Earldom of the Norns

The Earldom of the Norns consists of the two island groups of Shetland and Orkney. The geographic title “Earldom of the Norns” dates from their recognition as a separate nation under the Scottish Crown following the creation of the Blessed Isles state in 1946. It does not relate to any extent titles of nobility.

These islands belonged to the Kingdom of Scotland from 1470 (and then Great Britain, and then the United Kingdom). Before this, the islands had been the Earldom (sometimes: Jarldom) of Orkney under the Norwegian Crown, although the Jarls had been the (Scottish) Earls of Caithness since 1232, who regained the territories after officially ceding them to the Scottish King.

While similar to the typical mainland Scotland, Norn culture has a stronger influence from their Pictish past and they are more Norse than Hiberno-Norse due to their distance from the Irish Sea and their closer shared history with Norway. The nation is named for their distinct language, which was extinct bar dialectal influence from the late 18th Century but has been almost as healthily revived as Cornish and Manx.


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