16th of November

St Eucherius, bishop of Lyon, confessor, 450.

Born. – Toberius, Roman Emperor, 42 B.C.; John Freinshemius, scholar and critic, 1608, Ulm; Jean le Rond d’Alembert, encyclopædist, 1717, Paris
Died. – Margaret, queen of Malcolm Canmore of Scotland, 1093; Pierre Nicole, logician, of Port Royal, 1695, Chartres; James Ferguson, astronomer, 1776, London; Jean Lambert Tallien, Terrorist leader, 1820.


Many of the saints in the Romish calendar rest their claims to the title on grounds either wholly or partially fabulous, or which at best display a merit of a very dubious order. It is, however, satisfactory to recognise in the queen of Malcolm Canmore many of those traits which contribute to form a character of sterling virtue, to whose memory persons of all creeds and predilections must pay a respectful homage. It is true that much of our information regarding her is derived from the report of her confessor Turgot, whom clerical prejudices, as well as the inducements of personal friendship and courtly policy, may have led to delineate her with too flattering a pencil. Enough, however, remains after making all due deductions on this score, to confirm the idea popularly entertained in Scotland of the excellence of Queen Margaret. The niece of King Edward the Confessor, and the granddaughter of Edmund Ironside, the colleague of Canute, her youth was spent in exile, and under the proverbially salutary discipline of adversity. Her father and uncle narrowly escaped destruction at the hands of Canute, who, on the murder of their father, Edmund, sent the two young princes to the court of the king of Sweden, with instructions to put them to death privately. The chivalrous monarch refused to imbrue his hands in innocent blood, and sent the royal youths to Solomon, king of Hungary, by whom they were hospitably received and educated. Edmund the elder brother died, but Edward the younger married Agatha, a German princess, by whom he became the father of Edgar Atheling, Christina, and Margaret. On the death of Harold, at the battle of Hastings, Edgar Atheling made an attempt to vindicate his right to the English crown against William the Conqueror; but his unenergetic character was quite unable to cope with the vigour and resources of the latter, and Edgar and his sister Margaret were consequently obliged to fly the kingdom. They were shipwrecked on the coast of Scotland, and courteously received by King Malcolm Canmore, who was speedily captivated by the beauty and amiable character of Margaret. her marriage to him took place in the year 1070, at the castle of Dunfermline, a place described by Fordun as surrounded with woods, rocks, and rivers, almost inaccessible to men or beasts by its situation, and strongly fortified by art. Margaret was at this time about twenty-four years of age. On her journey northwards to Dunfermline, she crossed the Firth of Forth at the well-known point where it narrows above Inverkeithing, and which since that event has been known by the designation of the Queensferry. A stone is also still shewn on the road, a little below Dunfermline, called Queen Margaret’s Stone, on which she is traditionally said to have rested. Of the palace or castle where she resided at Dunfermline, a small fragment still remains enclosed within the romantic grounds of Pittencrieff, and known as Malcolm Canmore’s Tower

The union thus consummated was followed by a numerous offspring – six sons and two daughters. Three of the sons, Edgar, Alexander, and David ascended successively the throne of Scotland, and the elder daughter Maud or Mathildes married Henry I., king of England. To the education of her children Margaret seems to have devoted herself with the most sedulous attention. She procured for them the best preceptors and teachers that the times afforded, and is said to have been particular in inculcating on them the necessity of restraining and correcting the frowardness of youth, by a proper exercise of discipline. Her own temper, however, appears to have been of the sweetest and most placid kind, and she was beloved among her servants and dependents for her innumerable acts of generosity and complaisance. To the poor also her charity was unbounded. Whenever she walked out, she was besieged by crowds of distressed persons, widows, orphans, and others, to whom she administered relief with a liberality which often exceeded the bounds of prudence. During the various incursions made by Malcolm into England, large numbers of the inhabitants of the country were taken prisoners, and to them the beneficence of Margaret was readily extended. She inquired into, and endeavoured as far as possible to mitigate their unhappy condition, and in many instances secretly paid their ransom out of her own funds, to enable them to return to their homes. She also erected hospitals in various places. With her husband, she seems to have lived on the most affectionate terms. Some of her acts, indeed, bear the marks of that spirit of asceticism and ostentatious humiliation so highly esteemed in that age. Every morning, she prepared a breakfast for nine little orphans, whom she fed on her bended knees; and in the evening, she washed the feet of six poor persons, besides entertaining a crowd of mendicants each day at dinner. The season of Lent was observed by her with more than the wonted austerities of the Roman Catholic Church, allowing herself no food but a scanty meal of the simplest description, before retiring to rest, after a day spent in the closest exercises of devotion. One special act of hers in relation to religious ordinances deserves to be recorded. The observance of the Sabbath, which, previous to her marriage with Malcolm, had fallen greatly into desuetude, was revived and maintained by her influence and example. It is not probable, however, that the staid and decorous observance of Sunday, so characteristic of Scotland, was derived from this incident, as a relapse appears to have taken place in succeeding reigns, and the strictly devotional character of the Sabbath to have been only again established at the Reformation. 

Notwithstanding the religious tendencies of Margaret, her court was distinguished by a splendour and elegance hitherto unknown in Scotland. Her own apparel was magnificent, and the feasts at the royal table were served up on gold and silver plate. Her acquaintance with the Scriptures and the writings of the fathers was extensive, and she is reported to have held numerous disputations with doctors of divinity on theological matters. An epitome of her moral excellence is presented in what is related of her, that ‘in her presence nothing unseemly was ever done or uttered.’ 

The last days of this amiable queen were clouded by adversity and distress. The austerity of her religious practices prematurely undermined her health, and she was attacked by a tedious and painful illness, which she bore with exemplary resignation. She listened assiduously to the spiritual consolations of her faithful confessor Turgot, who thus relates her concluding words to him as quoted by Lord Hailes, ‘Farewell; my life draws to a close, but you may survive me long. To you I commit the charge of my children, teach them above all things to love and fear God; and whenever you see any of them attain to the height of earthly grandeur, oh! then, in an especial manner, be to them as a father and a guide. Admonish and, if need be, reprove them, lest they be swelled with the pride of momentary glory, through avarice offend God, or by reason of the prosperity of this world, become careless of eternal life. This in the presence of Him, who is now our only witness, I beseech you to promise and to perform.’ Her death at the last was accelerated by the news which she received of the death of her husband and eldest son before the castle of Alnwick, in Northumberland, an expedition in which she had vainly endeavoured to dissuade Malcolm from taking part in person. While lying on her couch one day, after having offered up some fervent supplications to the Almighty, she was surprised by the sudden entrance of her third son Edgar, from the army in England. Divining at once that some disaster had happened, she exclaimed: ‘How fares it with the king and my Edward?’ and then, on no answer being returned: ‘I know all, I know all: by this holy cross, by your filial affection, I adjure you, tell me the truth.’ Her son then replied: ‘Your husband and your son are both slain.’ The dying queen raised her eyes to heaven and murmured: ‘Praise and blessing be to thee, Almighty God, that thou hast been pleased to make me endure so bitter anguish in the hour of my departure, thereby, as I trust, to purify me in some measure from the corruption of my sins; and thou, Lord Jesus Christ, who through the will of the Father, hast enlivened the world by thy death, oh! deliver me.’ In pronouncing the last words, she expired on the 16th of November 1093, at the comparatively early age of forty-seven. She was canonized by Pope Innocent IV. in 1251, but in the end of the seventeenth century, her festival was removed by the orders of Innocent XII, from the day of her death to the 10th of June. She was interred in the church of the Holy Trinity, at Dunfermline, which she had founded, and which, upwards of two hundred years afterwards, received the corpse of the great King Robert. At the Reformation, the remains of Queen Margaret and her husband were conveyed privately by some adherents of the old religion to Spain, and deposited in a chapel which King Philip II. built for their reception, in the palace of the Escurial. Here their tomb is said still to be seen, with the inscription: ‘St Malcolm, King, and St Margaret, Queen.’ The head of Queen Margaret, however, is stated to be now deposited in the church of the Scots Jesuits, at Douay.

On this Day in Other Sources.

“Then,” according to Lord Hailes, who quotes Turgot’s Life of St. Margaret, “lifting up her eyes and hands towards heaven, she said, ‘Praise and blessing be to Thee, Almighty God, that Thou hast been pleased to make me endure so bitter anguish in the hour of my departure, thereby, as I trust, to purify me in some measure from the corruption of my sins; and Thou, Lord Jesus Christ, who through the will of the Father, hast enlivened the world by Thy death, oh, deliver me!’ While pronouncing ‘deliver me’ she expired.” 

This, according to the Bishop of St. Andrews, Turgot, previously Prior of Durham, was after she had heard mass in the present little oratory, and been borne to the tower on the west side of the rock; and she died holding in her hand a famous relic known as “the black rood of Scotland,” which according to St. Ælred, “was a cross an ell long, of pure gold and wonderful workmanship, having thereon an ivory figure of our Saviour marvellously adorned with gold.” 

This was on 16th of November, 1093, when she was in the forty-seventh year of her age. Unless history be false, with the majesty of a queen and the meekness of a saint Margaret possessed a beauty that falls but seldom to the lot of women; and in her time she did much to soften the barbarism of the Scottish court. She was magnificent in her own attire; she increased the number of persons in attendance on the king, and caused him to be served at table in gold and silver plate. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.14-20.

This year, 1463, on the 16th day of November, [Mary of Guelders] the Queen mother departs this life at Edinburgh, and was solemnly interred in the Collegiate Church there, founded and built by herself. 

– Historical Works, pp.189-214.

The new census, professing to estimate the real value, was necessarily fluctuating. Unfortunately, we have no early copies of it, except the tax-roll of Lothian preserved at Durham. Long known and hated among us as “Bagimont’s Roll,” only one copy, a late and bad one, has been noticed by our old lawyers, and it has suffered greatly in subsequent transcription.1

– Sketches, pp.1-28.

1  Habakkuk Bisset, who has preserved it, assures us that the extract “was fund be the provinciall of the quhyte or carmelat frieris of Aberdene, called dene Johnne Christisone, the principall provynciall of the said freiris and of Scotland for the time, and wes dowbled or copied be ane chaiplane of Auld Aberdene, called Doctoure Roust.” – See Regist, Glasg. Pref. p. lxii. Bisset was servitor or clerk to Sir John Skene, the first editor of our ancient laws. Friar John Christison is found as sub-prior of the Friars Preachers of Elgin, 16th November 1543. – Innes Papers, p. 108. It is now impossible to say whether Bisset or Doctor Roust, or even some previous transcriber, should bear the blame of the inaccuracies with which this only copy abounds.

George Sempill was presented to Killallan, and became its incumbent after the 16th of September, 1600. He was, however, discharged by the Synod “for causes and considerations knowin’ to them, and speciallie for a great mislyking that specialls of the paroch had of him.” He insisted, however, on getting his rights as minister of the parish. The Assembly of 16th November, 1602, absolved him from all charges made against him and gave him a testimonial of good behaviour, “but in respect he was never planted fully at the said kirk, and of the great mislyking that is betwixt him and sundrie of the parochiners, they think it not good that he be plantit, and ordains him to demit in favour of Mr. John Cunninghame.”1

– Scots Lore, pp.253-259.

1 Cunninghame was ordained at Houston in 1599, translated to Killallan in 1602, and translated to Dalry on June 21st, 1604.

The burgh records also contain some curious notices as to the relations subsisting between the town and the university. The sons of burgesses appear to have enjoyed certain privileges and exemptions, and the magistrates were tenacious in asserting them. Among others, under the date 16th November, 1626, notice is taken of an undue exaction made “by the Principal and Regents on the town’s bursars quha are urgit to gif ane silver spune at their entrie.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.131-140.

As such an example of insubordination among the earl of Sutherland’s vassals might, if overlooked, lead others to follow a similar course, Sir Alexander caused the laird of Duffus and his brother of Clyne, with their accomplices, to be cited to appear at Edinburgh on the sixteenth day of November following, to answer before the privy council for their misdemeanours. The laird of Duffus, however, died in the month of October, but the laird of Clyne appeared at Edinburgh at the time appointed, and produced before the privy council the letter he had received from Mackay as his authority for acting as he had done. Sir Alexander Gordon also produced the letter sent to him by Sir Donald, who was thereby convicted of having been the intentional originator of the difference; but as the lords of the council thought that the laird of Clyne had exceeded the bounds of his commission, he was imprisoned in the jail of Edinburgh, wherein he was ordered to remain until he should give satisfaction to the other party, and present some of his men who had failed to appear though summoned. By the mediation, however, of James Sutherland, tutor of Duffus, a reconciliation was effected between Sir Robert and Sir Alexander Gordon, and the laird of Clyne, who was, in consequence, soon thereafter liberated from prison.1 

– History of the Highlands, pp.287-313.

1  Sir R. Gordon, p. 401. et seq. 

Nov. 16 [1700]. – A band of persons, usually called Egyptians or gipsies, used to go about the province of Moray in armed fashion, helping themselves freely to the property of the settled population, and ordinarily sleeping in kilns near the farmhouses. There seems to have been thirty of them in all, men and women; but it was seldom that more than eight or ten made their appearance in any one place. It was quite a familiar sight, at a fair or market in Banff, Elgin, Forres, or any other town of the district, to see nearly a dozen sturdy Egyptians march in with a piper playing at their head, their matchlocks slung behind them, and their broadswords or dirks by their sides, to mingle in the crowd, inspect the cattle shown for sale, and watch for bargains passing among individuals, in order to learn who was in the way of receiving money. They would be viewed with no small suspicion and dislike by the assembled rustics and farmers; but the law was unable to put them entirely down. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.355-378.

On the 16th of November, [1752,] one of his daughters – a tall and very handsome girl – had the skill and courage to disguise herself as a lame old cobbler, and was ushered into his prison, bearing a pair of newly-soled shoes in furtherance of her scheme. The sentinels in the adjacent corridors heard Lady Bohaldie scolding the supposed cobbler with considerable asperity for some time, with reference to the indifferent manner in which his work had been executed. Meanwhile her husband and their daughter were quickly changing costumes, and the former came limping forth, gumbling and swearing at his captious employers. “An old and tattered great-coat enveloped him; he had donned a leather apron, a pair of old shoes, and ribbed stockings. A red night-cap was drawn to his ears, and a broad hat slouched over his eyes.” He quitted the Castle undiscovered, and left the city without delay; but his flight was soon known, the city gates were shut, the fortress searched, and every man who had been on duty was made a prisoner. A court-martial, consisting of thirteen officers, sat for five days in the old barracks on this event, and its proceedings ended in cashiering two officers who had commanded the guards, reducing to the ranks the sergeant who kept the key of Bohaldie’s room, and flogging a warder; but Bohaldie escaped to France, where he died about the time of the French Revolution in extreme old age. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.66-79.

About one in the morning of the 16th [November, 1824,] the alarm of fire was given from a house directly opposite to the burning masses, and, though groundless, it added to the deepening consternation. Meanwhile the weather changed rapidly; the wind, accompanied by rain, came in fierce and fitful gusts, thus adding to the danger and harrowing interest of the scene, which, from the great size of the houses, had much in it that was wild and weird. 

“About five o’clock,” says Dr. James Browne, in his “Historical Sketch of Edinburgh,” “the fire had proceeded so far downwards in the building occupied by the Courant office, that the upper part of the front fell inwards with a dreadful crash, the concussion driving the flames into the middle of the street. By this time it had communicated with the houses on the east side of the Old Fish Market Close, which it burned down in succession; while that occupied by Mr. Abraham Thomson, bookbinder, which had been destroyed a few months previously by fire and re-built, was crushed in at one extremity by the fall of the gable. In the Old Assembly Close it was still more destructive; the whole west side, terminating with the king’s old Stationery Warehouse, and including the Old Assembly Hall, then occupied as a warehouse by Bell and Bradfute, booksellers, being entirely consumed. These back tenements formed one of the most massive, and certainly not the least remarkable, piles of building in the ancient city, and in former times were inhabited by persons of the greatest distinction. At this period they presented a most extraordinary spectacle. A great part of the southern land fell to the ground; but a lofty and insulated pile of side wall, broken in the centre, rested in its fall, so as to form one-half of an immense pointed arch, and remained for several days in this inclined position. 

“By nine o’clock the steeple of the Tron Church was discovered to be on fire; the pyramid became a mass of flame, the lead of the roof poured over the masonry in molten streams, and the bell fell with a crash, as we have narrated, but the church was chiefly saved by a powerful engine belonging to the Board of Ordnance. The fire was now stopped; but the horror and dismay of the people increased when, at ten that night, a new one broke forth in the devoted Parliament Square, in the attic floor of a tenement eleven storeys in height, overlooking the Cowgate. As this house was far to windward of the other fire, it was quite impossible that one could have caused the other – a conclusion which forced itself upon the minds of all, together with the startling belief that some desperate incendiaries had resolved to destroy the city; while many went about exclaiming that it was a special punishment sent from Heaven upon the people for their sins.” (Browne, p. 220; Courant of Nov. 18, 1824; &c.) 


As the conflagration spread, St. Giles’s and the Parliament Square resounded with dreadful echoes, and the scene became more and more appalling, from the enormous altitude of the buildings; all efforts of the people were directed to saving the Parliament House and the Law Courts, and by five on the morning of Wednesday the scene is said to have been unspeakably grand and terrific. 

Since the English invasion under Hertford in 1544, no such blaze had been seen in the ancient city. “Spicular columns of flame shot up majestically into the atmosphere, which assumed a lurid, dusky, reddish hue; dismay, daring, suspense, fear. Sat upon different countenances, intensely expressive of their various emotions; the bronzed faces of the firemen shone momentarily from under their caps as their heads were raised at each successive stroke of the engines; and the very element by which they attempted to extinguish the conflagration seemed itself a stream of liquid fire. The County Hall at one time appeared like a spectre awakened to behold the fall and ruin of the devoted city.” 

Among those who particularly distinguished themselves on this terrible occasion were the Lord President, Charles Hope of Granton; the Lord Justice Clerk, Boyle of Shewalton; the Lord Advocate, Sir William Rae of St. Catherine’s; the Solicitor-General, John Hope; the Dean of Faculty; and Mr. (afterwards Lord) Cockburn, the well-known memorialist of his own times. 

The Lord Advocate would seem to have been the most active, and worked for some time at one of the engines playing on the central tenement at the head of the Old Assembly Close, thus exerting himself to save the house in which he first saw the light. All distinction of rank being lost now in one common and generous anxiety, one of Sir William’s fellow-labourers at the engine gave him a hearty slap on the back, exclaiming, at the same time, “Weel dune, my lord!” 

On the morning of Wednesday, though showers of sleet and hail fell, the fire continued to rage with fury in Conn’s Close, to which it had been communicated by flying embers; but there the ravages of this unprecedented and calamitous conflagration ended. The extent of the mischief done exceeded all former example. Fronting the High Street there were destroyed four tenements of six storeys each, besides the underground storeys; in Conn’s Close, two timber-fronted “lands,” of great antiquity; in the Old Assembly Close, four houses of seven storeys each; in Borthwick’s Close, six great tenements; in the Old Fish Market Close, four of six storeys each; in short, down as far as the Cowgate nothing was to be seen but frightful heaps of calcined and blackened ruins, with gaping windows and piles of smoking rubbish. 

In the Parliament Square four double tenements of from seven to eleven storeys also perished, and the incessant crash of falling walls made the old vicinity re-echo. Among other places of interest destroyed here was the shop of Kay, the caricaturist, always a great attraction to idlers. 

During the whole of Thursday the authorities were occupied in the perplexing task of examining the ruined edifices in the Parliament Square. These being of enormous height and dreadfully shattered, threatened, by their fall, destruction to everything in their vicinity. One eleven-storeyed edifice presented such a very striking, terrible, and dangerous appearance, that it was proposed to batter it down with cannon. On the next day the ruins were inspected by Admiral Sir David Milne, and Captain (afterwards Sir Francis) Head of the Royal Engineers, an officer distinguished alike in war and in literature, who gave in a professional report on the subject, and to him the task of demolition was assigned. 

In the meantime offers of assistance from Captain Hope of H.M.S. Brisk, then in Leith Roads, were accepted, and his seamen, forty in number, threw a line over the lofty southern gable above Heron’s Court, but brought down only a small portion. Next day Captain Hope returned to the attack, with iron cables, chains, and ropes, while some sappers daringly undermined the eastern wall. These were sprung, and, as had been predicted by Captain Head, the enormous mass fell almost perpendicularly to the ground. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.183-191.



   Shakspeare says:- 

‘He is well paid that is well satisfied,’

and the world at large is generally disposed to measure injury by contentment. Where there is no grumbling there can be no wrong; and it is argued still further, that where no discontent has prevailed none should be permitted to arise. It is, however, forgotten that right and wrong are entirely matters of proportion, and as there are no fixtures in political relations any more than in nature, a disproportion may gradually arise which may prove to be a real and legitimate wrong. A man might be perfectly contented in a private sphere with only the reputation and honour of his own good name, but if he suddenly discovered that he was heir to a fortune and a title which had long been in abeyance, he would be fully entitled to descant upon his wrongs if, through any legal delays, he was long kept out of them; and it is thus by a simple comparison of our rights with our conditions that a state of discontent arises. It is not Scotsmen alone, but Englishmen as well, who entertain an objection to a policy of centralisation. It is to the division of authority, the wide scattering of titles, honours, municipal and other forms of provincial government that so much of our national prosperity is owing; each locality having its offices and forms of respect, and being each dependent of the other; but strongly as we may argue in favour of an abstract principle opposed to centralisation, we have nothing more than a right so to argue and decide the matter according to the opinion of the majority. The Scottish nation, however, has another right, which all impartial persons must recognise. Queen Victoria is Queen of Great Britain only by virtue of a voluntary union on the part of the Scottish nation with England. This union was effected by a treaty, in which both nations were equally free and independent to act for the common advantage, but it was brought about by no occupation or conquest of Scotland by England. If the Sovereign of England were not Queen of Great Britain, she would still in her person unite the two crowns by virtue of her descent from James the First of England and Sixth of Scotland, so that the question of legislative union is one which affects merely the other estates of the Scottish realm. Any breach of the treaty cannot make the Sovereign of Great Britain less the supreme ruler of Scotland, but it may, and it does concern the position of those other estates of the Scottish realm whose rights were terminated or held in suspense by the Act of Union. The exact point at which prior rights revive, when the treaty by which they are waived is trampled on and disregarded, is a difficult question, but there can be no doubt that if every article of the Treaty of Union were as manifestly set at nought as some of them are, that the Scottish nation would be fully justified in reasserting the independence of the Legislature, and in returning to the exercise of those rights, the undisturbed possession of which they enjoyed in their distinct National Institutions before the passing of the Act of Union. What is fair for England is fair for Scotland. In their corporate capacity, and in behalf of the separate nations, their distinct Legislatures were the high contracting parties to a union from which they were, it is to be presumed, equally to benefit. It was a bargain struck, an agreement entered into; and a violation of its terms must result in the restoration of the previous rights of position. That it was necessary by that treaty to provide for the maintenance of some particular national institutions shows that some danger was apprehended, and that their sacrifice might be threatened; but when once secured by treaty, the Scottish Legislature of that date could little have dreamt of their being subsequently taken away in violation of the distinct articles without a further modification of the Treaty of Union between the nations. If it had so happened that after a lapse of time the people of Scotland had got a numerical superiority in both Houses of Parliament, and had transferred the seat of the Legislature and the Government Boards to Edinburgh, there can be no doubt that, although such a contingency is not provided against, the people of England would have exclaimed greatly at such a deprivation of their accustomed privileges. When, therefore, the people of Scotland see all their distinct officers of state unceremoniously abolished, their Boards of Customs and Excise absorbed, by the English establishments, their public buildings and the royal palaces permitted to fall into decay, their ancient courts of law and judges done away with, their public charities without any aid from the Imperial Legislature, and their country without proper naval and military establishments for their protection and benefit, – is it to be wondered at that, without the immediate means of self-assistance in the matter, they should examine the articles of the Treaty by which, as an independent and unconquered nation, they entered into an agreement with the English for their mutual advantage, and that, finding themselves at the mercy of the Imperial Legislature, with their rights of Treaty wantingly set at naught, – they should nurture a just and national discontent? – Civil Service Gazette.”  

– Caledonian Mercury, Thursday 16th November, 1854.

   “With regard to the ‘form of speech; adopted by Lord Palmerston and Mr Macgregor, M.P., it might, perhaps, in courtesy be pardoned, as more familiar to the lips of the Home Secretary, being literally ‘unaccustomed’ to address a Scottish audience; but in the member for this city, who bears the homely patronymic of Macgregor, pleading an unfortunate facility in English idiom as an excuse for reducing his country to the level of a denationalised dependency, is not so easily explained, nor so patiently to be borne. Then with regard to Lord Duncan’s address to his constituents, we doubt if there ever was a more glaring or grotesque anti-climax between the language he used and the personal or patriotic memories which he invoked. We believe his Lordship to be incapable of offering anything like disrespect to those he immediately addressed; certainly not to the brave Scottish soldiers who led the van at Alma; least of all to the whole Scottish people. But it certainly was passing strange to hear Lord Duncan talk in one breath of his native country, and of the heroic blood that flowed in the veins of our forefathers: while, in the very next sentence, he described them all as Englishmen.” 

– Caledonian Mercury, Thursday 16th November, 1854. 

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1850-1875.

Thursday 16 November 1871, p. 2.


LAST night, Mr Butt, in passing through Greenock, en route, for Ireland, received quite an ovation. It having become known that Mr Butt was to proceed from Greenock per Belfast mail-steamer Llania, bills were posted throughout the town calling on all true Irishmen to assemble at the station, and welcome the great champion of Home Rule. Over a thousand persons were present when the train arrived, and Mr Butt was loudly cheered. The band of the Port-Glasgow Young Men’s Catholic Society was present, and as Mr Butt took his seat in an open carriage, the band played “See the Conquering Hero Comes,” and marched in front of it to the pier. On arriving there, Mr Butt stood up and thanked the crowd for the enthusiastic welcome they had given him. He might say that since he visited this noble river, the noblest thing he had seen on it was the sword of Wallace in Dumbarton Castle. It was the emblem of Scotland’s liberty – (great cheers) – and reminded him how Wallace and Bruce had gained Scottish independence. It also should show them that Scotland must sympathise much with Ireland. He would just say – “God save Scotland” – (cheers) – and as he was going home to his native land, he would add – “God save Ireland.” (Cheers.) God save Ireland, say we all. (Great cheers.) 

He then proceeded on board the steamer, amidst enthusiastic cheers, and as the vessel left the pier the band struck up “The Boatie Rows.” One of the gentlemen who had accompanied Mr Butt from Glasgow then addressed the crowd, thanking them for their hearty reception of Mr Butt, and alluding to their duty as Irishmen of remembering their native land, and striving to assist their brethren in obtaining that Home Rule without which Ireland would never be a free country.” 

– Scots Lore, pp.280-282.

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