29th of May

St Cyril, martyr (3rd century?). St Conon and his son, martyrs of Iconia in Asia (about 275). St Maximinus, Bishop of Thiers, 349. Saints Sisinnius, Martyrius, and Alexander, martyrs, in the territory of Trent, 397.

Born. – Louis Daubenton, 1716, Montbard; Patrick Henry, American patriot and orator, 1736, Virginia; Joseph Fouché, police minister of Napoleon I., 1763, Nantes.
Died. – Cardinal Beaton, assassinated at St Andrew’s, 1546; Stephen des Courcelles, learned Protestant divine, 1658, Amsterdam; Empress Josephine, 1814, Malmaison; Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, Bart., miscellaneous writer, 1848, Edinburgh.


There is a well-known anecdote of a silent man, who, riding over a bridge, turned about and asked his servant if he liked eggs, to which the servant answered, ‘Yes;’ whereupon nothing more passed till next year, when, riding over the same bridge, he turned about to his servant once more, and said, ‘How?’ to which the instant answer was, ‘Poached, sir.’ Even this sinks, as an example of long intermission of discourse, beside an anecdote of a minister of Campsie, near Glasgow. It is stated that the worthy pastor, whose name was Archibald Denniston, was put out of his charge in 1655, and not replaced till after the Restoration. He had, before leaving his charge, begun a discourse, and finished the first head. At his return in 1661, he took up the second, calmly introducing it with the remark that ‘the times were altered, but the doctrines of the gospel were always the same.’1

1  The fact is stated on the credit of tradition in the Statistical Account of the parish, 1795.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The Countess of Arran, however, brought her husband two sons, and two daughters: and, her second child was born, about the year 1535; who was known, as James, master of Hamilton, till he became Earl of Arran, by his father’s elevation to a French dukedom. This boy, who was destined to make his lovesuit to the two British Queens, was sent in September 1543, to the University of St. Andrews: But, whether he resided, in Cardinal Beaton’s house is very doubtful; considering the enmity of the Governor, and the Cardinal: There can be, nevertheless, no doubt, whether he were sent to that learned seminary, for his scholastic education. Here, the Master resided; studying Despauter’s Grammar, and Æsop’s Fables, when the assassins of Cardinal Beaton on the 29th of May 1546, seized him, as lawful prize, upon the same principle, on which they put the Cardinal to death, contrary to every precept of religion, and axiom of morals. While the master remained in such desperate hands, the Parliament declared him disqualified, from succeeding to the crown. 

– Life of Mary, pp.9-15.

In the beginning of this year, 1573, Queen Elizabeth, by Henry Killigrew, drew [James Hamilton, the] Duke [of] Hamilton, and George [Gordon], Earl of Huntly, who stood for the Queen, to these conditions: 

First[ly], To acknowledge the religion established in Scotland. 

[Secondly], To submit themselves to the King, and to Morton, his regent, and to his successors in the government. 

[Thirdly], To renounce the authority of all others; and to [count] them traitors, by authority of parliament, that attempted [anything] against religion, the King, or Regent. 

Lastly, That the sentence of parliament against the Hamiltons and Gordons should be repealed. 

But these conditions the Lord [Alexander] Home, [Robert Crichton] the Bishop of Dunkeld, [Richard Maitland, Laird of] Lethington, and William Kirkcaldy of Grange, and others, who thought Queen Mary injuriously used, would upon no terms admit. They fortified the castle of Edinburgh, of which Grange was the captain, (placed therein by the Earl of Moray [while] he was Regent,) looking for aid from France and [Fernando Álvarez de Toledo] the Duke of Alba; but Sir William Drury was sent by Queen Elizabeth, with 20 pieces of great ordnance, and some forces, into Scotland to aid the Earl of Morton, the Regent, who played the siege so close, that for lack of [provisions] the Laird of Grange was constrained to render up the same to the King and his Regent, the 29th of May this year. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

THE Earl of Morton had no sooner assumed the reins of government, than his vigorous talents began to be felt. The chief strength of Mary’s friends was in Edinburgh Castle, held for her by Kirkaldy of Grange. All the means at the Regent’s command proving insufficient to reduce this fortress, he obtained from England an army of 1500 men, commanded by Sir William Drury, and provided with artillery. The castle stood a siege of three weeks, and was then obliged to yield (May 29, 1573). With mean vindictiveness, Morton sent the gallant Kirkaldy to the gallows. Maitland of Lethington might have shared the same fate, if it had not been anticipated either by a natural death or suicide. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.56-80.

May 29 [1630]. – On the birth of the prince, afterwards Charles II., which took place between eleven and twelve this forenoon, the Lyon King at Arms was despatched by the king from London to carry the news to Scotland. The Lyon arrived in Edinburgh on the third day thereafter, June 1st, when immediately cannon were shot, bells rung, and a table spread in the High Street, between the cross and the Tron, for two hundred persons, including the nobility, Privy Council, and judges, the company being waited on by the heralds and trumpeters in their official dress. – Bal.

– Domestic Annals, pp.228-256.

The same annalist [Sir James Balfour] records the next banquet at the Cross in 1630. On the birth of a prince, afterwards Charles II., on the 29th of May, the Lord Lyon king-at-arms was dispatched by Charles from London, where he chanced to be, with orders to carry the news to Scotland.

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.198-203.

On the 29th of May [1679], which was the king’s birthday, a party of about eighty deliberately marched into the town of Rutherglen, three miles from Glasgow, where they publicly burnt all the acts of parliament against Presbytery. They afterwards extinguished the bonfires, in order to mark their disapprobation of all holidays of human institution, and concluded by fixing upon the cross a declaration of their sentiments respecting the late proceedings of the government. Having done this, they retired to a mountainous part of the country between Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, where there was to be a grand conventicle on the ensuing Sunday. The government looked upon this proceeding as an act of rebellion, and despatched a military party after the offenders, consisting of three troops of newly levied dragoons, under the command of Captain Graham of Claverhouse, a man of remarkable energy of character, who had recently entered the king’s service in Scotland. On Sunday, Graham came up with the insurgents at a place near Loudoun Hill, where they were assembled at devotion. They were about forty horse and two hundred foot, under the command of a gentleman named Hamilton, but without the least discipline or acquaintance with military affairs. Graham fired a volley, which they eluded in a great measure by falling upon their faces. He then tried to charge them through a morass, behind which they were placed, but in doing so threw his men into confusion, and exposed himself to the assault of the enemy. They took instant advantage of his distress, attacked the dragoons sword in hand, and soon compelled then to retire. Graham had his horse shot under him, and about twenty of his men were slain, while only one of the insurgents had fallen. A minister and some country-people whom he had brought along with him as prisoners were rescued by the victors.

– Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.

On the 29th May, 1679, the birth and restoration of Charles II. was celebrated there with all the usual marks of rejoicing; but, in the midst of the gaiety, a body of about 80 men, who had been incensed at the persecutions of the government, entered the town, and after having sung psalms and prayed, and having chosen a leader, burned the acts of parliament against conventicles at the cross. This was the first public appearance of the “rising” which was afterwards scattered at Bothwell bridge; but whether any of the members of this original gathering belonged to the town of Rutherglen, is now uncertain.

– Gazetteer of Scotland, Rutherglen, pp.626-628.

[David] Hume’s letters to [John] Clephane are the most free, most sparkling, and altogether the most interesting of those published in his collected correspondence (1846), and although the counterparts are lost, they help us in forming an estimate of the friend to whom they were addressed.

On the 29th May [1746], Dr. Mead writes:-

   “I will take care of your being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and your name, as the custom is, will be stuck up next week, with the recommendation of myself and two or three more of the members, in order to admission, which cannot be till after three months. I am sure all our Virtuosi will be glad at the adding so worthy a gentleman to our number. All my family join in their best compliments and good wishes to you. Dr. Stacks adds his.”

What a treasure to a man like “Geddes” was such a brother-in-law!

– Sketches, pp.437-490.

Gentlemen were appointed to make the necessary inquiry, and a committee named, with which these gentlemen were to communicate. At this meeting a Sutherlandshire proprietor made such representations regarding the inhabitants of that county, that, relying, I suppose, on his mere assertions, the proposed enquiry has never been carried into that district. Under these circumstances, I, who have been largely a sufferer, and a spectator of the sufferings of multitudes of my countrymen, would have felt myself deeply culpable if I kept silence, and did not take means to lay before the committee and the public the information of which I am possessed, to put the benevolent on their guard respecting the men who undertake to pervert, if they cannot stifle, the inquiry as to the causes and extent of distress in the shire of Sutherland. With a view to discharging this incumbent duty, I published a few remarks, signed ‘A Highlander,’ in the Edinburgh Weekly Journal of 29th May [1840], on the aforesaid proprietor’s speech; to which he made a reply, accusing me of singular ignorance and misrepresentation, and endeavouring to exonerate himself. Another letter has since appeared in the same paper, signed, “A Sutherlandshire Tenant,” denying my assertions and challenging me to prove them by stating facts. To meet this challenge, and to let these parties know that I am not so ignorant as they represent; and also to afford information to the before-mentioned committee, it being impossible for those gentlemen to apply an adequate remedy till they know the real cause and nature of the disease, I addressed a second letter to the editor of the Weekly Journal; but to my astonishment, it was refused insertion; through what influence I am not prepared to say. I have, in consequence, been subjected to much reflection and obloquy for deserting a cause which would be so much benefitted by public discussion; and for failing to substantiate charges so publicly made. I have, therefore, now to request, that, through the medium of your valuable and impartial paper, the public may be made acquainted with the real state of the case; and I pledge myself not only to meet the two opponents mentioned, but to produce and substantiate such a series of appalling facts, as will sufficiently account for the distress prevailing in Sutherlandshire; and, I trust have a tendency towards its mitigation.

– Gloomy Memories, pp.1-2.

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