Shetlopedia - The Shetland Encyclopaedia
- 357 vessels of 56,453 tons burden entered and cleared the port of Lerwick during the year.
- A smack, registered in Norway, but otherwise unidentified, laden with a cargo of fish, wrecked on a baa near the island of Orfasay, Yell.
- From the Medical Press & Circular October 15, 1869 - "Dr. Mitchell, reporting to the Commissioners in Lunacy for Scotland, states that on the occasion of his visit to Shetland he saw much stronger and deeper signs of poverty than he had ever seen before. In the parish of Unst, the year's poor rate is no less than 7s. 1d. per pound of the gross rental. When the taxes, charges, and burdens on land are added to this, he was assured that less than one-third of the rental will be left to the proprietor. All over Shetland the poor rate has been rapidly and steadily increasing during the last twenty years - the increase in some parishes being 700 or 800 per cent. In the parish of Lerwick it is said to have risen since 1845 from £40 to £900."
Robert Jamieson (1827-1899) publishes his appeal for funds to build a new school in Sandness, as "A Cry From Shetland' in The Scotsman
- 13th or 17th
Lugger Gango or Ganzo sank north of Unst.
*The Janet, a sail fishing lugger, on a trip out from Shetland, capsized "off Fethaland" during Force 9 N by E wind conditions. Four souls were lost, and three saved. It is thought that the wreck was later salvaged.
- The erection of telegraph poles in Shetland starts.
- Heavy snow falls during September resulted in this autumn being referred to for years as the "Snowy Hairst". The snow lay for so long that finally only the ears of corn protruding above the snow could be cut.<ref>The Shetland Book- Chapter 19</ref>
- The Nelson, a smack of and for Lerwick, carrying an unspecified part cargo, parted from her anchor in Grutness Voe and went ashore. It is not known whether she was salvaged or wrecked.
- The Experiment (LK13), a sail cutter of Lerwick, laden with a mixed cargo of hay, corn and general goods, from Olna Firth to Papa Stour, parted from her anchor in Gon Firth and went ashore. All of the crew were saved, as was the cargo, albeit the hay and corn in a damaged condition. The wreck was condemned, and later sold.
Joseph Gray, author and pioneer of the islands' motor trade, is born in Lerwick.