2nd of June

Saints Pothinus, Bishop of Lyons, Sanctus, Attalus, Blandina, and the other martyrs of Lyons, 177. St Erasmus, bishop and martyr, 303. Saints Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs, about 304.

Born. – Nicolas le Fevre, 1544, Paris.
Died. – James Douglas, Earl of Morton, beheaded at Edinburgh, 1581; Madeleine de Scuderi, romances, miscellaneous writings, 1701.


After ruling Scotland under favour of Elizabeth for nearly ten years, Morton fell a victim to court faction, which probably could not have availed against him if he had not forfeited public esteem by his greed and cruelty. It must have been a striking sight when that proud, stern, resolute face, which had frowned so many better men down, came to speak from a scaffold, protesting innocence of the crime for which he had been condemned, but owning sins enough to justify God for his fate. As is well known, the instrument employed on the occasion was one forming a sort of prototype of the afterwards more famous guillotine, and named The Maiden, of which a portraiture is here presented, drawn from the original, still preserved in Edinburgh. 


Morton is believed to have been the person who introduced The Maiden into Scotland, and he is thought to have taken the idea from a similar instrument which had long graced a mount near Halifax, in Yorkshire, as the appointed means of ready punishment for offences against forest law in that part of England.

On this Day in Other Sources.

In the year 1341, John, Earl of Moray, the Governor, returns home to Scotland from the English captivity, being exchanged by the French King [Philip VI.] with William Montagu, Earl of Salisbury, taken in France but lately before. And this same year, in June, King David and his Queen, arrive safely from France, at Inverbervie [south of Aberdeen]. 

This year, 1341, James and Simon Fraser, with Robert Keith, and their followers, took the town of Perth, and in it Donnchadh, Earl of Fife, Governor of the same for Edward Balliol, with his countess and son; in it was taken Andrew Murray of Tullibardine, and their condemned as a false traitor to his prince, King David, and his native country, as [the] Dupplin [Moor] battle could witness; they levelled the walls with the ground. This year, also, King David and his Queen, from France, 2nd of June, returned. 

– Historical Works, pp.104-124.

ABOUT the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth century, lived a Sir William Borthwick, who, being a man of great parts, was employed as an ambassador on several important negotiations, and concerned in most of the public transactions of his time. This William appears to have been created Lord Borthwick before 1430; for, in October that year, at the baptism of the king’s two sons, several knights were created, and among the rest William, son and heir of Lord Borthwick. He obtained from James I., of Scotland, a license to build and fortify a castle on the lands of Lochwarret, or Locherworth, which he had bought from Sir William Hay: “Ad construendam castrum in loco illo qui vulgariter dicitur le Mote de Lochorwart.” This grant was obtained by a charter under the great seal, June 2d, 1430. A stately and most magnificent castle was accordingly reared, and afterward became the chief seat and title of the family. 

– Scotland Illustrated, p.25.

In that age, there were not two abler diplomatists than Cecil, and Wotton: And by neglecting, to annex those concessions to this treaty, with Elizabeth, as a part thereof, they showed, that some fraudulence was concealed, under that defect. When we throw our eyes around in quest of that detail of concession to the insurgents of Scotland, which is referred to, in the treaty of Edinburgh; and which we may suppose was a grant of pardon for treason. And forgiveness, for failings of duty; what do we find? We see a commission, from Frances and Mary, to the same negotiators, dated at Remorentin, on the 2d of June [1560], in the fifth year of Francis, and the sixteenth of Mary’s reign, instead of the eighteenth. We have already seen, from the circumstances of its first appearance, that this commission was liable to the charge of forgery; and this charge is confirmed, by the anachronism of the date, in the Queen’s reign. When we inspect the treaty, which followed that supposititious power, we find a grant, from the French ambassadors, who had no authority, of the Queen’s sovereignty to the Scotish insurgents; and instead of pardon, and forgiveness, to those unworthy characters, we see the whole constitution changed, in their favour. No one, in Britain, or in France, has ever seen the original treaty; we only perceive a certified copy, by men, who were in the habit of forgery, at the request of Cecil, which is only another name, for artifice. 

– Life of Mary, pp.15-41.

Throughout of month of May, wherein the Queen was so busy, in adjusting, and securing her marriage, against foreign intrigues, and domestic faction, the Queen remained at Stirling; making only short excursions to Alloa, to Sauchie, and to other seats, in the neighbourhood. On the 2d of June [1565] she departed, from Stirling, with Darnley, and her usual train, and slept at Inverpeffry, on the Earn, on her way to Perth, where she arrived, on the subsequent day; and where she intended to hold a convention, for approving her marriage. She remained, at Perth, throughout the month of June, making her most frequent visits to the Earl of Athol, at Dunkeld, and to Lord Ruthven, at Ruthven castle. 

– Life of Mary, pp.98-126.

At length on the 2d of June, 1572, [Duke of Norfolk] suffered the pains of treason. Cecil, after all his circumspection, and his labours, was blamed, by Elizabeth, whose jealousies, were without end, for the execution of Norfolk, who, from his good qualities, had many friends, and much popularity; and now Elizabeth apprehending, from his fate, all the dangers of privy conspiracy, and open insurrection, become extremely offended with Cecil; whose usefulness soon restored him, however, to her favour. 

– Life of Mary, pp.244-251.

The Commons voted a petition, for the execution of the Duke of Norfolk; which was, accordingly done, on the second of June 1572. 

– Life of Mary, pp.251-260.

Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, was arraigned at Westminsterhall, before George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, by commission, Lord High Steward of England for that day, and executed on Towerhill of London, the 2nd day of June [1572] thereafter, at 8 o’clock in the morning. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

Yet notwithstanding of the King’s smooth answer to the English ambassador, [Thomas] Randolph, this same year, James, Earl of Morton, was brought out of Dumbarton castle to Edinburgh, and being accused for concealing [Henry, Lord Darnley] the King’s murder, by an assize of his peers, he was found guilty, and received [the] sentence to lose his head at Edinburgh cross; which was executed the 2nd day of June, this same year [1581]

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

Morton, who alone possessed the personal character that could effectually stand for the English interest and the kirk, had, by his cruel and avaricious conduct, lost the support of all classes, the clergy included. It was even found possible to effect the ruin of this great man. On the last of December, 1580, the adventurer Stuart came into the council-chamber, and, falling on his knees, accused the ex-Regent of being concerned in the murder of his majesty’s father. To the general surprise, he fell without a struggle, and after a few months’ confinement, he perished on the scaffold (June 2, 1581). 

– Domestic Annals, pp.81-98.

   By a charter of James VI., dated 2d July, 1607, the abbacy of Kelso was erected into a temporal lordship and barony, called ‘the lordship and barony of Halidean,’ comprehending the town and lands of Kelso.

– Gazetteer of Scotland, Kelso, pp.79-87.

June 2 [1607]. – The Privy Council refer to ‘a very ancient and lovable custom’ of giving a blue gown, purse, and as many Scotch shillings as agreed with the years of the king’s age, to as many ‘auld puir men’ as likewise agreed with the king’s years; and seeing it to be ‘very necessary and expedient that the said custom should be continuit,’ they give orders accordingly. – P. C. R

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

June 2 [1681]. – On a complaint from the master of the High School of Edinburgh to the Privy Council, two or three private teachers were imprisoned till they should give caution not to teach Latin without a license from the bishop, and even then to carry the boys no farther than ‘the rudiments and vocables;’ after which it was thought they might be of sufficient strength to go to the High School. What disposed the Council to support the complaint was that there were several private teachers now in Edinburgh who were ‘outed ministers,’ and accordingly were suspected of poisoning their pupils with disloyal principles. P. C. R

– Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.

The directions for preserving deer, rabbits, and blackcocks – no mention of red grouse – and the collecting a few deer from Jura and Isla to be brought to Cawdor,1 call our attention to the subject of game. 

– Sketches, pp.395-436. 

1  It is for these red deer that the high wall was built round the green and the little park at Cawdor. When Sir Hugh went to “the Baths” in 1682, he ordered that great care should be taken during the building of the dykes, that none of the deer be lettin out of the parke, and that some one be appointed to wait upon the great yeat to keep them in, and to let no beast in the park with the deer but the year-old stag alone (2d June 1682). There were eighteen or nineteen red-deer there in 1725, and there was still a park of red-deer in Lachlan Shaw’s time (1775).

   “Mr ALPHEUS MORTON asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention had been called to the fact that, in accordance with article 16 of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England, the Scottish Mint at Edinburgh was to be continued; and if, as the Scottish Mint no longer existed, he could say whether the Government intended to carry out and maintain article 16 of the aforesaid treaty? 

   Sir GEORGE TREVELYAN – The provision in article 16 of the Treaty of Union for the continuance of the Scottish Mint at Edinburgh was repealed by the statute Law Revision Act of 1867, and the article as now in force only provides that the coin shall be of the same standard and value in Scotland and England alike.” 

– Scotsman, Friday 2nd June, 1893.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1875-1900.

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