16 Jurid. Rev. 189 (1904)
Udal Law and the Foreshore

handle is hein.journals/jure16 and id is 195 raw text is: UDAL LAW AND THE FORESHORE.
HE dual land tenure in the Orkneys and Zetland, the
Norse udal system on the one hand, and the Scottish
feudal system on the other, has been the source of much
confusion  and   contention    in  the intricate and    troubled
history of these islands. (a) A primitive odal not charged
with any particular services must, as Freeman says, have
seemed something strange and unintelligible to the Normans
coming into England. (b) Just so was it to Sir Walter Scott
when he visited Zetland in the year 1814. He has painted
for romance(c) the portrait of Magnus Troill, the stark
Zetland Udaller and Norse chauvinist, but the great novelist,
albeit Scottish lawyer and antiquary, was puzzled by the
entanglement of land-rights in Zetland. To his legal eye
and feudal outlook, the dualism of tenure and the resultant
contradictions were eccentricities. (d)     The litterateur of
feudal romance could no more rest in allodial individualism,
than the Roman lawyers could conceive of an unlimited series
of successive estates, in the same area of land, going back to
(a) See Vigfusson, turlunga Saga, L Prolegomena, ccviii.
(b) History of the Norman Conquest, Vol. v. p. 369.
(c) The Pirate, see especially chap. i.
(d) I cannot get a distinct account of the nature of the land rights. The
Udal proprietors have ceased to exist, yet proper feudal tenures seem ill under-
stood. Districts of ground are in many instances understood to belong to town-
ships or communities, possessing what may be arable by patches, and what is
muir as a commonty, pro indiviso. But then individuals of such a township
often take it upon them to grant feus of particular parts of the property thus
possessed, pro indiviso. The town of Lerwick is built upon a part of the com-
monty of Sound, the proprietors of the houses having feu-rights from different
heritors of that township, but why from one rather than another, or how even

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