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26th of October

St Evaristus, pope and martyr, 112. Saints Lucian and Marcian, martyrs, 250.

Born. – Charles François Dupuis, astronomer, 1742, TrieChateau, near Chaumont; George James Danton, revolutionary leader, 1759, Arcis-sur-Aube.
Died. – Abulfeda, Mohammedan historian, 1331, Syria; Samuel Puffendorf, distinguished jurist, 1694, Berlin; Sir Godfrey Kneller, portrait-painter, 1723.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The 26th of October this year [1516], the Lord [Alexander] Home and his brother [William], are beheaded at Edinburgh, and their heads, to the terror of others, fixed on Edinburgh tolbooth. 

– Historical Works, pp.238-275.



xxvj October [1591] being Tysday in Edinburgh.

   Item your dischone in Mr. James Wardlaw his chalmer twa dowsand pennie pyis 

ij s.

   Item twa menschattis [fine flour rolls]

xij d.

– Sketches, Appendix VIII.

Under favour of the king, a number of strangers had been introduced into the country to practise the making of cloths of various kinds. A colony of them was settled in the Canongate, Edinburgh, headed by one John Sutherland and a Fleming named Joan van Headen, and ‘are daily exercised in their art of making, dressing, and litting of stuffis, and gives great licht and knowledge of their calling to the country people.’ These industrious and inoffensive men, notwithstanding the letters of the king investing them with various privileges, were now much molested by the magistrates of the Canongate, with a view to forcing them to become burgesses and freemen there in the regular way. On an appeal to the Privy Council (Oct. 26 [1609]), their exemption was affirmed. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

On the 26th October, 1638, “A person unknown” writes to Wariston addressing him as “Dear Christian brother and courageous Protestant.” As it was found “altogether inconvenient that he [the Prelate of St. Andrews] or any of that kind should shew themselves peaceably in public, some course was taken how he might be entertained in such places as he should come unto.” The use of the word “entertained” shews great delicacy of feeling. Hearing that Brechin [presumably the bishop thereof] is in Edinburgh, the writer shews less delicacy, and it is suggested “that, in a private way, some course may be taken for his terror and disgrace, if he offer to shew himself publicly.” To understand the full piquancy of this, one must remember that, as the editor informs us, “just about this time the bishops had been cited to appear before the General Assembly at Glasgow.” 

– Scots Lore, pp.259-264.

The newspaper press of Scotland began during the civil wars of the 17th century. A party of Cromwell’s troops which garrisoned the citadel of Leith in 1652, brought with them a printer named Christopher Higgins, to reprint the London paper called the Mercurius Politicus, consisting of from eight to sixteen pages, which he began to issue from his establishment “in Hart’s Close, over against the Tron Church.” The first number appeared on the 26th of October, 1653, and the serial continued till 1660. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.282-290.

Oct. 26 [1730]. – One William Muir, brother of two men who had recently been hanged at Ayr for theft, was this day tried before a jury, for housebreaking, by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, acting as ‘High Sheriff within burgh.’ The man was condemned to death, and the sentence was duly executed on the ensuing 2d of December, he dying penitent. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.398-408.

   “It is the fire of nationality burning in their breasts that inspires the dauntless heroism of our soldiery – as marked in the Highlander and in the Lowlander, and as evinced on the plains of Abraham as at Waterloo or the Alma. The sacred duty, therefore, of every sincere Scotsman is to preserve the nationalities of Scotland in spite of ignorant sneer or lame witticism; but it is not enough to preserve what we still have – we must retrieve those unjustly taken from us. Let any one take up the Treaty of Union, and – looking at each stipulation in succession – ask himself, Has this been preserved? From the first to the last he will find them almost all broken through, or suppressed altogether; and all this without the sanction of Scotland. Let us take the first, and by far the most important stipulation, and see how far it has been acted up to. That stipulation says, – “That the kingdoms of Scotland and England, being united, shall be called Great Britain.’ Let us ask, is the above acted up to? and without which, it is known, no union would have taken place – so far from it, that the only legal name of these United Kingdoms sounds almost strange from the rarity of its use. This, then, is the grand evil under which Scotland labours; it is the keystone of the arch of injustice which overshadows this ancient kingdom; dislodge it, and down it crashes the incubus pressing on the fame and honour of Scotland. When one sees a minister of state, an admiral in command of a fleet, or a general of an army deliberately using the illegal words England, or English, in what appertains as much to the rest of the Empire as to South Briton, he cannot help asking himself – can Scotland, on whom this illegality peculiarly presses – can Scotland really have representatives at all? and if so, of what use are they? thus tolerating, by their silence, so gross a breach of a solemn compact. And what can we think of the English, taking advantage of their pusillanimity, thus to set at nought their own deliberate and solemn stipulation, and to make the breach of good faith and honour more glaring? – a nation which makes a constant boast of its inherent love for fair play. What must the world think, and every man of honour or honesty say – that, with all their professions of fair play, they are in practice so notoriously the reverse, that the contrast is as marked as it is despicable. Let the Scotsmen generally, therefore, rouse themselves from their spiritless and un patriotic lethargy – as derogatory to themselves as it is ungrateful to the memories of their forefathers – rouse themselves, and demand, and in that tone that its justice deserves, that the Government not only use legal language themselves, but instruct British admirals, generals, and ambassadors, also all other official persons, to pay proper respect to the fundamental laws of the British empire. Were our so called representatives in the Houses of Peers and Commons to do their duty, this could soon be effected – backed as they would be, by the unanimous voice of Scotland. – Yours, &c.,  

G. L.”   

– Glasgow Herald, Friday 26th October, 1855. 

Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

Glasgow Morning Journal, 26th October 1865, p.2. 

MYSTERIOUS DEATH. – About a fortnight ago a woman who called herself Mrs McNab, and said she was the widow of a fish merchant, took up her abode with Mrs Nibloe, a sailor’s wife residing in Commerce Street. Mrs McNab, according to Mrs Nibloe’s account, was not very communicative, and gave little information as to her connections or home. But it is believed she came from Tobermory. On Friday the 13th Mrs McNab sent cut for half a mutchkin of whisky, which Mrs Nibloe says was all drunk by Mrs McNab herself. Howbeit, in a day or two after Mrs McNab began to talk incoherently, to ask if “Sandy” had come yet, and otherwise to conduct herself as to convince Mrs Nibloe that she had not given a correct account of herself, and that her mind was wandering. Medical men, it appears, were called to see the woman, but nothing particular was done, and on Monday night last Mrs McNab died. No doctor could be got to certify the death, and so the case came under the attention of the police, and an inspection of the body by Dr McLeod and Dr Dunlop took place yesterday. The conclusion, we understand, to which the post mortem tended, was that the woman had died of serious apoplexy. 

Curious and Interesting Deaths.

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