29th of June – St Peter’s Day

St Peter the Apostle, 68. St Hemma, widow, 1045.

Died. – Pierre de Marca, archbishop of Paris, historian, 1662; Francesco Caracciolo, Neapolitan patriot, shot, 1799; Rev. David Williams, originator of the Royal Literary Fund, 1816; Henry Clay, American statesman, 1852, Washington.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The Queen remained, at Edinburgh, till the 29th of June; making, however, short excursions, in the neighbourhood; dining with Morton, at Dalkeith, on the 29th, and sleeping on the same night, at Melville. On the 29th of June [1563], she dined, at Edinburgh, and slept, at Linlithgow. On the subsequent day, she rode from Linlithgow, to Dunypace, where she spent the night. This, then, was the first stage of a very extensive excursion, which she made, through the west, and southwest of Scotland, during the two subsequent months. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.

   “Professor BLACKIE, who was received with applause, said -… In conclusion, I may remark that a vast amount of Scottish literary talent is expended in a most influential but unrecognised way in the pages of the London press. London, indeed, is the greater absorber of British talent, and often quietly takes credit to itself for producing that genius which it imported from Scotland. Cockneys are only too ready to forget that Theodore Martin, the luxuriant master of verse, and the elegant translator of Homer and Catullus, was both born and bred in Edinburgh; that David Masson, the professor of English literature in London, the biographer of Milton, and the editor of Macmillans Magazine, commenced life as a poor Aberdeen student; not to mention that strong, shaggy-breasted Titan, Thomas Carlyle, who, though now among the Southerns, generally known as the ‘Chelsea prophet,’ is literally a sturdy Dumfries peasant, and has no more to do with Chelsea, than I have to do with Cheltenham. (Hear, hear, and applause.) London has in this way swallowed up, and will continue to swallow up, much of that talent which as a true Scot I cannot but wish had been allowed to grow and produce fruit on its native Scottish soil. (Hear, hear.) But philosophy teaches us to endure this monstrous pampering of an overgrown metropolis as a necessary evil, while I leave it to the Times and other metropolitan despisers of “Scottish provincialism” to advocate for this country a system of centralisation which has been the favourite instrument of despotism in all ages, and whose invariable tendency has been to quash all originality and independence of character, and to make the face of the moral world as stupidly monotonous as a Russian Steppe, or a Pomeranian plain. (Laughter, and loud applause.)” 

Dunfermline Saturday Press, Saturday 29th June, 1861.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

Glasgow Saturday Post, 29th June 1861, p.8.


   SINGULAR DEATH FROM OPIUM. – A coal carrier named Cornelius McBride, residing in Saltmarket, met his death from an overdose of opium on Thursday afternoon, under the following singular circumstances:- He went out in the morning in perfectly good health, and returned home about mid-day complaining that he felt very peculiar and drowsy. He told his daughter that he had been to the shop of Dr. Dick, at the corner of London Street, about which he was in the habit of lounging, and that the shop boy had given him a piece of dark stuff, like a big pill, telling him to chew it, and afterwards to take a glass of water, and that although he would feel dizzy at first, he would subsequently experience the most delightful sensation. The old coal carrier asked the boy whether the stuff would be good for asthma, under which complaint he appears to have suffered, and the boy is alleged to have declared that it would be first-rate for asthma. The poor man accordingly chewed the pill in utter ignorance of its true nature, and the natural results speedily developed themselves. Dr Dick, the boy’s employer, as soon as the symptoms became alarming, was called in, and at a later period Dr McGill, of the Central Police District, was also summoned, and applied the stomach-pump; but the narcotic was too powerful for all medical skill, and the poor man expired in his own house at half-past four in the afternoon. It is but fair to the boy, whose name is William Thomas Wilson, and who is now in custody, to state that he gives an altogether different version of the affair. He allows that the man consumed rather a large bit of opium; but alleges that the old col-carrier, who was a constant visitor in the shop, took a large pinch out of the cake of opium himself after he had heard from him, the shopboy, of its peculiar properties in making people happy, and that he remonstrated with him about taking it, but had no notion that the amount which he took was calculated to result in such serious consequences.

Glasgow Herald, Wednesday 29th June 1870, p.4.


   MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF A GIG-DRIVER. – At a late hour on Monday night, the Rev. Mr Elder of Tealing hired a gig from Mr Stratton, Dundee, in order to go home, and took with him a driver named Bernard Quin. The journey to Tealing was safely accomplished, and at an early hour yesterday morning the driver left Tealing on his return to Dundee. No one was with him, and, as the night was clear, it was thought that he would have no difficulty in driving at a good pace. Neither man nor machine, however, made their appearance in Dundee for many hours after the time they were expected, and the greatest anxiety was felt by Mr Stratton to learn if any misfortune had befallen them. The suspense from which Mr Stratton suffered was removed in the course of the forenoon, but only to give place to the deepest sorrow. Intelligence was received from a farmer in the neighbourhood of Tealing that the man who had driven the Rev. Mr Elder home on the previous evening had been found lying on the road about six o’clock in the morning by some ploughmen in the service of the farmer, with a gig-cushion and a gig-rug lying near him. The man was speechless, and, being evidently in an exhausted condition, the ploughmen carried him to Balnuith farmhouse, where he died in an hour and a half afterwards. The horse and gig were found in the course of the morning on a road near the Mains, some miles from the spot where Quin was found. The machine did not seem to have suffered any damage, and the horse and its harness also appeared in good order. How the unfortunate man met his death is yet a mystery. The affair was reported to the Fiscal, who left Dundee in the forenoon, along with a medical man, in order to make investigations, and to hold a post-mortem examination on the body of the deceased. Quin leaves a widow and three children to mourn his sudden loss. 

Curious and Interesting Deaths.

According to a paper which was read before the Social Science Association, on occasion of its meeting at Edinburgh in 1863, the United Industrial School had been found to work most satisfactorily. The plan on which the school “was instituted in 1847, and on which it has now (1863) for nearly a quarter of a century been conscientiously and successfully conducted, is that of combined instruction in things secular, separate in things religious. The school is attended by both Protestant and Catholic children, boys and girls.” 

Chapter 31b

Statistics of such institutions may vary a little from year to year; but the printed report issued on June 29, 1876, the day of inspection, may be considered to represent a fairly typical statement of the average condition of the school. According to this report, the number of inmates stood thus:- “Boys, 122; girls, 34. Of these 100 boys and 20 girls were under detention, 13 boys and 14 girls on the voluntary list, and 9 day scholars; of these 70 were Protestant and 86 Roman Catholics.” The cases of absconding are few, and the punishments small. The industrial training is regarded with the full consideration it deserves. These are brushmaking, carpentry, turning, tailoring, shoemaking, and wood-cutting, for the boys; school washing, cooking, household work, and knitting, for the girls. The nett cost per head, including profit and loss on the industrial departments, was, in 1876, £12 5s. 2d., the total cost being £1,990 18s. 2d. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.258-266.

   “Professor BLACKIE, who was received with loud cheers said – Ladies and Gentlemen, – I determined to prepare no speech for the present occasion. I am not a man that makes speeches; I speak – (laughter) – ‘Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh.’ I say in the first place, this is the greatest honour done me in the course of my long life. I have been rather on the whole a lucky dog and a good, honest working man; but never was such an honour dreamt of by me that I should be called to unfurl a flag to Robert the Bruce on the field of Bannockburn. (Cheers.) Well, I thank God that up to this octogenarian period, though I should have gained nothing else, I have gained the love of my fellow-citizens and all good Scotchmen. That is all I want; I care not for fame, but I care for love. As St Paul says, ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law,’ it is the cement of society; it is the salvation of the State, and it is the reward of an honest working life. (Cheers.) I say there are two sacred grounds – if I may use the plural – in Scotland – the one is the field of Bannockburn and the other is the Greyfriars’ Churchyard in Edinburgh. On the one we gained our political independence and on the other our liberty of conscience. These two have made Scotchmen what they are. Had it not been for Robert Bruce and Douglas and Randolph, and for the Covenanters and John Knox, and my dearly-beloved friend Jenny Geddes – (laughter) – we should have all been the slaves and puppets of English masters. Now, I have great respect for our English brethren; but I wish them to know they are merely partners in trade with us. I wish a real union not an absorption. I wish them to understand that Scotland is still Scotland that it is for the benefit of the Empire that Scotland should be Scotland, England should be England, and Ireland should be Ireland; that it is not for our good we should be anglified and dressed up, with a London polish. Indeed, I am not sure that the Union of 1707 was such an immense benefit to Scotland. We owe our success to our pluck. A hard-working, intelligent people always succeed, and that is why Scotchmen succeed everywhere. Though I am a friend of the Union, and proud to belong to the British Empire, yet there is a certain danger to a smaller nation from being united to a bigger. Do not let a long period of peace juggle you out of your nationality. beware of London, beware of officialism, of centralisation, of monopoly, of measuring things by red tape from London. Assert your independence, be true to yourselves.’ 

   … Let us hope that England is learning now to be a little wiser in her attitude towards fraternal nationalities. Meantime, let us remember today that Scotland has her duty to perform, though it is not against a foe from over the border. there are other forces against which Scotchmen will require to be on their guard. The first is the tendency to centralisation, and the extinction of the Scottish Parliament… The removal of all our Scotch legislative business to London has carried away with it many elements that should have strengthened the Scottish nation and the Scottish nationality… In the days six hundred years ago it was the Scottish nobles that so often by their vacillation and their selfishness exposed Scotland to the domination of her southern neighbour. And had it not been for the perfidy of Scottish nobles William Wallace would have achieved the liberties of Scotland, and the battle of Falkirk would have been the battle of Bannockburn. (Cheers.) The transference of our national business to London has taken away the business from the people amongst whom it is understood to be mismanaged by people who know little about Scotland, and seem to care even less. we want, therefore, Home Rule for Scotland. (Cheers.) We want to have the management of our Scottish affairs, not only in the interests of Scotland but in the interests of the Empire itself. (Cheers.)

– Lennox Herald, Saturday 29th June, 1889.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1875-1900.

Associated Words from Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary.

PETYRMES, PETERMAS, s. 1. “Day of St. Peter and St. Paul, 29th June,” D. Macpherson. Aberd. Reg.

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