3rd of April

Sts Agape, Chionia, and Irene, martyrs, 304. St Ulpian, of Tyre, martyr. St Nicetias, abbot, 824.

 

Born. – Rev. George Herbert (religious poetry), 1593, Montgomery Castle; Roger Rabutin, Count de Bussy, 1618, Epiry; Washington Irving, American miscellaneous writer, 1783, New York; Rev. Dionysius Lardner, scientific and miscellaneous writer, 1793, Dublin.
Died. – John Napier of Merchiston, inventor of logarithms, 1617, Merchiston; Jacques Ozanam, French mathematical writer, 1717, Paris.

 

On this Day in Other Sources.

 

Among many popular errors, is one that [the Regent Morton] invented the “maiden” by which he suffered; but it is now known to have been the common Scottish guillotine, since Thomas Scott was beheaded by it on the 3rd of April, 1566. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.112-118.

 

Apr. 3 [1573]. – The gipsies, who are usually said to have wandered into Europe from the East, are first heard of in Scotland in 1505, and again in 1540, when a writ of the Privy Seal was passed in favour of ‘John Faw, Lord and Earl of Little Egypt,’ enabling him to rule his company in conformity with the laws of his pretended country. First accepted as noble refugees, possessing a semi-religious character, they were in time discovered to be mere rogues and vagabonds. It was now declared in the Privy Council, that ‘the commonweal of this realm was greatumly damnifiet and harmit through certain vagabond, idle, and counterfeit people of diver nations, falsely named Egyptians, living on stowth and other unlawful means.’ These people were commanded to settle to fixed habitations and honest industry; otherwise it should be competent to seize and throw them into the nearest prison, when, if they could not give caution for a due obedience to this edict, they were ‘to be scourgit throughout the town or parish, and sae to be imprisonit and scourgit fra parish to parish, while [till] they be utterly renderit furth of this realm.’ – P. C. R

– Domestic Annals, pp.56-80.

 

Apr. 3 [1594]. – The king ‘came to the sermon, and there, in presence of the haill people, promised to revenge God’s cause and to banish all the papists; and there requested the haill people to gang with him against Bothwell, wha was in Leith for the time. The same day, the king’s majesty rase, and the town of Edinburgh in arms. The Earl of Bothwell, hearing that his majesty was coming down, with the town of Edinburgh, rase with his five hundred horse, and rode up to the Hawk-hill, beside Lesterrick [Restalrig], and there stood till he saw the king and the town of Edinburgh approaching near him. He drew his company away through Duddingston. My Lord Home followed till the Woomet, at whilk place the Earl of Bothwell turned, thinking to have a hit at Home; but Home fled, and he followed; yet by chance little blood. The king’s majesty stood himself, seeing the said chase’ [at a safe distance, namely, on the Burgh-moor]. – Bir

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

 

The 3rd of April [1603] this year, being the Sabbath day, his majesty came to the great kirk of Edinburgh, where he made a speech to the people, in presence of the noblemen of England that were present at that time, and there solemnly promised, that since he [needs must] leave them and go to England, yet he would not fail every three years once to visit them, and his other good subjects of Scotland. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

 

Archibald, Earl of Angus, son of the first Marquis of Douglas, was by patent, dated 3d April, 1651, created Earl of Ormond, Lord Bothwell and Hartside, with remainder to the heirs made of his second marriage. He died before his father, and never succeeded to the Marquisate. He was succeeded in the Earldom of Ormond, by Archibald, his only son, of the second marriage, who obtained a new patent, creating him Earl of Forfar; in him Bothwell Castle and the lands were again held by a younger branch of the house of Douglas. 

– Select Views, pp.47-52.

 

The printed Retours of General Services of heirs give a rather different but doubtless truer account of the provost’s children. On 3rd April, 1657, “Issobell Bell, spous to Mr. John Wilkie of Broomhous, Grissell; Bell, spous to Alexander Bell writer in Edinburgh, and Dorothie Bell,” were served heirs portioners of James Bell, late Provost of Glasgow, their father, and on the same day, to “Patrick Bell merchand, their brother germane.”1

Scots Lore, pp.141-148. 

1  As James Bell was on the Town Council as early as 1594, and Dean of Guild in 1611, he must have been an aged man in 1648, when the last notice of him as ex-Provost occurs. (Memorabilia of Glasgow.)

 

On the restoration of Episcopacy the archbishops took a leaf out of the book of the kirk session in the matter of compulsory church attendance, and this in a way that neither the session nor the town council liked. It was one thing to compel the inhabitants to come to church to hear the “ministers,” and a very different thing to have attendance enforced on the episcopal ordinances, and the orders of the prelates were to a great extent disregarded. In these circumstances Archbishop Fairfowl applied to the town council, and insisted on their enforcing the law; and this was followed, under date 3d April, 1666. by a curious entry in the records of the council. It bears that there was produced a letter “direct thereto be the Archbishop of Glasgow in the quhilk his Grace declaires that efter search he findes severall persones both men and weomen who ordinarlie dishantes [dis-haunts – forsakes] publict ordinances and flateres themselfes with hope of impunitie, but knew not from whence thir confidence springes, and therefor thought it his Grace dewtie to adverteis the Counsell that his Grace intendit, gif thair fynes be not exactlie leived be them, to employ some of the officers of his Majesties Melitia both to observe who withdrawes from ordinances, and also to exact the penalties imposed by law which his Grace is verie vnwilling to doe.” This letter troubled the magistrates not a little. It was “severall tymes read,” and, after much discussion, “it was concludit be pluralitie of votes that it was better for the toune that thes fynes war collectit and wpliftit be the Magistrates, to the effect they might be applyed to pius vses, then that any sojers should have the collecting thairof.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215.

 

It was perhaps to keep up a martial spirit among the citizens, as well as for their own dignity, that, besides two drummers, the magistrates in old times maintained a trumpeter and a piper – the last-named functionary being sometimes described in the burgh records by the euphonious title of “the touns minstrel.” By a minute in 1675, appointing one John McCaine to the office, he is designed as “commoun pypper or minstrel,” and his is directed “to goe throw the toune every day morning and evining or at such tymes the magistrats sall appoynt – vsing his office.” His salary is fixed at a hundred merks – £5, 11s. The trumpeter had the same salary, “by and attour some little thing at the magistrates pleasour to be payit to him that day he sall have occasioune to ryd in the militia.” He was also to be “obleist to wait and attend wpon the magistrats for goeing of errands or quhan they sall be pleased to send him.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237. 

1  Burgh Minutes, 3d April and 4th August, 1675.

 

Ten years later there occurs an order that “a proclamatioune be sent throw the toune that ther is a foot raice to be run thrys about the New Grein on the xxii of this instant, that who desyres to run may be admitted, and that he who wines sall have twentie shilling starling.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp. 276-289.

1  3d April, 1675.

 

On the 3rd of April [1689] the Duke [of Gordon] discovered that the house of Coates, the ancient seat of the Byres of that ilk, was full of soldiers; he cannonaded it from the present mortar battery, and did great execution. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.

 

Apr. 3 [1705]. – The Master of Burleigh – eldest son of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, a peer possessed of considerable estates in Fife – had fallen in love with a girl of humble rank, and was sent abroad by his friends, in the hope that time and change of scene would save him from making a low marriage. He was heard to declare before going, that if she married in his absence, he would take the life of her husband. The girl was nevertheless married to Henry Stenhouse, schoolmaster of Inverkeithing. The Master was one of those hot-headed persons whom it is scarcely safe to leave at large, and who yet do not in general manifest the symptoms that justify restraint. Learning that his mistress was married, and to whom, he came at this date with two or three mounted servants to the door of the poor schoolmaster, who, at his request, came forth from amongst his pupils to speak to the young gentleman. 

‘Do you know me?’ said Balfour. 
‘No.’ 
‘I am the Master of Burleigh. You have spoken to my disadvantage, and I am come to fight you.’ 
‘I never saw you before,’ said the schoolmaster, ‘and I am sure I never said anything against you.’ 
‘I must nevertheless fight with you, and if you won’t, I will at once shoot you.’ 
‘It would be hard,’ said the schoolmaster, ‘to force a man who never injured you into a fight. I have neither horse nor arms, and it is against my principles to fight duels.’ 
‘You must nevertheless fight,’ said the Master, ‘or be shot instantly;’ and so saying, he held a pistol to Stenhouse’s breast. 

The young man continuing to excuse himself, Balfour at length fired, and gave the schoolmaster a mortal wound in the shoulder, saying with savage cruelty: ‘Take that to be doing with.’ Then, seeing that an alarm had arisen among the neighbours, he rode off, brandishing a drawn sword, and calling out: ‘Hold the deserter!’ in order to divert the attention of the populace. The unfortunate schoolmaster died in a few days of his wound. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.379-389.

 

In 1748-9, Doctor [John Clephane] had returned from Flanders, and was employed in superintending the military hospital at Ipswich. In a letter of 3d April 1750, written to support his sister under the grief caused by the death of their nephew, Captain Henry Malcolm, he collects the grounds of consolation he had found avail himself, and beseeches her to be comforted for her own, her family’s, her friends’ sake – “and let me add (a little vainly, perhaps), for the sake of a brother whose suit you have never yet rejected, who has been thought to resemble you as much in his manners as in his features, and who only proposes to you the medicine which he himself has taken.” 

– Sketches, pp.437-490.

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