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25th of September

St Firmin, bishop of Amiens, martyr. St Barr or Finbarr, first bishop of Cork, confessor, 6th century. St Aunaire, bishop of Auxerre, about 605.

Born. – Christian Gottlob Heyne, classical editor, 1729, Chemnitz, Saxony; Abraham Gottlob Werner, geologist, 1750, Weslau, Upper Lausitz.
Died. – Philip I. of Spain, 1506, Burgos; Ambrosio, Marquis of Spinola, great Spanish captain, 1630; John Henry Lambert, German philosopher, 1777, Berlin.

On this Day in other Sources.

This year there was great famine in Scotland, and 3 moons appeared in the [sky], about 2 in the afternoon; the 25th of September this same year [1484] also, with much fire, thunder and rain, for 3 whole days thereafter. 

– Historical Works, pp.189-214.

When she came up to the gentlemen, she said, weeping: “Good gentlemen, I am not privy to any thing intended against the Queen.” When desired Mr. Darrel to open the doors of her coffers, and when she saw, that all her papers were taken away, she said, with indignation, “there were two things, which they could not take away; her English blood; and her Catholic religion.” At this period, Fotheringay castle, in Northamptonshire, was fixed on, by Elizabeth, as the future residence of the Scottish Queen; where she is to remain a prisoner, with some regard to her degree, and quality. The Queen arrived, at Fotheringay, on the 25th of September 1586. 

– Life of Mary, pp.293-304.

THE Scotish Queen entered the fatal castle of Fortheringay, on the 25th of September 1586, as we have seen. She was already treated, as a criminal; while she only knew, that her secretaries had been arrested, and her most confidential papers carried away, by Elizabeth’s orders, for the guilty purpose of establishing obvious wrong.   

The Scotish Queen had, scarcely, arrived, at Fotheringay, when Elizabeth wrote her a letter, which shows, at once, her coarse vulgarity, and domineering temper: She supposed the Scotish Queen, to be void of all conscience, in denying her privity, with the late attempts, notwithstanding the clearest proofs; informed her, that she had appointed commissioners, to charge her, personally, with her guilty conduct, and requiring her, to answer their charges. But, the two Queens acted upon quite different principles: Elizabeth thought of nothing, but her own state, and person: Mary felt, that she had been eighteen years a prisoner to her cousin’s criminal passions, without right, and without a cause. As to Elizabeth’s proofs, they might have been confuted. Mary’s guilt consisted, in continued endeavours to free herself, from a long imprisonment, which, from its commencement, was indefensible, even by Cecil’s ability: And being thus unjustifiable, Elizabeth acted wrong, and Mary acted right. Elizabeth, by inflicting such an imprisonment, avowed her hostility to Mary; while Mary, by that hostility, acquired a right to act with equal hostility against Elizabeth. 

– Life of Mary, pp.304-328.



xxv day of September Satterday.

   Item giffin in Downone to the servand woman that maid your beddis in John Dowis hous  

vj s. viij d.

   Item giffin to the gudewife of the house for four quartis aill and twa queyt braid brocht to your chalmer  

viij s.

   Item giffin to the ferrior of Finlestoun for ferreing Alexander and your haill boyis  

ij s.

   Item to the ferrior of the wattir of Levin  

iiij d.

   Item your collatioun in Downbartane that nicht Satterday at evin in Johne Boquhannanis hous, ane point of Spenis wyne  

x s.

   Item ane quart aill  

ij s.

   Item ane queyt braid  

viij d.

   Item giffin to Donald Campbell mu Lordis chalmer boy that he geve to Grenokis boy that came with the hors to the ferrie syd  

vj s. viij d.

– Sketches, Appendix VIII.

The first proper [fire] engine which they got was in 1725, and it was made in London.1 

– Old Glasgow, pp.68-80.

1  Minute of Council, 25th September, 1725.

“All Jacobites,” wrote President Forbes at this time, to Sir Andrew Mitchell, “how prudent soever, became mad; all doubtful people became Jacobites; all bankrupts became heroes, and talked of nothing but hereditary rights and victory. And what was more grievous to men of gallantry – and, if you will believe me, much more mischievous to the public – all the fine ladies, if you will except one or two, became passionately fond of the young adventurer, and used all their arts and industry for him in the most temperate manner.” 

Meanwhile the garrison in the Castle obtained from certain Whig friends a supply of provisions, which, by ropes, they drew up in barrels and baskets, on the west side of the rock; but neither the Highlanders nor the citizens suffered any molestation till the night of the 25th September [1745], when the veteran Preston, on going his rounds in a wheel-chair, being alarmed by a sound like that of goats scrambling among the rocks, he declared it to be a Highland escalade, and opened a fire of musketry and cannon from Drury’s battery, beating down several houses in the West Port. 

In consequence of this the prince strengthened his picket at the Weigh-house, to prevent all intercourse with the fortress, upon which Preston wrote to Provost Stewart, intimating that unless free communication was permitted he would open a heavy cannonade. On this, the town council represented to the prince the danger in which the city stood. “Gentlemen,” he replied, “I am equally concerned and surprised at the barbarity of those who would bring distress upon the city for what its inhabitants have not the power to prevent; but if, out of compassion, I should remove my guards from the Castle, you might with equal reason require me to abandon the city.” 

He also assured them that the injuries of the citizens would be repaid out of the estates of the officers in the Castle, “and that reprisals would be made upon all who were known abettors of the German government.” General Preston being further informed that his brother’s house at Valleyfield would be destroyed, he replied that in that case he would cause the war-ships in the Forth to burn down Wemyss Castle, the seat of Lord Elcho’s father; but after some altercation with the council, the grim veteran agreed to suspend hostilities till he received fresh orders from London. Next day, however, owing to some misunderstanding, the Highland picket fired on certain persons who were conveying provisions into the Castle, the guns of which opened on the Weigh-house, killing and wounding several in the streets. Charles retaliated by enforcing a strict blockade; and, in revenge, Preston’s garrison fired on every Highlander that came in sight. 

Old and New Edinburgh, pp.239-334.


Edinburgh, September 23, 1876.

   SIR, – What is the origin of the phrase ‘the curse of Scotland,’ as applied to the nine of diamonds? will you or any of your readers explain? The reason often given for its origin is that the Duke of Cumberland after the battle of Culloden wrote one of his brutal orders on the back of a card, which was the nine of diamonds. But the nine of diamonds, it is said, is known to have been so called before 1746. Another explanation given is this – The union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England was, as is well known, very unpopular in Scotland at the time, and in consequence of the Earl of Stair having taken a very active part in promoting the union, he became so exceedingly disliked as to be called ‘the curse of Scotland,’ and having nine lozenges or diamonds in his coat of arms, the nine of diamonds card, by a natural process, came to indicate the house of Stair, and hence called ‘the curse of Scotland.’ But this explanation does not quite ‘hold water’ either, for although the Earl of Stair was one of the thirty-one Scottish Commissioners appointed to negotiate the Treaty of Union, he seems to have made himself no way conspicuous in promoting it. If our nine of diamonds has got its name in any way through the Earls of Stair and their coat of arms, is it not rather in connection with the doings at Glencoe than in the Treaty of Union? For during the discussions in the Scotch Parliament on the Union, Fletcher of Saltoun told the Earl of Stair that his Lordship deserved to have been ‘hanged for the bad counsel he had given to King James, for the concern he had in the massacre of Glencoe, and for his conduct since the Revolution.’ But has ‘the curse of Scotland’ anything to do with the Earl of Stair and his coat of arms? Though there are nine lozenges or diamonds in it, they are not placed at all like those in the nine of diamonds card, but are in the form of a Saint Andrews cross. – I am, &c.

R. M.”

– Scotsman, Monday 25th September, 1876.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1875-1900.

This struck me as particularly pretty Celtic cross. The inscription reads:



1819 DIED 25 SEPT 1883

Glasgow Cathedral & City Necropolis.

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