5th of October

St Placidus, abbot, and companions, martyrs, 546. St Galla, widow, about 550.

Born. – Jonathan Edwards, eminent Calvinistic divine, 1703, Windsor, Connecticut; Dr William Wilkie, author of the Epigoniad, 1721, Dalmeny, Linlithgowshire.
Died. – Justin, Roman emperor, 578; Henry III., emperor of Germany, 1056; Philip III., the Bold, king of France, 1285; Edward Bruce, brother of King Robert, killed at Fagher, Ireland, 1318; Augustus III., king of Poland, 1763, Dresden; Bernard, Comte de Lacépède, eminent naturalist, 1825.


Some curious notions and practices respecting the human heart came into vogue about the time of the first Crusade, and were by many believed to have originated among those who died in that expedition. As the supposed seat of the affections, the heart was magnified into undue importance, and, after the death of a beloved or distinguished person, became the object of more solicitude than all the rest of his body. Thus the heart was considered the most valuable of all legacies, and it became the habit for a person to bequeath it to his dearest friend, or to his most favourite church, abbey, or locality, as a token of his supreme regard. And when no such bequest was made, the friends or admirers of deceased persons would cause their hearts to be carefully embalmed, and then, enclosing them in some costly casket, would preserve them as precious treasure, or entomb them with special honour. This remarkable practice, which has been continued more or less down to the present century, was most prevalent during the medieval ages – numerous instances of which are still on record, and many of them are curious and interesting. Our space will only permit us to give a few specimens: 

The heart of John Baliol, Lord of Barnard Castle, who died in 1269, was, by his widow’s desire, embalmed and enclosed in an ivory casket richly enamelled with silver. His affectionate widow, Devorgilla, used to have this casket placed on the table every day when she ate her meals, and ordered it to be laid on her own heart, when she was herself placed in her tomb. She was buried, according to her own direction, near the altar in New Abbey, which she herself had founded in Galloway, and the casket containing her husband’s heart placed on her bosom. From this touching incident, the abbey received the name of Dolce Cor, or Sweetheart Abbey, and for its arms bore in chief a heart over two pastoral staffs, and in base three mullets of five points. 

It is remarkable that the two sworn foes, Edward I. of England and, Robert Bruce, king of Scotland, should have alike decided to send their hearts to be buried in the Holy Land. Each gave the order on his death-bed; each had the same motive for giving it; and the injunction of each was destined to be unperformed; but had their wishes been realised, the hearts of these two inveterate enemies would have met to rest quietly together for ever, in the same sepulchre. 

The account of Bruce’s heart is very interesting. As he lay on his death-bed, in 1329, he entreated Sir James Douglas, his dear and trusty friend, to carry his heart to Jerusalem, because he had not, on account of his war with England, been able to fulfil a vow which he had made to assist in the crusade. Sir James, weeping exceedingly, vowed, on the honour of a knight, faithfully to discharge the trust reposed in him. After the king’s death, his heart was taken from his body, embalmed, and enclosed in a silver case which, by a chain, Douglas suspended to his neck; and then, having provided a suitable retinue to attend him, he departed for the Holy Land. On reaching Spain, he found the king of Castile hotly engaged in war with the Moors, and thinking any contest with Saracens consistent with his vow, he joined the Spaniards in a battle against the Moors, but, ignorant of their mode of fighting, was soon surrounded by horsemen, so that escape was impossible. In desperation, he took the precious heart from his neck, and threw it before him, shouting aloud: ‘Pass on as thou wert wont; I will follow or die!’ He followed, and was immediately struck to the earth. His dead body was found after the battle, lying over the heart of Bruce. His body was carried away by his friends, and honourably buried in his own church of St Bride, at Douglas. Bruce’s heart was intrusted to the charge of Sir Simon Locard of Lee, who bore it back to Scotland, and deposited it beneath the altar in Melrose Abbey, where, perhaps it still remains. From this incident, Sir Simon changed his name from Locard to Lockheart (as it used to be spelled), and bore in his arms a heart within a fetterlock, with the motto, ‘Corda serrata pando.’ From the same incident, the Douglases bear a human heart, imperially crowned, and have in their possession an ancient sword, emblazoned with two hands holding a heart, and dated 1329, the year in which Bruce died. An old ballad, quoted in the notes to Scott’s Marmion, has this stanza – 

‘I will ye charge, efter yat I depart, 
To holy grave, and thair bury my hart; 
Let it remaine ever bothe tyme and howr, 
To ye last day I see my Saviour.’ 

Mrs Hemans has some beautiful lines on Bruce’s heart, in Lerose Abbey, of which the following is the first stanza: 

‘Heart! that didst press forward still, 
Where the trumpet’s note rang shrill, 
Where the knightly swords were crossing, 
And the plumes like sea-foam tossing; 

Leader of the charging spear, 
Fiery heart! – and liest thou here? 
May this narrow spot inurn 
Aught that so could beat and burn? 

The circumstances respecting the heart of Lord Edward Bruce, who was killed in a duel in 1613, are interesting. His body was interred at Bergen, in Holland, where he died, and a monument was there erected to his memory. But a tradition remained in his family, that his heart had been conveyed to Scotland, and deposited in the burial-ground adjoining the old Abbey-Church of Culross, in Perthshire. The tradition had become to many a discredited tale, when, to put it to the test, a search was made in 1806 for the precious relic. Two flat stones, strongly clasped together with iron, were discovered about two feet below the level of the pavement, and partly under an old projection in the wall. These stones had on them no inscription, but the singularity of their being thus braced together, induced the searchers to separate them, when a silver case, shaped like a heart, was found in a cavity between the stones. The case, which was engraved with the arms and name of Lord Edward Bruce, had hinges and clasps, and on being opened, was found to contain a heart carefully embalmed in a brownish-coloured liquid. After drawings of it were taken, it was carefully replaced in its former situation. In another cavity in the stones was a small leaden box, which had probably contained the bowels, but if so, they had then become dust.1

1  Archæologia, vol. xx., as cited by Bloxham’s Monumental Architecture, p.64. See also Chambers’s Domestic Annals of Scotland, vol. 1. p. 450.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The 5th of October this same year [1214], died John [de Leicester], Bishop of Dunkeld; in whose place succeeded Hugh [de Sigillo], Abbot of Newbattle. 

– Historical Works, pp.38-57.

[On] the 5th day of October, this year [1451], the King calls a parliament to be held at Stirling, before which was the Earl of Douglas cited to [appear in court], by a herald, [in] 60 days, and his 3 brothers and friends [in] 15 days. They being often called, and none of them [appearing in court], they were, by the Estates, all [forfeited], and condemned as persons guilty of high treason, and their whole lands and moveables confiscat[ed] to the King’s use, and all his majesties good subjects commanded to proceed against them as against traitors. 

– Historical Works, pp.166-189.

In Aberdeen, curiously enough, men were, in the sixteenth century, prohibited from wearing, not plaids only, but blue bonnets. The magistrates enacted that no burgess should wear a plaid, under a penalty of forty shillings, and if he wore “a bleu bonatt” he was subjected in a penalty of five pounds.1

But the practice of wearing plaids, in the case both of men and women, had become inveterate, and it continued notwithstanding these enactments.

– Old Glasgow, pp.181-189.

1  Ibid., 5th October, 1576.



The fyft of October being Munounday in Edinbrughe.

   Item your collatioun in Peit Lindsayis hous, Mr. James Wardlaw with yow, James Harvie, Alexander Campbell and Johne Calder, everay man v s. 

xxv s.

– Sketches, Appendix VIII.

Leslie then began to expostulate with him in behalf of Meldrum, his brother-in-law, who, on account of the aid he had given him in his dispute with Rothiemay, took Leslie’s remonstrances in good part; but Robert Crichton of Couland, a kinsman of Frendraught, grew so warm at Leslie’s freedom, that from high words they proceeded to blows. Couland then drawing a pistol from his belt, shot at and wounded Leslie in the arm, who was, thereupon, carried home apparently in a dying state. 

This affair was the signal for a confederacy among the Leslies, the greater part of whom took up arms against Frendraught, who, a few days after the occurrence, viz. on the fifth of October, first went to the marquis of Huntly, and afterwards to the earl of Moray, to express the regret he felt at what had taken place, and to beg their kindly interference to bring matters to an amicable accommodation. The earl of Moray, for some reason or other, declined to interfere; but the marquis undertook to mediate between the parties. Accordingly, he sent for the laird of Pitcaple to come to the Bog of Gight to confer with him; but, before setting out, he mounted and equipped about thirty horsemen, in consequence of information he had received that Frendraught was at the Bog. At the meeting with the marquis, Pitcaple complained heavily of the injury his son had sustained, and avowed, rather rashly, that he would revenge himself before he returned home, and that, at all events, he would listen to no proposals for a reconciliation till it should be ascertained whether his son would survive the wound he had received. The marquis insisted that Frendraught had done him no wrong, and endeavoured to dissuade him from putting his threat into execution; but Pitcaple was so displeased at the marquis for thus expressing himself, that he suddenly mounted his horse and set off, leaving Frendraught behind him. The marquis, afraid of the consequences, detained Frendraught two days with him in the Bog of Gight, and, hearing that the Leslies had assembled, and lay in wait for Frendraught watching his return home, the marquis sent his son John, viscount of Aboyne, and the laird of Rothiemay along with him, to protect and defend him if necessary, They arrived at Frendraught without interruption, and being solicited to remain all night they yielded, and, after partaking of a hearty supper, went to bed in the apartments provided for them. 

– History of the Highlands, pp.287-313.

“Issobell Bell, spous to Mr. John Wilkie of Broomhous, Grissell; Bell, spous to Alexander Bell writer in Edinburgh, and Dorothie Bell,” were served heirs portioners of James Bell, late Provost of Glasgow, their father, and on the same day, to “Patrick Bell merchand, their brother germane.”1

McUre is thus all wrong. He married Grizel to her eldest sister’s husband, and presents her with a son James Wilkie, who was in fact her nephew. Isobel, the eldest daughter, whom he calls Janet the second, died before the 5th October, 1657, when her son James Wilkie was served her heir general (Retours). The Broomhouse of which his father “Mr. John” is designed, puzzles me. The late John Buchanan, LL.D., who accepted McUre’s version as fact, says (Dr. Gordon’s Glasgow, p. 742) that Broomhouse was an estate three miles east of Glasgow, near the toll-bar of that name. I know that district well, and never heard of any “estate” there except the toll-house and its garden.

– Scots Lore, pp.141-148.

1  As James Bell was on the Town Council as early as 1594, and Dean of Guild in 1611, he must have been an aged man in 1648, when the last notice of him as ex-Provost occurs. (Memorabilia of Glasgow.)

Taken seriatim, the records of the Tolbooth contain volumes of entries made in the following brief fashion:-

“- Oct. 5 [1663]. – William Dodds; beheaded for murder.” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.123-138.

As a rule the magistrates, after the Reformation, were kind to the archbishops and repeatedly made them presents. On one occasion there is a charge for “silver work given to the ladie Elphinstoun the bischops daughter at her marriage.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237.

1  5th Oct. 1667.

So few vessels came to Glasgow that not till 1667 was any shipping register kept. In that year it was ordained that “ane book be maid, and to ly in the Clerks chamber, to the effect that the entrie of each ship that come in this river of Clyde may be booked thairintill.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.248-266.

1  Burgh Records, 5th Oct. 1667.

When left with perfect freedom of action we find [the corporation], as a rule, acting equitably and with prudence; but they lived in unsettled times, and had sometimes to bend to circumstances. On one occasion they were obliged, against their own judgment, to issue an order to eject from his holding a valued servant, “John Hamiltoune their tenant in Provand,” on account of his “keeping of conventickles” – the reason recorded being “that the secreit counsell is insensed against the toune for suffering him to doe the samyne,” and that his removal had become necessary “for preventing, therfor, the danger the toune may sustein.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.215-237.

1  Burgh Records, 5th Oct. 1678.





(By Express – From our own Reporter.)

   Yesterday evening the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights entertained the Right Hon. the Earl of Eglinton and Winton, at a Public Banquet, in the City Hall, Glasgow, under the distinguished presidency of His Grace the Duke of Montrose.  

   Mr BAIRD, M.P., said… Gentlemen, in that debate to which I have alluded, there was an argument used in answer to the noble lord, which I can scarcely venture to call an argument, but which, whether it be an argument or not, I think is one of the most paltry of arguments and of answers that could possibly be made, and one which I was surprised to hear in such an assembly from the noble lord who is connected with Scotland, and one of its most distinguished ornaments. He stated that he thought that Scotland had little to complain of – that Scotchmen were in all parts of the globe, and in every situation of emolument and power – (hear, hear). He stated that there was a Scotchman who was Governor-General of India, that there was a Scotchman Governor of Canada, and be turned round most pointedly and said that there was a Scotchman who was enjoying the most important legal office of England – The Lord Chief-Justice of England – (hear, hear). Gentlemen, I wish not to grudge to that noble Lord all his honours and all the rewards he has met with. He has raised himself from the ranks to eminence by his industry, by his patient perseverance, and by his legal skills. Entering the world with the multitude, he has joined himself to the few who attain eminence, having bravely scaled life’s professional ladder, and reached the fullest ambition of his early days – (cheers). But to say that, because such is the case – that because Scotchmen have met with the due deserts of their energies and talents – to say that the community at large should not give vent to their feelings – to say that justice should not be given to the country – to say that wants, which have long been felt, are not to be redressed, is no argument at all, and is certainly a most paltry answer to give to any statement of such importance – (hear, and cheers). Gentlemen, if Scotchmen were not permitted to attain these high honours in England, Scotland would then be no longer a portion of this country – it would be in fact merely a conquered country – (hear, hear). But, gentlemen, that is not the case – these preferments are all open to us; but what we wish is, that still though being an integral part of that country with which we are connected, we should not be humiliatingly reduced entirely into the condition of a province – that we should still have some of those feelings which we yet retain with us respected. We have laws different, we have institutions different, and in these circumstances, whatever the case, we feel that we have a right to insist that we should be treated as a country integral in itself – (cheers). Gentlemen, one of the great aims of this Association has been to declare against that principle which is not gaining strength stealthily but gradually, which is the principle of centralisation – (loud cheers). Gentlemen, that principle of centralisation is a principle entirely foreign to the constitution of this country – (continued cheering). It belongs to foreign lands – it belongs to a system of government, where the head of the country is autocratic – (cheers) – but it does not belong to a free constitution – a constitution which has been nursed by independence and by local government, which has found its municipal corporations in the earlier stages of its history to have some of the great and leading obstacles to a power that would rise above it – (cheers) and to have been the first pioneers in the way of liberty and commercial freedom, and which at this time is still a great ruling principle of our free, of our liberal institutions – (cheers). Gentlemen, if we survey that mighty river which flows now through your streets, and that mighty fleet of ships which every day may be seen floating upon its bosom; and when we consider that it was nothing but a small and paltry stream a few short years ago, and those changes which half a century have made – those changes that have been effected by the unaided exertions of the citizens of this town, we may fairly question when such results have been obtained, whether similar results would have been obtained if the management of that river had not been in your own hands, but had been in the hands of some nameless subordinate official of the Imperial Government:- (loud cheers). Gentlemen, I believe that such would not have been the case, and that a deep debt of gratitude is owing to those Clyde Trustees who have so improved the river, for their legislation is a most striking instance of the value of local self-government – (continued cheering)…  

   Earl of EGLINTON… said – … We know that since the union – with the exception of the commencement when the heart-burnings and difficulties which necessarily followed such a scene prevented it – Scotland has prospered at a rate unheard of in writing. We also know that we are bound to England by ties of friendship and affection. We know that many a Scottish hearth is cheered by the presence of an English help-mate. We know that English blood flows in the veins of many of our noblest and our best families. We know that, in concert with England, we have raised an empire such as the world has never seen, that in concert with her we have conquered by land and reigned triumphant over the sea, and that we are now gaining great glory in the defence of the oppressed against the oppressor in a war undertaken for the purpose of securing the ultimate tranquillity of Europe – (loud applause). But though we owe fealty to one Sovereign, – though we acknowledge one Parliament, and are united by one great Imperial interest, we never can and we never will lose our nationality – (loud applause). We may be merged in one empire, but we never can be blotted out as a nation – (renewed applause). We owe it to those ancestors who, whatever may have been their failings, were true to their country, and stood by her to the last, – we owe it to our children whose interests may be injured by our silence and apathy, to withstand all inroads on our rights, and to claim those rights as they have been guaranteed to us – (loud cheers). I have said that our demands have been moderate, and that they have been enforced in temperate and constitutional language; and I will ask any of our opponents to deny that assertion. Our demands are that we shall have an increase to the number of our representatives in Parliament – (cheers) – and I ask whether there is anything either ridiculous or intemperate in such a demand? I was told, however, in the House of Lords, by a noble Duke for whom I entertain the highest possible respect, that it was true that there had been some infraction of the Treaty of Union, but that everything that had been done had been for the benefit of this country! Now is that not a dangerous doctrine to inculcate? – (cheers) – because, if such a solemn treaty as that is to be altered according to the caprice or the wishes of Parliament or of the Prime Minister, how are we to know where it may end, and that what appears beneficial to them may not be totally prejudicial to our country – (loud cheers). Gentlemen, as I have said, the two points to which I would most particularly call your attention, and which, I trust, will never be lost sight of by this Association, are – that there should be a Secretary of State for Scotland, and an increase to the number of our representatives, – (applause) – because I am convinced that if some such responsible minister had existed, and if we had that number of representatives commensurate with our requirements, we should never have been treated with the neglect which we have received. As regards the first point, the experience of every Session shows more and more the necessity of some such appointment. Theoretically, it is impossible that a legal officer who has his own professional business to attend to, can properly administer the affairs of Scotland, and practically that has been found the fact… But even if the Lord Advocate had the leisure, he has not the power. He is not in the Cabinet. Now, I would ask what possible reason can be assigned why in England the Home Department is considered one of the highest offices represented in the Cabinet, in addition to several others which are exclusively devoted to English interests, with the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General besides? Why what an outcry we should hear from out Southern friends if the interests of England were committed to the charge of the Attorney-General. Yet it is precisely the same case – (hear, hear). In Ireland, too, there is a separate Government – there is a Lord Lieutenant, there is a Chief Secretary frequently in the Cabinet, and an Under Secretary, an Attorney-General and a Solicitor-General, all exclusively devoted to Irish interests. God forbid that I should object to that separate Government. I am pledged by every feeling of gratitude, and by conviction too, to stand up against any such change or any such loss to Ireland. But I cannot understand why England and Ireland should have their separate staffs and Scotland should be so entirely left without such representation – (applause). But it is said, as the noble duke has remarked, that we have Scotchmen in the cabinet, that Scotchmen will poke their noses in everywhere, and, it is said, look at India and Canada, and the fleets, and Lord Campbell. But this, in the first place, is an entire accident. In the second place, none of them are entrusted with the management of Scotch affairs. In the cabinet which preceded this one, there was but a single Scotchman! and I very much question whether Lord Aberdeen has very much time on his hands to devote to Scottish interests. There is no doubt the Duke of Argyle, a worthy scion of a noble Lord – (cheers) – and well fitted to administer the affairs of Scotland, but they are not entrusted to him… Now, gentlemen, I know that we have arrayed against us a body strong in numbers and talent, who are, I believe, almost to a man in favour of the preservation of the present order of things – I mean the members of the legal profession in Edinburgh. Now, there is no body of men for whom I entertain a higher respect, but I cannot acquit them, nor can they divest themselves of partiality on such a subject. Some, no doubt, are influenced by the recollection that they have themselves held the office of Lord Advocate, others by the hope, perhaps not very vain, that they may, in their turn, hold it, and many, I know, by esprit de corps, and by a desire to uphold the portion of their profession in this country… As the noble Duke has said, within the last few months a fourth Secretary of State has been appointed in the shape of a Minister of War, and the appointment met with the universal approbation of the country, and the country has to pay several thousand pounds a year for the luxury… We all know there is a high office in Scotland, the Lord High Commissioner, but his duties are limited to sitting still for a certain number of hours in the course of the year – (laughter). I think, therefore, that this is another way in which this office might be combined with great advantage to the public, and it certainly appears to be a very easy manner in which to satisfy the complaints of the nation – (applause).”

– Caledonian Mercury, Thursday 5th October, 1854.

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

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