Select Linklater Miscellany


Here are some Linklater stories
accounts over the years:


The Derivation of Linklater


Linklater comprised two Old Norse words – lyng
meaning “heather” and klett meaning
“rock.”  Old Norse being an inflected
language, the
addition of “-r” is the nominative suffix.
The name was pronounced Linkilter.
Linklater was
originally written Lingklet, but a “k” came to be substituted in the
form because the “g” was pronounced as “k.”
The pronunciation of Linklater as Linkilter is an example of
a reversal of letters to facilitate pronunciation.
This was common in Scotland and Orkney at one
time.  For example, grass was pronounced girse
burnt pronounced brunt.

Peter Linklater of the Bounty

Peter Linklater was born in
Tingwall parish on the Shetland Islands in 1758.  He
was reportedly recruited in the Orkneys at
Stromness by one of Captain Bligh’s officers to replace a carpenter’s
mate who
had died on the voyage.

He signed on as the Quartermaster on the Bounty
n August 1787.  After the mutiny on
the vessel in April 1789,
he joined Bligh and his loyalist followers in being set adrift in the

During the 3,500-mile voyage to Timor, he and crewmate
William Purcell
accused Bligh of sneaking extra rations for himself.
Bligh retaliated by having both men briefly
imprisoned after their arrival at Coupang.

Bligh insisted that Linklater was in good health when
Bligh left Batavia
(Djakarta in present-day Indonesia) in early  1790.    However, he died in Batavia two weeks later, apparently of malaria, before
he could
arrange passage for himself to England.



Magnus and Veronica Linklater

Magnus Linklater, the son of the writer Eric Linklater,
was born in the Orkneys in 1942.  He
pursued a career in journalism, beginning
at The Express in Manchester before moving
to the Evening Standard in
London.  Then came fourteen years on The Sunday Times, working his way up to
the position of executive editor before leaving to become a managing
editor at The Observer in 1983.  He
became editor of The Scotsman in 1988.

He was described by his colleagues as the last
of the gentleman editors.  He is reported
to have enjoyed the dinner party side of The
job.  He mixed with the
Scottish establishment and peppered the paper with double barrelled
Yet for all that he fitted so naturally into the paper and its milieu,
it was
his first job in Scottish journalism.

His membership of the great and good was at odds with his writer
father’s humble roots.  Eric Linklater
was the son of a master mariner, an Aberdeen grammar school boy made
through his prolific production of popular novels.

Magnus left the editorship of
The Scotsman in 1994 after a row with
the newspaper’s management about its direction.
His departure came as a shock.  In
six years Linklater had built himself an image that was almost
inseparable from
the newspaper itself by becoming a spokesman for devolution.

In 1967 Magnus had married Veronica Lyle, the
grand-daughter of Sir Archibald Sinclair who had served in Churchill’s
Cabinet.  While Magnus scaled the journalistic
ladder in Fleet Street,
set out on
a social work careerTo
many she
was nothing short of a saint,
changing the children’s lives at the school she
had founded for them at Butterstone in Perthshire.  She was made
Baroness Linklater of Butterstone in 1997




Linklater Metis in

Metis was the term given to the
offspring of European women under what was called “a marriage according
to the
custom of the country.”  Over time a
distinct Metis culture developed, with the main numbers to be found
around the
Red River colony in Manitoba.  These were
the records of two Linklater Metis.

John Linklater

John Linklater was
recorded as “a half-breed” at Fort Frances in Manitoba in 1871.  His scrip application four years later
indicated that he was born in 1805 of a Scots father and an Indian
woman.   He had been employed by the
HBC and was
likely the son of an Orkney fur trader and an Anashinabe woman.


William Linklater, perhaps
his son, made a scrip application as head of a family.
He was born in 1832 in Winnipeg, the son of
Metis parents John Linklater and Elizabeth Saunders, and married
Caroline McKay
at the HBC trading post at Fort Pelly in Saskatchewan in 1858.  He was still living at Fort Pelly when he
claimed support for his wife and ten children.



Linklaters and Linkletters in Canada Today

Linklater Linkletter
Province Number Province Number
Manitoba    400 Nova Scotia    250
Saskatchewan    200 PEI    100
Ontario    500 Ontario    350
Elsewhere    300 Elsewhere    300
Total   1,400 Total   1,000


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