“A little barrel-bellied broad-backed equuleus, of a brown or black colour, that is no larger than a donkey”
This is the description of a Shetland pony, written by Samuel Hibbert on his tour of Shetland in 1822 after encountering the native breed of pony, unique to Shetland.
The discovery of a leg bone in excavations at Jarlshof demonstrate that ponies date back as far as the Bronze Age, some 3-4,000 years ago; evolving into a breed which is unique to Shetland. This blog will explore the history of this fascinating breed and their use today.
Sunrise over Lerwick Harbour. Photo courtesy of Scott Goudie.
Picture the scene, a still morning, quiet and milky. Perhaps a few terns making themselves known in the harbour and the sound of pans clattering from cramped kitchens as the residents rise to start another day. This was Lerwick on the morning that the first Dutch East Indiamen would sail into our history books with a bang.
During the 17th century, The Netherlands was one of the most powerful trading nations in the world. With trading colonies in the Far East (Indonesia), the Dutch East India Company brought goods from the Netherlands to the settlers, which were bartered in exchange for precious commodities such as spices and silks. To prevent conflict of interest between various traders and private interests, there was from 1602 until 1799, the establishment of the United Netherlands Chartered East India Company (the VOC). The company held a monopoly on all Dutch trade and navigation east of the Cape of Good Hope and they furthered trading interests in the Indian Ocean, becoming one of the most powerful trading companies in the world.
A little about Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my blog. I hope that you find what you're looking for, whether you are planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.