The work to complete
the whole book is continuing when time allows
Since Caithness.org has grown to
contain ever more information on all aspects of the county it has
seemed more and more likely that there is sufficient interest to
deal with Caithness history on a larger scale. Many topics are
covered by articles from Caithness Field Club Bulletins.
However, although there are many books covering aspects of Caithness
history both more recent and in the distant past few have the
breadth and coverage of Calder's History of Caithness. Even
though the second Edition was published in 1887 and as J T Calder
himself says the work is gleaned from a variety of sources available
at the time and put into a chronological order and written up it is
still one of the most comprehensive works on Caithness.
We also have many photographs of Caithness with which to illustrate
many of the places mentioned by Calder as in our Castle Section.
Chapter V is therefore already complete.
It is worth bearing
in mind when reading this history that it is written in a somewhat
old fashioned style and may have references or attitudes that
prevailed at the time and would not be held now. Certain
prejudices held by the author may be objectionable to modern day
readers. Bear in mind that the writer is in the second part of
the nineteenth century and his references to the here and now are
We will begin with page one and add Prefaces and list of contents
later to match each chapter as work progresses. As with the
Caithness Castles links will be made to other sources where
appropriate and to other information already on Caithness.org
Please feel free to send in any
comments on the text or point out errors. email
23 November 2008
Still some way to go to complete the
History Of Caithness by J T Calder but we finally reach the
Miscellaneous chapter. Apologies to Dave Taylor who submitted
the items for this chapter back last year but which are only now
Included in this section are
EARLY NOTICE OF CAITHNESS
A SKETCH OF THE HILL OF WICK CASE.
LIVINGS OF CAITHNESS CLERGY.
COPY OF THE CHARTER
ERECTION OF THE BURGH OF WICK INTO A FREE
ROYAL BURGH, 1589.
CASTLES SINCLAIR AND GIRNIGOE, AND MEY.
12 September 07
Notes To The Second Edition
This latest addition to the History of
Caithness By J T Calder is now in place. Thanks to Dave Taylor
once again for preparing the text for the web site. Apologies
that there has not yet had time to link the pages listed to he
original text to make life easier for everyone. That will take
more time to add the many links required and we hope to get back to
it at a later date. It was thought worthwhile publishing as it
was to allow any Caithness historians the chance to read it.
There also requires to be additional links in the earlier pages to
make navigation easier and as time allows these will be added.
25 August 2007
After a break of almost four years we
are delighted to be able to add another section to Calder's History
of Caithness to the web site. an it is thanks to a volunteer
who has offered his services to complete the exercise. Dave
Taylor offered to help complete the book and there are many of you
who will be grateful for his efforts in helping Bill Fernie to
complete the book. The Postscript runs to 14 pages in the real
world whereas here we have it on one web page. The Postscript
is packed with information and a poem "The Battle Of Altimarlach"
- we have featured this previously elsewhere. The
sections yet to be completed are large so there is yet more very
interesting history to come with Pref. 2nd Edition, Publishers Preface, Memoir of Author,
Notes To 2nd Edition, Miscellaneous and Caithness In 1887.
Thanks again to Dave Taylor for his generous offer and time in
compiling the text for the web site.
9 November 2003
PEDIGREE OF JOHN SINCLAIR, ESQUIRE OF BARROCK
17 April 2003
- The Earls Of Caithness Of The Sinclair Family
Appendix 5 - Pedigree of the Mey Family
Index to J.T.Calder's "Sketch of the...
J.T.Calder's "Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness
from the Tenth Century" 2nd Edition with Historical Notes by Thomas
Sinclair M.A Published by William Raw,Wick,1887 by
Sara-Jayne Donaldson - Researcher and Genealogist
You can order it direct from -
Sara-Jayne Donaldson, 3 The Crescent, Glengolly KW14 7XL.
£10 (£1-05 2nd and £1-30 1st
class) Overseas email Sara at
to check postage.
18 March 2003
More Appendix Pages Added
Valuation of the County in 1760 and 1798
Earls of Caithness of the Sinclair Family after separate Earldom
Armorial Bearings of the Earls of Caithness
Pedigree of the Mey Family
Nearly 100 pages still to
17 March 2003
3 - Extracts From Old Inventories Of the Titles Of
the Estate Of Malcolm Groat Of Warse
the publication of the History has fallen a bit behind schedule.
Not a very exciting part of the history so far but contains some
interesting items and shows the detaisl of record keeping in use hundreds
of years ago.
9 October 2002
EXTRACTS FROM OLD INVENTORIES
OF THE TITLES OF THE ESTATE
OF MALCOLM GROAT OF WARSE.
A fairly mundane listing of titles and
who left what to whom. It has some old language and
abbreviations that take a bit of understanding but if you persevere
you will mange some of them. Perhaps someone will one day
supply an up to date version for faster reading.
7 September 2002
Appendix 2 - Dwelling houses, Dress, Etc
3 September 2002
Appendix 2 - Superstition In Caithness
A short section mentioning superstition
and witches in Caithness.
29 August 2002
Appendix 2 -
Memoranda Connected With Public Roads In the County Of Caithness
Ever wondered how the Causewaymire road
to Thurso or the Wick Bridge was ever built then here is your
26 August 2002
If you have been following this history you will know by now
that although the last chapter is now in place there is a long way
to go. The old style of the bookk menas that much valuable
information is contained at the end in the appendix, Postscript and
Notes to the Second Edition, Miscellaneous and Notes on Caithness in
So here we go first with
Ancient State Of Husbandry
24 August 2002
The final part of chapter 15 covers
Richard Oswald and the Oswald Family
13 August 2002
Chapter 15 deals with some of the
famous lay people of Caithness. We begin with Sir John
Sinclair (1754 - 1835) famous for his agricultural improvement
schemes, his "Code of Agriculture" and "Statistical
Account of Scotland". In 1793 his ideas on the economy shone
through when he took instant action to relive the lack of finance
of merchants by speeding up credit facilities in various places thus
possible alleviating a collapse generally.
30 July 2002
A few accounts of ministers and school
teachers. We start with Alexander Pope of Reay.
Also completed is the
Table of Contents. From
this you will see that although the chapters are coming to an end
there is a huge amount of information in the Appendix, Postscript,
notes and Miscellaneous sections. This reflecting and
old fashioned style of setting out a book. Nowadays most of
the information in the final sections would probably have been
included in chapters within the main body of the text. So
there is a lot more to come...................
23 July 2002
18 July 2002
13 July 2002
8 July 2002
The whole chapter is completed being
one of the shorter ones and concentrating on the famous Battle of
on the battle can be found in the Appendix (Still to
be completed) is already
in the poetry section
3 July 2002
Chapter Ten -
Readers who have not see this history
before might be interested to know that the appendix listings to
this work are quite long, running to almost 100 pages. They
include some very interesting information on many aspects of
Caithness in different periods. The Appendix section will be
tackled after Chapter 15 has been completed.
1 July 2002
Chapter Ten -
28 June 2002
19 June 2002
Chapter Nine -
18 June 2002
7 June 2002
Chapter 8 Second
5 June 2002
26 May 2002
- Second Half
21 May 2002
- First half.
26 April 2002
- second half now completed.
22 April 2002
- First half
1 April 2002
25 March 2002
begins with war in Caithness. A battle at the hill of
Clairdon two miles east of Thurso, assassination, retribution,
fighting the Norwegians slaughter at Murkle Bay. More battles and
the Pope and Bishops get involved
5 March 2002
is now completed. In this chapter Sweyn the famous
Caithness pirate enters and departs the story. Calder recounts
some of the stories of his adventures, murders and general
plundering in the north and as far as Cornwall and Ireland.
24 February 2002
Chapter Two completed. We
have decided to put all of the notes tot he bottom of the page to
make the narrative easier to follow. Chapter One will be
revised later once we have completed the rest of the history.
A few smaller notes remain to be added in chapter one.
Index & Introduction
14 February 2002
Chapter Two -
The Original Inhabitants of the County
- Standing Stones in Latheron - Subdued by Sigurd, the Norwegian
Earl of Orkney.
9 February 2002
- Chapter One Main Text Complete
The final part of chapter eight is now