Saturday, 20 June 2015

Holiday Nightmares in the 17th Century part 2

Watch out for those whirlinge tides!

This isn't as bad as Thomas Kirk's experience, but it is an interesting early description of Orkney and its dangerous seas.

Richard James, 1620, Account of Poland, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, Scotland, Greenland, Etc - Transcript by Evan MacGillivray, Orkney Miscellany, 1953

"Orkneney are manie Ilands on ye [blank] of Scotland. ye biggest of which is not in length 16 mile in which the chief Towne is calld Kircwawe; these islands are plaine for the most part whereas Schetland is highe and mounteinous. they have store of cattle and of sheepe baringe good wool. they have plovers and partridge and hares but no wood."   

TK1503 North Ronaldsay sheep on the shore. Date unknown.

Sadly we have no photos of plovers, partridge or hares. TK1530 Geese. Date unknown.

"The chiefe fisshinge place is the island of North ronnelsea. on ye other side is South-ronnelsea, betwixt which and Catenesse on the maine of Scotland runs a sea of 12 mile calld Penthland Frith, dangerous with manie whirlinge tides and currents which will sucke in sheepes and botes in the passadge"

TK1548 Fishing boats in Hoy Sound, 1902
Photos by Tom Kent, 1863-1936
Description of Shetland, Orkney and the Highlands of Scotland  Edited, with introduction and notes, by Evan MacGillivray, Orkney Miscellany, Volume 1, 1953, p48-56. , Our reference: 941 Y Orkney Room

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