People of note
The earliest people of note that we can read about with any certainty can be found in the Orkneyinga Saga.
This book tells us about the Norse earls of Orkney and their escapades and adventures. We know about Magnus Erlendson, Haakon Paulsson, Swein Asliefsson and even Sigurd the Stout. They were a rowdy bunch and double-crossing, cheating, lying and murder all came with the territory.
However, the Norse period did manage to produce two saints – Magnus and Rognvald.
Later Orkney produced pirates, smugglers and bootleggers but also explorers, writers, artists, musicians, MPs, botanists and other distinguished individuals.
During the first half of the 20th century it was said that the main exports to come from Orkney were "eggs and explorers".
Some people are remembered today in Orkney by plaques erected in their memory and by streets named after them.
The People of Note area of this website remembers some famous people who, in the main, were related to the Scapa Flow area of Orkney.
If you would like to know more there is a book by W S Hewison – Who Was Who in Orkney – published by Bellavista Publications. The Orkneyinga Saga is available as a Penguin paperback.