31st of July

St Helen of Skofde, in Sweden, martyr, about 1160. St John Columbini, confessor, founder of the order of the Jesuati, 1367. St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556.

Born. – Princess Augusta of Brunswick, 1737. 
Died. – Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, 1556, Rome; Charles de Gontaut, Duc de Biron, favourite commander of Henri IV., beheaded in the Bastile, 1602; Martin Harpertzoon Van Tromp, Dutch admiral, killed in an engagement near Texel, 1653; John V., king of Portugal, 1750; Denis Diderot, French encyclopædist, 1784, Paris.

In this Day in Other Sources.

In the reign of James V. the Master of Forbes was executed here for treason. He and his father had been warded in the Castle on that charge in 1536. By George Earl of Huntly, who bore a bitter animosity to the house of Forbes, the former had been accused of a design to take the life of the king, by shooting him with a hand-gun in Aberdeen, and also of being the chief instigator of the mutiny among the Scottish forces at Jedburgh, when on the march for England. Protesting his innocence, the Master boldly offered to maintain it in single combat against the earl, who gave a bond for 30,000 merks to make good his charge before the 31st of July, 1537. But it was not until the 11th of the same month in the following year that the Master was brought to trial, before Argyle, the Lord Justice General, and Huntly failed not to make good his vaunt. Though the charges were barely proved, and the witnesses were far from exceptionable, the luckless Master of Forbes was sentenced by the Commissioners of Justiciary and fifteen other men of high rank to be hanged, drawn, beheaded, and dismembered as a traitor, on the Castle Hill, which was accordingly done, and his quarters were placed above the city gates. The judges are supposed to have been bribed by Huntly, and many of the jury, though of noble birth, were his hereditary enemies. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.79-87.

About this time, also, Francis [Hay], Earl of Erroll, was imprisoned for popery, the last of July [1592];.. 

Historical Works, pp.340-416.

July 31 [1593]. – Aberdeen, a commercial town with a university, bore a singular moral relation to the adjacent Highlands of the Dee, where a wild and lawless population, speaking a different language and using a different dress, existed. Many were the troubles of the industrious burghers from these rude neighbours, who would sometimes come sweeping down upon their borders like a flight of locusts, and leave nothing of value uneaten or undestroyed. At this time, we find the council of the northern city meeting to consider ‘the barbarous cruelty lately exercit by the lawless hielandmen in Birse, Glentanner, and thereabout, not only in the unmerciful murdering of men and bairns, but in the masterful and violent spulying of all the bestial, guids, and gear of a great part of the inhabitants of these bounds… committit near to this burgh, within twenty miles thereto;’ for which reason it was ordained that the whole inhabitants should be ready with arms to meet for the defence of the town, and to resist and repress the said hielandmen, as occasion shall be offered. 

Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.



   Richt traist freind, we greit yow hartlie weill. The incertantie of the tyme of the arrivall of the remanent foreynn ambassadouris and sum uthir speciall occasionis hes constranit ws to prorogat the tyme of our deirest sonis baptisme to Sonnday the xviii of August, quhairof we haue thocht guid to adverteiss yow, desyring yow effectuuslie that ye will not faill to be with ws the xv day of the said moneth at the farthest, and to haist in sick quick stufe as ye haif in reddienes to the support of the chairgis to Striuiling betuix and the sevint day of the said moneth, and vennesoun and wyld foull as it may be had… about the day of the solemptnitie, as ye will gif pruiff at this tyme of your guid effectioun, to the honoure of ws and the cuntrey: sua we committ yow to God. At Stirling, the last day of July 1594.  


Sketches, Appendix VII.

   The Estates of Parliament considering that articles of Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England were Agreed on the 22nd of July 1706 years, by the commissioners nominated on behalf of this kingdom, under Her Majesty’s Great Seal of Scotland, bearing date the 27th of February last past, in pursuance of the fourth Act of the third Session of this Parliament, and the commissioners nominated on behalf of the kingdom of England, under Her Majesty’s Great Seal of England, bearing date at Westminster the 10th day of April last past, in pursuance of an Act of Parliament made in England the third year of Her Majesty’s reign, to treat of and concerning an union of the said Kingdoms; which Articles were, in all humility, presented to Her Majesty upon the 23rd of the said month of July, and were recommended to this Parliament by Her Majesty’s royal letter, of the date the 31st day of July 1706; and that the said estates of Parliament, have agreed to, and approven of the said Articles of Union, with some additions hereafter insert. 

– How Scotland lost Her Parliament, Appendix – Note A. 

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