On this day in 1472 Orkney and Shetland became part of Scotland after they were pawned by Norway in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark.
Margaret was the daughter of Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and Dorothea of Brandenburg. In 1468 she was betrothed to James III of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland were pledged as security against the payment of the dowry. However the money was never paid, and so the islands was absorbed by the Kingdom of Scotland in 1472.
While James may have finally gained the Northern Isles for Scotland, his marriage was not a happy one with Margaret rarely tolerating her husband's company. Margaret died at Stirling Castle on July 14th 1486 after falling ill, and was buried in Cambuskenneth Abbey. James died two years later at the Battle of Sauchieburn. Unfortunately the pair would be interred together and have to spend the rest of their existence decomposing side by side.
This map was made by Dan Harris as part of a map of the whole of Scotland. You can find out more about this project over on Ordnance Survey’s website:
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