Place:Caithness, Scotland

Watchers
NameCaithness
Alt namesGallaibhsource: Wikipedia
TypeTraditional county
Located inScotland     ( - 1975)
See alsoHighland area, Scotlandunitary council area
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Caithness is a registration county. See Registers of Scotland, Land Register Counties.

Caithness is a lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland.

As registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area, Caithness has a land boundary with the equally historic local government area of Sutherland. Otherwise it is bounded by sea. The land boundary follows a watershed and is crossed by two roads, the A9 and the A836, and one railway, the Far North Line. Across the Pentland Firth ferries link Caithness with Orkney, and Caithness has also an airport at Wick. The Pentland Firth island of Stroma is within Caithness.

The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (1708 to 1918). Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is now entirely within the Highland council area.

Caithness is one of the Watsonian vice-counties, subdivisions of Britain and Ireland which are used largely for the purposes of biological recording and other scientific data-gathering. The vice-counties were introduced by Hewett Cottrell Watson who first used them in the third volume of his Cybele Britannica published in 1852. He refined the system somewhat in later volumes, but the vice-counties remain unchanged by subsequent local government reorganisations, allowing historical and modern data to be more accurately compared. They provide a stable basis for recording using similarly-sized units, and, although grid-based reporting has grown in popularity, they remain a standard in the vast majority of ecological surveys, allowing data collected over long periods of time to be compared easily.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Caithness originally formed part of the shire or sheriffdom of Inverness, but gradually gained independence: in 1455 the Earl of Caithness gained a grant of the justiciary and sheriffdom of the area from the Sheriff of Inverness. In 1503 an act of the Parliament of Scotland confirmed the separate jurisdiction, with Dornoch and Wick named as burghs in which the sheriff of Caithness was to hold courts. The area of the sheriffdom was declared to be identical to that of the Diocese of Caithness. The Sheriff of Inverness still retained power over important legal cases, however until 1641. In that year parliament declared Wick the head burgh of the shire of Caithness and the Earl of Caithness became the heritable sheriff. Following the Act of Union of 1707 the term "county" began to be applied to the shire, a process that was completed with the abolition of heritable jurisdictions in 1747.

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