1894 January 10 Orkney Herald
MEDICAL OFFICER (Resident) Wanted for the Parish of
ROUSAY and EGILSHAY, Orkney, to enter on duties
22nd February, 1894. Salary, £51 stg. per annum.
Apply to Inspector of Poor, Rousay, Orkney,
on or before 24th January 1894.
1894 January 24 Orkney Herald
THE ROUSAY MAIL BOAT ACCIDENT – GRANTS FROM ROYAL BOUNTY. – As will be seen from the following letter, received by Mr MacPherson, postmaster, Kirkwall, the Prime Minister has authorised grants from the Royal Bounty Fund to the widows of the two boatmen who were drowned through the capsizing of the mail boat in Eynhallow Sound in October last: –
10 Downing Street, Whitehall
London, 18th January 1894.
Sir, – I am desired by Mr Gladstone to inform you that he has given directions for the issue from the Royal Bounty Fund of a gratuity of £50 to Mrs Sarah Reid, and £25 to Mrs Mary Sinclair, the widows of two men who were drowned while crossing Eynhallow Sound a short time ago in charge of the mails. The addresses of these two persons are not known here, but the orders for payment of the above sums will be sent to you, and I shall be much obliged if you will undertake to forward them to their proper destination. – Yours faithfully, GEO. H. MURRAY.
1894 February 14 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – WEATHER so stormy and so protracted has not been experienced here before even by the oldest inhabitant. Our daily post has become a weekly one – the mail boat which usually crosses from Evie daily having been unable to make the passage since Monday the 5th inst. A large vessel is reported to have been seen off the West coast, drifting with the tide. A great many – especially young folk – are suffering from colds, and the schools are very thinly attended, several, owing to the weather, being kept at home as a precaution against illness.
1894 February 28 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – DR INKSTER having resigned his position as medical officer of the parish, the vacancy has been filled by the appointment of Dr Ligertwood, Aberdeen, who will enter on duty on the 1st March. Dr Inkster has, during his stay here, earned the goodwill of all with whom he came in contact. Much regret is being expressed at his departure, and a large circle of friends wish him every success in his future career.
SCHOOL BOARD. – Wednesday, the 18th April prox., has been fixed as the date of the triennial election of the School Board. The Board will meet with the ratepayers on Saturday the 31st March, when an opportunity will be given of conferring as to whether a poll with its attendant expense may be avoided.
MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT GUILD. – The Rev. Mr Pirie delivered a very instructive lecture on “General Booth’s Social Scheme,” at a meeting of this society held on Wednesday last. The lecturer gave a very lucid description of the “submerged tenth,” and proceeded to explain in detail the various points of General Booth’s scheme, which is and must necessarily be a very vast one. One weak point of the scheme was that General Booth practically ignores the work of other agencies who labour for the relief of the submerged masses, and his resolve to maintain under his sole control whatever funds, &c., were subscribed for the scheme. The lecture was listened to throughout with close attention.
[General Booth, of the Salvation Army, published his “Darkest England and the Way Out,” a book which had a phenomenal sale at the time and for months afterwards, in which he propounded a scheme for uplifting the lower and criminal classes of this country. This scheme was announced as altogether distinct from and unconnected with the Salvation Army as such, and £100,000 was asked to enable the author to put it in operation, with £30,000 a year afterwards for the next few years in order to keep it going until it had become entirely self-supporting.]
1894 March 7 Orkney Herald
ESTATE OF ROUSAY, ORKNEY, TO LET
WESTNESS FARM. Extent – Acres Arable, 220; Pasture, 2684 or thereby.
It carries 55 Shorthorn Cattle, and 600 Leicester and Cheviot Cross Sheep.
Little frost or snow. Sheep are never sent South for wintering.
Excellent soil. Fields enclosed.
The Manor House of Westness and Garden, with Trout Fishing and Grouse, &c., Shooting over about 5000 acres, can, if desired, be Let with the Farm.
Apply to DUNCAN J. ROBERTSON, Solicitor.
Kirkwall, 6th March 1894.
1894 March 14 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – SOURIN MUSICAL ASSOCIATION. – Notwithstanding the boisterous weather, a large audience assembled on Friday evening, when the Sourin Musical Association gave their annual concert. The programme was long and varied, consisting of songs, duets, trios, quartettes, part songs, and instrumental selections, all of which were rendered with considerable taste and skill. The part-singing was marked by good enunciation and expression, and frequently elicited hearty applause. Mr A. C. Gibson got a splendid reception for his singing of “The Tar’s Lass.” The comic element was admirably sustained by Messrs D. Mackay and G. Stephenson. Miss Agnes Gibson, who was in good voice, sang, “Rolling Home”; Miss Annabella Sinclair sang very sweetly “The Old Brigade”; Miss M. J. Gibson, who has a good alto voice, gave “Gathering Shells”; Miss M. Russell was warmly applauded for her account of “The Yellow Hair’d Laddie”; Miss Sinclair sang feelingly, “Massa’s in the Cold Ground”; and Mr Malcolm Leonard, who has a splendid baritone voice, sang “The Mississippi Shore.” The three duets, “Hunting-tower,” “Ca the Ewes,” and “All’s Well,” were well received. Mrs Simpson accompanied throughout on the piano, and Mr Simpson acted as conductor. The Rev. A. I. Pirie, with his usual tact, occupied the chair, and at the end of the concert proposed a vote of thanks to all performers, which was very heartily responded to.
1894 March 21 Orkney Herald
CAPT. JOHN CRAIGIE, of the s.s. Fawn, of Kirkwall, passed his examination as master (home passenger ships) before the Local Marine Board at Aberdeen last week.
[Capt. Craigie and his wife Elizabeth and family lived at Laro, Frotoft]
1894 March 28 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – PRESENTATION TO A SABBATH-SCHOOL TEACHER. – Frotoft School was on Tuesday night last week the scene of a large and interesting meeting, when Mr James Mainland, of Tratland, was presented by the scholars of the Sabbath-school with a Bible in recognition of his long and valued services as a teacher. The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie made the presentation in name of the scholars, and in doing so said that Mr Mainland had been a teacher in the school for forty-seven years, that owing to advancing age he felt himself unable to continue longer in the work, and that consequently the scholars and other friends desired to express to him their gratitude for all his faithful services, and the earnest hope that he may be long spared amongst them. Mr Pirie stated that Mr Mainland had in the school as his colleague the late Mr James Sinclair, of Newhouse, who for the long period of fifty-four years had laboured as a Sabbath-school teacher. If Mr Sinclair had been spared he would doubtless have received a similar expression of good feeling and gratitude. He had, however, been taken from them to receive a higher reward, and his class had heartily united with the rest in offering this token of esteem and affection to Mr Mainland. Mr Mainland, who was much affected, said in reply that he did not know how to thank them all for this unexpected kindness. His labours in the school had been one of his greatest sources of pleasure, but since his old much esteemed friend and fellow-labourer, Mr Sinclair, had been taken away, and also his own beloved son-in-law by that sore boat accident, he felt he was not able to meet his class as formerly. The burden of increasing years was also telling upon him, so that he had resolved to retire from the school. He had seen a great number of his class go out into the world, and set up homes for themselves, and when he heard of them doing well he was as proud of it as if they were members of his own family. He looked upon them all as his children, and his prayer was that the choicest blessings of the gospel may ever rest upon them. The members of the Bible class enlivened the proceedings by singing a number of beautiful hymns.
1894 April 18 Orkney Herald
MR GEORGE J. PIRIE, Rousay, has obtained a first-class certificate of merit at Aberdeen University in the class of Anatomy (first year students – osteology), and a second-class certificate in the class of Practical Anatomy.
[Dr George Jamieson Pirie was the son of Rousay’s United Presbyterian minister, the Rev Alexander Irvine Pirie and Elspeth (Elsie) Jamieson.]
1894 May 9 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – RECITAL OF SACRED MUSIC. – The Bible Class conducted by the Rev A. I. Pirie in Frotoft School during the winter months was wound up on Sunday evening by a recital of sacred music by a choir led by Mr W. Marwick. The music consisted of Christmas songs selected from “The Gospel Choir,” and was much appreciated by a large audience which quite filled the small school room. Mrs Simpson acted as accompanist. The Rev A. I. Pirie presided and prefaced each of the pieces by a few explanatory remarks. It was intimated that the Bible Class, which had been very successful, would be resumed next winter.
1894 June 6 Orkney Herald
GRAZINGS on the HOLM of SCOCKNESS to Let.
Apply to Alexander Munro, Old School,
Sourin, Rousay. 4th June 1894.
DWELLING HOUSE to Let at TRUMLAND FARM, ROUSAY.
A Shoemaker would find a suitable opening.
Apply to D. B. Wood, Trumland Farm, Rousay.
NORTH ISLES DISTRICT COMMITTEE. – A meeting of the North Isles District Committee of the County Council, was held yesterday. Present – Lieut. General Burroughs (in the chair), Rev. M. Armour, Messrs Gold, and S. Reid, jr…..A complaint by Mr William Harrold, Blossom, Rousay, with reference to a quarry on his croft used in procuring material for the repairs of the roads there was submitted. After consideration it was agreed to instruct the island inspector to have the place made safe by means of a wire fence…..
1894 July 14 Glasgow Herald
ESTATE OF ROUSAY, ORKNEY.
To Let, WESTNESS FARM.
Extent, about 281 Acres Arable and 2600 Pasture.
It carries 55 Shorthorn Cattle and about 700 Leicester and Cheviot Cross Sheep. Little frost or snow. Sheep never sent South for wintering. Excellent Soil.
Fields Enclosed. Manor House and Garden of Westness,
with Trout Fishing and Grouse, &c. Shooting over about
5000 Acres can, if desired, be Let with the Farm.
Apply to Duncan J. Robertson, Solicitor, Kirkwall.
1894 July 25 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY AND EGILSHAY. – The schools in this parish were inspected by Mr A. R. Andrew, M.A., and his assistant, Mr Topping, who we understand were well satisfied with the state of the schools. Mr W. Simpson, who has been teacher of Sourin School for the last four years, has resigned, having been appointed teacher of Daviot School in Inverness.
1894 August 1 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – EXCURSION. – An excursion under the auspices of the Sourin Musical Association took place on Friday last week. The s.s. Fawn was hired for the occasion and left Trumland Pier at 9 a.m. for Westray. The day was all that could be desired, and the trip was thoroughly successful, nearly a hundred availing themselves of the opportunity. Pierowall was reached after a delightful two hours’ sail. Arrived there the visitors proceeded to “do” the “lions” of the place. Noltland Castle was visited by most, and considerable time was spent in exploring that interesting ruin. A links adjoining Pierowall was taken advantage of for a game at golf by several of the excursionists. After thus employing the time available for enjoyment the party re-embarked and were carried back to Rousay. Dancing was kept up with much spirit on deck, and thus a most enjoyable day was passed.
1894 August 8 Orkney Herald
SUDDEN DEATH. – On Saturday evening while a young man named James G. Logie, belonging to Rousay, and an apprentice with Mr James A. Bews, draper, was walking along Harbour Street he was seized with a severe fit of coughing which brought on an attack of internal haemorrhage from which he died in a few minutes. The deceased who had been in delicate health for some time, was assisted into the shop of Mr John Muir, grocer, and Dr Sinclair was immediately sent for, but before his arrival death had ensued.
[James Gibson Logie was the son of John Logie, Geo, Westness, and his first wife, Cecilia Gibson, Vacquoy. Born in 1874 he was the youngest of their ten children.]
1894 August 8 Orkney Herald
THE DEER FOREST COMMISSION
PUBLIC SITTING AT KIRKWALL
The Royal Commission appointed to enquire whether any, and if any, what land in the Highlands and Islands Counties of Scotland, now occupied for the purposes of a deer forest, grouse moor or other sporting purposes, or for grazing, not in the occupation of crofters and small tenants, is capable of being cultivated to profit or otherwise advantageously by crofters or other small tenants, held a public sitting in the Sheriff Court Buildings, Kirkwall, last Wednesday. The Commissioners present were – Sheriff Brand (Chairman), Mr M. H. Shaw-Stewart, M.P. for East Renfrewshire, Rev. Mr McCallum, and Messrs Gordon and Munro. There was a large attendance of the public. The sitting began at 10.30 a.m. and [continued] till 5pm, with a brief adjournment.
WILLIAM GEORGE LENNOX, solicitor, Kirkwall, said he was agent for the crofters who were to appear and give evidence that day. Along with the late Mr Thomson, he had been for five years the crofters’ agent in Orkney and Shetland, and as such had become intimate with the needs and requirements of that class…..In regard to the subject of inquiry Orkney was not in the same position as the other parts of Scotland included in this inquiry. In Orkney there were no deer forests, and very little of the land was in sheep farms or grouse moors. Orkney land was flatter and more easily cultivated than in the Shetlands. Still there were fair strips which fell within the scope of the inquiry, and regarding which he proposed to lead evidence. The large farms in Orkney were mainly arable, but he should endeavour to show how the crofters suffered through this. These large farms were made out of crofters’ holdings. The size of present crofts was such that crofters could only look in certain directions to make ends meet. The first was through enlargement of holdings. The conditions of enlargement under the Crofters Act were such that it was almost impossible to carry it out…..
Mr LENNOX said that with regard to Rousay he had one or two particular statements to place before the Commissioners. Fifty or sixty years ago hills extending to 10,000 acres were common pasture. Since then the farm of Westness has absorbed over 2000 acres. Kierfea Hill was taken away partly in 1860-61 and partly in 1865, and is now part of the farm of Langskaill, and Knitchen Hill was taken away in 1880. The farm of Westness was created to a large extent out of crofts. On the Westside portion twenty crofts were swept away, and the same number on the Quandale portion. A principal drawback to the Rousay crofters was that the proprietor had an embargo on quarrying stones in that island. The crofters, finding their houses falling into disrepair, and anxious to escape the penalties of the Act by making repairs, were prevented from doing so. The whole island with the exception of the Glebe belonged to one landlord, and for want of stones crofters can’t repair their houses, can’t even drain their lands. Two crofters who attempted to take stones from an old use and wont quarry were served with an interdict and even threatened with prosecution for theft. He (Mr Lennox) was conversant with the facts because he had been employed in investigating the cases. Another crofter had the stones quarried, and the landlord refused to allow him to remove them, though he offered to pay for them and for surface damage. The occupant of the —– allowed quarrying, but the stones were not very suitable, and the nearest place where stones could be quarried free was a small island near Egilshay. It would easily be seen how very hard this was on the crofters under the conditions of the Crofters Act,
The CHAIRMAN – All this was before the Sheriff, and the Sheriff gave decree?
Mr LENNOX – Yes, and according to the present law the landlord could prevent quarrying; but amendment was necessary, and he wished to call the attention of the Commission to the matter.
Mr GORDON asked what was the name of the island from which stones were got? One of the audience replied that it was on the north-east of Egilshay.
The CHAIRMAN asked Mr Lennox to point to land available for enlargement of holdings in terms of the remit to the Commission. What were the strips to which Mr Lennox referred.
Mr LENNOX – It is mainly laid down to sheep grazing, in Rousay and Sanday. In Rousay it would come from Westness and Langskaill. Witnesses to be brought forward would be better able to give information on the point.
The CHAIRMAN – You do not propose to enter on that? – Mr LENNOX: No. – I understand you to indicate that what is wanted in Orkney is enlargement of present holdings rather than creation of new holdings? – Yes. – Would you favour taking arable land for that purpose? – Yes. – Enlargement from arable land rather than grazing? – Yes. – You suggest that a single crofter should be empowered to apply for enlargement? – Certainly. – Are the crofters in Orkney in townships, or rather scattered – not gathered into townships as in Shetland? – That is so. – With regard to compensation, you say that that should be taken into account in fixing the fair rent, and partly borne by the landlord. How would you allocate it, or have you considered the matter – Yes, to some extent. Where the crofter was not of the same family that formerly occupied the land he should bear the whole compensation. – Do you mean purchase – a fair rent charge? – No; an addition to the rent for perhaps seven years as compensation. – You would relax the provisions of the Crofters Act which make it necessary that the land taken for enlargement should be on the same estate? – Yes. – You also said something as regards parishes; to what provision of the Act did you refer? – Land taken for enlargement must be in the same parish. – Where is that? – I think you will find it in the Crofters Act. – Well, well! With regard to the downfall of rents, you say rents have fallen from above £100 below £100? – Yes, the fall in such rents have been greater than the reduction in rents ordained by the Crofters Commission. – So that the Crofters Commission could have dealt with the cases before which they cannot deal with now? – Yes. – Where is the congestion to which you referred? – All over. – Is there general congestion? – Yes, not so bad in some parishes – as in Harray, where the occupants are mostly owners of their farms – as in others. – Which are the most congested parishes? – Rousay for one. – What is the population of Rousay? – I can hardly tell you. – What area of Rousay is under crofts? – I can’t say; seven-tenths of the tenantry are crofters. – We must have some area to compare with population; what is the average size of holdings? Eight to ten acres. The majority of the crofters have no common grazing. The island of Eday is congested also. There are only two large farms on it; the rest are all crofters. – What is the population of Eday? – 700 or 800; the crofts are very small. – Is there not a peat industry in one end of the island? – Yes. – Which assists the crofters in paying their rents? – Yes. The population of Rousay, Egilshay, and Veira in 1891 was given at 988. – Is it the fact that Orcadians readily go forth into the world and do not settle down at home? – In very many cases. – Is there much sub-division? – There are many cases in which two families live on one croft – the old people and a married son or daughter. That is common all over the county. – Speaking generally, Orkney crofters have relations all over the world? – All over. – And they are not reluctant to go abroad? – No.
In reply to Mr MUNRO, Mr Lennox said he rather pointed to a change in the law, more particularly to an amendment of the Crofters Act, and he was aware that that was not within the scope of the present enquiry. It had often occurred to him to address an appeal in regard to the points he had mentioned, and it had often been done. He knew that enlargement from existing farms was not within the scope of the inquiry. It was a general complaint at present that no land paid, but usually when hill ground was reclaimed the first years were the best. The land taken from crofters 60 or 70 years ago was now in some cases pasture, but otherwise it was all arable. The Commission might take it that there was not a large area in Orkney available for cultivation in terms of the remit to them.
By Mr McCALLUM – With reference to the large farms made out of crofters holdings it would be difficult to point to any large farm that was not in part so made. That was the almost universal case. The conditions of the older tenure were such as to prevent large holdings being formed at all. The large farms are superior in some cases, but crofts with old arable land are superior. When the crofters in Rousay were removed they went abroad, but some settled outside the hill dyke. All the arable land in that island is around the coast. Some the crofters are on higher ground, but the majority are along the shore. It is always easy to get to the shore. There may be a few people who desire new holdings, but not many. He was not aware that there were any people in Kirkwall belonging to country districts who desired new holdings. There was a strong desire for extension to enable crofters to compete in stock raising. The Orkney crofters were not fishers to the same extent as the Shetland crofters. The late Mr Thomson had well distinguished between the two when he said that the Orkney crofter was a farmer with a boat, the Shetland crofter a fisherman with a croft. No proprietor in Orkney, so far as he was aware, had given land for the extension of existing holdings, and unless the land was taken from the larger tenants he did not know that much was available. He could not tell the reason why the crofters in Rousay were prevented getting stones – he could only guess it. It was certainly not for any profit that the landlord could look to. It seemed to everybody to be done to defeat the purposes of the Act. He was glad to say that in Orkney, with few exceptions, proprietors generally were willing to meet their crofters half-way. He could hardly say that with regard to enlargement, as the only two cases with which he had had to do had been opposed bitterly. He thought the small holding’s were as profitable to proprietors as the large, especially as under the present law they actually paid more per acre. It is difficult to let large farms, and their rents are generally reduced. Six farms in Rousay had been advertised for ever so long; only one, however, could be called a large farm. Moderate-sized farms let readily. There was considerable demand among the crofter class for larger holdings. In granting compensation in consequence of enlargement, he would make the crofter partly liable; but it was possible by making the large farms more compact, and looking to the fact that they do not let readily, that the letting value of the remainder might be increased.
By Mr GORDON – Congestion should be relieved by extension of holdings. There was very little demand for new holdings in Orkney. Enlargements could only be made when the crofts abutted on a large farm or were within easy reach, and he saw the difficulty that would arise in a few years when an outlet was required for the new population. He had not given his attention to the question whether it would not be expedient to create new crofts, remove some of the present crofting population to them, throw their old crofts into adjoining crofts, and so relieve the congestion. Besides Rousay, the farm of Greenwall in Holm had been partly made out of crofts. He was able to speak generally as to the occupation of land in the islands, but he did not know much about Harray and Sandwick. Giving the high land to the crofters would give them summer grazing.
Mr GORDON said that the evidence the Commission had got in going over the ground the previous day was that in the central mainland any man could put his stock on the high ground, but did not think it worth, the land being so poor. All was black moorland except small patches. The evidence the Commissioners got was that there was no restriction as to pasture by crofters and farmers alike.
The CHAIRMAN pointed out that in considering applications for enlargement the Crofters Commission had had regard to the circumstances of each case in dealing with the question of contiguity.
By Mr MUNRO – Witness did not say that crofters cultivated to greater advantage than large farmers, but the crofts supported a larger population. Small farms were easily-let subjects, and he thought the reason why there was difficulty in letting them in Rousay was the peculiar conditions existing there.
In reply to Mr SHAW STEWART, Mr Robertson, agent for General Burroughs of Rousay, said the farms were advertised in May, and the time for receiving offers had not yet expired.
Questions having been invited from agents and others, Mr DREVER, solicitor, Kirkwall, asked Mr Lennox if there was any real permanent difficulty in letting farms? Mr Lennox replied that there was perhaps no permanent difficulty, but there was considerable difficulty in getting the old rent for large farms.
Mr DREVER – You stated that there was congestion and distress among the crofters in Orkney? Mr LENNOX – Yes, generally; there is too large a population for the land available. Can you tell us of any place in Orkney where that distress exists? – It’s general. Then, if general, you can easily make it particular? – Take Rousay and Eday. Can you not condescend to particulars; it is facts this Court want? – It is a pretty general rule to have a large part of my time taken up with people trying to get relief. You can’t condescend on particulars? – I can condescend on particulars of the whole county; it is my impression and belief. It is not it matter of faith and belief, it is a matter of sight; Can you say that there is distress among Orkney crofters? – I can say that seven-tenths of the Orkney crofters might be a great deal better off – (Mr DREVER – We might all be that.) – if they had an outlet for their crofts. Are you speaking on your own knowledge or on conversation with the crofters? – I must believe what they tell me. Then, you do not speak of your personal knowledge? – If you mean by personal knowledge what the crofters told me, yes. In that case you can give particulars? – Witness offered to bring his business books and go through them. That is not fair; we will assume that you cannot give particulars. WITNESS – You may assume what you like.
Questioned as to his grounds for saying that all the large farms had been formed out of crofts, Mr Lennox replied that it was a matter of knowledge.
Mr DREVER said it was a matter of history, and wished particulars. It might be the case in some instances, but it was not in others. He knew old farms which had been in existence for hundreds of years, and which possessed their old Norse names to that day. (To witness) Do you know of any farms that have been formed out of crofts? Mr LENNOX – Yes; Westness, Greentoft, Carrick, Greenwall. Take Greenwall; what crofts have been merged into it? – Witness could not say, but would lead evidence on the point. Asked as to the fall in the price of eggs he replied that he said that the fall was due to a glut in the market owing to imports from Holland. He did not know the product of eggs of the county; he quite believed that the rental of the county and the value of the product of eggs were about the same. The crofters were the class that produced most eggs.
Peter Yorston, Oldman, Rousay, examined by the CHAIRMAN, said his case was dealt with by the Crofters Commission. He had 20 acres arable and 2 of pasture. His rent of £10 10s was reduced to £7 10s, and off £10 5s of arrears, £4 5s were cancelled. Knitchen Hill, which now formed part of Trumland Home Farm, was formerly common to himself and other crofters, but they were deprived of it in 1880. His rent at that time was £8, and the croft of Eastaquoy was added and the rent raised to £10 10s. Kierfea Hill was on the other side and far from his croft, but he had had a right of grazing on it. Lower Lairo – the best of all – was taken away in 1861 and was now part of Langskaill, and Kierfea was taken in 1866. The crofters simply lost these hills, except a portion left outside the fences for peats. He had plenty of peats but they wanted stones, as they were not allowed to take one stone to repair with. He was appointed a delegate at a meeting of Rousay crofters.
By Mr SHAW STEWART – He could keep beasts on the hills in the summer season. Small bits might be suitable for cultivation, but they did not wish to turn them into arable. They would not be willing to pay rent; they wanted the hills for nothing as they formerly used to have them.
By Mr GORDON – Knitchen was about twenty minutes walk from the crofts. There was a ring fence between the hill ground and the arable land of Trumland and the crofts. If he could keep sheep he would have a better chance of paying his rent. He could not say the extent of pasture they now had. It was the peat banks and along the shore. The peat banks were a good deal destroyed. The stones on the small island near Egilshay were not very good. The quarry which he was interdicted from using was only 20 yards away. Flags were got at a considerable distance.
By Mr McCALLUM – If the ground at Westness, now in pasture, were available, plenty would apply for holdings if to be had reasonable. The old houses were still to be seen. The west-side portion of Westness was arable, but Quandale was not cultivated. He thought Rousay people would take holdings in Quandale. About 40 crofters lived there before, and were removed that it might be turned into sheep pasture. Land there was as good and some better than the land occupied by the crofters, because it had been so long rested. The crofters were not removed because of the unsuitability of the land.
By the CHAIRMAN – A number of crofters depended partly on the fishing, but their holdings lay too high – some an hour’s walk from the shore. They were thus divorced from the fishing by the larger farms along the shore. The remains of crofters’ houses were still to be seen in Rousay, especially on the Quandale side. The removals took place during the time of the present proprietor. There was no general desire among Rousay crofters to erect new buildings, but they had to keep buildings in repair and drain the land. He thought some five or six farms in Langskaill paid rent to the principal tenant. There were few cottars in Rousay. He was not aware of cases of more than one family living on a holding. There was distress enough owing to the bad times. There were only ten boats going to the fishing from Rousay.
By Mr LENNOX – There were cases of more than one family in one house. These would take the chance to get any ground available. The white fishing, not the herring fishing, was prosecuted, but it had greatly fallen away.
By Mr ROBERTSON – He was appointed to represent the crofters at a meeting at which perhaps 12 or 20 were present. He did not know if there were 80 or 90 crofters in the island. He did not know if Feelyhall and Brendale wanted enlargement; they were not crofters. All were more or less congested. There were three families at Knarston and two at Broland. He was not aware that it was a regulation before the Crofters Act that there was not to be more than one family in a house. They must be somewhere.
Mr ROBERTSON – Have you a copy of the estate regulations?
The CHAIRMAN – Oh, yes; but I never met anybody who had read them.
Mr Robertson undertook to lodge a copy of the estate regulations.
In reply to further questions witness said that he had never offered for a larger holding as he thought it was no use, as they were let cheaper to one who did not belong to the island. He did not know if Rousay crofters ever offered. The first eviction in Quandale took place in 1848. He did not remember them, and had his information from old people. He did not know when the people evicted came to Quandale, or if they were kelp-burners. Land at Quandale might be sometimes exposed to sea gust. He did not know what passed at the time of the removals, except that the land was to be laid down in pasture. He did not know if houses were built for them at Frotoft or other places. If they got land crofters could not put up buildings unless they got stones.
By Mr McCALLUM – Land in Quandale had been reclaimed by these crofters, and the value of the land added to thereby. The want of applications for small holdings in Rousay could be accounted for by the strained relations between proprietor and crofters – the sort of opposition the proprietor showed to crofters. If they got land on good conditions they would apply.
Malcolm Corsie, Faro, Rousay, agreed with Yorston’s evidence. He was questioned at considerable length regarding the fishings, and stated that he could not suggest suitable places for fishermen’s crofts. Same Orkney crofters had purchased boats by loans obtained under the Crofters Act and he believed had paid their instalments. None of these were in Rousay…..
Duncan John Robertson, solicitor, Kirkwall, agent for General Burroughs, said it was with reference to that estate that he wished to make an explanation. Quandale was the only part of Westness that was formerly in crofts. The people were brought there as kelp-burners, and when kelp-burning was given up they fell into arrears, could not pay up, because, they said kelp had failed, and the land was destroyed by sea gust. They were offered land in other parts – some in Frotoft and others in Sourin. He had been General Burroughs’ agent for six years and his factor for four, and he had never seen any sign of congestion or hardship. The tenants paid their rent even more regularly than other estates with which he had to do. There had been no evictions. Last year a man became bankrupt and was given a smaller croft. He was one of the few men who went to the herring fishing. He was County Clerk, and with regard to the applications for small holdings from Sanday, that was the only application he received. The Council waited six months to allow other people full time, and then seeing there was no other application, and knowing the circumstances, the Council thought there was no need for special enquiry. The report of the Committee was adopted, Mr Armour alone dissenting. The Council did not think it necessary to hold an enquiry. A reply was sent to one of the applicants. It might have been simply an acknowledgment of receipt of the petition. The Council acted on sections 1 and 5 of the Act.
By the CHAIRMAN – The Council came to a conclusion without communicating with the applicants. Mr Armour was of opinion that the Act should be adopted, but the Council were of opinion that there are no demands for small holdings. He believed there was a good deal of feeling as to stones in Rousay. He believed there were a good many stones. Only two cases of interdict were taken as test cases.
By Mr MUNRO – He believed the land at Quandale was the best for crofters holdings, and the crofters complained that it could not pay owing to sea-gust. He was not a judge of land. He did not think the proprietor would voluntarily break up large farms, but he could not say what he would do if he failed to find one tenant for Westness. No doubt, it would be better let in small farms than unlet, but there was the difficulty as to buildings. Even if the crofters built, the proprietor might be called on to pay compensation. If the crofters applied for that land he did not think the proprietor would give it for that reason principally.
Mr MUNRO – So that the only hope for the crofters on the Rousay estate is a compulsory law.
By Mr GORDON – He admitted that Quandale did not look like a good kelp-shore, but be believed a great deal of kelp was made there.
Mr GORDON was bound to say he did not think they made kelp there. He was sure they could not get it up the rocks.
Mr Robertson said remains of kelp kilns were there still. He admitted that Westness could be easily cut up, but he did not know whether it would be suitable for crofters or not.
By the CHAIRMAN – There are 19 farms in Rousay, and 6 in Viera above £30 of rent. None were in the proprietor’s hands, but some fell vacant at Martinmas, but there were enquires for them. The home farm at Trumland was in the proprietor’s hands till last year. All there are on written lease for a term of years. Farms have been vacant, suitable for crofters who wanted large places, but in no case have Rousay crofters offered. The places were advertised, and they were given the same opportunity as others. General Burroughs had not, so far as he was aware, considered the question of breaking up farms. In no case where crofts have fallen vacant have crofters asked to have them distributed over neighbouring crofts. A crofter whose rent was reduced by the Commission took a farm of £90, and his croft was then let at £2 over the old rent.
By Mr McCALLUM – Nineteen years is the usual term of lease, but some of the smaller farms are let for seven years. There is no difficulty in letting moderately-sized farms; during the last year or two there has been a difference of opinion as to rent. Farms of £70 to £100 of rent let best – better even than small ones. At Quandale it was because the crofters complained that the land would not pay that they were removed. He was not aware that they paid a kelp rent; or that it was usual to rent those who made kelp at a special rate. He supposed the same distress existed in Rousay as in other places. He got his information as to the complaint of the Quandale crofters from the proprietor. He could not speak of his own knowledge any more than the witnesses who had previously been examined. He had no definite information as to their asking to be removed. General Burroughs’ own opinion is that the land is not worth working owing to sea-gust. He had no information as to the number of crofters who were in Quandale; he understood there were about a dozen, but there might have been more. The ground was specially suitable for a sheep farm. He did not think there was any congestion. He knew crofters would get vacant larger holdings if they applied for them. General Burroughs’ wish was to get them out of the Crofters Act and under lease, and it was for that reason also that he refused to allow them to quarry. The Rousay crofters had the reputation of being the most wealthy in the islands; in latter years probably they were not so wealthy. There were very few crofts in Rousay so small as 4 or 5 acres. Some of the crofts were no doubt pretty high and the land pretty poor. There was capital pasture in Westness not far from the sea and near where boats landed. Applications for moderate-sized farms in Rousay came from other islands, mostly from people wishing larger farms, but he was not well acquainted with the farms they had left. He had told the Rousay crofters of vacant farms and asked them to offer, but they had not done so.
This closed the sitting of the Commission.
THE CROFTERS COMMISSION APPEAL COURT
SITTINGS AT KIRKWALL
The three members of the Crofters Commission – Sheriff Brand, and Messrs Hosack and MacIntyre – sat at Kirkwall on Thursday and Friday as an Appeal Court…..
Mrs Ann Gibson, Classiquoy, Rousay, claimed £22 of compensation for improvements, being £12 for dwelling-house, £4 for barn and byre, £1 for dykes, and £5 for two acres broken in.
Mr SINCLAIR, for the proprietor, General Burroughs, said the improvements were made under a lease and in terms of a lease. Unfortunately he was unable to produce the lease, and he therefore did not insist on this objection. Mr Scarth, who was factor when the lease was entered into, was dead, and General Burroughs was then in India. He further contended that the improvements were all taken into account when the fair rent was fixed, that the buildings were not suitable to the holding, and that details of the improvements had not been given to the proprietor. The croft had been let for 22s. It was now in the market, and the highest offer was £2.
Samuel Gibson, claimant’s husband, said the house cost £40 in 1867. The barn and byre was built the same year. He had never measured the dyke, and could not say if it was 50 fathoms. His wife succeeded to the croft recently. He believed there was a lease, but he had never seen it, and it had expired long ago. The rent for the first seven years was 11s; for the second seven, 22s. He did not know that the rent was to be more afterwards, but that the increase was never exacted. Asked for what use the barn was for on such a croft, he replied that it was handy to put a clucking hen in…..
1894 August 15 Orkney Herald
FARMS, &c., TO LET.
TO LET, with Entry at Martinmas first, for such periods as may be agreed on, the following FARMS, &c., on the Estate of ROUSAY and VEIRA: –
1. FARM of WESTNESS, extending to 2904 acres or thereby, of which about 281 acres are arable. The MANOR HOUSE and GARDEN of Westness, with Trout Fishing and Grouse, &c. Shooting over about 5000 acres can, if desired, be let with the Farm.
2 . BELLONA COTTAGE, Frotoft, with half an acre of Garden around it.
3. FARM of QUOYS, in the district of WASBISTER, extending to 59 acres or thereby, of which about 38 acres are arable.
4. FARM of BROLAND, in the district of SOURIN, extending to 54 acres or thereby, of which about 32 acres are arable.
5. FARM of CASTLEHALL, in the Island of VEIRA, extending to 95 acres or thereby, of which about 53 acres are arable.
6. The FARM of BU’, in the Island of Veira, extending to 94 acres or thereby, of which about 51 acres are arable.
7. The FARM of CLASSIQUOY, in the district of Sourin, extending to 14 acres or thereby, of which about 2 acres are arable.
The present tenants will not be offerers.
Full particulars may be obtained from D. J. ROBERTSON, Solicitor, Kirkwall, by whom offers will be received up to 31st August. The highest or any offer may not be accepted.
SCHOOL BOARD OF ROUSAY AND EGILSHAY
CERTIFIED (MALE) TEACHER WANTED
for Sourin Public School, to enter on duty on 5th November prox.
Salary, £80 stg. per annum, with free house and garden. Also,
CERTIFIED (FEMALE) TEACHER WANTED
for Frotoft Public School, to enter on duty on 5th November prox.
Salary £60 stg. per annum, with free house and garden.
Applications with testimonials to be lodged on or before 28th August
current with Clerk of School Board, Rousay, Orkney.
ROUSAY – REGATTA, – The annual regatta of the Rousay Boat Club was held here on Friday last. The morning was cloudy and the wind light, but as the day advanced the clouds cleared away and a good sailing breeze from the north-west sprang up. By twelve o’clock, the advertised hour of starting, Weir Sound presented a fine spectacle with the numerous yachts and boats sailing backwards and forwards, with flags flying, getting ready for the fray. In addition to those taking part in the racing, Sheriff Armour’s, Mr Cowan’s, and Mr Peace’s yachts were in attendance, and from them the visitors to the regatta had a better opportunity afforded them of witnessing the sports than from the pier. The course was from Trumland Pier to “The Grande” of Egilshay, thence to Cruar, and from that back to the pier again. The great event of the day was the ladles’ cup race for boats of 23 feet waterline and under. This race was twice round the course, the yachts having to gibe round a boat anchored at the pier after making the first round. This cup has to be won three times in succession before becoming the property of anyone. The first competition for it was last year, and it was then won by the Annie, (John Logie.) The following are the entries for the cup with their time allowances which they received at the commencement of the race: – Annie (J. Logie); Sweyn (J. Garriock) 5m. 44sec.; Sigurd (General Burroughs), 4m. 30sec.; Fairy (D. Wood), 2m. 14sec. A good start was made at 12.50, and after a very exciting race the yachts passed the winning boat in the following order: –
1. Annie – 3h. 14m. 50s.
2. Sweyn – 3h. 21m. 30s.
3. Fairy – 3h. 40m. 15.
4. Sigurd – 3h. 41m. 30.
The second race was for boats of sixteen feet waterline and under. For this race four entered. The course was the same as before, but only once round. The boats arrived in the following order: –
1. Lily – John Craigie.
2. Mary – William Costie.
3. Maggie – Robert Mainland.
4. Rose – Samuel Mainland.
The next was the all-comers race, once round the course. The following were the starters, with their time allowance: – Annie (J. Logie); Sweyn (J. Garriock), 2min. 52sec.; Walrus (A. Leask), 2min 15sec. This was a well-contested race, but with her greater spread of canvas the Annie crept up on the other two and again came in winner. A good start was made at 4h 33m., and better time was made in this than in the cup race. The yachts passed the winning boat in the following order: –
1. Annie – 5h 48m. 50s.
2. Sweyn – 5h 52m, 45s.
3. Walrus – 5h 53m. 20s.
The next was a boys’ rowing race, which was very keenly contested. There were four entries. The following is the order of merit: –
1, A. Logie and J. Miller; 2, G. Reid and A. I. Pirie; 3, H. Gibson and P. Thomson; 4, J. Harrold and W. Sinclair.
We next had a ladies’ rowing race. For this there were three entries. Misses M. Harrold and A. Flaws were awarded first prize; Misses J. Irvine and L. Hutchison the second, and Misses M. Logie and M. Mainland the third. The men’s rowing race to Veira and back: –
1, Messrs Spence and Davidson; 2, Messrs John Gibson and R. Graham; 3, Messrs James Gibson and J. Craigie.
The committee of the Rousay Boat Club desire to thank Sheriff Armour, Mr Middlemore of Westness House, General Burroughs, and all friends who contributed to the prize list. The day was fine, and there was a large concourse of visitors including those already mentioned from Kirkwall, and a large party from Trumland House and Westness House.
1894 August 29 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – Sourin School was visited on Monday by the Rev. A. I. Pirie, who distributed the prizes given by the School Board for proficiency in Bible knowledge. The following is the prize list: – Standard 1, Isabella Grieve; St. 2, James Gibson; St. 3, Alfred Pirie; St. 4, James Munro; St. 5, Alex. Spark; St. 6, Archibald Leonard; Ex-6, Hugh Marwick.
1894 September 5 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – SCHOLASTIC. – The Rev A. I. Pirie, Chairman of the Rousay and Egilshay School Board, visited the Wasbister School on Monday the 27th ult., and distributed the prizes won by the scholars during the past year for proficiency in Bible knowledge. Annexed is the prize list: –
Standard Ex-VI. – 1, John Logie; Standard Ex-VI. – 2, Mary Kirkness; Standard V., George Pearson; Standard IV., Hugh Craigie; Standard III., John Marwick; Standard II., James Mowat Craigie; Standard I., John Kirkness.
1894 September 18 Aberdeen Press & Journal
SEA MONSTER ASHORE AT ORKNEY. – Our correspondent at Kirkwall says a sea monster has come ashore at Tratland, in Rousay. It resembles a walrus, and is from ten to twelve feet long. Though partly decomposed, the body appears to have been of a light-grey colour. Statements vary considerably as to its exact description, but no one seems to know to what species it belongs.
1894 September 19 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – FAREWELL SUPPER AND PRESENTATION, – The young men of Frotoft having heard that Mr and Mrs Simpson had received an appointment in Daviot, Inverness, resolved to show them some token of goodwill at parting. It was finally decided to give them a farewell supper. This took place on Monday evening in the Schoolhouse, when between 50 and 60 sat down to an excellent supper, which was spread by Mrs J. Johnston, and Misses M. Gibson, B. Mainland, and H. Marwick. During the evening, Mr W. Marwick proposed the health of “Our Guests,” Mr and Mrs Simpson. He expressed the regret that they all feIt at their departure from the district, and trusted they would make as many friends in Daviot as they had in Frotoft. Mr John Harrold, Mr Gordon, and others also spoke in similar terms. Mr Simpson replied, thanking them for the honour which was being done to Mrs Simpson and himself, and assuring them that they would always Iook back with pleasure on the summer spent in Frotoft. The School Board had kindly granted the use of the school for a dance, which was kept up with much spirit to an early hour, relieved at times with a song from Mr D. Mackay. The large company then joined hands in “Auld Lang Syne,” and so ended a very enjoyable gathering. – A deputation from Sourin Musical Association met Mr W. Simpson in the Schoolhouse on Friday evening on the occasion of his leaving Sourin. The deputation was introduced by Mr Allan Gibson, Myres, who congratulated Mr Simpson on his new appointment. He expressed the regret which they, as an association, felt at parting with Mr and Mrs Simpson, and wished them much happiness in their new home. He then presented him with a handsome set of carvers, in morocco case, as a farewell offering to Mrs Simpson and himself from Sourin Musical Association as a token of the esteem in which they were both held. Mr Simpson thanked the association for their beautiful gift, and assured them that both he and his partner were highly gratified by this token of goodwill on their leaving the island. A pleasant evening was afterwards spent in the Schoolhouse.
ORKNEY SCHOOL REPORTS. – Appended are H.M. Inspector’s reports on the undernoted schools: – …..
SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – This school has again made a very successful appearance. Elementary work generally is of very good quality. Reading is fluent, writing careful and well-formed, and arithmetic, with few exceptions, creditably accurate and neatly set on paper. The composition exercises of a large section of the highest class are of exceptional merit. The only standard where stiffness appeared was the fourth. The work in class subjects was, as a whole, considerably above average. In English, the answering in grammar on the side both of parsing and analysis showed thorough grasp. Poetry was repeated with accuracy and very fair expression, and the scope and meaning of the passages committed had been well assimilated. The answering in geography and history was full and well diffused. Singing is taught by note with distinctly superior skill. Industrial work has been very well attended to. Two pupils passed well in the first stage Latin, and very well in the first stage mathematics. Discipline and general tone are excellent. M. A. Harrold (first year) has passed well, but no payment can be made under Article 19E for her, as she is not required by Article 32 (a) 1. Average attendance, 50. Grants earned (inclusive of £10 under Art. 19 D), £70 15s.
WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – This school is most faithfully and intelligently conducted, and despite the irregularity of the attendance in the upper standards, has made in all respects a very successful appearance. In the junior department the second and third standards have been especially well prepared for examination. The first is a somewhat backward class in arithmetic on the side of rapidity, but the rest of its work is very good. The work of the older scholars is equally creditable, particularly in reading and arithmetic. Composition in the fifth is not quite so good, but the special difficulty already referred to no doubt largely accounts for this comparative weakness. In the class subjects of English, geography, and history, the ready and accurate knowledge of the work prescribed for all the standards indicates most thorough and intelligent preparation. Singing is well taught by note. Sewing is very good, but the garments and especially the exercises should be cleaner. Excellent discipline. New maps of Scotland and Africa, and a fresh set of reading books, are required. Mr Peace will shortly receive his certificate. Average attendance, 34. Grants earned (inclusive of £10 under Art. 19 D), £52.
FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – Since this school came under Mrs Simpson’s charge in March a marvellous improvement has been effected alike as regards discipline and general results, and the very serious leeway of the past few years has been fully made up. That such a change has been produced in this brief space is in itself the highest testimony to the devoted earnestness and professional skill of the teacher. All the work is good, and in several directions, particularly in class subjects, is of distinctly excellent quality. Better grammar than that of the highest class is rarely met with, and the intelligence that characterises all the oral work merits the highest praise. All the tests in singing were taken with marked facility. Very good industrial work was shown. A new set of reading books should be introduced. The name of Georgina Scollay ought not to have been removed from the register, nor should she, being of school age, have been allowed to leave school for work. Average attendance, 21. Grant earned (inclusive of £15 under Art. 19 D) , £39 1s.
[Georgina Scollay and her family lived at Westness Cottage. The 1891 census records her Westray-born father William as a 47-year-old farm servant at the nearby farm; her 50-year-old mother Jane, who was born in Ireland; and her siblings – Betsy, aged 19; Alexander, a 16-year-old farm servant; Christina, who was 14; Maggie, 8; James, 4; and wee Elizabeth, who was just 2 years old.]
1894 October 20 Shetland Times
MR HUGH INKSTER, farmer, Haroldswick [Unst, Shetland], has become tenant of the large agricultural and pastoral farm of Westness, Rousay, the proprietor of which is General Burroughs of Orkney eviction fame. The rent is reported to be over £400. Mr Inkster has been a hard working and careful farmer, and deserves his success.
1894 November 21 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – The teachers and scholars of the South School, Biggar [South Lanarkshire], presented Miss Annie Ferguson with a silver tea service on the occasion of her leaving to be mistress of Frotoft School. One of the senior pupils, Miss Jeanie Duncan, made the presentation in a neat and fitting speech, and conveyed to Miss Ferguson the best wishes of all for her success and happiness in her new sphere. The headmaster, Mr Young, suitably replied on behalf of Miss Ferguson.
1894 December 5 Orkney Herald
THE CROFTERS COMMISSION
A ROUSAY COMPENSATION CASE. – In the application by Mrs Ann Gibson, Classiquoy, Sourin, Rousay, for compensation for improvements, the following order has been issued: –
Edinburgh, 28th November 1894. – The Commissioners having heard parties and made due inspection of the holding at Classiquoy, Rousay: Find that the applicant duly renounced her tenancy as at Martinmas 1894, and that she is entitled to compensation for permanent improvements under section 8 of the Act provided they are suitable to the holding, that they have been executed or paid for by the applicant or her predecessors in the same family, and that they have not been executed in virtue of any specific agreement in writing under which the applicant was bound to execute such improvements: Find that the said permanent improvements are suitable to the holding and have been executed or paid for by the applicant or her predecessors in the same family, but that no specific agreement in writing has been produced or proved in the course of the inquiry, and therefore repel the plea stated for the respondent on that ground in the minute marked D. 905: Find and declare that the amount of compensation to which the applicant is entitled under the Act is the sum of twenty-two pounds sterling, and ordain the respondent to make payment to the applicant of that sum, and decern: Find no expenses due to or by either party. – (Signed) – David Brand, W Hosack, P. B. Macintyre.
1894 December 12 Orkney Herald
DESIRABLE PROPERTY FOR SALE BY PUBLIC ROUP.
There will be exposed for Sale, by Public Roup, within the TOWN HALL. KIRKWALL, on MONDAY, the 17th day of December 1894, at 12 o’clock noon, The ISLAND of EYNHALLOW, in the parish of ROUSAY and County of Orkney, extending to 173 acres and 849 decimal parts of an acre or thereby. The Island is at present entirely in pasture, but a considerable part of it was formerly cultivated, and might again be advantageously brought under cultivation, being capable of been laid off to form one large or two smaller farms. The Island is also well adapted for being converted into a Rabbit Warren.
There is no Superior Duty on the property; the Land Tax amounts to £1 1s 10d; and the Minister’s Stipend to £3 6s per annum. The Teinds are valued and exhausted. The usual public, parochial, and local burdens are exigible from the property according to the rental.
For further particulars apply to Messrs RUSSELL & DUNLOP, C.S., 20 Castle Street, Edinburgh, or to Messrs BUCHANAN & LIDDLE, Solicitors, National Bank Buildings, Kirkwall, who hold the Title Deeds and Articles of Roup.
1894 December 19 Orkney Herald
ORDINATION AT ROUSAY.
On the 11th inst. the Free Presbytery of Orkney met at Rousay for the purpose of ordaining and inducting the Rev. John McLeman, probationer, Glasgow, to the pastorate of the Free Church congregation there. The following members of Presbytery were present – The Rev Messrs Robb, Deerness; Roy, Evie; McLaren, Firth; McNeill, Holm; and Isdale, Kirkwall. There were also present, the Rev. Messrs Pirie, U.P. Church, Rousay, and Dickie, Free Church, Longriggend, whom the Presbytery associated with them in the service. The Rev. D. A. McLaren, the youngest member of Presbytery presided and ordained. His text was Matthew xvi. 18, from which he delivered an able and appropriate discourse. At the close of the sermon the Rev. James Roy, the moderator during the vacancy, gave a brief history of the steps which had been taken in the hearing of candidates, and which had led to the congregation’s unanimous election and call of Mr McLeman, The questions prescribed to probationers for answer before ordination were then put to Mr McLeman, and answered by him satisfactorily; and having signed the formula he was solemnly set apart with prayer and the laying on of hands of the Presbytery, to the work of the holy ministry, receiving at the same time the right hand of fellowship from the brethren officiating and present. The Rev. Mr Isdale, Moderator of Presbytery, next addressed the newly-ordained minister and the congregation on their respective duties; and the service was brought to a close with a vigorous defence and exposition of Free Church principles by Rev. Mr Robb, of Deerness, Clerk of Presbytery. The congregation, on retiring, had an opportunity of shaking hands with their young pastor and welcoming him to their midst.
In the afternoon the Presbytery and a few friends were entertained in the Manse to dinner, which was provided in sumptuous style and done ample justice to.
THE SOIREE. – The usual soiree was held in the evening, when there was a crowded attendance. The Rev. Mr Roy took the chair in his capacity of Moderator, and after praise and prayer expressed the great pleasure it has given him to act with the Rousay people at this time as their moderator. He congratulated them on the harmony that had characterised their proceedings, and on the consummation reached that evening. From personal acquaintance and observation he was persuaded that their choice of Mr McLeman to be their minister was a wise one, and would result in much good and spiritual blessing for all concerned. This opinion, he said, was confirmed by documentary evidence he held in his hand and would read to them. He then read an extract from a letter of a fellow-student of Mr McLeman’s, the Rev. G. H. Morrison, of Thurso, and a letter addressed to the congregation by Mr McLeman’s late pastor, the Rev. D. Eaton, Great Hamilton Street Free Church, Glasgow. Mr Morrison wrote – “I congratulate both you and the place. The place I know not, but the man I know, and congratulate Rousay on getting a man they will respect, trust, and honour.” Mr Eaton in his letter spoke in the highest terms of Mr McLeman’s earnestness and ability, and also of Mr McLeman’s amiability, kindness, and helpfulness, and asked for both the congregation’s warmest regards, appreciation, sympathy, and support. Mr Roy then in the name of the congregation, presented Mr McLeman with a handsome pulpit gown, which he trusted he would be long spared to wear and work in on behalf of the donors. He then vacated the chair. On taking the chair, robed in his gown, Mr McLeman replied to the presentation. He thanked the congregation very cordially for their handsome gift, and especially for the love that he felt sure lay behind it, and which had come out in the warm welcome they had accorded him on coming amongst them a perfect stranger. He trusted their happy association at this time would be of a permanent character, and that the relations entered upon that day would be mutually helpful and inspiring. He would do his best for their highest good, and if they would along with him look back on the way God had led and guided them hitherto, and be humbled at the recollection both of God’s mercies and of their own unworthiness, and if they would look up for strength and grace for every duty and for all the work lying ready to their hands, then they could go forward with a sure hope and firm confidence that times of blessing were in store for them. Mr James Craigie, a deacon of the congregation, next presented Mr Roy with a suitable gift in recognition of his valuable services as their Moderator. Mr Roy returned thanks, and said that his services had been purely of goodwill and as part of his duty, and he had not thought of reward. The members of Presbytery in turn then addressed the meeting, and until 9 o’clock – when they had to leave by boat – kept the audience in the best of humour, giving at the same time much wise counsel and kind encouragement. At this stage an interval was granted and a service of fruit was distributed. On resuming the Rev. Mr Pirie, U.P. minister, Rousay, gave an excellent address, in which he warmly welcomed Mr McLeman to Rousay as a neighbour and fellow-worker. His relations with their former pastor, Mr Bonellie, had been of the friendliest character, and he was sure that in their newly ordained pastor he would find an equally helpful and hearty associate. So far as he was concerned he was ready to do everything in his power to co-operate with their pastor so that past friendship might be conserved, and that the interests Christ’s cause and kingdom might be furthered in their midst. The last speech was by the Rev. R. P. Dickie, Longriggend. He had known Mr McLeman, he said, as many years as his recent pastor had told them in his letter he had known him months, at least eighteen years, and during that period his acquaintance with him had been of the closest kind. He had had ample opportunity of studying him in almost every conceivable capacity and circumstance incident to student life and ministerial experience. But, honestly speaking, after the closest scrutiny, he could only tell them that night what was honourable, good, and estimable about their pastor. It was very creditable to them as a congregation, he thought, that they had chosen Mr McLeman for their minister. If the proverb was true that “like draws like” then they must be a thoroughly gospel-loving, zealous, and devoted people, for he was of that type and would know among them “nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” They would for one thing find him a man as well as a minister, a preacher of Christ’s gospel, with a head, heart, and a hand – a head to think for them, a heart to love them and sympathise with them, and a hand not afraid to labour for them, and to do and devise liberal things on their behalf. During the evening the congregational choir, under the leadership of Mr William Grieve, rendered with much effect and great taste a selection of suitable pieces of music which contributed largely to the enjoyment of the audience. Votes of thanks to the speakers, choir, stewards, and chairman brought a happy and successful day’s work and services to a fitting close.
1894 December 24 Coventry Herald
A Warwickshire Gentleman Buying An Island. – There was sold on Monday by public auction the island of Eynhallow, in the parish of Rousay, county of Orkney. The island, says the Scotsman, is at present entirely pasture, but a considerable part of it was formerly in cultivation, and there is a ﬁne rabbit warren. It was purchased at the upset price of £700 by Messrs. Macnae and Robertson, for Mr. Middlemore, Warwickshire, tenant of Westness Shootings, Rousay.