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"TINGWALL, (Whiteness and Weesdale) a parish in the mainland of Shetland, Shetland Islands, coast of Scotland. It comprises the village of Scalloway, and the islands of Linga, Oxna, and Irondray, lying betwixt Wadbuster, Laxforth, and Deal Voes on the E., and Weesdale, Stromness, and Ustaness Voes on the W. The parish extends in length from 18 to 20 miles, with an extreme breadth of 10 miles. It is so much indented by the voes, that no portion of it is more than two miles distant from the sea. The surface is irregular and hilly, but much of it has been reclaimed and cultivated. In the straths limestone is abundant."

From The National Gazetteer of of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) 


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1851 - Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

  • GREEN-HOLM, an isle, in the parish of Tingwall, county of Shetland. This is an islet of very inconsiderable extent, one of the smallest of the Shetland group, situated about a mile south-west of Scalloway, a sea-port village on the main land of the parish. Green Holm is uninhabited.

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  • HILDASAY, an isle, in the parish of Tingwall, county of Shetland. It is of small extent, and lies near the south coast of the main land of Shetland, and nearly parallel with Skelda Ness.

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  • OXNA, an isle, in the parish of Tingwall-Whiteness-and-Weesdale, county of Shetland; containing 19 inhabitants. This is a small island in the bay of Scalloway, about four miles south-west of the village of Scalloway, and close to the isle of Papa. It has a rocky shore, and is nearly surrounded by rocks, among which are those known as the Stags.

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  • SCALLOWAY, a village, in the district of Tingwall, parish of Tingwall-Whiteness-and-Weesdale, county of Shetland, 6 miles (S. by W.) from Lerwick; containing 405 inhabitants. This place, the name of which is said to signify " the harbour by the mansion-houses ", was in ancient times the capital of Shetland; a burgh; and the occasional residence of the Earls of Orkney and Shetland, as well as of nearly all the persons of consideration belonging to the islands. After the cession of Shetland to the crown of Scotland, the principal court of law, which under the crown of Denmark had been held in a small island in the loch of Tingwall, was removed to Scalloway, and the Foud or chief magistrate himself resided here. But the most memorable facts connected with the history of the place, relate to the government and tyranny of Earl Patrick Stewart, who, in 1600, obtained from the crown a grant of the Shetland Isles, and erected a splendid castle at Scalloway, the ruins of which are still imposing. Here he took up his residence, and so cruelly oppressed the inhabitants by laying on them numberless intolerable burthens, and by other abuse of his unlimited authority, which placed their lives at his disposal, that the parliament, about the year 1612, in consequence of an appeal from the inhabitants, revoked his charter, and annexed the lordship to the crown; and the earl, two years afterwards, was executed for high treason. The village is situated at the south-western extremity of the Tingwall district, at the foot of a valley consisting of one of the finest and most fertile tracts in the country, having a rich soil incumbent on a stratum of valuable grey limestone. East of Scalloway stands the ancient castle, on the margin of an excellent harbour called Scalloway Voe: the building was occupied in the time of Cromwell as barracks by his soldiery, who are said to have introduced the cultivation of the cabbage, with other improvements. Mr. Scott, the chief proprietor, has a residence and garden in the village, where there are several other good family houses; but the place is principally distinguished as a fishing-station, and has risen to a condition of much prosperity within the last few years, chiefly through the attention paid to the taking of herrings, about 15,000 barrels of which were shipped in a late year.

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  • TINGWALL-WHITENESS-AND-WEESDALE, a parish, in the county of Shetland, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Lerwick; containing, with the village of Scalloway, and the islands of Hildasay, Langa, Linga, Oxna, and Trondray, 2957 inhabitants. This district consists of the ancient but now united parishes of Tingwall, Whiteness, and Weesdale. The first of these at one time comprehended the lands of Lerwick, which were disjoined from it, and erected into a separate parish, in 1701; and also those of Sound and Gulberwick, which were severed in 1722, and united to Lerwick. Tingwall appears as a place of some consideration in the ancient history of the Shetland Isles. It was created an archdeaconry, after bishops had been appointed for these islands by permission of Adlebert, Archbishop of Bremen; and most of the church lands were conveyed by Sir Jerome Cheyne, one of the archdeacons, to his nephew, in whose family they were allowed to remain without litigation. On the establishment of Presbyterianism in Scotland, in 1592, this place became the seat of the presbytery of Shetland; the business of which was, however, afterwards removed to the village of Scalloway. It is also celebrated in the ecclesiastical history of Scotland for its process of augmentation, a former incumbent, the Rev. William Mitchell, having obtained from the house of lords a decision in favour of an increase in the stipends of the clergy, by an appeal from the court of session, where, after a sharp discussion, the case had been rejected. During the time that Shetland belonged to the Danish crown, the chief magistrate, who was called the Foud, resided here; and when, in 1271, the isles were separated from those of Orkney, and Faroe was united to them, one " Fond" and " Lagamand" was appointed for Shetland and Faroe conjointly, who resided at Scalloway. The assize was held at a small holm in the loch of Tingwall, where an appeal was admitted from the other courts, which were all regulated by the law called Gula Thing; and the final sentence was executed on criminals upon a hill in the vicinity. This superior court was removed to Scalloway when the islands were ceded to Scotland.

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  • TRONDRAY, an island, in the parish of Tingwall-Whiteness-and-Weesdale, county of Shetland; containing 8 inhabitants. This island lies in the sound of Cliff, south of Scalloway, and opposite to that village. It is about four miles in length and two in breadth, with a very indented coast; and is distant west-south-west from the town of Lerwick about four miles.

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  • WEESDALE. See Tingwall-Whiteness-and-Weesdale, county of Shetland.

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  • WHITENESS. See TINGWALL-Whiteness-and-Weesdale, in the county of Shetland.

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