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2nd of November – All Souls’ Day

All Souls, or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. St Victorinus, bishop and martyr, about 304. St Marcian, anchoret and confessor, about 387. St Vulgan, confessor, 7th century.

Born. – Marie Antoinette, queen of Louis XVI, 1755, Vienna; Field-Marshal Radetzky, celebrated Austrian commander, 1766, Castle of Trebnitz, Bohemia.
Died. – Alexander Menzikoff, Russia statesman and general, 1729, Siberia; Sir Alexander Burnes, diplomatist, murdered at Cabul, 1841; Esaias Tegner, Swedish poet, 1846, Wexiö, Sweden.


This is a festival celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, on behalf of the souls in purgatory, for whose release the prayers of the faithful are this day offered up and masses performed. It is said to have been first introduced in the ninth century by Odilon, abbot of Cluny; but was not generally established till towards the end of the tenth century. Its observance was esteemed of such importance, that in the event of its falling on a Sunday, it was ordered not to be postponed till the Monday, as in the case of other celebrations, but to take place on the previous Saturday, that the souls of the departed might suffer no detriment from the want of the prayers of the church. It was customary in former times, on this day, for persons dressed in black to traverse the streets, ringing a dismal-toned bell at every corner, and calling on the inhabitants to remember the souls suffering penance in purgatory, and to join in prayer for their liberation and repose. At Naples, it used to be a custom on this day to throw open the charnel-houses, which were lighted up with torches and decked with flowers, while crowds thronged through the vaults to visit the bodies of their friends and relatives, the fleshless skeletons of which were dressed up in robes and arranged in niches along the walls. At Salerno, also, we are told, that a custom prevailed previous to the fifteenth century, of providing in every house on the eve of All-Souls-Day, a sumptuous entertainment for the souls in purgatory who were supposed then to revisit temporarily, and make merry in, the scene of their earthly pilgrimage. Every one quitted the habitation, and after spending the night at church, returned in the morning to find the whole feast consumed, it being deemed eminently inauspicious if a morsel of victuals remained uneaten. The thieves who made a harvest of this pious custom, assembling, then, from all parts of the country, generally took good care to avert any such evil omen from the inmates of the house by carefully carrying off whatever they were unable themselves to consume. A resemblance may be traced in this observance, to an incident in the story of Bel and the Dragon, in the Apocrypha.

On this Day in Other Sources.

Walter, capellanus regis, was elected bishop… and consecrated by papal license at Glasgow on the 2d November 1208. He attended a General Council (the Lateran) at Rome in 1215, along with the Bishops of St Andrews and Moray; and three years afterwards accompanied the Bishops of Moray and Caithness, when they obtained the papal absolution from the interdict of the Legate Gualo. He died in 1232. 

– Sketches, pp.29-70.

‘There was ane proclamation, to meet the Regent in Peebles, upon the 8 of November next, for the repressing of the thieves in Annandale and Eskdale; but my Lord Regent thinking they wald get advertisement, he prevented the day, and came over the water secretly, and lodged in Dalkeith; this upon the 19 day [October]; and upon the morrow he departed towards Hawick, where he came both secretly and suddenly, and there took thirty-four thieves whom he partly caused hang and partly drown; five he let free upon caution; and upon the 2nd day of November, [1567,] he brought other ten with him to Edinburgh, and there put them in irons.’ – Bir

– Domestic Annals, pp.35-44.

For the sake of continuity, we have deferred noticing those transactions in the north in which George Gordon, earl of Huntly, was more immediately concerned, and which led to several bloody conflicts. 

The earl, who was a favourite at court, and personally liked by James the Sixth, finding himself in danger from the prevailing faction, retired to his possessions in the north, for the purpose of improving his estates and enjoying domestic quiet. One of his first measures was to erect a castle at Ruthven, in Badenoch, in the neighbourhood of his hunting forests. This gave great offence to Mackintosh, the chief of the Clan-Chattan, and his people, as they considered that the object of its erection was to overawe the clan. Being the earl’s vassals and tenants they were bound to certain services, among which, the furnishing of materials for the building formed a chief part; but instead of assisting the earl’s people, they at first indirectly and in an underhand manner, endeavoured to prevent the workmen from going on with their operations, and afterwards positively refused to furnish the necessaries required for the building. This act of disobedience, followed by a quarrel in the year fifteen hundred and ninety, between the Gordons and the Grants, was the cause of much trouble, the occasion of which was this. John Grant, the tutor of Ballendalloch, having withheld the rents due to the widow, and endeavoured otherwise to injure her, James Gordon, her nephew, eldest son of Alexander Gordon of Lismore, along with some of his friends, went to Ballendalloch to obtain justice for her. On their arrival, differences were accommodated so far that the tutor paid up all arrears due to the lady, except a trifle, which he insisted, on some ground or other, on retaining. This led to some altercation, in which the servants of both parties took a share, and latterly came to blows; but they were separated, and James Gordon returned home. Judging from what had taken place, that his aunt’s interests would in future be better attended to if under the protection of a husband, he persuaded the brother of Sir Thomas Gordon of Cluny to marry her, which he did. This act so incensed the tutor of Ballendalloch, that he at once showed his displeasure by killing, at the instigation of the laird of Grant one of John Gordon’s servants. For this the tutor, and such of the Grants as should harbour or assist him, were declared outlaws and rebels, and a commission was granted to the earl of Huntly to apprehend and bring them to justice, in virtue of which, he besieged the house of Ballendalloch, which he took by force, on the second day of November, fifteen hundred and ninety; but the tutor effected his escape. Sir John Campbell of Cadell, a despicable tool of the Chancellor Maitland, who had plotted the destruction of the earl and the laird of Grant, now joined in the conspiracy against him, and stirred up the Clan-Chattan, and Mackintosh their chief, to aid the Grants. They also persuaded the earls of Atholl and Moray to assist them against the earl of Huntly. 

– History of the Highlands, pp.213-232.

Nov. 2 [1639]. – A base coin called Turners had been struck by the Earl of Stirling under royal license, and were to him a source of considerable gain, at the expense of the rest of the community. On the day above noted, ‘King Charles’s turners stricken by the Earl of Stirling, was, by proclamation at the cross of Edinburgh, cryit down frae twa pennies to ane penny; King James’s turners to pass for twa pennies, because they were no less worth; and the caird turners simpliciter discharged as false cunyie. But this proclamation was shortly recalled, because there was no other money passing to make change.’ April 1640. – ‘You see before some order taken with the passing of turners, whereof some was appointit to pass for ane penny. Now they would give nothing, penny nor halfpenny, for King Charles’s turners; but King James’s turners only should pass. Whereby all change and trade was taken away through want of current money, because this slight turners was the only money almost passing through all Scotland.’ – Spal

– Domestic Annals, pp.257-277.

It commences by noticing “the great impoverishment this burgh is reduced to throw the sad and lamentable wo occasioned by fyre on the secund of Novr. [1677] that God in his justice hath suffered this burgh to fall under, and lykwayes the most pairt of the said burgh being eye-witnesses twyse to this just punishment for our iniquities by this rod which we pray him to make us sensible of that we may turn from the evill of our wayes to himselfe that so his wraith may be averted and we preserved from the lyk in tyme to come.” And then, feeling satisfied, no doubt, that providence helps those who help themselves, they proceed to practical measures – first stating the obvious cause of the calamity and then providing against it recurrence. This part of the minute is valuable, as containing a contemporary description of how the houses in Glasgow were at that time constructed. Such calamities, it bears, “are mor incident to burghs and incorporatiounes be reasone of their joyning houss to houssis, and on being inflamed is reddie to inflame ane uthir, especiallie being contiguouslie joyned and reared wp of timber and deall boards without so much as the windskew of stone.” To remedy this it is provided “that each persone building de novo on the Hie Street, or repairing, sall be obleiged to doe it by stone work from head to foot back and foir without any timber or daill except in the insett thereof, quhilk is understood to be partitions, doors, windows, presses, and such lyk.” This is ordered to be done “not only for their probable security, but also for decoring of the said burgh.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.68-80.

We find little evidence of Sir Hugh’s conduct or opinions at the Revolution. His family alliance and interest, as well as his religious leanings, and those of his wife, were all in favour of it. Like a large proportion of the Scotch gentry, however, he was opposed to the “Incorporating Union;” and we may conjecture that disgust with that unpopular measure, and some natural compunctions for the old family, whose faults were in part forgotten, induced him, on the Queen’s death, to support the foolish rising of ’15. His kinsman, Breadalbane, older than himself in years and worldly wisdom, may have influenced his conduct, and shown him the method of throwing his strength on the side which he yet did not openly support, and of escaping when that party was beaten. But it is vain to speculate upon motives where we have so few documents. Sir Hugh gave his grandson1 authority to raise his followers, and to join Mar. It is very probable the abortive effort was at an end before the commission could be acted on; but whether the commission had been executed or not, the family escaped all the penalties of rebellion. 

– Sketches, pp.395-436.

1  Duncan, the eldest son of Sir Archibald of Clunes, who lived, in later life, sometimes at Delnies, sometimes at Clunes. He was a man of great intelligence, some accomplishment, with a dash of affected peevishness and caustic humour. Some of his letters to his neighbour Kilravock and his son are preserved at Kilravock. One short letter will show his style; it is probably written from Clunes:-
“To the Honourable the Laird of Kilraik, Kilraik House.
“DEAR SIR, – I send you the wrack of all my plumes, damsones, or bulasters, etc., in the pickle left by the prince of the power of the aire, who nicked the time, and blowed them down when betwixt hawk and buzzard, long a-ripening for want of sun and a proper climate or soile, and begun to be demolished by frost and winter wether – a fine instance of the happiness of my Siberian situation. However, ye know sans complimens, you’ld have them if better. If ye can amuse me by the reading of a newspaper, it will be charitable. Pray make my compliments agreeable to your lady, pretty daughters, Monsr Lewis, and the rest of your good company, Mr. McKenzie, etc., my acquaintances. – D. S., yours in the old manner tho still older,
   “SIBERIA, Novr. 2d.
“When my tarsell is recovered of a cold, and fit for business, which, joined with my diligence in falconry, you’ll say, will produce no rash or too hasty an operation, I’ll acquaint you. Adieu.”

2271. The Speech of Lord Belhaven in the Scotch Parliament, at the making of the Union. 1780.

This is the famous speech of John, second Lord Belhaven, delivered on 2nd November, 1706, against the Union, which was sold by thousands at the time and went through a great number of editions, with the result that it figures on many a bookstall and is common in catalogues of old books. It was ridiculed in a poem called “The Vision,” in allusion to Lord Marchmont’s reply, “Behold he dreamed; but lo! when he awoke, behold it was a dream.” 

– Memorial Catalogue, Gallery 1.

WE have referred to the alleged narrow escape of Prince Charles Edward in the house of Provost Stewart in the West Bow. Had he actually been captured there, it is difficult to tell, and indeed useless to surmise, what the history of the next few years would have been. The Castle would probably have been stormed by his troops, and we might never have heard of the march into England, the fields of Falkirk or Culloden. One of the most singular trials consequent upon the rising of 1745 was that of Provost Stewart for “neglect of duty, misbehaviour in public office, and violation of trust and duty.” 

From his house in the Bow he had to proceed to London in November, 1745. Immediately upon his arrival he sent notice of it to the Secretary of State, and underwent a long and vexatious trial before a Cabinet Council. He was taken into custody, but was liberated.., to appear, as a traitor before the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. 

Whether it was that Government thought he was really culpable in not holding out the extensive and mouldering walls of Edinburgh against troops already flushed with success, and in opposition to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants, or whether they meant only to intimidate the disaffected, we shall not determine, says Arnot. Provost Stewart was brought to trial, and the court “found it relevant to infer the pains of law, that the panel, at the time and place libelled, being then Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, wilfully neglected to pursue, or wilfully opposed, or obstructed when opposed by others, such measures as were necessary for the defence of the city against the rebels in the instances libelled, or so much of them as do amount to such wilful neglect.”  

After a trial, which occupies 200 pages of an octavo volume (printed for Crawford in the Parliament Close, 1747), on the 2nd of November, the jury, the half of whom were country gentlemen, returned a verdict, unanimously finding Provost Stewart not guilty; but he would seem to have left the city soon after. He settled in London, where he became an eminent merchant, and died at Bath, in 1780, in the eighty-third year of his age. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.322-329.

A flat on the west side of the square was long the residence of Charles Mackay, whose unrivalled impersonation of Bailie Nicol Jarvie was once the most cherished recollection of the old theatre-going public, and who died on the 2nd November, 1857. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.364-372.

The Daily Review, which came into existence in April, 1861, has always been a high-class and well-conducted paper of Liberal principles, and a leading organ on ecclesiastical matters among the greater body of Scottish Dissenters – the Free and United Presbyterian churches. It was founded by the late Mr. David Guthrie to advance the views and interests of the Nonconformist Evangelical Church in Scotland, while at the same time taking its fair share in the general news of the country. Under the editorship of Mr. James Bolivar Manson, who was esteemed as one of the greatest journalists in Scotland, it gained a high reputation for art criticism, and an increased circulation. Mr. Manson had an earnest susceptibility for art, and everything he wrote on the subject proceeded from genuine and native interest on the subject, and expressed convictions which he cherished deeply. The quarterlies, too, occasionally contained articles from his facile pen, and not unfrequently has Punch been the vehicle for the dissemination of the rich vein of humour which ran through his character. 

His qualities as a writer in a daily journal were amply displayed during the six years he edited the Daily Review, and a melancholy interest attaches to his connection with that journal, as he literally “died in harness.” His great reading gave him extensive resources, while his long study of public matters and knowledge of past political transactions were remarkable, or equalled only in the parallel instance of Alexander Russel, of the Scotsman. His tastes were various; for in classic authors and in the Scottish vernacular he was equally at home. “He could scourge pretenders, but he loved to welcome every genuine accession to our literary treasures, and to give a fresh and advantageous setting to any gems that might be found in the volume with which he had to deal. Indeed, amid the rough strokes of political war, his regard for any opponent whom he believed to be a man of genuine mind and culture, was ever and anon made evident, sometimes with curious solicitude.” When death came upon Mr. Manson he was only in his forty-ninth year, and had not been confined by illness to the house for a single day. After breakfast, he had seated himself in his study to write a leader welcoming John Bright to Edinburgh; and the few lines he wrote were penned, as usual, without a single elision, when Mrs. Manson entering the room about twelve o’clock, saw him lying back in his chair, as she supposed asleep – but it was the sleep of death. This was on the 2nd of November, 1868. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.282-290.


   Mr WADDIE then addressed the meeting on Scotch Home Rule, dealing first with the question viewed historically. At the Treaty of Union, consummated in the first years of the eighteenth century, lay the root of the question that was agitating the country at the present time – the mistakes, nay the crimes, that were then perpetrated requiring to be righted. Now, some people said that however corruptly the Union was brought about it had been an incalculable blessing to Scotland, and had been the sole cause of her present prosperity; but, looking into the real facts of the case, that was preposterous. Another argument their English friends used was that Scotland shared in the trade of the English colonies, and had been enriched thereby; but this was perhaps the most impudent assertion of the whole pack of lies cast upon the page of history. (Laughter and applause.) The Colonial Empire was not in existence at the time of the Union. It had been built up since, and Scotland had done more than her part in raising it. (Applause.) Most certainly she had been a leader in the new departure of mechanical science which had made such giant strides as almost to amount to a new creation. How came it about that this little people had had such an influence upon the destinies of the world? He attributed it to the hardy training they got in their wars with the English. (Applause.) Home Rule for Scotland, as it presented itself to-day, meant the restoration of her ancient Parliament and Executive Government, with such modifications as the wants of the present day suggested. They were not to be put off with a sham Parliament and Government. They must have real power over the destinies of their country. (Applause.) Mr Waddie then directed his remarks to the work of the Scotch Parliament would find to do in regard to laws affecting Scotland, and said that there was one question it might be expected to deal with with greater wisdom than the Imperial Parliament, and that was the land question. (Hear, hear, and applause.) For the ownership of land, its duties, and its privileges were as different as possible in the two countries. the Scotch Parliament would command the concurrence of the Scotch people in dealing with this important and complicated question. (Applause.) The lecturer then examined the proposals of the leading English statesmen on the subject, and quoted from Lord Salisbury, Lord Hartington, Mr Bright, Mr Chamberlain, Sir George Trevelyan, and Mr Goschen, followed with the opinions of five other statesmen – viz,. Mr Gladstone, Lord Rosebery, Mr Childers, Sir W. Harcourt, and Mr Campbell-Bannerman – all of whom, in striking contrast to the former, had declared for self-government for Ireland and for Scotland when they asked for it. (Applause.) In conclusion, Mr Waddie said the day had come when their country should either live or die. The breath was almost spent. Would they choose life or death for her, glory or shame, honour or disgrace, an immortal name or immortal infamy? The issue was in the hands of the people of Scotland, and he trusted they would be granted wisdom to decide. (Loud applause.)” 

– Dundee Advertiser, Tuesday 2nd November, 1886.

– Treaty of Union Articles, Collection of Charles Waddie, AKA Thistledown’s, Correspondence.

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