spacer
spacer

Nicolson was a lesser tyrant among the lairds; his summer ho...

Title - Nicolson was a lesser tyrant among the lairds; his summer ho...
Contributors - James Laurenson
Reporters - Alan J. Bruford
Item Person - Nicolson, Sir Arthur

Summary - Nicolson was a lesser tyrant among the lairds; his summer-house proved haunted and he abandoned it.

Most Shetlanders have heard of the Nicolsons of Fetlar. The first Sir Arthur Nicolson died in 1826 in France and the title was lost. His descendants retraced the title and had it reinstated after giving money to the Scottish authorities for the settlement of Nova Scotia.

Nicolson was not such a tyrant as some of the landlords. He always said, "If I burned you, I'd have blaan [blown] on you." However, he did evict crofters all over Fetlar and replace them with livestock, contained by high stone dykes. After Nicolson's wife died and his building work was complete, including the dock of Urie and the Swan Loch, he had Gifford [his factor] build a summer-house in a quiet part of the isle. Gifford used the stone from the remains of the Gruting crofts. The building was like a three-tier bride's cake with the top two stories of wood.

Nicolson was alone in the summer-house and was dwalling over, or nodding off, when he heard three knocks. He asked who was there but there was no answer. This happened twice more, and he rose and rode home. He called his servants at breakfast time and handed Gifford the key. He said his feet would never cross the threshold of the "den of the Devil" again. The house was left open for the crofters to help themselves to wood. Some of the old crofters said Nicolson was getting his reward for putting out all the families.


Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:10:50
Date Recorded - 1975.09.20
Date of Content - 1803 to 1863
Language - English, Scots
Genre - Story, Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 78186
Original Tape ID - SA1975.170
Original Track ID - SA1975.170; SA1975.171
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R



Recording Location:
  County - Shetland
  Parish - Fetlar
  Island - Fetlar


Item Location:
  County - Shetland
  Parish - Fetlar
  Island - Fetlar

Item Notes -

Permanent Link - http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/fullrecord/78186/1

Segments:
Play part 1 (00:10:50)
Play part 2 (00:05:29)




spacer
spacer
Terms of Use  |  FAQs  |  Accessibility   |  Contact   |  Copyright  |  Acknowledgements   |  Useful Links   |  Site Map
BBC Alba
The National Trust for Scotland
Sabhal Mor Ostaig
EDINA