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[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"DEERNESS, a parish in the district of Mainland Orkney, in the county of Orkney and Shetland, Scotland. It includes the peninsula of its own name, forming the most easterly part of Pomona, and also the islands of Copinshay, Cornholm and Horse. A narrow isthmus separates it from the parish of St. Andrew's, and it extends 4½ miles northward to Mullhead, with a breadth varying from 1 to 3 miles. It is bounded on the W. by the harbour of Deer Sound. About 60 boats are employed in the herring fishery, and the shores are frequented by myriads of sea-birds.

Considerable improvements have recently been introduced in agriculture. The landowners are the Earl of Zetland, Balfour of Trenaby, and Davidson of Newhall. This parish, formerly united to that of St. Andrew's, was constituted a separate parish quoad sacra by the Court of Tiends, in June, 1845. It is in the presbytery of Kirkwall, and synod of Orkney, and in the patronage of the crown. The minister has a stipend of £120, with a manse and glebe. There is also a Free church."

"COPINSHAY, (or Copensay), an island in the district of Mainland, Orkney, one of the Orkney and Shetland group. This island is 1 mile long and half a mile broad, and forms part of the parish of Deerness. It is frequented during the summer by vast numbers of sea-fowl, which, with their eggs and feathers, form an article of traffic."

"HORSE ISLAND, an islet off Copinshay, S.E. Orkneys, Scotland."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]