St Fabian, pope, 250. St Sebastian, 288. St Euthymius, 473. St Fechin, abbot in Ireland, 664.
Born. – Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1707, Hanover.
Died. – Rodolph II., emperor, 1612; Charles VII., emperor, 1745; Sir James Fergusson, 1759; John Howard, 1790.
Most performers belong to skating clubs, – fraternities constituted for the cultivation of the art as an art, and to enforce proper regulations. In Edinburgh, there is one such society of old standing, whose favourite ground is Duddingston Loch, under the august shadow of Arthur’s Seat. The writer recalls with pleasure skating exhibitions which he saw there in the hard winters early in the present century, when Henry Cockburn and the philanthropist James Simpson were conspicuous amongst the most accomplished of the club for their handsome figures and great skill in the art. The scene of that loch ‘in full bearing,’ on a clear winter day, with its busy stirring multitude of sliders, skaters, and curlers, the snowy hills around glistening in the sun, the ring of the ice, the shouts of the careering youth, the rattle of the curling stones and the shouts of the players, once seen and heard, could never be forgotten.
On this Day in Other Sources.
GORDON & LESLIE CREATED EARLS.
The 20th of January  the King calls a parliament at Edinburgh. In this parliament, Alexander Seton, Lord Gordon, was creat[ed] Earl of Huntly, and George, Lord Leslie or Lewin, was creat[ed] Earl of Rothes.
– Historical Works, pp.166-189.
ICY STORM EFFECTS RELATED BY KNOX.
Jan. 20.  – ‘God from heaven, and upon the face of the earth, gave declaration that he was offended at the iniquity that was committed within this realm; for, upon the 20th day of January, there fell weet in great abundance, whilk in the falling freezit so vehemently, that the earth was but ane sheet of ice. The fowls both great and small freezit, and micht not flie: mony died, and some were taken and laid beside the fire, that their feathers might resolve. And in that same month, the sea stood still, as was clearly observed, and neither ebbed nor flowed the space of twenty-four hours.’ – Knox.
– Domestic Annals, pp.13-29.
FOOLED MACGREGOR OF GLENSTRAE HANGED.
Alister MacGregor, Laird of Glenstrae, who had escaped [John Campbell] the Laird of Ardkinlas’ hands, was taken by Archibald [Campbell], Earl of Argyll, who (before he would yield) had promised to him to convoy him safe out of Scottish ground; to perform which promise, he caused some servants [to] convey him to Berwick, and be south [of] it some miles, and bring him back again to Edinburgh, where he was hanged, with many of his kindred, [on] the 20th day of January, in the following year, 1604.
– Historical Works, pp.340-416.
JAMES BROUN, WEARER OF WOMEN’S CLOTHING, SUMMONED.
The offenders are afterwards ordained to make repentance. And on a subsequent occasion the presbytery “ordaines James broun in Ruglen allegit gysor in womens cloathes to be summoned.”1
– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215.
1 20th January, 1608.
DEVASTATING WINTER SNOW STORMS.
Jan.  – At this time commenced a stormy period, which was long memorable in Scotland. It opened with a tempest of east wind, which strewed the coasts of Northumberland and Berwickshire with wrecks. During February, the rough weather continued; and at length, on the 20th of the month, a heavy fall of snow, accompanied by vehement frost, set in, which lasted for thirteen days. This was afterwards remembered by the name of the Thirteen Drifty Days. There was no decided improvement of the weather till the 29th of March. ‘All fresh waters was frozen as if in the midst of winter; all ploughing and delving of the ground was marred till the aforesaid day; much loss of sheep by the snow, and of whole families in the moor country and highlands; much loss of cows everywhere, also of wild beasts, as doe and roe.’ – Law. This storm seems to have fallen with greatest severity upon the Southern Highlands. It is stated in the council books of Peebles that ‘the most part of the country lost the most part of their sheep and many of their nolt, and many all their sheep. It was universal, and many people were almost starved for want of fuel for fire.’
– Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.
GLASGOW ORDERED TO RECEIVE CHARLES II.’S HIGHLAND HOST.
2635. Original Warrant by the Privy Council to the Earl of Linlithgow for the quartering of the “Highland Host” in Glasgow and neighbourhood. 20th January, 1678.
– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.
OLD-WORLD NOTICE OF HASTY MARRIAGE.
“January 20 Mr. Pitt of Bethnall Green to Mrs. Cox widow, worth £5000. She is about 80 and Mr. Pitt is her 5th husband. He is about 70 and she his third wife. Their acquaintance commenced since new-year’s-day.”1
– Old Glasgow, pp.299-307.
1 Gentleman’s Magazine, 1735.
MORE LIVES LOST IN STORMS.
On the 20th January, 1773, at four A.M., there was a tempest, says a print of the time, “and a stack of chimneys on an old house at the foot of Gosford’s Close, possessed by Hugh Mossman, writer, was blown down, and breaking through the roof in that part of the house where he and his spouse lay, they both perished in the ruins… In the storey below, Miss Mally Rigg, sister to Rigg of Morton, also perished.”
– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.118-123.