11th of December

Saints Fuscian, Victoricus, and Gentian, martyrs, about 287. St Damasus, pope and confessor, 384. St Daniel the Stylite, confessor, about 494.

Born. – Dr William Cullen, illustrious professor of medicine, 1712, Hamilton; Paul Joseph Barthez, physiologist, 1734, Montpellier.
Died. – Michael VIII. Palæologus, Greek emperor, 1282; Louis, Prince of Condé (the Great Condé), 1686, Fontainebleau; Charles XII. of Sweden, killed at Frederickshall, 1718; Theodore Neuhoff, ex-king of Corsica, 1756, London.

On this Day in Other Sources.

The year 1407, Louis, Duke of Orléans, the French King’s brother, is killed in the city of Paris, the 11th of December, by John [of Valois], Duke of Burgundy and Flanders, who immediately after he had committed the fact, fled with all the speed he could to Flanders. 

– Historical Works, pp.144-152.

Lord Henry Howard was, on the 11th of December 1583, examined by Lord Hunsden, concerning some intelligence, which he was suspected to have had with the Queen of Scots. The Scotish Queen’s correspondence, meantime, both with Scotland, and France, was continually, intercepted; as we know, from the documents, in the Cotton Library. 

– Life of Mary, pp.281-293.

Dec. 11 [1601]. – Great hatred and strife had now lasted for some years between the Earl of Cassillis and Sir Thomas Kennedy of Colzean on the one side, and the Laird of Bargeny, the Laird of Blairwhan, the Laird of Girvanmains, and some other Carrick gentlemen on the other. The crafty Laird of Auchindrain, though professedly reconciled to Sir Thomas Kennedy, was mainly on the side of Bargeny, who was his brother-in-law. It is believed that he employed himself to inflate Bargeny, who was but a youth, with ambitious designs, making him believe that he could easily put himself on a level with the Earl of Cassillis. The king made an effort to reconcile the parties, but it had no permanent effect. For some time these Carrick chieftains were chiefly busied in devising plots against each other’s lives. On one occasion, the earl, having been induced to accept the hospitality of the Laird of Blairwhan, was apprised that certain of his unfriends, along with Blairwhan, intended to murder him in his bed; he therefore left the house by a backdoor and made his way by night to Maybole. On another occasion, with the consent of Bargeny, the Laird of Benand, with some associates, lay in ambush in the kiln of Daljarrock, in which they had made holes for their hagbuts, designing to shoot Lord Cassillis as he passed that way. Receiving timely warning, he escaped the danger by going his journey by another road. 

– Domestic Annals, pp.124-176.

These men, therefore, wore tartans, and followed the pipes, and as they were bound to join the forces of King Charles I. they were a Highland regiment in embryo. It appears that the piper, Allester Caddell, was followed by a boy, and pipers still claim to be exempt from menial service. There was also “Harrie McGra, harper, fra Larg,” and another piper; and as they were one hundred on the roll, they had a tolerable band of national music. At the end of the roll is the remark –  

     “To be disposed of be the Erle of Morton. They haue bene deir guests.” 

They were shipped at “Lochkilcherane,” 11th of December, 1627, and it is surmised that they must have joined their countrymen and Gustavus Adolphus. 

– Popular Tales, Vol.4, pp.369-372.

Glasgow Evening Citizen, Tuesday 11th December 1866, p.4.



   A gentleman, signing Edmund Morrison, writes to the Times of yesterday, with reference to the death of the Edinburgh detective, named Cameron, who was recently found drowned in Dunsappie Loch, suggesting that the unfortunate man may have been killed by an aerolite. He says – “According to the report there are no reasons for apprehending that the death was caused either by foul play on the part of others, or by any ordinary misadventure on the part of the deceased. The man met with his death on the night of the periodical visitation of aerolites. May he not have been struck by one of them, and have been precipitated into the water and suffocated? It is but a very few years since that brother and sister were driving in an open carriage in Tuscany, and the former of the two was suddenly half-stunned by a blow on the head from a small aerolite, which was picked up immediately after the accident. The occurrence was notorious at the time, and the injured individual trustworthy and well known. A second instance of the fall of an aerolite occurred lately in the garden of an intimate friend of my own at Florence, on which occasion some of the inmates had a narrow escape of being struck. The missile was examined by us, and its specific gravity exceeded that of a bullet.” 

Curious and Interesting Deaths.


December 10, 1883.

   SIR, – You rightly say that it is a small matter to Scotland that the amended regulations of the English Judges under the Judicature Act make it unlikely that such cases as that of Orr-Ewing’s will occur again, so long as these amended regulations remain as they are. The real question for Scotsmen is the power assumed by the Parliament of Great Britain to authorise the English Judges, under any circumstances, to assume jurisdiction in Scotland. Such an assumption is absolutely excluded by the Treaty of Union; and nothing but a formal assent by the Scottish nation to an alteration of the conditions of Union can empower the British Parliament to give English Judges power in Scotland. The Lord Chancellor said the Chancery Court always made it a rule to enforce its judgments in Ireland or Scotland. But except for the Treaty of Union, which he sets aside, Scotland has no legal connection of any kind with England, and, according to that treaty, the Court of Chancery has not, and cannot have, any more authority or jurisdiction in Scotland than the French Court of Cassation.  

   To deal with such a question as this by remitting it to the hoped-for Scottish Administration Department – a department to be appointed by and subject to the British Parliament – would be a fundamental mistake. We surrender our position entirely if we fail to take the ground of the absolute obligation of the Treaty of Union. In my opinion, the taking our stand could be best done by general meetings in the chief centres of our population, which should one and all make formal protest against the assumption of jurisdiction in any form. That would keep the matter in proper shape for our – at more leisure – taking the most prudent and hopeful means of getting the Act authorising the English Judges to make rules which involve encroachments in Scotland rescinded, and for quashing all invasions by the Court of Chancery. If there are defects in our own law – as the Lord Chancellor suggests – these can be supplied constitutionally by legislation; but whatever legislation there is must be kept within the lines of the Treaty of Union. In my opinion, there ought to be tabled, as soon as Parliament meets, a formal protest by the Scottish members, in which they would disclaim any wish to precipitate matters, but would take up the position firmly, that the independent jurisdiction in Scotland of the Scottish Courts must be left untouched as the Treaty of Union places it. In such a protest the nature of the jurisdiction which the House of Lords has, as representing the old Scottish ‘King and Parliament,’ and not as a Court of Judicature, should be brought clearly into view.  

   It would be very valuable, as a following up of such protests, that the meeting called by the Convention of Burghs, as well as other public bodies in Scotland, should do anything which they can to forward the matter, but taking care to keep out from their resolutions anything implying an acknowledgment of right in the British Parliament to make any law which sets aside the Treaty of Union. So long as we stand absolutely on our Treaty of Union, our position is unassailable; but if we go to Parliament saying, ‘We hope you will be reasonable with us, and modify your rule for English jurisdiction in Scotland,’ we surrender our constitutional ground. In that case, we may, for the present, get very reasonable terms from England; but there can be no doubt that the same circumstances which have lately occurred will recur; and those who shall then feel themselves aggrieved will say any but complimentary things of the Scottish public spirit of the present day, and of those who guided their politicians, for having surrendered the Treaty of Union for a temporary accommodation which conceded a power to the British Parliament in the matter.  

   What is to be done to assert our independent jurisdiction ought to be done not only decidedly and resolutely, but soon; for the legal interests of the subjects of the two nations would, in a few years, get inextricably mixed up, so that great practical inconvenience could be alleged to be inevitable if the English Courts were to cease to continue to exercise jurisdiction in Scotland; and a plea of necessity created by our supineness would be given for any arbitrary action which the English might take on the ground of its being too late to make a change. – I am, &c.  



“Edinburgh, December 10, 1883.

   SIR, – While the question of English jurisdiction is under discussion, the following quotation from Mr John Hill Burton’s ‘Scot Abroad,’ bearing on the subject of English jurisprudence and its origin, may not be out of place. After speaking of those institutions which had been infused into Scotland though contact with her old continental friend and ally, France, which institutions ‘being those of the Roman Empire, as practised throughout the Christian nations of the Continent, made Scotsmen free of those elements of social communion – of that comitas gentium – from which England excluded herself in sulky pride.’ Mr Burton adds – ‘The Englishmen disdained the universal Justinian jurisprudence, and would be a law unto himself, which he called, with an affection of humility, ‘the Common Law.’ It is full, no doubt, of patches taken out of the ‘Corpus Juris,’ but, far from their source being acknowledged, the civilians are never spoken of by the common lawyers but to be railed at and denounced; and when great draughts on the Roman system were found absolutely necessary to keep the machine of justice in motion, these were entirely elbowed out of the way by Common Law, and had to form themselves into a separate machinery of their own, called Equity.’… ‘And the fact is, that the Scots got rather more freedom under the law of the despotic Roman Empire than the English achieved by that laborious structure, their Common Law.’  

   We have still before us, in these latter days, the spectacle of England wrapping herself up in her exclusive and sulky pride, and, regardless of comitas gentium or such contemptible details as legal principles, advancing with all solemnity and self-complacency, as if it contained the essence of logical truth, the proposition, ‘We have decreed it, therefore it is right.’ – I am, &c.  

J. L.”

– Scotsman, Tuesday 11th December, 1883.

   “Mr Gladstone said in his great speech introducing the Irish Home Rule Bill in 1886. He said – ‘Scotland has never had reason to entertain the desire for domestic legislation. Scotland, wisely recognised by England, has been allowed and encouraged in this House to make her own laws as freely and effectually as if she had a representation six times as strong; consequently, the mainspring of the law in Scotland is felt by the people to be Scottish.’ (Cheers.) This is the grand difference between Scotland and Ireland in their relation to the Imperial Parliament. Scottish legislation is inspired by Scotsmen, and is in compliance with Scottish demands.” 

– Scotsman, Wednesday 11th December, 1889. 

– Treaty of Union Articles, 1875-1900.

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