10th of March

The Forty Martyrs of St Sebaste, 320. St Mackessog (or Kessog), Bishop in Scotland, 560. St Droctovæus, Abbot, about 580.

Born. – Marcellus Malpighi, microscopic anatomist, 1628, Bologna; Professor Playfair (Natural Philosophy), Benvie, 1748. 
Died. – Heliogabalus (Emperor), beheaded, A.D. 222; Pope Benedict III., 858; Ladislaus III. of Poland, 1333; Sir Hugh Myddleton, engineer (New River), 1636; Sir John Denham, poet, 1668; John, Earl of Bute, (prime minister, 1762-3,) South Audley-street, London, 1792; Benjamin West, painter, P.R.A., 1820; John VI., King of Portugal, 1826.


Among the many interesting facts concerning bees which attract the attention not only of naturalists, but of other persons acquainted with country life, is the existence of honeycombs in timber. The little workers select their dwellings in accordance with instincts which are yet but little understood; penetrating through or into solid substances by means apparently very inadequate to the work to be done. M. Réaumur proposed the name of carpenter-bees to denote those which work in wood, to distinguish them from the mason-bees that work in stone, and the mining-bees that work underground. Scottish naturalist, Mr Rennie (Insect Architecture) says, ‘We have frequently witnessed the operations of these ingenious little workers, who are particularly partial to posts, palings, and the wood-work of houses which has become soft by beginning to decay. Wood actually decayed, or affected by dry rot, they seem to reject as unfit for their purpose; but they make no objections to any hole previously drilled, provided it be not too large.’ It is always, so far as is known, a female bee that thus engages in carpentry. Mr Rennie describes one which he saw actually at work. She chiselled a place in a piece of wood, for the nest, with her jaws; she gnawed the wood, little bits at a time, and flew away to deposit each separate fragment at a distance. When the hole was thus made, she set out on repeated journeys to bring pollen and clay; she visited every flower near at hand fitted to yield pollen, and brought home a load of it on her thighs; and alternated these journeys with others which resulted in bringing back little pellets of clay. After several days’ labour, she had brought in pollen enough to serve as food for the future generation, and clay enough to close up the door of her dwelling. Several days afterwards, Mr Rennie cut open the wooden post in which these operations had been going on. He found a nest of six cells; the wood formed the lateral walls, but the cells were separated one from another by clay partitions no thicker than cardboard. The wood was worked as smooth as if it had been chiselled by a joiner.

Open air Preaching is sometimes heard from a great distance. It must of course depend much on the character of the speaker’s voice, but also to a considerable extent on conditions of the surface and on the hygrometric state of the atmosphere. Mrs Oliphant, in her Life of the Rev. Edward Irving, states that he had been on some occasions clearly heard at the distance of half a mile. It has been alleged, however, that Black John Russel of Kilmarnock, celebrated by Burns in no gracious terms, was heard, though not perhaps intelligibly, at the distance of a full mile. It would appear that even this is not the utmost stretch of the phenomenon. A correspondent of Jameson’s Journal, in 1828, states that, being at the west end of Dunfermline, he overheard part of a sermon then delivering at a tent at Caineyhill by Dr Black: he did not miss a word, ‘though the distance must be something about two miles:’ the preacher has, perhaps, seldom been surpassed for distinct speaking and a clear voice: ‘and the wind, which was steady and moderate, came in the direction of the sound.’

On this Day in Other Sources.

A parliament was called by the King this year, to be [held] at Edinburgh, [on] the 10th day of March [1540;] wherein was enacted many laws [about] trade and merchandising; as also the Cromar and Braemar, with the lands of Hinterland, Easter Wemyss, and Buckhaven, were annexed to the crown, by the [forfeiture] of James Colville. 

– Historical Works, pp.238-275.

[The Queen & Bothwell] passed together to Seaton; and there passed their time, merryly, together, to the 10th of March [1567,] when Le Croc, the French ambassador, persuaded her to return to Edinburgh. 10th of March they [the Queen and Bothwell] returned to Edinburgh, by persuasion of Le Croc, where they remained till the 24th of the same month; earnestly trying the upsetting of the placards; but, never a word of the King’s murder.” – Thus much then, of the slander of Buchanan, which only evinces the odious guilt of Murray’s faction. 

– Life of Mary, pp.151-155.

In the meantime, the Queen, on the 10th of March [1567,] returned from Seaton to Edinburgh, where she remained, till the 18th of April; daily engaged in the public business. 

– Life of Mary, pp.155-184.

The 10th day of March, this year [1577,] James [Douglas,] Earl of Morton, who had governed Scotland almost [five years,] most worthily, perceiving new factions to grow among the nobility, who much [complained] (according to their [usual] manner) that they had no hand in the government, voluntarily of himself resigned the regency; although he had been established therin by act of parliament. Upon whose [resignation] there were 16 noblemen chosen [with] some others, to be privy counsellors to the King, and by whose advice he should govern. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

In 1578, on the 10th of March, died Margaret, Countess of Lennox, who survived her husband, and her eight children. She had been thrice imprisoned, not for charges of treason, but matters of love: (1) when Thomas Howard, the son of Thomas, the first Duke of Norfolk, being in love with her, died in the Tower; (2) when her son, Darnley, married the Queen of Scots; and (3) when her son, Charles, Earl of Lennox, married Elizabeth Cavendish. The venerable countess lived to know, that the murder of her son, Darnley, was altogether owing to the conspiracy of Murray’s faction; and knowing that fact, she became quite reconciled to the Queen of Scots, during five, or six years: and had confessed her sorrow, for the unjust pursuits, which she had carried on against Mary, through the orders of Elizabeth. 

– Life of Mary, pp.260-274.

Mar. 10 [1595.] – Commenced ‘ane horrible tempest of snaw, whilk lay upon the ground till the 14[th] of April thereafter.’ – Bir

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

The Session was commanded to sit in Leith; and the 10th day of March [1597,] the [whole] counsel and community of Edinburgh were denounced rebels, because William Maule [appeared] not at Perth with the rest; and on the 22nd day of this same month, the town of Edinburgh [was] relaxed from the horn, and received to the King’s favour,.. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

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