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26th of July

St Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin. St Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, confessor, 448.

Died. – King Roderick of Spain, killed in battle with the Moors, 711; Ladislaus I., king of Poland, 1102; Pope Paul II., 1471; Jacopo Bonfadio, historian and poet, executed at Genoa, 1560; Armand de Gontaut-Biron, Marshal of France, killed at siege of Epernai, 1592; Charles Emmanuel the Great, Duke of Savoy, 1630; Baron Gourgaud, distinguished general under Napoleon, 1852, Paris.

On this Day in Other Sources.

[Lord Burghley’s] First Charge.

The Queen of Scots’s challenge of the crown of England, by her using of the arms, and style of England; and being admonished thereof, answers were made very frivolously. 

The Answer thereto.

The Scotish Queen, on the 26th of July 1561, when applied to, formally, by Throkmorton, Elizabeth’s ambassador, on this subject, said: I was then under the commandment of King Henry my father, and of the king, my lord, and husband; and whatsoever was then done, by their commandments, the same was, in like manner continued till both their deaths; since which time, you know, I neither bore the arms, nor used the titles of England: Methinks, these my doings, continued she, might ascertain the Queen, your mistress, that what was done before, was done, by the commandment of them, who had power over me; and also she ought to be satisfied, seeing I order my doings, as I tell you. To this exposition of the Scotish Queen, there was no answer made, by Throkmorton, then; nor could any be made, by any one, thereafter: She was under age, and under coverture, and she, and her husband, were under the power of Henry II. her father in law; and she was bound to obey both her father, and her husband; but, since their several deaths, she had discontinued the practice, which had given offence: and now being a widow, she did not trouble her state, nor practise with her subjects, [as Elizabeth then did, with Scotland, and Mary’s subjects.] She only asked her friendship. This is the answer, which Burghley declared to be frivolous; and which he could not confute; yet, was always ready to bring forward, as matter of charge. 

– Life of Mary, pp.328-332.

The Queen left Inverary, on the 26th of July [1563]; and instead of passing to the eastward, over the heights of Albin, into Athol, she turned to the westward, to Strone, where she slept, and passed the following day. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.

On the 26th of July [1567], the associated nobles went to Stirling; and appointed the 29th of July, for the act of coronation. They, meantime, sent Sir James Melvill to the nobles, who were assembled, at Hamilton; to invite them to the Prince’s coronation: What was that, but to invite the great body of the nobles, to participate, with them, in the responsibility, for an act so violent, and unwarrantable.  

– Life of Mary, pp.155-184.

Elizabeth, by encouraging too much the whole system of stories, and lies, misrepresentations, and suspicions, not only injured herself, but carried her rigours against Mary, and Shrewsbury, to extravagant lengths. The Scotish Queen set out, for Buxton, on the 26th of July [1580], and arrived there, on the 28th; though she met with an accident, at setting out; her horse started, when she was in the act of mounting, and the Queen fell, and hurt her back, of which she complained, for some time. But, it was in vain, to use the waters of Buxton, while she was restrained, from taking the air. Shrewsbury, literally, complied with Elizabeth’s commands, in restraining all resort to this place; so that she neither saw, nor was seen, by any except her own people: she hath not, he said, come forth of the house, since her coming, nor shall not before her parting. The Scotish Queen was carried back to Sheffield, after awhile; as Elizabeth would not consent, to their residence at Chatsworth.  

– Life of Mary, pp.260-274.

A later minute, 26th July, 1589, records that complaint had been made by “the ministers, elderis, deaconis and vtheris of the toun for non-repairing of the Hie Kirk according to the charges and ordinances maid thairanent,” and arrangements are made for raising money for the repair of “the queir.” On the same occasion it is recorded that Lord Blantyre attended and offered to contribute 400 merks towards the expense. 

– Old Glasgow, pp.104-116.

The surgeons and apothecaries were, at their request, united into one community. This was ratified by Parliament, and from that time the corporation ceased entirely to act as barbers. In consequence, the council, on the 26th July, 1682, recommended the new corporation to supply the city with a sufficient number of persons qualified “to shave and cut hair,” and who should continue to be upon it; but in 1722 it ceased to have all connection with the barbers, save that the latter were obliged to enter all their apprentices in a register kept by the surgeons. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.382-384.

July 26 [1689]. – There is something interesting in the early difficulties of so valuable a institution as the Post-office. John Graham had been appointed postmaster-general for Scotland in 1674, with a salary of a thousand pounds Scots (£83, 6s. 8d. sterling), and had set about his duty with great spirit. He had travelled to many towns for the purpose of establishing local offices, thus incurring expenses far beyond what his salary could repay. He had been obliged on this account to encroach on money belonging to his wife, also incur some considerable debts; nor had he ever been able to obtain any relief, or even the full payment of his salary from the late state-officers. He was now dead, and his widow came before the Privy Council with a petition setting forth how she had been left penniless by her husband through his liberality towards a public object. It was ordained that Mrs Graham should get payment of all debts due by provincial offices to her husband, and have the income of the general office till Martinmas next. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.342-354.

July 26 [1698]. – The African Company, undeterred by the opposition of the English mercantile class, had never for a moment, since the subscription of their stock in spring 1696, paused in their design. They caused six ships of good size to be built in Holland, and these they partially mounted with guns, with a view to defence in case of need, at the same time taking care to furnish them with an ample store of provisions, and of every conceivable article likely to be required in a new colony. Twelve hundred select men, many of them Highlanders, and not a few soldiers who had been discharged at the peace of Ryswick, mustered under a suitable number of officers, who were generally men of good birth, on board this little fleet. ‘Neighbouring nations,’ says Dalrymple, ‘with a mixture of surprise and respect, saw the poorest kingdom of Europe sending forth the most gallant and the most numerous colony that had ever gone from the old to the new world.’ 

On the summer day noted, the colony left Leith, in five ships, amidst ‘the tears, and prayers, and praises’ of a vast multitude of people, all interested in the enterprise, either by a mercantile concern in it, or as viewing it in the light of an effort to elevate the condition and character of their country. We are told by one who might have heard eye-witnesses describe the scene, and probably did so, that ‘many seamen and soldiers whose services had been refused, because more had offered themselves than were needed, were found hid in the ships, and, when ordered ashore, clung to the ropes and timbers, imploring to go, without reward, with their companions.’ The ships had a prosperous voyage to a point on the Gulf of Darien, which had been previously contemplated as suitable for their settlement, though the order for the purpose was kept sealed till the expedition touched at Madeira. Landing here on the 4th of November, they proceeded to fortify the peninsula on one side of the bay, cutting a channel through the connecting isthmus, and erecting what they called Fort St Andrew, with fifty cannon. ‘On the other side of the harbour [bay] there was a mountain a mile high, on which they placed a watch-house, which, in the rarefied air within the tropics, gave them an immense range of prospect, to prevent all surprise. To this place it was observed that the Highlanders often repaired to enjoy a cool air, and to talk of their friends whom they had left behind. they purchased the land they occupied from the natives, and sent out friendly messages to all Spanish governors within their reach. The first public act of the colony was to publish a declaration of freedom of trade and religion to all nations.’ – Dalrymple’s Memoirs. 

It does not belong to the plan of the present work to detail the history of the Darien adventure. Enough to say that a second expedition of six ships sailed in May and August 1699, and that this was soon followed by a third, comprising thirteen hundred men. Before the first of these dates, the first colony had fully experienced the difficulties of their position. One of their vessels happening to fall ashore near Cartagena, the crew and its master, Captain Pinkerton, were seized as pirates, and with difficulty spared from hanging. Hunger, dissension, and disease took possession of the settlement, and in June the survivors had to leave it and sail for New York. when the second set of ships arrived, they found the place a desert, marked only by the numerous graves of the first settlers. The men of the second and third expeditions brought together on that desolate spot, felt paralysed. Discontent and mutiny broke out amongst them. After one brilliant little effort against the Spaniards, the remainder of these unfortunate colonists had to capitulate to their enemies, and abandon their settlement (March 1700). It had been stated that not above thirty of them ever returned to their native country. 

The failure of the Darien settlement was a death-blow to the African Company, the whole capital being absorbed and lost. So large a loss of means to so poor a country, amidst the home-troubles of famine and disease, was felt severely. Nine years afterwards, however, the loss sustained by the Scotch through the failure of the African Company was made good to the losers in terms of one of the clauses in the Treaty of Union. Nevertheless, when the whole matter is viewed without national prejudice, it must be admitted that there was a radical want of prudential management and direction in the expedition to Darien, and that thus chiefly did Scotland lose the opportunity of possessing herself of the most important station for commerce in the world.*

– Domestic Annals, pp.355-378. 

*  In his introduction to this chapter, Chambers states the reason for the failure of the Darien scheme as being, “English mercantile jealousy, and the king’s indifference to Scottish interests,” yet fails to explain this. 
Let me give a bit more information, courtesy of ‘The Union of England and Scotland: A Study in Anglo-Scottish Politics of the Eighteenth Century’ by P W J Riley (1979): 
“There was no decline in Scottish shipping activity until 1681, when at the privy council there was ominous talk of decaying trade. This was to become almost a routine item of business at the council board, though not altogether justified. On the whole, Scottish merchants were making a living and were quite remote from any prospect of a great crash… They complained, of course, and especially about the navigation act, BUT THEIR MAIN GRIEVANCE AGAINST IT WAS THAT IN ENGLISH LAW SCOTLAND WAS MADE A FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR THE PURPOSES OF TRADE. Official exclusion from the plantation trade was legally rather than commercially resented, being seen as a gratuitous slight to the status of Scotsmen… Any Scotsman with the capacity to trade with the English colonies continued to do so, the navigation act notwithstanding, greatly to the distraction of the English customs service, whose resources were strained in an attempt to stop this illegal trade.” 
So not only were we Scots deemed “foreign”, to inhibit our trading capabilities, but we were tagged so regardless of it being detrimental to their own English workforce.


Born, 17—; died 26th July, 1808.

Daughter of John Bogle of Hamilton Farm (No. 79), and wife of the Rev. John Hamilton, D.D., of the High Church (No. 104). 

– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.

1st Engineer of the S.S. ARCHIBALD FINNIE. The “Archibald Finnie”, official number 97,567, was a screw steamship built of steel by Messrs. Fleming & Ferguson at Paisley, Renfrewshire, in the year 1893. She was owned by Mary Ann Finnie and others. At 7 p.m. of the 25th July she left Ardrossan with a crew of thirteen, all told, under the command of Mr. William Hamilton. At 2.12 a.m. on the 26th July he was awoken by a blast from the steam whistle and immediately ran on deck and from there to the starboard side of the bridge, where he found the first mate, who remarked to him as he crossed over to the port side, “That beggar is going to be into us.” On looking over the port side he observed the hull, masthead, and green lights of a steamer the S.S. PEARL coming straight for them, and in about half a minute the “Archibald Finnie” was struck about 15 ft. before the bridge, at about an angle of 45°, cutting nearly into the main hatch. 

Glasgow Eastern Necropolis.

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