16th of March

St Julian, of Cilicia, martyr, about 303. St Finian, surnamed Lohbar (or the Leper), of Ireland, 8th century.


Born. – René de Bossu, classical scholar, 1631, Paris; Jacques Boileau, French theologian, 1635; Caroline Lucretia Herschel, astronomer, 1750, Hanover; Madame Campan, historical writer, 1752. 
Died. – Tiberius Claudius Nero, A.D. 37, Misenum; the Emperor Valentinian III., assassinated 455; Alexander III. of Scotland, 1286; Johann Severin Vater, German linguist and theologian, 1826, Halle; Gottfried Nees von Esenbach, botanist, 1858; M. Camille Jullien, musician, 1860.


On this Day in Other Sources.


On the 16th of March [1185,] died Robert Avenel, who gave his lands of Eskdale to the abbey of Melrose. 

– Historical Works, pp.19-38.


About the 16th of [March, 1563,] the Queen heard at St. Andrews, of the death of her uncle, the Duke of Guise, by assassination. Coligni, the rival of that illustrious man, had the generosity to say, that the taking of such a personage, by such means, was a dastardly deed. The Queen wrote letters of condolence to the Queen mother, to her grandmother, to the Duke’s widow, and to her other friends, in France: thus consoling herself, by offering consolation to others. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.


The ministers had, indeed, much need of seat-rents. Out of the ample possessions which belonged to the church at the Reformation the rapacity of the nobles left but a scanty remnant for the support of the ministers, and their stipends in the end of the sixteenth century were miserably inadequate. There is an incidental notice of this in a minute of presbytery in 1595. It bears that the Presbytery of Glasgow consists of six churches, viz., Glasgow, Govan, Rutherglen, Cadder, Lenzie, and Campsie, “and of the said sex Kirkis thair is the minister of Campsie ane auld man having onlie in yeirlie stipend fourscoir and sex lib [about £9] and the minister of Leinzae onlie in stipend fourtie aucht lib with the vicarage worth twentie merkis in the ʒeir [altogether under £7] and the saidis ministers of Campsie and Leinzae throch povertie keipis nocht the dayes of presbiterie.”1 No wonder. The object which the presbytery had in view, however, was not the increase of the emoluments of these poor gentlemen – which was probably at that time hopeless – but to get the General Assembly to cause the church of Monkland and some other churches to be joined to the Presbytery of Glasgow so as to increase the number of members necessary for the despatch of business. 

Old Glasgow, pp.189-215. 

1 Presbytery Records, 16th March, 1595.


Little’s Close appears as Lord Cullen’s in Edgar’s map of 1742, so there had also resided that famous lawyer and judge, Sir Frances Grant of Cullen, who joined the Revolution party in 1688, who distinguished himself in the Convention of 1689 by his speech in favour of conferring the crown of Scotland on William and Mary of Orange,, and thus swayed the destinies of the nation. He was raised to the bench in 1709. His friend Wodrow has recorded the closing scene of his active life in this old alley, on the 16th of March, 1726. “Brother,” said the old revolutionist, to one who informed him that his illness was mortal, “you have brought me the best news ever I heard!” “And,” adds old Robert Wodrow, “that day when he died was without a cloud.” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.102-111.


When the New Town of Edinburgh was projected, a clause was introduced into the Act empowering the Crown to grant royal letters patent for the establishment of a theatre in Edinburgh. 

Mr. David Ross, manager of a small one then existing, amid many difficulties, in the Canongate, and latterly of Covent Garden Theatre – a respectable man, who had managed two houses in London – obtained the patent, and the foundation-stone of the new theatre was laid on the 16th of March, 1768. In the stone was laid a silver plate, inscribed thus:- 

“The first stone of this new theatre was laid on the 16th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1768, by David Ross, patentee and first proprietor of a licensed stage in Scotland. May this theatre tend to promote every moral and every virtuous principle, and may the representations be such 

“To make mankind in conscious virtue bold, 
Live on each scene and be what they behold.” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.340-348.

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