Orkney Pawned to Scotland #OnThisDay

On 20th of February 1472 Orkney was annexed to Scotland – pawned off for the unpaid dowry debt of Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The Scots’ influence had been increasing over a matter of centuries and Orkney had always had close ties with Caithness on the Scottish Mainland.

Christian I’s unpaid debt was part of a marriage economic transaction for Christian I’s daughter, Margaret, to wed the King of Scots, James III.

Margaret of Scotland (1469) by Hugo van der Goes

James married the 13-year-old Margaret of Denmark in July 1469 at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh, in a service overseen by Abbot Archibald Crawford. The marriage produced three sons: James, Duke of RothesayJames, Duke of Ross, and John, Earl of Mar. Wikipedia.

Scotland’s influence over the islands continued to grow. Today Orkney also continues to remember its links with Norway. It has an Orkney Norway Friendship Association and every year joins in events for Norwegian Constitution Day, when Norway celebrates its independence. Other events are also marked such as the gifting of a tree at Christmas to the people of Orkney and remembering those Norwegians who died in World War II and who are buried in Orkney.

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