Cluik & Newark

Two houses in Frotoft that vanished long ago.

Cluik was an old house in Frotoft near the much larger houses of Banks and Newhouse, its earliest known occupant being Gilbert Reid. In a Sasine* dated 1627 it was known as ‘Clouk in Bankis,’ and Clouk and Cluick in the Rousay Birth Register in 1741, when George Marwick was the tenant at this time. *[Scottish legal term for the action of giving legal possession of feudal property, and also, the instrument by which the possession of feudal property is proved.]

In the early 1800s Hugh Marwick and his family lived at Cluik. He married Mary Yorston in 1808 and they had six children, five girls and one boy. Mary was the firstborn, on November 18th 1808, followed by Isabel, born on September 14th 1810, Betty, on August 16th 1812, Barbara, on March 18th 1815, William, on January 31st 1818, and finally Janet, who was born on August 29th 1820.

The only mention of this house in any census of Rousay occurred in 1841 when it was spelt Cluk. Living there at that time was Robert Yorston, a 35-year-old described as living independently, his 30-year-old wife Margaret, and children, three-year-old Alexander and Hugh, who was 12 months old.

Newark was the name of a dwelling between those of London and Lower Cruseday in Frotoft. In 1841, 70-year-old miller John Pottinger lived there with his 75-year-old wife Janet.

In 1851 Isaac Costie, a 38-year-old miller, his wife Catherine Craigie [36], who was born in Egilsay, and their three children Helen, born in 1842; Isaac, in 1845; and William, who was born in 1849, were the occupants.

Young Isaac was nineteen years of age when he moved to Kirkwall in 1864 where he worked as a shoemaker. He married Jemima Helen Robertson in April 1870, and come the time of the 1881 census Isaac’s profession had changed to that of police constable.

He was living in Main Street with his wife and five children: Jemima, Elizabeth, Mary, Robina, and Isaac, who at that time was just 10 months old. Isaac rose through the ranks and was appointed Sheriff’s Officer, later becoming a Bar Officer in succession to Thomas Hutchinson. He resigned in 1926 at the age of 81.

Isaac Costie in his latter years