3rd of May – Rood Day

Invention (or discovery) of the Holy Cross.

Born. – Nicolas Machiavelli, statesman and political writer, 1469, Florence; Augustus Frederick Kotzebue, German poet, 1761, Weimar
Died. – Dr Isaac Dorislaus, assassinated, 1649; Pope Benedict XIV., 1758; George Psalmanazar, miscellaneous writer, 1763; James Morison, hygeist, 1840; Thomas Hood, poet, 1845, London.


Died at Paris, May 3, 1840, James Morison, who styled himself ‘Hygeist,’ and was for many years notorious for his extensively advertised ‘vegetable medicines.’ It will be a surprise to many to know that Morison was a man of good family (in Aberdeenshire), and that he had attained a competence by honourable merchandise in the West Indies before he came before the world in the capacity by which he has acquired fame. His own story, which there is no particular reason to discredit, always was that his own sufferings from bad health, and the cure he at length effected upon himself by vegetable pills, were what made him a disseminator of the latter article. He had found the pills to be the ‘only rational purifiers of the blood.’ By their use he had at fifty renewed his youth. His pains were gone; his limbs had become supple. He enjoyed sound sleep and high spirits. He feared neither heat nor cold, dryness nor humidity. Sensible that all this had come of the simple use of two or three pills at bed-time and a glass of lemonade in the morning, how should he be excused if he did not do his endeavour to diffuse the same blessing among his fellow-creatures? People may smile at this statement; but we can quite believe in its entire sincerity.

The pills were splendidly successful, giving a revenue of £60,000 to Government during the first ten years. Mr Morison had attained the age of seventy at his death. He had established a central institution called the British College of Health, in the New-road, London, which was carried on after his death.


The births and deaths of many very notable men have to be left in this chronicle uncommented on; but the too early departure of Thomas Hood is associated with such feelings, that it cannot be passed over. Hood came of a family in humble life at Dundee, in Scotland, whence his father migrated to London. The young genius tried bookselling, which was his father’s profession – also engraving – but was thrown out of all regular occupation by weak health. While little more than a stripling, he contributed prose and poetical pieces to periodical works, and soon attracted attention by his singular gift of humour. Of his Comic Annual and other subsequent publications, it is unnecessary to give a list. They have made for themselves a place in higher records than this. All have relished the exquisite drollery of Hood’s writings; but it requires to be insisted on that they have qualities in addition, distinguishing them from nearly all such productions. There is a wonderful play of fancy over all that Hood wrote, and few writers surprise us so often with fine touches of humane feeling. It is most sad to relate that the life of this gifted man was clouded by misfortunes, mainly arising from his infirm health, and that he sunk into the grave, in poverty, at the age of forty-seven. In personal character he was extremely amiable; but his external demeanour was that of a grave and rather melancholy man.

On this Day in Other Sources.

          Robertus Dei gracia rex Scottorum omnibus probis hominibus suis tocius terre sue salutem, Sciatis nos dedisse concessisse et hac presenti carta nostra confirmasse Roberto Boid militi dilecto et fideli nostro pro homagio et servicio suo omnes terras de Kylmernoc de Bondingtoun et de Herteschav, que fuerunt Johannis de Balliolo in dominico, totam terram de Kylbride et totam terram de Ardnele, que fuerunt Godfridi de Ros filii quondam Reginaldi de Ros, et totam terram que fuit Villelmi de Mora in tenemento de Dalry cum illis septem acris terre que fuerunt quondam Roberti de Ros in tenemento de Ardnele cum pertinenciis, una cum dimidio terrarum de Blare de Petecon de Dalry de Dogetlande et de Velscheton, et cum liberetenentibus dictarum terrarum et serviciis eorundem liberetenencium una cum liberetenentibus terrarum infra-scriptarum et eorundem serviciis videlicet terre de Meneforde, terre Ricardi Brune, terre Johannis de Kylmernoc, terre Villelmi de Cobynschent, terre Jacobi de Tempilton de Achindalosk, terre Roberti Scot in Raliston, terre Laurencii de Mora in tenemento de Dalry, et terre de Inglisardnel, Tenendas et habendas eidem Roberto Boid et heredibus suis de nobis et heredibus nostris in feodo et hereditate per omnes rectas metas et divisas suas in unam integram et liberam baroniam quiete libere plenarie et honorifice in boscis planis viis semitis moris maresiis pratis pascuis et pasturis in aquis stagnis vivariis molendinis et multuris in aucupacionibus piscacionibus et venacionibus cum furca et fossa soc et sak thol et them et infangandthef et cum omnibus aliis libertatibus comoditatibus aisiamentis et iustis pertinenciis suis tam non nominatis quam nominatis; Preterea concessimus prefato Roberto Boid ut ipse et heredes sui habeant teneant et possideant predictam terram de Herteschav per omnes rectas metas et divisas suas tantum in liberam forestam firmiter prohibentes ne quis sine licencia dicti Roberti et heredum suorum speciali infra dictam terram de Herteschav secet aucupet aut venetur super nostram plenariam forisfacturam; Faciendo nobis et heredibus nostris dictus Robertus et heredes sui pro omnibus terris supradictis servicium unius militis in excercitu nostro et unam sectam ad curiam nostram de Are ad singula placita nostra ibidem tenenda. In cuius rei testimonium presenti carte nostre sigillum nostrum precepimus apponi, Testibus Bernardo abbate de Abirbrotht cancellario nostro, Thoma Ranulphi comite moravie nepote nostro, Valtero senescallo Scocie, Johanne de Meneteth, Jacobo domino de Duglas, et Roberto de Keth Militibus. Datum apud Are tercio die mensis maii anno regni nostri decimo. 
          [Robert is the grace of God king of Scots, to all good men of his whole land, greeting, Know ye that we have given, granted, and by this our present charter have confirmed, to Robert Boid the soldiers, our dear friend and the faithful our God, for his homage and service, to all the lands of Kylmernoc of the Bondingtoun, and out of Herteschav, which belonged to John of the Bailleul in their whole territory of Kylbride the entire land of Ardnele, which were Godfrey of Rosh children once Reginald of Eos, the whole land which was of William de Mora in holding the Dalry with these seven acres of land which were formerly Robert de Ros in holding the Ardnele with appurtenances, with half of the blare de Petecon the Dalry of Dogetlande and Velscheton and being free of the said lands and services of the same release with free world subscripts of these services at the earth from Meneforde, soiled Richard Brown, land John Kylmernoc, land of William the Cobynschent, soiled James Tempilton the Achindalosk, land Robert Scott to Raliston, Lawrence about the delay in the holding of Dalry and land Inglisardnel, and to hold said Robert Boid heirs of us and our fee and heritage by all the right metes and bounds toward one whole and free barony, quiet, freely, fully, and honorably, in a woodland that the planes of the ways, paths, moors, marshes, meadows, and pastures in the waters of the pools, ponds, mills, and multures in the hawking fisheries, and a hunting with a fork, and a ditch soc and sac toll and them, and infangandthef, and with all the other liberties, commodities of the easements, and just as well not named as named, with their appurtenances; Moreover we have granted to the said Robert Boid so that he and his heirs shall have, hold and possess, to the said land of Herteschav by all the right goals and the boundaries of their own only in free, the forest is firmly prohibiting every one, without the leave of the said Robert and his heirs in a special field within the said land out of the Herteschav cuts is feeding, or to hunt down our full forfeiture; In testimony charter ordered our seal to be affixed to witnesses, Bernard, Abbot of Abirbroth chancellor, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, our son, Walter, Steward of Scotland, John Menteith, James Lord of Douglas and Robert Keith soldiers. Are Given in the third day of the month of May in the year of our reign.] 

The notarial act of reading, copying, &c., was done “in castro de Kylmernoc” by Robert Kerde, a priest of the Glasgow diocese notary public by imperial authority, and the witnesses were Sir Alexander Boyd knight, William Boid “brother of the said lord of Kylmernoc,” Alexander Hamylton and Thomas Rede, with many others not named. 

The original charter of King Robert the Bruce is entered in the Register of the Great Seal, which, as usual at that time, omits the date. There are besides some transpositions and other differences, chief of which is that the entry in the Great Seal Register does not mention the lands of Blair, Petecon, Dalry, Dogetlande, or Velscheton. Ayrshire antiquaries will probably find the value in this copy of the foundation charter of the barony in 1315. 

– Scots Lore, pp.271-273.

This year [1410], the 3rd of May, dies [anti]pope Alexander [V.] at Bologna. 

– Historical Works, pp.144-152.

Queen Mary, on the 3d of May, 1546, granted under the great seal a ratification of an act and ordinance of the provost, bailies, council, and community of Inverness, dated the 19th March, 1545. In the narrative there is set forth “the great hurt and skaith lang time by-gane used through indrawing of outlandish men of great clans not able nor qualified to use merchandize, nor make daily residence nor policy, nor no manner of bigging within the burgh, but allenarly to bruick the profit of the common tacks and steadings of the burgh to be spended and used outwith the said burgh, – which has happened from the widows within the burgh bruiking the tacks and steadings of their husbands after their decease, and by reason of the interest of the outlandish men of great clans with the said widows.” In consequence, it is “ordained that no widow should bruik any tack or steading within burgh by reason of the decease of her husband, after the old manner, but the same to be bruiked by the heirs male of the bodies of the possessors  providing alway that they be thought qualified by the provost and bailies and their council to scot, lot, walk and ward, with the laif of the neighbours of the said burgh, and make continual and daily residence for the most part of the year within the same; failing of which heirs, the provost, &c., to dispone to other neighbours worthy and qualified.”

– Gazetteer of Scotland, Inverness, pp.24-35.

Claud Hamilton, Lord Arbroath, who had lived an exile in England about 13 years, and had returned home in November this last year, by the practises of James Stewart, (called the Earl of Arran) was charged by a herald to depart the kingdom, under the pain of treason, this year, 1585; and on the 3rd day of May, he shipped at Dumbarton for France. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

By a later minute they ordained “that no woman married or unmarried come within the kirk doors to preachings or prayers with their plaids about their heads, neither lie down in the kirk on their face in time of prayer, sleeping that way; with certification that their plaids shall be drawn down or they roused by the beddel.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215. 

1  3d May, 1604.

The persecution for field-meetings became more than ever severe. A calculation has been made that, previously to 1678, seventeen thousand persons had suffered fining and imprisonment on this account. A deep spirit of resentment against the Council, and especially the prelatic part of it, was the natural result of all these occurrences. The wisest and best natures were perverted by feelings which had become morbid by extreme excitement. On the 3d of May 1679, while the public mind was in this condition, a small party of Fife gentlemen went out with the deliberate intention of assassinating the sheriff at a chase. Disappointed in that object, they had not dispersed when a greater victim fell in their way. As they were riding over Magus Moor, near St Andrews, Archbishop Sharpe happened to pass. The opportunity appeared to their minds as a dispensation of Providence. They commanded him to come out of the coach, apparently that his daughter, who was with him, might not suffer from their shot. The archbishop tremblingly obeyed; he flung himself upon his knees, offered them mercy, forgiveness, everything, so that they would spare his life. The leader sternly reminded him of the deadly injuries he had inflicted upon the church and its martyrs. A volley of shot was poured upon his suppliant figure, and finally the unhappy prelate was hewed down with their swords, crying for mercy with his latest breath. They left his daughter lamenting over his body, which was afterwards found to bear such marks of their barbarity as could scarcely be credited. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.

May 3 [1682]. – A riot took place in the streets of Edinburgh, in consequence of an attempt to carry away, as soldiers to serve the Prince of Orange, some young men who had been imprisoned for a trivial offence. As the lads were marched down the street under a guard, to be put on board a ship in Leith Roads, some women called out to them: ‘Pressed or not pressed?’ They answered: ‘Pressed,’ and so caused an excitement in the multitude. A woman who sat on the street selling pottery threw a few sherds at the guard; and some other people, finding a supply of missiles at a house which was building, followed her example. ‘The King’s forces,’ says Fountainhall, ‘were exceedingly assaulted and abused.’ Under the order of their commander, Major Keith, they turned and fired upon the crowd, when, as usual, only innocent bystanders were injured. Seven men and two women were killed, and twenty-five wounded – a greater bloodshed than ‘has been at once these sixty years done in the streets of Edinburgh.’ Three of the most active individuals in this mob were seized and tried, but the assize would not find them guilty. The magistrates were severely blamed for their negligence and cowardice in this affair. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.

In Glasgow, when we come down to the times after the introduction of tobacco, we find the town’s presents made sometimes in that commodity. For example, on 3d May, 1701, the treasurer is authorized to pay to the deacon convener fifty-one shillings scots (4s. 3d.) “as the pryce of four pound of tobacco presented be him to the Provest and given be him to one of the touns friends at Edinburgh, and of a bag about the same.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237.

We know from Shaw the feeling of the family in the great struggle; but, except a few printed broadsides, marking the passing military events, and an “account of forage taken for the use of His Majesty’s troops” – rendered, on oath of the tenants, “by order of his Excellency General Hawley,” amounting to £70, dated 3d May 1746 – we find no records of martial doings of the Barons of Kilravock. In their connexion with their burgh of Nairn – the Baron was then provost of the burgh – they thought proper to make a little more demonstration of Whig feeling. A drinking cup of cocoa-nut, set in silver, still preserved at Kilravock, has the following inscription:- 


– Sketches, pp.437-490.

Associated Words from Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary.

REIDDAY, s. The third day of May, Aberd. 

Some waefu’ quine ‘ll ride the stool 

For you afore the Reeday. – Tarras’s Poems

This is merely the northern pron. Of Rude-day, q. v.

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