25th of October

Saints Chrysanthus and Daria, martyrs, 3d century. Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyrs, 287. St Gaudentius of Brescia, bishop and confessor, about 420. St Boniface I., pope and confessor, 422.

Born. – Dr James Beattie, poet, 1735, Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire.
Died. – Demosthenes, great Athenian orator, 322, B.C., Isle of Calauria; William Elphinstone, founder of King’s College, Aberdeen, 1514, Edinburgh; Evangelista Torricelli, inventor of the barometer, 1647, Florence; Augustine Calmet, biblical commentator, 1757, Abbey of Senones.


In Scotland, the jolly topers of its western metropolis, the city of Glasgow, long enjoyed an undisputed pre-eminence in the manufacture of punch. The leading ingredients, rum and lemons, were compounded with sugar and cold water, after a peculiarly artistic fashion, which was supposed to be only known to the initiated. This far-famed liquor came into disrepute, on the occasion of the visitation of the cholera to Scotland, about 1833. Being proscribed by the medical faculty, it lost its hold on public favour, a position which it has never since regained. Advanced ideas on the question of temperance have, doubtless, also had their influence in rendering obsolete, in a great measure, this beverage, regarding which some jovial spirits of the old school, reverting sorrowfully to their youthful days, will inform you that gout has considerably increased in the west since the abandonment of punch for claret and champagne.

On this Day in Other Sources.

In the year 1415, King Henry V., of England, takes advantage of the weak state France at this time stood in, and with a powerful army goes over [there], and immediately after takes Harfleur; and on the 25th of October, this same year, he overthrows the flower of all the nobility, gentry, and soldiery of France, in a great battle near Agincourt [near] Blangy. In this battle there was killed 10,000 on the place, [besides] a great many of the chiefs of the nobility and gentry; the Dukes of Orléans and Bourbon were both taken prisoner. 

– Historical Works, pp.144-152.

[Bishop William Elphinstone’s] picture we love to fancy a true likeness, though painted by a flattering artist:- “He was most splendid in the maintenance of his establishment, seldom sitting down to dinner without a great company of guests of the gentry, and always with a well-furnished table. In the midst of such temptations, he himself, abstemious, but cheerful in aspect, gay in conversation, took great delight in the arguments of the learned, in music, and in decent wit: all ribaldry he detested. He had talent and energy for any business of public or private life, and could adapt himself equally to civil or church affairs. He seemed of iron frame, and was of indomitable courage in enduring labour. – one whom no toil, no exertion, no public or private duty, not age itself, could break. In his eighty-third year he discussed the weighty affairs of the state more acutely than any man; and showed no decay of mind, or any of the senses, while he preserved a ready memory, which, indeed, knew not what it is to forget. His old age was happy and venerable, not morose, anxious, peevish, low-spirited. Age had worked no change on his manners, which were always charming; nor did he suffer anything till his very last sickness, for which he could blame old age.” Having dissuaded the English war, and survived to mourn the fatal field of Flodden, he died, amid the universal love and sorrow of his diocese and his country, on the 25th October 1514. 

– Sketches, pp.254-324.

The lawyers now proceeded, to allege, and prove, their several points, to endeavour, by illegitimate proofs, to ascertain her concernment, in the late conspiracy; and thus to infer her guilt. The Queen defended herself with dignity of manner, presence of mind, and vigour of intellect: When we recollect the artifices of the prosecutors, their counterfeits, their briberies; and compare them with her strong denials, her ingenious expositions, and satisfactory deductions, it is not easy to believe, that she had any purpose to affect Elizabeth’s life, though the Scotish Queen had, no doubt, intrigued with foreign powers, perhaps, domestic faction, to relieve her, from an imprisonment, which was unjust, in the origin, and odious, continuance. The court, at length, adjourned to the 25th of October [1586]; when the commissioners were to meet, in the star chamber. 

– Life of Mary, pp.304-328.

[Queen Mary] was charged with conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth. After two days the trial was put off, but on the 25th [October, 1586,] the commissioners met in the Star Chamber at Westminster and condemned her to death. 

– A History of Scotland, Chapter XV. 

The very last transactions recorded before the Reformation show us the University met in full convocation in the Chapter-House of the Cathedral, on its statutory day of the feast of St. Crispin and Crispinian (October 25); 

– Sketches, pp.220-253.



xxv October 1591 Munounday ye left Stirling and come to Edinburgh.

   Item giffin to the smyth for schoing Lochboy 

x s.

   Item giffin to Angus Liche his waige, quha enterit thairto in Stirling to await upone the bairne Collin the thrid day of October being Sonday at nyn houris in the morneing, till Wednesday xxvij day of October, ilk day viij s. summa 

ix lib. xij s.

   Item his man his wage the dayis foirsaid 

xxxvj s.

   Item for ane point Spenis wyne ye drunk in John Thomesones hous, the bischope of Argyll with yow 

x s.

– Sketches, Appendix VIII.

Oct. 25 [1611]. – It had been customary for the Scottish universities to receive students who had, through misbehaviour, become fugitives from other seats of learning; and now, as a natural consequence, it was found that the native youth at the university of Edinburgh, presuming on impunity for any improprieties they might commit, or a resource in case of punishment being attempted, ‘has ta’en and takes the bauldness to misknow the principal and regents, and to debord in all kind of uncomely behaviour and insolences, no wise seemly in the persons of students and scholars.’ The Privy Council therefore issued a strict order forbidding the reception of fugitive students into the universities. – P. C. R. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

Previous to the new erection the general chapters of the university met, as already stated, sometimes in the Cathedral and sometimes within the precincts of the Friars Preachers. The first general chapter, held in 1451 for the incorporation of members, met in the chapter-house of the Cathedral, while the faculty of arts held its congregation in the crypt at the altar of St. Nicholas.1 On the 25th October, 1637, we find the faculty holding a meeting “at the castell of Glasgow” – the archbishop being at that time chancellor.2

– Old Glasgow, pp.131-140.

1  Professor Innes.
2  Munimenta, vol. iii. p. 379.

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

And so on in grim monotony, till we come to the last five entries in the old record, which is quite incomplete. 

“1728, Oct. 25. – John Gibson; forging a declaration, 18th January, 1727. His lug nailed to the Tron, and dismissed. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.123-138.

   “A certain paper of this day says, that the Earl of Bute is going to be created a Peer of England, which cannot be; for, according to one of the articles of the treaty of union between England and Scotland, no Scotch Nobleman can be created a Peer of England.   L. Ev.”  

Leeds Intelligencer, Tuesday 25th October, 1763.

Treaty of Union Articles, 1750-1800.

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