28th of April

St Vitalis, martyr, about 62. Saints Didymus and Theodore, martyrs, 304. St Pollio and others, martyrs in Pannonia, 304. St Patricius, bishop of Pruse, in Bithynia, martyr. St Cronan, abbot of Roscrea, Ireland, about 640.

Died. – Count Struensee, executed, 1772, Copenhagen; Baron Denon, artist, learned traveller, 1825, Paris; Sir Charles Bell, anatomist and surgeon, 1842, Hallow Park, near Worcester.

On this Day in Other Sources.

In the year 1398, at a parliament held by King Robert III. at Perth, 28th day of April, from thence being conveyed to Scone by the greatest part of the nobility, he solemnly created his eldest son, David [Stewart], Duke of Rothesay; his brother Robert [Stewart], Earl of Fife and Menteith, he created Duke of Albany; and Sir David Lindsay, knight, he created [first] Earl of Crawford. 

– Historical Works, pp.133-144.

On the east side of an open court, beyond the Roman Eagle Hall – a beautiful specimen of an ancient saloon – stood the mansion of William Little of Craigmillar (bearing the date 1570), whose brother Clement was the founder of the university library, for in 1580, when commissary of the city, he bequeathed “to Edinburgh and the Kirk of God,” all his books, 300 volumes in number. These were chiefly theological works, and were transferred by the town council to the university. Clement Little was not without having a share in the troubles of those days, and on the 28th of April, 1572, with others, he was proclaimed at the market cross, and deprived of his office, for rebellion against Queen Mary; but the proclamation failed to be put in force. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.102-111.

W. Chambers (1864), ‘A History of Peebleshire‘, Edinburgh: W & R Chambers.

The Peebles race was accustomed to take place on Beltane-day, the 1st of May; it was the chief surviving part of the festivities which had from an early period distinguished the day and place, and which were celebrated in the old poem of Peebles to the Play. 

The great difficulty attending such popular festivals arose from the tendency of the people to mark them with bloodshed. Men assembled from different parts of the country, each having of course his peculiar enmities, and the object of similar enmities in his turn; and when they met and had somewhat inflamed themselves with liquor, it was scarcely avoidable that mutual provocations should be given, leading to conflicts with deadly weapons. So great reason was there now for fearing a sanguinary scene at Peebles, that the Lords of Council thought proper to issue a proclamation (April 28 [1609]) forbidding the race to take place. – P. C. R

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

Coming down the course of time, chequered by ten thousand changes, “THE CALEDONIAN MERCURY” – “MERCURIUS CALEDONIUS” having long gone to its rest – made its appearance on the 28th April 1720, in a goodly-sized folio of six pages, printed in a fine bold Great Primer type; and, considering  the period, on a remarkably fine paper. Its first page is surmounted by a large engraving of the Scottish arms, with the motto “Nemo me impune lacessit;” it professes in its general heading to supply “A Short Account of the most Considerable News, Foreign and Domestick, and of the latest Books and Pamphlets imported from Abroad or Printed here;” and in a sort of introductory statement made “For the Satisfaction of the Reader,” we are told that 

     “The authors of this Paper do in a few Words inform them, That they may expect in it a full, faithful, and impartial Account of the News taken from the English and Foreign Prints, and also from the Letters written to them from their Correspondents. Particular care will be taken to insert Memorials, Speeches, or any other Papers that are valuable, and worth Preserving. And the Account of the new Books will be done with all imaginable Impartiality. 

     “This Paper will be Published Thrice every Week, in a few Hours after the Arrival of the Post. Such as Subscribe for a Year’s Papers shall have them delivered in as soon as Published to any House in Edinburgh, or the Suburbs, appointed by the Subscribers, they paying yearly 15 sh. of which 3 sh. and 9d. to be paid at the Beginning of each Quarter.” 

Caledonian Mercury.



   As the intention to diminish the number of the members of Parliament seems to be relinquished, we hope the claims of Scotland to an increase in the number of her representatives, will be steadily kept in view. In the last number of the Law Chronicle, a statement on this subject, by Sir John Sinclair, will be found. By comparing the revenue, and number of representatives in Scotland and Ireland, he shews that Scotland ought to have eighty-five members instead of forty-five. It appears from the same paper that a Scotsman pays annually of taxes £2, 1s. while an Irishman only pays 15s. 1d. The difference between the quiet Scotch and the turbulent Irish, is also shewn in strong point of view. In 1821, the military and ordnances expences in Ireland amounted to £1,628,433 while in Scotland, for the same year, they were under £100,000. But if England and Scotland are compared, the necessity of an increase of the Scotch representatives will be equally apparent. At the last census the population of Scotland was nearly one-fifth of that of England and Wales. The number of English and Welsh representatives is 513; and Scotland, if population were taken as the rule, ought to have one-fifth of that number, or 102. It is difficult to compare the avenues of the two countries, as a great many articles consumed in Scotland pay, duty in England, as tea, groceries, porter, &c.; but if it is considered that Scotland pays now no less than twenty-five times the revenue she did at the Union, while the revenue of England has not been increased more than tenfold, – notwithstanding that by the Treaty of Union the proportions then fixed were to be maintained invariable, – it will be seen that the Scotch representatives, in this view, should be at least doubled. We hope, therefore, that all the counties which have members at present will be allowed to retain them, that Caithness will get a member; and that, in addition to those towns which are to obtain representatives, the following will have each a member, viz.:- Perth, population in 1821, 19,808, Dunfermline 13,881, Kilmarnock 12,769, Inverness 12,264, Dumfries 11,052, Montrose 10,338, Campbeltown 9,016, Ayr 7,455, Stirling 7,113, Irvine 7,007. Surely such towns are well entitled to one member, when English towns of 4000 inhabitants have two. The total number of Scotch representatives would thus be sixty-one. Unless they are increased, we do not think it can be said that the three countries which form the United Kingdom are treated with even-handed justice. – Weekly Chronicle.” 

Fife Herald, 28th April, 1831.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1800-1850.

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