Forewick Holm

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Forewick Holm
Gaelic name Unknown
Norse name Forvik (modern coinage)
Forewick Holm is located in Scotland
Forewick Holm
Forewick Holm
Forewick Holm shown within Scotland
OS grid reference HU186594
Physical geography
Island group Shetland
Area 1 hectare (2.5 acres)
Area rank na [1]
Highest elevation 10 metres (33 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Shetland
Population Nil
References [2][3][4][5]

Forewick Holm (a.k.a. Forvik Island) is a 1-hectare (2.5-acre) island in the Sound of Papa in the Shetland islands, Scotland.[3] located between Papa Stour and the Sandness peninsula.


About 200 metres (656 ft) south of Forewick Ness headland on Papa Stour and 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) north of Melby on the Sandness peninsula. 60°19′07″N 01°39′49″W / 60.31861°N 1.66361°W / 60.31861; -1.66361

A small islet called Scarf's Head is accessible from Forewick Holm at low tide.[4]


Ownership of the islet is in dispute between Papa Stour resident Mark King and Cunningsburgh resident Stuart Hill (aka "Captain Calamity").

Hill claims that King donated the island's udal title (allodial title) to Hill in 2008[6] in order to support Hill's ongoing activism regarding Shetland's legal and constitutional position.[7] In 2008 Hill claimed Forewick Holm as the Crown Dependency of Forvik.

King stated this was not the case and he had agreed to sell the island to Hill. In March 2009 King still claimed ownership stating that Hill had not paid for the island as agreed.[8]


The island is officially named Forewick Holm but Hill coined the name Forvik Island and claims it means "island of the bay of sheep".[9] Wick is an anglicisation of vik, a Norse and modern Norwegian word for bay. Får is sheep in modern Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Holm is a common name in the Orkney and Shetland islands, and elsewhere, for a small, rounded island, an example is Stockholm.


Detailed location map

There are no records of the island being permanently inhabited at any time, and currently Stuart Hill resides there for a few days a year. Its small size (just under a hectare/2 acres) renders it unable to support any significant population. However, there is some evidence of a circular construction on its SSE tip, which could represent anything from a sheep pen, to a Pictish era building.[10]

The SS Highcliffe was wrecked on the islet on 6 February 1940. The ship and cargo were destroyed but there was no loss of life.[11]

Declaration of Dependence[edit]

Forewick Holm from Sandness with Papa Stour in the background

On 21 June 2008, Hill, the island's only occasional resident,[12] declared Forvik to be a British Crown dependency named the Crown Dependency of Forvik and thus an independently administered jurisdiction - one of the British Islands - and so not a part of the United Kingdom or of the European Union.[13] The micronation is not recognised by the UK or any other internationally-recognized sovereign state.

Hill is accepting Forvik citizenship applications; land-owning citizenship (Shetland Islands residents only) which includes a one square metre plot of land, and honorary citizenship which doesn't but is open to non-Shetlanders. As well as an application fee, both types of citizen will pay an annual skat (tax) of one Forvik Gulde (the micronation's currency) per year.[14]

On 18 July 2008 Hill began inviting companies with a "proven track record" to bid for oil exploration rights in Forvik Island's territorial waters.[1][2]


  1. ^ Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ Shetland Action. "Keep asking "When did the Crown get ownership?"". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  3. ^ a b Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. p. 451. 
  4. ^ a b Ordnance Survey. "Get-a-map". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  5. ^ According to Shetlopedia Mr. Hill took up residence "shortly before" 21 June
  6. ^ Riddel, Neil (2008-06-20). "Captain Calamity' goes it alone again, this time safe on dry land". Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Forvik FAQs". Archived from the original on 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Forvik Island". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  10. ^ "'Forvik Island (Shetlopedia article)". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  11. ^ "Highcliffe" Shetlopedia. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  12. ^ "Hill issues invitation to oil firms over rights to the Forvik seabed." (18 July 2008) The Shetland Times. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  13. ^ Khan, Urmee (2008-06-19). "Captain Calamity to create new state in Shetland islands". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  14. ^ "Forvik Island (Shetlopedia article)". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 

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