6th of November

St Iltutus, abbot. St Leonard, hermit and confessor, 6th century. St Winoc, abbot, 8th century.

Born. – Julian, Roman emperor, 331, Constantinople; James Gregory, inventor of the reflecting-telescope, 1638, Aberdeen.
Died. – Caliph Omar, assassinated at Jerusalem, 644; Pope Innocent VII., 1406; Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, killed at battle of Lutzen, 1632; John IV., the Fortunate, king of Portugal, 1656; Bernard de Jussieu, distinguished botanist, 1777, Paris; Louis Joseph Philip, Duke of Orleans, guillotined at Paris, 1793.


Aubrey appears to have been the first to put into circulation a romantic story of Elizabeth’s time regarding Littlecote Hall, in Wiltshire, which at that period was acquired by the Lord Chief-Justice Popham, in the possession of whose family it has since remained. The account given by Aubrey states that Dayrell, the former proprietor, called a midwife, blindfolded, to his house one night, by whom one of his serving-women was delivered of a child, which she saw him immediately after throw upon the fire; that the poor woman was afterwards able to discover and identify the house where this horrid act had been committed; and that Dayrell, being tried for murder before Chief-Justice Popham, only saved his life by giving Littlecote, and money besides, to the judge as a bribe.

When Lord Webb Seymour was living in Edinburgh, in the early years of the present [19th] century, he communicated a traditionary version of this story to Sir Walter Scott, who wrought up a sketch of it as a ballad in his romance of Rokeby, and printed it in full in the notes to that poem… 

Scott further added a legend to much the same purport, which was current in Edinburgh in his childhood. In this case, however, it was a clergymen who was brought blindfolded to the house, the object being to have spiritual consolation administered to a lady newly delivered of an infant. Having performed his part, he was rewarded, enjoined to secrecy on pain of death, and hurried off, but in descending the stair, heard the report of a pistol, and the tragedy is presumed to have been completed when he learned next morning that the house of a family of condition, at the head of the Canongate, had been totally consumed by fire during the night, involving the death of the daughter of the proprietor, ‘a young lady eminent for beauty and accomplishments.’ After many years, feeling uneasy about the secret, he imparted it to some of his brethren, and it thus acquired a certain degree of publicity. ‘The divine, however,’ says Scott, ‘had been long dead, and the story in some degree forgotten, when a fire broke out again on the very same spot where the house of **** had formerly stood, and which was now occupied by buildings of an inferior description. When the flames were at their height, the tumult, which usually attends such a scene, was suddenly suspended by an unexpected apparition. A beautiful female, in a night-dress extremely rich, but at least half a century old, appeared in the very midst of the fire, and uttered these tremendous words in her vernacular idiom: “Anes burned, twice burned, the third time I’ll scare ye all!” ‘ The narrator adds: ‘The belief in this story was formerly so strong, that, on a fire breaking out, and seeming to approach the fatal spot, there was a good deal of anxiety testified lest the apparition should make good her denunciation.’ 

A correspondent of Notes and Queries (April 10, 1858), affirms that this story was current in Edinburgh before the childhood of Sir Walter Scott, and was generally credited, at least as regards the murder part of it. He mentions a person acquainted with Edinburgh from 1743, who used to tell the tale, and point out the site of the house. The present writer knew a lady older than Scott, who had heard the story as a nursery one in her young days, and she offered to point out to him the site of the burned house – which, however, death unexpectedly prevented her from doing. Keeping in view Scott’s narration, which assigns the head of the Canongate as the place, it is remarkable that a great fire did happen there at the end of the seventeenth century, and the lofty buildings now on the spot date from that time.

On this Day in Other Sources.

By Acts of Parliament passed in the reign of James VI. the Lyon King was to hold two courts in the year at Edinburgh – on the 6th of May and 6th of November [1488]. Also, he, with his heralds, was empowered to take special supervision of all arms used by nobles and gentlemen, to matriculate them in their books, and inhibit such as had no right to heraldic cognisances, “under the pain of escheating the thing whereupon the said arms are found to the king, and of one hundred pounds to the Lyon and his brethren, or of imprisonment during the Lyon’s pleasure.” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.364-372.

There is an interesting instrument recording the investiture, by the king in person, within the Abbey of Holyrood, of Sir John Symington to the chapel-royal of St. Ninian of Dondonald, in the diocese of Glasgow. The investiture on this occasion is recorded to have been made “by James IV. king of Scots, the true patron donator and disposer thereof, by His Majesty personally taking the right hand of the said Mr. John, and subscribing with his own Royal hand a writ containing the royal mandate.”1

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215.

1  Ibid., No. 492, 6th Nov. 1510.

The session had still more alarming penalties in store for female delinquents – notably among these being ducking in the Clyde. The magistrates had themselves previously resorted to this mode of enforcing morality, as we find an entry in the burgh accounts of a payment in 1575 “to the officeris for dowking of Janet Fawside xld.” (about fivepence).1 But the kirk session improved upon this. By a minute in 1587 certain women are adjudged to be imprisoned and fed fifteen days on bread and water, and “to be put on a cart one day, and ducked in Clyde, and to be put in the jugs at the Cross on a Monday,”* that being the market day. The ducking system seems to have proved a success, but as the duckers probably fared as bad as the ducked, and ingenious device was resorted to in order to obviate that inconvenience. the session appointed a pulley to be made on the bridge, whereby the offenders “may be ducked in the Clyde.” By the same minute the time of exposure at the pillar in the church is relaxed, and it is declared that for a single offence the punishment shall be “only eight days in the steeple, one day on the cockstool and one day at the pillar.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.189-215.

1  6th Nov. 1575.
*  I believe these “jugs” to be the same as the “Jougs at Kilallen” described in ‘Scots Lore‘ as having a collar attached to them, one of adult size and the other a child’s.

The Celtic custom of Fostering was in fresh observance through Breadalbane and Argyll, during the period of these deeds, and extended through all classes. The provisions, when reduced to writing, are almost uniform. 

On the 5th November 1580, Duncan of Glenurchy agrees that his native servant, Gillecreist Makdonchy Duff VcNokerd, and Katherine Neyn Douill, Vekconchy, his spouse, shall have his son Duncan in fostering, they sustaining him in meat, drink, and nourishment till he be sent to the schools, and afterwards at the schools, with reasonable support, and they and his father settling upon his of “makhelve”1 goods, the value of 200 merks of kye, and two horses worth forty merks, with their increase; the milk of the cattle being the foster-parents’ while they sustain the bairn. There is a stipulation that if Duncan shall die before being sent to the schools, another of Glenurchy’s children, lass or lad, shall be fostered in his stead, who shall succeed to his goods; and he, or the bairn that enters his place, is to have at the decease of the foster-parents, a bairn’s part of gear with their children. 

– Sketches, pp.341-394.

1  This word, though known in connexion with goods appropriated to foster-children, has not been explained satisfactorily. See Jamieson’s Dictionary, Supplement, voc. “Macalive” and “Dalt.”
[From my copy of Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary:
“MACALIVE CATTLE. Those appropriated, in the Hebrides, to a child who is sent out to be fostered. Johnson’s Tour. – This term seems of Gael. origin, and comp. of mac, a son, and oileamn-nam (oileav-nam), to foster, q. the cattle belonging to the son that is fostered.”
“DALT, s. The designation given, in the Hebrides, to a foster child. – Gael. daltan, id.”]

Hugh McFarlane

Janefield Cemetery 10

Hugh McFarlane was born in Dennistoun and entered the employment of the Singer Manufacturing Co. in 1872. At that time their factory was in James Street Bridgeton. Hugh McFarlane was the Works Manager and later worked to became a director of Singer’s sewing machine factory. Singers moved from Bridgeton to Clydebank in 1884. The total number of workers employed by Singers reached a record figure of over 14,000 in 1914. When the war broke out a great part of the factory was devoted to the production of munitions, including shells, aeroplane parts and fuses. Hugh McFarlane was awarded the OBE for his contribution in producing weapons during the Great War. Hugh McFarlane OBE died on the 6th Nov 1928. 

Glasgow’s Eastern Necropolis.

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