18th of March

St Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, martyr, 251. St Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem, 336. St Fridian, Bishop of Lucca, 578. St Anselm, Bishop of Lucca, 1086.


Born. – Philip de Lahire, French geometrician, 1640, Paris; John Caldwell Calhoun, American statesman, 1782, South Carolina
Died. – Pope Honorius III., 1227; Bishop Patrick Forbes, 1635, Aberdeen; the Rev. Lawrence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy, 1768, Bond-street; Sir Henry Pottinger, G.C.B., military commander in India, 1856.


On this Day in Other Sources.


In the evening [Queen Mary] arrived at St. Andrews. Here she remained, amusing herself, with the pastimes of the country, till the 18th of March [1563.] “The Queen,” said Randolph to Cecil, “is now healthy, and merry, most commonly riding in the fields, as time will serve her: Her care is, continually, great, for her uncles, and her desire wonderful, for the quiet of France.”… She departed from St. Andrews, on the 18th of March, for Coupar, where she remained a day; and thence proceeded to Falkland. She here tried to dissipate her melancholy, by the pastimes of Falkland, on the 20th, 21st, and 22d. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.


The friends of William of Orange having formed a plan for the assassination of Dundee and Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, compelled them and all loyalists to quit the city. “At the head of his forlorn band, consisting of sixty cavalier troopers – Guardsmen and Greys mingled – Dundee, the idol of his party, quitted Edinburgh by the Leith Wynd Port; and, through a telescope, the Duke of Gordon watched them as they wound past the venerable church of the Holy Trinity, among the cottages and gardens of Moutries Hill, and as they rode westward by the Lang Gate, a solitary roadway bordered by fields and farmhouses.” 

According to Balcarres this was on the 18th of March, 1689, and as Gordon wished to confer with the viscount, the latter, on seeing a red flag waved at the western postern, rode down the Kirk Brae, and, quitting his horse, all heavily accoutred as he was, climbed the steep rock to hold that conference of which so little was ever known. He is said to have advised the duke to leave the Castle in charge of Winram, on whom they could depend, and seek their fortunes together among the loyal clans in the north. But the duke declined, adding, “Whither go you?” 

“Wherever the shade of Montrose may direct me,” was the pensive and poetical reply, and then they parted to meet no more. But the moment Dundee was gone the drums of the Cameronians beat to arms, and they came swarming out of their places of concealment, mustering for immediate action, while, in the name of the Estates, the Earls of Tweeddale and Lothian appeared at the gate of the fortress, requesting the duke to surrender it within four-and-twenty hours, and daringly offering a year’s pay to every soldier who would desert him. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.


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


And so on in grim monotony, till we come to the last five entries in the old record, which is quite incomplete. 


“1751, March 18. – Helen Torrance and Jean Waldie were executed this day, for stealing a child, eight or nine years of age, and selling its body to the surgeons for dissection. Alice on Tuesday when carried off, and dead on Friday, with an incision in the belly, but sewn up again. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.123-138.

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