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Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Section IX. The Orkney and Zetland Islands
Part 2 - The Zetland Islands


Position and General Features of the Shetland or Zetland Islands, paragraph 1. Climate; Length of the Day in Summer, 2.—Voyage from Leith, 3.—Fair Isle, 4. Roust of Sumburgh; Sillocks, or Coalfish, 5.—Dress of the Shetland Fishers, 6. Address and Language of the People, 7.—Ancient History of Shetland; Harold Harfager's Conquest; Early Scandinavian Earls of Orkney, 8.—Ancient Measures of Land; Udal and Scattald, 9.—Ancient Division of the Foudrie of Shetland; Law of Udal Succession, 10.—First Appearance of Feudalism on the Accession of Shetland to the Scottish Dominions; the Scottish Earls of Orkney and Shetland, 11.—Earls Robert and Patrick Stewart; their Illegal and Oppressive Acts, 12. The Islands pass ultimately to the Morton and Dundas Families, 14—Itinerary: Dunrossness; Quendal; the Cliff Hills; Burgh of Mousa, 14.—Scalloway Castle; Tingwall,15.—Lerwick, 16.—Bressay Island and Cradle of Noss,17.—Whalsey and Outskerries, 18.—Fetlar; Unst; Chromat of Iron, Hydrate of Magnesia, and other minerals, in Unst; Skua Gull, 19.—Yell; Ca'ing Whales; falcons, 20. The Haaf or Deep Sea Fish, 21.—Fudeland, 22.—Roeness Hill; Villains of Urie, 23.—Papa Stour, 24.—Foula, 25.—Sketch of the Natural History of Shetland; its Botany, Zoology, and Geology, 26.

"The storm had ceased its wintry roar,
Hoarse dash the billows of the sea;
But who on Thule's desert shore
Cries, Have I burned my harp for thee?"

MACNIEL.

1. THE group of islands comprehended under the general name of Shetland, Zetland, Hialtlandia, or the Thule of the ancient Romans, exceeds a hundred in number; but of these, only between thirty and forty are inhabited, and they occupy a tract near the junction of the German and Northern Oceans, extending exclusive of Fair Isle, between 590 and 60 50' north latitude, and lying about forty-seven leagues from Buchanness, on the Aberdeenshire coast, and ninety-six leagues from Leith; while their longitude is about one degree west of the meridian of London. [The best authorities the reader can refer to regarding this group of islands, are Dr. Arthur Edmonstone's "View of the Ancient and Present State of the Shetland Islands," in two vols. 8vo.; published by Ballantyne & Co., Edinburgh, in 1809; the recent Parochial Reports in the New Statistical Account of Scotland, with the general observations on the county in that work, by Laurence Edmonston, Esq., M. D.; Professor Jameson's "Mineralogical Travels;" and Dr. Samuel Hibbert's "Description of the Shetland Islands, comprising an Account of their Geology, Scenery, Antiquities, and Superstitions, with a Geological map, and numerous plates;" published by Constable & Co., in one large quarto volume, in the year 1322.]

These islands, although magnificent and varied in their cliff scenery, are not imposing at a distance, as their general height above the sea is inconsiderable, the loftiest hill, that of Roeness, in the parish of North Mavine, only attaining about 1500 feet of elevation; while the surface of the country is seldom broken into rough picturesque summits, but disposed in long undulating heathy ridges, among which are very many pieces of flat swampy ground, and numerous uninteresting fresh-water lakes. Hence the grandeur and diversified appearance of the land is not perceived by the stranger, till he approaches close to the shore; but then, as his bark is hurried on by the sweeping winds and tides, the projecting bluff headlands and continuous ranges of rocky precipices begin to develop themselves, as if to forbid his landing, as well as to defy the further encroachments of the mighty surges by which they have so long been lashed.

Although, of course, treeless, and almost shrubless, and, in general, brown and heathy, the pastures of Zetland nevertheless frequently exhibit broad belts of short velvety sward, adorned with a profusion of little meadow plants, the more large and beautiful in their flower-cups, as the size of their stems is stunted by the boisterous arctic winds. Many very beautiful cultivated spots occur, especially towards the southern end of the mainland; and the retired mansions of the clergy and gentry, scattered throughout the islands, are uniformly encircled with smiling fields, and occasionally with garden ground.
Besides the connected ranges of precipices, there are everywhere to be seen immense pyramidal detached rocks, called stacks, rising abruptly out of the sea, both near and at a great distance from land, the abodes of myriads of seafowl; and some of them are perforated by magnificent arches of great magnitude and regularity, while in others there are deep caverns and subterranean recesses.

Large landlocked bays, protected from the fury of the ocean by rocky breastworks and islets, afford numerous sheltered havens to boats and shipping; and the long narrow arms and inlets of the sea, called ghoes, or roes, which almost penetrate from side to side of the islands, diversify the surface, and exhibit innumerable varieties of cliff scenery, and contending tides and currents.

2. Although exceedingly tempestuous, foggy, and rainy, especially when the wind blows from the south or west, the climate of Zetland is, from its insular position, on the whole, milder than its high latitude would otherwise occasion, and the inhabitants are hence athletic and healthy; but the seasons are so uncertain, the vicissitudes of temperature so rapid and frequent, and the autumnal gales so heavy, that but little dependence is to be placed on the grain crops raised in the islands. The winter, although not characterised by much snow and frost, is dark and gloomy; but this is counterbalanced and compensated by the great continued light of the summer months, during which the night is almost as bright as the day. "The nights," as remarked by Dr. Edmonstone, "begin to be very short early in May, and from the middle of that month to the end of July darkness is absolutely unknown. The sun scarcely quits the horizon, and his short absence is supplied by a bright twilight. Nothing can surpass the calm serenity of a fine summer night in the Zetland Isles. The atmosphere is clear and unclouded, and the eye has an uncontrolled and extensive range; the hills and headlands then look more majestic, and they have a solemnity superadded to their grandeur; the water in the bays appears dark, and as smooth as glass ; no living object interrupts the tranquillity of the scene, but a solitary gull skimming the surface of the sea; and there is nothing to be heard but the distant murmuring of the waves among the rocks."

3. The most regular and easy mode of reaching Zetland is either by a sailing vessel from Leith to Lerwick, or by the steamer, which, from Aberdeen, carries the mail-bag, and sails, on an average, once a-week in summer. And if the visitor, upon approaching the more southerly point of the Zetland coasts, has an opportunity of engaging a sailing-boat, he will find it by much the best mode of ensuring for himself a minute and careful examination of the Zetland coasts.

4. We shall suppose, therefore, that the weather is propitious, and that our tourist has got past the Pentland Firth and Orkneys, and is leaving FAIR ISLE a few leagues to the westward of his direct course, ruminating on the unfortunate fate of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the admiral of the celebrated invincible Spanish armada, who, after his defeat in the memorable year 1588, retreated northward, pursued by the English squadron, and was shipwrecked on. this bleak inhospitable shore; and whose crew, after great sufferings, were mostly murdered by the barbarous natives, to prevent a famine in the isle; the

duke, with a small remnant, being permitted to escape in a little vessel to Quendal, on the mainland of Shetland, where they were kindly entertained, and ultimately assisted in their return through France to the fertile valleys of Old Spain.

No sooner do the rocks of Fair Isle recede from observation, than FITFIEL HEAD (the white mountain), a considerable hill

in the south of the mainland of Zetland, first rises to view; and a contiguous one, to the east of it, less elevated, named SUMBURGH HEAD; the general features of the bleak low hills of the district of Dunrossness also soon thereafter multiplying on our sight.

5. But, before reaching land, our vessel must have a rocking in the Roust of Sumburgh, the Scandinavian term applied to a strong tumultuous current, occasioned by the meeting of the rapid tides, which here join from the opposite sides of Shetland, and rush towards the Fair Isle. Even when the sea generally is calm, and when viewed from the adjoining headland, there is in the Roust the appearance of a turbulent stream of tide, about two or three miles broad, in the midst of the smooth water, extending a short distance from Sumburgh, and then gradually dwindling away, so as to terminate in a long slender dark line, bearing towards Fair Isle. At the beginning of each daily flood, the tide in the Roust is directed to the eastward, until it passes the promontory of Sumburgh: it then meets with a south tide, that has been flowing on the east side of the country; when a divergement takes place to the southeast, and lastly to the south. At high water there is a short cessation of the tide, called the STILL: the ebb now begins, first setting north-west, and then north, until the commencement of the flood. The various directions of the tides of Zetland are no doubt owing, in a considerable degree, to modifications which take place from the number and form of the various headlands and inlets of the coast; but, since they are propagated at successive intervals of time, it is evident that at the northerly and southerly extremities of the Shetland archipelago they would be naturally opposed to each other. Vessels have been known, when falling into the Roust in a calm, to be tossed to and fro between Fitfiel Head and Sumburgh Head, a distance of no more than three miles, for five days together; and, while the sea here is always heavy, in a storm the waves rise mountains high.

In the Roust of Sumburgh there is a considerable fishery for the Gadus carbonarius, or coal-fish, called here the seethe, elsewhere the cuddie; and their young, which enter the bays in myriads (while the full-grown fish sport among the most tumultuous waves), are known under the name of sillocks. The seethe, which, from the size of an inch, sometimes attains the length of three feet, is caught by hand-lines, baited with haddock or shell-fish; and our proximity to land is announced, in good weather, by the appearance of numerous boats fishing for them and for cod.

Although the fry of the coal-fish, in general, frequent retired bays, yet their favourite resort is often among the constant floods and eddies near sunken rocks and bars that are alternately covered and laid bare by the waves, and the smaller fry appear to covet the security of thick plantations of sea-ware, within the shelter of which they are screened from the keen look-out of their natural enemies of the feathered race. As remarked by Dr. Hibbert, "There is, probably, no sight more impressive to the stranger who first visits the shores of Zetland than to observe, on a serene day, when the waters are perfectly transparent and undisturbed, the multitudes of busy shoals, wholly consisting of the fry of the coal-fish, that nature's full and unsparing hand has directed to every harbour and inlet.

"As the evening advances, innumerable boats are launched, crowding the surface of the bays, and filled with hardy natives of all ages. The fisherman is seated in his light skiff, with an angling rod or line in his hand, and a supply of boiled limpets near him, intended for bait. A few of these are carefully stored in his mouth for immediate use. The baited line is thrown into the water, and a fish is almost instantaneously brought up. The finny captive is then secured, and while one hand is devoted to wielding the rod, another is used for carrying the hook to the mouth, where a fresh bait is ready for it, in the application of which the fingers are assisted by the lips. The alluring temptation of an artificial fly often supersedes the use of the limpet; and so easily are captures of the small fry made, that young boys, or feeble old men, are left to this business, which not unfrequently is carried on from the brink of a rock, while the more robust natives are engaged in the deep-sea fishery, or the navigation of the Greenland seas."

The Scandinavian character of the natives first becomes evident in the form and lightness of their boats or yawls, the planks of which are still imported from Norway, so modelled by the hands of the carpenter, that, when they arrive in Shetland, little more labour is required than to put them together. These boats are generally about eighteen feet in keel, and six feet in beam ; they carry six oars, and are furnished with a square sail. Their extreme buoyancy, and the ease with which they cut the waves, are the circumstances insisted on by the fishermen, as rendering their construction particularly adapted to the. stormy seas. upon which they are launched.

6. "The boat dress of the fisherman is, in many respects, striking and picturesque. A worsted covering for the head, similar in form to the common English or Scotch nightcap, is dyed with so many colours, that its bold tints are recognised at a considerable distance, like the stripes of a signal flag. The boatmen are also invested, as with a coat of mail, by a surtout of tanned sheepskin, which covers their arms, and descends from below their chin to their knees, while, like an apron or kilt, it overlaps their woollen fenwralia: for, with the latter article, it is needless to observe, the Shetlander is better provided than the Gaelic Highlander. The sheepskin garb has generally an exquisite finish given to it by boots of neatskin materials, not sparing in width, reaching up to the knees, and altogether vieing in their ample dimensions with the notable leather galligaskins with which painters have long been wont to encompass the royal calves of Charles XII. when they have represented him as planning the trenches of Fredericshal. There can be no doubt that this leathern dress is of Scandinavian origin; a similar one is still worn in the Faroe Isles, and Bishop Pontoppidan describes the same as being common in his time among the peasantry of Norway. This ponderous and warm coriaceous garb is, however, sometimes disdained by the younger and more hardy natives, who content themselves with a common sea-jacket and trowsers of the usual form, and, in place of the worsted cap, with a plain hat of straw."

7. Should the tourist, desirous of exploring the country right before him, take leave of his vessel at the nearest point of Dunrossness, which is about thirty miles south of Lerwick, he will probably be struck with the high sharp accent and rapid utterance of the first person who accosts him, the prevailing manner of speech of the Shetlanders resembling much more that of the inhabitants of England than of Scotland, and having also none of the slow drawl of the Highlander, but much of the modulated and impassioned tones of the Irish. The first question likely to be put to the stranger, preceding even the usual interrogatories of name, country, occupation, destination, and so forth, will be about the price of oatmeal in Leith, with which it is of course expected that he should be as much interested as the natives themselves. This is very natural ; the precariousness of their crops, from the uncertainty of the climate, rendering these poor islanders very dependant on foreign supplies for the luxury of meal, which is often too scarce to be used as a necessary article of daily consumption.

8. The history of few secluded communities can, in some respects be more fraught with interest than that of the inhabitants of Zetland; although the picture, especially in its central parts, is almost exclusively a melancholy one, exhibiting the patient endurance, by a generous people, of very many grievances, at the hands, not of their own ancient Norwegian udal landlords, but of tyrannical strangers intruding on them as feudal superiors, after their connexion with the crown of Scotland ; and these foreigners themselves being often but temporary possessors, renting the islands from their sovereigns for a mere trifle, and endeavouring to repair their finances, for the most part desperate, by grinding down the poor.

From the slight notices in the ancient classics, and from more recent authentic records, it has been rendered probable by Dr. Hibbert that the successive early colonists of Orkney were composed of Celtic, Saxon, and Scandinavian tribes, but that the first sect never reached Zetland, in no part of which are Celtic names of places to be found. The general result of this very learned author's researches has thus enabled him to keep in view three great periods in the history of these islands. "In the first period, when Agricola visited Orkney, a Celtic race very probably inhabited the country, who appear to have completely forsaken it a century and a half afterwards, since it was described by Solinus, in the middle of the third century, as a complete desert. In the second period, Orkney, and probably Shetland also, were infested by a Gothic tribe of Saxon rovers, who were routed, A. D. 368, by Theodosius. In- the third period, probably at or before the sixth century, succeeded in the possession of these islands, the Scandinavians, who were the progenitors of the present race of inhabitants in Orkney and Shetland."

HAROLD HARFAGER, or the FAIR-HAIRED, having, as Norwegian poets narrate, to please his love, the Princess Gida, reduced all Norway under his power, in the year 875, was roused to avenge the devastations and slaughter committed on the coasts of his kingdom, by the numerous pirates and petty princes who had escaped from their native land, impatient of his yoke, and who had settled themselves in Iceland, Faroe, Shetland, and Orkney. He soon freed the seas from these hordes, and subjugated all the islands adjoining the north of Scotland, including the Hebrides. Harold then offered the conquered provinces of Caithness, Orkney, and Shetland as one earldom, to a favourite warrior, Ronald, Count of Merca; but this nobleman, being more attached to a Norwegian residence, resigned the grant in favour of his brother Sigurd, who was accordingly elected the first Earl of Orkney, and from whom sprang the true Scandinavian dynasty of the Earls of Orkney and Shetland, the latter country being at first too insignificant to be included in the title, although it was comprehended in the grant. The earldom was unfettered by any homage to a superior; and Sigurd, the first earl, by an alliance with Thorfin, son of the King of Dublin, soon greatly extended his dominions by the conquest of Caithness, Sutherland, and part of Ross and Moray shires.

9. But both for the support of the new earl, and that the islands and coasts which he had subdued might no longer be a refuge to his foes, Harold Harfager peopled them by individuals firm in their attachment to the crown of Norway; and, in a partition of the vanquished territories among the first colonists, the magnitude of shares would of course be regulated by military or civil rank and services. "But in measuring out allotments in proportional shares," says Dr. Hibbert, "it would be necessary to resort to some familiar standard of valuation. The Norwegians, in the time of Harold, appear to have scarcely known any other than what was suggested by the coarse woollen attire of the country named wadmel: eight pieces of this description of cloth, each measuring six ells, constituted a mark; the extent, therefore, of each Shetland site of land bearing the appellation of MARK was originally determined by this rude standard of comparison, its exact limits being described by loose stones or shells, under the name of mark-stones, or meithes, many of which still remain undisturbed on the brown heaths of the country. The Shetland mark of land presents every variety of magnitude, indicating at the same time that allotments of land were rendered uniform in value by a much greater extent of surface being given to the delineation of a mark of indifferent land than to soil of a good quality." Subsequently, on the introduction of metals as a standard for value, the mark of land was seldom thought of in reference to the wadmel or cloth, but the equivalent for it, or the mark-weight of, metal, was divided into eight parts, called eures, or ounces, like those of the mark of wadmel, and hence we find such subdivisions of the ground as eurelands or ouncelands.

Before the reign of Harold, Scandinavian lands had been held unfettered by any tax or impost. The hardy Northman, after discovering that a soil could be so improved by labour as to afford to the cultivator a subsistence less precarious than that which depends upon the resources of fishing or hunting, could enclose a piece of ground around the cabin he had erected, to which he would affix some limited notions of property; and such enclosed land, though it had only a single cottage on it, was originally called a TOWN, the idea that this name includes a collection of buildings being a change of signification induced by feudal maxims and habits. Harold is supposed to have been the first monarch of Norway who oppressed his people by levying a tax or scat upon land. "But in whatever mode the tax might have been exacted in Norway, it appears that in the colony of Shetland, the enclosures designed for cultivation were ever considered as property that was sacred to the free use of the possessor: these were never violated by the intrusion of a collector of scat. Each mark of land bounded by mark--stones, or meithes, naturally contained very little soil fit for tillage. It was, therefore, from pastures, and from the produce of the flocks which grazed upon them, that the scat or contribution for the exigencies of the state of Norway was originally levied. The patch of ground which the possessor had enclosed being rendered exempt from every imposition to which grazing lands were liable, it is possible that the uncontrolled enjoyment of the soil destined for culture first suggested to the early colonists of Shetland, such a term as ODHAL, or UDAL, expressive, in the northern language, of free property or possession; whilst to pasture land, which was held by the payment of a scat or tax, the distinctive appellation was awarded of SCATTALD. Thus the Shetland mark of land originally included pasture or scattald, as well as enclosed cultivated ground, free from scat, and hence named udal. Accordingly, when a mark of land was transferred by sale or bequest from one individual to another, or was even let to a tenant, the proportion of scattald remaining after the patch of free arable ground had been separated from it, was always clearly expressed."

10. Shetland, being by nature a separate province from the other divisions of territory belonging to the earldom of Orkney, had a separate civil governor appointed by the King of Denmark, as judge of all civil affairs; the country at the same time acquiring the name of a Foudrie, and being subdivided into several districts, each of which was under the direction of an inferior foude, or magistrate, whose power extended little beyond the preservation of the peace and good neighbourhood. The lesser foude was assisted in the execution of his office by ten or twelve active officers, called rancilmen, and by a lawrightman, who was entrusted with the regulation of weights and measures. Cases of importance were, at stated periods, tried by the GRAND FOUDE; and at an annual court—at which all the native proprietors or udallers were obliged to attend—new legislative measures were enacted, appeals were heard against the decisions of the subordinate foudes; and causes involving the life or death of an accused person were determined by the voice of the people. Such is an outline of the free and simple polity of the ancient Shetlanders, and which partook so little of feudalism, that the Earl of Orkney was regarded as possessing no legal civil authority whatever, nor any way entitled to interfere with the national laws, rights, and privileges of the udallers. He was only the military protector of the islands, who, on an invasion of the coasts, or when any foreign enterprise was contemplated, had merely to unfurl the Black Banner of the Raven, to ensure the repairing of a crowd of eager warriors to his standard. The extensive possessions and wealth of the Earl no doubt secured him power, and often control, over the national councils, but such influence was ever considered as illegal. Even when soldiers were required to be raised, a popular convocation was held, when the levy was made up, by their fixing the number of men which each village or town could conveniently furnish.

Our limits prevent our following up the details of the law of the udal succession to lands which prevailed in Shetland while it remained under the crown of Norway, all the features of which differ remarkably from the feudal maxims which regulated the transmission of property in Scotland.

Northern antiquaries have bestowed much attention on this interesting topic, and it has been most completely and successfully elucidated by Dr. Hibbert in his admirable work on Shetland, and in several papers in the Transactions of the Society of Scottish .Antiquaries, to which we must refer our readers. We may shortly remark, however, that, by this law, which is ascribed to King Olaus, the arable ground, which, having been separated by enclosure from the scattald, was the free property of the cultivator, went to all the children of the proprietor, male and female, in equal shares; and, in order to obviate any evasion of this rule of inheritance, no one could dispose of an estate without the public consent of his heirs. Even the property of the Earls of Orkney was often portioned out in nearly equal shares among descendants, and the kingdom of Harold Harfager himself was divided among male successors in nearly equal proportions.

11. On the accession of the Zetland Islands to the Scottish crown, these principles of law were gradually encroached upon, and most of the grievances of the people, for centuries afterwards, were founded on the barbarous and oppressive endeavours of the Scottish earls to introduce feudal subjection and seigniorage, in place of the ancient udal tenures. Our article on Orkney contains a Sketch of the farther encroachments of the Scottish monarchs, and their minions, on the liberties of these poor islanders, to which we refer.

12. The transition from the freedom enjoyed by the islanders under their native sovereigns and earls, to the feudal thraldom imposed by the Scottish government, was consummated in the reign of Queen Mary, who, in the year 1565, made an hereditary grant of the crown's patrimony, and of the superiority over the free tenants in the islands, to her natural brother, LORD ROBERT STEWART, THE ABBOT OF HOLYROOD, for an annual acknowledgment of 2006: 13: 4 Scots. With her usual caprice, this grant was afterwards revoked by Mary, for the purpose of erecting Orkney and Shetland into a dukedom for her favourite the Earl of Bothwell; but on his attainder, Lord Robert was immediately reinstated in the enjoyment of the crown lands, when he left to a superintendent the collection of the third of the popish benefices appointed by the reformed parliament of Scotland to be collected for the support of parochial ministers, and contented himself with the immense temporal influence which the estates of the crown and of the bishopric gave him, when subsisting under one undivided fee. An attempt was now made to bring the free tenants of the crown under his power as a mesne lord, and, by issuing out new investitures to them, Lord Robert materially increased his revenue. "But the chief design of this tyrant," as stated by Dr. Hibbert, "was to wrest, by oppression and forfeiture, the udal lands from the hands of their possessors ; to retain the poor natives who might be forced out of their tenements as vassals on his estates; and to entail upon them the feudal miseries of villain services. This he was enabled to accomplish by establishing a military government throughout the islands, which was intended to impede all avenues to judicial redress. his rapacity and oppression at length became so great, and the complaints of the natives so loud, that the Scottish government was obliged to interfere ; and, after an investigation, Lord Robert was condemned to imprisonment in the Palace of Linlithgow, and the estates of Orkney and Shetland reverted, by his forfeiture, to the crown. lie was thus, for three years, restrained from tyrannising over the islanders ; but his interest at the Scottish court, where his crimes and follies were always forgiven, procured for him, in the year 1581, a reinstatement in his former possessions ; and, to enable him to control the decrees of justice in the country courts with less chance of detection, he had the address to procure for himself the heritable appointment (by King James VI., in 1581) of JUSTICIAR, with power to convoke and adjourn the law-tings, to administer justice in his own person, and appoint the various officers of the court ; to all which were added the hereditary titles of Earl of Orkney and Lord of Zetland. One of the most successful measures of Earl Robert for increasing his exactions from the poor Shetlanders was his afterwards effecting, by quibbling, and a technical interpretation of his new charters, the setting aside of the ancient shynd-bill or document by which land was conveyed to a purchaser. It was the recorded decree of a court, that all the heirs and claimants over a property consented to its transfer or sale; and when signed and sealed by the foude, it constituted the only legal title by which udal lands could be bequeathed to heirs, or disposed of by sale. The abolition of this excellent form must have greatly increased the dependence of the people on their feudal lord ; and the new mode of investiture introduced by him, with all the burdens and casualties common in Scotland, must have materially augmented his revenues.

EARL ROBERT STEWART was succeeded, about the year 1595, by his son, Earl Patrick, a man more wicked and rapacious than his father; and who, at the time of his investiture, had wasted his original patrimony by riotous expenses, which he sought to redeem by fraud and violence. He compelled the poorest of the people by force to erect his Castle of Scalloway; and many wealthy Scandinavians were obliged to abandon their possessions and quit the country. At length the lamentations of the inhabitants pierced even the dull ears of the Scottish government, and Earl Patrick was summoned, by open proclamation, "to compear upon the 2d of March 1608, to answer to the complaints of the distressit people of Orkney." The charges were fully proved, principally by the humane bishop of the province, who had matured and preferred them; and, the earl being cast into ward, and afterwards beheaded, the government of Orkney and Shetland was for a time intrusted to Bishop Law. In the year 1612, the lands and earldom were annexed to the crown, and erected into a STEWARTRY; and Sir James Stewart got a grant of the islands in the quality of farmer-general. A court of stewartry was erected, the power of the bishop was restricted to the exercise of his jurisdiction as commissary; and causes were now tried in the halls of the Castles of Scalloway and Kirkwall ; while the open spaces of the Scandinavian law-tings were again devoted to legislative convocations, at which a little parliament of udallers again began to meet, in order to replace, by a fresh code of pandects, the ancient law books which Earl Patrick had destroyed.

But the sufferings of the people had not yet come to an end. The tyrannical privilege first assumed by the late Earls of Orkney, of condemning lands on pretended feudal forfeitures, was perpetuated in various ways by the tacksmen of the crown revenues. The oppressions of Sir James Stewart, the new farmer, occasioned, in ten years afterwards, his recall. The crown estates were then let out to a number of court favourites, who felt little compunction in flagrantly abusing their trust; and the udallers were reduced, by their overwhelming authority, to the most dispirited state of humiliation.

In 1641, the rents of the bishopric, upon the establishment of a presbytery in the islands, were granted to the city of Edinburgh; and, two years afterwards, King Charles I., on the fictitious plea of a loan affirmed to have been made to him by the Earl of Morton, procured from parliament the confirmation of a grant, to his favourite, of the lands of the Earldom of Orkney and lordship of Shetland, subject to redemption by payment of 30,000 sterling. Soon after this contract the Earl of Morton died, and his son, on coming into possession of the islands, immediately endeavoured to sweep away every relic of the udal tenures, and especially of the shynd-bill, which he represented as an illegal infringement of his universal right of superiority over the lands of the province.

13. During the Commonwealth, Cromwell sent deputies into the islands, who committed great irregularities, particularly in the clandestine alteration of the weights and measures. Charles II. restored episcopacy, and commanded the rents of the church lands to be paid to the bishop. As the family of Morton was then in embarrassed circumstances, the possession of the crown lands was committed in trust for the family to GEORGE VISCOUNT GRANDISON, who appointed ALEXANDER DOUGLAS OF SPYNIE as factor to receive the crown rents of the islands, and to grant feu charters. Spynie's mission to Shetland is well remembered ; for he was instructed to dispute the validity of all tenures which did not depend on confirmations from the crown; and as many of the recent settlers possessed only dispositions and sasines from the old udallers, which they expected would have been at least preferable to the despised .shynd-bill, they were likewise compelled to make up new titles as vassals to the king. From this period, then, may be dated the complete subversion of the ancient laws of the country. The udallers now abandoned for ever the open space of the lawting, where, beneath no other canopy than the sky, their fathers had met to legislate for at least six centuries. They were henceforward required, as vassals of the crown, to give suit and presence at the courts held within some covered hall at Kirkwall and Scalloway.

The right of representation in parliament, bestowed on the people of Orkney,—for, till the late Reform Act, those of Shetland were denied the privilege of sharing in the election of a member of the British senate, and which right was necessarily exercised under the Scottish law regulating freehold qualifications,—likewise entailed on the former, in the most complete manner, all the forms of feudal conveyancings, and thus caused

them farther to seek an alteration of the usages of their forefathers.

In the reign of Queen Anne, the Morton family acquired still larger and less qualified grants of the islands, and especially their vice-admiralty, and the right of patronage to all the churches ; and, in 1742, the Earl of Morton obtained from parliament a discharge of the claim of reversion previously competent to the crown: but, in the year 1776, the earl found this property so troublesome to him, from the vexatious lawsuits in which it had involved him, that he sold his entire rights over Orkney and Shetland for the sum of 60,000 to Sir Lawrence Dundas. The Earl of Zetland, whose father, Lord Dundas (lately deceased), obtained this title, is now lord-lieutenant of the Stewartry. The islands pay their proportion of the land-tax, and in every other respect have become subject to British laws, their internal administration being committed to the sheriffs and justices of peace.

14. The preceding historical details have been rendered necessary by our desire to make tourists fully acquainted with the associations of the people among whom they have to sojourn, before mixing with them, and to avoid repetition and lengthened explanations in the subsequent parts of our Itinerary. Landing, then, on the mainland, and securing one of the first of the little black or brownish barrel-bellied broad-backed ponies he meets with, we would advise the tourist, after taking a peep of the fine corn lands about Dunrossness and Quendal, to hasten on over the bleak mountain ridge of the Cliff Hills, which are too often muffled up in wet and exhaled mists, to Lerwick, visiting on his way the Scandinavian burgh of Mousa,

[The Burgh of Mousa is, perhaps, the most perfect Teutonic fortress now extant in Europe. It occupies a circular site of ground, shout 50 feet in diameter, and is built of middle-sized schistoze stones, well laid together without any cement. The round edifice attains the height of 4-2 feet, bulging out below and tapering off towards the top, where it is again cast out front its lesser diameter, so as to prevent its being scaled from without. The doorway is so low and narrow as only to admit one person at a time, and who has to creep along a passage 15 feet deep ere he attains the interior open area. lie then perceives that the structure is hollow, consisting of two walls, each about five feet thick, with a passage or winding staircase between them of similar size, and enclosing within an open court about 20 Feet in diameter. Near the top of the building, and opposite the entrance, three or four vertical rows of holes are seen, resembling the holes of a pigeon-house, and varying from eight to eighteen in number. These admitted air and a feeble degree of light to the chambers or galleries within, which wound round the building, and to which the passage from the entrance conducts, the roof of one chamber being the floor of that above it. In this structure, it is on record that the ancient inhabitants, on the occasion of sudden invasion, hastily secured their women and children and goods; and it would appear that even one of the Earls of Orkney was not able to force it. Such burghs seldom yielded except to stratagem or famine; and being the places of defence round which the huts of the neighbourhood naturally arranged themselves, their nanie came latterly to designate the town or burgh which arose about them.]

and the modern Castle of Scalloway. For several miles before him, as he scampers on, the traveller will perceive the sea-coast broken into creeks, islets, and sea holms, and long lines of ragged rocks; and around him, misty hills and heaths without a shrub, but relieved occasionally by groups of cottages, and winding stone dykes, intended to protect from the invasions of cattle a few patches of greenish corn land.

15. Scalloway Bay, with the numerous cottages, of a better description than common, arranged round its fine semicircular harbour, is exceedingly picturesque. Towering above the village is the castellated mansion of Earl Patrick, erected in the year 1600, with the building of which a most flagrant exercise of oppression is still remembered by the poor Shetlanders. Under the penalty of the forfeiture of property, a tax was wantonly laid by the Earl on each parish, obliging the inhabitants to find as many men as were requisite, as well as provisions for the workmen, who were kept to their tasks by military force. The castle is a square formal structure, now reduced to a mere shell, composed of freestone brought from Orkney, and of the fashion of most of the castellated mansions of the same date in Scotland; it is three storeys high, the windows being of a very ample size, with a small handsome round turret at the top of each angle of the building. Entering by an insignificant doorway, over which are the remains of a Latin inscription, we pass by an excellent kitchen and vaulted cellars, while a broad flight of steps leads above to a spacious hall ; the other chambers, however, being of a small size.

North from Scalloway the tourist should visit the beautiful green valley of Tingwall, contained between the Cliff Hills on the east, and a less steep parallel ridge on the west. He will first meet a large stone of memorial, and in a small holm at the top of the adjoining loch he will be shewn the seat where the chief foude, or magistrate, of Shetland was wont to issue out his decrees—a communication having been made to it from the shore by means of large stepping-stones. The foude, his raadmen or counsellors, the recorder, witnesses, and other members of the court, occupied the inner area of the holm, their faces being turned towards the east, while the people stood on the outside of the sacred ring and along the shores of the loch. When, in criminal cases, the accused was condemned by this court, he had the right of appeal to the people at large; and if they opened a way for him to escape from the holm, and he was enabled, without being apprehended, to touch the round steeple of the adjoining ancient church of Tingwall, the sentence of death was revoked, and the condemned obtained an indemnity.

16. A paved road, cut across a thick bed of peat moss, leads from the fertile vale of Tingwall to Lerwick, distant about four miles; and, as the traveller approaches the town, he will likely be regaled with a splendid view of the Sound of Bressay, burdened with vessels of all sizes, among which stately king's ships may be majestically gliding, and backed by the fine symmetrical conoidal hill which occupies the whole of the island of Bressay, and by the distant cliffs of Noss. Ranged along the shore are a number of white houses, of from two to three storeys in height, roofed with a blue rough sandstone slate, but disposed with the utmost irregularity, and an utter disregard of every convenience, except that of being as near as possible to the sea and its landing-places. Such is Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, which seems to have been originally erected in the beginning of the seventeenth century, in connexion with the Dutch fishermen, whose busses, to the number of not less than 2000, annually crowded on the approach of the fishing season into Bressay Sound. Nor were the subsequent attempts of builders to form a street or double row of houses more successful in introducing ideas of mutual accommodation, in order to obtain equality of breadth and straightness of direction. The sturdy Shetlander was not to be so dispossessed of his ground; and, accordingly, some taller houses may be seen to advance proudly into the road, taking precedence of the contiguous range, while in some places lesser dwellings claim the privilege of encroachment, as of equal importance. The salient and re-entering angles of fortification may thus be studied in Lerwick; or, in the more peaceful thoughts of Gray's description of Kendal, we may say—"They seem as if they had been dancing a country dance, and were out. There they stand, back to back, corner to corner, some up hill, some down." Like part of Stromness in Orkney, the Lerwick street is laid with flags, which are seldom pressed by. heavier beasts of burden than the little shelties from the neighbouring scatholds, loaded with cazies of turf ; and no cart ever rattles over their surface. The number of shops in the town, and the groups of sailors of all nations engaged in their small purchases, gives it an unusually lively appearance. It boasts no kind of manufactory except one for straw-plait, and Shetland hose and other woollen stuffs, which are daily becoming more and more valuable, and no public buildings except one, which serves as a town-house, court of justice, masonic lodge, and prison, to which may be added the parish kirk, and dissenting meetinghouse. Provisions are here abundant, and about one-half their price in Scotland; and the great boast of the inhabitants of Lerwick is its vegetables, and especially its esculent roots and artichokes. The number of inhabitants is greatly increasing: by the census of 1821, the parish contained 2224 individuals; and by the census of 1841, 3284. In 1701, when the adjoining Sound was frequented by Dutch vessels, from 200 to 300 families resided in Lerwick; but, in 1778, Mr. Low remarked that the town then only contained 140 families. The printed reports of the Government census of 1841, state the gross population of the Orkney and Shetland Isles to be together 60,007, without discriminating between the two groups; and the increase to be three per cent, within the previous ten years. Dr. L. Edmonston, writing in 1840 for the New Statistical Account, believed the population to be decreasing, owing to the disasters of the recent seasons, and the departure from the country of the young and able-bodied men. The proportion of females to males he reckons to be as two to one; but he thinks that, under judicious management, the Shetland Isles could probably maintain three times the present number of inhabitants, which a few years ago, he states, amounted to 31,000.

To the south of the town stands the citadel, named after the queen-consort of George III., Fort-Charlotte. It is believed to have been originally constructed during Oliver Cromwell's time, and rebuilt by Charles II. in 1665; but, being burnt and rendered defenceless in the year 1673 by a Dutch frigate, it was utterly neglected, till remodelled in 1781, and mounted with twelve guns, for the protection of the town from attacks by sea.

The habits of the higher classes in Lerwick differ but little from those of the generality of Scottish towns. Like the more wealthy inhabitants of the adjoining country and of Orkney, they receive part of their education in Aberdeen or Edinburgh, or in England; returning with much-to-be-admired contentment to their native solitudes, to which they are uniformly observed to have the strongest attachment. Strangers have always spoken in the highest terms of the urbanity of the people of Lerwick, and sailors are wont to descant with rapture on the hours they have spent in its hospitable harbour. When Dr. Hibbert visited Lerwick, there was but one inn in the place, where be met with much civility and attention.

17. From Lerwick the tourist should cross over to Bressay, and thence to the island of Noss, to see the famous wooden trough or cradle, suspended by ropes, communicating with the Holm of Noss. It is sufficient for the conveyance across of one man and a sheep at a time. The Holm, which is only 500 feet

in length and 170 broad, rises abruptly from the sea in the form of a perpendicular cliff, 160 feet in height, the elevation at which the cradle hangs over the boiling surge in the channel below. The temptation of getting access to the numberless eggs and young of the sea-fowl which whiten the surface of the Holm, joined to the promised reward of a cow, induced a hardy and adventurous fowler, about two centuries ago, to scale the cliff of the Holm, and establish a connexion by ropes with the neighbouring main island. Having driven two stakes into the rock, and fastened his ropes, the desperate man was entreated to avail himself of the communication thus established in returning across the gulf; but this he refused to do, and, in attempting to descend the way he had climbed, he fell, and perished by his fool-hardiness. We will not spoil the interest the tourist will feel in ascertaining on the spot the method whereby the communication was afterwards completed, and the cradle lowered down on its cordage for the transport of the little stock of sheep which now tenant the Holm, by describing the process.

Proceeding northward along the coast of the mainland to the capacious Bay of Cat Firth, which is closed in on the farther side by the promontory of Eswick, the traveller should next visit the valley of Burgh, with the remains of the old house and chapel of the Barons of Burgh—a Scottish family of the name of Sinclair, who were established here in 1587 by King James VI., on the express condition that they should not hold their lands according to the law of udal succession, but by feudal tenure, as observed in Scotland; and which family, during the seventeenth century, maintained here an establishment of a degree of splendour previously unknown in Shetland.

Passing on to the house of Nesting—which is noted as the spot where the Parson of Orphir in Orkney, a creature of Earl Patrick Stewart, who had ministered greatly to his avarice, was pursued by four brothers, who here slew him, and of one of whom it is recorded, that, tearing open the dying man's breast, he drank of his heart's blood—we reach the barren shores of Vidlin Voe, and the house of Lunna, from the neighbourhood of which a long promontory stretches out for several miles into Yell Sound. Lunna is a great fishing station—much ling, cod, and torsk or tusk (Gadus Brosme) being cured at it.

18. If the tourist has time, he should hence cross to the island of Whalsey, in which he will see a system of farming practised that would not do discredit to the Lothians, and the appearance of which is highly encouraging to every philanthropic mind; and if he desires to witness the deep-sea fishing for ling, with its full equipment of sheds for drying, agents' houses, and temporary huts for the boatmen, and all the bustle and activity of those who are obliged to catch the few calm days of summer in seeking their bread upon the waters, he will from Whalsey sail over to the little cluster of islands called the OUTSKERRIES, where this fishing is pursued on a large scale.

19. FETLAR, an island from five miles to six miles and a half long and five miles broad, notwithstanding the fertility of its valleys and the number of its ancient law-tings, and its steep cliffs at Lamboga being the resort of the peregrine falcon, has little to recommend it to the tourist, unless he be a geologist. Its southern shores consist of a ridge of gneiss, succeeded, between Urie and the Bay of Tresta, by a broad belt of alternating beds of serpentine, diallage rock, micaceous schist, and chlorite schist, to the north of which rises the high serpentine vord or Wardhill of Fetlar, which is in like manner flanked on the farther side with a similar succession of rocky beds intermixed with talcose schist, and exhibiting occasionally a conglomerate structure. From Fetlar to the handsome seat of Belmont (Thos. Mouat, Esq.) in Unst, the distance is about six miles, being across a channel diversified with several sea-holms. Guarded by the tumultuous rousts and tides in Blomel and Uyea sounds, and on the north of Scaw, Unst presents but few interesting external features, except its sea-coast precipices, above which its bleak yellowish serpentine hills rise with a most forbidding and dreary aspect. Uyea island is, however, the great resort of shipping in pursuit of the deep-sea fishing, which also rendezvous here for the supply of goods to the several fishing stations in the neighbouring isles; and Buness, the residence of T. Edmonston, Esq., near the head of Balta Sound, on the eastern coast, will long be celebrated as having been the site where the French philosopher Biot, and his successor Captain Kater, in the years 1817-18, carried on their experiments for the purpose of determining, in this high latitude, the variation in the length of the second's pendulum. The island also abounds in stone circles and barrows; and at Cruciefield the great juridical assemblies of Shetland were anciently held, previous to their removal to the Vale of Ting-wall, on the mainland.

But the great treasure of Unst is its chromate of iron, a mineral which of late years has become an object of commercial importance, on account of the use to which it has been converted, in affording the means for procuring a yellow pigment for the use of the arts, and its application to the dyeing of silk, woollen, linen, and cotton. It was formerly obtained, at a high price, chiefly from America; but Dr. Hibbert, in the year 1817, discovered it strewed in great loose masses on the surface of the hill of Cruciefield, at Hagdale, and Buness, and in several other places in the vicinity of Balta Sound in Unst, and succeeded in satisfying the proprietors of its value. It was first seen in insulated granular pieces left loose on the surface from the disintegration of the rocks of serpentine which enclosed it; but it was soon traced out as disseminated in thin ramifying veins from two to six inches in breadth, and ultimately in beds of much greater magnitude. The ingredients of the serpentine rock are silex, magnesian earth, alumen, oxidulated iron, and chromate of iron; the two latter also being found in grains as minute as gunpowder, and therefore appearing as component parts of the rock, as well as in detached masses and veins. Associated with these occur potstone and indurated talc, with beautiful specimens of amianthus and common asbestus; and at Swinaness, a headland at the northern entrance of Balta Sound, Dr. Hibbert also discovered a very rare pure white and transparent mineral, the native hydrate of magnesia, which, on analysis, presents 60.75 parts of pure magnesia, and 30.25 of water, in 100 parts.

Besides the other kinds of sea-fowl with which this island abounds, the hill of Saxaford, on the north-cast side, which is estimated at a height of 600 feet, and which is composed of micaceous and talcose slate, is noted as the occasional resort of the rare skua gull (Cataractes vulgaris) which breeds also in Foula, and on Rona Hill, in the mainland.

20. Yell is a dull uninteresting island, six miles broad by about twenty miles long, wholly composed of long parallel ridges of gneiss rocks, of a heavy uniform course from southwest to north-east, and sloping gradually towards the shore. It is, however, an excellent fishing station ; and, from the days of George Buchanan, has been noted for its booths, or small warerooms, filled with all sorts of vendible articles, now chiefly imported from Scotland, but anciently from Hamburgh and Bremen. In the troubled sea of Yell Sound, and the vicinity of its little holms or islets, distinguished for their fine succulent pastures, and as the breeding-places of the tern, parasitic gull, and eider duck, herring shoals and swarms of young sillocks are always to be seen; and perhaps the tourist may witness the pursuit and capture of a drove of ca'ing whales, as the Delplzinus deductor is styled in Shetland, which occasionally appear off these coasts in a gregarious assemblage of from 100 to 500 at a time. Their seizure is always attended with great excitement and cruelty; and, although the blubber affords a rich prize to the captors, nothing can better display the debased state of the husbandry in some of these north isles, than the fact that the carcases of the whales are in general allowed to remain untouched, tainting the air until they are completely devoured by the gulls and crows. [We understand that the carcases are now in some instances better estimated, and that the bones are purchased for exportation as hone manure.]

Yell boasts of no less than eight ancient circular burghs; and, at one time, of twenty chapels or religious houses, although they are almost all completely in ruins. All the ecclesiastical buildings of Hialtland appear to have been devoid of the least show of ornament; for the pointed arch, pinnacled buttress, or the rich stone canopy, never dignified any of them. A tall, rude tower was their only, and that but an occasional, appendage: but, from their great number, they would appear often to be not so much parish churches as the private oratories of the independent udallers, or the free-will offerings of foreign seamen, erected in fulfilment of their vows to Our Lady, St. Olla, St. Magnus, St. John, or some of the other saints of the calendar, whose intercession was believed to have saved them from shipwreck. Crossing from this island to the central districts of the mainland, the tourist will find but little to reward his toil, if he attempt to thread his way among their endless swamps, firths, and uninteresting tame hills, composed chiefly of gneiss, with a few interstratified beds of limestone, the latter of which however, where they occur, bestowing a superior verdure and richness on the pastures. A few gentlemen's seats, some of them, as at Busta, having walled gardens, and, for the climate, rather large-sized trees, though no bigger than bushes, may be seen: but in general the country is tenanted chiefly by flocks of the little wild yet fine-fleeced sheep, for which Shetland is famed, with here and there a few patches of corn land, tilled by the ancient Scandinavian single-stilted plough, the produce of which is ground into meal by the no less primitive simply-constructed water-mill peculiar to the country, or the still more antique hand-mill or quern. The richer pastures of the sea holms, which, by strict laws, were wont to be preserved from being encroached on by the passing stranger, always exhibit a more

lively green than the adjoining hills; and the bold granitic shores, crowned with the remains of ancient burghs or round towers, (like that of Cullswick, on the south-western coast), would, but for their continued recurrence under similar forms, be considered grand and imposing. Around the more lofty and inaccessible headlands, the voyager may yet descry solitary couples of the royal hawks, which can bear no other birds, even of their own species, to occupy the same cliff with them, hovering over their young; and he may be told that old acts of parliament specially reserved them, from all ordinary grants, for his majesty's use, according to ancient custom. The goshawk, or Falco palumbarius, was the object in general of the falconer's search; but the bird held in chief estimation was the Falco perigrinus niger, of which a single pair is believed to have always bred in Fair Isle, and others in Foula, Lamboga, Fitfiel, and Sumburgh Head.

21. To the naturalist, view-hunter, and commercial gentleman, studious of knowing the arcana of the Haaf, or deep-sea fishing, the north-western portions of the Mainland, consisting of the parishes of Aithsting, Walls, Sandness, and North Ma-vine, present many objects deserving of a visit. At Aithness, SouIam Voe, Stennis, Hillswick, Feideland, Vementry Island, and many other places, the cod, ling, and tusk fisheries have been pursued for a very long period; and in ancient times, from the 1st of May to the 1st of August, vessels freighted with goods for exchange of fish, were constantly arriving from Hamburgh, Lubeck, Bremen, and Denmark, and latterly from Scotland and England. In our introductory paper to this work (p. 14) we have given a short sketch of the Dutch fisheries in Shetland, to which we refer; and our limits permit us only to add, that the foreign merchants, on landing, always found booths ready for their use, or they were permitted to erect shops for the display of their wares, for the ground-rent of which they paid the native proprietors at a most exorbitant rate. Besides books, lines, nets, and various kinds of grain and fruits, cloths, linens, and muslins, were the articles tendered to the fishermen, who bartered for them their fish, both in a wet state, and, under the name of stock-fish, such as were dried in their stone buildings, called skoes, to which also they added stockings, wadmel, horses, cows, sheep, seal-skins, otter-skins, with butter, and oil extracted from the livers of fish.

The men employed at the haaf, or the fishing station most distant from the land, are generally the young and hardiest of the islanders. Six tenants join in manning a boat, their .landlords importing for them frames, ready modelled and cut out in Norway, which, when put together, form a yawl of six oars, from eighteen to nineteen feet in keel, and six in beam ; and which is also furnished with a square sail. After waiting for a fair wind, or the ceasing of a storm, the most adventurous boatmen give the example to their comrades, starting off in their yawl, and taking the first turn round in the course of the sun, when they are instantly followed by the whole fleet, each boat of which strives to be first at the fishing station, often forty or fifty miles away. Arrived at the ground, they prepare to set their tows, or lines, provided with ling hooks. Forty-five or fifty fathoms of tows constitute a bught, and each bught is fitted with from nine. to fourteen hooks. Twenty bughts are called a packie, and the whole of the packies a boat carries isa fleet of tows. The fleets belonging to the Feideland haaf are so large as seldom to be baited with less than 1200 hooks, provided with three buoys, and extending to a distance of from 5000 to 6000 fathoms. The depth to which the ling are fished for varies from fifty to one hundred fathoms; and after the lines are all set, which, in moderate weather, requires from three to four hours, the fishermen rest for two hours, and take their scanty sustenance: their poverty, however, allowing them no richer food than a little oatmeal and a few gallons of water; for the Shetlanders can rarely supply themselves with spirits.

At length one man, by means of the buoy rope, undertakes to haul up the tows; another extricates the fish from the hooks, and throws them in a place near the stern, named the shot; a third guts them, and deposits their livers and heads in the middle of the boat. Along with the ling, a much smaller quantity of tusk, skate, and halibut are caught, the two last being reserved for the tables of the fishermen ; and six or seven score of fish are reckoned a decent haul, fifteen or sixteen a very good one, and when above this quantity the garbage, heads, and small fish are thrown overboard, the boat, notwithstanding, being then sunk so far as just to Lipper with the water. If the weather be moderate, a crew is not detained longer than a day and a half at the haaf ; but as gales too often come on, and as the men are reluctant to cut their lines, the most dreadful consequences ensue, and many of the poor fishermen never reach land. On their return to shore, the boatmen are first engaged in spreading out their tows to dry; then some of them catch piltocks with a rod and line, or procure other kinds of bait, at a distance from the shore; while others, again, mend the tows and cook victuals for the next voyage to the haaf: thus, in the busy fishing season, so incessant and varied are the demands on the fishermen's time, that they rarely can snatch above two or three hours in the twenty-four for repose. Their huts are constructed of rude stones without any cement, covered with thin pieces of wood and turf for a roof, and the dormitories consist only of a little straw thrown into a corner on the bare floor, where a whole boat's crew may be found stealing a brief rest from their laborious occupations.

22. Feideland, the most northerly of these great fishing stations, is a long narrow. peninsula, jutting far out into the ocean, distinguished, as is every place having the same Scandinavian name, by its superior green pastures : everywhere about it the coast is awfully wild ; and the peninsula, broken on each side into steep precipices, exhibits now and then a gaping chasm, through which the sea struggles, while numerous stacks rise from the surface of a turbulent ocean, the waves beating around them in angry and tumultuous roar.

23. Sailing westward by Uyea Island to Roeness Voe, the stranger will obtain a complete view of the vast impending cliffs of granite, cut into numerous eaves and arches open to the Atlantic, that form the farther coast of North Mavine. Above these rises the red barren scalp of Roeness Hill to a height of 1447 feet, which, though steep, abounds with alpine plants, and from the circular watch-tower on its summit commands a most extensive and instructive view, from the peaks of Foula to the broad bay of St. Magnus and the hills of Unst. In the district near at hand there is a chain of deep circular lakes, which, when the sun shines bright, reflect on their bosom every one of the rugged and dreary crags by which they are surrounded ; sky, rocks, and heath limiting the horizon on all sides ; no marks of man's labour appearing, but tranquillity pervading the scene, except where the stranger, gaining the summit of a sea cliff, beholds suddenly the tumbling billows of the ocean, and thousands of insulated rocks whitened with innumerable flocks of sea-fowl, and hollowed out at their base into caverns, the secure retreats of otters and seals.

At Doreholm, a spacious arch of seventy feet, and the Isle of Stennis, a great fishing-station belonging to Messrs. Cheyne, which are exposed to the unbroken fury of the Atlantic, enormous masses of rock have been bodily heaved up, and removed to considerable distances by the waves, while, on the summit of the cliffs in that neighbourhood, especially at the Villians of Ure, the tired feet of the traveller will be unexpectedly refreshed with a walk on the finest and softest sward, to which the compliment, often paid to some rich vale of England, may well apply—"Fairies joy in its soil." It is the favourite promenade of the inhabitants, especially on the fine summer evenings ; nor is this pleasing bank, on which numerous sheep are continually feeding, the less interesting from being encircled with the harsher features which Hialtland usually wears, and perched on the top of naked, reds precipitous crags, on which a rolling sea is always breaking.

24. Though troubled is the channel which separates PAPA Sroua, the southernmost islet and promontory of St. Magnus Bay, from the mainland, the tourist, if possible, should not omit paying a visit to its grand porphyritic stacks, and magnificent underground rocky excavations which the inhabitants visit at certain seasons armed with thick clubs, and well provided with candles, in search of the seals which breed in them. When attacked with these weapons, the poor animals boldly advance in defence of their young, and often wrench with their feet and teeth the clubs out of their enemies' hands ; but in vain : escape is denied, and these gloomy recesses are stained with blood, and numbers of dead victims are carried off in boats.

Papa Stour, like Iona and some others of the Hebrides, was the resort, in the earliest period of Christianity, of certain Irish priests or papae who fled here either for refuge from some commotion in their own country, or came over to proclaim to the heathen the glad tidings of the Gospel of God's grace. In Shetland, three islands bear the name of Papa, Papa Stour being the largest ; and this island is the only part of the country where the ancient Norwegian amusement of the sword-dance has been preserved, and where it still continues to beguile the tediousness of a long winter's evening. We have no room for a description of it, and must refer our readers to Sir Walter Scott's "Pirate," and Dr. Hibbert's minute account.

25. The bold island of Fughloe (Foula) or Fowl Island, is the last we have room to notice in this sketch. It presents the appearance, when viewed from the sea, of five conical hills rising from the waters at the distance of eight leagues west of the mainland, and towering into the sky. They are all composed of sandstone, set on a primitive basement; and the highest, called the Kaim, is estimated as of an elevation of 1300 feet.

There is now little doubt that this island is the Thule descried by Agricola from Orkney, from the north-western parts of which it is often visible. It was one of the last places in which the pure Norse language was spoken; in general, the parish schoolmaster officiates as a sort of pastor to the inhabitants, except when the minister of 'Wes visits them, once a-year, for the purpose of celebrating the communion.

"The low lands remote from the sea," says Dr. Hibbert, "are frequented by parasitic gulls, which build among the heather. The surface of the hills swarms also with plovers, Royston crows, scapies, and curlews. On reaching the highest ridges of the rocks, the prospect presented on every side is of the sublimest description. The spectator looks down from a perpendicular height of 1100 or 1200 feet, and sees below, the wide Atlantic roll its tide. Dense columns of birds hover through the air, consisting of maws, kittywakes, lyres, sea-parrots or guillemots ; the cormorants occupy the lowest portions of the cliffs, the kittywakes whiten the ledges of one distinct cliff, gulls are found on another, and lyres on a third. The welkin is darkened with their flight ; nor is the sea less covered with them, as they search the waters in quest of food. But when the winter appears, the colony is fled, and the rude harmony produced by their various screams is succeeded by a desert stillness. From the brink of this awful precipice the adventurous fowler is, by means of a rope tied round his body, let down many fathoms ; he then lands on the ledges where the various sea-birds nestle, being still as regardless as his ancestors of the destruction that awaits the falling of some loose stones from a crag, or the untwisting of a cord. It was formerly said of the Foula man, `his Butcher (grandfather) guid before, his father guid before, and he must expect to go over the Sneug too."

One of the highest rocks is occupied by the bonxie or skua gull, the terror of the feathered race; but he is so noble-minded as to prefer waging war with birds larger than himself: even the eagle forbearing to attack lambs in the skua's presence.

NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ZETLAND ISLANDS.

26. The natural history of these islands so greatly resembles that of Orkney, that, after the full details we have given of the latter, it would be less necessary for us to enter minutely on that of the former groups, even had we room to do so. The plants of Shetland differ less from those of the north of Scotland and Orkney in the number of new species, than in the more limited vegetation, and the absence of species elsewhere abundant, especially of the ligneous and larger herbaceous tribes; while they no doubt, on the other hand, exhibit many approaches to an identity with the Arctic Floras of Spitzbergen and Greenland. Similar remarks apply to the zoology of these islands. We have not yet been enabled to institute a proper comparison, with any degree of correctness, between the plants of Shetland and those of Great Britain in general; and we regret not having it in our power, as yet, to present our readers with the results of a careful examination of the effects which the high latitude and exposed situation of these islands have produced on the size and geographical distribution of their vegetables. [In our introductory remarks on the resources of the Highlands, and in the preceding Itinerary, we have said enough, for such a work as this, on the fishes of the Shetland seas; and to these details we refer.]

But to the geologist we can say, that if Scotland in general be the best nursery for the British botanist, Shetland, undoubtedly, presents the most varied and best exposed field for tracing the relations of rocks to one another, and acquiring enlarged and correct apprehensions of the forms under which they were originally consolidated, as well as the subsequent changes they have in many instances undergone. The variety of the rocky materials of these islands is indeed great; and the deep indentations of the sea, and the extensive ranges of precipices all round the coasts, enable the explorer to obtain easy and satisfactory access to them ; while the narrowness of their rocky zones, and the prolonged courses of some of the beds along the headlands and islets, extending out into the contiguous ocean, leave us at no loss to conclude that the whole group are but the wrecks or small remaining portions of a high ridge or breastwork of stone, which may have originally extended not only to the adjoining mainland of Scotland, but also, in all probability, to the opposite continent.

In the preceding remarks we have noticed the positions of several particular rocks and minerals; and it now only remains for us to present our readers with a general sketch of the geology of the whole cluster of the ZetIand Islands, such as they may find useful in directing them where to seek for specimens for scientific collections, or the examination of the country.

The central ridges of the south-eastern portion of the mainland, extending from Fitfiel Head to Hawksness, and composing the range of the Cliff Hills, consist chiefly of primitive clay slate (the phyllade of the French), with a few quartz and hornblende beds amongst it; but with the exception, however, of a small belt of land, stretching from Quendal Bay in a north-westerly direction to Spiggie (a district about five miles in length by one in breadth), which is formed of a sienite, denominated by Dr. Hibbert, from the prevalence of a mineral disseminated through it, epidotic sienite. To this clay slate deposit succeeds, on the eastern side of the island, a series of blue and reddish sandstones, presenting a good deal of the aspect of hard unstratified quartz rock in their lower masses; but decidedly arenaceous and mechanical in their structure, and passing into coarse conglomerate in their upper beds. Their greatest breadth does not exceed two miles, and they extend along the coast from Snmhurgh Head to Bressay Island, a distance of about twenty-two miles. In some of the sandstones, intermixed with magnesian earth, a few copper ores occur, which were at one time worked for the sake of the metal, but have since been neglected.

Adjoining the Cliff Hills on the west, a few beds of blue granular limestone stretch along the coast and across the mainland, by Scalloway and Tingsall, which are succeeded by a great deposit of gneiss rocks, composing the districts of Whiteness, Aithsting, and Delting; and which, crossing over to the island of Whalsey, forms the whole of it, with Mickle Skerry and the Outskerries, the whole of the island of Yell, the south-west side of Fetlar, the north-west corner of Unst, with the larger islands in the bay of Scalloway.

Fitfiel Head is formed of clay slate. At the adjoining headland of Garthsness, is mica slate, of which the peninsular tract of Eswick and Glitness, (a site six miles long by two broad, lying to the north of Hawksness), and some of the rocks about Feideland, on the north point of the mainland, are also composed.
Roeness Hill and the greater part of the adjoining district of North Mavine consist of a hard red granite, flanked on the south-east by sienitic greenstone, both being closely united together by numerous veins and processes proceeding mutually from one another. If from the adjoining island of Papa Little, as an apex, two diverging lines be drawn, one in a direction S. 60 W. to the western coast of the parish of Sandness, a little north of the village of Dale, and the other S. 32 W. to the bead of Bigsettervoe; and thence to the south-east promontory of Vailey Island, belonging to the parish of Sandsting, these lines will be found to enclose a large wedge-shaped deposit, the two sides of which are about thirteen miles long, and the greatest breadth about seven miles, consisting of primary blue quartz-rock, of a hard crystalline texture and homogeneous appearance ; and which, instead of observing the usual bearing of the other rocks from S. by W. to N. by E., extends in a transverse direction from S. 60 E. to N. 60 AV., from E. to W. and from S. 70 W. to N. 70 E. In some places the quartz-rock is of a red colour, establishing a transition into primary sandstone.

Between Vailey Island and Skelda Ness, the western promontory of Scalloway Bay, another wedge-shaped formation of granite is seen, which is separated from the great central gneiss rocks of the mainland by a small belt of rocks composed of epidotic sienite, similar to that of Dunrossness, and probably of the same age with it, as their former connexion with one another is established by means of the little islands of Oxna, Ilildasay, and the Sandistura Rocks, which are all composed of the same sort of sienite.

We have already alluded to the serpentine rocks of Fetlar and Unst, which form the greater portion of these islands; and we may here add that they are associated with large masses of euphotide or diallage rock, a compound of felsparand hornblende, modified by the presence of mag- nesia, and which in several places assumes the characters of Labrador hornblende, of hyperstene, and of Schiller spar.

Lastly, the north-western cliffs of the parish of Sandness in the mainland, with the distant isle of Foula, are composed of sandstones similar to those on the south-eastern coast at Sumburgh; and on them, composing Papa Stour, and the outer peninsula of North Diavine, lying west of St. Magnus Bay, and Roeness '4 oe, we find great overlying masses of secondary porphyry, consisting of a basis of compact felspar, chiefly in the state of claystone; but presenting all the usual varieties of porphyritic, amygdaloidal, and conglomerate or tufaceous claystone.

ADDENDA AND ERRATA AS TO THE LEWS, SECT. viii.

P. 660.:Footnote.—The two principal inns in Stornoway are "The Leas" and "Conimercial." In the interior of the Island there are as }et only two small inns, one at Callernish, on Loch Roag, and one at Dalbeg, half-way from Callernish to Barvas.

P. 650.—Mr. Matheson, we understand, is only a second son, and therefore not in his own person the head of the clan Matheson. In the 5th line from the bottom, for "isthmus," read "mountain range."

P. 651.—For "ornamental plantations around," read "trees at."

P. 651.—Line 14 from top, for "hill," read "range"

P. 652.—Line 5 from bottom, for "Honourable," read "Right Honourable."

P. 653.—At line 18 from the bottom, after "building stances," add "in Stornoway." P. 657.—In line 12 from bottom, after "Masonic Lodge," read "containing," &.c. P. 658.—Line 11 from top, delete the words "and completing."

P. 658.—A gentleman who visited Stornoway last summer, writes as follows —"My impressions of Stornoway are favourable, which might have been occasioned partly perhaps by the fine weather. A cloudless sky and effulgent sun may deck barrenness itself with some attractions, but the dry and cleanly aspect of the town, the bustle at the quay and beach, the adjoining fields starting into verdure, the joyous lark carolling .overhead, and the busy husbandman toiling underneath, imparted pleasing sensations, and foreboded a coming prosperity. Then there was the adamantine outline of the coast, with the islets and hays, over and amidst which towered the embattled castle, all combining to form a picture that I was unprepared for."

P. 658.—Lowest line, for Colonsay," read "Carloway" P. 659. Footnote.—Last line, for "average," say "extent of surface."

SECT. VI.

P. 505.—For the inscription at Duirness, read "Donald Mack Murshov."


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