Ernest Marwick

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Ernest Walker Marwick (1915-1977) was a Scottish writer noted for his writings on Orkney folklore and history.

Marwick's father was a travelling salesman who had a smallholding in the parish of Evie, to the north of Mainland, Orkney. Diagnosed with Scoliosis in 1925 when he was ten-years-old, Marwick could no longer attend school as his days had to be spent lying on a wooden board. He used the time of illness to read extensively.[1]

After Marwick's marriage his home provided a meeting-place for local intellectuals, including George Mackay Brown and Robert Rendall.[2] His Anthology of Orkney Verse was published in 1949.[3]

From 1955 to 1960 he was on the staff of the Orkney Herald newspaper. He subsequently moved to The Orcadian, his writing covering literary subjects.[4] Other media work undertaken by Marwick included broadcasting on local and Scottish national radio programmes.[5]

Ernest Marwick was a founder member of the Orkney Heritage Society.[6]

He died in July 1977, having swerved off a straight road and crashed into a farm steading when driving.[7] In 2015, one hundred years after his birth, Orkney International Science Festival focused attention on the contributions he made to Orkney's heritage.[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • An Anthology of Orkney Verse (1949)
  • The Folklore of Orkney and Shetland (1975)



  1. ^ Fergusson (2006), pp. 91, 92
  2. ^ Fergusson (2006), p. 94
  3. ^ Murray & Murray (2004), p. 40
  4. ^ Murray & Murray (2004), pp. 82, 99
  5. ^ Ljosland, Ragnhild, "Ernest Marwick the folklorist" (PDF), University of the Highlands and Islands, archived (PDF) from the original on 4 May 2016, retrieved 3 May 2016 
  6. ^ Robertson (1991), p. xvi
  7. ^ Fergusson (2006), p. 259
  8. ^ "Programme 2015", Orkney International Science Festival, archived from the original on 4 March 2016