This Day in March


Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, designed by Robert Adam who died on 3 March, 1792.

Here is a snapshot of historical events which took place in the month of March, with links to pages with further information, where available on the Web.

March 1 1546
George Wishart, a Protestant martyr, was burned at the stake in St Andrews.

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.

March 1 1979
Scots voted in favour of Devolution, but failed to reach the required 40% of the population in favour of implementing it - due to 36% of the electorate not voting.

March 2 1316
King Robert II born in Paisley.

March 2 1838
Clydesdale Bank founded in Glasgow.

March 2 1990
The Queen officially inaugurated Glasgow's year as Cultural Capital of Europe.

March 3 1792
Robert Adam, architect, died.

March 3 1847
Alexander Graham Bell born Edinburgh.

March 4 1756
Sir Henry Raeburn, reknowned for painting the portraits of many of the citizens of Edinburgh, born.

March 4 1890
Forth Rail Bridge opened by Prince of Wales.

March 4 1936
Jim Clark, Formula I World motor racing champion, born Fife.

March 5 1323
King David II born.

March 5 1787
Deacon William Brodie executed for theft - on a grand scale.

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).

March 5 1929
David Dunbar Buick, founder of the Buick Manufacturing Company which later became General Motors, died in Detroit. He was born in Arbroath in 1854.

March 6 608
Death of St Balfred, the hermit monk of the Bass Rock, off North Berwick. The island is now a bird sanctuary.

March 6 1457
King James II decreed in an Act of Parliament that there should be regular target practice and military parades and that "football and golf be utterly cried down and not used". This was the first time that the games had been mentioned in Scottish documents.

March 6 1923
BBC Scotland began broadcasting (from Glasgow). Lord Reith of Stonehaven, the founder of the BBC opened the station.

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.

March 7 1924
Sculptor and artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi born in Leith, the eldest son of Italian immigrants.

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.

March 8 1859
Kenneth Grahame, author of "The Wind in the Willows" born in Edinburgh.

March 8 1899
Novelist Eric Linklater, son of an Orkney master mariner, born in Wales.

March 8 1936
The "Oor Wullie" cartoon strip first appeared in the "Sunday Post".

March 9 1566
David Rizzio murdered by Ruthven in the Palace of Holyrood.

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.

March 9 1770
Haggis was served on boardCaptain 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).

March 9 1776
"Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith published

March 9 1895
Soprano Dame Isabella Baillie, opera star, born in Hawick.

March 10
St Kessoc Day. St Kessoc was the patron saint of Scotland prior to the adoption of St Andrew

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.

March 10 1748
John Playfair, clergyman, geologist, mathematician, born in Edinburgh.

March 10 1916
Birth of James Herriot (the pen name of James Alfred Wight), author of "All Creatures Great and Small"

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.

March 11 1955
Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, died.

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.

March 13 1395
Death of poet and historian John Barbour, author of "The Bruce" recounting the history of King Robert I.

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.

March 13 1973
Scotland played Brazil to mark centenary of Scottish Football Association.

March 13/15 1941
Blitz of Clydebank by German Luftwaffe.

March 13 1947
The classic Lerner and Loewe, Broadway musical "Brigadoon" opened at the Ziegfeld in New York.

March 13 1996
Sixteen primary school children and their teacher murdered in Dunblane.

March 14 1952
First television programmes broadcast in Scotland.

March 15 1921
First women jurors in Glasgow Sheriff Court.

March 15 1689
Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh founded Advocates' Library "equipped with works written by lawyers".

March 15 1886
Low-level platforms at Glasgow's Queen Street Station opened.

March 16 1309
King Robert the Bruce convened his first parliament, at St Andrews.

March 16 1914
Death of Sir John Murray, pioneer of oceanography and inventor of a device for recording the ocean's temperature at great depths.

March 16 1935
John J R Macleod, Scottish/Canadian physiologist and winner of Nobel Prize (in 1923) died.

March 16 1940
The first British civilian victim of the Second World war was killed in the Orkney village of Bridge of Waithe when a Luftwaffe bomber targeting a naval air station near Kirkwall missed the correct target.

March 16 1995
Death of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, chief of the Fraser clan. He developed the Commando force in the British army and was active in the Dieppe Raid (1942) and the D-Day landings (1944).

March 17 1328
Treaty of Edinburgh between King Robert I and Edward III which recognised Scotland's independence, ending the 30 years of Wars of Independence.

March 17 1473
King James IV born.

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.

March 17 1951
The cartoon character "Dennis the Menace" appeared for the first time in the "Beano" comic.

March 17 1969
Longhope lifeboat sank in the Pentland Firth with the loss of eight men on board, all from the small island of Hoy.

March 17 1984
Scotland won Rugby "Grand Slam" at Murrayfield - the first time in 59 years.

March 17 1990
Scotland beat England 13-7 at Murrayfield to win the rugby "Grand Slam".

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.

March 18 1857
William Henry Playfair, architect, died.

March 19 1286
King Alexander III died after crossing the river Forth to Fife at Queensferry.

March 19 1286
Queen Margaret, Maid of Norway (daughter of King Erik II and grand-daughter of Alexander III) inherits the throne.

March 19 1641
Foundation stone of Hutchesons' Grammar School laid by Thomas Hutcheson as a residential school for the poor in Glasgow.

March 19 1721
Novelist Tobias Smollett born. Books included "The Adventures of Roderick Random" and "The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker".

March 19 1813
David Livingstone, missionary and explorer, born Blantyre.

March 19 1938
Rugby first appeared on British television - England v Scotland at Twickenham in London.

March 19 1955
Billy Graham began All-Scotland Crusade.

March 20 1141
King Malcolm IV born.

March 20 1729
John Law, financier and founder of New Orleans, died aged about 57.

March 20 1780
The firm of James Watt and Co was established to manufacture the world's first duplicating machines.

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.

March 20 1936
Death of nationaliust politician, traveller and writer Robert Cunninghame-Graham. He was the first President of the National Party of Scotland and first Chairman of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party. He was reputedly the model for characters in plays by George Bernard Shaw.

March 21 1859
National Gallery of Scotland opened in Edinburgh.

21 March 1925
Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium (the home of Scottish rugby) opened. In the first match, Scotland defeated England 14-11 and won their first Grand Slam - repeat again only in 1984 and 1990.

March 21 1993
Pope John Paul sanctifies John Duns Scotus, philosopher, theologian (but the first "dunce").

March 22 1421
Scottish and French troops under the command of the Earl of Buchan defeated English forces at Baugé in Anjou, France.

March 22 1727
Neil Gow, first of a famous family of Fiddle players and composers, born at Inver, near Dunkeld, Perthshire.

March 22 1868
Last fully public hanging in Scotland - that of Joseph Bell at Perth.

March 23 1848
First Scottish settlers arrive Dunedin, New Zealand.

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.

March 25 1306
King Robert I ("The Bruce") crowned at Scone.

March 25 1437
Coronation of King James II.

March 25 1810
The Commercial Bank of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh by John Pitcairn, Lord Cockburn and others.

March 25 1876
First Scotland v Wales football international. Scotland won 4-0.

March 26 1934
Car driving tests introduced for the first time.

March 27 1371
King Robert II crowned at Scone.

March 27 1625
King James VI died at Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire and buried at Westminster Abbey. Succeeded by his son, King Charles I.

March 27 1871
First Scotland/England rugby international, 20 a side, played at Raeburn Place. (Scotland won).

March 27 1943
Aircraft carrier HMS Dasher blew up and sank off the island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde with the loss of 350 crew; there were 149 survivors.

March 27 1971
David Coulthard, Grand Prix racing driver born in Twynholm, Dumfries and Galloway.

March 28 1318
King Robert the Bruce captured Berwick on Tweed.

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.

March 29 1783
The Royal Society of Edinburgh incorporated by charter.

March 29 1915
Jazz trombonist George Chisholm born into a musical family in Glasgow.

March 29 1960
Cheapside docks fire, Glasgow, 19 firemen killed.

March 29 2002
Longannet, the last deep coal mine in Scotland, closed, after being flooded a five-mile long mineshafts. An estimated 40 million tons of coal still remained to be extracted, but access would have been too expensive.

March 30 1296
Destruction of Berwick by King Edward I of England, slaughtering many of the population of 15,000. In the previous year Scotland had signed an alliance with France which promised mutual help against the English. On this day in 1296, Edward I of England sacked the Scottish town of Berwick. The English army destroyed the town and decimated the population of around 15,000. This act was retaliation for the widespread carnage perpetrated in the north of England, and what Edward considered to be the treacherous stab in the back of the Scottish-French alliance. Berwick was rebuilt by Northumbrians, and the Scottish-English border forever after remained north of this town.

March 30 1406
King James I captured by English near Flamborough Head on his way to France.

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.

March 31 1938
David Steel, (Lord Steel of Aikwood), politician and former leader of the Liberal party, born in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

March 31 1950
The actor Robbie Coltrane was born (as Anthony Robert McMillan) in Rutherglen.

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