19th of November

St Pontian, pope and martyr, about 235. St Barlaam, martyr, beginning of 4th century. St Elizabeth of Hungary, widow, 1231.

Born. – Charles I. of [Scotland, England, & Ireland], 1600, Dunfermline; Albert Thorwaldsen, great Danish sculptor, 1770. 
Died. – Caspar Scioppius, scholar and polemical writer, 1649, Padua; Nicolas Poussin, painter, 1665, Rome; ‘The Man in the Iron Mask,’1 1703, Bastille.

On this Day in Other Sources.

At this same time, Robert [Wauchope], Archbishop of [Armagh], in Ireland, returns from Rome, and dies at Paris, the 19th day of November, this same year [1551]

– Historical Works, pp.275-340.

On the 19th of November, [1566, Mary] went to Tantallon castle; and from thence to Craigmillar, on the 20th.

– Life of Mary, pp.136-151.

After the spoliation of the Cathedral which took place at the Reformation this interesting relic appears to have fallen into the hands of two of the citizens, by whom, a few years later, it was brought to the magistrates, who, with good taste, and apparently with a true sense of its archæological value, secured it for the community. On the 19th of November, 1577, there occurs in the records of the council the following interesting entry:- “SANCT MONGOWIS BELL. The quhilk day the provest baillies and counsall with dekeins, coft [purchased] fra John Mr. sone to unquhile James Mr. and Andro Laing þe auld bell that ʒed throw the toune of auld at þe buriall of þe deid for þe soume of ten pundis money quhilk thai ordainit Patrick Glen thair thesaurare to pay to thaim and also grantit þe said Andro to be maid burges gratis; quhilk bell thai ordainit in all tymes to remane as comone bell to gang for þe buriall of þe deid and to be gevin ʒeirlie to sic persoun as thai appoynt for anys in þe ʒeir takand caution for keping and delyvering thairof the ʒeiris end. And the said Andro Laing, as sone to uimquhile Mr. Robert Layng, is maid instantlie burges, as ane burges sone, gratis, for þe said caus of þe bell.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.19-29.

In the state of the streets and other matters of police the contrast between the present and former state of things is very remarkable. Till towards the end of the eighteenth century none of the streets in Glasgow were causewayed, and from all accounts they must have been in a state of great disrepair. In 1577 the magistrates appointed “a calsaye maker” for two years,1 and to meet the expense imposed on the inhabitants a tax of two hundred pounds – £16, 13s. 4d. It would appear, however, that no one of sufficient skill could be had in the city, and there is an entry in the burgh records in the following year authorizing “a calsaye maker” to be brought from Dundee. 

– Old Glasgow, pp.289-299.

1  19th November, 1577.

The king hearing of the detention of his bride by stormy weather, resolved to go to Denmark to bring her home. On the day noted, he set sail, with other five ships in company, and after outriding a gale for some time in the Firth of Forth, proceeded on his course with fair winds. Landing on the 28th at Flaikray, in Norway, he, after somedays’ rest, commenced a difficult land journey to Upslo – now Christiania – where the princess had taken up her residence for the winter. ‘Immediately at his coming (November 19 [1589]), [he] passed quietly with buits and all to her hieness… he minded to give her a kiss after the Scots fashion, whilk she refusit, as not being the fashion of her country. Marry, after a few words spoken privily betwixt his majesty and her, there passed familiarity and kisses.’1 They were married four days after at Upslo, and spent the remainder of the winter in Denmark.

– Domestic Annals, pp.99-123.

1  Moysie’s Memoirs.

To conclude the last the last act of all this tragedy, the 19th of [November, 1600,] the bodies of Gowrie and his brother were dragged through the streets of Edinburgh, to the gallows, and hanged and [disembowelled], and their heads set on two iron pins on the pinnacles of the common jail of Edinburgh, with this sentence, there to stand until the wind did blow them off. 

– Historical Works, pp.340-416.

The young Earl of Gowrie and his brother Alexander Ruthven, sons of the Gowrie who suffered in 1584, appeared to have formed a plan to entrap the king, and by the possession of his person, to work out some project for placing themselves at the head of affairs. James was induced to visit their house at Perth by a tempting story about a man who knew of a concealed treasure. After dinner, he was conducted by Alexander Ruthven into a solitary room at the end of a long gallery and put into the hands of an armed man. At the same time a false alarm was given to his attendants that he had left the house and was riding homeward. While they were hurrying to their horses in the courtyard, the king had a struggle with Ruthven, who first attempted to bind, and then to poniard him. With great difficulty, and not without the exercise of considerable presence of mind, he succeeded in giving an alarm to his attendants; one of whom, named John Ramsay, rushed to his rescue, and slew the two brothers on the spot. Their bodies were dealt with as those of traitors on the same day (November 19 [1600]) on which the king’s second son, afterwards Charles I., was born. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

So terrible does this disease appear to have been, and so much dreaded, that when a member of a family was stricken the others sought to have them separated from the family circle. An example of this occurs in the records of the Presbytery of Glasgow, where a husband denounced his leper wife, requiring, apparently, the sanction of the church in order to effect the separation. The entry in the presbytery books is very curious: “Anent ye lamenting gevin in be James Mitchell in baulvin, twiching ye disease of marioun Layng his spous in Leprosie, to his great grief qr throw nether he nor his servands can have with hir, swa diseasit, sic familiaritie and pleasantnes as is requirit.” The presbytery refers “the tryal thereof to the minister of Campsie, and neighbours to the said marioun,” and to report.1 The result is not stated; but no doubt, if it confirmed the “lament” of the husband, the poor woman would be ordered to the almshouse beyond the bridge. This leper-house was an old foundation. We find James IV., during a visit to Glasgow in 1491, giving alms to the unfortunate inmates. In his household accounts there is this entry: “Item to the sick folk at the brig of Glasgw be the kings command ij s.” 

– Old Glasgow, pp.124-131.

1  Presbytery Records, 19th Nov. 1606.

On the 19th of November, [1638,] King Charles’s birthday, a great portion of the curtain-wall, which was very old, fell with a crash over the rocks; and the insurgents rejoiced at this event as boding evil to the royal cause. 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.47-66.

The intellectual society thus gathered round the Cathedral and University would have been incomplete without a printing-press, and, to meet that want, the Bishop induced Edward Raban, an Englishman who had settled as a printer at St. Andrews, to quit the older University, and establish at Aberdeen the first press which had ever crossed the Grampian line.1

– Sketches, pp.254-324.

1  It may be allowed to give the dates of such of these Academic prints as I have seen. The first is not from the Aberdeen press.
1659. – Academiarum vindiciæ, in quibus novantium præjudicia contra academias etiam reformatas averruncantur; an oration delivered 19 November 1658. The same author and printer. He censures the subtleties of the early schoolmen, the irrefragabiles, angelici, subtiles, solennes, seraphici, etc. – narrates the paradoxes of Weigelius – that all academies are opposed to Christianity – omnes academias exsorted esse Christi; Item, nullus doctor, unllus jurisconsultus, nullus astronomus, medicus, philosophus, neque artium ac literarum magister cœlum ingredietur. He speaks of the use of Latin – totius Christianismi quasi commune vinculum – of Greek and Hebrew – quid est honorifiventius quam ut mrito sis salutatus (addressing the University) trilinguis; quid jucundius quam prophetas et apostolos sua lingua loquentes audire? He dwells on the necessity of libraries, and shows he appreciated the fine printers – Stephanos, Plantinos, Jansonios, Elziverios, Nortonos, etc. Rebuking the manners of the students, he says, – Quid sibi volunt ludi tesserarum et chartarum pictarum, herbæ nicotianæ haustus immodicus, canes venatici imberbis juvenis, hospitium cum activum tum et passivum male periatorum ardelionum! He rails at hair powder which already appeared among the students of Aberdeen. He notices aureus iste libellus of Volusenus our countryman de animi tranquillitate. He intersperses his text excessively with Greek, and confines it rather too much to objects of theology and the ministry, but it is all very judicious.

The [south] bridge was carried on with uncommon dispatch, and was open for foot-passengers on the 19th of November, 1786, but only partially, for the author above quoted mentions that when he first went to the old High School, in 1787, he crossed the arches upon planks. In the following year it was open for carriages. It consists of nineteen arches. That over the Cowgate is thirty-one feet high by thirty wide; the others, namely, seven on the south and eleven on the north, are concealed by the buildings erected and forming it into a street. From the plan and section published by the magistrates at the time, it would appear that the descent from Nicolson Street is one foot in twenty-two to the south pier of the Cowgate arch; and from thence on the north, the ascent to the High Street is one foot in twenty-eight. From the latter to the southern end, where the town wall stood, extends South Bridge Street, “in length 1,075 feet by fifty-five wide,” says Kincaid, “including the pavement on each side.” 

– Old and New Edinburgh, pp.373-382.

Much of the chief difficulty – the winning the ear of an English audience to Scotch history – was overcome by Robertson himself. He was skilful in selecting his period. He was a great master of the dignified style of history; and edition after edition of his History of Scotland was sold,1 until England was saturated with that sweet flowing narrative of the most picturesque and tragical part of our national annals. 

Hume and Adam Smith were fellow-soldiers in the enterprise, and many others, whose names would be higher, had they not lived among those giants; until it was no longer a reproach to a book to have Scotland for its subject or “Edinburgh” upon its title-page. Still, it was only the thinking people who were gained. The popular prejudice against Scotland – our condemnation in the world of fashion – lasted much longer. Scotchmen who are still writing, remember how carefully they used to guard against slips in their English – how it fettered their style and even their thoughts. Scotchmen not yet dead old, remember what pain it cost them to mix in English society for fear of the disgraceful detection. What young Scot on first going to public school or college in England forty years ago, had not to endure the suppressed laugh, the little jeer, for his Scotch Greek or his native Doric! 

– Sketches, pp.v-x.

1  Andrew Strahan (son of his first editor) wrote to him on the 19th November 1792: “the fourteenth edition of your ‘Scotland’ will be published in the course of the winter; and we have the satisfaction of informing you, that if we judge by the sale of your writings, your literary reputation is daily increasing.”
Monday 19th November 1888, p. 6 & 8.

   “THE Wallace sword, which has hitherto been kept in Dumbarton Castle, was transferred on Saturday, with becoming ceremonial, to the custodiers of the National Wallace Monument at Stirling.”

   “THE WALLACE SWORD. – In connection with the transference of the Wallace sword from Dumbarton Castle to the National Wallace Monument, a reception took place in the Public Hall, Stirling, on Saturday. Provost Yellowlees presided, and was accompanied on the platform by Sir James Maitland, Bart., Colonel Nightingale, Mr H. R. Wallace of Busbie and Cloncaird, a descendant of the national hero; Bailies Ronald Kinross, Forrest, and Brown, Dr Rogers, Rev. J. P. Lang, and others. The sword was handed over, and was accepted by Provost Yellowlees, the Chairman of the Wallace Monument custodiers. A historical sketch, showing the genuineness of the sword, was given by the Rev. Mr Rogers. The CHAIRMAN remarked that Mr Mitchell had sent him account of the Wallace family pedigree, in which he traced the direct descent of Mr Hugh Robert Wallace who was with them to-day, from Sir John Wallace, the laird of Elderslie in 1390. Mr WALLACE said, in course of a brief speech, thanked Dr Rogers for what he had done. He hoped the sword would remain in the Wallace Monument for all time coming. The CHAIRMAN said, in accepting the Wallace sword, he could assure Mr Wallace that the custodiers would prize it as their greatest treasure, and guard it as a sacred thing. Bailie RONALD proposed a vote of thanks to the war authorities for authorising the transference of the Wallace sword from Dumbarton Castle to the National Wallace Monument, and Col. NIGHTINGALE acknowledged the compliment. Votes of thanks were also accorded to Dr Rogers, Mr Wallace, and the chairman. The CHAIRMAN intimated that Mr Wallace had given a “shrine” for receiving the Wallace sword, and Provost Donald, Dunfermline, in a letter regretting his absence, promised a bust of David Livingstone for the Wallace Monument. At the close of the proceedings the company had an opportunity of viewing the Wallace sword. The blade, which is two-edged, is 4 ft 4 in. long, and 21/4 in. broad at the top, narrowing to 1 in. at the point. The hilt is 14 in. long, with iron knob, and is mounted with leather.”

– Scots Lore, pp.280-282.

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