Year Description
7000 BC Evidence of Mesolithic Hunter / Gatherers
3500 BC Neolithic Settlement
400 BC – 400 AD Iron Age – building of the Brochs
c. 400-900 AD Pictish Period
c800-850 Arrival of first Norse settlers (era of the Vikings starts)
1299 First surviving paper/parchment written document in Shetland history
1469 Impignoration by Denmark to Scotland
1581 Earl Robert Stewart created Earl of Orkney, Lord of Shetland
1625 First mention of Lerwick -7 Nov 1625 Act anent demolishing the houses in Lerwick
07 Jan 1696 Tingwall - Earliest surviving entry in a Parish Register for Shetland
1711 Last of Hanseatic Traders rise of Shetland merchants, transfer of capital from Scalloway to Lerwick
1700s Norn language dying out, by 1750 used only by older people
c. 1750 Start of Shetland’s connection with the Greenland whaling, English ships stopping in Shetland for victualling and to complete their crews
1793-1815 French Wars. 3,200 Shetland men in the Royal Navy, many pressed and also many in the army
1804 Famine. The government arranged meal distribution
1832 Fishing Disaster, 17 boats and 105 men lost
1861 Peak census population in Shetland at 31,670
1881 Gloup fishing disaster, 10 boats and 56 fishermen lost
c1895 Start of herring fishing boom which peaked in 1905
1900 Delting disaster, 4 boats and 22 men lost
c. 1910 Involvement in the Antarctic Whaling. Many Shetland men employed, continued to 1950s
1914-1918 WW1 Shetlanders served in the armed forces and many were in the Merchant Marine
1933 First plane to land in Shetland – at Sumburgh
1936 Sumburgh laid out as an airport
1939-1945 WW2 Shetlanders again served in the armed forces and Merchant Navy
1960 First Hamefarin. Nearly 80 Shetland emigres returned, mainly from New Zealand
1964 TV comes to Shetland when the Bressay mast becomes operational (BBC only)
1971 Brent oilfield discovered off Shetland
1981 Sullom Voe Oil Terminal opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II
1991 Foundation of Shetland FHS
1999 First visit of the Tall Ships Race
2005 Shetland hosted the Island Games