In Print

Newsprint – 1872 – 1882

1872 January 04 Dundee Courier & Argus

LARGE CAPTURE OF WHALES IN ORKNEY. – The John o’ Groat Journal says – There has been an immense capture of whales in Orkney. There has been a great and successful whale chase in Holm Sound and Scapa Flow. On Tuesday 25 boats succeeded in capturing about 70 fish; and next day 35 boats captured from 120 to 130, all landed in the island of Burray. A postscript says – “I learn this morning that there are altogether upwards of 303 whales landed.”

1872 February 27 Morning Advertiser

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE – KIRKWALL – February 24. – A bottle containing the following has been picked up to-day: – “12th Dec., ship Flora, bound for America, total wreck, waterlogged; no prospect of relief; provisions one day only. – P. Macguire, Commander.”

1872 March 18 Shipping & Mercantile Gazette

SAILORS IN THE NORTH. – At this season there annually arrive at Granton, by the Aberdeen, Leith, and Clyde Company’s steamers, several hundred of Sailors from the Orkney and Shetland Islands to join the numerous ships, especially the Quebec traders, which are fitted out at the beginning of spring. On Thursday afternoon the first party of the season, numbering about 30, arrived in the steamer St. Clair, and at once proceeded by train for ports where ships are preparing for sea. All over Orkney and Shetland large numbers of Seamen are preparing to leave their homes for the seaports. The next steamer which arrives at Granton from the north is expected to have from 100 to 200 of these Sailors on board. In this manner they obtain constant employment about eight months in the year. The rate of wages to North America is always higher than to other countries, the work being considered more laborious; but more money is made by these men while at sea than is usually earned by the Sailors trading to foreign ports all the year round. A large portion of the male population of Shetland, although not professional Sailors, also go annually to the whale and seal fishing, as many as from 30 to 40 being taken in one vessel. Special provision has been made by the Board of Trade for the shipping, discharging, and paying of these men, and also to insure that they are landed after the voyage as near their homes as practicable.

1872 March 20 Preston Herald

SHIPPING DISASTERS….. FOUNDERING OF A DUNDEE VESSEL AND LOSS OF A BOAT’S CREW. – The following particulars of the disastrous wreck of a Dundee vessel in the North Sea have been received by telegraph from a Kirkwall correspondent: – “The vessel Isabella, of Dundee, sank eighty miles off Montrose on Monday last. The crew took to the boats, and one boat, containing the captain and four men, came ashore at Rousholm-head, on the island of Stronsay, on Thursday night. The men had been without food since Monday. Three succeeded in reaching the neighbouring farm-houses, but two sank exhausted on the hills, but were searched for and carried to a house, where they were attended to. The mail had not brought the names of the survivors to Kirkwall last night. No trace of the missing boat has been obtained.”

1872 October 17 John o’ Groat Journal

ROUSAY – MIRACULOUS ESCAPE OF TWO BOYS. – On Thursday evening, the 3rd inst., two boys left home with the intention of fishing for sillocks off shore on the east side of Rousay. They were to be accompanied by a neighbour, who, however, did not go with them. The boys, about twelve years of age, managed to get a small boat, about eight feet of keel, which they launched, and a short distance from shore dropped anchor, and began fish. No fears were entertained for their safety (as it was supposed a competent person was along with them), until the usual time passed by without their return. The parents becoming alarmed ran to the shore, about a mile from their dwelling, in the hope of finding they had landed, but, to their unspeakable horror, neither boys nor boat were to be seen. It was now about 10 p.m., and the wind was blowing fearfully. They concluded therefore that the boat had been driven out to sea. The neighbours were apprised, and an effort made to raise a crew, but before a sufficient number had been collected the storm became so severe that the boldest seaman considered that a boat could not sit on the water. All hope of the safety of the boys was nearly given up. There was, however, a faint possibility that they had been blown on to the adjoining island of Egilshay; but as there was a roost to cross, this hope was almost abandoned. It was now about one o’clock a.m., and the fury of the tempest was most dreadful. The men stood there ready to push off, but it was thought impossible a boat could live. At length, however, six noble-hearted fellows, whose names are worthy to be mentioned – Messrs George and William Reid, Wasdale; Malcolm Leonard, Gripps; James Grieve, Outerdykes; James Inkster, Quoys; and Alexander Grieve, Lowermill – at the risk of their lives, manned the skiff ‘Flying Mist,’ and put off, the sea at the time drifting like snow around them. Manfully, however, did they pull, cheering one another as they went. Before leaving it was arranged that if they reached the opposite island two fires would be lighted if they found the boys, and if not, only one. All eyes were now strained for the life or death sign. To the unspeakable joy of all present the life sign appeared. Word was immediately despatched to the parents, who knew nothing about this arrangement, that their boys were alive. So overwhelmed were they with the unexpected news that they wept aloud, and gave thanks to God for his merciful preservation of their loved ones; and well they might, for when the dangers through which they passed is known, no one can fail to see the hand of Providence in plainly guiding their tiny craft, as if it had been seen with the natural eye. About dark the boys tried to pull in their stone and make for the shore, but somehow or other, one of their oars slipped from them and could not be reached, they again dropped their anchor, thinking it might hold on as before, but the water was now deeper, the wind blowing stronger. Away they drifted, no one to counsel them, and they did not know what to do. They both sat down and cried with fear. In this manner they were driven by the storm and dragged by opposite tides first one way and then another for upwards of six hours, dragging their anchor all the time, which from cold and fear they were unable to take in, and on this, doubtless, their preservation depended, for had the stone been got in in all probability, the boat would have capsized. Again, if it had been ebb tide, they were certain to have been carried out of the Firth. When more than half way across the sound, on a shallow bank, their anchor took hold unknown to the boys, who still thought in the darkness, they were drifting along, and long did they sit expecting to come to land, but no land appeared, the sea was not fast filling their little boat. In this precarious condition, they both lay down and cried to God to save them, and he did save them, for it came into the mind of one of the boys, the other being in a kind of deep sleep, to cut the rope, which he did, and in a few minutes they were driven on the shore, where, had they come an hour before, they must have perished; but the dangerous reef was flown over so that they got nearer to the shore and through the breakers managed to crawl up the banks scarcely able to walk to the nearest house, viz., that of Mr John Mackinlay, merchant, where every attention was paid to their necessities until next day, when they were taken over to Rousay.

1874  January 17 The Scotsman

FISHCURERS. – In consequence of the deaths of Messrs Jamieson & Methuen, fishcurers of herring are wanted for the Station of Stronsay, Orkney. Number of boats disengaged about 60. For further particulars apply to Mr William Stevenson, Hurtiso, Rousay, Orkney.

1875 February 13 Dundee Courier & Argus

FATAL FALL. – James Sinclair Corsie, a man of forty-two years of age, who for about twenty years has been resident in Australia and New Zealand, and who returned about two years ago with a moderate competency, and married, met with an accident last week at Kirkwall which resulted in death. He arrived in Kirkwall from Rousay, and having transacted his business, went on board a vessel which lay between him and the Rousay packet to return. In making his way to the packet he fell on his stomach on the gunwale of the vessel: He was then conveyed back to the town, and died on Tuesday morning from the injuries he had sustained.

[James was the son of Malcolm Corsie, Nears, and Isabella Louttit, Skaill, Westside. On November 20th 1873 he married Mary Marwick Low, Quoyjenny, above Hunclett. Mary was pregnant at the time of James’ death; their son, named after the father he never knew, being born six months later. Unfortunately his life was to be cut short too, for he drowned in the North Sea when just 24 years of age]

1875 July 28 Aberdeen Press & Journal

ORKNEY. Desirable Sheep Farm and Residence to Let, For Nineteen Years from Martinmas, 1876. – The Farm of Westness, in the Island of Rousay, which is at present in the natural occupation of the Proprietor. As now laid off it extends to about 2800 Acres of which 220 Acres, or thereby, are arable, 1000 Acres, or thereby, low ground pasture, mostly enclosed with stone dykes, and the remainder hill pasture.

The Sheep Run is considered one of the best the north of Scotland, and is admirably suited for cheviots and half-breds. The Arable Lands are also very superior, and besides affording an ample supply of spring food for the live stock, yield a considerable surplus of grain, hay, and potatoes for the market. The Farm House and Farm Steading are in good order, and contain ample accommodation.

The whole Stock and Crop on the Farm at Martinmas, 1876, may be had at valuation.

The Mansion House of Westness will be also Let with the Farm, if desired. It contains Dining-Room, Drawing-room, Business-Room, Gun-Room, Six Bed-Rooms, Dressing-Room, Four Servants’ Bed-Rooms, Servants’ Hall, Kitchen. Pantry, Laundry, Wash-House, and other conveniences. The Grounds extend to about 9 Acres, and are enclosed and subdivided into Gardens, Lawn, and Plantations. They extend to the sea where there is good anchorage. The Gardens contain a Green-House and Vinery.

If not let with the Farm, the Mansion House and Grounds will be Let separately, either furnished or unfurnished, for such number of years may be agreed on. The sole right of Trout Fishing (with the reservation of two rods for the Proprietor) on two lakes on the Farm, covering a superficial area of 170 Acres or thereby, and the Shootings on the low grounds of Westness, will also be Let with the house, if desired.

For further particulars apply to Mr Robert Walker, Altyre Estates Offices, Forres; or to Mr John Macrae, Solicitor, Kirkwall – the latter of whom will receive offers for the Farm and Mansion House, or for either, up to the 30th day of September next. The Proprietor does not bind himself to accept the highest or any offer.

1875 September 1 Edinburgh Evening News

THREE PERSONS DROWNED IN ORKNEY. – On Thursday forenoon, Robert Gibson, Langskaill, Rousay, accompanied by his son [David] (a boy of eight), and a servant on the farm, named Robert Inkster, left Rousay in a large undecked boat, with the object on conveying home his father, who had arrived the previous day by the steamer at Kirkwall. The weather was fine, and there was a moderate westerly breeze blowing. While the boat was off Quanterness Skerry a sudden hurricane of wind and rain came on, which lasted about three minutes, during which the boat was lost. There can be no doubt she was struck by the squall and went down. The oars and two caps came ashore at Shapinsay. Robert Gibson has left a widow and four children. The man-servant was unmarried.

1875 September 25 The Scotsman

KIRKWALL – BODY WASHED ASHORE. – On Wednesday afternoon the body of Robert Inkster, farm servant, who about three weeks ago left the island of Rousay in a large yawl boat along with Robert Gibson and a boy of eight, son and grandson of the tenant of the farm of Langskaill, and perished in a squall near the entrance to Kirkwall Bay, was washed ashore about a quarter of a mile from the harbour.

1875 October 18 The Scotsman

TEACHER (CERTIFICATED MALE) Wanted for Wasbister Public School, Rousay,
Orkney. Salary, £100 (inclusive of sewing), with Dwelling-House and Garden.
Music a recommendation. Applications, with testimonials, to be lodged with
Rev. Mr Rose, Clerk of School Board, Rousay, Orkney.

1876 February 12 The Scotsman


For such period as may be agreed upon, from 1st June,

WESTNESS HOUSE, in the Island of Rousay, Orkney, as presently occupied by the
Proprietor. The House contains Seventeen Rooms, besides Closets, Laundry,
Wash-House, Kitchen and Offices; Coach-House, Dog Kennels, Vinery,
Kitchen, and Flower Garden extending to the Sea, where there is
good Summer Anchorage for Yachts. Good Trout and
Deep-Sea Fishing, Rabbit Shooting, &c.
Arrangements may also be made for Grouse Shooting over about 5000 acres.
Daily Postal communication with the South.

For particulars apply to John Bryce, Esq., 131 George Street, Edinburgh;
or to John MacRae, Esq., S.S.C., Kirkwall.

1877 April 4 Aberdeen Press & Journal

KIRKWALL. – New Orkney Steam Shipping Company. – On Tuesday the prospectus was issued of “The Rousay, Evie, and Rendall Steam Navigation Company (Limited).” The capital necessary for the working of the Company is set down at £3000, in 3000 shares of £1 each. The aim of the promoters is stated to be to secure daily steam communication by sea between the parishes of Rousay and Egilshay, Evie and Rendall, and Kirkwall. This is necessary in consequence of the greatly increased traffic between these parishes, the present sailing packets not being able to cope with it. The estimated cost of working a steamer sufficient for the requirements of the traffic is stated at £600 per annum. In the list of Provisional Committee are the names of Colonel Burroughs, Mr Laing, M.P., and the leading gentlemen in the district. Should the promoters succeed in obtaining the necessary capital and place a steamer on the passage, all the north isles of any consequence, with the exception of North Ronaldshay, will have the benefit of daily and twice a-week communication with Kirkwall.

1877 June 9 Edinburgh Evening News

ACTION FOR SLANDER AGAINST A MINISTER. – An action for slander against an Orkney minister was called in the Court of Session yesterday. The pursuer is James Wilson Reid, B.A. and M.S. University of Glasgow, and medical practitioner in the parish of Evie, Orkney, and the defender, from whom he seeks to recover £2000, is the Rev. Alexander Leslie, M.A., minister of the united parishes of Evie, Rendall and Orkney. In July, 1874, the pursuer was appointed medical officer for the parish of Rousay and Egilshay, and on the 3rd of that month defender, who is chairman of the parochial board in his own parish, wrote to him to say that he had resolved to recommend pursuer’s appointment for the parishes of Evie and Rendall. At the same time defender informed him of the emoluments of the office, and stated that Colonel Balfour of Balfour had promised a small farm of about ten acres arable at an easy rent, and that a house was in course of erection. Some misunderstanding having arisen, pursuer wrote to Colonel Balfour on the subject in the month of September, 1875, and he got a reply that the colonel had no recollection of having made such a promise, and that he was not the owner of a farm of ten acres in the neighbourhood. This came to the ears of the defender, who is alleged to have said that he would soon make it as hot for pursuer as he had done for Dr Jeffries, the previous practitioner. Since then pursuer says defender has entertained feelings of malice and ill-will towards pursuer, and has endeavoured to destroy his character and professional prospects. In November of 1875, pursuer received intimation from the Parochial Board of Evie and Rendall, dispensing with his services as medical officer, and another gentleman was shortly afterwards appointed in his place. This, however, did not interfere with pursuer’s appointment in the parish of Rousay and Egilshay. A petition was sent from Evie to the inhabitants of Rousay soliciting them to discharge pursuer from his office; but this solicitation was ineffectual, as the inhabitants would have nothing to do with the petition. Pursuer avers that these proceedings were at the instigation of the defender, who was actuated by malevolent feelings towards him. He further alleges that in May of last year defender informed Colonel Burroughs, C.B., chairman of the Parochial Board of Rousay that pursuer was leaving, and asking that the new medical officer for Evie should also be appointed to Rousay and Egilshay. It is further alleged that in order, if possible, to accomplish his purpose of having the pursuer removed from the parish, the defender in March, 1877, called upon David Chalmers, factor for the house in which the pursuer resided, and stated to him that he had no credit in allowing the pursuer to remain in his house, that he was a man of no religion, and that unless he was put out of the house it would go ill with Chalmers and the landlord. The result of this was that a petition was presented to the Sheriff for the removal of the pursuer from his house, and a warrant of ejectment has been obtained against him. The pursuer avers that in May, 1877, the defender falsely, calumniously, and maliciously stated to Colonel Burroughs’ wife and several others that the pursuer was a great drunkard and a most immoral man, that he had about the latter end of 1876 been found drunk in a ditch in the snow, and that unless assistance had been procured for him he would have been dead before the morning. He avers that the whole of these statements were false and calumnious, and he has consequently been compelled to institute the present action in order to vindicate his character, and put an end to these persecutions, as well as to obtain compensation for the serious loss, injury, and damage which he has sustained. Defences are not yet due.

[The Scotsman newspaper went on to report that…’on the same day the defender made false and malicious statements to various parties, to the effect that the Doctor had induced abortion, resulting in the death of a [Birsay] woman, and had buried, or been privy to burying, the child at midnight; and that he was a murderer, and ought to be hanged.- Unfortunately there is no record of the outcome of this case!]

1878 August 10 Aberdeen Press & Journal

BATHING ACCIDENT. – At Rousay, Orkney, Thomas Shearer, a farm servant at Saviskaill, lost his life on Monday. It appears that shortly after the people in the district left their homes for church, Shearer, accompanied by a boy, went down to the Bay of Saviskaill to bathe. He could not swim, and having gone beyond his depth he was unable to reach the shore. His companion ran home for a fishing rod in order to assist him, but on his return the unfortunate lad was unable to avail himself of any assistance. A boat was then procured, but when Shearer was taken from the water it was found that life was extinct.

1879 April 5 Shetland Times

LAUNCH OF THE LIZZIE BURROWS. – Last week there was launched from the building yards of Messrs J. McKenzie & Co., Albert Dock, Leith, a fine smart packet, intended for the coasting trade between Rousay and Kirkwall. Her length is 65 feet; beam, 15 feet; depth, 6 feet; and she is to be fitted with a large hold forward, and a cabin abaft for passengers. As she glided into the water she was named the “Lizzie Burrows” by Mrs George McKenzie, in honour the wife of Colonel Burrows, the chairman of the Company, to whose order she has been built. She is a sister ship the “Sefton” launched the same firm last June, and she will be fitted out with her engines and other gear on the most improved principles by Mr M. P. Galloway, marine engineer, Leith. We may mention that the whole arrangements of the launch were very efficiently carried out, and it is very creditable to the firm – taking into consideration the position of the building yard – that the vessel was got into the water without a single hitch or the slightest damage.

1879 May 8 John o’ Groat Journal

ROUSAY, ORKNEY. – One of the candidates for a seat in the School Board having retired there was poll. The members elected are Colonel Burroughs; Rev. Mr Gardiner, E.C.; Rev. Mr Allardice, U.P. ; Mr Sinclair, and Mr Seatter.

The weather daring the greater part of last week was very cold and boisterous, the wind blowing from E.S.E. with unabating energy. The farmers are busily engaged getting down their grain, and considerable improvements are being carried out at the home farm of Trumland, and elsewhere on the estate, under the directions of Mr Murrison, factor.

A few of the volunteers had some carbine ball practice at the Avalshay range the other day, the distances being 200 and 300 yards. There was a strong breeze blowing across the range, yet very fair scores were made.

Thanks to the promoters of steam communication between this place and Kirkwall – and we wish them every success – the sailing packets have now become a thing of the past, for instead of being drifted about at the mercy of the wind and tide, or becalmed as the case might be, we can now proceed to Kirkwall and back the same day, besides calling at several of the neighbouring Islands. The handsome little screw steamer “Lizzie Burroughs” has comfortable cabin accommodation, and is otherwise fitted with the necessary requirements for the conveyance of cattle and goods.

A Meeting of the Rousay Temperance Society was held in the pariah school house on Friday evening, 25th ult. There was a poor attendance, the chief reason assigned being the inclemency of the weather. This Society has not been long started, and we trust the Rousay folks will come out and give it their support. There is very little drunkenness, however, and it is most gratifying to know that there is no single licensed spirit dealer the island.

1879 May 29 John o’ Groat Journal

ROUSAY, ORKNEY. WEATHER. – Winter has gone – at least we hope so – and summer has made its appearance without any spring. We had a beautiful summer day on 20th inst, and since then it has on the whole been mild. The braird is progressing well, but is nevertheless backward.

VOLUNTEERS. – 9th O.A.V. – The above corps turned out under their commanding officer (Colonel Frederick William Traill Burroughs, C.B.) on Saturday, 24th inst., in honour of Her Majesty’s birthday. The weather was very wet, and although preparation was made to fire a feu-de-joie, it had to be dispensed with on that account. However, a formation was made, and three right hearty cheers were given for Her Majesty. The commanding officer (who always has, and continues to evince warm interest in the maintenance, well being, and discipline of the corps) made a few kind and encouraging remarks to the officers and men in his usual candid manner, after which the parade was dismissed and entertained to refreshments.

THE return match among the four members of the above corps who competed last week, came off at Rousay rifle range, on Friday, 23rd inst. Bombardier W. Craigie and Gunner A. Munro were again victorious, beating their opponents by 15 points. The conditions were as on the previous occasion, 5 rounds each, at 200 and 300 yards, regulation position and marking. The weather was very unfavourable, a strong breeze blowing from the right front, in consequence which the scoring was not so high as in the previous match. Corporal Logie and Gunner Geddes are not yet satisfied, and they have challenged their opponents to another match, which is to come off at no distant date.

THE Sacrament of the Lord’s supper was dispensed in the U.P. Church on Sabbath, the 25th inst., when the Rev. Mr Allardice was assisted by the Rev. Mr Webster, Kirkwall.

1879 May 31. The Field, The Country Gentleman’s Newspaper

Notes and Queries on Angling – Rousay, Orkney. – In the “little water” (loch), Mr Robert M. Murrison, keeper (to Colonel Burroughs, C.B., of Rousay and Veira), succeeded in securing a basket of forty-two fine trout on Friday, 23rd instant, in a few hours. The weather is charming here. – M.

1879 June 5 John o’ Groat Journal

ROUSAY. VOLUNTEERS. – 9th O.A.V. – The quarterly silver medal was fired for with carbines on Tuesday, 27th ult., on the Rousay rifle range, and won by Corporal William Logie, with score of 30 points. The weather was not the best that could be desired for shooting. There were not so many turned out to compete as was anticipated. Col. F. W. T. Burroughs, C.B., was present during the match, and took evident interest in it. The medal has to be won by any individual member three times in succession before it becomes his property. The conditions were 5 rounds each at 200 and 300 yards.

CORPORAL William Logie and Gunner J. Geddes have lost their third match in succession with Bombardier W. S. Craigie and Gunner A. Munro. The 1st match was lost by 10, the 2nd by 15, and the 3rd (which was very close match throughout) by 2 points only. The conditions were as on the previous occasions.

WEATHER. – Changeable weather has characterised the past week. Rain fell frequently in soft showers, and the atmosphere was generally dull, with a low temperature.

1879 July 3 John o’ Groat Journal

VOLUNTEERS – 9th O.V.A. – Sergeant Instructor John West, R.A., on the occasion of his completing 21 years’ service on Tuesday, 17th inst., and also for the purpose of encouraging good shooting, gave three handsome prizes in money to be competed for by members of the above corps. The conditions were 5 rounds at 200 and 300 yards with carbines. The weather was most delightful, and a good number turned out to compete. Shooting commenced at 6 p.m., and was carried on with great zest. At the finish the whole adjourned to Sergeant West’s house, where the prizes were presented to the successful competitors by Mrs West. She had prepared a sumptuous repast, and they all sat down and enjoyed themselves to their heart’s content. Toasts were given, and responded to most enthusiastically, for the following, viz.: – The Queen; Army, Navy, and Marine Forces; Colonel Burroughs, C.B.; Mrs Burroughs; Capt Murrison and other officers of the corps; Sergeant West, and last of all Mrs West, which completely brought down the house. It is but fair to state that during the time Sergeant and Mrs West have been stationed here, they have, by their kind, affable, and obliging manner, won the hearts of all with whom they have come in contact. Sergeant West holds the medal for “long service and good conduct.” Appended are the names of the prize winners: – 1st, Gunner A. Craigie; 2nd, Bombardier J. Leonard; 3rd, Sergeant W. Stevenson.

1879 August 7 John o’ Groat Journal

ROUSAY, ORKNEY. HOEING MATCH, &c. – Colonel Burroughs, C.B., of Rousay and Veira, gave six handsome prizes to be competed for on Tuesday, 22nd instant. The match was open to all employed on the home farm. All the skilled hands put in appearance, and the work was so closely contested that the judges (Messrs Murrison and Manson) found considerable difficulty in adjudging the prizes. The decision come to gave entire satisfaction and was as follows, viz.: – 1st prize, Hugh Cormack; 2nd, Jane Grieve; 3rd, Annie Louttit; 4th, James Marwick; 5th, Jane Johnstone ; 6th, Mary Marwick. A prize was also given to Mina Logie who was the youngest hand on the field.

COLONEL BURROUGHS has made vast improvements on his estate during the last few years at considerable expense. What was lately nothing but barren heath, growing crops of hay, corn, turnips, &c., may now be seen that are very rarely met within these latitudes. The new mansion (Trumland), of handsome design and elegantly furnished and fitted up in the newest style, was erected a few years since at great cost. It has beautifully laid out lawns all round, and Mrs Burroughs (a most amiable lady) who is no mean botanist, and horticulturist, may be seen daily amongst her flower beds and young trees. A great number of the last mentioned were planted last spring, as well as in previous years, and appear to be growing wonderfully, considering that they are rather devoid of shelter. It would be good for the majority of the proprietors in the north to take a lesson in agriculture from our worthy veteran, and do more for improving their estates, although it should only be for encouraging, and showing good example to their tenantry. It is worthy of comment, with regard to Colonel and Mrs Burroughs, that it could hardly be possible to find a lady and gentleman that are more popular or more highly respected by all their tenantry.

ANGLING. – Colonel Burroughs and Mr Melville fished over Saviskaill loch on Thursday, 24th instant, and obtained first-rate sport, returning in the evening to Trumland with baskets full of beautiful trout. The sport obtained on the Rousay waters was never better than it has been this season, and the fish are all in capital condition.

1879 October 30 John o’ Groat Journal

ORKNEY, at Martinmas first. Apply to Mr MURRISON, Viera Lodge, Rousay.

Apply to Mr MURRISON, Viera Lodge, Rousay, Orkney.

1879 December 6 Bucks Herald

Mr Munro, road contractor, Rousay, has captured a very fine eagle alive at the shore at Faraclett Farm, Rousay, Orkney.

1880 May 13 John o’ Groat Journal

WELCOME TO MAJOR-GENERAL F. W. T. BURROUGHS, C.B., AND MRS BURROUGHS. – On it coming to the ears of the tenantry and others on the estates of Rousay and Viera that their much-respected proprietor had attained the rank Major-General, they with one accord decided on giving him and his amiable lady a hearty welcome to their chateau in Rousay. Accordingly, the 8th-1st Orkney Artillery Volunteers turned out in review order (without arms) under Captain Murrison, to receive the General on his arrival. Together with the whole of the tenantry, they assembled at Trumland pier, the volunteers lining each side facing inwards. On the boat from the General’s yacht “Sylphide” arriving within about 100 yards of the landing place, the ecstasy prevailing in all hearts on shore gave vent to itself in an outburst of cheers. Captain Murrison met them on landing, immediately after which three more hearty cheers were given for General and Mrs Burroughs. An address had been drawn up which Captain Murrison then read amidst breathless silence. The General briefly replied and invited all present to Trumland House to have a refreshment.

On the family carriage (containing General and Mrs Burroughs) reaching the gate opening to the “approach,” it was stopped by the crowd, the horses unyoked, and was then drawn at rattling pace up to the door, a distance of 300 or 400 yards. Here all the people entered, and were treated with “the necessaries of life” to their heart’s content, after which “each took aff their separate way” rejoicing, one saying to another, “Man dinna they luik weeI,” &c. The General shook hands (warmly) with each as they passed out. A temporary arch was erected over the entrance gate, which was beautifully decorated with evergreens and the word “welcome,’’ and bunting were displayed the pier and mansion. The following is the address:-

“Major-General Burroughs, – We, the representatives of the 8th-lst Orkney Artillery Volunteers and others, tenants on your estates of Rousay and Viera, have this day assembled to welcome you, and your esteemed lady on your return to your island home, and to congratulate you on your recent promotion to the rank of Major-General, a promotion well deserved and nobly earned by gallant deeds on many a hard-fought field.

“It only remains for us who know your real worth and appreciate your goodness of heart, and have had experience of the true nobility of disposition which prompts your every action – it only remains for us to wish that you and your worthy lady, who by her many acts of kindness has endeared herself to every heart, may long live to enjoy the honours earned, and therefore conferred by a grateful country; and that when the time comes when all earthly honours must be laid aside, may He who was your stay and support through all your campaigns, and still is the captain of your salvation, bestow upon you the crown of life which He has promised to those who fight the good fight of faith.

“God bless the gallant General
And bless his lady fair;
Their persons bless, their estates bless,
With blessings rich and rare.
“May health be theirs, may wealth be theirs,
May sorrows never come;
And long may they be spared to live
In Trumland house their home.”

1880 May 25 Orkney Herald

SINGULAR LOSS AND RECOVERY OF £83. – On Wednesday last, when the steamer Lizzie Burroughs was leaving the moorings at Sourin, Rousay, Capt. Reid had occasion to lean over the bulwarks, when an envelope containing £83 and some silver coin dropped out of his pocket into the sea. It is customary for the captain of this and other packets to convey large sums of money to town. In the present case the money had been handed to Capt. Reid by Mr. Thomas B. Reid, Clerk to the Rousay School Board, for the purpose of being lodged in one of the banks in town. On falling into the water the envelope floated for a few moments, but sank just as a boat approached. Capt. Reid sent the steamer to town in charge of the mate, and proceeded himself to the Clerk of the School Board, and informed him of the loss, when it was decided to proceed to Kirkwall by a boat and endeavour to secure the services of a diver. Mr Calder, one of the divers who has been engaged at the pier, at once proceeded to Rousay, and descended at the place where the money was lost, the depth of water being about four fathoms. He had only been down a minute or two when he discovered the envelope lying on the bottom. Short as the time was that the money had been in the water, a large shell-fish known as a “buckie” had taken up its abode on the top of the envelope, thus effectually anchoring it to the spot. It is fortunate that there is not any strength of tide at this place. Had the loss occurred where the current is swift the cash would probably never have been seen again.

1880 September 2 John o’ Groat Journal

MOORS. – The sport at Rousay, Orkney, continues excellent. General Burroughs, C.B., Captain Papillon, 92nd Gordon Highlanders, went out about mid-day on the 20th August, and had 30½ brace grouse, 3 snipe, and 3 hares. On the 22nd, the same party went snipe shooting on the island of Veira, and in about two hours secured 11 couple snipe and 3 plovers. The weather continues quite charming.

1880 October 23 Aberdeen Free Press

DISCOVERY OF ANCIENT REMAINS IN ROUSAY. – Some interesting researches, which may prove of considerable antiquarian importance, have just been made on the farm of Corquoy, in the valley of Sourin, island of Rousay, of which General Burroughs, C.B. is proprietor. Immediately above the farm-house a group of mounds is situated, locally known as “Manzie’s” mounds – a corruption of Magnus – and supposed to mark the site of an ancient burial-place. These are five in number, the largest being irregularly surrounded by four smaller. On carefully trenching the mounds, each was found to contain a stone burial-place, consisting, in every case, of a top and bottom stone with four side stones, the whole neatly cemented with tempered red clay, probably from the Sourin burn. The stones, which were of a flat but massive description, were partly naturally plane on the edge and partly roughly chipped into form, possibly with some stone implement. The fresh appearance of the stones and workmanship was especially noticeable, and the firmly set masonry was further strengthened by irregular blocks placed as to support the superincumbent weight. The measurement of the largest mound, which was most interesting, and with the internal details of which the others closely correspond, was – outside circumference, 50 feet, and top 5½ feet from surrounding level; inside burial place 2½ feet by 2 feet, and ½ foot depth. The centre of the cavity was almost filled with what seemed to be clay, mixed with very minute fragments of bone, and the action of fire was clearly visible on the stones, as well on some calcined substance – probably pest. Imbedded in this clay an oval vessel was found, heaped also with similar fragments of bones, &c., and resting, mouth upwards, lengthwise north and south. The material of the vessel is uncertain. It has a somewhat metallic appearance, interspersed with glittering points on a dark, iron-coloured ground. It is of oval shape at the rim, round which there is a kind of plain moulding; from this moulding it assumes a dome-like shape, flattening into an oval base, on which it was found resting. The vessel measures – diameter of mouth, 9¾ by 8 inches; height to top or base, 7¼ inches; diameter of base, 4½ by 3¾ inches; thickness irregular, but averaging quarter of an inch. Various cracks are visible throughout, but the only part defective is the base, of which about one-third is wanting. Weight about 3lbs. The most careful scrutiny failed to detect any further remains in this mound, nor was anything noteworthy found in the others. Two of the other mounds contained burial places rather squarer in form than the above. The smallest one measured only 12 by 6 inches, and no cement seemed to have been used in its construction. Arrangements are being made for placing the vessel or urn in the Antiquarian Museum, Edinburgh, when competent judges may able fix the date of the mounds or the race to which the remains belong.

1880 November 10 The Scotsman

THE ORKNEY FISHERIES INQUIRY. – In the beginning of November Mr Young, in continuance of the inquiry previous to constituting the Orkneys into a fishery district, inspected the Muckle and Peerie lochs on the Island of Rousay, the loch of Saviskaill, and the Saviskaill burn and Sourin water. The Muckle and Peerie lochs cover about 170 acres, and are connected with the sea by the Sourin water, which has a course of 2½ miles. The trout in both these lakes are numerous and excellent, but there are certain obstacles in the course of the burn which at present almost entirely prevent the ascent of sea trout. These, however, are in the course of being remedied, and there is every reason to believe that sea trout will soon have easy access to these two fine sheets of water. Near the manse the stream runs over a bed of slate, and there is a fall which requires some manipulation in order to enable fish to ascend it easily. Loch Saviskaill is on the north side of the island of Rousay, and is famous for the number and excellence of its trout. It covers between 50 and 60 acres. Recent improvements made and about to be made by General Burroughs on the short stream that connects it with the sea will probably enable sea trout to ascend to it in the course of next fishing season. At present, at the mill close to its mouth, the greater part of the water joins the sea through the lade, while only a small stream trickles over the beach from the burn. The consequence is, that any sea-trout seeking to ascend would naturally take the lade instead of the burn, and would probably be killed by the mill-wheel. The proper remedy is to divert the water from the lade into the burn after it has passed by the wheel, and so let the whole water run into the sea through its natural channel.

Rousay is the highest and most picturesque of the northern group of the Orkney Islands. It is about eighteen miles in circumference. On the south there is a hill 811 feet in height – about the height of Arthur’s Seat; on the north another hill somewhat lower, and between the two the sheltered valley in which are the Muckle and Peerie lochs and the Sourin burn. Rousay is separated from the mainland of Orkney by a winding sound two miles in width, in which lies the little island of Eynhallow, from the Norse Eyinhalga, or Holy Island, once a chosen retreat of the Culdee fathers, but now uninhabited. Lead ore, containing 80 per cent. of lead, has been found on Rousay, and copper ore, containing 5 per cent. of copper. Iron ore, paving slate, and shale also occur. Round the house of Westness, said to be built on the site of the dwelling of the famous viking Sigurd, there is a fine grove of trees and a vinery, and fuchsias and veronica bushes flourish luxuriantly. Rousay and the adjoining island of Veira both belong to General Burroughs, who has initiated and carried out a number of improvements in various directions since he came to reside on his Orkney property…..

1880 December 25 The Daily Review

ROUSAY. – Yesterday Mr Archibald McCallum, preacher, was inducted to the pastorate of the Free Church congregation. The Rev. Andrew Gilles, Orphir, preached and presided. Rev. James Stuart, Kirkwall, gave the narrative of proceedings during the vacancy, and Rev. W. D. Robb, Deerness, gave an exposition of the principals of the Free Church. Mr Stuart also addressed pastor and people. The Presbytery afterwards dined in the manse – General Burroughs of Rousay and Veira in the chair. The General also presided at a large soiree in the evening, and welcomed Mr McCallum to the island. Mr Stuart, in presenting Mr McCallum with a gown and cassock, Bible, and Psalm-book from the ladies, referred to the fact that the new pastor had received a call from North Queensferry, and had also been elected to South Leith Church, but had preferred Rousay. Mr McCallum afterwards presented Mr Stuart with a number of standard volumes in acknowledgment of his services as moderator of session during the vacancy.

1881 January 1 Shetland Times

THE DISCOVERY OF ANCIENT REMAINS IN ROUSAY, ORKNEY. – The first monthly meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland was held in Edinburgh on Monday last week. Among the papers read was one by Mr George M. McCrie, the discovery of an urn of steatite in a sepulchral tumulus in Rousay. Mr McCrie excavated a group of five mounds on the farm of Curquoy, and in the largest found a cist with the urn. Cists were found in the others, but no urns. Mr Anderson stated that this interesting group of interments was related to a class of burials of the later Iron Age in Norway, and were probably the graves of early Norse settlers in Rousay before the introduction of Christianity among them. On the motion of Professor Duns, vice-president, a vote of thanks was given to Mr McCrie for his paper and for the presentation of the urn to the Museum; as also to General Burroughs, the proprietor of Rousay. The Academy announces that Mr McCrie will contribute a paper to an early number of Chambers’ Journal on his discovery of this Norse Cemetery in Orkney.

1881 March 5 Shetland Times

SWANS SHOT ON THE WEST SIDE. – Having observed a paragraph describing some large swans shot lately in Rousay, Orkney, a correspondent informs us that four of these birds were shot on a recent occasion, on the West Side, the largest of which five inches more across the wings than the largest shot in Orkney, being 8 feet from tip to tip. It, however, only weighed 16 lbs. as against 17½ lbs, which was the weight of the largest one shot by General Burroughs.

1881 September 8 Northern Ensign

CRUISE OF THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH IN ORKNEY – SHARK CAUGHT NEAR AUSKERRY. – In the first of last week the yacht Francesca, with the Duke of Marlborough and Duke of Roxburghe on board, proceeded for a cruise in the north isles, with Mr William Muir as pilot. On Tuesday, when fishing with a net on the banks off Auskerry a shark was caught, and afterwards landed at Kirkwall. The shark is of the picked species (galeus acanthias) and is five feet in length [probably a tope/school shark]. On Wednesday the yacht, after fishing mussels for bait, again proceeded to the fishing both on the east and west sides of the islands, and in the Stronsay Firth, where some good sport was enjoyed, the distinguished fishers occasionally landing a pair of cod or haddocks at a single haul with hand lines. While the Duke of Roxburghe was engaged fishing off the west side of Rousay, the Duke of Marlborough visited the cliffs and caves near the Lobust, and enjoyed pigeon shooting. On Monday the yacht proceeded to Gairsay, where some pleasant hours were spent in plover shooting. On Tuesday the yacht left for Inverness, all on board having pleasant recollections of the cruise in the islands.

1881 September 9 The Scotsman

NEW CEMETERY AT ROUSAY, ORKNEY. – On Wednesday a new cemetery was consecrated in the Island of Rousay, Orkney, by the Right Rev. the Bishop of Orkney and Aberdeen, on petition by General Burroughs, C.B., of Rousay and Viera, the proprietor of the island. The Bishop was assisted by his chaplain, the Rev. N. K. Macleod, incumbent of Ellon; the Rev. J. B. Craven, incumbent of St Olaf’s Church, Kirkwall; and the Rev. J. Connon, Burravoe, Shetland. The new cemetery lies contiguous to the parish church of Rousay. Yesterday the party were conveyed to Kirkwall in General Burroughs’ steam yacht. The Bishop leaves for Aberdeen to-morrow.

1881 December 27  The Scotsman

…..Yesterday the wind veered round from south to west from which direction it is now blowing a furious gale. The mail steamer cannot cross the Pentland Firth. The steamer Lizzie Burroughs is detained in Rousay, and the steamer Orcadia could not make the passage from the North Isles to Kirkwall. Fears are entertained for the safety of a skiff boat which left KirkwaII for Rousay during a lull on Sunday morning. It was seen to be overtaken by a squall, and the sail lowered; but the drift coming on, obscured the boat from sight. A report has now reached town that the little craft succeeded in getting into shelter. It was only fourteen feet of keel, and had three passengers on board, who were to visit Rousay…..

1882 February 16 John o’ Groat Journal

ORKNEY, (ROUSAY). VOLUNTEER SOIREE AND BALL. – The Sourin schoolroom was the scene of a pleasing event on the evening of Friday, 3rd instant, when a number of friends in this and adjacent islands gathered thither to enjoy the hospitality of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the 8-1st Orkney Artillery Volunteers. Amongst those present we observed General and Mrs Burroughs; Rev. James Gardener, E.C. minister, Miss McCallum, F.C. Manse; Capt., Mrs, and Miss Murrison, and Miss Mackay, Viera Lodge. A blessing having been asked by the rev. gentleman, the company sat down to well-served tea, which, together with the other arrangements, were under the superintendence of Sergeant Instructor William Charlesworth, and for which he deserves special credit, more particularly it is the first affair of the kind he has catered for since his arrival in the island, two years ago. Tea over, General Burroughs, addressing the volunteers, in the course of a few remarks, said he would like to see a better turn out, and went on to say that each volunteer will only be asked to attend 12 drills a year, and they will get a drill hall erected, which will be a great boon. Addressing the ladies, he said he was glad to see so many present, and concluded with a request that none of them should accept “the hand of a man” who is not volunteer. Here the ladies with one accord stood up, testifying their approval of the General’s remarks.

At this juncture the Rev. Gardener took his leave. At about 8 p.m., on it being made known that General and Mrs Burroughs were about to leave, at the request of Lieut. T. B. Reid, three hearty cheers and one cheer more were accorded them, to which the General briefly replied, and “the happy couple,” for such they may be truly termed, left for Trumland. Dancing was the chief attraction, and was participated in with much zest, from seven o’clock on Friday evening until two o’clock the following morning. Violin music was well supplied by Messrs Craigie and Purdie and songs were sung at intervals by Messrs Moyes, Purdie, and Sinclair. Mr Moyes sang “Tam Glen” with much taste. He was also exceedingly happy in his parody on “The Last Rose of Summer,” and in response to an encore gave a parody on “Scotland Yet,” with a degree of success which it is not always in the power of an amateur singer to command. Mr Purdie sang the “Gipsy’s Wedding’’ and two other songs in capital style, and Mr Sinclair sang “Bonnie Scotland’s Woods and Braes,” which was very well received. Ample supplies of wine, cake, and fruit, were supplied throughout the evening at regular intervals. The weather could not possibly have proved more favourable for the occasion; and the moon shone out in all her splendour as each “happy couple” wound their way homeward, after enjoying a first-class night’s amusement. It only remains for us to congratulate the organisers of the entertainment on the cheerful results which attended their labours.

1882 July 1 Aberdeen Press & Journal

PROPOSED OYSTER CULTIVATION IN THE NORTH ISLES. – General Burroughs, Trumland House, Rousay, proposes to cultivate oysters in some of the bays in that island, and Mr Young, Edinburgh, well known in connection with fisheries, is at present in the island visiting the districts so as to ascertain the most suitable spots for placing the bivalves.

1882 August 3 John o’ Groat Journal

GENERAL BURROUGHS, C.B., ON AGRICULTURE IN ORKNEY. – At the dinner after the annual cattle show the Rousay and Veira, (Orkney) Agricultural Society, General Burroughs, C.B., the proprietor of these two islands, in the course of a speech proposing success to the Society, said:- We have heard of late years much complaining of the times, from bad seasons, American competition, and other causes. I am thankful to say we have little cause to complain in this county, for with us the prices of cattle and sheep and grain have maintained their average, and agricultural prospects generally just now are looking bright. Orkney has made, and is still making, year by year very remarkable progress in agriculture; year by year more land is being brought under cultivation; year by year our flocks and our herds are increasing in number and quality; it is said that about half million of money lies to the credit of our farmers in the banks of Kirkwall and Stromness; and there is no reason why Orkney should not soon hold its place amongst the best cultivated counties of Scotland. Our soil is as good as that of most counties, and better than that of many. Our climate is no worse. We have seaware and shell-sand abounding all round our shores, costing merely the labour of carting and spreading on our fields. Cattle dealers periodically perambulate our islands with their money in their pockets and their vessels at our shores, ready to transfer their money from their own pockets to those of our farmers, and to transfer our cattle and sheep from the farms to the boats. Few counties have such advantages. Another very great advantage possessed by the inhabitants of these islands, and one which I fear is hardly sufficiently appreciated, is the harvest of the seas around our coasts. Our seas are alive with fish, and the poorest among us has but to go to the rocks when his day’s work is over, and there in a short time he can catch sufficient fish to keep himself and his family in plenty. Another great source of our food supply in this county is our poultry. It the year 1881, it has been computed from trustworthy statistics, say the public journals, that more than eleven millions eggs were exported from Orkney to the southern markets. A fair estimate of the value of this enormous number of eggs is got by an average of 8d per dozen, which is rather under than over the real value here. This gives a total value of £32,774, which is more than half the free rental of the county, and equal to 20s per head of the entire population.