Chronology of Scottish History
- Part Two (1600 - 1899)
You will find in these chronology pages the precise dates of over 700 historical events which took place over the last 2,000 years of Scottish history. Links are also provided to over 400 related articles where you can obtain more information on the events - and the people - that made Scotland what it is today. Note that where the same individual appears more than once in this chronology, alternative links are often provided to give a broader picture.
January 1 1600
First celebration of New Year> in Scotland on this date (March 25 till then).
November 19 1600
King Charles I> born in Dunfermline.
February 7 1603
Battle at Glenfruin when the MacGregors slaughtered a number of Colquhouns - the origins of the banning of the MacGregor name.
March 24 1603
Union of the Crowns of England and Scotland on the death of Queen Elizabeth I> and the succession of King James VI> of Scotland.
April 5 1603
King James VI leaves Edinburgh to travel to London.
July 25 1603
King James VI> crowned as King of Great Britain and Ireland at Westminster Abbey, London.
February 6 1605
The Trades House of Glasgow was founded to represent the interests of the craftsmen of the city.
November 4 1605
Guy Fawkes arrested under the Houses of Parliament with 20 barrels of gunpowder to blow up parliament and the king. Parliament declared 5 November a day of public thanksgiving.
April 12 1606
Union flag adopted as the flag of England, Wales and Scotland.
May 22 1611
King James VI introduced the title "baronet" for the first time. This is the lowest hereditary titled order.
March 21 1613
Lord Maxwell executed for the murder of the head of the Johnstone family (the son of the Johnstone involved in the Battle of Dryfe Sands in December 6, 1593 above).
March 10 1615
St John Ogilvie, a Banffshire-born Jesuit priest, was hanged for refusing to renounce the supremacy of the Pope. He was the only Roman Catholic martyr in Scotland and was canonised in 1976.
December 10 1616
Ordinance published by the Scottish Privy Council for the establishment of parish schools in Scotland. The same document commended the abolition of Gaelic.
April 4 1617
John Napier>, inventor of logarithms, died in Edinburgh.
June 17 1617
Articles of religion, introducing Anglican principles into Scottish worship, endorsed by Scottish parliament.
September 29 1621
Charter granted to Sir William Alexander of Menstrie to colonise the "Baronetcy of Nova Scotia".
February 12 1624
George Heriot, goldsmith to King James VI and founder of George Heriot's School>, died.
August 10 1624
Death of Esther Inglis, calligrapher and minituarist.
March 27 1625
King James VI> died at Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire and buried at Westminster Abbey. Succeeded by his son, King Charles I.
February 2 1626
Charles I> crowned at Westminster Abbey.
May 29 1630
King Charles II> born at St James' Palace, London.
April 24 1633
Warrant issued by the Privy Council to Sir John Hepburn to raise a regiment of 1,200 men to fight in the French service. The corps ultimately became the First Regiment of Foot, The Royal Scots.
June 19 1633
Coronation of King Charles I> at Holyrood.
July 10 1633
Sailing ship "Blessing of Burntisland" carrying gold, jewellery and silver plate belonging to King Charles I, sank in the Firth of Forth.
October 14 1633
King James VII> born at St James' Palace, London.
July 23 1637
A new Scottish Prayer Book creates social unrest and disorder.
February 28 1638
Second National Covenant signed in Greyfriars Churchyard.
May 14 1639
The "Trot of Turriff" in which the Royalists scattered a Covenanting force.
June 18 1639
Pacification of Berwick, Charles I forced to withdraw from Scotland and recognize an independent Scottish Parliament.
August 27 1640
Scottish army under Alexander Leslie routed Royalist forces of Charles I at Newburn Ford.
March 19 1641
Foundation stone of Hutchesons' Grammar School laid by Thomas Hutcheson as a residential school for the poor in Glasgow.
March 28 1642
The Scots Guards Regiment was formed when King Charles I issued a commission to the Marquess of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell, authorizing him to raise in Scotland a regiment of 1,500 men. The King’s 'Lyfe Guard of Foot' became the Scots Guards.
August 22 1642
King Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham, initiating a Civil War in England between the Royalists (also known as Cavaliers) and Parliament (Roundheads).
January 19 1644
A Scottish army under the Earl of Leven crossed the river Tweed into England. It remained in England for three years playing an important part in the Civil War.
July 2 1644
Scots forces under David Leslie helped in the victory of the Parliamentary forces over the Royalists at the Battle of Marston Moor.
September 1 1644
Solemn League and Covenant made with the English parliament to assist in the establishment of a Presbyterian church in England.
September 1 1644
Battle of Tippermuir, in which Marquis of Montrose defeated Covenanters>.
September 13 1644
Battle of Aberdeen, in which the Marquis of Montrose captured the city.
October 13 1644
Battle of Aberdeen, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose>, sacked the city.
October 18 1644
Marquis of Montrose overcame a Covenanter force at Fyvie.
February 2 1645
Battle of Inverlochy, Marquis of Montrose defeated Covenanters>, killing 1,300.
May 4 1645
Marquis of Montrose victorious at Battle of Auldearn.
July 2 1645
Battle of Alford, Marquis of Montrose defeated Lieutenant-General Baillie; Lord Gordon killed.
August 15 1645
Battle of Kilsyth where the Marquis of Montrose was again victorious.
September 13 1645
Royalist troops under Marquis of Montrose defeated by Covenanters led by David Leslie at Battle of Philiphaugh.
May 5 1646
King Charles I surrenders to Lord Leven and was later passed to the Parliamentary forces.
December 27 1647
King Charles I, imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle, reached an agreement with the Scots who offered military aid in exchange for a promise to establish Presbyterianism in England (but only for three years).
August 17/19 1648
Battle of Preston in which Duke of Hamilton at the head of an army of 20,000 crossed into England in support of Charles I. Scots defeated by Cromwell, 2,000 killed, 8,000 captured and Hamilton surrendered on 25 August (and beheaded in March 1649).
January 30 1649
King Charles I> executed at Whitehall.
February 4 1649
Charles II proclaimed king in Edinburgh - but not in England.
March 9 1649
Execution of James Hamilton, the 1st duke of Hamilton after capture at the Battle of Preston and subsequently trying to escape. His leadership of the Royalist cause in Scotland was poor and did not greatly help King Charles I.
April 27 1650
Battle of Carbisdale, Montrose's last battle.
May 21 1650
James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, executed at Mercat Cross, Edinburgh.
June 23 1650
Charles II sailed into the estuary of the river Spey and signed the Covenant before going ashore.
September 3 1650
Cromwell defeated Scots at Battle of Dunbar.
November 4 1650
Birth of King William III.
December 24 1650
Edinburgh castle surrendered to Oliver Cromwell.
January 1 1651
Charles II> crowned King of Scots at Scone, the last coronation on Scottish soil.
March 31 1652
Scottish Regalia (crown, sceptre and sword) saved from invading army of Oliver Cromwell by James Granger, minister at Kinneff, Aberdeenshire, after they had been smuggled from Dunnottar Castle which was under siege.
July 17 1652
Great Fire of Glasgow, destroying nearly one third of the city.
December 16 1653
Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
May 4 1658
General George Monk proclaimed the Protectorate at Mercat Cross.
January 12 1659
A frisky camel caused a sensation in Edinburgh.
May 29 1660
King Charles II> returned to England. May 29 is now known as Royal Oak Day.
June 19 1660
"Day of Public Thanksgiving" on Restoration of Charles II> as king.
January 8 1661
The first newspaper in Scotland was published. "Mercurius Caledonius" offered coverage of "the Affairs now in Agitation in Scotland, with a Survey of Foreign Intelligence." It ceased publication on 28 March after only nine issues.
April 23 1661
Charles II> crowned at Westminster Abbey.
December 18 1661
Many Scottish historical records were lost when the ship Elizabeth of Burntisland sank off the English coast. The records had been taken to London by Oliver Cromwell and were being returned to Edinburgh.
February 6 1665
Queen Anne>, last of the Stuart monarchs, born.
November 28 1666
Battle of Rullion Green on the Pentland Hills, south-west of Edinburgh, in which the King's army led by Sir Tam Dalyell defeated the Covenanters.
February 26 1672
Philip van der Straten, a Fleming, was granted Scots naturalisation and set up a factory in Kelso, thus starting the Border woollen industry.
November 21 1673
King James VII> married Mary of Modena.
October 1 1677
Battle at Romanno Bridge between two gypsy tribes, Faas and Shaw.
August 6 1678
First Glasgow/Edinburgh coach service began from White Horse Inn, Edinburgh.
September 23 1678
The Earl of Mar was commissioned to raise a regiment nicknamed "Earl of Mar's Gray Breeks" which later became the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
May 29 1679
"Declaration of Rutherglen" in which the Covenanters rode in to Rutherglen to put out the fires celebrating the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II.
June 1 1679
Covenanters> defeated John Graham of Claverhouse at Drumclog.
June 22 1679
Duke of Monmouth subdued Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge.
November 25 1681
General Tam Dalyell raises a regiment to suppress Covenanters which later became the Royal Scots Greys.
November 29 1681
Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, granted its charter by King Charles II.
March 1 1682
The Advocate's Library (known as the National Library of Scotland since 1925) opened by its founder, Sir George Mackenzie, the Lord Advocate.
February 6 1685
King Charles II, the "merry monarch" died. His last words to his brother James were "Don't let poor Nellie starve" - a reference to his favourite mistress, Nell Gwynne.
April 23 1685
James VII> crowned at Westminster Abbey.
October 15 1686
Birth of poet Allan Ramsay>, father of Allan Ramsay> the painter.
May 29 1687
Order of the Thistle> founded by King James VII.
October 19 1687
First sedan chairs available for public hire introduced to Edinburgh.
February 17 1688
James Renwick, last Covenanter> to be executed.
June 10 1688
James Francis Stuart> born. In honour of the "Old Pretender", this is known as "White Rose Day" in Jacobite circles.
November 5 1688
William of Orange landed in South-West England.
December 23 1688
King James VII deposed and fled, dropping the Great Seal into the river Thames.
January 22 1689
William of Orange and Mary> become joint sovereigns of the UK.
March 15 1689
Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh founded Advocates' Library "equipped with works written by lawyers".
March 18 1689
Earl of Leven raises a Border regiment to hold Edinburgh against the Jacobites. It later becomes the King's Own Scottish Borderers.
April 4 1689
Scottish Parliament declared that James VII had forfeited the Scottish throne.
April 19 1689
Earl of Angus forms the Cameronians into a regiment.
July 27 1689
Battle of Killiecrankie in which Viscount Dundee (John Graham of Claverhouse) leading a force of Jacobite Highlanders overcame the forces of King William, led by General Hugh Mackay. Viscount Dundee was killed leading the charge.
August 21 1689
Battle of Dunkeld> when the newly formed Cameronians defended the town against 3,000 Highlanders.
May 1 1690
Battle of Cromdale, Jacobites defeated by government troops.
June 7 1690
The Scots Parliament ratified the establishment of a Presbyterian religious system, rejecting Episcopacy.
July 12 1690
William III defeated James VII in the Battle of the Boyne, Ireland.
February 13 1692
Massacre of 38 of the Clan Macdonald by government order at Glencoe>.
March 15 1693
Hackney cabs (horse-drawn taxis) were authorised for the first time in Glasgow.
June 4 1694
The Merchant Maiden Hospital, later known as The Mary Erskine School, was founded by Mary Erskine in the Cowgate, Edinburgh.
June 26 1695
Darien Company formed to set up a Scottish colony in Panama.
August 5 1695
The Scottish Parliament established a General Post Office.
November 1 1695
Bank of Scotland founded by an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
July 12 1698
Darien expedition left Leith for Panama.
November 3 1698
The Darien Expedition landed at "Caledonia" in Panama.
April 11 1700
Scottish settlement in Darien, Panama, abandoned.
September 11 1700
James Thomson>, Scots author of "Rule Britannia", born.
May 8 1701
Scottish-born pirate "Captain" William Kidd tried for piracy at London's Old Bailey. He was hanged on 23 May.
September 6 1701
Deposed King James VII died at Château de Saint Germain-en-Laye, near Paris.
March 8 1702
King William III died and Queen Anne acceded to the throne at the age of 37. She was the daughter of King James VII.
April 21 1703
Edinburgh Fire Brigade, one of the first in Scotland, formed.
November 27 1703
The greatest storm on record hit Britain with the loss of 8,000 people in 24 hours.
August 5 1704
Act of Security passed by the Scottish Parliament. This allowed Scotland to choose a successor to Queen Anne, other than the one elected by the English Parliament, if Scottish conditions were not met. This precipitated the demands in London for an Act of Union of the two parliaments.
October 3 1706
Last Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh before the Union with Westminster.
January 8 1707
Earl of Stair, held responsible for the massacre of Glencoe, died.
January 16 1707
Treaty of Union> of Scottish and Westminster Parliaments ratified.
March 25 1707
Last meeting of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh - until 1999.
May 1 1707
Treaty of Union> of English and Scottish parliaments proclaimed.
October 23 1707
First meeting of the Parliament of Great Britain.
February 1 1708
Alexander Selkirk, a sailor from Lower Largo, Fife, rescued after four years on the island of Juan Fernandez, 400 miles off the coast of Chile; his story inspired Daniel Defoe to write "Robinson Crusoe".
April 15 1710
Birth of William Cullen. He held the first independent university lectureship in chemistry (as distinct from chemistry and medicine) in the British Isles at Glasgow University. He published the first modern Pharmacopia in 1776 and remained an important member of Edinburgh society during the Enlightenment period. Joseph Black, perhaps the greatest chemist of that age, was one of Cullen's pupils.
April 26 1711
Philosopher David Hume born.
May 25 1713
John Stuart, Earl of Bute, Britain's first Scottish Prime Minister, born.
October 13 1713
Birth of Allan Ramsay>, painter and son of Allan Ramsay> the poet.
August 1 1714
Death of Queen Anne; George I, Elector of Hanover becomes king.
September 6 1715
The Earl of Mar unfurled the standard of the "Old Pretender" at the start of the first Jacobite Uprising.
November 13 1715
Battle of Sheriffmuir in which a force of Jacobites led by John, 6th Earl of Mar, fought an inconclusive battle against a Hanoverian force led by John, 2nd Duke of Argyll.
November 15 1715
The "Glasgow Courant", the city's first newspaper, appeared for the first time.
December 22 1715
James Stuart, the Old Pretender, arrived at Peterhead. He stayed for only a few weeks.
February 4 1716
Prince James Francis Stuart, the Old Pretender, left Scotland after a stay of only three weeks, effectively bringing the first Jacobite Uprising to an end.
June 10 1719
Battle of Glenshiel, Jacobites with Spanish assistance, and government forces clashed.
September 1 1719
Marriage ceremony of Prince James Francis Edward Stewart (the Old Pretender>) and Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska. The Polish Princess had been kidnapped on her way to the original wedding, escaped and had married James by proxy earlier in 1719.
December 31 1720
Charles Edward Stewart> born in Rome.
March 19 1721
Novelist Tobias Smollett born. Books included "The Adventures of Roderick Random" and "The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker".
September 21 1722
Minister, historian, playwright and tutor to the Prince of Wales, John Home born. After the first performance of his play "Douglas", people asked "Whaur's yer Wully Shakespeare noo?"
February 5 1723
John Witherspoon>, clergyman, writer, President of Princeton University 1768-94, signatory to American Declaration of Independence 1776, born in Gifford, East Lothian.
June 5 1723
Adam Smith, author of "The Wealth of Nations" born Kirkcaldy.
June 20 1723
Adam Ferguson>, philosopher, historian, "Father of Sociology" born Logierait, Perthshire.
June 8 1724
Birth of John Smeaton, civil engineer and lighthouse builder.
December 24 1724
General George Wade was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British army in Scotland after he had reported on the need for military roads in the country.
May 12 1725
The Black Watch regiment was commissioned under General Wade to police the Highlands.
June 22 1725
Malt Riots, Glasgow - against higher taxes imposed on Scottish malt.
May 25 1726
First circulating library opened in Edinburgh.
June 3 1726
James Hutton, founder of modern geology, born.
March 22 1727
Neil Gow>, first of a famous family of Fiddle players and composers, born at Inver, near Dunkeld, Perthshire.
May 31 1727
The Royal Bank of Scotland was formed from a company of debenture holders.
June 10 1727
Death of King George I and accession of George II.
April 30 1728
Royal Bank> invents first overdraft, Wm Hogg overdraws by £1,000 (£66,000 at today's money).
July 3 1728
Architect Robert Adam> born.
October 27 1728
James Cook, circum-navigator of the globe, born to Scottish parents in Yorkshire.
January 8 1729
Two women arrested in Edinburgh for wearing men's clothing.
March 20 1729
John Law, financier and founder of New Orleans, died aged about 57.
December 28 1734
Rob Roy McGregor> died.
January 19 1736
Birth of James Watt>, mathematical instrument maker, developed the steam engine, invented the condensor and copying machine.
April 14 1736
"Porteous Riots" in Edinburgh take place after the hanging of a smuggler by the City Guard led by Captain Porteous. The Guard killed several people in the ensuing riot.
September 7 1736
A mob broke into the Tolbooth jail and removed Captain Porteous, reprieved for the killing of Edinburgh citizens during a riot on April 14. He was then hanged from a dyer's pole.
November 8 1736
First regular public theatre in Scotland opened in Carrubber's Close, Edinburgh.
October 29 1740
James Boswell, biographer of Dr Johnston, born at Blair's Land, Parliament Square, Edinburgh.
August 28 1741
Earl of Wintoun died, aged 100.
April 28 1742
Henry Dundas, powerful politician, known as "Uncrowned King of Scotland, born.
March 7 1744
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers founded. The oldest golf club in the world, it produced thirteen "Rules of Golf" for its first competition which was played for the "Silver Club". (The first winner of the trophy only just escaped beheading for becoming Bonnie Prince Charlie's personal surgeon during the Jacobite Uprising the following year. The club played on the 5 holes at Leith Links for nearly a century.
July 23 1745
Charles Edward Stuart lands on Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides at the start of the Jacobite Uprising.
August 19 1745
Charles Edward Stuart, raises his standard at Glenfinnan, at the start of the '45 uprising.
September 3 1745
Prince Charles Edward Stuart proclaimed his father as King James VIII of Scotland at Perth.
September 14 1745
Bonnie Prince Charlie, Charles Edward Stuart, occupied Edinburgh.
September 17 1745
Prince Charles Edward Stuart took up residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.
September 21 1745
Charles Edward Stuart victorious at Battle of Prestonpans. The Jacobite army of just over 3,000 under Bonnie Prince Charlie heavily defeated the English Royal forces led by Sir John Cope.
December 6 1745
Charles Edward Stewart's> entry into Derby.
January 16 1746
Retreating Jacobite army defeated Hanoverian forces at Battle of Falkirk>.
February 16 1746
An attempt to capture Prince Charles Edward Stewart at Moy Hall was unsuccessful and the government forces were surprised and routed by a handful of Jacobites. Duncan Bam MacCrimmon, Hereditory Piper to the MacLeods of Dunvegan, fighting on the Hanoverian side, was the only fatality in the skirmish.
March 17 1746
Lord George Murray and Cluny Macpherson (chief of the clan) fell upon the Campbell militia posts in the Braes of Atholl, at the head of Strathtay, and wiped them out. A brilliant feat of arms, it aroused a blaze of Jacobite optimism.
April 16 1746
Charles Edward Stewart> defeated at Battle of Culloden>.
April 21 1746
City of Glasgow held a cake-and-wine banquet to celebrate the defeat of the Jacobites and offer the Duke of Cumberland the freedom of the city.
June 18 1746
Flora MacDonald met Prince Charles Edward Stuart and persuaded him to wear women's clothes as part of the escape plan from the Outer Hebrides to Skye.
July 5 1746
British Linen Company (later Bank) received its Charter.
September 20 1746
Prince Charles Edward Stuart escaped capture by sailing to France aborad the French ship "L'Heureux."
April 9 1747
Lord Lovat beheaded on Tower Hill for high treason. He was the last person in Britain to be beheaded.
May 20 1747
James Lind began a controlled experiment which demonstrated that citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease contracted by sailors on long voyages. The lime juice which eventually became standard issue to British sailors gave rise to the term "limey" as a name for British overseas.
July 6 1747
John Paul Jones>, hero of the US Navy, born Kirkbean, Dumfries.
August 1 1747
Proscription Act introduced, banning tartan and the carrying of weapons.
March 10 1748
John Playfair, clergyman, geologist, mathematician, born in Edinburgh.
September 5 1750
Poet Robert Fergusson born in Edinburgh.
May 14 1752
Colin Campbell of Glenure, known as the "Red Fox", and a notorious presecutor of Jacobites after Culloden, was shot in Appin. Alan Breck (later made famous in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped" and "Catriona") was accused (though no evidence was ever put forward) and fled to France. James Stewart (a friend of Red Fox) was arrested and was found guilty, despite a lack evidence, by a jury in Inveraray, presided over by the Duke of Argyll.
September 3 1752
With the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, September 3 1752 became 14 September. Crowds flocked the streets demanding "Give us back our 11 days."
November 1 1753
Tremors from an earthquake in Lisbon are felt in Scotland.
May 14 1754
St Andrews Society of Golfers constituted. In 1834 it became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
August 21 1754
Birth of William Murdoch who pioneered the use of coal-gas lighting in 1792 in partnership with James Watt and Mathew Boulton.
March 4 1756
Sir Henry Raeburn>, reknowned for painting the portraits of many of the citizens of Edinburgh, born.
September 21 1756
Road builder John McAdam> born in Ayr.
August 9 1757
Civil engineer Thomas Telford> born. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
May 5 1758
James Taylor who developed the steamboat was born.
September 9 1758
Birth of painter Alexander Naysmyth in Edinburgh.
January 25 1759
Robert Burns born Alloway.
January 1 1760
Carron Ironworks near Falkirk begun by Roebuck and Garbett from Birmingham and William Cadell from Cockenzie, East Lothian
July 27 1760
The Scottish School of Design was founded in Edinburgh. It later became the Royal Institution and finally the Royal Scottish Academy.
October 26 1760
George III crowned, beginning a 60 year reign, one of the longest in British history.
January 31 1761
Lachlan MacQuarie>, "Father of Australia" born Ulva.
May 16 1763
Biographer James Boswell met Samuel Johnson> for the first time.
October 1 1763
Contract to construct the North Bridge, Edinburgh, signed.
January 1 1766
James Stewart> the "Old Pretender" died.
April 17 1766
James Craig's winning entry for development of Edinburgh New Town was approved.
August 16 1766
Birth of Carolina Oliphant (Lady Nairne), poet and author of many Jacobite songs, including "Charlie is my Darling". Her songs are second only in popularity to Burns.
December 29 1766
Charles Macintosh>, who patented waterproof fabric, born.
June 10 1768
Construction of the Forth and Clyde canal started. It was to take 22 years to complete.
December 1 1768
The first volume of Encyclopedia Britannica was published in Edinburgh, edited by William Smellie.
March 9 1770
Haggis was served on board Captain James Cook's ship "Endeavour", anchored off New Zealand, in celebration of the birthday of a Scottish officer who was on board. (Captain Cook was born in Yorkshire of Scottish parents).
November 14 1770
James Bruce discovered the source of the Blue Nile, Lake Tana in north-west Ethiopia.
May 14 1771
Industrialist and social reformer Robert Owen> born.
August 15 1771
Novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott born.
September 10 1771
Birth of Mungo Park> at Foulshiels, near Selkirk. He became an explorer and doctor who charted the course of the River Niger.
September 17 1771
Death of novelist Tobias Smollett whose novels included Roderick Random.
June 8 1772
Robert Stevenson, engineer, who constructed 18 lighthouses around Scotland, born Glasgow.
September 15 1773
The "Hector" from Loch Broom, near Ullapool, arrives at Pictou, Nova Scotia, carrying emigrants escaping from the "Clearances".
October 23 1773
Birth of Francis Jeffrey, first editor of the "Edinburgh Review".
June 3 1774
Poet Robert Tannahill born in Paisley.
October 8 1774
Rev Henry Duncan>, founder of the first savings bank, born in the Manse at Lochrutton.
October 16 1774
Poet Robert Fergusson died.
November 4 1774
Poet and song writer Robert Allan was born in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire.
March 9 1776
"Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith> published
August 25 1776
Philosopher David Hume died.
September 23 1779
Battle of Flamborough Head in which Scots-born John Paul Jones> fought an engagement against the British navy. His ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard sank but he boarded and captured HMS Serapis.
March 20 1780
The firm of James Watt and Co was established to manufacture the world's first duplicating machines.
October 4 1780
African explorer Alexander Laing, born.
December 18 1780
Society of Antiquaries founded.
December 11 1781
David Brewster>, inventor of the kaleidoscope born.
January 18 1782
Death of Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society from 1772-1778 and physician to King George III. Sometimes called the "father of modern military medicine", the Scottish-born physician focused on the need to adopt a clean medical environment for the treatment of wounded soldiers. He also coined the term "influenza".
February 2 1782
Birth of James Chalmers in Arbroath - he devised the adhesive postage stamp.
July 1 1782
Proscription Act Repealed, thus allowing again the wearing of tartan and the carrying of weapons (banned as a result of the 1745 Uprising in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie).
October 7 1782
Birth of Charles McLaren, one of the founders of the "Scotsman" newspaper.
January 1 1783
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce incorporated.
January 27 1783
Glasgow Herald> newspaper first published. It is the longest continuously published daily newspaper in Britain.
March 29 1783
The Royal Society of Edinburgh incorporated by charter.
August 27 1784
First balloon ascent in Britain by James Tytler>, Edinburgh.
October 5 1785
Balloon flight by Italian aeronaut Vincenzo Lunardi from Heriot's School, Edinburgh to Ceres in Fife.
November 18 1785
Sir David Wilkie who later became a well-known painter of historical and religious works as well as portraits, was born near Pitlessie, Fife.
July 31 1786
"Kilmarnock Edition" of the poems of Robert Burns "Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect" first published.
March 5 1787
Deacon William Brodie executed for theft - on a grand scale.
September 3 1787
Glasgow weavers riot after their wages are cut. Bricks were thrown at magistrates and soldiers who then opened fire on the rioters, resulting in six being killed.
December 1 1787
First lighthouse in Scotland opened (at Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh). It was built by Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson.
January 22 1788
Poet George Gordon Byron (later Lord Byron>) born. He moved to Aberdeen at the age of four and attended Aberdeen Grammar School. The title was inherited from an uncle.
January 31 1788
Charles Edward Stewart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" died.
October 14 1788
First steamboat tested on Dalswinton Loch by Patrick Miller and William Symington.
June 14 1789
Whisky distilled from maize was first produced - by a clergyman, the Rev Elijah Craig. He called the new liquor "bourbon" because he lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
October 30 1789
Writer Michael Scott who wrote novels for Blackwood's Magazine, was born in Glasgow.
March 5 1790
Flora Macdonald, who helped to save Prince Charles Edward Stewart> during his flight after the defeat at the Battle of Culloden, died in Kingsburgh, Skye (in the same bed in which Bonnie Prince Charlie had slept during his escape).
July 8 1790
Forth and Clyde Canal between the rivers Forth and Clyde, 22 years in the making, completed. At the official opening on 27 July a hogshead of water from the River Forth in the east was transported along the canal and poured into the river Clyde at Bowling.
May 16 1791
James Boswell's> "Life of Johnson" published.
June 21 1791
Robert Napier, regarded as the "father of Clyde shipbuilding" was born.
January 2 1792
Thomas Muir, lawyer and political activist, arrested and charged with sedition.
March 3 1792
Robert Adam, architect, died.
July 18 1792
John Paul Jones, naval hero of the American Revolution, died; he was born in Kircudbrightshire in 1747.
20 October 1792
Colin McIver, better known as Colin Campbell, was born in Glasgow. He fought in the Napoleonic Wars, the Opium Wars in China, the Crimean War (winning the Battle of Alma and holding the "thin red line" at Balaclava) and suppressed the Indian Mutiny at Lucknow, rising to be Field Marshall in 1862.
February 10 1794
The 4th Duke of Gordon was authorised to raise the Gordon Highlanders.
April 27 1794
James Bruce , explorer and author of "Travels to Discover the Sources of the Nile" died.
October 28 1794
Birth of Robert Liston in Linlithgow who was to carry out the first operation in Britain with the aid of an anaesthetic.
January 17 1795
Duddingston Curling Society became formally organised, one of the earliest in the history of curling> - though Kilsyth lays claim to a date of 1716.
May 19 1795
Death in Auchinleck of James Boswell>, biographer of Dr Johnston.
December 4 1795
Essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle>, best known for his "French Revolution" born in Ecclefechan.
January 13 1796
John Anderson, founder of "Andersonian Institute" (now Strathclyde University>) died.
June 21 1796
Scottish explorer Mungo Park reached the source of the river Niger in Africa.
21 July 1796
Robert Burns dies in Dumfries.
October 24 1796
Artist David Roberts born in Edinburgh.
August 29 1797
"Battle of Tranent" in which a demonstration against conscription under the Militia Act was broken up by the Cinque Ports Dragoons and East Lothian Yeomanry with the death of 12 participants.
October 11 1797
The British fleet, under the command of Admiral Adam Duncan (born in Forfar in 1731), defeated the Dutch off the village of Camperdown, Holland
July 14 1798
United States' Consulate first opened in Edinburgh.
January 9 1799
Income tax introduced for the first time.
April 15 1799
Prof Joseph Black chemist, researcher, teacher, first to identify carbon dioxide, died.
June 25 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 and mahonia.
January 1 1800
New Lanark Twist Company founded, with Robert Owen as manager.
February 11 1800
William H Fox Talbot>, pioneering photographer, born.
May 15 1800
King George III escaped two assassination attempts in one day. In Hyde Park, London, a bullet intended for him hit a man standing alongside. Later, at the Drury Lane Theatre, two bullets missed him and hit the wooden panel behind him. His assailant was found to be insane.
October 10 1802
Writer and geologist Hugh Miller born on the Black Isle, Cromarty.
October 10 1802
The Edinburgh Review first published "to erect a higher standard of merit, and secure a bolder and purer taste in literature, and to apply philosophical principles and the maxims of truth and humanity to politics".
March 17 1806
Death of businessman and philanthropist David Dale who established the cotton mills at New Lanark, in partnership with Arkwright, the inventor of the "Spinning Jenny."
January 16 1809
General Sir John Moore died at the Battle of Corunna in Spain.
April 20 1809
James David Forbes, physicist who devised first form of seismograph, born.
May 10 1809
Andrew Bell, co-founder of Encyclopaedia Britannica with Colin MacFarquhar, died.
December 29 1809
William Ewart Gladstone>, UK Prime Minister on four occasions, born 1809
March 25 1810
The Commercial Bank of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh by John Pitcairn, Lord Cockburn and others.
May 10 1810
Rev Henry Duncan opened the world's first savings bank in Ruthwell, near Dumfries.
January 9 1811
The first women's golf tournament took place in scotland at Musselburgh.
June 7 1811
Sir James Young Simpson, pioneer of anaesthetics and chloroform, born.
December 23 1812
Samuel Smiles, writer and author of "Self Help" and "Lives of Engineers", born.
March 19 1813
David Livingstone, missionary and explorer, born Blantyre.
September 30 1813
Birth in Orkney of John Rae, explorer and surveyor of Canada's northern coastline.
March 20 1814
Birth of Dr John Goodsir in Anstruther, Fife, who showed in 1842 that bacteria was the cause of disease and that it could be eliminated with selective poisons - 18 years before Louis Pasteur, who is usually credited with the discovery.
July 7 1814
First publication of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels (See Project Gutenberg> under "Scott").
January 11 1815
June 18 1815
Ensign Ewart captured the French Ensign at the Battle of Waterloo.
July 1 1815
Union Bank of Scotland> opened.
April 9 1817
Architect Alexander "Greek Thomson" born in Balfron, Stirlingshire.
January 25 1817
First edition of the Edinburgh-based "Scotsman" newspaper, published by its founders, Charles MacLaren, William Ritchie and John MacDiarmid.
February 4 1818
Honours of Scotland> put on display in Edinburgh Castle after being rediscovered by Sir Walter Scott.
September 18 1818
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, became the first theatre in Britain to be lit by gas.
May 24 1819
The future Queen Victoria was born.
June 13 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.
August 25 1819
James Watt>, developer of steam power, died.
August 25 1819
Birth in Glasgow of Alan Pinkerton, founder of the Chicago-based detective agency which bears his name.
March 11 1820
Death of Sir Alexander Mackenzie (of Dunkeld), explorer of North America and in 1793 became the first white person north of Mexico to reach the Pacific by crossing overland.
August 6 1820
Donald Alexander Smith - later Lord Strathcona - born in Forres. A pioneer of the Hudson Bay Company in the North-West, he later championed the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada and drove the last spike at Craigellachie, British Columbia.
October 4 1821
Death of John Rennie, engineer who constructed the Crinan Canal.
July 8 1822
Henry Raeburn>, portrait painter, died.
August 17 1822
Visit of George IV to Edinburgh began, orchestrated by Sir Walter Scott>.
October 30 1822
Caledonian Canal> opened.
June 17 1823
Charles Macintosh patented the waterproof cloth he was using to make raincoats.
June 23 1823
George and Robert Stephenson open their locomotive foundry in Newcastle upon Tyne.
July 1 1824
Lachlan Macquarrie, "Father of Australia" died in London.
November 15 1824
Edinburgh's Great Fire began - and lasted until 17th November. It destroyed the High Street, Parliament Square and the Tron Kirk.
December 10 1824
Novelist and poet George MacDonald, born.
April 19 1825
Poet Robert Byron (later Lord Byron) died at Missolinghi, Greece.
April 24 1825
Novelist R M Ballantyne, who wrote 90 books, the best known of which was "The Coral Island," was born in Edinburgh.
August 27 1825
African explorer William Blake born.
April 26 1826
Robert Adamson, who collaborated with D O Hill to produce early portrait photography, born.
August 13 1826
Explorer Alexander Gordon Laing became the first Christian to reach Timbuctu, Africa.
August 14 1827
Foundation laid of George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. It was not completed until 1836 due to lack of funds.
January 28 1829
William Burke, murderer and body snatcher of "Burke and Hare" fame, executed.
April 5 1830
Birth at Lesmahagow of composer Alexander Muir, creator of "Maple Leaf Forever".
June 26 1830
King George IV died, aged 67 (and William IV ascended the throne). George IV is reckoned to be Britain's fattest king. His favourite breakfast was two roast pigeons, three beefsteaks, a bottle of white wine, a glass of champagne, two of port and one brandy.
June 13 1831
Birth of James Clerk Maxwell>, first Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge University, he created electromagnetic theory of light.
September 27 1831
Scotland's first passenger railway opened (between Glasgow and Garnkirk).
December 23 1831
Major outbreak of cholera in Scotland.
June 4 1832
Great Reform Bill, which disenfranchised rotten burghs, came into force.
July 16 1832
31 Shetland boats (known as "sixerns") sank in a storm with the loss of 105 crewmen. The event is still recalled as "The Bad Day".
September 21 1832
Novelist (notably "Ivanhoe" and "Talisman") and poet Sir Walter Scott died aged 61.
July 13 1834
Botanist and explorer David Douglas died in Hawaii.
September 2 1834
Death of engineer, road, bridge and canal builder Thomas Telford.
October 9 1834
First shipment of tea direct from India arrived at the Broomielaw Docks in Glasgow.
November 21 1835
Poet James Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, died in Ettrick.
November 25 1835
Steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie > born in Dunfermline.
July 1 1836
North of Scotland Bank founded in Aberdeen. It is now part of the Clydesdale Bank.
November 26 1836
John McAdam, inventor of "tar macadam" road surface, died, 1836.
March 2 1838
Clydesdale Bank founded in Glasgow.
April 21 1838
John Muir>, pioneering conservationist and founder of Yosemite National Park, born in Dunbar.
April 22 1838
The 703-ton Sirius, built in Leith and carrying 90 passengers, reached New York, the first ship to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam. Shortage of fuel resulted in spars and furniture being burned towards the end of the 18-day voyage. Brunel's steamship, Great western, arrived a day later.
June 6 1838
Thomas Blake Glover>, founding father of Japan's industrialisation (including Mitsubishi) and Japanese Navy, born Fraserburgh.
June 28 1838
Queen Victoria> crowned at Westminster Abbey.
April 11 1839
John Galt>, author, traveller, founder of Guelph, Ontario, died.
August 15 1840
Foundation stone for the Monument to Sir Walter Scott laid in Princes Street Gardens.
May 28 1841
Seven church ministers of the Presbytery of Strathbogie were removed from their posts by the General assembly of the Church of Scotland for obeying civil rather than ecclesiastical law.
June 1 1841
Poet and songwriter Robert Allan (born in Kilbarchan in 1774) died in New York, six days after sailing there from Scotland to join his son. He had believed that his poetry would be better appreciated in North America.
November 9 1841
Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was born.
February 21 1842
Intercity railway between Glasgow and Edinburgh opened by Queen Victoria.
September 7 1842
Queen Victoria's first visit to Edinburgh>.
September 20 1842
Sir James Dewar, inventor of the vacuum flask, born in Kincardine-on-Forth.
May 18 1843
Break up of Church of Scotland> and formation of Free Church of Scotland>.
June 1 1843
Dr Henry Faulds, who established the uniqueness of fingerprints, born in Beith, Ayrshire.
October 26 1845
Lady Caroline Nairne, songwriter and poet, died at Gask.
February 5 1846
John Boyd Dunlop>, who patented the first practical pneumatic tyre, born Ayrshire.
February 12 1846
Rev Henry Duncan>, founder of the world-wide savings bank movement, died near Ruthwell.
December 21 1846
Robert Liston, who was born in Linlithgow in 1794, performed the first operation in a British hospital using anaesthetic (ether).
March 3 1847
Alexander Graham Bell> born Edinburgh.
April 17 1847
The Educational Institute of Scotland was founded "to promote sound learning and advance the interests of education in Scotland".
May 30 1847
Death of Thomas Chalmers, first Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.
July 5 1847
Final run of the Edinburgh to London mail coach (trains had taken over).
August 22 1847
Birth of Sir Alexander Campbell MacKenzie, musician and composer.
November 9 1847
In Edinburgh, Dr James Young Simpson> delivered Wilhelmina Carstairs while chloroform was administered to the mother, the first child to be born with the aid of anaesthesia.
November 12 1847
Sir James Young Simpson> first used chloroform as an anaesthetic.
November 23 1847
Historian Walter Biggar Blaikie born.
January 1 1848
Riots by Irish navvies in Stonehaven.
January 29 1848
Greenwich Mean Time> adopted by Scotland.
February 15 1848
The Caledonian Railway company opened.
March 23 1848
First Scottish settlers arrive Dunedin>, New Zealand.
December 2 1848
Mary Slessor, missionary to West Africa, born in Aberdeen.
September 12 1848
Death of William McNab, curator of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh>. He was responsible for "greening" Scotland in the 19th century. He moved 4,000 plant species, including trees from a site on Leith Walk, to the present garden at Inverleith.
August 13 1849
Queen Victoria> visited Glasgow, the first monarch to visit the city since James VI in the 16th century. Having visited the "second city of the Empire" she is reputed to have said that she did not wish to repeat the experience...
May 10 1850
Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of the Lipton's grocery chain who was a millionaire by the age of 30, was born in Glasgow.
October 17 1850
James "Paraffin" Young obtained a patent for the extraction of paraffin from shale, starting the chemical industry in West Lothian.
November 13 1850
Novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson> born Edinburgh.
March 12 1852
Last salmon was caught in the River Kelvin due to the rise of industrial pollution in the area. After a major investment, salmon returned to spawn in the river in 1999.
May 24 1852
Robert Cunningham Graham born. Son of a Scottish laird, he organised the Scottish Labour Party with Kier Hardie, wrote over 30 travel books and was elected first president of the Scottish National Party.
October 2 1852
Birth of Sir William Ramsay>, Scottish chemist who discovered helium, xenon, neon, argon, radon and krypton.
November 25 1853
John Gibson Lockhart, biographer and critic, editor Blackwood's magazine, died. He married Sir Walter Scott's daughter and wrote a 7 volume biography of Scott. Buried Dryburgh Abbey, at the feet of Sir Walter Scott.
September 17 1854
David Dunbar Buick was born at 26 Green Street, Arbroath. He emigrated to the USA with his parents at the age of two. Although he founded the Buick Manufacturing Company which later became General Motors, it was William C. Durant who grew the company.
September 19 1854
The Great North of Scotland Railway opened, running from Aberdeen to Huntly.
October 2 1854
Patrick Geddes>, "father of town planning" born in Ballater.
October 27 1854
William Smith, founder of the Boys' Brigade>, born.
November 25 1854
Death of John Gibson Lockhart, Sir Walter Scott's biographer. Lockhart is buried at the foot of Sir Walter's grave in Dryburgh Abbey.
November 17 1855
David Livingstone> reached Victoria Falls in Africa.
August 15 1856
Birth at Holytown of John Keir Hardie, coal miner and founder of the Labour Party.
December 24 1856
Writer and geologist Hugh Miller> died.
March 18 1857
William Henry Playfair, architect, died.
June 30 1857
Start of trial for murder of Madeleine Smith> who was eventually found "Not Proven">
July 9 1857
Madeleine Smith> acquitted of murder and "not proven" on another charge of attempted poisoning after a notorious trial.
November 17 1858
Robert Owen>, Welsh-Scottish industrialist and social reformer, founder of New Lanark community, died.
March 8 1859
Kenneth Grahame, author of "The Wind in the Willows" born in Edinburgh.
March 21 1859
National Gallery of Scotland opened in Edinburgh.
May 22 1859
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle>, author of Sherlock Holmes, born of Irish parents in Edinburgh.
September 16 1859
David Livingstone discovered Lake Nyasa.
October 14 1859
Queen Victoria opened the water supply from Loch Katrine allowing it to flow 17 miles to Milngavie reservoir and then to Glasgow.
May 9 1860
J M Barrie, author of "Peter Pan" born
September 26 1860
First Open Golf Championship held at Prestwick. There were eight entrants and the championship was won by Willie Park of Musselburgh.
January 26 1861
"One o'clock gun" fired for the first time from Edinburgh Castle.
June 19 1861
Earl Haig>, Commander in Chief of British forces 1915-18, founder of British Legion, born.
October 22 1861
Foundation stones of main Post Office and National Museum of Scotland> laid by Prince Albert> in his last public engagement before his death.
June 3 1863
Writer Neil Munro born Inveraray.
November 20 1863
Death of James Bruce (8th Lord Elgin) who had served as Governor-General of Canada (1847-54) and India (1862-63). As a special envoy to China he burned downthe emperor's Summer Palace in Beijing, destroying countless works of art, in order to induce the emperor to sign a treaty.
February 1 1865
Highland Railway formed from the amalgamation of Inverness and Perth Junction and the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railways.
October 12 1866
Ramsay MacDonald>, first Labour Prime Minister of UK, born.
October 25 1866
Revised Glasgow coat of arms approved by the Lord Lyon - "Let Glasgow Flourish".
May 23 1867
Archibald Alison, historian, died.
July 9 1867
Queen's Park> Football Club, first senior football (soccer) club in Scotland formed.
February 10 1868
David Brewster>, scientist, inventor (including the kaleidoscope) died.
March 22 1868
Last fully public hanging in Scotland - that of Joseph Bell at Perth.
December 10 1868
Artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh> born.
June 5 1868
James Connolly>, Irish revolutionary, born in Edinburgh.
July 13 1868
Scottish Reform Act passed giving the vote to all male householders.
April 22 1869
Rev Patrick Bell , inventor of mechanical reaper, died.
November 12 1869
Edinburgh University became the first in Britain to allow women to study medicine (though not graduate). But a woman, masquerading as Dr James Barry, actually took a medical degree at Edinburgh University in 1812 and became an army surgeon.
November 22 1869
Cutty Sark launched at Dumbarton on the Clyde to be the fastest ship in the race to bring home the first of the new season's tea from China. She later brought back wool from Australia.
May 6 1870
Sir James Young Simpson advocate of chloroform, died.
May 17 1870
David Octavius Hill, painter and pioneer photographer, died.
August 4 1870
Birth of the entertainer Sir Harry Lauder>.
August 30 1870
Birth of golf course designer Dr Alister Mackenzie; he was responsible for Augusta National and Cypress Point, among others.
December 18 1870
Birth of Hector Munro. He wrote short stories under the pseudonym "Saki".
March 27 1871
First Scotland/England rugby international, 20 a side, played at Raeburn Place. (Scotland won).
November 10 1871
Journalist Henry M Stanley found the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone> with the classic "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"
January 14 1872
Greyfriars Bobby> died after staying by his master's grave for 14 years.
July 18 1872
Voting by secret ballot was introduced for the first time.
August 10 1872
Education (Scotland) Act passed, providing elementary education for all children.
August 20 1872
Death of the poet William Miller whose collection of nursery songs included "Wee Willie Winkie".
November 30 1872
World's first international football (soccer) match, Scotland V England at West of Scotland Cricket Ground. Result was 0-0.
March 3 1873
"Scottish Football Union" formed - the precursor of the Scottish Rugby Union.
March 13 1873
Scottish Football Association> founded. The initial clubs were Queen's Park, Clydesdale, Vale of Leven, Dumbreck, Third Lanark, Eastern, Granville and Kilmarnock.
May 1 1873
Missionary and explorer David Livingstone> died.
November 15 1873
Statue to Greyfriar's Bobby>, who stayed by his master's grave for 14 years was unveiled.
April 18 1874
Remains of David Livingstone interred in Westminster Abbey.
July 6 1875
Institute of Bankers in Scotland formed, the first professional association of bankers in the world.
August 26 1875
Novelist and statesman John Buchan> born in Perth.
September 25 1875
John Hughes Bennett, pioneer microscopist, died.
February 14 1876
Alexander Graham Bell> patented the telephone (Patent 174461). Two hours after it was lodged, his rival, Elisha Gray, applied for a similar patent. Bell's was granted.
March 25 1876
First Scotland v Wales football international. Scotland won 4-0.
June 23 1876
Robert Napier, regarded as the "father of Clyde shipbuilding" died.
June 25 1876
Seven Scots, including John Stuart Forbes, were in the US 7th Cavalry with General Custer at theBattle of the Little Big Horn.
October 22 1877
A firedamp explosion at Blantyre Colliery killed 207 miners.
November 5 1877
Opening of the original Mitchell Library, Glasgow, now the largest public reference library in Europe.
January 14 1876
Alexander Graham Bell> demonstrated his telephone to Queen Victoria. She made the first call in the British Isles from her residence on the Isle of Wight.
January 26 1878
Kirkpatrick McMillan>, inventor of the bicycle, died.
June 1 1878
First Tay rail bridge opens. It was to collapse 18 months later in the Tay Bridge Disaster.
October 2 1878
City of Glasgow Bank closed its doors and went into liquidation.
November 5 1879
Death of Edinburgh-born mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell.
December 28 1879
Tay Bridge disaster.
October 15 1880
Dr Marie Stopes>, founder of first modern birth control clinic, born Edinburgh.
October 28 1880
Dr Henry Faulds, a Scots medical missionary working in Japan, published a letter in "Nature" which gave the first evidence that fingerprints could be used as proof of guilt or innocence in legal cases.
February 5 1881
Writer and historian Thomas Carlyle> died in London.
August 6 1881
Birth of Sir Alexander Fleming>, discoverer of penicillin.
October 14 1881
Eyemouth> Fishing Disaster, nearly 20 boats and 129 men (1 in 3 of the town's male population) lost their lives in a storm.
November 2 1881
Tom Johnston, one of Scotland's best know Secretaries of State, born.
April 11 1882
Battle of the Braes in which crofters in Skye fought 50 policemen during a dispute over land rights.
January 17 1883
Author Compton Mackenzie (Whisky Galore etc) born.
July 3 1883
124 people drowned when Steamer "Daphne" sank during its launch on river Clyde.
October 4 1883
Boys' Brigade> founded in Glasgow.
March 15 1886
Low-level platforms at Glasgow's Queen Street Station opened.
June 24 1886
Crofters' Holding Act passed providing limited security of tenure.
July 23 1886
Birth in Glasgow of Arthur Whitten Brown (later Sir Arthur), companion of Alcock on the first west to east aircraft crossing of the Atlantic.
May 15 1887
Poet and critic Edwin Muir born.
May 28 1887
73 miners were killed in a firedamp explosion at Udston Colliery, Lanarkshire.
June 20 1887
New Tay rail bridge opened.
June 25 1887
Wallace statue unveiled at the Wallace National Monument>, Stirling.
November 6 1887
Celtic Football Club formally constituted in Calton, Glasgow, to alleviate poverty in Glasgow's East End parishes.
January 3 1888
O H Mavor (James Bridie) physician and prolific playwright, born in Glasgow.
August 13 1888
Birth of John Logie Baird >, developer of television.
August 22 1888
Queen Victoria opened the Glasgow City Chambers.
October 31 1888
Pneumatic bicycle tyres were patented by inventor John Boyd Dunlop from Ayrshire.
July 15 1889
National Portrait Gallery for Scotland opened in Edinburgh.
July 20 1889
Lord Reith, governor of BBC, born in Stonehaven.
January 24 1890
First train over Forth Bridge.
March 4 1890
Forth Rail Bridge officially opened by Prince of Wales.
May 7 1890
James Naysmith, engineer and inventor of steam hammer, died
April 30 1891
An Comunn Gaidhealach was formally instituted as a vehicle for the preservation and development of the Gaelic language.
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 - earlier publication of "A Study in Scarlet" in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887 had attracted little public interest.
November 8 1891
Author Neil M Gunn born in Caithness. Best known for "Highland River" (1937) and "Silver Darlings" (1951).
November 16 1891
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opened in the East End Exhibition Buildings, Duke Street, Glasgow.
July 4 1892
Lanarkshire-born James Keir Hardie became the first socialist to win a seat in the UK Parliament.
August 11 1892
Author and poet C M Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid) born at Langholm, Dumfriesshire.
January 13 1893
Keir Hardie> of Legbrannock, Lanarkshire, founded Independent Labour Party.
August 2 1894
Death duties introduced for the first time in Britain.
December 3 1894
Robert Louis Stevenson> died in Samoa.
February 11 1895
Coldest temperature ever recorded in Scotland, -27.2C at Braemar.
March 9 1895
Soprano Dame Isabella Baillie>, opera star, born in Hawick.
July 17 1895
The east coast express train from London to Aberdeen set a record time of 10 hours and 21 minutes for the 540 miles.
November 14 1896
Speed limit for horseless carriages was raised from 4mph (2mph in towns) to 14mph.
December 14 1896
Glasgow District Underground opened, powered by electricity.
March 25 1897
Formation of the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
August 20 1897
Ronald Ross, the first Scot to win a Nobel prize (in 1902) dissected a mosquito and established the link with malaria.
September 10 1897
HRH Duke of York opened the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.
November 1 1897
Novelist and politician Naomi Mitchison> born in Edinburgh. Her best known novels are "The Conquered" (1923), "When the Bough Breaks" (1924) and "Cloud Cuckoo Land".
January 22 1898
People's Palace on Glasgow Green opens.
April 28 1898
Poet William Soutar born in Perth.
January 5 1899
An experiment using electricity to drive Glasgow's tram cars was successful, sounding the end for the 3,000 horses used by the city on its 150 miles of track.
March 8 1899
Novelist Eric Linklater, son of an Orkney master mariner, born in Wales.
October 31 1899
Steam Ship Sir Walter Scott launched by William Denny at Dumbarton. The ship is still sailing on Loch Katrine in Perthshire, 100 years later.
December 30 1899
Albion Motor Company established to build lorries.
December 30 1899
Rangers' first match at their new Ibrox stadium. It was a 3-1 victory over Hearts in the Inter-City League.
Other Sections of the Timeline
You can now go directly to the other sections of the chronological sequence or the events which have occured in particular calendar months - "This Day in January" etc.
This Day in...
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>