19th of September

St Januarius, bishop of Benevento, and his companions, martyrs, 305. Saints Peleus, Pa-Termuthes, and companions, martyrs, beginning of 4th century. St Eustochius, bishop of Tours, 461. St Sequanus or Seine, abbot, about 580. St Lucy, virgin, 1090.

Born. – Henry III. of France, 1551, Fontainebleau; Henry, Lord Brougham and Vaux, 1779, Edinburgh.
Died. – Professor John P. Nichol, author of The Architecture of the Heavens, &c., 1859, Rothesay.

On this Day in Other Sources.

We first hear of a “Teacher of English” in 1750, when a Mr. Philip opened an educational establishment in the wynd in that year. In widening the wynd into a street, there was swept away Dalgleish’s Close, which is referred to in the “Diurnal of Occurents” in 1572, and which occupied the site of the present east side of Niddry Street. 

From whom this old thoroughfare took its name we know not; but it is an old one in Lothian, and, with various adjuncts, designates several places near the city. In the charters of David II. Henry Niddry is mentioned in connection with Niddry-Marshal, and Walter, son of Augustine, burgess of Edynbourgh, has the lands of Niddry in that county, quam Johannes de Bennachtyne de le Corrokys resignavit, 19th sept. [1362] an. Reg. 33; and under Robert III. John Niddry held lands in Cramond and also Pentland Muir. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.246-252.

Undoubtedly the most interesting documents among the Morton papers are the two wills of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith, 30th September 1390, and 19th September 1392 – the oldest wills of any Scotchman known to be extant.1 Commending his soul to God, and the blessed Virgin, and all saints, he gave his body to be buried in the Monastery of Newbattle, beside his first wife Agnes. He appointed Archibald Earl of Douglas, and Sir Henry of Douglas, his uncle, to be guardians of his heir. He gave the half of all his free goods for his funeral, and for masses and alms for the weal of his soul; also his best horse and his arms as a funeral offering to the vicar of Lasswade. He left to James his son and heir, helmet and full arms for tilting,2 and his best jack and tusches, with his second-best horse – an owche with a ruby in the middle, a ring de columna Christi, and a cross made of the true cross – super quam pendebat Jesus – a relic of the hair of Mary Magdalene enclosed in silver, a circlet of gold, and a great counterfilet of gold, a silver basin with a cover, weighing £18, 2s. His best ring with a sapphire, which was his lady mother’s, and which she gave him with her blessing, he left to his heir with his cordial blessing. 

– Sketches, pp.325-340.

1  These had been previously printed in the second volume of the Banantyne Miscellany. A much older Scotch will, that of Saint Gilbert de Moravia, Bishop of Caithness, is said to have been extant in 1636; but it is now unhappily lost. – Sir R. Gordon’s History of Sutherland.
2  Along with his tilting arms, he bequeaths unum rethe quod fuit in bombicinio meo, – perhaps the silk dress worn over arms in the tilt-yard.

Hot wars this year between King Henry [VI.], of England, and the Duke of York, which moved King Henry to beg peace on any terms by his ambassadors; so that a [3 year] peace was concluded, and the articles sworn and signed by the King, at Edinburgh, the 19th day of September [1450]

– Historical Works, pp.166-189.

From this episcopal palace of ancient note, the Queen and her suite, departed, on the 19th of September [1562], in her progress, southward. The Queen was now, in this stage, to repass the Spey, at Fochabers, on her way to Cullen; and thus she had to travel through the very country of the Gordons: on the morning of her departure, she had with her, according to Randolph, 2000 men, “of those they call highland men,” and the countrymen joining her, as she travelled forwards: so that as she approached the ford of the Spey, her force amounted, in Randolph’s estimate, to 3000 man. “As she rode forward,” said Randolph to Cecil, “divers reports were brought to her: some told her, that she would be attacked as she passed the river; others said, that she would be assailed from the woods, which skirted the road, within a short distance of the river: and, it was said by others,” continued he, “that there were, in that wood, the night before, a thousand men; not one was found, when proper persons were sent to discover them. Of this the Queen was assured before she approached the Spey; so that she rode forward, without fear:” and yet, as Randolph assured Cecil, “at no time, nor at any thing, were they discouraged, though we neither thought, nor looked, for other, than, on that day, to have fought, or never; what desperate blows would not have been given, when every man should have fought, in the sight of so noble a Queen, and so many fair ladies; our enemies to have taken them from us; and we to save our honours, not to be bereft of them, your honour can easily judge.” This much from the descriptive pen of Randolph. Yet, may we see, goth, from his account, and the fact, what gross delusions were practised upon the Queen, from the guilty outset, to that dangerous day. Sir John Gordon’s army of a thousand men, in the wood, were all rogues in buckram suits, who were not to be found, when the battle was to begin. The noble Queen, and her fair ladies, must have been vastly disappointed, when there was no fight to elevate, and surprise them. They passed the Spey, on whose banks many a Roman, and many a rebel, had formerly fought; and went forward to a house of the laird of Banff, without seeing a single Gordon, though this district was the very land of their fathers: but, as she passed, she caused to be summoned, by sound of trumpet, Finlater house; and another mansion of Sir John Gordon, which the keepers refused to deliver; and which, without cannon, she could not take: Here was another delinquency of Sir John; and in the same manner every other householder, in Scotland, might have been made a delinquent. 

– Life of Mary, pp.62-77.


972. Letter by King William to “our trusty and well-beloved the present Magistrates and Town Council of our City of Glasgow,” authorising them to choose their own Provost for the ensuing year. Given at Hampton Court, 19th September, 1689. Superscribed “William, K.”; subscribed “Melvill.”

– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 4.

Several very ample mortifications and donations for pious and charitable purposes have been made by different persons belonging to Aberdeen for the welfare of the community. Robert Gordon, merchant in Aberdeen, by deed of mortification, of date… and 19th September 1730, founded an hospital for the maintenance and education of indigent boys, being the sons and grandsons of burgesses of guild of Aberdeen, or the sons and grandsons of tradesmen of the said burgh, being freemen or burgesses thereof; and for the purposes of it he assigned his whole estate, personal and real, to the magistrates and the four ministers of Aberdeen, whom he appointed perpetual patrons and governors of the hospital. There are at present 112 boys maintained and educated in this hospital. The branches of education taught, are English, grammar, writing, arithmetic, book-keeping, the elements of geometry, navigation, geography, French, and church-music. Boys must not be under 9 years of age when admitted; and must leave at 16, when they are put to proper trades, under the direction of the governors.

– Gazetteer of Scotland, pp.3-11.

Serjeant. – Oh, I’ll tell you that, sir. – You see, when they came from the West Indies, as a skeleton regiment, they were made up again with growing boys. Colonel Campbell of Blythswood tried to do them some good by getting them schoolmasters and Bibles. But the young rogues had been ill nurtured in the parent nest, and they used to barter their Bibles for gin and gingerbread. The Duke of York used to say of them, that they were everything that was bad but bad sodgers – ha! ha! ha!  

And now, gentlemen, I believe I have little more to tell you about myself, except that I got my jaw broken in two places by a musket ball in Holland, on the 19th September, 1799. See what a queer kind of a mouth it has made me in the inside here. You see I had been out superintending the working party in the redoubts, and I had returned, tired as a dog, to the barn where the light company were quartered, and had just laid my head on my wife’s knee to take a nap – for I was married by this time – when a terrible thumping came to the door, and Corporal Parrot ran to see who was there. Now, it happened that one of our serjeants was sick, and the other had been killed. – It was Adjutant Orchard who knocked so loud… 

– Tales of the Highlands, pp.13-26.

A Head and a Block.

BLACKSMITHS may be interested by the following advertisement, extracted from the Scotsman:- 


WANTED, A PERSON who would endeavour to hammer into a Middle-Aged Man as much FRENCH as would carry him through Railways and Hotels in France. Hours of Teaching say from Half-past Nine to Half-past Ten, A.M., for Two Months. State terms. – Address, A. B. C., &c. &c. 

A correspondent, who has sent us the above cutting, suggests, indeed, that to hammer anything into the head of a middle-aged Scotchman, a NASMYTH’s patent hammer would be necessary; and a NASMYTH is equal to some thousands of blacksmiths. No doubt the sons of Caledonia are from birth hardheaded, and by the time they have reached middle age, their heads have in general arrived at an equality with adamant in hardness, although inferior to it in density. The heads of these iron men for the most part may require a blacksmith at least to hammer an idea into them – especially the idea of a joke: but probably the head of A. B. C. (into which it perhaps took some beating to force the rudiments of learning expressed by those characters) may be of a softer material than iron – of a substance which would more naturally be operated on by the carpenter.

September 19, 1857., p.115. 
 – September 19, 1857., p.121.

[This poem isn’t accompanied by any passage or comment. If you’ve read any of the articles above that have anything to say on the Scots you might understand my astonishment at coming across a straight-up poem about the Clearances here.] 


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