In Print

Rousay in the Papers

Using the valuable resource of the British Newspaper Archive I have extracted any and every mention of Rousay available from newspapers dating back to the early 1800s. The publications range from The Orcadian, The Orkney Herald, the John o’ Groat Journal, the Aberdeen Press & Journal, and numerous others in the early days.

The first edition of ‘The Orcadian’ was published in November 1854 by James Urquhart Anderson at his premises in Victoria Street, Kirkwall. It was only on sale on the first Tuesday of every month. Exactly a year later the paper became a weekly publication, originally on sale on Mondays, but later reverting to Saturday.

Its contemporary, ‘The Orkney Herald and Weekly Advertiser for the Orkney and Zetland Islands,’ was first published by Messrs William B. Peace & Son, Booksellers, Kirkwall, in April 1860.

Initially I intended only extracting newsworthy stories from Rousay, but there were periods when there was little or nothing for months on end from the Rousay ‘correspondent’ – so I have included items of interest from other isles and mainland parishes.

Blatant spelling mistakes have been corrected – as have some typesetting irregularities: in the earlier days of both newspapers whole paragraphs were laid out in incorrect order! The miniscule size of the text and over-inking meant many pages of ‘local’ news were impossible to read.

Copies of The Orcadian available for viewing on the British Newspaper Archive website span the years 1854-1869, and 1901-1912. Those of the Orkney Herald cover the years 1860-1871, and 1888-1948.

Reference: British Newspaper Archive (


Clicking the link below takes you to the storage page. Once there click on the years to read the stories. This is a massive undertaking, and though part of it existed on the previous version of this site I have started again. This is an on-going project, and much more has been, and will be, added to what you have seen before. Subsequent years will be added as and when. The usual updates will appear in the column to the right of the home page – the latest update appearing at the top of the list.