1603: Battle of Glenfruin. After a raid by MacGregors into Luss, a body of Colquhoun women showed the bloodstained shirts of their slain men to King James VI, who authorised reprisals. The MacGregors struck first, killing scores of Colquhouns at the battle of Glen Fruin. To enliven things more, they also took the sword to some of the spectators who had gathered to watch the fun. The Privy Council ordered the name of MacGregor proscribed and outlawed the clan.
1313: Robert Bruce recaptured Dumfries; Dungal MacDouall surrendered to him, and Bruce allowed him to go free, despite MacDouall being the murderer of his brothers.
1592: Earl of Moray murdered at Donibristle
1837: Sir James Murray, first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary born at Denholm, Roxburghshire
1587: After being accused of conspiring against Queen Elizabeth of England, who had kept her imprisoned for years, Mary Queen of Scots was executed at Fotheringay. She prayed quietly before walking to the block and said: ‘tell my friends that I died a true woman to my religion, and like a true Scottish woman and a true French woman.’ She wore a red petticoat as the executioner took two cuts to severe her head. It was ten o’clock in the morning and she was 44 years old. Her dog, a Skye terrier, refused to leave the body.
1746: 500 Hessian troops under the Prince of Hesse, brother in law to the Duke of Cumberland, arrive at Leith
1836: Botanical Society of Edinburgh founded at 15 Dundas Street. It became the Botanical Society of Scotland.
1862: Sir James Ronald Leslie Macdonald, engineer, explorer and cartographer of East Africa born in Aberdeen
1304: Comyn and other Scottish magnates submit to Edward Plantagenet of England
1567: Henry Darnley, the husband of Queen Mary, was sick with what may have been small pox or syphilis. Afraid her child may be contaminated, Mary lodged him in the Kirk o’ Field, a house on the edge of Edinburgh. At two in the morning someone blew up barrels of gunpowder in the house, but when Darnley’s body was found, he had been strangled to death. The actual perpetrator of the murder remains a mystery, although the Scottish people firmly believed that it was James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, whom the queen later married.
1832: day of local humiliation in Edinburgh because of cholera
1842: prospectus for North British Railway issued
1853: Leander Starr Jamieson of the Jameson Raid fame, born in Edinburgh
1958: Sandy Lyle, golfer, born
1306: Robert Bruce met John Comyn, a fellow claimant for the Scottish throne in the church of the Minorite friars in Dumfries. The two men quarrelled and Bruce stabbed Comyn. He left the church and told his followers that he thought he had killed his rival. ‘You think?’ said Roger Kirkpatrick, ‘then I’ll mak siccar.’ Entering the church, he completed the murder that Bruce had started.
1307: Robert Bruce’s younger brothers landed at Galloway but were captured, sent to Carlisle and murdered.
1495: James IV petitioned the Pope for permission to found a university at Aberdeen ‘in which a temperance of air prevails, and abundance of victuals, convenience of dwellings, and plenty of other things pertaining to the requirements of human life are found.’
1685: James VII proclaimed King of Scots
1794: Friends of the people Muir, Skirving and Palmer sent from Newgate to be transported to Botany Bay. 4th Duke of Gordon authorised to raise Gordon Highlanders
1868: Sir David Brewster, inventor of the kaleidoscope, died.
1912: Joseph Lister, pioneer of surgery and antiseptic at University of Glasgow and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, died
1972: Rockall incorporated as part of Scotland, 290 miles into Atlantic had been annexed by boarding party from HMS Vidal in 1955
1682: three men drowned in Edinburgh’s Nor’ Loch when ice gave way
1800: William H Fox Talbot, pioneering photographer, born
1895: coldest temperature recorded in Scotland, minus 27.2 at Braemar
1940: John Buchan, Scottish novelist and politician died in Canada
1917: Although most historians concentrate on the land battles of the First World War, there was also a furious contest at sea. As well as the great naval battle of Jutland, there was a knife-edge battle with German submarines and vessels working off the Scottish coast were always in danger. This extract is taken from the Dundee Fishery Officer report.
‘The local crew located a mine fixed off the Red Head on Wednesday. The matter was reported by me to the Naval Authorities, and mine sweeping boats were sent to the area at once.
One of the Dundee trawlers was destroyed by a mine or submarine off shore here on the 5th inst., and all the crew of 9 men it is feared have lost their lives. There are 32 dependants left by the crew.’
1624: George Heriot, goldsmith to King James VI and founder of George Heriot’s school, died
1817: meeting to form joint stock company to supply Edinburgh with water
1829: Edinburgh crowd demonstrates outside the house of Dr Knox the dissector
1846: Rev Henry Duncan, founder of the world-wide savings bank movement, died near Ruthwell.
1918: Shetland ferry St Magnus torpedoed by German submarine
1971: Ken Buchanan wins the world lightweight boxing championship;
1692 After failing to swear allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary, the MacDonalds of Glencoe were singled out for reprisals. Sir John Dalrymple, Viscount Stair and Secretary of State for Scotland ordered the ‘thieving tribe’ to be ‘rooted out and cut off.’ Two companies of the Earl of Argyll’s Regiment marched to the glen, accepted the MacDonald’s hospitality then, at dawn on the 13th, murdered thirty-six men and four women and children. Most of the clan escaped, although others may have died of exposure in the hills.
858: Kenneth MacAlpin, king of Dalriada, died at Forteviot
1462, MacDonald, Lord of the Isles makes Treaty of Ardtornish with Earl of Douglas and King Edward IV of England. Idea to divide up Scotland between them
1689 William and Mary ascend throne
1782 Wilson Potts, Captain of the Newcastle privateer Dreadnought, hanged at Leith Sands for stealing four bags of dollars from the Danish vessel White Swan; judge reached verdict despite the jury’s recommendation of mercy.
1931: Scottish Youth Hostel Association formed.