Shetland Documents 1612-1637
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Shetland Documents 1612-1637 contains documents relating to Shetland from the period following the downfall of Earl Patrick Stewart. Orkney and Shetland were annexed to the crown in 1612, and Bishop James Law governed the islands until 1615, after which a series of “tacksmen” were in charge. These events did not lead to stability of law and order, as is evidenced by the number of court actions in the volume, not to mention complaints of oppression by the inhabitants of Shetland. Some documents give valuable information about the development of trade, particularly fisheries, during the period. Most of the original documents are in the National Records of Scotland. There are also a number from other record offices, particularly those in Shetland and Orkney, and some are in libraries and private collections. Documents of particular interest are transcribed in full; in other cases an edited summary is provided. The vast majority of the documents in the volume have not been published before.