A Yell man rescues baby girl from an eagle's nest; they marr...
Date 1955
Track ID 31904
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Track Information

Original Track ID

SA1955.99.2

Original Tape ID

SA1955.099

Summary

A Yell man rescues baby girl from an eagle's nest; they marry when she grows up; their descendants.

Shetland was much noted for eagles 110 years ago. Golden eagles nested in Noss, the Neaps o Graveland [on Yell], the Face o Eigg [on Yell], Foula and in a great ravine in the Hill o Vollafield on Unst.

Once, an eagle seized a child on Yell while her mother was milking and carried her across Bluemull Sound to the cliffs at Strand on Fetlar for its two chicks. Six men rowed a boat under the cliffs, where they could see the baby's shawl. They went ashore and lowered a young man over the edge. He threw the chicks into the sea and grabbed the baby in his arms. Afterwards the eagle was said to have returned the chicks to the nest. When the girl was twenty and the man was a bachelor of forty, they got married.

Brucie Henderson names people descended from the couple, including John and Robert Williamson in Lerwick. John Williamson had many sons in Lerwick including "young John" who was "an apprentice at the news office" under Mortimer Manson. Brucie heard the story from Lawrence Williamson.

Item Notes

Shetland Times reporter John Robertson claims descent from the couple in the story. In other accounts, the eagle is described as a sea eagle.

Recording Location

County - Shetland

Parish - Yell

Island - Yell

Village - Arisdale

Item Location

County - Shetland

Parish - Yell

Island - Yell

Language

Scots

Genre

Story

Collection

SoSS