18th of June

Saints Marcus and Marcellianus, martyrs, 286. St Armand, Bishop of Bordeaux. St Marina, of Bithynia, virgin, 8th century. St Elizabeth, of Sconauge, virgin and abbess, 1165.


Born. – Karl Wenceslaus Rodecker von Rotteck, historian, 1775, Frieburg, in Breisgau
Died. – Caliph Othman, assassinated at Medina, 655; Gerard Van Swieten, eminent physician and teacher of medicine, 1772, Schoenbrunn, Vienna; Sir Thomas Picton, 1815, Waterloo.


On this Day in Other Sources.


The insurgent nobles, on the 18th of June [1567], seized the Queen’s plate, jewels, and other moveables, in Holyrood-house: They coined the whole of her plate. On the same day, Glencairn went with his servants into the Queen’s chapel of Holyrood-house, and broke down the altars, and demolished the pictures, images, and ornaments. This outrage was highly commended by the preachers, as a work of great godliness: But, the other insurgent nobles were somewhat displeased; as he had done this mischief, without any order, and before they had resolved, how to deal with the Queen.  

It is a curious circumstance, which marks the real design of the rebellious nobles: They immediately took the most decisive, and vigorous measures against the Queen, in violation of their public professions, and in breach of their solemn engagements, to serve, and obey her; while they did not pursue Bothwell, or take any measure to prevent his escape; though they always avowed one of their chief objects to be, to inflict condign punishment on Bothwell, for the King’s murder: Morton and Maitland, who were his complotters, knew, that he could charge them with their guilty conduct, in that abominable deed. 

– Life of Mary, pp.155-184.


As a rule the provosts did not reside within the burgh, but on their own domains – coming only to the city on occasions of emergency or special business, and on these occasions, especially when they rendered any special service, they were usually rewarded by some present, generally wine. For example, under date 18th June, 1583, we find “given to Agnes Broune for wyne presentit to the proveist in time of trublis, being caused to abyde in this toune for pacifeing thairof xiij li vis. viijd.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237.


The 18th of June, this year, 1589, George [Keith], Earl Marischal, was sent [as] ambassador to Denmark, for the King’s marriage. He was well accompanied in his embassy, and by the King’s procuration, the business was ended in the month of July thereafter; and in September following, the ambassador, with the Queen and all her train, shipped in Denmark for Scotland, but by contrary winds were forced to land in Ypso sound, in Norway, where the frost did constrain them to winter. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.


At the wedding of “Jeilliane Campbell” with the Laird of Buckie, which took place on 18th June 1626, we find notice of trouts, wild-geese (not easily to be had at that season), three whole red deer and ten furches (I fear not in very good condition), and seventeen roes; of claret, white wine, and “Spanish wine,” aquavitæ, vinegar, etc.; for spiceries, pepper and ginger, sugar, cloves, cannel (cinnamon), saffron. 

– Sketches, pp.341-394.


“Item, given to Mr Johnne McLen, pedagogue to my Lord Lorne’s sone, in September 1633, ane hewit plaid, pryce xii. lib.” Item, the 18th of Junii, to be coat and brekis to him (my Lorde’s sone), x. quarteris of fyne skarlet, xviii. lib. the ell, xlv. lib. Item, ane pair of silk stockings, “and there are ‘French bever hats, orange ribband points, and a Spanish pistolet’ for the young lord.” 

– Popular Tales, Vol. 4, pp.53-75.


There was another, an open draw-well, at the Barras yett, near the port of that name at the foot of Saltmarket. It is mentioned in a minute of council in 1664, which ordains that “in respect of the heighting of the calsay at the Barrazet the well there be heightit twa stones higher round about, for preservation of childerin falling therin.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.289-299. 

1  18th June, 1664.


The prices at which the magistrates disposed of the common lands were very small. The agricultural value of the ground was certainly not great, as may be judged from the fact that in 1712 the whole of the muir known as the Wester Common, extending to about 100 acres – now part of the city – was let to one James Bell at the rent of “11, 8s. 6d. That was probably all that could be then got for it; but the magistrates were not justified in permanently alienating lands which they held in trust – if not for the Church, to which they really belonged, at least for the citizens – at prices which were merely nominal. On the 18th of June, 1730, they sold sixty acres of this Wester Common to James Rae, a merchant in Glasgow, at the price of £145, 16s. 8d. and an annual feu-duty of £5, 11s. Taking the feu-duty at even twenty-five years’ purchase, this is less than £285 for sixty acres of land. And in 1747 they sold the remainder of the common, extending to between thirty and forty acres, to John Young, a tailor, at the price of £130 and a feu-duty of £1, 13s. 4d

– Old Glasgow, pp.175-181.



     “DEAR DOCTOR, – All our projects have failed, and, I believe, for ever. The Secretary-at-War persists in his scruples and delays; and Mr. Roberts, Pelham’s Secretary, says our applications will not succeed. I suppose he speaks in this the sense of his master. Mentor alone is positive we will infallibly succeed. The General goes off for Scotland to-morrow. I set out next week, as fully convinced as Seneca of the vanity of the world, and of the insufficiency of riches to render us happy. I wish you had a little more of the philosophy of that great man, and I a little more of his riches. Perhaps you would rather choose my share, and will reproach me with both dividing and choosing. But such a sentiment is the strongest proof in the world that you want a little more philosophy, and that the division I have assigned you would suit you best. 

“The General made… effort for us, and would have made a stronger could he have met with Lord Sandwich, whom he called upon several times, and who is now gone to the country about elections. Your friend Mitchel stands for Aberdeenshire, and, I believe, will carry it. I hope Col. Erskine will also have a seat. I am afraid for Oswald. 

“I could have wrote you a fine elaborate letter, which you might have shown as from a wit of your acquaintance; but being afraid that this would deter you from answering, I thought it better to scribble in this careless manner. Pray how do you like your situation in Flanders? Have you got any friends or confidents whom you can be free with in seriis et in jocis, – amici omnium horarum? 

“If Cope’s dragoons be in Flanders, pray inquire out the surgeon, Frank Home, and make my compliments to him. and tell him that I recommend him to pay his court to you, and to acquire your friendship. You may say that I think it will be very well worth his while, even though it should cost him some pains both to acquire and to keep it. You may add, that the last is, in my opinion, the most difficult point. Seriously speaking, Frank Home is a very pretty young fellow, and well worth your acquaintance. So pray make him the first advances, in case his modesty should render him backward. Yours, 


     “LONDON, June 18, 1747.

“To Dr, John Clephane of the British Hospital at Osterhout, Holland.”

– Sketches, pp.437-490.


To the Editor of the Perthshire Advertiser.

June 18, 1853.  
     “SIR, – My attention has been directed to an article in the Perthshire Advertiser, of the 13th ultimo, in which a work, entitled Barriers to the National Prosperity of Scotland, is reviewed, and from which are quoted passages tending to give an impression of the management of my estates in the Highlands, which is inconsistent with the facts. 
     The extract from Mr. Alister’s work to which I more particularly allude is the following:- “At the present rate of depopulation, the Highlands must soon be one vast wilderness; and although their numbers were never great in the British Army, yet we aver that one-tenth of the men who fought in the last war could not be got in the Highlands. Many of the smaller glens are totally cleared, and any of the peasantry remaining do not calculate that they can obtain a home for many years longer. Glencoe, the Black Mount, and Lochtayside, where the Campbells flourished, are swept; and although no difficulty was experienced by the late Marquis of Breadalbane in raising three battalions of fencibles at the last war, we are sure that 150 men could not now be obtained.” 
     Glencoe does not, and never did, belong to me. 
     Mr. Alister appears to labour under a mistake as to the history of the Black Mount, inasmuch as he would seem to assert that it was formerly densely inhabited; whereas the fact is, that, as far back as the records of my family reach (for some centuries) till towards the close of last century, when it was put into very large sheep farms, that country was always a deer forest, and consequently uninhabited, except by the foresters. As I began to convert it again into a forest upwards of thirty years since, it is obvious that it could only have been in the hands of tenants for a (comparatively speaking) short period. The present population of that district is, I believe, as great as it was in the times to which Mr. Alister alludes, and, in point of fact, the number of families employed by me there now, as shepherds and foresters, is much the same as the number who lived there when the ground was tenanted by farmers. 
     On my Nether Lorne property, I believe the population to be greater than it was fifty or sixty years ago. 
     The population on the banks of Loch Tay is certainly not as large as it was twenty years since, and it is fortunate for all parties concerned that it is not, as a continuance of the old system would, before this, have produced disastrous results. 
     When I succeeded to the property, I found the land cut up into possessions too small for the proper conduct of agricultural operations, or the full employment of the occupiers. The consequence was, that habits of idleness were engendered, great poverty existed, and the cultivation of the land was in a most unsatisfactory state – the social, the moral, and physical conditions of the people being thus unfavourably affected. 
     A continuance of this state of matters was clearly inconsistent with the improvement of the country and the welfare of the inhabitants, subjects to which I at once, on my succession, directed my attention, and to which I have ever since constantly directed my best thoughts. 
     To carry these views into effect, it was absolutely necessary that the holdings should be so increased in size as to give sufficient employment to the resources of the occupiers, and this could only be done by consolidating some of the smallest possessions, retaining the tenants who appeared most likely to profit by the change. 
     In no case was this done in the way implied by Mr. Alister, as the changes were always made gradually, and so as to produce as little inconvenience as possible to those whom it was necessary to remove. Indeed, whenever, from the circumstances of the case, it was practicable, those who were removed were offered other houses. 
     In reality, there has been no depopulation of the district, in the sense in which the word is usually accepted. There is still a large population on both sides of Loch Tay, and almost all the land is still held in, comparatively speaking, small possessions. 
     The results of the system I have pursued speak for themselves. If any person who saw Lochtayside twenty years since were to see it now, he could not fail to be struck with the change for the better in the face of the country, in the state of the dwellings, and in the appearance and habits of the people. 
     A very satisfactory proof of the flourishing condition of the people may be found in the fact, that, while the inhabitants of many parts of the Highlands were suffering from famine in the years 1846-47, and were to a great extent indebted for mere existence to the charity of the public, none of the money so collected was expended on, or required by, the inhabitants of my estates, even on the west coast. All were supported by internal, not by external aid, although the failure of the potato crop was quite as complete there as in other parts of the Highlands. Indeed, money was raised in these districts in aid of the general funds collected for the alleviation of the famine. 
     In no part of the Highlands are the religious and educational wants of the inhabitants better provided for, nor are there fewer public-houses. 
     In looking over my factorial accounts, I find that, on my Perthshire property, I have expended, in employing the people in useful works, £188, 750; on Glenurchay, a part of my Argyleshire property, £19,402; and on the other part a similar sum in proportion – in each case from the period of my succession down to 1852 (eighteen years). 
     Having stated these facts regarding the management of my property, and my conduct towards those residing upon it, I fearlessly ask, am I justly obnoxious to the imputation of being regardless of the prosperity and happiness of the people upon it? Have I recklessly driven out from its mountains and its glens the interesting and gallant race that formerly resided there? – I remain, sir, your obedient servant, 


[From part 1 of 2 of the fantastic response to the above letter]

     When illustrating the evil effects of our feudalistic legislation, it was barely possible for me to avoid pointing to certain estates where the evils were most apparent. But I certainly did so as seldom as possible, and I think in only one instance have I condescended on a personal reflection. Your Lordship’s name is not mentioned at all, for although I state that Lochtayside had been cleared, I did not say by whom; and had you not published the letter of 18th June, your lordship’s name and character might have been forgotten altogether in connection with such a deplorable state of matters. Personally, I entertain no grudge towards your Lordship or any other laird, but on the contrary it might have been beneficial to me to retain the good favour of lairds rather than to excite their ill-will. But the letter referred to leaves me only two courses, – either to support the statements of my book, or stand arraigned before the public as guilty of circulating untruths. Your Lordship has dragged our dispute prominently before the public; let the public, therefore, be judge between us. 
     I have good right to complain that your Lordship’s contradiction of my statements are not brought out in a straightforward manner, but that by numerous shifts and fallacies you evade the facts altogether. Considering the high position of your Lordship, I think you might have condescended to have met such a humble antagonist as I am openly and frankly; excuse me, therefore, if I now ask you to answer my statements seriatim. 
     1st. Do you deny in general that the Highlands are being depopulated, and that one soldier could not now be raised for ten who fought in the last was? Your Lordship, I think, would hardly risk the denial of a statement which every person in this country knows to be correct. I have given the public an opportunity of denying my statements; but so far as I can judge, my figures are under rather than over the mark. I can point to a place where thirty recruits that manned the 92nd in Egypt came from – men before whom Napoleon’s Invincibles had to bite the dust, – and now only two families reside there altogether. I was lately informed by a grazier that on his farm a hundred swordsmen could be gathered at the country’s call; and now there is only himself and one or two shepherds. On his neighbour’s farm fifty swordsmen formerly lived, and it is now much in the same condition. The Sutherland and Gordon clearings are known to the world, and yet the fact of Highland depopulation is stated as being inconsistent with truth? Under this head your Lordship had ample opportunity of contradicting my statements, but no man with any regard to his standing could do so. But if I am labouring under a delusion here, I am not alone, as will be seen from the following quotation:- 
     “But in other and in too many instances the Highlands have been drained, not of their superfluity of population, but of the whole mass of the inhabitants, dispossessed by an unrelenting avarice, which will be one day found to have been as short-sighted as it is unjust and selfish. Meantime the Highlands may become the fairy ground for romance and poetry, or the subject of experiment for the professors of speculation, political and economical. But if the hour of need shall come, – and it may not perhaps be far distant, – the pibroch may sound through the deserted region, but the summons will remain unanswered.” – Sir Walter Scott, [‘Tales of a Grandfather’]. 
     Let us hear what the great continental historian, Michelet, says:- 
     “The Scotch Highlanders will ere long disappear from the face of the earth; the mountains are daily depopulating; the great estates have ruined the land of the Gaul, as they did ancient Italy. The Highlander will ere long exist only in the romances of Walter Scott. The tartan and the claymore excite surprise in the streets of Edinburgh: they disappear – they emigrate – their national airs will ere long be lost, as the music of the Eolian harp when the winds are hushed.” 

– Gloomy Memories, pp.148-154.

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