In Print

Newsprint – 1898

1898 January 5 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CANTATA. – On the evening of Wednesday last the scholars attending the Frotoft Public School, under the supervision of Mrs Hadden, entertained a large and appreciative audience to a very enjoyable evening. The entertainment, which consisted of the cantata “Cinderella,” dumb-bell and hoop exercises, and [Negro] songs in character, was splendidly rendered, and much credit is due to Mrs Hadden for the way in which she had trained the children to do their several parts. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and on rising said that last year Mrs Hadden with her scholars had entertained them to a very enjoyable evening, when the programme consisted of physical exercises and songs only but this year they intended attempting something more difficult. He then called on the young folks to render the first item on the programme, which was the cantata entitled, “Cinderella.” The acting of this cantata left nothing to be desired. The stage was very cleverly got up, especially the drawing scene, which was very much admired by the audience. The next item was the dumb-bell and hoop exercises, which were very carefully and cleverly gone through. The last and most amusing part of the programme was the [Negro] songs in character, by Mr Carrell, which were splendidly acted and kept the audience in roars of laughter. The Rev. A. Spark, on rising to move votes of thanks, said that they were very much indebted to Mrs Hadden, the children, and also Mr Carrell, for the evening’s enjoyment, and he thought much praise was due to Mrs Hadden for the pains she had taken in training the children, and hoped that she might long remain among them. He then called for a hearty vote of thanks. He also said that they were much indebted to Miss Pirie for the excellent manner in which she had played the accompaniments to the various pieces; and moved that she be accorded a hearty vote of thanks. He also moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Pirie, who had so ably discharged the duties of chairman. Mr J. M. Harrold, to replying on behalf of Mrs Hadden, begged to thank the speakers for their kind remarks, and said that the she was more than repaid by the way in which the people had turned out, and by the attention they had given to the various items on the programme. He also begged to thank those who had so kindly assisted in carrying out all the arrangements. Tea was then served, after which the young folks engaged in a dance, which was kept up with much spirit till the “sma’ hoors,” when everyone went away well pleased with the evening’s entertainment.

1898 January 19 Orkney Herald

CHARGE OF RECKLESSLY USING OF FIREARMS. – Yesterday – before Sheriff Armour – John Mowat, farm servant, Knarston, Rousay, was charged with having on 24th December 1897, in a field near the house of Midgarth, Rousay, occupied by John Marwick, farmer, assaulted Alexander Marwick, boat builder, Midgarth, Rousay, by shooting at him with a pistol or, otherwise, with having at the same time and place, recklessly and culpably discharged a pistol to the alarm and with a thoughtless disregard of the safety of the lieges. Mowat pled not guilty, and was defended by Mr Drever, solicitor. A number of witnesses were examined for the prosecution and two for the defence. The evidence showed that night was dark, and that while Marwick was on the road leading up from the public road to Midgarth a pistol was fired at a distance variously given by witnesses at from twenty to one hundred yards. The evidence was also contradictory in regard to the direction in which the shot was fired, some stating that the flash was in a northerly and others in a southerly direction. It was proved that Mowat had purchased a small pistol from an acquaintance that night, that he had loaded it with powder and a piece of paper, and that he had then left his companions and shortly after a shot was heard.

At the conclusion of the evidence, Mr BOWMAN, Procurator-Fiscal, on a suggestion from the Court, withdrew the first charge, but argued that the second had been proved, and asked for a conviction. Mr DREVER held that no offence had been committed, and asked for an unqualified dismissal of the charge.

Sheriff ARMOUR said he quite agreed with what had been said by the Procurator-Fiscal that a charge of that sort – that was the charge left of culpably and recklessly discharging a pistol to the alarm and with a thoughtless disregard of the safety of the lieges – was of a very general and very wide nature. It was not necessary under it to bring home to the accused that he had done any particular damage. The essence of the charge apparently lay in how much blame was attachable to accused, and in order to judge of that all the circumstances had to be considered. Considering these, his lordship had come to the conclusion that the complaint should be dismissed. One had to consider the question of time, particularly the time of year at which the affair happened. A great deal had been said about the hilariousness of youth as compared with the actions of sportsmen, but he should rather have to compare it with the ill feeling of two country lads. He thought a good deal depended on the time – it was the night before Christmas – and on the fact that accused had just become the possessor – the happy possessor, no doubt, from his point of view at the time, but the unhappy possessor from the point of view of his neighbours and of his own now in his present position – of a pistol. Then there was the place where the pistol was fired – a piece of moorland ground between Sourin and Trumland. The pistol was loaded with powder and paper. The only other question was who were the persons in the neighbourhood at the time the pistol was discharged? Apparently there were several people, but it was necessary to concentrate attention chiefly on the complainer, the witness Marwick, and where he was placed, in order to arrive at some idea of the probability of his being frightened. Marwick’s story was that he was on the road leading up to Midgarth and twenty yards or so from the public road. That was not corroborated by any other evidence in the case, and there was the evidence of three other witnesses that the distance of the road to Midgarth from the place where the pistol was fired was a hundred yards. Of course, the night being dark and parties startled by the unexpected discharge of firearms, one must expect some discrepancy in their estimates of the distance. But taking it that the discharge was between one hundred yards and twenty yards, he was not disposed to say that the firing of the pistol, say at fifty yards, was such a reckless and culpable discharge as to justify him visiting accused with the pains and penalties of the law. He was strongly inclined to think that the origin of the case was the alleged ill-feeling between the complainer and accused. If it had not been that that had tempted complainer, he thought the matter would not have been placed in the hands of the police and they would not have been troubled with it that day. Of course he did not say that accused was free from blame, if he indulged in such frolics as discharging firearms – and one of the consequences was his being brought there that day – but as a question of criminal law he felt he had no alternative but to dismiss accused from the bar.

1898 January 26 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – Apropos of the recent shooting case, a correspondent writes: – General satisfaction is felt with Sheriff Armour’s decision. It is, however, time that steps were taken to stop a reprehensible custom which has become too common in the Sourin district, namely, the reckless use of firearms, and the only pity is that the most harmless of these cases has been the one chosen to bring it to a legal termination. Recently a shot was fired down the chimney of a crofter’s house during the night; an old woman who was milking her cow in the byre was much frightened and narrowly escaped injury from the affrighted animal owing to a shot being fired through the byre door; about the same time another old helpless couple were victimised by some cowardly curs putting straw and turf over their chimney top during the small hours of the morning. It is high time that steps were taken to put a period to these escapades, and if the arm of the law is not willing – it is strong enough – to do so, surely some of the better sort of the young men of the island can take the law into their own hands, the sea is very convenient, there is a loch at no great distance, tar is cheap, and feathers can be got for nothing.

1898 February 2 Orkney Herald

THE DRINK QUESTION IN ORKNEY. – Mr W. Thomas, Egilshay, writes to The Scotsman: – As an advocate of temperance in a quiet way, you will possibly allow me to congratulate the editor of the Scottish Temperance League on their Orkney agent’s report to the League Journal of December 4; on his own ingenious confidence in Mr J. McVitie personally, and generally on the nice hobnobbing indicated by that gentleman with what he chooses to consider as Orcadian authorities on the great drink question. But for the fact of said report having appeared in the press (in the wide sense of the word), I should not have noticed it. Mr McVitie says: – “It (Orkney ale) is nearly three times the strength in alcohol of strong ale sold in Scotland, and about half the strength of Scottish whisky, so that the mystery of an Orcadian getting drunk apart from public-houses is easily explained with a potent beverage like this in common use in many families. The wonder is that any of the children escape becoming victims, as they are nursed and reared on it.” Now (1) how many Orcadians has this man seen drunk? (2) when did he see a child (and, if he ever did, where) nursed and reared on beer in this archipelago? and (3) how does he come at the conclusion that Orkney ale is about half the strength of Scottish whisky? With the hotch-potch of the report, in so far as it purports to be a description of a tour through part of Orkney, I have little to do. Only it is rather wonderful that no mention is made of Orcadian hospitality, and of the fact that Southrons find board and lodging for a night – embracing supper, bed, and breakfast – for 2s, and that preachers are almost never charged a penny for this. That Mr McVittie is one of that kidney is proved by his own words in said report – “I preached in the Congregational Chapel afternoon and evening.” Yea; the pot must be kept boiling!

1898 February 9 Orkney Herald

SALE OF MELSETTER ESTATE. – The greater portion of the estate of Melsetter, consisting of Walls (excepting some parts), Hoy, Fara, and Rysa Little, extending to 40,000 acres, together with the Mansion House and the furniture therein and in the shooting lodges, was exposed for sale by public roup in Dowell’s Rooms, Edinburgh, last Wednesday afternoon, by Messrs Macrae, Flett, and Rennie, W.S., Edinburgh. The property was purchased for Mr Thomas Middlemore of Hawkesley, Worcestershire, and Westness, Rousay, Orkney, at the upset price of £32,000.

1898 February 16 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – U.P. CHURCH SOIREE. – A very pleasant and enjoyable soiree was held in the United Presbyterian Church on Friday evening. With Rev. Mr Pirie on the platform were Rev. John McLeman, F.C., and Messrs Malcolm Heddle, John Flett, and Robert Spence from Kirkwall. Each of these gentlemen gave capital addresses – Mr McLeman speaking on “Influence,” Mr Spence on “Wisdom amongst the young,” and Mr Flett on “Having a high aim in life.” whilst Mr Heddle sang instead of a speech, “The Fire Brigade,” which was deservedly encored, when he gave with touching effect “The wee lassie sittin’ at the door.” Mr Heddle also sang with excellent musical taste “Consider the Lilies” and “Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep.” Mr Flett sang very expressingly and beautifully, “Yet there is room,” and “Where is my wandering boy to-night?” A choir under the leadership of Mr Allan Gibson, conductor of praise in the church, with Miss Pirie as organist, sang a number of anthems and hymns in a very successful and skilful manner. Enthusiastic votes of thanks were given at the close of the meeting to all who had contributed to the evening’s entertainment, and especially to the three gentlemen who had so kindly come from Kirkwall and who had done so much to make the soiree such a success.

1898 February 23 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, From a copy of your paper, I see that Mr W. Thomas, of Egilshay, has been paying some attention to me in a paper I never read, and in which few people would look for temperance news. As the statements questioned appeared in the League Journal, a paper devoted solely to the temperance reform, why did not Mr T. send his complaint there, where I was sure to see it, and where every attention would have been paid to it? However, I have no objection to being attacked from the rear by so “small a temperance advocate” as Mr T. There are two methods of advocacy – 1st, opposing and exposing the evil; 2nd, the too common one of illustrating it effects. Mine is the former. There are also three known methods of putting down the drink – 1st, by moral suasion; 2nd, by legal enactment; and 3rd, by swallowing the drink. Small reformers frequently adopt the latter. Mr T. says I belong to the “preaching kidney,” who, when in Orkney, get their bed and board for 2s per day, sometimes for nothing. This has not been my experience. Thanks for the tip. Mr T. seems to know about how to do it. I frequently visit the islands, and in my many reports have always spoken well of the islanders, of their kindness, hospitality, courtesy, and piety. I have learned to respect and love them, and have many expressions of their reciprocal affection. But of course this Egilshay prophet does not interest himself in hotch potch reports. He delights, like all “small reformers,” in garbage.

With regard to his queries re “Orkney Ale,” I have to say my information about the strength of alcohol in it is from respectable farmers who have both brewed and been drunk with Orkney ale; hence my assertion. And it is open to Mr T. to have it analysed. If he does this, I trust he will publish a report. In regard to the children, it is a well-established fact that the drink crave is hereditary transmitted, and many mothers in Orkney and over all Scotland are mourning over sons and daughters who are victims to drink, and have confessed to me their folly in nursing their children on porter and ale. And if the mothers nurse their children from milk supplied from Orkney ale, and feed them with it to their porridge or other diet, need we wonder if these children, continuing to believe in its use in after life, fall and sink under its power.

My dear brother, it is too serious a matter to treat lightly. If you or I or the mothers of our children drink alcohol, even in small measure, we are sowing in our offspring the seeds from which the drunkard springs. I never count drunkards either in Orkney or elsewhere, nor have I ever hinted that the proportion is greater there than in any other place, still they are there. And I have seen and heard of men and women in Orkney, who are not Orcadians, who by their example and practise have helped to drag the simple youth of the islands into the foils of the tempter. And Mr T. must be a very “small reformer” if he does not know something of this also.

In conclusion, let me say to Mr T., if I am speared to pay another visit to the lovely islands of the north, I shall be glad to help him to a great and grander advocacy of our temperance question; or, if unfortunately he chooses to champion Orkney ale or any other intoxicating drink, he will find in me an honest and honourable opponent willing in Egilshay or elsewhere to discuss any phase of this drink question. – I am, yours, &c., JAMES McVITTIE.

1898 April 27 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – On the 8th inst. the “Rousay Mohawks” gave their first entertainment in the Sourin School to a full house. For two hours the audience was kept in a perpetual ripple of mirth and laughter by the quips and quiddities of the “—-s.” Mr R. G. Gordon occupied the chair, and in a few well chosen remarks introduced the troupe to the audience. In referring to the laudable object for which the entertainment was given, viz., the providing of bar-bells and dumb-bells for Sourin School, Mr Gordon complimented Mr Carrell in thus looking after the physical as well as the intellectual education of the children. With Miss Pirie as accompanist and Dr Ramage as stage manager, the following programme was presented and gone through in a manner which thoroughly delighted the audience, if it may be judged by the appreciative manner with which they received it: – Song, “Ring, Ring de Banjo”; song, “She laughed behind her Fan”; dialogues, “Lover’s Precaution”, “Long Bow”, “Thin Horse”; song, “Now we shan’t be Long”; song, “Kemo, Kimo”; stump speech, “Temperance”; song, “O, Susanna”; song, “Under dat old Umbrella”; dialogues, “Full of years, and it in Front”, “Cold Subject”; song, “Our Side”; song, “N—– and the Bee”; stump speech, “Quack Doctor”; song, “Chicken Coop Door”; dialogue, “Juliah”; song, “All Fine Girls”; dialogue, “Responsibility”; song, “Mary’s gone wid the —-”; song, “Hark to the Banjo’s Sound”; stump speech, “Country Life”; song, “She’d a Chinese parasol”; dialogue, “Ted Juggins”; song, “I’m Father of a Little Black —-”; stump speech, “Talkiphone”; song, “Whistling —-”; dialogue, “Fowl Joke”; song, “Old Kentucky Home”; “Auld Lang Syne.”

At the close of the concert, Mr Gordon proposed a vote of thanks to the troupe for their excellent entertainment. A dance followed, which was much enjoyed by the young folk, the music being supplied by Messrs Reid, Grieve, and Swannay, with Miss Pirie and Mr Carrell at the piano, Dr Ramage officiating as M.C.

1898 May 18 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – OPENING OF A TUMULUS AT TRUMLAND. – While digging for the purpose of forming a summer seat on Flag-Staff Hill, 300 yards to the West of Trumland House, Rousay, an incident of an exciting nature was experienced. The proposed summer seat was to be formed on a knoll occupying a prominent position at the opening of Trumland Valley from which a very wide view can be enjoyed. There is a mound which it was proposed to cut into, throwing the debris to the north and east to form shelter. This plan had been almost executed, when on the afternoon of 5th May the workmen were directed to make the opening a little wider, General and Mrs Burroughs being present at the time. Unexpectedly a piece of neat well-preserved rough building wall, with uprights of thin stone, was laid bare at one side of the summer seat circle. At the foot of one of these upright stones, the workman’s axe in lifting a stone disclosed a small quantity of white bones, vitrifactions, and pieces of rough pottery. The remains of two other small “kists” were discovered. This at once led to further research, and at 5 p.m., the whole party were electrified at striking a huge stone lintel, 10 inches thick, part of which having fallen in ages ago, disclosed a gloomy underground chamber, with a white object glistening in the afternoon light. A sharp clap of thunder at the moment completed the dramatic situation. Further investigation has disclosed the dimensions of this chamber, with passage, and compartments. In addition to this extremely interesting find, which is in almost perfect preservation, the remains of skeletons have been found, almost crumbled away. Two stone implements are yet the only objects that have been found In this remarkable tomb, or hiding, or dwelling, or look-out place. But the pathos of the situation consists in the many gatherings of young and happy people who have sat on the heather, talking and laughing and little dreaming of the weird and gloomy chamber which lay so few feet below them, and which from all appearance has been there from 1000 to 2000 years. A notice has been put up at the spot requesting people not to touch or interfere with the excavation at present, and this for two reasons, one is, that the broken lintels are a source of danger, as they might at any moment fall in, and entomb the investigator; and, secondly, that everything connected with the mysterious building may be noted before being disturbed by the uninitiated.

1898 May 27 Dundee Advertiser

ROUSAY, ORKNEY. – To be Let, for such number of years as maybe agreed on, with entry at Martinmas 1898, the Desirable GRAZING and ARABLE FARM of TRUMLAND, in the ISLAND of ROUSAY, Orkney, as presently occupied by Mr DAVID WOOD, who is not to be an offerer. This farm has recently been in the Proprietor’s own hands, and is in good order. Its extent is about 1180 Imperial Acres, consisting of about 162 Acres Arable and 1018 Acres Good Hill Pasture. Its present Stock is 45 cattle (Shorthorn Crosses) and 6 Score Sheep (Leicester and Cheviot Crosses). Some of the Hill Pasture, although enclosed, is not at present stocked. It could carry a fair stock of Highland Cattle and Blackfaced Sheep or Shetland Ponies. The Farm is about an hour’s steaming from Kirkwall, the County Town, to and from which a local steamer plies two or three times a week. The passage is land locked, and there is a pier with suitable Storehouse, &c., on the Farm Boundary. There is regular steam communication between Kirkwall and Aberdeen, Leith, and Liverpool, and daily mail services to Caithness and the South, a daily mail to and from Rousay, and a Telegraph Station at the Post Office. The climate is so mild that Sheep are never sent South for wintering. The population of Rousay is about 700. Mr ALEXANDER MUNRO, Overseer, Old Schoolhouse, Sourin, Rousay, will show intending Offerers over the Farm on receiving Seven Days’ Notice, and Conditions of Lease may be seen in his hands, or in the hands of Messrs MACKENZIE & KERMACK, W.S., 9 Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1898 June 29 Orkney Herald

HOLIDAY. – In accordance with the recommendation of the Town Council, Friday last was generally observed as a holiday in Kirkwall. The weather on the previous night and well on into Friday forenoon was threatening. and the trip to North Ronaldshay by the steamer Fawn was given up. The Orcadia however, left for Rousay and Westray with a fair contingent of excursionists, while the Iona also had a good number to Shapinsay. The Hoy Head took the members of the Free Church Christian Endeavour Society to Hoy, and many townspeople left for the country by road. As the day advanced the threatening sky cleared, and though there were local showers in various parts of the county, they were not heavy enough to damp the spirits of holiday-makers.

1898 July 13 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – SERIOUS BICYCLE ACCIDENT. – On Monday, about 12 o’clock, Dr Stritch, medical officer, Rousay, who was returning from Westness, where he had been making a call, to his lodgings at Avelshay, met with a serious accident. The doctor was riding a bicycle, and was coming down a steep incline near Trumland Farm, when he apparently lost control of the machine, which came in contact with a stone on the road. Dr Stritch was thrown about fourteen yards forward on the road, while the bicycle rose a considerable distance in the air. The doctor received considerable bruises on the legs. arms, and body, but the most dangerous wounds are on the head. It is not thought, however, that the skull has been fractured. Dr Ramage, who was preparing to leave Rousay for the South, was soon in attendance, and Dr Bell was taken out from Kirkwall. After consultation it was thought advisable to take the injured man to the Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, and this was done. We understand that today (Tuesday) Dr Stritch is a little easier and had recovered consciousness.

1898 July 20 Orkney Herald

DEATH OF AN ORCADIAN COLONIST IN NEW ZEALAND. – The Otago Daily Times, referring to the death of an old colonist, Mr James Harrold, says: – It was but the other day the Jubilee of Otago was celebrated, when there was gathered in procession a large number of the early settlers. But since then death has thinned the ranks of Otago’s pioneers, and of those who were with us only a few weeks ago not a few have crossed to that bourne whence no traveller returns. Still another well-known figure amongst the old identities in the early days of the Otago settlement has been removed from our midst by death, in the person of Mr James Harrold, who died on Sunday, May 22nd, at Half-moon Bay, Stewart Island, at the age of 85 years. He was a native of the Orkney Islands, and came to Otago in the ship Bernicia, in 1848. Not long after his arrival, and when the country districts were first beginning to become settled, James Harrold took charge of the Taieri Ferry, which he kept till a year or so before the discovery of the Tuapeka diggings. When he first settled at the Taieri, for a time he traded with Dunedin, along with his half-brother, Mr Richard Craigie, in an open boat. While at Taieri Ferry he built a two-storey residence, which at the time was considered both stylish and large, and which stood till a few years ago not far from the new traffic bridge over the river on the Main South road. After leaving Taieri Ferry Mr Harrold went to Stewart Island and engaged in the fish curing industry, which he made remunerative; but desiring a wider field for his enterprise he purchased a schooner, with which he traded to Melbourne with timber from Stewart Island. It was characteristic of the man that he was soon able to dispense with a sailing master and “shoot the sun” himself, as some of his friends were wont to facetiously remark. Tiring of a seafaring life he afterwards settled at Half-moon Bay, Stewart Island, where he kept a boarding-house up till the time of his death. He leaves a widow and one son. His wife was of American birth, and it was quite late in life that her only child was born. James Harrold was always energetic and enterprising, but somehow his various enterprises never made him rich. Although he always managed to make a comfortable living, still he had to work till the end. While at Taieri Ferry he was well liked by the travelling public, and had he suppressed his roaming spirit he could have earned much more than a living there, especially during the rush to Gabriels and afterwards to the Wakatipu, when the punts alone earned large sums of money daily. His brother, Sinclair Harrold, who came to Otago at the same time, predeceased him some years ago, and his half brother, Mr Richard Craigie, is still living near Taieri Ferry.

[ ‘Craigielea’ tells the story of these Rousay folk who emigrated to New Zealand – and can be accessed by clicking > HERE < ]

1898 August 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – BOAT CLUB. – The annual meeting of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held at Trumland Pier on Tuesday the 27th ult. There was a fair turnout of members, and after the usual business of the meeting was gone through, the following were appointed to act as a committee for the ensuing year: – Commodore, Gen. Burroughs; vice-commodore, Mr T. Middlemore; secretary and treasurer, Mr J. S. Gibson, Hullion; committee, Messrs J. Logie, W. Sutherland, A. Munro, Geo. Gibson, A. Johnston, R. Mainland, and D. Wood, jr. The annual regatta was fixed for the 11th August, and most of last year’s rules were adopted. For the convenience of visitors the club have arranged to have a refreshment room, and refreshments will be supplied at a low charge during the day.

1898 August 10 Orkney Herald


TO BE LET on Lease, for such period as may be agreed on, with entry
at Martinmas 1898, the desirable Grazing and Arable Farms of –

I. TRUMLAND, in the Island of Rousay, extending to about 1180 acres, whereof about 162 acres are arable. The present stock of Cattle is Shorthorn-Crosses; of Sheep, Leicester and Cheviot Crosses.
II. CAVIT, in the Island of Veira, Rousay, extending to about 75 acres, of which about 55 are arable. Great facilities for Sea-fishing.
The present Tenants will not be offerers.
Mr Munro, Sourin, Rousay, will show the Farms on receiving due notice,
and Conditions of Lease may be seen with him or in the hands
of the Subscribers, who will offers.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh.


Entry Martinmas next. Offers till 31st August.
Present tenant leaves for larger farm.
Apply, Rev. A. Spark, Manse, Rousay.


ROUSAY – HEAVY RAINFALL. – The district of Wasbister was on Sunday the scene of an extraordinary heavy rainfall. It fell in torrents, flooding low-lying places to a depth of two or three feet. A large stack of peats was swept into Saviskaill Loch. Fortunately the shower did not last long.

1898 August 24 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY BOAT CLUB REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the above club took place on Thursday the 11th inst. The morning threatened to be rather wet, but towards ten o’clock the day favoured, and, with a light breeze from the S.E., proved a fair sailing day. Only two of the Kirkwall yachts turned up this year – Myrta (G. Sutherland) and Walrus (A. Leask) – but there was a very good turn-out of the smaller boats of Rousay and the neighbouring places, and on the whole the regatta was a very successful one. The course for the ladies’ cup race was round a boat off Sourin, thence round a boat at the Grand of Egilshay, and back round the boat of Trumland Pier, twice round; the distance for all the other races being only once round. The ladies’ cup race was the first to start, in which there were only two competitors. Annie (J. Logie), and Myrta (G. Sutherland). Both yachts made a splendid start, and, with the Myrta leading, crossed the line immediately after the starting gun was fired. The Myrta continued to lead, but didn’t leave the Annie very much until they had rounded the Sourin mark-boat. It was then a dead beat to the Grand, and the Myrta rounded the mark-boat about six minutes before the Annie. The Annie, however, kept her own on the run home, and on the second round improved her position very much, being only four minutes behind the Myrta.

As the Myrta has now won the ladies’ cup for three years in succession, it becomes Mr Sutherland’s own property.

The second race to start was the medal race, open to boats of 22 feet waterline and under. There were four entries for this race, namely: – Sigurd (General Burroughs), Walrus (A. Leask), Thistle (A. Marwick), and Wild Wave (T. Sinclair). The Thistle, on making sail, unfortunately carried away her bow-sprit and had to retire. The Sigurd was the first to cross the line, followed closely by the Walrus and Wild Wave. The Walrus, however, soon passed her opponents and came in with a long lead. The Sigurd came in second, but having to allow the Will Wave time allowance, only secured third place.

The third race was for boats of 16 feet waterline and under, for which there were five entries, namely: – Maggie (R. Graham), Jean Ann (W. Wood), Isabella (W. Logie), Ariel, (J. Carrell), Fanny (J. Gibson). All five got well off together at the start, and when they were sighted on the beat up to the mark-boat at Grand, the Jean Ann was leading, followed by the Maggie and Isabella. The Ariel broke her halyards beating up against the wind and had to give up the race.

The fourth race was the All-Comers, open to boats of 35 feet waterline and under. There were five entries for this race. viz.: – Annie, Walrus, Thistle, Wild Wave, and Ariel. The start was a flying one, as in all the former races. The Walrus retired after crossing the line, and returned to Trumland Pier. The Annie was an easy first in this race, and before the other boats came in the wind had died away, and the finish was a drifting match.

The following are the rowing races: – Ladies’ Rowing Race. – 1, Mrs Sutherland and Miss M. Miller; 2, Misses Pirie and Gibson; 3, Misses Sinclair and J. Miller. Men’s Rowing Race. – 1, Messrs A. Harrold and A. Logle; 2, Messrs Cursiter and Sinclair; 3, Messrs Fraser and Wood; 4, Messrs Logie and Corsie. Boys’ Rowing Race. – 1, W. Thomson and J. Sinclair; 2, W. Leonard and J. Cursiter; 3, H. Inkster and J. Sinclair; 4, A. Pirie and H. Munro.

At the close of the race. Mrs Burroughs handed out the prizes to the successful competitors, for which she was accorded three hearty cheers. Three hearty cheers were also given for General Burroughs (Commodore), Mr T. Middlemore (vice-commodore), and for the Committee, who had so successfully carried out all the arrangements. For the convenience of visitors the Club provided refreshments throughout the day, and great credit is due to the ladies who presided in the refreshment-room for the able and efficient manner in which everything was done. The Committee take this opportunity of thanking all those who so liberally contributed towards the funds of the Club.

1898 September 7 Orkney Herald

PRESENTATION TO AN ORCADIAN IN MANCHESTER. – On Friday evening Mr Hugh Craigie, who has been assistant master at St Peter’s National Schools, Levenshulme, Manchester, for nearly three years, was, on the occasion of his leaving Manchester for Bangor Normal Training College, presented by the headmaster, headmistress, and teachers with a beautiful dressing-case in morocco leather, and by the scholars of his class (Standards V., VI., and VII.) with a large photograph of his class handsomely framed and bearing the following inscription artistically inscribed: – “Presented to Mr Hugh Craigie as a token of respect and esteem by the scholars of Standards V., VI., and VII., St Peter’s Schools, Levenshulme, Sept. 2nd, 1898.” Mr Barrs, in making the presentation, spoke of the highly creditable way in which Mr Craigie had discharged his duties during his tenure of office; how he had won the esteem of the managers, the confidence of the parents, and the affection of his scholars, which on several occasions has found expression in a pleasing manner. He wished him every success both in his College course and in his whole future career. Mr Craigie, in replying, said how highly he appreciated their valuable gifts, and expressed his sincere thanks, not only for the valuable gifts he had received, but also for the kindness and courtesy which had been shown him during the time he had been amongst them. He expressed his deep regret at having to leave the school, where he had formed so many pleasant associations, but left behind him his warmest feelings to one and all. (Mr Craigie is a son of Mr Wm. Craigie, merchant, Rousay.)

[Born on February 21st 1875, Hugh Craigie was the youngest of seven children born to William Craigie, Claybank, later Cogar and Old School (Ivybank), and Margaret Inkster, Cogar. His older brother, James Gibson Craigie was Clerk of the Rousay School Board.]

ROUSAY – DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES AT FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL. – The prizes given by Mrs Burroughs of Rousay, for sewing and knitting done by the girls of this school, were presented to the successful competitors by Mrs Burroughs last Wednesday, as follows: – Sewing – Anna Logie Craigie; Knitting – Anna Gibson Reid. Mrs Burroughs also gave a special prize for the best behaved and best mannered boy in the school, which was awarded by the vote of the scholars to Alexander Reid. Mrs Burroughs at the same time kindly gave out the prizes gained by the pupils of this school at the Orkney and Zetland and Bible examinations: – Orkney and Zetland prizewinners – 1st class, Anna Logie Craigie and Anna Gibson Reid; 2nd class, James Sinclair. Bible prizewinners – Standard II., Cecilia Logie and Martha Craigie; Standard IV., Mary Reid; Standard V., Lily Inkster; Standard VI., James Sinclair; Standard VII., Anna Gibson Reid. Before leaving Mrs Burroughs, as usual, gave a treat to the scholars of cookies and sweets.



SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL. – Children who have passed the third standard are allowed to absent themselves for employment in the summer months to an extent that gives the teacher no fair chance of raising the school to a very high level of efficiency. But very creditable progress has been made in more than one direction. An effort has been made to improve the style of reading and repetition, but in more than one class there is still some reason to complain of indistinct utterance. The written work is as a rule of distinctly good quality, but neither spelling in the third standard nor arithmetic in the fifth is above fair. The answering in class subjects is this year characterised by greater readiness and intelligence and the grant under this head has been raised in consequence. Needlework is as usual excellent. H. Marwick has passed his examination. Average attendance, 45. Grant earned (inclusive of £10 under article 19 D). £63 0s 6d.

WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL. – The school has passed a successful examination. The attainments of both divisions are of good average quality, but writing in the junior classes, though now large enough, might still be firmer in outline. Arithmetic in the third and sixth standards reaches a very high level of accuracy, the percentages of sums correctly worked being 90 and 91 respectively. Monotony and indistinctness in the reading and poetry lessons, and even in the oral answering are very general faults. Some of the answering in the class subjects is of very fair quality, but an effort should be made to remedy the defects noted in the style of the repetition and to train the pupils to rely less on memory and more on intelligence in explanation of the scope and meaning of the lessons. Singing particularly sweet and tuneful and the tests are done with very creditable accuracy. Drill is satisfactory. Needlework receives due attention. Average attendance, 32. Grant earned (inclusive of £15 under article 19 D) £51 1s.

FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL. – The school is conducted with much tact and judgment and the results are of a very satisfactory kind. A rounder style of writing might be practised with advantage in the junior classes. The other standard subjects are all taught with distinct success. Arithmetic is very well done, especially in the fourth and sixth standards. The solid character of the instruction is well seen in the marked eagerness and intelligence which the children display in all the oral examinations. The highest grant for proficiency in the class subjects is earned. The girls presented for examination in the second stages of French and domestic economy passed with much credit. It is a little surprising to find that this is the only one of the Board’s schools in which instruction is given in any of the higher branches. Singing and needlework are very commendable. Drill is taught with capital effect, faultless discipline is maintained, and the general tone is excellent. Average attendance, 20. Grant earned (inclusive of £15 under article 19 D) £40 11s.

1898 September 14 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – A NEW ZEALAND PIONEER. – In connection with the recent celebrations of the jubilee of the settlement of the Province of Otago, New Zealand, the Otago Daily Times and Witness has been publishing particulars about some of the early settlers. Among others was Richard Craigie who was born at Rousay in 1828. Craigie was a blacksmith, but a first-class boatman, and ran an open boat along the New Zealand coast. Afterwards he went largely into sheep farming &c. He has five sons and five daughters living.

DISTRIBUTION OF PRIZES AT SOURIN SCHOOL. – Wednesday, 31st ult., was chosen by Mrs Burroughs and party to visit this school and distribute the various prizes. The interest of Mrs Burroughs in the industrial department was evidenced by her offering a prize to the best sewer and also to the best knitter. The work was on exhibition in the Home Industries, and Mrs Burroughs complimented the teacher and pupils on the quality of the work shown. To encourage the boys to be “good” scholars in every sense of the word, a prize was to be given to the best boy. After the distribution of the prizes, Mrs Burroughs, with her usual thoughtfulness, kindly gave the children a treat. The following were the prize-winners: – Special Prizes. – Knitting – Annie Leonard. Sewing – Maggie J. Corsie. Boy’s Prize – John Pirie. Bible Knowledge Prizes. – Std. I., Mary A. Munro. Std. II., Isabella Craigie. Std. III., Mary Leonard. Std. IV., John Pirie. Std. V., Isabella Grieve. Std. VI., John Seatter. Std. VII., Lizzie Leonard and Jessie Marwick, equal. Orkney and Zetland Prizes – John G. Marwick, Lizzie Leonard, James Spark, and Alex. Spark.

1898 September 21 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – Having read “Educationist’s” letter under the above Heading in your last issue, and being in touch with the educational officials in Rousay, I became interested and inquired into several points brought prominently forward in that letter. As the result of such inquiries, I will take it kind if you, sir, will allow me a small space in your next issue to clear away any misunderstandings that that letter may have given rise to. “Rousay is in stagnation,” and the following excerpt from H.M.I.’s report on Frotoft School is given to show this: – “It is a little surprising to find that this is the only one of the Board’s schools in which instruction is given in any of the higher branches.” But this was explained to me thus. Specifics are taught in all the schools, but owing to the irregular attendance (see 1st sentence of Sourin report, 1898) of herds, &c., the pupils are unable to be presented. Frotoft is less plagued than the other schools with irregular attendance. Again, inspectors themselves differ as to the scope of subjects of an “elementary” school, e.g., compare the above extract (Mr Lobban’s) with the following which was handed lately to me: – “Reading, writing, and arithmetic are the basis of everything, and the key to all, and the school that attempts aught else till these are thorough has no sympathy or commendation from me. If children be poor or attendances irregular, or epidemics prevalent, let one thing after another be sacrificed to the standard subjects, even class subjects if necessary.” I consider, sir, the teachers’ position an unenviable one, in the face of so diversified opinions of their inspectors, and deserving of sympathy instead of the stigma which “Educationist” tries to throw on the Rousay teachers.

“Educationist” would have the public to understand that the Rousay Board has appointed inefficient teachers, and that a bursar from this island was the result of “private enterprise.” Now, sir, had the teachers here been inefficient, H.M.I. would not have hesitated to point this out to the Board. That they could not produce this bursar, about whose success so much fuss is being made, is due to the fact of his “unique” attendance. I was at the trouble to obtain some facts, and before me as I write are the details, for “facts are chiels that winna’ ding.” He was receiving specifics, I learn, in the VI. Standard, and when “past the standards” could possibly reap no benefit on account of his attendance. That for a whole year the boy was off school (“Educationist” should inquire why), attended six months irregularly, and finally vanished. How can “Educationist” imagine this “bo-peep” style of attendance to be encouragement to any teacher to teach specifics; yet “Rousay is stagnant.” The question then is not “Who taught him?” but “Who spoilt him?” I happened to come across a short par. by Sir Henry Craik, who I believe is a great “Educationist,” concerning the same subject of attendance. He says – “I am unable to see that a rich parent who, for reasons of personal or domestic convenience removes his child from school before the work of school is completed to the injury of the boy himself, and to the disturbance of the whole school work, is less guilty of failure to fulfil his obligations to his son and to society than the parent who, under the pressure, frequently, of poverty and hardship is obliged to answer the charge of defaulting before a court of law.” So, it is not the Board that should be fined, but the parent.

“Educationist” would like proviso 4 of the Council Scheme altered to allow the “private” teacher to get the bonus, but as proviso 3 states that the Pupils must be in connection with “public” schools in the County, so should the bonus go to the “public” school teacher, as it would not only help education generally, but entail regular attendance of proposed candidates and not humbug the teacher, for I like to see FAIRPLAY.


SIR, – In the last issue of the Orkney Herald, I observe a letter on the above subject by one who elects to adopt the nom-de-plume of “Educationist.” Had not “Educationist,” in the course of his remarks on this topic, quoted a sentence from H.M.I.’s report on Frotoft School, Rousay, which is capable of being wrongly interpreted, I should probably have passed over his letter without any comment. The sentence quoted is as follows: – “It is a little surprising to find that this is the only one of the Board’s schools in which instruction is given in any of the higher branches.”

When it is stated that a very large number of children in the upper classes are withdrawn from the other schools in this parish, during part of the year, for herding, field labour, &c., the reason why pupils are not presented in special subjects, in these schools, will be very evident. Now, I understand that the Rousay bursar has been conspicuous for his absence from school during the past few years.

“Educationist ” suggests that the Rousay School Board should be fined. One would think that the proper parties to be fined are those who seek to discourage the teaching of the higher branches in the public schools, by keeping their children at. home. Consequently, the writer would suggest that the Rousay School Board should immediately institute legal proceedings against the person who has been, and who continues, to be the most prominent transgressor. – I am, &c., A LOVER OF FAIRPLAY.

1898 September 28 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SlR, – With your kind indulgence I would say a word in reply to “Fairplay” and his “Lover” in your last issue. Samuel Johnson has said – “Men have a solicitude about fame, and the greater share they have of it, the more afraid they are of losing it.” The Rousay teachers need not have this fear, for with their qualifications and school reports they must be beyond all fear. Although Rousay came in as an incidental illustration, there was no intention to reflect upon its teachers, but only upon the organization which makes the teaching of ‘higher branches’ – necessary for County Council examinations – a meantime impossibility. The present teachers are a staff of excellent, energetic, and successful teachers, but for the regime which discourages the development of ‘higher branches.’ There fixed salaries rule the appointments, so that teachers, whose hands are full of elementary subjects, have little or no appetite for advanced subjects. They get no specific grants, and no more for extra subjects. Then there is no Central School (although Sourin was built for such) staffed with master and assistant so as to provide thoroughly for secondary education. To re-organise the Rousay schools so as to command such a centre, would not only secure an efficient, thorough education, but would save the rates £60 to £70 per annum, besides gaining ‘specific grants.’ If “facts are chiels that winna ding,” one fact above all others – which is both patent and public – is that several boys and girls beyond standards have been taken away from school in disgust at the teachers’ neglect. One teacher remarked that he had no time for specifics, so excusing himself the trouble. Now these schools with average attendances of 45, 32, 20, 18, 7, might find time for one or two advanced pupils – time at least to supervise and direct and correct exercises. Kirbister School, Orphir, sent up a bursar this year as well as last. Where did Mr Muir find time? His successful bursars never had a lesson out of school time or school premises. The same will be found to be the case with the two bursars from Firth School – a school which carries on so vigorous and important a work that it is a model of its kind. It is all very well to blame “herds” – innocents as they are! So Adam did slip the blame upon Eve, and Eve upon the Serpent! The boys and girls complained of were not “herds” and were all out of the standards, and their only ailment was they got no good; “no, nothing,” to quote one aggrieved person’s remark. Ask the pupils or the parents concerned and you will find the fact undeniable that days and weeks have passed without the teacher paying any attention to pupils out of the standards! If “Rousay is stagnant” as to advanced pupils and subjects, who is to blame? The pupil, out-standered, seems to have experienced the truth of Dr Byles’ (of Boston) laconic remark when a prisoner for Toryism in his own house, guarded by a sentinel who was removed, replaced by another, and finally re-instated, “I was guarded, re-guarded, and disregarded.”

After full inquiry I am satisfied that the boy referred to was tried and tried in vain, till his parent, taking fright at continued specific neglect, took him home, 3rd May 1897, and coached him. A “Lover of Fairplay” should love the truth and not say “his absence from school during the past few years!” “Fairplay” believes with too many others that education spoils one – at least “spoilt” this boy – private education! Plainly he must mean that his boy, becoming a bursar by private enterprise, spoilt the game and sent the £5 proviso a-begging for another’s pocket!

It shows marked degeneracy from the example of Socrates for a teacher to exchange knowledge for gold. Alexander the Great declared that he was more indebted to Aristotle, his teacher, than to his father. One who thinks and speaks thus must be fully satisfied as to the great advantages of a good education, but the “spoilt” boy in this case will have to declare that he is more indebted to his father than to his teacher. – EDUCATIONIST.

1898 October 5 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – I crave of you a small corner in your valuable paper to defend myself against the public attack “Educationist” makes. He states – (1) That several boys and girls past the standards were neglected for days and weeks, and that their parents took them home in disgust. I give this an unqualified denial, as regards Sourin School. This is the first time since I entered the profession that the charge of neglect of duty has been laid against me. (2) That this boy was tried and tried in vain, and his parent, taking fright at specific neglect, took him home 3rd May 1897. As the boy was only a month or two with me, this does not refer to me. – I am, &c., – J. CARRELL. Sourin Schoolhouse, Rousay, 3rd Oct. 1898.

1898 October 12 Orkney Herald

Letters to the Editor


SIR, – Unqualified thanks are due you as editor for your marked patience and indulgence which, in a parting word, I now heartily accord to you. My sole object in writing my first letter was improvement, where desirable, upon the above – all for public good. Should the public cause of education be anyways advantaged thereby, I am willing to wear the martyr’s crown for that. If I have wounded sensibilities, that was incidental, but not intentional. At the same time some parents must have purposely imposed upon me with their complaints, and, if so, I must beg their pardon and my own, and I now publicly withdraw all remarks disparaging to the Rousay teachers. Where mistakes were made, I have to thank those who favoured me with courteous corrections. H.M. Inspector’s report on the condition of education in different districts must be taken not only as the official but final word. A new era of educational development is upon us, and the wide-reaching scheme which the Education Department contemplates, will inaugurate a revolution. In his speech at Paisley last month Lord Balfour of Burleigh sounded the first prophetic note when he said: – “It is certain that the elementary and the secondary schools cannot assume one another’s functions without mutual injury and without neglecting a part of their own proper work and producing waste and inefficiency.” – EDUCATIONIST.

1898 November 19 Shetland Times

SMACK-RIGGED BOAT FOR SALE – The Boat LIVELY, of Rousay, 44 feet of keel, in Excellent Order, with or without Nets. Apply William Craigie, Cruar, Rousay, Orkney.

1898 November 23 Orkney Herald

GENERAL BURROUGHS AND THE CAPTURE OF THE SIKANDERBAGH. – There has just been published a book entitled “Recollections of a Highland Subaltern,” by Lieutenant-Colonel W. Gordon-Alexander, late of the 93rd Highlanders, an officer who went through the Indian Mutiny and kept with care and regularity a diary of the stirring events in which his regiment gained well-earned distinction. He had no idea of publishing his “Recollections” till the appearance last year of a correspondence in the Standard on the “vexed question” as to “who was the first of all to enter the breach of the Sikanderbagh on November 16, 1837, at the relief of Lucknow by Sir Colin Campbell.” Colonel Alexander, as one of the four leading officers to enter the breach, answered the question in some detail, and the publication of his letter resulted in suggestions that his diary should be prepared for the press. It was after this that Colonel Alexander first came to know how Malleson’s accounts of various important events, of which he (Colonel Alexander) possessed personal knowledge, “bristled with inaccuracies.” He found misstatements in other works on the Mutiny campaigns, and incidentally points these out but he is mainly concerned with Malleson’s inaccuracies, and devotes most attention to them. Not only does he dispute the accuracy of Malleson’s description of the enclosure of the Sikanderbagh and its buildings, but he explicitly contradicts the historian’s version of the storming of the breach, and enters into a detailed narrative showing that Captain F. W. Burroughs (now Lieutenant-General Traill-Burroughs, C.B., of Rousay) and three or four men of the 93rd Highlanders were inside the breach before ever Sikhs or others credited with the honour by Malleson ever reached the hole. “The breach,” says Colonel Alexander, “can no more be called ‘Cooper’s hole,’ as described more than once by Colonel Malleson, than mine or Colonel Ewart’s, in the sense of any one of us three having entered first; but if in future editions of Colonel Malleson’s History he desires to give that hole the name of the first man into it, then he must call it ‘Burroughs’ Breach.’ ” Colonel Alexander has some biting criticisms on Sir Colin Campbell’s “rough-and-ready” method of awarding the Victoria Cross – a mark of valour which, it is said, he did not like – and points out that it resulted in Colonel Ewart, who was twice wounded at the storming of the Sikanderbagh in capturing a colour from a rebel native officer, receiving no such coveted recognition, while Private Donald McKay, of the Light Company, who captured the other colour, but was not wounded at all, was awarded the Victoria Cross.

1898 November 30 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – HOME INDUSTRIES EXHIBITION. – This season the results of the exhibition have been fairly successful. There were 135 persons who visited it. £26 worth of exhibits were on view, of which over £20 worth were sold, and orders to the value of £7 received. H.R.H. the Duke of York, on the occasion of his visit to Orkney on H.M.S. Crescent last July, was graciously pleased to accept a roll of cloth and an Orkney chair made on the island, and to express his satisfaction with both. The cloth was made by Mary Ann Robertson, Banks, the chair by Hugh Craigie, Vacquoy, Wasbister. The sewing and knitting done by the school children in the public schools was also on exhibition for the award of prizes, and was a source of interest to local visitors. It is decided to again hold the exhibition during July, August, and September, 1899, at Banks Cottage, Frotoft. The exhibition is under the charge of Miss Mary Jane Robertson, who will take orders.

Last Friday, while Mr Wood was removing his stock, &c., by the steamer Orcadia, from his former farm of Trumland, Rousay, to Finstown, he accidentally fell on board the steamer and broke his arm.

1898 December 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – PARISH CHURCH. – The Church Hymnary was introduced into the service of praise here on Sunday last. There were two diets of worship having special reference to Christmas with appropriate hymns accompanied upon the harmonium, e.g., “Lux Benigna,” “Abends,” “Samuel,” and “Triumph – Dismission.” At the close the Rev. Mr Spark announced that he will conduct a music class, open to all as well as free to all, in the parish church, commencing Friday next, 30th Dec., at 6 p.m., with a view to aid people to the use of the Church Hymnary, and to help them to make their service of praise enter the Temple of God by the gate that is called “Beautiful.”