Britannia, by William Camden

SUTHERLAND.

Cattey. Big A ALL that tract of Land lying between Portnacour and Dungsby, was of old called CATTEY. So much of it as lies Eastward from the hill Orde, was called Catey-nesse, and afterwards Cath-nesse; but so much as lies on this side of Orde, was called South-Catley, and Sutherland.⌉

Sutherland. Beyond Ross, lies Sutherland ⌈as aforesaid⌉ to the German Ocean. ⌈It contains the Country that pass’d under that name, with Strathnaver Edernchiles, and Dicrinesse; having Cathnesse to the East and North-east, the main Ocean to the North, the country of Assint to the West, Rosse to the South, and the German Sea to the East and South-east. From West to East, it is in length about fifty five miles, and in breadth from South to North twenty two miles; but, taking in Strathnaver, thirty three. The Inhabitants of these parts are much given to hunting, and will endure a great deal of labour and toil. The Shire affords plenty of Iron-ore, and some Pearls. They have Coal, Free-stone, Limestone, and good Sclate, in abundance: it is said also that they find some Silver; and it is supposed that there is Gold in Durinesse. In several parts of the Country, they have much Salmon-fishing, and are also well provided with other Fish; and of the river Schin, it is reported, that if never freezes.⌉

The Country is more fit for breeding of Cattle, than bearing of Corn.Hills of white Marble. Here are also Hills of white Marble, a thing very unusual in so cold a climate; but it is almost of no use, because Extravagance in buildings, and that vain ostentation of riches, has not yet reached these remote Countries. Dunrobin-Castle. Here, ⌈in a Mote hard by the Sea,⌉ stands Dunrobin-Castle, a place of the greatest note in these parts, ⌈and especially remarkable for its fine Gardens;⌉ the principalEarls of Sutherland. Seat of the ancient Earls of Sutherland, of the Family (if I mistake not) of Murray. Of whom, William in the reign of King Robert Brus, was very famous, marrying King David’s own sister, and having by her a son, whom King David declared his Successor in the Kingdom, and to whom he made his Nobles swear Allegiance. But he died a little after without issue, and the Earldom in the end came hereditarily by a daughter and heir to A. Gordon, of the Family of the Earls of Huntley; ⌈from whom is descended John, the present Earl of Sutherland, who by his Valour and Conduct hath done signal Service in these parts, to his Prince and Country.⌉

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06