6th of February

St Dorothy, virgin martyr, 304. St Mel, bishop of Ardagh, 488. St Vedast, bishop of Arras, 539. St Barsanuphius, of Palestine, 6th century. St Amandus, 675.


Born. – Antoine Arnauld, French theologian, 1612, Paris; Augustine Calmet, 1672. 
Died. – Jacques Amyot, Great Almoner of France, 1593; Charles II., 1685, Whitehall; Pope Clement XII., 1740.



The annals of precocity present no more remarkable instance than the brief career of Christian Heinecker, born at Lubeck, February 6, 1721. At the age of ten months he could speak and repeat every word which was said to him: when twelve months old, he knew by heart the principal events narrated in the Pentateuch: in his second year he learned the greater part of the history of the Bible, both of the Old and New Testaments: in his third year he could reply to most questions on universal history and geography, and in the same year he learned to speak Latin and French: in his fourth year he employed himself in the study of religion and the history of the church, and he was able not only to repeat what he had read, but also to reason upon it, and express his own judgment. The King of Denmark wishing to see this wonderful child, he was taken to Copenhagen, there examined before the court, and proclaimed to be a wonder. On his return home, he learned to write, but, his constitution being weak, he shortly after fell ill; he died on the 27th of June 1725, without, it is said, shewing much uneasiness at the approach of death. This account of him by his teacher is confirmed by many respectable contemporary authorities. Martini published a dissertation at Lubeck, in which he attempted to account for the circumstances of the child’s early development of intellect. 

It cannot be too generally known that extreme precocity like this is of the nature of disease and a subject for the gravest care. In a precocious child, the exercise of the intellect, whether in lessons or otherwise, should be discouraged and controlled, not, as it too often is, stimulated, if there be any sincere desire that the child should live.


On this Day in Other Sources.



By the year 1561 the Tolbooth, or Pretorium burgi de Edinburgi, as it is named in the early Acts of the Scottish Parliament, had become ruinous, and on the 6th of February Queen Mary wrote a letter to the magistrates, charging the Provost to take it down at once, and meanwhile to provide accommodation elsewhere for the Lords of Session.

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.123-138.



Reverence to parents was strictly enforced in these times. On one occasion we find the presbytery dealing with a young man because of his being “gudget stubborne and a disobedient sone to his father” – a chief cause of his offence being that he had “cum by his father and his bonnet on his heid, not salutand his father.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215. 

1   6th February, 1598.



Feb. 6. [1621] – The church historian Calderwood notes the occurrence of three fires in Edinburgh in one day as being regarded by people as ‘foretokenings of some mischief.’ ‘About the same time,’ he adds, ‘there came in a great whale at Montrose, which was also apprehendit to be a forerunner of some trouble.’

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.



JAMES, Duke of York, succeeded his brother in the three kingdoms (February 6, 1685) at a mature period of life, being fifty-three years of age. While reckoning as James II. in England and Ireland, he was the seventh of the name in Scotland.

– Domestic Annals, pp.338-341.



The Lounger, to which Lord Craig contributed largely, was commenced, by the staff of the Mirror, on the 6th of February, 1785, and continued weekly till the 6th of January, 1787.

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.118-123.

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