1870 February 8 Orkney Herald
The weather during the past week continued dry, and, though exceedingly cold, was very suitable for the out-door work of farmers. On Saturday evening the wind blew fresh from the south and gradually increased until Sunday, when we experienced one of the heaviest gales we have had at any time during the winter…..Yesterday the gale had considerably abated, and the atmosphere felt much milder.
OTAGO, NEW ZEALAND
ASSISTED PASSAGES GRANTED TO AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS,
SHEPHERDS, AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND FEMALE DOMESTIC
SERVANTS: AS ALSO TO A LIMITED NUMBER OF
TINSMITHS AND COOPERS.
For whom there is a great demand in the Province.
In the Province of Otago there in at present an extraordinary demand for DOMESTIC
SERVANTS as also for SHEPHERDS, PLOUGHMEN, and AGRICULTURAL
LABOURERS; and TINSMITHS and COOPERS are also in demand.
To these classes the Home Agent of the Provincial Government is prepared to grant Assisted Passages on the following favourable terms, viz. : –
Approved of Emigrants, by paying £7 in this Country, are landed Free at Otago, without any obligation whatever for repayment of the balance of Passage Money; while those who cannot pay that sum before sailing, get, in special circumstances, a portion of the amount advanced, to be repaid Six Months after arrival in the Colony. – Single Women who require such assistance getting as much as £6 of the £7 advanced is this way.
One of Messrs P. Henderson and Company’s well-known Line of Packets
will sail from GLASGOW for Otago direct early in March.
A duly qualified Surgeon will accompany the Ship.
R. ROBERTSON, Esq., late Member of the Provincial Council of Otago, and accredited by the Government of that Province, is at present in this Country, and will be glad to answer any enquiries relative to Otago which may he submitted to him by parties desirous of emigrating to that Province of New Zealand. Address –Hudderwick House, by Dunbar.
Parties eligible to receive assistance, and others intending to pay their own Passage Money, will receive full information on applying to
GEORGE ANDREW, Secretary.
OTAGO OFFICE, 60 PRINCES STREET,
1870 April 5 Orkney Herald
COLONEL BURROUGHS, who along with his regiment – 93d Highlanders – arrived last week from India, is at present at Aberdeen. Few officers have seen more service or shown greater bravery in the various campaigns in which he has been engaged than this gallant Colonel.
ROUSAY. SACRAMENT. – The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was dispensed in the Free Church, on Sabbath week. The Rev. Mr Rose was ably assisted on the occasion by the Rev. James Stuart, Kirkwall, who preached with great acceptance on Saturday, Sabbath evening, and also gave the address at the table service.
U.P. CHURCH. – In the absence of the Rev. Mr McLellan at Sanday, and by his arrangement, the Rev. Mr Stuart, Kirkwall, preached in this Church on Sabbath forenoon. We understand this considerate act of kindness was much appreciated by the congregation.
EXAMINATION OF WASBISTER SCHOOL. – This school, taught by Mr James C. Bruce, was examined on the 25th ultimo, by a committee of the F.C. Presbytery, consisting of the Rev. Messrs Stuart, Kirkwall, and N. P. Rose, Rousay. The day being fine, there was a large muster of the parish and friends of education in the district present. Among others, we noticed – Mrs Seatter, Saviskaill; Mr Robert Gibson, Langskaill; Mr John Gibson, ditto; Mrs David Gibson, do.; Mrs D. Wood, Weir; Mrs Inkster, sen., Innister; Mr and Mrs Sinclair, Stennisgorn; Mr and Mrs Sinclair, jun., do.; Mrs Gibson, Quoys; Mr John Kirkness, Quoyostray; Mr John Craigie, Deithe; Mr William Inkster, Cogar; Mrs H. Craigie, Turbitail, &c., &c. The examination commenced shortly after 12 o’clock, and was conducted chiefly by Mr Stuart, and was continued with unabated interest till 5pm. At the close, Mr Stuart expressed his entire satisfaction with the appearance made by the various classes. Through the kindness of Mrs Rose (who was unavoidably absent), a large number of prizes, in the shape of tastefully-bound books, was distributed by Mr Stuart to the most deserving scholars, as follows: –
Junior Reading Class: Hugh Inkster, Cogar. Second Reading Class: 1 – James Inkster. 2 – A. R. Reid. Third Reading Class: 1 – Margaret Craigie, Greysteen. 2 – Lydia Craigie, Turbitail. Fourth Reading Class. (highest.): 1 – Elizabeth Craigie, Cogar. 2 – Magnus Craigie, Falquoy. English Grammar. (junior.): Lydia Craigie, Turbitail. English Grammar. (senior. ): 1 – Magnus Craigie, Falquoy. 2 – James Sinclair, Stennisgorn. Arithmetic. (senior.): 1 – James Sinclair. 2 – Elizabeth Craigie, Cogar. Writing. (boys.): 1 – James Sinclair. 2 – John Craigie, Cogar. Writing. (girls.): 1 – Margaret McKinlay, Deithe. 2 – Janet Marwick, Whitemeadows. Mental Arithmetic: 1 – Elizabeth Craigie, Cogar. 2 – James Sinclair, Stennisgorn. Geography: 1 – John Kirkness, Grain. 2 – Robert Logie, Old School. Bible knowledge: Elizabeth Craigie, Cogar.
For the Dymock Bible prize there appeared six candidates. The examination was conducted in written questions and answers. The result showed an unusually high degree of proficiency. After a keen competition, the prize was awarded to Elizabeth Craigie, Cogar. In consideration of special merit, a prize was given by Mr Rose to Margaret McKinlay, who stood second. A vote of thanks was given to Mrs Rose for her kindness and consideration.
Letters to the Editor.
Kirkwall, April 2d, 1870.
Sir, – Would any of your readers give me, through the columns of the Herald, authentic information regarding the exodus of the families who formerly inhabited Enhallow. It is reported that an epidemic so terrified them that they not only left the dead unburied, but also forsook the infected and dying. Any information, or hints as to where such information could be procured, will be very acceptable. – I am. &c., P.
1870 April 12 Orkney Herald
Letters to the Editor.
SIR, – In reply to your correspondent “P.,” the inhabitants of Enhallow did not leave that island in the way reported. They were not “terrified from it by an epidemic,” and, consequently did not leave “the dead unburied, nor forsake the infected and dying.”
For a considerable period there were four families who resided on Enhallow. Each left the island at different periods, and all apparently with one object, viz., to better their condition in life, and to have more intercourse with their fellow-men. The first family who left did so, I believe, at the request of friends who did not wish them to remain in such an isolated, out-of-the-way place. Of the next two families who left, one of them emigrated to Kirkwall; the head of the other fell in love with a woman in Rousay, and went to share her joys and sorrows. It was then inhabited for a short period by the remaining family, who, after a short time, finding they could not get their children educated, and feeling perhaps a little at the loneliness of their position, they also decided on looking for more congenial quarters.
The epidemic referred to by your correspondent was fever, and carried off some seven or eight individuals, but it was several years previous to the people leaving the island. I may mention that it was not the custom to bury the dead on the island, the church-yards in Rousay or Evie being used for that purpose. This custom, however, has only been introduced of late, as a good many graves are to be seen on the island.
Enhallow in the summer season is a beautiful and fertile spot, is healthy for the most of animals, rats and cats excepted, and would make one fine farm, or a lovely summer retreat for an individual who loved solitude. – I am, &c., S.
1870 April 19 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – A FRUIT SOIREE was held in the Free Church here on the evening of Wednesday week. There was a large attendance of people from all parts of the island – many even from the neighbouring islands of Weir and Egilshay. The services commenced at half-past seven o’clock by the choir, under the leadership of Mr Leonard, singing the 100th Psalm. After prayer, the Chairman – Rev. Mr Rose, pastor of the congregation – rose, and spoke on the nature and uses of social meetings. The Rev. John McLellan, of the U.P. Church, then delivered an excellent address on the power of habit, concluding by giving some suitable counsels to the young. The Rev. Mr Roy, of Firth, delivered an able and telling speech on “Lighthouses and their Lessons,” which was listened to with deep attention. During the evening the choir sang several pieces of sacred music, to which Mrs Rose, who presided at the harmonium, played the accompaniments. An abundant supply of fruit and cake was served to the company by Messrs Thomas R. Reid, George Reid, John S. Craigie, and John McLellan, who acted as stewards. After spending a very pleasant evening, the meeting separated about 10 o’clock, after the benediction had been pronounced by Mr McLellan.
FARMING OPERATIONS. – The late dry weather is allowing our farmers to get their out-door operations rapidly pushed forward.
1870 April 26 Orkney Herald
VOLUNTEER REVIEW. – We understand the Annual Inspection and Review of the 1st Administrative Brigade, Orkney Artillery Volunteers, is to take place on Tuesday the 24th May next, when Colonel McKay, Colonel Burroughs, and Adjutant Lee are expected to be present. We believe Colonel Burroughs intends shortly to take up his residence upon his estate in Rousay, when it is hoped he will be installed Colonel of the Orkney Brigade. To have a thorough soldier – one who like the gallant Colonel has won so many laurels on well-fought fields – as a commanding officer would be of immense advantage to the Brigade.
1870 May 3 Orkney Herald
THE WEATHER during the past week has been exceedingly cold. On Sunday and yesterday the wind blew a perfect storm from the North, accompanied by showers of sleet and snow. A continuance of such ungenial weather will be most prejudicial to the young grass and braird.
EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY HONOURS. – In our notice of the names of those belonging to the county who won distinction at the University, we inadvertently omitted the name of Mr William M. Craigie, Wasbister, Rousay, who stood second in the order of merit both in the Junior Greek and Junior Latin Classes. It was his first session, and the position which he has acquired is most creditable to himself, and also to his teacher, Mr Bruce. We are glad to learn that Mr Craigie is a young man of decided talent, and gives promise, if spared, by diligence and perseverance, of a distinguished career. It is very gratifying to observe the number of young men from this county who have more or less distinguished themselves in the different departments of study during the last session.
[William Marwick Craigie, was the son of William Craigie and Margaret Inkster of Cogar, later Old School],
1870 May 24 Orkney Herald
VOLUNTEER REVIEW. – The annual review of the 1st Administrative Brigade of Orkney Artillery Volunteers takes place today. The programme of the proceedings appeared in the Herald of last week. We regret – and we are sure the Brigade will do so likewise – that Colonel Burroughs, who was expected to take part in the proceedings, has been detained at the head-quarters of his regiment. A large party of civilians have been invited to dine with the officers after the review.
[The proper reason for the gallant Colonels’ absence from the occasion appears below!]
1870 June 14 Orkney Herald
The weather during the past week has been exceedingly cold; the wind blowing fresh from the north and north-west, with occasional showers of sleet and snow. In some districts shallow standing water was at sunrise covered with a sheet of frost. Notwithstanding these untoward circumstances the crops continued to look well. The refreshing showers, however, which fell on Sabbath evening has vastly improved their appearance.
PHOTOGRAPHY. – From an announcement in our advertising columns, it will be seen that Mr Thomas Muir, who has devoted several years to the study and practise of photography, in some of the best establishments in the south, has opened the Studio in Palace Street [Kirkwall] lately occupied by Mr W. Flett, where he intends practising the art. We have seen several portraits recently taken by him, and which were all equal to the generality of those taken in Edinburgh and the south.
MARRIAGES. – At St Peter’s Church, Edinburgh, the 4th inst., by the Rev. J. A. Sellar, Incumbent, assisted by the Rev. J. S. S. Lillie, Frederick William Traill Burroughs, Esq. of Rousay, J.P., D.L., Colonel and Lieut.-Colonel, 93d Sutherland Highlanders, son of Major-General F. W. Burroughs, to Eliza D’Oyly, youngest daughter of Colonel William Geddes, C.B. (late Bengal Artillery), D.L., J.P.
1870 June 21 Orkney Herald
At the marriage of Colonel Burroughs, of Rousay, we understand the bride wore a very beautiful gold bracelet, set with pearl, turquoise, and cornelian, presented to her by the tenants’ wives and other ladies of Rousay and Weir, as a token of the esteem in which they hold their much-respected landlord. The wedding-presents were numerous and magnificent, and among them articles of great beauty and value.
1870 July 12 Orkney Herald
PLEASURE TRIP. – We understand Captain Robertson contemplates running the “Orcadia” to Rousay with a party of excursionists, landing them at one side of the island and taking them on board again at the other. We believe this to be the most popular route which could have been selected.
1870 July 26 Orkney Herald
There were a very large number of passengers by the “St Magnus” on Saturday, among whom were Colonel and Mrs Burroughs, who proceeded to Binscarth the same afternoon.
HOLIDAY EXCURSION TO ROUSAY. – On the morning of Friday last, the s.s. “Orcadia,” freighted with a goodly company of pleasure-seekers, left Kirkwall Harbour at ten o’clock for Rousay. The morning was somewhat cloudy, but the barometer prognosticated a fine day, and, consequently, all were in the highest spirits anxious to secure the greatest amount of enjoyment possible. As most of the excursionists contemplated spending the day among the hills, due attention had been paid to the commissariat. Gentlemen whose game-bags and fishing-baskets were stuffed with eatables and drinkables hoped to have these replaced by rabbits and trout ere they embarked on the return voyage; nor were they disappointed. The island abounds in game, the fine lochs swarm with trout, and the farmers will doubtless for the next fortnight duly repeat a paternoster for the benefit of the kind souls who reduced those pests – the rabbits – by so many dozen on Friday last. In sailing out the bay there was little to attract attention. As we opened Damsay Sound, the mansion house of Binscarth, with the village of Finstown picturesquely situated between the hill came into view. Balfour Castle, pleasantly placed amid a miniature forest, with fine green lawn in front, next attracted attention; and as our smart little boat steamed between Rendall and Gairsay, we observed the ruins of an ancient palace, in which perchance in days gone by the youth and beauty of the north have often met to celebrate the Yule feast. In the twelfth century, Gairsay was the residence of Olaf, the renowned Viking, and his wife Asleif, by whom he had a daughter and three sons, Vallthiof, Gunn, and Swein. The second son was the ancestor of all the Caithness and Orkney Gunn’s, while the youngest – Swein – was the most daring sea-rover of his day. The summer months he devoted to practical expeditions, and the winter to those Jol-feasts, which continued to be held long after the days of the Vikings were ended. To Swein belongs the honour – if such it can be designated – of surprising the city of Dublin, and carrying off all the Aidermen prisoners.
A few minutes after passing Gairsay, we dropped anchor at Westness. But short time was spent in landing the passengers, who no sooner reached terra firma than in parties of twos, threes, and half-dozens, they wandered off in all directions. Rousay is undoubtedly one of the most romantic islands in the group; second only to Hoy. The hills, rising to an altitude of 1100 feet, give it a most imposing appearance. In no part of the island is there anything approaching a level plain. From the sea shore the hills commence to rise, and though for probably on an average of a mile all round the acclivity is not such as to prevent farming operations being conducted in the usual manner, and with the most approved implements of husbandry, yet after this strip of green well-cultivated land has been passed, the hills rise terrace above terrace – in some places so steep that travellers may climb rather than walk to their summits. Standing upon the Cairn of Blotching-field – the highest peak in the island – an excellent view of the whole northern group is obtained. Far in the distance is Kirkwall, and its ancient Cathedral; to the south-west Wideford, the Orphir, and the Hoy hills seem to form one range – an impassable bulwark against the advance of western foes. The plains of Sandwick, Harray, and Birsay; the dark lands of Firth, and the green fields of Rendall and Evie, with the ships and boats sailing through the firths and bays, make a beautiful and romantic panorama. Dimly rising above the sea level, and, on account of the distance somewhat indistinctly traced, is Foula; while as a mist-cloud rises upon the summer’s breeze, Fair Isle looms aloft like a phantom of air. North Ronaldshay, Sanday, Eday, and Westray, stretch out in all their varied beauty – green fields intermingling with the dark heath-clad hills. Passing through and over peat-bogs, and hills, and dales innumerable, around and between lakes many feet above the sea level, we at length descended to the road which encircles the island. A short walk brought us to Westness House, built, it is supposed, on the site once occupied by the dwelling of the celebrated Jarl Sigurd. Westness House, now the residence of Colonel Burroughs, the proprietor of the island, is most picturesquely situated on the slope of the hill in the midst of a cluster of trees, planted several years ago by the late Mr Traill of Woodwick.
The west and north sides of the island are far the most romantic. A short distance from Westness is Sweinrow, where Jarl Paul is supposed to have been captured by Swein, the son of Asleif. Paul, hearing that his rival, Jarl Ronald, had arrived from Norway, fled to Rousay hoping to receive protection and assistance from Sigurd. He was hiding in one of the caves in Scabro Head, when Swein, in a war-galley, entered the sound. Paul’s hiding-place was soon discovered, and a desperate fight between his followers and those of Swein ended by the retainers of the former being all slain, while Jarl Paul himself was captured and carried prisoner to Morayshire. The grave mounds of those killed are still to be seen near to the sea shore. About the same locality are a couple of those mounds commonly designated Picts’ houses, or Broughs. One of them having been partially explored, we were able to enter what seemed to be the principal apartment, from which there were at least two entrances to other passages or chambers, but from neither of which the earth and other debris had been cleared. A short distance farther on are the Sinians of Cutclaws – sea-caves which penetrate in some cases several hundred yards up through the land, terminating in large circular openings in the level ground, hundreds of feet in depth, and into which the sea, through these subterranean caves, surges with a hollow boom. The west side also boasts of the highest precipices. Hell’s Point, or Hallyea-Spur, is a mural precipice extending, we believe, to upwards of a mile in length, and nearly 500 feet in height. At the same range of cliffs is what is known as “the Lobist,” a huge stack, or colossal pillar of rock, on a level with, but detached from the land by a chasm several yards in width. This rock, as well as the crags all around, are constantly covered with immense flocks of sea birds, each different species retaining their own particular part of the rock. The young were all able to fly, else, a most intelligent friend – who kindly accompanied us around the island and pointed out the “lions” – informed us it would not have been safe to have ventured near the place, the sea-gulls who hatch their young at the summit of the precipice being valiant defenders of what undoubtedly they deem their “Vaterland.” The Kilns of Brimnovan are also well worth a visit. These consist of a number of natural arches and caves, worn by the ceaseless motion of the waves. Some of the caves are of colossal proportions, sufficient to permit an ordinary fishing boat to pass underneath, in full sail. The sea caves here, as in other parts of the island, run long distances up into the land. In many instances the length of the caves have never been explored. Some are inhabited by the rock pigeon and the cormorant, while in others the seal finds a safe and secure retreat. Here every shelf of rock is covered by thousands of sea fowls, whose ceaseless movements and incessant cries startle and bewilder the beholder. One of the prettiest spots in the whole island is the Loch of Wasbister, noted for the excellence and abundance of its trout. In the centre of the loch is a small island covered with trees – a very oasis in the “waste of waters,” and a safe hatching-place for the teal and the eider duck. While passing along there was pointed out to us the huge stone slab which the giant Cubberow threw from the Fitty Hill of Westray at a person who had done him some injury! The marks of his fingers are still to be seen on the stone! and if any of our readers are inclined to doubt the fact of their being “giants in those days,” we recommend them to examine this monolith, and be no longer “faithless!!”
In point of agriculture, the island seems fully abreast of some of its neighbours. There are numerous excellent steadings, with thrashing-mills attached, and surrounded by splendid crops of grain and turnips. Flocks of fine sheep pasture in ample fields adjoining the farms, as well as on the common. We believe that, taken as a whole, Rousay will favourably compare with any island in the group. The various trades and professions are amply represented, there being no fewer than a dozen joiners, ten shoemakers, three tailors, one mill-wright, one clock-cleaner, and one tinsmith. There are three professors of the birch; while theology is duly promulgated by three clergymen, belonging one to each of the Established, Free, and United Presbyterian Churches.
Having made the circuit of the island, we arrived at Sourin, where the steamer was waiting to take us to Kirkwall. Across the sound, was the ruins of St Magnus Church on the island of Egilshay – a church built possibly to commemorate the Jarl of the name who, centuries ago, was foully murdered in the island, and who was subsequently elevated to a niche in the calendar of Orcadian saints.
After a short delay, all were safely got on board, the whistle sounded, and our good ship was once more under weigh for Kirkwall. Several members of the Choral Union being among the excursionists, a glee party was got up, which in no small degree contributed to the pleasure of the voyage home. The day had throughout continued beautiful, and the whole party were safely landed at Kirkwall quay about nine o’clock. The whole arrangements connected with the excursion were made by Captain Robertson with much care and excellent discrimination, and nothing transpired to mar the harmony of the “happy family.” All returned home highly delighted with one of the most successful holiday excursions ever enjoyed by Orcadians.
1870 August 2 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – ARRIVAL OF COLONEL AND MRS BURROUGHS. – When it became known to the inhabitants of Rousay and Weir that Colonel Burroughs had arrived in Orkney, there was a strong desire manifested by all the tenants on his estate to have an opportunity of meeting and welcoming their landlord and his lady on their arrival in Rousay. This feeling was the more general on account of this being the first occasion upon which Mrs Burroughs has visited Orkney. During the early part of the week the one great subject of talk in the islands was the arrival of the laird and his lady. It soon became known that Thursday was the day on which they were expected to arrive; and consequently at an early hour of that day groups of farmers might be seen wending their way, from all parts of the island, in the direction of Westness; while those from Weir, who had crossed the sound from that island, were also moving to the same destination. At Westness House everything wore a holiday aspect, and it was quite apparent that an event of more than ordinary interest was near. The flagstaffs, both at the house and the shore, were covered with flags; and on the grassy slope surrounding the mansion-house the assembled tenants were squatted in groups. On the road from the landing-place a triumphal arch had been erected, bearing the appropriate motto, “Welcome,” in large characters. A profuse display of bunting was also floating from the flagstaffs at the houses of Hullion and Corse, so that the island in all directions wore quite a gala-day appearance. About half-past one o’clock all eyes were directed to the opposite shore of Evie, from which the party were expected to arrive. Ere long the boat, with colours flying, was observed to leave the shore; and, with a favourable breeze, was speedily alongside the pier of Westness. Directly the gallant colonel and his lady touched the island, they were received with three hearty cheers by the crowd who had by this time assembled at the place of landing. Having arrived at the lawn opposite the entrance to the grounds, and all present having been introduced to the Colonel and his lady, Mr John Gibson, Langskaill, was requested to read the following address of welcome and congratulation:-
“COLONEL AND MRS BURROUGHS, – We, representing the whole tenantry of the islands of Rousay and Weir, have this day the greatest pleasure in welcoming Colonel Frederick William Traill Burroughs to his island home. This we now do most cordially; and, if possible, the more so as he brings with him a lady regarding whom we have already heard good reports as being well fitted to aid and encourage him in every good work, and one in whose presence we shall only add if she were not good, her looks would not tell truth. Colonel and Mrs Burroughs, we bid you a hearty welcome.
“No connection betwixt man and man ought to be more carefully guarded than that betwixt landlord and tenant, and every good man who loves his country should do what in him lies to cement that tie, and to continue what in troublous time has formed the strength of the nation – that union and co-obligation of classes which made a brotherhood of all claiming the same country – landlord and tenant standing back to back and facing the enemy at all points.
“Sir, we have now but kind and gracious remembrances of you, of your late uncle Mr Traill, and of his connections, the worthy and loved family who formerly owned and occupied Westness; and we hope to prove to you in the good management of our farms, and fulfilment of our obligations, that we are not unworthy of a good landlord. At all events, we shall do our best. We may now hope, after the gallant course you have so long pursued as a soldier in the service of your country, and the many perils through which you have passed, that you will be allowed a time to rest in this your retirement; and that, accompanied by your amiable and beautiful lady, you shall once more go out and in amongst us to direct us by your advice, and to cheer us by your approval.
“You will see that we have not been idle since you last visited Rousay, and that while you were fighting your country’s enemies on the hills of the Crimea, and in the unhealthy jungles of India, we, too, have been fighting against a rugged soil and an uncertain climate, endeavouring to make two blades of grass grow on your islands where one, or rather none, grew before.
“We beg once more to assure Mrs Burroughs and yourself of the sincere happiness it gives all your tenants, and, indeed, all the residents in Rousay and Weir, to welcome you both to your home of Westness; and we pray the Almighty to bless you there and elsewhere, and to make you a blessing.”
Colonel Burroughs briefly replied, thanking them for the honour done Mrs Burroughs and himself, and expressing the hope that he would be able to see them all personally at their own farms. He concluded by requesting their presence inside the house, where refreshments would be served. Shortly afterwards, all returned home, highly gratified at seeing their respected landlord once more among them, and delighted that he had taken along with him his amiable and accomplished lady.
1870 August 10 Orkney Herald
THE WEATHER. – During the past week the weather has been exceedingly hot. Yesterday the thermometer stood at 75 deg. in the shade, and 110 deg. in the sun – probably the highest reading for twenty years.
1870 August 17 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – DINNER TO COLONEL BURROUGHS. – On Friday last, the tenants of Rousay and Veira entertained their landlord, Colonel Burroughs, and his lady, at dinner in the large barn of Westness farm, which was gaily decorated with flowers and evergreens. About fifty sat down to dinner besides the guests, including Colonel, and Mrs, and Miss Burroughs; Mr Charles Dépeyson Burroughs, and two other gentlemen visitors at Westness; Dr Logie, Kirkwall; Mr Scarth of Binscarth; Mr James C. Scarth, Scar House, Sanday; the Rev. Messrs Gardner and Rose; and Messrs Mackay and Reid, schoolmasters.
The tenants having requested Mr Scarth to take the chair, the company sat down to a substantial and well-served dinner at 4 o’clock, and seldom has a company spent a more pleasant evening. After dinner, the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given, and heartily responded to.
The Chairman then gave the toast of the evening on the part of all the tenants of Rousay and Veira (many of the smaller tenants were unavoidably absent at the fishing in Stronsay). “The warmest and heartiest welcome, and long life, health, and happiness to Colonel and Mrs Burroughs;” making a few well-timed remarks on the importance of such kindly meetings as the present, the happy connection upon grounds of mutual interest and mutual respect existing betwixt Colonel Burroughs and his tenantry, the amiability of his character; his gallant, long, and arduous services to his Queen and country; the rejoicings of the tenantry on learning that on his return from India with his gallant regiment, the 93d, he was to marry and settle down amongst them; the hearty welcome they had given to him and his amiable lady on their landing; and their spontaneous desire, so admirably carried out, of having a social meeting with them both, as on this happy occasion. The Chairman said it gave him the greatest pleasure to be their spokesman on this occasion, although he was very unable to do justice to such a toast; which was then drunk with all the honours, three times three cheers, and three cheers additional for Mrs Burroughs.
Colonel Burroughs, in returning thanks, said – Gentlemen, I beg to thank you for your very kindly welcome to my wife and myself – to my wife on her first appearance amongst you, and to me on my return home after an absence of eleven years. I thank, through you, the Ladies of Rousay and Veira for the very handsome wedding-present they were so kind and thoughtful as to send my wife. Handsome as the gift is, it is of far more value to us as showing the interest you take in all concerning us, and that you sympathise with us in our joys and sorrows. I trust that this kindly feeling may ever continue amongst us. Reference has been made to the connection between landlord and tenant. I think I need not reassure you how fully I reciprocate the sentiments you have so well expressed. It is, whatever popular agitators may say or write to the contrary, to the mutual interest of landlord and tenant to keep on the friendliest terms; and it is to our mutual good, happiness, and comfort, that we should pull well together; and this, I believe, is to be best effected by our reciprocally and ungrudgingly performing the duties and obligations devolving upon each of us. In addressing you at a similar meeting the last time I was at home, I pointed out to you all that had come under my observation in my excursions through the islands. You will perhaps be glad to hear what I think of the changes that have since taken place. You may perhaps remember that I expressed hopes of some day seeing a good road round the island, and to see many a gig rattling over it; to see your farms and fields scientifically squared, and cultivated to the latest improved system of agriculture; to see a better style of houses enlivened by flowers, and shrubs, and trees about them. All this I now see in a great measure fulfilled. We have now an excellent road round Rousay. I hope there will soon be one through Veira; and I hope ere long we shall have good roads of access to those districts of Rousay that may require, such as from Scockness, from Saviskaill, and through the hills from Westness to Sourin, past the Free Kirk. I hope, too, that the long-talked-of pier will soon be a reality. I see a very great improvement in the system of farming. Not to see a well-squared and well-drained field is now, I am very glad to say, an exception amongst us. This clearly proves that all – even those who were most difficult to be persuaded – are coming round to see that it is to their own advantage to cultivate their land in an orderly, careful, and scientific manner. Much dyking and enclosing has, I am glad to see, been done by many here present; and, if you ask them, I think they will tell you they are not losers thereby. In other cases, I am sorry to see dykes left in the same unfinished state they were in when I was last here – just where the landlord’s allowance per lease ceased – and some of these on exposed bits of land, requiring all the shelter procurable, and the completion of which dykes (had they been immediately completed) would ere now have handsomely repaid their erection, by the amount of cattle and crop they would have sheltered and saved. Their non-completion, I think those concerned will admit, has been short-sighted policy on their part. I am very glad to see the improvement that has taken place in house-building and house-keeping; to see, even in some of the lowliest cots, the neatly-kept, clean, and comfortable chambers, with their plastered roofs, papered walls, and deal floors; to see clean and comfortable fire-places and grates, and in some cases (especially Veira) to find the latest patent cooking-stoves and ranges in the kitchens of the houses. The peat fire in the centre of the floor of a house, with merely a hole in the roof above by way of a chimney, once so common in the northern counties, is now, I am glad to see, consigned to the past amongst us. I am glad to see this because, irrespective of the darkness, dirt, and discomfort it engendered, I believe it did much towards increasing the illness and complaints of the sickly. Mrs Burroughs has been very pleased to see the pretty flowers in the windows of many houses we have visited, and to see the well-kept gardens, shrubs, and trees around them; and she begs me to say how happy she will be to assist you all, so far as in her power, by giving you cuttings or seeds from the gardens of Westness. Considering how far behind, agriculturally, Orkney was to the rest of Britain some thirty years ago, it is astonishing to see the progress the county has lately made, and, indeed, is yearly making. It strikes me, perhaps, more, who have been so long absent, than it does you who have remained on the spot. Much has been done, but there yet remains plenty for us to do; and I do not despair of living to see it all done. And of seeing Orkney equal to most counties of Great Britain; and I do not assert this wildly, but with forethought, for I have just returned from a long journey through France, Belgium, Prussia, Austria, and Southern Germany, and through England and Scotland; and I have seen everywhere, excepting, perhaps, in Scotland, a good deal worse farming than is to be seen on any properly-cultivated farm in Orkney, and I have seen farms in Orkney as well and carefully cultivated, and as productive of their kind as any elsewhere. I may notice this very farm of Westness as an instance; and I can vouch for its productiveness by the balance of cash it yearly returns me, under Mr Learmonth’s skilful cultivation; and what has been done by some may be done by others. I desire here, before you all, to thank Mr Scarth for his judicious and careful management of my estate. By his advice, a considerable part of my rental has yearly been devoted to the improvement of my estate; and it has produced good fruit. The admirable system of letting farms, initiated by him, has worked fairly and advantageously for both landlord and tenant. It has secured to the industrious farmer, in peace, and comfort, and perfect security, a sure return for his outlay of labour and capital; whilst the equal and fixed seven years’ rises of rent point out any tenants who prefer idleness to industry, and standing still to progressing. I beg to thank you all for this very handsome entertainment. I hope, before I leave Rousay, to see you all here again, and that you will then bring your wives and daughters and sons with you; and I hope, before very long, that Mrs Burroughs and I will be permanently settled in Rousay, and that we may then have many such meetings. Again I beg to thank you most cordially. (Loud applause.)
Amongst the subsequent toasts were the Church of Scotland, and the other churches and clergymen of Rousay, responded to by the Rev. Messrs Gardner and Rose, the Chairman reading the following letter from the much respected minister of the United Presbyterian Church, whose unavoidable absence, and its cause, were much regretted:-
U.P. Manse, Rousay, 12th Aug. 1870.
To the Chairman of Committee for arranging the public dinner to be given to Col. Burroughs.
MY DEAR SIR, – In consequence of slight indisposition, I feel that I cannot avail myself of your kind invitation to the dinner in honour of your esteemed proprietor. Most heartily do I join with the tenants in their expressions of goodwill to the gallant Colonel, and hope that he and his amiable lady may be long spared to countenance and encourage you in your labours of honest industry. – I am, with much respect, yours very sincerely, JOHN McLELLAN.
Many toasts and speeches followed. On “Schools and Education” being given, Mr Thomas Balfour Reid, teacher of the General Assembly’s School, Sourin, responded by reading the following poetical address:-
A voice of loud cheering is heard on our shore,
Again ‘tis renewed, yet, once more and once more,
And flags are all flying, from turret and tower,
And words of glad welcome, are spoke in that hour.
Why flutter these flags, and why cheer so high?
Our landlord long absent, to his home draweth nigh,
Nor hither alone is he wending his way,
But with him his lady, so lively and gay,
As gentle and peerless, as a flower in May,
Ah! How short is the time, since thus we met here,
To welcome him home with her he holds dear;
Ah! How short is the time till again he must go,
How brief is our joy, but how lengthened our woe.
We rejoiced at his coming and hoped he would stay,
But fate adverse fate says he must away;
His absence before filled our hearts oft with dread,
Lest the demons of war near his footsteps might tread;
Lest the Sepoy so subtle might unfaithful prove,
And treacherously smite in return for his love.
I am pained by these thoughts so expressive of sadness
When at present we ought to be roused into gladness,
He is here in our midst, in the full glow of health,
(A blessing which cannot be purchased by wealth),
And his beautiful bride, who has won every heart:
By so kindly, so courteously, acting her part –
Her name we will cherish, until she return,
And the briefer her absence, the shorter we’ll mourn.
Our exteriors are rough, and our manners are rude,
But our hearts are all right, be that understood,
And she understood; nor did she expect
Courtly breeding; oft no proof of respect,
But respect is too cold, we love her, that’s ended;
The Colonel must hear it, and not be offended.
Yet still though we now are so joyous of heart,
All fear from our mirth, we never can part,
For Europe in arms, is tidings so dire,
We cannot foretell, what may therefrom transpire,
Though now for a season, Ah! How very protracted,
We must joyful be, even when, we’re dejected,
At the thought that again how soon he must go,
To marshal his troops, perhaps, combat the foe;
But go if he should, mid the cannon’s loud rattle,
Though we cannot protect – our God rules the battle –
And though spearmen, nor lancers, nor soldiers are we,
To help in his need, if needing was he,
Yet we, to a throne of grace can repair,
That God, who has guided his steps every day,
May guide, and protect him for ever and aye.
I am sure you are wearied, and indeed it’s no wonder,
You have listened with patience, to many a blunder,
For your patience my best thanks are certainly due;
Let me ask you to pardon my blundering too;
But yet I’m not done, I’ve a toast to propose,
That was the main object for which I arose;
Let your glasses be charged, fill, fill, to the brim,
If any neglect, drink dishonour to him;
To our noble guest, and his lovely young bride,
May they soon return, not to visit but reside,
Then with all the honours pledge ye your laird,
If ye for yourselves, have any regard,
And if ye wish here, to be honoured thro’ life,
Show no less respect, for his handsome young wife.
The “Tenantry of Rousay and Veira” was next proposed, coupled with the name of Mr John Gibson. In replying,
Mr Gibson said he was much better accustomed to hard-work than public speaking, and wished the duty of returning thanks for the “Tenantry” had fallen upon one better able to discharge the duty. About forty-nine years ago, the first turnips were sown in the fields of Rousay, and about twenty-five years ago a more improved system of farming, with a regular rotation of crops, was begun and carried on, and the agriculture of the island has thereby been greatly improved. There was, however, still much to do. He hoped with the assistance of Colonel Burroughs that a small Agricultural Society would be started in the island, when ploughing matches could be got up thereby, infusing more spirit into the ploughmen. Another improvement greatly needed in the island was a doctor. In winter it sometimes was impossible to get aid from Kirkwall. Dr Logie visited the island occasionally, and at any time when he found it necessary to call upon that gentleman, he always found him very obliging and kind. The Chairman had complemented the tenants on not being due Colonel Burroughs or him one sixpence. He (Mr Gibson) thought the tenants must congratulate the Colonel upon having so excellent a factor, since it was owing to his good plans and wise counsel that the tenants were enabled to pay their rents with so much regularity. Should any one chance to be a little in arrears, the factor gives him a gentle hint. Though the soil of Rousay is very rugged and hard to cultivate, he hoped the day was not far distant when every available spot in the island would be improved.
Dr Logie proposed the health of Miss Burroughs, to which Mr C. Burroughs replied, thanking the company for the cordial manner in which they had drunk his sister’s health.
The toasts of “The oldest tenants,” coupled with the names of Mr Malcolm Corsie, Nears, and Mr Robert Sinclair, Swandale, which was duly acknowledged; and of “The youngest tenants,” coupled with the name of Mr Gibson, Langskaill, and Mr Marwick. The health of Mr Learmonth was also proposed and duly responded to.
After many other toasts, which produced instructive and humorous speeches and replies, had been given, Mr Sinclair proposed the health of the Chairman, whom he described as a hard, very hard man, not to be driven from his purpose either by threats or soft sawder, acknowledging, at the same time, his honesty in act and deed, always keeping his promise, though charry of making one; and adding that somehow there was luck under him, as every man found means of paying his rents.
The Chairman replied that he preferred leaving the amiable part to the landlord; but he was happy to be able to say, that although he had often helped struggling tenants by small loans for which he never charged a penny of interest, there was not at that moment ten shillings due either to the landlord or to himself by all the tenants on the Estate. He could conceive no greater cruelty than to allow a tenant to fall into arrears of rent, and be handed over to the lawyers.
The health of Dr Traill of Woodwick and his family was next given, with not a few reminiscences of what the island and people of Rousay owed to his father and uncle, who long resided amongst them.
Mr John Gibson proposed the health of Mr George Scarth, who had taken so much trouble in making the necessary arrangements for the dinner.
Mr Scarth, in returning thanks for the cordial manner in which his health has been responded to by the company, said he felt assured he only expressed the feelings of all the committee of management, as well as his own, when he said that the little exertion they had to make was really no trouble, but a great pleasure, and more than compensated for by the success of the meeting, as also the kind and friendly way in which the Colonel and his lady had met and visited all the tenants upon his estate.
After the whole company had sung some appropriate verses of “Auld Lang Syne,” the meeting separated, every one highly delighted with the success of the entertainment, and the admirable management of the stewards.
1870 August 31 Orkney Herald
THE NEW GUN LICENCE. – We have to remind those of our readers who are in the habit of carrying guns that the new duty of 10s per year for permission “to use or carry a gun in the United Kingdom” falls to be paid tomorrow. Where a gun is carried by two or more persons in company, each and every one shall be deemed to “carry the gun,” and be liable in the duty.
We understand that Colonel Burroughs has resolved to take steps to prevent the interesting remains of an ancient chapel in the island of Weir from going to utter ruin, to which it appears to be fast hastening, and is also to prevent the removal by the tenants on the same island of the remains of the old castle of “Cubbie-Row,” which was anciently the stronghold of one of the formidable Orkneyan Vikings.
1870 September 14 Orkney Herald
THE NEW HALFPENNY POSTAGE STAMP. – In addition to the large stores of the halfpenny stamp already deposited in the General Post Office here, for distribution among the sub-post offices on the 1st October next, when the stamp will come into full operation, the Post Office authorities have considerately sent to all the post-masters single stamps cancelled with the word “specimen,” for the purpose of being exhibited. Although no sales can be made until the first proximo, we understand that a brisk competition has set in for purchases, the quantities already recorded being in hundreds and thousands. The money to be invested being only 4s 2d per hundred, private individuals and business firms will no doubt continue to purchase to a large extent. One of the first commercial purposes to which these little “instruments” is to be applied is the announcement of a visit of a traveller at a particular place of business on a given day to take orders. The sender of such notice makes no secret of his programme, but rather courts publicity. These cards, however, are to have the privilege of letters, and no post office official can divulge or make public the script on them, so that semi-private notes may with all safety be transmitted on the cards, the extent of publicity being confined to the circle of the family or employers of the receiver. The Queen’s head, a neat border, royal arms, and instructions are quite pictorial and all in a lilac tincture. The novelty of the stamp bespeaks for it a large prospective circulation. Edinburgh Courant.
1870 September 21 Orkney Herald
HARVEST. – During the past week we have had occasional showers of rain, but not such as to retard harvest operations, which are now in almost every district far advanced. The crops in general are excellent, and the soft weather has vastly improved the turnip crops.
1870 September 28 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – On Thursday, the 22nd instant, Colonel Burroughs entertained the tenantry of Rousay and Viera to dinner at Westness. The day was one of the ﬁnest of this fine season; but there was evidence of a severe gale in the far Atlantic in the fringe of white foaming waves, which stretched, in a line outside Eynhallow, from Skeaburgh Head to Costa, and the roaring surge in the caves of the West Crags. The sun shone brightly, and the inner sounds were smooth as a mirror, reﬂecting the hills and headlands. Westness, always beautiful, looked its best on this day, giving a smiling welcome to the groups of gaily dressed people, who were seen descending the hills and filing through the glens on their way to it.
The splendid weather made some change in the arrangements for dinner, for which the barns had been seated. It was resolved to dine outside upon the grassy lawn which extends from the garden wall to the burn at the offices. Never was seen a more beautiful sight anywhere than the party of about 400 old and young men and women, seated in half circles upon the green slope, interspersed here and there with a group of beautiful girls, dressed in white muslins, with gay sashes and head dresses.
The Rev. Mr Gardner, minister of the parish, asked a blessing; and the Rev. Mr Rose, of the Free Church, returned thanks, each, in appropriate language, urging gratitude for the fine season, the bountiful harvest now secured, and the happy circumstances under which they were all met that day to enjoy the liberal hospitality of their landlord, who had returned to them after long and arduous labour in distant lands, and in the service of his Queen and country.
The dinner lasted from three to ﬁve o’clock, the bagpipes being played all the time, and thereafter the young people enjoyed themselves until sunset dancing on the green, while the elders and children had free access to the gardens; Colonel and Mrs Burroughs, and their friends, exerting themselves, and most successfully, to make all feel comfortable and to enjoy the day.
When the daylight was about done, the barns were lighted up and tea served round, and with three violins and the bagpipes, dancing was kept up in the three barns with great spirit until eleven o’clock, when all said good-night and returned to their homes pleased with their day’s enjoyment, and highly appreciating the urbanity and frank kindness of Colonel Burroughs and of his amiable lady, who has gained all hearts in Rousay. No wonder that all the tenants are delighted with the near prospect of their taking up their permanent residence on the island. Soon may the time arrive when we shall have no absentee proprietors in Orkney.
We understand that Colonel Burroughs left for Thurso on Monday, on his way to Dunrobin Castle, having an invitation from the Duke of Sutherland to spend some days there. Afterwards he returns to his regiment, the 93rd Highlanders, now quartered at Aberdeen, his leave of absence not extending beyond the present month.
We cannot close this record of a happy day in Rousay without a reference to the admirable way in which the details were managed by Mr Learmonth, Colonel Burroughs’ overseer in Westness farm, and the preparation of the dinner by Mrs Learmonth, and the waiting by the servants No one was neglected in all this numerous assemblage, and although there was an abundant supply of beer, ale, and even of toddy, not a single case of anything approaching to intemperance occurred ; while the demeanour of old and young was highly creditable to the islanders, and most have been gratifying to their clergymen who were present.
1870 October 5 Orkney Herald
NOTICE. – The Boat “REAPER” will early next month sail as a Packet between the East and West side of Rousay and Kirkwall, calling at Evie going and returning. The Boat will leave Rousay every Monday and Thursday. For further particulars apply to John Corsie. Mount Pleasant, Rousay.
THE WEATHER during the past week has been as fine as any in June; and, with the exception of the dark evenings, and frost during the nights, people could not desire better summer weather. Farmers, whose crops were not stacked before this return to summer, are afraid to do so now, as in numerous cases oats which had been a fortnight in the barn-yard, has had again to be carted to the field. There being no gales of wind to dry the sheaves, the slight moisture which they contained when built caused them in many cases to “take heat,” and farmers have not unfrequently had difficulty in preserving the crop.
1870 October 19 The Orcadian
MRS GOLDIE will be happy to receive at her residence, EAST ROAD, any WARM CLOTHING (viz., Worsted Socks, Comforters, Knitted Vests, &c.) for the soldiers and prisoners now suffering from the cruel war presently raging between France and Prussia. Anything that can be done to assist our suffering brethren, is requisite to be done without delay. This appeal is made by a Christian and benevolent lady, a native of Orkney, who takes a warm and lively interest in every good work of charity and mercy. Kirkwall, 18th October 1870.
[The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and later the Third French Republic, and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. – The German victory lead to the Treaty of Frankfurt, the fall of the Second French Empire, the Formation of the French Third Republic, and the beginning of Franco-German enmity.]
1870 October 26 The Orcadian
ROUSAY – THE weather during the harvest weeks has been very fine, and the crop was cut in excellent condition, but some of our farmers were too hurried in taking it into their stackyard, when the excessive heat, and the absence of a gale of wind, caused some of the oats to heat a little, causing it to be taken down; but this little trouble is more than compensated for by the good effect the warm weather has had on the turnips, which look to be a good crop. Potatoes are also a good crop, far above that of last year.
WE had a visit of Colonel Burroughs and his lady for a few weeks, during which time they visited every house in the island, and seemed to take a deep interest in the welfare of the tenantry. The Colonel seemed highly satisfied with the improvements made on his island during the past ten years, and has complimented his tenants that in many cases they have done beyond his expectations.
EDUCATION IN ROUSAY.
To the Editor of the “Orkney Herald.”
Sir, – lf we are behind in any one thing more than another it is education. I do not mean the whole island, but one district (Wasbister in particular). At one time this year it was believed that something was to be done. The Moderator of the Deacons’ Court, knowing that the people were very dissatisfied, and hearing complaints from every quarter, met with some deacons and elders residing in the district in order to discover the real state of matters, and to make known the same to the teacher. After consultation, all parties agreed that the teacher should remain until Martinmas, and then leave; but matters continue as they were, and the people being thus deceived, are more dissatisfied than ever. I believe that one member of the Deacons’ Court is responsible for all, but I still hope to see him exercising his power (which in this case is little other than despotic) in the interests of education. – l am, &c. F.
Wasbister, Rousay, 22d Oct. 1870.
1870 November 9 Orkney Herald
EDUCATION IN ROUSAY – Free Church of Rousay, 31st October 1870. – At a full meeting of the Deacons’ Court – there being twelve members present – held in the above place, the following minute was unanimously adopted:-
“The attention of the Deacons’ Court was called to a letter which had appeared in one of the local newspapers (The Orkney Herald) of date 26th, animadverting strongly on the state of education in the district of Wasbister, and reflecting in somewhat bitter terms on the procedure of this Court and the Moderator thereof; charging them with deceiving the people and obstructing the progress of education in the district. The author of the said letter has not seen fit to adhibit his name, whilst presuming to make serious charges against men acting in the discharge of public duty, and they cannot but regard such conduct as a violation of Christian charity. They have all along in their official capacity as the local guardians of Education in Wasbister, endeavoured by every means in their power to promote the interests thereof intrusted to their care by their church, to whose constituted Superior Courts they are responsible for the due discharge of their duty; and they embrace this opportunity of rebutting the charges alleged against them as being wholly destitute of foundation, except in the imagination of the writer of the letter in question. Such charges, so made, they regard as highly offensive; and such animadversions as altogether uncalled for; indicating a bitterness of spirit very unkind, and opposed to all Christian charity.
“It was known to the Court that for some time past certain parties in the district were dissatisfied, for reasons best known to themselves, with the teacher, and the Court had tried to find out the causes of the dissatisfaction, in a quiet and private way, owing to the extreme difficulty and delicacy of the case. It did not appear that there was sufficient ground to take public action, as no complaint had been lodged in due form, and as the Court had reason to believe that the people generally were satisfied with him – some of them having privately expressed their strong attachment to him, and stating that they would consider it a hardship if they should lose his services.
“The Deacons’ Court think it due to Mr Bruce to state further, that never at any time has anything been alleged – even by those who are opposed to him – detrimental to his moral character in the slightest degree; but that, on the contrary, all the people, without exception so far as known to the Court, cherish feelings of the greatest respect towards him, and regard him as a man of quiet and modest behaviour, inoffensive kind and obliging in his manner, attentive to his duties, and noted for his integrity and uprightness.
“Further, the Deacons’ Court agreed unanimously to have this minute published, with a view, if possible, to put a stop to the offensive and painful course conduct pursued by the anonymous author the letter referred to, being firmly persuaded that such communications are calculated to do great injury to morality by tending to stir up and foment strife and discord in the district.”
1870 November 23 Orkney Herald
EDUCATION IN ROUSAY.
To the Editor of the “Orkney Herald.”
SIR, – I see in your last impression an account of a meeting of our Deacons’ Court, with the minute that was unanimously adopted at said meeting.
It would appear by the minute that the statements of my letter, which appeared in the Herald of 26th ult., are without foundation, and that the people generally are satisfied with the teacher. As a matter of fair play, I ask to be allowed to state that at the meeting referred to – which was a public one, including not only the congregation, but every one who was interested in the education of the district – there were eight individuals, or thereby, who attended from Wasbister; and of this number there was only one who was satisfied with the teacher, and, I believe, that he has no children attending the school.
It would appear by the minute that no complaint had been lodged in due form. I would ask in what form will the Court accept a complaint? Were there not parties at the meeting in question prepared to lodge complaints, and who were refused a hearing after having been invited there to do so? Have not some of the elders lodged complaints? Why, sir, the Court refused to accept of any complaint. Concerning my letter, I defy any one to contradict any statement in it.
Sir, it must be people who have no interest in the teacher who are so satisfied with him. With regard to the people being deceived, they were assuredly so, for they understood, and so did the office-bearers in the district, that the teacher was to leave at Martinmas, and all were not a little astonished when told that this was not to be.
That part of the minute which has been published, and the decision arrived at, is said to run counter; but hoping to see the minutes in full in next week’s Herald, and also a correct account of the meeting that has been so much commented on in Rousay. I am, &c., F.
[NOTE. – We have two letters on this subject, but unless the writers choose to adhibit their names to their communications, we cannot give them publicity. The decision arrived at by the meeting referred to in the foregoing letter, and published in our columns, bore simply to the decision, with some of the reasons influencing thereto; it did not profess to be a report of the proceedings. We may now say that the proper course to pursue is to lodge a complaint with the Presbytery. The columns of a newspaper, whatever these may be as regards a Parish School supported by national funds, are not the proper place in which to rectify abuses – should such exist – in the management of a Free Church School, whose managers, being accountable to the superior Courts of the Church, and these only, renders it as private as had it been the property of one individual. – Ed. O. H.]
1870 December 14 Orkney Herald
EDUCATION IN ROUSAY
To the Editor of the “Orkney Herald.”
SIR, – In the last impression of the Orkney Herald, I noticed a letter, signed “Neil P. Rose,” purporting to give an account of the meeting of the Rousay Free Church Deacons’ Court, which, as intimated, was open to everyone interested in the education of the district of Wasbister. Mr Rose states in this letter that a respectable elder of the United Presbyterian Church asked permission to make a statement. As there was no elder of the United Presbyterian Church present but myself, would you allow me space in your valuable paper to make a few observations on some of Mr Rose’s assertions. When I stood up and asked permission to make a statement, Mr Rose did not say that he was sorry it was not according to order to allow it, although this is what he would have the public to believe. The real facts are these. After the Court was constituted, the minutes of former meetings read, and the object of the present meeting stated, the Moderator said they were now prepared to hear any complaint or statement any party had to make, and sat down. He rose again, and stated that parties bringing forward a complaint against the teacher would need to be very guarded; it had to be against his moral character or his efficiency as a teacher; and after making a few other remarks, he again sat down. At this stage I stood up, and had scarcely said “Moderator,” when Mr Rose, in a very dignified tone, said, “You have no standing here. You are not a member of the Free Church. You will not be heard.” Then I was at the painful necessity of reminding him that this was in direct opposition to his statement “that the Court was prepared to hear any complaint or statement any party had to make.” I also said he was not the Court; he was only the Moderator; and it was not for him to decide whether I should get a hearing or not; let it be decided by the Court. Mr Rose then asked me if I was prepared to give in what I might have to say in writing, to which I replied that I was quite prepared. The Moderator then put it to the vote, when three members of the Court resident in the district of Wasbister voted to take in my statement, two, also, of the Sourin district voted to receive my statement, three declined to vote, and four voted not to hear what I had to say, nor to take in a written statement.
Now, Mr Editor, I would ask, in the name of all that is serious, Where did Mr Rose get the number of seven that he asserts in his letter voted against receiving my statement, out of a court of thirteen, he himself being included? I challenge Mr Rose to give the names of these seven men; and, if he cannot, I demand that he withdraw his assertion.
Now, sir, Mr Rose likes to talk a great deal about what he has done for the school in Wasbister, and that the majority of families belongs to the Free Church. On this I might merely say, “Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth;” but I can assert that the majority of children attending the school at present does not belong to Free Church families. Mr Rose, in his letter, wants the public to believe that the quarterly fees only amount to £2 in the year. This statement is clearly refuted by his own letter. He says the average attendance is thirty-five to forty. I shall take the lower number. Thirty-five at 1s. per quarter is £1 15s.; and as the school is taught for nine months in the year, the fees will amount to £5 5s., a goodly sum above that stated by Mr Rose.
Any unprejudiced person can see at a glance what a bad effect the suppression of the truth must have on the minds of those who are unacquainted with the temporal circumstances of the people. So far as I can learn, the salary is not one bit less than when Mr Linklater taught the school, to the satisfaction of all parties. There was no noise then with Mr Rose about getting a certificated teacher, the small amount of school fees, or the driblet of stated salary. The opinion conveyed by the letter of the Free Church minister is that most of the families in Wasbister are so miserably poor that they cannot pay the small fees usually charged. So far as my knowledge goes there are no children going to the school but whose parents or masters are able to pay the fees, with the exception of one or two. Mr Rose again tries to make the public believe that all the Established Church people, and many of other denominations, are satisfied with the teacher. In answer to this, I can affirm, on the personal declaration of the parties themselves, that it is not so. The majority of the parents and guardians of children attending the school are not satisfied with the teacher, and it was the general belief in the district that he was to leave at Martinmas last.
As to the compliment Mr Rose pays me of being a respected elder of the United Presbyterian Church, his opinion of myself weighs very little in my estimation, and I throw it overboard as a piece of mere flattery. The praises bestowed on my departed father, and the blandishments heaped on my uncle, may sound very sweetly in the ears of some; but let them be read alongside a plain, unvarnished account of the treatment their sons received that day at the public meeting in the Free Church, and the worth of such glowing compliments will be very much diminished.
My father was not an egotist, like Mr Rose, who boasts of being the largest contributor to the funds of the school; but this I can say, that he did more for the school in Wasbister than Mr Rose and all his Deacons’ Court, with the exception of one or two.
A competent and energetic teacher would find numerous and willing supporters in the district of Wasbister, though the treatment of some of the “powers that be,” and the offensive letter of Mr Rose, have cooled the affections of many, and diminished their interests in the school while under its present management. I am sorry that I am thus compelled to write, but the justification of my own conduct in the eyes of the public demanded that I should not remain silent. Hoping you will give this a place in your first impression. – I am, &c., JOHN GIBSON. Langskaill, Rousay. 10th December 1870.
To the Editor of the “Orkney Herald.”
SIR, – The letters which have appeared in the Orkney Herald under the signature “F.” seem greatly to have annoyed the Rev. N. P. Rose; but I hope, after his deliverance of the 28th ult., that he will feel more at ease.
He designates my last letter as “ungrammatical, unintelligible, and absurd.” This may be so. He seems, however, along with the rest of the community, to have been able to discover its true meaning; and, therefore, without entering into a controversy upon the point, I would simply ask him whether he forgot or failed to discover the grammatical blunders which appeared in that very charitable letter of his to Mr Learmonth which went the round of the papers a short time ago? I trust in future he will rectify his own mistakes before presuming to remark on mine. He speaks of the definition I gave of a public meeting of the Deacons’ Court being based on ignorance. I gave no definition farther than I referred to the “ignorant” intimation that was given from the pulpit of the Free Church on the Sunday previous to the day of meeting, an intimation which included not only the congregation but everyone who was interested in education in Wasbister. Does Mr Rose think that nobody is interested in education in Wasbister save and except Free Church people? If he can prove this, he is justified in the steps he has taken; if not, then it was “ignorance” on his part to call a meeting of the Deacons’ Court, including, as he himself admits, all parties interested, and when these parties came forward to back out like a coward, under the silly pretence – as will be afterwards shown – that he did not mean what he said. Sir, it will be clearly seen from the following statement of his office-bearers, and other intelligent people who heard the intimation, what it was:-
“Having heard Mr Rose’s intimation of a meeting of Deacons’ Court, to be held in the church on Monday the 31st October, regarding the school in Wasbister, we certify that we understood and believed that the meeting was to be public, and one at which any person interested in the school might be present and take part. If this was not intended, we cannot understand why the announcement was made in the general terms it was, everybody being invited to attend who was interested in the education of the district. – (Signed)
“John Craigie, Elder.
“Hugh Craigie, Elder.
“John Inkster, Upper Cogar.”
In addition to this, I would ask Mr Rose if the respected elder of the Established Church who was present could not comprehend an intimation? Apparently he took the same view of it, and considered himself warranted thereby to attend; and I believe if he had not been included in the intimation he would not have attended. In fact, every person who heard the intimation, so far as I can learn, understood it in the same way. So much for the intimation. Now a word or two about the meeting.
You have heard one side of the story. I crave your indulgence while I state the facts. After the meeting was constituted, and the minutes of the last meeting read and approved, the Moderator said they were now prepared to hear any statement any party had to make about their teacher, and to dispose of the same. But mark what followed. The first who rose to speak was an elder of the U. P. Church, and an interested party; but, before he got out the word Moderator, he was interrupted by the Chairman, who did not tell him, as he would have the public believe, that he was sorry it was not according to form to allow it. What he said was, “You have no standing here. You are not in connection with the Free Church, and therefore you will not be heard.” The elder in question told Mr Rose that he was not the Deacons’ Court, but their Moderator, and asked him to put it to the Court to see whether he would be heard. On being asked by the Moderator if he would lodge his complaint in writing, he answered in the affirmative; and the Court would have received it but for the Moderator, who seemed to claim two votes. I would ask Mr Rose what his reason was for not hearing this elder’s complaint, and for not allowing him to table the same in a formal way, after he had attended in terms of Mr Rose’s own intimation? The next who rose to speak was Robert Gibson, jun., this notable offender, who has caused the Moderator so much trouble by being the author, as he supposes, of these offensive letters! What did he say that was so rude and highly insulting? It amounted to a declaration that he was not there as an intruder upon the Deacons’ Court of the Free Church, but by the invitation of the minister, and he hoped the Moderator would make an apology to parties brought there through his intimation. This, however, he refused to do, on the ground that his intimation included none but Free Church people. The Moderator and Court were thus brought into collision, when after a great deal of angry discussion about the intimation, the Moderator said that, in the absence of a written intimation, he might have included other than Free Church people, but that he did not mean to do so. Thereupon, Robert Gibson, jun., told him that the public could not be accountable for his mistakes, and that it was his duty to apologise. When he was told by the Moderator that he would have to use extreme measures to put him out, he (Mr Gibson) at once said that he would not put him to the trouble, for he would walk out himself, at the same time advising the Moderator to be more careful in future in making his intimations.
Sir, this meeting of the Deacons’ Court was a pure sham; even the description given of it by Mr Rose contradicts itself. He says he summoned all parties to appear for their interests; but see how their interests were respected. Why, sir, the majority of Free Church people were disgusted at the affair, and shocked to see their minister trying to vindicate himself at the expense of their common sense. Mr Rose admits that there were rumours of dissatisfaction with the teacher, and that the result of their private investigation was that the teacher was to leave at the end of the year. He says that there was not sufficient ground for the Deacons’ Court to proceed any farther. In this far we are agreed; for the Court and the people were satisfied with the result of the investigation, and I believe there would have been less fuss about it if Mr Rose had not assumed to himself the authority which belonged to the Court, inasmuch as he told one of his office-bearers that the teacher was not to go away, after they had decided, and he agreed to the contrary. But for this private meeting, the people were resolved to petition the Deacons’ Court for another teacher; but they soon found that the meeting was a sham, and that they were “sold” again. How very different the present state of matters from what existed formerly, when, instead of this high-handed patronage, the late respected Mr Ritchie called a meeting of the Deacons’ Court in the school, and appointed a committee of men out of the different denominations in the district to watch over the interests of education, and to report to the Deacons’ Court.
I cannot but notice the reference that Mr Rose makes about education in Egilshay and Frotoft. I would advise him to take the beam out of his own eye, and then he may see things more clearly. The description of the two respectable young men is entirely out of place. Suffice to say that they please their employers. Is Mr Rose vain enough to imagine that the people in Egilshay and Frotoft cannot represent their own case without his interference? With regard to what he has said about the school in Wasbister, I expected nothing else. Mr Rose’s misrepresentations, and the tendency of his letter, as everyone can see at a glance, is to damage the interests of education. For instance, he quotes the school fees at £2. How absurd! Considering the number of scholars, who, with very few exceptions, are all able to pay, the fees are worth more than double that sum.
Sir, I do not know what the worthy donors who aid us in supporting the school will think when they see the mean description given of it by Mr Rose. He says that he has done his best to promote the education of Wasbister. I believe that he stands alone in this opinion. He claims honour in connection with it. It is well that he takes it to himself, for I believe that it will be long in coming from any other quarter. With regard to the manner in which he speaks of Robert Gibson, jun., I suppose that neither he nor anyone else will think much about it when they know the quarter from which it comes.
Apologising for occupying so much of your valuable space, – I am, &c., – F.
TEACHER (CERTIFICATED), WANTED for the FREE CHURCH SCHOOL
of ROUSAY to enter upon his duties at the MAY TERM. He must be
qualified to teach the Branches usually taught in the Free Church
Schools, and, also, superintend the Sabbath School of Wasbister.
Average attendance, 35. Emoluments, about £20. Fees, about
£3, but to a suitable Teacher might be increased. There is a
Dwelling House, with 1¼ Acres of Land attached.
Applications, with Testimonials, to be lodged with
the Rev. N. P. ROSE, Free Church Manse, Rousay,
on or before the 14th day of January, 1871.
1870 December 21 Orkney Herald
EDUCATION IN ROUSAY.
To the Editor of the “Orkney Herald.”
SIR I did not expect to be put to further trouble in connection with the above subject. It appears that two opponents have now taken the field, and there are internal marks of a presumptive kind that a third is at work pulling the wires behind – John Gibson, Langskaill, “F.” alias Robert Gibson, jun., as generally believed, and somebody present without a name. Rumour is busy as to his propria persona, and already a bird of the air has set the secret abroad. Without meaning offence, we may observe that while Mr John Gibson may have education sufficient for his position in life, the people of Rousay generally will no doubt believe him quite innocent in the composition of the letter which bears his signature, at least they will be apt to suppose he got some assistance; and as for “F.” alias Mr Robert, we have positive evidence of his powers in attempting to write English, which we may produce, if necessary, to show by way of contrast what marvellous strides in improvement he has made of late. Surely he has been at school, and no wonder though he should wish another teacher in Wasbister. What a boon if only he could secure the services of the wire-puller who has advanced him so speedily forward!
However, in sober earnest, it is truly humbling to find men professing godliness taking pleasure in abusing their neighbours – men who should know and practice better things. Mr John Gibson is an elder in the U.P. Church, and because he chooses to disturb the office-bearers of another church, and is reasonably checked for his doing so, he grows angry and rushes to the public press in the most reckless style to pour forth invective against them, and particularly against their Moderator, acting in discharge of solemn duty. I put it to him, could anything be more senseless? Has he no regard for the office and character of a minister of the gospel who never to his knowledge did Mr Gibson any harm? I can appeal to those present at the Deacons’ Court meeting to prove that I treated him with every civility and kindness; and in my published letter purposely withheld his name as he, though out of order, was not uncivil. Why then such an ebullition of anger, and such a tirade of abuse? Such a course does not become well a ruler in the Christian Church. Had he been unreasonably provoked, his moral indignation might justly have been aroused; but even then he ought to restrain his temper, and be at least respectful towards fellow-rulers in the Church. How much calculated his conduct is to do injury to the cause of truth. Ordinary people will be shrewd enough to discern the danger of having such a ruler to deal with, in proportion as they value their own character. They may not be well versed in Church forms, but they can see who are most worthy to be entrusted with their good name – whether one who can without provocation or right reason speak and write as he has done of the Deacons’ Court, or those quiet and peaceful men who are very careful in dealing with character, and who cannot allow their teacher or any other person under their care to be injured without cause shown – and who keep to the laws and rules of their Church. Mr Robert Gibson, jun., knows to what an amount of trouble they were put in investigating a famous case against the Sabbath-School, in which he was the accuser; how they patiently waited for hours sifting evidence till he was satisfied, and, though the case broke down, he was the first to acquiesce in the decision, and declare his satisfaction. One would have thought after the dear-bought experience of that occasion he would have been more careful in future. But some men won’t learn even from experience. They seem to grow more foolish. I ought perhaps to have given a short account of the origin of the opposition to our teacher. It began, so far as I have been able to trace, with Mr Robert. The first hint that ever reached my ear was from a gentleman who is connected with him, in his confidence. It was given as “from young Robert Gibson.” This occurred some time before the case above alluded to, but I see an odd connection between them. I will not give that gentleman’s name till I see, but will reserve it meanwhile. Before that time, I never heard of any complaints. Mr Gibson’s own minister assisted the two annual examinations preceding, and declared his satisfaction with the school. Since then there have been two examinations by members of the Presbytery, who spoke in favourable terms, reported satisfactorily, and passed the usual schedule and certificate to the Committee. On no occasion was fault found, except by young Robert of Langskaill. He set himself to judge not only teacher and Deacons’ Court, but also the Presbytery, and he passed sentence that they were all wrong – all banded together in a foul plot to retard education in Rousay. Everything else – ploughing, sheep-farming, of course, house-building, &c., &c., – he saw advancing in Wasbister (always excepting education), and, as he had passed the verdict, it must be law to all the world!
When the Deacons’ Court seemed slow in acting on his law, he called them to account, issued a proclamation in the Herald, violently accusing them for being so dilatory in their duty, and grows actually wild with anger when, being met, they decline to ruled by his imperial authority. They may allege that, being Free Churchmen, they are not under his jurisdiction; but what is it to him whether they be so or not? Must not his law be obeyed? I am not going to follow the good cousins through the mud-pool into which they have plunged themselves. I mean wait a little, till the wire-puller at present hiding behind the scene is brought out, when I have something say which may amuse and interest the people in these dark winter days, and throw some new light on that “uncharitable letter’’ spoken of; for it has, like most other things, a history of its own. If things should come out in connection with it, I will not be to blame. I have perhaps been long enough a convenient refuge, if not even a kind of sacrifice, for my excellent neighbours. When men can insult one by returning evil for good, they can hardly claim excess of charity. Before I am done with that letter, whose grammar offends learned scholars in Edinburgh and in Rousay, and which was happily buried (so I thought), the wire-puller may wish that Mr .Robert had not become a resurrectionist.
As Mr John Gibson has been manly enough give his name, I will at once come to an issue with him and his letter; and I challenge the truth of his statements, and will bring proof. As to the vote, my statement is based on the record as taken down at the time, and since read at a regular meeting of Deacons’ Court, and unanimously approved of as correct. His allegation about the school fees is not true. He speaks at random. I got my information from the only possible source. The following will help the public decide. It corroborates the truth as given in my letter:-
“ Wasbister, Dec. 17th, 1870.
“REVEREND SIR, – l perceive that Mr John Gibson, Langskaill, in his letter of the 10th inst., would make the school fees amount to a large sum; but I beg to produce the simple facts. I give the annual amount for the last three years:- In 1868, the whole sum was £3 0s 6d; in 1869, £2 0s 6d; and in 1870, £2 18s. Average for three years, £2 13s. The lowest amount that I received since I came to this locality was in 1865, viz., £1 16s 6d. – I am, &c., – (Signed) “J. C. BRUCE.”
Surely the above will satisfy all concerned that the fact as given in my letter is in accordance with truth. It is not fairly quoted in John Gibson’s letter. What a noise has been made by the Messrs Gibson and friends about this matter! Quiet Free Church people have been assailed in public shops, and on the highway, and nasty insinuations thrown out against their minister on this trifling point. John Gibson could not apparently, or would not, comprehend the meaning of the expression “£2 or so.” He wished to have it £2. How like him! He has much to learn about the courtesies of literary life. We will have him sent to school when a new teacher comes.
The above may be taken as specimens of all the other mendacious and bold assertions in his letter; and now I call on him, if he has any proper feeling, to withdraw these statements and apologise for being so rash in writing or endorsing such letter as that of the 10th inst. I abide by my letter as correct, and challenge him to contradict any of its statements. He may if he chooses, indulge in abusive invective. It will be as harmless on me as a summer shower, and may help to make the barren places green. I have no design to injure the school; very far from it. I am glad to say that it is in a most thriving condition. I believe it was never better attended. I do not know whether the majority of scholars belong to the Free Church or not, for I never thought of asking, and I never made any distinction in my visits to it.
I am sorry that the house is not in such thorough repair as we could wish, from the want of funds. I am glad to think, however, the people are in a thriving condition; for as there will be considerable repairs needed soon, and the expenses of a new election of teacher, we will have more confidence in making an appeal for the needful. They know us too well to believe that the Deacons’ Court would neglect the school. My fear is that the clamour now raised so senselessly may do us injury. However, we shall strive to get the best possible man to fill the office of teacher. It was necessary, in advertising to be correct in stating emoluments, because we become responsible to that amount. We state simply the truth – impugn it who likes. I wish we had a much larger salary to offer, so as to induce well trained candidates to come forward. We Free Church people mortally detest that system which is said to prevail in certain quarters of promising a larger sum, and paying our public servants with a smaller. We have not as yet taken lessons on that subject, and we do not care to be initiated into its mysteries. As to “F.” alias Robert Gibson, jun. (always till he denies the fact), his remarks are unworthy of notice. Indeed it is a wonder, Mr Editor, you were not afraid of inserting them in your paper. Many doubtless beyond Rousay will be curious to get a sight of him. He is not particularly well up to writing good English, and we are wondering how he contrived to put his last production together. Was there helping hand engaged with him? We seem to see a well-known form through a thin veil at work. Possibly we are mistaken. But he seems to have a familiar look. Have we not seen that hand held out, ah! how differently! Can it be so? are we fighting with men of straw, while the real foe hides like snake in the grass? Let us wait. Truth, like murder, will out: and when the thunderbolt comes down it may sweep all before it. It is a dangerous game for persons who dwell in glass houses to throw stones.
In closing, it may amuse the curious to observe that Mr John Gibson, in acknowledging “F’s.” father to be his uncle, unwittingly reveals the real author, and this to me tells tale that I am not likely to forget. At our next interview I may have a question to ask. Meanwhile, I leave him the fact for reflection, and as he seems to resent my calling him a respected elder, which in good faith, I could then do, I promise not to insult him on this score again. But I would like to know what to call him? Let me offer him an advice, which has the sanction of apostolic authority, and it is this – That he study henceforth to be quiet, and mind his own business. We Free Church people would be specially glad to find that he follows it, and we hope in future he will make himself better acquainted with our forms of procedure in our Church Courts ere he ventures again to befool himself, and go on a wild-goose chase as he did in coming to interrupt us. At the same time we are ready, when he withdraws his abusive letter, and makes a satisfactory apology, to hold out the olive-branch of peace, with a view to bring about harmony between two neighbouring denominations, which we regret has been rudely and foolishly broken. Our higher Church Courts will see to the vindication of our character. We feel perfectly easy on the matter. – I am &c., – NEIL P. ROSE.
1870 December 28 Orkney Herald
EDUCATION IN ROUSAY
To the Editor of the “Orkney Herald.”
Sir, – I have been not a little amused by the perusal of Mr Rose’s last letter to the Editor of the Orkney Herald. He seems to think that I have been helped in the preparation of my letter; but I beg to assure him I am the real author of the letter which bears my signature, and I must not forget to thank him for the compliment he pays me, though it may not have been intended as such.
Mr Rose’s communication requires scarcely any reply from me; as, with the exception of the question of school fees, none of my statements are called in question. Regarding this matter, Mr Rose asserts I spoke at random; but that I did not write at random may be seen from my letter of 10th inst., in which I took Mr Rose’s lowest average of scholars, also the lowest quarterly fee, and. multiplying these together, I found it amounted to the sum stated in my letter. I of course did not know what sum Mr Bruce received until I saw his letter in last Herald, but the question is not the amount be receives; but what the school fees are worth. Mr Bruce may teach – or probably I should say attempt to do so – half the children for nothing for all I know. This does not in the least affect my statement. Mr Rose talks about a mud pool, but he would seem to have got in “deep mire where there is no standing.” He suggests that I should be sent to school when the new teacher arrives. Well, to this I shan’t object, provided Mr Rose becomes a fellow pupil, as by the time the teacher has got me to comprehend what “£2 or so” means, I hope Mr Rose will have learned what authority belongs to the moderator of a Deacons’ Court.
Mr Rose states that I acknowledge “F.’s” father to be my uncle – how smart! “F.’s” father for aught that I know may be Mr Rose’s grandfather! I neither “ken nor care.” Mr Rose offered me a very good advice, and I took it kindly. I will not presume to advise him, but rather entreat him to study another passage, having the same apostolic authority, and henceforth “shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” – I am, &c. John Gibson. Langskaill, Rousay, 23d Dec. 1870.
To the Editor of the” Orkney Herald.”
Sir, – The letters which appeared on the question of Education in Rousay in the Orkney Herald of the 14th inst., appears have completely finished Mr Rose, and left him no foot upon which stand. At all events, his ammunition must have run short, else he would surely have met his opponents in a more manly way than he has done. His insinuation that I had assistance in the composition of my last letter is only another specimen of the dodging to which he is prepared to stoop, if in any way he may wriggle out of – to him – an awkward fix. Finished on all hands, shouts “revenge,” and since he cannot hit your correspondent, with a cowardly side thrust he attempts to strike at some other gentleman, who he imagines to have, through a thin veil, seen at work writing my letter. I have now to inform him that my letters are all my own, and have been prepared without assistance from any person, and this I do that all may know that the individual, whoever he may chance to be, so wantonly attacked by Mr Rose, is quite innocent of at least this heinous sin. Having said this much, I cannot close without expressing sympathy for my opponent in his present position; not a very honourable one, certainly, for a man of his cloth to occupy, and as Mr Rose has failed to refute any of my statements, and as I suppose this controversy may now be considered ended, I again subscribe myself, yours, &c., – F. – Rousay, 23d Dec. 1870.