15th of April

Saints Basilissa and Anastasia, martyrs, 1st century. Saint Paternus, Bishop of Avranches, 563. St Ruadhan, abbot, 584. St Munde, abbot, 962. St Peter Gonzales, 1246.


Died. – Dominico Zampieri (Domenichino), Italian painter, 1641, Naples; Madame de Maintenon, 1719, St Cyr; Madame de Pompadour, mistr4ess of Louis XV., 1764, Paris; Dr Alexander Murray, philologist, 1813; John Bell, eminent surgeon, 1820, Rome; Thomas Drummond, eminent in physical science, 1840, Dublin.



The nightingale is pre-eminently the bird of April. The patriotic Sir John Sinclair, acting on the general rule that migratory song-birds almost always return to their native haunts, endeavoured to establish the nightingale in Scotland, but unfortunately without success. The attempt was conducted on a scale large enough to exhibit very palpable results, in case that the desired end had been practicable. Sir John commissioned a London dealer to purchase as many nightingales’ eggs as he could get at the liberal price of one shilling each; these were well packed in wool, and sent down to Scotland by mail. A number of trustworthy men had previously been engaged to find and take especial care of all robin-redbreasts’ nests, in places where the eggs could be hatched in perfect safety. As regularly as the parcels of eggs arrived from London, the robins’ eggs were removed from their nests and replaced by those of the nightingale; which in due course were sat upon, hatched, and the young reared by their Scottish fosterers. The young nightingales, when full fledged, flew about, and were observed for some time afterwards apparently quite at home, near the places where they first saw the light, and in September, the usual period of migration, they departed. They never returned.


On this Day in Other Sources.


The founder of the hospital in Leith Wynd died at Edinburgh on the 15th of April, 1480, and was buried in the north aisle of Trinity College church, near his foundation. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.300-309.


James Bethune, Bishop-elect of Galloway, was postulated to the see of Glasgow, 9th November 1508, and consecrated on the 15th April 1509, at Stirling. He was previously Lord Treasurer, but resigned that office on his being preferred to the archbishopric. He held other great church benefices, as the abbacies of Arbroath and Kilwinning. He was made chancellor of the kingdom in 1515, and took a leading part in the politics of the time against the party of the Douglases. In 1523, he was translated to the see of St. Andrews. 

– Sketches, pp.29-70.


On the 15th of April 1563, she departed from Lochleven, dined at Strathhenry, and rode to Falkland, in the evening. On the morrow, she dined at Newark, and rode to Coupar, in the evening. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.


Secretary Cecil continued, meantime, to watch the successive movements of the Queen, and Darnley, in order to perceive the very moment, in which the growing affections of Mary should settle on their proper object: and, on the 15th of April [1565], he cried out, Now is it plainly, discovered, that the Queen will have Lord Darnley! 


In the meantime, the treaty with Darnley held its course, accelerated, perhaps, rather than retarded, by his several illnesses; of the measles first, and of the ague [fever and shivering], afterwards. The Queen being resolute, not only communicated her purpose to Elizabeth, but to the queen mother of France, and also to the Pope, whose dispensation she solicited, as she, and Darnley, were first cousins. It was known to well informed persons, in Scotland, as early as the 15th of April, two months after his arrival, that she intended to marry Darnley. 

– Life of Mary, pp.98-126.

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