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.

   “Yesterday when the House of Commons went into a Committee of the whole House on the Corn Exportation and Importation Bill, a great number of amendments were proposed, and several of them agreed to. – When that clause was agitated, fixing the price at which Oats were to be permitted duty-free, a very warm debate ensued, supported by several Scots Members. They contended, that as Oats in general were the chief food of much the greater part of their countrymen, the permitting the importation of oats on a small duty, when the price was at 16s. per quarter, and taking off every duty when it rose to 18s. would discourage the Farmer from growing that grain in Scotland, which was in reality discouraging the raising every species of bread Corn in that kingdom; that it would be destructive of the landed interest there, and distress the poor; that before the Treaty of Union, and since a bounty on exportation by the laws of that country was to take place at 15s. and no importation allowed till the price came to 19s. 4d. considering the decreased value of money since that period, the scale of prices now proposed, of 14s. for the bounty and 16s. for the importation, went against those former regulations which have continued since the time of Charles II.’s reign; that those prices having been settled at the Union, the innovations now proposed were a breach of that Treaty, and consequently of the constitution of the two united kingdoms; that the perfect satisfaction expressed by the Land-owners, the Consumers and Growers of Corn, in that part of the island, with the Law as it now stands, is the surest test of the benefits derived from it to each of them; and that, as Oats are not cultivated in South Britain for human food, but for horses, it would be cruel and unjust to starve their northern fellow subjects, that Gentlemen in the south may be thereby enabled to feed their horses at a cheaper rate. To these objections it was answered, that if permitting the importation at a lower price than usual would be a means of falling the price, why should not that consideration operate equally with all; that keeping up the prices on the native Consumer, purely to increase the value of land, was a policy that, however secretly pursued, ought not to be publicly avowed; that the scale of prices in William and Mary’s reign were those in force at the time of the Union in England; that the price at which importation was permitted, from that time till very lately, was, Wheat at 2l. 13s. 4d. per quarter, whereas the present Bill fixed it at 2l. 8s. and so with all other grain in proportion, so that, if there was a decrease of 1-15th in the scale established at that period in Scotland, there was 1-10th so far as the present Bill affected England; that therefore no breach of that fundamental Treaty could be pretended, in the instance now proposed, unless the Gentlemen on the other side could shew that the reduction was partial, and not proportioned. At length Mr. Pulteney proposed, that, as the Bill was to be re-committed, a Clause might be inserted on the Report, that the provisions now objected to might not extend to Scotland, as he presumed the House would agree that the Gentlemen from that country were the best judges of their own interest, which was agreed to.” 

Leeds Intelligencer, Tuesday 16th March, 1773.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1750-1800.


   We formerly gave extracts from two letters which appeared in the Weekly Journal under the signature of Malachi Malagrowther, and now subjoin some excerpts from two letters in reply to them, published last week in the London Courier. – After a few prefatory remarks on the silly appellation of styling Scotland a Kingdom, the writer proceeds,-  

   You mention in your letter, that you had heard, from your grandfather, of a certain old treaty, called the Treaty of Union, and you profess a hope that this obsolete document may even yet be discovered, and exhibited in the Museum of Scottish Antiquities. You need scarcely have told us, that you had never seen this treaty. Every page of your letter, from the title to the colophon, exhibits a happy ignorance both of its enactments and its spirit, but as I have had the good fortune to meet with a copy of this recondite document, I can take upon myself to inform you, that, somewhere about the year 1707, Scotland ceased to be a kingdom, as also did England, and the separate nationalities of each were merged in the Imperial name and sovereignty of Great Britain; and I think that your idea of a UNION, which was not to lead to assimilation of laws and manners and to identity of feelings and interests, might be expected to have occurred to the blundering brains of Paddy Blake, rather than to the precise and dialectic frame of mind to which the Malagrowthers lay claim. In most unions the bride is expected to assume the name, share the fortunes, and assimilate with the manners, of the husband. Your notion of what was to be expected from Scotland, on her union with England, seems, on the contrary, to be like that which your renowned relative, Sir Mungo, entertained of Mrs Martha Trapbois, when she condescended to intermarry with Mr Ritchie Moniplies. “It seems to me,” said the Knight, “that this bride of yours is like to be master and mair in the conjugal state.”  

Perthshire Courier, Thursday 16th March, 1826.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1800-1850.


   SIR, – The Times has fallen, I see, on praising our Scottish Burgh members as the pink of perfection, ‘sober yet not reactionary,’ and so forth – in short, model members for all English constituencies to copy from in their choice, when they have any, of Parliamentary representatives. All well for the great organ of Cockneydom thus to belaud men who are sent up to represent Scottish interests, and yet not one of them, I make bold to say, deserves the name of a Scottish statesman. They and their newspaper organs in Scotland, one would think, must all be in the pay of England, and resolved to give good service for their pay. What interest they take in the progress of Scotland, how little they possess of the patriotism of a Duncan Forbes or a Henry Dundas, may be seen from a single incident in the debate which took place about a year ago on Irish grievances. Two Scottish burgh members – the Lord Advocate and Mr Dunlop – rose and spoke very effectively against Irish discontent by pointing to the patient good behaviour of Scotland under far worse treatment than Ireland could allege her having received. The Lord Advocate gravely spoke of the taxation of Scotland as about 5½ millions. Mr Dunlop did not correct him; not  a single Scottish member seems ever to have asked himself the question, what material progress Scotland had made since the close of the great war in 1815. Had they looked into the Edinburgh Almanac’ they might, at the cost of a little trouble in summation, have found that Scotland was then paying, not five and a half but nine and a quarter millions into the imperial exchequer; that her revenue had more than doubled since 1815. And to this actual revenue of, say nine millions, we may fairly add another million which Scotland would unquestionably yield were the enormous proportion of her landed rental and of her imperial taxation, at present remitted to and spent in England, retained and spent among ourselves. One is within the truth in saying that the population of Scotland would at this moment have amounted to six instead of three millions, but for this enormous yearly drain upon her as the tributary province, which even the Lord Advocate seems quite content that she should be. 

   … Now, that Scotland is really and truly taxed more than England may easily be proved. Not only may we insist that although Mr Gladstone told the Glasgow working men that in this country people paid overhead £2, 10s. of yearly imperial taxation, in Scotland, which, with a population of three millions, pays above nine millions of such taxes, the average is 10s. more. Not only may we point to the exemption of cider from any excise, and the enormous duties (very properly) paid on whisky, but we can point to the very obvious consideration once pressed by Lord Malmesbury on the people of Shrewsbury, that to tax a people without spending taxes amongst them is to punish them, and thus, his Lordship said, did the Emperor Louis Napoleon punish his disaffected cities. He withdraws troops from being placed in garrison among them, and thus takes their taxes without spending any among them. Now, we Scots are anything but disaffected, yet we are punished, severely punished. No, it will be said, for although England spends our millions, she has no objections to our going into England and having our share. Alas! this is poor consolation… How, for instance, is heritable property affected in the two countries by this expenditure? Were our nine millions all spent in Scotland, could the value of land in Scotland fail to be greatly enhanced, not only at all the arsenals, dockyards, and other centres of Government expenditure, but over the whole of Scotland? And is it possible to give any reasonably fair interpretation to the fourth article of the Treaty of Union, which provides that there shall be equal rights, privileges, and advantages for all her Majesty’s subjects, whether in South or North Britain, when the rule is that taxes shall be equally levied, yet unequally spent? I appeal to any one at all versed in such calculations to say whether it would not be a good bargain for Scotland to pay a considerable property and income tax to England on condition of having her own due share of imperial outlay, rather than go on as we are doing at present, having a mere pittance of the taxes we pay spent in Scotland; doubling our public revenue every half century, yet reaping no proportionate advantage; and seeing the Chancellor of the Exchequer year after year coolly applying a surplus which is purely and entirely Scottish, to the liquidation of an Irish deficit, and the relief of England and Ireland as well as Scotland.” 

– Edinburgh Evening Courant, Friday 16th March, 1866.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

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