St Paul the Apostle, 68. St Martial, Bishop of Limoges, 3rd century.
Died. – Bishop Gavin Dunbar, 1547; Cardinal Baronius, eminent ecclesiastical writer, 1607, Rome; Archibald Campbell, ninth Earl of Argyle, beheaded, 1685, Edinburgh; Sultan Mahmoud, of Turkey, 1839.
An act of the British parliament, dated June 30, 1837, put an end to the use of the pillory in the United Kingdom, a mode of punishment so barbarous, and at the same time so indefinite in its severity, that we can only wonder it should not have been extinguished long before. *
In 1814, Lord Cochrane, so unjustly convicted as a party to an attempted fraud on the Stock Exchange, was sentenced to the pillory. His parliamentary colleague, Sir Francis Burdett, told the Government that if that portion of the sentence were carried into effect, he would stand in the pillory by Lord Cochrane’s side, and they must be responsible for the consequences. The authorities discreetly took the hint, and contented themselves with degrading, fining, and imprisoning the hero.
* In my researches through British Newspapers, from 1700-1900, for the upcoming Glasgow Pride season, I found a sad article that laid out the reasons for the punishment of being pilloried having been scrapped in the early 19th century. This is from my post in progress;
In Surrey towards the end of the 18th century two men were pilloried for having been found guilty of engaging in acts of sodomy. The death of Mr Smith due to having been knocked unconscious and left dangling from his neck was strangled to death which led to the beginning of conversations surrounding the banning of this form of punishment.
“On the 10th of April , [Theodosius] Reed a plaisterer, and [William] Smith a coachman, sentenced for sodomitical practices, were carried from the New Gaol privately, in a hackney-coach (to save them from the mob), and set in the pillory at St Margaret’s-hill. The under-sheriffs, with their officers, and a great number of constables, attended. The unhappy wretches were, nevertheless, so severely pelted by the populace, that in half an hour Smith sunk down; in which position he remained, till he appeared black in the face, the blood gushing from his ears; when he was taken out, and laid on the pillory. When carried back to the gaol, a surgeon was sent for; but Smith was found to be dead; and Reed’s recovery was doubtful. On an inquisition taken, April 12, it appeared to the coroner and his jury, that Reed turning round faster than usual, and Smith being just then seized with a giddiness and fainting from the extreme severity of the populace, lost the strength of his legs, and hung by his head. the jury’s verdict was, “Strangled in the pillory.” – The Solicitor-General moved the court of king’s-bench, April 20. for an attachment against the under-sheriff, for his not preventing this mischief. But Lord Mansfield, upon hearing the affidavits, said, they did not appear to prove any inattention in the under-sheriff; so the affair was deferred till further inquiry should be made. – Can a country be said to be civilized where such barbarity is committed at mid-day in the capital!”
– Scots Magazine, Vol. 42, Saturday 2nd December, 1780, p.323.
On this Day in other Sources.
June 30 . – This day being Sunday, Sir Robert Crichton of Cluny went to attend morning-service at St Cuthbert’s Kirk, near Edinburgh, and had sat there a considerable time quietly, when he observed a boy belonging to the Earl of Tullibardine come to the door and look in. As the earl had before this time ‘sought both his land and life,’ he judged the boy to be a spy, and apprehended that some evil was designed to him. He therefore rose to go out, hoping peaceably to convey himself beyond the earl’s reach; but no sooner had he done so than three men of the king’s guard – all, be it remarked, bearing the name of Murray, being that of the earl – rose from a seat behind and showed a warrant for taking him. By their own confession, they had come to church for the purpose of lying in wait to take Sir Robert, though intending not to meddle with him till the end of the service. They now told him that they were willing to wait for him till the dismissal of the people, keeping him meanwhile in a chamber adjoining to the church, whereas if he went forth by himself he might get skaith, as there were several of the earl’s ‘folk’ in the kirkyard. Sir Robert, however, disdained to submit to this ignominious treatment; so he and his son, drawing their swords, prepared to offer resistance. Of course, a tumult took place in the church, ‘to the scandal of religion, and the great grief of the haill parochiners and others convenit at the sermon.’
– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.
June 30 . – The king commenced a second excursion in his native dominions by Stirling, Perth, St Andrews – thence back to Stirling, where he received a deputation of Edinburgh professors, who disputed before him in the chapel-royal of the castle, in the presence of the English and Scottish nobility and many learned men.
– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.
The chief inducement to the undertaking was, without doubt, the convenience of saving the endless dictation and writing required in teaching grammar and philosophy where there were no text-books; but the press served higher purposes also, and we not only owe to Raban’s types the first editions of Arthur Johnston’s Latin Poetry, but to him and his successors we are indebted for a large mass of Academic literature, which must have been lost without them, and which furnishes the best materials (after the proper archives) of University history.1 The first book printed in Aberdeen bears the date of 1622, being just a century after John Vaus crossed to Paris to have his grammar printed, and 115 years after Chepman and Miller established their printing-press at Edinburgh.
– Sketches, pp.254-324.
1 It may be allowed to give the dates of such of these Academic prints as I have seen. The first is not from the Aberdeen press.
1623. – Oratio funebris in obitum maximi virorum Georgii Marischalli comitis… Academiæ Marischallanæ Abredoniæ fundatoris, delivered by W. Ogston, June 30, 1623, printed by Raban, dedicated to the Earl Marischal, Patron, the Bishop, Chancellor, and to the Town Council of Aberdeen.
Attired like a peasant, disguised by a long beard, [the Earl of Argyle] was discovered and overpowered by three militiamen, near Paisley. “Alas, alas, unfortunate Argyle!” He exclaimed, as they struck him down; then an officer, Lieutenant Shaw (of the house of Greenock), ordered him to be bound hand and foot and sent to Edinburgh, where, by order of the Secret Council, he was ignominiously conducted through the streets with his hands corded behind him, bareheaded, escorted by the horse guards, and preceded by the hangman to the Castle, where, for a third time, he was thrust into his old chamber. On the day he was to die he despatched the following note to his son. It is preserved in the Salton Charter chest:-
“Edr. Castle, 30th June, ’85.
“DEARE JAMES, – Learn to fear God; it is the only way to make you happie here and hereafter. Love and respect my wife, and hearken to her advice. The Lord bless. I am your loving father,
At noon on the 30th June, 1685, he was escorted to the market cross to be “beheaded and have his head affixed to the Tolbooth on a high pin of iron.” When he saw the old Scottish guillotine, under the terrible square knife of which his father, and so many since the days of Morton, had perished, he saluted it with his lips, saying, “It is the sweetest maiden I have ever kissed.” “My lord dies a Protestant!” Cried a clergyman aloud to the assembled thousands. “Yes,” said the Earl, stepping forward, “and not only a Protestant, but with a heart-hatred of Popery, Prelacy, and all superstition.” He made a brief address to the people, laid his head between the grooves of the guillotine, and died with equal courage and composure. His head was placed on the Tolbooth gable, and his body was ultimately sent to the burial-place of his family, Kilmun, on the shore of the Holy Loch in Argyle.
– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.
2459. An Act (passed 30th June, 1800), for Extending the Royalty of the City of Glasgow. London, 1800.
This is the First Police Act for Glasgow.
– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.
The prototype – if prototype there were – of Souter Johnie is more doubtful; but a shoemaker named John Davidson – born 1728, died 30th June 1806 – did live for some time at Glenfoot of Ardlochan, near the farm of Shanter, whence he removed to Kirkoswald.
– ‘Tam O’ Shanter’, Notes, Vol. 1, pp.433-441.