7th of September

St Regina or Reine, virgin and martrr, 3d century. St Evurtius, bishop of Orleans, confessor, about 340. St Grimonia or Germana, virgin and martyr. St Eunan, first bishop of Raphoe, in Ireland. St Cloud, confessor, 560. St Madelberte, virgin, about 705.

 

Born. – Thomas Erpenius, celebrated orientalist, 1584, Gorcum, Holland; Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, great commander, 1621, Paris; George Louis, Count de Buffon, distinguished naturalist, 1707, Montbard, Burgundy.
Died. – Emperor Frederick IV. of Germany, 1493, Vienna; Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio, historical writer, 1644, Rome; Captain Porteous, murdered by the Edinburgh mob, 1736;* Dr John Armstrong, author of The Art of Preserving Health, 1779, London; Leonard Euler, eminent mathematician, 1783, St Petersburg.

 

OLD SAYINGS AS TO CLOTHES.

It is lucky to put on any article of dress, particularly stockings, inside out: but if you wish the omen to hold good, you must continue to wear the reversed portion of your attire in that condition, till the regular time comes for putting it off – that is, either bedtime or ‘cleaning yourself.’ If you set it right, you will ‘change the luck.’ It will be of no use to put on anything with the wrong side out on purpose

The clothes of the dead will never wear long. 

When a person dies, and his or her clothes are given away to the poor, it is frequently remarked: ‘Ah, they may look very well, but they won’t wear; they belong to the dead.’ 

If a mother gives away all the baby’s clothes she has (or the cradle), she will be sure to have another baby, though she may have thought herself above such vanities. 

If a girl’s petticoats are longer than her frock, that is a sign that her father loves her better than her mother does – perhaps because it is plain that her mother does not attend so much to her dress as she ought to do, whereas her father may love her as much as you please, and at the same time be very ignorant or unobservant of the rights and wrongs of female attire. 

If you would have good-luck, you must wear something new on ‘Whitsun-Sunday’ (pronounced Wissun-Sunday).

 

MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS.

It is unlucky to enter a house, which you are going to occupy, by the back-door. 

I knew of a family who had hired a house, and went to look over it, accompanied by an old Scotch servant. The family, innocently enough, finding the front-door ‘done up,’ went in at the back-door, which was open; but great was their surprise to see the servant burst into tears, and sit down on a stone outside, refusing to go in with them. If I recollect rightly (the circumstance happened several years ago), she had the front-door opened, and went in at that herself, hoping, I suppose, that the spell would be dissolved, if all the family did not go in at the back-door. 

The Cross was made out of elder-wood. 

Speaking to some little children one day about the danger of taking shelter under trees during a thunder-storm, one of them said that it was not so with all trees, ‘For,’ said he, ‘you will be quite safe under an eldern-tree, because the cross was made of that, and so the lightning never strikes it.’ 

With this may be contrasted a superstition mentioned by Dean Trench in one of the notes to his Sa\cred Latin Poetry, and accounting for the trembling of the leaves of the aspen-tree, by saying that the cross was made of its wood, and that, since them, the tree has never ceased to shudder. 

Hot cross-buns, if properly made, will never get mouldy. 

To make them properly, you must do the whole of the business on the Good-Friday itself; the materials must be mixed, the dough made, and the buns baked on that day, and this, I think, before a certain hour; but whether this hour is sunrise or church-time, I cannot say. Perhaps the spice which enters into the composition of hot cross-buns, has as much to do with the result as anything, but, experto crede, you may keep them for years without their getting mouldy. 

Mushrooms will not grow after they have been seen. Very naturally, the first person that sees them, gathers them. 

If, when you are fishing, you count what you have taken, you will not catch any more. 

This may be paralleled with the prejudice against counting lambs, mentioned in a former paper. It is a western superstition, and was communicated to me by a gentleman, who, when out with professional fishermen, has been prevented by them from counting the fish caught till the day’s sport was over. 

The same gentleman also told me a method which he had seen practised in the same locality to discover the body of a person who had been drowned in a river. An apple was sent down the stream from above the spot where the body was supposed to be, and it was expected that the apple would stop above the place where the corpse lay. He could not, however, take upon himself to say that the expedient was a successful one. 

C. W. J.


*  More on the Porteous affair can be found in Grant’s ‘Old and New Edinburgh, Chapter 14.

 

On this Day in Other Sources.

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This same year [1305], the 7th of September, Sir William Wallace, sometime Governor of Scotland, was fraudulently, not suspecting any guile, betrayed and taken by Sir John [de] Menteith at Glasgow, and delivered to the cruel and inhuman tyrant of England, King Edward I. by whom he was carried to London, and there executed and dismembered most inhumanly, and that for the defense of his own native country. 

– Historical Works, pp.77-88.

 

So much has been said of pretensions, and of titles, to the crown, that it may be proper here, to add a few words, on those perplexing topicks. The two roses, the symbols of the families of York, and Lancaster, were conjoined, by the marriage of Henry VII., with Elizabeth of York: Of this marriage was born Henry VIII., and the Lady Margaret. Henry VIII. left three legitimate children; Edward VI. who succeeded him, and died, in July 1553. Mary, who succeeded him, and died in November 1558; Elizabeth, who was born, on the 7th of September 1533, and succeeded her sister Mary, began to be rather old maidish, when the Parliament wooed her to wed, in 1566.  

The pretensions of the Scotish Queen arose, in this manner: The Lady Margaret, the eldest daughter of Henry VII., married James IV., who died, in 1513; leaving, by her, James V., who was the father of Mary, by the Duchess of Longueville. The Lady Margaret married, 2dly, after the demise of James IV., Archibald, Earl of Angus: By this marriage, there was a daughter, Lady Margaret Douglas. Matthew, Earl of Lennox, who was himself related to the royal family of Scotland, during the minority of Mary, acted in such a manner, that he could neither return to France, from whence he came, nor remain, in Scotland, where he was forfeited. Lennox now fled into England, where he was received into the protection of Henry VIII., who gave him his niece, the Lady Margaret Douglas, in marriage, with lands, amounting to fifteen hundred marks, a year: Of this marriage was Lord Darnley, the grandson of the Lady Margaret, and the great grandson of Henry VII.: Lady Lennox was, plainly, the cousin german of Queen Elizabeth. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.

 

In the meantime, the Queen, and Darnley, remained, at Stirling, on the 7th of September [1565]. On the morrow, they slept at Dunfermlin. 

– Life of Mary, pp.98-126.

 

Repeated cases also occur of the presbytery trying cases of breach of promise of marriage. In one case the offender, Helein Bull, confessed to “refusing to marie Johne Miller wt quhome scho hes bein proclaimit twyse, now being of mind to marie Patrik Bryce.” She is adjudged to mak hir repentance in his paroche kirk of Leinzae for hir inconstancie, and forder to pay penaltie to the thesaurer of hir kirk the nixt sondaye afore she entir to his repentance.”1 In another case about the same time the lady was the complainer, and her swain having denied the promise, and there being no proof, she referred it to his oath. 

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215.

1  7th September, 1596.

 

And the sentence of the kirk session was no mere bruntum fulmen. They enforced as well as pronounced it. They caused “a ward house” to be constructed in the steeple of the Blackfriars’ Church, and to this prison they committed offenders. One person is sentenced to confinement for eight days, and instructions are given “to the beddal to let steeplers get nothing but bread and water, or small drink, so long as they continue in the steeple.”1 An individual who had been absent from “the examination” and the communion for several years is committed to the steeple, and ordered to make public repentance besides. In 1609 the session enacts that al offenders shall pay their penalties personally before leaving the session-house, “or be put in the steeple till it be paid.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215. 

1  Session Records, 7th Sept. 1604.

 

When the latter approached Edinburgh he found the whole Scottish army skilfully entrenched parallel with Leith Walk, its flanks protected by guns and howitzers on the bastions of the latter and the Calton Hill. The sharp encounter there, and at St. Leonard’s Hill, in both of which he was completely repulsed, are apart from the history of the fortress, from the ramparts of which the young king Charles II. witnessed them; but the battle of Dunbar subsequently placed all the south of Scotland at the power of Cromwell, when he was in desperation about returning for England, the Scots having cut off his retreat. On the 7th September, 1650, he entered Edinburgh, and placed it under martial law, enforcing the most rigid regulations; yet the people had nothing to complain of, and justice was impartially administered. He took up his residence at the Earl of Moray’s house – that stately edifice on the south side of the Canongate – and quartered his soldiers in Holyrood and the city; but his guard, or outlying picket, was in Dunbar’s Close – so named from the victors of Dunbar; and tradition records that a handsome old house at the foot of Sellars Close was occasionally occupied by him while pressing the siege of the Castle, which was then full of those fugitive preachers whose interference had caused the ruin of Leslie’s army. With them he engaged in a curious polemical discussion, and is said by Pinkerton to have preached in St. Giles’s churchyard to the people. To facilitate the blockade he demolished the ancient Weigh House, which was not replaced till after the Restoration. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.

 

Of all the thousands who must have been prisoners [in Edinburgh’s Tolbooth], recorded and unrecorded, on every conceivable charge, the stories of none have created more excitement than those of Captain Porteous, of Katharine Nairne, and another prisoner named Hay; and singular to say, the names of none of them appear in the mutilated record just quoted. Porteous has been called the real hero of the Tolbooth. “The mob that thundered at its ancient portals on the eventful night of the 7th of September, 1736, and dashed through its blazing embers to drag forth the victim of their indignant revenge, has cast into shade all former acts of Lynch Law, for which the Edinburgh populace were once so notorious.” But the real secret and mainspring of the whole tragedy was jealousy of the treatment of Scotland by the ministry in London. 

… 

On the night of the 7th September, according to a carefully-arranged plan, a small party of citizens, apparently of the lower class, preceded by a drum, appeared in the suburb called Portsburgh. At the sound of the drum the fast-swelling mob assembled from all quarters; the West Port was seized, nailed, and barricaded. Marching rapidly along the Cowgate, with numbers increasing at every step, and all more or less well-armed, they poured into the High Street, and seized the Nether Bow Port, to cut off all communication with the Welsh Fusiliers, then quartered in the Canongate. While a strong band held this important post, the City Guardsmen were seized and disarmed in detail; their armoury was captured, and all their muskets, bayonets, halberts, and Lochaber axes, distributed to the crown, which with cheers of triumph now assailed the Tolbooth, while strong bands held the street to the eastward and westward, to frighten all who might come either from the Castle or Canongate. Thus no one would dare convey a written order to the magistrates, and Colonel Moyle, of the 23rd, very properly declined to move upon the verbal message of Mr. Lindsay, M.P. for the city. 

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Meanwhile the din of sledge-hammers, bars, and axes, resounded on the ponderous outer gate of the Tolbooth. Its vast strength defied all efforts, till a voice cried, “Try it with fire!” Tar-barrels and other combustibles were brought; the red flames shot upward, and the gate was gradually reduced to cinders, and through these and smoke the mob rushed in with shouts of triumph. The keys of the cells were torn from the trembling warder. The apartment in which Porteous was confined was searched in vain, as it seemed at first, till the unhappy creature was found to have crept up the chimney. This he had done at the risk of suffocation, but his upward progress was stopped by an iron grating, which is often placed across the vents of such edifices for the sake of security, and to this he clung by his fingers, with a tenacity bordering on despair, and the fear of a dreadful death – a death in what form and at whose hands he knew not. He was dragged down, and though some proposed to slay him on the spot, was told by others to prepare for that death elsewhere which justice had awarded; but amid all their fury, the rioters conducted themselves generally with grim and mature deliberation. Porteous was allowed to entrust his money and papers with a person who was in prison for debt, and one of the rioters kindly and humanely offered him the last consolation religion can afford. The dreadful procession, seen by thousands of eyes from the crowded windows, was then begun, and amid the gleam of links and torches, that tipped with fire the blades of hundreds of weapons, the crowd poured down the West Bow to the Grassmarket. So coolly and deliberately did they proceed, that when one of Porteous’ slippers dropped from his foot, as he was borne sobbing and praying along, they halted, and replaced it. In the Bow the shop of a dealer in cordage (over whose door there hung a grotesque figure, still preserved) was broken open, a rope taken therefrom, and a guinea left in its stead. On reaching the place of execution, still marked by an arrangement of the stones, they were at a loss for a gibbet, till they discovered a dyer’s pole in its immediate vicinity. They tied the rope round the neck of their victim, and slinging it over the crossbeam, swung him up, and speedily put an end to his sufferings and his life; then the roar of voices that swept over the vast place and re-echoed up the Castle rocks, announced that all was over! But ere this was achieved Porteous had been twice let down and strung up again, while many struck him with their Lochaber axes, and tried to cut off his ears. 

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Among those who witnessed this scene, and never forgot it, was the learned Lord Monboddo. Who had that morning come for the first time to Edinburgh. “When about retiring to rest (according to ‘Kay’s Portaits’) his curiosity was excited by the noise and tumult in the streets, and in place of going to bed, he slipped to the door, half-dressed, with a night-cap on his head. He speedily got entangled in the crowd of passers-by, and was hurried along with them to the Grassmarket, where he became an involuntary witness of the last act of the tragedy. This scene made so deep an impression on his lordship, that it not only deprived him of sleep for the remainder of the night, but induced him to think of leaving the city altogether, as a place unfit for a civilised being to live in. His lordship frequently related this incident in after life, and on these occasions described with much force the effect it had upon him.” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.123-138.

 

In the basement of the house which was once [the Napiers’] was the booth from which the rioters, on the night of the 7th September, 1736, obtained the rope with which they hanged Porteous. It was then rented by a woman named Jeffrey, a dealer in miscellaneous wares, who offered them the rope gratis when she learned for what purpose it was required, but one of the conspirators threw a guinea on the counter as payment. The house of the Napiers was demolished in 1833. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.315-321.

 

“SCOTLAND SINCE THE UNION.

_____

(From Blackwood for September.)

   To say that Scottish nationality is a dream without an object, is to deny history, and to fly in the face of fact. The Union neither did nor could denationalise us. It left us in undisturbed possession of our national laws and of our national religion; and it further provided, as well as could be done at the period, and most anxiously, for the future maintenance of those institutions which the State is bound to foster and preserve. If it had been intended that in all time coming the Imperial Parliament of Britain was to have full liberty to deal as it pleased with the internal affairs of Scotland, certainly there would not have been inserted in the treaty those stringent clauses, which, while they maintain the institutions of the past, lay down rules for their regulation in the future. These were, to all intents and purposes, fundamental conditions of the treaty; and to that treaty, both in word and spirit, we look and appeal. 

*   *   *   *   *

   The object of the Treaty of Union was to establish uniformity of trade and privilege, internal and external, throughout the United Kingdom; to equalise taxation and burdens; and to extinguish all trace of separate interest in matters purely imperial. But it was not intended by the Union to alter or innovate the laws and institutions of either country – on the contrary, these were strictly excepted and provided for. The previous acts, both of the English and Scottish Parliaments, remained in force, applicable to the two countries; but, for the future, all legislation was to be intrusted to one body, ‘to be styled the Parliament of Great Britain.’ Referring again to the Treaty of Union, we find anxious and careful provision made for the maintenance in Scotland of three national institutions, the Church, the Courts, and the Universities; all of which the united legislature was bound to recognise and protect. In short, the whole spirit and tenor of the Treaty is, that, without altering national institutions, equality should be observed as much as possible in the future administration of the countries. 

   It cannot be pretended that the Union implied no real sacrifice on the part of the Scottish people. London, to the exclusion of Edinburgh, became the seat of Government. Thither the nobility and wealthier gentry were drawn, and there a considerable portion of the revenue of the country was expended. That was the inevitable consequence of the arrangement which was made, and the Scots were too shrewd not to perceive it. But, on the other hand, the advantages which the union offered, seemed, in prospect at least, to counterbalance the sacrifice; and it was understood that, though the Scottish Parliament was abolished, and the Great Offices of State suppressed, the remnant local institutions were to receive from the British Government that consideration and support which was necessary to maintain them in a healthy state of existence. 

   It is almost to be regretted that the Treaty of Union was not more distinct and specific on those points; and that no stipulation was made for the expenditure of a fair proportion of the revenue raised from Scotland within her bounds. That such a guarantee would have been advantageous is now evident; for, instead of diminishing, the tendency towards centralisation has become greater than ever. No Government has tried to check it – indeed, we question whether public men are fully aware of its evil.  

   As a country advances in wealth, the seat of Government will always prove the centre point of attraction. The fascinations of the court, the concourse of the nobility, the necessary throng of the leading commoners of Britain during the Parliamentary season, are all in favour of the metropolis. To this, as a matter of course, we must submit, and do so cheerfully; but not by any means because we are ion the situation of an English province. It never was intended to make us such, nor could the whole power of England, however exerted, have degraded us to that position. London is not our capital city, nor have we any interest in its aggrandisement. We do not acknowledge the authority, in matters of law, of the Chief-Justice of England – we are altogether beyond the reach of the southern Ecclesiastical Courts. These are not accidental exceptions; they are necessary parts of the system by which it was provided that, in all things concerning our local administration, we were to have local courts, local powers, and a local executive. We complain that, in this respect, the spirit of the treaty has not been observed. Our Boards of Customs and Commissioners of Excise have been abolished; the revenues of the Scottish Woods and Forests are administered in London, and applied almost entirely to English purposes; and a like centralisation has been extended to the departments of the Stamps and Post-office.  

   But lest it should be said that these are grievances more shadowy than real, let us take the case of the Woods and Forests mentioned above. The hereditary revenues of the Crown in Scotland amount to a very large sum, all of which is sent to London, but hardly a penny of it ever returns. Holyrood, Dunfermline, Linlithgow – all our old historical buildings and objects of interest, are allowed to crumble into decay: because the administration of a fund which ought to be devoted to such purposes is confided to Englishmen, who care nothing whatever about the matter. By one vote in the present year, £181,960 were devoted to the repair and embellishment of Royal palaces, parks, and pleasure-grounds in England; but it seems by the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there are no funds available for the repair of Holyrood. Of course there can be no funds, if all our money is to be squandered in the south, and an annual expenditure of nearly £10,000 lavished upon Hampton Court, where Royalty never resides. Of course there can be no funds, if £40,000 is given for a palm-house at Kew, and upwards of £62,000 for Royal parks in England. But there are funds, if we may believe the public accounts, arising from the revenues of the Crown in Scotland, though most unjustly diverted to other than Scottish purposes. It may be, however, that, very soon, no such funds will remain. A large portion of the Crown property situated in Scotland has been advertised for public sale; and we may be sure of this, that not even a fractional portion of the proceeds will be applied to the north of the Tweed. Now, if the management of this branch of the revenue had been intrusted to a board in Edinburgh (as it formerly was, before the Barons of Exchequer were abolished), we venture to say that, without asking or receiving one shilling of English money, we could have effectually rescued ourselves from the reproach to which we are daily subjected by strangers, who are not aware of the extent to which centralisation has been carried. They look with wonder and sorrow at Holyrood, with her ruined chapel, and the bones of our Scottish kings and queens exposed to the common gaze, and ask whether they really are among a people famous for the enthusiasm with which they cleave to the memories of the past, and to the recollections of their former glories. Peering through the bars of that charnel vault where the giant skeleton of Darnley is thrown beside the mouldering remains of those who once wore the crown and wielded the sceptre of Scotland, they can recall no parallel instance of desecration save the abominable violation of the sepulchres of St. Dennis by the base republican rabble. And who are to blame for this? Not certainly the Scottish people, but those who have diverted the revenues applicable to purely national objects, to the maintenance of English palaces, and the purchase of London parks.  

   Centralisation has deprived us of several important offices which could have been filled quite as economically and efficiently for the public service in Scotland as in the south. We are by no means in favour of the extension of useless offices, but there is a vast difference between such and places of responsibility, where local knowledge becomes a very high qualification. It is impossible that a board, sitting in London, can give the same satisfaction to the people of Scotland, or conduct business so effectually, as if it was located among them. But, besides this, it seems to be a settled matter that Scottish official appointments are to be remunerated on a different scale from that which is applied in England and in Ireland. Why is it that our officials – in the Edinburgh Post-office, for example – are paid at a far lower rate than those who perform the same duties in London and in Dublin? Is it because Ireland contributes more than we do to the revenue? Let us see, the revenue of Scotland for the year ending 1852 was £6,164,804, of which there was expended in the country £400,000, leaving £5,764,804, which was remitted to London. The revenue of Ireland for the same period was £4,000,681, of which there was expended in Ireland £3,847,134; leaving a balance merely of £153,547. Have the people of Scotland no reason to complain whilst this monstrous inequality is tolerated?  

   Let us now turn to the Universities, which in the eyes of a Government so zealous as the present affects to be in the cause of education, and to Lord John Russell in particular, ought to be objects of considerable interest. Let us see how they have been treated. In the year 1826, a commission was appointed by George IV. to examine into the state of the Scottish Universities, and to report thereon. The commissioners, of whom the Earl of Aberdeen was one, made a report in 1831, to the effect that, in general, the chairs were scandalously ill endowed, and that adequate and complete provision should be made in all the Universities, so that the appointment to the chairs ‘should at all times be an object of ambition to men of literature and science.’ Four or five bulky blue-books of evidence, &c., were issued; but the only party connected with literature who derived any benefit from the commission was the English printer. Not a step has been taken in consequence by any administration, although two-and-twenty years have elapsed since the report was given in! Sir Robert Peel had no objection to found and endow Popish Colleges in Ireland, but he would not listen to the representations made on behalf of the Protestant Colleges of Scotland. In consequence, the emolument drawn from many chairs in Scotland is under £250 per annum, even in cases where the crown is patron. Such is the liberality of the British Government in regard to Scottish education in its highest branches, even with the most positive reports recorded in its favour. As for museums, antiquarian and scientific societies, and the like, they are left entirely dependent upon private support. We do not say that a Government is bound to expend the public money upon such objects as the latter; but it is at all events bound to be impartial; and really, when we look at the large sums devoted every year as a matter of course to London and Dublin, while Edinburgh is passed over without notice, we have a right to know for what offence on our part we experience such insulting neglect. This is a matter, moreover, which ought not to be lightly dismissed, inasmuch as, if Edinburgh is still to be regarded as a capital city, she is entitled to fair consideration and support in all things relating to the diffusion of arts and science. We do not desire to see the multiplication of British museums; but we wish to participate directly in that very lavish expenditure presently confined to London, for what are called the purposes of art. If we are made to pay for pictures, let us at least have some among us, so that our artists may derive the benefit. We have all the materials and collections for a geological museum in Edinburgh, but the funds for the building are denied. Nevertheless, a grant of £18,000 per annum is made from the public money to the geological museums of London and Dublin.  

   Passing from these things, and referring to public institutions of a strictly charitable nature, we find no trace whatever of State almonry in Scotland. Dublin last year received for its different hospitals £23,654 of state money. Edinburgh has never received the smallest contribution. Can any one explain to us why the people of Scotland are called upon to maintain their own police, while that of London receives annually £131,000, that of Dublin £36,000, and that of the Irish counties £487,000; or why half of the constabulary expense in the counties of England is defrayed from the consolidated fund, while no such allowance is made to Scotland. We should like very much to hear Mr Gladstone or Lord Palmerston upon that subject.  

   It is anything but an agreeable task for us to repeat the items of grievance, of which these are only part. there are others highly discreditable to the Government, such as the continued delay, in spite of constant application, to devote any portion of the public money to the formation of harbours of refuge on the east and northern coasts of Scotland, where shipwrecks frequently occur. But enough, and more than enough, has been said to prove that, while subjected to the same taxation, Scotland does not receive the same measure of allowances and encouragements as England, and that the system of centralisation has been carried to a pernicious and unjustifiable length. If these are not grievances, we are really at a loss to know what may be the true meaning of that term. To many of the English public they must be new, as we have no doubt they are startling; for the general impression is, that Scotsmen, on the whole know pretty well how to manage their own affairs, and are tolerably alive to their own interest. that is undeniable; but the peculiarity of the case is, that we are not permitted to manage our own affairs. England has relieved us of the trouble; which latter, however, we could not grudge to bestow, if allowed to do so. But our grounds of complaint are not new to statesmen and officials of every party. Representation after representation has been made, but made in vain. The press of Scotland has, year after year, charged the Government with neglect of Scottish interests, and warned it against persevering in such a course, but without effect. The unwillingness of the people to agitate has been construed into indifference; and now, when the national voice is raised in its own defence, we are taunted with previous silence… 

   Another point, and it is one of vas importance, is to insist that, at the next adjustment of the representation, Scotland shall send its just proportion of members to the House of Commons. At present, whether the test of revenue or of population be applied, we are inadequately represented as contrasted with England. We pay more than a ninth of the whole revenue of the United Kingdom, but we have only a thirteenth part of the representation. It is quite necessary that this should be remedied, so that our interests may be properly and efficiently attended to in the Legislature. We care not what criterion is taken – whether that of revenue or that of population – but we have a right to demand and expect, that in this matter also we shall be dealt with according to the same measure which is applied to England. According to the last census, each of our Scottish members represents an average population of 54,166; whilst one member is returned for every 35,845 of the population of England. The apportionment ought to be made according to some clear, intelligible principle – not by a mere flourish of the pen, or an arbitrarily assumed figure. With a responsible minister, and an adequate representation, attention to the interests of Scotland would be secured; and it is the bounden duty of every man who wishes well to his country to bestir himself for the attainment of these objects.”

– Aberdeen Press and Journal, Wednesday 7th September, 1853.

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

 

To save recurring to the subject I may mention here that the same close relations with France were the cause of the introduction into Glasgow of great quantities of inferior French coin. The expression that something useless is “not worth a doyt” is still in use among us. The doyt was a French copper coin of the value of the twelfth part of a penny sterling, and under date 19th March, 1660, there is an entry in the burgh records bearing “that the toune and country is lyke to be abused be the frequent inbringing and passing of French doyts,” and strictly prohibiting the introduction “of all sort of such bais capper coyne.” Anorth French coin with which the town council had also to deal because of its large circulation in Glasgow was “dinnaries,” as they are called in the minute.1

– Old Glasgow, pp.56-68.

1  7th Sept. 1867.

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