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18th of September

St Ferreol, martyr, about 304. St Methodius, bishop of Tyre, martyr, 4th century. St Thomas of Villanova, confessor, archbishop of Valentia, 1555. St Joseph of Cupertino, confessor, 1663.

Born. – Trajan, Roman Emperor, 56 A.D.; Gilbert, Bishop Burnet, historian, 1643, Edinburgh
Died. – Domitian, Roman emperor, slain 96 A.D.; Louis VII. of France, 1180, Paris; Hugo Vander Goes, Flemish painter, 1684; André Dacier, classic commentator, 1722, Paris; Olaf Swartz, eminent botanist, 1817, Stockholm.

On this Day in Other Sources.

From Perth, the Queen journeyed to Dundee, on the 18th of September [1861]; and here did she remain on the 19th. 

– Life of Mary, pp.42-61.

On the morrow, she went to Perth, with a similar purpose; and resided, chiefly, at Ruthven, till the 18th [September, 1565], that she removed to Dunfermlin. On the 19th, they dined at the Queen’s ferry, and slept, at Edinburgh, where she remained till the 9th of October. In this excursion, throughout those guilty districts, the Queen undoubtedly, effected some useful purposes; she punished some of the guilty, and encouraged the loyal: She fined those towns, and encouraged others: But, she idly, allowed, during the same time, the insurgents to remain, quietly, in Dumfries, whence they intrigued, with England, and propagated their discontents, in Scotland. 

– Life of Mary, pp.98-126.

The Household Books show the usual provisions for the table. Oat-meal and malt furnished the ordinary bread and chief drink of the castle, where ale was distinguished as ostler ale, household ale, and best ale. There was beef and mutton, fresh in summer, and for the rest of the year “marts,” killed and salted when fat on the pasture; a small quantity of bacon; salmon of Loch Tay, and Glenurchy salmon. Loch Fyne herring was already appreciated, and when other fish got scarce there was the “hard fish” or stock fish, which still forms an article of Scotch economy even in Protestant families. Cheese, counted either by weight or in “heads,” was plentifully supplied by the “bow-men.” 

These books have a great additional interest from mentioning the guests visiting the family, and occasionally domestic occasions of more sumptuous housekeeping.1

– Sketches, pp.341-394.

1  … the Laird and Ladie present, my Lord Bothwall, the Erle Monteth, my Lord Inchechaffray, with sindrie vther strangers.”…
“Ballach the 18 of September, quhilk day the Laird and Ladie come too hald house in Balloch, and spendit to the 27th of the same, 1590. The Laird and Ladie present, the Laird of Tullibardin, the Laird of Abircarnie, the Bischop of Dunkelden, the Tutour of Duncroub, the Laird of Inchbraikie, the Priour of Charterhous, with sindrie uther comers and hangers.”…

Ruthven’s reply to a summons, was to open fire with guns and matchlocks in every direction [from Edinburgh Castle], and a sortie, under Scrimgeour, the constable, was made from the gate. Batteries were thrown up at nearly the same places where they had been formed in Kirkaldy’s time. Ruthven refused to give the estates the use of the regalia. Under Colonel Hamilton, master of the ordnance, the batteries opened with vigour, while select musketeers were “told off,” to aim at individuals on the ramparts. Most bitter was the defence of Ruthven, whose cannonade imperilled the whole city and the beautiful spire of St. Giles’s; while poor people reaping in the fields at a distance were sometimes killed by it. 

The Covenanters sprung a mine, and blew up the south-east angle of the Spur; but the rugged aspect of the breach was such that few of their officers seemed covetous of leading a forlorn hope, especially as old Ruthven, in his rich armour and plumed hat, appeared at the summit heading a band of pikes. At last the Laird of Drum and a Captain Weddal, at the head of 185 men, under a murderous matchlock fire, made a headlong rush, but ere they gained the gap, a cannon loaded nearly to the muzzle with musket-balls was depressed to sweep it, and did so with awful effect. According to the historian of the “Troubles,” twenty men were blown to shreds. Weddal had both thighs broken, and Somerville, with a few who were untouched, grovelled close under the wall, where Ruthven, who recognised him as an old Swedish comrade, besought him to retire, adding, “I derive no pleasure in the death of gallant men.” Of the whole escalade only thirty-three escaped alive, and of these many were wounded, a result which cooled the ardour of the besiegers; but after a three months’ blockade, finding his garrison few, and all suffering from scurvy, and that provisions and ammunition were alike expended, on the 18th September [1633], after a blockade of five months in all, during which 1,000 men had been slain, he marched out with the honours of war (when so ill with scurvy that he could scarcely walk) at the head of seventy men, with one drum beating, one standard flying, matches lighted, and two pieces of cannon, with balls in their muzzles and the port-fires blazing at both ends. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.

So unsafe, indeed, was [the bridge of Glasgow], even a century before this, that the tacksman of the bridge was ordered by the magistrates “not to suffer any cairtis with wheilleis goe alongst the brig vntill that the wheilleis be taken off and the boddie of the cairt alone harled by the hors.”1 In 1765 the magistrates endeavoured to close the bridge altogether against carts. This was resisted by some of the inhabitants of Rutherglen, and led to the bridge being widened and repaired. 

– Old Glasgow, pp.150-161.

1  Council Records, 18th Sept. 1658.
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