3rd of August

St Nicodemus. St Gamaliel. The Invention of St Stephen, or the Discovery of his Relics, 415. St Walthen or Waltheof, confessor, and abbot of Melrose, 1160.

 

Born. – Frederick William III. of Prussia, 1770.
Died. – James II. of Scotland, killed before Roxburgh, 1460; Stephen Dolet, eminent scholar and typographer, burned at Lyon, 1546; John Matthias Gesner, distinguished classical scholar and editor, 1761, Göttingen; Michael Adanson, French novelist, 1857, Annecy, Savoy; Father Ventura, Catholic controversial writer, 1861, Versailles.

 

On this Day in Other Sources.

 

[On 3rd] August [1159] died that holy man, Waltheof, (or Valthenus,) Abbot of Melrose, uncle to King Malcolm IV. 

– Historical Works, pp.14-19.

 

The 3rd of August, [1573,] William Kirkcaldy of Grange, who had kept the castle of Edinburgh against the King and his Regent, was for the same hanged at the cross of Edinburgh. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

 

Aug. 3 [1573]. – ‘William Kirkaldy of Grange, knight, sometime captain of the Castle of Edinburgh, and James Mosman, goldsmith, were harlit in twa carts backward, frae the Abbey to the cross of Edinburgh, where they, with Mr James [Kirkaldy] and James Cockie, were hangit,’ ‘for keeping of the said castle against the king and his regent.’ – D. O.  Bir

– Domestic Annals, pp.56-80.

 

Aug. 3 [1596]. – One John Dickson, an Englishman, was tried for uttering slanderous speeches against the king, calling him ‘ane bastard king,’ and saying ‘he was not worthy to be obeyed.’ This it appeared he had done in a drunken anger, when asked to veer his boat out of the way of the king’s ordnance. He was adjudged to be hanged. – Pit. It is curious on this and some other occasions to find that, while the king got so little practical obedience, and the laws in general were so feebly enforced, such a severe penalty was inflicted on acts of mere disrespect towards majesty. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

 

The lands and possessions of Kelso abbey were finally conferred upon Sir Robert Ker of Cesford, one of the bravest and most active men of his time, who, by his talents, courage, and vigilance, in the office of warden of the east marches, had obtained great favour at court, and was created a peer in 1599, with the title of Lord Roxburgh. On the third of August, 1602, he obtained a charter granting the lands of Haliden to him and his heirs for ever. 

– Scotland Illustrated, pp.101-104.

 

John Tosh, after submitting to examinations by torture, and denying all guilt, was charged (August 3, 1632) with the offence of setting fire to the tower from within; but the charge was never brought before an assize, the assessors finding that an insuperable bar lay in his having passed through the ordeal of torture without confession. There were some suspicious circumstances against him, chiefly of the nature of inconsistencies in his own declarations; but it was certainly possible to account for these upon a different theory from that of his being guilty. 

John Meldrum was tried a twelvemonth later, and as it clearly appeared that he had uttered deadly threatenings against Frendraught’s life, even specifying burning as the means, he was found guilty, and executed. The theory of his guilt seems to have been, that he had set fire to the tower, in the belief that the laird slept there, and effected his purpose by thrusting combustibles and fire through three slits in the wall. It must be admitted that Meldrum was the only man, of all concerned, in whom motive for murder appears; but his guilt is, after all, far from being clear. The wall was ten feet thick, and the commission had decidedly pointed to an origin within. No trace of combustibles was ever adduced, and it was proven that he had been at Pitcaple, ten or twelve miles off, that night. On the whole, when the matter is viewed without the passions of the time, it seems most likely that the fire was accidental. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.228-256.

 

Some of the notices of marriages in this Glasgow Journal are amusing. For example:.. “August 3d 1747 On monday last Mr. James Johnstone, merchant in this place was married to Miss Peggy Newall an agreeable young lady with £4000.” But the Journal was not peculiar in this style of notices. It but followed the common practice of the time – the Gentleman’s Magazine and other publications of that period being full of them. 

– Old Glasgow, pp.299-307.

 

The result of all this was that on the 3rd of August, 1769, this portion [of the North Bridge] gave way, by the mass of earth having been swollen by recent rains. The abutments burst, the vaults yielded to the pressure, and five persons were buried in the ruins, out of which they were dug at different times. 

This event caused the greatest excitement in the city, and had it happened half an hour sooner might have proved very calamitous, as a vast multitude of persons of every religious denomination was assembled in Orphan Hospital Park, northward of the Trinity College church, to hear a sermon preached by Mr. Townsend, an Episcopal clergyman; and after it was over some would have had to cross the bridge, and others pass beneath it, to their homes. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.334-340.

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