13th of February

St Polyeuctus, martyr at Melitine, 250. St Martinianus, hermit, of Athens, circ. 4th century. St Medomnoc (or Dominic), bishop of Ossory, 6th century. St Stephen, abbot in Italy, 6th century. St Licinius, bishop of Augers, 618. St Gregory II. (Pope), 631. Roger, abbot of Elan in Champagne, circ. 1175. St Catherine de Ricci, virgin, 1589.

Born. – Alexander Wedderburn, Earl of Rosslyn, 1733, Chesterhall; David Allan, Scottish painter, 1744, Alloa; Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, diplomatist, 1754. 
Died. – Benvenuto Cellini, Florentine sculptor, 1576; Elizabeth Stuart (of Bohemia), 1662, Leicester House; Dr Cotton Mather, 1728, Boston, N. A.; Charles Count de Vergennes, French diplomatist, 1787, Versailles; the Duke de Berri, assassinated, 1820, Paris.


St Valentine’s eve appears to be still kept as a time for a general giving and receiving of gifts. It is a lively and stirring scene. ‘The streets swarm with carriers, and baskets laden with treasures; bang, bang, bang go the knockers, and away rushes the banger, depositing first upon the door-step some packages from the basket of stores – again and again at intervals, at every door to which a missive is addressed, is the same repeated, till the baskets are empty. Anonymously, St Valentine presents his gifts, labelled only with “St Valentine’s love,” and “Good morrow, Valentine.” Then within the houses of destination, the screams, the shouts, the rushings to catch the bang-bangs, – the flushed faces, sparkling eyes, rushing feet to pick up the fairy-gifts – inscriptions to be interpreted, mysteries to be unravelled, hoaxes to be found out – great hampers, heavy and ticketed “with care, this side upwards,” to be unpacked, out of which jump live little boys with St Valentine’s love to the little ladies fair, – the sham bang-bangs, that bring nothing but noise and fun – the mock parcels that vanish from the door-step by invisible strings when the door opens – monster parcels that dwindle to thread papers denuded of their multiplied envelopes, with fitting mottoes, all tending to the final consummation of good counsel, “Happy is he who expects nothing, and he will not be disappointed.” It is a glorious night; marvel not that we would perpetuate so joyous a festivity.’ – Madder’s Rambles in an Old City (Norwich).

On this Day in Other Sources.


There was in May this year, 1209, an interview between King William and John, King of England, at Newcastle, for 8 days, without any great conclusion, save only the in the following year, 1210, King William did resign all his lands in England in the hands of King John, for new investiture of them, to be given to Prince Alexander, his eldest son; for which the said Prince did homage to the King of England, John, at London. At this same time he was knighted by King John, and created Earl of Huntingdon, the 13th of February, and the 14th year of his age, in 1210.

– Historical Works, pp.19-38.


In 1305, Robert Bruce having escaped the traps and snares of the English tyrant, by the treachery of John the Red Comyn, came to Lochmaben, and from there, accompanied [by] James Lindsay, and Roger Kilpatrick, went to Dumfries, the 13th of February, and in the church there having met with John Comyn, did accuse him of his wicked and perfidious dealing and treachery towards him, in revealing the bond of confederacy between them, contrary [to] his faith, began to deny; but Robert, impatient, stabbed him in the breast, with his cousin, Sir Robert Comyn, whom James Lindsay, and Roger Kilpatrick, did quickly despatch.

– Historical Works, pp.77-88.


This year, Lang Hermandston field was fought between David Fleming [of Biggar], Lord Cumbernauld, and James Douglas [of Balvenie], son to Archibald, Earl of Douglas, and Alexander Seton, thereafter Lord Gordon, the 13th of February [1404]. In this fight the Lord Fleming was killed, with most of his followers.

– Historical Works, pp.133-144.


I am not sure that their Lanarkshire possessions are so well known. In Clydesdale alone they held Kilbride, Dalserf, and Nenflare, with I believe “Ferme-Comyn,” a little above Glasgow (afterwards Hamilton Farm);1 and on the north boundary of Lanarkshire, though de facto in Dunbartonshire, the extensive baronies of Kirkintilloch and Cumbernauld – all forfeited by their opposing Robert Bruce in the War of Independence.

– Scots Lore, pp.50-53.

1 My authority for this will be found in the Acta Dominorum Auditorum, p. 134, where on 13th February, 1490, in the action by Thomas Stewart of Minto against Patrick Hamilton of the Ferme for non-payment of 750 marks Scots due under his bond to Thomas for failing to infeft him heritably in the lands of “Ferme Comyn,” the defendant was decerned in absence to pay the money and expenses, etc. This is the only notice I have ever seen of Ferme Comyn. In that neighbourhood there were several “Fermes” – e.g. Crawford’s Ferme, Hamilton’s Ferme, and Noble’s Ferme, distinguished by their owner’s names. We may fairly add a fourth.


[Mary] returned to Edinburgh, where she was taken ill. And she now remained at her metropolis, till the 13th of February [1563].

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.


Feb. 13 [1594.] – Graham, being charged by the king, for peace’ sake, to depart from Edinburgh, was passing down Leith Wynd in obedience to the order, attended by three or four score persons for his protection, when Sir James Sandilands, accompanied by his friend the Duke of Lennox and an armed company, followed hard at his heels. Graham, thinking he was about to be attacked, turned to make resistance. The duke sent to tell him that if he proceeded on his journey, no one would molest him; but the message proved of no use, in consequence of some stray shot from Graham’s company. The party of Sandilands immediately made an attack; the other party hastily fled. Graham fell wounded on the street, and was carried into a neighbouring house. A French boy, page to Sir Alexander Stewart, one of Sandilands’ friends, seeing his master slain, followed the hapless judge into the house, ‘douped a whinger into him,’ and so despatched him. Such was the characteristic termination of a lawsuit in 1593. – Cal.

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

On the 13th of February [1594], in the preceding year, John Graham of Halyards, a Lord of Session (a kinsman of Montrose), was passing down Leith Wynd, attended by three or four score of armed men for his protection, when Sir James Sandilands, accompanied by his friend Ludovic Duke of Lennox, with an armed company, met him. As they had recently been in dispute before the Court about some temple lands, Graham thought he was about to be attacked, and prepared to make resistance. The duke told him to proceed on his journey, and that no one would molest him; but the advice was barely given when some stray shots were fired by the party of the judge, who was at once attacked, and fell wounded. He was borne bleeding into an adjacent house, whither a French boy, page to Sir Alexander Stewart, a friend of Sandilands, followed, and plunged a dagger into him, thus ending a lawsuit according to the taste of the age.

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.191-198.


Feb. 13. [1692] – King William felt impatient at the unsubmissiveness of the Jacobite clans, chiefly Macdonalds of Glengarry, Keppoch, and Glencoe, the Grants of Glenmoriston, and the Camerons of Locheil, because it caused troops to be kept in Scotland, which he much wanted for his army in Flanders.

– Domestic Annals, pp.342-354.

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