27th of July

Saints Maximian, Malchus, Martinian, Dionysius, John Serapion, and Constantine, martyrs, commonly called ‘The Seven Sleepers,’ 250. St Pantaleon, martyr, 303. St Congall, abbot of Iabhnallivin, Ireland. St Lucian, confessor, of Ireland.

Born. – Thomas Campbell, poet (Pleasures of Hope), 1777, Glasgow
Died. – James I., king of Aragon, 1276, Xativa; Henri, Maréchal de Turenne, killed near Saltzbach in Alsace, 1675; PIerre Louis de Maupertuis, natural philosopher, 1759, Basel; Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, naturalist, 1774, Achmetkent in the Caucasus; George Burnet, Scottish painter, 1816.


The author of The Pleasures of Hope died at Boulogne, June 15, 1844, at the age of sixty-seven, and was interred in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey. He had held for forty-five years a place in the first rank of living poets. He was born at Glasgow, of West Highland parentage; but the most remarkable circumstance connected with his entrance into the world was the fact that his father, at the time of his birth, numbered as many years as he himself was destined to attain. The poet was a man of small stature, of handsome face and figure, animated in conversation, liberal in his political and religious ideas, fond of old friends, could sing a droll song and tell a pleasant story at table, had a very good power of formal public address, and was altogether an amiable and respectable man through life. 


Of his pleasant table-anecdotes we remember one regarding himself. He tarried at a London book-stall one day, and after some conversation with the bookseller, purchased a book, which he requested to be sent home. The bookseller, who had previously appeared interested in his conversation, no sooner saw his name on the card he handed, than he seemed to become additionally excited, and finally he blundered out: ‘May I inquire, sir? – but – are you, sir – are you the great Mr Campbell?’ The poet had the caution to ask who it was he considered as the great Mr Campbell, but not without a tolerably safe conclusion in his own mind that the author of the Pleasures of Hope was the man in question. The answer was: ‘Oh! Mr Campbell, the missionary and author of Travels in South Africa, to be sure!’ 

For a few years previous to 1824, a Danish litterateur, named Feldborg, resided chiefly in Scotland, where he brought out a book of considerable merit, entitled Denmark Delineated. He was good-natured, clever, and entertaining, and much a favourite with Wilson, Lockhart, and other illuminati of the north. It appears that he had also made the acquaintance of Campbell, who, on giving him a copy of his poems containing the ode on the Battle of the Baltic, thought proper to address him in the following lines (heretofore, as we believe, inedited): 

‘Think me not, Danish stranger, a hard-hearted 
 If you find, mid’st my war-songs, one called “Copen- 
 For I thought when your state join’d the Emperor 
 We’d a right to play with you the devil and all; 
 But the next time our fleet went your city to 
 That attack, I allow, was a scandalous matter, 
 And I gave it my curse – and I wrote on’t a satire. 
 To bepraise such an action of sin, shame, and 
 I’ll be —– if I would be the laureate to-morrow. 
 There is not (take my word) a true Englishman 
 In that deed – ‘twas a deed of our merciless Tories, 
 Whom we hate though they rule us, and I can 
     assure ye, 
 They had swung for ‘t if England had sat as their 
 But a truce to remembrances blackened with 
 Here’s a health to yourself, and your country, dear 
 As our nations are kindred in language and kind, 
 May the ties of our blood be the ties of our mind, 
 And perdition on him who our peace would unbind!
 May we struggle not who shall in fight be the 
 But the boldest in sense – in humanity warmest; 
 May you leave us with something like love for our 
 Though we’re still curs’d by Castlereagh’s adminis- 
 But whatever you think, or wherever you ramble, 
 Think there ‘s one who has loved you in England’ 
July 11, 1822.

At a public dinner, in those days when England and France were at mortal enmity, Campbell proposed the health of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French. The company was astounded, and on the poet being asked why he could give such a toast, he replied: ‘Because he once shot a bookseller!’ Campbell sadly forgot, on this occasion, the handsome and even generous treatment he had experienced from the first booksellers with whom he had any important transaction.

His poem, The Pleasures of Hope, was written before he had attained his twenty-second year, and while earning his living as a tutor in Edinburgh. In long walks about Arthur’s Seat, he conned over its lines until they satisfied his fastidious ear. When the poem was finished, the question arose, how to get it printed without expense or risk of loss? The title had nothing to commend it in the way of originality. Akenside’s Pleasures of Imagination had long been published, and Roger’s Pleasures of Memory had been familiar to the world for six years. He had some acquaintance with the firm of Mundell & Son, for whom he had abridged Bryan Edward’s West Indies for £20, and to them he offered his manuscript. Pleased with the poem, yet with slight expectation of pecuniary advantage, they agreed to publish it on condition that Campbell should assign to them the copyright, in return for which they would give him two hundred copies of his book in quires – that is, unbound. Judged by the event, this may seem to have been a niggard bargain; but a better it would be very difficult to make with a manuscript poem, of whatever merit, by an unknown author, though the salesman should trot from east to west of London, and try Edinburgh and Dublin to boot. The Pleasures of Hope made its appearance in May 1799. A few copies spread from hand to hand, and were read in Edinburgh with delight and astonishment. Quickly the news flashed through the world of letters, that a poet had appeared whose prime, should it realise the promise of his youth, would register his name among the immortals. Edition after edition of the poem was bought up, and Mundell & Son shared the profits of their speculation with the author, giving him £25 on every thousand printed, or a royalty of sixpence a copy. Further, in 1802, they allowed him to print, in quarto, for his own benefit, a seventh edition, containing The Battle of Hohenlinden, Ye Mariners of England, The Exile of Erin, and Lochiel’s Warning. By this venture, it is said, he cleared £600. Mundell & Son only ceased to pay their voluntary tribute after a quarrel with the poet. It is estimated that from The Pleasures of Hope he derived at least £900, which, as the poem contains 1100 lines, is at the rate of 15s. a line – not poor pay, certainly. Campbell wrote little and at long intervals, and nothing in marked excess of his early efforts. His powers appear to have been paralysed with a dread that he should produce anything beneath the standard of his youth. But the fame of The Pleasures of Hope was a source of easy income to him through life. For his name as editor of books and magazines, publishers paid him large sums; and in 1806, before he was thirty, the Fox ministry endowed him with a pension of £200 a year. Poetry, if it was a hard mistress to Burns, was a most bountiful one to Campbell.

Reverting to Campbell’s feeling about booksellers, it is to be admitted that he shared it with many authors. For what cause we know not, it is an opinion commonly entertained that a publisher is unjust is he on any occasion profits more than the author. If he buys a doubtful manuscript on speculation, and its publication proves remunerative, the author goes about proclaiming that he has been outwitted or defrauded.* If, on the other hand, the publication had proved a dead loss, it would never enter the author’s head to refund the cash he had received, or to divide the deficit with the publisher. It must be obvious, that such conduct is childish in the extreme. In no trade, except literature, would such an outcry be heard with the least tolerance. No commercial men, except publishers, are ever found sharing the gains of a speculation with those from whom they made their purchase. If Mundell & Son had bought a piece of land from Campbell, and in their hands its rental had multiplied however prodigiously, they would never have dreamed of sharing the increase with Campbell, nor would Campbell have ventured to expect a dividend. It is eminently unreasonable that publishers should incur odium for conducting their business on ordinary commercial principles. Happy is that author by whom a publisher is able to make a successful speculation! If The Pleasures of Hope had not been remunerative, Campbell would never have received great sums for editing magazines, nor a pension of £200 a year from government whilst quite a young man.

*  Bear in mind the bias of Robert Chambers, author of ‘Book of Days’, he was a publisher/bookseller in Edinburgh with his brother William. Burns, as he mentions, had a hard time of it and that was due in part to his having the money rightfully due him withheld by the publisher/bookseller Creech (also Edinburgh) who was known for being notoriously tight-fisted;
“… the First Edinburgh Edition [of Burns’ verse] appeared (21st April 1787). The issue ran to 2800 copies, and 1500 of these were subscribed in advance. What Burns got for it is matter of doubt. Creech informed Heron that it was £1100 – which is a plain untruth; Chambers says £500; Burns himself told Mrs. Dunlop (25th March 1789) that he expected to clear some £440 to £450… Whatever the amount,1 Creech was a slow paymaster; and, as Edinburgh was bad for Burns, and Creech was responsible for Burns’s detention in Edinburgh, it is impossible not to regret that Burns had not another publisher. Burns in effect, his Second Edition once published, had nothing to do but pocket his receipts,2 and be gone. This, however, was what Creech could not let him do: so that he went and came, and came and went, and it was not until the March of 1789 that the two men squared accounts.
Poetry of Burns, vol. 4, pp.301-303.
1  At the instancing of Henry Mackenzie, Creech paid Burns (23rd April 1787) a hundred guineas for the copyright of the Poems, besides subscribing five hundred copies. The Caledonian Hunt subscribed another hundred; and Burns sent seventy to Ballantine for ‘a proper person’ in Ayr, and wrote from Dunse (17th May) to acknowledge the receipt, from Pattison, the Paisley bookseller, of ‘Twenty-two pounds, seven shillings sterling, payment in full, after carriage deducted for ninety copies’ more. Twenty-four copies went to the Earl and Countess of Glencairn, twenty to Prentice of Conington Mains, forty to Muir of Kilmarnock, twenty-one to Her Grace of Gordon, forty-two to the Earl of Eglintoun, and a certain number to the Scots Benedictionaries at Maryborough and Ratisbon, and the Scots Colleges at Douay, Paris, and Valladolid. The subscription price was five, the price to non-subscribers six, shillings: the extra shilling being (Burns to Pattison, ut sup.) ‘Creech’s profit.’
2  Heron ‘had reason to believe that he had consumed a much larger proportion of these gains than prudence could approve; while he superintended the impression, paid his court to his patrons, and wasted the full payment of the subscription money.’ In effect, it is hard to see how, coming to Edinburgh with next to nothing in his pocket (the £20 from Wilson could not have gone very far), he could otherwise have lived. It would have been natural enough for him to have accepted gratuities, for the Age of Patronage was still afoot, and relief in this kind would have come as easily (to say the least) to the ‘ploughing poet,’ howbeit he was the proudest and in some respects the most punctilious of men, as to any other. I find it hard to believe that there were none. But there is no record of any; and a letter (unpublished) of this period in acknowledgment of a gift of money from Mrs. Dunlop is almost painful in its embarrassment of of gratitude and discomfort…”

On this Day in Other Sources.

The 27th of July, this year [1529], the King causes [the] behead[ing of William] Cockburn of Henderland, and Adam [Scott], the chief leaders of the [thieves] and broken men of the borders; and, at the same time, imprisons [Patrick Hepburn] the Earl of Bothwell, that favoured them: then confines him to Aberdeen, and shortly thereafter to Moray, and at last, by strict sentence, exiles him [from] the kingdom; who retired himself to Italy. 

– Historical Works, pp.238-275.

THE Queen, as we have seen, having survived the various accidents of childbed, and the intervenient intrigues, began to think, towards the end of July 1566, of leaving Edinburgh castle, for better air, to convert her convalescence into health. She seems to have been determined, partly by the offers of the Earl of Mar, and still more, by the situation of the place, on the northern bank of the Forth, to make an excursion to Alloa. She had no wheeled carriage; she was not strong enough to ride on horseback: and she resolved to go thither, by water. On the 27th of July, she departed, for that delightful seat, in a vessel, accompanied by the Earl of Mar, and Murray, her officers of state, and usual attendants. But, Darnley chose to go by land, as Murray accompanied the Queen, by water: and we shall, thenceforward perceive, that this thoughtless youth could not exist, for any length of time, in the company of the Queen’s ministers. On the morrow, she held a privy council, at Alloa, concerning the postponed affairs of state.  

– Life of Mary, pp.136-151.

Though Bianchi had been in Mantua when the tragic event happened, the Prince nevertheless found it advisable to send him a detailed account of it, with which he might annihilate his accusers. As, up to the present, we have only had his description of the occurrence at second hand, it may be interesting to read his letter, of which the syntax is very curious:-

Illustrious and Reverend Sir,
          I thank your Lordship for the affectionate admonition in your letter of the 17th, knowing that it was dictated by that good-will which you have always borne and still bear to my service. That you may know the exact truth about the unfortunate accident which happened to me, and be able to tell it to whom you may think proper, I want to tell you precisely what occurred. One of those evenings, as I was taking a little fresh air in the city about one o’clock at night, being accompanied by Signor Hipp. Lanzoni, a gentleman of this city, in whose humour I took much pleasure, I met by chance, James, the Scot,10 and, believing him to be Count Langosco, my valet, whom he resembled in stature, I went to give him a push as a joke. As I neared him, however, I saw it was not he, and, putting my buckler, which I had on my arm, before my face, I passed on, leaving the Scot in some suspicion. He, seeing Lanzoni follow, with his buckler likewise before his face, tried to pass above him next the wall, and, when he had passed, he thrust his dagger into his shoulder up to the hilt. Both of them then laid hold of their arms, but Lanzoni being mortally wounded could not defend himself. I, therefore, hearing the noise, turned round towards where the sound came from, hastily drawing my sword. The Scot, not knowing me at first, aimed a blow at me, which I parried with my buckler. I attacked the Scot, he sought to ward off the thrust with his poniard, but, it being violent, he did not succeed, and it wounded him in the breast. He, having recognised me, began to beg for his life. I left him and returned to my companion, whom I found scarcely able to stand, and as I tried to sustain him, he fell dead at my feet. It was a case of pure misadventure, and if I had had to do with anyone but a barbarian, so much harm would not have followed. I am sorry that my uncle, the Most Illustrious Monsignore Farnese, should have been so vexed at this my unforeseen mischance. I hope, however, that when he hears my exculpation he will thank God for the matter having ended with the safety of my life, placed in no little peril by the barbarity of that wretch, whom may God pardon and deliver your very Illustrious Lordship from the gout as I offer and commend myself with all my heart to your Lordship for such an end.  
From Mantua, July 27th, 1582.                                                                                       THE PRINCE OF MANTUA. 

– Scots Lore, pp.238-252.

The 27th of July, this year [1585], Sir Francis Russell, son to the Earl of Bedford, was killed on the border of Scotland, by [Sir Thomas Ker] the Laird of Ferniehirst, Warden of the Scottish Marches. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

July 27 [1610]. – Piracy was at this time a flourishing trade, and the Scottish and Irish seas were a favourite walk of its practitioners. Vessels of various countries besides Scotland were pursued by these marauders and mercilessly plundered, their crews seized, tortured, and sometimes slaughtered, or else set ashore on desolate coasts, that they might not be readily able to take measures of redress. The Long Island, on the south-west coast of Ireland, appears to have served as a regular station for pirate ships; they also haunted much the Western Isles of Scotland. In 1609, a piratical crew, headed by two captains named Perkins and Randell, started from the Long Island in a vessel of 200 tons, named the Iron Prize, attended by a nimble pinnace of about half that burden; and for some months they roamed about the northern seas, picking up whatever small craft came in their way. They even had the audacity to show themselves at the mouth of the Firth of Forth. The attention of the Privy Council being called to their proceedings, three vessels were fitted out in a warlike manner at Leith and sent in quest of the pirates. Perkins and Randell had meanwhile come to Orkney to refit. They ‘landed at the castle, and came to the town thereof,’ where they ‘behaved themselves maist barbarously, being ever drunk, and fechting amang themselves, and giving over themselves to all manner of vice and villainy.’ Three of them attacked a small vessel belonging to the Earl of Orkney, lying on the shore, and were taken prisoners in the attempt by the earl’s brother, James Stewart. A day or two after this event, the three government ships made their appearance, and immediately a great part of the piratical company made off in the pinnace. A pursuit proving vain, the government ships returned and attacked the Iron Prize; and after a desperate conflict, in which they had two men killed and sundry wounded, they succeeded in capturing the whole remaining crew, amounting to nearly thirty men, who, with those previously taken, were brought to Leith and tried (July 26). Being found guilty, twenty-seven of these wretched men, including the two captains, were hanged upon a gibbet next day at the pier of Leith. Three were reserved in the hope of their giving useful information. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

An incredible number of real and imaginary criminals have rendered up their lives on that fatal spot [Edinburgh Cross], and among the not least interesting of the former we may mention Gilderoy, or “the red-haired lad,” whose real name was Patrick Macgregor, and who, with ten other caterans, accused of cattle-lifting and many wild pranks on the shores of Loch Lomond, when brought to Edinburgh, were drawn backwards on a hurdle to the cross, on the 27th of July, 1636, and there hanged – Gilderoy and John Forbes suffering on a higher gallows than the rest, and, further, having their heads and hands struck off, to be affixed to the city gates. Gilderoy, we need scarcely add, has obtained a high ballad fame. There is a broadside of the time, containing a lament to him written by his mistress, in rude verses, not altogether without some pathos; one verse runs thus:- 

“My love he was as brave a man 
As ever Scotland bred, 
Descended from a highland clan, 
A catheran to his trade. 
No woman then or woman-kind 
Had ever greater joy, 
Than we two when we lived alone, 
I and my Gilderoy!” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.148-157.

July 27 [1636]. – This was a terrible day for the broken men who had for the last few years been carrying on such wild proceedings in Morayland and other districts bordering on the Highlands. Lord Lorne – who soon after, as Marquis of Argyll, became the leader of the Covenanting party – had exerted himself with diligence to put down the system of robbery and oppression by which the country had been so long harassed; and he had succeeded in capturing ten of the most noted of the caterans, including one whose name enjoys a popular celebrity even to the present day. This was Gilderoy or Gillieroy; such at least was his common appellation – a descriptive term signifying the Red Lad – but he actually bore the name of Patrick Macgregor, being a member of that unhappy clan which the severity of the government had driven to desperate courses thirty years before. Another of the captured men was John Forbes, who seems to have been the fidus Achates of the notorious outlaw, James Grant. These ten men were now brought to trial in Edinburgh. It was alleged of Gilderoy that he and his band had for three years past sorned ‘though the haill bounds of Strathspey, Braemar, Cromar, and countries thereabout, oppressing the common and poor people, violently taking away from them their meat, drink, and provision, and their haill guids.’ There had also been a cruel slaughter of one of the Clan Cameron. If the doom of the ten caterans was duly executed – and we know nothing to the contrary – they were all, two days after, drawn backwards on a hurdle to the cross, and there hanged, Gilderoy and John Forbes suffering on the gallows ‘ane degree higher’ than that on which their companions suffered, and further having their heads and right hands struck off for exhibition on the city ports. 

Gilderoy, as is well known, attained a ballad fame. there is a broadside of the time containing a lament for him by his mistress, in rude verses not altogether devoid of pathos. She says: 

My love he was as brave a man 
     As ever Scotland bred, 
Descended from a Highland clan, 
     A catter to his trade. 
No woman then or womankind 
     Had ever greater joy 
Than we two when we lodged alone, 
     I and my Gilderoy.

There is something almost fine in the close of the piece: 

And now he is in Edinburgh town, 
     ‘Twas long ere I came there; 
They hanged him upon a pin, 
     And he wagged in the air: 
His relics they were more esteemed 
     Than Hector’s were at Troy – 
I never love to see the face 
     That gazed on Gilderoy. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.228-256.

The installation of a Lyon King is given fully in an account of “The order observed at the coronation of Sir Alexander Erskine of Cambo, Baronet, Lord Lyon King-of-arms, at the royal palace of Holyrood House, on the 27th day of July, 1681, his Royal Highness James Duke of Albany and York being his Majesty’s High Commissioner.”  

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.364-372.

The preliminary “informations,” on the part of the Queen’s Advocate and the two “advocates for the poor” who defended William Baillie and his followers, were lodged on 27th and 31st July [1714]. With regard to the charge of robbery at Whitehaugh in June, 1709, William Baillie objected that he had been already tried and sentenced at the Circuit Court held at Jedburgh in the October of the same year. And as for the burglary at the Edinburgh vintner’s in December, 1709, or January, 1710, Watson “offered to prove, That in both these moneths and long before, and after, he was abroad in Tourney [Tournay in Flanders] as a Souldier, in Strathnavers Regiment of foot, which lay then in Garison at that place.” In their defence against the charge of breaking into the three mansion-houses in East Lothian, the gypsies “offered to prove That at the time when these Thefts had been committed, they were upon these very nights lodged in the house of Robert Whyte in the toun of Blyth in Tweed Shyre1 which is about Thirtty Scots myles distant, and that they were seen then at that place late in the Evening, and Early in the morning, by persons of good Credite residing in the house with them, Or by the persons belonging to the family, Or by the neighbours, persons of good Credit.” 

Scots Lore, pp.30-35.

1  The village of Blyth, in the southern extremity of Linton parish, Peeblesshire.


Born at Germiston, 3rd October, 1692; died at Clifton, 27th July, 1770. 

Merchant in Glasgow. Son of Robert Dinwiddie of Germiston, merchant in Glasgow, by Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew Cumming, of Cardarroch, merchant in Glasgow. Appointed in 1727 Collector of Customs in Bermuda, and there and in other colonial appointments did good honest work for His Majesty. In 1751 appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, and served there for six anxious years; the first troubles with the French came in his time; in connection with these Governor Dinwiddie gave Major George Washington his first appointment on active service. During his Governorship he presented to the Corporation of Norfolk, Va., a splendid silver mace, which still exists, and to the library of the old college of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., many books bearing his bookplate, which were burned during the Confederate war. To the library of our own University (of which he had been an alumnus, and had been made an LL.D.) he left a legacy of £100 which, “as being most respectful to his memory,” is still preserved intact. In January, 1758, Governor Dinwiddie returned from Virginia broken in health. He died at “Clifton Hot Wells” on 27th July, 1770, and was buried in the old parish church of Clifton, from which his elaborate monument has been removed to the present church. Two large volumes of the “Official Records” of Governor Dinwiddie have been published by the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, Va., 1884), and throw a flood of light on colonial history, 1751-1758. Governor Dinwiddie is mentioned in Thackeray’s “Virginians.” He married Rebecca, daughter of the Rev. J. Affleck, and left two daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca (No. 12). A younger brother of the Governor’s was Provost Lawrence Dinwiddie (No. 474). The Provost and the Governor were original partners in the Delftfield Pottery Co. of Glasgow. (See No. 1851.) 

– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.

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