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22nd of January

St Vincent, martyr at Valencia, 304. St Anastasius, martyr in Assyria, 628.

Born. – Sir Robert Cotton, 1570; P. Gassendi, 1592; Gotthold Lessing, 1729. 
Died. – John F. Blumenbach, physiologist, 1840; Richard Westall, painter, 1850.


The life and labours of this distinguished man present a remarkable instance of the application of the study of antiquities to matters of political importance and public benefit. Cotton was knighted by James [VI.], during whose reign he was much consulted by the privy councillors and ministers of state upon difficult points relating to the constitution. He was also employed by King James to vindicate Mary Queen of Scots from the supposed misrepresentations of Buchanan and Thuanus.


January 22, 1753, died at Broomlands, near Kelso, Jan Countess of Roxburgh, aged 96. No way remarkable in herself, this lady was notable in some external circumstances. She had undergone one of the longest widowhoods of which any record exists – no less than seventy-one years; for her first and only husband, Robert third Earl of Roxburgh, had been lost in the Gloucester frigate, in coming down to Scotland with the Duke of York, on the 7th of May 1682. She must also have been one of the last surviving persons born under the Commonwealth. Her father, the first Marquis of Tweeddale, fought at Long Marston Moor in 1644.

Singular as a widowhood of seventy-one years must be esteemed, it is not unexampled, if we are to believe a sepulchral inscription in Camberwell Church, relating to Agnes Skuner, who died in 1499, at the age of 119, having survived her husband Richard Skuner ninety-two years!

On the Day in Other Sources.


Of the vernacular language of Glasgow in local writs, one of the earliest examples is to be found in a deed which I have referred to elsewhere – an agreement between “Frer Oswald Priour of the Freris of Glasgow and the Convent of the Samyn on the ta part and John Flemyn of the Covglen on the tother part,” bearing date 22d January, 1433.1 It is a curious document apart from its interest as an example of what the language in Glasgow was four hundred and fifty years ago. It bears that “the said Johne has set in to feferm tyll the said Priour and the Convent, or quha sa be Priour in that said Convent, a rud of lands lyand on the gat at strekis fra the Markat Cors tyll the he kyrk Glasgu… the said priour and convent payit tha for yherly tyll the said Johne hys ayris or assignyis ten schylling of vsuale mone of the kynryk of Scotland… and stabylling for twa hors in that samyn place or ellis within the Freris tyll the said John Flemyn qwhen hyn lykis tyll cum tyll do hys erandis or mak residens within the toun / And attour gyf it lykis the said Johne Flemyn tyll cum and dwell and mak residens within Glasgu / the said priour and convent, or qwha sa be priour in the tym, sall byg tyll the said Johne an honest hall chamir and butler, with a yard to set cale in, sic as effeiris in thir thyngis, till the said Johne Flemyn till be herberÿt in / the said Johne ressavand nan annuell of the said plase sall lang as he maynures it in the maner as is beforsaid but fraud or gyle / To be haldyn and had the said landis with thair appertenans fra me myn ayris executoris and assignyis tyll the priour and the convent of the said freris in fourme and maner as is befor spokyn… with all profitis commoditeis and eysmentis and als frely as ony land is broukyt or possedyt in fe and heritayge within the burgh of Glasgu.” 

Old Glasgow, pp.56-68.

1  Lib. Coll., p. 166.


The King, this year, by a herald, charges the Earl of Angus to confinement within the province of Moray, there to remain under the pain of death; he is cited by this same herald, likewise, to [appear] before the King and his estates, in a parliament to be [held] at Edinburgh, the 22nd of this same month of January [1528], wherein he and his brother George are declared traitors, and [forfeited]; which they hearing, immediately flee to England.

Historical Works, pp.238-275.


But, the time was come, when the restless ambition of Murray was to have a disastrous end. On the 22d of January 1570, was the Regent Murray shot, in the streets of Linlithgow, by Hamilton of Bothwell-haugh, for persecuting his wife to distraction, and injury, which, according to the husband’s irritated feelings, nothing could satisfy, but a stroke of death: So far did resentment carry men, during such a state of anarchy. The Queen is said to have shed tears, when she heard of the sad catastrophe of Murray: But, they ought to have been tears of joy, rather than of sorrow; as he was, undoubtedly, the principal murderer of her husband, and his ambition had effected her ruin, and had involved her kingdom, in the usual miseries of civil war.”

Life of Mary, p.239.


The view of the old bridge [here] represents it as shewn in an engraving published by Foulis in 1761, and reproduced in Dr. Macgeorge’s Old Glasgow, published by Messrs. Blackie & Son in 1880. The view is from the south side of the river, and takes in the spire of the Old Merchant Hall in Guildry Court.

At this time [in 1584], apparently, the town statutes prohibited the carriage across the bridge of certain articles, the weight of which was probably considered greater than the structure could bear with impunity. Accordingly, on 22nd January, 1584-85, 11 persons were convicted of drawing “sparit cartis with full hogsheids enlang the brig,” and five person for “rowing of full hogsheidis and drauing of sparit cartis inlangis” the bridge…1

Scots Lore, p.15-29.

1  Council Records, i. 116.


One Alexander Hamilton was apprehended as a notorious warlock, and put into the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. He ‘delated’ four women of the burgh of Haddington, and five other women of its neighbourhood, as guilty of witchcraft. The Privy Council sent orders to have the whole Circean nine apprehended; and as their poverty made it inconvenient to bring them to Edinburgh, the presbytery of Haddington was enjoined to examine them in their own district. What was done with them ultimately, we are not informed. Another woman, named Katherine Oswald, residing at Niddry, near Edinburgh, was likewise accused by Hamilton, and taken into custody. This seems to have been considered an unusually important case, as four lawyers were appointed to act as assessors to the justices on her trial. – P. C. R. It was alleged of Katherine that she had that partial insensibility which was understood to be an undoubted proof of the witch quality. Two witnesses stated that they ‘saw ane preen put in to the heid, by Mr John Aird, minister, in the panel’s shoulder, being the devil’s mark, and nae bluid following, nor she naeways shrinking thereat.’ 

Hamilton alleged that he had been with Katherine at a meeting of witches between Niddry and Edmonstone, where they met with the devil. It was also stated that she had been one of a witch-party who had met at Prestonpans, and used charms, on the night of the great storm at the end of March 1625. But the chief articles of her dittay bore reference to cures which she had wrought by sorcery. Katherine was convicted and burned. – B. A. 

The warlock Alexander Hamilton also accused the Lady Home of Manderston, in Berwickshire, of having practised against the life of her husband, Sir George Home, by witchcraft. Patrick Abernethy, notar in Duns, and William Mowat, a servant, were accordingly cited by the Council to come and give information regarding the case. The presence of Sir George himself was of course desirable; but Sir George, like many other good Scotch lairds, of that day and of later days, was under some danger of the law on account of his debts. It therefore became necessary to send him a protection, in order that he might be enabled to appear in the city. There does not seem to have been any other foundation for the charge than the fact that Sir George Home and his wife did not live on amicable terms. 

Hamilton himself was tried (January 22, 1630), when it came out that he had begun his wicked career in consequence of meeting the devil in the form of a black man on Kingston Hills, in Haddingtonshire. Being engaged to serve the fiend, he was instructed to raise him by beating the ground thrice with a fir-stick and crying: ‘Rise up, foul thief!’ He had consequently had him up several times for consultations; sometimes in the shape of a dog or cat, sometimes in that of a crow. By diabolic aid, he had caused a mill full of corn, belonging to Provost Cockburn, to be burned, merely by taking three stalks from the provost’s stacks and burning them on the Garleton Hills. He had been at many witch-meetings where the enemy of man was present. This wretched man was sentenced to be worried at a stake and burned.

Domestic Annals, pp.228-256.


Tradition asserts that Lord Grange was dissipated, restless, intriguing, and was concerned in some Jacobite plots subsequently to the battle of Sheriffmuir; that in revenge his wife threatened to inform the Government; and there is proof, from one of his own letters, that she had actually taken her seat in one of the occasional stages which then ran between Edinburgh and London, and he bribed her to give her seat to another traveller, after which he would seem to have resolved upon “sequestrating her,” as he phrased it; and in a long letter written by herself, and dated January 26th, 1741, she gives an ample detail of how this was effected.

The plot was concerted between Lord Grange and some west Highland chiefs, among whom was the unscrupulous old Lord Lovat. A party of Highlanders, wearing the livery of the latter, made their way into [Lady Grange’s] lodgings in Niddry’s Wynd on the evening of the 22nd January, 1730, seized her with violence, knocking out some of her teeth, and, tying a cloth over her head, bore her forth, as if she had been a corpse.

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.246-252.

Again we have the same thing repeated on the Scotch Private Bill Legislation, the second reading of which was debated on the 22d January 1891. Fifteen members from Scotland voted for the Bill, twenty-six against it, yet the measure was carried by a majority of sixty-four, thus swamping Scotch opinion by English votes. How important a question this is to the well-being of Scotland we have referred to on page 96 of this work, so further comment is unnecessary. 

– How Scotland Lost Her Parliament, Appendix – Note G. 

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