26th of April

Saints Cletius and Mercellinus, popes and martyrs, 1st and 3rd centuries. St Riquier, or Ricardus, French anchoret, about 645. St Paschasius Radbert, abbot of Corwei, in Saxony, about 865.

Born. – Thomas Reid (moral philosophy), 1710, Strachan, Kincardineshire; David Hume, philosopher and historian, 1711, Edinburgh; Johann Ludwig Uhland, German poet, 1787. 
Died. – Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese navigator, killed, 1521, Isle of Matan; Eyre Coote, military commander, 1783, Madras; Carsten Niebuhr, traveller, 1815, Meldorf in Holstein; Henry Cockburn, author of ‘Memorials of Edinburgh,’ &c., 1854.


The exact or parochial nativity of David Hume has never been stated. It was the Tron church parish in Edinburgh, as appears from a memorandum in his father’s handwriting among the family papers. The father was a small laird on the Whitadder, in Berwickshire, and the family mansion, where David must have spent many of his early years, was a plain small house, as here represented, taking its name of Ninewells from a remarkable spring, which breaks out in the steep bank, descending from the front of the house to the river. 


The sketch of Ninewells House here given – the more curious, as the house had long since been superseded by a neat modern mansion – is from Drummond’s History of Noble British Families. The eccentric author of the work says, underneath: ‘It is a favourable specimen of the best Scotch lairds’ houses, by the possession of which they think themselves entitled to modify their family coats, and establish coats of their own.’ 

A remarkable circumstance in the early history of the philosopher has been little regarded. Though of good descent, and the nephew of a Scotch peer, he was compelled, by the narrow circumstances of the family, to attempt a mercantile career at Bristol when a little over twenty years of age. We know nothing of what he did, with whom he was placed, or how he chiefly spent his time while aiming at a mercantile life in the city of the west; but we are made aware by himself that the scene was an alien one. He seems to have looked back with some degree of bitterness to his sojourn in Bristol, if we may judge from a little quiet sarcasm at the place which he utters in his History of England. He is there describing James Naylor, the Quaker’s, entry into the city at the time of the civil war, in imitation of that of Christ into Jerusalem. ‘He was mounted,’ says Hume, ‘on a horse;’ then adds, ‘I suppose from the difficulty in that place of finding an ass.’ Doubtless, David believed there could have been no difficulty in finding an ass in Bristol. 

It is a curious fact, sometimes adverted to in Edinburgh, but which we cannot authenticate, that in the room in which David Hume died, the Bible Society of Edinburgh was many years afterwards constituted, and held its first meeting.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The 26th of April, 1199, died Jocelin, Bishop of Glasgow, at the abbey of Melrose. 

– Historical Works, pp.19-38.

After Scotland had been completely recovered from the English in consequence of the battle of Bannockburn, a parliament was held at Ayr, on Sunday the 26th of April 1315, in the church of St. John, at which fealty was sworn to the king, and in case of his dying without male issue, his brother Edward Bruce an approved warrior was declared his successor. Marjery Bruce, the king’s daughter, gave her consent to this as necessary from the exigency of the time. Edward Bruce, however, it is known did not live to enjoy this destination of the crown; for within a few days thereafter, he embarked at Ayr on his unfortunate Irish expedition in which he was killed. 

– Select Views, pp.153-158.

On 26th April, 1532, “John Wallas and Alleson Gayne, his spous, ar rentalit in ane merk of ferme land of the Kowcaldens, be consent of Jhon Gayne, his gud fadyr, the said Jhon brokand (i.e., enjoying or retaining the use) for his tym.”1

– Scots Lore, pp.397-399.

1  Ibid. p. 100.

Apr. 26 [1615]. – ‘Amang the mony abuses whilk the iniquity of the time and private respect of filthy lucre and gain has produced within the commonwealth’ – thus gravely commences an act of the Privy Council – ‘there is of late discoverit a most unlawful and pernicious tred of transporting of eggs furth of the kingdom.’ ‘Certain avaritious and godless persons, void of modesty and discretion, preferring their awn private commodity to the commonweal, has gone and goes athort the country and buys the haill eggs that they can get, barrels the same, and transports them at their pleasure.’ As an unavoidable consequence, ‘there has been a great scarcity of eggs this while bygane,’ and any that are to be had have ‘risen to such extraordinar and heich prices as are not to be sufferit in a weel-governit commonwealth.’ ‘Moreover,’ proceeds this sage document, ‘if this unlawful tred be sufferit to be of ony langer continuance, it will fall out that ina very short time there will no eggs nor poultry be funden within the country.’ 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

Some time after the departure of Montrose’s army to the south, the covenanters of the north appointed a committee meeting to be held at Turriff, upon Wednesday, the twenty-fourth of April, consisting of the Earls Marshal and Seaforth, the Lord Fraser, the Master of Forbes, and some of their kindred and friends. All persons within the diocese, who had not subscribed the covenant, were required to attend this meeting for the purpose of signing it, and failing compliance, their property was to be given up to indiscriminate plunder. As neither Lord Aboyne, the laird of Banff, nor any of their friends and kinsmen, had subscribed the covenant, nor meant to do so, they resolved to protect themselves from the threatened attack. A preliminary meeting of the heads of the northern covenanters was held on the twenty-second day of April, at Monymusk, where they learned of the rising of Lord Aboyne and his friends. This intelligence induced them to postpone the meeting at Turriff till the twenty-sixth of April [1639], by which day they expected to be joined by several gentlemen from Caithness, Sutherland, Ross, Moray, and other quarters. At another meeting, held by the same parties at Kintore, on the twenty-fourth of April, they postponed the proposed meeting at Turriff, sine die, and adjourned to Aberdeen; but as no notice had been sent of the postponement to the different covenanting districts in the north, about 1500 men assembled at the place of meeting on the twenty-sixth of April, and were quite astonished to find that the chiefs were absent.

– History of the Highlands, pp.314-341.

   “Unto the QUEEN’s most Excellent Majesty. 

   The Humble Address and Representation of the Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, met by Appointment of the said Assembly at Edinburgh, the Fifth Day of March, 1712. 

   May it please your Majesty, 

   UPON Notice we had of a Bill depending in Parliament, entitul’d, A Bill to prevent the disturbing of those of the Episcopal Communion in Scotland, in the Exercise of their Religious Worship, and in the Use of the Liturgy of the Church of Your Majesty for the Preservation of our present Establishment, as secured to us by Law, and for preventing the Inconveniences that might ensue on the aforesaid Toleration; at the passing whereof thereafter, in both Houses of Parliament, we cannot but be deeply affected. 

   But now, that by the foresaid Bill, the Oath of Abjuration enacted for the better Security of Your Majesty’s Person and Government, and the Establishment of the Succession to the Crown in the Protestant Line, is appointed to be taken by all Ministers, we do in most humble Duty, truly and sincerely own and acknowledge, that Your Majesty is Lawful and Rightful Queen of this Realm, and of all Your other Dominions and Countries thereunto belonging; and do solemnly and sincerely declare, that we do believe the Person pretended to be the Prince of Wales during the Life of the late King James, and since his Decease pretending to be, and taking upon himself the Stile and Title of King of England, by the Name of James the Third; or of Scotland, by the Name of James the Eighth, or the Stile and Title of King of Great Britain, hath not any Right or Title whatever to the Crown of this Realm, or any other of the Dominions thereunto belonging; and we do most heartily renonce and refuse and Allegiance and Obedience to him: And we withal solemnly and sincerely profess, that we will bear Faith and true Allegiance to Your Majesty in all Duties and Occasions whatsoever, that can be incumbent on us. And further, we do faithfully promise, to the utmost of our Power to support, maintain and defend the Succession of the Crown in the Protestant Line, against the said Pretender, and all other Persons whatsoever; Understanding the aforesaid Oath of Abjuration in the fullest Sense wherein it can be understood, to renounce and disclaim any Right that the said Pretender can claim to your aforesaid Dominions; and in the plain Sense of the Words, in so far as the said Oath, and Acts to which it refers settles and entails the Succession of the Crown of those Dominions, for Default of Issue of Your Majesty, on the Princess Sophia, Electress and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover, and the Heirs of her Body, being Protestants. 

   But seeing, we cannot dissemble with Your Majesty, that there remains a Scruple with many, as if the Conditions mention’d in the Acts of Parliament, establishing the Succession, referr’d to by the said Oath, were to be understood as a Part thereof; and that to swear to some things in those Conditions, seems not consistent with our known Principles: And that it is expressly declared and statuted by the Treaty an Articles of Union, and the Acts of Parliament of both Kingdoms ratifying the same, that none of the Subjects of Scotland shall be liable to, but all and every one of them for ever free, of any Oath, test or Subscription, within Scotland, contrary to, or inconsistent with, our present Presbyterian Church Establishment: We, in the most humble and dutiful manner, most earnestly beseech and obtest, that this our Address and Representation, and most sincere Declarations therein contained, may be graciously accepted by Your Majesty, without respect to the aforesaid Conditions scrupled at, as the Just and True Signification of our Allegiance and Duty, and our Sense of the aforesaid Oath and Engagement, to prevent all Mistakes and Misrepresentations that possibly we may be liable to in this matter. 

   That the Lord may eminently bless Your Majesty; and after a long and happy Reign upon Earth, receive You into Everlasting Glory, is, and shall be the Earnest Prayer of, 

   May it Please Your Majesty,

Your Majesty’s most Faithful, most

Obedient, and most humble Subjects,

The Ministers and Elders, Commissioners of the late Gen. Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our Presence, in our Name and at our Appointment, by

William Mitchell, Moderator.  

– Dublin Intelligence, Saturday 26th April, 1712.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1700-1750.

2399. Glasgow Courant. April 26, 1746.

This number contains a printed Plan of the Battle of Culloden. 

– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.

“EDINBURGH, April 21st.

   Private Letters from London say, That the Commons have passed the Bill for the Trial of High Treason in Scotland.” 

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, 26th April, 1748.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1700-1750.