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27th of March

St John of Egypt, hermit, 394. St Rupert, or Robert, Bishop of Saltzburg, 718.

Born. – James Keill, mathematician, 1671, Edinburgh.
Died. – Ptolemy XIII. of Egypt, B.C. 47, drowned in the Nile; Pope Clement III., A.D. 1191; Alphonso II. (of Castile), 1350, Gibraltar; Pope Gregory XI., 1378; James VI., 1625, Theobalds; Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, 1729, Luneville.


During his reign in Scotland, King James had a fool or court jester, named Jemmy Camber, who lodged with a laundress in Edinburgh, and was making love to her daughter, when death cut him off in an unexpected and singular manner, as related by Robert Armin in his Nest of Ninnies, published in 1608. 

‘The chamberlaine was sent to see him there (at the laundress’s), who, when he came, found him fast asleepe under the bed stark naked, bathing in nettles, whose skinne when we wakened him was all blistred grievously. The king’s chamberlaine bid him arise and come to the king. “I will not,” quoth he, “I will go make my grave.” See how things chanced; he spake truer than he was aware. For the chamberlaine, going home without him, tolde the king his answere. Jemmy rose, made him ready, takes his horse, and rides to the churchyard in the high towne, where he found the sexton (as the custom is there) making nine graves – three for men, three for women, and three for children; and whoso dyes next, first comes, first served. “Lend mee thy spade,” says Jemmy, and with that digs a hole, which hole hee bids him make for his grave; and doth give him a Frenche crowne; the man, willing to please him (more for his gold than his pleasure), did so; and the foole gets up on his horse, rides to a gentleman of the towne, and on the sodaine within two houres after dyed; of whom the sexton telling, he was buried there indeed. Thus you see, fooles have a guesse at wit sometime, and the wisest could have done no more, nor so much. But thus this fat foole fills a leane grave with his carkasse; upon which grave the king caused a stone of marble to bee put, on which poets writ these lines in remembrance of him:

“ He that gaed all men till jeare,
 Jemy a Camber he ligges here;
 Pray for his saule, for he is geane,
 And here a ligges beneath this steane.” ‘

On this Day in Other Sources.

From Lochmaben he proceeded to Scone, and in the Chapel Royal there, on the 27th of March, 1306, six weeks after the slaughter of Comyn, he was crowned King of Scots. The Stone of Destiny was wanting, and a chaplet of gold had to serve for a crown. It was the right and privilege of the clan Macduff to place the crown on the heads of the Scottish kings at their coronation. The chief of the clan did not come forward to perform the ceremony for Bruce; but his sister, Isabella, the Countess of Buchan, hastened to Scone and discharged the duty. 

– A History of Scotland, Chapter II. 

In May this same year, comes [Archibald Douglas] the [Count] of Longueville and Marquis of Saluzzo, ambassadors from Charles VII,, of France, to demand the Lady Margaret, (now of age,) the King’s eldest daughter, to be sent over to her husband Louis [XI,] the Dauphin, as also to renew the ancient amity between the two crowns. Immediately the King commands all to be in readiness; so that [by] the 20th of June,1 William Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, Lord Admiral of Scotland, had 46 good ships in readiness to transport Lady Margaret and her train,.. 

– Historical Works, pp.153-166.

1  Barbe, in his ‘Margaret of Scotland and the Dauphin Louis,..’ (1917), suggests they left for France on the 27th of March, 1436. arriving towards the end of April.

27th of March, this year [1437,] the estates makes choice of these counsellors to assist the Governor in matters of government, and ordains him to follow their advice. The counsellors elected were, 

Sir William Crichton, Lord Chancellor; 

Archibald, Earl of Douglas; 

William, Lord Hay, [Lord High] Constable; 

James, Lord Lindsay; 

Walter Haliburton, [Lord High] Treasurer; 

James Kennedy, Bishop of St. Andrews; 

Henry [de] Lichton, Bishop of Moray; 

Mr William Turnbull, Keeper of the Privy Seal, Archdea[co]n of Lothian. 

These were ordained at all times, upon the Governor’s advertisement, to attend the affairs of the realm, and any 4 of the number, with the Governor, providing there be one at least of each estate, to be the [company.]

– Historical Works, pp.166-189.

At the end of March [the Admirable James Crichton] writes to Zibramonti in a very dispirited state of mind:-

1582, 27th March, Mantova.
   To the very Illustrious and my most respected Signore,
                    In answer to you letter from Sacchetta, I inform your Lordship that Signor Augusto has done what he promised you, and I, for the remembrance you preserve of me, grow more obliged to you day by day with the little spirit that remains to me. To-morrow, therefore, God willing, I shall go towards Venice well comforted at the thought of seeing once more my beloved Signor Cornaro, as well as my other less important14 friends, who, however, are not blessed like that gentleman with the possession of most rare, nay, almost divine qualities. So much the greater, however, will be my affliction at being deprived of your most gracious presence, but, with the sure hope of a speedy return, I reverently kiss your Lordship’s hand, commending you to the Most High God.  
                    Your very illustrious Lordship’s most affectionate Servant,

– Scots Lore, pp.181-192.

James [VI.] died March 27, 1625, in his fifty-ninth year, after a nominal reign over Scotland of little less than fifty-eight years. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

Mar. 27 [1728.] – The conflict between the Bank of Scotland and its young and pretentious Whig rival, the Royal Bank, which had been established the previous year, led to a temporary stoppage of payments at the former establishment, the last that ever took place. The Royal Bank ‘having all the public money given in to them, has at present worsted [the Bank of Scotland], and run them out of cash.’ In their own advertisement on the occasion, they attribute the calamity to ‘the great embarrassment that has been upon credit and circulation of money in payments for some months bygone, arising from causes and by means well known both in city and country.’ In this very crisis, the Bank announced its dividend of four per cent. on its capital stock, but appropriating it as part of ten per cent. now called up from the shareholders, ‘the other sixty pounds Scots on each share to be paid in before the 15th of June.’ The directors at the same time ordered their notes to bear interest during the time that payment should be suspended. 

It must have been a draught of very bitter gall to the Old Bank, when their young rival came ostentatiously forward with an announcement that, for the ‘relief of such people as wanted to go to market,’ they would give specie for the twenty-shilling notes of the Bank of Scotland till further notice. 

– Dometic Annals, pp.398-408.

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