10th of April

St Bademus, abbot, martyr, 376. B. Mechtildes, virgin and abbess, 14th century.

Born. – Hugo Grotius, historical and theological writer, 1583, Delft; Sir John Pringle, P.R.S., medical writer, 1707, Stitchel, Roxburghshire.
Died. – Louis II., King of France, ‘Le Bèque,’ 879; Jean Lebeuf, French antiquarian writer, 1760; Prince Eugène of Savoy, 1736, Vienna; Lagrange, French mathematician, 1813, Paris; Paul Courier, French novelist, 1825; Alexander Nasmyth, painter, 1840, Edinburgh.


The only incident of religious history connected with the 10th of April that is noticed in a French work resembling the present, is the introduction by King Pepin, of France, of an organ into the Church of St Corneille at Compiègne, in the year 787 – rather a minute fact to be so signalised; suggesting, however, the very considerable antiquity of the instrument in association with devotion. It may be remarked that the bagpipe is believed by the historians of music to be the basis of the organ: the organ is, in its primitive form, a bagpipe put into a more mechanical form, and furnished with a key-board. And this, again, suggests how odd it is that Scotland, which still preserves the bagpipe as a national instrument, should have all along, in her religious history, treated its descendant, the organ, with such contumely. 

‘When the Scots invaded the northern parts in 1640, a sergeant-major was billeted in one Mr Calvert’s house, who was musically disposed, and had a portative organ for his pleasure in one of his chambers. The Scotchman, being of the preciser strain, and seeing the instrument open, “Art thou a kirkman?” says he. “No, sir,” says he (Mr Calvert). “Then, what the de’il, man,” returns the Scot, “dost thou with this same great box o’ whistles here?” ‘ – Thoms’s Anecdotes and Traditions.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The 10th of April [1554], this year, there was a convention of the estates [held] at Edinburgh, wherein the Regent resigns his authority, and the Queen mother is declared Regent; [who] no sooner advanced to the government, but incontinent she changes the prime officers of the state. 

– Historical Works, pp,275-340.

On the 10th of April [1600, Robert Achmuty] was conveyed down to the Market Cross, and there beheaded on the scaffold, by the Maiden probably. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.382-384.

This was the year [1609] in which Episcopacy was abjured, and in which the famous Assembly was held in Glasgow. In the following year the “provest bailzies and counsell concludit that thair be sent out ane hundreth men to the border to the common defence;”1 and by a subsequent order “all inhabitants within the toun wha are myndit to carie musquattis are commanded to have in redines ilk persone twa pund weght of powder, twa pund leid, and five fadom of match.” At the same time fifty additional men are ordered to the Border. 

– Old Glasgow, pp.162-175. 

1  10th April, 1639.

The pest appears by this time to have reached Edinburgh. The town-council agreed (April 10 [1645]) with Joannes Paulitius, M.D., that he should visit the infected at a salary of eighty pounds Scots per month. A great number of people affected by the malady were quartered in huts in the King’s Park; others were kept at home; and for the relief of these, the aid of the charitable was invoked from the pulpits. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.257-277.

In 1776 the first stage coach came to Edinburgh on the 10th April, having performed the journey from London in sixty hours. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.353-358.

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