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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Report of the Orkney and Zetland Association for 1877

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Report of the Orkney and Zetland Association.

Printed by Crawford & M'Cabe Edinburgh 15 Queen Street.

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  • The Right Hon. the Earl of Zetland.
  • The Hon. Lord Gifford.
  • David Balfour, Esq. of Balfour and Trenabie, Convener of Orkney.
  • Major Cameron, of Garth and Annsbrae, Convener of Shetland.
  • Robert Baikie, Esq. of Tankerness, Vice-Lieutenant of Orkney.
  • John Pender, Esq. of Minard, M.P.
  • Samuel Laing, Esq. of Crook, M.P.


  • Hon. John Charles Dundas of Papdale, M.P., Lord Lieutenant.


  • James D. Marwick, Esq., Town-Clerk of Glasgow.
  • Robert Brotchie, Esq. of Swannay.
  • Colonel F. W. Traill Burroughs of Veira, C.B.
  • Arthur James Hay, Esq., Lerwick.


  • Thomas Dishington, Merchant, Leith.
  • Harry Cheyne, W.S., Edinburgh.
  • Thomas S. Clouston, M.D., F.R.C.P., Edinburgh.
  • John A. Trail, W.S., Edinburgh.
  • John Walker, i Polwarth Terrace, Edinburgh.
  • George Stewart, Merchant, Leith.
  • William Harcus, 64 Broughton Street, Edinburgh.
  • The President of the Orkney and Shetland Edinburgh Association.


  • P. Sievwright, Actuary, 12 Danube Street, Edinburgh.


  • Gilbert Goudie, National Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh.


  • Peter Peace, Union Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh.

District Secretaries.

  • KirkwallJames Donald, Banker.
  • StromnessJames Spence, Banker.
  • LerwickArthur. Laurenson, Merchant
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Eighth Annual Report of the Council of the Orkney and Zetland Association.

The objects of the Association are
1.The Encouragement of Friendly Intercourse amongst the Members; and
2.The Advancement of Education in the County by the Distribution of Prizes, Bursaries, or otherwise.

Extract Rule VIII.—'Every Ordinary Member shall on admission, pay the sum of Five Shillings for the year in which he is admitted, and thereafter an Annual Subscription of Five Shillings during the Membership. Every Honorary Member shall contribute Ten Shillings Annually to the Funds of the Association, or in lieu thereof a single payment of Three Guineas. A single Pay me fit of One Guinea shall constitute a Lady an Honorary Contributor. The Annual Subscriptions shall be payable on 1st January in each year. Donations will be received from all who are interested in promoting the objects of the Association.'

The Annual Meeting of the Association, and Dinner in connection therewith, was held on Tuesday evening, 29th January, Mr James D. Marwick, City Clerk of Glasgow, in the Chair.

Mr Sievwright, the Secretary, read the Report of the Council, as follows:—

The Council beg to submit the Eighth Annual Report.

The number of members on the Roll at the beginning of the year was 101. During the year one death has occurred, and four members have resigned, while ten new members have been admitted, the number on the roll being now 106, showing an increase of five on the number at the close of last year.

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The Council join in the regret so generally expressed at the death of the Hon. Lord Neaves, who was a Patron of the Association. In the late Rev. Peter Peterson, formerly of Walls, Shetland, the Association has lost a member who took a warm interest in its objects.

The ordinary income for the year is shown by the Treasurer's statement to have been £36, 8s. 2d., and the expenditure £22, 16s. 7d., leaving £13, 11s. 7d. to be added to the funds. Including donations during the year, amounting to £29, 13s., the funds on hand now amount to £210, 13s. 5d.

The District Examinations for book prizes were held in Orkney and at Lerwick in April, as in former years, and the Council observe with satisfaction the increasing interest shown in these examinations. The number of competitors in 1876 was 73, while last year the number was 133, when 64 prizes of the value of £13, 1s. 1d. were awarded to pupils attending 19 schools. Dr Bedford observes, that 'no previous examination has at all approached this in general excellence.' His Report is appended, with particulars of the prizes awarded. The Council feel themselves deeply indebted to Dr Bedford for the care bestowed in the preparation of the various questions, and for the great labour entailed on him in the examination of the replies. They are sorry to say that for some years back they have not had any response to their offer of prizes from the country schools of Shetland, but they mean to make another effort to interest the teachers in these examinations, and they hope to report some success next year. Dr Bedford does not expect any high degree of proficiency, and the Council, in awarding Prizes, take the whole circumstances into consideration.

In their last Report the Council stated their intention of founding a University bursary, and with that view, the funds of the Association were handsomely supplemented on the occasion of their meeting last year. Further inquiry, however, as to the success of similar bursaries in connection with other county Associations, has led them to doubt whether a small University bursary, such as they contemplated, would induce competition sufficient to justify them in so applying the money of the Association. They are, besides, of opinion that the recent munificent bequest of the Earl of Zetland of University Bursaries* in connection with the page 5 county, renders any effort on their part in that direction unnecessary. They have therefore resolved to abandon the idea of founding a University Bursary in the meantime, and they now propose, as an experiment, to offer for competition two school bursaries, to assist promising boys in continuing their education at such higher class schools within the county as they may approve of. School bursaries, founded by other county Associations, have been highly successful, and the Council hope that the bursaries now proposed in connection with this Association, will prove to be no less so. Should the experiment succeed, they will be encouraged to consider the advisability of further extending the scheme. They have not yet settled the details of the competition, but they may mention, that they propose that the bursaries be of the annual value of £10 each, and be tenable for two years. The bursars will be expected to compete for 'The Earl of Zetland's Bursaries.'

In connection with this subject the Council have been led to inquire into the terms of the Foundation of 'The Earl of Zetland's Bursaries.' It appears to them that one of the conditions in which these bursaries are to be held, viz., that candidates must be 'natives of the islands, or children of parents, one or both of whom shall have been born in or connected with the county for a long period of years,' practically puts them beyond the reach of young men educated in the county, by opening competition to others more favourably circumstanced. The result of the competition for the bursary founded by the late Earl of Zetland—'The Orkney and Zetland Bursary,'—which has the same condition, further inclines them to take that view. On the several occasions on which that bursary has been competed for, it has been carried off by young men who were not educated in the islands, and some of whom were not in any way themselves connected with the county. The Council believe that Lord Zetland would more effectually advance the educational interests of the islands were that condition modified, at any rate as regards some of the bursaries, so as to limit competition to natives or others whose education had been obtained in the county. They accordingly submitted their views, in a Memorial, to the Trustees of these bursaries, and they are authorised to state that the matter is at present under consideration, with every desire to co-operate with the Association.

The Council have funds sufficient to enable them to offer one school bursary, but they think it most desirable that they should start with two, one for each division of the county, and they ask page 6 the members of the Association, but especially their countrymen at home and abroad, who are not members, to aid them in carrying through their scheme, by contributing to the Association's Funds. The income from subscriptions is required to provide the book prizes, and to meet expenses, so that at present they cannot calculate on any portion of that income being available.

It is recommended that the Patrons and Office-Bearers be as follow:—(See list prefixed.)

The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the Report, said, every' one must feel that a membership of 106 was not a fair proportion of the inhabitants of Orkney and Shetland. He should take care to express his opinion very strongly on the subject the next opportunity he had of meeting Orcadians at Glasgow. . . . He thought the bursary idea to be an admirable one, and since the Earl of Zetland has set aside the proceeds of the various patronages which were at his disposal, that he had devoted these to the purposes of University endowment, the very best thing they could do was to establish school bursaries in order to help on promising young fellows who had distinguished themselves in the ordinary School prize examinations. He said the Orkney and Shetland people, with proper influences brought to bear upon them, were able to hold a very creditable position. He then went on to refer to cases of successful Orkney and Shetland men. These facts showed that all over the world men of character and integrity could be found, who had received a very plain and simple elementary education in the grammar or subscription schools. He should like the Association to stimulate education in the Orkney and Shetland Islands. They knew Orkney and Shetland could not afford to retain all its promising young men. The great bulk of them must come south, and hope for preferment here, if they have any feeling of men about them When they come here, he said, if they enter the University, they must—if they wished to have bursaries, which many of them needed—engage in the competitive examinations. These examinations were very serious things for those who had not been preparing for them. Now there were many schools in Orkney and Shetland that turn out good scholars. Their education stood them in good stead in the business of active life. Any of these men, sent up to pass an examination for any bursaries given in connection with the Universities, would find themselves a long way behind, If it were for nothing else than this—the very habit of meeting those questions and knowing how to answer them—the county and the teachers should be thankful. He hoped they would lose no opportunity of pressing upon the: attention of every one interested in the education of Orkney and Shetland the importance of giving the Association all the support page 7 they could, and encouraging the youths of the islands to engage in these honourable competitions.

Dr Bedford, in replying to the toast of the 'Educational Interests of the County,' said it had been a matter of peculiar interest to him during the last few years to watch the steady improvement of the candidates for the Association's honours. The first batch of papers that came into his hands at the first examination gave undoubted evidence that the Orkney and Shetland Islands schools, with scarcely any exceptions, had no system of written examination in operation. In preparing the examination papers, he kept in view that the young men who took the honours might afterwards come to Edinburgh and compete with other young men for the larger bursaries of the Universities. He prepared the papers with reference to future examinations of a higher kind. He had observed last year, most particularly, the papers were remarkably good. He thought the arrangement of giving book prizes at the district examinations, and some bursaries for secondary education at the better schools in the islands, would be an excellent preparation for the higher examinations in the University. It had been said to him a day or two ago by a master at the head of a school of 1100 lads, that he was much struck with the excellent work he got from Orkney boys. He found that they stuck to work, and were very painstaking.

Among the other speakers were The Hon. Lord Gifford, Sheriff Thorns, Colonel Burroughs, C.B., and Mr Robert Brotchie of Swannay.

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My Dear Sir—I beg to submit to you for the Council the results of the late District Prize Examination of the Orkney and Zetland Association.

The total number of candidates was 133, of whom 28 were from Lerwick, 24 from Stromness, 12 from Sandwick, 4 from Stennis, 8 from Firth, 2 from Westray, 8 from Harray and Birsay, 12 from Holm and Tankerness, 6 from Eday, 6 from Stronsay, 11 from Rousay, 2 from Evie, and 10 from South Ronaldshay. The total number of marks attainable by any candidate in the common subjects was 151, and in the special subjects, if two were taken, 100.

I send you herewith the marks of each candidate. You will see, on examining the list, that some of the schools have made a highly creditable appearance. No previous examination has at all approached this in general excellence. I must call the Council's special attention to the distinguished marks of Barbara Robertson of the Lerwick Institute, who obtained the very high total of 226; and of another pupil of the same school, Thomas Matthewson, who obtained 213; of William Sinclair of Holm, who obtained 211; of William B. Tomison of South Ronaldshay, who obtained 210; of Mary A. Taylor of Stromness Public School, who obtained 203; also of Isabella Houston, of the same school, who obtained 187; of William B. Heddle of Harray, whose total was 201; and of another boy in the same school, Samuel Isbister, who obtained 192. Several of the youngest candidates made a most hopeful appearance. John Mouat of Wasbister School, only eleven years old, having obtained the very respectable total of 176, and two others of the same age, Margaret M. Morrison of Lerwick Public School, 156, and Malcolm Clouston of Harray Public School, 153.

Ample evidence is afforded from these papers of much painstaking, skilful, and intelligent instruction on the part of most of the teachers.—I am, my dear Sir, yours very faithfully,

F. W. Bedford.

P. Sievwright

, Esq., Secretary of the Orkney and Zetland Association.
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Proceeding on the Report of the Examiner, the Council awarded prizes as follows:—

No. of Marks.
Special Prize to the candidate having the highest number of marks over the County, awarded to Barbara Robertson of Lerwick Educational Institute, 226
First Class Prizes.
Thomas Matthewson, 213
William A. Stout, 198
John S. Tulloch, 177
Gilbert P. Beatton, 174
Mary Walker, 174
George T. Jennings, 171
Margaret Johnston, 171
Margaret M. Morrison, 156
Mary R. Taylor, 203
Isabella Hourston, 187
James Rosie, 180
Isabella Scott, 180
Robert Taylor, 178
George M'Tavish, 172
Wm. B. Heddle, 201
Jane Isbister, 192
Malcolm Clouston, 153
William Sinclair, 211
James Muir, 188
David Balfour, 185
James Robertson, 183
William Learmonth, 171
John Mouat, 176
David Marwick 168
South Ronaldshay.
Wm. B. Tomison, 210
Jessie Dunnett, 182
John S. Mowat, 172
Minnie G. Buchan, 167
Agnes Johnson, 165
William Urquhart, 164
Johanna R.' Clifford, 153
Thomas Oddie, 131
Thomasina Spence, 169
Isabella Chambers, 168
Jessie Sinclair, 167
Alary A. Chambers, 165
Tames Stove, 160
David Shearer, 155
Margaret Rosie, 148
William Kirkncss, 129
William Matches, 161
John Laughton, 146
John Kirkness, 145
Mary Smith, 137
South Ronaldshay.
Jessie Rosie, 160
John Thomson, 157
Annie T. Duncan, 153
John Grieve, 153
Isabella Wiseman, 163
Catherine. S.-Forbes, 153
Robert M'Kay, 94
John L. Rose, 141
James P. Craigie, 125
David Craigie, 124
Ann Brown 141
James F. Watters, 134
William Linklater, 133
Thomas Kent, 132
James Swanson, 134
Andrew Johnston, 128
Mary Anne Johnston, 109
George Moar, 108
David Leask, 145
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CHARGE. To Funds on hand at 31st December 1876, . .£167 8 10 ". Annual Subscription of The Earl of Zetland, . . 2 2. 0 " Annual Subscriptions of Honorary Members, 11 0 0 " Do. do. of Ordinary Members, . 17 0 0 " Interest on bank Account, . . . . . . 1 6 2 " Do. on Deposit with National Bank of India, 5 0 0 " Donations on account of Bursary Scheme, 29 13 0 Total Charge,' £233 10 0 DISCHARGE. By Account for Book Prizes, . . . . . £13 1 1 " Honorarium to Dr Bedford, . . . . 3 3 0 " Accounts for Printing Examination Papers, Notices, etc., and Paper, . . . . . 2 12 6 " Rent of Rooms for Meetings of Council, . . 0 8 0 " Annual Meeting, Advertising, etc., . . . 0 18 3 " Sundry Expenses, . . . . . 2 13 9 £22 16 7 " Funds on hand, viz.:— Deposit with National Bank of India, as per Receipt . . . . £100 0 0 Do. with National Bank of Scotland, do., 100 0 0 Balance on Account current with National Bank of Scotland, . . . . 10 13 5 210 13 5 Total Discharge, . £233 10 0 GILBT. GOUDIE, Treasurer.

General Abstract of the Accounts of the Association for the Year 1877.

Edinburgh, 29th January 1873.—I have examined the foregoing Accounts for the year ended 31st December 1877, and have found the same correctly stated and vouched; the balance due on the Capital Account being £145, 9s. 7d., and that on the Ordinary Fund, £65, 3s. 10d., of which sums £100 is lodged on Deposit Receipt with the National Bank of India (Limited), £100 on Deposit Receipt with the National Bank of Scotland, and the balance, £10, 3s. 5d., at the credit of the Association's Account current with the last named Bank.

John D. Spence, Auditor.

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List of Members at 31st December 1877.

I.—Honorary Life Members.

  • The Right Hon. the Earl of Zetland.
  • Hon John Charles Dundas of Papdale, Lord-Lieu, of Orkney and Zetland.
  • Colonel David Balfour of Balfour and Trenabic.
  • Colonel F. W. T. Burroughs, of Veira, C.B.
  • The Hon. Lord Gifford, Granton House, Edinburgh.
  • William Hawley, Frederick Street, Edinburgh.
  • Samuel Laing of Crook, M.P.
  • Nathaniel Leask, M.A., Abbey Park, St Andrews.
  • James D. Marwick, City Clerk, Glasgow.
  • Peter Maxwell, Shipowner, Liverpool.
  • Robert Omond, M.D., Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
  • John Pender, M.P., Mount Street, Manchester.
  • Pillans Scarth, W.S., Leith.
  • George Hunter Thorns, Sheriff of Orkney, Zetland, and Caithness.
  • James Walls, Shipowner, Kirkwall.

II.—Honorary Members.

  • Robert Baikie, M.D., of Tankemess, Edinburgh.
  • Robert Brotchie of Swannay, Leith.
  • Major T. M. Cameron of Garth.
  • Harry Cheyne, W.S., Edinburgh.
  • John Cheyne, Sheriff-Substitute. Dundee.
  • T S. Clouston, M.D., Royal Edinburgh Asylum.
  • George Duncan, Merchant, Leith.
  • Will' am Firth, Secretary, North British Rubber Company, Edinburgh.
  • Andrew Gold, Chamberlain to the Earl of Zetland, Kirkwall
  • Arthur J. Hay, Merchant, Lerwick.
  • John Hewison, Merchant, Westray.
  • R. G. W. Irvine, Banker, Kirkwall.
  • Joseph Leask of Sand, Lerwick.
  • Andrew Mure, Sheriff-Substitute of Zetland.
  • Captain Robert Nisbet, Lerwick.
  • Samuel Re id of Braebuster.
  • R. M. Smith, Bellevue Crescent, Edinburgh,
  • Rev. William Smith, Minister of Unst.
  • George Stewart, Merchant, Leith,
  • William Stewart, Richmond Cottage, Ferry Road, Edinburgh.
  • Thomas Traill of Holland.
  • John Walker, Polwarth Terrace, Edinburgh.
  • John Walls, S.S.C., 33 Heriot Row, Edinburgh.

III.—Ordinary Members.

  • George Brotchie, Fribo, Westray.
  • James Brotchie, Merchant, Leith.
  • J. G. C. Cheyne, Secretary, Scottish Widows' Fund, Glasgow.
  • James Copland, H.M. Register House, Edinburgh.
  • James Cromarty, Bannockburn, South Ronaldshay.
  • William Cromarty, Berridale, South Ronaldshay.
  • John Cusitcr, Merchant, Kirkwall.
  • Charles Davidson, Ship Agent, Kirkwall.
  • John Davie, Standard Life Assurance Company, Edinburgh.
  • Jerome Denison, West Brough, Sanday.
  • Thomas Dishington, 5 Laverock Bank Terrace, Trinity.
  • James Donald, Banker, Kirkwall.
  • James Drever, Factor, Harris.
  • Thomas Eunson, Merchant, Quality Street Leith.
  • Duncan Finlayson, Supervisor of Excise, Kirkwall.
  • Robert Flett, Ship Agent, Kirkwall.
  • Peter Garriock, Commission Agent, Lerwick.
  • Gilbert Goudie, 39 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh.
  • James M. Goudie, Montfield, Lerwick.
  • James T. Goudie, Manufacturer, Glasgow.
  • A. M. Sutherland Grarme, yr. ofGræmeshall.
  • William Harcus, 64 Broughton, St., Edin.
  • B. H. Hossack, teacher, 33 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.
  • Captain Robert Hossack, Madeira Place, Leith.page 12
  • Rev. J. Kirkwood, U.P. Manse, Stromness.
  • Arthur Laurenson, Leog House, Lerwick.
  • J. B. Leask, I Union Street, Leith.
  • Henry Leask of Swartland, Boardhouse, Orkney.
  • W. C. Liddle, Writer, Kirkwall.
  • J. S. Linklater, Merchant, Leith.
  • James S. S. Logic, M.D., Kirkwall.
  • John D. Miller, Surveyor, Kirkwall.
  • Arthur Morison, Scottish Provident Institution, Edinburgh.
  • Captain James Mowat, Stromness.
  • Samuel Mullay, 32 Dundas Street, Edin.
  • Rev. J. Nisbet, Edinburgh.
  • Peter Peace, Union Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh.
  • John Rae, Bookseller, Stromness.
  • D. F. Reith, Teacher, Stromness.
  • Thomas Robertson, Inland Revenue Office, Edinburgh.
  • W. M. B. Rossie, Draper, Stromness.
  • Basil Sieywright, Barrister, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • Peter Sievwright, Actuary, 12 Danube St., Edinburgh.
  • William Sievwright, Barrister, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • David Scott, Baker, Stromness.
  • James Shand, Union Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh.
  • J. A. Shearer, Grocer, Stromness.
  • Rev. areh. Smellie, 39 Lauriston Pl., Edin.
  • Rev. W. Spark, Kirkwall.
  • John Spedding, Druggist, Stromness.
  • James Spence, Banker, Kirkwall.
  • James Spence, Banker, Stromness.
  • John D. Spence, S ottish Widows' Fund, Edinburgh.
  • Robert Spence, M.B., Burntisland.
  • William Stove Draper, Stromness.
  • John Stewart, Merchant, Leith.
  • John A. Trail, W.S., 50 Gt. King Street, Edinburgh.
  • R. C. Traill, Merchant, Leith.
  • William Traill, M.D., of Woodwick.
  • Rev. J. Walker, Parsonage, Lerwick.
  • Thomas Warren, Merchant, Kirkwall.
  • W. G. T. Watt, of Breckness.
  • D. F. Wishart, Teviot House, Edinburgh.
  • Rev. T.D. Wingate, The Manse, Stromness.
  • Andrew Wylie, Leith,
  • John Wylie, Merchant, Stromness.
  • A. G. Yorston, 7 York Place, Edinburgh.
  • W. A. Young, Leith Engine Works, Leith.

Honorary Lady Contributor.

  • Mrs Edmondston of Buness, Shetland.

Members Joined since Close of Year,

  • Honorary—Rev. John M. Webster, M.A., Row, Helensburgh.
  • Ordinary—A. Macbeth Robertson, 78 Newgate Street, London.

* Lord Zetland has set aside certain sums of money, awarded to him as compensation for the Abolition of his Church Patronage Rights, for the advancement of the Educational interests of the islands, by the foundation of Bursaries in the University of Edinburgh, to be called 'The Earl of Zetland's Bursaries, 1877.' Candidates must be * Natives of the Islands or County of Orkney and Zetland, or children of parents, one or both of whom shall have been born in or connected for a long period of years with the said Islands or County,' and must be first year students in the Faculty of Arts. Should the curriculum of Arts be thrown open to females, they will be admissible as candidates, as well as males. When, and so often as the funds amount to £500, the free proceeds of each sum is to form a bursary. The bursaries will be of the annual value of £20 each, and they are tenable for three years. The Trustees may admit successful candidates to hold at the same time two bursaries. The holder for the time being of the 'Orkney and Zetland Bursary,' is excluded from the competition. (See Deed of Foundation in Edinburgh University Calendar, 1877-8.) It is understood that there will ultimately be nine bursaries, and that the first will be available in the course of the next year or two.