Faeroe (Faroe) Islands
 

 
 
      c.650 - c.825         Settlement by Celtic monks.
                     c.825  Norse conquest and settlement.
        970 - 1280          Republic (periodically a dependency of Orkney).
                      1035  Norwegian rule.
               24 Jun 1298  First local constitutional law ("Sheep Letter").
               11 Sep 1380  Danish rule begins (from 1396, part of Denmark's
                             Sjaelland County).
        1655 - 1708         Granted as a feudal estate to the von Gabel family by
                             the King of Denmark.
                      1708  Danish crown again takes possession.
 06 Mar 1720 - 06 Mar 1775  Administered as part of Iceland.
                      1776  Administered as part of Sjaelland (Sealand) County of
                             Denmark.
               24 Jan 1814  Recognized as Danish possession by the Treaty of Kiel.
                      1816  Faroe Islands become a separate County.
               22 Jun 1919  Flag adopted.
 12 Apr 1940 - 16 Sep 1945  British occupation.
               14 Sep 1946  Referendum votes independence 48.7% to 47%; independence
                             is declared on 18 Sep 1946, declaration is annulled
                             by Denmark on 20 Sep.
               30 Mar 1948  Self-government granted.
               01 Apr 1948  Home Rule Act
 

 
 
The Faroe Islands (Faroese: Fřroyar, Danish: Fćrřerne), literally meaning Sheep Islands. These are an island group and archipelago, a self-governing community under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland. The 17 inhabited islands and numerous islets and reefs have an area of approximately 1,400 km2 (540 sq mi). The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country (except for an appointed governor-general) with their own legislature, executive and flag within the Danish Realm since 1948. Over the years, the Faroese have taken control of most domestic matters. Areas that remain the responsibility of Denmark include military defence, police, justice, currency and foreign affairs. The Faroe Islands also has representatives in the Nordic Council as members of the Danish delegation. While it is thought that Irish hermits lived on the islands in the 7th and 8th centuries, the present inhabitants are descended from 6th century Norse settlers. The Faeroe Islands became a Norwegian fief in 1035 and became Danish in 1380 when Norway and Denmark were united. They have ever since remained in Danish possession. The islands were associated with and taxed by Denmark and Norway up to 1814, when Norway fell under the rule of Sweden. Scandinavia was in political turmoil following the Sixth Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars, when the Treaty of Kiel granted Denmark control over the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland in 1814. The Danish trade monopoly ended in 1856. The principal industries are fishing and livestock. Fish and fish products are exported. Capital and largest city: Tórshavn.
Territorial Dispute: Because anticipated offshore hydrocarbon resources have not been realized, earlier Faroese proposals for full independence have been deferred; Iceland, the U.K., and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm.
 

  • The local legislature, the Lagting, has met every year since 970, except for the period 1816-1852. Sporadic Celtic settlement from prehistory; settlement by Irish monks c.600-800 CE
  • Norse conquest and settlement....................c. 800 - c . 900 CE
  • Republic, dominated by powerful chieftains c. 800-1280
  • Grim Kamban the Lame......................................fl. c. 800
  • Grim was supposedly the first Nordic settler on the islands, but according to Faereyinga Saga he did not arrive in Faeroe until the reign of Harald Fairhair. Scholars are divided on both his historiocity and the date of his actual arrival in the islands. He seems to have been worshipped after his death by the islanders, who believed he could give them good weather. About the ninth and early tenth century history of the islands almost nothing is known, but by the 960's they had largely fallen under the control of the Gataskegg family, whose feuds and internacine squabbles are the subject of the main part of the Faereyinga Saga.
  • Halfgrim (in Sudrey)............................c. 950 - c. 970 with...
  • Breste Gataskeggi (in Skúvoy)...................c. 950 - c. 970 and...
  • Breine Gataskeggi (in Skúvoy)...................c. 950 - c. 970
  • Sigmundur Brestisson............................c. 980 - 1005 opposed by...
  • Tróndur í Gřtu..................................c. 970 - 1035 with...
  • Ossur Halfgrimsson (in Sudrey)..................c. 970 - 1000
  • The feud between Thrond and Sigmund had great significance; Sigmund was a Christian and a vassal of Jarl Haakon, and later Olaf Tryggvasson of Norway, while Thrond was a pagan and stubborn nationalist. Sigmund raided Thrond's f arm and forcibly converted him to Christianity. Several years later Thrond took his revenge by attacking Sigmund at night, forcing the latter to swim across the sea to Sandvik. There Sigmund was murdered by a farmer for the gold arm-ring he wore; the disgusted Thrond had the murderer hanged. Although Thrond and his protege Leif Ossurarson thereafter became paramount chieftains in the Faeroes, their power continued to be challenged both by the Faeroese themselves and by the growing influence of the Norwegian crown.
  • Leif Ossurson [Leivur Řssurarson]..................1035 - c. 1060
  • In around 1040 Leif, who had been acknowledged as the paramount chieftain in the islands, traveled to Norway and pledged himself as a vassal of King Magnus. The islanders resisted Norwegian overlordship for another two centuries, going so far as to starve a Norwegian-appointed bishop to death in his unfinished cathedral in 1308.
  • Norwegian influence from 1040's
    • unknown ruler
    • Hroar (Roe) (as Bishop of Faeroes)............1162 - c. 1180
    • The islands win a passing notice from Norwegian historians in connection to King Sverre (r. 1177-1202), the nephew of the above-mentioned Hroar. Sverre, the son of a high-born Norwegian lady, claimed to be an illegitimate son of Sigurd II. His mother, however, was married to a Faeroese comb-maker named Unas, and Sverre spent much of his childhood in the islands.
  • Norwegian dependency...............................1280 - 1380
  • To Denmark.........................................1380 - 1940
    • The Faeroes were under their own governors from 1280-1553, and under the administration of Danish bailiffs from 1553-1655. Earldom of Faeroe A feudal arrangement. The Danish government assumed full authority over the islands once more in 1709.
    • von GABEL
    • Christopher............................06 Jan 1655 - 18 Apr 1670
    • Frederik...............................18 Apr 1670 - 21 Jun 1708
  • From 1709 until 1720 the islands were administered by a committee consisting of Jřrgen Kristian Klein (to 1715), Didrik Markussen (from 1715), Rasmus Juel and Samuel Pedersen. In 1720 they were placed under the jurisdiction of the governors of Iceland, and in 1776 transferred to the control of the Prefects of Sjaelland. In 1816 local rule was restored under prefects appointed by the Danish crown. Since 1948 the islands have been internally self-governing, with the Crown being represented by a High Commissioner.
  • Military Protectorate of Great Britain......12 Apr 1940 - 16 Sep 1945
    • British Naval officers-in-charge
    • William Reginald Denys Crowther........16 Apr 1940 - 01 Apr 1941
    • Richard Thornton Down..................01 Apr 1941 - 27 Nov 1941
    • Noel Marcus Francis Corbett............27 Nov 1941 - 25 Feb 1945
    • Horace George Gorton...................25 Feb 1945 - Apr 1945
  • Denmark.....................................16 Sep 1946 - date
    • Prefect
    • Cai A. Vagn-Hansen............................1945 - 1948
    • Self-governing dependency of Denmark...30 Mar 1948 - date
    • High Commissioners (Rigsombudsmand)
    • Cai A. Vagn-Hansen (continued).................1948 - 1954
    • Niels Elkćr-Hansen.............................1954 - 1961
    • Mogens Wahl....................................1961 - 1972
    • Leif Groth.....................................1972 - 1981
    • Niels Bentsen..................................1981 - 1988
    • Bent Klinte....................................1988 - 1995
    • Vibeke Larsen (female).........................1995 - 01 Nov 2001
    • Birgit Kleis (female)...................01 Nov 2001 - 01 Aug 2005
    • Sřren Christensen.......................01 Aug 2005 - 01 Jan 2008
    • Dan M. Knudsen..........................01 Jan 2008 - date

 

 
  • Lřgmenn
  • Lřgmenn of the Faeroes These individuals were responsible for organizing the Althing of the islands and served in a similar capacity to the law-speakers of Iceland. The post has evolved into the current prime ministership of the islands.
  • Norway..............................................1035 - 11 Sep 1380
  • Gilli......................................................late 1200's
  • Sjúrdur....................................................early 1300's
  • Símun......................................................fl. 1350
  • Denmark......................................11 Sep 1380 - date
  • Dagfinnur Halvdanarson.....................................c. 1400
  • Haraldur [Harald] Kálvsson.................................fl. 1412
  • Roald......................................................c. 1450
  • Jřrundur Skógdrívsson...............................1479 - 1524
  • Tormódur Sigurdsson.................................1524 - 1531
  • Andras Guttormson...................................1531 - 1544
  • Guttorm Andrasson...................................1544 - 1571
  • Jógvan Heinason [Joen Heinesen].....................1572 - 1583
  • Ísakur Gottormsson..................................1583 - 1588
  • Pćtur Jákupsson.....................................1588 - 1601
  • Tummas Símunarson...................................1601 - 1608
  • Sakaris Tórmódarson.................................1608 - 1629
  • Jógvan Justinussen..................................1629 - 1654
  • Jógvan Pálsson [Poulsen] (1st time).................1654 - 1655
  • Baltsar Jacobsen....................................1655 - 1661
  • Jógvan Pálsson [Poulsen] (2nd time).................1662 - 1677
  • Jakup Joanson [Jógvansson]..........................1677 - 1679
  • Jóhan Hendrik Weyhe.................................1679 - 1706
  • Sámal Pćtursson.....................................1706 - 1752
  • Hanus Jákupsson Debes...............................1752 - 1769
  • Thorkild Fieldsted..................................1769 - 1772
  • Jacob Hveding.......................................1772 - 1786
  • Johan Michael Lund..................................1786 - 1805 d. 1824
  • Jřrgen Frants Hammershaimb..........................1806 - 1816 d. 1820
  • Post abolished 1816-1946
  • Chairman of the Lagting
  • Thorstein Petersen...........................18 Sep 1946 - 20 Sep 1946
  • Prime Ministers
  • Andras Samuelsen.............................12 May 1948 - 15 Dec 1950
  • Kristian Djurhuus (1st time).................15 Dec 1950 - 08 Jan 1959
  • Peter Mohr Dam (1st time)....................08 Jan 1959 - 04 Jan 1963
  • Hákun Djurhuus...............................04 Jan 1963 - 12 Jan 1967
  • Peter Mohr Dam (2nd time)....................12 Jan 1967 - 19 Nov 1968
  • Kristian Djurhuus (2nd time).................19 Nov 1968 - 12 Dec 1970
  • Atli P. Dam (1st time).......................12 Dec 1970 - 05 Jan 1981
  • Pauli Ellefsen...............................05 Jan 1981 - 10 Jan 1985
  • Atli P. Dam (2nd time).......................10 Jan 1985 - 18 Jan 1989
  • Jógvan Sundstein.............................18 Jan 1989 - 15 Jan 1991
  • Atli P. Dam (3rd time).......................15 Jan 1991 - 18 Jan 1993
  • Marita Petersen (female).....................18 Jan 1993 - 15 Sep 1994
  • Edmund Joensen...............................15 Sep 1994 - 15 May 1998
  • Anfinn Kallsberg.............................15 May 1998 - 03 Feb 2004
  • Jóannes Eidesgaard...........................03 Feb 2004 - 26 Sep 2008
  • Kaj Leo Johannesen...........................26 Sep 2008 - date
 
 
Monetary standard: Faroese [fřroysk] Króna and coinage in Danish Krone = 100 Řre.
The Faroe Islands use standard Danish coinage, but the region has experienced a shortage of small currency on several occasions, leading to non-standard issues. During the late 19th century, German national C.F. Siemsen, a merchant conducting business in both the Faroe Islands and Iceland, issued his own private coinage. This issue is brass, one side carrying the inscription: CFS and the other side the denomination: 4 or 16 skilling in goods ("x SKILLING I VARE"). Due to a shortage of currency in 1929-33, two merchants issued their own coins as well; J.F. Kjřlbro in Klaksvík and S.P. Petersens Eftf in Fuglafjřrđur. The Kjřlbro issue is aluminium coins with denominations of 10, 25 and 50 řre, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 kroner. S.P. Petersens Eftf's issue was made of brass in denominations of 5, 10 and 25 řre, and 1, 2 and 5 Kroner. During World War II, the Faroe Islands were separated from Denmark proper due to the occupations by the United Kingdom and Germany respectively. In 1941, a set of coins (1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 řre) was minted in London to alleviate a shortage of small change. This issue was identical to the pre-war Danish coinage already circulating, but is easily identified: the coins minted in London were made of bronze and copper-nickel, while the comparable coins minted in Denmark in 1941 were made of aluminium and zinc (with one exception). In addition, the British made set lacks both the mark of the Royal Danish Mint (a small heart) and the initials of the engraver and the mint master in Copenhagen. These coins dated in 1941 for Faeroe Islands are also reported to be minted in 1942 with the same dies.
 
1941 issues by United Kingdom during World War II.
 

KM#2 2 Ore. Year: 1941. Weight: 3.80g. Metal: Bronze. Edge: Plain. Diameter: 21.00 mm; hole in the center. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: "DANMARK" written above with Year below it. Design on both sides. Value "2 ŘRE" at the bottom. Reverse: Crowned monogram of Christian X in the center. "KONGE AF" (King of) on the left side clockwise and "DANMARK" on the right side clockwise. Mintage: 200,000 (estimated). Minted Years: One year type.

KM#3 5 Ore. Year: 1941. Weight: 7.59g. Metal: Bronze. Edge: Plain. Diameter: 26.50 mm; hole in the center. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: "DANMARK" written above with Year below it. Design on both sides. Value "5 ŘRE" at the bottom. Reverse: Crowned monogram of Christian X in the center. "KONGE AF" (King of) on the left side clockwise and "DANMARK" on the right side clockwise. Mintage: 200,000 (estimated). Minted Years: One year type.

KM#4 10 Ore. Year: 1941. Weight: 3.01g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 18.00 mm; hole in the center. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: Crowned monogram of Christian X in the center. with Year below it. "DANMARK" written at the bottom. Reverse:  Numeral "10" written at the top. Ornaments design in the center. "ŘRE" written at the bottom. Mintage: 200,000 (estimated). Minted Years: One year type.

KM#5 25 Ore. Year: 1941. Weight: 4.44g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 23.00 mm; hole in the center. Alignment: Medal. Mint: British Royal Mint. Obverse: Crowned monogram of Christian X in the center. with Year below it. "DANMARK" written at the bottom. Reverse:  Numeral "25" written at the top. Ornaments design in the center. "ŘRE" written at the bottom. Mintage: 200,000 (estimated). Minted Years: One year type.
 
 
Banknotes: When German forces occupied Denmark on 9 April 1940, the Danish krone was used in the Faroes. However, all exchange between the Faroes and Denmark halted as a result of the occupation, leaving one currency to develop in two markets independently of each other. On 31 May 1940, special Faroese banknotes were introduced. They consisted of Danish notes with a special stamp. These notes replaced unstamped Danish at par. From 14 October 1940, new banknotes were printed "on behalf of the National Bank of Denmark". The value of these new banknotes was the same as those already in use. On 18 December 1940, the Faroese króna was pegged to the British pound at a rate of 22.4 krónur = 1 pound. This rate was officially accepted by the British government in a treaty titled "Agreement between His Britannic Majesty's Government and the Administration of the Faroe Islands, for Regulating the Financial Relations between the United Kingdom and the Faroe Islands" which came into force on 27 March 1941. As of 12 April 1949, the Faroese króna was separated from the pound sterling and fixed to the Danish krone at parity. This arrangement is still in effect. Although Faroese banknotes were issued "on behalf of the National Bank of Denmark", the National Bank of Denmark does not claim any rights to Faroese banknotes issued prior to 1951. Danish kroner are exchanged to Faroese krónur and vice versa by the National Bank of Denmark free of charge. While normal Danish bank notes are no longer intended as legal tender in the Faroes, they are accepted there in most situations. In Denmark proper, existence of the Faroese króna is poorly known, particularly the fact that it is officially the same currency as the Danish krone and that the notes can be exchanged by any Danish bank without charge. Consequently, very few Danish stores will accept Faroese notes. People travelling from the Faroes to Denmark are often advised to exchange their cash prior to embarking in order to prevent potential complications arising from this situation.
 
 
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