21st of August

Saints Bonosus and Maximilian, martyrs, 363. St Richard, bishop of Andria, confessor, 12th century. St Bernard Ptolemy, founder of the Olivetans, 1348. St Jane Frances de Chantal, widow and abbess, 1641.

Born. – James Crichton (The Admirable), celebrated scholar, 1561;* St Francis de Sales, celebrated Catholic divine, 1567, Sales, Savoy; Dionysius Petau, chronologer (De Doctrinâ Temporum), 1583, Orleans; Augustin Louis Cauchy, mathematician, 1789, Paris.
*  Chapters regarding the Admirable Crichton can be found in ‘Scots Lore;’ Part 1 and Part 2.

On this Day in Other Sources.

Gavin Dunbar, the nephew of the Bishop of Aberdeen of the same name, and tutor to James V., was, on the promotion of Bethune, elected Archbishop of Glasgow, and consecrated at Edinburgh… He was appointed chancellor of the kingdom, 21st August 1528, which office he held till 1543, and died in April 1547. 

– Sketches, pp.29-70.

[On 21st] of August, this year [1558], Archibald [Campbell], Earl of Argyll, Great Justiciar of Scotland, and Knight of the Order of St. Michael, departs this life. 

– Historical Works, pp.275-340.

It was not the duty of the magistrates to uphold the church; but, as true archæologists, they had a reverence for it as a great national monument – in this respect presenting a contrast to their degenerate successors of the nineteenth century. Very soon after the Reformation, accordingly, we find them summoning the representatives of the crafts, and some of the leading citizens, to consult with them on the subject, and under date 21st August, 1574, the following interesting minute occurs in their records. I quote from the volume of extracts so well edited by Dr. Marwick: “The provest baillies and sounsale with the dekynnis of the crafts, and divers wtheris honest men of the toun, convenand in the counsal hous, and haveand respect and consideratio unto the greit dekaye and ruyne that the hie kirk of Glasgw is cum to throuch taking awaye of the leid, sclait, and wther grayth thairof in thir trublus tyme bygane, sua that sick ane greit monument will alluterlie fall doun and dekey without it be remedit, and becaus the helping thairof is so greit, and will extend to mair nor thai may spair, and that they are nocht addettit to the vphalding and repairing thairof be the law, yit of thair awin fre willis vncompellit, and for the zele thai beir to the kirk, of meir almous and liberalite, sua that induce na practik nor preparative in tymes cuming, conforme to ane writting to be maid thairanent, all in ane voce has consentit to ane taxt and impositioun of twa hundredtht pundis money to be taxt and payit be the tounschip and fremen thairof for helping to repair the said kirk and haldyng it wattirfast.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.104-116.

On 21st August [1647] some persons had removed stones from the [Glasgow] bridge and the bailies were directed to inquire who had done so; the dean of guild and master of works were at the same time appointed to look to its condition…1

– Scots Lore, pp.15-29.

1  Council Records, ii. 120.

  The Marquis of Bute, in his paper on ‘Parliament in Scotland,’ published in the Scottish Review of October, 1889, says the above ‘article, as far as it goes, is unanswered and unanswerable…’ 

   ‘But there was certainly one thing in which the well-known financier who wrote that article was wrong. He greatly under-stated his own case. With regard to a particular item, for instance, such a phrase occurs as “probably £500,000 would not overstate it, but to keep well within the mark, we shall place it at £300,000.” His weakest statement is probably that in which, after showing that Scotland contributes to the Imperial Exchequer about £1,000,000 more, and receives about £1,250,000 less than her population warrants, and that at least £150,000 is annually spent in London upon Scottish local legislation, he remarks that the annual value of land in Scotland assessed to income-tax is about £7,500,000, of which about three-sevenths belong to peers or baronets, and proposes to name £1,000,000 as representing the amount of their incomes spent in London and elsewhere in England, and an equal sum as the amount so spent by commoners other than baronets. By this means he arrived at the conclusion that the Union impoverishes Scotland yearly to the amount of more than £4,000,000. He left out of the calculation any incomes not derived from land, the fact that to a very large number of Scottish proprietors their annual sojourn in London occupies the greater and certainly constitutes by far the most costly portion of their year, and that peers and baronets certainly do not form the half of those whose incomes are thus applied. From the figures upon which he himself went, it is clear that he ought to have set down the annual dead loss in money which is entailed upon Scotland by the Union of 1707 at a sum of eight or ten millions rather than of four.’1

   It is so difficult to grasp such enormous figures or to conceive that our poor country can be robbed to the amount of eight or ten millions a year, that I may be allowed to quote from the report of a speech made by Dr. Clark, M.P. for Caithness, at Dumfries, on 21st August last, a few instances ‘to show how our money was not spent in our country, how our own people were paid in a mean and miserly fashion, while everybody else, especially in Ireland, was paid in a free and generous way.’ 

   ‘First, take law changes. He did not take in the prisons or police; but merely the law charges that were paid, not from the consolidated fund, but from revenue year by year. If he were to take the whole charges, it would show much worse. They voted this year £860,000 for law charges in England; £527,000 for Ireland; and £122,000 for Scotland. Well, they knew the proportion. We had about four millions of a population, against the Irish four and three-quarters. But the law charges of Ireland were four times the amount of those for Scotland, although the difference in the population was very little. And they had also an Irish constabulary, which was merely an army in disguise, for which we pay a million and a half. Local Government in England cost the Imperial Exchequer £464,747; in Ireland, £132,600; in Scotland, only £9,500. The cost of local government in Ireland was fifteen times greater per head than in Scotland; so that we were spending for that purpose £1 in Scotland for £15 in Ireland. Turning to the medical and scientific branch of local government, he found that they paid for medical superintendence in England, £17,755; in Ireland, £5,800; in Scotland, £500. In fact the only sum for medical superintendence in Scotland, voted by the Imperial Government, was £200 for Dr. Littlejohn, medical adviser of the Board of Supervision, and £300 to Dr. Husband, who takes charge of the Vaccination Department; while in Ireland you had got one man with £1200 a year and several men with £600 a year to assist him. The result of this niggardly policy was that the Public Health Act had never been put in force in Scotland. There were thousands of preventable deaths taking place in Scotland which, had the Public Health Act been applied, never would have occurred. They pressed on Government this year to give us something, and they gave us £15,000; but they gave it out of our own budget, out of our own local resources, whereas in England and Ireland they paid it out of the imperial taxes. In Ireland they paid half the salary of every medical officer of health, and £15,000 for sanitary inspectors; in Scotland, not one penny. The same thing occurred in every department. We had been fighting for free education. We had two centuries of free education. Thanks to John Knox, we had the brains of our people developed by generation after generation of educated men, until the average intelligence of the Scottish ploughmen was greater than that of the lower professional classes of England. It was only in 1803 that the heritors got a right to charge a fee at all. We had always been in favour of free education. In the fight for life, or rather for position in life, education and technical education was what determined a man’s success or want of success. They had in England a Royal School of Science, and we voted every year for that school £16,000 for salaries and about £3,500 for scholarships and bursaries. We voted for the Geological Museum £20,573. Not a penny came to Scotland for such purposes. In Ireland they had a Royal College of Science in Dublin, to which they voted £7000 a year, of which £800 was payable in scholarships. He had tried time after time to get a grant for the Watt Institution in Edinburgh and the West of Scotland Technical Institution in Glasgow; and it had always been refused. The Government brought forward a vote of £15,000 for English and Scotch colleges; and how much of that vote did they think Scotland got? Not a single penny. When they rushed through the estimates at the end of the session, the only thing he could say was, ‘Well, I’m not going to discuss this, but I should advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for accuracy, to strike out Scotland all together, for it is obtaining money under false pretences.’ Last year the excuse was that no Scotch school had applied. They sent down information to the colleges at Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, and other places, and they got some £3000 a-piece from this £15,000. This year the Scotch had applied; but no Scotch need apply, for they had not got a penny. Scotchmen were thus, he pointed out, unfairly handicapped, when their rivals in engineering and other branches of industry were educated at the public cost and they were refused the same privilege. He thought they might be able to obtain a grant now out of the whisky duty. After two days’ wrangle, when four-fifths of the entire Scotch members pressed the wishes of Scotland on the Government, the Government refused; but the Scotch members renewed their demand on the report stage, after a portion of the English money had been granted optionally to County Councils to be spent in technical education, and they granted it. He had not seen the bill as it stood, for it was hurried through, no man knowing very well what was being done, but knowing that the Government was conceding something. He could go through a long list, pointing out things that in Scotland were defrayed out of local rates, and in Ireland and in England either wholly or in part from imperial taxation. In England, part of the cost of registration of births, deaths, and marriages was paid from the Imperial Exchequer; here it was paid entirely from local rates. The same thing occurred with the inspection of certain schools and vagrant institutions; and the expenses of auditors of local boards were defrayed by imperial grant in England, and in Scotland from our own pockets. Looking at it from every standpoint, we were treated financially with a meanness and niggardliness that was disgraceful to a country like England.’ 

   It may occur to one reading this extract from Dr Clark’s speech to ask how it happens that England, so niggardly towards Scotland, is so lavish towards Ireland, which draws from Imperial Revenue five times the amount allowed to Scotland, though it contributes much less? I can only account for it by contrasting the importunate and determined was in which the Irish M.P.’s insist on justice to Ireland, with the half-hearted and perfunctory manner in which the Representatives of Scotland attend to their duties. If Scotland had a dozen members like Dr. Clark, the position of our country would be very different. Unfortunately, the want of Home Rule deprives Scotland of the services of Scotsmen, who, if they could only go to London, might be trusted to stand up for their country. 

   The criminal ignorance or insensate folly which possesses the so-called Scottish Unionist, acquiescent under such injustice to Scotland, could only be excused if he were able to answer in the negative the question of the Laureate:- 

‘Are there no beggars at your gate,
Nor any poor about your lands?’
1  Mr. Waddie adds to the over-taxation of 30 years 
   Under-payments to Scotland during the same period 
   Bringing our country’s loss – 1861-91 – to the enormous aggregate of 
– Scots Magazine, Sunday 1st March, 1891.

– Treaty of Union Articles, Financial Cost to Scotland of the Union.

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