In Print

Newsprint – 1904

1904 January 9 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PRESENTATION. – On Wednesday 30th December last, the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of the United Parishes of Rousay and Egilshay, and Mrs Spark were the recipients of a handsome marble dining-room timepiece with ornaments to match, and also a beautiful travelling rug and silver brooch for Mrs Spark. In the absence of the Rev. D. Colquhoun Kerr, who had been elected to make the presentation, but who was necessarily detained, Mr James Craigie, Schoolmaster in Shapinsay, was deputed by him to do the duty. ln doing so Mr Craigie referred to Mr Spark’s success in the ministry, his interest to music and education, and complimented Mr and Mrs Spark upon the growing love and esteem of friends of long standing, and hoped they would long enjoy these well-deserved gifts. In the name of all friends “far and near” contributing, he would now discharge his pleasant duty in handing over these handsome gifts by simply reading the inscription on the timepiece:- “Presented to Rev. Alexander and Mrs Spark, Rousay, by a few friends, to commemorate the semi-jubilee of his ministry and their Silver Wedding, 1902 – 17th October, I903.” Mr Spark, in acknowledging the gift, said – Mrs Spark and himself, however undeserving they felt of such handsome gifts, had a threefold expression of thanks to give. 1st, to Mr Craigie for the kindly words he had spoken, and the duty he had so well discharged. 2nd, to Mr Simpson, Rescobie, Forfar, formerly schoolmaster of Sourin in this parish, for his very kind offices as secretary and treasurer, and for his artistic taste in selecting such a beautiful gift. And, lastly, to all friends contributing as if personally named. Mrs Spark and he valued these gifts chiefly for the spirit and occasion in which they were given. Some of the contributors were real friends of 30 years’ standing – many of them years “out of sight” but never “out of mind” – whose friendship had manifestly ripened as years rolled on, and whose love, they hoped, might last through Eternity. The timepiece will remind them both of the brevity of human life, the brooch of brighter embellishment, and the rug will travel with them over the rest of life’s journey. After the presentation a very pleasant musical evening was spent at the manse.

1904 January 16 The Orcadian

THE MOTOR CAR ACT. – With the first day of the year there came into operation the Motor Car Act which provides for the registering of motor cars and motor cycles and the registration of drivers. Every car in use is distinguished by a letter or combination of letters, for purposes of identification, this being regarded as an effectual deterrent against excessive speed. The following is a list of the distinguishing letters of the various local authorities in Scotland:-…..Orkney, BS…..

1904 February 6 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The music class which has been conducted during the winter months here by the Rev A. Spark, has been brought to a close with the following results:- Intermediate Certificates – 1, Veira Lickley Spark; 2, Edith Ada Aiton Spark. Elementary Certificates – 1, Ann Elizabeth Laing Leonard [daughter of farmer and stonemason James Inkster Leonard and Ann Marwick, Cruannie]; 2, Mary Moodie [daughter of Benjamin and Maggie Ann Moodie, Ervadale]; 3, Mary Jane Russell [daughter of John Russell and Margaret Ann Moar, Brendale]; 4, Janet Gibson Corsie [daughter of John Corsie and Margaret Jane Skethaway, Knarston]; 5, Murray A. McD. Spark.

1904 February 10 The Orcadian

Wanted for WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY, to enter on duty
as soon as possible. Singing and Sewing. Salary, £75 stg. per annum.
With free house (partly furnished) and garden. Apply, with testimonials,
immediately to the Clerk of School Board. Rousay, Orkney.

1904 March 12 The Orcadian

ROUSAY – PLOUGHING MATCH. – The annual ploughing match of the Rousay Agricultural Society took place on Thursday, the 26th ult., on a field on the farm of Banks, Sourin, kindly granted by Mr [Robert] Seatter for the occasion. There were twenty competitors forward, 3 in the champion and 17 in the ordinary class. Owing to the stormy state of the weather the judges, Messrs Scarth, Burgar; Mowat, Schoolhouse; and Yorston, Orquil, Evie, were unable to be present, consequently the ploughmen got the option of appointing their own judges locally. Those appointed were, for ploughing, Messrs [Alan] Gibson, Myres, and Alex. Learmonth, Breckan; and for grooming and harness, Messrs John Cutt, Trumbland, and John Mainland, Cubbierew. Their decisions gave general satisfaction. The ploughmen were most liberally supplied with refreshments by Mr and Mrs Seatter during the day. At the close of the match, the judges with a few friends were entertained to a sumptuous dinner purveyed by Mrs [Sibella] Seatter, for their untiring efforts to make the match a success. The Committee have to thank Mr [Hamilton] Horne, Trumland, for visiting the field, thereby securing for them the Highland Society’s medal. They also beg to thank all the donors of special prizes, of which there was quite a number. Annexed is the prize-list:-

Ploughing – Champions. – 1, and Inkster Champion Medal, Tom Sinclair, Westness; 2, John Harrold, Bigland; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips. Ordinary. – 1, and H.S. Medal, Tom Gibson, Broland; 2, James Grieve, Faraclett; 3, John Russell, Innister; 4, Robert Inkster, Westness; 5, D. Hourie, Westness; 6, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 7, John Wylie, Westness; 8, Wm. Scott, Hurtiso; 9, Hugh Munro, Saviskaill; 10, Andrew Laird, Trumbland.
Grooming. – 1, John Wylie, Westness; 2, John Harrold, Bigland; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips; 4, Hugh Munro, Saviskaill; 5, Andrew Laird, Trumbland; 6, John Russell, Innister.
Harness. – 1. Benjamin Moodie, Scockness; 2, James Grieve, Faraclett; 3, Malcolm Leonard, Grips; 4, John Pearson, Saviskaill; 5, John Russell, Innister; 6, Andrew Laird, Trumbland.
Best Feering and Finish. – Tom Sinclair.
Straightest Ploughing. – Tom Sinclair.
Youngest Ploughman. – James Russell, Brendale.
Best Pair of Horses. – Andrew Laird, Trumbland.

ORKNEY SHERIFF COURT. – (SHERIFF HARVEY ON THE BENCH) – WALTER MUIR’S SEQUESTRATION. – Walter Muir, examined by Mr Drever – I am 29 years of age and married. I am a farmer and reside at the Manse [Lower Blackhammer], Wasbister, Rousay.  I became tenant of Saviskaill, Rousay, at Martinmas, 1900, the rent being £90. Prior to that I had been in several farms along with my father. I had been in Arion in Stromness, then at Kirk in Sandwick for six years, afterwards for 2 years at Redland, Firth. After leaving Redland my father became tenant of Moan, Firth. I was there with him in 1899. That is a small place – rent £10 10s. I did some cattle-dealing there – then and since. When I became tenant of Saviskaill I got an advance of £200 from my father. I likewise arranged a bank cash credit for £300 with the Bank of Scotland, Kirkwall, Mr Baikie, auctioneer, Stromness, and my father being cautioners. I also discounted two secured bills of £100 each. The securities were my father and John Tulloch, retired lighthouse-keeper. I had some £40 or £50 of my own. That is the capital I had at Saviskaill, and that did not sufficiently stock the place to work it to its best advantage. I left Saviskaill at Martinmas last, and the whole stock and crop was displenished. I am not now in a farm. My state of affairs shows a deficit of £358 1s 4d. The assets show £419 5s, and the liabilities £777 6s 5d.

Q.- How do you account for the deficiency? A. – By bad seasons and cattle that died. I estimate my losses from livestock, including crop, at £280. I made a considerable payment to my creditors – some of them in full. I thought I had plenty of money to pay them all. At that time I had not realised that the sale by auction and the valuation would leave a deficit. I was not aware at the time that I was insolvent. It was only after I was made aware of what the sale and valuation realised that I saw I was insolvent. The year I left Saviskaill was a bad year for out-going tenants. The prices were much lower than when I went in. I have no prospect of succeeding to any property. I lost nothing on cattle-dealing.

By Mr Low – I always felt myself in money difficulties – more or less. I don’t know when I knew what my stock realised. I got payment about the 1st of December from the incoming tenant of the crop he took over. I had no idea then what my sale realised. I knew it was just a fair sale – some things was cheap and some things dear. I did not know when I got the result of these valuations I was insolvent. I knew what I was owing. I did not know I could not meet my debts in full.

Q. – The proceeds of your sale amounted to £542, and the deficit £358, did you not know that your stock would not realise £900, seeing that it was a bad year for out-going tenants? A. – I did not know. I never gave it a thought what my sale would realise. My father was not a partner with me in this farm.

Q. – Did your father sign along with you in connection with the proceeds of the sale? A. – I don’t think it was ever mentioned. Q. – There was a cash order granted in favour of Mr Peace, auctioneer, signed by me and my father. That was for part of the proceeds of the sale.

Q. – If your father was not a partner, why did he sign the order? I don’t know. Q. – Why should he have signed it? A. – I don’t know. Q. – Who asked him to sign it? A. – Mr Peace. Q. –  Do you know why he asked your father? A. – I suppose it was because he had an interest in the subject. My father signed the order for £143 at the request of Mr T. Smith Peace, auctioneer. I did not ask him to sign it.

Q. – Since you applied for sequestration have you ever stated that it was not want of money that made you apply for sequestration, but to prevent MacKenzie getting paid the sum for which he obtained decree? A. – No, I never did.

Q. – There is an entry in your state of affairs – a payment by you to your father. What is the £30? A. – That is a mistake, I think. It is a bill. I paid my father’s rent all the time I was in Saviskaill. That accounts for the entry of £30. Q. – When were the accounts amounting to about £340 paid? A. – In November or first of December after the sale. Q. –  Where did you get the money? A. – I got £100 from Mr Baikie, and the rest of the money was from the valuations.

By Mr Drever – In the state of my affairs I show my father advanced me £100, and it also shows that I repaid him certain sums as stated. When I made these payments I was not aware I was insolvent. I got details of the displenish sale from my father after the New Year. When I got the details I knew I was insolvent. MacKenzie had a decree against me. I knew MacKenzie had arrested money in the hands of Mr Baikie, the auctioneer.

Agents – Mr Drever for the trustee (Mr J. A. S. Brown, solicitor); Mr T. H. Liddle for Mr S. Baikie, auctioneer: Mr T. Peace Low for Mr A. MacKenzie, cattle-dealer.

1904 April 6 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY – GUILD SOCIAL. – The Ritchie U.F.C. Guild brought the session to a close with very successful social on the evening of Thursday, 31st March. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, the attendance was larger than on any former occasion. The programme consisted of speeches by the president and vice-presidents, recitations and readings by the secretary and precentor, and sacred songs, quartettes, duets, and solos, by the choir and members thereof. The speeches, readings, and recitations were of the usual description and order of merit. The choir had been having special practice and quite excelled themselves. The quartettes, duet, and solos were really excellent. Plenteous supplies of tea and cake were served during an interval, and it is needless to say that ample justice was done to both. Altogether, a very pleasant, profitable evening was spent, everyone, both old and young, coming away well satisfied with everything except the weather.

1904 May 14 The Orcadian

CYCLE ACCIDENT IN ROUSAY. – Miss Copland, the medical officer of Rousay, met with rather a serious accident last Sunday afternoon. It seems that she had been travelling on her bicycle, and, for the sake of taking a “short cut” proceeded along a peat road. The bicycle apparently struck a stone, and Miss Copland was thrown with great violence upon the road. The accident occurred near Mr Pirie’s Manse, and after being unconscious for a little time, Miss Copland was able to proceed there unaided. Subsequently a telegram was dispatched to Kirkwall for medical assistance, and Dr Bell proceeded there with the Fire Fly in the evening. On Monday Miss Copland was brought to Kirkwall where she is being attended to. Amongst the injuries received is a severe cut on one of the eyelids.

1904 June 1 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – We understand that Mr J. C. Arbuthnott, who has previously been a tenant of the Rousay shootings, has again taken these shootings and Westness House for a period of two years.

1904 June 15 Orkney Herald

ANY person found Trespassing on the Moors of Melsetter Estate, or Islands of South Fara, Rysa Little, and Eynhallow in search of Eggs will be prosecuted.

1904 June 22 Orkney Herald

TO BE LET, on lease, entry at Martinmas 1904, WESTNESS FARM,
in the Island of ROUSAY, extent about 2904 acres, whereof about
280 acres are arable. The Stock carried may be put at 35 score
ewes – Cheviot cross – and 60 head of cattle.
The present tenant will not be an offerer.
Mr Munro, ground officer, Rousay, will show the farm, and Conditions
of Lease may be seen with him, or with the Subscribers, who will
let the Farm as soon as a suitable offer is received.
9, Hill Street, Edinburgh.

1904 June 25 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will (D.V.) [Latin Deo volente – God willing] be dispensed in the Parish Church here on Sunday next, 26th June, when the Parish Minister will be assisted by his brother, the Rev. William Spark, Glenbuchat Parish, Aberdeenshire.

1904 June 29 Orkney Herald

BIRTHDAY HONOURS. – The list of honours issued on the occasion of the official celebration of the King’s birthday last Friday contained the appointment of Lieutenant-General F. W. Traill Burroughs of Rousay and Veira, to be a Military Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B )…..Sir Frederick Burroughs was already a Companion of the Order of the Bath (C.B.). The Order was originally founded by King Henry IV. at his coronation in 1399, but fell into neglect in the seventeenth century. It was revived by George I. in 1725; remodelled by the Prince Regent in 1815 to commemorate the auspicious termination of the contest in which the Empire had been engaged; and was enlarged in 1845. The badge is suspended by a crimson ribbon, with motto, Tria juncta in uno [ ‘Three joined in one’ – Order motto].

1904 July 6 Orkney Herald

INVESTITURE OF SIR FREDERICK BURROUGHS. – The King held an investiture of the Bath and other Orders in the Throne Room Buckingham Palace, yesterday (Tuesday). The Lord Steward, the Lord Chancellor, the Gold and Silver Sticks, and the members of the Household in waiting were in attendance on the King and levee dress was worn. Among the new knights who received the accolade was General Burroughs.

[The Gold and Silver Sticks were bodyguard positions in the British Royal Household, personal attendants to the Sovereign on ceremonial occasions.]

1904 July 13 Orkney Herald


On Saturday the tenantry and residents of the estate of Rousay and Veira gathered in full muster to give General Sir Frederick W. T. Burroughs a welcome home from London, where, at the King’s Investiture at Buckingham Palace last week he had conferred on him the order of Knight Commander of the Bath, and had been decorated by His Majesty with the insignia of the Order. Long before the arrival of the s.s. Fawn at Trumland Pier the house-holders in Trumland vicinity and in the adjacent island of Veira had been busy decorating their houses with bunting. Flags were fluttering in the breeze on house-top and hill-top in every direction. A very pretty and tasteful arch of evergreens and festoons of flags with the word “Welcome” in large red lettering in the centre had been erected over the gateway to the avenue leading to Trumland House. The tenantry, friends, and school children came from all quarters in large numbers and awaited at the gate the arrival of Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs. As soon as they appeared in view they were received with loud and hearty cheers.

The Rev. A. Irvine Pirie then stepped forward and said that he had the honour of acting as spokesman for the tenantry and local friends in tendering to Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs a hearty welcome, and in presenting an address of congratulation on his investiture with the most honourable order of Knight Commander of the Bath by the King. Mr Pirie then read the following address: –

“To Lt -General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs of Rousay and Veira on the occasion of his Investiture with the Order of Knight Commander of the Bath.

We, your tenantry and friends, cannot let this auspicious occasion pass without offering you our heart-felt congratulations on the well-merited honour conferred on you by His Gracious Majesty the King. We have followed with the deepest interest and admiration your long and brilliant career in the service of the Empire. You have shown your patriotism alike by your gallantry in the field of battle and by your untiring zeal in all that concerns the prosperity of the nation. Your residence in our midst has been characterised by the same public spirit, and you have always identified yourself with the development and progress not only of your own estate, but also of the whole of Orkney. We trust that you and Lady Burroughs may be long spared to enjoy the honour now conferred upon you.”

Mr Pirie then called for three cheers for General Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs, which were most heartily and vigorously rendered.

Gen. Sir F. Burroughs replied in the following words: – “I thank you all very much indeed for so kind a welcome. It is 52 years since I became owner of this property. I have tried to do my duty by it, and I remained in the army that I might devote the most of my yearly rental to estate improvements. It has ever been my wish to see it prosper and to live in friendship with all my neighbours. I thank you all again most heartily for the exceedingly kind way you have received me back home on this occasion. I am no orator, but Lady Burroughs desires me to say that she hopes you will accompany us to Trumland House and partake of some refreshments before going home.”

The company then proceeded to Trumland House and were liberally supplied with refreshments. The children were entertained by Lady Burroughs who always takes a special interest in their welfare, and who personally conducted them through the garden to see the flowers. The gathering dispersed after many hand-shakes, good-wishes, and the singing of “For he’s a jolly good fellow.”

ROUSAY – At a meeting of the Rousay Boat Club the following office-bearers were elected: – Commodore, General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, K.C.B.; vice-commodore, Mr A. Leask, Kirkwall; secretary and treasurer, Mr J. S. Gibson, Rousay. The annual regatta was fixed for Friday, the 29th inst., the Kirkwall annual holiday.

CINEMATOGRAPH ENTERTAINMENT. – Mr Robert Calder visited the island on Friday with his cinematograph, and gave an entertainment in the Sourin Public School to a large audience, who thoroughly enjoyed the pictures, as well as the phonograph.

1904 July 20 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY. – A SERVICE OF PRAISE was held in the Sourin Public School on Sunday evening last. The children, under the direction of Miss Marwick, very sweetly rendered a number of hymns, which were interspersed by a few brief but most instructive remarks to the children from Mr Pirie. There was a very large attendance, and the proceeds are to go towards the Students’ Scheme of the U.F. Church.

1904 July 30 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – At Forest Gate College of Music, London. on Thursday last, in presence of J. S. Curwen, president of Tonic SoI-fa College, Dr McNaught, music teacher, students and class of children, Rev. Mr Spark of Rousay exhibited his new invention for teaching time in both notations. He said that an intelligent community can reach a sense of time by the ear, but that in a less cultured people he found it necessary to reach a sense of time by the eye, which met the needs of Orkney. Dr McNaught highly complimented Mr Spark for his most ingenious and most useful invention, and hoped to see it further developed.

[Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover (1785–1867) of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen, who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems. It uses a system of musical notation based on movable ‘do solfège,’ whereby every tone is given a name according to its relationship with other tones in the key.]

1904 August 6 The Orcadian

ROUSAY REGATTA. – The annual regatta of the Rousay and Veira Boat Club was held in Veira Sound on Friday 29th ult. The weather was all that could be desired for racing, thus making the regatta one of the most successful yet held under the auspices of the Club. The turn-out of smaller boats was the largest on record, but unfortunately very few of the larger boats came forward for competition. Being the annual holiday in Kirkwall, a great number of excursionists arrived by the Fawn to witness the day’s proceedings, and shortly afterwards the Njala (Mr Peace) and the Aslief (Mr Swanson) anchored off Trumland pier presenting a very gay appearance with their display of bunting. The course was the usual triangular one, starting from Trumland pier, round a mark boat at Sourin, thence round another boat at Grand, Egilshay, and back to Trumland Pier.

The first race to start was, “Boats of 16 feet waterline and under,” for which there were seven entries, viz., Alice, Mary, Thistle, Jean Ann, Jeannie, Nelly, and Maggie. On the starting gun being fired, all the boats got well off together, and kept so until they disappeared round the Point of Avelshay. When sighted again on the beat to mark boat at Grand, the Alice was seen to have a considerable lead, followed by Mary and Thistle. These positions were maintained throughout the race, the Alice considerably improving her position and coming in an easy first. The finish was as follows: –

Alice (C. Logie) (Medal) – 1hr 17min 50secs
Mary (W. Costie) – 1hr  21min 13secs
Thistle (G. Harrold) – 1hr  22min 17secs
Jean Ann (W. Miller) – 1hr  26min  0secs
Jeannie (J. Grieve) – retired.
Nellie (J. Alexander) – retired.
Maggie (T. Groundwater) – retired.

The second race was “Boats of 22 feet waterline and under,” for which there were six entries, viz., Sigurd, Sweyn, Sarah Ann, Lily, Petrel, and Hero. In this race the boats had to go twice round the course. All the boats got well off together in the start, and presented a very pretty appearance on the run to Avelshay. Unfortunately, on rounding the mark boat at Sourin the Hero broke her boom and had to retire from the race. On the beat up to the Grand the lead was taken by the Sweyn, followed by the Sarah Ann, Sigurd and Lily, which positions they maintained throughout – the Lily taking third place at the finish when time allowance was deducted. The following is the corrected time: –

Sweyn (J. Garrioch) – 2hrs 33mins 44secs
Sarah Ann (J. Mainland) – 2hrs 43mins 53secs
Lily (R. Miller) – 2hrs 45mins 47secs
Sigurd (Gen Sir F. Burroughs) – 2hrs 46mins 43secs
Petrel (J. Maxwell) – retired.
Hero (M. Grieve) – retired.

While this race was proceeding, the Daisy arrived from Kirkwall with Gen. Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs, and afterwards took part in a race with the Annie. In this race the boats were restricted to three sails, no topsail or balloon jib to be used. The Annie was the first to cross the line and kept a slight lead till the finish. Finish: – Annie (J. Logie); 2, Daisy (Capt. Robertson.)

The all-comers race came next, and all the above mentioned boats took part with the exception of the Daisy. This race was not so interesting as the others, owing to the irregularity in size of boats. The Annie and Sweyn were respectively 1st and 2nd, and the Hero took third place, sailing a splendid race throughout, altho’ being the smallest boat entered for this race.

The amusing part of the regatta began with the rowing races, which were keenly contested. Men’s Rowing Race. – 1, W. Kemp and J. Rendall; 2, J. Johnston and W. Sutherland; 3, J. Stout and J. Hourie; 4, Geo. Reid and R. Grahame.

Ladies’ Rowing Race. – 1, Misses Kemp and Fraser; 2, Misses MacEwen 3, Misses Copeland and Yair; 4, Mrs Giles and Miss Walker.

Boys’ Rowing Race. – 1, W. Work and G. Kemp; 2, D. Munro and J. Cooper; 3, W. Russell and J. Corsie.

At the close of the rowing races the prizes were given to the successful competitors by Dr Copeland, in the unavoidable absence of Lady Burroughs. Three cheers were then given for Sir F. and Lady Burroughs, and also to Dr Copeland who had given out the prizes. The Committee as usual had tea served in the store – the use of which was kindly granted by Capt. Robertson. Much credit is due to the ladies who presided in the tea room and the committee take this opportunity of thanking them for their assistance. The committee also beg to thank all those who contributed towards the funds of the club. The young folk present concluded the day with a dance, which was kept up with great spirit till twelve o’clock.

1904 August 10 Orkney Herald

SIR FREDERICK BURROUGHS AND THE ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS. – Lieut.-General Sir Frederick William Traill-Burroughs, K.C.B , has been appointed colonel of his old regiment, the 93rd, in succession to the late General Sir John Ewart, G.C.B. Sir Frederick Burroughs joined the 93rd, as ensign, March 31, 1848, and becoming Lieutenant-Colonel, August 10, 1864, retired from the command, October 29, 1873. He became Colonel, August 10, 1869; Major-General, March 16, 1880; Lieutenant-General, July 1, 1881; and Colonel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, June 14, 1897. As Colonel of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, he is succeeded by Major-General H. B. Feilden, C.B. The Army and Navy Gazette, referring to the appointment of Sir Frederick Burroughs, says: – There is much rejoicing among Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, for the colonelcy vacant by the death of one fine old Sutherland Highlander – General Sir John Ewart – has been filled by another. To tell of the gallant deeds of Lieut.-General Sir Frederick Traill-Burroughs – so recently honoured by promotion to the Bath – would be to write a short history of two campaigns, and to epitomise the events of a third military enterprise, the Eusofzai Expedition of 1863. That we have no space for doing. Suffice it to say that Sir Frederick Burroughs served in all three with distinction. It has been said of him, and said with no small degree of truth, that he ought to wear the Victoria Cross, but his gallantry was so conspicuous whenever he went into action that no one cared to decide for which particular act of heroism he ought to be so decorated. Be that as it may, plucky “Fred” Burroughs proved how worthy he was to appear in command of the old 93rd. The best of soldiers and the best of comrades, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders will be as proud to see him at their head as he undoubtedly will be to find himself in a position which it has been his life’s hope to one day occupy. We congratulate the old 91st and 93rd upon having had their wishes gratified, for to have passed over Sir Frederick Burroughs would have been an act of injustice which even a reformed War Office and newly-constituted Army Council could not have perpetrated without raising a storm of indignation.

1904 August 24 Orkney Herald

KIRKWALL TOWN COUNCIL. – A monthly meeting of Town Council was held last Thursday. Present – Provost Spence, Bailie John Sclater, Bailie James Sclater, and Councillors Baikie and Hewison…..The New Knight…..Letter from Sir. F. Burroughs.

Rousay, Orkney, N.B.,
30th July 1904

Dear Sir, – I beg through you to thank the members of the Town Council of Kirkwall for their most kind congratulations to me, a free burgess of the Royal Burgh, and to Lady Traill Burroughs, on the honour conferred on me for my military service by His Majesty the King in making me a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. I felt proud to think that any services I have been able to render our community have met with the approval of my fellow burgesses. May I ask you to be good enough to lay before Provost Nicol Spence and the Town Council my thanks for their most kind congratulations, which I highly appreciate. – Sincerely yours, F. TRAILL BURROUGHS, Lieut.-General.

1904 August 27 The Orcadian

KIRKWALL FLOWER SHOW. – OPENED BY LT.-GEN. SIR F. TRAILL BURROUGHS. – The annual flower show and art industry exhibition of the Orkney Horticultural Association was opened in the Burgh School, Kirkwall, to-day (Thursday) by Lt.-Gen Sir F. Traill Burroughs, who was accompanied on the platform by Lady Burroughs and Provost Spence.

Provost Spence occupied the chair, and introduced Sir Frederick in these words – Ladies and gentlemen, I consider it a pleasure to be called upon to take the chair on this occasion, and introduce Lt.-Gen. Sir Frederick Burroughs, who has kindly consented to open the flower show. My speech is quite a formal one, because General Burroughs is about as well known in the Burgh as on his own estate. (Applause). I am sure I express your opinion when I say it is very kind of General Burroughs to come here this morning and open the show. (Applause.) As you are aware General Burroughs has been brought up in the Army, and as in the Navy, so in the Army, “England expects every man to do his duty.” General Burroughs has done his duty in the service of his country, and after that comes his duty to his county as a citizen. He has thus come to perform this duty as a member of the County and as a citizen of the nation. I have much pleasure in calling upon General Burroughs to open this flower show, and have no doubt you will give him an attentive hearing. (Applause.)

General Burroughs said – “Ladies and gentlemen, I have been honoured by being requested to declare this beautiful show of fruit, flowers and vegetables, for which we have to thank so many contributors, open to all spectators. Before doing so, and before you begin to circulate amongst these beauties of nature, adorned by the Art of man (I employ the word “man” in its generic sense, and the word “adorn” to express the cultivation and education of plants, and their tasteful arrangement in regard to complimentary colouring in these rooms). I desire to point out the great importance of cultivating in youthful minds an early love for flowers, and a knowledge of botany, mineralogy, and geology, specimens of which we dwellers in the country, see all around us, and yet most of us know too little about. How much greater pleasure, and I may say profit, do those derive in their walks abroad, who with an educated eye can classify the plants, the stones, the strata, they see, what they indicate to us, and to what uses they can applied. To the educated farmer the grasses and plants the land produces indicate its quality. To the emigrant, or traveller in wild regions, a knowledge of botany is often most useful, and more so than that of more abstruse, subjects. The educated eye can discern in the vegetation around, what is fit for human food, and what is not. It may not be generally known that all our culinary vegetables have their wild prototypes in nature, asparagus, spinach, celery, sea kale, cabbage, turnip, parsnip, carrot, etc. The educated eye recognising these need not starve, whereas the uneducated eye, not recognising them, or mistaking other plants for them, might famish, or be poisoned. With these few remarks, and commending the study of botany to your attention, I declare this exhibition open to your observation and enjoyment.” (Applause.) The usual vote of thanks terminated this part of the proceedings…..

1904 September 3 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY CATTLE SHOW. – The annual cattle show of the Rousay Agricultural Society was held at Banks. Sourin, on Tuesday 30th ult. The entries were scarcely so large as usual, but some sections were well represented, and competition was very keen. The judges were Messrs Clark, Meadows, Costa; Wood, Aiknerness, Evie; and Webster, auctioneer, Kirkwall, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction. Two medals were presented to the Society this year – one by Rousay friends in Coatbridge for the best mare in yard, any age, which was won by Mr Craigie, Saviskaill; another by Mr Duncan, cattle-salesman, Aberdeen, for best milch cow, which was won by Mr Horn, Trumland Farm, for a black polled cow of fine substance and quality and in prime condition. Annexed is the prize list: –

CATTLE. – Cows in Milk or Calf – (a) Shorthorn – 1 and 3, George Gibson, Avelshay; 2, R. Marwick, Scockness; h.c., Wm. Learmonth, Innister. (b) Polled – 1, H. H. Horne, Trumland; 2 and h.c., John Gibson, Faraclett; 3, John Craigie, Saviskaill; c., W. Learmonth. Two-year-old Queys – (a) Shorthorns – 1 and 2, H. H. Horne; 2, W. Learmonth. (b) Polled – 1, John Craigie; 2 and 3, R. Seatter, Banks; h.c., John Gibson; c., H. H. Horne. One-year-old Quey – (a) Shorthorn – 1 and c., John Gibson; 2, R. Marwick; 3 and h.c., W. Learmonth. (b) Polled – 1, 2, and 3, R. Seatter; h.c., R. Marwick. Two-year-old Steers – 1, 2, and 3, G. Gibson. One-year-old Steers (a) Shorthorn – 1 and 2, W. Learmonth. (b) Polled – 1, R. Seatter, Banks; 2, h.c., and c., R. Marwick; 3, H. H. Horne. Calves 1 and 2, J. Craigie; 3, R. Seatter.

SHEEP. – Leicester Tups-1, David Gibson, Langskaill, 2, John Craigie.

HORSES. – 1 and 2, John Craigie; 3, R. Sinclair, Sketquoy. Yeld Mares – 1, J. Craigie, Saviskaill;  2, G. Gibson; 3, R. Marwick; h.c., R. Sinclair; c., P. Sinclair, Bigland. Mares with Foal at Foot – 1, J. Gibson; 2, H. H. Horne. Foals – 1, John Gibson; 2, H. H. Horne. Two-year-old Fillies – 1, R. Marwick; 2, W. Learmonth; 3, R. Seatter; h.c., George Gibson. One-year-old Filly – Wm. Learmonth. Two-year-old Gelding – 1,David Gibson; 2. J. Gibson. Ponies – 1. Miss Margaret Arbuthnott, Westness House; 2, David Gibson; 3, R. Sinclair.

POULTRY. – Cock and Hen, Buff Orphington – John Craigie, Saviskaill. Duck and Drake, Aylesbury – John Craigie.

At the close of the show the judges, along with the committee and a few friends, were kindly entertained to dinner by Mr and Mrs Seatter, Banks, and much credit is due to them for their kindness to all during the day.

1904 September 24 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – Many friends will be glad to hear that Miss [Mary Wallace Leslie] Rose, daughter of the Rev. Mr [Neil Patrick] Rose, for many years minister of the Free Church in Rousay, during her visit to Orkney, was a guest at the Parish Manse over Sunday last, and played the harmonium at the Parish Church services, when Rev. Mr Spark preached from Ps. 89-94.

1904 October 12 Orkney Herald

RATS IN ORKNEY. – Writing from the Manse, Killearn, Glasgow, to the Scotsman, the Rev. A. Gordon Mitchell says: – “I was formerly minister of an island in Orkney – Shapinsay – in which, according to the universal testimony of the inhabitants, no rats exist. Certainly I never saw one there, though mice, as the farmers know to their cost, are abundant. I recollect hearing that a former proprietor of Shapinsay once saw a regiment of rats on the march, and observed them take to the sea as if making for some adjacent island. A circumstance that makes the absence of rats from Shapinsay particularly remarkable is the proximity of Kirkwall. Only four sea-miles separate pier from pier, and a little steam-packet plies between them daily. In the islet of Eynhallow (Holy Isle), between the main island and Rousay, the position of which is graphically described in the verse –

‘Eynhallow stands frank and free,
Eynhallow stands in the middle of the sea,
With a roaring roost on every side,
Eynhallow stands in the middle of the tide.’

it is said that no rabbits are to be found. In the island of Rousay there are no frogs. An attempt was made to introduce them to the gardens at Westness, but they died out. There are no rats in the island of Egilshay. It is said that boatmen taking a horse over to that island discovered a stowaway in the shape of a rat, to which they promptly gave his quietus. Rats forsake the sinking ship; but Sanday, the flattest island of the group – an island, moreover, which is said to be slowly subsiding, swarms with rodents, the rats sometimes appropriating rabbit burrows. As regards the rat, an explanation may perhaps be found in his tendency to wholesale emigration a la his brethren in the story of the Pied Piper, and in the zeal of islanders for his extermination, and for the prevention of the immigration of undesirable aliens.”

1904 December 3 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – I.O.G.T. – A special open lodge meeting of the “Star of Peace” Lodge was held in the Wasbister Public School on Friday the 18th Nov. The meeting commenced at 7.30 p.m., and, despite the inclemency of the weather, the school-room was well filled. In the unavoidable absence of the ministers of the parish, the chair was occupied by Brother Craigie, L.D.  A lengthy programme of sacred music, etc., was gone through, and was quietly listened to by an appreciative audience. Rev. D. E. McInnes, Kirkwall, who had kindly come to Rousay for the meeting, gave a stirring temperance address, which was much appreciated by the audience. His address, which happily combined the comic with the serious will not be readily forgotten by those who listened to it. Sisters Morgan and Craigie, from the Excelsior Lodge, Kirkwall, contributed to the evening’s enjoyment by singing solos; which were much enjoyed. The programme consisted of a number of pieces by the members of the Lodge as a choir; also solos by Sister Gibson and Brother Gibson; a quartette by Sisters Munro and Craigie, and Brothers Gibson and Scott; a duet by Sisters Reid and Craigie; and readings by Sisters Norquoy, Reid, and Craigie. During the course of the meeting, the Chairman, in a short speech, explained the object of the meeting, namely, to induce young men and women, and old men and women too, if they felt so inclined, to join the Order. In the name of the Star of Peace Lodge he extended a cordial invitation to all present to join the Lodge. After votes of thanks to Mr McInnes the sisters from Kirkwall, the members of the Lodge, and to the audience for their quiet, orderly behaviour during the evening, the meeting was brought to a close with prayer: everybody expressing themselves as highly satisfied with the evening’s entertainment. Good Templar tracts were distributed at the close of the meeting.

[I.O.G.T. = Independent Order of Good Templars.]

1904 December 7 Orkney Herald



In the Orkney Sheriff Court on Tuesday week, the record was closed in an action by the heritors of the united parishes of Rousay and Egilshay and Lieut..General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, K.C.B., of Rousay and Veira, residing at Trumland House, Rousay; John Inkster Craigie, residing at House of Hullion, Rousay; David Gibson, farmer, residing at Hullion, Rousay; Thomas Middlemore of Melsetter and Eynhallow, residing at Melsetter, Longhope; and Alfred Baikie of Tankerness, residing at the Hall of Tankerness, the individual heritors of Rousay and Egilshay, against the Rev. Alexander Spark, minister of Rousay and Egilshay. The pursuers (the heritors) ask the court to ordain the defender (the parish minister) to carry out such repairs on the Manse of Rousay as the Court may deem sufficient to remedy the dilapidation and disrepair caused thereon through the defender’s neglect to uphold the manse in a state of ordinary good repair during the period of fifteen years from and after 11th June 1889, on which date the manse was declared to be a “free manse.”

The pursuers, in their condescendence, state that in a petition and appeal under the Ecclesiastical Buildings and Glebes (Scotland) Act by the heritors of Rousay and Egilshay against the defender, the Sheriff, on 11th June 1889, after certain extensive repairs ordered by the Court had been carried out, found and declared “the manse of Rousay to be a ‘free manse’ in terms of the Act 31 and 32 Vict. chap. 96, section 12.” The period during which the manse remained a free manse under that decree expired on 11th June 1904. On 4th September 1904, the defender made intimation from the pulpit of the Parish Church calling a meeting of the heritors to be held in the Church on 27th Sept., for ‘inter alia,’ “to consider the parish minister’s request for a competent and sufficient manse according to law.” At that meeting of heritors the defender stated that the manse was in a dilapidated and uninhabitable condition, and called on the heritors to supply him with a competent and sufficient manse. The heritors, after considering defender’s application, resolved to carry out all works necessary to make the manse sufficient and competent, excepting such repairs as fell to be made by the defender under his legal obligation to uphold the manse during the period for which it was declared free. On this resolution being intimated to the defender he stated that he would not accept the offer, refused to admit any liability for repairs falling under his obligation to uphold, and intimated that the matter would be dealt with in another court; and the heritors thereupon instructed their clerk to take proceedings to enforce the implementing of the defender’s legal obligations. The pursuers are informed and believe that the dilapidation and disrepair of the manse has been to a great extent caused by the defender’s failure to uphold the building in ordinary repair during the period of fifteen years after the date when the manse was declared to be a “free manse.” The defender having refused to make good such dilapidation and disrepair, and refused to accept the pursuers’ offer to make such repairs on the manse as come under their legal obligation, the present application has become necessary.

For the defender, Mr Spark, it was stated that he was inducted minister of Rousay and Egilshay in 1885. At that time the manse was upwards of one hundred years old, and in such a ruinous and dilapidated state as to be uninhabitable. After various procedure the heritors were ordered by the Court to make certain extensive alterations on the manse and steading according to plans and specifications prepared by Mr T. S. Peace, architect, Kirkwall, on the instruction of the Court. Mr Peace was subsequently appointed inspector of the carrying out of the works. On 11th June 1889 the Court, on a report by Mr Peace that the works had been completed, and that the manse was in a thorough state of repair, declared the manse to be a ” free manse.” A few years afterwards defects in the workmanship began to show themselves by the walls taking in water, and on 29th August I895 this was intimated by the defender to the clerk to the heritors with a request that the attention of the heritors should be called to the matter without delay. Nothing, however, was done by the heritors towards rectifying these defects, and on 3rd May 1897 defender again wrote the clerk to the heritors and asked that the heritors should give immediate attention to the matter. This intimation and request was also without effect. On numerous occasions subsequent to 1897 the manse and furnishings sustained internal damage through these defects, and was from time to time intimated and complained of by the defender to the heritors.

No steps were, however, taken by the heritors to remedy the defects, and consequently the fabric of the manse steadily deteriorated, and, on every occasion of a heavy rain or snowstorm, water came through the walls and caused internal damage. The roof was in such a state that every winter since 1899 the defender has had to remove quantities of snow from the space between the ceilings of the attic rooms and the roof of the manse. On one occasion about twelve barrow loads of snow were thus removed. On 11th Sept. 1899 a meeting of heritors was duly called to be held in the Parish Church on 5th Oct. 1899 for the purpose of dealing ‘inter alia’ with these structural defects. The principal heritor, Sir Frederick Burroughs, alone attended, and he declined to consider the requests of the defender, but, along with the defender, he visited and inspected the manse, and expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the defender was attending to the upkeep of the interior of the buildings. Towards the end of 1899, the defender found it necessary, on account of the refusal of the heritors to do anything towards remedying the structural defects, to bring the matter before the North Isles Presbytery. The Presbytery appointed a committee, who examined the manse, and at a subsequent meeting of heritors the committee declared themselves satisfied with the upkeep of the manse so far as devolving on the defender. On this occasion the committee urged the heritors to visit the manse with them, but this the heritors declined to do. The subsequent report by the committee to the Presbytery on 17th January 1900 bore that the committee found that the defender’s petition to the Presbytery was fully justified, their examination of the manse having revealed structural defects in the building.

On 29th March 1900 an examination of the manse and steading was made by Mr Samuel Baikie, architect and contractor, Stromness, who reported that he found a number of repairs necessary, and that, in his opinion, the disrepair existing arose from unsuitable materials being used and gross carelessness in the workmanship when the manse was repaired in 1889. During the fifteen years the manse has been a “free manse” the defender has done everything he was legally bound to do in the way of upkeep, which, owing to the defective state of the fabric, has been a much heavier burden to him than it ought to have been, some of the works done by him having been destroyed almost immediately before completion by water coming through the walls owing to structural defects for which he was not responsible. On 27th Sept. 1904, the heritors, in response to intimation duly made by defender, met in the Parish Church, Rousay, to consider certain matters. At that meeting the heritors asked defender to undertake at his own cost a part of the repair of the manse. This the defender refused to do, he having during the previous fifteen years done all he was legally bound to do for the upkeep of the manse. The defender avers that the statement attributed to him in the certified copy of minute in process, viz., “I think it is high time the Church of Scotland was abolished” is incorrect. The remark was made, not by defender, but by Sir Frederick Burroughs. On 17th May 1904 the heritors, without notice, made an inspection of the manse. They were taken over the whole buildings by defender, and appeared to be perfectly satisfied with the defender’s upkeep of the manse; at least, no objection or complaint was stated to him, and although they brought with them a practical tradesman they did not think it necessary to call him in to the inspection. It was only when the defender called the meeting of heritors of 27th Sept. l904, and had declined to bear a share of the cost of repairing the manse, that objection was taken to the manner in which he had performed his legal obligation as to upkeep, and the present action was instituted against him. The defender believes the present action is raised with a view of coercing him into bearing a share of the expense of repair for which the heritors are legally responsible.

The pursuers, in answer to defender’s statements, say that the manse having been declared a free manse, the heritors are not bound to make any further repairs until the lapse of fifteen years from 11th June 1888. They do not know and do not admit that damage was done to the manse through structural defects, but aver that any damage done to the manse was owing to defender failing to maintain it in proper order. On 29th April 1897, their clerk wrote to defender repudiating liability for upkeep, calling on him to make the necessary repairs, and intimating that he would be held liable for any deterioration due to his neglect. They call on defender to produce the report by the Committee of Presbytery. They deny that defender did everything he was legally bound to do for upkeep. They also deny generally defender’s statement with reference to the meeting of 27th September, and refer to the minute for its tenor. They admit that certain heritors visited the manse on 17th May 1904, but they deny generally defender’s statements regarding that visit.

The pursuers plead that: – 1. The manse of Rousay having been declared a “free manse,” it was incumbent on the defender to uphold it in a competent and tenantable condition by executing thereon, from time to time, such repairs as were necessary to make good the partial deterioration of its condition so far as caused by or consequent upon his use or occupancy of the manse till the expiration of fifteen years from the date 11th June 1889, when the manse was declared to be a “free manse.”

2. The defender, having failed to implement his obligation as aforesaid to uphold the said manse during the said period of fifteen years, he shall be ordained to carry out, at his own costs and charges, such repairs as are necessary to remedy the defects caused through such failure or neglect, and with expenses.

3. ‘Separatim.’ The manse of Rousay having been declared to be a “free manse,” this declaration implied not only that the fabric of the building was wind and water tight, but also that the internal parts and fittings were all complete and of sound material, and therefore the repair of any dilapidation ought to fall on the defender, and he should be ordained to carry out such works as are necessary for the repair of such dilapidation at his own costs, and with expenses.

The pleas for the defender are: – 1. The action is incompetent and should be dismissed with expenses.

2. The defender, having fully implemented his legal obligations to uphold the manse against the ordinary tear and wear of his occupancy during the period for which the manse was declared a “free manse,” and any deterioration on the building during that period being the result of a defective fabric or other structural deficiencies, and should be assoilzied [absolved of guilt] from the conclusions of the action with expenses.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Sheriff Harvey heard parties’ agents on defender’s plea of incompetency, and made ‘avizandum.’ [took time to consider his judgment.]

Agent for Pursuers – Mr D. J. Robertson. Agent for Defender – Mr T. Peace Low.

1904 December 10 The Orcadian

ROUSAY. – At the Parish Manse, Rousay, on Saturday last, Miss Veira Lickley Spark was presented with a small gift of money subscribed by the congregation for her services in playing the church harmonium for upwards of four years. Mr Moodie, who was the moving-spirit of the testimonial, said the givers gave so heartily that it was a joy to collect, and conveyed the best wishes of the subscribers for her future welfare in Edinburgh. Rev. Mr Spark, on behalf of his daughter, expressed his sincere thanks for so timely a token of the congregation’s appreciation of his daughter’s musical services, and hoped this small gift would be an incentive to her to devote herself to further usefulness in Christian work.

1904 December 14 Orkney Herald

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. – We are pleased to learn that General Sir Frederick Traill Burroughs, C.B., has so far recovered from his recent illness that he is able to travel. Sir Frederick and Lady Burroughs left Rousay yesterday en route for London, where they are to spend Christmas.

1904 December 21 Orkney Herald


SOURIN PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – The discipline and tone of the school are very pleasing, and there is good promise of successful work under the new teacher. Most of the work is of quite good quality, but the arithmetic of the two highest classes is rather backward. The younger children are taught by a monitor, and their work is not above fair. This seems a school which would benefit greatly by taking advantage of the minute of 25th April 1904. Average attendance, 32. General aid grant, £4 16s; grant under article 19 D, £10 – total grants, £56 0s 3d.

WASBISTER PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – This school has been in charge of four different teachers during the year, and the attendance has been seriously affected by sickness among the children. In the circumstances the efficiency is very creditable, and a distinct advance may be expected under the present intelligent and energetic teacher. A number of the maps are in a tattered condition, and should be replaced. Average attendance, 20. General aid grant, £3; grant under article 19 D, £15 – total grant, £42 5s 6d.

FROTOFT PUBLIC SCHOOL, ROUSAY. – The number of scholars at present is small, but the instruction is very careful and efficient. A good appearance is made in all the subjects, but the oral answering should be more full and distinct. The woodwork has been repainted and a large map of the world has been added to the apparatus. The desks are much too high for the younger children. Average attendance, 10. General aid grant, £1 10s; grant under article 19 D, £15 – total grant, £29 12s 9d.

1904 December 28 Orkney Herald

ROUSAY MANSE CASE. – In the action by the Heritors of Rousay and Egilshay against the Rev. Alex. Spark, minister of the parishes of Rousay and Egilshay, to ordain him to execute the repairs on the manse which he was bound to make during the period the manse was a free manse, Sheriff Harvey has issued the following interlocuter sustaining the defender’s plea that the action is incompetent: –

KIRKWALL, 20th December 1904. – The Sheriff-Substitute having heard the agents of the parties and considered the record and whole process, dismisses as incompetent the action as laid: Finds the pursuers liable to the defender in expenses: Allows an account thereof to be lodged, and remits the same to the Auditor of Court to tax and to report. (Signed) W. HARVEY…..

ROUSAY – CONCERT. – A very successful concert was held in the Frotoft Public School on the evening of Friday the 23rd last. The night being fine, a large and appreciative audience filled the school-room to overflowing, and much enjoyed the several items on the programme. The choir was under the leadership of Mr James Gibson, Avelshay, and much credit is due to him and his choir for the very pleasing way in which they rendered the several pieces. The Rev. A. I. Pirie occupied the chair, and in a few well-chosen remarks, introduced the performers. At the close he also thanked them very much for the enjoyable evening they had afforded to the audience, specially mentioning the name of Dr Ede, who had kindly come forward to help the young folks with their programme. Tea was served during an interval, and a very pleasant evening was brought to a close by Mr Gibson moving a vote of thanks to Mr Pirie for acting as chairman, and to Dr Ede and the several members who had helped to make the concert a success. Special mention should be made of the youthfulness of the performers, and it is to be hoped that they will see their way to give another concert in the near future.