4th of July

St Finbar, abbot. St Bolcan, abbot. St Sisoes or Sisoy, anchoret in Egypt, about 429. St Bertha, widow, abbess of Blangy, in Artois, about 725. St Ulric, bishop of Augsburg, confessor, 973.

Born. – Christian Gellert, German poet and fabulist, 1715, Chemnitz, Saxony
Died. – Meric Casaubon, learned and controversial writer, 1671, bur. Canterbury Cathedral; Fisher Ames, American statesman, President of Harvard College, 1808, Boston, U.S.; John Adams, second president of the United States, 1826; Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, 1826.


In Scotland, this used to be called St Martin of Bullion’s Day, and the weather which prevailed upon it was supposed to have a prophetic character. It was a proverb, that if the deer rise dry and lie down dry on Bullion’s Day, it was a sign there would be a good gose-harvest – gose being a term for the latter end of summer; hence gose-harvest was an early harvest. It was believed generally over Europe that rain on this day betokened wet weather for the twenty ensuing days.

On this Day in Other Sources.

On the 4th July, 1457, John, abbot of Lindores, granted to the burgesses of Newburgh the land of Vodriffe, and the hill to the south of it, for homage and common service used an wont, with forty bolls of barley. Besides this payment, “it appears,” says Dr. Anderson, “from the register of the abbey, that the inhabitants were bound to pay to the abbot a merk yearly for every brewhouse with an acre of land in the burgh.” 

Scotland Illustrated, pp.132-133.

This year the King levies a great army of land soldiers, under the command of his uncle John [Stewart], Earl of Atholl, in the month of May, 1476; and a great fleet of ships, under the command of [David Lindsay] the Earl of Crawford, to reduce John [of Islay], Lord of the Isles, to obedience: but before the army did march, the general, John, Earl of Atholl, by his wisdom and industry, on certain conditions caused John [of Islay to] submit himself [to] the King’s will, upon which submission the king calls a parliament, to be [held] at Edinburgh, the 4th day of July; and in it, first ratifies his general revocation, and then annexes the earldom of Ross to the crown; and, lastly, causes the Lord of the Isles [to] quit all his right to the said earldom of Ross and [the] Isles, reserving to him the title of Lord of them, and for his maintenance in honourable condition, the King gives to him and his, heretably, the provinces of Knapdale and Kintyre: and in this sort was John, Lord of the Isles, reconciled to the King’s favour, being glad of his attainment, returned home. 

Historical Works, pp.189-214.

The Queen’s movements, and intentions, were communicated to the conspirators, by secretary Maitland. It was thus known, that the Queen, and suite, would remain, at Perth, and its neighbourhood, till about the end of June, when she intended to be present, at the baptism of Lord Livingston’s child, at Callender. The conspirators laid this plan, for intercepting her, with Lennox and Darnley, at the Kirk of Beith: Murray placed himself, in his mother’s house of Lochleven, near Kinross; Argyle remained at Castle Campbell, ten miles higher up, in the country; Lord Rothes, with his followers, took post at the Parrot well; and the Duke lay, at his house of Kinnaal, at no great distance, from the Queen’s Ferry. This plan was so well laid, that, in the opinion of the acutest statesmen, it could not well fail. But what are the hopes of men! On the Queen’s return to Perth, from Dunkeld, she received some intimation of Murray’s purpose: she now felt, that Perth was no more a place of safety for her: And, she directed the Earl of Athol, and Lord Ruthven, with their followers, to convey her, on the morrow, to Callender. She mounted her horse, at five in the morning, and rode, with great speed, towards the Queen’s Ferry, accompanied, by three women, and three hundred horsemen; passing through Kinross, which is adjacent to Lochleven, before Murray had any suspicion of her advance, crossed the Queen’s Ferry, and went to Callender, Lord Livingston’s house. The Queen, and Darnley, thus eluded, by address, and activity, every ambuscade, which traitorous artifices had laid for their interruption, and imprisonment. In the evening of the 4th of July [1565], the Queen went from Callender to Edinburgh. In concert with this conspiracy of Murray, there was an ecclesiastical meeting, at Edinburgh, under the influence of that conspirator; and the Earl of Glencairn came to town, to concert an insurrection of enthusiasts, in the Queen’s park, at St. Leonard’s Craig, where they proceeded the length of choosing their offices: But, the Queen’s unexpected appearance, in her metropolis, dissipated this ebullition of fanaticism.  

Life of Mary, pp.98-126.

Here [at Loch-Leven Castle], on the 4th July [1567], [Queen Mary] was visited by Lord Ruthven, Lord Lindsay of the Byres, and Sir Robert Melville, in name of the confederated lords, by whom she was forced to sign an instrument, resigning the crown to her infant son, who, a few days thereafter, was inaugurated at Stirling under the title of James VI. 

Scotland Illustrated, pp.15-17.

July 4 [1570]. – ‘… at 10 hours at night, there was ane earthquake in the city of Glasgow, and lastit but ane short space; but it causit the inhabitants of the said city to be in great terror and fear.’ – D. O

Domestic Annals, pp.45-55.

Of special corporation banquets there are repeated notices. Under date 4th July, 1573, there is an entry of a payment “to Bessie Douglas for the provost baillies and counsales dennaris on Witsonyisday xiii lib. vis. viiid.,” – about £2, 5s. according to the value of money at that time – not a very extravagant amount certainly. 

Old Glasgow, pp.215-237.

On the north side of the west transept [of St. Giles’], was the tomb in which the Earl of Athole, Chancellor of Scotland, who died suddenly at Stirling, not without suspicion of poison, was interred with great solemnity on the 4th of July, 1579. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.138-148.

We are led to think what became of those cattle during the long winter of the Midland Highlands; but no information is afforded. Hay is not once named, and the natural produce of the glens can have been saved only in trifling quantities from the deer.1

Sketches, pp.341-394.

1  The old Register of the Bishopric of Moray has noted on a fly leaf – “Apud Spynie 4 Julij 1580. – Not. that hay was wyn.” And no doubt the coarse produce of the bottom of the glen has been saved for winter use since ever man made property of animals.

   Illustrious and affectionate Sir,  

          As your Lordship will have seen, I wrote to you this night of the unhappy issue of those homicides with more affliction than ever I felt for any other strange accident, considering the danger which his Most Serene Highness the Prince was in, and which has given and still gives much to say to the city, as a false rumour was spread of his Highness having been badly wounded, so that the people are astounded at seeing his Highness unharmed. Considering, too, the loss of Signor Crichton (may he be in Heaven!) and the unfortunate end of Signor Hippolytus Lanzoni, it is not to be wondered at if I left out some details, if we add to the rest the untimely hour and the excessive heat. I say then that when Signor Crichton made himself known, and begged the Most Serene Prince to pardon him, his Highness immediately withdrew, and Signor Crichton went towards San Silvestro, the said Signor Prince thinking that Lanzoni was not wounded. When, therefore, his Highness saw him fall at his feet, saying he was wounded in the back under the bone of the left shoulder (the wound penetrating downwards and being very deep though it did not pass in front, having been inflicted by Signor Crichton’s poniard as he was passing); when, rather, he saw him die, he was seized by such wrath and excessive grief that he, being quite alone there, without even a lackey, sent immediately to call some of his gentlemen together with Signor Charles Gonzaga, and resolved to take revenge in some way or other on this Signor Crichton. And this he would certainly have done had he not been informed that Signor Crichton had but little time to live, and, in fact, he died an hour later. His highness then calmed himself and went to rest, after having given me a minute relation of the fact, showing me in what peril his life had been, concerning which I said as much to his Highness as I thought convenient for a humble servant. But his Highness answered that he had only gone to wish Signor Cattaneo a good evening, and that he believed Signor Crichton had recognised him as it was early and the moon was shining everywhere, his Highness being in his doublet with his face uncovered and his bonnet pushed back. The accident happened at the entrance of St. Sylvester Street, from Piazzo Purgo. Signor Crichton walked as far as St. Thomas Street, then he sat down, being afterwards lifted up and carried to Serena the apothecary’s, where he died, well disposed though almost unconscious. His wound was quite small, above the right teat, but as bad luck would have it, it was cut across the vena cava, so that not only was it incurable, but it sent out such a profluvium of blood that he was immediately choked. May the Lord God have received him into glory, as He had endowed him with so many rare qualities as will make him unique in the world. I have seen his papers, and among them I have found three or four letters concerning his Highness’ service, which I have taken possession of. An inventory of his belongings and of some few coins of his has been made, and we have found the phial of a liquor which his servants say is most precious. If his Highness so commands, I shall take it, too, into custody.  

          I swear to your Lordship that I have suffered so much in body and in mind from this unfortunate accident that I am almost demented. I wanted to give your Lordship this further account, lest you should consider me a man who spares his pen. In short, we can agree in saying that the most Serene Signor Prince has been born again, et enim manus domini erat cum illo [and the hand of the Lord was with him]. The Blessed God be praised for ever. 

          I humbly kiss your Lordships hand and commend myself without end to your favour.  

Obliged Servant,  

          Mantua, 4th July, 1582.                                                                                LUIGI OLIVO 

The arrival of Olivo’s messenger brought dismay to the Duke’s household at Gonzaga, for, from the first, it was seen that the Prince had laid himself open to grave suspicion; and this unpleasant thought, together with gratitude for his son’s safety, occupied a large place in the Duke’s feelings, though the loss of Crichton also grieved him deeply… 

There was a great commotion in the court and in the city on the morning of the 4th of July. Messengers were going to and fro from the palace, bringing fresh news, repeating the murmurings of the citizens, whispering of the motives which might have induced Prince Vincenzo to slay the Scot, and wondering, with ominous shakes of their heads, how it would all end. 

Scots Lore, pp.238-252.

Charles II. landed at Speymouth, July 4, 1650, and visited Aberdeen a few days after.

– Gazetteer of Scotland, pp.3-11.



    I. That the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England recognises the Supremacy, asserts the individuality, and provides for the preservation of the National Laws and Institutions of Scotland. That any attempt to subvert or place those institutions under English control, and under the pretence of a centralising economy to deprive her of the benefit of local action, is an infraction of the true spirit of this Treaty, injurious to her welfare, and should be strenuously resisted.

    II. That the 6th Article of the Treaty of Union provides, that Scotland, as freely United to England, for the purpose of forming the Kingdom of Great Britain, ‘should have the same allowances, encouragements, and drawbacks, and be under the same contributions, restrictions, and regulations.’ That this part of the Treaty has not been fulfilled, in so far that, although Scotland is under the same contributions, restrictions, and regulations, yet she is denied the same allowances and encouragements.

   III. That the neglect of Scottish business in the Imperial Legislature has caused grievous delay, heavy and unnecessary cost, and frequently crude legislation, incongruous with the existing laws and policy of Scotland, whose National Institutions should be preserved where they are worth preserving, – amended where they are faulty, and not altered or extinguished merely because they differ from the institutions of other parts of the empire. 

   IV. That the initiative towards the preservation of our National Institutions, and obtaining fulfilment of the true spirit in which the Treaty of Union was made, is the formation of an Association devoted to this single object. That this Association shall be based on principles so broad and national in their character, so direct and substantial in their aim, that all may co-operate irrespective of their differences, otherwise, on questions of political controversy.

   V. That an annual payment of Five Shillings shall be sufficient to constitute a Member of the Association:..


   The Scottish public are respectfully and earnestly solicited to send their names for enrolment to the Secretary of the Association, Mr F. H. [C]arter, 16 Queen Street, Edinburgh.”

– Caledonian Mercury, Monday 4th July, 1853.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

How Estimates Grow!

THE estimate for the proposed expenditure of the Public Offices is £5,000,000. The sum originally proposed for building the Houses of Parliament was £250,000. According to MR. WISE, this sum has since grown into an outlay of not less than £2,500,000 – that is to say, a modest excess of precisely ten times the original estimate. Now, if the estimate for the Public Offices is to expand in the like moderate proportion, the ultimate outlay, far from being £5,000,000, will be some £50,000,000; and as the money goes, we may consider ourselves extremely lucky, if we get off as cheaply as that! Parliament is supposed to legislate for the million; and it must be for the million, for it is but too evident they take no care of the millions. – July 4, 1857., p. 2.


   “Scotland, indeed, has special grounds for expecting liberality in the consideration of her claim for a grant for pictures to her National Gallery. It will be found, on a reference to ‘The Year’s Art, 1889,’ that last year the National Gallery, London, received out of imperial funds for general purposes, after deducting the sum of £12,968; and the Irish National Gallery also, irrespective of the grant for pictures, received £1501. The Scottish National Gallery, on the other hand (but this does not appear, as I shall show, in ‘The Year’s Art’), from Imperial funds only received the paltry sum of £100, the remainder of the amount required for keeping the Gallery open being received out of Scotland’s own money – viz., the £2000 a year payable to her under the 15th article of the Treaty of Union. 

  This £2000 a year, a set forth in the Treaty, stands as an equivalent to Scotland in respect ‘the subjects of Scotland, for preserving an equality of trade throughout the United Kingdom, will be liable to several Customs and Excises now payable in England, which will be applicable towards payment of the debts of England contracted before the Union.’ The fund is at present under the management of the Board of Trustees for Manufactures, but strictly under the supervision of the Treasury, whose sanction has to be obtained for all expenditure. The payments by the Board on account of the Scottish National Gallery are regulated by a Treasury minute of date 25th February 1858, which may be found in extenso by referring to a file of the Scotsman under date 20th March following. These payments amount only to £1142 in the aggregate, and cover nothing but salaries and ordinary items of management.” 

– Scotsman, Thursday 4th July, 1889.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1875-1900.

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