4th of November

Saints Vitalis and Agricola, martyrs, about 304. St Joannicius, abbot, 845. St Clarus, martyr, 894. St Emeric, Hungarian prince, 11th century. St Charles Borromeo, cardinal, archbishop of Milan, and confessor, 1584.

Born. – James Montgomery, poet, 1771, Irvine, Ayrshire.
Died. – Josiah Tucker, D.D., dean of Gloucester, political economist, 1799; Paul Delaroche, celebrated painter, 1856, Paris.

On this Day in Other Sources.

This year, 1443, passed away without any matter worthy of commemoration, save that the Governor called a parliament to be held at Stirling, the 4th of November; wherein the troublers and molesters of churchmen, in the peaceable enjoying of their goods, are ordained to be punished by all judges, as persons excommunicated, until either by restitution they make their peace, or obtain absolution, in form of law, from their curse.

– Historical Works, pp.166-189.

‘The pest brake up in harvest in Leith, by opening up of some old kists, and in Edinburgh about the 4th of November [1587]. It continued in these two towns this winter till Candlemas.’ – Cal.

– Domestic Annals, pp.99-123.

Nov. 4 [1611]. – The Privy Council was at this time obliged to renew former acts against Night-walkers of the city of Edinburgh – namely, idle and debauched persons who went about the streets during the night in the indulgence of wild humours, and sometimes committing heinous crimes. If it be borne in mind that there was at that time no system of lighting for the streets of the city, but that after twilight all was sunk in Cimmerian darkness, saving for the occasional light of the moon and stars, the reader will be the better able to appreciate the state of things revealed by this public act. The Council ordered that no persons of any estate whatsoever presume hereafter to remain on the streets ‘after the ringing of the ten-hour bell at night.’ The magistrates were also ordained to appoint some persons to guard the streets, and apprehend all whom they might find there after the hour stated. – P. C. R.

– Domestic Annals, pp.177-227.

After the two great fires the houses erected within the burgh were more carefully constructed, and the magistrates appear to have again given premiums to encourage a better kind of building. A fund had been raised to assist those whose houses were burned, called at the time “the brunt moneye,” and we find a grant made to one John Dainziell, the amount being limited to 400 pounds Scots, “if he build his windowes with daills in Saltmercat,” but he is to have 600 pounds “if he build them with stone.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.68-80.

1 4th November, 1671.

We now give the protest of the Duke of Athole in full, as it travels over the whole ground of objection referred to by the National party. It cannot be too often stated that the Scotch earnestly desired a Union with England, and it was only the unjust terms that exception was taken to:-

   ‘Whereas by my protest given in the 4th of November last, before voting the first article of the Union, I did reserve liberty to renew protestation against any other article of the Treaty; and as I protested for the reasons therein mentioned, so I do now for myself and all others who shall adhere and protest against any vote for approving the twenty-second article of this Treaty of Union, and against all the parts thereof, for these reasons:- Because the peers of the realm who are hereditary members of Her Majesty’s great Council and Parliament, do hereby become elective, and so Her Majesty is deprived of her born counsellors, and the peers of their birthright, and whereas they are at present one hundred and sixty in number they are by this article reduced to sixteen; are to be joined with the House of Lords in England, whose number at present consists of above one hundred and eighty, whereby ‘tis plain that the Scottish peers’ share of the legislative and judicative powers in the British Parliament is very unequal with that of the English, though the one be the representatives of as independent as nation as the other, and that it is a plain forfeiture of the peerage of this kingdom; and as it is the height of injustice, and against the laws and practice of this and all well-governed nations, to forfeit any person without an heinous crime, so ‘tis against all laws to forfeit either the peers that are now present, or those that are minors and absent without so much as being called or cited for that end. It is likewise contrary to the true honour and interest of Her Majesty and the Monarchy to suppress the estate of peers, who have formerly been the greatest supporters of the Monarchy, and it is dishonourable and disgraceful for this kingdom that the peers thereof shall only have rank and precedency next after the peers of the like order and degree in England without regard to their antiquity or the dates of their patents as is stipulated by the following articles of this Treaty. In the next place, each shire and Royal Burgh within this kingdom, have the number of their representatives determined by Acts of Parliament, whose number at present being one hundred and fifty-five are by this article of the treaty reduced to forty-five, and to be joined to five hundred and thirteen in the House of Commons, where they can have no influence, by reason of the cast disproportion of their numbers; besides, that, the Barons and Burgesses of this nation, by this way of uniting, are deprived of their inherent right of being fully and individually represented in Parliament, both in relation of their legislative and judicative capacities; and they are not only highly prejudged in lessening their representation, but also degraded from being members of the Parliament of this Kingdom, where they sit as judges in all causes civil and criminal, to be joined to the Commons of another nation who are accustomed to supplicate for justice at the bar of the House of Lords. The Barons and Burrows are further prejudged in this, that whereas now every shire and Royal Burgh have their own representatives, one commissioner will hereafter represent several shires and burghs, who it cannot be supposed will understand the several interests and concerns of the said several shires and burghs whom they may represent. And further, for the present representatives of the Barons and Burrows in Parliament, to offer by any vote or deed of theirs to incapacitate their constituents, or deprive them of any part of their inherent right, is that which their constituents may and do justly disallow, they only having their commissions with the ordinary power of making or amending laws and giving supplies; but no was to alter fundamental constitutions, or to take away or diminish their representation, which is also a plain forfeiture of their constituents, of their inherent rights and undoubted privileges, and is contrary to the fundamental laws of his nation, which are the birthright of the people thereof. From all which it is plain and evident that this, from a sovereign independent monarchy, shall dissolve its constitution and be at the disposal of England, whose constitution is not in the least to be altered by this treaty, and where it is not to be supposed the Scots shall have any weight in the making of laws, even though relative to their own kingdom, by reason of the vast disproportion and disparity of their representation aforesaid; and therefore I do also protest that no vote may hinder or prejudge the Noblemen, Barons, and Burrows as now represented in Parliament, to retain, bruke, enjoy, and exercise all their rights, liberties, and privileges as fully and freely as hitherto they have enjoyed them; and since it evidently appears, not only from the many protests of the honourable and worthy members of this House, but also from the multitude of addresses and petitions of the several parts of this Kingdom of the Barons, Freeholders, Heritors, Burrows, and Commons, and from the Commission of the General Assembly, that there is a general dislike and aversion to the incorporating Union as contained in these articles, and that there is not one address from any part of the Kingdom in favour of the Union. I do therefore protest against concluding this and the following articles of the Treaty until Her Majesty shall be fully informed of the inclinations of her people. That if Her Majesty think fit she may call a new Parliament to have the immediate sentiments of the nation, since these articles have been made public where it is to be hoped they may fall upon such methods as may allay the ferment of the nation, satisfy the minds of the people, and create a good understanding betwixt the two Kingdoms by an Union upon honourable, just, and equal terms, which may unite them in affection and interest, the surest foundation of peace and tranquility for both Kingdoms; and this, my protestation, I desire may be received and inserted in the minutes, and recorded in the Books of Parliament as a testimony of my disassent, and the disassent of such as shall adhere to me.’

– How Scotland Lost Her Parliament, Chapter III.

The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of stagnation in Scotland. If the University of Glasgow partook of the general lethargy of that half century,1 it shared also in the energy and progress that marked the next age of Scotch history. To prove this, it is enough to point to the names that made Glasgow famous in the past hundred years, omitting those still alive. No other school of learning within so short a period can boast of an array of teachers like Cullen and Black in chemistry and medicine; Hutchison, Reid, Adam Smith in mental philosophy; Moore, Young, and Sandford in Greek literature; John Millar and Jardine in what may be called the art of education. To add to the distinction conferred by her great masters, the University of Glasgow, within the same period, has had the singular fortune of producing the printing press of Foulis, and being the birthplace of the discoveries and inventions of James Watt.2

– Sketches, pp.220-253.

1 It will scarcely save the University from this charge, that the Faculty was vigorous enough to stop the “design by a gentleman from England to give a course of experimental philosophy in the city,” – being “of opinion that the encouraging of the said design was neither for the interest nor reputation of the University.” – November 4, 1725.
2 This time, it was “the Trades” of Glasgow who stood by their exclusive privileges, and would have strangled in their birth the inventions which have benefitted their city even more than the rest of the world; but “the University interfered, made a grant in favour of young Watt of a small room in their own buildings, permitted him to establish a shop, and honoured him with the title of their mathematical instrument maker.” – Arago’s ‘Eloge of James Watt,’ translated by J. P. Muirhead, 1839, p.11. That little shop in the College buildings “became a sort of academy, whither all the learned of Glasgow resorted to discuss points of the greatest nicety in art, science, and literature.” – Ibid., p.13. It was there that Watt mended the model of Newcomen’s steam-engine, and thus gave his mind to improve the application of steam as a motive power. How much turned upon the patching of that toy! I believe the little model repaired by James Watt is still preserved with affectionate reverence.

So late as 1795 a petition was presented to the magistrates praying for the removal of all hay stacks in the Trongate, but it was unsuccessful.1 It had been said, however, and it is in all likelihood true, that to the space which these dunghills and stacks and rubbish occupied in front of the houses we owe in part the exceptional breadth of the Trongate. The booths or “crames” for merchandise which projected from the houses, contributed also to secure the present breadth of this fine street.

– Old Glasgow, pp.266-276.

1 Burgh Records, 4th Nov. 1795.

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