1903 January 13 The Scotsman
SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND. – The usual monthly meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland was held in their library at the Museum, Queen Street, last night – Dr. Robert Munro, vice-president, in the chair.
The first paper was an account by Professor Sir William Turner, K.C.B., D.C.L., LL. D., of a chambered cairn, with cremation cists, at Taversoe Tuick, near Trumland House in the island of Rousay, Orkney, excavated by Lieutenant-General Traill Burroughs, of Rousay and Veira. The mound was circular, with a diameter of about 30 feet, and covered with grass and heather. The excavation, which was begun on the south side, disclosed three cists of small size, containing burnt bones, and placed in close proximity to each other. Under them was a layer of earth about a foot in thickness, and when this was removed the stone roof of the underground chamber was exposed, upwards of 4 feet under the original surface. The roof was formed of massive flags, resting on the slide walls and ends of the chamber, which consisted of a central part facing the opening into the entrance passage, and four recesses, two on the north side and one at either end on the east and west. The entire chamber (including the recesses) was 12 feet long, nearly 5½ feet broad, and 4 feet 8 inches in height, and the recesses were separated from each other by flags projecting from the north wall. The passage which opened on the south side of the chamber diminished gradually in height and width towards the interior of the mound, and had a small recess on one side near the chamber, and a flag projecting from the floor, like a sill, at about 13 feet from the chamber. Towards the interior entrance the passage curved slightly to the east. Three heaps of bones, representing, probably, as many skeletons, lay in the passage between the chamber and the sill-like stone, and immediately to the south of the sill there was found the half of a finely-made hammer of grey granite, a triangular flake of flint, and numerous fragments of urns of a hard black paste, ornamented on the part near the rim by groups of parallel lines arranged in triangles. In the chamber itself several unburnt human skeletons were found, placed in the usual contracted posture on the floor, but from the fragmentary condition of the bones no definite conclusions could be formulated, The incinerated bones in the cists were mixed with a slag, indicating cremation at a very high temperature…..
1903 January 14 Orkney Herald
Letters to the Editor
POVERTY IN ROUSAY.
Sir, – It was with great surprise that I read the following in the British Weekly of January 1st: – “An old reader is pleading for the poor folk in her husband’s parish. From what I can gather his little flock would be grateful for any kind of clothing that is not too much worn to be of use to them. Apparently these hardworking people are very, very poor, and it would be a real charity to help them in this way. Perhaps there may be even one or two readers who can send a little parcel occasionally to Mrs [Janet] McLeman, the minister’s wife, who will be grateful to, and willingly pay the carriage of any box of clothing suitable for working people – men, women, boys and girls, such a coats, jackets, trousers, petticoats, blouses, stockings, boots, etc. Mrs McLeman explains that a parcel would not reach them: the goods much be packed in a box and addressed to Mrs McLeman, U.F. Manse, Rousay, Orkney, per North of Scotland Steam Navigation Co. I feel sure that you will do all you can to help”
A remarkable change must have taken place in the island of Rousay since last I had the pleasure of visiting it. During my visits, what struck me most was the kindly hospitality of the islanders. Instead of destitution and poverty there appeared to prevail an abundance and contentment of which in our southern cities is so often sadly missed. Had anyone hinted to me then that, in a short time, an appeal would be made in the columns of the British Weekly for old articles of clothing wherewith to cover the half-naked bodies of the islanders. I should have laughed him to scorn.
Presumably the unfortunate congregation which is in so sad a plight in that of the Ritchie U.F. Church, and if this “little flock” be so “very, very poor,” it is a pity to think that the appeal for help had to be published in a London paper. Is there no-one charitably disposed nearer home?
I cannot help thinking that a joke has been perpetrated at the expense of the “husband’s little flock,” and I feel confirmed in this opinion by the amazing statements “that a parcel would not reach” the island and that “the goods must be packed in a box.” Rousay is fortunately possessed of a daily mail, and the postman has known to his cost that many parcels have to be delivered of much greater weight and value than a parcel of old clothes. But a parcel is not sufficient. The cast off garments of the prosperous southern are expected to retain such a precious odour of wealth and prosperity about them that they must be packed in a box! Might I modestly suggest to donors to add disinfectants to the contents of this box.
If the affair be not a joke, I wish the “poor people” of the Ritchie U.F. Church the greatest pleasure in their “cast off” garbs, and a joyful season when their New Year box arrives. I had expected that the independence and the self respect of the Rousay folks would be opposed to a public appeal for old clothes, but, if my expectations are without foundation, the islanders have the sincerest sympathy of – A VISITOR.
1903 January 21 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY. – The annual meeting of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held in Sourin Public School on Tuesday evening, 13th inst. There was a good attendance of members present. After the secretary’s and treasurer’s books had been gone over and found correct, the usual business was proceeded with. The following were appointed to act on the committee for the ensuing year: – Mr Hamilton H. Horne, Trumland, chairman; Mr Alex. Learmonth, Breckan, secretary and treasurer; Mr James S. Gibson, assistant secretary. All the old members of committee were also reappointed. It was resolved to hold a ploughing match, on a date to be afterwards fixed, Messrs Horne, Geo. Gibson, and J. S. Gibson being appointed a sub-committee to make all necessary arrangements. As the match usually goes the round of the island, this year it falls to the Frotoft district, and we understand it is likely to be held at the farm of Nearhouse if Mr [Robert] Mainland is good enough to grant the use of a field.
Letters to the Editor
POVERTY IN ROUSAY.
Sir, – I was truly sorry to notice that some “small, slight-natured” person signing themselves “Visitor” should have thus put themselves to the trouble to expose their own ungenerous mind: and am quite sure the noble natured lady who inserted the notice did not dream for one moment that there could be anyone so altogether pitiable to take notice, else she would never have sent it to the printers without my (Mrs McLeman’s) knowledge. The facts of the case are simply these. Cases of need having come to my knowledge (and every thinking person knows these exist) when I promised to do what I could to get what I knew was so sorely required, and having already disposed of everything of my own I could possibly do without, I wrote to “Winifred,” editress of the “Ladies’ Column” of the British Weekly asking if she knew of any place where I could get some articles of clothing in fairly good condition for some of the poorest in the congregation, sending her any name and address that she might send it on to the place did she know of such, so saving both delay and unnecessary communication, adding that I would willingly pay carriage for same, and as it comes cheaper per cwt. North of Scotland Shipping Co., a box would be most suitable by that route. Hearing no word, I again wrote and was astonished to learn the request had been inserted in the “Ladies’ Column,” at which she was deeply grieved. If “Winifred” and Mrs McLeman erred it was on the side of kindness, and we did not have the worldly wisdom to remember there might be snakes in the grass. Hoping next time “Visitor” sees need to appear in the public prints it will be to exhibit a larger soul and more generous construction. I am, yours, etc., – MRS McLEMAN. Ritchie U.F. Manse, Rousay, Jan. 16, 1903.
SIR, – I have just had a copy of the British Weekly of 1st January sent me with the following conspicuously marked: –
“An old reader is pleading for the poor folk in her husband’s parish. From what I can gather his little flock would be grateful for any kind of clothing that is not too much worn to be of use to them. Apparently these hard working people are very, very poor, and it would be a real charity to help them in this way. Perhaps there may be even one or two readers who can send a little parcel occasionally to Mrs McLeman, the minister’s wife, who will be grateful for and willingly pay the carriage of any box of clothing suitable for the working people – men, women, boys, and girls – such as coats, jackets, trousers, petticoats, blouses, stockings, boots, etc. Mrs McLeman explains that a parcel would not reach them: – the goods must be packed in a box and addressed to Mrs McLeman, U.F. Manse, Rousay, Orkney, per North of Scotland Steam Navigation Co. I feel sure that you will do what you can to help.”
Being a native of Rousay it is needless to say I was surprised if not disgusted, and knowing well that all the poor of the parish are well looked after, and honestly speaking, there are no ‘very, very poor.’ There are a few in the parish who are not able to support themselves, but they are well cared for by the Parish Council and their friends, and I am sure the poorest would not accept any such cast-off clothes if they knew how they had been obtained. Neither is charity or friendly feeling at such a low ebb in the parish of Rousay that any ‘very, very poor’ case would not be at once relieved.
I also feel certain that the Rousay people and any member of the “little flock” (outside of the manse) are more independent and have more self-respect for themselves, and would oppose and resent any such charity. The people of Rousay are more able to help the less fortunate poor in the south, as they have done before very heartily, than receive such help from places where it is much more required. It is to be hoped that friends of the ‘very, very poor,’ will consider well where, and to whom they give. Rural districts, and especially Orkney, are able to make their poor more comfortable than they usually are in large cities. I may also mention that the parish of Rousay is not beyond the reach of parcels, for they have a daily post, and there are about nine persons employed in taking the mails to and through the parish. – I am, &c., – NATIVE.
SIR, – I am to state that Rousay cannot be so poor as reported. This parish, by last census, contained 829 individuals, but the fact is that while there is one Established Church, there are three U.F. Churches. What community can plead poverty and at the same time support three dissenting churches? Such luxury in religion is incompatible with the plea of poverty. – I am &c., – OLD RESIDENTER.
1903 January 28 Orkney Herald
Letters to the Editor
POVERTY IN ROUSAY.
SIR, – I notice in your issue of 21st inst. that Mrs McLeman endeavours to make a sort of explanation regarding the unwarranted appeal for cast-off clothing which appeared in the British Weekly of 1st January.
I admit, as Mrs McLeman says, that there are cases of need – wherever we go we will find such – but at the same time, I think that her action in the matter is quite uncalled-for, and to say that the people of Rousay feel indignant is, I think, putting it very mildly. If she has, as she asserts in her letter, disposed of everything of her own that she could possibly spare to the poor of her husband’s flock, she can rest assured that, so far as she is concerned, she has done her duty and no more is expected of her. But why this appeal to “Winifred,” and where are the very, very poor referred to? Certainly not in Rousay so far as I am aware, and I hardly think a recluse like Mrs McLeman would be likely to find such cases. True, there are some poor people in Rousay, but these are fairly well provided for both privately and publicly. Little wonder, then, that “Visitor,” (whom Mrs McLeman considers a small, slight-natured person) expressed surprise at the appeal. Mrs McLeman, in her letter, puts rather a strange construction on things. She very cleverly evades what appeared in the appeal regarding the parcel, namely, “Mrs McLeman explains that a parcel would not reach them,” and goes on to explain, in her letter, that, as it comes cheaper per cwt per North of Scotland Shipping Company, a box would be most suitable that way. But as no one would ever dream of sending cwts. of old clothing except to parties contemplating opening a second-hand clothes shop, she is again at error on this point, as parcel post would be much cheaper, but apparently it was desirable to evade this mode of conveyance. In short, Mrs McLeman’s explanation and the wording of the original notice are so much at variance as to call for a fuller explanation, and to exonerate herself she should explain fully where the cases of need are situated, when, I am sure, she will find plenty of people in Rousay charitably enough disposed to relieve such distressing cases as she has apparently come across.
Mrs McLeman also hopes next time “Visitor” writes he will exhibit a larger soul and a more generous construction. I think that such a statement is more applicable to herself than to “Visitor,” and I consider that if she would, instead of making such uncalled for appeals to the readers of the British Weekly, extend a larger soul of sociability and intercourse to her very near neighbours, and put a better construction on their little eccentricities, she would, as the wile of a minister of the gospel, be doing for herself and her little flock far more lasting and abiding good than she can ever expect to do by laying a community open to such ridicule as the Rousay people have suffered with regard to the strange appeal which appeared in the British Weekly on the 1st of this glad New Year. – I am, yours &c., – ONE OF THE SNAKES.
SIR, – Mrs McLeman’s letter appears rather irrelevant, and, as she jumps from singular to plural and from first to third person indiscriminately, somewhat confusing. She begs the question on each of the points involved. She touches lightly on the extreme poverty; she does not explain why parcels cannot reach her; and she does not state that her husband is not a parish minister. She appears to have begged old clothes through the medium of a public paper, not once, but twice. Now she says “I was astonished,” and “she (apparently the editress) was deeply grieved that the appeal was published.” How absurd it seems. She does not seem to understand that matters concerning the public, and appearing in public print, are fit subjects for public controversy. Personal abuse, such as “snakes in the grass,” &c, is no defence. It does not show that inward charity of mind that should accompany one who has given all that she has – I beg pardon, all that she can afford – to the poor. – I am, &c., – THE MAN IN THE STREET.
SIR, – I have heard of a cure for a kicking horse, namely, hang up a well-made bundle of straw behind the end the horse kicks with. Kicking being a delight to him, he will go at it until tired, or discovers he cannot do the object any harm.
Your correspondent, “Native,” is unreasonably critical when he makes so much of the mistake in “Winifred’s” remarks regarding the sending of parcels to Rousay. His attack on Mrs McLeman and her efforts to help the cases of need which have come under her notice are unworthy of a man, and appear to be animated by a different spirit from that which inspires the good lady in her work of love and kindness. I have not the honour of knowing Mrs McLeman. She is probably not an Orcadian, but judging from the good work she is endeavouring to do, Rousay should give her the esteem due to the mission she is seeking to fulfil. It is to be hoped she will not judge all Orcadians by the spirit displayed in “Native’s” letter. I feel sure he is not a representative of the Rousay people. He apparently does not appreciate the needs of the less fortunate in his island.
Rousay is “a beautiful isle of the sea,” historical, and romantic, possessed by a “gallant” laird, and celebrated for fights on the crofter question. Never “very, very poor.” That depends on degrees of comparison. What of the aged woman who sits in a peerie hoose on the hillside, with perhaps a kailyard and a few old hens who have to scrape for their living? What of the crofter’s or the fisherman’s widow and her wee bairns? All she can make on the croft is “dear bought,” even with the help of kind neighbours, when employment to add to her scanty means is not within her reach. The help given by the Parish Council does not lift them far above poverty. In Rousay, as elsewhere, there are deserving people who ask no help and never complain. Yet such help as Mrs McLeman is laudably trying to procure is very acceptable to those whose lot is often cheerless. I have never known such help “resented” anywhere. Orcadians are generally “neighbourly,” and to the credit of the recipients nineteen out of every twenty are worthy of all they get. The ability of Mr “Native” to help the “less fortunate poor in the south” I do not doubt but might I ask if that is done to any extent. Possibly the help “heartily” sent from the north has been returned by the south tenfold. The poor in the south are “less fortunate,” generally on account of their way of living, not on account of less help or chances of making a “living” for themselves. I have somewhat to do with a parish in the south, and can truly say very many of the cases we have to consider are pitiful in the extreme. Drunkenness is the cause of nine-tenths of the bad cases. The poor children suffer terribly through their heartless parents. Much more is spent on the poor here than in the north, but drink keeps a constant stream flowing to the poorhouse and the asylum. The deserving poor consequently get less than they might.
As a little encouragement to Mrs McLeman to persevere in her good work, I shall send her a little parcel often, feeling sure some good old woman in Rousay will not resent the offering. I do this hoping Orcadians “over the sea,” who have seen “Native’s” letter, may also send her a little gift, so that his letter may have the opposite result of its apparent intention.
Your correspondent, “Old Residenter,” is evidently trying to throw dust in our eyes when he says, “what community can plead poverty, and at the same time support three dissenting churches?” Does Rousay support three churches? Church statistics do not show great liberality on the part of the churches in the island. Very far from self-support. If help is readily given them from the south, “Old Residenter” need not trot out such sarcasm. I venture to say the men of Rousay spend more money in tobacco in a year than all that is contributed by the inhabitants to the cause of religion in a like time. Mr Editor, please excuse me diving into your space so deeply. – I am, &c., – EDA. Farawa, 24th January 1903.
SIR, – On reading the correspondence in connection with the above, it occurs to me that there must be a tremendous amount of foolish pride in the hearts of your correspondents, who seem so offended because a kind-hearted woman has been doing something to help those who are evidently not too well off so far as the comforts of this world are concerned. It says a good deal for the minister’s wife that she is so interested in the poor folks, and it be more to their credit if a few more ladies of the manse would go in for practical religion of this sort. “Native’s” feelings have evidently suffered a terrible shock. He is not only “surprised” but “disgusted,” Poor chap! He says there are no “very very” poor in Rousay, and those who cannot support themselves are “well” cared for by the Parish Council and “their friends.” According to “Native,” the “poor” folks in Rousay must be a well cared for lot, and if not rolling in luxury at least in most comfortable circumstances. But I’m afraid he is only too far from the truth. God help those who are at the mercy of the Parish Council. “Native” knows as well as I do that a couple of shillings a week won’t go far towards keeping the wolf from the door. As a rule folks are not too anxious to go on the “Board” – some would rather starve first. In fact it is little better than starvation in either case. “Native” refers to the “friends” of the poor, and I agree with him that it is a common thing in the Orkneys for the better-off folk to assist those in poorer circumstances – all credit to them – but in many cases the friends are ill-off themselves, in other cases the friends do not know whether poverty exists or not, and the poor folks are too proud to beg. It seems to me that it is in cases like these that Mrs McLeman has interested herself, and it seems a pity that “Native” and others should rush into print with the view of airing their fancied grievances, and giving vent to their wounded feelings. It would have been much nicer if they had put their hands into their pockets and sent the good lady a donation towards relieving the distress of their poorer brethren. “Native” refers to the poor in the large cities, but he must remember to distinguish between the honest poor and the criminal poor, and if he knows anything about the matter at all, he will know that the latter class are in the majority – a lazy, lounging, drunken, criminal set – the very fellows whom the Rousay folks have evidently so heartily helped in the past. “Native” is “sure that the poorest would not accept any such cast-off clothes if they knew how they had been obtained.” “Native” is havering. If the folks are at the “poorest” stage they will only be too thankful to take what they can get. Better folks than either “Native” or the poor folks in Rousay have been glad to wear cast-off clothes. “Native” would evidently prefer to see the people going naked. How does he read James ii, 14-17?
“Old Residenter” asserts “that Rousay cannot be so poor as reported.” He bases this assertion on the fact that the community are able to support three U.F. churches. “Old Residenter” is evidently a member of the Established Church, and he seems to imagine that the U.F. churches are superfluous, and a burden on the people. Does it not rather betoken that there is a dearth of things spiritual in the Old Kirk which the U.F. churches are expected to supply? But it is surely the duty of every religious body to look after the temporal as well as the spiritual poverty of the people, and “Old Residenter” does not seem to know whether the Rousay folks are in a temporal state of poverty or not. His thoughts are apparently more concerned with religious sects than the question at issue.
I regret, sir, trespassing so much on your valuable space, but the circumstances seem to justify a protest. Personally, I am persuaded that distress exists in the island, and I hope to make up and send a box to the minister’s wife soon. Yours, &c., J.C.
1903 February 4 Orkney Herald
Letters to the Editor
POVERTY IN ROUSAY.
SIR, – There seems to be a tendency on the part of some of your correspondents to wander away from the point. I wish to put a few questions to Mrs McLeman, and should be pleased to receive her answers through your columns. If such dire poverty exists in Rousay, why did she not, before writing to a London paper, communicate with the islanders? Many are able and would be willing to help in relieving it. Charity should begin at home, aye, and would if it were known to be necessary. An unauthorised begging appeal to strangers casts reflections on the whole community, and is apt to make the name of the place a bye-word if it has not already done so. How many cases of great distress does she know of? I ask for no names, but simply the number. Have the articles she has received already been distributed amongst them? Will she give any guarantee, such as co-operating with a responsible committee, that the old clothes will reach the destination for which they are designed? This I hold to be most important and only reasonable, for the public have a right to know how their charity is disbursed. Is this the first begging appeal that has gone abroad lately from the Sourin manse? If these questions are answered satisfactorily and show the need for it, I for my part will put my hand in my pocket for far more than a few old clothes, and I know those who will do the same. If they are not answered, it will simply leave people to wonder what is the meaning of it all. I sign myself, your &c., – PRO BONO PUBLICO
SIR, – I am venturing to request the public to have the kindness to spare Mrs McLeman’s feelings, and in charity give her credit for her charitable intentions. I am, &c., – ALEXANDER SPARK. Parish Minister. The Manse, Rousay, 21st Jan. 1903.
SIR, – I have noticed that some criticism of late has been going on in the Herald over one of Mrs McLeman’s kind acts to help some of the poor people in Rousay. Mrs McLeman is a shrewd lady and quite competent to judge as to the wants and needs of the people among whom she resides, and I have no doubt but that her kind and philanthropic actions will receive the sympathy that they so well deserve from all those who have the welfare of their fellow men at heart. One of your correspondents, who signs himself “Native,” seems to think that the Rousay folks are living in a condition of luxury and need nothing. I can only state that I am of a very different opinion. Being also a native of the island, my experience among its inhabitants induces me to say that although I have never actually seen any cases of destitution in the place, I have often come into contact with a number of needy cases that would have been much the better of some help – charity if you like to call it. And I am not aware of any poor people living in the island at the present time so proud and independent as your correspondent seems to imagine that they would resent any kind of proffered honest assistance that might be sent to them from any outside source. The island of Rousay has been a poor place for many years. Like many places in Ireland, it has suffered much from rack-renting, and money is a scarce commodity among all classes in this remote island. The islanders have hitherto been prevented from receiving to the same extent the benefit of the Crofters Act that it has bestowed on other places. The smaller class of tenants have always been denied the privilege of taking stones to repair their houses, and in other ways have been greatly handicapped in their efforts to make their lives more comfortable and happy. And last year, on account of what might be termed loop-holes in the Crofters Act, the landlord stopped a joiner and a blacksmith from supplementing their scanty earnings by working at their respective trades, and at the same time a poor widow was deprived of her only source of living which she earned by keeping a small shop on the property. Actions of such a nature as these speak for themselves, and go a long way to show whether or not the inhabitants of Rousay are living in a condition of prosperity and comfort. Comment is needless. – I am, &c., – ANOTHER NATIVE. Edinburgh, 30th Jan, 1903.
SIR, – I notice a letter in yours of 28th from “Eda.” It begins with a cure for a kicking horse. Does “Eda” not mean a “Rousay mare”? I do not see anything it has to do with the point at issue. “Eda” says my attack on Mrs McLeman was “unworthy of a man,” and that l am of a “different spirit.” I sincerely hope I am. Then “Eda” explains “I have not the honour of knowing Mrs McLeman.” Why, then, does “Eda” meddle with things and people she knows nothing about? There is an old saying in Orkney, “Mind your own business well and other people will not have to mind it for you.” “Eda” does not prove any one statement in my letter to be incorrect, but rather proves what I said to be true in the description given by her of the poor in the south whom “Eda” works among. “Drunkenness pitiful in the extreme” and “very, very poor” are not terms that can honestly be applied to the Rousay people. I am proud to say they are an active, hard-working, honest, sober class of people, and the same may be truly said of Orcadians generally, who, when they go abroad, are generally able to give a good account of themselves and are always spoken of as hard-working, persevering, intelligent people. “J. C.” says my feelings have suffered a shock. Small wonder when we, of the parish and island of Rousay, are described in a London paper as “very, very poor” and in need of old clothes collected through the medium of that paper. Just consider for a minute what use the articles described would be to the Rousay crofters and fishermen.
“J. C.” says “it would be more to their credit if a few more ladles of the manse would go in for practical religion of this sort.” I am glad to say that the ladies of our manses do not as a rule run to the papers with any kind of action, nor “sound the trumpet” when they give to the poor, as is done by “Eda” and “J. C.,” even before they send their parcels and boxes of old clothes. They are only wounding the feelings of the poor and the community generally when such extreme views are expressed by those who know nothing of the case at all. Let “Eda” and “J. C.” read “One of the Snakes’” letter and they will see at a glance the feeling of the Rousay people, which can be better imagined than described. I read that beautiful passage, James ii.14-17, exactly as it stands. It is so simple that anyone can understand the meaning, but there is a difference between collecting old clothes through a newspaper and daily food, and I have never, in all my life, heard of any deserving case in Rousay not having prompt attention. Would it not have been better for Mrs McLeman to have consulted with some of the well-to-do farmers’ wives and others who have more experience in Rousay matters? There are many who have the case of the poor, the fatherless, and widow quite as much at heart as she, and who would gladly respond to any deserving case at once. I admit there are people in Rousay who would rather starve than beg. I have known cases where the pinch of want was felt, but beg? No. The old Orcadian pride still runs high; give us work, help us that way, and we shall feel indebted, but by begging for us through a London paper and describing us as “very, very poor” you inflict a wound which will be most keenly felt, both by those at home in our peaceful islands and by those who have left us for all parts of the world where Orcadians hold honourable positions as worthy members of our great Empire. – I am, yours &c., – NATIVE
1903 February 11 Orkney Herald
THE LATE MR JAMES INKSTER, OF SCAUR, ROUSAY. – The Rev. Mr McLeman, at the close of an earnest sermon from Prov. xvi. 31, “The hoary head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness,” said: – My friends, while I have been describing some of the characteristic features of the way of righteousness and of the honour given to the hoary-headed pilgrim in that path, you must frequently have been reminded of that kind and faithful friend whose mortal remains we have during the week that is past laid in their last earthly resting place. He was one of the old stock and style, he respected the Sabbath, regarded the Scriptures, reverenced God, rested in his Saviour, rejoiced in the worship of God’s house, and in intercourse with his fellow-believers. To hoar hairs God carried him, there was evidence in his character of the purifying influence of time, in life he had long been preparing for death and through the merits of the Redeemer and the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit had been making provision for the future; “laying up in store for himself a good foundation against the time to come that he might lay hold on eternal life.” You knew him far better than I did. It was only in his closing years I had the honour of his friendship. He had been a faithful and consistent member of this congregation for a lengthened period, a considerable part of which as an active, honoured, and useful office-bearer. I understand that for some time he led the praise of this congregation. So constant, so untiring, so regular was he that to not a few he was in place of a clock. As he was observed coming through that long, barren, wet, and always uncomfortable path which stretches through the moor lying between his house and the church and was seen wending his way by the burnside, it would be said “we must he getting ready for church for there is the man of Scaur.” His life was not an eventful one. He was not a far travelled man. He had engaged in no sanguinary conflicts. He had not accumulated wealth, for he had his share of the trials and troubles of the world. He always, however, managed to scrape through honestly, paid his way and even helped others a good deal. He brought up a family who never caused the blush of shame to mantle his cheek. He had to work hard and almost to the close of his long life he bravely toiled on. He did not complain of his lot and no one could say of him that he ate the bread of idleness. My friends, I could say many more kind and true things about our deputed brother. It is, however, unnecessary, rather may we all make a point of letting our living friends know how we love and esteem them by expressing our affectionate regard for them while still spared to us, for I fear that not a few might apply the language of a modern writer to themselves: ”O the anguish of that thought that we can never atone to our dead for the stinted affection we gave them…..for the little reverence we showed to that sacred human soul that lived so close to us and was the divinest thing God had given us to know.” His widow and family have, I am sure, the heartfelt sympathy of every one of us in this hour of their loss and sorrow.
[James Inkster was born at Gorn, Wasbister, on May 2nd 1829, and was the son of James Inkster and Margaret Inkster of Tou. On December 27th 1860 he married 24-year-old Jane Inkster, Innister, and between 1863 and 1876 they raised a family of six children. Living at Scaur at Westness, James’ route to the Free kirk in Sourin would have been via the Muckle Water and along the banks of the Souso Burn every Sabbath.]
1903 February 25 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – RITCHIE CONGREGATIONAL GUILD. – This guild met on Friday last. The night was wet and stormy yet a good few of the members had mustered up courage enough to be present. The president read a paper on “Proverbs maistly Scotch with illustrations from the proverbs of other nations.” Two vice-presidents also spoke on this fertile theme, while Mr William Grieve caused much merriment by a Scotch story. The choir was smaller than usual, but the pieces were sweetly sung and added much to the brightness and enjoyment of the meeting.
1903 March 14 The Orcadian
ROUSAY. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on Thursday, the 5th inst., at the farm of Nearhouse, on a field kindly granted by Mr [Robert] Mainland. Owing to the roughness of the weather, the judges, Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Mowat, Schoolhall; and Yorston, Orquill, Evie, were unable to get across, and the committee decided to allow the ploughmen to appoint their own judges. The local judges appointed were – Messrs Alex. Learmonth, Breckan; Allan Gibson, Myres; and John Mainland, Cubbierow, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction. The number of ploughs forward on this occasion was smaller than usual – there being only 2 champions and 13 ordinary, but these did very good work, and altogether the match was a very successful one. The ploughmen were liberally supplied with refreshments by Mr and Mrs Mainland during the day. Annexed is the prize list:-
PLOUGHING. – Champions – 1 and medal, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 2, George Gibson, Avelshay. Ordinary – 1 and Highland and Agricultural Society’s medal, John Harrold, Bigland; 2, George Munro, Saviskaill; 3, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 4, Magnus Craigie, Langskaill; 5, Tom Gibson, Broland; 6, William Inkster, Avelshay; 7, John Wylie, Westness; 8, James Shearer, Westness; 9, Benjamin Moodie, Scockness; 10, Hugh Marwick, Innister.
Best Feering. – John Harold, Bigland.
Best Finish. – Tom Sinclair, Westness.
Neatest Ends. – John Pearson, Saviskaill.
Best Ploughed Rig. – Tom Sinclair, Westness.
Youngest Ploughman. – David Moodie, Ervadale.
GROOMING. – 1, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 2, James W. Grieve, Faraclett; 3, George Munro, Saviskaill; 4, Hugh Marwick, Grain; 5, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 6, William Dunnett, Nearhouse.
At the close of the match, the judges and few members of the committee were kindly entertained to dinner by Mr and Mrs Mainland. There was a good number of special prizes also, which were given according to the wishes of the donors. The committee takes this opportunity of thanking the donors, and those who so liberally contributed to the funds of the club. We understand that Mr [William] Inkster, firemaster, Aberdeen, is to present the Society with the champion medal, for which the members have to tender their thanks.
1903 March 25 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD. – The usual meeting of Ritchie U.F. Church Guild was held in the church last Friday. There was a good attendance of members. Mr MacLeod, teacher, read an excellent essay on Tennyson, which was much appreciated by those present. Mr Alex. Grieve made a few critical remarks. Mr William Grieve gave a reading from Hogg – “The Fate of MacGregor.” A selection of sacred music was well rendered by the choir under the leadership of Mr J. W. Grieve. The session will be closed by a social meeting on Thursday, April 2.
1903 April 8 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD SOCIAL AND PRESENTATION. – The closing meeting of the session of the above guild was held on Friday last. There was a large attendance of members and friends. The first part of the programme consisted of several pieces of music by the choir and short addresses by the chairman and Mr Groat, of Westray. Tea was then served along with an abundant supply of eatables. On the programme being resumed, Mr Alexander Grieve gave a very fine paper on “Health,” containing much valuable information and advice on the culture of the mind and soul as well as guidance how properly to care for the body. Duets quartettes, etc., were rendered during the evening. The singing, which was of a superior character, earned the hearty approval of all and did credit to choir and leader. As usual Mr James W. Grieve brought down the house with a Scotch reading, which he did in his own inimitable style. A little incident of unusual interest was kept to the close, viz., the presentation of a Bible and inkstand to Mr William Grieve on the occasion of his marriage [to Mary Ann Clouston]. The Rev. Mr McLeman, in handing over the gifts, voiced the warm regard of the members for Mr Grieve, who from the first had worked enthusiastically for the Guild, the library, etc., and as secretary. Mr Grieve, in acknowledging the kindness of the members, assured them he had been quite disinterested, and in doing what he could had found it a personal pleasure. Votes of thanks were than heartily accorded, and one of the best meetings in the history of the Guild was brought to a close.
1903 April 11 The Orcadian
Letters to the Editor
STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH ROUSAY, &c.
SIR, – I have been reading the letters in your paper regarding the competition going on for the carrying trade of the North Isles. The Rousay trade is done by the Fawn belonging to the Orkney Steam Navigation Company. It will be remembered this trade was at one time in the hands of the Rousay, Evie and Rendall Steam Company, who had the Lizzie Burroughs on the passage. When the Company went into liquidation, Mr Garden of Kirkwall purchased the vessel, and continued the trade on the same lines, calling regularly at three different places at Rousay, also at EgiIshay, Weir, Evie, Rendall and Gairsay. The Orcadia Company brought the Fawn in opposition to Mr Garden, and when they got him off the field they altered arrangements in a way that were not nearly so convenient for the people of the islands. They ceased calling at Hullion and Sourin, also Evle and Rendall. Besides, the rates now charged are higher than when the Lizzie Burroughs was on the passage, and it is quite a common thing for the Fawn to be withdrawn in order to undertake other traffic. The Orkney Steam Navigation Company have certainly not attended so well to the interests of the Rousay people as Mr Garden or the former company did. – I am, etc., GREEN HOLM
1903 April 22 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – SCHOOL BOARD. – The result of the School Board election has been declared to-day (the 22nd inst). There were six candidates nominated, but one, Mr James Craigie, Falquoy, withdrew, so that a poll has been avoided. The following is a list of the members forming the new Board, viz.: General Burroughs of Rousay and Veira; Rev. John McLeman, Ritchie U.F. Manse; Rev. Alex. Irvine Pirie, Trumland U.F. Manse; Hugh Marwick, Guidal; William Grieve, Falldown. The first meeting of the new Board will be held on Wednesday 29th inst.
AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION. – Mr Inkster, firemaster, Aberdeen, (who is a native of the island), has presented the agricultural association with a handsomely inscribed silver medal. The medal is beautifully designed and is to be competed for by bona-fide ploughmen who have already taken first prizes for ploughing.
1903 May 13 Orkney Herald
GENERAL BURROUGHS, C.B., of Rousay and Veira, and Mrs Burroughs have been summoned to attend their Majesties’ Court at Holyrood. Mrs Burroughs’ dress is a gown of ciel soie de chine and black mousseline de sole with encrustations of black and white embroidery. The bodice had revers of oyster white taffetas delicately embroidered with pale blue ribbon velvet and forget-me-nots. Toque of straw to tone with the gown, trimmed with fine black lace, a bird, and white osprey.
1903 May 20 Orkney Herald
Letters to the Editor
APPEAL RE QUEEN VICTORIA MEMORIAL SCHOOL.
Trumland House, Rousay, 19th May 1903.
SIR, – As Vice-Lieutenant of the County, I have been asked to give publicity in Orkney to the appeal which is presently being addressed to the public of Scotland for funds to establish a National School in Scotland for the sons of Scottish sailors and soldiers; and, with a view thereto, you will perhaps be good enough to publish this letter in the columns of your newspaper.
The establishment of the institution will accomplish a twofold purpose – first, the erection of a Scottish National Memorial to Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria befitting her long and illustrious reign; and, second, the founding of a National Scottish School for the reception and education of the sons of Scottish sailors and soldiers. Both England and Ireland have national schools of a similar nature, but Scotland has no such institution. Its want has often been keenly felt, the sons of Scottish sailors and soldiers left fatherless and without means having hitherto been dependent upon individual charity.
Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, who has subscribed £500 towards the cost of the proposed school, is taking a warm interest in the scheme, and, under the able presidency of Lord Rosebery, there can be no doubt of its success. The Government is also aiding largely in this cause.
I am opening a county fund, to which I have contributed, and am anxious that everyone may assist the memorial, even to the smallest extent, and thus enable me to name for the county at least one bed in the proposed school.
A committee of gentlemen interested in the movement has also been formed, and a list of their names will be handed you by the secretary.
Subscriptions can be at once forwarded to the honorary treasurer of the Orkney Committee, Mr J. Lees Low, solicitor, Kirkwall, by whom they will he acknowledged in due course. – I am, sir, your obedient servant, – F. TRAILL BURROUGHS, Lt.-General, Vice-Lieutenant of Orkney and Shetland.
1903 June 3 Orkney Herald
AN ORKNEY WOMAN AND THE OATH. – One day last week a voluble old woman appeared at Marylebone, at the instance of the Marylebone Guardians, to show cause why she should not be transferred to the Guardians of Orkney, the place of her birth. When asked to take the oath, she stoutly protested against “swearing anything,” and in a loud voice demanded to know why she should have been knocked about and treated so cruelly in the workhouse, seeing that all she did was “just to unburden her mind of the truth” and to maintain the honour and honesty of her countrywomen. “No, I won’t swear,” she cried, as she thrust the proffered Testament from her. “I have never said a wrong word or anything else, but I’ve been knocked about shamefully by these blackguards.” Mr Curtis Bennett – Now is your opportunity to return to your native surroundings. Take the book and be sworn. The Old Woman – No: I tell you I won’t swear until I know what I’ve got to swear about. (Laughter.) It’s no good: I won’t. (Great laughter.) Mr Curtis Bennett – Come, now; take the book and be sworn. The Old Woman – No: I don’t know how to swear. (Laughter.) I’m massacred for speaking the truth. This is no civilised country; it’s a disgrace to everything. The usher having repeated the oath, asked her to kiss the book. “I don’t care for kissing anything,” she replied. In the end, however, she was induced to kiss the book, and the particulars of her birth, &c., were read over to her. Asked if these were true, she replied, “I’m only able to speak the truth; but I’ll speak it better when I get back to my native land. (Laughter.) A parcel of downright villains you are. (Great laughter.) Police-Constable Butler – Come along, my dear; that’s all.” “Don’t call me dear,” she sharply retorted; “I’m nobody’s dear,” and so saying she was ushered out of the Court.
1903 June 10 Orkney Herald
The name of John W. Pirie, Trumland Manse, Rousay, was omitted from the list published last week in the Orkney Herald of successful Orkney scholars at the United Free Church Welfare of Youth examination. He is second prizeman for junior Shorter Catechism and seventh prizeman for Junior New Testament.
1903 July 1 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – The Frotoft Bible-class, which is conducted by the Rev. A. I. Pirie, Trumland U.F. Church, concluded their winter session on Sunday evening last by a service of sacred praise. The several items on the programme were well rendered, and reflect much credit on the choir, which was under the leadership of Captain Craigie, who has been conducting the singing for some time during the unavoidable absence of Mr D. Mackay. During the evening Mr Pirie gave a brief sketch of the life and education of Christ, which was very instructive, and was listened to with rapt attention. At the close of the programme, Mr Pirie thanked the choir for the trouble they had taken in getting up the several pieces, and especially Captain Craigie and Mr D. Mackay for their kindness in conducting the singing during the session.
1903 August 8 The Orcadian
ROUSAY. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday, 31st ult. Owing to the unpropitious weather, the attendance, both of competitors and spectators, was much smaller than usual. Rain fell heavily during the forenoon, and the very strong breeze, amounting at times almost to a gale, was responsible for the non-attendance of many of the usual competitors from Kirkwall and the adjacent islands.
The first race was timed for 11 a.m., but as few boats had then turned up, the committee decided to postpone the event till later, and it was not until 1 p.m., on the arrival of the Daisy and the Walrus from Kirkwall, and the Sweyn from Tingwall, that the programme was proceeded with.
Owing to the delay in starting, the course was made shorter than is usually the case, being from a buoy off Trumland Pier round a buoy in Egilshay Sound, thence round a buoy off the point of Avelshay, and back to Trumland Pier.
The first race to be decided was that for boats of 22 feet of waterline and under, for which there were 4 entries. The corrected time is as follows:-
Walrus [A. Leask] – 3h 31m 47s
Sarah Anne [J. Mainland] – 3h 32m 46s
Sweyn [J. Garrioch] – 3h 37m 31s
Sigurd [Gen. Burroughs] (retired).
The second event was for boats 35 feet waterline and under, for which only two entries were obtained. The boats were despatched five minutes later to a splendid start, Annie crossing the line slightly in advance but to leeward of Daisy. The actual finish was as under without deducting time allowance:-
Annie [J. Logie] (Cup) – 3h 46m 36s
Daisy [J. Maxwell] – 3h 47m 1s
The third race was for boats of 16 feet and under, for which there were three entries. Alice crossed the line in the premier position, closely followed by Wilsons, and Ceska considerably behind. Ceska, however, materially improved her position over the course, and, in an exciting finish, only just failed to snatch the honours from Alice. The corrected times were as follows:-
Alice [C. B. Logie] (Gold Medal) – 3h 45m 32s
Ceska [H. S. Gibson] – 3h 45m 42s
Wilsons [T. Groundwater] – 3h 47m 44s
The race for all-comers was the next item – there being nine entries. As the weather had now moderated somewhat, the course was lengthened, the mark boat in Egilshay Sound being moved to the Grand. The following is the corrected time:-
Annie – 5h 46m 47s
Walrus – 5h 48m 49s
Daisy – 5h 49m 37s
Sarah Anne – 5h 51m 16s
Sweyn – 5h 51m 32s
Sigurd – 5h 51m 58s
Alice – 5h 54m 32s
The following are the results in the rowing races: – Boys. – 1, T. Sinclair and D. Yorston; 2, D. Munro and J. Russell. Men. – 1, G. Reid and J. Harrold; 2, J. Yorston and J. Craigie. Refreshments were served during the day in the store at the pier. A very successful dance was afterwards held.
[According to the Orkney Herald, the dance was ‘kept up with great enthusiasm by the younger portion of the community till somewhere about the wee sma’ ‘oor ayont the twal’.]
1903 September 2 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held on the 25th August at Banks, Sourin, on a field, the use of which was kindly granted by Mr Robert Seatter. The show was one of the most successful ever held under the auspices of the society, and as the weather was fine, there were a large number of visitors to the ground, not only of islanders but of people from Kirkwall and other parts of the county, to suit whom the sailing of the steamer Fawn was specially arranged. Though some very good cattle were exhibited most of them showed the want of grass. Mr [Hamilton] Horne, Trumland, received first prizes for two good black-polleds – a cow in milk and a two-year-old quey. A shorthorn cow shown by Mr R. Marwick, Scockness, was a splendid animal, which it would be difficult to beat. Mr G. Gibson had also forward two very good cows. There was a large turnout of yearlings, Mr Marwick again coming to the front. For horses Mr Horne got first for a big, heavy, yeld mare; and Mr J. Gibson, Faraclett, first for a draught mare – a very promising three-year-old horse. A nice lot of yearling fillies were shown. Mr [William] Learmonth, Innister, got first for a nice tidy filly, sired by a horse bred by Mr J. Gibson, Faraclett, out of Mr J. Tait’s “Times Again.” The judges were: – Mr G. C. Webster, Kirkwall; Mr Thomas Clark, Midhouse, Costa, Evie; and Mr William Wood, Dyke, Evie. The following is the prize list: –
Polled Cows (8 entries) – 1, H. H. Horne, Trumland; 2, John Gibson, Faraclett; 3 and c. John Russell, Brendale; h.c., Robert Marwick, Scockness.
Shorthorn Cows (6 entries) – 1, R. Marwick; 2 and 3, George Gibson, Avelshay; h.c., and c., Walter Muir, Saviskaill.
Two-year-old Queys (6 entries) – 1 and c., H. H. Horne; 2, John Gibson; 3 and h.c., David Gibson, Langskaill.
One-year-old Queys (12 entries) – 1 and hc, Robert Marwick; 2, Peter Sinclair, Bigland; 3, John Russell; c., David Gibson.
One-Year-Old Steers, Polled (12 entries) -1, Robert Marwick; 2, David Inkster, Furse; 3 and hc, Robert Seatter, Banks, Sourin; c Walter Muir.
One-Year-Old Steers, Shorthorns (8 entries) – 1, Peter Sinclair; 2 Robert Marwick; 3 and hc William Learmonth, Innister; c John Gibson.
Horses. – Draught Geldings (5 entries) – 1, John Gibson; 2, Robert Sinclair, Sketquoy; 3, Alex. Munro, Woo; George Gibson; c William Learmonth.
Yeld Mares (9 entries) – 1, H. H. Horne; 2, J. Gibson; 3, John Russell, hc James Craigie, Falquoy; c George Gibson.
Mares with Foal at foot (2 entries) – 1, D. Inkster; 2, John Scott, Hurtiso.
Two-Year-Old Fillies (2 entries) – 1, H. H. Horne; 2, J. Gibson.
One-Year-Old Fillies (5 entries) – 1, William Learmonth; 2, Robert Marwick, 3, J. Scott. hc John Corsie, Knarston; c G. Gibson.
One-Year-Old Colts (2 entries) – 1, Peter Sinclair; 2, J. Gibson.
Foals (2 entries) – 1, David Inkster; 2 John Scott.
The judges and committee sat down to a splendid dinner prepared by Miss Munro. The usual toasts were proposed and responded to. The committee beg to thank Mr Wason, M.P., Mr Wood, London; Mr Inkster, Aberdeen, and the Highland Society for their donations.
1903 September 30 Orkney Herald
ORKNEY SCHOOL REPORTS
SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL. – This school has been very faithfully conducted, and the results of the instruction are in general satisfactory, especially in view of the low percentage of attendance for the year. The highest class – the largest class in the school – made a good appearance, particularly in composition, spelling, and geography. Mental arithmetic, on the other hand, is rather weak. Drawing has been taught with enthusiasm and marked success. Singing, drill, and sewing are all very good. An effort should be made to improve the attendance. Average attendance, 32. Grant, inclusive of £10 16s 8d under article 19 D, £54 2s 5d.
WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL. – There is a slight falling-off in the regularity of attendance, but the school continues to be in a highly efficient condition, and the teaching is vigorous and thorough. The infants are remarkably far advanced, but their age is considerably above the normal. The junior and senior divisions show to very good advantage, especially in written subjects. Nothing but praise is due to the excellence of the singing, sewing, drawing, and drill. A new map of the world on Mercator’s projection should be supplied. Average attendance 23. Grants earned, inclusive of £16 5s under article 19 D, £48 11s 2d.
FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL. – This little school is very well taught. The children are frank, intelligent and well advanced. The two candidates for merit certificates made a very good pass. Music again calls for special mention, singing being particularly sweet and tuneful, and modulator, ear, and time tests very good. Some of the maps should be renewed, and a map of the world on Mercator’s projection should be supplied. The woodwork of the school needs repainting. Average attendance, 12. Grants earned, £35 6s.
1903 October 3 The Orcadian
ENGINEER DROWNED AT YARMOUTH. – The master of the Wick steam drifter Cordelia reported on Tuesday at Yarmouth the loss of James Johnston, his chief engineer. At midnight Johnston tried to board the Cordelia from the quay, but slipped and fell into the river. His cap was recovered from the river, but though dragging was commenced the body has not yet been found. Johnston, who was married, is a native of Rousay, Orkney, and this is the second case of the kind that has occurred this week from Scotch fishing boats in Yarmouth Harbour [Norfolk].
[James Craigie Johnston was the son of James Johnston, Breek, and his first wife Ann Craigie, Hullion. He was born on April 4th 1866].
1903 October 21 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – Miss Julia L. Pringle, M.B., Ch.B., has been appointed medical officer for this parish.
[Julia Letitia Pringle was born on August 23, 1878, the daughter of the late Robert Pringle, Writer to the Signet, Edinburgh, and studied medicine at the Medical College for Women, Edinburgh, graduating M.B., Ch.B. in 1903. Among the appointments she held after qualification were those of senior demonstrator in anatomy at the Edinburgh Medical College for Women, house-surgeon at Alnwick Infirmary, Northumberland, and resident medical officer at Drumcondra Hospital, Dublin. She then went into practice at Dundee, becoming assistant ophthalmic surgeon to the Eye Institute, visiting physician to the Dundee Infants Hospital, and consulting physician to the Blackcroft Baby Clinic. During the early nineteen thirties she spent about two years in the United States. – She died in January 1960 at the age of 81. B.M.J.]
1903 October 31 The Orcadian
A ROUSAY ASSAULT CASE. – Before Sheriff Cosens at Kirkwall, on Tuesday, at the Orkney Sheriff Criminal Court, John Leonard, fisherman, Gripps, Sourin, Rousay, was charged with malicious mischief and assault to the effusion of blood. Mr W. P. Drever, who appeared on his behalf tendered a plea of guilty to assault, but not to the effusion of blood, which was accepted by the Fiscal. In passing sentence, Sheriff Cosens said the assault was not a serious one. The serious part of the charge was that the woman assaulted was 70 years of age and her husband a paralytic. Continuing – It shows you are a silly fool to go about tormenting these old people, and I have before, unfortunately, had experience of young blackguards going about and making the lives of old people perfectly miserable, by what they consider fun. That I must put down and as a warning to others, who would be very much better sitting at home reading a book, I fine you 10s. or 7 days’ imprisonment.
[The Orkney Herald stated that Leonard ‘pulled down a piece of dyke of a croft [Knapper] owned by Robert Craigie and his wife Mary.’ An altercation led him to strike Mrs Craigie.]
[John Leonard was 20 years of age in 1903, and was living at Gripps with his father Malcolm and mother Mary.]
1903 November 11 The Orcadian
SALE OF FARM STOCK
There will be sold by Public Roup, at ERVADALE, ROUSAY,
on Thursday, 19th Nov., the following FARM STOCK., viz.: –
5 Milch Cows in calf.
5 One-year-old Cattle.
Black Polled Bull (one-year old).
Draught Horse (seven years old).
And a few lambs.
Five months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards.
Sale to commence at 11 o’clock a.m.
The s.s. “Fawn” will leave Kirkwall at 9 a.m.,
returning on conclusion of the Sale at the Glebe.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.
SALE OF FARM STOCK, CROP, AND IMPLEMENTS.
There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at the GLEBE, ROUSAY, on Thursday,
19th Nov., the following FARM STOCK and IMPLEMENTS, viz.: –
STOCK. – Mare in foal (mid-aged), Horse (four years old), One-year-old Filly,
2 Cows in calf, 1 Cow in milk, 1 Quey in calf, Two-year-old Quey,
3 One-year-old Cattle, 5 Calves, 3 Ewes, 1 Lamb.
CROP. – 300 thraves of Oats with the fodder, 5½ acres Swedish and
Yellow Turnips, to be sold by the chain.
IMPLEMENTS. – 2 Carts, Plough, pair Wood Harrows, Reaper,
Grubber, Harness, &c., &c.
Four months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 and upwards.
Sale to commence immediately after the conclusion of the sale
at Ervadale. The s.s. “Fawn” will leave Kirkwall at 9 o’clock a.m.,
returning in the evening.
T. SMITH PEACE, Auctioneer.
1903 November 18 The Orcadian
SALE OF STOCK, IMPLEMENTS &c.
There will be Sold, by Public Roup, at SAVISKAILL, ROUSAY,
on Wednesday, 25th November, the under-noted, viz.: –
1 Mare (nine years old) in foal, 1 Mare (six years old) in foal, 1 Mare (eight years old), 1 Half-bred Mare in foal, 1 Mare (aged) supposed to be in foal, 1 Entire Horse
(five years old), quiet in harness, and a sure foal getter;
Superior Two-year-old Half-bred Garron Cob, 1 One-year-old Horse Pony;
9 Milch Cows in calf (some early calvers), 15 One-year-old Cattle in forward condition (mostly black polled), 10 Black Polled Calves, 1 Superior Three-year-old Black Polled Bull (fat), 15 Half-bred Lambs, some Poultry.
5 Box Carts, 3 Single Ploughs, 1 Drill Plough, 3 Scufflers, 1 Grubber, 1 Wood Roller,
1 Stone Roller, 2 Sets Spring-tooth Harrows, 2 Sets Iron Harrows,
1 Turnip Sowing Machine, 1 Two-horse Reaper (good cutter), 1 Turnip Pulper,
1 Turnip Slicer, Barn Fanners, Bushel Measure, 4 Sets Plough Trees,
3 Sets Cart and Plough Harness, 1 Set Gig Harness, Forks, Ladders, Feering Poles, and a variety of other articles; also some HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, &c., &c.
Terms – Four months’ credit on approved bills for sums of £5 stg. and upwards.
Sale to commence at 10.30 a.m.
S. BAIKIE, Auctioneer.
Weather permitting, the s.s. “Fawn” will leave Kirkwall Pier at 8 a.m. on morning of sale for the convenience of intending purchasers, returning again in the evening.
1903 November 28 The Orcadian
ROUSAY. – Rev. Mr Spark announced last Sunday that he will resume his classes – open to all parishioners – during winter at the Manse. A Bible and Protestant Class, Sundays, 6-7 p.m., and a Music Class, Fridays, 6.30-7.30 p.m. Text Books, “Song Primer” and “Hymnary.”
1903 December 2 Orkney Herald
SEVERE WEATHER. – Snowy weather still continues. Rain fell almost incessantly on Friday and almost entirely cleared away the previous fall of snow, but on Saturday and Sunday snow again fell, and, as the weather is frosty, continues to lie. In some cases the depth is considerable, and several of the roads were at parts impassable for vehicular traffic for two or three days. The fall of snow has brought harvest work to a standstill. On a number of farms stooks covered with snow are to be seen standing in the fields. On a few farms cutting is not entirely completed.
1903 December 12 The Orcadian
ORKNEY SMALL DEBT COURT – MACKENZIE v. MUIR. – Before Sheriff Cosens, in the Orkney Small Debt Court on Tuesday, an action at the instance of Alexander MacKenzie, cattle-dealer, Victoria Street, Kirkwall, against Walter Muir, late Saviskaill, Rousay, was heard. Pursuer claimed a sum of £8 14s 6d, being price paid by him for a mare purchased at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August last, as a mare 13 years old and in foal, and as quiet and tractable in all harness, and a good worker, but which mare, the pursuer avers, was then upwards of 18 years of age and not in foal, and was suffering from an incurable tumour in the throat and utterly unable for work and valueless; including expenses of the mare at livery from 28th September till 16th October, when she was shot on the advice of the Inspector of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
WALTER MUIR – I am the defender in this action. On 17th August I brought a brown mare with white face and white hind feet to Kirkwall for sale. I saw Mr Webster’s clerk and told him the mare was 13 years old, supposed to be in foal. I did not say she was in foal. The mare was two or three weeks in my possession. I bought the mare for £5 from Mr Hugh Sinclair, [Sketquoy] Rousay. I do not know where she came from. She was in fair condition when I bought her, and improved while in my possession. Sinclair said nothing about her except that she was all correct so far as he knew. He said nothing about her throat. I did not say anything to MacKenzie about Sinclair having told me the mare was unwell. I don’t remember coming in from the North Isles with Mr Thomson, veterinary surgeon. I never made any statement to Thomson that he had better be careful what certificate he gave. I was present at Mr Webster’s Mart when the mare was sold. Mr Webster said the mare was 13 years old, supposed to be in foal, and a good worker or something to that effect. I quite concurred in what he said. The mare was sold by me as quiet and tractable in all harness and a good worker. After the mare had been purchased I had some conversation immediately after. I don’t remember what passed. I think I wanted Mr MacKenzie to buy a foal. I don’t remember Mr MacKenzie saying she was more than 13 years old. I don’t remember shortly after Mr MacKenzie asking me to come outside to speak about the mare. I remember some time after MacKenzie asking me to take the mare back. I refused. I told him I had told the truth about the mare. After that I received a letter dated 20th September (Letter produced) and in reply I wrote a letter dated 28th September (Letter produced). Following on that letter of 28th September I received a letter (Letter produced) and I wrote in reply letter dated 1st October (Letter produced). Following on that I received another letter from you dated 5th October (letter produced). After receiving that letter I called at your office, and on that occasion I did not agree to go and settle with Mr MacKenzie.
Q – Did you not say you were going to settle and left the office to go and see Mr MacKenzie? A – I don’t remember. I deny I left the office to go and settle with Mr MacKenzie.
Cross examination reserved.
SAMUEL PETRIE – I am a farmer and reside in Holm. I remember a considerable number of years ago going to Mr Harvey, Redland, Firth, to see a mare. She was a brown mare with a white face and white hind feet. Mr Harvey told me that the mare was by Champion, a horse belonging to Mr Watson. My brother afterwards bought the mare from Harvey. I had the mare about a year. I sold the mare the following Lammas to Mr Craigie, Howe, Shapinsay. That was in 1892. Her age then was 7 years. I sold another mare at the same time, which foaled on 27th March, 1881. The mare I bought from Mr Harvey was four years younger, and this would make her this October, 18 rising 19.
Cross-Examination – This is all the marking I have in regard to this mare’s age – the selling of another mare, and my recollection. I did not rear the mare. I knew she was 7, because she was sold for 6 years. Harvey told me that was her age. I was not present when my brother bought her.
Re-Examination – Apart from what Mr Harvey told me, I can tell a horse’s age by its teeth.
WILLIAM PETRIE – I am a farmer and reside in Holm. I remember a number of years ago going to purchase a brown mare with a white face and white hind feet from Mr Harvey. Redland, Firth. We bought her and had her for about 11 months. We sold her the following Lammas to Mr Craigie, Howe, Shapinsay. She was then 7 years old. We sold another mare at the same time. It is from the second mare’s age that we get the time that she was sold. The other mare foaled in 1881. The mare I bought from Harvey was four years younger. Harvey told me the mare was 6 years old when I bought her. I satisfied myself by the teeth that the age Harvey gave was correct.
WILLIAM CRAIGIE – I am a farmer at Brecks and Myres, Shapinsay. I remember about 11 years ago when in the farm of Howe, purchasing a brown mare with white face, and white hind feet, from Mr Petrie, Holm. I think it was in 1892 at the Lammas Market. I had the mare for 8 years. My son sold her to James Scott, Odinstone.
Cross Examination – James Scott bought the mare from my son. I had the mare for 8 years, and bought her for 7 years old. I sold her about 2 years ago. I think I told Scott I did not know the age of the mare. My son, I think, said he said nothing about the age of the mare. Harvey afterwards travelled for seeds, and he saw the mare at my house. He said he did not know the age of the mare. I never saw anything wrong with the mare except once when she was out in bad weather. I knew of no chronic disease.
JAMES SCOTT – I am a cattle dealer residing in Shapinsay. I sold to Mr Hugh Sinclair, Rousay, a brown mare with white face, and white hind feet. The mare was purchased by me from Mr Craigie, Shapinsay. I made the bargain with Craigie’s son.
Cross-Examination – I had this mare about a day. I live near to where Mr Craigie formerly stayed. I had spoken about this mare before. I remember Craigie said Harvey did not know the age the mare. I could not ascertain the age of the mare. Mr Craigie said he did not know the age of the mare owing to Harvey’s statement. During the time I know the mare I saw no illness upon her, and I looked upon her as a healthy animal. I bought the mare from the son. There was no warranty. I got no age. In view of the conversation with the father I did not expect an age. I told Sinclair I thought she was a mare in her teens. I stated no definite age. The mare was sound to all appearance. I saw her afterwards in Rousay. I saw nothing wrong with her there. Sinclair never complained to me about her. The mare was purchased at Webster’s Mart for £7 7s. It is not usual to warrant a horse at that price – an aged horse. A mare in foal purchased at 7 guineas is not dear. I was present when this animal was purchased by Mr MacKenzie. I don’t remember what the auctioneer said.
Re-Examination – I never asked further than Mr Craigie about the age of the mare. He said nothing about the age when I bought her.
HUGH SINCLAIR – I am a farmer residing in Rousay. About July last I sold a mare I had bought from Mr James Scott, about two years before, to Mr Walter Muir, Rousay. Scott said he was not exactly sure about the age. He said he thought it would be about 11 or 12. Before selling the mare to Muir I saw nothing wrong with her. I saw no difficulty in eating or drinking. I don’t know what came of the mare afterwards.
Cross-Examination – The mare was rather thin when I sold her. I never saw her when in the possession of Muir. The mare was served in spring. I gave no warranty. I told Muir that the mare would be 13 or 14 according to the age given me. Muir made no complaint to me about the animal. I never found the mare tender. She was housed the whole year round – she was taken in summer and winter every night. I told Muir that I would take back the mare if she was the same as when I sold her.
Re-Examination – About the 14th of November was the time when I first heard of this dispute. It was yesterday in Kirkwall, that I said I would take back the mare. Muir has not paid me all the sum due for the mare. Muir retaining part of the price has nothing to do with this dispute.
ALEXANDER MACKENZIE – I am the pursuer in this action. I am a cattle dealer residing in Victoria Street, Kirkwall. I was at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August last, and purchased the mare in dispute. The description was 13 years old and in foal, and a good worker in all harness. I saw the defender in the ring at that time. He took no exception to the statements. I bought the mare for £7 7s 6d. I relied on the statements made by Mr Webster. If these statements had not been made, I would not have put a bid on her. I saw the defender after the horse was knocked down. He wanted me to buy a foal. I looked at the horse’s teeth I had bought, and said she was a big thirteen. He said he would prove she was just 13. When I purchased the mare I got the auctioneer’s ticket. I afterwards paid for the mare, and got a receipt for a 13 year old mare and in foal. (Receipt produced.) I subsequently put the mare to my park, and about the first of September took her home. She had been lying out from the time I bought her till then. I then saw the horse could not swallow properly. I spoke to Muir about it, and he said the man he bought her from said something about that. After that I met defender on the day of the Aquatic Sports, and he would not stand to speak to me. I met him in Webster’s Mart afterwards, and he said he wanted nothing to do with it. I sent for Thomson, and he examined the mare. He gave me a certificate. (Certificate produced.) The certificate bore that the mare had a tumour in the throat of several months’ standing, and was not in foal. Muir came in with Thomson from the North Isles, I was told, and said to Thomson he would need to be very careful what kind of a certificate he gave. After my suspicions were raised about the mare I made enquiries and found she was between eighteen and nineteen years of age. The Inspector for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was cruelty to keep the animal alive. Mr Stevenson examined the mare and granted a certificate. (Certificate produced.) The certificate bore that the mare had a tumour of at least 5 or 6 months standing, and recommended the mare to be shot. The mare was killed by Thomas Horne. The mare was afterwards opened. I had to pay Mr Shearer for the keep of the mare. (Receipt produced )
Cross-examination – I am an experienced horse dealer. The animal was in the ring when I came into the Mart. The conditions are placarded at the Mart. I never read them. There was competition for the mare. I started her at £5.
Q. – Do you expect to get a valuable mare for £7? A. – The best horse I ever had I got for £1. (Laughter.) I tried to sell the mare to a Deerness man, but he would not have it because he thought she was diseased. I never asked £10 for her. Muir said he would take back the mare if I gave him £2 10s.
By the Court – Q. – When did you get the receipt? A. – It was the same week I bought the beast. The receipt is there as I got it. That receipt has not been altered since I got it. I went back and got the stamp on it. There was nothing added when the stamp was put on that I know of. The mare was out all night till the first of September.
ROBERT THOMPSON – I am a veterinary surgeon. On 6th October last I examined a brown mare with a white face and two white pasterns. I granted a certificate. (Certificate produced.) I had just come from the North Isles. The defender was on the steamer with me. He asked me if MacKenzie had been at me about the mare. I said he had not. He said he would likely be, and I would have to be careful what sort of a certificate I gave. Nine days after Mr Stevenson examined the mare. He also granted a certificate. I concurred with Mr Stevenson’s opinion. I was quite satisfied she was incurable. She could not have lived more than 14 days. I was present when the mare was shot, and opened by Horne. The mare was not in foal. The mare was absolutely worthless in my opinion.
Cross-examination – I am absolutely sure I had a conversation with Muir on the Orcadia. The conversation took place coming into Kirkwall. The tumour was a firm one, and very gradual in growth. It would ultimately have choked the animal. There was a swelling. The swelling would come on gradually. My opinion was that the tumour had been on the animal 8 or 9 months. It might not have been seen by a casual observation. When the animal was eating or drinking a person was bound to see it. Muir might not have seen the tumour if the animal was on the grass. It would not affect the animal so much on the grass as when eating turnip or dry straw. It is not easy at Lammas to tell whether an animal is in foal or not. After the post mortem examination I did not examine the mare as to her age. After 8 or 9 years all signs of age in a horse’s mouth is obliterated. I guessed the age of this mare as 18. I had never heard the age of the animal before I gave the opinion.
Re-examination – When I went to examine this animal at Crantit I tried to get it to drink but it would not do so.
GEORGE STEVENSON – I am a veterinary surgeon residing in Kirkwall. On 15th October last I was called by Mr MacKenzie to examine a brown mare. I did so and granted certificate produced. I was present when the mare was sold in Mr Webster’s Mart to Mr MacKenzie. I was also present at Crantit when the mare was shot. It was subsequently opened and was found not to be in foal.
Cross-examination – At the time the animal was sold I thought 7 guineas was a good price. Q. – Have you any idea when the tumour originated? A. – It was a fibrous tumour.
By the Court – If I had put my hand over the animal’s throat I would have felt it.
Cross-examination continued – The first thing that would disclose the illness would be the animal’s breathing, and when it was eating. The animal was very thin when it was shot. Q. – Would you be surprised if a person were not noticing this tumour when the animal was on the grass? Would it be less liable to attract notice on the grass than when feeding in the stall? A. – I do not think there would be much difference. In the end it would not be able to eat solid food. As Iong as the animal was on the grass it would all depend on the size of the tumour whether it would be easily seen. The growth was of a gradual development. Q. – Apart from speculative opinion, could you state distinctly that the animal was not in foal in August? A. – That would all depend upon when it was served.
Cross-examination – I thought £7 7s 6d a big price for this mare. If it was in foal, however, it would have been value for the money.
By Mr Drever – The day I saw the mare in the ring at Mr Webster’s Mart I don’t believe anyone could tell whether the mare was in foal or not.
JAMES F. SHEARER, clerk, said he was at Mr Webster’s Mart on the morning of the day of the sale. I saw Mr Muir, and I asked him how he would like his mare entered, and he said “a mare 13 years old and in foal.” I read out that entry to Mr Muir, and he replied it was all right. I was present when the mare was sold. Mr Webster read out this information from the entry book. The statement read out by Mr Webster was exactly what I had entered in the book. I saw Muir in the ring when the mare was sold. He did not object to what Mr Webster read out. If any objection were taken this is also always noted down in the book.
Cross-examination – All the writing in that account is mine except the signature, and the words 13 years and in foal. I was not at hand when the addition was put to the account. It is usual to put the description of the animal on the sale tickets, but I do not remember whether this was done in Mr MacKenzie’s case on this occasion. What was read out at the sale was what is in this book.
G. C. WEBSTER, Auctioneer, said – I am a livestock salesman. I remember on 17th August last selling a mare for Mr Muir, Saviskaill, Rousay. The mare was not taken in by me. (Shown sale book.) That is my sale book. The description I gave was “mare 13 years old and in foal,” exactly as it appears in this book. In describing an animal I always give the description as it appears in this book. Muir was in the ring, and took no exception to the description I gave. The mare was sold to Mr MacKenzie for £7 7s 6d. After the sale my Clerk generally gives the purchaser a ticket. When Mr MacKenzie came down to pay for the mare, he objected to the account, as it did not correspond with the ticket he had got. I then copied these words from the ticket on to the account. I signed the account without a stamp, and Mr MacKenzie afterwards came back and showed me the mistake, and I put on the stamp. If Mr Muir had taken any objection to my description of the mare in the ring, I am quite sure this would have been noted in the book.
Cross-examination – (Shown printed conditions which are posted up in the ring) The only warranty Muir gave was that the mare was 13 years old and in foal.
THOMAS HORNE was present at Mr Webster’s ring on 17th August. I was there and heard Mr Webster say the mare was 13 years old and in foal, but I was not there when the animal was sold. In October I went to Crantit, and shot the animal. It was subsequently opened but it was not in foal. There was two tumours in the throat. They had been a long time there in my opinion. From the appearance of these tumours I think the mare would have difficulty in feeding.
This closed the pursuer’s proof.
DEFENDER’S PROOF. DEFENDER. – I have heard what Mr Thomson stated about meeting me on a passage from the North Isles. I was not in the North Isles this year. I have not been aboard the Orcadia this year. I never met Mr Thomson going or coming from the North Isles. I know the conditions which are posted up in Webster’s Mart. The mare was on grass when I had her. I had her three weeks. I saw no difficulty with her eating or drinking. I heard Mr MacKenzie’s evidence regarding a conversation that took place between us. I never said I would settle. I had made an offer, and was not prepared to go beyond that. Mr MacKenzie and me had a conversation. He told me to give the mare a good character as he had nearly sold the mare to a Sanday man. That was on the night of the sale.
Mr Low having addressed the Court for the pursuer, and Mr Drever for the defender, the Sheriff took the case to avizandum [i.e. took time to consider his judgment.]
1903 December 19 The Orcadian
LOCAL HORSE DEALING CASE. – MacKENZIE v. MUIR. – THE DECISION. – Last week we reported the evidence led in the action, MacKenzie v. Muir. It will be remembered that Alex. MacKenzie, cattle dealer, Kirkwall, sued Walter Muir, Saviskaill, Rousay, for £8 14s 6d, being the price and other outlays in connection with the purchase of a mare which was sold at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August, last.
Sheriff COSENS, who had taken the case to avizandum, gave judgment for the pursuer on Wednesday with £6 10s of expenses.
In giving his decision, his lordship said the action was a Small Debt one for the price of a mare, sold by Walter Muir, Saviskaill, Rousay, at Webster’s Auction Mart on 17th August, 1903, to the pursuer, as 13 years old and in foal, and quiet and tractable in all harness. He had come to the conclusion that it was well proved that Walter Muir brought the mare to Webster’s Auction Mart, and went to James Shearer, Mr Webster’s clerk, and entered the mare. In evidence James Shearer said Muir entered the mare as 13 years old and in foal. His evidence was corroborated by the entry in the book. No objection was taken to the entry, and if there had been, it would have been noted in the book. That evidence was given remarkably well, was unaffected in cross-examination, and corroborated by Mr Webster. Then there was the evidence of the pursuer who said he would not have put a sixpence on the mare if it had not been for the auctioneer’s statement. There were the two witnesses from Holm, and the witness Craigie from Shapinsay. whose evidence went to show that the mare was rising 18. The skilled evidence of the two veterinary surgeons showed that the mare was not in foal. Continuing he said – To make a seller liable in “express warranty” it is not necessary that he should use the words “I warrant.” It is sufficient if he make representations which the purchaser has given him to understand are essential to his buying. Scott v. Steel, 20D. 253. These being the facts I come to consider the law. I have no doubt the horse here was bought on representation and that the representation so made amounted according to the law of Scotland to a warranty. Such a statement of fact so relied upon comes under the doctrine of Professor Bell that “every affirmation of quality made to the buyer as a ground of reliance is a warranty.” If a material statement intended to induce a purchaser to buy is made as statement of fact, and if the buyer puts reliance on that statement it is impossible in law for the seller to say that what was intended was a matter of opinion only, and that the statement of fact was merely a representation of belief. This view appears to be supported by the Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Wood in the case of Scott v. Steel, above.
I was much impressed by the clear argument of the learned Sheriff of Perthshire in the case of Henricks v. Guyer, 31 January. 1902. 18 Scottish Law Review. p. 164. in which case it was held that a public advertisement describing a horse whether contained in a newspaper, an auctioneer’s catalogue, or a hand bill, is a warranty if it be a representation of fact and not of opinion, and if it be shown by the purchaser to have been an essential element in inducing him to purchase. But even under the Sale of Goods Act. 1893, I think the pursuer would prevail here – sec. 14, sub.-sec. 2. I think all the elements in that section are in this case. The pursuer, MacKenzie, did not examine the animal, and it was sold as of merchantable quality. I give decree for the pursuer with £6 10s expenses.
1903 December 23 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – RITCHIE U.F. GUILD held its opening social meeting on Thursday last. The weather was not a success and there was no moonlight, which kept a good few of the older folks as well as the little people at home. There was, however, a splendid attendance. The speeches contained not a few very good points, and the readings deserved all the applause they received. The tea brought many good things which were dealt out with hearty goodwill, while the singing showed that it was not a set task the choir had set themselves to perform but a pleasure they were enjoying.
1903 December 30 Orkney Herald
ROUSAY – AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. – A meeting of this society was held in Sourin Public School on Friday the 25th December. There was a fair attendance of members. The prizes for the last cattle show were given out. The secretary submitted the report of the year’s work. All the old office-bearers were re-elected, with the addition to the committee of Mr Inkster, Westness, and Mr Craigie, Saviskaill. It was agreed to hold a ploughing match on a date to be afterwards fixed. In accordance with the rule of the society that the match be held in each district in rotation, it will be held this year in Sourin if the committee can procure a field. If such cannot be had, Mr Craigie of Saviskaill has kindly offered to give a field. It was pointed out by the secretary that one man had entered stock at last show as a member of the society, but had not paid his subscription nor entry fee. The secretary was ordered to strike him off the list of members and not to allow him to compete again at any of the society’s shows unless he paid in full before next meeting day. A long discussion took place with regard to the proper time for paying the annual subscription. It was agreed that all members’ subscriptions be paid on or before the day of the cattle show. Medals and special prizes received gratuitously will be classed for competition on a date not later than the 31st of May, those received after that date will be kept until the following year. The secretary and committee were again asked to collect money in aid of the funds of the society. The committee hope that all in the island who are interested will do their utmost to make the show of the incoming year a success.
CHRISTMAS TREAT TO THE CHILDREN – Several weeks ago it was hinted to the school children in Rousay and Veira that “Father Christmas” was likely to visit the schools some time this year. He has at last paid his long-looked-for visit. He arrived in a snow storm, at Trumland House on Christmas afternoon, where the friends and neighbours and children in that district were assembled to meet him. Punctually at 4 o’clock a carol, “The first Nowell,” was sung by an unseen choir. Then a loud knock came to the door, and a stranger, covered with snowflakes, was admitted. He was seen to be wearing a long flowing garment, trimmed with white fur, and wore a red cap with holly. Icicles hung from his very white hair and long beard. He carried in his hand a Christmas tree which he placed in the centre of the room, and to warm himself he proceeded to light it up with innumerable wax candles of all colours. But Father Christmas looked unhappy, and soon it became evident that on his journey he had lost his luggage. So there was every prospect of the party breaking up. At this moment another loud rap was heard at the door, which was quickly opened, only to be as quickly closed, owing to the gust of snow which was blown in; but strange to say, no one could keep that door shut. Presently a tiny fairy-like figure entered – a child, dressed in white, with the morning stars on her yellow curls, glittering wings, and “1904” wrought in red figures on her sash. This was “A Happy New Year” to all. And she had found and brought with her Father Christmas’s lost baggage. Needless to say, this announcement caused great joy, and the faces of the youngsters, when they saw the numerous toys, beamed with happiness. The treasures were handed out to the lucky recipients by Father Christmas. The luggage consisted of a whole fleet of fully-rigged model sailing boats, doll’s houses, with the latest things in furniture, from a baby in its cradle to Lord Roberts’ picture on the parlour wall; dolls, balls, wagons, knives, and many useful gifts were included in the luggage. A merry time was spent, and the children danced round the lighted tree. Tea, cakes, oranges, and sweets filled up the gaps caused by this exercise. All the company joined in three hearty cheers for Father Christmas, singing –
“For he’s a jolly good fellow;
For he’s a jolly good fellow;
For he’s a jolly good fellow –
Which no one can deny.”
“Just look what he has done
To give the children fun –
Made all the boats and houses;
Our gratitude it rouses.
For he’s a jolly good fellow
To give the children fun.”
The allegorical character of Father Christmas was capitally rendered by Mr John Logie, who, with other members of the Trumland household, have been busy for weeks past in making the fine boats which gladden the boys’ hearts, and dolls’ houses, which were exact models, and other useful as well as ornamental presents. The tiny figure of “1904” was most charmingly represented by “Wee Jeanie,” the four-year-old daughter of Mr John Harrold, [merchant, Rose Cottage] Trumland Pier. The Rev. Mr Pirie, in a neat little speech, thanked General and Mrs Burroughs for the very pleasant evening which they had all spent, for their thoughtfulness in providing so many gifts, and for the interest they have always taken in the children. General Burroughs said it gave Mrs Burroughs and himself much pleasure to meet with them all that Christmas evening and wished all a very happy and prosperous New Year. He also conveyed to the children a kind message from Mr Muspratt, who is a frequent guest at Trumland, and well known in the island. He wished them all a very merry Christmas, and had sent them a box of oranges and sweets. Votes of thanks were accorded to Drs Pringle and Balfour, who had materially assisted Mrs Burroughs in getting together the many presents; also to the Trumland household and the stewards for their services. Three ringing cheers for little “1904” brought a most enjoyable evening to a close.