Monday, 23 April 2018

Samuel Laing of Papdale

Today is the 150th Anniversary of the death of Samuel Laing of Papdale, who died in Edinburgh
on 23rd April 1868.
Samuel Laing was born in Kirkwall on the 1st October 1780 and baptized on the 2nd. His parents were Robert Laing of Strynzie and Margaret Blaw.
OPR/21/2 Birth/baptism of Samuel Laing, Oct 1780
According to Who was Who in Orkney, he was educated "at Kirkwall Grammar School and in an Edinburgh counting house. He went to Kiel to learn German and later from a London counting house became secretary to a merchant in Holland and British Consul in Rotterdam, rapidly learning Dutch."

He is described as "Norse scholar, soldier, entrepreneur, agricultural improver, linguist, author and translator."
In 1818 he inherited his family's estate in Orkney and settled at Papdale House, St Ola.

Papdale House (Archive Reference: TK2461)
One of his best known translations was of Snorri Sturlusson's 'Heimskringla' the saga history of the Kings of Norway in 1844, copies of which we have here in
the Orkney Room.
If you would like to learn more about Samuel Laing, we have a copy of his Autobiography which we keep in the Orkney Room under reference 920 Y LAI. There are also many lending copies in the Orkney Library downstairs.
In this publication which was published in 2000, it says the original manuscript has been lost. We are pleased to say that that is no longer the case. In 2003 the original manuscript was deposited in the Orkney Archive on behalf of the owner. This means the public can request to see it in the Archive Searchroom whenever we are open.
Here are a couple of pages:
D1/853 Original memoir/diary of Samuel Laing 1816-1855

D1/853 Original memoir/diary of Samuel Laing 1816-1855

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to know that the original document has been found. Makes me happy. ^_^



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