from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- An island off the coast of northeast England near the Scottish border. At low tide the island is connected with the mainland by a stretch of sand. Saint Aidan (died 651) established Celtic Christianity in England by founding a monastery here in 635. Danes destroyed the settlement in 793.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Unless a safe conduct were granted which it had not been ships were subject to attack off the straits of Dover, Yarmouth, and Holy Island all the way up to Scotland, and would have no shelter if rough weather hit them anywhere along the six-hundred-mile journey.