31st of May

St Petronilla, 1st century. Saints Cantius and Cantianus, brothers, and Cantianilla, their sister, martyrs, 304.

Born. – Dr James Currie, miscellaneous writer, 1756, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dumfriesshire; Friedrich Von Hardenberg, Prussian statesman, 1772; Ludwig Tieck, German poet, novelist, and dramatist, 1773.
Died. – Frederick William I. of Prussia, 1740; Marshal Lannes, (Duc de Montebello), 1809; Thomas Chalmers, D.D., 1847.

On this Day in Other Sources.

[Lord Burghley’s] Second Charge.

Great forces were continued in Scotland, after peace made, for England, by the Queen’s Majesty, and the French King, and his wife, for Scotland.

The Answer thereto.

The peace alluded to above was probably the peace of Cambray, in April 1559, or perhaps the treaty of Upsettlington, on the 31st of May thereafter: But, there is nothing in either, about sending, or keeping troops, in Scotland. Burghley knew full well, that a rebellion existed, in Scotland, from 1558 till 1560, inclusive, which he, and his mistress, fomented; and thus did their own act make troops necessary. As Scotland, and France, were amalgamated, by the marriage of the Scotish Queen with the Dauphin, the French King had a right to send troops to Scotland against the rebels, whom Elizabeth fostered; and she had neither any just right, nor any adequate pretence, for opposing what was done, rightfully, by Mary, and her husband. But, without any right, Elizabeth entered into a formal treaty, at Berwick, in February 1560, with Mary’s rebellious subjects, for giving them assistance, by sea, and land. It was in pursuance of this illegitimate treaty, that Elizabeth sent forces, under Lord Gray, in aid of the Scotish insurgents. In all this, the French King, and Queen, were right; and Elizabeth was quite wrong.

– Life of Mary, pp.328-332.

May 31 [1608]. – Margaret Hertsyde had entered the service of the queen in a humble capacity in Scotland, and accompanying her majesty to England, was there considerably advanced, and received from the queen many marks of favour. Enriched with the royal liberality, she returned to her native country as a great lady, attended by her husband John Buchanan, who had been a servant of the king. The pair attracted an invidious attention by the high airs they gave themselves, affecting by the purchase of land to become persons of quality, appearing in a carriage drawn by white horses, and apparently wholly forgetful of their humble origin. It was therefore with no great regret that the people learned that Margaret was apprehended, on suspicion of having taken jewellery from her royal mistress to the value of £400 sterling. The unfortunate woman confessed her guilt to the queen; but on her being brought to trial at Linlithgow some technical difficulties arose as to how far a person could be considered guilty of theft who had only withheld unaccounted for certain articles of which she had been in trust. A direct conviction could not therefore be recorded. In these circumstances, by an irregularity which marks the character of the age, the king interfered, with an order that Margaret Hertsyde be declared infamous and banished to Orkney. She was also adjudged to pay £400 sterling to the commissioner upon her majesty’s dotarial estate of Dunfermline. A grave historian of that day moralises upon the case as a sad example of the mutability of fortune.

In 1619, ‘her doom having been humbly and with great patience embraced and underlain by her, and her behaviour continually sin syne having been very dutiful,’ Margaret so far succeeded in obtaining the king’s grace as to have the reproach of infamy removed. – Pit.  Jo. Hist.

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

   “Mr F. PALMER could not help, as an old reformer, expressing the great interest he took in this bill for reforming the representation of Scotland. He remembered when petitions from Scotland, complaining of the system in Scotland as one of oppression, were rejected by the House of Commons, that Mr Muir urged the people to renew their petitions, and argued that they must at length be successful. For his exertions in that way Mr Muir was prosecuted, as was also Mr F. Palmer. They were found guilty, and sentenced to be transported for doing that which all Scotland was now doing – but those gentlemen were not only transported, the greatest cruelties were practised upon them – and all for what? for doing that which men were at the present day idolized in all parts of Scotland for urging – for urging upon their countrymen the necessity of reform. But he asked what was the cause of this change? Was it the monstrous misrule under which the country had groaned for nearly 40 years? Or was it the oppression of taxation? Or that change which had been made in the currency, which had the effect of doubling the burden of taxes. Whether to one or to all these causes combined the change was to be ascribed, it was certain that it had taken place, and that nothing short of an effectual reform would now satisfy the people. That that measure would now pass there could be no doubt, and that it would be attended with the most beneficial results to the country there could be as little. It would, he was certain, give general satisfaction. It would promote internal peace and tranquility, and in the train of these would cause a renewal of its energies, from which they might expect permanent prosperity. One cause of these blessings would not be lost sight of – it was, that a House of Commons had done its duty to the country, and that its efforts would be remembered with lasting thanks and gratitude. (Hear.)” 

Fife Herald, Thursday 31st May, 1832.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1800-1850.

   “Scotch and Irish Nationality. – Ireland was conquered. Irish nationality was overpowered. Centuries of disaster both to Ireland and to England followed, and at this day England dares not trust Irishmen with rifles in their hands. Scotland defended her nationality century after century against England, and at last concluded with her a treaty of union as one independent nation concludes a treaty with another. Scotland took care to preserve Scotch law, Scotch customs, Scotch Presbyterianism, – all in fact which distinguished the old Scottish nationality intact. This we English ought frankly to acknowledge. As no Scotchman is worth the down on his thistle who dares not regard the union with England as the consummation and crown of Scottish history, so no Englishman is true to the generosity of his race if he does not approve of the old vindication of Scottish independence, and rejoice that the spirit was not broken of that fiery and unconquerable little nation, who, under British standard, wherever they have floated from the plains of Belgium to the gates of Lucknow, have showed themselves the bravest of the brave. – From the Dial.”

– Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Review; and Forfar and Kincardineshire Advertiser, 31st May, 1861.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

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