11th of February

Saints Saturninus, Dativus, and others, martyrs of Africa, 304. St Severinus, 507. St Theodora, empress, 867.


Born. – Bernard de Bovier de Fontenelle, littérateur, 1657, Rouen
Died. – The Emperor Heraclius, 641; René Descartes, French philosopher, 1650, Stockholm; Macvey Napier, editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica, 1847.


On this Day in Other Sources.



In place of Geoffrey [de Liberatione], Bishop of Dunkeld, was elected Mr Richard [de] Inverkeithing, the 11th of February this year [1250], being then Chamberlain of Scotland.

– Historical Works, pp.57-77.



The first Mint House had been originally erected in the outer court of the palace of Holyrood, somewhere near the Horse Wynd, from whence, for greater safety, it was removed to the castle, in which a new Mint House had been built in 1559, as shown by the following entry in the accounts of the High Treasurer, under the date February, 1563:- 

“Item, allowit to the carpenter, be payment maid to Johne Achesoun, Maister Congreave, to Maister William McDowgale, Maister of Werk, for expensis maide be him vpon the bigging of the çwnge-house, within the castell of Edinburgh, and beting of the çwnge-hous within the Palice of Halierud-house, fra the xi. day of Februar, 1559, zeris, to the 21 of April, 1560, £460 4s. 1.”

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.266-274.



The Queen, on the subsequent day, namely, the 11th of February 1567, wrote the following account of the murder to the Archbishop of Glasgow, her resident at Paris:  

“Maist Rev. Fader in God, and traist counseilor, we grait ye weil: We have receivit, this morning, your letters of the 27th of January, by your servant, Robert Dury, containing in ane part sic advertisement, as we find, by effect, overtrue, albeit the succes has not altogether been sic, as the authoris of that mischievous fact had preconceivit in their mind, and had put it in execution, gif God, in his mercy, had not preservit us, and reservit us, as we traist, to the end we may tak a rigorous vengeance of that mischievous deed, quhilk, or it sould remain unpunishit, we had rather lose life, and all. The matter is horrible, and sa strange, as we believe the like was never heard of in any country. This night past being the 9th of February, a little after twa houris, after midnight, the house quhairin the King was logit was in ane instant blawin in the air, he lyand sleipand in his bed, with sic a vehemencie, that of the haill loging, wallis, and other, there is nathing remainit, na, not a stane above another, but all either carreit far away, or dung in dross to the very ground stane. It mon be done be force of powder, and appearis, to have been a mine: Be quhome it has been done, or in quhat manner, it appearis not as yet. We doubt not bot, according to the diligence oure counsal has begun alreddie to use the certaintie of all sal be usit schortlie; and the same being discoverit, quhilk we wott God will never suffer to ly hid, we hope to punish the same with sic rigor, as sal serve, for example of this crueltie to all ages to cum. Allwayes, quhoever has taken this wicked interprys in hand, we assure ourself it was dressit alswel for us, as for the King; for we lay the maist part of all the last week, in that same loging, and was thair accompanyit with the maist part of the lordis, that ar, in this town, that same night, at midnight, and of very chance tarryit not all night, be reason of sum mask in the abbaye; but, we believe it was not chance, but God to put it in our hede. We depeschit this berars upon the sudden, and therefore wraitis to you the mair schortlie. The rest of your letter, we sal answer at mair laser, within four or five dayis, by your owne servant. And sua, for the present, committis you to Almightie God. At Edinburgh, the 11th day of Februar 1567.”  

Let this artless letter of the Queen be compared with Murray’s letter, or Maitland’s, or Morton’s, on the same occasion; and any eye will perceive her innocence, and their guilt.

– Life of Mary, pp.151-155.

On the 11th of February, 1567, after the murder of Darnley, Mary retired to this apartment, where she had the walls hung with black, and remained in strict seclusion until after the funeral. Killigrew, who came from Elizabeth with letters of condolence, on his introduction found “the Queen’s Majesty in a dark chamber, so that he could not see her face, but by her words she seemed very doleful.”

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.66-79.



Feb. 11. [1682] – Three men were drowned this day by falling through the ice on the North Loch (which then occupied the place of what is now the Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh). ‘We have a proverb that the fox will not set his foot on the ice after Candlemas, especially in the heat of the sun, as this was at two o’clock; and at any time the fox is so sagacious as to lay his ear to the ice, to see if it be frozen to the bottom, or if he hear the murmuring and current of the water.’ – Foun.

Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.

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