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  Jo Ben's 1529 "Descriptions of Orkney"


Eday island was once on a time the richest of all the northern islands, and about thirty farmers lived there, but were driven out by a foreign spoiler, so that barely one now remains.

There is a great abundance of all things, especially of cattle.

The men very often fight with great [sea] monsters, and when their hour is over they cut it up in dregs [melt the dregs into fat], then boiled or cooked into oil*.

In circuit this island attains ten miles.

* - probably relates to the fate of beached whales.

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