was packed to the door by an appreciative audience. The lodge choir, under the leadership of Brother Craigie, lodge deputy, rendered a number of pieces out of the Yacht Hymn Book, and Sankey (new part) with much acceptance. Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and was supported on the platform by Bro. Rev. McLeman, each of whom gave an interesting and instructive address mainly on the temperance question, which was well received by the audience. Before the close of the programme, Bro. Craigie gave a short address, in the course of which he explained the object of the meeting, namely, an anniversary celebration of the formation of the lodge. He also extended a cordial invitation to others to join the Order. The meeting began at 8 p.m. and continued until nearly 11 p.m. The programme, which was a lengthy one, was well sustained throughout, each performer doing his or her part to the satisfaction of the audience, the temperance dialogue “Saved” being particularly appreciated. The following is the programme: –

Hymn, choir; prayer; chairman’s address; hymn, choir; reading, Sister Craigie; solo. Sister Norquoy; quartette, Sisters Craigie and Craigie, and Bros. Moodie and Craigie; recitation, Brother Low; hymn, choir; solo, Bro. Craigie; duet, Sisters Reid and Craigie; recitation, Bro. Costie; dialogue, Sisters Gibson, Reid. Craigie and Craigie, and Bros. Munro, Marwick, and Moodie; service of fruit and cake; hymn, choir; address, Bro. McLeman; solo, Sister Reid; reading, Bro. Munro; part-song, Sisters Reid, Gibson, and Craigie, and Bros. Munro, Marwick, and Craigie; solo, Sister Craigie; recitation, Sister Norquoy; hymn, choir; duet, Bros. Munro and Marwick; address, Bro. Craigie; solo, Sister Gibson; hymn, choir; benediction.



At Kirkwall yesterday (Tuesday) before Sheriff Harvey, Alexander Munro, Old School, Rousay, appeared for examination on a petition for cessio. [Latin for a surrender of goods by a debtor to his creditors]. There were present – Mr W. P. Drever, solicitor, for bankrupt and for creditors; Mr D. J. Robertson, solicitor, for trustees of late Sir Frederick Burroughs; Mr John Scott, merchant, Kirkwall; Mr James Tait, ironmonger, Kirkwall; and Mr James Scott, cattle dealer, Shapinsay, creditors.

Examined by Mr Drever – I am 63 years of age. I reside at Old School, Rousay. That is a croft. I was formerly land steward to Sir Frederick Burroughs. I came to Rousay about 30 years ago. I was employed by Sir Frederick Burroughs’ late factor, Mr [George] Murrison, to do improving work on the estate. I was then paid by contract or day’s wages. When Mr Murrison ceased to be factor I was appointed land steward at a salary of £12. I did work in addition, for which I was paid extra. My salary was afterwards raised to £25, but then I had no extras. That included work of every kind. I was tenant of the farm of Woo, Rousay, from Martinmas 1900 to Martinmas 1905. I did not apply for the farm. General Burroughs asked me if I would like a farm. I said I would like a farm, but had no money to stock it with. He then said he would write to the factor and see what he would say, and shortly after he told me I would get the farm of Woo. The old rent was £30. I was to get it at that rent, and the proprietor was to lend me some money. He was to become security to the bank for me for £160. I took the farm on that footing. I had a cow and pony of my own, worth about £20. The amount was insufficient, and I got a further accommodation of £40 from General Burroughs. The rent was very stiff for the times. The outgoing tenant told me the farm was worth £26 or £27. I paid interest on the overdraft.

I lost six stacks by a fire, the greater part of my first year’s crop being burned down. It was not insured. General Burroughs accommodated me further to the extent of £40 on that occasion. In all, he accommodated me to the extent of £240. The fire was in 1902. That same year I got a loan of £30 from my daughter Malcolmina. She got that from an aunt. That is not included in my state of affairs. In addition to these losses, I lost a horse in my first year of tenancy worth £29; in the second year I lost two horses worth about £7 each. I lost £26 10s by re-sale of a mare. It was sold at the displenishing sale for £3. I shot another horse last November because the veterinary surgeon said the disease in its legs was incurable. Two years before that I had been offered £26 for it. I lost a foal two years ago worth £6. During the five years of my tenancy the farm was worked by my family. I had other duties. I hoped to be able to work off the debt and keep my family together. I was ground officer at £25; inspector of roads and collector of rates at £10; sub-postmaster, £6, and afterwards £8; but as to the Post, though in my name, the work was done by my wife and daughter, who got the pay.

General Burroughs died in April 1905. I was then still due the bank £240. I had not been able to make any reductions because of these losses and bad seasons, the rent, and the interest on the borrowed money. I had been paying £30 of rent and £15 of interest a year. But for my other appointments and my children working, I could not have kept the farm any time. In my state of affairs the bank overdraft is entered at £193. That is accounted for by valuation payable by incoming tenant, namely £48. The incoming tenant told me he was instructed by the factor, Mr Borthwick, to pay that into the bank. He also wanted all the other assets to be paid to reduce the bank overdraft. I could not do that and do justice to my other creditors, and that forced me into bankruptcy.

The farm of Woo was displenished [divested or stripped of contents and equipment] at Martinmas 1905. Mr Borthwick had stated to me at Whitsunday 1905 that I would have to quit the farm as the trustees were not to continue the security General Burroughs had given to the bank. At that time he threatened to sell me out right away, but ultimately allowed me to remain till Martinmas. I got a letter from the factor dated 19th October 1905 that my services would not be required after 28th November 1905. That was the first intimation I got. My displenish sale did not turn out as well as I expected. The state of affairs lodged by me is a true disclosure excepted that the £30 due by me to my daughter is not included.

By Mr Robertson – I am still sub-postmaster. The salary is not included in my state of affairs. It is paid quarterly, beginning January 1 each year. I am still tenant of Old School. I am not a crofter. I have a claim for compensation for new house at Woo. It is not my state of affairs as I don’t know if I will get it or not. When I took Woo I can’t remember if I told General Burroughs that the rent was too high. My son George worked at Woo for five years. I did not pay him £5 the whole time he was there. He was to get wages after three years, but said he would wait some time longer to try to get ends to meet. I never spoke to him about £24 entered in my state of affairs as due to him. My daughter Mary Ann was in the same position as my son. I never promised to pay her £13 entered in my state of affairs as due her. There was no agreement with them. It was understood that if the farm was successful they would be paid. The loan of £10 from my daughter Agnes was made last November. I can’t account for my insolvency except by the losses I have stated. The price I got for beasts sold every year went to pay for manures, seeds, the blacksmith, etc. I kept 12 or 13 beasts and sold 3 or 4 every year. I kept no books. There were five people kept on the farm, sometimes six. I also had a hand at harvest.

By Mr Drever – As for my claim for compensation, I paid for quarrying and carting all material for the dwelling house erected at Woo. I built a dyke round the garden. My agents had some correspondence with Mr Borthwick for settlement of my claim for compensation. I wish my agent to produce that correspondence. I never agreed with my children that I would not pay them any wages, nor that I would pay them wages.

The statutory oath was then ministered. Mr John White, solicitor, was appointed trustee.

The state of affairs showed – liabilities, £304 2s; assets, £183 13s; the deficiency being £120 9s. [Orkney Herald]


Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I notice by your last issue that “Spectator” makes a feeble attempt at replying to my letter of the 7th inst. As I anticipated, he ignores the subject under discussion, and tries his hand at a little mud-throwing and harmless repartee.

He begins by saying the decisions of the Sourin – mark you, not Rousay – judges are apparently above criticism, if we are to believe “A. G. C.” and “Humbug’s” full-blown letters. Nothing of the kind, Mr “Spectator.” I, for one, hold that the decisions of the most accomplished men in our land are not above criticism. Further, I have no objection to wholesome criticism, but when any individual tries to vindicate his case by resorting to low personalities, he should refrain from airing his supposed injuries through the medium of the public prints.

Then he goes on to say, “My letter has served the purpose for which it was written.” Wrong again, Mr “Spectator.” You tried to foist a downright falsehood on the public, and the consequence is your position has earned you the contempt of every fair-minded man in the island. Regarding my remarks about the judges never having been accused of using partiality to any ploughman, you want the salt passed with that. But, before we swallow some of your accusations and insinuations, we would require to pass the pepper as well as the salt – even a little mustard would fail to make them palatable.

Next he says, “Then he thinks I should have signed myself ‘Disappointed Ploughman.’ If I could have had the pleasure,” etc. I admit I made a slight mistake. I should have said Messrs “Spectator & Co.” Probably that would have been more appropriate. However, you will not be disappointed when you do try the cunning of your hand and eye. I feel certain such talent as yours should not fail to carry off a prize, always provided you had judges made to order, Then he says, “I have lost my cunning when I threw my assegai, and if I think I have hit the mark it would be a pity for me to change my mind, as I might turn my cunning eye some other where.” I beg to be excused, Mr “Spectator.” I have never had the privilege of intermingling with “aborigines” or any of those “dusky southerners” who wield this primitive weapon, consequently I know nothing of the art of assegai throwing. However, ignorant as I am, perhaps my supposed assegai has not sped very wide of the mark.

Then he does not quite see my meaning when I refer to sturdy oxen. I merely made a suggestion. But why not try the oxen, man? If you fail to get a prize for ploughing, I have no doubt you would get a “special” for being the most egotistic, pragmatic, and self-confident man benighted Rousay can produce.

I have now reviewed the main points of your letter, and fail to see any reference to ploughing in any part of it. You certainly attempt to ridicule the judges, but that is a mere detail. When next you try your hand at newspaper correspondence, take my tip – refrain from direct falsehood, and when you raise a discussion of any kind always stick to your guns, and don’t run into side issues.

Cheer up, Rousay judges. You have always acted honourably in the past, and you continue to do so still. As for “Spectator,” I have a strong suspicion he is only the accomplice of a clique who cannot accept defeat in honest competition.

The next Rousay ploughing match is still far off, so in the meantime I would advise Messrs “Spectator” & Co. To try their skill at crab-catching, it would at least be a more honourable occupation than maligning their fellow-islanders.

Rousay ploughmen, when next you have the opportunity of appointing your own judges, do not fail to choose “Spectator.” His decisions will, at least, give satisfaction to one party.

Ta-ta in the meantime, Mr “Spectator.” You turned a bit of a summersault last time. But as I am a sort of a versatile being I will try and meet you either seriously or jocularly, and, who knows, perhaps may go one better next time. – Yours, &c., – HUMBUG

1906 April 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – Bros. Rev. J. McLeman and John Sinclair were made the recipients of a presentation by the Star of Peace Lodge, I.O.G.T., on the occasion of their leaving Rousay, the one to become pastor of the U.F. Church, Methil, and the other to prosecute his calling in Canada. The presentation took the form of a Bible to each with suitable inscriptions. In leaving Rousay for their new spheres of labour, they both carry with them the best wishes of the lodge with which they have been associated.


Letters to the Editor


SIR, – People are saying that I am the author of certain letters which have appeared in your columns re Rousay ploughing match, signed “Spectator.” Please allow me to correct that false impression. I am neither the author, writer, nor am I in any way connected with the composition of these letters, as is supposed. Thanking you in anticipation, I am, &c., – WILLIAM GRIEVE.


Sir, – Once more that doughty warrior “Humbug,” has taken the field and is once more trying to lead on his warriors to storm another fort. In your issue of 7th inst., there were two leaders trying to assail one fort, but owing to a thick fog they lost their way and fell into an ambuscade and had to retire ignominiously. Then a counsel of war was held, which took a little time, but by the time it was over the fog had lifted considerably, and they were enabled to pierce the surrounding gloom. Then the order is given to “Humbug” to lead on the forlorn hope, which he did, but, alas! Alas! The latter end of him was worse than the first.

“Humbug” says I have tried to foist a downright falsehood on the public. I beg to differ with you Mr “Humbug.” If I had tried that it would not have been left to “Humbug” alone to champion the cause. Then he says, “The consequence is, your position has earned you the contempt of every fair-minded man in the island.” Very good, sir; when you get all these fair-minded men by your side you will find you have got a very small following. He admits he made a mistake in your issue of 7th inst. He thinks he should have said Messrs “Spectator & Co.” Man, you have a splendid head for solving the mystery. Astronomers say that Mars is inhabited; direct your gaze to it next time, perhaps you may get a tip. Then he says he knows nothing of the art of assegai throwing, but he thinks his assegai has not sped very wide of the mark. Be sure and keep on that mind, Mr “Humbug,” and don’t turn a somersault again. If you are not good at throwing the assegai, try a shot with a camera.

Next he gives me a tap – “Refrain from direct falsehood, and stick to my guns.” I have certainly fought fair and square, and the truth has apparently struck hard. Only poor “Humbug” is too thick-headed to see it, but “where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.” Then he offers a little sugar-coated plum to the judges. He says, “Cheer up, Rousay judges, you have always acted honourably in the past, and you continue to do so still.” Shake hands, “Humbug,” I will pass on that.

Towards the close of his letter he remarks – “Spectator & Co. should try their hand at crab-catching, etc.” If ever I have the pleasure of meeting a crab I will present it to Mr “Humbug” along with a little salt and pepper and mustard; it will be a toothsome delicacy for him. Good-bye, Mr “Humbug.” Ah! I beg your pardon, I should have said Messrs “Humbug & Co.” It is a pity to waste more paper on such an ignoramus. Allow me to thank you, Mr Editor, for your kindness in granting space for the few remarks which I have made from time to time. – I am, &c., – A SPECTATOR

1906 April 18 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – After a fortnight’s inaction “Spectator” has issued another dispatch for the benefit of the public. Old “Humbug,” getting rather impatient at the delay, sent out his trusty scout, “Ignoramus,” to reconnoitre. After the absence of a few days he returned to report as follows: – Taking advantage of the fogs which have been so prevalent of late, I had no difficulty in reaching the fort of “Spectator,” and being an adept at escalading, I easily obtained an entrance. Eluding the sentries, I stealthily wormed my way to the general’s headquarters, and fortunately arrived just in time to hear an animated discussion between the general and his chief-of-staff. “Well,” said the general, “Humbug gave us rather a nasty hit last time over this ploughing match business.” “Och,” said the chief, “it was nothing. Any schoolboy could have done better than that.” “All very well,” replied the general, “but you must bear in mind that we made a very unprovoked attack upon the judges when we openly accused them of going on the field with the sole intention of awarding the prizes to certain of the ploughmen, irrespective of any merit they might show. We have no direct argument to back our accusations, and I am sick of this wobbling and beating about the bush.” “I don’t care a fig,” said the chief. “I, for one, am not satisfied with some of their work, and, apart from this discussion altogether, I have a long standing personal feud with one of their number, and this gives me an opportunity for revenge.” “Well,” said the general, “I would much rather sign off, for you must see we are thoroughly cornered as far as this miserable ploughing business is concerned.” “You must do nothing of the kind,” relied the chief. “I must not be baulked in this matter. I have many a time faced an audience on the public platform, and have always made myself heard there, and to be out-manoeuvred by a microbe such as “Humbug” would be a terrible shock to my dignity. You may swear black is white if you like, but you must rally your forces for a final attack.” “Well, well,” said the general, “I will have one more try. It is useless to refer to the ploughing, but a bit of smart parrying will do no harm.” “You are a good sort,” replied the chief, “and I thought you would see me out about the assegai throwing. You might tell him to try a camera. It would be a good hit in the right direction; and don’t forget the one about gazing at Mars. It is a pretty far-fetched one. You might also add a little about the crab-catching, you can hit it off nicely when you like.”

At this moment “Ignoramus” heard footsteps approaching, and had to beat a hasty retreat. He was greatly disappointed at this interruption, but I consoled him by telling him that he had done a splendid night’s work. I don’t think there will be any need for gazing at Mars for a tip now, Mr “Spectator.” Man, you should start a paper all of your own, and style it the “Quibber.” For a start you might give us an article on Mars. You seem to be possessed of much talent and a powerful stretch of the imagination, and I have no doubt you will be able to give us some idea – perhaps not a very correct one – of the habits and customs of the creatures who inhabit that planet, also if there are any ploughing matches there, and whether the competitors use horses or oxen.

Man, I am awfully sorry I never possessed a camera. However, if you and your chief will step along to the ploughing match field some day and stand on a certain rig – the number of which I will not mention here – I will borrow a camera and try my prentice hand at photography. If it turns out successfully, I will present you with a copy and entitle it “The False Accusers.” If a failure, you will have the consolation of knowing that it is on a par with your criticism. Beg pardon, though, I was forgetting you always fought fair and square.

Send along the crab by all means, Mr “Spectator.” I don’t care very much for them myself, but “Ignoramus” is very fond of them, and I think he deserves some recognition for his valuable services. Well, good-bye Mr “Spectator,” it is a wise idea not to waste more paper on “Ignoramus,” for he played you a nasty trick last time, and it is hard to say what he will be up to next. – I am, &c., – HUMBUG.


(This correspondence must cease. – Ed. O.H.)

1906 May 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – A deputation from the Norseman’s Home Lodge of Good Templars, Kirkwall, accompanied by members of the other Kirkwall Lodges, visited the Star of Peace Lodge on Thursday 26th ult. The meeting was held in Sourin School, and was open to the public. Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and a varied programme was gone through, which was very much appreciated. Votes of thanks were awarded to Miss Marwick, of Sourin School, for her kindness in granting the use of her piano for the evening, to Mr W. R. Tullock, Kirkwall, for the loan of his gramophone, and to Rev. A. I. Pirie for so ably occupying the chair.

1906 May 26 The Orcadian

[Not Rousay, but an insight into the dangerous occupation of fishing the stormy waters surrounding the North Isles].

THE GALE…..LOSS OF LIFE. The gale which sprung up on Wednesday morning last week, causing interruption of mail traffic to the south the following day, has been experienced all over the country. In the south of Scotland and in England the rainfall was abnormal, and in many places serious flooding resulted. The wind further south does not seem to have been so strong as in Orkney…..

TWO FISHERMEN DROWNED. – Last Friday our Stromness correspondent had an interview with David Inglis, senr., the skipper of the boat Jeannie Inglis. He said :-

“I belong to Gourdon, Kincardineshire, and had with me in the boat my [38-year-old] son David, my son-in-law James Moncur [who was 37 years of age], together with Alexander Anderson, John Ritchie, James McBeath, and John Alexander. We left Gourdon a fortnight ago, and had to take shelter in Peterhead on the way, there being a strong gale from the north. The weather moderating we left there on Thursday, the 10th, for Scalloway, where we arrived on Saturday. We shot our nets on the way, but got nothing. On the following Monday, in company with about 100 other boats we sailed for the fishing ground, and shot our nets twenty-five miles north from Foula. We hauled the nets on Tuesday morning, but got nothing. We set them again on Tuesday night. There were only three boats and one or two steam drifters in sight of us. Between 3 and 9 that evening a gale sprang up from the N.E. and it blew hard all night. On the following morning we tried to get in the nets, but, owing to the heavy sea, we could not manage it. We then brought the boat’s stem to the sea and lowered the mast, intending to ride out the gale. The wind increased in force until 4 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, when it blew a hurricane, and the only thing we could do was to give the boat the whole of her chain, some forty fathoms.

Shortly after that four of the men went into the hold to mend some old nets, my son and son-in-law remaining on deck, while I was in the cabin. All at once we were struck by an enormous sea which literally covered the boat, tons of water pouring into the hold, and half filling the boat from stem to stern. Immediately I put on my sea-boots, and on gaining the deck, which those below had by this time reached, I found that my son and son-in-law had been swept overboard, and that they were then some distance from the boat. My son was floating face downwards as if already dead, but my son-in-law, whose face was streaming with blood, was trying to strike out for the boat. The heavy sea, however, soon carried us far apart, and we saw them no more. We could do nothing to help them. The sea had torn us away from the nets, and we were obliged to run before it. We got the pump started, but it took us sometime to get the boat cleared, although we also used buckets. We ran before the gale until Thursday afternoon, when we sighted Noup Head in Westray. Up to that time we had seen no land, and I think we must have run about 120 miles after we broke away from the nets. We were running twenty-four hours, and all that time we were being swept by seas. We did not attempt to hoist the mast until we had opened out Hoy Sound, and we then got some sail on her for the first time. The steam pump of course had to be kept going until we got into Stromness. I have been many years at sea, but I never before had such an experience on a boat. I intended this fishing to be my last, and to give the boat to my son, who has been lost. He has left a widow and seven of a family, while my son-in-law has left a widow and four of a family. We lost all the nets and gear, valued at about £150; but that is nothing, if only I had my boys back.”

1906 May 30 The Orcadian


There is a spell woven by the restless sea,
A secret charm that haunts our island air,
Holding our hearts and following everywhere
The wandering children of the Orcades:
And still when sleep the prisoned spirit frees,
What dim, void wastes, what strange, dark seas we dare,
Till, where the dear green isles shine low and fair,
We moor in dreams beside familiar quays.

Sons of the Isles! though ye may roam afar,
Still on your lips the salt sea-spray is stinging,
Still in your hearts the winds of youth are singing;
Though in heavens grown familiar to your eyes
The Southern Cross is gleaming, for old skies
Your hearts are fain, and for the Northern Star.

D. J. ROBERTSON in Chambers’s Journal.

[Duncan John Robertson, solicitor, County Clerk of Orkney, poet, folklorist and naturalist, was also the factor of Thomas Middlemore’s Melsetter estate. His name often crops up in newspaper reports of court and other legal proceedings, and later we will read that he was gifted the island of Eynhallow by Mr Middlemore.]

1906 June 2 The Orcadian

A DILAPIDATED MANSE. – At the second day’s sitting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, last week, the Rousay manse case came up for consideration. The Rev. Alexander Spark, of Rousay and Egilshay, and the Rev. D. C. Kerr, clerk of the Presbytery of the North Isles, petitioned the Assembly for a contribution from the General Purposes Fund towards the expenses incurred by Mr Spark in civil actions raised in connection with the repair of his manse, which was in a dilapidated condition when he was inducted to the united parishes in 1885. The Presbytery had ordered the necessary repairs, but the heritors appealed to the Sheriff, and afterwards to the Court of Session, both actions being decided in favour of the minister. The repairs were afterwards executed, but it was alleged that, owing to bad workmanship and the use of inferior materials, further dilapidation took place, and the heritors raised an action against the minister to ordain him to uphold the manse in a state of good repair, but that action was dismissed as incompetent. The Presbytery last year ordained the heritors to build a new manse, and on appeal to the Civil Court their decision was upheld. Mr Spark, in his petition, set forth that the extra-judicial expenses of these proceedings at the instance of the heritors had been a heavy tax upon him as a minister, having a “smaller living” stipend, and he therefore asked for some financial relief. The Rev. D. C. Kerr, in support of the petition, said Mr Spark was the eldest of four brothers who were ministers of the Church of Scotland, and he was also father of his Presbytery. There had been no fewer than four civil actions raised against him at the instance of the heritors and in every case it had been shown that the judgement of the Presbytery was reasonable. The Rev. Dr. Theodore Marshall, in moving that the prayer of the petition be granted, expressed the hope that there would be a dying away of the ill-feeling which had existed for some time in the parish of Rousay. The Procurator seconded the motion. which was agreed to, and the matter was remitted to the General Purposes Committee. In supporting the motion. Dr. Scott referred, amid laughter, to Mr Kerr, the Presbytery Clerk, as a “watchman on the Tower of Zion.”

1906 June 27 Orkney Herald

CLAIM FOR WAGES. – Yesterday (Tuesday) the deliverance of Mr John White, solicitor, trustee in the sequestrated estate of Alex. Munro, Woo, Rousay, on claims lodged, came before Sheriff Harvey. Objection was taken to the partial rejection by the trustee of the claim for wages made by George Munro and Mary Ann Munro, son and daughter of the bankrupt. They claimed two years’ wages, and the trustee had allowed one year’s wages, the amount stated in bankrupt’s state of affairs. Mr Drever appeared for the claimants. Evidence was led, from which it appeared they agreed to work on the farm for the first three years without getting wages, and that on the termination of that period at Martinmas 1903 they continued to work the farm for a further period of two years, on the understanding that they would be paid wages if the farm was successful, but no sum was fixed in the case of either. After hearing Mr Drever and the trustee his lordship disallowed the claim to more than one year’s wages.

1906 June 30 The Orcadian

UNION OF CHURCHES IN ROUSAY – HARMONIOUS SETTLEMENT. – Revs. David Gillies, George Millar. and Charles Runciman, under appointment of Presbytery, with Rev. Patrick Mackay, D.D., of Wick, deputy from the General Interest Committee, proceeded to Rousay on Wednesday last in the hope of effecting union between the two congregations of the U.F. Church there. They met in turn with the two sessions and congregations, and had the happiness of attaining their object. The parties met the Committee in the best spirit.

While in the Trumland congregation there was some doubt as to the wisdom of the proposed arrangements of church services, they gracefully agreed to enter the union and give the arrangements a fair trial. Ritchie congregation had also questions as to the occupancy of the manse, etc., but they also cordially accepted the basis of union. The Trumland congregation in anticipation of this event had appointed deputies to appear at Ritchie Church. These were now called in and the Trumland and Ritchie congregations were formally declared one, the sessions one, and the body of managers and deacons one.

Rev. A. Irvine Pirie being also now present, was introduced as minister of the United Free Church congregation of Rousay. Revs. David Gillies and George Millar are to be with Mr Pirie on Sabbath to help in the inauguration of the union so happily accomplished. The presence and assistance of Dr. Mackay were felt to be very valuable, both by the people and the Committee.

1906 June 30 The Orcadian


Heritors of Rousay v. Spark.

In this action the question to be determined was, whether it was expedient to erect a new manse or repair the existing building. The pursuers claimed that the manse could and ought to be repaired, even in view of subsequent cost of upkeep, whilst defender argued that a new manse was a necessity. The Court took skilled advice, and the Sheriff-Substitute has now issued the following interlocutor: –

Kirkwall. June 25th, 1906. – The Sheriff-Substitute having visited and inspected the manse of Rousay and Egilshay, and the minister’s offices, on the requisition of the pursuers, and having considered the report by Mr A. H. L. Mackinnon (No. 74 of Process), and heard parties thereon, and having considered the objections to said report stated for the parties (Nos. 77 and 78 of Process), and the additional report on these objections by Mr Mackinnon (No. 79 of Process) finds that the said manse and offices are in a state of disrepair, that there Is no sufficient water supply to the manse, and that the drainage system is defective, finds in the circumstances of this case that the existing manse should be taken down and a new manse erected on the same or an adjacent site; with the accommodation of the existing manse (it not being necessary, however, that the bedrooms in the manse to be erected should be so large as to the existing manse), and in addition (1) a bath, (2) a servant’s water closet, and (3) a wash house; finds that the minister’s offices should be repaired and a small pig sty built; the said new manse to be provided with an adequate water supply and drainage system; continues the case that the heritors may give effect to this order; finds the defender in this petition entitled to expenses to the date hereof. – (Signed) W. HARVEY.

Note. – The principal question in this case, and the question which, under section 7 of the Ecclesiastical Buildings and Glebes Act, 1868, is to be determined primo loco is, whether, according to the law as it at present exists, a new manse should be erected, or whether the existing manse should be repaired. So far as this question depends on matters of fact or skilled opinion, the Court is bound to proceed on the report of the architect appointed by the Court. Mr Mackinnon’s views may be right or wrong – the pursuers dispute their soundness – but so far as this Court is concerned they are final and binding. (Murray v. Presbytery of Glasgow, 1833, 128, 191, 196.) Mr Mackinnon states that the manse is capable of being put into an efficient state of repair as regards stability and comfort so as to be a suitable residence for the Parish Minister. The repairs required are extensive and involve partial reconstruction, and in his opinion, owing to the age and inherent bad qualities of the manse, money expended upon repair would to a large extent be money thrown away. He bases this view on the following considerations –

(1) The large cost of repairs – £506, as compared with £950, the cost of a new building of equal accommodation to the existing manse.

(2) The fact that even by extensive repairs and partial reconstruction the house can never be freed from dampness, or be made thoroughly comfortable and healthy.

(3) The shortness of the life of the existing manse, if repaired, compared with that of a new building. The reporter estimates that in twenty years further extensive repairs and renewal of, inter alia, the joists and flooring, rafters, partitions, lath and plaster, doors and windows, grates and furnishings, will be required; while a new building, if well constructed, would be little the worse at the end of twenty years.

(4) The comparative high cost of upkeep. He estimates £20 as the annual cost of upkeep as contrasted with £5 In the case of a new building.

These being the facts which I am bound to accept as established, it appears to me that a legal obligation rests upon the Heritors to build a new manse. The legal principles applicable to the circumstances are explained in the case of the Heritors of Olrig v. Phin, 1851, 13 D. 1332, particularly in the Judgment of Lord Fullerton. He says, inter alia, “The question always must be whether according to the rules of ordinary prudence the building is one which any reasonable man would think of repairing. And the test commonly adopted is the comparison between the expense of repairs and that of rebuilding.” In this case the ratio of the cost of repairing to that of rebuilding is about ½, while in the case of the Heritors of Olrig it was about ⅔, a distinction in favour of the views pressed upon me by the Heritors in this case. But Lord Fullerton explains that this comparison is not the only consideration. The result of the repair is to be looked at – whether the repair will place the house nearly in the same situation as to comfort and stability as if it was rebuilt. “It must be a repair such as will leave the manse what is called free, and impose on the incumbent the obligation of keeping it up.” According to Mr Mackinnon’s view this manse would not, ever if repaired, be thoroughly comfortable and healthy, and it would only last twenty years before requiring further extensive renewal. I very much doubt whether a manse whose life is estimated at twenty years could be declared a free manse. In the case of the Heritors of Olrig the estimated life of the repaired manse was fifteen years and Lord Fullerton observed “The repair, in the most favourable view of the reports, is one which, so far from leaving the manse free, will only keep it up at the best for fifteen years, and oblige the incumbent in the meantime to bear all the inconveniences and risk of the decay, till the dilapidation is ultimately completed.” The pursuers contention that such would be the fate even of a well-constructed new building in Orkney seems contrary to common observation and experience. On the whole matter I regard the case of the Heritors of Olrig as a definite authority for the view to which I give effect in the above order, assuming, as I must, that the architect’s findings are correct. It will be observed that in the case of the Heritors of Olrig, as well as in this case, the reporter found that the existing manse could be repaired so as to be a suitable residence for the parish minister. The Court in that case ordered a new manse to be built, and it is therefore an authority to show that Heritors may be required to rebuild, although repair is possible. As regards additional accommodation in the manse, the Heritors are willing to provide a wash-house, and I think they are bound, having regard to modern standards of comfort, to provide a bath and servants W.C. As regards additional accommodation in the offices, the Heritors are willing, besides executing repairs, to add a small pig sty to the offices. I do not think their obligation extends beyond this. They are not bound to provide a steading sufficient for a farm of 40 acres which, as explained in the note of objections for the heritors, No. 78 of Process, is the extent of the Glebe in this case. Their obligation is to provide minister’s offices sufficient for the personal requirements of the minister and his family, including in the usual case, accommodation for one or two cows and a horse. The minister having at his own hand thrown the turnip shed into the existing byre, to suit the convenience of his tenant, is not entitled to ask the Heritors to give him a new turnip shed. A peat shed is not usual in Orkney, nor is a water supply to the stable and byre. There is no precedent for a room for a man servant. I am satisfied from my own inspection that the present water supply is insufficient. There is no source of supply other that a pit dug in the hill side with sides formed of loose stones incapable of retaining water. A pipe is laid from this source to the manse, but the pit when I saw it in the month of June was quite empty. There are two other possible sources of supply nearer the manse, one of which at any rate seemed to be adequate in quantity, and was said by persons in the locality never to run dry. – (Intd.) W. H.

Agent for the Heritors – Duncan J. Robertson, solicitor, Kirkwall.
Agent for Rev. A. Spark – Thomas Peace Low, solicitor, Kirkwall.

1906 July 7 The Orcadian

U.F. CHURCHES IN ROUSAY – UNION CONSUMMATED. – As was intimated in our columns last week the United Free Churches in Rousay – the Trumland and Ritchie congregations – had resolved to unite.

Last Sunday special services were conducted and the union happily consummated, the Rev. George Millar of the Paterson U.F. Church, Kirkwall, preaching to a large and enthusiastic congregation in the Ritchie Church…..At the close of the sermon, Mr Millar, on behalf of the Presbytery, read a statement telling the number of elders in the united congregation. Mr Pirie then constituted the session with prayer.

The names of deacons and managers were then read, and those who had been formerly managers of the Trumland Church were ordained to the office of deacons. Mr Pirie closed the service with the benediction.

The weather was all that could be desired, thus permitting the great majority of members and almost all the office-bearers to be present. A feeling of gratitude to God pervaded all, and the utmost satisfaction was expressed at the happy issue of the union negotiations.

1906 July 11 Orkney Herald

AGRICULTURAL N0TES. – The weather during the past spring has been alternately dry and wet, and cold and warm, and owing to the wet weather part of both cereals and turnips were sown early and part late. A cold north-easterly storm about the middle of May blasted the grass and braird, but damp, mild weather followed, and did much to revive the crops. The dry, cold weather of late has checked growth, and the crops are much in need of rain and warmth. Pastures and hay are a fair good crop. Early sown turnips are being singled, but both turnips and oats are scarcely up to an average crop at present.

1906 July 14 The Orcadian

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – The heritors of Rousay have appealed against the decision of the Sheriff-Substitute in this action to the Court of Tiends.

The steam yacht Snowflake, belonging to Mr Thin, tenant of Trumland House, Rousay, arrived at Kirkwall on Tuesday evening.

On Sunday last the Rev. A. Spark preached in the Parish Church, from St.Matt. xxvi. 6-13. and concluded his discourse as follows: –

Dearly beloved, this world sees many changes, and death is the inevitable end of it all. All must die. It was at this hour last Lord’s day that Mrs Corsie of Knarston (the beloved wife of our respected elder), died after having a few hours previous given birth to her baby-boy. Strange Providence the mother was taken, but the baby left. Of her it may be said: “Blessed are the dead.” for she had the “one thing needful” – faith in Christ. By her the world is left richer. She has left to it a legacy of twelve children, most of whom are young. Last Tuesday we laid her in her last resting place, and the whole parish was overcast with one large cloud of lamentation. Though gone from husband and home, we fondly hope and believe that she is now in that home which is “fairer than day.” What is home without a mother? Here is one such – and home where love bound husband to wife, wife to husband, parents to children, children to parents. Who can estimate the pang of sorrow at the breaking of such a tie? The deceased was indeed a loved and loving wife, a good and careful mother, a kind neighbour, and a Christian whose faith was firmly set upon the “Rock of Ages.” Happy the labouring and the lowly where love dwells. Happy the women who are not lifted by vain titles, by rank or wealth out of the circle of the self-sacrificing tender and touching assiduities which an infant family requires – out of whose hands fashionable etiquette or luxurious indolence has taken what the poet calls the “Delightful task to rear the tender thought, and teach the young idea how to shoot.” Motherhood has a momentous charge, and Mrs Corsie was one whose labours not only never ceased, but whose labours to anticipate this event, were heaped up beforehand with loving, considerate care. As to her hearth and home, she was a “keeper at home,” a dutiful and loving wife and a diligent and loving mother. Here the domestic hearth was happiness itself, for love bound the family together. She herself was the centre, the guide, the counsellor of the household, and she trained the children for God and Eternity. Happy couple whose love death cannot destroy! A beloved wife and a busy mother. What honour higher? “With the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard,” yea, “she looketh well to her household and eateth not the bread of idleness.” So diligent was she in arranging the details of all her business beforehand that one would think she anticipated going to that “better country.” Blessed are those who finish the business of time before they begin the business of Eternity. She set all her “house in order” and lay down ripe and ready for Eternity. “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.” “O, death, where is thy sting? O, Grave, where is thy victory?” And now a household motherless, and the husband’s heart aching with sorrow ! She is assuredly missed. May God Himself in love now fill the bitter void, and His sweet blessing the blank that is left behind. May Christ Himself in love and pity pour healing balm into the sorrowing hearts of the bereaved. May Heaven at last be their Eternal Home, where parting is unknown. But, withal, the beloved is there, and we are here, and now the tears fall fast and now the eyes of faith are lifted up for pity, and now the cold stone marks the fair resting spot where the beloved one lies, but Christ’s own words are for the bereaved: “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” – Amen.

[Margaret Jane Corsie was the daughter of Simpson Skethaway and Margaret Craigie, Knarston. In 1885 she married John Corsie, Brendale, and they raised a family of 12, seven girls and five boys. The baby who survived that tragic day was christened George Gibson Corsie, and he later joined his older brother Thomas in Canada. George passed away in Thunder Bay, Ontario in his 90th year.]

1906 July 21 The Orcadian

Mr Edward Clouston Thin of Liverpool, who is to occupy Trumland House, Rousay, for the summer arrived with his family at Kirkwall on Wednesday night per s.s. St Nicholas. His yacht the Snowflake arrived in the bay a week ago.

[Edward Clouston Thin (1852–1927), of Birkenhead and Liverpool, was a shipowner, merchant, and chairman of the North Wales Steamship Company].

1906 August 4 The Orcadian

THE ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay Boat Club took place in Veira Sound on Friday the 27th inst. A strong south-easterly breeze in the early morning prevented a great many of the boats turning up from Kirkwall and the neighbouring islands. The wind lessened towards mid-day, and by one o’clock enough entries were made to start most of the races. The s.s Orcadia called on her way to Stronsay, and landed quite a number of visitors for the day. Mr Thin’s yacht, which was anchored off Trumland Pier, presented a very gay appearance, covered with bunting. The course was the usual triangular one.

The first race to start was for boats 16 ft. waterline and under, for which there were five entries, viz., Alice, Nelly, Ceska, Thistle, and Maggie. All got well off with the starting gun and kept together on the run to Avelshay mark boat. On sighting again the Thistle and Nelly were seen to be leading and ran a neck to neck race till the finish, there being only seven seconds between them. These were followed by Ceska, with Alice and Maggie a good distance behind. The following is the corrected time: –

Thistle (Jas. Johnston) – 1h 22m 35s
Nelly (Jas. Alexander) – 1h 22m 42s
Ceska (Wm. Miller) – 1h 23m 58s
Alice (C. Logie) – 1h 30m 34s
Maggie (R. Mainland) – 1h 31m 45s

The second race was for boats 22 feet waterline and under, for which there were only three entries, viz., Sigurd, Aim, and Sarah Ann. All made a good start, Sigurd taking the lead, followed by Aim and Sarah Ann. They maintained these positions throughout the race, the Sigurd gaining on her opponents all the time and finishing an easy first. The time was as follows: –

Sigurd (David Reid) – 1h 19m 50s
Aim (Peter Finlayson) – 1h 26m 0s
Sarah Ann (Geo Mainland) – 1h 33m 20s

The best race of the day was undoubtedly the All-comers, for which there were nine entries, viz., Hero, Annie, Alice, Sigurd, Ceska, Sarah Ann, Thistle, Press Home and Aim. Most of the boats made a good start, and presented a very pretty appearance running down along the land, followed closely by the Snowflake with Mr Thin and party on board. Most of the smaller boats retired after going round part of the course, leaving the larger ones to finish the race The Hero, on sighting in Egilshay Sound, was seen to be leading, followed closely by the Annie, with the Sigurd and Aim further astern. The Hero kept her lead throughout the race, and, although pressed hard by Annie, was first to cross the line, thus winning the first prize without the need of her time allowance. The finish was as follows: –

Hero (M. Grieve) – 1h 24m 2s
Annie (George Reid) – 1h 24m 30s
Sigurd (D. Reid) – 1h 34m 42s
Aim (Peter Finlayson) – 1h 43m 51s
All the others retired from the race.

The following are the rowing races: –

Ladies’. – 1, Mrs Sutherland and Mrs Hunter; 2, Misses Marwick and Elphinstone; 3, Misses Sinclair; 4, Misses Wards and Gibson.
Boys’. – 1, J. Omond and W. Clark; 2, J. Grieve and James Irvine; 3, Robert, Sinclair and Alex. Wards.
Men’s. – 1, Capt. McBay and D. Reid; 2. J. Rendall and Wm. Kemp; 3, George Reid and J. Gibson; 4, Fred Sinclair and J. Craigie.

At the close of the races, Miss Thin, along with Mr Thin, handed out the prizes to the successful competitors, for which she was awarded a hearty vote of thanks. Hearty cheers were also given for Mr Thin for the special interest he had taken in the regatta. As usual, the club had refreshments during the day for the benefit of visitors. Much credit is due to the ladies who had charge of the tea-room for the efficient way in which they carried out all the arrangements. The young folks had their usual dance, which was kept up with much spirit till twelve o’clock. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so liberally contributed to their funds, and in any way helped to make the regatta a success.

1906 August 11 The Orcadian

ROUSAY FLOWER SHOW. – The first annual Industrial and Flower Show under the auspices of the Rousay Agricultural Society was on Tuesday favoured with lovely weather, and was opened by Mr Pirie. The show was held in Sourin School, and, considering the shortness of the time for preparation, the exhibits were good and representative of the island. An excellent musical programme was submitted during the course of the day, and the Committee would take this opportunity of tendering their thanks to all who so contributed to the day’s enjoyment, as well as those who subscribed towards the funds. The Judges were: – Flowers, vegetables, etc., Lady Burroughs and Miss Thin; baking and dairy produce, Mr R. Spence, Kirkwall; industrial work, Mrs Pirie, Mrs Gibson, and Miss Walker. Annexed is the prize-list: –

Dairy Section – Fresh Butter – 1, Miss Robertson, Springfield; 2, Miss Reid, Wasdale; 3, Mrs Craigie, sen., Brough. Salt Butter – 1, Mrs Craigie, Brough; 2, Miss Reid; 3, Miss Robertson. Sweet Milk Cheese – 1, Mrs Reid, Tratland; 2, Mrs White, Saviskaill. Skimmed Milk Cheese – 1, Mrs White. Eggs – 1, J. M. Harrold; 2, Mrs Craigie, Brough. Eggs from farms under £20 rent – 1, Mrs Craigie, Brough; 2, Mrs Mowat, Stand Pretty; 3, Mrs Reid.

Baking – Bere Bannocks – 1, Mrs A. Leonard, Cruannie; 2, Mrs Mowat; 3, Mrs Munro, Old School. Oat Cakes – 1, Mrs Craigie, Digro; 4, Miss Scott, Hurtiso; 3, Mrs Hourie, Gripps. Oven Scones – 1, Mrs Harrold, Pier; 2, Mrs Gibson, Hullion. Plain Scones – 1, Miss Inkster, Cogar; 2, Mrs Gibson, Avelshay; 3, Mrs Harrold, Pier. Drop Scones – 1, Mrs Craigie, Digro; 2, Miss Munro; 3, Miss Inkster, Cogar. Short-bread – 1, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy; 2, Miss Inkster, Woo. Fruit Cake – 1, Miss J. Gibson, Hullion; 2, Mrs Sinclair, Vacquoy. Iced Cake – 1, Mrs Scott, Lopness. Gingerbread – 1, Mrs J. S. Gibson, Hullion.

Vegetables, etc. – Rhubarb – 1, Mrs D. Johnston, Frotoft. Lettuce – 1, Mr J. S. Gibson; 2, Mr Cutt. Shallots – 1, Mrs Inkster, Swartifield; 2, Miss Logie, Grindlesbreck; 3. Mrs Craigie, Digro. Turnips – 1, Mr J. S. Gibson; 2, Mr Cutt. Potatoes – 1, Mr Low, Westness; 2, Mr J. S. Gibson; 3, Mr Cutt. Cabbage – 1 and 2, Mr Cutt; 3, Mrs Sinclair. Carrots – 1, J. M. Harrold; 2. R. Inkster, Cogar. Cauliflower – J. S. Gibson. Radishes – 1, Mr Cutt. Beet – 1, J. S. Gibson. Peas – 1, J. S. Gibson. Strawberries – 1, Mr Cutt. Gooseberries – 1, Mr Cutt. Black Currants – 1, J. S. Gibson. Apples – 1, J. S. Gibson.

Flowers – Pot Plants (Ornamental) – 1, Miss Marwick (Aurelia); 2, Miss Reid, Wasdale (Asparagus Fern); 3. Miss J. Scott, Hurtiso (Araucaria). Foliage Plants – Pelargonium – 1 and 2, Mrs Inkster, Woo. Geranium – 1, Mrs Wm. Sutherland; 2, Mrs Inkster, Woo; 3, Dr. Gordon. Begonia – 1, Mrs Reid, Wasdale; 2. Mrs Gibson, AveIshay. Cut Garden Flowers – Roses – 1, Mrs Sinclair; 2 and 3, Mr Cutt; v.h.c., J. S. Gibson. Pansies – 1, J. S. Gibson. Stocks – 1, J. S. Gibson; 2, A. Inkster, Cogar. Geranium – 1, 2, and 3. J. S. Gibson. Calceolarias – 1, J. S. Gibson. Shirley Poppies – 1, Miss Marwick. Candytuft – 1. Mr Cutt. Bouquet of Wild Flowers – 1, Miss J. Scott.

Industrial Work – Crazy Quilt – 1, Miss Jeannie Scott; 2, Miss A. Scott. Lace Curtains – Mrs Inkster. Linen Bed Quilt – Miss A. Scott. Bedroom Slippers – Miss Mowat. Crochet Lace – 1. Miss Munro; 2, Miss C. Craigie, Falquoy; 3, Mrs Craigie, Old School. Embroidered Handkerchief – 1, Mrs Reid, Wasdale; 2, Miss Reid, Tratland. Crochet Trimming – 1, Miss Scott, Lopness; 2 and 3, Miss M. Reid, Tratland. Crochet Collar – 1, Mrs Craigie, Old School; 2, Miss C. Craigie; 3, Miss N. Reid, Tratland. Tea Cosy Cover – 1, Miss Gibson, Hullion; 2, Miss Marwick (School); 3, Mrs Craigie, Old School. Tray Cloth – 1, Miss A. Scott; 2, Miss A. Reid, Tratland; 3, Miss C. Craigie, Falquoy. Shawls – Miss Inkster, Brittany; 2, Miss Cooper, Hanover; 3, Mrs Craigie, Old School. Spinning – 1, Miss Inkster, Brittany. Stockings – 1, Miss M. Leonard; 2, Miss Scott, Lopness; 3, Mrs Mainland, Tratland. Knickers – 1 and 3, Miss Inkster, Brittany; 2, Miss Marwick. Homespun Cloth – 1, Mrs Mowat; 2, Mrs Craigie, Braes. Crochet doily – 1, Miss A. Scott, Hurteso; 2, Miss M Reid, Tratland; 3. Miss Jean Scott, Hurteso. Knitted doilies – 1, Miss Leonard; 2, Miss Ellen Craigie, Gorehouse. Tatted doilies – 1 and 2, Miss M. Reid, Tratland.

School Section – For Best Specimen of Sewing – Agnes Johnston, Frotoft. For Best Piece of Drawing done in School this Year – J. Craigie, Triblo. Bouquet Wild Flowers – 1, M. J. Sinclair, Swartifield; 2, A. M. Cooper; 3, Alice Craigie.

Special Prizes – For Bere Bannocks – Miss Leonard. For Best Cut Garden Flowers – J. S. Gibson.


ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW – The annual show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on the farm of Banks, Sourin, on Tuesday, in fine weather. The show of stock over all was not so good as last year – the cattle being a poor turnout, whilst that of horses might be described as good. The judges were – Messrs Clouston, Graemeshall, Holm; Mackay, Flaws; and Scarth, Burgar, Evie. Annexed are their decisions: –

Shorthorn Cows. – 1 and 3, John Scott, Hurteso; 2, James Craigie, Trumland; h.c., John Gibson, Faraclett.
Milk Cows (Polled). – John Scott; 2 and h.c., George Gibson, Avelshay; 3, James Craigie; c., Robert Seatter, Banks.
Best Milch Cow in Yard. – John Scott (medal).
Two-year-old Stots (Polled). – 1, 3, and h.c., James Craigie; 2, R. Seatter.
Two-year-old Queys (Polled). – 1, 2, and 3, David Gibson, Langskaill; h.c. and c., John Gibson, Faraclett.
One-year-old Shorthorn Stots. – 1 and 2, John Gibson, Faraclett.
One-year-old Shorthorn Queys. – 1 and 2, John Gibson, Faraclett.
One-year-old Queys (Polled) – 1, John Scott, Hurteso; 2, George Gibson, Avelshay; 3 and c., Robert Seatter, Banks; h.c., David Gibson.
One-year-old Stots (Polled). – 1 and 2, James Inkster, Woo; 3 and c., James Craigie; h.c., Robert Seatter.
Calves. – 1, James Craigie; 2 and h.c., R. Scarth; 3, James Inkster. Woo.
Draught Geldings. – 1, John Gibson; 2, James Craigie; 3, D. Marwick, Essaquoy; h.c., Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; c., D. Gibson.
Yeld Mares. – 1, James Craigie; 2, Wm. Scott, Hurteso; 3. James Inkster, Woo; h.c., R. Seatter.
Mares with Foal at Foot. – 1, George Gibson, Avelshay; 2. John Craigie, Saviskaill; 3, R. Sinclair, Sketquoy; h.c., H. Craigie, Swandale.
Foals. – 1, George Gibson; 2, R. Sinclair; 3, John Craigie; h.c., H. Craigie, Swandale.Two-year-old Fillies. – 1, John Corsie, Knarston; 2, J. Learmonth, Quoys; 3, George Gibson.
One-year-old Fillies. – 1, John Craigie, Saviskaill; 2 and 3, J. Russell, Brendale.
One-year-old Colts. – 1, John Craigie, Saviskaill. 2, D. Inkster, Furse.
Best Mare in Yard. – George Gibson, Avelshay (medal).
Sheep. – 1 and 2, John Scott, Hurteso.
Poultry. – Chickens – 1, John Harrold, merchant; 2 and 3, Mrs Reid, Tratland.

The Committee afterwards entertained the judges and others to dinner at Banks, where the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed and duly responded to. The Committee wish to tender their thanks to all who subscribed towards the Society’s funds, and to all who have given their services to make the show a success.

1906 September 12 Orkney Herald

TO LET, the right to take Rabbits on Westness, Rousay.
Apply to the tenant, Hugh Inkster.

1906 October 31 Orkney Herald


There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at QUOYS, WASBISTER,
and IMPLEMENTS thereon, comprising: –

STOCK. – Work Mare (13 years old), Work Mare (3 years old), Mare (2 years old),
Foal, 4 Cows in Calf, 1 Quey in calf, 3 One-year-old Cattle, 5 Calves,
3 Sheep, some Poultry, and a Dog.
CROP. – Small Stack of Hay, a few Barrels of Potatoes.

IMPLEMENTS. – 2 Box Carts, Plough, Drill Plough, Set Iron Harrows, Grubber, Scuffler, Roller, Combined Reaper and Mower, Turnip Sower and Scarifier (combined), Wheelbarrow, Field Rake, Barn Fanners, Bushel Measure,
Bruiser, Turnip Cutter, Cart and Plough Harness, 4 Wood Gates,
Fencing Screw, Grindstone, Wap Churn, and a variety of other articles.

Sale to commence at 11 o’clock a.m.
The s.s. Fawn will leave Kirkwall at 8 o’clock, returning in the evening.

Terms – Five months’ credit for sums of £5 and upwards on approved bills
signed by the purchasers and sufficient cautioners, or discount
at the rate of Five per cent. per annum.

T. SMITH PEACE. Auctioneer.


AMONG the list of students who have passed the final examination in medicine at Edinburgh University, we observe the name of Robert Elrick Marwick, who has taken the degree of M.B., Ch.B. Dr Marwick is the only son of the late Rev. Isaac Elrick Marwick, of Bethelfield Church, Kirkcaldy, and grandson of Mr Isaac Marwick, Guidal, Rousay.

1906 November 14 Orkney Herald

AN INGENIOUS ORKNEY CROFTER. – While in one of the more remote of our islands recently (writes a correspondent) I happened to meet a number of crofters carting peats with oxen, and one man’s ox, walking so rapidly – even with a heavy load – that he soon outdistanced all the others, I turned a few steps back with his driver and congratulated the man on the remarkable speed of his animal, the ox being, as everyone knows, a very slow-moving creature. The crofter laughed, and, pointing to the head of his ox, said “It’s a’ my patten (patent) that does it.” I then observed suspended from a couple of prongs which stuck out from the animal’s head a small mirror. “Yes,” continued the carter, “that’s a patten o’ my ain, an’ I’ll tell ye hoo I cam’ tae think o’t. Ye see, when I bocht this beastie, the man I had him frae said he wadna gang a step in a cairt unless anither bullock was in front o’ him, an’ then it was just that he micht fecht wi’ the ither ane. Sae I thocht for a wee, and it flashed on me that there was a way oot o’ the deeficulty, au’ I tauld the man that ‘the faut was a bad ane, but I wad buy the ox if I got twa pund aff the price.’ He allooed me this at aince, for he wanted rid o’ the creatur’, an’ I fixed the ox up the way ye see. Noo he keeps tearin’ ahead for aye – just tae get at the ox in front that he thinks is for ever wantin’ tae fecht wi’ him.” – Weekly News.

1906 November 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SOCIAL MEETING. – The Guild of the United Free Church, Rousay, held its opening social on Friday evening in Ritchie Church. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, there was a large and enthusiastic gathering of old and young. Mr Pirie had with him Mr Kirk, of Evie United Free Church, but owing to the stormy weather and the non-arrival of the steamer, there was much disappointment that the Rev. George Millar and Mr John Flett, of Kirkwall, were unable to be present. Mr Pirie stated, in his opening remarks, that the social had been got up by the guild not only to give a start to its winter work, but also to commemorate the happy and successful union of the two churches. Mr Kirk gave an excellent address on “Marks of an Efficient Church,” illustrating his speech with happy anecdote and sage counsel. A large, well-balanced choir, ably led by Mr James W. Grieve, conductor of music in the guild, contributed greatly to the success and enjoyment of the evening. There was also a number of quartettes, trios, and solos well rendered and highly appreciated. Mr Kirk also sang with high ability and musical precision, “The Holy City” and “Ora pro Nobis.” During an interval tea and cake were served by an energetic band of stewards.

The communion in connection with Rousay United Free Church was dispensed in Trumland Church on Sabbath last. Mr Pirie was ably assisted by Mr Kirk, of Evie, at the preparatory service on Friday, and on Sabbath at the communion services.

1906 December 5 Orkney Herald


Sincere and affectionate remembrance of William Inkster, farmer, Cogar, Rousay,
who departed this life on 7th December 1905. Inserted by his widow and family.
– Gone but not forgotten.

In Print

Newsprint – 1905

1905 January 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. – The annual meeting of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held in Sourin Public School on the 26th ult. The old committee was reappointed, the accounts examined and found correct and funds in a flourishing condition. The ploughing match falls to be held in Wasbister district this year, and we understand Mr Craigie, Saviskaill, is to grant the use of a field for the occasion.

ENTERTAINMENT TO CHILDREN. – On Monday, last week, Mrs Arbuthnot, Westness House, entertained all the children from Trumland to Westside at Westness. Accompanied by a number of parents, the children arrived at Westness at three o’clock, and were entertained to tea. Games were afterwards engaged in by the children, and a most happy evening spent. A handsome Christmas tree was made to yield its fruit, and all the young people left for home laden with gifts, everyone, both parents and children, appreciating Mrs Arbuthnot’s kindness at this season.

1905 January 11 Orkney Herald

WRECK OF TRAWLER. – During the storm on Sunday afternoon, the steam trawler Excelsior (Martin, master), of Hull, ran on the rocks at The Graand, Egilshay. She was severely damaged, and was making water. During the night the crew, with the exception of the master, were taken off and landed in Egilshay. The steam trawler Edward Roberts came up during Sunday afternoon, and remained in the neighbourhood till Monday afternoon, when, all hope of getting the Excelsior off by ordinary means having been abandoned, she took the Excelsior’s crew to Kirkwall. The Excelsior is likely to become a total wreck.

1905 January 18 Orkney Herald

LARGE BEQUEST TO BALFOUR HOSPITAL. – By the will of Miss Mary Harcus, who was found dead in her house in Tay Terrace, Dundee, on the 5th inst., a sum of about £2000 is expected to fall to Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall. Miss Harcus, who was a native of Rousay, where some of her relatives still reside, was 65 years of age. For thirty-five years she was in the service of the late Bailie Harris, Dundee, and latterly had lived alone in a three-roomed house in a tenement in Tay Terrace, Dundee. As she had not been seen by her neighbours since December 27, the police were informed, and on Thursday the 5th inst. Inspector Gordon entered the house by a ladder, and found Miss Harcus sitting in her arm-chair, dead. Dr Templeman, who examined the body, certified that death was due to natural causes. The funeral took place on Tuesday last week, when the contents of the deceased’s will were made known. The estate amounts to about £3000. Legacies are left to several friends, and £20 to Trumland U.F. Church, Rousay, the residue of the estate, estimated, as stated above, at about £2000, being left to Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall.

THE WRECKED TRAWLER. – The trawler Excelsior of Hull which stranded on the Graand of Egilshay during the storm on the afternoon of Sunday, 8th inst., still remains on the rocks there, and it is feared she has been seriously damaged by recent heavy seas. A tug boat arrived at Kirkwall last week with the object of trying to take the vessel off, but owing to the stormy weather it has not been possible to make the attempt.

1905 February 4 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – On Sunday last after sermon from Philip iii 14, the Rev. A. Spark announced the re-opening of his usual classes at the Manse, viz., the Musical Class open to all and free of charge, on Wednesday at 6.30 p.m., and the Bible Class on Sunday at 6 p.m. In making such an announcement, he took occasion to say that Manses are not the most suitable places for public classes, but what are we here to do? We are forced to so meet or to forego such meetings. Yonder in Wasbister we had a petition signed by 100 persons for a Mission Hall, and we had the promise of money to build it besides the sanction and recommendation of the Presbytery and of the Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but the chief heritor refused a site. Here we have a church – called a church – we requested liberty to have it heated, but again the chief heritor refused permission. This is the Church of Scotland – a persecuted, oppressed, suffering church – the only church which the British Government has bound itself to maintain as one of the conditions of the union of England and Scotland – whose chief sin consisted in opposing the corruptions of Italy and the cruelties of England – but, withal, a church whose maintenance is a perpetual proviso in the Act of Union, and to maintain which our King found it to be his first duty to give his signature – but a Church which, if rightly reformed and brought up-to-date, will vie with the Jewish Church and become in its Catholic Constitution and popular usefulness, the One House of God to the people of Scotland and to the Nation.

1905 February 8 Orkney Herald

In answer to many enquiries we are requested to state that the illness which struck down Sir Frederick Burroughs on the eve of his attending the 50th anniversary of the Balaclava gathering of his old regiment, “the thin red line,” still continues, and gives cause for the greatest regret and anxiety to his friends.

1905 February 18 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Star of Peace Lodge I.O.G.T., held an open meeting in the Frotoft Public School on the evening of Friday, the 10th February, being the anniversary of the formation of the Lodge. The meeting commenced about 8.15 p.m. Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and gave a stirring temperance address in his usual happy style. A lengthy programme was then gone through, and was sacred throughout, the readings being appropriate and of a temperance character. A number of sacred pieces were sung by the Lodge as a choir. Solos were sung by Sister Ida Gibson and Brother Sinclair; duets by Sisters Anna Craigie and Anna Reid, Sister Reid and Brother James Gibson, Sister Munro and Brother Gibson; quartettes by Sisters Munro and Craigie, and Brothers Gibson and Craigie, and Sisters Reid and Craigie, and Brothers Gibson and Craigie; and readings by Brother Inkster, and Sisters Lily Inkster and M. J. Craigie. The Lodge-Deputy gave a short address at the close of the meeting, and, in the name of the Lodge, extended a cordial invitation to all present to join the order. Owing to the inclemency of the weather the audience was not so large as it would otherwise have been, but quite a few turned up. Votes of thanks to the chairman, performers, and to the audience for their quiet, attentive hearing, brought the meeting to a close.

1905 February 22 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Thursday the 16th inst., on a field on the farm of Saviskaill, kindly granted by Mr Craigie for the occasion. Seventeen ploughs came forward for competition – 3 in the champion class and 14 in the ordinary – and the work done was the best yet seen since 1 in. of back was adopted. The day proved to be somewhat wet, but nevertheless a good number of spectators visited the field and remained to the finish. The judges were – Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Mowat, School Hall; and Yorston, Orquil, Evie; and theirs was a difficult task, but they did their work in a thorough and painstaking manner, and their decisions gave general satisfaction A great number of special prizes were forwarded for distribution to the ploughmen, and the committee take this opportunity of thanking the donors. They are also indebted to Mr Horne, Trumland, for visiting the field during the day, thereby enabling them to secure the Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments throughout the day, and in the evening the judges and a few friends were kindIy entertained to a first-rate dinner, purveyed in sumptuous style by Mrs White, Saviskaill, and a number of willing assistants. The usual toasts were given and responded to, and a most successful evening was brought to a close by thanking Mr Craigie and Mrs White for their kind hospitality, to which Mr Craigie suitably replied. The following is the prize-list: –

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1 and medal, Tom Gibson, Broland; 2, Tom Sinclair, 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips. Ordinary – 1 and Highland Society’s’ medal, Walter Muir, Westness; 2, James Craigie, Falquoy; 3, James Grieve, Faraclett; 4, Hugh Robertson, Scockness; 5, Andrew Laird, Trumland; 6, Hugh Marwick, Westness; 7, John Pearson, Innister; 8, George Munro, Woo; 9, David Moodie, The Glebe; 10, John Grieve, Saviskaill; best feering – Walter Muir: best finish – Hugh Robertson; best ploughed rig – T. Gibson; youngest ploughman – Jas. Russell.

GROOMING. – 1, Hugh Munro, Saviskaill; 2, George Munro; 3, Walter Muir; 4, John Pearson; 5, H. Robertson, 6, Andrew Laird; 7, Hugh Marwick.

HARNESS. – 1, Malcolm Leonard; 2, Hugh Robertson; 3, James Grieve; 4, Hugh Munro; 5, John Pearson; 6, John Seatter, Banks; 7, James Russell, Brendale.

1905 February 25 The Orcadian

We are requested to state in answer to many kind enquiries, that the improvement in Sir Frederick Burroughs’ health this last week is maintained and that he has been down stairs for the first time in five weeks.

1905 March 18 The Orcadian

NORTH ISLES PRESBYTERY – NEW MANSE REQUIRED FOR ROUSAY. – The North Isles Presbytery met with the heritors of Rousay in the Parish Church there on Tuesday. Mr A. Gordon Jenkins, architect, Aberdeen, was present, and his report, pointing out some repairs requiring to be made on the Church, was read. After inspecting the building the Presbytery found the Church was not ruinous, and the heritors undertook to make the repairs recommended by Mr Jenkins. The Presbytery thereafter inspected the manse, and heard the architect’s report thereon, pointing out a large number of repairs which he considered necessary. He further stated, that in his opinion it would be better for the heritors to build a new manse. After consideration the Presbytery ordained the heritors to build a new manse and submit plans and specification to a meeting of Presbytery to be held on 15th August.

1905 March 29 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SOCIAL MEETING. – The Ritchie U.F.C. Guild brought the session to a close with a social meeting held in the church on the evening of 16th March. Although rain came on for a while in the evening, which hindered many from attending, yet before the hour of meeting it cleared away, and when the president, Rev. J. McLeman, took the chair at 7.30, there was a large attendance of the public present. The choir, under the leadership of Mr J. W. Grieve, sang a number of hymns, quartettes, &c. in a style which reflected the highest credit both on leader and choir, but special mention may be made of the quartettes, the rendering of which left nothing to be desired. The piece of the evening, however, was the duet by Miss Agnes Munro and Mr J. W. Grieve, which showed to the fullest advantage their splendid voices. Speeches were given by the president, and vice-presidents Messrs Inkster and A. Grieve, and Rev. A. I. Pirie, of Trumland Church, whose presence added greatly to the enjoyment of the meeting. Humorous readings were given by the secretary, Mr W. Grieve, and the precentor, which were much appreciated, Mr J. W. Grieve keeping the audience in convulsions of laughter from beginning to end. The inner man was also amply provided for, tea, with an abundance of cakes and other good things, being served in the middle of the programme. A most enjoyable evening was brought to a close with hearty votes of thanks to choir, speakers, and committee.

1905 April 12 Orkney Herald


We regret to have to record to-day the death of Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick William Traill Burroughs, K.C.B., of Rousay and Viera. Sir Frederick fell ill towards the close of last year. Recovering somewhat, he was able in December to leave home for London. For a time hopes were entertained that he would be fully restored to health, but during the last week or two, notwithstanding the best medical treatment he gradually became weaker, and died on Sunday at the age of 74.

Sir Frederick Burroughs was the eldest son of Major-General Frederick William Burroughs, of the Bengal Infantry, and grandson of Sir William Burroughs of Castle Bagshawe, County Cavan. His mother was Caroline, only daughter of Captain Charles Adolphus Marie de Peyron, son of the Chevalier Charles Adrien de Peyron. In 1789, sometime after the death of the Chevalier de Peyron, his widow, a daughter of Sir George Colebrook, Bart., married William Traill of Woodwick, from whose son, George William Traill, the Commissioner of the Province of Kumaon in India, who purchased Rousay for a relative, Sir Frederick Burroughs succeeded to the estates of Rousay and Viera, and under a condition of the will prefaced the name Traill to his own surname. He was born in 1831, and received part of his education at Blackheath and part in France [in fact it was in Hofwyl, Switzerland]. Like so many of his forebears, he chose the army as his profession, and on March 31, 1848, he joined as an ensign the regiment with which the whole of his active service was spent and to the command of which he was to rise – the 93rd Highlanders. One of his earliest duties was as an officer of the guard of honour to Queen Victoria on her first visit to Aberdeen in September 1848. With the exception of a colour-sergeant he was the last survivor of that guard. With the 93rd he went to the Crimea on the outbreak of the war with Russia. He took part in the battle of the Alma, his regiment forming the centre of the Highland Brigade under Sir Colin Campbell, the 42nd being on the right and the 79th on the left. Later when the siege of Sebastopol had begun, the 93rd was thrown the responsibility for the defence of Balaclava and for preserving communication between the British forces and the outer world. Sir Colin Campbell, with the rank of Major-General, was Governor of the post. The story of the Russian attack is well-known, but will bear telling once again.

THE THIN RED LINE. – On the 25th October 1854, an enormous force of Russians – 25 battalions of infantry, 34 squadrons of cavalry, and 78 guns – in all about 24,000 men – advanced in the direction of the Turkish redoubts outside Balaclava. These were easily occupied, the Turks evacuating one after the other, and fleeing in the direction of the port; though many of them halted and formed up on the flanks of the 93rd, who were drawn up in line on a hill outside the town. The historian of “The Highland Brigade” thus describes the battle:-

“And now the victorious Russians, being in full possession of the redoubts, advanced in force into the gentle valley which lay between themselves and the Highlanders, who occupied a piece of slightly rising ground. In their thousands they moved forward, and their artillery, coming within range, opened fire so successfully that one or two of the Highlanders and some of the Turks were wounded. Seeing this, Sir Colin retired his men behind the crest of the hill, and as they lay down he watched the development of the Russian movement. It was quickly revealed to him, for, as they watched, four squadron’s of the enemy’s cavalry, suddenly detaching themselves from the main body and heading straight for the 93rd, galloped forward at the charge. A critical moment was at hand, and one in which the chances were entirely in favour of the advancing horsemen. The force in Campbell’s hand was slender indeed when the task before it is considered. Formed in line, only two deep, were 550 of the 93rd, and about 100 invalids whom Colonel Devaney had drawn up on the Highlanders left. In addition were the Turks already mentioned, on whom, however, no reliance could be placed. But the General had confidence in his Highlanders, and to show it he rode down the line and said – ‘Now, men, remember there is no retreat from here. You must die where you stand.’ The response was decided and cheerful – ‘Aye, ay, Sir Colin; an’ need be, we’ll do that.’ It was John Scott, the right hand man of No. 6 Company [Burroughs’ Company], who spoke, and others took up and shouted forth the reply. Sir Colin immediately ordered the Highlanders forward to the crest of the hill, and the men obeyed with an impetuosity which suggested a desire to rush on and charge the advancing enemy. But this would have ruined all, and as they sprang forward Sir Colin, with his temper at fever heat, was heard fiercely shouting – ‘Ninety-third! Ninety-third! D—n all that eagerness.’ ‘The angry voice of the old man,’ says Kinglake, ‘quickly steadied the line.’ And now came an exhibition of quiet, resolute courage such as soldiers have seldom displayed on the field of battle. Discarding the usual method adopted by infantry on receiving cavalry in square – not even troubling himself to throw his men in fours – Sir Colin awaited the onslaught with his ‘thin red line’ of two deep. As the thunder of the furiously-galloping horse and the cries of the riders fell upon the ears of the Turks, huddled on the flanks of the 93rd, they quickly broke, and once more ran to the rear in utter affright, holding out their hands to the ships in the roadstead, and crying out, “Ship, ship.” But the 93rd stood firm as the unshaken rock. Nearer and nearer came the cavalry, their swords, lance-heads, and bright helmets glittering in the now clear morning light. Their pace was furious – General Wolseley calculates it at three hundred and fifty yards a minute – the ground seeming literally to fly beneath their feet, and the manner in which they brandished their weapons showed the fierceness of their desire for the combat. But combat was hardly to be expected, for ‘that thin red streak, tipped with steel’ might have been regarded as no greater an obstacle than a fence of furze. And coming on behind the leaders were squadron after squadron, says James Grant, ‘the successive waves of a human sea.’ It was a terrible trial for men to stand unmoved and watch this raging avalanche hurling itself against them. ‘In other parts of the field,’ says Dr Russell, of the Times, who saw the action, ‘with breathless suspense every one waited the bursting of the wave upon the line of Gaelic rock.’ But the time for action had come. Suddenly a word of command rang out sharp and clear, and the rifles of the 93rd were levelled at the advancing foe. The plumed heads drooped as the regulation three seconds were spent in taking careful aim. Then flashed out from flank to flank a withering volley, which sent dismay into the enemy’s ranks, caused them to reel, stagger, stumble, and recoil. Their headlong course was checked, and as they tried to extricate themselves from the wild confusion into which they had been thrown, the cool Highlanders, calmly as if on parade, brought their butts to the ground and reloaded. A detachment headed off from the main body of the enemy, and moving to the left attempted to outflank the 93rd. ‘That man knows his business, Shadwell,’ said Sir Colin to a staff officer beside him; and also knowing his business Sir Colin wheeled a portion of his men to the right to meet the emergency. The movement was successful. One more volley, and the discomfited horsemen were galloping back in full retreat. ‘Well done, brave Highlanders,’ shouted the spectators, as they for a moment breathed again. A great end had been achieved, a marvellous feat in warfare accomplished. The weakest point in the defence of Balaclava had been maintained, and the Russian opportunity lost. General Burroughs, who was at the time lieutenant of No. 6 Company, states in ‘The Records of the 93rd Regiment,’ that a party of British officers were afterwards informed by Russian officers who were in the engagement that ‘few of us were killed, but nearly every man and horse was wounded.’”

The safety of Balaclava was thus secured, but cavalry fighting followed, including the famous charge of the Light Brigade.

OTHER SERVICES IN THE CRIMEA. – In the following year Sir Frederick Burroughs took part in the expedition to Kertch, then the most important point in the Crimea, on the eastern shore the peninsula, on the strait of Kaffa or Yenikali. Kertch was levelled to the ground. He also shared in the attacks of 18th June and 8th Sept. 1855 on the Sebastopol forts. The capture of the Malakoff and Redan on the latter date compelled the Russians to evacuate the town and retire to the north side. Peace negotiations followed and resulted in the termination of the war. For his services in the Crimea he received the Crimean Medal with three clasps, the Turkish medal, and the 5th Class of the Turkish Order of the Medjidi.

THE INDIAN MUTINY. – Shortly after the end of the Crimean War the Indian Mutiny broke out, and the 93rd was sent out to assist quelling it (1857-8). In that campaign Sir Frederick Burroughs took part in the relief of Lucknow by Lord Clyde (Sir Colin Campbell), the storming of the Secundrabagh and of the Shanujeev, the battle of Cawnpore on 6th December 1857, the pursuit of Seraighat, the action of Khodagunge, the storming of the Beegum Khotee, and the capture of Lucknow. He was first through the breach of Secundrabagh, and was slightly wounded on the head with a tulwar cut, and was severely wounded at the battle of Lucknow. He was given the Brevet rank of Major in his regiment and received the Mutiny medal with two clasps.

THE CAPTURE OF THE SECUNDRABAGH. – Of the capture of the Secundrabagh some account must be given because of the discussions which have taken place over the awards of the coveted Victoria Cross for valour on that occasion. Lord Roberts’ book, published in1897, gave rise to a correspondence in the Standard of considerable military interest. The question mooted was whether Captain Burroughs or Lieutenant Cooper (who was given the Victoria Cross for it), was the first in at the hole in the wall. We are not aware (said the Broad Arrow, commenting at the time on this correspondence) that Cooper himself actually claimed that he was the first man in, but others, among them Colonel Malleson and now Lord Roberts, have made the claim for him. On the other hand, Burroughs distinctly and officially claimed that he was the first of the survivors who entered by the hole in the wall, and all who knew him will feel convinced that he is not the man to rob his comrade of an honour. Lord Roberts, in describing the assault which he witnessed, asserts that a Highlander was the first, but was shot as he entered; a man of the 4th Punjab Infantry came next, and he also was slain; that Lieut. Cooper was third, and that he was immediately followed by Lieutenant-Colonel Ewart, both of the 93rd. Forbes Mitchell, in his account of the storm, asserts that Burroughs was the first officer to enter, and that he – Forbes Mitchell – assisted Lieutenant-Colonel Ewart to enter, he himself following with Lieut. Cooper. Col. (afterwards Gen. Sir John) Ewart, according to Malleson, when writing in 1880, said – “I cannot tell you precisely who was first through the hole, Captain Burroughs claimed the honour, and certainly he was in before me, for when I jumped through I noticed him inside with his head bleeding from a sabre cut.” The most important contribution to the controversy was, however, the letter in the Standard signed “W. G. A.. Lieutenant-Colonel (late 93rd Highlanders),” who is evidently Lieut.-General William Gordon Alexander. That officer states that he kept a diary during the whole of the mutiny campaign, that he was Captain Burroughs’ subaltern at the capture of the Secundrabagh, and that he was one of the first four officers who entered the breach. His story is that the wing of the 93rd was on a sloping bank facing the Secundrabagh, and within close range of it, whilst the artillery was trying to make a breach. After waiting about an hour and a half, Lord Clyde gave the order to storm. Burroughs had for some time been standing on the top of the bank drawing down a heavy fire by thus exposing himself – so as to get a good start. When the signal was given Burroughs rushed. He had only to jump down, while his company had to rise, climb the bank, and then jump down. Owing to the trend of the bank he had twenty yards start of both Ewart and Cooper. Colonel Alexander says that he ran his best to get through the heavy fire and saw Burroughs “go a header” through the hole before there was a man near him; Burroughs was followed in by Cooper and a private, then Alexander after helping Ewart in, entered himself. Colonel Alexander affirms most positively that not a single Native soldier entered by that breach. It is quite clear therefore that Burroughs was the first man who passed through the hole, and the differences of opinion and narrative can easily be explained. The fire was hot, nerves were highly strung, the atmosphere was clouded by smoke and dust, claymores were flashing, tartans and the foxtails of the feather bonnets were flying in the air. What wonder then if mistakes were made about details. Moreover the Highland full dress is such that at a distance it is not easy for a stranger to identify any one individual out of several Highland soldiers. Still, after considering the evidence of Ewart, Forbes Mitchell, Alexander, and Burroughs himself, we have no doubt that General Burroughs was the first man who passed alive through the hole in the Secundrabagh, and we consider the question as now finally settled.

WOUNDED AT LUCKNOW. – Reference may also be made to the last day’s fighting at Lucknow – 27th March 1858. On that day No. 6 Company of the 93rd Highlanders under Captain Burroughs was on guard at the Burra Durree Gateway, when it was reported that some Sepoys held a house near the post and were firing at all passers-by. “Captain Burroughs,” says Croall, “at once started with a party to dislodge them, and having gained the top of the flat-roofed house occupied by the Sepoys, he was making arrangements to dislodge them, when he saw a puff of smoke beneath him. Instantly expecting an explosion, Burroughs sprang down the stairs, but too late to escape. The staircase was blown from under him, a brick struck his right leg, breaking it. As he fell the leg was broken again, and he was covered by the falling wall of the building. In a badly bruised and injured condition the unfortunate officer was removed to the Dilkoosha, where he was put under chloroform and had his twice-broken limb set. The explanation of the explosion was that a party of another regiment, bent on the same errand as the party under Burroughs – but each knowing nothing of the other – had got within the building, and resolved to clear out the enemy by bringing it down about their ears. They were entirely successful and Burroughs in due time perfectly recovered.”

RECEIVES FREEDOM OF KIRKWALL. – Though the 93rd did not return to Scotland after the Mutiny till 1870, Major Burroughs was at home for a time, and in 1859, the freedom of the Burgh of Kirkwall was conferred on him. Returning to India he was with the regiment at Peshawar in 1862 when cholera raged and carried off many of the officers and killed the rank and file like flies. By the deaths of Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald and Major Middleton, Major Burroughs succeeded temporarily to the command. He marched the regiment across a low range of hills to Jubba, when the epidemic abated and finally disappeared. The Adjutant-General issued an order in which was this passage:- “It is most gratifying to the Commander-in-Chief to learn that the conduct of all ranks throughout the trying season was so admirable, and that, notwithstanding the adverse circumstances of cholera and fever, the drill and discipline of the 93rd Highlanders did not suffer in any way, a state of things which reflects the greatest credit on Major Burroughs, the officers, and non-commissioned officers and men of this very distinguished regiment.”

THE EUSOFZAI EXPEDITION. – In the end of 1864, the regiment was ordered to form part of the field force under Sir Neville Chamberlain. The campaign was against the Bonyers and other mountain tribes on the N.W. frontier. The campaign involved more hard marching than fighting. Major Burroughs commanded the regiment in the Umbeyla Pass, and was mentioned in despatches, and received the medal and clasp for the operations.

ASSAULTED BY A TEMPLE OFFICIAL. – On 18th June 1868, Col. Burroughs (as he then was) was assaulted by the Darogah when visiting a mosque at Lucknow. The Colonel wished to ascend a minaret when the Darogah insulted him, and the Colonel became angry. The Darogah called on the hangers-on about the temple, and some thirty of these attacked Colonel Burroughs with bamboos and latees. He was severely beaten, but managed to escape to his buggy. The attackers followed, cut the reins of his horse, and beat the syce [groom]. The Darogah was tried and sentenced to a month’s imprisonment.

RETURN HOME. – In 1864 the promotion of Colonel Sisted led to the further promotion of Major Burroughs to be Lieut.-Colonel in command of the regiment, and it was under his command as Colonel (to which he was promoted in August 1869) that the regiment landed from the troopship Himalaya at Leith on their return home after thirteen years’ service in India. The regiment was at first sent to Aberdeen, and then removed to Edinburgh. Here new colours were presented to the regiment in the Queen’s Park by the Duchess of Sutherland. Before the new flags were presented, the worn and tattered colours which the regiment had carried through the Mutiny were trooped. Colonel Burroughs, in offering to her Grace the old colours, which had been presented to the regiment by the Duke of Cambridge after the Crimean War, said:- “These colours that are now so war-worn and tattered were our rallying-point in the Indian Mutiny War. We offer them for your Grace’s acceptance, and hope you will accord them an asylum at Dunrobin Castle, where the regiment was first mustered. On former occasions of presentations of colours, it is recorded that the officers then in command promised and vowed, in the name of the regiment, that it would do its duty to its King, Queen, and country. The pages of history are witnesses how faithfully those vows have been kept. In accepting these new colours at your Grace’s hands, I call upon the officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders to bear in mind that they were presented by her Grace the Duchess of Sutherland, and I call upon the regiment to vow with me that we will defend them to the last; that we will ever faithfully do our duty to our Queen and country; that we will never permit the good name of the Sutherland regiment to be sullied, and, remembering that the Sutherland motto is sans peur [without fear], at it will ever be our endeavour that our conduct on all occasions shall be sans reproche.”

RETIREMENT FROM THE COMMAND. – In October 1873, after twenty-five years’ service, during which he was never on half pay, Colonel Burroughs gave up command of the 93rd and returned to Orkney, where he afterwards made his home. His retirement was the occasion of a great demonstration by the soldiers at Aldershot, where the regiment then was. Every person in the lines of the regiment turned out to give him a hearty farewell and wish him happiness in private life. No sooner had he taken his seat in the carriage to drive to the railway station than a scene presented itself of rare occurrence in the orderly north camp. The regiment and band formed up, the horses were removed from the carriage, which was dragged along by a number of the men, preceded by the band playing “Will ye no come back again?” the rest of the men following and cheering lustily. On reaching Farnham Road, the band took up a place at one side, and played “Auld Lang Syne,” the horses were re-yoked, and the Colonel drove slowly on while the men mounted the trees on the roadside and cheered as only British soldiers can. The demonstration was a remarkable and spontaneous tribute to the relations existing between Colonel Burroughs and the men under his command. He was the soldiers’ friend as well as their commanding officer. Before handing over the command he delivered a farewell address, in which he thanked officers and non-commissioned officers for their support, and the men for their exemplary good conduct. He expressed his unfeigned sorrow at quitting a regiment in which he had spent the best years of his life; and concluded by saying – “I remind the regiment that it has always borne the honourable reputation of being one of the finest, bravest, and best-conducted regiments in Her Majesty’s service, and that the maintenance of this high reputation has been and is dependent on the deportment of every individual in it; and I hope that everyone will earnestly strive to uphold the name of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders.”

HONOURS. – After retiring from active service, Colonel Burroughs continued to take a keen interest in military affairs, and his kindness to old soldiers was well known. He was made a Major-General, March 16, 1880, and Lieutenant-General, July 1, 1881. In June 1897 he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a post which he vacated last year on being appointed Hon. Colonel of his old regiment and its linked battalion, the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, much to the satisfaction of the regiment. On the occasion of the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Aldershot in the summer of 1873, Colonel Burroughs was created a Companion of the Bath. On the King’s Birthday last year he received the honour of knighthood in the same Order.

LOCAL INTERESTS. – Colonel Burroughs made Rousay his home after 1873. He built Trumland House, and resided there. He took much interest in the Volunteers, and was for several years Colonel in the Orkney Volunteer Artillery, presenting the regiment a challenge shield for company drill. His relations with his tenantry were generally friendly, though some friction was caused in recent years by the working of the Crofter’s Act, which General Burroughs regarded as a most unjust measure. He was for many years a member of most of the county and parish boards, both before and since the passing of the Local Government Act – County Council, Commissioners of Supply, Orkney Harbours Commissioners, Road Trust, School Board, Parish Council, &c. He was also a Justice of the Peace; and after being for some years a Deputy-Lieutenant of the County, he was a few years ago appointed Vice-Lieutenant. He gave his support to nearly all the public institutions and associations in the county.

In politics a Conservative, Sir Frederick did not take a very active part in political affairs. He leant particularly to the school of political thought which is represented by the Liberty and Property Defence League, of which he was one of the office-bearers. In an article in the Liberty Review, the League’s organ, he expounded his views on the land question. He was, we believe, engaged in writing a volume of reminiscences when his last illness seized him.

An attached member of the Episcopal Church, Sir Frederick T. Burroughs was one of the founders of St Olaf’s Church, Kirkwall, the foundation stone of which he laid in November 1874, and he was for many years a member of the vestry of that congregation.

Sir Frederick Burroughs married on 4th June 1870, Eliza D’Oyly, youngest daughter of Colonel William Geddes, C.B., of the Royal Artillery, by whom he is survived. Their visit to Orkney in the end of July of that year, after their marriage, was the occasion of a hearty demonstration of welcome by the tenantry on the estates of Rousay and Veira. The last occasion which the tenants had of congratulating him was last June on his receiving the honour of knighthood, when they presented him with an illuminated address.

His character may be easily summed up. He was a loyal subject, a brave soldier, a kind commanding officer, the soldier’s friend, and a most courteous gentleman.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS. – The funeral will take place in London on Friday. A service will be held in St Gabriel’s Church at 12.45 p.m., and the interment in Brompton Cemetery at half-past one o’clock.


The steam trawler Excelsior of Hull, which went ashore on the skerry, south end of Egilshay, during the storm on 8th January, has been abandoned, all attempts to take her off having failed.

1905 April 15 The Orcadian

ROUSAY CONCERT. – A very successful concert was held in Sourin School on the evening of Friday the 31st ult. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair and performed the duties of chairman in his usual efficient and hearty manner. The choir under the leadership of Mr J. W. Grieve rendered a number of part songs in a pleasing and capable manner, while a number of quartettes were also very well done. Out of such a good programme it may seem invidious to give special mention to any items, but the soloists deserve praise for the very pleasing manner in which they performed their various songs. Mrs Horne very sweetly sang “The Old Countree,” while Miss Aggie Munro’s rendering of “Cam ye by Athol” left little to be desired. Miss Munro possesses a very fine voice of wonderful richness and beauty, and was awarded a well-merited encore. Miss Edith Spark also sang in a specially pleasing manner “Mill May,” and this young lady’s voice coupled with her extreme youth gives great promise for the future. Mr A. Gibson, our well-known tenor, rendered in capital style “The Highlandman’s Toast,” while Mr Scott’s “Killiecrankie,” and Mr Grieve’s “McAllister’s Bonnet” as well as a trio, “Dame Durden,” by Messrs Scott, Grieve, and Marwick called forth roars of laughter. Two humorous readings by Mr Grieve also fairly convulsed the audience. One pleasing feature of the concert was the parts performed by the school children, an action song, “The Japanese Fan,” by girls, and music drill by boys being specially appreciated. Altogether the concert was a great success and Mr Grieve cannot be too highly praised for the unselfish way in which he worked, nor for the capable and cultured manner in which he performed his duties as conductor. Annexed is the programme: –

Opening chorus, “All Among the Barley,” choir; Chairman’s remarks ; quartette, “Sir Knight, Sir Knight,” Misses Munro and Marwick and Messrs Gibson and Grieve; musical drill, dumb bells, school boys; solo, “The Highlandman’s Toast,” Mr A. Gibson; reading, “The Exercise Book,” Mr J. W. Grieve; chorus, “Speed Bonnie Boat,” choir; recitation, “Story of a Stowaway,” Master W .Marwick; solo, “The Old Countree,” Mrs Horne; Quartette, “Dublin Bay,” Mrs Grieve and Miss Spark and Messrs Craigie and J. Gibson; action song, “The Japanese Fan,” school girls; solo, “McAllister’s Bonnet,” Mr J. W. Grieve: chorus, choir. Service of tea. Chorus, “Rose of Allandale,” choir; dialogue, “The Fair Unknown,” Misses Seatter and Spark and Messrs Munro and Marwick; solo, “Killiecrankie,” Mr D. Scott; song, “Marching through Georgia,” school children; quartette, “I had a dream,” Mrs Grieve and Miss Leonard and Messrs Scott. and Marwick; solo, “Cam ye by Athol,” Miss A. Munro; recitation, “Charge of the Light Brigade.” Master J. Irvine; trio, “Dame Durden,” Messrs Grieve, Scott, and Marwick; reading, “A School Examination,” Mr J. W. Grieve; musical drill, dumb bells, school boys; solo, “Mill May,” Miss E. Spark; quartette, “Song of the Gipsies,” Misses Spark and Marwick and Messrs Gibson and Grieve; chorus, “Will ye no come back again,” choir.

1905 April 22 The Orcadian





The funeral of Sir Frederick W. Traill-Burroughs took place on the afternoon of Friday, April 14th, at Brompton Cemetery, London, the interment being in the vault of the late George William Traill of Viera.

The first part of the service was held at St Gabriel’s Church, Warwick Square. The body was carried to the church by a bearer party of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise’s Own) consisting of the regimental sergeant-major and seven non-commissioned officers, preceded by their pipe major, who came from Longmore Camp for the occasion. The coffin was covered with the Union Jack, on which were placed the late General’s cocked hat and sword, together with his orders and medals. On and around the coffin were placed floral crosses and wreaths. Conspicuous among these were a beautiful cross from General Burroughs’ family, a magnificent wreath from the Colonel and officers of the Orkney Volunteer Artillery, also wreaths from both battalions of the General’s regiment, from the old officers of the 91st and 93rd Highlanders, and wreaths from friends in Rousay and the household.

The chief mourners were Lady Traill-Burroughs, Colonel C. Burroughs, Miss Burroughs, Mrs Dunbar, the Misses Keene, Mr Justin Keene, Mr Hume Dunbar, Mr John Logie, Sir John Sinclair of Barrock, Mr Lillie and the Misses Lillie.

During the seating of the congregation, the organist, Mr G. Douglas Smith, played Beethoven’s “Funeral March on the Death of a Hero” and Chopin’s “Marche Funebre.”

The service was conducted by the Rev. Canon Morris, vicar of St Gabriel’s, assisted by the Venerable Archdeacon Sinclair. The body was met at the west door by clergy and choir, who preceded it up the nave, the vicar reciting the opening sentences of the burial service. The psalm “Domine, Refugium,” was sung, and the hymns “Rock of Ages” and “O God our help in ages past,” were beautifully rendered by the choir of St Gabriel’s. At the conclusion of the service in church, the organist played the Dead March in “Saul” whilst the body was removed to the hearse for conveyance to Brompton Cemetery.

At the grave the service was taken by the Venerable Archdeacon Sinclair, the regimental pipe-major playing a solemn lament before the numerous mourners separated. The pall-bearers were:- The Lord Lieutenant of the County (Capt. Laing), Sir John Sinclair of Barrock, Colonel Urmston, of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Col. Menzies Clayhills (one of the survivors of the “Thin Red Line” at Balaclava), Mr Justin Keene, Mr Hume Dunbar, Colonel Chator (late Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), Colonel Colquhoun, and Mr Sutherland-Graeme of Graemeshall.

A very large number of friends were present at the church at Brompton Cemetery. Among those connected with Orkney were Mrs Sutherland-Graeme, Miss Maud Balfour, Mrs Garson, Miss Macrae, Miss Traill (of Woodwick), Mrs Thompson, Mr Henry Traill (of Woodwick), Major Jas. Traill of Ratter, Capt. Murray Traill, Mr Thos. Traill (of Holland), Mr Patrick Sutherland-Graeme, younger of Graemeshall, Mr and Mrs Grahame Watt, Mr and Mrs Cathcart Wason, Mrs Logie, Miss Mainland, Mr and Mrs George Taylor, Mr W. Corsie, Mr Thompson, Mr Inkster, Mr Alex. Murison, and Dr and Mrs Broadbent:…..

Wreaths and flowers were sent by the officers of the 93rd highlanders; the officers of the 91st Highlanders; old officers 91st and 93rd Highlanders; Colonel and officers, Orkney Artillery Volunteers; the family of the late Sir F. W. Traill-Burroughs; Mrs Arbuthnot, Westness, Rousay; Mrs Arbuthnot’s children, do., do.; Colonel Colquhoun, Mrs and Miss Colquhoun, Mrs Barry, Mrs Walter Forbes, Mrs Sutherland-Graeme, Colonel and Mrs Balfour of Balfour, the Misses Balfour, Mrs Radcliff, Rev. E. R. Burroughs, Miss Mainland, Mr and Mrs John Logie and servants, friends in Rousay…..

A great number of telegrams was received by Lady Burroughs, among others from the Duchess of Argyll, Princess Louise; the Provost of Kirkwall and Town Council, Mr Middlemore of Melsetter, Col. And Mrs Balfour of Balfour, Rev. J. B. Craven, Rev. Mr and Mrs Pirie, Mr Baikie of Tankerness, Colonel and Mrs Bailey, officers and men of the Orkney Artillery Volunteers, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mr and Mrs David Johnston, Rousay; Mr Munroe, do.; Mr, Mrs, and Miss William Logie, do.; Mr, Mrs, and Misses Craigie, do.; Mr and Mrs Cutt, do.; Superintendent, Mrs, and Master Atkin, Kirkwall; Firemaster Inkster, Aberdeen.



On Friday, 14th April, at 12.45 p.m., the funeral of the late Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs took place in London at Brompton Cemetery, and, at the same hour, a memorial service was held in the Trumland United Free Church, Rousay. There was a large attendance of tenants and friends, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather. The service was conducted by Rev. A. Irvine Pirie and Rev. John McLennan. In addition to devotional exercises and Scripture readings, several appropriate hymns were sung, and the congregation stood whilst the “Dead March in Saul” was played on the organ. During the service Rev. A. I. Pirie made the following statement regarding the late esteemed proprietor:-

Our thoughts to-day go out to the solemn procession that is at this moment wending its way to the Brompton Cemetery on the south west side of London. The earthly remains of Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, the late esteemed proprietor of this estate, and to many of us a long-standing personal friend, are at this hour being committed to their last resting-place with military honours. As we, his tenants and friends resident on the estate, cannot be present at the funeral obsequies in London, we meet here to show our high respect for the deceased and to express our heartfelt sympathy with Lady Burroughs in her sad bereavement, and to unite in prayer that the God and Father of all comfort may comfort her in this time of heavy affliction and loneliness. It is not necessary for me to dwell upon Sir Frederick’s early life and military career; that has been published in considerable fullness elsewhere. He was a thorough soldier. His whole character and conduct were shaped and strongly influenced by military training and standards. Thirty-two years ago he retired from active service, and he and Lady Burroughs came to reside here on their estate. During the whole of these years, he has been a most active and painstaking sharer in the life and work of the place. Called to occupy a high position in life, it was his constant aim to play his part well and to leave no duty unattended to. His high sense of duty made him ready and anxious to serve the parish on its public boards, and he highly appreciated the confidence shown to him repeatedly at the election of members to these boards. He fulfilled these public offices most faithfully, sparing neither time nor expense in doing so. He fearlessly contended for what he conscientiously believed to be right, and as fearlessly condemned what he believed to be wrong. It may be honestly said that he lived a model private life, and those who knew him best were most attached to him. Very gentlemanly and considerate to those dependent on him, the soldiers in his regiment and his household felt the fascination of his character, and were strongly attached to him. Punctual and severely correct in his habits, he appreciated the same virtues in others, and frowned on all that was slovenly or low in act or speech. His speech was at all times singularly pure, and anything bordering on the profane and vulgar he abhorred and instantly condemned. Strictly temperate in all things, and devoutly religious, his example and influence were always on the side of what makes human life pure and noble. An Episcopalian in sympathy, and by church connection, he nevertheless was liberal in his views of church order; he was strongly evangelical in his beliefs, and held that the Christian life was more important than church forms. During his long residence on the estate he worshipped regularly in the Presbyterian Church, and for more than half of that time in this church in which we are now met. Except when away from the island, he was rarely absent from public worship, and was always anxious to bring his visitors with him. Only a few months ago we met to welcome him home on his return from receiving the honour of knighthood conferred on him by His Majesty the King. He had been spared but a very short time to enjoy this well-earned honour. Truly “all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower fadeth.” During his late illness Sir Frederick quietly looked forward to his departure, in the expectation that he would then enter a brighter world. He expressed himself as wearied of earthly things and scenes, and stated that his trust was in his Saviour who would never leave him. Personally, I found him extremely kind, and I feel to-day that I have lost a true and genuine friend. Death is always busy making blanks in homes and social circles, but when one occupying such a prominent position as Sir Frederick Burroughs occupied is removed, the blank seems very great and the changes involved far-reaching. The greatest change of all will be experienced by Lady Burroughs, and our sincere sympathy goes out towards her to-day. She has been a true helpmeet to her husband during all the time of his residence on the estate, entering most cordially into all movements for the well-being of the community, and l am sure I express the universal feeling when I pray that in this, the heaviest of all human afflictions, she may be comforted and strengthened by the divine grace, and that she may find consolation in the faith that her late devoted husband has gone “to be forever with his Lord.” [Orkney Herald]

1905 April 29 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – SERVICE OF SONG. – On the evening of Sabbath last the Bible Class, conducted by Mr [Alexander Irvine] Pirie during the winter in the Frotoft Schoolroom, brought its session to a close with a service of sacred song. A large choir, under the able leadership of Captain Craigie, sang with excellent taste a number of choruses and individual members rendered solos, duets, and quartettes with much precision and skill. In the course of the evening Mr Pirie gave a resumé of the teaching of Christ which had formed part of the subject of study for the class during the session. The whole service was much appreciated by a large audience.

1905 May 3 Orkney Herald

IN AN ORKNEY CHURCH. – During the singing of a Psalm in an Orkney church a goose entered and quietly waddled up the passage towards the pulpit, just as the precentor had got out of tune and almost come to a standstill – a not very unusual occurrence at that time. The minister observing the goose leaned over the pulpit, and addressing the church-officer said – “Mr R., put out the goose.” That functionary, not observing the feathered parishioner, and supposing that the minister’s direction had reference to the precentor, marched up to that individual, and to the no small amusement of the meagre congregation, collared him saying at the same time – “Come out o’ that, ye idiot.”

1905 May 10 Orkney Herald

THE WEATHER OF APRIL – …..has been exceptionally bad – in fact one of the worst Aprils on record. The only period of seasonable weather was during an anticyclone from 16th to 21st, and then it was very cold. A severe snowstorm extended from 5th to 10th, which was for temperature, but probably not for snowfall, the most severe on record. The minimum thermometer fell on two successive nights to 25 deg. [-3.88C.]; which has not been equalled for 45 years – that is since a record of minimum temperature was commenced. Showers of hail and snow fell occasionally during the latter part of the month. Pressure was considerably below the mean. The temperature was 3 deg. below the mean, and, with the exception of 1903, which had a mean temperature of 39.58 deg., the coldest April since 1851. The rainfall was about 1 inch in excess of the mean, but still not so wet as the two preceding Aprils. The sunshine was 30 hours in defect of the mean, and the most sunless April since 1800, when sunshine recorders were instituted. There were no severe gales during an otherwise unseasonable month.

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee was held on Friday last. Present – Col. Balfour, Messrs Grant, Sutherland, Reid, Gibson, and Stevenson. Before proceeding with the business of the Committee, the Chairman moved that the meeting record an expression of their sincere regret at the loss by death of Lieut.-Gen. Sir F. W. Traill Burroughs, K.C.B., who has for a long time been a member of this Committee, and their deep sympathy with Lady Burroughs in her bereavement, which was seconded by Mr Reid and unanimously agreed to, and the Clerk was instructed to send Lady Burroughs an excerpt of the minute…..

ORKNEY COUNTY COUNCIL. –The statutory general meeting of the County Council of Orkney was held in the County Buildings, Kirkwall, on Friday…..Col. Balfour [the convener], before the Council proceeded with the business on the card, moved that the Council record their deep sense of the loss that the County of Orkney and this Council have sustained through the death of Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick William Traill-Burroughs, K.C.B., who has been a member of the bodies administering the affairs of the County for over 50 years; he was appointed a Commissioner of Supply by the Act 1853, and was a member of the County Council since the Local Government Act of 1889 came into operation, and during all that time he gave his services freely and ungrudgingly for the benefit of Orkney. He further moved that the Council express their sympathy with Lady Burroughs in her bereavement. The Convener’s motion was adopted unanimously and the Clerk was instructed to send an excerpt from this part of the minute to Lady Burroughs…..

1905 May 20 The Orcadian

ORKNEY SMALL DEBT COURT – A CATTLE TRANSACTION. – John Logie, cattle dealer, Rousay, claimed £2 in name of damages from James W. Shearer, crofter, Eastcraig [East Craie, above Curquoy], Rousay, for alleged failure to implement a bargain.

The evidence led explains the cause of the dispute.

The Pursuer, examined by Mr D. J. Robertson, deponed – I am a cattle dealer and live in Rousay. I remember on the 19th of April last going to Eastcraig, defender’s house. I had heard he had a beast to sell – a year old stot. I met Shearer outside his house, and asked him if he had a beast to sell. His wife was there when I arrived. I examined the beast in the byre and afterwards outside. Defender came along the road a short distance with me, and I asked him what price he expected for the stot. He said he expected £6. I told him the animal was size for the money, but not in good condition. He told me he had to sell the animal as he had just one week’s keep. I offered him £6 if he would pay the freight to Kirkwall. He agreed to that. The agreement was that he was to deliver the beast at Trumland pier on the following Monday, and I was to pay the money then less the freight. I was selling to a man in the North Isles, and I offered him the stot. On Thursday night Mr Shearer came to me and said he was not to sell the stot. I offered the beast to another man that morning, and I told Shearer he had better sell it to me as I had made an offer to a man in the North Isles. He told me his wife did not want to part with it. On Saturday night I notified him to deliver the beast according to bargain, and on the Monday I was at the pier to take delivery but defender was not there. On that date I employed my agent to write defender, informing him that if the beast was delivered next Monday I would still adhere to the bargain. That letter was not replied to, and I have never heard anything from him. I have suffered Ioss by this. I expected to make a profit by the sale of the stot, and it also affects my business position because I have not been able to carry out my bargain. The least I can put the loss and damage I have sustained at is £2.

Cross-examination – When I called at Shearer’s house I asked him if he had anything to sell. The stot in question was a year old. Shearer did not tell me he had nothing to sell. He did not tell me he was not to sell the stot. He did not tell me he would “see.” Eastcraig is a croft of some 17 acres. Shearer told me the following night he was not to sell the stot. Q. – How do you make out the damage? A. – I have a lot of expenses to pay for coming to this court. Q. – That has nothing to do with it. How do you make out the damages to be £2? A. – I have lost £2 to-day by not being at my business.

By the Court – Apart from legal expenses and loss of time coming here, what have you lost? A. – I think I have lost about £2. Q. – How do you make that up? A. – I make it up through disappointment at not getting the beast. Q. – What profit did you expect to make? A. – I know the price I would have got.

Cross-examination, continued – Q. – Has the man in the North Isles made any claim against you? A. – No. Q. – Have you lost one penny piece by this transaction? A. – Yes, I have lost my credit. Q. – Can you turn that damage into money? A. – Yes. I have had legal expenses, and have lost time coming here to-day. Q. – How much have you lost on the beast? A. – I had sold it for £7.

Re-examination – I have lost £1 through not getting delivery of the beast. I was to have sold it for £7. I consider I have lost another £1 at the lowest by the annoyance I have been put to.

James William Shearer, defender, examined by Mr W. P. Drever, deponed – I am tenant of the croft of Eastcraig, and a farm servant at Papdale, St Ola. I only got the summons in this action yesterday morning. I remember the pursuer calling on me about the 19th of April. He asked if I had anything to sell and I said I had not. I told him I put a value of £6 on the year-old, and he said it was far too much. I did not sell the stot. I told him I would not sell it as I needed it. I am in service now so as to pay for stocking the croft. I told Logie I would see whether I would sell the stot or not. I told him I had decided not to sell the stot. I asked him what he thought the stot was worth as a matter of advice. I refused £6 10s. the next day from James Scott, and I have the animal yet. I intended all along to keep this stot till the back of the Lammas, so as to provide for my rent. Logie told me that if I had called on the Thursday morning he would not have minded. I called on him in the evening and told him I was not to sell the stot.

Cross-examination – I turned the stot out of the byre so as to let Logie see it. I wished to know what he thought the value of the animal was as this was the first time I had had anything to do with the valuing of cattle. He wanted to buy the stot, and have it delivered at Trumland Pier on the following Monday morning. I told him I would see. I went to Logie and told him I would not sell after James Scott had offered me £6 10s.

Re-examination – My croft is able to carry a calf yet, even with the stot in question.

By the Court – Logie said he would buy the stot as an obligement. I would have sold my stot fast about the Christmas time. I saw I was to be short of keep, but seeing I had not disposed of it, and that I had managed to keep it so long, I decided to keep it through the summer. The stot was put out on the 19th, and has been out since.

Mrs [Elizabeth] Shearer, wife of defender, deponed – I remember Logie the cattle dealer coming to our house sometime in April. I heard some words passing between him and my husband. I heard my husband saying he was not going to sell the beast. I heard Logie saying the stot was thin and not worth £6. We had decided to keep the beast. We did not have much keep, but enough to do till the summer came. We were intending to keep the ox till after the Lammas to help to pay for the rent, as we would then get a better price – something for our trouble – as we paid dear for him at first. My husband said he was to tell Logie if he would sell on the morrow. He went to Logie the next day after he got his tea, and told him he would not sell the beast. Logie’s house [Grindlesbreck] is less than half a mile from our house.

Cross-examination – Logie wanted a luck-penny, and the luck-penny he suggested was that my husband should pay, the freight to Kirkwall.

The Sheriff said he had only one man’s word against the other, and as the pursuer’s averments were in no way supported, his only course was to decide in favour of defender, whom he assoilized [absolved or finally decided in favour of the defender] with 5s. expenses.

Agent for pursuer – Mr D. J. Robertson, solicitor; agent for defender – Mr W. P. Drever, solicitor.

1905 June 7 Orkney Herald

By special permission of Lady Traill Burroughs, Messrs Walton & Co., London, are to publish a portrait of the late Lieut.-General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, K.C.B. The size of the portrait is 23 by 17 inches, and the subscription price for artist’s proof, with autograph, is fifteen shillings.

1905 June 14 The Scotsman


There will be Exposed for SALE by Public Roup , within Dowell’s Rooms,
18 George Street, Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 16th day of August next,
at 2 o’clock Afternoon  unless previously disposed of by private bargain.
Entry at Martinmas 1905,
in the united PARISH of ROUSAY and EGILSHAY, ORKNEY.
Extent, about 12,000 Acres. The Gross Rental is about £2700,
and the Annual Burdens about £500.
The Property consists of the Islands of Rousay, Veira, and Scockness.
Rousay is about 20 miles in circumference. There is an excellent Mansion-house
on the island, and also a beautifully-situated Shooting Lodge.
The Shootings are first-class, comprising Grouse and many kinds of Wild Fowl,
also Hares and Rabbits, with splendid Loch and Sea Trout Fishing,
and Sea Fishing. The Estate affords continuous and varied sport
throughout the season. There is excellent Yacht Anchorage.
For further particulars and Cards to view the Estate, application may be made
to the Subscribers, in whose hands are the Title-Deeds and Articles of Sale.
MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S. Edinburgh, 9 Hill Street, June 1905.

1905 July 19 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – The appeal by the heritors of Rousay against the Rev. A. Spark, minister of Rousay, came before Sheriff Harvey in the Orkney Sheriff Court yesterday. Mr T. P. Low, for the parish minister, said he had enrolled the case, which had been adjourned on a previous occasion to allow the trustees of the late Sir Frederick Burroughs to sist themselves as parties to the action if they wished to do so. He did not think there should be a long delay, and wished to know what was to be done. Mr Robertson, for the heritors, said he had a letter from Sir Frederick’s agents stating that the trustees were not yet in a position to intimate whether they would go on with the action or not. The Sheriff further adjourned the case till 5th Sept., and ordained pursuers to intimate to the trustees of the late General Burroughs that the Court ordered them to intimate at that time whether they were to go on with the case or not.

1905 August 5 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Rev. William Kidd, minister of St George’s Presbyterian Church, Leytonstone, London, E., is expected to preach in the Parish Church here during the month of August. The Rev. A. Spark is at present attending Forest Gate College of Music in the interests of Scottish Psalmody, while his Church has been closed for repairs during July. It is to be hoped that parishioners may take the opportunity of hearing one of the most popular ministers in London. His Church cost over £5000 and had an organ built into it last year costing £400.

1905 August 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday, 3th ult. Being a holiday in Kirkwall, the Fawn ran a special trip to Rousay, and a good many people availed themselves of the opportunity of witnessing the regatta. The day was very fine, with a light westerly breeze, but not sufficient to prove an ideal racing day. However, the boats had quite enough wind to carry them over the course in good time. The entries this season were less than formerly – noticeably in the first race, 16 feet and under – there being only four entries. The rowing races proved exceptionally good this year, and were greatly enjoyed by the spectators. For two special rowing races, one for boys and girls, the other a scull race for men, there were a great number of entries. After a very exciting race in each case, the prizes were finally won by the Misses Arbuthnot, Westness, and George Reid, Tratland. We may mention that those special prizes were presented by Mr Barkworth, Edinburgh, who, along with Mrs Barkworth and family, is spending a holiday in Rousay. Mrs Arbuthnott and party arrived in their boat during the afternoon, and anchored off Trumland Pier; also, the Njala, from Kirkwall, with party on board. The course was the usual triangular one, being from a buoy off Trumland Pier to a mark boat off Sourin, thence to a mark boat at Graand of Egilshay and back to Trumland Pier.

The first race was for boats 16 feet waterline and under, for which there were four entries, namely, Mary, Alice, Ceska, and Tina. All four got well off together with starting gun, and kept well together to the Sourin mark boat. When sighted on run to Graand, the Ceska was seen to have a considerable lead, followed by Mary, Tina, and Alice, which positions they maintained throughout the race, with the exception of Mary, retired. The finish was as follows, corrected time: –

Ceska (W. Miller) – 1h 54m 24s
Tina (T. F. Fyffe) – 2h  9m  36s
Alice (C. Logie) – 2h 18m 19s
Mary (W. Costie) retired.

The second race was for boats 22 feet waterline and under, for which there were three entries, viz., Hero, Lily, and Sweyn. All three made a good start, and kept well together on the run to the point of Avelshay. When sighting on the reach to Graand, the Hero (which is a new boat built on racer lines), far out-distanced her opponents, and came in an easy winner. Finish as follows, corrected time: –

Hero (M. (Grieve) – 1h 26m 7s
Lily (R. Miller) – 1h 41m 37s
Sweyn (J. Garrioch) – 1h 45m 31s

The next race was for all-comers, and was the best race of the day, there being nine entries, viz., Annie, Lily, Sweyn, Mary, Tina, Hero, Sylvite, Ceska, and Alice. In jockeying for places the boats presented a very pretty appearance, and at this time cameras were very much in evidence. All the boats made a good start, and, as usual, kept well together running down before the wind. The exciting element in this race was the close race between Annie and Hero, and it was very doubtful for some time which was to be the winner. However, on the beat from Graand to Trumland Pier, the Annie greatly improved her position, and came in an easy first. Annexed is the corrected time: –

Annie (J. Logie) – 1h 25m 32s
Hero (M. Grieve) – 1h 31m 19s
Lily (R. Miller) – 1h 51m 37s
Sweyn (J. Garrioch) – 1h 52m 50s
Sylvite (A. Cursiter) – 2h 15m 25s
Ceska, Alice, and Tina retired.

The following are the rowing races: –

LADIES – 1, Misses Kemp and Marwick; 2, Misses Wards and Isbister; 3, Misses Marwick and Moodie; 4, Misses Kirkness and Yorston.
BOYS – 1, W. Marwick and R. Grieve; 2, R. Sinclair and R. Wards; 3, J. Irvine and J. Moodie.
MEN’S – 1, J. Johnstone and J. Flaws; 2, J. Harrold and G. Harrold; 3, W. Sutherland and G. Reid.
SPECIAL ROWING RACE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS – 1, Miss Arbuthnott; 2, David Sinclair and David Stout; 3, Ralph Barkworth and James Moodie; 4, Miss Sinclair.
MEN’S SINGLE SCULL RACE – 1, Geo. Reid; 2, J. Rendall; 3, —– Thomson; 4, W. Sutherland.

At the close of the races Mrs Arbuthnott handed out the prizes to the successful competitors, for which she was accorded three hearty cheers. Cheers were also given for the secretary and the Rousay Boat Club. As usual the club had refreshments in the store, which was well patronised, and much credit is due to the ladies who presided for the able and efficient manner in which they carried out all the arrangements. At the close of the regatta the young folks held a dance, which was kept up with much spirit till midnight. The committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so liberally contributed to the funds and in any way helped to make the regatta a success.

1905 August 26 The Orcadian

The estate of Rousay and Veira was offered for sale in Edinburgh last week, at the upset price of £55,000; but failed to find a purchaser.

1905 September 13 The Orcadian

TO BE LET, on Lease, with entry at Martinmas 1905,
the following FARMS on the above Estate: –
1. LANGSKAILL, extending to 184 acres arable and 741 acres pasture.
2. INNISTER and BRECKAN, extending to 99 acres arable and 266 acres pasture.
These holdings might be let separately. The extent of INNISTER is 62 acres arable and 146 acres pasture and of BRECKAN 37 acres arable and 120 Acres pasture.
3. HURTESO, together with the MEAL MILL of SOURIN. The Farm extends to 63 acres arable and 18 acres pasture. The Farm and Mill will he let as one subject.
4. TRUMLAND, extending to 162 acres arable and 1017 acres pasture.
5. WOO and BURNSIDE, extending to 50 acres arable and 9 acres pasture.
6. HELZIGITHA (VEIRA), extending to 44 acres arable and 48 acres pasture.
7. HALLBRECK (VEIRA), extending to 34 acres arable and 27 acres pasture.
8. COT-A-FEE (or VI., FROTOFT), extending to 8 acres arable and 3 acres pasture.
9. OLD SCHOOL, SOURIN, extending to 4½ acres arable.
The above measurements are not guaranteed,
but are believed to be approximately correct.
The present tenants will not be offerers.
The holdings will be let subject to the Estate Rules and Regulations,
to be seen in the hands of Mr A. MUNRO, Sourin, Rousay,
or of the Subscribers, who will receive offers.
The Farms will be let as soon as suitable offers are received.
9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1905 September 20 Orkney Herald

A CURIOUS INSTRUMENT – SCOTT SKINNER AND THE STROH VIOLIN. – We would draw our readers’ attention to the entertainment in the Temperance Hall, Kirkwall, on Saturday the 23rd and Monday 25th inst. by Mr David Thomson’s concert company. Mr Thomson is well-known in Orkney as a great favourite, and is sure of a hearty welcome. Besides himself, he has in his company Miss Violet Davidson, the eminent soprano, Miss Marie Rose, coon vocalist and dancer, and Mr Bert Herbert, pianist and entertainer. A splendid programme is being submitted, and the entertainments are worthy of being well patronised. Included in Mr David Thomson’s company is Mr [James] Scott Skinner, the distinguished Scottish violinist, who visits these parts for the first time. Mr Skinner has been for the last several decades the most notable figure in Scottish music. As a composer he has added – and is still adding – to the national stock music of a characteristic and pre-eminently Scottish style – in quantity and quality equal at least and, in the opinion of many good judges, superior to what any previous Scottish musician has produced. As a performer he is head and shoulders above any player of the present or last generation. As an artiste he is richly endowed by nature, and, in listening to his rendering of Scottish music, one recognises at once the perfect freedom that finds expression in the wonderful grace and power of his playing. Highland pibrochs and Highland laments, reels and strathspeys rendered with a melody and vivacity which no other hand can infuse into them; pawky jigs that breathe sly Scottish humour; old familiar song tunes which make an echo in every heart – all flow from his violin in profusion with that ease and certainty of execution which betoken consummate skill. Local instrumentalists will be interested to learn that during his visit here Mr Skinner (besides playing on his own violin, which is a very fine old one worth £100), will play one of his selections on a Stroh violin. This peculiar instrument was invented some four years ago by a German named [John Matthias Augustus] Stroh, who spent five years’ study and experiment in fashioning it. It is asserted to possess all the tone qualities of an old violin with an increase of volume equalling three violins, and at public tests in the south it has passed with flying colours. Violin enthusiasts will be surprised to learn that the new fiddle is a compound of aluminium and other metal. Whereas the construction of the violin up to the present has consisted of three parts, the strings, bridge, and body or sounding-box, Mr Stroh’s instrument, preserving the strings and bridge, does away with the sounding-box. The body of the violin consists of a simple piece of wood, and the bridge rests on an aluminium lever, which in its turn rests on a round disc of aluminium. To this disc is attached a trumpet-shaped arrangement somewhat like the bell of a gramophone, the open end pointing in the same direction as the head of a violin. The disc (representing the belly of the ordinary violin) is free to vibrate, so that once the strings are set in motion by the bow, the bridge and rocking lever vibrate accordingly. Thus every vibration is transmitted to the diaphragm, and the diaphragm sets in motion the air of the resonator. During the stay of Mr Thomson’s company in the town this curious instrument will be exhibited daily in the shop of Messrs Peace & Son, book-sellers.

[I include this for Rousay fiddler Jim Craigie was the proud owner of a Stroh fiddle. There is a photo of him playing it on the Deithe page.]

1905 September 25 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – A dance was held in the barn of the Rousay Glebe on Tuesday, 12th September on behalf of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow.

1905 October 11 Orkney Herald

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee was held on Friday. Present – Messrs W. Cowper Ward (in the chair), B. Swanson, J. Reid, J. Grant, and G. Sutherland…..A letter was submitted from Mr D. Gibson, Hullion, Rousay, who holds a slaughterhouse license, complaining that Mr J. M. Harrold, merchant, [Rose Cottage], Rousay, had been killing sheep on his own premises which are not licensed and exposing same for sale to the public. The Clerk was instructed to write Mr Harrold calling his attention to the section of the Act under which it is required that all animals slaughtered for consumption as food shall be slaughtered in duly licensed premises and calling upon him to comply with the requirements of the Act.

1905 October 14 The Orcadian

SMALL BOAT BURNED AT ROUSAY. – Some of the inhabitants of the island of Egilshay were rather startled last Monday evening to see flames and smoke arising from about the shore on the adjoining island of Rousay. They knew there was no house in that particular spot – only a boat noust – and to see a fire at such an hour and at such a place filled them with wonder and amazement. On making enquiries next day, however, it was learned that a young man named Marwick, a native of the island, who is presently home on holiday, had been busy for some days painting a small yacht of which he is owner, at a boat-noust near the farm of Midgarth or Midgitha, Rousay.

The intention of Marwick, we are told, was to sail his yacht round to Stromness, and then ship it to Liverpool on one of Langlands’ steamers. With that object in view he had been smartening up his little craft, and he had only that day completed his work.

All the gear had been placed in the yacht, preparatory to launching, but on the evening of Monday last about 6 p.m. the vessel was discovered to be on tire. The boat, sails, etc., seem to have been destroyed, but this loss is said to be covered by insurance. The cause of the fire is unknown.

1905 October 18 Orkney Herald

WRECKAGE. – During the last few days large quantities of wood, consisting of deals, etc., have been washed ashore on Westray, Rousay, Shapinsay, and other of the North Isles of Orkney. It appears that this formed part of the deck cargo of the steamer Waterville, of North Shields, which arrived at Bristol last Friday from Archangel. The master reports that on Thursday, 5th inst., when off Noup Head. Westray, the Waterville encountered a heavy gale, laboured and strained, and shipped large quantities of water. About a hundred tons of the deck cargo were washed overboard, the steering gear was damaged, various damages were done about the deck, and the cabin was flooded, etc.

1905 October 21 The Orcadian

THE ROUSAY MANSE CASE. MINISTER’S STUDY USED FOR STORING POTATOES. – “Oh give a poor lawyer a fee” is a favourite song among students, but from the discussion which took place at the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday, it seems the legal fraternity are also averse to paying them. It would likewise appear that the representatives of the “cloth” are no less anxious to obtain a fee – just to keep their pockets – without touching their ordinary income.

The discussion arose in regard to an interlocutor pronounced in the case of the Heritors of Rousay against the parish minister in regard to the order of the Presbytery of the Northern Isles to build a new manse for the minister of Rousay and Egilshay. The interlocutor ordained the Clerk of the North Isles Presbytery to lodge with the Clerk of the Court certain documents pertaining to the cause, and, this the Presbyterial Clerk refused to do unless he was paid his copying fees, or the usual fee fixed by the Presbytery for the production of originals.

Mr Duncan J. Robertson argued that when the case was appealed from the ecclesiastical court to the civil court all the documents ought to be transmitted to the Clerk of the Court; but the Sheriff took the view that he was hearing the case anew, and that, unless the parties’ agents wish the documents referred to neither did he.

Mr Robertson then asked for an adjournment so as to consult his heritors looking to the fact that the Sheriff refused to proceed in the way of having these documents brought into Court, but the Sheriff refused to grant any adjournment.

Continuing the discussion, Mr Robertson again adverted to the documents, and Mr Kerr, the Clerk of the North Isles Presbytery, who was present, said that Mr Robertson wanted to get the documents without paying the fees, and he (the Clerk) therefore would not give up the papers. The Sheriff ultimately gave it as his opinion that it would be better if he had the documents before him; but he could on no account recognise the superiority of the civil over the ecclesiastical court; and Mr Kerr, reciprocating, at once offered to produce the documents for the use of the Court.

Mr Robertson strongly objected to the proposal to build a new manse which would at least involve the heritors in an expenditure of £2000. They would much rather pay the £350 estimated for the repairs or even £500. As to the minister’s statement that he required more accommodation he (Mr Robertson) had paid a surprise visit to the manse, and had found that the study was being used for storing potatoes in. They had also to look at the requirements of the island – the minister’s stipend. The present minister might have private means; but his successor in office with such a small stipend would find a huge manse a white elephant. The principal reason for condemning the manse seemed to be that the chimneys smoked and that the building leaked – a feature of all Orkney houses.

His lordship remarked that at Berstane some of the chimneys smoked with certain winds and he had to move to other rooms. The minister of Rousay would just require to do as other people did.

The Sheriff took the case to avizandum, and is to frame an interlocutor making a remit to a man of skill, with whom he is to inspect the manse.

Mr Low, on behalf of the minister of Rousay, objected to any local architect being chosen for the purposes of the remit.

1905 October 28 The Orcadian

Letters to the Editor


Sir, – If your last issue’s report be correct, I am to say that Mr Duncan J. Robertson’s fiddle-faddle interpretation of ecclesiastical law and procedure is pitiable in the extreme, and stands contrasted to a greater “Duncan.” It is a question whether his puerility or his pusillanimity is the more conspicuous. He boldly obliterated the res judicata of the Sheriff Court, and resumed his former ravings about “storing potatoes.” As I wish to dispossess his mind from its fulsome hallucinations, I am to assure him that during my incumbency potatoes have never been stored in the manse here, but, that if any parish minister has a mind to do so, he has by law an absolute free unfettered right to use the manse like the glebe, as he pleases. I am, etc., ALEXANDER SPARK. The Manse, Rousay, Parish Minister.

1905 November 4 The Orcadian

A MUSICAL ADVENTURE IN THE ORKNEYS. – “Orcadia” writing in the “Musical Herald,” says:-

Who has not heard of the Orcades? These islands lie in the restless rush of the Gulph stream, “where roars the Pentland with its whirling seas.” The most inaccessible and northernmost of the group is North Ronaldshay, being 60 miles north by sea distant from Kirkwall, and 3 from the neighbouring island of Sanday. In 1893, I agreed on a fortnight’s music mission to Ultima Thule. If it was a miracle how I got there, it was as great a miracle how I ever got out of it! Leaving Rousay on Monday 13th February I reached Sanday on Wednesday, where I was storm-stayed for 10 days. At last on the 11th day the post-boat – a boat with 10 feet of keel – arrived with mails from North Ronaldshay, but the two boatmen expressed a doubt if they could venture back that night! But, as “night walked in beauty o’er the peaceful sea,” we set sail at 4 p.m. The boat was literally filled with bags of maize, meal, and the mails, so we had scarce room to move. We hugged the shores of Sanday 1½ hour, but, wind failing, the boatmen proposed drawing her up a rocky “geo” for the night. Fortunately this was not to be, for a breeze sprang up, and we made across those three miles of swirling tides, the water oft mounting above the gunwale! It was “touch and go” a thousand times, but reached, with gladness, our “desired haven.” Classes held every week night in the Parish Church were opened and attended by 80 persons, some of whom took the Elementary Certificate. We used Curwen’s Charts and “Song Primer,” and made progress. My fortnight’s engagement ended, I prepared for leaving, but, as no boat could venture o’er swirling tides, I was imprisoned here another fortnight, the only letter from home during all my six week’s absence having accompanied me thither. At last the boatmen agreed to venture, but such a heavy land sea was breaking on shore, that, freighted with men and mails, a dozen men actually lifted the boat over the surge into the sea, which otherwise might in a moment have made her matchwood. I reached Kirkwall on 25th March, hired a boat to take me home in the dead of night over miles of sea, and found myself scrambling up the Rousay Rocks on Sunday morning.”

1905 November 11 The Orcadian

MUSICAL ADVENTURE. – When we gave last week the above adventure, we omitted what was published in the “Musical Herald” of London, the occasion, and the prize offered for it. This we now give – “The prize was offered for the best paper, not exceeding 400 words, giving a musical anecdote or musical experience of any kind. Such a large number of anecdotes have been received, and their quality has been so high, that we have found it difficult to decide upon the best. The experience of the Rev. Alexander Spark [junior], Rousay, Orkney, is certainly the most adventurous and unusual, and we therefore award him the prize.”

1905 November 18 The Orcadian

BRILLIANT DISPLAY OF THE AURORA BOREALIS. – One of the finest displays of the aurora borealis that has been seen in Orkney for many years was witnessed on Wednesday evening. About six o’clock the whole north-western sky assumed a beautiful saffron colour, with a deep blood-red bordering out of which the merry dancers, as they are locally called, began to play in the most fantastic way, sometimes jutting up to the zenith. For some time the whole western and overhead sky seemed instinct with motion, and though the brilliancy of the red background detracted somewhat from the brightness of the silvery streamers, the sight was one that will not readily be forgotten by those who saw it. Gradually a dark thundery-looking cloud rolled over the western sky, but for some time afterwards the streamers could be faintly descried jutting out in all directions. Nearly three hours later, a similar scene was witnessed above the eastern horizon, which attracted crowds of spectators; but it only lasted a short time, after which dark clouds blotted out the brilliant spectacle.

1905 December 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SUPPER. – A large number of friends of Mr William Learmonth and Mr Alexander Learmonth, Innister, who are about to leave Rousay, entertained these gentlemen and their families to supper in Wasbister School on the 24th ult. The Chairman, Mr John Logie, cattle-dealer, expressed the general regret at the departure of the families. The Learmonths had been in the island for fifty years, and the good wishes of their many friends for their future prosperity would go with them. Mr Logie also expressed regret that Mrs [Mary] Learmonth, senior, was unable to be present. Mr Wm. Learmonth and Mr Alex. Learmonth replied, thanking those present for their good wishes.

1905 December 16 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – DEATH OF MR WILLIAM INKSTER. – Mr Wm. Inkster, Cogar, died on the 7th inst., in his 75th year. Deceased was a contemporary of the late General Burroughs, the proprietor of the island, and was much respected in the district. He had ten of a family, seven of whom, along with his widow, still survive. Several of the sons have gone south, and done very well, one of them being in the Town Clerk’s Office, Glasgow; another is a Baptist clergyman, and the eldest, William, is the respected fire-master of Aberdeen. The late Mr Inkster was of a genial, kindly, disposition, and by his removal one of the landmarks of Rousay has disappeared.

[William was the son of William Inkster, Upper Cogar, and Rebekkah Marwick, Negar, and was born on August 14th 1831. He married Mary Gibson, Langskaill, on January 27th 1859, and between November that year and 1879 they raised a family of nine sons and one daughter].

1905 December 16 The Orcadian

SCHOOL REPORTS – ROUSAY. – Sourin Public School. – While much work has been done in this school during the year, the results of the teaching are in some respects scarcely satisfactory [teacher ‘Miss Cooper’]. Reading is decidedly above the average, but speaking is too often indistinct, and it is more difficult than usual to get full and intelligent answers to questions bearing on the work overtaken. Arithmetic is slow and mechanical, little ability being shown to solve questions mentally. Singing and sewing on the other hand are very well taught, and draw in merits the highest praise. Average attendance, 30; grants earned (inclusive of £10 under Art. 19D. and general aid grant, £4 10s), £53 16s 3d.

Wasbister Public School. – This school is taught with vigour and marked success, and its condition reflects credit on the teacher [Miss B. Norquoy]. A special word of praise is due to the appearance made by the oldest scholars in both written and oral work, and to the excellent quality of the singing and sewing. Average attendance, 23; grants earned (inclusive of £15 under Art. 19D. and general aid grant, £3 9s), £48 15s 6d.

Frotoft, Public School. – The new teacher [Martha Wards] is doing good work, and there is evidence that substantial progress is being made in the various subjects of the school curriculum. The following points, however, call for mention. The children are slow to display their knowledge, and their speech is more provincial than is usual. Writing, especially in exercise books, is frequently slovenly, and spelling is susceptible of improvement. Some new maps should be supplied. The re-seating of school with modern furniture at present under the consideration of the Board, will be a great improvement to the equipment of the school. Average attendance, 8; grants earned (inclusive of £15 under Art. 19D, and general aid grant £1 4s), £26 7s 9d.

1905 December 23 The Orcadian

ROUSAY I.O.G.T. – Presentation. – On Saturday, the 16th inst., Sister Mary Inkster or Sinclair was presented with a clock by members of the Star of Peace Lodge, on the occasion of her marriage to Mr Thomas Sinclair. After the company had been supplied with tea, Brother Craigie, Lodge Deputy, made the presentation, in the name of the Lodge. He referred to the active part that Sister Sinclair (who is one of the charter members) had taken in the work of the Lodge, both as a member and as an officer, and expressed a hope that she might be long spared to help on the work. Sister Norquoy, Chief Templar, replied on behalf of Sister Sinclair, and thanked the members for the kindly feelings that prompted the gift, and assured them that the clock would always serve as a remembrance to her of the happy evenings that she had spent in the Lodge.

[Mary Margaret Inkster, born in Unst, Shetland, on March 12th 1880, was the daughter of Hugh Inkster and his first wife Isabella Kirkness, Quoyostray. Having left Rousay to farm the land of Greenfield, Unst, Hugh and his children returned to Rousay on the death of his wife, taking over the tenancy of Westness farm. Mary married Thomas Sinclair, Banks, Frotoft, on November 23rd 1905, and between 1907 and 1918, they raised a family of four children; Thomas, Anne Inkster (Cissie), Mary Isabella (Mabel), and Lily].

In Print

Newsprint – 1904

1904 January 9 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Wednesday 30th December last, the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of the United Parishes of Rousay and Egilshay, and Mrs Spark were the recipients of a handsome marble dining-room timepiece with ornaments to match, and also a beautiful travelling rug and silver brooch for Mrs Spark. In the absence of the Rev. D. Colquhoun Kerr, who had been elected to make the presentation, but who was necessarily detained, Mr James Craigie, Schoolmaster in Shapinsay, was deputed by him to do the duty. ln doing so Mr Craigie referred to Mr Spark’s success in the ministry, his interest to music and education, and complimented Mr and Mrs Spark upon the growing love and esteem of friends of long standing, and hoped they would long enjoy these well-deserved gifts. In the name of all friends “far and near” contributing, he would now discharge his pleasant duty in handing over these handsome gifts by simply reading the inscription on the timepiece:- “Presented to Rev. Alexander and Mrs Spark, Rousay, by a few friends, to commemorate the semi-jubilee of his ministry and their Silver Wedding, 1902 – 17th October, I903.” Mr Spark, in acknowledging the gift, said – Mrs Spark and himself, however undeserving they felt of such handsome gifts, had a threefold expression of thanks to give. 1st, to Mr Craigie for the kindly words he had spoken, and the duty he had so well discharged. 2nd, to Mr Simpson, Rescobie, Forfar, formerly schoolmaster of Sourin in this parish, for his very kind offices as secretary and treasurer, and for his artistic taste in selecting such a beautiful gift. And, lastly, to all friends contributing as if personally named. Mrs Spark and he valued these gifts chiefly for the spirit and occasion in which they were given. Some of the contributors were real friends of 30 years’ standing – many of them years “out of sight” but never “out of mind” – whose friendship had manifestly ripened as years rolled on, and whose love, they hoped, might last through Eternity. The timepiece will remind them both of the brevity of human life, the brooch of brighter embellishment, and the rug will travel with them over the rest of life’s journey. After the presentation a very pleasant musical evening was spent at the manse.

1904 January 16 The Orcadian

THE MOTOR CAR ACT. – With the first day of the year there came into operation the Motor Car Act which provides for the registering of motor cars and motor cycles and the registration of drivers. Every car in use is distinguished by a letter or combination of letters, for purposes of identification, this being regarded as an effectual deterrent against excessive speed. The following is a list of the distinguishing letters of the various local authorities in Scotland:-…..Orkney, BS…..

1904 February 6 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The music class which has been conducted during the winter months here by the Rev A. Spark, has been brought to a close with the following results:- Intermediate Certificates – 1, Veira Lickley Spark; 2, Edith Ada Aiton Spark. Elementary Certificates – 1, Ann Elizabeth Laing Leonard [daughter of farmer and stonemason James Inkster Leonard and Ann Marwick, Cruannie]; 2, Mary Moodie [daughter of Benjamin and Maggie Ann Moodie, Ervadale]; 3, Mary Jane Russell [daughter of John Russell and Margaret Ann Moar, Brendale]; 4, Janet Gibson Corsie [daughter of John Corsie and Margaret Jane Skethaway, Knarston]; 5, Murray A. McD. Spark.

1904 February 10 The Orcadian

Wanted for WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY, to enter on duty
as soon as possible. Singing and Sewing. Salary, £75 stg. per annum.
With free house (partly furnished) and garden. Apply, with testimonials,
immediately to the Clerk of School Board. Rousay, Orkney.

1904 March 12 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society took place on Thursday, the 26th ult., on a field on the farm of Banks, Sourin, kindly granted by Mr [Robert] Seatter for the occasion. There were twenty competitors forward, 3 in the champion and 17 in the ordinary class. Owing to the stormy state of the weather the judges, Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Mowat, Schoolhouse; and Yorston, Orquil, Evie, were unable to be present, consequently the ploughmen got the option of appointing their own judges locally. Those appointed were, for ploughing, Messrs [Alan] Gibson, Myres, and Alex. Learmonth, Breckan; and for grooming and harness, Messrs John Cutt, Trumbland, and John Mainland, Cubbierew. Their decisions gave general satisfaction. The ploughmen were most liberally supplied with refreshments by Mr and Mrs Seatter during the day. At the close of the match, the judges with a few friends were entertained to a sumptuous dinner purveyed by Mrs [Sibella] Seatter, for their untiring efforts to make the match a success. The Committee have to thank Mr [Hamilton] Horne, Trumland, for visiting the field, thereby securing for them the Highland Society’s medal. They also beg to thank all the donors of special prizes, of which there was quite a number. Annexed is the prize-list:-

Ploughing – Champions. – 1, and Inkster Champion Medal, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 2, John Harrold, Bigland; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips. Ordinary. – 1, and H.S. Medal, Tom Gibson, Broland; 2, James Grieve, Faraclett; 3, John Russell, Innister; 4, Robert Inkster, Westness; 5, D. Hourie, Westness; 6, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 7, John Wylie, Westness; 8, Wm. Scott, Hurtiso; 9, Hugh Munro, Saviskaill; 10, Andrew Laird, Trumbland.
Grooming. – 1, John Wylie, Westness; 2, John Harrold, Bigland; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips; 4, Hugh Munro, Saviskaill; 5, Andrew Laird, Trumbland; 6, John Russell, Innister.
Harness. – 1. Benjamin Moodie, Scockness; 2, James Grieve, Faraclett; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips; 4, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 5, John Russell, Innister; 6, Andrew Laird, Trumbland.
Best Feering and Finish. – Tom Sinclair.
Straightest Ploughing. – Tom Sinclair.
Youngest Ploughman. – James Russell, Brendale.
Best Pair of Horses. – Andrew Laird, Trumbland.

ORKNEY SHERIFF COURT. – (SHERIFF HARVEY ON THE BENCH) – WALTER MUIR’S SEQUESTRATION. – Walter Muir, examined by Mr Drever – I am 29 years of age and married. I am a farmer and reside at the Manse [Lower Blackhammer], Wasbister, Rousay.  I became tenant of Saviskaill, Rousay, at Martinmas, 1900, the rent being £90. Prior to that I had been in several farms along with my father. I had been in Arion in Stromness, then at Kirk in Sandwick for six years, afterwards for 2 years at Redland, Firth. After leaving Redland my father became tenant of Moan, Firth. I was there with him in 1899. That is a small place – rent £10 10s. I did some cattle-dealing there – then and since. When I became tenant of Saviskaill I got an advance of £200 from my father. I likewise arranged a bank cash credit for £300 with the Bank of Scotland, Kirkwall, Mr Baikie, auctioneer, Stromness, and my father being cautioners. I also discounted two secured bills of £100 each. The securities were my father and John Tulloch, retired lighthouse-keeper. I had some £40 or £50 of my own. That is the capital I had at Saviskaill, and that did not sufficiently stock the place to work it to its best advantage. I left Saviskaill at Martinmas last, and the whole stock and crop was displenished. I am not now in a farm. My state of affairs shows a deficit of £358 1s 4d. The assets show £419 5s, and the liabilities £777 6s 5d.

Q.- How do you account for the deficiency? A. – By bad seasons and cattle that died. I estimate my losses from livestock, including crop, at £280. I made a considerable payment to my creditors – some of them in full. I thought I had plenty of money to pay them all. At that time I had not realised that the sale by auction and the valuation would leave a deficit. I was not aware at the time that I was insolvent. It was only after I was made aware of what the sale and valuation realised that I saw I was insolvent. The year I left Saviskaill was a bad year for out-going tenants. The prices were much lower than when I went in. I have no prospect of succeeding to any property. I lost nothing on cattle-dealing.

By Mr Low – I always felt myself in money difficulties – more or less. I don’t know when I knew what my stock realised. I got payment about the 1st of December from the incoming tenant of the crop he took over. I had no idea then what my sale realised. I knew it was just a fair sale – some things was cheap and some things dear. I did not know when I got the result of these valuations I was insolvent. I knew what I was owing. I did not know I could not meet my debts in full.

Q. – The proceeds of your sale amounted to £542, and the deficit £358, did you not know that your stock would not realise £900, seeing that it was a bad year for out-going tenants? A. – I did not know. I never gave it a thought what my sale would realise. My father was not a partner with me in this farm.

Q. – Did your father sign along with you in connection with the proceeds of the sale? A. – I don’t think it was ever mentioned. Q. – There was a cash order granted in favour of Mr Peace, auctioneer, signed by me and my father. That was for part of the proceeds of the sale.

Q. – If your father was not a partner, why did he sign the order? I don’t know. Q. – Why should he have signed it? A. – I don’t know. Q. – Who asked him to sign it? A. – Mr Peace. Q. –  Do you know why he asked your father? A. – I suppose it was because he had an interest in the subject. My father signed the order for £143 at the request of Mr T. Smith Peace, auctioneer. I did not ask him to sign it.

Q. – Since you applied for sequestration have you ever stated that it was not want of money that made you apply for sequestration, but to prevent MacKenzie getting paid the sum for which he obtained decree? A. – No, I never did.

Q. – There is an entry in your state of affairs – a payment by you to your father. What is the £30? A. – That is a mistake, I think. It is a bill. I paid my father’s rent all the time I was in Saviskaill. That accounts for the entry of £30. Q. – When were the accounts amounting to about £340 paid? A. – In November or first of December after the sale. Q. –  Where did you get the money? A. – I got £100 from Mr Baikie, and the rest of the money was from the valuations.

By Mr Drever – In the state of my affairs I show my father advanced me £100, and it also shows that I repaid him certain sums as stated. When I made these payments I was not aware I was insolvent. I got details of the displenish sale from my father after the New Year. When I got the details I knew I was insolvent. MacKenzie had a decree against me. I knew MacKenzie had arrested money in the hands of Mr Baikie, the auctioneer.

Agents – Mr Drever for the trustee (Mr J. A. S. Brown, solicitor); Mr T. H. Liddle for Mr S. Baikie, auctioneer: Mr T. Peace Low for Mr A. MacKenzie, cattle-dealer.

1904 April 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL. – The Ritchie U.F.C. Guild brought the session to a close with very successful social on the evening of Thursday, 31st March. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, the attendance was larger than on any former occasion. The programme consisted of speeches by the president and vice-presidents, recitations and readings by the secretary and precentor, and sacred songs, quartettes, duets, and solos, by the choir and members thereof. The speeches, readings, and recitations were of the usual description and order of merit. The choir had been having special practice and quite excelled themselves. The quartettes, duet, and solos were really excellent. Plenteous supplies of tea and cake were served during an interval, and it is needless to say that ample justice was done to both. Altogether, a very pleasant, profitable evening was spent, everyone, both old and young, coming away well satisfied with everything except the weather.

1904 May 14 The Orcadian

CYCLE ACCIDENT IN ROUSAY. – Miss Copland, the medical officer of Rousay, met with rather a serious accident last Sunday afternoon. It seems that she had been travelling on her bicycle, and, for the sake of taking a “short cut” proceeded along a peat road. The bicycle apparently struck a stone, and Miss Copland was thrown with great violence upon the road. The accident occurred near Mr Pirie’s Manse, and after being unconscious for a little time, Miss Copland was able to proceed there unaided. Subsequently a telegram was dispatched to Kirkwall for medical assistance, and Dr Bell proceeded there with the Fire Fly in the evening. On Monday Miss Copland was brought to Kirkwall where she is being attended to. Amongst the injuries received is a severe cut on one of the eyelids.

1904 June 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – We understand that Mr J. C. Arbuthnott, who has previously been a tenant of the Rousay shootings, has again taken these shootings and Westness House for a period of two years.

1904 June 15 Orkney Herald

ANY person found Trespassing on the Moors of Melsetter Estate, or Islands of South Fara, Rysa Little, and Eynhallow in search of Eggs will be prosecuted.

1904 June 22 Orkney Herald

TO BE LET, on lease, entry at Martinmas 1904, WESTNESS FARM,
in the Island of ROUSAY, extent about 2904 acres, whereof about
280 acres are arable. The Stock carried may be put at 35 score
ewes – Cheviot cross – and 60 head of cattle.
The present tenant will not be an offerer.
Mr Munro, ground officer, Rousay, will show the farm, and Conditions
of Lease may be seen with him, or with the Subscribers, who will
let the Farm as soon as a suitable offer is received.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1904 June 25 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will (D.V.) [Latin Deo volente – God willing] be dispensed in the Parish Church here on Sunday next, 26th June, when the Parish Minister will be assisted by his brother, the Rev. William Spark, Glenbuchat Parish, Aberdeenshire.

1904 June 29 Orkney Herald

BIRTHDAY HONOURS. – The list of honours issued on the occasion of the official celebration of the King’s birthday last Friday contained the appointment of Lieutenant-General F. W. Traill Burroughs of Rousay and Veira, to be a Military Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B )…..Sir Frederick Burroughs was already a Companion of the Order of the Bath (C.B.). The Order was originally founded by King Henry IV. at his coronation in 1399, but fell into neglect in the seventeenth century. It was revived by George I. in 1725; remodelled by the Prince Regent in 1815 to commemorate the auspicious termination of the contest in which the Empire had been engaged; and was enlarged in 1845. The badge is suspended by a crimson ribbon, with motto, Tria juncta in uno [ ‘Three joined in one’ – Order motto].

1904 July 6 Orkney Herald

INVESTITURE OF SIR FREDERICK BURROUGHS. – The King held an investiture of the Bath and other Orders in the Throne Room Buckingham Palace, yesterday (Tuesday). The Lord Steward, the Lord Chancellor, the Gold and Silver Sticks, and the members of the Household in waiting were in attendance on the King and levee dress was worn. Among the new knights who received the accolade was General Burroughs.

[The Gold and Silver Sticks were bodyguard positions in the British Royal Household, personal attendants to the Sovereign on ceremonial occasions.]

1904 July 13 Orkney Herald


On Saturday the tenantry and residents of the estate of Rousay and Veira gathered in full muster to give General Sir Frederick W. T. Burroughs a welcome home from London, where, at the King’s Investiture at Buckingham Palace last week he had conferred on him the order of Knight Commander of the Bath, and had been decorated by His Majesty with the insignia of the Order. Long before the arrival of the s.s. Fawn at Trumland Pier the house-holders in Trumland vicinity and in the adjacent island of Veira had been busy decorating their houses with bunting. Flags were fluttering in the breeze on house-top and hill-top in every direction. A very pretty and tasteful arch of evergreens and festoons of flags with the word “Welcome” in large red lettering in the centre had been erected over the gateway to the avenue leading to Trumland House. The tenantry, friends, and school children came from all quarters in large numbers and awaited at the gate the arrival of Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs. As soon as they appeared in view they were received with loud and hearty cheers.

The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie then stepped forward and said that he had the honour of acting as spokesman for the tenantry and local friends in tendering to Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs a hearty welcome, and in presenting an address of congratulation on his investiture with the most honourable order of Knight Commander of the Bath by the King. Mr Pirie then read the following address: –

“To Lt -General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs of Rousay and Veira on the occasion of his Investiture with the Order of Knight Commander of the Bath.

We, your tenantry and friends, cannot let this auspicious occasion pass without offering you our heart-felt congratulations on the well-merited honour conferred on you by His Gracious Majesty the King. We have followed with the deepest interest and admiration your long and brilliant career in the service of the Empire. You have shown your patriotism alike by your gallantry in the field of battle and by your untiring zeal in all that concerns the prosperity of the nation. Your residence in our midst has been characterised by the same public spirit, and you have always identified yourself with the development and progress not only of your own estate, but also of the whole of Orkney. We trust that you and Lady Burroughs may be long spared to enjoy the honour now conferred upon you.”

Mr Pirie then called for three cheers for General Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs, which were most heartily and vigorously rendered.

Gen. Sir F. Burroughs replied in the following words: – “I thank you all very much indeed for so kind a welcome. It is 52 years since I became owner of this property. I have tried to do my duty by it, and I remained in the army that I might devote the most of my yearly rental to estate improvements. It has ever been my wish to see it prosper and to live in friendship with all my neighbours. I thank you all again most heartily for the exceedingly kind way you have received me back home on this occasion. I am no orator, but Lady Burroughs desires me to say that she hopes you will accompany us to Trumland House and partake of some refreshments before going home.”

The company then proceeded to Trumland House and were liberally supplied with refreshments. The children were entertained by Lady Burroughs who always takes a special interest in their welfare, and who personally conducted them through the garden to see the flowers. The gathering dispersed after many hand-shakes, good-wishes, and the singing of “For he’s a jolly good fellow.”

ROUSAY – At a meeting of the Rousay Boat Club the following office-bearers were elected: – Commodore, General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, K.C.B.; vice-commodore, Mr A. Leask, Kirkwall; secretary and treasurer, Mr J. S. Gibson, Rousay. The annual regatta was fixed for Friday, the 29th inst., the Kirkwall annual holiday.

CINEMATOGRAPH ENTERTAINMENT. – Mr Robert Calder visited the island on Friday with his cinematograph, and gave an entertainment in the Sourin Public School to a large audience, who thoroughly enjoyed the pictures, as well as the phonograph.

1904 July 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – A SERVICE OF PRAISE was held in the Sourin Public School on Sunday evening last. The children, under the direction of Miss Marwick, very sweetly rendered a number of hymns, which were interspersed by a few brief but most instructive remarks to the children from Mr Pirie. There was a very large attendance, and the proceeds are to go towards the Students’ Scheme of the U.F. Church.

1904 July 30 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – At Forest Gate College of Music, London. on Thursday last, in presence of J. S. Curwen, president of Tonic SoI-fa College, Dr McNaught, music teacher, students and class of children, Rev. Mr Spark of Rousay exhibited his new invention for teaching time in both notations. He said that an intelligent community can reach a sense of time by the ear, but that in a less cultured people he found it necessary to reach a sense of time by the eye, which met the needs of Orkney. Dr McNaught highly complimented Mr Spark for his most ingenious and most useful invention, and hoped to see it further developed.

[Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover (1785–1867) of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen, who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems. It uses a system of musical notation based on movable ‘do solfège,’ whereby every tone is given a name according to its relationship with other tones in the key.]

1904 August 6 The Orcadian

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday 29th ult. The weather was all that could be desired for racing, thus making the regatta one of the most successful yet held under the auspices of the Club. The turn-out of smaller boats was the largest on record, but unfortunately very few of the larger boats came forward for competition. Being the annual holiday in Kirkwall, a great number of excursionists arrived by the Fawn to witness the day’s proceedings, and shortly afterwards the Njala (Mr Peace) and the Aslief (Mr Swanson) anchored off Trumland pier presenting a very gay appearance with their display of bunting. The course was the usual triangular one, starting from Trumland pier, round a mark boat at Sourin, thence round another boat at Grand, Egilshay, and back to Trumland Pier.

The first race to start was, “Boats of 16 feet waterline and under,” for which there were seven entries, viz., Alice, Mary, Thistle, Jean Ann, Jeannie, Nelly, and Maggie. On the starting gun being fired, all the boats got well off together, and kept so until they disappeared round the Point of Avelshay. When sighted again on the beat to mark boat at Grand, the Alice was seen to have a considerable lead, followed by Mary and Thistle. These positions were maintained throughout the race, the Alice considerably improving her position and coming in an easy first. The finish was as follows: –

Alice (C. Logie) (Medal) – 1hr 17min 50secs
Mary (W. Costie) – 1hr  21min 13secs
Thistle (G. Harrold) – 1hr  22min 17secs
Jean Ann (W. Miller) – 1hr  26min  0secs
Jeannie (J. Grieve) – retired.
Nellie (J. Alexander) – retired.
Maggie (T. Groundwater) – retired.

The second race was “Boats of 22 feet waterline and under,” for which there were six entries, viz., Sigurd, Sweyn, Sarah Ann, Lily, Petrel, and Hero. In this race the boats had to go twice round the course. All the boats got well off together in the start, and presented a very pretty appearance on the run to Avelshay. Unfortunately, on rounding the mark boat at Sourin the Hero broke her boom and had to retire from the race. On the beat up to the Grand the lead was taken by the Sweyn, followed by the Sarah Ann, Sigurd and Lily, which positions they maintained throughout – the Lily taking third place at the finish when time allowance was deducted. The following is the corrected time: –

Sweyn (J. Garrioch) – 2hrs 33mins 44secs
Sarah Ann (J. Mainland) – 2hrs 43mins 53secs
Lily (R. Miller) – 2hrs 45mins 47secs
Sigurd (Gen Sir F. Burroughs) – 2hrs 46mins 43secs
Petrel (J. Maxwell) – retired.
Hero (M. Grieve) – retired.

While this race was proceeding, the Daisy arrived from Kirkwall with Gen. Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs, and afterwards took part in a race with the Annie. In this race the boats were restricted to three sails, no topsail or balloon jib to be used. The Annie was the first to cross the line and kept a slight lead till the finish. Finish: – Annie (J. Logie); 2, Daisy (Capt. Robertson.)

The all-comers race came next, and all the above mentioned boats took part with the exception of the Daisy. This race was not so interesting as the others, owing to the irregularity in size of boats. The Annie and Sweyn were respectively 1st and 2nd, and the Hero took third place, sailing a splendid race throughout, altho’ being the smallest boat entered for this race.

The amusing part of the regatta began with the rowing races, which were keenly contested. Men’s Rowing Race. – 1, W. Kemp and J. Rendall; 2, J. Johnston and W. Sutherland; 3, J. Stout and J. Hourie; 4, Geo. Reid and R. Grahame.

Ladies’ Rowing Race. – 1, Misses Kemp and Fraser; 2, Misses MacEwen 3, Misses Copeland and Yair; 4, Mrs Giles and Miss Walker.

Boys’ Rowing Race. – 1, W. Work and G. Kemp; 2, D. Munro and J. Cooper; 3, W. Russell and J. Corsie.

At the close of the rowing races the prizes were given to the successful competitors by Dr Copeland, in the unavoidable absence of Lady Burroughs. Three cheers were then given for Sir F. and Lady Burroughs, and also to Dr Copeland who had given out the prizes. The Committee as usual had tea served in the store – the use of which was kindly granted by Capt. Robertson. Much credit is due to the ladies who presided in the tea room and the committee take this opportunity of thanking them for their assistance. The committee also beg to thank all those who contributed towards the funds of the club. The young folk present concluded the day with a dance, which was kept up with great spirit till twelve o’clock.

1904 August 10 Orkney Herald

SIR FREDERICK BURROUGHS AND THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS. – Lieut.-General Sir Frederick William Traill-Burroughs, K.C.B , has been appointed colonel of his old regiment, the 93rd, in succession to the late General Sir John Ewart, G.C.B. Sir Frederick Burroughs joined the 93rd, as ensign, March 31, 1848, and becoming Lieutenant-Colonel, August 10, 1864, retired from the command, October 29, 1873. He became Colonel, August 10, 1869; Major-General, March 16, 1880; Lieutenant-General, July 1, 1881; and Colonel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, June 14, 1897. As Colonel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, he is succeeded by Major-General H. B. Feilden, C.B. The Army and Navy Gazette, referring to the appointment of Sir Frederick Burroughs, says: – There is much rejoicing among Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, for the colonelcy vacant by the death of one fine old Sutherland Highlander – General Sir John Ewart – has been filled by another. To tell of the gallant deeds of Lieut.-General Sir Frederick Traill-Burroughs – so recently honoured by promotion to the Bath – would be to write a short history of two campaigns, and to epitomise the events of a third military enterprise, the Eusofzai Expedition of 1863. That we have no space for doing. Suffice it to say that Sir Frederick Burroughs served in all three with distinction. It has been said of him, and said with no small degree of truth, that he ought to wear the Victoria Cross, but his gallantry was so conspicuous whenever he went into action that no one cared to decide for which particular act of heroism he ought to be so decorated. Be that as it may, plucky “Fred” Burroughs proved how worthy he was to appear in command of the old 93rd. The best of soldiers and the best of comrades, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will be as proud to see him at their head as he undoubtedly will be to find himself in a position which it has been his life’s hope to one day occupy. We congratulate the old 91st and 93rd upon having had their wishes gratified, for to have passed over Sir Frederick Burroughs would have been an act of injustice which even a reformed War Office and newly-constituted Army Council could not have perpetrated without raising a storm of indignation.

1904 August 24 Orkney Herald

KIRKWALL TOWN COUNCIL. – A monthly meeting of Town Council was held last Thursday. Present – Provost Spence, Bailie John Sclater, Bailie James Sclater, and Councillors Baikie and Hewison…..The New Knight…..Letter from Sir. F. Burroughs.

Rousay, Orkney, N.B.,
30th July 1904

Dear Sir, – I beg through you to thank the members of the Town Council of Kirkwall for their most kind congratulations to me, a free burgess of the Royal Burgh, and to Lady Traill Burroughs, on the honour conferred on me for my military service by His Majesty the King in making me a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. I felt proud to think that any services I have been able to render our community have met with the approval of my fellow burgesses. May I ask you to be good enough to lay before Provost Nicol Spence and the Town Council my thanks for their most kind congratulations, which I highly appreciate. – Sincerely yours, F. TRAILL BURROUGHS, Lieut.-General.

1904 August 27 The Orcadian

KIRKWALL FLOWER SHOW. – OPENED BY LT.-GEN. SIR F. TRAILL BURROUGHS. – The annual flower show and art industry exhibition of the Orkney Horticultural Association was opened in the Burgh School, Kirkwall, to-day (Thursday) by Lt.-Gen Sir F. Traill Burroughs, who was accompanied on the platform by Lady Burroughs and Provost Spence.

Provost Spence occupied the chair, and introduced Sir Frederick in these words – Ladies and gentlemen, I consider it a pleasure to be called upon to take the chair on this occasion, and introduce Lt.-Gen. Sir Frederick Burroughs, who has kindly consented to open the flower show. My speech is quite a formal one, because General Burroughs is about as well known in the Burgh as on his own estate. (Applause). I am sure I express your opinion when I say it is very kind of General Burroughs to come here this morning and open the show. (Applause.) As you are aware General Burroughs has been brought up in the Army, and as in the Navy, so in the Army, “England expects every man to do his duty.” General Burroughs has done his duty in the service of his country, and after that comes his duty to his county as a citizen. He has thus come to perform this duty as a member of the County and as a citizen of the nation. I have much pleasure in calling upon General Burroughs to open this flower show, and have no doubt you will give him an attentive hearing. (Applause.)

General Burroughs said – “Ladies and gentlemen, I have been honoured by being requested to declare this beautiful show of fruit, flowers and vegetables, for which we have to thank so many contributors, open to all spectators. Before doing so, and before you begin to circulate amongst these beauties of nature, adorned by the Art of man (I employ the word “man” in its generic sense, and the word “adorn” to express the cultivation and education of plants, and their tasteful arrangement in regard to complimentary colouring in these rooms). I desire to point out the great importance of cultivating in youthful minds an early love for flowers, and a knowledge of botany, mineralogy, and geology, specimens of which we dwellers in the country, see all around us, and yet most of us know too little about. How much greater pleasure, and I may say profit, do those derive in their walks abroad, who with an educated eye can classify the plants, the stones, the strata, they see, what they indicate to us, and to what uses they can applied. To the educated farmer the grasses and plants the land produces indicate its quality. To the emigrant, or traveller in wild regions, a knowledge of botany is often most useful, and more so than that of more abstruse, subjects. The educated eye can discern in the vegetation around, what is fit for human food, and what is not. It may not be generally known that all our culinary vegetables have their wild prototypes in nature, asparagus, spinach, celery, sea kale, cabbage, turnip, parsnip, carrot, etc. The educated eye recognising these need not starve, whereas the uneducated eye, not recognising them, or mistaking other plants for them, might famish, or be poisoned. With these few remarks, and commending the study of botany to your attention, I declare this exhibition open to your observation and enjoyment.” (Applause.) The usual vote of thanks terminated this part of the proceedings…..

1904 September 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual cattle show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held at Banks. Sourin, on Tuesday 30th ult. The entries were scarcely so large as usual, but some sections were well represented, and competition was very keen. The judges were Messrs Clark, Meadows, Costa; Wood, Aiknerness, Evie; and Webster, auctioneer, Kirkwall, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction. Two medals were presented to the Society this year – one by Rousay friends in Coatbridge for the best mare in yard, any age, which was won by Mr Craigie, Saviskaill; another by Mr Duncan, cattle-salesman, Aberdeen, for best milch cow, which was won by Mr Horn, Trumland Farm, for a black polled cow of fine substance and quality and in prime condition. Annexed is the prize list: –

CATTLE. – Cows in Milk or Calf – (a) Shorthorn – 1 and 3, George Gibson, Avelshay; 2, R. Marwick, Scockness; h.c., Wm. Learmonth, Innister. (b) Polled – 1, H. H. Horne, Trumland; 2 and h.c., John Gibson, Faraclett; 3, John Craigie, Saviskaill; c., W. Learmonth. Two-year-old Queys – (a) Shorthorns – 1 and 2, H. H. Horne; 2, W. Learmonth. (b) Polled – 1, John Craigie; 2 and 3, R. Seatter, Banks; h.c., John Gibson; c., H. H. Horne. One-year-old Quey – (a) Shorthorn – 1 and c., John Gibson; 2, R. Marwick; 3 and h.c., W. Learmonth. (b) Polled – 1, 2, and 3, R. Seatter; h.c., R. Marwick. Two-year-old Steers – 1, 2, and 3, G. Gibson. One-year-old Steers (a) Shorthorn – 1 and 2, W. Learmonth. (b) Polled – 1, R. Seatter, Banks; 2, h.c., and c., R. Marwick; 3, H. H. Horne. Calves 1 and 2, J. Craigie; 3, R. Seatter.

SHEEP. – Leicester Tups-1, David Gibson, Langskaill, 2, John Craigie.

HORSES. – 1 and 2, John Craigie; 3, R. Sinclair, Sketquoy. Yeld Mares – 1, J. Craigie, Saviskaill;  2, G. Gibson; 3, R. Marwick; h.c., R. Sinclair; c., P. Sinclair, Bigland. Mares with Foal at Foot – 1, J. Gibson; 2, H. H. Horne. Foals – 1, John Gibson; 2, H. H. Horne. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, R. Marwick; 2, W. Learmonth; 3, R. Seatter; h.c., George Gibson. One-year-old Filly – Wm. Learmonth. Two-year-old Gelding – 1,David Gibson; 2. J. Gibson. Ponies – 1. Miss Margaret Arbuthnott, Westness House; 2, David Gibson; 3, R. Sinclair.

POULTRY. – Cock and Hen, Buff Orphington – John Craigie, Saviskaill. Duck and Drake, Aylesbury – John Craigie.

At the close of the show the judges, along with the committee and a few friends, were kindly entertained to dinner by Mr and Mrs Seatter, Banks, and much credit is due to them for their kindness to all during the day.

1904 September 24 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Many friends will be glad to hear that Miss [Mary Wallace Leslie] Rose, daughter of the Rev. Mr [Neil Patrick] Rose, for many years minister of the Free Church in Rousay, during her visit to Orkney, was a guest at the Parish Manse over Sunday last, and played the harmonium at the Parish Church services, when Rev. Mr Spark preached from Ps. 89-94.

1904 October 12 Orkney Herald

RATS IN ORKNEY. – Writing from the Manse, Killearn, Glasgow, to the Scotsman, the Rev. A. Gordon Mitchell says: – “I was formerly minister of an island in Orkney – Shapinsay – in which, according to the universal testimony of the inhabitants, no rats exist. Certainly I never saw one there, though mice, as the farmers know to their cost, are abundant. I recollect hearing that a former proprietor of Shapinsay once saw a regiment of rats on the march, and observed them take to the sea as if making for some adjacent island. A circumstance that makes the absence of rats from Shapinsay particularly remarkable is the proximity of Kirkwall. Only four sea-miles separate pier from pier, and a little steam-packet plies between them daily. In the islet of Eynhallow (Holy Isle), between the main island and Rousay, the position of which is graphically described in the verse –

‘Eynhallow stands frank and free,
Eynhallow stands in the middle of the sea,
With a roaring roost on every side,
Eynhallow stands in the middle of the tide.’

it is said that no rabbits are to be found. In the island of Rousay there are no frogs. An attempt was made to introduce them to the gardens at Westness, but they died out. There are no rats in the island of Egilshay. It is said that boatmen taking a horse over to that island discovered a stowaway in the shape of a rat, to which they promptly gave his quietus. Rats forsake the sinking ship; but Sanday, the flattest island of the group – an island, moreover, which is said to be slowly subsiding, swarms with rodents, the rats sometimes appropriating rabbit burrows. As regards the rat, an explanation may perhaps be found in his tendency to wholesale emigration a la his brethren in the story of the Pied Piper, and in the zeal of islanders for his extermination, and for the prevention of the immigration of undesirable aliens.”

1904 December 3 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – I.O.G.T. – A special open lodge meeting of the “Star of Peace” Lodge was held in the Wasbister Public School on Friday the 18th Nov. The meeting commenced at 7.30 p.m., and, despite the inclemency of the weather, the school-room was well filled. In the unavoidable absence of the ministers of the parish, the chair was occupied by Brother Craigie, L.D.  A lengthy programme of sacred music, etc., was gone through, and was quietly listened to by an appreciative audience. Rev. D. E. McInnes, Kirkwall, who had kindly come to Rousay for the meeting, gave a stirring temperance address, which was much appreciated by the audience. His address, which happily combined the comic with the serious will not be readily forgotten by those who listened to it. Sisters Morgan and Craigie, from the Excelsior Lodge, Kirkwall, contributed to the evening’s enjoyment by singing solos; which were much enjoyed. The programme consisted of a number of pieces by the members of the Lodge as a choir; also solos by Sister Gibson and Brother Gibson; a quartette by Sisters Munro and Craigie, and Brothers Gibson and Scott; a duet by Sisters Reid and Craigie; and readings by Sisters Norquoy, Reid, and Craigie. During the course of the meeting, the Chairman, in a short speech, explained the object of the meeting, namely, to induce young men and women, and old men and women too, if they felt so inclined, to join the Order. In the name of the Star of Peace Lodge he extended a cordial invitation to all present to join the Lodge. After votes of thanks to Mr McInnes the sisters from Kirkwall, the members of the Lodge, and to the audience for their quiet, orderly behaviour during the evening, the meeting was brought to a close with prayer: everybody expressing themselves as highly satisfied with the evening’s entertainment. Good Templar tracts were distributed at the close of the meeting.

[I.O.G.T. = Independent Order of Good Templars.]

1904 December 7 Orkney Herald



In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday week, the record was closed in an action by the heritors of the united parishes of Rousay and Egilshay and Lieut..General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, K.C.B., of Rousay and Veira, residing at Trumland House, Rousay; John Inkster Craigie, residing at House of Hullion, Rousay; David Gibson, farmer, residing at Hullion, Rousay; Thomas Middlemore of Melsetter and Eynhallow, residing at Melsetter, Longhope; and Alfred Baikie of Tankerness, residing at the Hall of Tankerness, the individual heritors of Rousay and Egilshay, against the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of Rousay and Egilshay. The pursuers (the heritors) ask the court to ordain the defender (the parish minister) to carry out such repairs on the Manse of Rousay as the Court may deem sufficient to remedy the dilapidation and disrepair caused thereon through the defender’s neglect to uphold the manse in a state of ordinary good repair during the period of fifteen years from and after 11th June 1889, on which date the manse was declared to be a “free manse.”

The pursuers, in their condescendence, state that in a petition and appeal under the Ecclesiastical Buildings and Glebes (Scotland) Act by the heritors of Rousay and Egilshay against the defender, the Sheriff, on 11th June 1889, after certain extensive repairs ordered by the Court had been carried out, found and declared “the manse of Rousay to be a ‘free manse’ in terms of the Act 31 and 32 Vict. chap. 96, section 12.” The period during which the manse remained a free manse under that decree expired on 11th June 1904. On 4th September 1904, the defender made intimation from the pulpit of the Parish Church calling a meeting of the heritors to be held in the Church on 27th Sept., for ‘inter alia,’ “to consider the parish minister’s request for a competent and sufficient manse according to law.” At that meeting of heritors the defender stated that the manse was in a dilapidated and uninhabitable condition, and called on the heritors to supply him with a competent and sufficient manse. The heritors, after considering defender’s application, resolved to carry out all works necessary to make the manse sufficient and competent, excepting such repairs as fell to be made by the defender under his legal obligation to uphold the manse during the period for which it was declared free. On this resolution being intimated to the defender he stated that he would not accept the offer, refused to admit any liability for repairs falling under his obligation to uphold, and intimated that the matter would be dealt with in another court; and the heritors thereupon instructed their clerk to take proceedings to enforce the implementing of the defender’s legal obligations. The pursuers are informed and believe that the dilapidation and disrepair of the manse has been to a great extent caused by the defender’s failure to uphold the building in ordinary repair during the period of fifteen years after the date when the manse was declared to be a “free manse.” The defender having refused to make good such dilapidation and disrepair, and refused to accept the pursuers’ offer to make such repairs on the manse as come under their legal obligation, the present application has become necessary.

For the defender, Mr Spark, it was stated that he was inducted minister of Rousay and Egilshay in 1885. At that time the manse was upwards of one hundred years old, and in such a ruinous and dilapidated state as to be uninhabitable. After various procedure the heritors were ordered by the Court to make certain extensive alterations on the manse and steading according to plans and specifications prepared by Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, on the instruction of the Court. Mr Peace was subsequently appointed inspector of the carrying out of the works. On 11th June 1889 the Court, on a report by Mr Peace that the works had been completed, and that the manse was in a thorough state of repair, declared the manse to be a ” free manse.” A few years afterwards defects in the workmanship began to show themselves by the walls taking in water, and on 29th August I895 this was intimated by the defender to the clerk to the heritors with a request that the attention of the heritors should be called to the matter without delay. Nothing, however, was done by the heritors towards rectifying these defects, and on 3rd May 1897 defender again wrote the clerk to the heritors and asked that the heritors should give immediate attention to the matter. This intimation and request was also without effect. On numerous occasions subsequent to 1897 the manse and furnishings sustained internal damage through these defects, and was from time to time intimated and complained of by the defender to the heritors.

No steps were, however, taken by the heritors to remedy the defects, and consequently the fabric of the manse steadily deteriorated, and, on every occasion of a heavy rain or snowstorm, water came through the walls and caused internal damage. The roof was in such a state that every winter since 1899 the defender has had to remove quantities of snow from the space between the ceilings of the attic rooms and the roof of the manse. On one occasion about twelve barrow loads of snow were thus removed. On 11th Sept. 1899 a meeting of heritors was duly called to be held in the Parish Church on 5th Oct. 1899 for the purpose of dealing ‘inter alia’ with these structural defects. The principal heritor, Sir Frederick Burroughs, alone attended, and he declined to consider the requests of the defender, but, along with the defender, he visited and inspected the manse, and expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the defender was attending to the upkeep of the interior of the buildings. Towards the end of 1899, the defender found it necessary, on account of the refusal of the heritors to do anything towards remedying the structural defects, to bring the matter before the North Isles Presbytery. The Presbytery appointed a committee, who examined the manse, and at a subsequent meeting of heritors the committee declared themselves satisfied with the upkeep of the manse so far as devolving on the defender. On this occasion the committee urged the heritors to visit the manse with them, but this the heritors declined to do. The subsequent report by the committee to the Presbytery on 17th January 1900 bore that the committee found that the defender’s petition to the Presbytery was fully justified, their examination of the manse having revealed structural defects in the building.

On 29th March 1900 an examination of the manse and steading was made by Mr Samuel Baikie, architect and contractor, Stromness, who reported that he found a number of repairs necessary, and that, in his opinion, the disrepair existing arose from unsuitable materials being used and gross carelessness in the workmanship when the manse was repaired in 1889. During the fifteen years the manse has been a “free manse” the defender has done everything he was legally bound to do in the way of upkeep, which, owing to the defective state of the fabric, has been a much heavier burden to him than it ought to have been, some of the works done by him having been destroyed almost immediately before completion by water coming through the walls owing to structural defects for which he was not responsible. On 27th Sept. 1904, the heritors, in response to intimation duly made by defender, met in the Parish Church, Rousay, to consider certain matters. At that meeting the heritors asked defender to undertake at his own cost a part of the repair of the manse. This the defender refused to do, he having during the previous fifteen years done all he was legally bound to do for the upkeep of the manse. The defender avers that the statement attributed to him in the certified copy of minute in process, viz., “I think it is high time the Church of Scotland was abolished” is incorrect. The remark was made, not by defender, but by Sir Frederick Burroughs. On 17th May 1904 the heritors, without notice, made an inspection of the manse. They were taken over the whole buildings by defender, and appeared to be perfectly satisfied with the defender’s upkeep of the manse; at least, no objection or complaint was stated to him, and although they brought with them a practical tradesman they did not think it necessary to call him in to the inspection. It was only when the defender called the meeting of heritors of 27th Sept. l904, and had declined to bear a share of the cost of repairing the manse, that objection was taken to the manner in which he had performed his legal obligation as to upkeep, and the present action was instituted against him. The defender believes the present action is raised with a view of coercing him into bearing a share of the expense of repair for which the heritors are legally responsible.

The pursuers, in answer to defender’s statements, say that the manse having been declared a free manse, the heritors are not bound to make any further repairs until the lapse of fifteen years from 11th June 1888. They do not know and do not admit that damage was done to the manse through structural defects, but aver that any damage done to the manse was owing to defender failing to maintain it in proper order. On 29th April 1897, their clerk wrote to defender repudiating liability for upkeep, calling on him to make the necessary repairs, and intimating that he would be held liable for any deterioration due to his neglect. They call on defender to produce the report by the Committee of Presbytery. They deny that defender did everything he was legally bound to do for upkeep. They also deny generally defender’s statement with reference to the meeting of 27th September, and refer to the minute for its tenor. They admit that certain heritors visited the manse on 17th May 1904, but they deny generally defender’s statements regarding that visit.

The pursuers plead that: – 1. The manse of Rousay having been declared a “free manse,” it was incumbent on the defender to uphold it in a competent and tenantable condition by executing thereon, from time to time, such repairs as were necessary to make good the partial deterioration of its condition so far as caused by or consequent upon his use or occupancy of the manse till the expiration of fifteen years from the date 11th June 1889, when the manse was declared to be a “free manse.”

2. The defender, having failed to implement his obligation as aforesaid to uphold the said manse during the said period of fifteen years, he shall be ordained to carry out, at his own costs and charges, such repairs as are necessary to remedy the defects caused through such failure or neglect, and with expenses.

3. ‘Separatim.’ The manse of Rousay having been declared to be a “free manse,” this declaration implied not only that the fabric of the building was wind and water tight, but also that the internal parts and fittings were all complete and of sound material, and therefore the repair of any dilapidation ought to fall on the defender, and he should be ordained to carry out such works as are necessary for the repair of such dilapidation at his own costs, and with expenses.

The pleas for the defender are: – 1. The action is incompetent and should be dismissed with expenses.

2. The defender, having fully implemented his legal obligations to uphold the manse against the ordinary tear and wear of his occupancy during the period for which the manse was declared a “free manse,” and any deterioration on the building during that period being the result of a defective fabric or other structural deficiencies, and should be assoilzied [absolved of guilt] from the conclusions of the action with expenses.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Sheriff Harvey heard parties’ agents on defender’s plea of incompetency, and made ‘avizandum.’ [took time to consider his judgment.]

Agent for Pursuers – Mr D. J. Robertson. Agent for Defender – Mr T. Peace Low.

1904 December 10 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – At the Parish Manse, Rousay, on Saturday last, Miss Veira Lickley Spark was presented with a small gift of money subscribed by the congregation for her services in playing the church harmonium for upwards of four years. Mr Moodie, who was the moving-spirit of the testimonial, said the givers gave so heartily that it was a joy to collect, and conveyed the best wishes of the subscribers for her future welfare in Edinburgh. Rev. Mr Spark, on behalf of his daughter, expressed his sincere thanks for so timely a token of the congregation’s appreciation of his daughter’s musical services, and hoped this small gift would be an incentive to her to devote herself to further usefulness in Christian work.

1904 December 14 Orkney Herald

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. – We are pleased to learn that General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, C.B., has so far recovered from his recent illness that he is able to travel. Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs left Rousay yesterday en route for London, where they are to spend Christmas.

1904 December 21 Orkney Herald


SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – The discipline and tone of the school are very pleasing, and there is good promise of successful work under the new teacher. Most of the work is of quite good quality, but the arithmetic of the two highest classes is rather backward. The younger children are taught by a monitor, and their work is not above fair. This seems a school which would benefit greatly by taking advantage of the minute of 25th April 1904. Average attendance, 32. General aid grant, £4 16s; grant under article 19 D, £10 – total grants, £56 0s 3d.

WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – This school has been in charge of four different teachers during the year, and the attendance has been seriously affected by sickness among the children. In the circumstances the efficiency is very creditable, and a distinct advance may be expected under the present intelligent and energetic teacher. A number of the maps are in a tattered condition, and should be replaced. Average attendance, 20. General aid grant, £3; grant under article 19 D, £15 – total grant, £42 5s 6d.

FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – The number of scholars at present is small, but the instruction is very careful and efficient. A good appearance is made in all the subjects, but the oral answering should be more full and distinct. The woodwork has been repainted and a large map of the world has been added to the apparatus. The desks are much too high for the younger children. Average attendance, 10. General aid grant, £1 10s; grant under article 19 D, £15 – total grant, £29 12s 9d.

1904 December 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – In the action by the Heritors of Rousay and Egilshay against the Rev. Alex. Spark, minister of the parishes of Rousay and Egilshay, to ordain him to execute the repairs on the manse which he was bound to make during the period the manse was a free manse, Sheriff Harvey has issued the following interlocuter sustaining the defender’s plea that the action is incompetent: –

KIRKWALL, 20th December 1904. – The Sheriff-Substitute having heard the agents of the parties and considered the record and whole process, dismisses as incompetent the action as laid: Finds the pursuers liable to the defender in expenses: Allows an account thereof to be lodged, and remits the same to the Auditor of Court to tax and to report. (Signed) W. HARVEY…..

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A very successful concert was held in the Frotoft Public School on the evening of Friday the 23rd last. The night being fine, a large and appreciative audience filled the school-room to overflowing, and much enjoyed the several items on the programme. The choir was under the leadership of Mr James Gibson, Avelshay, and much credit is due to him and his choir for the very pleasing way in which they rendered the several pieces. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and in a few well-chosen remarks, introduced the performers. At the close he also thanked them very much for the enjoyable evening they had afforded to the audience, specially mentioning the name of Dr Ede, who had kindly come forward to help the young folks with their programme. Tea was served during an interval, and a very pleasant evening was brought to a close by Mr Gibson moving a vote of thanks to Mr Pirie for acting as chairman, and to Dr Ede and the several members who had helped to make the concert a success. Special mention should be made of the youthfulness of the performers, and it is to be hoped that they will see their way to give another concert in the near future.

In Print

Newsprint – 1903

1903 January 13 The Scotsman

SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND. – The usual monthly meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland was held in their library at the Museum, Queen Street, last night – Dr. Robert Munro, vice-president, in the chair.

The first paper was an account by Professor Sir William Turner, K.C.B., D.C.L., LL. D., of a chambered cairn, with cremation cists, at Taversoe Tuick, near Trumland House in the island of Rousay, Orkney, excavated by Lieutenant-General Traill Burroughs, of Rousay and Veira. The mound was circular, with a diameter of about 30 feet, and covered with grass and heather. The excavation, which was begun on the south side, disclosed three cists of small size, containing burnt bones, and placed in close proximity to each other. Under them was a layer of earth about a foot in thickness, and when this was removed the stone roof of the underground chamber was exposed, upwards of 4 feet under the original surface. The roof was formed of massive flags, resting on the slide walls and ends of the chamber, which consisted of a central part facing the opening into the entrance passage, and four recesses, two on the north side and one at either end on the east and west. The entire chamber (including the recesses) was 12 feet long, nearly 5½ feet broad, and 4 feet 8 inches in height, and the recesses were separated from each other by flags projecting from the north wall. The passage which opened on the south side of the chamber diminished gradually in height and width towards the interior of the mound, and had a small recess on one side near the chamber, and a flag projecting from the floor, like a sill, at about 13 feet from the chamber. Towards the interior entrance the passage curved slightly to the east. Three heaps of bones, representing, probably, as many skeletons, lay in the passage between the chamber and the sill-like stone, and immediately to the south of the sill there was found the half of a finely-made hammer of grey granite, a triangular flake of flint, and numerous fragments of urns of a hard black paste, ornamented on the part near the rim by groups of parallel lines arranged in triangles. In the chamber itself several unburnt human skeletons were found, placed in the usual contracted posture on the floor, but from the fragmentary condition of the bones no definite conclusions could be formulated, The incinerated bones in the cists were mixed with a slag, indicating cremation at a very high temperature…..

1903 January 14 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


Sir, – It was with great surprise that I read the following in the British Weekly of January 1st: – “An old reader is pleading for the poor folk in her husband’s parish. From what I can gather his little flock would be grateful for any kind of clothing that is not too much worn to be of use to them. Apparently these hardworking people are very, very poor, and it would be a real charity to help them in this way. Perhaps there may be even one or two readers who can send a little parcel occasionally to Mrs [Janet] McLeman, the minister’s wife, who will be grateful to, and willingly pay the carriage of any box of clothing suitable for working people – men, women, boys and girls, such a coats, jackets, trousers, petticoats, blouses, stockings, boots, etc. Mrs McLeman explains that a parcel would not reach them: the goods much be packed in a box and addressed to Mrs McLeman, U.F. Manse, Rousay, Orkney, per North of Scotland Steam Navigation Co. I feel sure that you will do all you can to help”

A remarkable change must have taken place in the island of Rousay since last I had the pleasure of visiting it. During my visits, what struck me most was the kindly hospitality of the islanders. Instead of destitution and poverty there appeared to prevail an abundance and contentment of which in our southern cities is so often sadly missed. Had anyone hinted to me then that, in a short time, an appeal would be made in the columns of the British Weekly for old articles of clothing wherewith to cover the half-naked bodies of the islanders. I should have laughed him to scorn.

Presumably the unfortunate congregation which is in so sad a plight in that of the Ritchie U.F. Church, and if this “little flock” be so “very, very poor,” it is a pity to think that the appeal for help had to be published in a London paper. Is there no-one charitably disposed nearer home?

I cannot help thinking that a joke has been perpetrated at the expense of the “husband’s little flock,” and I feel confirmed in this opinion by the amazing statements “that a parcel would not reach” the island and that “the goods must be packed in a box.” Rousay is fortunately possessed of a daily mail, and the postman has known to his cost that many parcels have to be delivered of much greater weight and value than a parcel of old clothes. But a parcel is not sufficient. The cast off garments of the prosperous southern are expected to retain such a precious odour of wealth and prosperity about them that they must be packed in a box! Might I modestly suggest to donors to add disinfectants to the contents of this box.

If the affair be not a joke, I wish the “poor people” of the Ritchie U.F. Church the greatest pleasure in their “cast off” garbs, and a joyful season when their New Year box arrives. I had expected that the independence and the self respect of the Rousay folks would be opposed to a public appeal for old clothes, but, if my expectations are without foundation, the islanders have the sincerest sympathy of – A VISITOR.

1903 January 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The annual meeting of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held in Sourin Public School on Tuesday evening, 13th inst. There was a good attendance of members present. After the secretary’s and treasurer’s books had been gone over and found correct, the usual business was proceeded with. The following were appointed to act on the committee for the ensuing year: – Mr Hamilton H. Horne, Trumland, chairman; Mr Alex. Learmonth, Breckan, secretary and treasurer; Mr James S. Gibson, assistant secretary. All the old members of committee were also reappointed. It was resolved to hold a ploughing match, on a date to be afterwards fixed, Messrs Horne, Geo. Gibson, and J. S. Gibson being appointed a sub-committee to make all necessary arrangements. As the match usually goes the round of the island, this year it falls to the Frotoft district, and we understand it is likely to be held at the farm of Nearhouse if Mr [Robert] Mainland is good enough to grant the use of a field.


Letters to the Editor


Sir, – I was truly sorry to notice that some “small, slight-natured”  person signing themselves “Visitor” should have thus put themselves to the trouble to expose their own ungenerous mind: and am quite sure the noble natured lady who inserted the notice did not dream for one moment that there could be anyone so altogether pitiable to take notice, else she would never have sent it to the printers without my (Mrs McLeman’s) knowledge. The facts of the case are simply these. Cases of need having come to my knowledge (and every thinking person knows these exist) when I promised to do what I could to get what I knew was so sorely required, and having already disposed of everything of my own I could possibly do without, I wrote to “Winifred,” editress of the “Ladies’ Column” of the British Weekly asking if she knew of any place where I could get some articles of clothing in fairly good condition for some of the poorest in the congregation, sending her any name and address that she might send it on to the place did she know of such, so saving both delay and unnecessary communication, adding that I would willingly pay carriage for same, and as it comes cheaper per cwt. North of Scotland Shipping Co., a box would be most suitable by that route. Hearing no word, I again wrote and was astonished to learn the request had been inserted in the “Ladies’ Column,” at which she was deeply grieved. If “Winifred” and Mrs McLeman erred it was on the side of kindness, and we did not have the worldly wisdom to remember there might be snakes in the grass. Hoping next time “Visitor” sees need to appear in the public prints it will be to exhibit a larger soul and more generous construction. I am, yours, etc., – MRS McLEMAN. Ritchie U.F. Manse, Rousay, Jan. 16, 1903.


SIR, – I have just had a copy of the British Weekly of 1st January sent me with the following conspicuously marked: –

“An old reader is pleading for the poor folk in her husband’s parish. From what I can gather his little flock would be grateful for any kind of clothing that is not too much worn to be of use to them. Apparently these hard working people are very, very poor, and it would be a real charity to help them in this way. Perhaps there may be even one or two readers who can send a little parcel occasionally to Mrs McLeman, the minister’s wife, who will be grateful for and willingly pay the carriage of any box of clothing suitable for the working people – men, women, boys, and girls – such as coats, jackets, trousers, petticoats, blouses, stockings, boots, etc. Mrs McLeman explains that a parcel would not reach them: – the goods must be packed in a box and addressed to Mrs McLeman, U.F. Manse, Rousay, Orkney, per North of Scotland Steam Navigation Co. I feel sure that you will do what you can to help.”

Being a native of Rousay it is needless to say I was surprised if not disgusted, and knowing well that all the poor of the parish are well looked after, and honestly speaking, there are no ‘very, very poor.’ There are a few in the parish who are not able to support themselves, but they are well cared for by the Parish Council and their friends, and I am sure the poorest would not accept any such cast-off clothes if they knew how they had been obtained. Neither is charity or friendly feeling at such a low ebb in the parish of Rousay that any ‘very, very poor’ case would not be at once relieved.

I also feel certain that the Rousay people and any member of the “little flock” (outside of the manse) are more independent and have more self-respect for themselves, and would oppose and resent any such charity. The people of Rousay are more able to help the less fortunate poor in the south, as they have done before very heartily, than receive such help from places where it is much more required. It is to be hoped that friends of the ‘very, very poor,’ will consider well where, and to whom they give. Rural districts, and especially Orkney, are able to make their poor more comfortable than they usually are in large cities. I may also mention that the parish of Rousay is not beyond the reach of parcels, for they have a daily post, and there are about nine persons employed in taking the mails to and through the parish. – I am, &c., – NATIVE.


SIR, – I am to state that Rousay cannot be so poor as reported. This parish, by last census, contained 829 individuals, but the fact is that while there is one Established Church, there are three U.F. Churches. What community can plead poverty and at the same time support three dissenting churches? Such luxury in religion is incompatible with the plea of poverty. – I am &c., – OLD RESIDENTER.

1903 January 28 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I notice in your issue of 21st inst. that Mrs McLeman endeavours to make a sort of explanation regarding the unwarranted appeal for cast-off clothing which appeared in the British Weekly of 1st January.

I admit, as Mrs McLeman says, that there are cases of need – wherever we go we will find such – but at the same time, I think that her action in the matter is quite uncalled-for, and to say that the people of Rousay feel indignant is, I think, putting it very mildly. If she has, as she asserts in her letter, disposed of everything of her own that she could possibly spare to the poor of her husband’s flock, she can rest assured that, so far as she is concerned, she has done her duty and no more is expected of her. But why this appeal to “Winifred,” and where are the very, very poor referred to? Certainly not in Rousay so far as I am aware, and I hardly think a recluse like Mrs McLeman would be likely to find such cases. True, there are some poor people in Rousay, but these are fairly well provided for both privately and publicly. Little wonder, then, that “Visitor,” (whom Mrs McLeman considers a small, slight-natured person) expressed surprise at the appeal. Mrs McLeman, in her letter, puts rather a strange construction on things. She very cleverly evades what appeared in the appeal regarding the parcel, namely, “Mrs McLeman explains that a parcel would not reach them,” and goes on to explain, in her letter, that, as it comes cheaper per cwt per North of Scotland Shipping Company, a box would be most suitable that way. But as no one would ever dream of sending cwts. of old clothing except to parties contemplating opening a second-hand clothes shop, she is again at error on this point, as parcel post would be much cheaper, but apparently it was desirable to evade this mode of conveyance. In short, Mrs McLeman’s explanation and the wording of the original notice are so much at variance as to call for a fuller explanation, and to exonerate herself she should explain fully where the cases of need are situated, when, I am sure, she will find plenty of people in Rousay charitably enough disposed to relieve such distressing cases as she has apparently come across.

Mrs McLeman also hopes next time “Visitor” writes he will exhibit a larger soul  and a more generous construction. I think that such a statement is more applicable to herself than to “Visitor,” and I consider that if she would, instead of making such uncalled for appeals to the readers of the British Weekly, extend a larger soul of sociability and intercourse to her very near neighbours, and put a better construction on their little eccentricities, she would, as the wile of a minister of the gospel, be doing for herself and her little flock far more lasting and abiding good than she can ever expect to do by laying a community open to such ridicule as the Rousay people have suffered with regard to the strange appeal which appeared in the British Weekly on the 1st of this glad New Year. – I am, yours &c., – ONE OF THE SNAKES.


SIR, – Mrs McLeman’s letter appears rather irrelevant, and, as she jumps from singular to plural and from first to third person indiscriminately, somewhat confusing. She begs the question on each of the points involved. She touches lightly on the extreme poverty; she does not explain why parcels cannot reach her; and she does not state that her husband is not a parish minister. She appears to have begged old clothes through the medium of a public paper, not once, but twice. Now she says “I was astonished,” and “she (apparently the editress) was deeply grieved that the appeal was published.” How absurd it seems. She does not seem to understand that matters concerning the public, and appearing in public print, are fit subjects for public controversy. Personal abuse, such as “snakes in the grass,” &c, is no defence. It does not show that inward charity of mind that should accompany one who has given all that she has – I beg pardon, all that she can afford – to the poor. – I am, &c., – THE MAN IN THE STREET.


SIR, – I have heard of a cure for a kicking horse, namely, hang up a well-made bundle of straw behind the end the horse kicks with. Kicking being a delight to him, he will go at it until tired, or discovers he cannot do the object any harm.

Your correspondent, “Native,” is unreasonably critical when he makes so much of the mistake in “Winifred’s” remarks regarding the sending of parcels to Rousay. His attack on Mrs McLeman and her efforts to help the cases of need which have come under her notice are unworthy of a man, and appear to be animated by a different spirit from that which inspires the good lady in her work of love and kindness. I have not the honour of knowing Mrs McLeman. She is probably not an Orcadian, but judging from the good work she is endeavouring to do, Rousay should give her the esteem due to the mission she is seeking to fulfil. It is to be hoped she will not judge all Orcadians by the spirit displayed in “Native’s” letter. I feel sure he is not a representative of the Rousay people. He apparently does not appreciate the needs of the less fortunate in his island.

Rousay is “a beautiful isle of the sea,” historical, and romantic, possessed by a “gallant” laird, and celebrated for fights on the crofter question. Never “very, very poor.” That depends on degrees of comparison. What of the aged woman who sits in a peerie hoose on the hillside, with perhaps a kailyard and a few old hens who have to scrape for their living? What of the crofter’s or the fisherman’s widow and her wee bairns? All she can make on the croft is “dear bought,” even with the help of kind neighbours, when employment to add to her scanty means is not within her reach. The help given by the Parish Council does not lift them far above poverty. In Rousay, as elsewhere, there are deserving people who ask no help and never complain. Yet such help as Mrs McLeman is laudably trying to procure is very acceptable to those whose lot is often cheerless. I have never known such help “resented” anywhere. Orcadians are generally “neighbourly,” and to the credit of the recipients nineteen out of every twenty are worthy of all they get. The ability of Mr “Native” to help the “less fortunate poor in the south” I do not doubt but might I ask if that is done to any extent. Possibly the help “heartily” sent from the north has been returned by the south tenfold. The poor in the south are “less fortunate,” generally on account of their way of living, not on account of less help or chances of making a “living” for themselves. I have somewhat to do with a parish in the south, and can truly say very many of the cases we have to consider are pitiful in the extreme. Drunkenness is the cause of nine-tenths of the bad cases. The poor children suffer terribly through their heartless parents. Much more is spent on the poor here than in the north, but drink keeps a constant stream flowing to the poorhouse and the asylum. The deserving poor consequently get less than they might.

As a little encouragement to Mrs McLeman to persevere in her good work, I shall send her a little parcel often, feeling sure some good old woman in Rousay will not resent the offering. I do this hoping Orcadians “over the sea,” who have seen “Native’s” letter, may also send her a little gift, so that his letter may have the opposite result of its apparent intention.

Your correspondent, “Old Residenter,” is evidently trying to throw dust in our eyes when he says, “what community can plead poverty, and at the same time support three dissenting churches?” Does Rousay support three churches? Church statistics do not show great liberality on the part of the churches in the island. Very far from self-support. If help is readily given them from the south, “Old Residenter” need not trot out such sarcasm. I venture to say the men of Rousay spend more money in tobacco in a year than all that is contributed by the inhabitants to the cause of religion in a like time. Mr Editor, please excuse me diving into your space so deeply. – I am, &c., – EDA. Farawa, 24th January 1903.


SIR, – On reading the correspondence in connection with the above, it occurs to me that there must be a tremendous amount of foolish pride in the hearts of your correspondents, who seem so offended because a kind-hearted woman has been doing something to help those who are evidently not too well off so far as the comforts of this world are concerned. It says a good deal for the minister’s wife that she is so interested in the poor folks, and it be more to their credit if a few more ladies of the manse would go in for practical religion of this sort. “Native’s” feelings have evidently suffered a terrible shock. He is not only “surprised” but “disgusted,” Poor chap! He says there are no “very very” poor in Rousay, and those who cannot support themselves are “well” cared for by the Parish Council and “their friends.” According to “Native,” the “poor” folks in Rousay must be a well cared for lot, and if not rolling in luxury at least in most comfortable circumstances. But I’m afraid he is only too far from the truth. God help those who are at the mercy of the Parish Council. “Native” knows as well as I do that a couple of shillings a week won’t go far towards keeping the wolf from the door. As a rule folks are not too anxious to go on the “Board” – some would rather starve first. In fact it is little better than starvation in either case. “Native” refers to the “friends” of the poor, and I agree with him that it is a common thing in the Orkneys for the better-off folk to assist those in poorer circumstances – all credit to them – but in many cases the friends are ill-off themselves, in other cases the friends do not know whether poverty exists or not, and the poor folks are too proud to beg. It seems to me that it is in cases like these that Mrs McLeman has interested herself, and it seems a pity that “Native” and others should rush into print with the view of airing their fancied grievances, and giving vent to their wounded feelings. It would have been much nicer if they had put their hands into their pockets and sent the good lady a donation towards relieving the distress of their poorer brethren. “Native” refers to the poor in the large cities, but he must remember to distinguish between the honest poor and the criminal poor, and if he knows anything about the matter at all, he will know that the latter class are in the majority – a lazy, lounging, drunken, criminal set – the very fellows whom the Rousay folks have evidently so heartily helped in the past. “Native” is “sure that the poorest would not accept any such cast-off clothes if they knew how they had been obtained.” “Native” is havering. If the folks are at the “poorest” stage they will only be too thankful to take what they can get. Better folks than either “Native” or the poor folks in Rousay have been glad to wear cast-off clothes. “Native” would evidently prefer to see the people going naked. How does he read James ii, 14-17?

“Old Residenter” asserts “that Rousay cannot be so poor as reported.” He bases this assertion on the fact that the community are able to support three U.F. churches. “Old Residenter” is evidently a member of the Established Church, and he seems to imagine that the U.F. churches are superfluous, and a burden on the people. Does it not rather betoken that there is a dearth of things spiritual in the Old Kirk which the U.F. churches are expected to supply? But it is surely the duty of every religious body to look after the temporal as well as the spiritual poverty of the people, and “Old Residenter” does not seem to know whether the Rousay folks are in a temporal state of poverty or not. His thoughts are apparently more concerned with religious sects than the question at issue.

I regret, sir, trespassing so much on your valuable space, but the circumstances seem to justify a protest. Personally, I am persuaded that distress exists in the island, and I hope to make up and send a box to the minister’s wife soon. Yours, &c., J.C.

1903 February 4 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – There seems to be a tendency on the part of some of your correspondents to wander away from the point. I wish to put a few questions to Mrs McLeman, and should be pleased to receive her answers through your columns. If such dire poverty exists in Rousay, why did she not, before writing to a London paper, communicate with the islanders? Many are able and would be willing to help in relieving it. Charity should begin at home, aye, and would if it were known to be necessary. An unauthorised begging appeal to strangers casts reflections on the whole community, and is apt to make the name of the place a bye-word if it has not already done so. How many cases of great distress does she know of? I ask for no names, but simply the number. Have the articles she has received already been distributed amongst them? Will she give any guarantee, such as co-operating with a responsible committee, that the old clothes will reach the destination for which they are designed? This I hold to be most important and only reasonable, for the public have a right to know how their charity is disbursed. Is this the first begging appeal that has gone abroad lately from the Sourin manse? If these questions are answered satisfactorily and show the need for it, I for my part will put my hand in my pocket for far more than a few old clothes, and I know those who will do the same. If they are not answered, it will simply leave people to wonder what is the meaning of it all. I sign myself, your &c., – PRO BONO PUBLICO


SIR, – I am venturing to request the public to have the kindness to spare Mrs McLeman’s feelings, and in charity give her credit for her charitable intentions. I am, &c., – ALEXANDER SPARK. Parish Minister. The Manse, Rousay, 21st Jan. 1903.


SIR, – I have noticed that some criticism of late has been going on in the Herald over one of Mrs McLeman’s kind acts to help some of the poor people in Rousay. Mrs McLeman is a shrewd lady and quite competent to judge as to the wants and needs of the people among whom she resides, and I have no doubt but that her kind and philanthropic actions will receive the sympathy that they so well deserve from all those who have the welfare of their fellow men at heart. One of your correspondents, who signs himself “Native,” seems to think that the Rousay folks are living in a condition of luxury and need nothing. I can only state that I am of a very different opinion. Being also a native of the island, my experience among its inhabitants induces me to say that although I have never actually seen any cases of destitution in the place, I have often come into contact with a number of needy cases that would have been much the better of some help – charity if you like to call it. And I am not aware of any poor people living in the island at the present time so proud and independent as your correspondent seems to imagine that they would resent any kind of proffered honest assistance that might be sent to them from any outside source. The island of Rousay has been a poor place for many years. Like many places in Ireland, it has suffered much from rack-renting, and money is a scarce commodity among all classes in this remote island. The islanders have hitherto been prevented from receiving to the same extent the benefit of the Crofters Act that it has bestowed on other places. The smaller class of tenants have always been denied the privilege of taking stones to repair their houses, and in other ways have been greatly handicapped in their efforts to make their lives more comfortable and happy. And last year, on account of what might be termed loop-holes in the Crofters Act, the landlord stopped a joiner and a blacksmith from supplementing their scanty earnings by working at their respective trades, and at the same time a poor widow was deprived of her only source of living which she earned by keeping a small shop on the property. Actions of such a nature as these speak for themselves, and go a long way to show whether or not the inhabitants of Rousay are living in a condition of prosperity and comfort. Comment is needless. – I am, &c., – ANOTHER NATIVE. Edinburgh, 30th Jan, 1903.


SIR, – I notice a letter in yours of 28th from “Eda.” It begins with a cure for a kicking horse. Does “Eda” not mean a “Rousay mare”? I do not see anything it has to do with the point at issue. “Eda” says my attack on Mrs McLeman was “unworthy of a man,” and that l am of a “different spirit.” I sincerely hope I am. Then “Eda” explains “I have not the honour of knowing Mrs McLeman.” Why, then, does “Eda” meddle with things and people she knows nothing about? There is an old saying in Orkney, “Mind your own business well and other people will not have to mind it for you.” “Eda” does not prove any one statement in my letter to be incorrect, but rather proves what I said to be true in the description given by her of the poor in the south whom “Eda” works among. “Drunkenness pitiful in the extreme” and “very, very poor” are not terms that can honestly be applied to the Rousay people. I am proud to say they are an active, hard-working, honest, sober class of people, and the same may be truly said of Orcadians generally, who, when they go abroad, are generally able to give a good account of themselves and are always spoken of as hard-working, persevering, intelligent people. “J. C.” says my feelings have suffered a shock. Small wonder when we, of the parish and island of Rousay, are described in a London paper as “very, very poor” and in need of old clothes collected through the medium of that paper. Just consider for a minute what use the articles described would be to the Rousay crofters and fishermen.

“J. C.” says “it would be more to their credit if a few more ladles of the manse would go in for practical religion of this sort.” I am glad to say that the ladies of our manses do not as a rule run to the papers with any kind of action, nor “sound the trumpet” when they give to the poor, as is done by “Eda” and “J. C.,” even before they send their parcels and boxes of old clothes. They are only wounding the feelings of the poor and the community generally when such extreme views are expressed by those who know nothing of the case at all. Let “Eda” and “J. C.” read “One of the Snakes’” letter and they will see at a glance the feeling of the Rousay people, which can be better imagined than described. I read that beautiful passage, James ii.14-17, exactly as it stands. It is so simple that anyone can understand the meaning, but there is a difference between collecting old clothes through a newspaper and daily food, and I have never, in all my life, heard of any deserving case in Rousay not having prompt attention. Would it not have been better for Mrs McLeman to have consulted with some of the well-to-do farmers’ wives and others who have more experience in Rousay matters? There are many who have the case of the poor, the fatherless, and widow quite as much at heart as she, and who would gladly respond to any deserving case at once.  I admit there are people in Rousay who would rather starve than beg. I have known cases where the pinch of want was felt, but beg? No. The old Orcadian pride still runs high; give us work, help us that way, and we shall feel indebted, but by begging for us through a London paper and describing us as “very, very poor” you inflict a wound which will be most keenly felt, both by those at home in our peaceful islands and by those who have left us for all parts of the world where Orcadians hold honourable positions as worthy members of our great Empire. – I am, yours &c., – NATIVE

1903 February 11 Orkney Herald

THE LATE MR JAMES INKSTER, OF SCAUR, ROUSAY. – The Rev. Mr McLeman, at the close of an earnest sermon from Prov. xvi. 31, “The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness,” said: – My friends, while I have been describing some of the characteristic features of the way of righteousness and of the honour given to the hoary-headed pilgrim in that path, you must frequently have been reminded of that kind and faithful friend whose mortal remains we have during the week that is past laid in their last earthly resting place. He was one of the old stock and style, he respected the Sabbath, regarded the Scriptures, reverenced God, rested in his Saviour, rejoiced in the worship of God’s house, and in intercourse with his fellow-believers. To hoar hairs God carried him, there was evidence in his character of the purifying influence of time, in life he had long been preparing for death and through the merits of the Redeemer and the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit had been making provision for the future; “laying up in store for himself a good foundation against the time to come that he might lay hold on eternal life.” You knew him far better than I did. It was only in his closing years I had the honour of his friendship. He had been a faithful and consistent member of this congregation for a lengthened period, a considerable part of which as an active, honoured, and useful office-bearer. I understand that for some time he led the praise of this congregation. So constant, so untiring, so regular was he that to not a few he was in place of a clock. As he was observed coming through that long, barren, wet, and always uncomfortable path which stretches through the moor lying between his house and the church and was seen wending his way by the burnside, it would be said “we must he getting ready for church for there is the man of Scaur.” His life was not an eventful one. He was not a far travelled man. He had engaged in no sanguinary conflicts. He had not accumulated wealth, for he had his share of the trials and troubles of the world. He always, however, managed to scrape through honestly, paid his way and even helped others a good deal. He brought up a family who never caused the blush of shame to mantle his cheek. He had to work hard and almost to the close of his long life he bravely toiled on. He did not complain of his lot and no one could say of him that he ate the bread of idleness. My friends, I could say many more kind and true things about our deputed brother. It is, however, unnecessary, rather may we all make a point of letting our living friends know how we love and esteem them by expressing our affectionate regard for them while still spared to us, for I fear that not a few might apply the language of a modern writer to themselves: ”O the anguish of that thought that we can never atone to our dead for the stinted affection we gave them…..for the little reverence we showed to that sacred human soul that lived so close to us and was the divinest thing God had given us to know.” His widow and family have, I am sure, the heartfelt sympathy of every one of us in this hour of their loss and sorrow.

[James Inkster was born at Gorn, Wasbister, on May 2nd 1829, and was the son of James Inkster and Margaret Inkster of Tou. On December 27th 1860 he married 24-year-old Jane Inkster, Innister, and between 1863 and 1876 they raised a family of six children. Living at Scaur at Westness, James’ route to the Free kirk in Sourin would have been via the Muckle Water and along the banks of the Souso Burn every Sabbath.]

1903 February 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RITCHIE CONGREGATIONAL GUILD. – This guild met on Friday last. The night was wet and stormy yet a good few of the members had mustered up courage enough to be present. The president read a paper on “Proverbs maistly Scotch with illustrations from the proverbs of other nations.” Two vice-presidents also spoke on this fertile theme, while Mr William Grieve caused much merriment by a Scotch story. The choir was smaller than usual, but the pieces were sweetly sung and added much to the brightness and enjoyment of the meeting.

1903 March 14 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Thursday, the 5th inst., at the farm of Nearhouse, on a field kindly granted by Mr [Robert] Mainland. Owing to the roughness of the weather, the judges, Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Mowat, Schoolhall; and Yorston, Orquill, Evie, were unable to get across, and the committee decided to allow the ploughmen to appoint their own judges. The local judges appointed were – Messrs Alex. Learmonth, Breckan; Allan Gibson, Myres; and John Mainland, Cubbierow, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction. The number of ploughs forward on this occasion was smaller than usual – there being only 2 champions and 13 ordinary, but these did very good work, and altogether the match was a very successful one. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments by Mr and Mrs Mainland during the day. Annexed is the prize list:-

PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1 and medal, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 2, George Gibson, Avelshay. Ordinary – 1 and Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal, John Harrold, Bigland; 2, George Munro, Saviskaill; 3, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 4, Magnus Craigie, Langskaill; 5, Tom Gibson, Broland; 6, William Inkster, Avelshay; 7, John Wylie, Westness; 8, James Shearer, Westness; 9, Benjamin Moodie, Scockness; 10, Hugh Marwick, Innister.
Best Feering. – John Harold, Bigland.
Best Finish. – Tom Sinclair, Westness.
Neatest Ends. – John Pearson, Saviskaill.
Best Ploughed Rig. – Tom Sinclair, Westness.
Youngest Ploughman. – David Moodie, Ervadale.

GROOMING. – 1, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 2, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 3, George Munro, Saviskaill; 4, Hugh Marwick, Grain; 5, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 6, William Dunnett, Nearhouse.

At the close of the match, the judges and few members of the committee were kindly entertained to dinner by Mr and Mrs Mainland. There was a good number of special prizes also, which were given according to the wishes of the donors. The committee takes this opportunity of thanking the donors, and those who so liberally contributed to the funds of the club. We understand that Mr [William] Inkster, firemaster, Aberdeen, is to present the Society with the champion medal, for which the members have to tender their thanks.

1903 March 25 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD. – The usual meeting of Ritchie U.F. Church Guild was held in the church last Friday. There was a good attendance of members. Mr MacLeod, teacher, read an excellent essay on Tennyson, which was much appreciated by those present. Mr Alex. Grieve made a few critical remarks. Mr William Grieve gave a reading from Hogg – “The Fate of MacGregor.” A selection of sacred music was well rendered by the choir under the leadership of Mr J. W. Grieve. The session will be closed by a social meeting on Thursday, April 2.

1903 April 8 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD SOCIAL AND PRESENTATION. – The closing meeting of the session of the above guild was held on Friday last. There was a large attendance of members and friends. The first part of the programme consisted of several pieces of music by the choir and short addresses by the chairman and Mr Groat, of Westray. Tea was then served along with an abundant supply of eatables. On the programme being resumed, Mr Alexander Grieve gave a very fine paper on “Health,” containing much valuable information and advice on the culture of the mind and soul as well as guidance how properly to care for the body. Duets quartettes, etc., were rendered during the evening. The singing, which was of a superior character, earned the hearty approval of all and did credit to choir and leader. As usual Mr James W. Grieve brought down the house with a Scotch reading, which he did in his own inimitable style. A little incident of unusual interest was kept to the close, viz., the presentation of a Bible and inkstand to Mr William Grieve on the occasion of his marriage [to Mary Ann Clouston]. The Rev. Mr McLeman, in handing over the gifts, voiced the warm regard of the members for Mr Grieve, who from the first had worked enthusiastically for the Guild, the library, etc., and as secretary. Mr Grieve, in acknowledging the kindness of the members, assured them he had been quite disinterested, and in doing what he could had found it a personal pleasure. Votes of thanks were than heartily accorded, and one of the best meetings in the history of the Guild was brought to a close.

1903 April 11 The Orcadian

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I have been reading the letters in your paper regarding the competition going on for the carrying trade of the North Isles. The Rousay trade is done by the Fawn belonging to the Orkney Steam Navigation Company. It will be remembered this trade was at one time in the hands of the Rousay, Evie and Rendall Steam Company, who had the Lizzie Burroughs on the passage. When the Company went into liquidation, Mr Garden of Kirkwall purchased the vessel, and continued the trade on the same lines, calling regularly at three different places at Rousay, also at EgiIshay, Weir, Evie, Rendall and Gairsay. The Orcadia Company brought the Fawn in opposition to Mr Garden, and when they got him off the field they altered arrangements in a way that were not nearly so convenient for the people of the islands. They ceased calling at Hullion and Sourin, also Evle and Rendall. Besides, the rates now charged are higher than when the Lizzie Burroughs was on the passage, and it is quite a common thing for the Fawn to be withdrawn in order to undertake other traffic. The Orkney Steam Navigation Company have certainly not attended so well to the interests of the Rousay people as Mr Garden or the former company did. – I am, etc., GREEN HOLM

1903 April 22 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL BOARD. – The result of the School Board election has been declared to-day (the 22nd inst). There were six candidates nominated, but one, Mr James Craigie, Falquoy, withdrew, so that a poll has been avoided. The following is a list of the members forming the new Board, viz.: General Burroughs of Rousay and Veira; Rev. John McLeman, Ritchie U.F. Manse; Rev. Alex. Irvine Pirie, Trumland U.F. Manse; Hugh Marwick, Guidal; William Grieve, Falldown. The first meeting of the new Board will be held on Wednesday 29th inst.

AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION. – Mr Inkster, firemaster, Aberdeen, (who is a native of the island), has presented the agricultural association with a handsomely inscribed silver medal. The medal is beautifully designed and is to be competed for by bona-fide ploughmen who have already taken first prizes for ploughing.

1903 May 13 Orkney Herald

GENERAL BURROUGHS, C.B., of Rousay and Veira, and Mrs Burroughs have been summoned to attend their Majesties’ Court at Holyrood. Mrs Burroughs’ dress is a gown of ciel soie de chine and black mousseline de sole with encrustations of black and white embroidery. The bodice had revers of oyster white taffetas delicately embroidered with pale blue ribbon velvet and forget-me-nots. Toque of straw to tone with the gown, trimmed with fine black lace, a bird, and white osprey.

1903 May 20 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


Trumland House, Rousay, 19th May 1903.

SIR, – As Vice-Lieutenant of the County, I have been asked to give publicity in Orkney to the appeal which is presently being addressed to the public of Scotland for funds to establish a National School in Scotland for the sons of Scottish sailors and soldiers; and, with a view thereto, you will perhaps be good enough to publish this letter in the columns of your newspaper.

The establishment of the institution will accomplish a twofold purpose – first, the erection of a Scottish National Memorial to Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria befitting her long and illustrious reign; and, second, the founding of a National Scottish School for the reception and education of the sons of Scottish sailors and soldiers. Both England and Ireland have national schools of a similar nature, but Scotland  has no such institution. Its want has often been keenly felt, the sons of Scottish sailors and soldiers left fatherless and without means having hitherto been dependent upon individual charity.

Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, who has subscribed £500 towards the cost of the proposed school, is taking a warm interest in the scheme, and, under the able presidency of Lord Rosebery, there can be no doubt of its success. The Government is also aiding largely in this cause.

I am opening a county fund, to which I have contributed, and am anxious that everyone may assist the memorial, even to the smallest extent, and thus enable me to name for the county at least one bed in the proposed school.

A committee of gentlemen interested in the movement has also been formed, and a list of their names will be handed you by the secretary.

Subscriptions can be at once forwarded to the honorary treasurer of the Orkney Committee, Mr J. Lees Low, solicitor, Kirkwall, by whom they will he acknowledged in due course. – I am, sir, your obedient servant, – F. TRAILL BURROUGHS, Lt.-General, Vice-Lieutenant of Orkney and Shetland.

1903 June 3 Orkney Herald

AN ORKNEY WOMAN AND THE OATH. – One day last week a voluble old woman appeared at Marylebone, at the instance of the Marylebone Guardians, to show cause why she should not be transferred to the Guardians of Orkney, the place of her birth. When asked to take the oath, she stoutly protested against “swearing anything,” and in a loud voice demanded to know why she should have been knocked about and treated so cruelly in the workhouse, seeing that all she did was “just to unburden her mind of the truth” and to maintain the honour and honesty of her countrywomen. “No, I won’t swear,” she cried, as she thrust the proffered Testament from her. “I have never said a wrong word or anything else, but I’ve been knocked about shamefully by these blackguards.” Mr Curtis Bennett – Now is your opportunity to return to your native surroundings. Take the book and be sworn. The Old Woman – No: I tell you I won’t swear until I know what I’ve got to swear about. (Laughter.) It’s no good: I won’t. (Great laughter.) Mr Curtis Bennett – Come, now; take the book and be sworn. The Old Woman – No: I don’t know how to swear. (Laughter.) I’m massacred for speaking the truth. This is no civilised country; it’s a disgrace to everything. The usher having repeated the oath, asked her to kiss the book. “I don’t care for kissing anything,” she replied. In the end, however, she was induced to kiss the book, and the particulars of her birth, &c., were read over to her. Asked if these were true, she replied, “I’m only able to speak the truth; but I’ll speak it better when I get back to my native land. (Laughter.) A parcel of downright villains you are. (Great laughter.) Police-Constable Butler – Come along, my dear; that’s all.” “Don’t call me dear,” she sharply retorted; “I’m nobody’s dear,” and so saying she was ushered out of the Court.

1903 June 10 Orkney Herald

The name of John W. Pirie, Trumland Manse, Rousay, was omitted from the list published last week in the Orkney Herald of successful Orkney scholars at the United Free Church Welfare of Youth examination. He is second prizeman for junior Shorter Catechism and seventh prizeman for Junior New Testament.

1903 July 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – The Frotoft Bible-class, which is conducted by the Rev. A. I. Pirie, Trumland U.F. Church, concluded their winter session on Sunday evening last by a service of sacred praise. The several items on the programme were well rendered, and reflect much credit on the choir, which was under the leadership of Captain Craigie, who has been conducting the singing for some time during the unavoidable absence of Mr D. Mackay. During the evening Mr Pirie gave a brief sketch of the life and education of Christ, which was very instructive, and was listened to with rapt attention. At the close of the programme, Mr Pirie thanked the choir for the trouble they had taken in getting up the several pieces, and especially Captain Craigie and Mr D. Mackay for their kindness in conducting the singing during the session.

1903 August 8 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday, 31st ult. Owing to the unpropitious weather, the attendance, both of competitors and spectators, was much smaller than usual. Rain fell heavily during the forenoon, and the very strong breeze, amounting at times almost to a gale, was responsible for the non-attendance of many of the usual competitors from Kirkwall and the adjacent islands.

The first race was timed for 11 a.m., but as few boats had then turned up, the committee decided to postpone the event till later, and it was not until 1 p.m., on the arrival of the Daisy and the Walrus from Kirkwall, and the Sweyn from Tingwall, that the programme was proceeded with.

Owing to the delay in starting, the course was made shorter than is usually the case, being from a buoy off Trumland Pier round a buoy in Egilshay Sound, thence round a buoy off the point of Avelshay, and back to Trumland Pier.

The first race to be decided was that for boats of 22 feet of waterline and under, for which there were 4 entries. The corrected time is as follows:-

Walrus [A. Leask] – 3h 31m 47s
Sarah Anne [J. Mainland] – 3h 32m 46s
Sweyn [J. Garrioch] – 3h 37m 31s
Sigurd [Gen. Burroughs] (retired).

The second event was for boats 35 feet waterline and under, for which only two entries were obtained. The boats were despatched five minutes later to a splendid start, Annie crossing the line slightly in advance but to leeward of Daisy. The actual finish was as under without deducting time allowance:-

Annie [J. Logie] (Cup) – 3h 46m 36s
Daisy [J. Maxwell] – 3h 47m 1s

The third race was for boats of 16 feet and under, for which there were three entries. Alice crossed the line in the premier position, closely followed by Wilsons, and Ceska considerably behind. Ceska, however, materially improved her position over the course, and, in an exciting finish, only just failed to snatch the honours from Alice. The corrected times were as follows:-

Alice [C. B. Logie] (Gold Medal) – 3h 45m 32s
Ceska [H. S. Gibson] – 3h 45m 42s
Wilsons [T. Groundwater] – 3h 47m 44s

The race for all-comers was the next item – there being nine entries. As the weather had now moderated somewhat, the course was lengthened, the mark boat in Egilshay Sound being moved to the Grand. The following is the corrected time:-

Annie – 5h 46m 47s
Walrus – 5h 48m 49s
Daisy – 5h 49m 37s
Sarah Anne – 5h 51m 16s
Sweyn – 5h 51m 32s
Sigurd – 5h 51m 58s
Alice – 5h 54m 32s
Wilsons (retired)
Ceska (retired)

The following are the results in the rowing races: – Boys. – 1, T. Sinclair and D. Yorston; 2, D. Munro and J. Russell. Men. – 1, G. Reid and J. Harrold; 2, J. Yorston and J. Craigie. Refreshments were served during the day in the store at the pier. A very successful dance was afterwards held.

[According to the Orkney Herald, the dance was ‘kept up with great enthusiasm by the younger portion of the community till somewhere about the wee sma’ ‘oor ayont the twal’.]

1903 September 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on the 25th August at Banks, Sourin, on a field, the use of which was kindly granted by Mr Robert Seatter. The show was one of the most successful ever held under the auspices of the society, and as the weather was fine, there were a large number of visitors to the ground, not only of islanders but of people from Kirkwall and other parts of the county, to suit whom the sailing of the steamer Fawn was specially arranged. Though some very good cattle were exhibited most of them showed the want of grass. Mr [Hamilton] Horne, Trumland, received first prizes for two good black-polleds – a cow in milk and a two-year-old quey. A shorthorn cow shown by Mr R. Marwick, Scockness, was a splendid animal, which it would be difficult to beat. Mr G. Gibson had also forward two very good cows. There was a large turnout of yearlings, Mr Marwick again coming to the front. For horses Mr Horne got first for a big, heavy, yeld mare; and Mr J. Gibson, Faraclett, first for a draught mare – a very promising three-year-old horse. A nice lot of yearling fillies were shown. Mr [William] Learmonth, Innister, got first for a nice tidy filly, sired by a horse bred by Mr J. Gibson, Faraclett, out of Mr J. Tait’s “Times Again.” The judges were: – Mr G. C. Webster, Kirkwall; Mr Thomas Clark, Midhouse, Costa, Evie; and Mr William Wood, Dyke, Evie. The following is the prize list: –

Polled Cows (8 entries) – 1, H. H. Horne, Trumland; 2, John Gibson, Faraclett; 3 and c. John Russell, Brendale; h.c., Robert Marwick, Scockness.
Shorthorn Cows (6 entries) – 1, R. Marwick; 2 and 3, George Gibson, Avelshay; h.c., and c., Walter Muir, Saviskaill.
Two-year-old Queys (6 entries) – 1 and c., H. H. Horne; 2, John Gibson; 3 and h.c., David Gibson, Langskaill.
One-year-old Queys (12 entries) – 1 and hc, Robert Marwick; 2, Peter Sinclair, Bigland; 3, John Russell; c., David Gibson.
One-Year-Old Steers, Polled (12 entries) -1, Robert Marwick; 2, David Inkster, Furse; 3 and hc, Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin; c Walter Muir.
One-Year-Old Steers, Shorthorns (8 entries) – 1, Peter Sinclair; 2 Robert Marwick; 3 and hc William Learmonth, Innister; c John Gibson.
Horses. – Draught Geldings (5 entries) – 1, John Gibson; 2, Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; 3, Alex. Munro, Woo; George Gibson; c William Learmonth.
Yeld Mares (9 entries) – 1, H. H. Horne; 2, J. Gibson; 3, John Russell, hc James Craigie, Falquoy; c George Gibson.
Mares with Foal at foot (2 entries) – 1, D. Inkster; 2, John Scott, Hurtiso.
Two-Year-Old Fillies (2 entries) – 1, H. H. Horne; 2, J. Gibson.
One-Year-Old Fillies (5 entries) – 1, William Learmonth; 2, Robert Marwick, 3, J. Scott. hc John Corsie, Knarston; c G. Gibson.
One-Year-Old Colts (2 entries) – 1, Peter Sinclair; 2, J. Gibson.
Foals (2 entries) – 1, David Inkster; 2 John Scott.

The judges and committee sat down to a splendid dinner prepared by Miss Munro. The usual toasts were proposed and responded to. The committee beg to thank Mr Wason, M.P., Mr Wood, London; Mr Inkster, Aberdeen, and the Highland Society for their donations.

1903 September 30 Orkney Herald


SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL. – This school has been very faithfully conducted, and the results of the instruction are in general satisfactory, especially in view of the low percentage of attendance for the year. The highest class – the largest class in the school – made a good appearance, particularly in composition, spelling, and geography. Mental arithmetic, on the other hand, is rather weak. Drawing has been taught with enthusiasm and marked success. Singing, drill, and sewing are all very good. An effort should be made to improve the attendance. Average attendance, 32. Grant, inclusive of £10 16s 8d under article 19 D, £54 2s 5d.

WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL. – There is a slight falling-off in the regularity of attendance, but the school continues to be in a highly efficient condition, and the teaching is vigorous and thorough. The infants are remarkably far advanced, but their age is considerably above the normal. The junior and senior divisions show to very good advantage, especially in written subjects. Nothing but praise is due to the excellence of the singing, sewing, drawing, and drill. A new map of the world on Mercator’s projection should be supplied. Average attendance 23. Grants earned, inclusive of £16 5s under article 19 D, £48 11s 2d.

FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL. – This little school is very well taught. The children are frank, intelligent and well advanced. The two candidates for merit certificates made a very good pass. Music again calls for special mention, singing being particularly sweet and tuneful, and modulator, ear, and time tests very good. Some of the maps should be renewed, and a map of the world on Mercator’s projection should be supplied. The woodwork of the school needs repainting. Average attendance, 12. Grants earned, £35 6s.

1903 October 3 The Orcadian

ENGINEER DROWNED AT YARMOUTH. – The master of the Wick steam drifter Cordelia reported on Tuesday at Yarmouth the loss of James Johnston, his chief engineer. At midnight Johnston tried to board the Cordelia from the quay, but slipped and fell into the river. His cap was recovered from the river, but though dragging was commenced the body has not yet been found. Johnston, who was married, is a native of Rousay, Orkney, and this is the second case of the kind that has occurred this week from Scotch fishing boats in Yarmouth Harbour [Norfolk].

[James Craigie Johnston was the son of James Johnston, Breek, and his first wife Ann Craigie, Hullion. He was born on April 4th 1866].

1903 October 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – Miss Julia L. Pringle, M.B., Ch.B., has been appointed medical officer for this parish.

[Julia Letitia Pringle was born on August 23, 1878, the daughter of the late Robert Pringle, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh, and studied medicine at the Medical College for Women, Edinburgh, graduating M.B., Ch.B. in 1903. Among the appointments she held after qualification were those of senior demonstrator in anatomy at the Edinburgh Medical College for Women, house-surgeon at Alnwick Infirmary, Northumberland, and resident medical officer at Drumcondra Hospital, Dublin. She then went into practice at Dundee, becoming assistant ophthalmic surgeon to the Eye Institute, visiting physician to the Dundee Infants Hospital, and consulting physician to the Blackcroft Baby Clinic. During the early nineteen thirties she spent about two years in the United States. – She died in January 1960 at the age of 81. B.M.J.]

1903 October 31 The Orcadian

A ROUSAY ASSAULT CASE. – Before Sheriff Cosens at Kirkwall, on Tuesday, at the Orkney Sheriff Criminal Court, John Leonard, fisherman, Gripps, Sourin, Rousay, was charged with malicious mischief and assault to the effusion of blood. Mr W. P. Drever, who appeared on his behalf tendered a plea of guilty to assault, but not to the effusion of blood, which was accepted by the Fiscal. In passing sentence, Sheriff Cosens said the assault was not a serious one. The serious part of the charge was that the woman assaulted was 70 years of age and her husband a paralytic. Continuing – It shows you are a silly fool to go about tormenting these old people, and I have before, unfortunately, had experience of young blackguards going about and making the lives of old people perfectly miserable, by what they consider fun. That I must put down and as a warning to others, who would be very much better sitting at home reading a book, I fine you 10s. or 7 days’ imprisonment.

[The Orkney Herald stated that Leonard ‘pulled down a piece of dyke of a croft [Knapper] owned by Robert Craigie and his wife Mary.’ An altercation led him to strike Mrs Craigie.]

[John Leonard was 20 years of age in 1903, and was living at Gripps with his father Malcolm and mother Mary.]

1903 November 11 The Orcadian

There will be sold by Public Roup, at ERVADALE, ROUSAY,
on Thursday, 19th Nov., the following FARM STOCK., viz.: –
5 Milch Cows in calf.
5 One-year-old Cattle.
Black Polled Bull (one-year old).
5 Calves.
Draught Horse (seven years old).
And a few lambs.
Five months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards.
Sale to commence at 11 o’clock a.m.
The s.s. “Fawn” will leave Kirkwall at 9 a.m.,
returning on conclusion of the Sale at the Glebe.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.


There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at the GLEBE, ROUSAY, on Thursday,
19th Nov., the following FARM STOCK and IMPLEMENTS, viz.: –
STOCK. – Mare in foal (mid-aged), Horse (four years old), One-year-old Filly,
2 Cows in calf, 1 Cow in milk, 1 Quey in calf, Two-year-old Quey,
3 One-year-old Cattle, 5 Calves, 3 Ewes, 1 Lamb.
CROP. – 300 thraves of Oats with the fodder, 5½ acres Swedish and
Yellow Turnips, to be sold by the chain.
IMPLEMENTS. – 2 Carts, Plough, pair Wood Harrows, Reaper,
Grubber, Harness, &c., &c.
Four months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards.
Sale to commence immediately after the conclusion of the sale
at Ervadale. The s.s. “Fawn” will leave Kirkwall at 9 o’clock a.m.,
returning in the evening.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.

1903 November 18 The Orcadian

There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at SAVISKAILL, ROUSAY,
on Wednesday, 25th November, the under-noted, viz.: –
1 Mare (nine years old) in foal, 1 Mare (six years old) in foal, 1 Mare (eight years old), 1 Half-bred Mare in foal, 1 Mare (aged) supposed to be in foal, 1 Entire Horse
(five years old), quiet in harness, and a sure foal getter;
Superior Two-year-old Half-bred Garron Cob, 1 One-year-old Horse Pony;
9 Milch Cows in calf (some early calvers), 15 One-year-old Cattle in forward condition (mostly black polled), 10 Black Polled Calves, 1 Superior Three-year-old Black Polled Bull (fat), 15 Half-bred Lambs, some Poultry.
5 Box Carts, 3 Single Ploughs, 1 Drill Plough, 3 Scufflers, 1 Grubber, 1 Wood Roller,
1 Stone Roller, 2 Sets Spring-tooth Harrows, 2 Sets Iron Harrows,
1 Turnip Sowing Machine, 1 Two-horse Reaper (good cutter), 1 Turnip Pulper,
1 Turnip Slicer, Barn Fanners, Bushel Measure, 4 Sets Plough Trees,
3 Sets Cart and Plough Harness, 1 Set Gig Harness, Forks, Ladders, Feering Poles, and a variety of other articles; also some HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, &c., &c.
Terms – Four months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 stg. and upwards.
Sale to commence at 10.30 a.m.
S. BAIKIE, Auctioneer.
Weather permitting, the s.s. “Fawn” will leave Kirkwall Pier at 8 a.m. on morning of sale for the convenience of intending purchasers, returning again in the evening.

1903 November 28 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Rev. Mr Spark announced last Sunday that he will resume his classes – open to all parishioners – during winter at the Manse. A Bible and Protestant Class, Sundays, 6-7 p.m., and a Music Class, Fridays, 6.30-7.30 p.m. Text Books, “Song Primer” and “Hymnary.”

1903 December 2 Orkney Herald

SEVERE WEATHER. – Snowy weather still continues. Rain fell almost incessantly on Friday and almost entirely cleared away the previous fall of snow, but on Saturday and Sunday snow again fell, and, as the weather is frosty, continues to lie. In some cases the depth is considerable, and several of the roads were at parts impassable for vehicular traffic for two or three days. The fall of snow has brought harvest work to a standstill. On a number of farms stooks covered with snow are to be seen standing in the fields. On a few farms cutting is not entirely completed.

1903 December 12 The Orcadian

ORKNEY SMALL DEBT COURT – MACKENZIE v. MUIR. – Before Sheriff Cosens, in the Orkney Small Debt Court on Tuesday, an action at the instance of Alexander MacKenzie, cattle-dealer, Victoria Street, Kirkwall, against Walter Muir, late Saviskaill, Rousay, was heard. Pursuer claimed a sum of £8 14s 6d, being price paid by him for a mare purchased at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August last, as a mare 13 years old and in foal, and as quiet and tractable in all harness, and a good worker, but which mare, the pursuer avers, was then upwards of 18 years of age and not in foal, and was suffering from an incurable tumour in the throat and utterly unable for work and valueless; including expenses of the mare at livery from 28th September till 16th October, when she was shot on the advice of the Inspector of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

WALTER MUIR – I am the defender in this action. On 17th August I brought a brown mare with white face and white hind feet to Kirkwall for sale. I saw Mr Webster’s clerk and told him the mare was 13 years old, supposed to be in foal. I did not say she was in foal. The mare was two or three weeks in my possession. I bought the mare for £5 from Mr Hugh Sinclair, [Sketquoy] Rousay. I do not know where she came from. She was in fair condition when I bought her, and improved while in my possession. Sinclair said nothing about her except that she was all correct so far as he knew. He said nothing about her throat. I did not say anything to MacKenzie about Sinclair having told me the mare was unwell. I don’t remember coming in from the North Isles with Mr Thomson, veterinary surgeon. I never made any statement to Thomson that he had better be careful what certificate he gave. I was present at Mr Webster’s Mart when the mare was sold. Mr Webster said the mare was 13 years old, supposed to be in foal, and a good worker or something to that effect. I quite concurred in what he said. The mare was sold by me as quiet and tractable in all harness and a good worker. After the mare had been purchased I had some conversation immediately after. I don’t remember what passed. I think I wanted Mr MacKenzie to buy a foal. I don’t remember Mr MacKenzie saying she was more than 13 years old. I don’t remember shortly after Mr MacKenzie asking me to come outside to speak about the mare. I remember some time after MacKenzie asking me to take the mare back. I refused. I told him I had told the truth about the mare. After that I received a letter dated 20th September (Letter produced) and in reply I wrote a letter dated 28th September (Letter produced). Following on that letter of 28th September I received a letter (Letter produced) and I wrote in reply letter dated 1st October (Letter produced). Following on that  I received another letter from you dated 5th October (letter produced). After receiving that letter I called at your office, and on that occasion I did not agree to go and settle with Mr MacKenzie.

Q – Did you not say you were going to settle and left the office to go and see Mr MacKenzie? A – I don’t remember. I deny I left the office to go and settle with Mr MacKenzie.

Cross examination reserved.

SAMUEL PETRIE – I am a farmer and reside in Holm. I remember a considerable number of years ago going to Mr Harvey, Redland, Firth, to see a mare. She was a brown mare with a white face and white hind feet. Mr Harvey told me that the mare was by Champion, a horse belonging to Mr Watson. My brother afterwards bought the mare from Harvey. I had the mare about a year. I sold the mare the following Lammas to Mr Craigie, Howe, Shapinsay. That was in 1892. Her age then was 7 years. I sold another mare at the same time, which foaled on 27th March, 1881. The mare I bought from Mr Harvey was four years younger, and this would make her this October, 18 rising 19.

Cross-Examination – This is all the marking I have in regard to this mare’s age – the selling of another mare, and my recollection. I did not rear the mare. I knew she was 7, because she was sold for 6 years. Harvey told me that was her age. I was not present when my brother bought her.

Re-Examination – Apart from what Mr Harvey told me, I can tell a horse’s age by its teeth.

WILLIAM PETRIE – I am a farmer and reside in Holm. I remember a number of years ago going to purchase a brown mare with a white face and white hind feet from Mr Harvey. Redland, Firth. We bought her and had her for about 11 months. We sold her the following Lammas to Mr Craigie, Howe, Shapinsay. She was then 7 years old. We sold another mare at the same time. It is from the second mare’s age that we get the time that she was sold. The other mare foaled in 1881. The mare I bought from Harvey was four years younger. Harvey told me the mare was 6 years old when I bought her. I satisfied myself by the teeth that the age Harvey gave was correct.

No cross-examination.

WILLIAM CRAIGIE – I am a farmer at Brecks and Myres, Shapinsay. I remember about 11 years ago when in the farm of Howe, purchasing a brown mare with white face, and white hind feet, from Mr Petrie, Holm. I think it was in 1892 at the Lammas Market. I had the mare for 8 years. My son sold her to James Scott, Odinstone.

Cross Examination – James Scott bought the mare from my son. I had the mare for 8 years, and bought her for 7 years old. I sold her about 2 years ago. I think I told Scott I did not know the age of the mare. My son, I think, said he said nothing about the age of the mare. Harvey afterwards travelled for seeds, and he saw the mare at my house. He said he did not know the age of the mare. I never saw anything wrong with the mare except once when she was out in bad weather. I knew of no chronic disease.

JAMES SCOTT – I am a cattle dealer residing in Shapinsay. I sold to Mr Hugh Sinclair, Rousay, a brown mare with white face, and white hind feet. The mare was purchased by me from Mr Craigie, Shapinsay. I made the bargain with Craigie’s son.

Cross-Examination – I had this mare about a day. I live near to where Mr Craigie formerly stayed. I had spoken about this mare before. I remember Craigie said Harvey did not know the age the mare. I could not ascertain the age of the mare. Mr Craigie said he did not know the age of the mare owing to Harvey’s statement. During the time I know the mare I saw no illness upon her, and I looked upon her as a healthy animal. I bought the mare from the son. There was no warranty. I got no age. In view of the conversation with the father I did not expect an age. I told Sinclair I thought she was a mare in her teens. I stated no definite age. The mare was sound to all appearance. I saw her afterwards in Rousay. I saw nothing wrong with her there. Sinclair never complained to me about her. The mare was purchased at Webster’s Mart for £7 7s. It is not usual to warrant a horse at that price – an aged horse. A mare in foal purchased at 7 guineas is not dear. I was present when this animal was purchased by Mr MacKenzie. I don’t remember what the auctioneer said.

Re-Examination – I never asked further than Mr Craigie about the age of the mare. He said nothing about the age when I bought her.

HUGH SINCLAIR – I am a farmer residing in Rousay. About July last I sold a mare I had bought from Mr James Scott, about two years before, to Mr Walter Muir, Rousay. Scott said he was not exactly sure about the age. He said he thought it would be about 11 or 12. Before selling the mare to Muir I saw nothing wrong with her. I saw no difficulty in eating or drinking. I don’t know what came of the mare afterwards.

Cross-Examination – The mare was rather thin when I sold her. I never saw her when in the possession of Muir. The mare was served in spring. I gave no warranty. I told Muir that the mare would be 13 or 14 according to the age given me. Muir made no complaint to me about the animal. I never found the mare tender. She was housed the whole year round – she was taken in summer and winter every night. I told Muir that I would take back the mare if she was the same as when I sold her.

Re-Examination – About the 14th of November was the time when I first heard of this dispute. It was yesterday in Kirkwall, that I said I would take back the mare. Muir has not paid me all the sum due for the mare. Muir retaining part of the price has nothing to do with this dispute.

ALEXANDER MACKENZIE – I am the pursuer in this action. I am a cattle dealer residing in Victoria Street, Kirkwall. I was at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August last, and purchased the mare in dispute. The description was 13 years old and in foal, and a good worker in all harness. I saw the defender in the ring at that time. He took no exception to the statements. I bought the mare for £7 7s 6d. I relied on the statements made by Mr Webster. If these statements had not been made, I would not have put a bid on her. I saw the defender after the horse was knocked down. He wanted me to buy a foal. I looked at the horse’s teeth I had bought, and said she was a big thirteen. He said he would prove she was just 13. When I purchased the mare I got the auctioneer’s ticket. I afterwards paid for the mare, and got a receipt for a 13 year old mare and in foal. (Receipt produced.) I subsequently put the mare to my park, and about the first of September took her home. She had been lying out from the time I bought her till then. I then saw the horse could not swallow properly. I spoke to Muir about it, and he said the man he bought her from said something about that. After that I met defender on the day of the Aquatic Sports, and he would not stand to speak to me. I met him in Webster’s Mart afterwards, and he said he wanted nothing to do with it. I sent for Thomson, and he examined the mare. He gave me a certificate. (Certificate produced.) The certificate bore that the mare had a tumour in the throat of several months’ standing, and was not in foal. Muir came in with Thomson from the North Isles, I was told, and said to Thomson he would need to be very careful what kind of a certificate he gave. After my suspicions were raised about the mare I made enquiries and found she was between eighteen and nineteen years of age. The Inspector for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was cruelty to keep the animal alive. Mr Stevenson examined the mare and granted a certificate. (Certificate produced.) The certificate bore that the mare had a tumour of at least 5 or 6 months standing, and recommended the mare to be shot. The mare was killed by Thomas Horne. The mare was afterwards opened. I had to pay Mr Shearer for the keep of the mare. (Receipt produced )

Cross-examination – I am an experienced horse dealer. The animal was in the ring when I came into the Mart. The conditions are placarded at the Mart. I never read them. There was competition for the mare. I started her at £5.

Q. – Do you expect to get a valuable mare for £7? A. – The best horse I ever had I got for £1. (Laughter.) I tried to sell the mare to a Deerness man, but he would not have it because he thought she was diseased. I never asked £10 for her. Muir said he would take back the mare if I gave him £2 10s.

By the Court – Q. – When did you get the receipt? A. – It was the same week I bought the beast. The receipt is there as I got it. That receipt has not been altered since I got it. I went back and got the stamp on it. There was nothing added when the stamp was put on that I know of. The mare was out all night till the first of September.


ROBERT THOMPSON – I am a veterinary surgeon. On 6th October last I examined a brown mare with a white face and two white pasterns. I granted a certificate. (Certificate produced.) I had just come from the North Isles. The defender was on the steamer with me. He asked me if MacKenzie had been at me about the mare. I said he had not. He said he would likely be, and I would have to be careful what sort of a certificate I gave. Nine days after Mr Stevenson examined the mare. He also granted a certificate. I concurred with Mr Stevenson’s opinion. I was quite satisfied she was incurable. She could not have lived more than 14 days. I was present when the mare was shot, and opened by Horne. The mare was not in foal. The mare was absolutely worthless in my opinion.

Cross-examination – I am absolutely sure I had a conversation with Muir on the Orcadia. The conversation took place coming into Kirkwall. The tumour was a firm one, and very gradual in growth. It would ultimately have choked the animal. There was a swelling. The swelling would come on gradually. My opinion was that the tumour had been on the animal 8 or 9 months. It might not have been seen by a casual observation. When the animal was eating or drinking a person was bound to see it. Muir might not have seen the tumour if the animal was on the grass. It would not affect the animal so much on the grass as when eating turnip or dry straw. It is not easy at Lammas to tell whether an animal is in foal or not. After the post mortem examination I did not examine the mare as to her age. After 8 or 9 years all signs of age in a horse’s mouth is obliterated. I guessed the age of this mare as 18. I had never heard the age of the animal before I gave the opinion.

Re-examination – When I went to examine this animal at Crantit I tried to get it to drink but it would not do so.

GEORGE STEVENSON – I am a veterinary surgeon residing in Kirkwall. On 15th October last I was called by Mr MacKenzie to examine a brown mare. I did so and granted certificate produced. I was present when the mare was sold in Mr Webster’s Mart to Mr MacKenzie. I was also present at Crantit when the mare was shot. It was subsequently opened and was found not to be in foal.

Cross-examination – At the time the animal was sold I thought 7 guineas was a good price. Q. – Have you any idea when the tumour originated? A. – It was a fibrous tumour.

By the Court – If I had put my hand over the animal’s throat I would have felt it.

Cross-examination continued – The first thing that would disclose the illness would be the animal’s breathing, and when it was eating. The animal was very thin when it was shot. Q. – Would you be surprised if a person were not noticing this tumour when the animal was on the grass? Would it be less liable to attract notice on the grass than when feeding in the stall? A. – I do not think there would be much difference. In the end it would not be able to eat solid food. As Iong as the animal was on the grass it would all depend on the size of the tumour whether it would be easily seen. The growth was of a gradual development. Q. – Apart from speculative opinion, could you state distinctly that the animal was not in foal in August? A. – That would all depend upon when it was served.

Cross-examination – I thought £7 7s 6d a big price for this mare. If it was in foal, however, it would have been value for the money.

By Mr Drever – The day I saw the mare in the ring at Mr Webster’s Mart I don’t believe anyone could tell whether the mare was in foal or not.

JAMES F. SHEARER, clerk, said he was at Mr Webster’s Mart on the morning of the day of the sale. I saw Mr Muir, and I asked him how he would like his mare entered, and he said “a mare 13 years old and in foal.” I read out that entry to Mr Muir, and he replied it was all right. I was present when the mare was sold. Mr Webster read out this information from the entry book. The statement read out by Mr Webster was exactly what I had entered in the book. I saw Muir in the ring when the mare was sold. He did not object to what Mr Webster read out. If any objection were taken this is also always noted down in the book.

Cross-examination – All the writing in that account is mine except the signature, and the words 13 years and in foal. I was not at hand when the addition was put to the account. It is usual to put the description of the animal on the sale tickets, but I do not remember whether this was done in Mr MacKenzie’s case on this occasion. What was read out at the sale was what is in this book.

G. C. WEBSTER, Auctioneer, said – I am a livestock salesman. I remember on 17th August last selling a mare for Mr Muir, Saviskaill, Rousay. The mare was not taken in by me. (Shown sale book.) That is my sale book. The description I gave was “mare 13 years old and in foal,” exactly as it appears in this book. In describing an animal I always give the description as it appears in this book. Muir was in the ring, and took no exception to the description I gave. The mare was sold to Mr MacKenzie for £7 7s 6d. After the sale my Clerk generally gives the purchaser a ticket. When Mr MacKenzie came down to pay for the mare, he objected to the account, as it did not correspond with the ticket he had got. I then copied these words from the ticket on to the account. I signed the account without a stamp, and Mr MacKenzie afterwards came back and showed me the mistake, and I put on the stamp. If Mr Muir had taken any objection to my description of the mare in the ring, I am quite sure this would have been noted in the book.

Cross-examination – (Shown printed conditions which are posted up in the ring) The only warranty Muir gave was that the mare was 13 years old and in foal.

THOMAS HORNE was present at Mr Webster’s ring on 17th August. I was there and heard Mr Webster say the mare was 13 years old and in foal, but I was not there when the animal was sold. In October I went to Crantit, and shot the animal. It was subsequently opened but it was not in foal. There was two tumours in the throat. They had been a long time there in my opinion. From the appearance of these tumours I think the mare would have difficulty in feeding.

This closed the pursuer’s proof.

DEFENDER’S PROOF. DEFENDER. – I have heard what Mr Thomson stated about meeting me on a passage from the North Isles. I was not in the North Isles this year. I have not been aboard the Orcadia this year. I never met Mr Thomson going or coming from the North Isles. I know the conditions which are posted up in Webster’s Mart. The mare was on grass when I had her. I had her three weeks. I saw no difficulty with her eating or drinking. I heard Mr MacKenzie’s evidence regarding a conversation that took place between us. I never said I would settle. I had made an offer, and was not prepared to go beyond that. Mr MacKenzie and me had a conversation. He told me to give the mare a good character as he had nearly sold the mare to a Sanday man. That was on the night of the sale.

Mr Low having addressed the Court for the pursuer, and Mr Drever for the defender, the Sheriff took the case to avizandum [i.e. took time to consider his judgment.]

1903 December 19 The Orcadian

LOCAL HORSE DEALING CASE. – MacKENZIE v. MUIR. – THE DECISION. – Last week we reported the evidence led in the action, MacKenzie v. Muir. It will be remembered that Alex. MacKenzie, cattle dealer, Kirkwall, sued Walter Muir, Saviskaill, Rousay, for £8 14s 6d, being the price and other outlays in connection with the purchase of a mare which was sold at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August, last.

Sheriff COSENS, who had taken the case to avizandum, gave judgment for the pursuer on Wednesday with £6 10s of expenses.

In giving his decision, his lordship said the action was a Small Debt one for the price of a mare, sold by Walter Muir, Saviskaill, Rousay, at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August, 1903, to the pursuer, as 13 years old and in foal, and quiet and tractable in all harness. He had come to the conclusion that it was well proved that Walter Muir brought the mare to Webster’s Auction Mart, and went to James Shearer, Mr Webster’s clerk, and entered the mare. In evidence James Shearer said Muir entered the mare as 13 years old and in foal. His evidence was corroborated by the entry in the book. No objection was taken to the entry, and if there had been, it would have been noted in the book. That evidence was given remarkably well, was unaffected in cross-examination, and corroborated by Mr Webster. Then there was the evidence of the pursuer who said he would not have put a sixpence on the mare if it had not been for the auctioneer’s statement. There were the two witnesses from Holm, and the witness Craigie from Shapinsay. whose evidence went to show that the mare was rising 18. The skilled evidence of the two veterinary surgeons showed that the mare was not in foal. Continuing he said – To make a seller liable in “express warranty” it is not necessary that he should use the words “I warrant.” It is sufficient if he make representations which the purchaser has given him to understand are essential to his buying. Scott v. Steel, 20D. 253. These being the facts I come to consider the law. I have no doubt the horse here was bought on representation and that the representation so made amounted according to the law of Scotland to a warranty. Such a statement of fact so relied upon comes under the doctrine of Professor Bell that “every affirmation of quality made to the buyer as a ground of reliance is a warranty.” If a material statement intended to induce a purchaser to buy is made as statement of fact, and if the buyer puts reliance on that statement it is impossible in law for the seller to say that what was intended was a matter of opinion only, and that the statement of fact was merely a representation of belief. This view appears to be supported by the Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Wood in the case of Scott v. Steel, above.

I was much impressed by the clear argument of the learned Sheriff of Perthshire in the case of Henricks v. Guyer, 31 January. 1902. 18 Scottish Law Review. p. 164. in which case it was held that a public advertisement describing a horse whether contained in a newspaper, an auctioneer’s catalogue, or a hand bill, is a warranty if it be a representation of fact and not of opinion, and if it be shown by the purchaser to have been an essential element in inducing him to purchase. But even under the Sale of Goods Act. 1893, I think the pursuer would prevail here – sec. 14, sub.-sec. 2. I think all the elements in that section are in this case. The pursuer, MacKenzie, did not examine the animal, and it was sold as of merchantable quality. I give decree for the pursuer with £6 10s expenses.

1903 December 23 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD held its opening social meeting on Thursday last. The weather was not a success and there was no moonlight, which kept a good few of the older folks as well as the little people at home. There was, however, a splendid attendance. The speeches contained not a few very good points, and the readings deserved all the applause they received. The tea brought many good things which were dealt out with hearty goodwill, while the singing showed that it was not a set task the choir had set themselves to perform but a pleasure they were enjoying.

1903 December 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. – A meeting of this society was held in Sourin Public School on Friday the 25th December. There was a fair attendance of members. The prizes for the last cattle show were given out. The secretary submitted the report of the year’s work. All the old office-bearers were re-elected, with the addition to the committee of Mr Inkster, Westness, and Mr Craigie, Saviskaill. It was agreed to hold a ploughing match on a date to be afterwards fixed. In accordance with the rule of the society that the match be held in each district in rotation, it will be held this year in Sourin if the committee can procure a field. If such cannot be had, Mr Craigie of Saviskaill has kindly offered to give a field. It was pointed out by the secretary that one man had entered stock at last show as a member of the society, but had not paid his subscription nor entry fee. The secretary was ordered to strike him off the list of members and not to allow him to compete again at any of the society’s shows unless he paid in full before next meeting day. A long discussion took place with regard to the proper time for paying the annual subscription. It was agreed that all members’ subscriptions be paid on or before the day of the cattle show. Medals and special prizes received gratuitously will be classed for competition on a date not later than the 31st of May, those received after that date will be kept until the following year. The secretary and committee were again asked to collect money in aid of the funds of the society. The committee hope that all in the island who are interested will do their utmost to make the show of the incoming year a success.

CHRISTMAS TREAT TO THE CHILDREN – Several weeks ago it was hinted to the school children in Rousay and Veira that “Father Christmas” was likely to visit the schools some time this year. He has at last paid his long-looked-for visit. He arrived in a snow storm, at Trumland House on Christmas afternoon, where the friends and neighbours and children in that district were assembled to meet him. Punctually at 4 o’clock a carol, “The first Nowell,” was sung by an unseen choir. Then a loud knock came to the door, and a stranger, covered with snowflakes, was admitted. He was seen to be wearing a long flowing garment, trimmed with white fur, and wore a red cap with holly. Icicles hung from his very white hair and long beard. He carried in his hand a Christmas tree which he placed in the centre of the room, and to warm himself he proceeded to light it up with innumerable wax candles of all colours. But Father Christmas looked unhappy, and soon it became evident that on his journey he had lost his luggage. So there was every prospect of the party breaking up. At this moment another loud rap was heard at the door, which was quickly opened, only to be as quickly closed, owing to the gust of snow which was blown in; but strange to say, no one could keep that door shut. Presently a tiny fairy-like figure entered – a child, dressed in white, with the morning stars on her yellow curls, glittering wings, and “1904” wrought in red figures on her sash. This was “A Happy New Year” to all. And she had found and brought with her Father Christmas’s lost baggage. Needless to say, this announcement caused great joy, and the faces of the youngsters, when they saw the numerous toys, beamed with happiness. The treasures were handed out to the lucky recipients by Father Christmas. The luggage consisted of a whole fleet of fully-rigged model sailing boats, doll’s houses, with the latest things in furniture, from a baby in its cradle to Lord Roberts’ picture on the parlour wall; dolls, balls, wagons, knives, and many useful gifts were included in the luggage. A merry time was spent, and the children danced round the lighted tree. Tea, cakes, oranges, and sweets filled up the gaps caused by this exercise. All the company joined in three hearty cheers for Father Christmas, singing –

“For he’s a jolly good fellow;
 For he’s a jolly good fellow;
 For he’s a jolly good fellow –
 Which no one can deny.”
“Just look what he has done
 To give the children fun –
 Made all the boats and houses;
 Our gratitude it rouses.
For he’s a jolly good fellow
To give the children fun.”

The allegorical character of Father Christmas was capitally rendered by Mr John Logie, who, with other members of the Trumland household, have been busy for weeks past in making the fine boats which gladden the boys’ hearts, and dolls’ houses, which were exact models, and other useful as well as ornamental presents. The tiny figure of “1904” was most charmingly represented by “Wee Jeanie,” the four-year-old daughter of Mr John Harrold, [merchant, Rose Cottage] Trumland Pier. The Rev. Mr Pirie, in a neat little speech, thanked General and Mrs Burroughs for the very pleasant evening which they had all spent, for their thoughtfulness in providing so many gifts, and for the interest they have always taken in the children. General Burroughs said it gave Mrs Burroughs and himself much pleasure to meet with them all that Christmas evening and wished all a very happy and prosperous New Year. He also conveyed to the children a kind message from Mr Muspratt, who is a frequent guest at Trumland, and well known in the island. He wished them all a very merry Christmas, and had sent them a box of oranges and sweets. Votes of thanks were accorded to Drs Pringle and Balfour, who had materially assisted Mrs Burroughs in getting together the many presents; also to the Trumland household and the stewards for their services. Three ringing cheers for little “1904” brought a most enjoyable evening to a close.

In Print

Newsprint – 1902

1902 January 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONGREGATIONAL SOIREE. – The Ritchie U F. congregation had a very enjoyable soiree on Friday last. There was a fair attendance, although the afternoon was showery and the evening very dark, which prevented not a few from being present. After opening psalm and prayer, the Chairman, Rev. Mr McLeman, voiced the disappointment of the meeting that Rev. Mr Cheyne, St Andrews, was unable through sickness to be present. Thereafter speeches, at once stimulating, instructive, and amusing, were given by Rev. Messrs Tripney, Kirkwall; Whyte, Deerness; Pirie and McLeman, Rousay. During the interval a supply of cake, fruit, &c., was handed round. A large part of the pleasure of the evening was due to the very efficient choir trained and led by the congregational precentor, Mr William Grieve, Falldown. After the usual votes of thanks, the meeting concluded with the benediction.

1902 January 22 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. – At the annual meeting of the Rousay Agricultural Society held in Sourin Public School on the 11th inst., the following members of committee were appointed to act for the ensuing year: – Chairman, Mr John Gibson; secretary and treasurer, Mr A. Learmonth; Committee, Messrs A. Munro, Woo; R. Marwick, Scockness; D. Marwick, Housebay [Essaquoy]; Geo. Gibson, Avelshay; J. S. Gibson, Hullion; D. Gibson, Langskaill; W. Muir, Saviskaill; R. Sinclair, Skatequoy; D. Inkster, Furse; and John Russell, Brendale. The treasurer’s report was submitted, and the society financially was found to be in a flourishing condition. The usual business of the meeting being transacted, it was resolved to hold the annual ploughing match sometime in February.

YOUNG MEN’S GUILD. – At the weekly meeting of the Rousay Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Guild on the 13th inst., Mr J. S. Gibson read an interesting paper on the crofter and land question which was much appreciated The members afterwards engaged in a “hat” night, which led to some lively and interesting discussion, principally on the South African War.

1902 January 25 The Orcadian

DESTRUCTION OF A CROP AT ROUSAY. – A fire of a serious character occurred at the farm of Woo, Rousay, tenanted by Mr Alexander Munro, late on Friday night, by which several stacks of oats, &c., were destroyed. It is not known how the fire occurred, but there seems to be a feeling prevalent that it was the work of an incendiary, and the police are investigating the matter. Mr Munro, who lives in a house a short distance from the steading, received the alarm early on Saturday morning, from Mr John Russell, Brendale, who had seen the flames from his house. A number of neighbours were speedily attracted to the spot, and though every effort was made to extinguish the fire, it had got such a hold that all that could be saved was a large stack of hay and a small stack of oats. Much praise is due Mr Russell for so promptly giving the alarm, and to those who so heartily gave their assistance in the trying emergency.

MUSIC CLASS. – In the music class conducted by the Rev. Mr Spark the following have gained the elementary certificate of the Tonic Solfa College, London, viz:- Eliza L. Spark, Minnie Gibson, John Gibson, and Edith A. A. Spark.

1902 January 29 Orkney Herald

A gale of exceptional severity broke over the Orkneys on Saturday forenoon. Shortly after 10 o’clock the wind, which up to that time had been moderate, suddenly increased in strength and blew with great violence from the north-west. At Kirkwall the waves were soon breaking in solid masses of water over the pier, Shore Street, and the Ayre. As it was also about high water when the gale broke out, Junction Road and some of the low-lying parts of the town were flooded. At Shore Street the parapet wall opposite the Queen’s Hotel was broken down, and the sea was breaking upon the hotel and sweeping through its entrances. The houses along the Ayre also suffered considerably from the weight of water, windows being broken and interiors flooded. A little beyond the houses at the Ayre a portion of the parapet wall was broken down.

The storm put a stop to all traffic by sea on Saturday. The steamer Orcadia, which left Kirkwall in the morning for the North Isles, was caught by the storm when between Stronsay and Sanday, and on reaching Sanday remained there instead of proceeding to Westray. The steamer Fawn, running between Kirkwall and Rousay, was unable to make her usual round, and remained at Kirkwall till Sunday morning. And the mail steamer St Ola, which was on the point of leaving Scapa for Scrabster when the storm burst, was forced to remain there till the following day, when she returned to Stromness. Several fishing boats belonging to Banff and other East Coast ports took shelter at Kirkwall and Holm, and some anxiety has been felt as to the fate of other boats which were in their company that morning. It is supposed that they would run for the Cromarty Firth. At Stronsay some slight damage was done to the roadway near the pier, and the south pier at Eday also suffered.

The wind fell somewhat towards evening, but still continued to blow strong. During the night there was a heavy fall of snow, which, though not enough to block the roads, in some places made traffic difficult. More snow fell on Monday night, and there were several showers yesterday. Telegraphic communication to Sanday and Shetland has been interrupted.

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The opening meeting for the session of the Ritchie U.F. Guild was held on Thursday last, when the president, Rev. Mr McLeman, read an interesting, instructive, and very helpful essay of “A plea for a more scientific education.” Several of the members took part in the discussion that followed. The secretary, Mr William Grieve, gave a short humorous reading, and with the help of our “fail-me-never” choir we had altogether a very pleasant evening.

1902 February 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A very successful concert, under the auspices of the Rousay Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Guild, took place in Wasbister Public School on the evening of Friday last. The night being fine, there was at large turnout from the neighbouring districts, who much enjoyed a long and varied programme rendered by a choir under the able leadership of Mr H. Craigie. The Rev. A. I. Pirie acted as chairman, and opened the programme with a few very appropriate remarks, pointing out the benefits that could be derived from guilds in general, and hoped that the Rousay guild would long continue to flourish. Annexed is the programme: –

Part-song, “Hail to the Chief,” choir; reading, “Saunders McGlauschan’s Courtship,” Mr J. Clouston; quartette, “The old Folks at Home,” Mrs Gillespie, Miss Marwick, Messrs Sinclair and Clouston; recitation, “A Charming Woman,” Mr J. Leonard; part-song, “The Rhine Raft Song,” choir; song, Mr Wotherspoon; song and chorus, “St Giles Bonnie Bells,” Mrs Gillespie and choir; dialogue, “A cure for Jealousy,” Misses Marwick and Inkster, Messrs Inkster and Leonard; reading, “Mortification,” Mr J. Leonard; part-song, “Auld Edinburgh Cries,” choir; song and chorus, “Four Jolly Smiths,” Mr R. Sinclair and choir; reading, “Kirsty McNab’s Wudden Leg,” Mr A. Leonard; part-song, “Hark! Clan Ronald’s Pibroch,” choir.

At the close Mr Pirie thanked the choir and performers for their able rendering of the several items on the programme, and expressed the hope that they might again give the people of Rousay an opportunity of coming out to hear them. Mr Wm. Learmonth, vice-president of the Guild, also thanked the performers in a short neat speech. After votes of thanks had been accorded to Messrs Pirie and Learmonth, tea was served by the committee. Ample justice having been done to the good things provided, the school was cleared and a dance was engaged in, which was kept up with much spirit till the sma’ ‘oors. Much credit is due to the committee for their kind attention to all and sundry.

1902 February 15 The Orcadian

GREAT SNOWSTORM. – The heaviest snowstorm which has been experienced in Orkney for many years set in on Thursday night last week. Fortunately the wind, which was from the north-west, was very light, so that, though the snow fell to a great depth, there was no drifting. On Friday morning there was a fresh fall of snow, and that day it lay on the ground to a depth of seven inches around Kirkwall, whilst in some of the country districts it was said to be a foot in depth. Since then snow has fallen more or less daily, and occasionally there has been some drifting with the result that all the roads in the county are blocked. All the daily and mail coaches have stopped running, and business in Orkney is at a standstill. The country postmen have been making their usual journeys on foot, and in some cases they have had to get assistance. The barometer stands high, and on Thursday morning had an upward tendency, with every appearance of a continuance of the wintry weather. Between the snow showers bright sunshine is being experienced. There does not seem to be any near prospect of the roads being opened up in the County, as they are so badly blocked they could only be cleared, it is said, at considerable expense.

1902 February 19 Orkney Herald

CROFTERS ACT (AMENDMENT) BILL. – The bill to amend the Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act, which Mr Cathcart Wason introduced in the House of Commons a few weeks ago, has not yet been circulated, but will probably be circulated in a few days. The measure, we understand is identical, or almost so, with the bill which Mr Wason prepared last year. The London correspondent of the ‘Scotsman’ says that to this year’s bill a memorandum will be prefixed describing the condition of crofters’ life which it is proposed to deal with. The chief purpose of the bill is to counteract the recent decision of the Court of Session. Crofters have, it is stated in the memorandum, been from time immemorial, and are still, in the habit of using their crofts for occupation other than purely agricultural or pastoral. The decision of the Court of Session is to the effect that the crofter must not so use his holding, and, therefore, it is said it “strikes at their very existence and social life.” Crofters can now be interdicted “for interchange with each other of labour and goods, for curing and drying fish, carpenter or blacksmith work, boatbuilding or repairing, weaving or knitting, mending or making clothes or shoes, except for themselves, and acting as postmasters or telegraph clerks.” The bill proposes, in accordance with this memorandum, to authorise a crofter to use one-fourth of his outrun for petty industries, and also for dealing in groceries and other provisions, the landlord being absolved from liability for compensation in respect of buildings erected for these purposes.

1902 February 22 The Orcadian

THE WEATHER. – A rapid thaw set in in Orkney last Saturday, and men were immediately employed to clear the various roads in the mainland. The work was done so expeditiously that most of the roads were open for traffic on Monday, and communication with the outlying districts has now been secured. Towards the end of last week mails for Firth and Rendall were carried by sea, and some of the small shops in country districts had to get supplies of goods by parcel post to meet customers’ wants. In one parish, which gets most of its goods through vans, there was a great dearth of paraffin, and some families had to be content with what light they could get from their fires. The snow has now almost disappeared, and the weather to-day (Thursday) is very pleasant and springlike.

1902 February 26 Orkney Herald

EYNHALLOW FORESHORE. – In the House of Commons on Friday Mr Cathcart Wason [member of parliament for Orkney] asked the President of the Board of Trade if the petition of 63 fishermen from the parish of Evie, Orkney, protesting against the grant of the rights and interests of the Crown in the foreshore of Eynhallow Island to the proprietor of the island has been received, and if the same will receive due consideration.  Mr Gerald Balfour [replied] – The petition has been received, and will be duly considered by the Board of Trade.

A FRENCH STORY OF MR CATHCART WASON, M.P. – The following is translated from ‘La Petite Gironde,’ a French newspaper, of 1st March 1902: – “Foreign News. – England – A Member of Parliament Who Knits. – For some days M. Wason, member of Parliament. for Orkney, in the House of Commons, has accustomed himself, to the great amusement of his colleagues, to take out during the debates a little sachet, and from it take some knitting needles, a ball of worsted, and to set to work to knit stockings. When he was questioned by the other legislators on the subject he answered that, feeling very wearied with listening to speechifying, he set to work to knit stockings to while away the time till the vote was taken. The doctors had prohibited him from reading, which would injure his eyesight, and as he is neither permitted to play at cards nor ping-pong during the debates, he knits. As they say, it is much better than to spend the time at the public house.”

1902 March 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Thursday last on a field on the farm of Saviskaill kindly granted by Mr [Walter] Muir for the occasion. Seventeen ploughs were forward for competition. The judges –  Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Yorston, Orquil; and Mowat, Schoolhall, Evie – were unfortunately unable to get across owing to the stormy state of the weather, and the committee were obliged to appoint local judges, namely, Messrs George Gibson, Avelshay; David Marwick, Essaquoy; and John Cutt, Trumland, and they deserve great credit for the thorough way in which they performed their duties. The ploughing, we may add, was of a different kind to anything we have previously seen at a match in Rousay, at special rule being that all ploughing had to have an inch of back, but notwithstanding the change, some very good work was to be seen on the field. A large number of special prizes were handed in for distribution. Annexed is the prize list: –

PLOUGHING. – 1, Highland and Agricultural Society medal, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 2, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; 3, James Craigie, Innister; 4, James Leonard, Avelshay; 5, James Craigie. Falquoy; 6, John Leonard, Grips; 7, Thomas Inkster, Westness; 8, John Shearer, Trumland; 9, John Gibson. Faraclett; 10, Robert Paterson, Scockness. Best feering, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; best finish, Tom Sinclair, Westness.
HARNESS. – 1, John Leonard, Grips; 2, Robert Paterson, Scockness; 3, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; 4, John Gibson, Faraclett; 5, John Shearer, Trumland; 6, Tom Sinclair, Westness. GROOMING. – 1, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 2, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 3, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; 4, Thomas Inkster, Westness; 5, John Shearer, Trumland; 6, A. Cruickshank, Trumland.
Best matched horses, John Pearson, Saviskaill; best matched mares, John Shearer, Trumland; most valuable horses and harness, John Sinclair, Saviskaill; youngest ploughman, David Moodie, Ervadale.

At the close of the match the judges along with the committee and a few friends were kindly entertained to dinner by Mr and Miss [Isabella] Muir. The usual toasts were given and responded to. Mr and Miss Muir were thanked for their kind hospitality and for the liberal way in which they had supplied refreshments to the ploughmen and others during the day. A very pleasant evening was spent. The committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who contributed to the prize-list and in any way helped to make the match a success.

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. CONGREGATIONAL GUILD. – This bright and pleasant Guild meeting was held on Thursday last. The principal event of the evening was an essay by our deservedly popular secretary, Mr William Grieve, Lower Mill, on our nearest neighbour, “The Moon.” The subject was treated in a way calculated to arouse fresh interest in that most fascinating of all sciences, “Astronomy,” while the choir’s rendering of several pieces of music was beyond all praise.

1902 March 15 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – ENTERTAINMENT. – A concert in aid of the funds of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society took place in the Frotoft Public School on Friday the 7th current. The night was very fine, and a large company turned out to the entertainment. The chair was taken at 7 p.m. The Rev. A. I. Pirie acted as chairman in his usual able and agreeable manner. In the course of his opening remarks he strongly urged the claims of the Society on all in any way connected with the sea, and also on the public in general. Mrs Broadbent acted as accompanist, and did so with such good effect that she earned the praise of everyone present. She also contributed very much to the evening’s enjoyment by giving two pianoforte solos and a number of songs, all of which were rendered in excellent style, and were heartily applauded. A recitation by Dr Broadbent, was rendered in splendid style, and received a hearty encore. Mr McKay’s song, “McAllister’s Bonnet,” also received a well deserved encore. The dialogues and readings were also well performed, and kept the company in roars of laughter. In fact the whole performance was well done, and reflected great credit on all those taking part in it. Votes of thanks were given to the performers, chairman, and accompanist, after which Mr Gibson, in the name of Captain Craigie and himself, honorary joint agents for the Society, thanked the company for coming forward in such numbers in order to help a very deserving cause. The meeting came to a close about 10.15 p.m., every one being highly pleased with the evening’s entertainment. The programme consisted of two parts, with a service of fruit and cake during the Interval.

1902 March 29 The Orcadian

Mr. H. C. Gibson, Rousay, Orkney, is second on the list of prize-winners in the junior division of Dr Cathcart’s class of clinical surgery, at the Edinburgh School of Medicine.

[Hugh Craigie Gibson was the son of Robert Gibson, Langskaill, and Isabella Craigie, Hullion. Born in March 1875, he married Louise Catherine Smith in December 1905.]

1902 April 2 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The monthly meeting of the Ritchie U.F. Guild was held on Monday last. There was a good attendance. Mr McLeod, teacher, Sourin Public School, read an essay on Tennyson, which gave abundant evidence of careful thought and wide reading on the subject. Several other contributions were rendered, the most amusing being a reading in the Orkney dialect, which was received with hearty bursts of laughter.

1902 April 9 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Notwithstanding the recent stormy weather farm work is well advanced, and with fine weather farmers will soon be able to begin sowing.

On Friday evening three young men, Messrs James Leonard, John Leonard, and Archibald Leonard, Cruannie, Sourin, were entertained at a farewell supper prior to their departure for Canada. The chairman and other friends spoke in high terms of the character of the young men, and expressed regret at their departure and best wishes for their success and welfare in the colony to which they are going.

[It appears Archibald McCallum Leonard was the only one of the brothers who permenantly settled in Canada. He married Margaret Jean Gibson, Broland, and they had seven children, born between 1906 and 1914 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Both James Leonard and his brother John died in Rousay, James in 1904 at the age of 28, and John in 1910, aged 31.]

1902 April 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The Communion was arranged to take place in the Ritchie U.F. Church for Sabbath last, the Rev. Mr Webster, Kirkwall, assisting, but owing to the inclemency of the weather it had to be postponed. In spite of this, however, the people in the immediate districts were well out both at the forenoon and evening services conducted by Mr Webster, whose earnest, helpful discourses were much appreciated. He also baptized Mr McLeman’s little daughter [Beatrice] at the close of the forenoon service.

1902 April 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The members of the Ritchie U.F. Guild spent a delightful evening together on the 17th inst. Being the closing meeting for the session, the programme was unusually bright and varied. During the first part of the evening, Mr Alexander Grieve read a most excellent essay on “Care,” later on embodying in verse advice both kind and stimulating. The short break was well employed in disposing of tea and good things, which, judging from the rest of the contributions, had the usual cheering effect, the readings being spirited and amusing, while some of the pieces given by the choir were very fine.

1902 May 7 Orkney Herald

WAR CASUALTIES OF THE SEAFORTHS. – Since the outbreak of the war in South Africa, upwards of 2000 men have left the depot of the Seaforth Highlanders at Fort George for the front. Nine officers and 169 rank and file of the Seaforths were killed; 15 officers and 537 rank and file wounded; and 31 rank and file succumbed to disease. The 2nd Battalion of the Seaforths has seen very hard fighting at the front. At present the members of the gallant regiment are engaged in blockhouse duty.

ORKNEY COUNTY COUNCIL. – The statutory general meeting of the County Council of Orkney was held in the County Building, Kirkwall on Friday. Present – Col. Balfour, convener, in the chair; Dr Sinclair, Rev. Messrs Cheyne, Dickey, and Murrison, Capts. Baillie and Hewison, and Messrs Sutherland, Grant, MacLennan, Reid, Johnston, Middlemore, Stewart, Gibson, and Baikie…..

PROPOSED ASYLUM FOR WILD BIRDS. – Mr MIDDLEMORE submitted the following motion – “That the County Council of Orkney petition the Secretary for Scotland to issue an Order under the Wild Birds Protection (Scotland) Act protecting all wild birds on the island of Eynhallow during the whole year for a period of at least three years, but excepting therefrom snipe, golden plover, wild duck, widgeon, teal, pochards, and scaup ducks.” It was, he thought, known to all of them that the island of Eynhallow was noted for its wild birds, which came over in enormous numbers in the nesting season. He believed that every bird that existed in Orkney was found there, and he was told that some sorts were found there that were not found elsewhere. As an object of interest and an object lesson in natural history, Eynhallow was of very considerable importance. A few years ago, when he was tenant of it, he was, while residing at Westness, constantly visiting it, and the island was protected; but during the last four years the island had been practically swept entirely of eggs. He believed the eggs were sent south and sold as plovers’ eggs. There were a few green plovers on the island, but not many. That was a state of things he wished to end. He therefore approached the Crown authorities and asked them to give him a Crown grant of the foreshore on the understanding that if they did that he would appoint permanently a keeper to prevent egg-stealing. Against that petition for a Crown grant a petition was signed by upwards of sixty objectors, chiefly, he thought, on the ground that they would be deprived of bait from the shores of the island That was entirely a mistake. The question of bait did not come in for a single moment. Every public right would have remained absolutely intact. He thought that if the matter were put before the petitioners the old objection would not be revived. Anyhow, he wanted to meet prejudices that were honestly held, though he believed they were unfounded. So he went to the Society for the Protection of Wild Birds, and they advised him to petition the Secretary for Scotland through the County Council to declare the island an asylum for all wild birds. That would give him more than if he got a grant of the foreshore. He therefore decided, supposing the Council adopted his motion, not to press his petition for a Crown grant further on the Board of Trade. He would press the present matter on the Council as one of the greatest importance. It was very important that rare specimens of birds should be preserved and not become extinct. It was very desirable that, instead of studying stuffed corpses in a museum, they should be able to study the birds in their natural habitats and at the most interesting season – the nesting season. And, lastly, it was of great importance to attract visitors to Orkney. Much of Orkney’s wealth was derived from visitors, and the more that were attracted to the islands the more would the general well-being of the people increase. On these grounds he had pleasure in recommending the motion he had made to the County Council.

Mr SUTHERLAND seconded the motion.

Mr MACLENNAN was prepared to accept the motion if all wild birds were included, but not if exception were made. If Mr Middlemore would not agree to that, he would move that the Council do not petition as proposed. He moved that the birds excepted in Mr Middlemore’s motion be included in the protecting order, or otherwise that the Council refuse to petition in terms of the motion.

Mr STEPHEN, in seconding, said that if Eynhallow was made an asylum for wild animals – (laughter) – they might cause a lot of trouble to people in the neighbourhood. If it was to be a breeding place for black-backed gulls, hooded ravens, eagles, and that sort of animals, which knew a young sheep, the people in Evie might raise questions about it. Mr Sutherland lived on something else than farms, but perhaps he might know something about the loss caused to farmers by some kinds of birds. Mr Middlemore was a gentleman quite independent of wild birds or anything else. Mr Stephen thought they should be careful. Mr Stephen made some reference to a place on the Loch of Swannay where wild birds bred, and suggested that Mr Middlemore put a Forth Bridge to Eynhallow. (Laughter.)

Mr MURRISON agreed with much that Mr Middlemore had said. All shared to some extent in the interest he took in the matter, which was of very considerable importance. It was a pity to see all the birds destroyed by poachers stealing the eggs, and what could be done by the Council to prevent that should be done. Mr Middlemore did not say why he was to except certain birds, and he (Mr Murrison) was rather inclined meantime to support Mr MacLennan’s motion that there should be no exception. He assumed that the public had no special interest in the island, and that carrying out the proposal would not be interfering with any special right they had. If it did he should not like to do it. He also suggested that as this was a poor county Mr Middlemore might be at any cost of advertising or other expense in carrying out the proposal.

Mr MIDDLEMORE could not accept Mr MacLennan’s suggestion that there should be no exception. It would deprive sportsmen of shooting snipe. Nor could he undertake to pay the cost of county advertising. Many a county, if an offer like his were made to it, would almost be ready to agree to find a keeper. He was to do that, and he could not incur further expense. If his motion was accepted with the exceptions, well and good; if not, it fell to the ground.

Mr STEWART thought it was unfair to ask Mr Middlemore to be at the cost of advertising. All were more or less interested in the subject of natural history and this was a good offer to have the island protected at Mr Middlemore’s expense. Mr Middlemore was to provide a keeper to prevent depredations of the eggs. The island would thus be properly protected for three years, and this would give rare birds a chance of multiplying. He (Mr Stewart) had recently the pleasure of listening to an interesting essay on bird life on Sule Skerry. The light-keeper said that rare birds were becoming fewer there since the lighthouse was erected. If that was the case, it was desirable that there should be some other asylum for them to breed in, and here was an offer to provide it.

Mr MURRISON had in view, in suggesting that Mr Middlemore might pay the cost of advertising, the possibility, if the motion came to anything, that other similar motions might be brought forward.

Mr Stephen rose to speak, but was called to order.

Capt. BAILLIE asked if Mr Middlemore could not attain his end without troubling the Council.

Mr MIDDLEMORE replied that he could not proclaim a close time all the year round.

The amendment was then put to the meeting and carried by 8 votes to 5, and Mr Middlemore thereupon withdrew his motion.

Mr MACLENNAN asked if it would be competent to request the Secretary for Scotland to issue such an order in opposition to the proprietor of the island.

The COUNTY CLERK replied that it would be quite competent. The Council could ask, but their request would not be granted without the proprietor’s consent.

Some other important business was transacted, and a vote of thanks having been awarded to the convener, the meeting ended.

1902 May 14 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I notice in your issue of last week the report of a meeting of the County Council of Orkney, at which Mr Middlemore, seconded by Mr Sutherland, brought forward a motion asking the Council to petition the Secretary for Scotland to issue an order under the Wild Birds Protection Art, protecting all Wild Birds on the island of Eynhallow for a period of three years. Mr Middlemore, in the course of his remarks, said that every bird that existed in Orkney was to be found on Eynhallow, and he tried to throw some reflection on those who petitioned against giving him a grant of the foreshore, for which he applied some time ago, by saying that there was so much egg-stealing carried on, and that it was most important as an object lesson to those interested in natural history to have the place protected against egg-stealing. In reply to Mr Middlemore’s statements, I may point out that I have lived within easy access of Eynhallow for a good number of years, but was not aware of the fact that so much egg-stealing was carried on; and, further, I am of opinion that such is not the case. As to the species of birds he wishes protected, if he considers the common and wild duck, locally known as “dunters,” need preservation, then I may point out to him that there is no need for such a proceeding, as either of the two species are very abundant throughout Orkney, and there is no fear of them becoming extinct. I should also like Mr Middlemore to point out to me the rare species of birds frequenting Eynhallow he wishes to protect. Probably he may have come across some in his wanderings on Eynhallow, but I have never heard of any, and shall await his reply with interest. Mr Middlemore, I am afraid, has some other motive in bringing forward the motion. How Mr Sutherland came to second a motion regarding a subject of which he must be entirely ignorant, I fail to see. However, I now, with your permission, give both these gentlemen an opportunity of replying through the medium of your paper, when probably I may have a little more to say on the subject, as I consider that the motion brought forward was altogether uncalled for. – WESTNESS.

1902 May 28 Orkney Herald

DEATH OF A 93rd VETERAN. – The Dundee Advertiser says: – The death took place under tragic circumstances in Dundee on the night of Monday the 19th inst. of Moses Taggart, one of the few remaining Dundee veterans who saw service in the Crimean War. Taggart was walking down Whitehall Street when he was observed by several other pedestrians to stagger and fall. Assistance was at once forthcoming, and Taggart, was carried into a close nearby, but he never rallied, death ensuing almost immediately, as it afterwards transpired, from sudden failure of the heart’s action. The tragic event caused a great sensation in the locality, a large crowd collecting in Whitehall Street and High Street. Moses Taggart was well known in Dundee, where he had resided for nearly half a century. He was a native of Arbroath, but while yet a young man came to Dundee to follow his trade of a handloom carpet weaver. Some years before the outbreak of the Crimean War, Taggart enlisted in the old 93rd [Sutherland Highlanders] Regiment, then quartered in Dundee. When war was declared, Taggart accompanied his regiment to the Crimea, where he was under fire in most of the principal battles of the campaign. He was one of the famous Thin Red Line that checked the Russians’ advance at Balaclava. Lieutenant (now General) Burroughs, was in command of the company in which Taggart was enrolled, and it was the latter’s good fortune on one occasion to render a signal service to his officer, which resulted in a life-long friendship. The troops had concluded a hard days fighting, and the Lieutenant asked one of his men to find him a draught of pure water, the ordinary supply being derived from a well the water in which was stagnant. The man to whom the Lieutenant made the request replied insolently that the Lieutenant could drink the water that was considered good enough for the soldiers. Taggart, who was close by, overheard the conversation, and immediately volunteered to swim across the river and bring Lieutenant Burroughs a supply of wholesome water. This he did, and the service was never forgotten by his superior, who wrote to Taggart regularly. It was chiefly through his influence and that of Sir John Leng that the veteran some years ago received a well-earned Crimean pension. Taggart is survived by a widow and one daughter.

1902 June 4 Orkney Herald




All over the country the news of terms of peace having been signed was received with demonstrations of joy. Owing to Kirkwall Telegraph Office not being open on Sundays except for an hour in the morning, our messages announcing that the Boer delegates had signed the terms of surrender, which were sent off from London on Sunday afternoon, only reached us shortly after seven o’clock on Monday morning. The news spread quickly, and soon flags were being hoisted to staffs, streamers strung across the streets, and other decorations made in honour of the event. The Town Council met in the forenoon and resolved to recommend a half-holiday, a recommendation which was very generally carried out, nearly all places of business being closed at 3 p.m. Unfortunately rain fell heavily during the afternoon. In the evening there was a parade of Volunteers. At the Market Cross the National Anthem was played, and cheers given for the King and Queen. The Volunteers and a few private gentlemen were afterwards entertained by the Town Council in the Town Hall, when the loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed and enthusiastically responded to. At night there was a display of fireworks from the Cathedral, the Town Hall, and Tankerness House, from the Coastguard Station and vessels in the harbour.

1902 July 2 Orkney Herald



An immense sensation was caused throughout the country on Tuesday last week by the wholly unexpected announcement that the King [Edward VII] was ill, and that the Coronation, so long looked forward to with much pleasurable anticipation, had been postponed within two days of the great ceremonial. The first brief telegraphic announcement which was issued about noon caused intense excitement, and was, indeed, in the first instance received with a feeling of incredulity. Many were quite aware from what had been previously published that His Majesty was not in the best of health, and that he was taking the greatest care to reserve his strengths for the arduous duties incumbent on him during the Coronation ceremony, but they could hardly credit the intelligence that His Majesty’s condition was so serious. The very fact that he had travelled from Windsor to Buckingham Palace on Monday without apparent discomfort led everyone to hope that His Majesty’s health was so far restored as would enable him to undergo the fatigue inseparable from the approaching solemnity. Hardly, however, had the first shock which the sad tidings gave rise to subsided, ere the official bulletin was issued, stating that the King was suffering from perityphlitis [inflammation of the peritoneum covering the cæcum and appendix], and an operation was necessary. This was shortly afterwards followed by other official telegrams stating that the operation had been successfully performed, that the King had borne it well and that a large abscess had been evacuated, though it would be some days before it could be said that His Majesty was out of danger…..

1902 August 2 The Orcadian

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday last. The course was round a buoy at Grand, thence to Sourin, and back round a buoy at the pier. The first race was for boats 16 feet and under. The finish was as follows, with corrected time:- 1, Thistle, J. Johnston; 2, Alice, C. Logie; 3, Jean Ann, W. Wood; 4, Ceska, J. Gibson; 5, Wilsons, T. Wilson. The second race was for the club cup, but as there were no boats to compete against the Annie (J. Logie) it did not come off. Six entries for boats of 22 feet waterline and under. The result was as follows: 1, Annie, J. Maxwell (silver medal); 2, Hero, M. C. Grieve; 3, Sigurd, General Burroughs; 4, Lily, R. Miller; 5, Sarah Ann, J. Mainland; 6, Mary, W. Sutherland. In the all-comers race the finish was:- 1, Annie, J. Logie; 2, Annie, J. Maxwell; 3, Hero, M. C. Grieve; 4, Sigurd, General Burroughs; 5, Lily, R. Miller; 6, Alice, C. Logie; 7, Thistle, J. Johnston; 8, Ceska, J. Gibson. The following were the results of the rowing races:- Boys – 1, George Mainland and Alex Donaldson; 2, David Munro and David Yorston; 3, Fred Sinclair and J. Craigie. Ladies – 1, Misses Kemp and Fraser; 2, Misses Inkster; 3, Mrs Giles and Miss Inkster; 4, Misses Gibson and Robertson. Men – 1, Geo. Reid and Robert Graham; 2, James Harrold and Magnus Flaws; 3, George Harrold and Magnus Flaws. Mrs Burroughs presented the prizes to the successful competitors. A dance in connection with the regatta was held in the evening.

MUSIC CERTIFICATE. – Archibald Graham Spark has just obtained by written examination the Intermediate Certificate of T. S. C. [Tonic Sol-fa College], London.

GUILD RESULTS. – In the Church of Scotland Guild Prize Competition, Veira Lickley Spark gained a book prize with 81 per cent., and Archibald G. Spark gained a certificate with 72 per cent.

The communion in the Parish Church takes place here on 10th August next, when Rev. Mr Spark will be assisted by Rev. Theodore Marshall, D.D. from Edinburgh, who will also (D.V.) preach in Wasbister School at 6 p.m.

1902 August 16 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Coronation Day was observed generally as a holiday throughout the island. In the forenoon a service was conducted in the Trumland U.F. Church by the Rev. A. I. Pirie. In the evening all the children attending the various schools, along with nearly 250 of the inhabitants were kindly entertained by General and Mrs Burroughs. A bonfire was lighted at Taverso Tuick near Trumland with the singing of “God Save the King,” and hearty cheers given for the General and Mrs Burroughs. After the firework display the party returned to Trumland House where refreshments were again served, and a great display of fireworks to celebrate the auspicious occasion were also put up during the evening. Before the bonfire was lighted, and after the presentation of Mrs Burroughs’ annual prizes, refreshments were handed to all present.

[The coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 9 August 1902].

1902 August 20 Orkney Herald

DEATHS: – INKSTER. – At 268 King Street, Aberdeen, on the 16th inst., Jane Laurie Learmonth, beloved wife of William Inkster, firemaster, aged 44 years.

1902 August 30 The Orcadian

[The Orcadian carried a weekly column revealing the history of the Birsay Church, written by Alexander Goodfellow. The following is a story concerning a maritime mishap in the notoriously turbulent waters of Eynhallow Sound].

BIRSAY CHURCHYARD. – Here Is an additional gravestone belonging to this place which ought to have been noticed in a former article. The stone is well worthy of a place here, and if the “sad tale” concerning the departed is anything like true, we will still believe that “truth is stranger than fiction!” There are many high as well as low tragedies in human life. The stone itself is a dark blue slab of highland slate bearing a rather remarkable inscription –

Here Lies
The Remains of
Who departed this Life
The 16th day of Jany 1801
Aged 74 years
The Above was late
Tenant in Istabest.
His son GEORGE
Who died AT SEA year 1779
Aged 20 years.
To All you Who do this see
Learn to Live As you’ll
Wish to die.

The son George who was drowned was a pushing fellow and he became mate of the ship before he was out of his apprenticeship. At this time we are referring to his vessel was passing through Enhallow Sound, between Rousay and Evie, on her way to port when she was wrecked. He knew the coast better than the captain and might have piloted the ship safely through that intricate channel if the skipper had allowed him. But as the story goes the master kept his own command, with the result that the vessel was lost near to the Enhallow land. Then the island was inhabited and the people might have saved the crew and passengers with their cattle tethers, but, like the Cornish wreckers, they preferred to busy themselves more about the precious cargo than the precious crew. Geo. Mowat was said to have been a good swimmer and could have saved himself, but there were woman among the passengers, one of them being his ‘lady love,’ and he was anxious to save her. One he might have saved, but some of the others hung on to her and they all sank together – lover and loved. When the bodies came ashore the islanders followed the barbarous custom of helping themselves to what they found on the shore and on the bodies of the men and women. Those shipwrecked people were all, but one, buried in Evie Churchyard in a group by themselves. The exception was George Mowat whose body did not rise with the rest. The poor father when he heard of this did his best to recover the body of his son, and his exertions were crowned with success. It is said that he spent a barrel of oil in trying to smooth the troubled waters in order to see the bottom where the ship was wrecked, and there the son’s body was discovered. It was brought up from the deep and carried to Birsay churchyard and buried there beside the dark blue stone. “After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.”

1902 September 24 Orkney Herald


[The three candidates in the 1902 Orkney and Shetland by-election were: Cathcart Wason (Independent Liberal), Thomas McKinnon Wood (Liberal), and Theodore Angier (Liberal Unionist)].


Mr McKinnon Wood continued his canvass of the constituency by addressing meetings in Rousay and Shapinsay on Monday. He addressed a large and enthusiastic meeting in Sourin Public School, Rousay, in the forenoon. Mr D. Gibson moved that General Burroughs, C.B., take the chair.

General BURROUGHS, in introducing Mr McKinnon Wood, said he had much pleasure in taking the chair at this meeting. Mr Wood was, he said, a distinguished member of our country. His forbears were connected with these isles. Perhaps Mr Wood’s views and his (the chairman’s) would not coincide on many points. He had much pleasure in introducing Mr Wood.

[Born in Stepney, Wood was the only son of Hugh Wood, a merchant and shipowner, by his second wife Jessie McKinnon, daughter of Reverend Thomas McKinnon. Hugh Wood is on record as being baptised on September 29th 1811 in Rousay – or possibly Wyre, where three Wood familes were living at Rusness and Castlehall. After moving to Kirkwall, where he was employed as a draper in Bridge Street, Hugh Wood, his wife and young daughter moved south, to London].

Mr WOOD, who was received with applause, at the outset referred to his family connections with the island of Rousay. He said that while he never hesitated to express his convictions, he always had the good fortune to be on personally friendly terms with his opponents. He appreciated very highly the compliment General Burroughs paid him in taking the chair at that meeting. (Applause.) The issues of this by-election were somewhat different from the general election. The Government came into power on a war issue, but they have gone further and introduced several measures for which they had no mandate – the English Education Bill was one, and the new taxation was another. In referring to the Corn Tax, he said that he agreed with Sir Henry Fowler, who said that if it had been a choice between beer and bread or tobacco and bread, he would have voted for a tax on beer and tobacco, or if it had been a choice between bread and an extra penny on the income tax, he would have voted for the extra penny. He was in favour of the fundamental principles of Liberalism which went to lighten the taxes on the poor. Discussing the principles of the Education Bill, he said that if we were to keep our own in competition with foreign nations we must look after our secondary education. He objected to denominational teaching at the expense of the ratepayers. Mr Wood criticised Mr Wason’s political position, and stated that he had been asked to contest this constituency long before Mr Wason had changed his position. Mr Wason, he said, would be voting in one lobby on education and in another on Free Trade. As an Orcadian, Mr Wood could promise that the interests of Orkney would be dealt with by him, not in a perfunctory manner, but by every means in his power he would strive to forward the interests of the constituency. (Applause.)

General BURROUGHS – Are you in favour of abrogating the decalogue? [doing away with the Ten Commandments]

Mr WOOD – No.

General BURROUGHS asked how Mr Wood could reconcile the eighth commandment with the Crofters Act? (Hisses.)

Mr WOOD replied that that was a question, with all due respect to the Chairman, on which he did not take the same view as the Chairman. (Loud applause.)

Rev. A. SPARK – Would you exclude the Bible from schools?

Mr WOOD – No; certainly not. It is a question of distinctive denominational teaching. While the Bible is the best book for children, yet the distinctive dogmas of the various sects are beyond the minds of children. He thought that the priest was the very worst person to have control of education.

Mr McLEOD, teacher, moved that Mr Wood was a fit and proper person to represent the constituency in Parliament, which was seconded by Mr Gibson, Avelshay, and carried with enthusiasm.

General BURROUGHS moved a vote of thanks Mr Wood for his address, and said that although of course he could not agree with all Mr Wood had said nor with the motion that he was a fit and proper person to represent them in Parliament, perhaps they would not get a better.

Mr GIBSON, Hullion, moved a vote of thanks to General Burroughs for occupying the chair.



In the afternoon Mr Wood addressed a meeting in the Wasbister Public School. Mr J. G. Craigie, parish clerk, occupied the chair. Mr Wood dealt with the record of the Government as regards the administration of the public departments and said a Government was to be judged not only by the reforms which it had brought in but also by the way in which it had managed the affairs of the country. We must judge the Government by what we know. We have had a great war and we are able to judge the Government by its conduct of the war. The Government has not distinguished itself by a war which they said would cost ten millions, but which had cost £230,000,000. They did not understand the kind of enemy they had to meet – who were a very mobile enemy. It was a great error to allow the Boers to collect so large an amount of arms. General Butler informed the Government that if they were to engage the enemy they would require to send out 130,000 men. The Government thought about a fourth of that number would be sufficient. Lord Salisbury said that he could not be expected to know that the Boers imported guns in piano cases. The Government, Mr Wood said, did not send out the proper artillery. He referred to the transport of horses, and instanced one case in which 200 horses out of 500 were lost as there was not a veterinary surgeon on the ship. Referring to the reform of the War Office, he said that it ought to be conducted on business principles. There was a want of thoroughly educated officers. They were brave but they did not have the education to conduct a war in modern scientific ways. It was very difficult for the private soldier to rise to be an officer. To be an officer in our Army you must be possessed of private means. He wanted to democratise the service. If you compare men in the Navy you will find that they are more highly-trained practical like men than in the Army. An officer in the Navy must be educated to manage his ship else she will be wrecked. (Applause.)

Mr WOOD, in reply to a question as to his views on trawling, said that the law should be more strict. It was no use punishing the captain of the trawler. You must get at the owners, and in order to do this you must make the punishment such that it would not pay the owner to poach.

In reply to a question as to polling booths, Mr Wood said that it rested with the Sheriff, whose duty it was to fix the polling stations. He certainly thought it a hardship that they had to go to Kirkwall to vote.

Mr BEGG wished to know the mind of the people as to whether or not they wished a polling booth in the island. A vote was taken, and the majority of those present were in favour of a polling station the island.

On the motion of Mr Gibson. Langskaill, seconded by Mr Inkster, Little Cogar, a vote of confidence in Mr Wood was carried with acclamation. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to Mr Craigie for presiding.

1902 October 4 The Orcadian

MR WOOD’S “LIBERAL” FRIENDS. – Short as Mr McKinnon Wood has been on the field, he has shown by his actions where he means to curry favour. At Rousay he had for chairman of his meeting a landlord who has closed a blacksmith’s shop on a croft, and has thereby forced all the farmers in that district, when they want a horse shod, to travel a distance of nearly twelve miles to get it done. At St Margaret’s Hope Mr Wood had another laird In the chair – Mr J. G. Moodie Heddle – a gentleman who has shown the utmost hostility to Mr Wason’s little bill for the amendment of the Crofter’s Act. At Longhope Mr Wood had a very cordial welcome from another land magnate, the gentleman who got from the Government the rights to the foreshore fishings around his estate. Our contemporary, inadvertently no doubt, published the fact that General Burroughs had presided at Mr Wood’s meeting at Rousay, but our readers would notice that in reporting the meetings held at St Margaret’s Hope and Longhope the names of the chairmen there were never mentioned. What was the reason of this silence? Crofters and fishermen will have no difficulty in drawing their own inference. We think no higher testimonial could have been given to Mr Cathcart Wason for his services in Parliament than that these gentlemen should be using their influence in support of Mr Wood’s candidature.

1902 October 22 Orkney Herald

A SUCCESSFUL ORKNEY STUDENT. – At the bursary competition, open to students entering any of the three colleges of the United Free Church, Alex. Irvine Pirie, M.A., Rousay, has secured the second bursary. This entitles him to the Hamilton Scholarship of £50 for the current session, and a bursary of £30 for next session. Mr Pirie has entered New College, Edinburgh.

1902 November 12 Orkney Herald

TO BE LET, on Lease, for such number of years as may be agreed on, with
entry at Martinmas 1902, the FARM of CURQUOY and LAND of BRITTANY,
including Green of Kugro Grazings, extending to about 30 acres arable and
310 acres pasture. The present tenant will not be an offerer.
Mr A. Munro, Sourin, Rousay, will show the Farm on receiving due notice,
and Conditions of Lease may be seen with him, or in the hands of the
Subscribers, who will receive offers at once, and the Farm will be let
so soon as a suitable offer is received.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh

1902 November 15 The Orcadian

THE COUNTY ELECTION. MR WASON IN ROUSAY. – On Tuesday, Mr Wason addressed a meeting at Sourin, Rousay. The farmers and crofters were busy taking in their crops, but there was a fair attendance, and the meeting was very enthusiastic.

The chair was occupied by the Rev Mr McLeman, U.F. Minister, who, in introducing Mr Wason, referred to his great services to the constituency during the time he had represented them in Parliament, and especially the noble way he had fought the battle of the crofter and fisherman.

Mr Wason addressed the meeting on his reasons for throwing over the Government party, the Education Bill, Temperance Legislation, the Irish Question, Compulsory Land Purchase, the Crofters Acts, and the Importation of Foreign Cattle.

Questions were then invited, when the Rev. Mr Spark asked the following:- Are you in favour of Compulsory Laid Purchase over the whole United Kingdom.

Mr Wason – Certainly.

Mr Spark – Would you favour a ten-mile limit for Trawling.

Mr WASON replied that he would assist any legislation which would help to put down the depredations of the trawlers, but explained the difficulties at present in the way of extending the limit. He hoped, however, an arrangement would soon be arrived at with other powers whereby certain important areas would be entirely shut against trawlers. He considered trawling at night and on the Sabbath should be made illegal, and the heaviest possible punishment meted out to trawlers breaking the law.

Mr Spark also asked some questions in regard to making education part of the Civil Service of this country, the House of Lords, &c., all of which Mr Wason answered to the satisfaction of those present.

Mr Spark then said that after the excellent address Mr Wason had given them, and the very satisfactory way in which he had answered the questions put to him, he had great pleasure in moving that Mr Wason was a fit and proper person to represent this constituency in Parliament. He considered that Mr Wason had shown that he was fitted for being member for Orkney and Shetland. The motion was seconded by Mr John Inkster, Swartafield, and carried unanimously.

Mr Wason also addressed meetings at Rapness, Westray, on Saturday evening and at Egilshay and Frotoft, Rousay, on Tuesday.

1902 November 22 The Orcadian

THE ELECTION. – The polling in the Orkney and Shetland election is now over, and though the result will not be known till Tuesday afternoon, the fate of the candidates is now sealed. The contest has been the most prolonged and most bitter in our experience, but it may be hoped that with the opening of the ballot boxes all bitterness will disappear. So far as we know, there has never before been a three-cornered election in the county, so that people are somewhat chary in making prognostications of what the ballot-boxes contain. At the close of the poll on Wednesday night, however, a red-hot Woodite, who was evidently speaking what was on the mind of the heads of the party, gave the following forecast:- Wood, 1600; Wason, 1400; and Angier, 1200. This, in a way, is a most flattering result for Mr Wason. That gentlemen rose from a sick bed to carry on the contest, and was in ill-health all the time. He fought his battle single-handed, refusing outside aid whenever it was offered, whilst his opponents had the support of political associations, and what-ever machinery these could bring into being. It might truthfully be said of him that he had against him the Press of the Kingdom from London to Lerwick, with one single exception. Ranged against him was every sort of selfish interest, but Mr Wason put a stout heart to a stey brae, and fought gamely to the end. We are not going to attempt to forecast the result – none but fools would attempt such a thing in a contest like this – but we do say that no candidate ever fought a better battle against such tremendous odds, and if Mr Wason has not won, we think most people will grant that he deserved to. A contest such as this one is well-fitted to bring out all that is best and worst in the character of a man. What we admired most in Mr Wason in all the trying ordeal through which he has gone, was the fact that never in any of his public speeches did he ever refer to either of his opponents by name, and certainly he never in the remotest way said anything of them that could have wounded the most tender and sensitive nature. However, it was a pity that some of his opponents did not reciprocate. However, it was Mr Wason’s misfortune to be the popular candidate, and we suppose he was looked upon by both opponents as the most dangerous man – hence all the bitterness. Even now that the polling is over nine people out of ten give their verdict in favour of Mr Wason, but all such guessing is idle, as the ballot boxes will hold the secret they contain till next Tuesday morning, and for ourselves we can only express the hope that the best man has won.

1902 November 26 Orkney Herald


The result of the poll in the Orkney and Shetland election was declared at the County Buildings, Kirkwall, yesterday (Tuesday) at 1.20 p.m., as follows: –

Wason (Independent) – 2412
Wood (Liberal) – 2001
Angier (Unionist) – 740

Majority for Wason over Wood – 411…..

1902 November 29 The Orcadian

THE ELECTION. – The election contest in Orkney and Shetland is now past and over. The hard-fought and nobly won battle reflects all credit on the victor. Mr Wason fought single-handed against tremendous odds, and his achievement – a majority of 411, which was all his friends and supporters could have hoped for, and far beyond what his opponents admitted to be possible – will stand out as a record in electioneering…..

SHIPPING ACCIDENT. – Last Saturday the little steamer Firefly, which had been chartered by the Orkney Steam Navigation Company, ran ashore in the vicinity of Saltness [just south of The Galt, Shapinsay]. The Firefly was returning in the evening from her second trip to Rousay that day. The rocks at the place where the accident occurred are flat, and the vessel got off undamaged with the rising tide nine hours later.

1902 December 3 Orkney Herald

SEVERE GALE. – A severe gale from the south east began last Friday night, and has continued with little abatement ever since. The steamer St Rognvald had a very stormy passage from Aberdeen to Kirkwall that night, and instead of proceeding to Lerwick lay at Kirkwall all Saturday, starting on Saturday night when the storm had taken off somewhat. The Orcadia did not leave Kirkwall for the North Isles on Saturday morning, but left on Sunday morning; and the Fawn was unable to come to Kirkwall from Rousay on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday the wind was lighter, and the Orcadia from the North Isles and the Fawn from Rousay returned to Kirkwall. On Monday night, however, there was a renewal of the storm, and yesterday (Tuesday) the St Ola was unable to cross the Pentland Firth with the mails, and the Fawn was unable to leave for Rousay.

1902 December 10 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Mr [Hamilton] Horne, Trumland Farm, member of the Highland and Agricultural Society, has received intimation from the secretary of their intention to allow a grant of £15 to the Rousay Agricultural Society.

1902 December 31 Orkney Herald


ALTHOUGH seed-time was earlier in 1902 than it was during the four previous years, harvest was notwithstanding the latest in the memory of most men. Cold weather in May checked the grass and braird and gave the grub a chance to work havoc in many fields of oats. Some fine weather about the end of June improved matters, and, except on poor ground, oats looked well at the end of the month. During July the weather was cold and fine alternately, and while oats on deep, good soils were a fair crop, there was a poor crop on shallow, poor soils. Bere was in ear by this time and looking fairly well, The first half of August was cold, wintry weather, and for about two or three weeks oats struggled to come into ear, but made little or no progress. The latter half of the month, however, was fine and warm, and about the end of the month, when farmers usually are beginning harvest, the oats were little more than in ear. During most of September the weather was fine and all the crops made good progress. At the end of the month bere was a fair good crop and some of it cut. Oats were also a fair good crop, but only beginning to change colour. The weather was good during October and the first half of November, and those farmers who waited patiently until about the middle of October cut their crop in a fairly ripe state, but many were afraid to wait and they cut their crop in a very green state. Dry stormy weather towards the end of November enabled farmers to secure their crops in capital condition. A gale on the morning of the 1st November shook about a seeding off some of the uncut grain. Fortunately most of the ripest was cut before this. There is a good average bulk of straw, but oats are below an average both in quantity and weight; the average being about 36½ lbs. per bushel, and the price at present 16s per qr., with a variation of 9d per lb. Turnips were sown in good time and in fair order, and have turned out a fair good crop, although a good number, especially of the Swedes, have begun to go to seed. This is likely caused by a second growth after the crop being checked by the cold weather in August. Seed from transplanted turnips is the best cure for this. Potatoes also are a fair good crop. Grass was a short bite all season, but cattle were healthy and throve fairly well notwithstanding. Hay is a short crop, and selling at from 7d to 8d per stone of 22 lbs. Fat cattle have sold well all year, especially during the autumn, prime beef realising in Aberdeen 36s to 40s per cwt. live weight. Store cattle, owing to the cold, hard spring, were stiff to sell in spring, the price being much the same as in 1901, but prices improved in June, and continued so during the rest of the season, especially for cattle in forward condition. Small lean cattle have been a dull sale all season. Horses were back on last year’s prices. Smaller size foals sold from £8 to £10; good foals, £12 to £13, and up to £15 10s; one-year-olds, £12 to £22; two-year-olds, £18 to £30, and three-year-olds and good horses up to £50. Fat lambs sold from 20s to 30s – about the same price as last year. Half bred lambs, sold early, realised about 20s on an average, but those sold later on realised about 2s per head less, the average for the season being about 18s – about 2s less than last year.

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The Ritchie Congregational Guild had their opening meeting on Friday, 12th inst. There was a good company present. Rev. Mr McLennan, president, was in the chair, and was supported by Messrs Louis McLeod, Schoolhouse, Sourin; Alex. Grieve, Nethermill; John Inkster, Swartifield, vice-presidents; William Grieve, Schoolhouse, Veira, secretary. Miss Jessie Reid, Wasdale, treasurer, was convener of committee and deserves much credit along with her helpers for the excellent tea provided. The evening sped away all too quickly, with short speeches, recitations, readings, while the musical part displayed both taste and skill. Mr James W. Grieve, guild precentor, had all the honours, not only for training and conducting the choir, but for a reading which afforded all much amusement. Hearty votes of thanks brought to a close a thoroughly enjoyable and helpful service.

In Print

Newsprint – 1901

1901 January 2 Orkney Herald


FIVE POUNDS REWARD will be paid to any local Association giving information
to the Fishery Board, Edinburgh, which secures the conviction of vessels
trawling within the three-mile limit, thereby depriving the local fishermen
of the means of living. – J. CATHCART WASON.

1901 January 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – The Ritchie U.F.C. Guild met on the evening of Tuesday the 8th inst. The evening was wet and windy, yet, notwithstanding this drawback to attendance, a goodly number of the members were present. The principal item on the programme was an essay by Mr Lewis McLeod, vice-president, entitled “People We Meet,” which subject he succeeded in making very interesting and instructive, and his essay was listened to with pleasure and profit. Hymns were sung at intervals, and the secretary, Mr Grieve, contributed a somewhat humorous reading on the drink question. After the usual votes of thanks and the pronouncement of the benediction by the president, a hearty and harmonious meeting was brought to a close.

MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT.—The Parish Church choir and the Bible Class along with Sunday scholars and some neighbouring children were hospitably entertained at the manse on Saturday night last week by Mr and Mrs Spark. A few pieces were given, and an excellent musical evening was spent to the enjoyment of all.

1901 January 23 Orkney Herald

DEATH OF QUEEN VICTORIA. – Every subject of the Queen will have learned with the deepest feelings of sincere regret at the issue of the serious and dangerous illness which has overtaken their sovereign. For some weeks it has been rumoured that she was in indifferent health, but not till last Friday was anything known beyond court and official circles to indicate that her condition was so critical as it undoubtedly is. Since then, though there have been slight recoveries of ground lost, the great tenor of the bulletins issued have left little room to doubt that Her Majesty was gradually growing weaker, and that a fatal termination to her illness was more than a probability. Thus the end came yesterday (Tuesday) evening, at half-past six o’clock.

SHERIFF CRIMINAL COURT. – At the Sheriff Criminal Court yesterday – before Sheriff Cosens – Benjamin Moodie, farm servant, Rousay, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault. After hearing statements by the Procurator-Fiscal and by Mr Low for the accused, the Sheriff said the offence appeared not to be a serious one and imposed a fine of 7s 6d with the alternative of twenty-four hours imprisonment…..

1901 January 30 Orkney Herald

EX-PUPIL TEACHER (Male or Female) WANTED for Frotoft public school, Rousay.
Salary, £45 per annum, with free House (partly furnished) and Garden.
Apply, with testimonials, immediately to Clerk of School Board, Rousay.

1901 February 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. CHURCH GUILD. – This Guild met on Wednesday last. There was a good attendance. The principal item of interest was an essay by Mr William Grieve, entitled, “Rousay a Century ago and to-day: a Contrast.” He skilfully described the condition of things then and the very great changes for the better which the progress of the century had brought in domestic, sanitary, social, agricultural, and ecclesiastical matters. Mr James M. Reid gave a reading, which was highly entertaining. The choir at intervals sang very sweetly several appropriate pieces. The special feature of the evening, however, was the presentation of a beautiful album and framed view to Miss [Margaret Marwick] Gibson, Curquoy, who severs her connection with the Guild on the occasion of her marriage [to George William Mainland, Cotafea]. The President, in making the presentation, expressed the sense of loss the Guild felt, as Miss Gibson was one of the most energetic and helpful members. Miss Gibson, replying, said she had been taken unawares, as she expected no such proof of appreciation, but warmly thanked the Guild for their kind appreciation. Votes of thanks to Messrs Grieve, Reid, and the choir brought to a close a very enjoyable meeting.

A SHORT time ago the skeleton of a carrier pigeon was picked up on Eynhallow, having a ring marked “32 N.L., 1809.”

MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT GUILD. – On Monday of last week a debate took place on the question, “Was Britain justified in going to war with the Transvaal?” Mr John Leonard was for the affirmative, seconded by Mr James G. Craigie; and Mr Mark Kirkness for the negative, seconded by Mr Alex. Craigie. A lively discussion took place, and when put to the vote the affirmative was carried by 3 votes. The annual assembly of the Guild was held on the 1st inst. After tea and an interesting programme, dancing was engaged in and was continued until early morning.

1901 February 16 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Rev. Alexander Spark, on Sunday, the 3rd February, preached in the Parish Church from Psalms CXVI., 15. – “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,” concluding with a characteristic and appropriate encomium on Queen Victoria [who died on January 22]. The pulpit was draped in black and evergreens, and the musical service became the occasion, especially the last hymn tune, Gotha, which had been composed by HRH Prince Albert.

1901 February 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD MEETING. – At a meeting of the guild, held on the evening of Monday the 11th inst., the debate, “Moderate Drinking” versus “Total Abstinence,” was taken up. The former was upheld by Mr D. J. Inkster, seconded by Mr Jas. Kirkness, and the latter by Mr A. Leonard, seconded by Mr J. Leonard. After the papers were read and a discussion took place, a vote was taken, when moderate drinking carried the point by one vote. Mr W. Pearson also gave a reading entitled “The Auld Folks in a Huff,” which was much enjoyed. Some members present contributed songs and recitations, which were also much appreciated.

1901 March 2 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay and Viera Agricultural Society was held on Thursday the 21st ult., on a field on the farm of Brendale, kindly granted by Mr John Russell for the occasion. Seventeen ploughs came forward for competition and the various prizes were keenly contested. The ploughmen were liberally supplied during the day with refreshments provided by Mr Russell. Mr Fred. Yorston, Orquil, Evie, and Mr John Mowat, Schoolhall, Evie, acted as judges, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather a large number of spectators visited the field during the day. Annexed is the prize-list:-

PLOUGHING. – 1, (medal) Malcolm Leonard, Nearhouse; 2, William Scott, Hurtiso; 3, Thomas Gibson, Broland; 4, James Grieve, Whitehall; 5, John Harrold, Bigland; 6, George Munro, Woo; 7, James Shearer, Trumland; 8, John Russell, Brendale; 9, Alexander Sutherland, Avelshay. Best Feering – John Harrold. Best Finish – Malcolm Leonard. Youngest Ploughman – Benjamin Moodie, Ervadale.
GROOMING. – 1, George Munro; 2, John Shearer, Trumland; 3, James Shearer; 4, Malcolm Leonard; 5, Alexander Sutherland.
HARNESS. – 1, Robert Paterson, Scockness; 2, James Yorston, Oldman; 3, John Gibson, Faraclett; 4, James Shearer, Trumland; 5, George Munro, Woo; most complete horse in harness and decoration, James Yorston, Oldman; best matched horses, William Scott, Hurtiso; best decorations, James Yorston, Oldman.

A large number of special prizes were also given which greatly increased the Society’s prize list, and for which the Society beg to thank the donors. After the prizes were distributed the judges along with the Secretary and some of the members of the Committee sat down to an excellent dinner in the Old School, Sourin, prepared by Mrs Christina Munro in her usual sumptuous style. The usual toasts were given and responded to, and altogether an enjoyable evening was spent. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so kindly contributed towards the funds of the Society.

1901 March 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD. – There was a large attendance at the Ritchie U.F. guild on Wednesday last. The musical programme arranged for by Mr James W. Grieve – the guild precentor – was a decided success. Mr Alexander Grieve, Nethermill, gave a masterly paper on “Hope.” He did not attempt to define so familiar a term, but in chaste and beautiful language, illustrated his subject from many departments of life, showing the all-embracing influence of this affection, that explorer, merchant, student, etc., were all under its fascinating spell. Mr Louis McLeod, of the Sourin Public School, gave a brief and bright address, and characterised Mr Grieve’s essay as a wonderful production, and said the essayist was not in his right position, but should be where more could know him. Before such ability could be in his work, it must be in the man. Other members also took part. A highly humorous reading from Mark Twain was given by the secretary. A closing hymn by the choir and the benediction brought to a close one of the most successful meetings of the session.

1901 March 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – A MAGIC LANTERN ENTERTAINMENT under the auspices of the Guild was given in the Ritchie U.F. Church on Wednesday evening last. The South African War was the subject of illustration, and the weather being fine there was a large attendance of the public, many coming a considerable distance. Very great interest is taken here in this war, for apart from the fact that it is a matter of vast national importance, several young men, natives of the island, are at present residing in that part of the “dark continent,” and one, James Inkster, has lost his life while scouting in his country’s cause. Seventy views were shown to a deeply interested and appreciative audience, and when the heroes of Ladysmith, Mafeking, and Paardeberg appeared on the screen, the audience gave vent to its patriotic feelings in prolonged applause. The Guild president described the different views, and the secretary manipulated the lantern.

[James Inkster, born on December 3rd 1864, and his brother John, both went to South Africa. They were the sons of James Inkster, Ervadale, later Quoys, Sourin, and Margaret Pearson, Kirkgate.]

1901 March 23 The Orcadian

MOTOR CAR IN ORKNEY. – The motor car has at last found its way to Orkney, and will probably remain! The machine which is fitted up for carrying 8 passengers arrived at Stromness by the steamer St Nicholas and a trial run was made to Kirkwall on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday the vehicle made a few experimented runs around the town, and these were considered of a fairly satisfactory character. One representative tried a short spin on the car, and was much impressed not only with its speed but also with the clever way in which it was manoeuvred, turning corners as if on a pivot, and gliding in past vehicles. The car is very comfortable to sit in, and as it is said to run at a speed of something like fourteen miles an hour, it will no doubt become very popular with the travelling public. We understand a company is to be formed for the purpose of running motor cars in Orkney, and it is said the syndicate are to have a second machine at Kirkwall by steamer on Saturday. The promoters say they will be able, even with the necessary stoppages for taking on and putting off passengers, to accomplish the journey to Stromness in a little over an hour, and at half the fares presently charged for the trip. Whether the promoters will be able to accomplish all they anticipate remains to be seen, but there can be no question that motor cars ought to reduce the time taken on the journey between Kirkwall and Stromness by at least one half, which of itself will be a great consideration to travellers, and if they can be profitably run at half the rates presently charged their success should be assured. At any rate the arrival of the motor car in Orkney has caused quite a sensation, and its performances have been watched with no little interest by large crowds of people, though there has been some disappointment over the fact that the vehicle, though never carrying the full complement of passengers, has broken down more than once.

1901 April 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL MEETING. – The U.F.C. Guild brought the session to a close with a social on Friday evening last. Notwithstanding the continued inclemency of the weather, there was a large attendance. The chair was occupied by Mr L. McLeod, vice-president, the president being unavoidably absent in the South. Cake and fruit were served during an interval in the proceedings. Mr James M. Reid gave a very good paper on “Perseverance,” well calculated to give fresh impetus in striving to gain the prizes of life, and renewed vigour in fighting its battles with ‘nil desperandum’ as the motto and battle-cry. With humorous readings, pathetic recitation, sacred songs, duet, solo, and chorus, the evening wore pleasantly to a close, and although the programme was long, one was sorry when it came to an end. Mr James W. Grieve deserves to be congratulated on the signal success which has attended his unwearying efforts to improve the music, which, now leaves little to be desired, as witness Friday evening’s performance, and the members of the choir are also praiseworthy for their regular attendance at practice, (no small matter when darkness, bad weather, and bad roads are taken into consideration), and without which no such order of merit could possibly be obtained. The session just closed has been as hearty and harmonious as any of its predecessors, the average attendance has been better, and the essays, readings, and recitations have been fully up to the standard of former sessions.

1901 April 10 Orkney Herald

THE CENSUS. – The returns of the census, which was taken as at midnight on 31st March, are now coming to hand. So far as Orkney is concerned, there will undoubtedly be a large decrease in the population as compared with 1891. In South Ronaldshay and Burray the decrease approaches 300, though in the island of Burray itself there is an increase of 4. In Rousay, Egilshay, and Weir the decrease is about 150, and there is an equally large decrease in Birsay. In Westray the decrease is 201, the present population being 1826, against 2027 in 1891; in Evie and Rendall the decrease is 149, the present population being 1084; in Holm, population 817, decrease 133; Stronsay, population 1084, decrease 125; Orphir 877, decrease 124; Shapinsay 781, decrease 122; Eday 639, decrease 66; Harray 676, decrease 59; Hoy and Graemsay 485, decrease 52; and Firth 700, decrease 31. In Stronsay the males outnumber the females by 4.

[In 1891 the population of Rousay was 774; Egilsay, 147; and Wyre, 67. There were 473 males and 515 females. Total 988. – In 1901 there were 398 males and 427 females – a total population of the three islands of 825 – a decrease of 163 folk.]

1901 May 1 Orkney Herald

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL BURROUGHS, C.B., of Rousay and Veira, has been appointed chief honorary representative of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariner’s Society in Orkney.

1901 May 11 The Orcadian

COMFORTS FOR SOLDIERS. – Mrs Burroughs, through the kindness of the Editor of the “Orcadian,” takes this opportunity of warmly thanking Orkney friends of “Our Soldiers” in South Africa for the large consignment of socks, etc., also sums of money sent her in answer to Lord Kitchener’s appeal for comforts for the troops. By this means, and with the help of friends in London, a large parcel of comforts has been despatched to the Seaforth Highlanders (the territorial Regiment) and others. The patriotism of Orkney and its practical sympathy, both this year and last, with our soldiers in the field has been listened to with pride and gratification by all who have heard the tale. And it is a fact that this has been no small encouragement to many a returned and disabled, or weary soldier, as well as to those in authority to know that the heart of the outmost part of the British Isles beats as one with the rest of the Empire.

1901 May 18 The Orcadian

CROFTERS’ AMENDMENT ACT. – In our sixth page we print the text of a Crofters’ Amendment Bill, which has been introduced in the House of Commons by Mr J Cathcart Wason, and which is backed by Mr Bignold and other representatives for the North of Scotland.

THE CROFTERS’ HOLDINGS SCOTLAND ACT, 1886. – The following is the text of the Bill brought in by Mr J. Cathcart Wason, Mr Bignold, Mr John Dewar, Mr Leweson-Gower, Mr Harmsworth, Mr Weir, and Mr Gordon, to amend the Crofters’ Holdings Scotland Act, 1886:-

Be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1. This Act may be cited as the Crofters’ Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1901, and shall be read along with and as part of the Crofters’ Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1886, herein called the principal Act, and Acts amending and extending the same.

2. The crofter shall not use any part of the arable or old arable land of his holding for other than agricultural or pastoral purposes, except as after mentioned, without the consent of his landlord in writing.

3. The crofter may use part or parts of the outrun of his holding, not exceeding in all one fourth of such outrun, and may erect buildings on such part or parts of his outrun for purposes connected with or relating to sea fishing, and including the drying of nets, and drying, storing, storing, curing, kippering, buying or selling of all kinds of sea fish, or for any lawful purposes connected with the trade or business of a merchant, or buying and selling or dealing in groceries, provisions, and other produce, or connected with the trade or business of a weaver, knitter, joiner, carpenter, blacksmith, mason, tailor and clothier, shoemaker, cooper, rope and sail maker, miller, common carrier, or cart, coach, or boat builder or hirer, or for other the like home industry, trade or business.

4. The landlord shall not be entitled to pay the crofter compensation in the event of his removal from the holding for any buildings, erections, or improvements made under the above section.

5. The crofter may use the foreshore from the highest mark of the flood to the lowest of the ebb, and also the adjacent waste land for the space of one hundred yards beyond the highest high-water mark, so far as such foreshore and waste land are ex adverso of the arable land or outrun of the holding, for all purposes connected with or relating to sea fishing and the curing, drying, storing, kippering, buying and selling of all manner of sea fish.

6. The crofter shall have the right to quarry stones out of the outrun of his holding for the purposes of all or any of the improvements mentioned in the schedule to the principal Act, and under section three of this Act.

7. In the event of the crofter being unable to work his holding through old age or infirmity he may assign his right to the same to a member of his family; such assignation shall be intimated to the landlord within twenty-one days, and the assignee shall have all the rights of a crofter in the holding.

8. Application may be made to the sheriff of the county to grant an order restraining any crofter from unduly exercising any privilege or right hereunder by this or under the principal Act or Acts amending the same, and the decision of the sheriff shall in every such application be final.

1901 May 29 Orkney Herald

VICTORIA DAY. – Friday was observed as a general holiday in Kirkwall [being the anniversary of the birth of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria]. There was some fog in the morning, but not enough to prevent the excursion steamers leaving for their destinations, and when it cleared off the day was all that could be desired for a holiday. The Orcadia had large contingents of excursionists for Sanday and Stronsay, among the latter being members of the Orkney Golf Club, who enjoyed the hospitality of Mr George Sutherland at Rothiesholm, and had a pleasant game on the links there. The Fawn ran to Rousay and Egilshay, among her passengers being the Provost and Town Council of Kirkwall, whom General and Mrs Burroughs had invited to be their guests at Trumland for the day. Shapinsay had, as usual, a number of visitors by the Iona; while from Scapa the Hoy Head carried excursionists to Stromness. Every vehicle was engaged by family and picnic parties, and cyclists were out in all directions.

1901 June 8 The Orcadian

THUNDERSTORM. – On Friday last a severe thunderstorm passed over several districts in Orkney. In Orphir there was an almost unprecedented fall of rain, and a piece of ground in the Petertown district was struck with lightning, but no serious damage was done. In Rousay the rain was so heavy that the sea was discoloured for a considerable distance from the shore with clay and peat water flowing from the hills.

1901 June 26 Orkney Herald

KIRKWALL TOWN COUNCIL. – A monthly meeting of the Town Council was held on Friday. Present – Provost Spence, Bailies John Sclater and James Slater, Dean-of-Guild Sutherland, Treasurer Drever, and Councillors Irvine, Flett, Tait, and Baikie…..

GENERAL BURROUGHS AND THE COUNCIL. The Provost thought that it would be proper, before proceeding to the business of the meeting, to refer to a matter mentioned in the minutes. The Council, on the invitation of General Burroughs, had spent Victoria Day at Rousay, and he (the Provost) suggested that they should now minute their appreciation of General Burroughs’ kindness. – This was agreed to, and the Town Clerk was instructed to send an excerpt of this part of the minute to General Burroughs…..

1901 June 29 The Orcadian


The Crofters Commission met in the County Buildings, Kirkwall, on Monday. Sheriff Brand presided, and had on the bench with him as assessors Messrs Macrae and Mackintosh…..

A ROUSAY CASE – THE STONE QUESTION AGAIN. – William Reid, Wasdale, Rousay, applied for a revaluation of his croft. His area is 22 acres, 2 roods, 7 poles, arable, and 35 acres, 0 roods, 3 poles, outrun. The old rent was £25, and the fair rent is £18. There were £12 of arrears at the last application, which were all cancelled. The tenant at that time was George Reid. Witness said the fair rent was fixed in 1888. He had 3 cows, 2 young cattle, 2 horses, 3 sheep and 2 lambs.

Mr ROBERTSON – Only 2 lambs.

Witness – One of the sheep is a lamb from last year.

The SHERIFF – Ah, Mr Robertson, he has a lamb up his sleeve. (Laughter.) He could have been a professor of mathematics.

Witness, proceeding, said he considered the farm too dear.

The SHERIFF – What do you think would be a fair rent?

Witness – Some competent judges consider that £13 would be quite sufficient. I do not say that the Commissioners were wrong with their valuation –

The SHERIFF – Oh, they are fallible. (Laughter.)

Witness – But I would prefer local valuators.

The SHERIFF – You must take the valuators appointed under the Act, and if you are not pleased with them you can withdraw your application.

Witness (continuing) said – I have been tenant for two years, and succeeded my father who, I think, went to the place in the year 1841. He put up all the buildings, but he got some help. There is a one-storeyed house of 4 rooms on the place. I have a byre, a barn, and 2 little out-houses, and another house where we work some joiner work. There are three other joiners in Rousay. I only work at my trade occasionally – I devote most of my time to working the farm. The landlord gave some cupples, also 2 windows, and I think 2 doors.

Mr ROBERTSON explained that he found from the factory accounts that up to 1863 the estate had given £7 10s 11d for repairs, and in that year the landlord gave a reduction in the rent of 25s.

Witness (proceeding) said – I am a married man. I have two sons and two daughters. Ono boy and one girl is at home. My boy helps me on the croft, and also does joiner work. I keep an apprentice joiner. His name is James Alexander Munro. I understand the late factor, Mr Morrison, would not have been surprised if the Commission had taken down my rent to £12 – comparing what was done with other places. Since 1888 we almost built a barn. We built it all but 3 or 4 yards on one side. This year I sold one-year-old stirk for £7 10s, and a four-year-old cow for £13 10s. In 1900 I sold a cow on January 9th for £10 10s, in April a calf for £3, on 20th August 2 stirks for £15 10s, and on November 13, a lamb for £1 4s. On February 4, 1899, I sold one calf for £2, on March 20th, 2 stirks for £19 10s; on May 25, one ewe for £1 11s 9d; also on the same date one stirk for £7; and in December two Iambs for £2 2s. In 1898, on August 15, I sold one cow for £16 10s, on September 19, one cow for £12 10s, and one lamb for 16s. On October 27, I sold 3 Iambs for £2 14s.

The SHERIFF – That is the most distinct statement of sales that I have heard for a long time. Q. – Did you enter these sales down in a book at the time they took place? A. – Yes.

Mr ROBERTSON – You have not given us at full account of your lambs. Q. – Did you give one away? A. – You may depend upon it that I did not. Q. – Did you cure one? A. – I don’t think so.

The SHERIFF – You had two sheep last year, and only two lambs. Why was there only two lambs? A. – One of the sheep was too young to have a lamb. Q. – Were all these sales made to drovers? A. – The sales were made in the island. We never ship cattle. We sell locally, and we never get “cheat.”

THE QUARRYING OF STONES. – Witness then said he would like to make a statement. He had asked the factor to be allowed to quarry stones for the repair of his holding, and the factor had refused. He handed in the correspondence.

The SHERIFF read the applicant’s letter to the factor, which was in the following terms:-

“As some of my houses are needing repair, I respectfully ask if you would allow me to take stones from the usual place. I am willing to pay any reasonable charge.” To this letter a reply was received in the following terms:- “In reply to yours of yesterday, General Burroughs regrets that he cannot see his way to allow you to take flags.”

          The SHERIFF – Q. – Were the stones required for roofing purposes? A. – Yes. They were for the repair of the roof of the barn, and I had to go elsewhere for the stones. Q. – You say you wanted stones from the usual place. How far is it from your dwelling? A. – Not far – perhaps about ¾ of a mile. When this application was refused I had to go to ground owned by Mr Gibson of Hullion, who has a quarry, and I got the flags from him. I did not pay him any money, but I made an acknowledgement. Q. – How far is Gibson’s place from your dwelling? A. – I am not quite sure. Going over the hill it would be three or four miles, but by the cart road, by which we went, the distance would be six or seven miles. We had about 16 or 18 cart loads.

Mr ROBERTSON thought that this might be a question for discussion in the matter of compensation, but he contended it did not arise in a claim for fair rent.

The SHERIFF said they were directed by the statute to take cognisance of such matters. He could not say that this man was doing anything wrong in giving evidence upon this point. In December 1897 he found the Commissioners had a pretty strong note on this very point, which he quoted. Proceeding, he said this man was bound under the Act to prevent his holding from deteriorating, and he complained that the landlord was preventing him getting stones for the repair of his buildings.

Mr Robertson said that on one estate the tenants had to go to Caithness for their stones.

The SHERIFF replied that that might be quite true, but it made a difference when there were no suitable stones to be got nearer hand. Here there were stones, and the landlord refused to let the crofters use them.

Witness said he also wished to call attention to the loss he sustained from finger-and-toe. Last year his crop of turnips was a failure, and the people all around were in a similar position. Q. – What do you do to put down the disease? A. – There is nothing that I know of to prevent it. Q. – Have you tried the application of lime for finger and toe? A. – Last year I put on a little lime, but I did not see that it made any difference. Q. – Could you not alter your shift, so as to allow the land to get a rest? A. – I understand we are not allowed to do that.

Mr ROBERTSON had no authority for saying so, but he did not think the landlord would object to a longer shift.

Witness in reply to Mr Robertson said he had sold no horses nor hay. He had sold oats, but had bought bere in its place, and some meal besides. He did not sell any potatoes, but had sold some butter. He had no idea of the quantity, just little bits fresh. They sold some eggs – but he knew nothing about these. No man interfered with the eggs. That was women’s work, and it was generally understood that the women were rough on the men if they interfered in that department. We have a lot of hens, but only one duck. The hens get grain and Indian meal. They had ground 33½ quarters of grain, but that was above the average. He did not grow as much as that every year. He remembered one year they just ground 5½ bolls of meal. That was the lowest, and the highest was 18½ bolls. The average was a little over 12 bolls. They had just one pig for eating. He did not believe in these gutter-snipes. They were not payable. Since 1888 the letting value of farms in Orkney had gone down. He knew of one house in Orkney that was down about £30. He was not aware of any croft the size of his own that was let lately. He did remember Skethequoy [Sketquoy] – the rent was £30, and it was reduced to £24. He did not know what was given for it recently. He would take it from Mr Robertson that the new tenant offered £30, that he got it at that rent, and held it still. Q. – How does the price of stock compare now with 1888? A. – I do not remember exactly that time, but I know we got £26 or £27 for two beasts. That might be before 1888. I think the prices will be about the same as in 1888. I think my croft is too highly valued. My own opinion is that it is more highly valued than the other crofts round about. I cannot say what rent would be got for my croft if it was put in the market to-morrow. I know a farm in my district, where the tenant gave a few pounds advance in rent, and had to leave the place. The man was only three or four years in it.

Mr ROBERTSON then handed in a statement showing that a number of crofts had fallen into the hands of the landlord – many of which in the open market had been again let at the old rent, such as Redland, East Cray, West Cray, and so on.

Witness said that in some of these cases the landlord had given assistance to the tenants to repair their buildings.

Mr ROBERTSON explained that he only knew of one case of that kind, and the sum only amounted to few shillings.

1901 July 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PICNIC. – A very successful and enjoyable picnic, under the auspices of the U.F.C. Guild, was held at Faraclett on Friday last, on a field kindly given for the purpose by Mr [John] Gibson. Mrs [Margaret] Gibson [John’s mother] also very kindly granted the free use of her kitchen which was a very great convenience for tea making. On arrival the picnickers were liberally served with bread and milk. Thereafter disposing themselves over the field, they enjoyed themselves in running races, jumping, skipping, swinging, throwing the hammer, and putting the stone. After the day’s sports tea and cake were heartily enjoyed and done ample justice to. Hearty cheers were given to Mr and Mrs Gibson for their hospitable kindness in granting the use of field and kitchen, and to the picnic committee for their trouble in making all the arrangements. Everyone came away satisfied with the days’ outing and its enjoyment.

1901 July 17 Orkney Herald

MR HUGH CRAIGIE, formerly a pupil-teacher in Wasbister Public School, Rousay, and at present teaching under the Manchester School Board, has been appointed assistant inspector of schools for the Manchester district.

1901 July 20 The Orcadian

PICNICS. – Last Saturday the members of the St Magnus Cathedral Sabbath School had their annual outing, the place chosen this year being Rousay. The Fawn, which was chartered for the occasion, left Kirkwall pier at 10.30 a.m. for Rousay, and on the company’s arrival there, proceeded to a field adjoining Trumland House, kindly granted by Mr [Hamilton] Horne of Trumbland Farm, where games, &c., were engaged in. The steamer left Rousay on the return trip at 6.15, everyone having thoroughly enjoyed the outing…..

1901 July 24 Orkney Herald

THE HOTTEST DAY. – The heat on Thursday was the greatest that has been recorded in Orkney. In 1846 the late Dr Charles Clouston noted 75 degrees; last Thursday the thermometer registered 78 degrees, or 3 degrees above the previous record. –  [78F=25.55C.]

1901 July 31 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday, the 26th inst., under rather unfavourable circumstances. In the morning a close mist and calmness prevailed, which prevented many of the usual competitors getting forward. However, notwithstanding the mist, a few boats did arrive from Kirkwall and the neighbouring places, while others were too late in arriving. The Orcadia, which, we understand, had been chartered for Melsetter, but was prevented from going there by the fog, arrived at Rousay pier about 12 o’clock with a large number of people on board, who, we understand, were as disappointed as the Rousay folks at the unsatisfactory state of the weather. About 1 o’clock, however, the fog suddenly cleared away, and with a light breeze from the east the first race was started at 1.35. In this race, which was open to boats 16 feet waterline and under, there were four entries, namely, Amorita, J. Spence; Maggie, R. Graham; Jean Ann, W. Miller; and Alice, C. Logie. On the starting gun being fired, all boats got well away together, but as the wind was still very light the race was not of a very exciting nature. The wind, however, freshened, and when the boats came in sight after rounding the Sourin mark boat it was seen that the Jean Ann had a long lead, followed by Alice and Amorita. On the run home before the wind the Alice overhauled Jean Ann and was first to cross the line, but having to allow Jean Ann time allowance, only secured second place. The finish was as follows, with time allowance deducted: –

Jean Ann, Wm. Miller – 1h. 55m.   0sec.
Alice, C. Logie – 1h. 55m. 44 sec.
Maggie, R. Graham – 1h. 59m. 46½sec.
Amorita, J. Spence – 1h. 59m.  52½sec.

The next race that should have started was the yacht race, 35 feet waterline and under, but as no one but the Annie came forward, the race had to be put off.

The 22 feet boats started next, the Annie sailing in the race and allowing all boats 55 seconds on the mile. The entries were – Sigurd, General Burroughs; Walrus, A. Leask; Nancy Lee, R. Stevenson; Weyland, J. Mainland; and Annie, J. Logie. All boats made a good start, and the race to the point of Avelshay was a very close one, however, on coming down Eglishay Sound the Annie was seen to have a long lead followed by the Walrus and Sigurd. On the run home, however, the Walrus overhauled the Annie a long way, and although some minutes after Annie in crossing the line secured first place. The finish was as follows: –

Walrus, A. Leask – Cup – 1h. 28m. 57sec.
Annie, J. Logie – 1h.29m. 22sec.
Sigurd, Gen. Burroughs – 1h. 31m. 26sec.
Weyland, J. Mainland – 1h. 40m. 22sec.
Nancy Lee, R. Stevenson – 1h. 51m. 10sec.

The all-comers race started at 4.35 with a nice fresh breeze. For this race there were six entries, namely, Annie, Walrus, Sigurd, Alice, Jean Ann, and Weyland. In this race there was very little changing of places; the Annie took the lead from the start, followed by Walrus and Sigurd, and these positions were maintained throughout the race. The following is the actual time:-

Annie, J. Logie – 0h. 50m. 12sec.
Walrus, A. Leask – 0h. 55m. 59sec.
Sigurd, Gen. Burroughs – 0h. 58m. 25sec.
Weyland, J. Mainland – 1h. 8m. 0sec.
Jean Ann, W. Miller – 1h. 10m. 2sec.
Alice, C. Logie – 1h. 10m 35sec.

The following were the rowing races: – Boys – 1, Sinclair and Craigie; 2, D. Munro and B. Moodie; 3, K. McLean and H. Munro; 4, H. Inkster and J. Sinclair. Ladies – 1, Misses Inkster; 2, Misses Craigie and Gibson. Men – 1, H. Robertson and W. Stevenson; 2, Jas. Yorston and Walter Muir; 3, W. Sutherland and W. Craigie; 4, J. Craigie and M. Flaws.

At the close of the races, Mrs Burroughs handed out the prizes to the successful competitors, for which she was accorded three hearty cheers. Cheers were also given for General Burroughs, commodore, and Mr A. Leask, vice-commodore. The club, as usual, opened a refreshment room during the day, which was well patronised, and the club feel much indebted to the ladies who presided for the way in which they attended to the wants of all and sundry. The committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who contributed so liberally to the funds of the club.

1901 August 7 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was dispensed in the Ritchie U. F. Church on Sabbath last. The Rev. Robert Bonellie, of Darvel, Ayrshire, formerly minister of the congregation, conducted the fast day services on Thursday in the church and in Wasbister Public School, and also assisted on Sabbath. He was warmly received by the people, and his services were much appreciated.

1901 August 10 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PICNIC AND CONCERT. – The Bible Class and choir of Trumland U.F. Church and the scholars attending the public schools were invited to a picnic and phonograph entertainment at the Church on Friday. They assembled on the Church green in large number where refreshments were served, abundance of milk having been kindly supplied from neighbouring farms. After games, all adjourned to the church, and at 6 o’clock many parents and friends joined the children at the concert. Mr Pirie presided and introduced Mr Taylor of Parks, Sandwick, who entertained the audience with songs, secular and sacred, from his Edison Phonograph. The Church choir, under the leadership of Mr Alan Gibson, with Mr Irvine Pirie at the organ, sang a number of choruses and quartettes with much credit to themselves and enjoyment to those present. Votes of thanks to the singers and to Mr Taylor, who had come so far with his phonograph, brought a very pleasant meeting to a close.

1901 August 17 The Orcadian

General Burroughs of Rousay and Veira has presently on exhibition with Mr D. B. Peace, Albert Street, Kirkwall, a Neilson floating lobster incubator. This incubator is largely used in Newfoundland, and it might be found of use in developing the Orkney lobster fisheries.

1901 August 21 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SCHOOL PICNIC. – The children attending the Wasbister Public School were treated to their annual picnic on Friday, the 9th inst. The weather, which was rather dull and threatening in the morning, cleared up towards noon, and the remainder of the day was everything that could be desired. The scholars assembled at the school at 11.30, and with flags flying marched to a field kindly granted by Mr [Walter] Muir, Saviskaill. On arriving at the field the children, with their parents and visitors, were treated to buns, milk, etc., after which both young and old took part in a long and varied programme of races and games, which was much enjoyed by all, and reflected much credit on Miss [Jessie] Marwick and her committee. Mr and Miss [Isabella] Muir also deserve a word of praise for their kindness to all and sundry during the day. After the games had been finished the scholars and all present repaired to the school, where an excellent tea was served in the school playground. After ample justice had been done to this repast another pleasing feature took place, namely, the presenting of the prizes won by scholars attending the school during the year. Mrs Burroughs, who along with General Burroughs and party had visited the field during the day, handed out the prizes to the successful pupils. The first prizes to be handed out were prizes presented by Mrs Burroughs for sewing and knitting. The sewing prize, which took the form of a beautiful work box, was won by Maggie Jessie Craigie [Turbitail], and the knitting prize, a nicely framed picture, was won by Lydia Inkster [Furse]. Next was a prize, also presented by Mrs Burroughs, for an essay on “How to me a Good Citizen.” This prize was won by Willie Inkster [Furse]. The Orkney and Zetland Association Bible prizes were also handed out by Mrs Burroughs, the winners being: – In Standard I., Ivy Craigie [Everybist]; Std III., Emily Craigie [Everybist] and Anna May Cooper [Langskaill], equal; Std. V., Mary Jane Craigie [Deithe]; Std. VI., Beatrice Craigie [Everybist]. Mrs Burroughs then, in a few appropriate remarks, took leave of teacher and scholars and left the playground amid much cheering The teacher then handed out the prizes for the races, but the programme is too long and varied to publish fully. It may be said, however, that all the scholars were quite delighted to be the proud possessors of a few coppers. After the picnic was over, the young people present took part in a dance in the school, which was kept up with much spirit till 12 o’clock, when all went home fully satisfied that they had spent a most enjoyable day, and that the picnic was one of the most successful ever held in connection with the school.

1901 September 4 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CATTLE SHOW. – One of the most successful shows ever held under the auspices of the Rousay Agricultural Society took place on the farm of Banks, Sourin, on Tuesday the 20th ult., on a field kindly granted by Mr [Robert] Seatter. The number of entries in each section far exceeded any previous year, the quality being also very much improved, making the task of judging rather a difficult undertaking. The judges were – Mr Scott, Odinstone, Shapinsay; Mr Walls, Gutterpool, Holm; and Mr Bews, Ribbaquoy, St Andrews; and their awards gave general satisfaction. In some of the sections several very fine animals were shown. For shorthorn cows, Mr Inkster, Westness, took first with a splendid red cow in forward condition; in one-year-old heifers Mr Muir, Saviskaill, was first with a fine black heifer; and in the one-year-old steers Mr Learmonth, Innister, took first place with a nice red polled stot. Horses were also a good turnout, and some splendid animals were brought forward. Annexed is the prize-list :—

HORSES. – Entire Horses – Hugh Inkster, Westness. Draught Geldings – 1, Robert Mainland, Nearhouse; 2, Peter Yorston, Oldman; 3, Alex. Munro, Woo; hc Allan Gibson, Myres; c William Learmonth, Innister. Mares with foal at foot – 1, Hugh Inkster, Westness ; 2, John Corsie, Knarston; 3, William Gibson, Curquoy. Draught Mares – 1, John Gibson, Faraclett; 2, Hugh Inkster, Westness; 3, James Flaws, Hammerfield; hc John Gibson, Broland; c William D. Gibson, Curquoy. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, George Gibson, Avelshay; 2, William D. Gibson, Curquoy. One-year-old Fillies – 1, John Russell, Brendale; 2, Robert Seatter, Banks; 3, Peter Sinclair, Bigland. Ponies – Hugh Inkster, Westness.

HORSE SHOEING COMPETITION. – 1, Archibald Leonard, Wasbister; 2, William Sutherland, Trumland.

CATTLE. – Polled Bulls – 1, Hugh Inkster, Westness; 2, Walter Muir, Saviskaill; 3, Robert Seatter, Banks. Polled Cows, section A – 1, John Russell, Brendale; 2, Robert Mainland, Nearhouse; 3, John Gibson, Faraclett; hc Walter Muir, Saviskaill; c, David Gibson, Langskaill. Shorthorn Cows, section B – 1, Hugh Inkster, Westness; 2, William Learmonth, Saviskaill; 3, George Gibson, Avelshay; hc John Gibson, Faraclett; c Walter Muir, Saviskaill. Two-year-old Heifers – 1, and 3, Hugh Inkster, Westness; 2, hc, and c, William Learmonth, Innister. One-year-old Heifers – 1, Walter Muir, Saviskaill; 2, and 3, William D. Gibson, Curquoy; hc Robert Mainland, Nearhouse; c George Reid, Tratland. Two-year-old Steers – 1, and 2, Hugh Inkster, Westness; 3, and c William Learmonth, Innister. One-year-old Steers – 1, 2, and hc William Learmonth, lnnister; 3, and c Walter Muir, SaviskailI.

After the prizes had been read out, the judges, along with the committee and a few friends, sat down to an excellent dinner purveyed by Mrs and Miss Munro. The usual toasts were given and responded to, and all present went home fully satisfied that the Agricultural Society was in a flourishing and healthy condition.

1901 September 21 The Orcadian

ORKNEY SCHOOL REPORTS. – SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – This school continues to exhibit an upward tendency, particularly in the infant and junior divisions, where the work is at once accurate and well advanced. In the senior division the only comparative weakness is in the fifth class, where spelling is somewhat defective and arithmetic falls below the general high level reached by the other classes in this subject. The merit certificate candidates make in all respects a good appearance. Singing is excellent; and sewing, drill, and drawing are all very good. The general tone of the school is admirable. Average attendance 33; grants earned (inclusive of £10 under Art. 19 D.) £53 10s 3d.

WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY, – Miss Marwick conducts this school in a manner deserving of hearty praise. The children are bright under oral examination and their written tests were worked with commendable neatness and accuracy. Due attention is devoted to all the ordinary subjects of instruction. Good progress is being made in drawing, and the grant is now recommended. Average attendance, 24; grants earned (inclusive of £15 under Art. 19 D.) £46 5s 9d.

FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – This school is now in a very satisfactory state of efficiency. The written work is on the whole very good, and the children acquit themselves creditably under oral examination. The merit certificate candidates made a very creditable appearance both in written and oral work, three of the four presented obtaining the certificate. The tunefulness of the singing and the precision with which the physical exercises are gone through deserve praise. Sewing and drawing have received due attention. Avenge attendance, 19; grants earned (inclusive of £15 under Art, 19 D.), £39 10s 9d.

1901 September 28 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. SPECIAL SERMON. – In reference to President McKinley’s death the Rev. Alexander Spark preached in Rousay Parish Church from Deut. Xxxiv. 5, “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.” An epitome of the sermon will be found on page 7. “Nearer my God to Thee” was the concluding hymn.

[William McKinley Jr. was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in Buffalo, New York, on September 14th 1901, six months into his second term].

CINEMATOGRAPH. – Mr J. Elrick Fraser, Edinburgh, has been visiting Rousay with his excellent cinematograph. Under special arrangements with Mrs Burroughs, Trumland House, who wished to give the Community an opportunity of seeing this most enjoyable exhibition, Mr Fraser came to Rousay and gave his entertainment in Trumland United Free Church. General Burroughs presided and introduced Mr Fraser to a full house. The living pictures of the South African War, the late Queen’s funeral, railway travelling, the Shamrock ready for her race, and many other beautiful films were greatly admired, as were also the large selection of variety and clever trick films. Mr Fraser also exhibited a powerful Edison shell phonograph, which by its musical performance combined with the cinematograph, made a memorable entertainment. Mrs Giles gave the organ and piano accomplishments, and songs at intervals were tastefully contributed by Mrs Broadbent, and Mrs Giles. Votes of thanks to all who had assisted, and especially to Mrs Burroughs who had brought Mr Fraser, closed a most delightful evening. This is Mr Fraser’s first visit to Orkney with the cinematograph, but we hope he will return soon with his splendid entertainment.

1901 October 23 Orkney Herald

It is announced in the Court Circular of last Tuesday that Mr Elrick Fraser, photographer, Edinburgh, who, under the auspices of General and Mrs Burroughs, gave a short time ago his cinematograph performance in Rousay, has by the command of the King exhibited his cinematograms at Balmoral Castle. His Majesty invited a large company, and at the close of the entertainment Mr Fraser was called into the Royal presence and personally thanked by the King and Queen for the very enjoyable exhibition he had given them.

1901 November 9 The Orcadian

REPORTED LOSS OF A TRAWLER. – Two men belonging to Rousay report that they saw a trawler fill and sink off Faraclett Head on Saturday afternoon. As no wreckage has come ashore, and the crew have not landed anywhere on the coast, there is a feeling that the men have been mistaken, especially as there was a slight haze at the time, but they are positive the vessel sank.

1901 November 13 Orkney Herald

NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee as Local Authority was held yesterday (Tuesday). Present – Messrs Grant, Sutherland, and Reid. Mr Grant in the chair. The application by David Gibson, Hullion, Rousay, for sanction to license the premises of Hullion in which the Local Authority has already sanctioned the establishment of the business of a slaughterer of cattle, was considered. It was unanimously resolved to grant the license asked for. The Clerk was instructed to inform Mr Gibson that the Committee expect that he will give the use of the slaughter-house to parties desirous of killing animals for sale on payment of a reasonable fee for the use of the place…..

1901 November 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL MEETING. – The Ritchie United Free Church Guild commenced its meetings for the season on Thursday last by a social tea. The president, Rev. Mr McLeman, gave an address on “Some reasons why we should attend the Guild.” Subjects were discussed which would be out of place in the pulpit. We could cultivate the social side from nature. Talent would be discovered and developed. Such gatherings were splendid occasions for drilling the youth for public speaking. Messrs McLeod and Grieve, vice-presidents, also gave addresses. There were recitations by Messrs Inkster, Leonard and the secretary. The Guild choir rendered some inspiriting pieces, which they had carefully prepared. About the middle of the programme justice was done to a substantial tea. A hearty vote of thanks was given to all who had promoted the evening’s enjoyment, special reference was made to the young ladies who had prepared the refreshments and the choir.

1901 November 23 The Orcadian

EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY. – We observe that Alexander Spark, eldest son of Rev. A. Spark, minister of the parish of Rousay and Egilshay, has gained, by written competitive examination, one of the two “Simson” bursaries of the value of £25 per annum, tenable for 3 years, in Arts at Edinburgh University. Privately taught by his father, who himself was a distinguished student at Aberdeen University, having been 9th public bursar in Arts, and 5th public bursar in Divinity, he succeeded in gaining a County Council bursary of £15 per annum, tenable for 3 years at Kirkwall Burgh School where he has gained all the “leaving certificates” exempting him from the “University Preliminary” proper. Judging from what we know of this young man in Kirkwall as well as from his up-to-date successes, we divine for him yet higher distinctions in the Scottish metropolis.