This week in Scottish History

01 June 1831: 

While accompanying his uncle, John Ross, on an expedition to find the North West Passage, Sir James Clark Ross sledged across the Arctic ice and on this day he found the magnetic North Pole and claimed it for King William.

01 June 1679:

Battle of Drumclog, George Hamilton and William Cleland led a force of Covenanters to defeat a body of Life Guards and dragoons under John Graham of Claverhouse

01 June 1936

Clyde built Queen Mary sailed on her maiden transatlantic voyage. Within two years she would become the undisputed holder of the ‘Blue Riband’ for the fastest round trip across the Atlantic.


02 June 1398: 

Prince Henry St Clair, said to have landed in Nova Scotia from Orkney


03 June 1726:

James Hutton was born in Edinburgh. His book, A Theory of the Earth, which emphasises the igneous origin of many rocks, is the basis of modern geology.


04 June 1717:

Duke of Atholl captured Rob Roy MacGregor

04 June 1818:

 First recorded inter-club golf match – between Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society and Bruntsfield Links Golf Club.



05 June 1723:

Adam Smith baptised in his birthplace of Kirkcaldy. He was the world’s leading economist with his Wealth of Nations the first masterpiece in political economy. He was also professor of logic and of moral philosophy at Glasgow.

05 June 1866:

John McDouall Stuart, Australian explorer died in London.



07 June 1811:

Sir James Young Simpson was born in Bathgate. After studying medicine at Edinburgh, he was a professor of midwifery. As such on January 1847 he pioneered ether as an anaesthetic during childbirth. After personal experiments, he discovered chloroform in November 1847 and argued for its use. He won his case when Queen Victoria employed it during the birth of Leopold in 1853.

07 June 1329:

King Robert Bruce died at Cardross. When news of his death spread, it was said that even knights wept bitterly, drove their fists together and tore their clothes like madmen.

07 June 1906:

Lusitania, 35200 tons, launched on Clyde

08 June 1940:

Italy declared war on Great Britain and mobs attacked Italian shops and businesses across Scotland.

08 June 1138:

Scots defeat English at the battle of Clitheroe

12 June 1997:

Residents of Eigg purchase the island from the previous owner, the German Marlin Eckhard Maruma. It was the first time in history that the tenants had been able to buy the island on which they live. The islanders raised £1.5 million, mainly through an Internet campaign. Much of the money came from a single anonymous donation.

12 June 1843:

 Sir David Gill, first astronomer to measure stellar parallax born in Aberdeen


13 June 1337: 

English army abandon their siege of Dunbar Castle. Agnes, Countess of March, had defended it for a number of weeks.

13 June 1819
The Strathnaver Clearances began on the Sutherland estates – families were given 30 minutes to remove their belongings before their cottages were set on fire.

13 June 1831:

Birth of James Clerk Maxwell, first Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge University, he created electromagnetic theory of light.

14 June 2003:

Kingusie win Camanadh cup for 8th time in row; also won their 18th successive league title that year and are labeled ‘the most succussful sporting team in the world’

14 June 1946:

John Logie Baird, inventor of the first television, died.

15 June 1919:

Glasgow born Arthur Whitten Brown and the Englishman Jack Alcock became the first men to fly non stop across the Atlantic.

17 June 1823:

Charles Mackintosh patented a waterproof cloth for raincoats

17 June 1867:

Joseph Lister performed the first surgery under aseptic conditions, on his sister Isabella, at Glasgow infirmary

18 June 1815:

Sergeant Ewart captured the French Ensign as Scots play crucial part in the Allied victory of Battle of Waterloo.
19 June 1306:

The battle of Methven took place shortly after the coronation of Robert Bruce. Finding the Earl of Pembroke behind the walls of Perth, Bruce invited him to come out and fight the following day, but Pembroke replied that he did not fight on a Sunday. Bruce withdrew to his camp at Methven, where Pembroke attacked before dawn on the Sunday. The English captured Thomas Randolph, Bruce’s nephew, Alexander Fraser and other prominent nobles. They hanged many of the Scottish prisoners while Bruce escaped with 500 of the survivors.

19 June 1937:

Sir J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan died.

June 20 1810:

Worlds first savings bank established, the parish bank friendly society of Ruthwell, by the Reverend Henry Duncan

20 June 1723:

Adam Ferguson, philosopher, historian, “Father of Sociology” born Logierait, Perthshire.

21 June 1919:

German officers scuttle the High Seas Fleet in Scapa Floe as a protest against the Versailles peace treaty.

21 June 1796 Scottish explorer Mungo Park reached the source of the river Niger in Africa.


 22 June 1861:

William Braidwood, Edinburgh Firemaster and head of the worlds first municipal fire brigade killed in London

23 June 1637:

There was a riot in St Giles Church, Edinburgh when Dean Hannay of Edinburgh attempted to read the revised, Episcopal Service Book. A crowd of women shouted ‘Beastly Belly God,’ ‘Wolf!’ and ‘Crafty fox!’ and threw stools and Bibles at the Dean’s head. The women also attacked the Archbishop of St Andrews. They objected to King Charles trying to Anglify the Scottish Church. Tradition has named the ringleader of the riot as a kailwife named Jenny Geddes. If true, then Geddes struck the first blow in the civil wars that were to involve all four nations of Britain.

23/24 June 1314:

Battle of Bannockburn. This battle was fought between King Robert I of Scotland and Edward II of England. It was one of the most significant Scottish victories of the war of independence as the English, with around 20,000 men marched to relieve the siege of Stirling Castle. King Robert, with 5000 Scots, met them at Bannockburn in a two-day battle. In the first day the king distinguished himself by defeating an English knight in single combat while the Scottish schiltroms pushed back the English cavalry. In the second day the Scots foot advanced, pushing back the English army. ‘On them, they fail!’, shouted the Scots. Keith the Marischal scattered the English archers, their most dangerous arm.


25 June 1799:  
David Douglas, explorer and botanist, born at Scone, Perthshire. In addition to the Douglas Fir, he brought back to Europe lupins, phlox, penstemmon, sunflowers, clarkia, Californian poppy, mimulus, flowering currant, rose of sharon and mahonia. J

25 June 1971:

Lord Boyd Orr, biologist and Nobel Prize Winner, died

25 June 1876:
Seven Scots in the US 7th Cavalry with General Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn

25 June 25 1891: 
The first Sherlock Holmes story by Edinburgh-born author Arthur Conan Doyle was published in the “Strand” magazine, triggering the success of the stories.

26 June 1695:

Darien Company formed to set up a Scottish colony in what is now Panama.


29 June 1308:

Battle of Buittle Castle. Edward Bruce defeated English and traitor Galwegians led by former Guardian of Scotland Ingram de Umfraville and Aymer St John.






About malcolmarchibald

Happily married for 34 years to Cathy, I have three grown children and live in the depths of Moray in northern Scotland. I was educated in Edinburgh and Dundee and work as a lecturer in Inverness, while writing historical books, both fiction and fact.
This entry was posted in arctic, Australia, Battles,, Books, England, Exploration, Glasgow,, life, literature, maritime, Military history, Scotland, Scottish battles, Shipping, sport, Uncategorized, War and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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