In 1460, Margaret, the daughter of King Christian I of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, was engaged to marry James III, King of Scots. The political point of the union was to end the feud over the Hebrids islands between Denmark and Scotland. Her father pledged the islands of Orkney and Shetland, possessed by the Norwegian crown, as security against the considerable dowry that her rank commanded. Margaret and James married in 1469 at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh.
Apparently without the knowledge of the Norwegian Rigsraadet (Council of the Realm), Christian pawned Orkney for 50,000 Rhenish guilders. On 28 May the next year he also pawned Shetland for 8,000 Rhenish guilders. He had secured a clause in the contract which gave future kings of Norway the right to redeem the islands for a fixed sum of 210 kg of gold or 2,310 kg of silver.
On the 20th February, 1472, the dowry remained unpaid and James annexed the islands to the Scottish Crown.
When in the 20th century, there was some Orcadian dissatisfaction with the government of the United Kingdom, some Orcadians investigated the terms of Margaret’s marriage contract and pleaded to the Kings of Denmark and Norway to pay Margaret’s dowry to the British Exchequer so that Orkney and Shetland would return to the government of a Scandinavian nation and not be governed by the United Kingdom.
However, from 20 Feb 1472 to 20 Feb 2010, it appears that none of the later Kings have been inspired to pay up.
And on Saturday, the 20th of February 2010, we had not a single Scottish submission. However, England is heavily represented, swiftly followed by Switzerland and the U.S. as well as a selection from Dubai, Israel, Holland, Spain and Ireland – we’re almost as multi-national as the Winter Olympics!
We have a great selection of submitters both old and new. Encourage one another!
We’d love to see your photos, too! Just take a picture on a Saturday and send it to SatScenes with a location.