13th of March

St Euphrasia, virgin, 410. St Mochoemoc, abbot in Ireland, 655. St Gerald, bishop in Ireland, 732. St Theophanes, abbot, 818. St Nicephorus, patriarch of Constantinople, 828. St Kennocha, virgin in Scotland, 1007.

Born. – Joseph II. (of Germany), 1741. 
Died. – Belisarius, general, 565, Constantinople; Cardinal d’Ossat, 1604, Rome; Bartholo, Legate, burned, 1614; Jean de la Fontaine, French poet, 1695; Peter Mignard, French painter, 1695; Nicolas Boileau, French poet, 1711; Regina Maria Roche, novelist, (Children of the Abbey,) 1845.


Amongst weather notions one of the most prevalent is that which represents the moon as exercising a great influence. It is supposed that upon the time of day at which the moon changes depends the character of the weather during the whole of the ensuing month; and we usually hear the venerable name of Sir William Herschel adduced as authorising this notion. Foster, in his Perennial Calendar, transfers from the European Magazine what he calls an excellent table of the prospective weather, founded on ‘a philosophical consideration of the attraction of the sun and moon in their several positions respecting the earth.’ Modern science in reality rejects all these ideas as vain delusions; witness the following letter written by the late ingenious professor of astronomy in the university of Glasgow, in answer to a gentleman who wrote to him, making inquiries upon this subject. 

     ‘Observatory, July 5, 1856. – Dear Sir, I am in receipt of your letter regarding the supposed influence of the moon on the weather. You are altogether correct. No relation exists between these classes of phenomena. The question has been tested and decided over and over again by the discussion of long and reliable meteorological tables; nor do I know any other positive way of testing any such point. I confess I cannot account for the origin of the prevalent belief.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The 13th day of March, this same year [1438,] the Governor calls a parliament at Stirling, in which it was enacted, that the lieutenant of the shire should raise the country, and pass to the castles and houses of such rebels as interrupted the public peace, and [either] cause them find [surety] for their good carriage in time coming, [otherwise] to seize upon their persons and houses, and present them to justice. 

– Historical Works, pp.166-189.

James, Earl of Arran, Lord Hamilton, is declared tutor and Regent to the infant Queen; and calls immediately a parliament at Edinburgh, the 13th day of March [1542,] Cardinal David [Beaton,] Archbishop of St. Andrews, opposes his election, and alleges tutors testamenters left by King James V., but in vain. 

– Historical Works, pp.275-340.

The Parliament on the 13th of March 1543, declared the Earl of Arran, one of the weakest of men, the next heir to the crown, governor of the kingdom, and tutor to the Queen. James, the second Earl of Arran, who was thus elevated, by his relationship to the Queen, rather than his own merit, married, in September 1532, one of the daughters of the distracted familt of the Earl of Morton. 

– Life of Mary, pp.9-15.

The youth in whose favour he had resigned the Abbacy of Inchaffray was James Drummond of Inverpeffray, the second son of David, second Lord Drummond, who was commendator of Inchaffray on the 13th of March 1556, when David Lord Drummond acted with him as his coadjutor. The abbacy of Inchaffray was erected into a temporal lordship in his favour, and he was created Lord Madertie in 1609. From him is descended the noble family of Strathallan. 

– Sketches, pp.204-219.

Mar. 13 [1594.] – ‘… being Sunday, his majesty came to Mr Robert Bruce’s preaching, [who] said to his majesty, that God wald stir up mae Bothwells nor ane (that was, mae enemies to him nor Bothwell), if he revengit not his, and faucht not God’s quarrels and battles on the papists, before he faucht or revenged his awn particular.’ – Bir

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

Taken seriatim, the records of the Tolbooth contain volumes of entries made in the following brief fashion:- 

“1663, March 13. – Alexander Kennedy; hanged for raising false bonds and writts. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.123-138.

On the 13th of March [1689, Lieutenant-General Hugh Mackay] heavily cannonaded the western entrenchments [of Edinburgh Castle,] and by dint of shot and shell retarded the working parties; but General Mackay now formed a battery of 18-pounders, at the Highriggs, opposed to the royal lodging and the half-moon.

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.

In a debate before the Privy Council on this case, after hearing representations from both parties, it was held that the earl’s complaint was proved, while an attempt of Balmouto to make out a counter-charge of assault against Lord Leven was declared to have failed. Balmouto was obliged to beg the earl’s pardon on his knees, and, on pain of imprisonment, give caution for future good-behaviour. 

On the ensuing 13th of March 1694, Balmouto is found representing to the Council that ‘his misfortune has been so great, that his friends are unwilling to interest themselves in his liberation, whereby his family is in hazard to be ruined and himself to die in prison;’ and he craved that they would accept his personal obligation and allow him his liberty. The Earl of Leven having concurred in desiring this, the petition was complied with. – P. C. R.

– Domestic Annals, pp.342-354.

“We are quarrelling about an income tax of seven-pence the pound sterling,” said Mr. Cobden, in his speech in the House of Commons, March 13th, 1852. What amount do the people pay on articles consumed by them? For every 20s. they expend on tea, they pay 10s. of duty; for every 20s. on sugar, they pay 6s.; on coffee, 8s.; on soap 5s.; on beer, 4s.; on tobacco, 16s.; on spirits, 14s.; on every 20s. they expend upon these articles, and other articles in proportion, you cannot but see that this amounts to an income tax, not 7d. the pound, but sometimes of 12s., 15s., or 16s. per pound; while men of thousands a year expend their money upon luxuries, with comparatively little tax.” It is really wonderful how the aristocratic classes have contrived to evade the payment of their due share of the taxation of the country. According to their own Parliamentary Report, the land tax of Great Britain amounts to £1,183,000, which is only one pound in every thirty-three pounds raised by taxation in Britain. The taxes are mainly extorted from the working classes, who are the least able to bear the imposition, while the rich both exempt themselves, and spend the taxes so raised in the most riotous, reckless, extravagance. The land tax, so far as I can trace, has not been increased since 1688, though other taxes during that period have [increased] nearly twenty fold. Yet from the beginning of George the Third’s [1738-1820] reign to 1834, the aristocracy had seized upon and enclosed not less than 6,840,540 acres of common land, but the taxes were not increased one cent. This is not all, they have enacted laws to exempt the landed and agricultural classes from taxes imposed on the rest of the community. The landlord laws enact that all shall pay the stamp duties but themselves. The assessed taxes have been removed down to the farm-house, and the shepherd’s dog. The laws authorise entail, by which real estates are preserved to a series of heirs, unattachable by the claims of creditors. They have specially exempted lands from the heavy probate and legacy duty, imposed on all other kinds of property descending by inheritance or Will. By these means alone, according to calculation, they saved themselves the enormous sum of £3,000,000 annually. 

– Gloomy Memories, pp.71-110.

   “I may mention here that on the Union between England and Scotland, the debt of England was £20,000,000, and the sum which Lord Castlereagh says was paid to Scotland for taking a portion of that debt, was £398,085; and were Ireland to have got the Union at an equivalent, she must have been paid £10,000,000; and it must be remembered that it was not the object of the Act of Union to do an injustice to Ireland; not to increase her taxation unfairly, but as stated on the preamble to that Act, ‘to promote and secure the essential interest of Great Britain and Ireland.’  

   Thus, bearing in mind that Ireland was especially exempted from bearing any portion of the charge for the British debt, and that she had received no compensation for doing so, and remembering that the Treaty of the Union was forced upon her against her wish, we are the better able to appreciate the full force of the report of the Finance Committee of 1815, which seems to have been appointed for the purpose of finding some pretext for removing from Ireland the protection to which she was entitles under the Treaty of Union.”  

– Waterford Mail, Friday 13th March, 1863.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

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