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The Orkneys and Shetland; their past and present state online

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your credit, as well as your duty, to show yourselves patrons of
piety and virtue ; and in case you are found guilty of those
faults you are set to reprove in others, you may expect that
your punishment will be double to theirs ; upon these con-
ditions you enter into their society, and judicially promise in
the presence of God x'Vlmighty, that you will do your utmost
for advancing the glory of God, the public peace, and welfare
of the place where you live, as far as you are capable, conform
to the above instructions, as your subscription hereof doth
witness. The whole foresaid acts and instructions being
published in open court, the judge ordains the authority of
the Stuart and justiciar court to be interponed thereto ; and
that the same be recorded in the stuart court books of Zetland,
and extracts thereof to be given out by the clerk to the
baillies desiring the same, upon payment of the clerks dues.

Signed T. G."



R R



6io



THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.



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APPEiYDIX J 2.



6ii



APPENDIX J 2.

Mean temperature and rainfall at various stations in the
United Kingdom for the five years 1871-1875. Based on
observations taken at 8 a.m. each day.





Temperature.




Rainfall.


Statiom.












Warmest


Coldest


Mean for


Mean




Month.


Month.


the year.


Annual Fall.




^






Inches. ;


Yarmouth


July, 62*4


Feb., 38-1


48^9


28-91


Scarborough


July, 61 '6


Feb., 38-0


48-1


28-69


Plymouth


July, 61-5


Dec, 40 "9


50-4


3778


London


July, 63-3


Dec, 38-3


49 "3


25'52


Liverpool


Tuly, 60 -8


Feb., ^9'0


48-5


29-76


Holyhead


Aug., 59-3


Feb., 41-5


496


36-33


Thurso


July. 57-5


Jan., 37-4


45 '6


36*94


Wick


July, 57-2


Dec, 38-2


46-0


27-79


Nairn


July, 58-6


f Jan. and ^
\ Feb., 37-4 )


45 '9


25-95


Aberdeen


July, 58-5


Feb., 37-4


46-2


33*05


Leith


July, 6o*2


Feb., 38-8


47-6


26-51


Ardrossan


July, 58-6


Feb., 39-5


48-0


42-21


Greencastle


Tuly, 58-8


Feb., 40-1


48-2


43 '94


Valencia


Aug., 59 -8


Feb., 44-8


51-3


59-87


Roche's Point


Aug., 59-4


1 Feb. and |
• Dec, 43 ol


501


50-85


*Donaghadee


July, 57-9


Feb., 387


47 "9


28-58


*Kingstovn


Aug., 58-5


Feb., 40-5


492


26-93



The foregoing table, supplied by the Meteorological Office,
is inserted for the purpose of comparison.



R R 2



6l2



THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.



APPENDIX K.

POPULATION OF THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND AT EACH DECEN-
NIAL CENSUS SINCE THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE NINETEENTH
CENTURY.







1801.


1811.


1821.


1831.


1841.


1851.


i£6i.


1871.


1881.


The Orkneys
Do. do.


Males

Females ...


10,848
13.597


10,127
13,111


12,269
14,710


13,105

15,742


13,831
16,676


14.350
17,105


14,924
17,471


'4,355
16,919


14,973
17,064


Do. do.


Total pop.


24,44s


23,238


26,979


28,847


30,507


31,455


32,395


31,274


32,037


Shetland ...
Do.


Males

Females ...


9.945
12,434


10,024
12,891


ii,8oi
14,344


13,489
15.903


13,176
17,382


13,145
17,933


13,053
18,617


13,103
18,505


12,656
17,053

29,709


Do.


Total pop.


22,379


22,915


26,14s


29,392


30,558


31,078


31,670


31,608


The Orkneys)
and
Shetland. J


Total Joint 1
Population 1


46,824


46,153


53,124


58,239


61,065


62,533


64,065


62,882


61,746



APPENDIX L.



LOCAL Tee, Tiie, or Nick-T^xu¥.s.



The Orkneys.

Ki R KW A LL — Starlings.

St. Andrew's — Skerry Scrapers.

Deerness — Skate Rumples. Jamieson, in his Dictionary, says
Rumple means sometimes the rump-bone, sometimes the tail,
and of the latter meaning gives the following quaint quotation
in support of it : — " Otheris alliegis thay dang him (St. Austine)
with skait rumpillis. Noctheless this derisioun succedit to
thair gret displesoure. For God tuke on thaym sic vengeance,
that thay and thair posterite liad lang talis mony yeris eftir.
— Belland, Cron. b. ix. c. 17."



APPENDIX L. 613

Holm — Hobhlers.

Orphir — Yeanlings. Yearnings, the stomach of a calf used
to curdle the milk in cheese-making.

Firth — Oysters.

Stromness — Bloody Puddiugs.

Sandwick — Ash Patties. J^imieson gives two phrases, Aside
fattle, a neglected child (Shetland) ; and Assypet, an adjective
meaning employed in the lowest kitchen drudgery; and in a
note to the former word derives it from two Islandic words,
one aska, meaning ash, and the other fatti, a little boy, and
adds that sitiia or liggia i asku, " to sit or lie amongst the ashes,''
was a phrase used by the ancient Goth.s as expressive of great
contempt, and being applied to stay-at-home, unwarHke people.
A friend has pointed out to the writer that in Grimm's Kiiider
nnd Haus Miirchen Cinderella is called Aschenputtel.

Harray — Crabs. This being the only inland parish, its in-
habitants were supposed to be ignorant of the existence of
" the little red fish that walks backward." A Harray man
chancing to fall in with one on the sea shore began handling
it, whereupon the crab retaliated. The man, desirous of
coming to terms, said he would not bother the crab if the
crab would only unclaw him ; hence the proverb, " Let be,
for let be, as the Harray man said to the crab."

Birsay — Dogs or Hoes (species of small shark).

Evie — Caidd Kail.

Rendall — Sheep Thieves.

Sojith Isles.
Hoy — Hawks.

Walls— Z)'/-^^ (Manx Shearwaters).
Burray — Oily Bogies.
South Ronaldsay : —

Grimness — Gruties.

Hope — Scouties (Richardson's Skuas).

Widewall — Witches.

Herston — Hogs.

Sandwick — Birkies.

South Parish — Peeacks (Lapwings).

JFestern Isles.

Gairsay — Buckles (the large whelk used for bait).
Veira or Wyre — Whelks.



6l4 THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.

Egilsay — Burstin-himps (see page 159).

Rousay — Maizes. The inhabitants of this island are so
called, because, at least so says tradition, when they wanted to
establish a breed of horses on the island, they sent a Moses
Primrose sort of fellow to buy at the nearest horse fair, who
purchased a lot of mares, but forgot all about there being any
need of stallions.



North Isles.

Shapinsay — Sheep. " Druid," in Field and Fern, tells a story
of some Shapinsay men who were cutting peats in a thick fog
on a promontory, at the south-east end of the island, called the
Foot of Shapinsay, when they heard " Baa, Baa" from a pass-
ing boat. Thinking this was done to insult them, they at once
threw down their spades and tuskars (implements used in the
Orkneys and Shetland for peat cutting), and taking boat, pur-
sued the boat of the supposed scoffers nearly to Stronsay, only
to find on overtaking it that there were really actual Hve muttons
on board.

Stronsay— Z/w/t'/'jT.

Sanday — Gruellie Belkies, porridge and brose feeders.

North Ronaldsay — Seals, Hides, or Hoydes.

Eday — Scarfs (Cormorants).

Westray — Auks (Common Guillemot).

Papa Westray — Dandies (Spent Cod).



Shetland.

Lerwick — Whitings.

Scalloway — Snia' Drink.

Tingwall — Tinuner (wooden) Guns.

Bressay — Men, Sparks ; women, Crackers, from their being
supposed to be great talkers. In the tale Of the yeman of
garde that sayd he wolde bete the carter one of A. C. Mery
Talys, edited by Mr. W. Carew Hazlitt in Shakespeare Jest-
Books will be found " By this ye may se, that the greatest
Crakers somtyme, whan it cometh to the profe, be most
cowardes," Crakers being used here in the sense of boasters or
tall-talkers.

Dunrossness — Li7'er Coids ; Orkney Cuithes, Caithness Cud-
deens (Saith in their third year). From the favourite dish of



APPENDIX L. 615

the district, one of these fish cleaned, filled with liver, and
roasted amongst hot peat ashes.

Sandsting — Suck of legs, from the poor people using in cold
weather the upper parts of stockings or socks, of which the
soles are past darning, to protect the tops of their feet and
legs fi-om cold.

Aithsting — Siin/icks or Smocks (see page 160).

Walls — three divisions : —
Mid ^^'aas, Gentry.
Wast O' Waas, Scttlins.
Down O' Waas, Dirt.

Sandness — Burstin Briinis (see page 159).

Foula — Nories (from Tammy Nories, Puffins).

Weisdale and Nesting — Gauts, Cut Swine.

Lunnasting — Hoes, Dog-fish.

Delting — Sparis, from the intestines of a sheep filled with
chopped meat and suet, heavily seasoned with pepper and salt,
and smoke-dried.

Northmaven — Liver Aluggies or Ulie Coils. " Muggies,"
from the stomach of a cod filled with its liver and then boiled,
said to be the most pleasant way of taking the oil.

Whalsay — Pillocks (Saith in their second year).

Yell — Sheep Thieves, or simply Thieves.

Fetlar — Russie Foals — Ungroomed year-old colts, with their
first coats hanging in unkempt masses about them.

Unst — Midden Slues, meaning dirty and lazy people. They
are also sometimes styled the Honest Folk of Unst, but this latter
appellation must be considered sarcastic.



6i6 THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.



APPENDIX M.
Characteristics, Monuments, Proportions, and Dates,

OF THE
ruined churches in the ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.

From a Paper in The Orcadian by Sir Henry E. L. Dryden,
Bart., Ho7i. Mem. Soc. Antiq. Scot.

Characteristics.

There is no cross church in Orkney, and only one in
Shetland.

In Ireland there is no circular, octagon, or cross church,
except, of course, the cathedrals and some monastic churches.
There is no aisle in Orkney or Shetland. There are no i)linths
or basements to any of these churches.

The doors are chiefly in the W. ends. Both square and round
heads occur. Several have no rebates (See Birsay). St. Ola,
Deerness, and perhaps Uya have no chancels, but all the rest
have decided chancels. There is no instance of a chancel door.
These have chancel arches equal in width to the chancels :
Orphir, Egilsey, The Ness, Culbinsbrough, Norwick, Kirkaby,
and Colvidale. In England this fashion rarely occurs ; where
it does, it is late. It is constructively weak.

Enhallow has a chancel arch with projecting jambs, of about
the English proportion.

Birsay, Wyre, Linton, perhaps Uya, and probably Noss, have
or had very narrow chancel arches.

In our early churches the chancels were small in comparison
with the naves, and in cathedrals the ritual choir was under the
cross or W. of it.

They elongated the choirs in the thirteenth centur}', and
soon placed the ritual choir E. of the cross.

Orphir and Egilsey had windows with circular heads. Birsay,
AVyre, Enhallow, Culbinsbrough, had at least some windows
with flat heads.



APPENDIX M. 617

The Ness has all flat. No instance remains of a double
light, or of a transom, or of a triangular head, which is not
infrequent in Ireland.

At Egilsey, Enhallow, and the Ness are no grooves for glass
or rebates, or external chamfers. At Orpliir and Birsay are
grooves and chamfers (see account of Egilsey).

Of the six churches which retain the E. ends — St. Ola,
Orphir, Deerness, Wyre, Egilsey, and the Ness — four have no
E. window, except that in the latter there is a small opening
high up in the E. gable. In the early Irish churches it is very
unusual not to have an E. window. Probably no apse was
without an east window.

As far as can be made out at present, there was no step to
the chancel, and no platform for the altar, except the inserted
step and altar at Birsay. In some the cliancel windows are
singularly low, as at Wyre and Egilsey. No piscina remains,
and only one sedile, but several ambries.

There are only four cases Avhere Ave can judge of the pitch
of the roofs. The Ness had a roof including about 85 deg.,
Egilsey about 88 deg., Enhallow the same, and Wyre had rude
stepped coping on the gables.



Monuments.

The gravestones found in connection with these churches
are of four kinds : —

1. Keel-shaped slabs placed horizontally on graves as at
Sandwick, in Unst, etched by Mr. Irvine.

2. Upright stones nearly rectangular, with crosses engraved
on them, as at Sandwick, etched by Mr. Irvine, and at Norwick
and some other places. This class includes the elaborate
monument from Culbinsbrough.

3. The same shaped stones, without any ornamentation,
found at many of the old burial-grounds.

4. Upright stones cut into the form of crosses, as at Uya.
Mr. Irvine has sent the following information : —

" I believe from the earliest times in Scotland the foot-stone
" of the grave was the chief stone, and not as now, the head-
" stone, and that the E. face of the foot-stone was the principal
" face to be attended to, from the idea that the dead rose at
" the resurrection to an upright position facing E. Compare
" the stone with the ancient incised markings from St. Peter's



6i8 THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.

" Church, Orkney, now in the Edinburgh Museum, with the
" one I have etched from Sandwick, Unst, and I beUeve it
" will be seen that the keel-stone existed to both. Therefore, I
" believe that the interment belonging to many of the standing
" stones will be found on the W. side, and not on the E."
The coffins were often formed of six or more slabs of stone.



Proportions.

%

The designs for churches in the ages of architecture were
not made at random. Doubtless there existed certain rules of
proportion, but doubtless they varied with times, places, and
persons.

Various attempts have been made in modern times to
discover these rules, and in some instances with apparent
success. It unfortunately happens that we have not often an
intact ground plan, and if the original plan was simple, the
additions render it complex. In many cases these additions
were made without any regard to the proportion of the
original. It appears probable that these proportions were
geometric rather than arithmetical — that is to say, made by
simple operations of the compasses and rulers, rather than by
any proportion of numbers.

The small churches of the North are valuable from not
having been altered by additions.

Though in the foregoing notes the proportions on which the
churches were built may not have been ascertained in all cases,
yet in some the coincidences are too remarkable to be chance.
Although, no doubt, a system of proportions was extended to
the elevations and certain details ; yet, as to most of these in
the churches here enumerated we are in ignorance, because
most of the superstructure is gone. It appears that there
were, in fact, only two figures on which the proportions were
founded — a circle, or square, and an equilateral triangle. For
most purposes of proportion the circle and square are iden-
tical. The "vesica piscis" is two equilateral triangles on
opposite sides of a common base, and hence equal in pro-
portion to the half of one such triangle.

There is, however, one proportion in which a square is not
equivalent — the diagonal of the square, the proportion of
which to the side is nearly as lo to 7. The height or length of
an equilateral triangle is to half its base nearly as 7 to 4.



APPENDIX N. 619

All these proportions are somewhat flexible, inasmuch as they
may ///elude the side walls and euclude the end walls, or the
reverse ; or they may /V/clude both, or they may exclude both :
or they may be applied in one way to the nave, and in
another to the chancel, and in another to the tower. But
the proportion must not be deemed as ascertained unless the
figure really fits within 2 or 3 inches.

Dates.

As to the dates of these buildings we have but little to
guide us. Only fi-agments of the buildings are left, and those
of the plainest description. Scotch architecture has some
mystifying peculiarities. Dates have been suggested from
architectural and historical evidence for Ophir, Birsay, and
Egilsey — Ophir, 1090 — 1160; Birsay, iioo; Egilsey, 1000.
Wyre has been assigned to the 12th or 13th, the Ness to the
14th, and St. Ola's to the i6th century.

It may be fairly observed that there must have been
churches erected in the 14th and 15th centuries. Where are
the remains of them ? Possibly some of the ruins described
are of those centuries.

It does not appear impossible that, from evidence yet to
be collected, a nearer approximation to the dates of these
buildings may be got.



APPENDIX N.

" OF BURYALL.

"The corps is reverently brought unto the grave accom-
" panied with the Congregation, without any further ceremonies :
" which being buryed the Minister if he be present and re-
" quired goeth to the Church, if it be not farre of, and maketh
" some comfortable exhortation to the people touching death
"and resurrection." From John Knox's BooJz of Common
Order.

In Dr. Cummings' duodecimo edition, published in 1840,
the " Order of Burial " occupies a few lines ; that " of Excom-
munication " 44^- pages.



620 THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.



APPENDIX O I.

Extracts from Pitcairn's '' Criminal Trials," Vol. III.,
pp. 273 and 280.

"Jan. 5, 1615. — Robert Stewart, base sone to Patrick, lait

Erie of Orknay,'' and others " dilaitit of the

Tressonable taking and surprising of His

Maiesteis Castell of Kirkwall, Kirk and

Steiple of Kirkwall, tressonable resisting

of the Erie of Caithnes His Maiesteis

Lieutennent; and vtheristressonabill crymes,

contenit in thair Dittayis following."

" The pannell being askit Gif thai had ony prelocutouris for

thame to defend ; or gif thay had ony thing to allege, quhy

the Dittay producet be my lord Aduocat sould nocht pas to

the knawlege of ane Assyse ? For ansuer thairto, Robert

Stewart declairit, that thai wald vse na prelocutouris, bot God,

in this matter."

" AssiSA.

" Mr. Robert Hendersoun, of North Rannaldsay,
Eduard Scola, sumtyme Scheref of Orknay,
George Mowat, of Sewnane,

James Irwing, servand to my lord (Erie of Cathnes),
Andro Andersoun, also his servand,
Henri Sinclair, also his servand,
James Hammiltoun, wrycht,
James Workman, paynter, b'urges of Edinburgh,
Johnne Quhyte, wricht, burges of the Cannogait,
William Sinclair, of Tullope,
Andro Purves, indueller in Edr.,
Williame Rnbiesoun, thair,
Clement Kincaid, thair,
George Redik, of . . . .,

Robert Keith, mercheand, burges of Edinburgh.
" It is allegit be Thomas Layng, ane of the persones on
pannell, that George Mowat, James Irwing, (and) Andro



APPENDIX 0\. 621

Andersoun ar servandis to my lord of Caithnes ; and thair-
foir, hai nor nane of his lordschipis servandis can pas vpone
the pannellis Assyse ; in respect that the said Erie and his
servandis war persewaris of the pannell within the Toun ot
Kirkwall, Kirk, Steiple, and Castell thairof; and thay war
tane and apprehendit be him (the Erie), and (thay) behavet
thame selfis as pairtie, in thair persute of thair lyves. — It is
ansuerit be my lord Aduocat, that the allegeance aucht to be
repellit ; in respect my lord of Caithnes and his servandis had
na particular^ of his awin aganis the pannell; bot only was
imployit as Commissioner and Leutennent for his Maiestie to
pas to Orknay, and thair, in his Maiesteis name and authoritie,
to apprehend the persones on pannell, for thair Rebellioun,
and balding and surpryscing of his Maiesteis Castellis and
Houssis thair : ffor how sail the pannellis giltines of the crymes
contenit in thair Dittay be tryit,- bot be sic as best knawis the
verritie of the factis mentionat thairintill ? And thairfoir,
nochtwithstanding of the said allegeance maid aganis the Erie
of Caithnes servandis, they aucht to be admittit vpone this
Assyse.

" The Justice Admittis The Erle of Caithnes servandis
vpone the Assyse, nochtwithstanding of the allegeance ; and
that, in respect of my lord Aduocatis ansuer maid thairto."

Note. — It looks very like a case of a packed jury ; and the
Lord Advocate's contention that the Earl of Caithness "had
na particular of .his awin aganis the pannell" was about as
impudent an assertion as ever was made in court, as the
feuds between the two earls, though nominally patched up,
had only been so settled because each was afraid some of his
own rascality might come to light. James Irwing, too, was
probably a relation of that Villiam Vrving who was schot otit of
ye Castel (see ante, p. 240).

' Quarrel; feud. - Proved ; established.



622 THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND.



APPENDIX O 2.

From Pitcairn's " Criminal Trials," Vol. I., pp. 393-394.

Extract from the trial of William Bannatyne of Gairsay and
others for the murder of Colville, the minister of Orphir.



" SLAUGHTER.

"Oct. 26. — William Bannatyne, of Gairsey, and James
Lokie, wryter in Edinburgh. Dilatit of airt and pairt of the
slauchter of vmqle Mr. Hary Coluile Persoun of Vrqu-
hart ; committit in Junij lastbypast.

" Dittay against Williaftie Bannatyne of Gairsay and J^ames
Lokie.

" Eorsamekill as thay, haifing consauit ane deidlie feid, rancour
and malice aganis the said vmqle Hary Coluile, consultit,
deuysit and interprysit his crewall slauchter, with Johnne
Stewart, brother german to Patrik Erll of Orknay, Adame
Gordoune, and diuers vtheris thair complicis : Lyke as, the
said Adame, accumpaneit with Alexr. Dunbar of ... . and
Thomas Tweddell servitour to the said Wm. Bannatyne of
Gairsay in Orknay, and diuerse vtheris thair complices, to the
nowmer of xxx. persounes or thairbye, all bodin in feir of
weir, in the moneth of Junij lastbypast, schippit in ane schip
of Dysart, at Muntrois, and saiUit to Orknay ; quhair the said
Thomas Tweddell past aschoir, to the said Williame Banna-
tynis hous of Gairsay, brocht furth of the said hous victuallis
and mwnitioune, with the quhilk he furneist the said schip,
and thairefter saillit to Zetland to Burwick and past overland
to Neip in Nestrig, quhair the said vmqle Hary was for