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21st of October

St Hilarion, abbot, about 371. St Ursula and her companions, virgins and martyrs, 5th century. St Fintan, surnamed Munnu, or Mundus, abbot, in Ireland, 634.

Born. – Marshal Augereau, Duke of Castiglione, Bonapartist general, 1757, Paris; George Combe, phrenologist, 1788, Edinburgh.
Died. – Julius Cæsar Scalinger, scholar and critic, 1558, Agen on the Garonne; James Gronovius, scholar and author, 1716, Leyden; Tobias Smollett, novelist, 1771, Leghorn; Alexander Runciman, Scottish painter, 1785; John Philpot Curran, celebrated Irish orator, 1817, London.

On this Day in Other Sources.

We can fix the date of the church somewhat more accurately from a document preserved in the Burgh Records of Aberdeen, which bears that on the 21st October 1506, Andrew Cullan, provost of the burgh – as factor for William, Bishop of Aberdeen, entered into an indenture of contract with “John Buruel, an Englishman, and plumber to the King of England,1 regarding the roofing of the church of the Bishop’s new University.” 

– Sketches, pp.254-324.

1  Johannes Buruel Anglicus et plumbarius Regis Anglie. The contract was penes tecturam ecclesie sue nove universitatis. The plumber undertook to find himself in fire and timber for the work. The other terms of the contract are not preserved. – Vol. of Miscellaneous Records among the Burgh Records of Aberdeen.

Oct. 21 [1610]. – ‘The Archbishop of St Andrews [Gladstanes], reposing in his bed in time of the afternoon sermon, the Sabbath after his diocesan synod in St Andrews, was wakened, and all the kirk and town with him, with a cry of blood and murder. For his sister son [Walter Anderson], master of his household, with a throw of his dagger, killed his cook [Robert Green], while as he was busy in dressing the lord-bishop’s supper. The dagger light[ed] just under the left pap of the cook, who fell down dead immediately.’ – Cal. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

This must have appeared rapid travelling in those days, for, twelve years later, the stage-coach from York to London spent the whole lawful days of a week upon its journey. This fact we learn from a passage in the diary of George Home of Kimmerghame, in Berwickshire, where the following statement is made: ‘Thursday, October 21 [1697], Sir John Home of Blackadder set out post for London at two o’clock. It afterwards appears that he tired of posting [as slow], and [for expedition, doubtless] got into the stage-coach at York on Monday the 25th, and was expected to reach London in it on Saturday the 30th.’ 

– Domestic Annals, pp.338-341.

2381. Narrative of The Loss of the “Comet” Steam Packet on her passage from Inverness to Glasgow, on Friday, the 21st October, 1825. Edinburgh, 1825. Edinburgh, 1825

– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.

Glasgow Evening Post, Monday 21st October 1889, p.7. 

   EXTRAORDINARY DEATH OF A FISHERWOMAN. – While Margaret Bruce or Wood, wife of a Porthnockie fisherman, was crossing a wire fence on the farm of Slackdale, near Cornhill Railway Station, her foot slipped, and the band by which the creel of fish on her back was attached shifted to her throat, and the result was immediate strangulation. It seems that in missing her foothold she had fallen backward, and being unable to extricate herself had come by this sad end. Deceased, who was a most industrious woman, well-known in the district, was about 60 years of age. 

Curious and Interesting Deaths.

In 1924 prison sentences were still being handed out; 

   “A HEINOUS CRIME. – Before a Sheriff and jury at Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday, two young Stirling men, James Robertson Boswell, clerk, 24 Baker Street, and Peter Conway O’Brien, footman, Bannockburn Road, St Ninians, were tried on a charge of attempted sodomy, alleged to have been committed in the King’s Park, Stirling, on 2nd August 1924. The jury consisted of ten women and five men. After hearing evidence in camera, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. An agent for accused asked the Sheriff, in passing sentence, to take into account that there had been nothing against the character of the men before, and also the fact that they had been in prison since 2nd August. The Sheriff remarked that the crime was one which both in the eye of the public and in the eye of the law was very heinous. He passed sentence of six months’ imprisonment, to date from the time of apprehension.” 

Scotsman, Tuesday 21st October, 1924.

Pride in Scottish History.

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