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15th of July

St Plechelm, bishop and confessor, apostle of Guelderland, 732. St Henry II., emperor of Germany, 1024.

Died. – Thomas Dermody, peasant-poet, 1802; Prince Adam Czartoryski, Polish patriot, 1861, Paris; Gustav Rose, German chemist, 1873.


Monmouth’s tragic history has redeemed from contempt a person who was naturally a mediocrity, and something of a fool. Born in 1650, the eldest natural son of the young exiled Charles II., brought into prominence as a beautiful boy at the Restoration, he was thought to have his fortune made by being married to the girl Countess of Buccleuch, [Anne Scott,] then considered the greatest heiress in the three kingdoms, seeing that her family estates were reckoned at five thousand a year! But there was something horrible and revolting in uniting two mere children in marriage for interested reasons, and nature avenged herself by introducing alienation between them, though not till they had become the direct ancestors of the line of the Dukes of Buccleuch.

On this Day in Other Sources.

In 1291, dies Rudolf [of Germany], the Roman Emperor, the 15th day of July, aged 73 years and 5 months, and in the 18th years of his reign, and was interred at Speyer. His funeral ceremonies performed, the electors met and chose for Roman Emperor, Adolf [of Germany], Earl of Nassau, who was solemnly crowned this year at Aix-le-Chapelle. 

– Historical Works, pp.77-88.

Douglas, who, to consolidate his power had espoused his cousin the Fair Maid of Galloway, adding this her vast estates to his own, and had now, as hereditary lieutenant-general of the kingdom, obtained the custody of the young king, came to Edinburgh with a vast force composed of the Crown vassals and his own, and laid siege to the Castle, which the Chancellor defended for nine months, nor did he surrender even to a summons sent in the king’s name till he had first secured satisfactory terms for himself; while of his less fortunate coadjutors, some only redeemed their lives with their estates, and the others, including three members of the Livingstone family, were beheaded within its walls. 

The details of this long siege are unknown, but to render the investment more secure the Parliament, which had begun its sittings at Perth, was removed to Edinburgh on the 15th of July, 1446. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.26-31.

This year, 1446, the Earl of Douglas causes the King [to] besiege the Chancellor in Edinburgh castle, which was rendered to him after 9 months continual siege, on honourable conditions.

This year, also, the Queen mother, hearing the hard fortune of her husband, dies through extreme grief [on] the 15th of July [1446]; and was royally interred [next to] her first husband, amongst the Carthusians, in the suburbs of Perth, leaving behind, by her second husband, 3 sons. 

– Historical Works, pp.166-189.

The 15th day of July, this year [1508], the Queen was brought to bed of a daughter, which died immediately after she was christened. 

– Historical Works, pp.214-238.

July 15 [1623]. – While the Egyptians [gypsies] were everywhere a proscribed race, and often the victims of indiscriminate severity, there was one spot where mercy and even kindness seems to have been extended to them. This was Roslin. Sir William Sinclair of Roslin, Lord Justice-general under Queen Mary, riding home one day from Edinburgh, found a poor Egyptian about to be hanged on the gibbet at the Burgh-moor, and brought him off unharmed. In remembrance of this kindness, ‘the whole body of gipsies were accustomed to gather in the stanks [marshes] of Roslin every year, where they acted several plays during the months of May and June.’ So tells us the quaint Father Hay, a connection of the Roslin family; and he adds: ‘There are two towers which were allowed them for their residence, the one called Robin Hood, the other Little John.’ 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

On one occasion, in the early part of the seventeenth century, they found a qualified professor in the person of one James Sanderis, and for his better encouragement they granted him a monopoly. Their minute bears that they had agreed with Sanderis “to instruct the haill bairnes within this burghe that is put to his schole, musik for ten schillings ilk quarter to himself, and fortie pennes to his man; and thairfoir the said provest and baillies discharges all other sangsters within this burghe to teach musik in tyme coming during thair will allenarlie.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.276-289. 

1  15th July, 1626.

Supplication by the Laird of Caldwell 

My lords and others of the estates of parliament to your lordships humbly means and shows I, your servant, Robert Muir of Caldwell, and my curators here present for their interests, that where my late father contracted sickness in the public service whereof thereafter he died and parted this life, therefore most humbly beseeches your lordships that your lordships will be pleased to give order to [Sir James Carmichael], treasurer depute, and other lords of the exchequer to pass the signature presented to me and to my friends here present, in my name, of the gift of my ward and marriage. And that upon such reasonable compositions as your lordship shall think expedient. 

The estates of parliament, in respect of their certain knowledge of the verity of the written within supplication, find the desire thereof reasonable and ordain the gifts to be past freely, according to the act of parliament, and ordain the clerk to give out the duplicate hereof under his hand if need be. 

[Robert Balfour, 2nd Lord Balfour of] Burleigh, in presence of the lords of parliament. 

[Charles I: 1641, 15 July, Edinburgh, Parliament.] 

London Quarterly.

July 15 [1664]. – The Earl of Leven, a young man, grandson of the great commander, ended his life in a manner characteristic of this mad-merry time. ‘He died of a high fever, after a large carouse with the Earl of Dundee at Edinburgh and the Queensferry. Some say that, in crossing, they drank sea-water one to another, and, after their landing, sack.’ A funeral sermon was preached for him, on the text, ‘Our life is but a vapour, &c.,’ being ‘the first funeral sermon that hath been preached in Fife these twenty-four years last past, or more.’ – Lam

– Domestic Annals, pp.302-321.

July 15 [1724]. – The magistrates of Edinburgh issued an edict proceeding upon a recital that disturbances have arisen and may further arise, from gentlemen carrying firearms, and their servants wearing dirks and broadswords, in the streets, a practice ‘contrary to the rules of decency and good order;’ wherefore it was now strictly forbidden. It is to be remarked that in this prohibition there is no notice taken of the swords worn by gentlemen.*

– Domestic Annals, pp.390-397.

*  The Act of Parliament [George I., 11th Year, Chapter [26], 1724] to that effect has been scanned and uploaded for further information on the restrictions placed on Scots at this time. 
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