14th of July

St Idus, bishop of Ath-Fadha, in Leinster. St Bonaventura, cardinal and bishop, 1274. St Camillus de Lellis, confessor, 1614.

 

Born. – Cardinal Mazarin, 1602, Pescina, in Abruzzo; Sir Robert Strange, engraver, 1721, Orkney; John Hunter, eminent surgeon, 1728, Long Calderwood
Died. – Philip Augustus of France, 1223, Mantes; General Laudohn, 1790; Gœrtner, German botanist, 1791; Baroness De Staël Holstein (née Anne Necker), 1817, Paris.

 

MARAT.

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To contemporaries, the revolutionary figure of Marat had risen like a frightful nightmare: nobody seemed to know whence he had come, or how he had spent his previous life. There was, however, one notice of his past history published in a Glasgow newspaper,1 four months before his death, rather startling in its tenor; which, nevertheless, would now appear to be true. It was as follows: ‘From an investigation lately taken at Edinburgh, it is said that Marat, the celebrated orator of the French National Convention, the humane, the mild, the gentle Marat, is the same person who, a few years ago, taught tambouring in this city under the name of John White. His conduct while he was here was equally unprincipled, if not as atrocious, as it has been since his elevation to the legislatorship. After contracting debts to a very considerable amount, he absconded, but was apprehended at Newcastle, and brought back to this city, where he was imprisoned. He soon afterwards executed a summons of cessio bonorum against his creditors, in the prosecution of which, it was found that he had once taught in the academy at Warrington, in which Dr Priestly was tutor; that he left Warrington for Oxford, where, after some time, he found means to rob a museum of a number of gold coins, and medallions; that he was traced to Ireland, apprehended at an assembly there in the character of a German count; brought back to this country, tried, convicted, and sentenced to some years’ hard labour on the Thames. He was refused a cessio, and his creditors, tired of detaining him in hail, after a confinement of several months, set him at liberty. He then took up his residence in this neighbourhood, where he continued about nine months, and took his final leave of this country about the beginning of the year 1787. 

‘He was very ill-looked, of a diminutive size, a man of uncommon vivacity, a very turbulent disposition, and possessed of a very uncommon share of legal knowledge. It is said that, while here, he used to call his children Marat, which he said was his family name.’ 

In the prefatory address to the Royal Society, he lets out that he had been in Edinburgh in the previous August (1775). It is stated, but we do not know on what authority, that, in the Scottish capital, he tried to support himself by giving lessons in French.2 He probably was not there long, but quickly migrated to the academy at Warrington. Nor was he there long either. The next incident in his life was the Oxford felony, adverted to in the Glasgow Star

What a strange career for a Swiss adventurer from first to last! A pamphleteer for the illumination of British electors, a pamphleteer for a quack cure for the eyes, a teacher of languages at Edinburgh, an usher at the Warrington Academy under the sincere and profound Priestley, a felon at Oxford, a forçat for five years on the Thames, afterwards a teacher of tambouring at Glasgow, running into debt, and going through a struggle for white-washing by the peculiar Scotch process of cessio bonorum, and how, with these experiences rankling beyond sympathy in the wretch’s lonely bosom, he might at length come to revel in the destruction of all who had deserved better than himself.

 

1  Star of March 4, 1793: see Notes and Queries, September 24, 1859. 
2  Biographie Universelle, art. ‘Marat.’

 

On this Day in Other Sources.

 

This same year, also, the King’s eldest son, Prince Arthur, departs this life, [on] the 14th day of July [1510], at Edinburgh castle, and was interred at Holyroodhouse. 

Historical Works, pp.214-238.

 

On the 14th [July, 1563], after dining at Glasgow, she rode to Dunbarton, where she slept. On the morrow, she rode to Rossdu, on Lochlomond, where she passed the 16th: And on the 17th, she returned to Dunbarton. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.

 

Throkmorton was now enveloped in all the vice, and villainy, which domineered, at Edinburgh. The insurgents dallied with him, as an envoy, whom they knew, to have double instructions. They would not allow him access to the Queen; and what he knew of her was, from Maitland, one of the falsest of mankind. She remained, as he wrote to Elizabeth, on the 14th of July [1567], in good health, within the castle of Lochleven, guarded, by Lord Lindsay, and Douglas, the owner of it: She is waited on, by five or six ladies, four or five gentlemen, and two chamberers, whereof one is a Frenchwoman. She is guarded strictly: and the rigour of the lords proceeds, from this circumstance: because the Queen will not, by any means, consent, to lend her authority to prosecute the murderer; And she will not, by any persuasion, abandon Bothwell, for her husband. She had abandoned Bothwell, on Carberry-hill, when he was allowed, by the insurgents to depart, in peace, and to remain, in quiet, for three weeks, at Dunbar: Now, that he was expelled, and she imprisoned; what was Bothwell to the Queen; or the Queen to Bothwell? Such intimations, from Maitland to Throkmorton, are mere repetitions of the forgery, which had chiefly justified her imprisonment; and were now repeated, to warrant her detention. The insurgent nobles, continues Throkmorton, do not forget their own peril, with the danger of the Prince: But, who brought them into peril, when they drew their swords? The Prince being in their own possession, and on the eve of coronation, what danger, could the Prince be in? what sophistry! what delusion! How easily is he deluded, who plays a double part! They instantly refused him access to the Queen; they daily deluded him with false information; and they even imposed on him their own plan, for the queen’s resignation of the sovereignty, as coming from herself. 

Life of Mary, pp.155-184.

 

Upon the 14th day of July this year [1572], was that cruel, bloody and inhumane massacre of the innocent protestants acted at Paris, and devised by these 3 furies of hell, Queen Catherine of Medici, her son King Charles [IX.], and [Louis] the treacherous Duke and Cardinal of Guise.  

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

 

It chanced that on the 14th of July, 1608, that Lord Torthorwald was walking in the High Street a little below the Cross, between six and seven in the morning, alone and unattended, when he suddenly met William Stewart, a nephew of the man he had slain. Unable to restrain the sudden rage that filled him, Stewart drew his sword, and ere Torthorwald could defend himself, ran him through the body, and slew him on the spot. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.191-198.

 

     The following is my appeal published before I left Scotland:

To the Editor of the Northern Ensign. 
     SIR, – Highland destitution and famine in the Highlands have become proverbial and so familiar that people think and speak of them as a calamity hereditary to the Highlanders; and, indeed, since they have become so burdensome to the public for the last half century (keeping them alive upon charity), the more fortunate portion of the Christian world are beginning to think, and say, that they should not exist any longer, and that the sooner they are exterminated the better. The appellation Gael, originally belong were at one time the terror and admiration of all Europe. They at one period inhabited Upper Asia,and took possession of Italy, and marched upon Rome 390 years before the advent of Christ – defeated the Roman army, laid the city in a heap of ruins, and levied one thousand pounds weight of gold of the then invincible Romans to purchase their departure. They were the people of whom Cæsar said – after a fearful struggle of ten years fighting, in which his army cut off one million of them – that he never observed one Gael turning his back, but that they all died fighting in their ranks without yiedling one foot. But to come nearer home. They were a race of men who, when they had to encounter the Romans at the foot of the Grampian Hills (under the command of Galgacus), defied the Roman legion (under the command of Agricola, the most renowned of the Roman generals), whose descipline, science, and civilization, on that bloody occasion, drew forth the admiration of Tacitus, the Roman annalist, who declared that the Caledonian Celts were the most formidable enemy and the bravest people that ever Rome encountered – that, indeed, they were unconquerable. That learning and civilization followed this race of people is evident, and could be proved from a chain of Scottish historians whose works are still extant. ‘I am tired,’ said a distinguished writer many centuries ago, ‘of having Roman authors quoted when the commencement of our civilization is spoken of, while nothing is said of the Celts, or of our obligations to them.’ It was not the Latins, it was the Celts, who were our first instructors. Aristotle declared that philosophy was derived by the Greeks from the Gauls, and not imparted to them. – (See introduction to Logans’s “Scottish Gael.”) 
     You will pardon me, should I ask, through you, the most avowed and inveterate enemies of the Highlander, where, or when, has the Highland Celt stained the character given them by the Roman annalist at the early period of our history? If we turn up the annals of European bloody battle fields, from the Grampians to Waterloo, where will we find bravery to excel Highland bravery? If we look for discipline, morality and religion, among the British army, we must find such in the Highland regiments. 
     We have now a small remnant of the progeny of this mighty race of men who conquered civilized and enlightened Europe, yea more, who converted Europe from heathenism and paganism to Christianity; I say we have them in obscure corners of the West and North Highlands of Christianized, vain, vaunting, civilized Scotland, DYING BY FAMINE, to the everlasting disgrace, confusion, and abhorrence here and hereafter, of those, and their abettors, to whose cupidity, ambition, and steel hearted inhumanity, thousands of deaths in the Highlands could be attributed. Let this be told and proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the land, on every market-cross, and in every place of resort, all over Europe – that Roman Catholic and Mahommedan nations may record it against them, when endeavours are making to proselytise them.  But thank God that Christianity is not to be measured by the conduct of Christians; if it were the heathens would do well to reject it. 
     Let the Legislature of this nation (to their shame) know it, that the only portion of Her Majesty’s subjects who, by language and appearance, legitimately can lay claim to be the progeny of those who chastised and forced many a formidable invader from Britain’s shore – who fought the battles of this nation at home and abroad, from the day of the Grampians to Waterloo, and who brought immortal praise and laurels of victory home to Britain – let the representatives of Scotland (the dumb dogs, with one honourable exception, MR. COWAN) know it – that in return for their ancestor’s services to the nation, they, the progeny are doomed to die by famine, or be exterminated from the land, so dear to them by many sacred ties, by compulsory emigration, that they were made subject to, and left the victims of the most wanton cruelty, ingratitude, and injustice that the most avaricious barbarians could devise. That the most fertile valleys, straths, and glens of Caledonia, which they have been for ages defending, and purchased so often with their dearest blood, are depopulate, and converted by a few selfish minions, who have neither ancestry nor bravery to boast of, if they were properly searched, into deer-forests and hunting parks, for the amusement of English snobs and sporting gents, where the image of God upon a Gael dare not approach; while the Celts, who can boast of both bravery and ancestry, are turned adrift as beings of no value, upon barren, unproductive moors and precipices, and on skirts exposed to all the casualties of the season, deprived of every means to better their condition. Here they are dying, or living, what we may term a lingering, agonizing death, fed by the cold, sparing, stinted hand of charity, when twenty-four lines (upon an octavo) of an Act of Parliament would cure all. 
     In the days of one of the Caesars there was a law in Rome, that none would be allowed to sit in the State Council, ride in a chariot, hold any public office, or sit at a public feast, while it was known that any of his dependents were in want; and during the prosperous and victorious days of Greece, they had two temples built, one for virtue and one for honour, and so constructed that it was impossible to enter the temple of honour without going through the temple of virtue, – intended for a noble purpose, and it had the desired effect in those days. Would to God we had such qualifications, and we would not have so many direful revolting deeds perpetrated, and so many ignobles raised to honour and titles till there is no room to ascend. Let the ministers of the everlasting Gospel, the ambassadors of Christ, hear it, that inm proportion as the people are diminished and extirpated, their services will be less required – sheep, bullocks, deer, blackcocks, and pheasants, will require no ministry. It is a part of their commission to plead the widow, the fatherless, and the orphan’s cause – to resist and denounce the oppressors, – to follow the example of their Master and the prophets in reproving evil doers. How can they prostrate themselves at the throne of mercy, pleading with God for the spiritual wants of their flocks, and not utter a word against these wolves who are trampling under foot, scattering their flocks by banishment (under the name of emigration) depriving them of the land created for their subsistence, and bestowing it upon brute-beasts – thus ushering thousands to a premature grave? How can they see this, and not interpose, plead with God, and call upon the nation to their assistance, that the ungodly, unnational, and unjust law which tolerates and protects such evil-doers, may be expunged from the Statute book? This is their duty – they may seek a subterfuge to disregard it, but if they will, The day is coming when they shall repent, if they can find a place for repentance. Thank God we have a Rev. Charles Thomson in Wick, a Dr. Begg in Edinburgh, and others – For woe’s me, my people are robbed and sold, and those who rob them say, Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich, and their own shepherds pity them not. 
     I would ask the mercantile and maufacturing portion of this nation, will you stand by carelessly and callously, seeing the home market destroyed, milloions of those that should and would be the consumers of your goods banished from our shores, dying by famine, or living in a state of misery and wretchedness, that they can be of no service to you, but the reverse – a burden to you? I leave you to reflect upon this for a time. Sheep and bullocks may supply you, but they will take very little in exchange; but supply and demand, when corresponding, are the very life of the home market. I ask you, literary men or knowledge manufacturers, – How are the people ignorant? The people are in misery, dying by famine, and cannot buy knowledge. There is an abundance of wealth in the land, and abundance of work before you; but if the people are banished from the land or die by famine, you may shut your shops, for sheep, bullocks, deer, blackcocks, and pheasants will not employ you, and you need not attempt to teach them. Rise, then, from your lethargy, and stand no longer in your criminally callous indifference regarding the producing classes. You are the fourth estate, and to whom much is given, much shall be required. To the Government of this nation I would say, and put them in mind, that this kingdom was often invaded before, and often threatened, and it may happen yet. You have allowed the best part of the national ramparts to be trodden down and razed to the foundation, you have allowed the patriotism or love of country which was characteristic of Highlanders and which was so powerful to animate them at all times when encountering an enemy, to be destroyed; you have allowed, and helped to banish them from your shores, to foreign strands, where, at no distant period, they or their offspring may become as formidable enemies as their sires were formidable friends. Then you will find that cruel Highland proprietors, English snobs, and sporting gents, sheep, bullocks, rams, deer, blackcocks, and pheasants, will make but a poor stand for your nation’s defence. I say, reflect. This is the time, this is the day to retract, to retrieve, and to reclaim lost confidence, and make reparation to the unfortunate Highland victims of mal-administration and of cruel short-sighted policy. 
     The accounts received daily by the Secretary of the Highland Destitution Relief Committee (of which I am a member) are heart-rending and revolting to humanity. A reverend gentleman writes thus:- ‘You have sent me two pounds; I bought meal with the money but there were so many applicants for relief that I had to divide it in ounces.’ Another writes;- ‘I acknowledge the receipt of £5, but I must keep it a secret or the people will storm my house; yet I am travelling among them, and enquiring, and where I find that death by famine is approaching,I administer relief. I need not trouble you with any more. This is a sample of them all.’ People of high standing in society were finding fault with me for advising the poor Highlanders to take sheep or any other animal they could get their hands on and eat them, before they would allow themselves of their children to die; but I’ll warrant you, if these gentlemen were only getting an ounce each of oatmeal to make water gruel for their supper, in Edinburgh, and had no other prospect for food until a few more ounces came from the Isle of Skye, there would not be a hen-roost nor pig-stye in or about Edinburgh but they would pay a visit to before morning, and where they would help themselves. This is a fearful state of matters in a country professing Christianity. Yet, however dreadful and threatening it is, I have often said, and will say it yet, that until the land in the Highlands is under a different system of management, matters will be getting worse and worse. I hope that the Rev. Charles Thomson’s exhortation in your last will be followed up by every one whose breast contains a spark of humanity, and who is favoured with an opportunity. – I am, &c., 
DONALD McLEOD.
16, South Richmond Street, 
Edinburgh, July 14, 1851. 

– Gloomy Memories, pp.134-145.

 

MiscScotPic10(1)

The July 14, 1883, edition depicts the sinking of the ‘Daphne’ at its launch on the River Clyde, Glasgow, with a crew of 200 men onboard. 

Miscellaneous Collected Pictures.

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