5th of July

St Modwena, virgin, of Ireland, 9th century. St Edana or Edæne, virgin, of the same country. St Peter of Luxemburg, confessor, cardinal, and bishop of Metz, 1387.

Born. – Mrs Sarah Siddons (née Kemble), tragic actress, 1755. 
Died. – Queen Magdalen of Scotland, 1537; Cardinal Passionei, librarian of the Vatican, 1761; Sir Robert Strange, the ‘prince of British line-engravers,’ 1792, London; Mrs Dorothea Jordan (née Bland), comic actress, 1816, St Cloud.


The death of the French princess, Magdalen, consort of James V. of Scotland, is a very affecting incident. The young Scottish monarch had voyaged to France in the summer of 1536, to see the daughter of the Duc de Vendome, with a view to marriage; but, not affecting her on intimate acquaintance, he turned his thoughts to the royal family as likely to furnish him a better bride. The king, Francis 1., received him with great kindness at a place to the south of Lyon, and thence conducted him to a castle where his family was residing. He found the Princess Magdalen unable to ride on horseback, as her mother and other ladies did, but obliged by weakness of health to be carried in a chariot. ‘Yet, notwithstanding her sickness’ – so the contemporary Scottish historian Lindsay informs us – ‘fra the time she saw the king of Scotland, and spak with him, she became so enamoured of him, and loved him so weel, that she wold have no man alive to her husband, but he allenarly [only].’ Sage counsellors of both countries discommended the union; but the young princess easily induced her father to consent, and the consent of the king of Scotland followed. On the 1st of January, the pair were united in the church of Notre Dame, in the presence of seven cardinals and a great assemblage of the French nobility, amidst circumstances of great pomp and popular joy. ‘Through all France that day, there was jousting and running of horse proclaimed, with all other manly exercise; as also skirmishing of ships through all the coasts; so that in towns, lands, seas, firths, castles, and towers, there was no man that might have heard for the raird [uproar] and noise of cannons, nor scarcely have seen for the vapours thereof. There was also within the town of Paris, cunning carvers and profound necromancers, who by their art caused things appear whilk wes not, as follows: fowls flying in the air spounting fire on others, rivers of water running through the town and ships fechtand therupon.’ 

With his young bride, and a hundred thousand crowns by way of dowry, gifted moreover with twenty war-horses, as many suits of elegant mail, two great war-ships, and a vast quantity of jewels and other minor articles, the young Scottish monarch set sail for his own country. Landing at Leith on Whit Sunday, the young queen, full of love for her husband and his country, knelt on the shore, took up a handful of sand, and kissed it, invoking God’s blessing upon Scotland. She was received in Edinburgh with triumphs and shows of unexampled grandeur, with, what was far better, the affectionate reverence of the entire people. But the doom had already been passed upon her. She withered like an uprooted flower, and only forty days from her arrival, lay a corpse in her husband’s palace. The death of this beautiful young creature in such interesting circumstances, made a deep impression on the national heart, and it is understood to have been the first occasion of a general mourning being assumed in Scotland.

On this Day in Other Sources.

This same year died Gille Brigte, Earl of Galloway, the son of Fergus, who deprived his brother Uhtred of his sight and tongue; upon whose death, immediately, [Lochlann], the son of Uhtred, levied an army against Gille Pátraic, Henry Kennedy, Samuel and their adherents, and in a furiously fought battle overthrew them, 5th July [1185]; in this conflict was Roland’s brother killed. 

Historical Works, pp.19-38.

The reign of William the Lion was marked by many disturbances in the Highlands. The Gaëlic population could not endure the new settlers whom the Saxon colonization had introduced among them, and every opportunity was taken to vex and annoy them. At this period, the Gaëlic people rose upon them, and forced them to retire to the towns and castles for shelter. An open insurrection broke out in Ross-shire, which obliged William, in the year eleven hundred and seventy-nine, to march into the north, where he built two garrisons to keep the people in check. He restored quiet for a few years; but in eleven hundred and eighty-seven, Donal Bane again renewed his pretensions to the crown, and raised the standard of revolt in the north. He took possession of Ross, and wasted Moray. William lost no time in leading an army against him. While the king lay at Inverness with his army, foraging party under the command of Roland, the brave lord of Galloway, fell in with Donal Bane and his army upon the Mamgarvy moor, on the borders of Moray. A conflict ensued, in which Donal and five hundred of his followers were killed. Roland carried the head of Donal to William, “as a savage sign of returning quiet.” This happened on the fifth of July, eleven hundred and eighty-seven. After this, matters remained pretty quiet in the north till the year eleven hundred and ninety-six, when Harold, the powerful earl of Orkney and Caithness, disturbed its peace. William dispersed the insurgents at once; but they again appeared the following year near Inverness, under the command of Torphin, the son of Harold. The rebels were again over powered. The king seized Harold, and obliged him to deliver up his son, Torphin, as an hostage. Harold was allowed to retain the northern part of Caithness, but the king gave the southern part of it, called Sutherland, to Hugh Freskin, the progenitor of the earls of Sutherland. Harold died in twelve hundred and six; but as he had often rebelled, his son suffered a cruel and lingering death in the castle of Roxburgh, where he had been confined. 

– History of the Highlands, pp.144-162.

The 5th of July this year [1218], also, dies, Elena fitz Uchtred, Countess of Galloway, the wife of [Lochlann], and mother of Alan [fitz Roland], Earls of Galloway. 

Historical Works, pp.38-57.

Upon the 5th of July [1560], they agreed upon a second treaty, for the evacuation of Leith, and the demolition of its fortification. There was much more difficulty occurred, in making what has been emphatically, called the Peace of Edinburgh. There were only two points, which required much consideration, as they were of great delicacy; especially as the powers of the French negotiators were defective, in respect to both: The sixth article, with regard to the titles of the two queens; and the eighth, concerning the insurgents of Scotland. As to the sixth, both the recital, that the kingdoms of England, and of Ireland, do, by right, pertain, to Elizabeth, threw the Scotish Queen too much in the wrong, when she assumed the title of Queen of England and Ireland; Elizabeth claiming the title of Queen of France, about which there could be no doubt, if the law of France, were to decide the title: Upon that recital, it was agreed, and concluded, that the King and Queen of France should, in all times coming, abstain, from using, and bearing the arms, and title, of the kingdoms of England and Ireland: Now; this agreement denuded the Scotish Queen, who was heir presumptive to the crown of England, of all future pretensions to the crown: The stipulation ought to have been, not in all times coming; but during the life of Elizabeth. Considering, moreover, the defective powers of the French negotiators, to treat of a matter of that importance, in addition to the wording of the clause, those circumstances created an insuperable objection to the ratification of such a treaty.  

Life of Mary, pp.15-41.

No record whatever exists of the quiet funeral which took place in the little church that morning of the 5th of July [1582], and no stone marks where the “Admirable’s” body lies; nothing distinguishes his grave from those around it. Very quietly he was sunk into the ground that summer morning, and just as quietly he disappeared from Italian history. Now, however, Nemesis, in the shape of yellow-corroded documents, springs up, and pointing to Vincenzo Gonzago, exclaims, “Thou art the man!” 

Scots Lore, pp.238-252.

July 5 [1608]. – Dundee is described as suffering under ‘the contagious sickness of the pest, and a great many of the houses are infectit therewith, and greater infection like to ensue in respect of the few number of magistrates within the same, and the little care and regard had of the government thereof, ane of the said magistrates being departit this life, and ane other of them visited with disease and infirmity, and not able to undergo sae great pains and travels in his person and otherwise as is requisite at sae necessar a time.’ For these reasons, the Privy Council appointed three citizens to act as assistant-magistrates. – P. C. R

Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

The magistrates also in the old times, as now, kept the king’s birthday. On one of these occasions we find this entry in their minutes: “Ordeines ane warrand to be grantit for 41 lib 10s. (£3, 9s. 2d.) as for “expensis of vyne and confeitis spent at the croce upone the fyfte of July [1609] the kingis daye – my Lord of Glasgw being present with sundrie uthir honorabill men.”

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237.

The drummers appear to have quarrelled on a question of precedence, and the magistrates were obliged to interfere. This they did by a minute which “ordainis the drummers to touk throughe the towne weik about, and he who toukis for the weik sal onlie have power to touk to the haill Lords and strangers sall cum to the town for that weik.” The minute concludes with an admonition to them “to leave [live] together peacablie as brether and not wrang or injure utheris.” The wages of the drummers were paid by a special tax on the inhabitants.1

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237. 

1  5th July, 1676.

   The Convention of the Royal Burrows of Scotland met at Edinburgh the 5th [July], and made Choice of George Drummond, Esq; Lord Provost of Edinburgh, to be their President. The next Day his Majesty’s most Gracious Letter to them (which follows) having been transmitted by the Duke of Newcastle, one of his Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, was read in a very full Meeting.

– Caledonian Mercury, Monday 25th July, 1726.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1700-1750.

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