1st of September

Saints Felix, Donatus, Arontius, Honoratus, Fortunatus, Sabinianus, Septimius, Januarius, Felix, Vitalis, Satyrus, and Repositus, twelve brothers, martyrs at Benevento, in Italy. St Firminus II. bishop and confessor, 4th century. St Lupus or Lew, archbishop of Sens, confessor, about 623. St Giles, abbot, about 700.

Born. – Margaret, Countess of Blessington, novelist, 1789, Knockbrit, near Clonmel
Died. – Louis XIV. of France, 1715, Versailles; Eusebius Renaudot, oriental scholar, 1720, Paris; Sir Richard Steele, essayist and dramatist, 1729, Llangunnor, near Caermarthen.


Giles or Ægidius, a very eminent saint of the seventh century, is believed to have been a Greek who migrated to France under the influence of a desire of greater retirement than he could enjoy in his own country. Settling in a hermitage, first in one of the deserts near the mouth of the Rhone, finally in a forest in the diocese of Nismes, he gave himself to solitude and heavenly contemplation with such entire devotion of spirit as raised him to the highest reputation. There is a romantic story of his being partly indebted for his subsistence to a Heaven-directed hind, which came daily to give him its milk; and it is added that his retirement was discovered by the king of the country, who, starting this animal in the chase, followed it till it took refuge at the feet of the holy anchorite. In time, admitting disciples, St Giles became, almost against his own will, the head of a little monastic establishment, which in time grew to be a regular Benedictine monastery, and was surrounded by a town taking its name from the saint. 

Veneration for St Giles caused many churches to be dedicated to him in various countries. In reference to a legend of his having once refused to be cured of lameness, the better to mortify in him all fleshly appetites, he became, as it were, the patron saint of cripples. It was customary that Giles’s Church should be on the outskirts of a town, on one of the great thoroughfares leading into it, in order that cripples might the more conveniently come to and cluster around it. From an early, but unascertained time, the parish church of Edinburgh was dedicated to the French saint. After it had been undergoing gradual extension and improvement for ages, one William Preston of Gorton, travelling in France, succeeded, with great pains and expense, in obtaining a most holy relic – an arm-bone of St Giles – and brought it home to Scotland, to be placed for perpetuity in St Giles’s Church. The municipality, in gratitude, allowed him to raise an aisle in the church, and granted that he and his successors should have the privilege of carrying the bone in all processions. It is curious to trace such past matters amidst a state of things now so different. So lately as 1556, the Dean of Guild of Edinburgh expended 12d. in ‘mending and polishing Saint Geles arme.’ A great change was at that very time impending. When the time for the annual procession of St Giles came about in 1558 (1st September), the populace were found to have stolen the wooden image of the saint, usually carried on those occasions, and to have ignominiously burned it. An attempt was made to effect the procession in the usual style with a borrowed image; but the proceedings were interrupted by a riot, and after that time we hear no more of any religious rites connected with St Giles in Scotland. How difficult it is, however, altogether to eradicate anything religious that has ever once taken root in a country! There, to this day, on one side of the coat-armorial of the city of Edinburgh, you see figuring as a supporter, the hind which ancient legend represents as nurturing the holy anchorite in the forests of Languedoc twelve hundred years ago.

On this Day in Other Sources.


St. Giles died in 721, on the 1st of September, which was always held as his festival in Edinburgh; and to some disciple of the Benedictine establishment in the south of France we doubtless owe the dedication of the parish church there. He owes his memory in the English capital to Matilda of Scotland, queen of Henry I., who founded there St. Giles’s hospital for lepers in 1117. Hence, the large parish which now lies in the heart of London took its name from the Greek recluse; and the master and brethren of that hospital used to present a bowl of ale to every felon as he passed their gate to Newgate. 


The other arm of St. Giles is preserved in the church of his name in the Scottish quarter of Bruges, and on the 1st of September is yearly borne through the streets, preceded by all the drums in the garrison. 

To this hour the arms of Preston still remain in the roof of the aisle, as executed by the engagement in the charter quoted; and the Prestons continued annually to exercise their right of bearing the arm of the patron saint of the city until the eventful year 1558, when the clergy issued forth for the last time in solemn procession on the day of his feast, the 1st September, bearing with them a statue of St. Giles – “a marmouset idol,” Knox calls it – borrowed from the Grey Friars, because the great image of the saint, which was as large as life, had been stolen from its place, and after being “drouned” in the North Loch as an encourager of idolatry, was burned as a heretic by some earnest Reformers. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.138-148.

The 1st of September this year, 1179, died Alina, Countess of Dunbar. 

– Historical Works, pp.19-38.

The 1st of September, this year [1558], the Roman clergy kept a synod at Edinburgh; the first day of the sitting down of which, the priests had a solemn procession, wherein they carried a great log of wood or idol, by them called St. Giles. The commons and others that favoured the gospel, make a great tumult, and soundly beat all the priests of Baal, and breaks all their idol [of] St. Giles in pieces. 

– Historical Works, pp.275-340.

For the affection, which the Queen bore her people, and for the mutual quiet of her subjects, she passed an act of oblivion, for all acts done, from the 6th of March 1558, to the 1st of September 1561. This act, was plainly intended, for burying, in oblivion, the whole violences of the reformation; and the chief reformers were appointed, by the act, for carrying it into effect. Some salutary laws of domestic economy were also passed, during this session. One other act was passed, in that session, which created some disturbances, though it was intended for a different purpose: The act, for preventing any one, from summoning together the Queen’s people, without her consent. But, Knox, holding the law to be inferior to the religion, did summon the Queen’s people, without her assent: and he was brought, in charge, before the privy council. This charge ended, in Knox conjuring the Queen “to forsake her idolatrous religion:” Whereupon, the chancellor, Lord Morton, desired him, to hold his peace, and go away. This case is a strong example, that the government was carried on, much more for the benefit of the minister, than the advantage of the crown. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.

The Queen departed from Old Aberdeen, on the 1st of September [1562]: And being resolved not to visit Huntley’s castle, where provision had been made for her, she slept at Buquhane; on the morrow, she journeyed, by Grange, where she slept, and, on the subsequent day, passed the Spey to Balveny, where she slept, and, on the morrow, went on to Elgin. In this manner, then, did the Queen, from her humour, or the humours of those, who governed her temper, lodge, in mean houses, when she might have enjoyed all the comfort, and splendour, and eclat, which Huntley could have given her. 

– Life of Mary, pp.62-77.

On the morrow, they marched with their army, towards Hamilton: But, learning, on the way, that the rebels had thence departed, that morning, for Edinburgh, the royal army returned to Glasgow. On the 1st of September [1565], the army marched from Glasgow, with design, to follow the rebels to Edinburgh. The King, and Queen, slept at Callender: and, on the morrow, they slept at Stirling; while their army rendezvoused, at Kilsyth. 

– Life of Mary, pp.98-126.

The 1st of September, this year [1567], the Regent raises an army, for reducing such as were refractory to the King’s obedience; and this same day causes [a] proclamation to be made, that all [between] 60 and 16 should be in readiness upon the next warning with 20 days provision. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

Sep. 1 [1570]. – An extraordinary act of Gilbert, Earl of Cassillis, sometimes called KING OF CARRICK, on account of the great power which he possessed in that district. 

The revenues of the abbey of Crossraguel, in Carrick, had been bestowed upon Master Allan Stewart, who thus became Commendator of the abbey, or secular abbot. The earl had got a feu of the abbey from a predecessor of Stewart, but it never was confirmed. After some fruitless endeavours to obtain a confirmation from Stewart, the earl inveigled him to the castle of Dunure, a strong fortalice situated on a rocky part of the coast overlooking the Atlantic. 

Here the Commendator was honourably entertained – ‘gif a prisoner can think ony entertainment pleasing. But after that certain days were spent, and that the earl could not obtain the feus of Crossraguel according to his own appetite, he determined to prove gif a collation could work that which neither dinner nor supper could do of a long time. And so the said Master was carried to a secret chalmer. With him passit the honourable earl, his worshipful brother, and sic as was appointed to be servants at the banquet. In the chalmer there was a great iron chimney, under it a fire; other great provision was not seen.’ The earl then laid before Stewart certain letters, which he wished him to subscribe. This the captive refused to do, declaring that he was not there by his own free will. The earl, seeing that he ‘could not come to his purpose by fair means, commandit his cooks to prepare the banquet. And so first they flayit the sheep, that is, they took off the abbot’s claithes, even to his skin; and next they band him to the chimney, his legs to the one end and his arms to the other; and so they began to beet the fire, sometimes to his buttocks, sometimes to his legs, sometimes to his shoulders and arms. And that the roast should not burn, but that it might roast in sop, they spared not flamming with oil. (Lord, look thou to sic cruelty!) And, that the crying of the miserable man sould not be heard, they closed his mouth… In that torment they held the poor man, while that ofttimes he cried “for God’s sake to despatch him; he had as meikle gold in his awn purse as wald buy powder eneugh to shorten his pain.” 

‘The famous King of Carrick and his cooks, perceiving the roast to be eneugh, commandit it to be tane from the fire, and the earl himself began the grace in this manner: “Benedicite, Jesus, Maria! you are the most obstinate man that ever I saw! Gif I had known that ye had been so stubborn, I wold not for a thousand crowns handled you so. I never did so to man, before you.” ‘ – Ban

Stewart’s own account, in the complaint which he afterwards rendered to the Privy Council, is different, in as far as it describes him as yielding to the earl’s desire, in order to save his life and free himself from the pain he was suffering. He was afterwards relieved from Dunure by the Laird of Bargeny, an enemy of Cassillis. The government, however, was too weak and in too much trouble to avenge his cause against the earl, who thenceforth continued to draw the revenues of Crossraguel. But ‘my lord gave the abbot some money to live upon, whilk contentit him all his days.’ – Hist. Ken. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.45-55.

Sep. 1 [1659]. – The town of Edinburgh obtained an additional impost upon the ale sold in its bounds; it was now a full penny sterling a pint, so that the liquor rose to the unheard-of price of 32d. Scots for that quantity. ‘Yet this imposition,’ says Nicoll, ‘seemed not to thrive; for at the same instant God frae the heavens declared his anger by sending thunder, and unheard tempests, and storms, and inundations of water, wilk destroyed their common mills, dams, and warks, to the town’s great charges and expenses.’ Eleven mills belonging to Edinburgh, and five belonging to Heriot’s Hospital, all upon the Water of Leith, were destroyed on this occasion, ‘with their dams, water-gangs, timber and stone warks, the haill wheels of their mills, timber graith, and haill other warks.’ The chronicler, somewhat awkwardly for his hypothesis, admits that many neighbouring towns suffered by the like destruction of their mills. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.278-301.

But, notwithstanding the obstacles presented by defective roadways, an attempt was made so early as 1678 to establish a regular stage coach service between the two cities. William Hoome, a merchant in Edinburgh, obtained, from the Privy Council, the exclusive privilege of having such a conveyance for seven years, and an assurance against his horses being pressed for any kind of public service;1 and the magistrates of Glasgow undertook to support the venture by contributing 200 merks yearly during the continuance of the service. Under the agreement with the magistrates, a copy of which is preserved in the Town Clerk’s office,2 “the said William Hoome obliges him, with all diligence, to have in readiness ane sufficient strong coach, with sax able horses, to be driven with servants and furniture for the convenience of all travellers who shall think fit to make use thereof, for their journey betwixt Glasgow and Edinburgh; and which coach shall contain sax persons, and shall go ance ilk week betwixt the foresaid two places, or twyce a week if he shall have encouragement, beginning upon the first day of September next to come, and thereafter to continue for the space of five years allenarly… And that ilk person going passenger therein shall have liberty to take in ane block bag or portmanteau for carrying of their cloaks, linnings or sicklyke. And that ilk person paying to the said William Hoome, ilk time betwixt the said places, from the month of March to the first of September, being counted summer months, the sum of eight shilling Sterling, which is four pounds sixteen shillings Scots; and from the first of September to the first of March, being counted winter months, the sum of five pounds eight shillings Scots, and that by ilk person passing therein. And the said coach, horses, servants, and furniture foresaid, are to take journey ilk Monday and return ilk Saturday at night, whether there be persons to the number foresaid or none at all to pass therein. And that the burgesses of this Burgh be preferred to all others.” 

– Scots Lore, pp.264-266.

1  Ib. pp. 391-2. 
2  MS. Reports, &c., ii. p. 161.

Sep. 1 [1681]. – Leather stamped and gilded – believed to be originally a Spanish fashion – was a favourite cover for the walls of rooms in the better class of houses in Scotland as well as in England. Some examples of the style still survive, and speak so strongly in its favour, that we might justly wonder at its going out of fashion. Hitherto such ornamental leather was introduced from abroad; but now Alexander Brand, merchant in Edinburgh, by a considerable outlay, had brought workmen and materials into the kingdom, and for the first time was about to set up a work, in which he expected to produce the article ‘at as easy rates as it could be imported.’ On a favourable report from ‘the Committee of Trade,’ the Privy Council gave Brand a privilege of exclusive manufacture for nineteen years. – P. C. R. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.322-337.

THE Tory ministry of Anne, which had certainly meditated some attempt at the restoration of the Stuart line, were paralysed by her death, and allowed the accession of George of Hanover to take place without opposition. The new king had no sooner settled himself in London, than he displaced the late queen’s advisers and surrounded himself with the Whigs, whom he knew to be his only true friends. The sharpness of this proceeding, added to the general discontent, produced an almost immediate insurrection. The Earl of Mar, after in vain attempting to obtain the favour of King George, repaired to his native country, and, on the 6th of September 1715, set up the standard of rebellion in Aberdeenshire. The miserable failure of this effort for the House of Stuart, and its dismal consequences, neither allayed the wishes nor extinguished the hopes of the Jacobite party. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.390-397.

     And whereas by a Clause in another Act made in the Nineteenth Year of His Majesty’s Reign, intituled, An Act more effectually to prohibit and prevent Pastors or Ministers from officiating in Episcopal Meeting-houses in Scotland, without duly qualifying themselves according to Law; and to punish Persons for resorting to any Meeting-houses where such unqualified Pastors or Ministers shall officiate; it is enacted, That from and after the First Day of September, in the Year of Our Lord One thousand seven hundred and forty six, no Letters of Orders of any Pastor or Minister of any Episcopal Meeting or Congregation in Scotland, should be deemed sufficient, or be admitted to be registered, but such as had been given by some Bishop of the Church of England, or of Ireland; and in case any Letters of Orders, other than such as are before described, should be registered, such Registration should be deemed null and void to all Intents and Purposes: And whereas a Doubt has been raised upon the said recited Clause, whether the same doth extend to any Letters of Orders which have been registered before the said First Day of September:.. 

George II., 21st Year, Chapter 26, 1747.

DR. CLEPHANE paid his first visit to his sister in 1750. Among his papers are some notes of his journey, which, slight as they are, may be worth preserving if only to show a railway age how the traveller of last century hailed the great invention of turnpike roads. The miles in England are throughout distinguished as (m.) measured or statute, and (c.) computed miles. In Scotland (l.), long miles mean the old Scotch miles of sadly indefinite length, but properly equivalent to about a mile and a half statute measure.

   “Dr. Clephane’s journey from Scarborough to Kilravock, 1750. Came to Scarborough July 6; left it September 1. 

   “To Pickering 12 c. miles, and measures 19. From Pickering to Helmsley 9 c. miles; 12 measured. Kirby-moor-side lies between Pickering and Helmsley, and is 4 c. miles from the latter. (William of Wickham.) Wickham Abbey is about 5 miles from Scarborough, between that and Pickering. At Pickering (which belongs to the Crown, but is on lease given to Commissioner Hill, who lives at Thornton, about three miles from Pickering), are the ruins of a castle with seven towers, etc. Lay at the White Swan, Jackson’s… 

– Sketches, Appendix XII.



   WE have the most thorough sympathy, many a time and oft expressed, with the protest inserted in our Town Council meeting report, against the injury and insult done to Scotland in the matter complained of. As we have often said, apart from the indignity offered to an independent nation, the terms of the Treaty of Union are violated by the use of the offensive term; and it is matter of surprise that Scotsmen who profess to have patriotic proclivities should not only submit to the insult, but condone and commit it. 

   We trust this effort to obtain an expression of national sentiment on the question will be highly successful, and that at least all leal hearted Scotsmen will be induced henceforth to do justice to their country, and on all suitable occasions insist on others doing the same.” 

– Northern Ensign and Weekly Gazette, Thursday 1st September, 1864. 

– Newspaper Articles and Letter Relating to the Treaty of Union, Articles 1850-1875.

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