12th of November

St Nilus, anchoret, father of the church, and confessor, 5th century. St Martin, pope and martyr, 655. St Livin, bishop and martyr, 7th century.

Died. – Pope Boniface III., 606; Peter Martyr, distinguished reformer, 1562, Zurich; John McDiarmid, miscellaneous writer, 1852.

On this Day in Other Sources.

An ancient biography of Saint Columba informs us, that one of his Irish disciples, named Machar, received episcopal ordination, and undertook to preach the gospel in the northern parts of the Pictish kingdom. The legend adds, that Columba admonished him to found his church, when he should arrive upon the bank of a river, where it formed, by its windings, the figure of a bishop’s crosier. Obeying the injunctions of his master, Machar advanced northwards, preaching Christianity, until he found, at the mouth of the Don, the situation indicated by Saint Columba, and finally settled there his Christian colony, and founded the church which, from its situation, was called the Church of Aberdon.1 The life of the apostle of the Scots from which we derive this information, of much higher antiquity than any history of civil affairs in Scotland, does not fix the precise era of Saint Machar’s foundation; but it may be conjectured to have been before the death of his master, which took place in the year 597. The venerable Breviary of Aberdeen gives, as the ancient tradition of the church, that the founder of the future cathedral was not interred there; but, having died in France on his return from a journey to Rome, he was buried in the church of Saint Martin of Tours. 

– Sketches, pp.85-91.

1  Ubi flumen, præsulis instar baculi, intrat mare; Colgan Trias Thau. – Breviar. Aberdon. 12 Nov. The lives of Saint Columba, written by his immediate followers and contemporaries, are, perhaps, the most ancient genuine materials of Scotch history. – Act. Sanct. Jun. 9, p. 184.

[Mary] journeyed, slowly, along the coast, to Montrose: and passing thence, arrived at Dundee, on the 12th [November, 1562]. At this commercial town, was she met, by the Duke, who came to solicit pardon, for his son-in-law, Lord Gordon; instead of demanding reparation, for the wrong done to him, and his daughter, by the attack on the castle of Inverness: But, as always happens to spiritless men, he received little comfort; as it had been resolved, that nothing should be, finally, settled, till the meeting of Parliament. Lord Gordon was soon after surrendered by the Duke, when he was committed to the castle of Edinburgh. In this manner, then, was the family of Gordon ruined, by the artful villainy of an ambitious minion! By the same means, any other family, in Scotland, might have been equally run down. In fact, the Earl of Sutherland, who had attended the Queen, throughout her northern tour, on pretence of a letter, which was said to be found, in Huntley’s pocket, was actually attainted of treason. 

– Life of Mary, pp.62-77.

On the 12th of November, [1564, Mary] gave, at Holyrood-house, a great feast, as we know, from her household book. 

– Life of Mary, pp.78-98.

Till after the middle of the seventeenth century there was only one grave-digger for the whole city, and until a period still later there was no Register of mortality. It was not till 1670 that the magistrates ordered “that ane register be keepit of all persones who happens to deceas within this burgh.” Samwell Burss was appointed registrar, at a weekly salary of forty shillings Scots – 3s. 4d.1

– Old Glasgow, pp.289-299.

1  Burgh Records, 12th Nov. 1670.

When the Union was concluded, [Kilravock] was named by that Parliament one of the Commissioners that should represent Scotland in the first Parliament of Great Britain. 

“As he thus declared openly for the Protestant Succession, he stood firm and unshaken in his attachment to, and appearances for it; in so much, that when after the accession of King George, a rebellion against the Government broke out in Autumn 1715, and some neighbouring clans, as the MacIntosh’s, Mackenzies, Frasers, etc., took arms and prepared to join the Earl of Mar’s standard, Kilravock stood firm in his loyalty to his Majesty, and against Popery and arbitrary power. He armed a select number of above 200 of his clan, and preserved the peace of that part of the countrie. His house of Kilravock was a sanctuary to all who dreaded any harm from the enemy, and was so well garrisoned, that tho’ the Highlanders made an attack on some other houses, they thought it safest to offer him no disturbance. When the Highlanders had marched south, they left a garrison in the town and castle of Inverness, commanded by Sir John Makenzie of Coul (son-in-law of Kilravock) as Governour. This garrison was a check upon the friends of the Government, and stopped the communication betwixt those of Murray and those of Ross and Sutherland, while it opened a free passage for the enemy to and from the south. Kilravock concerted with John Forbes of Culloden, and with Simon Lord Lovat, who had arrived in the country in the end of October, how to remove that garrison, and to reduce the town, and, with a body of his clan, joined by some of Culloden’s men, Kilravock blocked up all the avenues to the town of Inverness on the east side of the river, as some of the Frasers did on the west side. His blockade would have soon forced and starved the enemy into a surrender; but, impatient of such delays, Arthur Rose,5 brother to Kilravock, a gentleman of a resolute and dareing spirit, proposed to seize the garrison, in the Tolbooth of the town, by stratagem. For this end, he chose a small party of his brother’s men, commanded by Robert Rose, son of Blackhills, and, in the night of the 12th of November 1715, proceeded so far as to enter into the vestibule, on the top of the lower stair. Here, a fellow whom he had for his guide, and who being well known to the men in garrison, promised to get the door opened, called to them to open. They opened the door, and the villain entring, and Arthur Rose close after him with a drawn sword and pistol, he treacherously cried out, An enemy! an enemy! Upon this the guard crouded to the door, shot Mr. Rose through the body with a pair of balls, and so squeezed and crushed his body betwixt the door and the stone wall, that he could not have lived, although he had not received the shot. His own friends carried him off, and he died in a few hours, in the house of Mistress Thomson, in Inverness. This fatal end of a brave and beloved brother provoked Kilravock so much, that he sent a message to the Magistrates of the town and to Sir John Mackenzie, requiring them either to surrender the town and castle, or to evacuate both of the garrisons kept in them, otherwise he would lay the whole town in ashes. 

– Sketches, pp.437-490.



   SIR, – More than 100,000 Scottish people of all ranks and classes, including several of the nobility, over 600 Provosts and Town Councillors, and upwards of 50 Members of Parliament, including the Members for the Scottish Universities, have now signed the Scottish People’s Petition to the Queen protesting against the misuse of our national names, such as is found even in official documents, in direct and flagrant violation of the Treaty of Union. It is a monster petition, more than three-quarters of a mile in length. As the time for closing it has now come, it is earnestly requested that all who have petition sheets in hand return them without delay to the hon. secretary, Mr Theodore Napier, 25 Merchiston Park, Edinburgh. They can be returned with such signatures as they already have. Better still, they can first be filled by a few hours of energetic work and then sent in. All who desire the maintenance of Scottish rights and Scottish honour are glad to sign when the opportunity is given them. To those who read this letter I would earnestly say – ‘Do not let your name be absent from this historic document.’ – I am, &c.,  


– Dundee Courier, Friday 12th November, 1897.

– Treaty of Union Articles, Collection of the Rev. David Macrae on Centralisation & Promotion of Home Rule.

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