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Features - Notable Dates in History

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4 June 1832 The Scottish Reform Bill, increasing the number of Scottish MPs from 45 to 53, and thus widening the vote, was passed at Westminster.
16 July 1832 Thirty-one Shetland "sixerns", with a total of 105 crewmen were lost in a storm. The event is still remembered as "The Bad Day".
17 July 1832 Scottish Reform Bill became law.
11 August 1832 About 50,000 people gathered at the Links, in Edinburgh, to celebrate the passing of the Scottish Reform Bill.

21 September 1832

Death of Sir Walter Scott, novelist and poet, at his Abbotsford home. 

“Scott is dead. He expired yesterday. I had been on a visit to Kirklands, and on coming home today I saw Abbotsford reposing beside its gentle Tweed, and amidst its fading woods, in the calm splendour of a sweet autumnal day. I was not aware till I reached Edinburgh that all that it then contained of him was his memory and his remains. Scotland never owed so much to one man.”

            Lord Cockburn ‘Journal’

30 October 1833 Reporters were allowed to attend meetings of Edinburgh town council for the first time.
2 January 1834 A Perthshire woman from Bankfoot, known as Widow Graham, died aged 100. She recalled having seen Prince Charles Edward Stewart at Blair Atholl where her father had joined the Jacobite army.
26 March 1834

Death of Jean Armour, 'relict of the poet Burns', at Dumfries.  She had been the widow of Robert Burns for thirty-eight years.

Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw,
 I dearly like the west,
For there the bonie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo’e best:
Though wild-woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between:
Baith day and night my fancys’ flight
 Is ever wi’ my Jean

Written by her husband on their honeymoon.

2 September 1834
 
Death of Thomas Telford, civil engineer, who constructed roads, bridges and canals in Scotland, Wales, England and Sweden and was the first President of the Institute of Civil Engineers.
2 October 1834 Sir Patrick Geddes, biologist, town planner and sociologist, was born at Ballater, Aberdeenshire. Acknowledged as the ‘Father of Town Planning’, his exhortation ‘think global, act local’ has influenced succeeding generations.
25 November 1835 Birth of Andrew Carnegie at Dunfermline. His family emigrated to the USA and he became a leading iron and steel manufacturer, millionaire and philanthropist.
21 December 1835
Death of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, MP, President of the Board of Agriculture, organiser of the first Statistical Account of Scotland.
1 July 1836 North of Scotland Bank founded by Alexander Anderson and others in Aberdeen.
16 July 1836 Brig Mariner left Loch Eriboll in Sutherland for Cape Breton and Quebec with 154 emigrants, mostly from the Reay district.
30 July 1836 Ninety-two people were enrolled as depositors on the opening day of the Savings Bank of Glasgow.
26 November 1836 Death of John MacAdam, road-making engineer and inventor of the road surface bearing his name, at Moffat.
8 July 1837 Birth of Donald Dinnie, outstanding athlete who competed world-wide, at Balnacraig, near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. An tremendous competitor at Scottish Highland Games he won more than 11,000 contests: these included 2,000 prizes for throwing the hammer, 1,800 prizes for putting the stone, more than 2,000 for wrestling, 300 prizes for throwing weights, 1,400 prizes for tossing the caber, 1.800 prizes for jumping, and about 500 for running.
27 September 1837 Glasgow’s first railway, from Townhead to Garnick, was opened to passenger traffic.

2 March 1838

The Clydesdale Bank was formed.

“The Clydesdale Banking Company. Capital, One Million. Under the above designation, it is proposed to establish a New Joint-Stock Banking Company in the city of Glasgow, on principles which will enable the Capitalist, Merchant, Manufacturer, and Tradesman to participate in the benefits of banking operations.”

               From the original prospectus

21 April 1838 John Muir, the Scottish conservationist and naturalist considered the father of the environmental movement, was born in Dunbar. His family emigrated to Wisconsin, USA, in 1849 and his work in the Yosemite Valley in California led to the establishment of the United States' National Park system. 
22 April 1838 The 703-ton Sirius, built by R Menzies & Sons, Leith, and carrying 90 passengers, reached Sandy Hook, New York, to become the first to cross the Atlantic entirely under steam. Shortage of fuel forced the crew to burn spars and wood furniture to complete the 18-day voyage.
12 July 1838 Death in Edinburgh of Rev. John Jamieson, D.D., minister of the Secession Church and compiler of 'The Dictionary of the Scottish Language'.
19 July 1838 Death was reported at Ceres in Fife of James Friskin, a negro who was servant to Lord Lovat during the 1745 Jacobite Rising, at the age of 112.
11 April 1839 Death of John Galt, poet, dramatist, biographer, traveller, secretary of the Canada Company and founder of Guelph, Ontario, novelist and author of The Annuls of the Parish, The Ayrshire Legatees, Sir Andrew Wylie, The Provost, The Entail, etc., at Greenock.
30 December 1839 Death of Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland, Rankeillor-born distinquished naval officer, on board his flag-ship, The Wellesley, at sea in the vicinity of Bombay. He accepted French Emperor Napoleon’s surrender in 1815 following the battle of Waterloo.
5 February 1840 Birth of John Boyd Dunlop, veterinary and pioneer of the pneumatic tyre, at Dreghorn, North Ayrshire.
15 August 1840 The foundation stone of the Scott Monument, Princes Street, Edinburgh, was laid. The monument, in honour of Sir Walter Scott, cost £15,650 and was designed by George Meikle Kemp.
8 December 1840 Blantyre-born missionary and explorer David Livingstone sailed for Africa.  He landed at Cape Town to begin a lifetime's work in the Dark Continent.
6 May 1841 Death of John Thomson, composer and inaugural Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University (1838), his compositions were much admired by Mendelssohn.
28 May 1841
 
Seven ministers of the Presbytery of Strathbogie were deposed by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for obeying the civil rather than the ecclesiastical law. 
1 June 1841 Death of Sir David Wilkie, one of Scotland’s greatest-ever artists, King’s Limner, at sea off Gibralter. His burial at sea was painted by Turner.
2 November 1841 Montrose-born traveller and diplomat Sir Alexander Burns, who voyaged widely in Asia, was murdered during an uprising in Kabul, Afghanistan.
14 November 1841 Fife-born Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine, Lord Elgin, soldier, diplomat and art connoisseur, died, aged 74, in Paris. In spite of much criticism, including by figures such as Lord Byron, he was responsible for selling antiquities of Athens (Parthenon Frieze and other sculptures), known now and then as the ‘Elgin Marbles’, to the British Museum, London, in 1816.
13 January 1842 Scotsman Dr William Brydon, the sole survivor of a 16,000 strong British force that had left Kubul a week earlier and had been massacred in the mountain passes by Afghan tribesmen, reached the hill fort of Jalalabad.
23 May 1842
 
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland condemned patronage as a grievance to the cause of true religion that ought to be abolished.
10 August 1842 The Mines Act was passed at Westminster forbidding women and children to work underground.
20 September 1842 Birth of Sir James Dewar in Kincardine-on-Forth, physician and chemist; inventor of the vacuum flask.
17 May 1843
The Disruption, when after prolonged disputes over the Established Church of Scotland's liability to the operation of statute law and judgements of the courts, 474 ministers (out of about 1200) signed the Deed of Demission and formed the Free Church of Scotland.
 
    'We protest that, in the circumstances in which we are placed, it is and shall be lawful for us and such other Commissioners as may concur with us, to withdraw to a separate place of meeting for the purpose of taking steps, along with all who will adhere to us, maintaining with us the Confession of Faith and Standards of the Church of Scotland as heretofore understood, for separating in an orderly way from the Establishment...' [From the formal protest made by the Moderator to the General Assembly]
1 July 1843
 
The Union Bank of Scotland, being an amalgamation over the years of the Ship Bank of Colin Dunlop and Houston, Coutts and Co., Forbes, Hunter and Co., Thistle Bank, Glasgow Union Bank, opened in Glasgow.
25 July 1843 Death of Charles Macintosh, chemist who developed and patented waterproof fabric.
5 August 1843 Birth of James Scott Skinner in Banchory, known as 'The Strathspey King' he was a renowned fiddler and composer of some 600 tunes. Scott Skinner emerged as the first international Scottish 'star'.
17 November 1843 Birth of Dr William Wallace, editor of the Glasgow Herald (1906-19909), at Culross, Fife.
1 February 1844 The lamp at Skerryvore Lighthouse off the west coast of Scotland went into operation. It was engineered by Alan Stevenson (uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson) for the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses. It stands 48 metres high and has a range of 23 miles.
6 March 1844 George Meikle Kemp, self-taught architect and designer of the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, drowned in the Union Canal. He missed his footing in the darkness and fell into the canal whilst walking along the bank to meet boats bringing stones for the monument.
30 April 1845 Birth of Alexander Anderson, poet who wrote as ‘Surfaceman’, in Kirkconnel, Dumfries and Galloway. He rose from being a quarryman, then a railwayman, to become Chief Librarian of Edinburgh Unversity.
18 May 1845 Death of William Laidlaw, in his 65th year, songwriter (‘Lucy’s Flitting’, ‘Alake for the Lassie’ etc), steward at Abbotsford and friend of Sir Walter Scott, at Contin.
27 May 1845 Birth of Catherine (Kate) Cranston, tea-room proprietor, at 39 George Square, Glasgow. She employed the services of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his design for the glittering Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street, opened in 1903, confirmed her reputation in the trade.
13 July 1845 First cargo of imported American ice unloaded at the Broomielaw from the brigantine Acton of New York.
26 October 1845 Death of Lady Caroline Nairne, songwriter and poet, at Gask, Perthshire. Her work is still popular and includes such favourites as 'The Laird o Cockpen', 'Caller Herrin', 'Charlie is my darling', 'Will ye no come back again' and 'The Land o the Leal'.
10 December 1845 Pneumatic tyres patented by Scottish civil engineer Robert Thomson. Manufacture proved to be too expensive until developed by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888.
12 February 1846 Death of Rev Henry Duncan, minister of Ruthwell, founder of Dumfries and Galloway Courier, restorer of the Ruthwell Cross (erected about 730), and promoter of the first savings bank in 1810.
18 June 1846
North British Railway was opened from Edinburgh to Berwick-on-Tweed. The inaugural train had five locomotives and according to a newspaper report -
 
    'The enormous size of the train must be considered, consisting of 26 or 28 carriages, and with the five locomotives and tenders, extending to nearly a furlong, or something more than one division of Princes Street. To bystanders the sight must have been extremely imposing, especially at the curvature, where the monster train was seen to bend to the right and left, and display the flexibility of a silken cord, while rivalling the eagle's flight in speed."
 
                                                                    From 'The Scostman' account
3 March 1847 Birth of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, in Edinburgh. His family emigrated to Canada in 1870 and moved to the USA in 1871.
17 April 1847 The Educational Institute of Scotland was founded 'to promote sound learning and advance the interests of education in Scotland'.
31 May 1847 Death of Thomas Chalmers, mathematician, preacher, moral philosopher, economist and social reformer, theologian, leader of the Disruption of 1843 in the Church of Scotland and first Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, in Edinburgh.
9 November 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.
15 February 1848 The Caledonian Railway was opened between Beattock and Glasgow by the Caledonian Railway Company.
29 February 1848 Death of Inverurie weaver poet William Thom (1798-1848). Best known for his poem 'The Mitherless Bairn'.
7 March 1848 Chartists riots in Glasgow.
23 March 1848 Free Church of Scotland settlement at New Edinburgh, later Dunedin, New Zealand, under Rev Thomas Burns, a nephew of the poet Robert Burns.
25 July 1848 Birth of Arthur Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, politician and statesman, Conservative Prime Minister (1902-1905), at Whittinghame, East Lothian.

2 December 1848

Mary Slessor, the Dundee mill-girl turned missionary, was born in Aberdeen. She trained as a missionary for the United Presbyterian Church and worked against savage folk-rites, and to improve conditions for negro women in Calabar, Nigeria where she died in 1915.

‘By her enthusiasm, self-sacrifice and greatness of character she earned the devotion of thousands of the natives among whom she worked, and the love and esteem of all Europeans irrespective of class or creed, with whom she came in contact.’

            From an obituary in the Government Gazette

16 October 1849 The execution of the Auchterless murderer James Robb was the first to be carried out by the London hangman William Calcraft in Aberdeen. Robb was apprehended by the renowned Aberdeen sheriff and criminal officer George Webster for the murder of sixty-two-year-old spinster Mary Smith.
26 January 1850

Death of Francis, Lord Jeffrey, a founder and editor of the Edinburgh Review.

"I could not live anywhere out of Scotland.  All my recollections are Scottish and consequently all my imaginations; and though I thank God that I have as few fixed opinions as any man of my standing, yet all the elements out of which they are made have a certain national cast also."

                                                            letter to Lord Murray, 20 August 1813

7 February 1850 World's first train-ferry, 417-ton Leviathan, began work on the Granton-Burntisland run for Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway.
10 May 1850 Birth of Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of Lipton’s grocery chain and philanthropist, who went from message boy to millionaire by the age of 30, in Glasgow.
17 October 1850 James Young obtains a patent for the extraction of paraffin from shale, the beginning of the paraffin industry in West Lothian. The successful business earned the Glasgow-born Chemist the nickname 'Paraffin Young'.
13 November 1850

Birth off Robert Louis Stevenson, author and poet, in Edinburgh, only son of lighthouse engineer Thomas Stevenson. Famous for books such as "Kidnapped" and "Treasure Island", ill-health forced him to leave Scotland and he died at Vailima, Samoa on 3 December 1894.

"I have been a Scotchman all my life and denied my native land."

15 March 1851 Nitshill mining disaster in which 61 miners from the Victoria pit lost their lives.
28 February 1852 The committee of the Highland Society of Scotland saw a demonstration of a steam-plough in a field near Portobello.
24 May 1852 Birth of Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, scholar, author and politician. He was the first President of both the Scottish Labour Party (1888) and Scottish National Party (1934).
11 October 1852 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert watched the completion of a cairn at Balmoral to commemorate their purchase of the estate.
9 February 1853 Owing to ill-health Alan Stevenson resigned as Chief Engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Board. He had succeeded his father, Robert Stevenson, to the post in 1844 and was responsible for the design and construction of ten new lights including Skerryvore in Argyll. He was, in turn, succeeded by his brother David Stevenson.
26 May 1853 Death of James Chalmers, bookseller, printer, newspaper publisher and deviser of the adhesive postage stamp.
8 September 1853 The Deeside rail line was opened from Aberdeen to Banchory – it was extended to Ballater in 1860, a total distance of 43 ¼ miles. The line was closed in 1966.
29 September 1853 The Annie Jane, an emigrant ship bound for Quebec, sank off the Hebrides with a loss of 348 lives.
2 November 1853 First public meeting of the National Association for the Vindication of Scottish Rights was held in Edinburgh.
28 February 1854 Death of Dundee-born Mary Burk Watson, who dressed the corpse of English Admiral Nelson‘s body following his death at Trafalgar for burial back in England, at Cellardyke, Fife. After serving on the Victory with her husband Marine Thomas Watson, the couple opened an ale-and-pie shop in Cellardyke.
31 July 1854 The lighthouse ship sailed from Leith with a cargo of men and a hundred tons of material to commence work on the Muckle Flugga Lighthouse. The lighthouse was completed towards the end of 1857.
19 September 1854 The Great North of Scotland Railway opened, form Aberdeen to Huntly.
20 September 1854 Paisley-born (1826) Sergeant James McKechnie, a Scots Fusilier Guard, became one of the first men to be awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery at the Battle of Alma. In spite of being wounded in action he rallied his battalion after they had been thrown into disorder by withering enemy fire.
2 October 1854 Birth of Sir Patrick Geddes, biologist, sociologist and town planner, at Ballater, Aberdeenshire. He was credited with creating plans for more than 20 cities in India and influencing planning in the United States and Europe. In Edinburgh Ramsay Garden and the Outlook Tower bear testimony to his work.
27 October 1854 Birth of Sir William Alexander Smith, founder of the Boys’ Brigade and businessman, at Pennyland House, near Thurso, Caithness. He was knighted in July 1909 in London.
16 February 1855 The emigration ship Tornado sailed from Glasgow’s Broomielaw with 5oo settlers bound for Melbourne, Australia.
21 March 1855 Death of Dunblane-born James Gillespie Graham, leading Scottish architect, renowned for his country houses and churches in the Scottish Gothic style. His churches included St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Highland Tolbooth (now The Hub) in Edinburgh and St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Glasgow.
16 June 1855 Death of Rev Robert Scott, ballad collector, in his manse at Glenbuchat, Aberdeenshire. He left all his possessions to his surviving daughter Elizabeth, including four bundles of ballad transcripts, which in 2007 were published for the first time under the title ‘The Glenbuchat Ballads’.
6 September 1855 Sergeant J Croy of the Scots Fusilier Guards was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery at the storming of the Redan during the Crimean War; it was one of the first Victoria Crosses awarded.
4 January 1856 Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland was constituted.
26 August 1857 Death of Christian Isabella Johnstone, novelist and Scotland’s first ever female newspaper editor, in Edinburgh. In 1817 she became the Editor of the ‘Inverness Courier’ and went on to edit ‘Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine’ on her return to the capital.
21 October 1857 John Booth was the last person to be publicly executed in Aberdeen, for the murder of his mother-in-law Jean Barclay in Oldmeldrum. The hanging was carried out by London hangman William Calcraft.
29 January 1858 Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, was lit by gas for the first time.
8 March 1859 Birth of Kenneth Grahame, author of ‘The Wind in the Willows’, in Edinburgh.
21 March 1859 The National Gallery of Scotland was opened in Edinburgh. The new building was built to the design of leading architect Sir William Playfair.
2 May 1859 Death of Stow-born Rev Dr John Lee, principal of the University of Edinburgh (1840-1859), in Edinburgh. He opposed the 1843 Disruption and in 1844 was elected Moderator of the Church of Scotland.
22 May 1859 Birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, novelist and creator of Sherlock Holmes, in Edinburgh.
16 September 1859 Blantyre-born missionary and African explorer Dr David Livingstone discovered Lake Nyasa. In so doing, he inadvertently opened the area to slave procurement.
15 October 1859 The Loch Katrine Water supply scheme was opened by Queen Victoria.  The supply of water from Loch Katrine in the Trossachs to Glasgow - a distance of some 35 miles - became available to the city in March 1860.
26 September 1860 First Open Golf Championship was held at Prestwick. The Belt was won by Willie Park of Musselburgh. There were seven other entrants.
26 January 1861 Edinburgh’s famous one o’ clock gun was fired for the first time from the Castle.
23 October 1861 Prince Albert laid foundation stone of the Industrial Museum in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, later to become the Royal Museum of Scotland.
24 November 1861 Thirty-five people were killed when a jam-packed tenement building collapsed in Edinburgh’s High Street. One of the injured cried “Heave awa chaps, I’m no deid yet!” from under the rubble and immortalised the event.
9 January 1863 Birth of David Danskin, founder member of Arsenal FC, London, in 1886 and first club captain, in Burntisland, Fife.
10 March 1863 The foundation of the Middle Pier at St Monans, Fife, was laid. The £15,000 cost was raised by local fishermen.
1 September 1863 St Monans rail station was opened as part of the expansion of the Leven and East of Fife Railway to Anstruther. Completed from Thornton to Leven in 1854, the line was extended to Kilconqhar in 1857, then on to St Monans. The company was taken over by the North British Railway Company in 1877.
28 September 1864 Birth of Charles Murray, ‘Hamewith’, engineer and poet, at Alford, Aberdeenshire. He emigrated to South Africa in 1888 and began writing poetry, mostly in the East coast dialect of Scots, which was noted for its perceptive and evocative portrayal of Aberdeenshire life at the turn of the century. This was reflected in his best known poem ‘The Whistle’. He returned to Scotland in 1924 and settled in Banchory, Kincardineshire, where he died in 1941.
6 November 1864 Death of Daniel Stow, founder of the Glasgow Normal College for the teaching of teachers, pioneer of co-education, opponent of prize-giving and corporal punishment.
1 February 1865 The Highland Railway formed by the amalgamation of the Inverness and Perth Junction and the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railways.
5 July 1865 The Locomotive and Highway Act stipulated that the speed limit for road vehicles in Britain should be 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in towns.
25 July 1865 Dr ‘James’ Miranda Stuart Barry died aged 70 in London. At  a time when a career in medicine was forbidden to women, Dr Barry worked her way through to the highest rank in the British Army Medical Service masquerading as a man, successfully concealing her gender from everyone until her death – ‘the most skilful of physicians and the most wayward of men’. As a male she graduated MD from Edinburgh University in 1812 and joined the army as a surgeon’s mate the following year and retired in 1864 as Inspector-General of Military Hospitals in Montreal and Quebec.
28 July 1865 The last public hanging in Glasgow was watched by a crowd of 30,000. An Englishman, Dr Edward Pritchard, was executed for poisoning his wife and mother-in-law.
23 June 1867 Death of Glasgow-born Horatio McCulloch, noted landscape painter, particularly of the Highlands, in Edinburgh. His paintings epitomised the romantic mid 19th century view of Scotland and as with many Victorian painters his reputation waned in the early 20th century.
9 July 1867 Queens Park Football Club, the first senior club in Scotland, was formed. The Club dominated the early days of Scottish Football but, retaining as it still does amateur status, lost out to professional sides. Season 1999/2000 saw 'The Spiders' gain promotion as Division 3 Champions.
6 November 1867 The first Scottish Woman's Suffrage Society met in Edinburgh. The first President was Pricilla McLaren, wife of the radical Edinburgh MP  Duncan McLaren, who championed Scottish rights at Westminster and was known as 'The Member for Scotland', and sister of anti-Corn Law campaigner Jacob Bright.
10 February 1868 Death of Sir David Brewster, physicist and inventor of the kaleidoscope, in Melrose.
22 March 1868 Birth of Hamish MacCunn, outstanding composer and son of a shipowner, at Greenock. He became the youngest pupil and one of the first at the newly founded College of Music in London, and composed his best-known work, the concert overture, ‘Land of the Mountain and the Flood’, at 17.
12 May 1868 Scotland’s last public execution took place in Dumfries when Robert Smith, 19, was hanged for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. By the end of the month a bill  to abolish public hangings had received royal assent.
5 June 1868 Birth of James Connolly, trade union leader, socialist and Irish Nationalist, in Edinburgh. Based in Dublin he formed the Irish Citizens Army and was one of the leaders of the 1916 Irish Easter Rising. He was one of the fourteen executed following the failure of the Rising.
6 September 1868 The Scottish Cooperative Wholesale Society commenced business in Glasgow.
22 April 1869
Death of Rev. Patrick Bell of Carmyllie in Angus, inventor ( in 1828 ) of the reaping machine.
12 November 1869 Edinburgh University became the first in Britain to admit women to study medicine. Sophia Jex-Blake was the first to qualify, although not allowed to graduate. (A woman masquerading as Dr ‘James’ Barry, took a medical degree at Edinburgh in 1812 and became an army surgeon).
22 November 1869 The most famous nineteenth-century clipper sailing ship, the Cutty Sark, was launched. She was built at Dumbarton on the Clyde by Scott and Linton and was one of only nine ships built by them before financial problems forced their closure. The Cutty Sark was completed by Dumbarton's leading shipbuilders, William Denny Bros. After a varied and eventful career the Cutty Sark now rests, restored and drydocked at Greenwich, London, England.
6 February 1870 Birth of James Braid, golfer and course designer, 5 times Open Golf Champion from 1901-1910, at Elie and Earlsferry.
2 May 1870 New Caledonian Railway Station was opened at the west end of Edinburgh’s Princes Street.
6 May 1870 Death of Sir James Young Simpson, Bathgate-born physician who discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, in Edinburgh. His funeral was a day of public mourning in Edinburgh and 2,000 people followed his hearse.
6 July 1870 Institute of Bankers in Scotland formed, the first such body in the world.
15 July 1870
 
The Bill passed by Westminster for Tay Rail Bridge, connecting Fife and Dundee, received Royal Assent.
4 August 1870 Birth of Sir Harry Lauder, music hall entertainer and international star, in Portobello.
4 October 1870 George Chalmers, a native of Fraserburgh, was the first culprit to be hanged behind closed doors in Scotland. Chalmers, 45, was convicted of the murder of a toll-keeper at Braco, Perthshire, and was executed by the London hangman William Calcraft at the Old County Jail, Perth.
22 July 1871
 
Foundation stone of the Tay rail bridge was laid on the south bank at Wormit, Fife.
10 November 1871 Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh-born American journalist, spoke the immortal words ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume’ when the two men met at Ujiji, on Lake Tanganika, Tanganika, now Tanzania.  Stanley’s was one of few expeditions seeking information on Dr David Livingstone’s whereabouts and welfare, and his writings put the seal on the Scottish explorer’s fame.
24 April 1882 Birth of Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh (later Lord) Dowding, Commander-in- Chief, Fighter Command, during the Battle of Britain, in Moffat, Dumfriesshire.
18 July 1872 Britain introduced voting by secret ballot.
10 August 1872 Education ( Scotland ) Act passed. It provided for a state elementary education for all children, and amended previous provisions in the Acts of 1696, 1793, 1839 and 1861.
30 November 1872 First ever International Football Match in the world resulted in a 0-0 draw between Scotland and England. The game was played at a cricket ground in Partick, Glasgow.
13 March 1873 Scottish Football Association formed with constituent clubs Queen's Park, Clydesdale, Vale of Leven, Dumbreck, Third Lanark, Eastern, Granville and Kilmarnock.
1 May 1873 David Livingstone (born at Blantyre 1813), medical missionary, traveller, philanthropist, died at Ilala, Central Africa.
16 September 1873 Tourism in Scotland received a boost when Queen Victoria cruised the Caledonian Canal on her way to Balmoral. She travelled on the paddle-steamer Gondalier which was built specially for use on the canal. She operated from 1866 to 1939 and  was deliberately sunk at Scapa Flow to help protect Royal Naval ships from attack by German submarines.
18 October 1873 In the first-ever tie played in the Scottish Cup, the oldest national football trophy in the world, Renton defeated Kilmarnock 2-0 at the Queen’s Park recreation ground in Glasgow.
16 January 1874 Birth of Robert Service, poet, in Preston, his Scottish father was from Kilwinning. Raised in Ayrshire he emigrated to Canada and through his poetry became known as the 'Bard of the Yokon'.
24 January 1874 Death of Adam Black, publisher, Lord Provost of Edinburgh (1843-1848), and city MP (1856-1865), in Edinburgh. He published several editions of the Encylopeadia Britannica and was the definitive publisher of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels after acquiring the copyright in 1851.
23 February 1874 Birth of Sir Hugh Stevenson Robertson, musician and conductor of the world-famous The Glasgow Orpheous Choir (1906-1951) in Glasgow. 
9 March 1874 Birth of John Duncan Fergusson, artist, one of the leading figures in the development of art in 20th century Scotland, in Leith.
18 April 1874 Remains of Blantyre-born explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone were interred in Westminster Abbey, London, England.
31 August 1874 The Aberdeen Tramway Company horse-drawn tramway system opened for public traffic with seven tram cars operated by 56 horses. The first year’s revenue was £5,535.

6 July 1875

The Institute of Bankers in Scotland was formed.

“This was the first such body in the world… The apprenticeship system was soon augmented by the provision, by the Institute, of systematic teaching of the elements and evolution of banking and banking law.”

            S G Checkland, Scottish Banking 493

26 August 1875 Birth of John Buchan, author of successful adventure novels and of historical works, including 'Montrose'. He was MP for Scottish Universities 1927-35, Lord High Commissioner to General Assembly 1933-4 and Governor General of Canada 1935-40.
9 October 1875 The Queen’s Park versus Wanderers match at Hampden saw the earliest known football programme on sale to the fans.
9 March 1876 Scots-born Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone literally hours before a similar patent was lodged by American Elisha Gray. The first actual coherent message was transmitted the next day from one room to the next at 5 Exeter Place, Boston, Massachussetts, USA when Bell spoke to his assistant, Thomas Watson, saying "Come here, Watson, I want you."
25 March 1876 The first Scotland v Wales football international was played in Glasgow. Scotland won 4-0.
5 August 1876
 
Aberdeen-born missionary and teacher Mary Slessor set sail in the SS Ethiopia for Calabar in West Africa. She became fluent in the Efrik language and did much to raise the status of women in Calabar.  
13 September 1877 Freedom of Glasgow given to Ulysses Simpson Grant, Civil War general and ex-President of the United States of America.
22 October 1877 Firedamp explosion at Blantyre Colliery, Lanarkshire, killed 207 miners.
14 January 1878 Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his telephone to Queen Victoria, who made the first private telephone call in the British Isles from her residence on the Isle of Wight, England.
26 January 1878 Death of Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith and inventor of the bicycle, at Courthill, Dumfriesshire.

“Glasgow, June 11th 1842, On Wednesday a gentleman, who stated he came from Thornhill in Dumfriesshire, was placed at the Gorbals public bar, charged with riding along the pavement on a velocipede to the obstruction of the passage, and with having, by so doing, thrown over a child. It appeared from his statement that he had on the day previous come all the way from Old Cumnock, a distance of forty miles, bestriding the velocipede, and that he performed the journey in the space of five hours.

            Newspaper account of the first bicycle in Glasgow.

5 April 1878 Costing £87,000 the vast Moffat Hydropathic, some 300 rooms, overlooking the Annan water, was opened. At the time Moffat’s reputation as a spa town was at its height. During the First World War it was used as a convalescence home for officers and it burned to the ground on 2 June 1921.
31 May 1878 Opening of first Tay Rail Bridge, designed by Sir Thomas Bouch. It was blown down on 28 December 1879 in a fierce gale with the loss of all passengers and rail crew.
22 September 1878 Robert Louis Stevenson commenced his walk through the Cevennes from Le Monastier-sub-Gazelle. He recorded his French journey in ‘Travels with a Donkey’.
10 January 1879 Birth of Bobby Walker, outstanding Heart of Midlothian player and Scottish Internationalist, in Edinburgh. He won two Scottish Cup medals with Hearts and made his Scotland debut in 1900 and his last international appearance 13 years later. Scotland only played internationals at that time against England, Ireland and Wales and his 29 caps came from 11 appearances against England, a joint record for a Scot, and nine each against the other two nations. When he retired he was Scotland’s most capped player, a distinction he held until 1932. Two years after his death Alan Morton won the 30th of his 31 caps. He was the most capped player at Tynecastle until Steven Pressley received his 30th cap in 2006.
5 November 1879 Death of James Clark Maxwell, one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists of the 19th century, born in Edinburgh 1831, professor at Aberdeen and London, he formulated the electro-magnetic theory of light and kinetic theory of gases, the basis of x-rays and thermodynamics.
28 December 1879 Sir Thomas Bouch's new railway bridge across the River Tay collapsed in a storm throwing an engine, six coaches, passengers and crew into the water 160 feet below. Faults in the design and construction were found to blame for the 'Tay Bridge Disaster'.
25 January 1880 Birth of Francis George Scott, composer, in Hawick, Roxburghshire. Son of a supplier of mill-engineering parts he was educated at Hawick and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham. He studied composition under Jean Roger-Ducasse, French composer, and in 1925 became Lecturer in Music at Jordanhill College for Teachers, a post he held for twenty-five years. His settings included work by Hugh MacDiarmid, William Dunbar and Robert Burns.
5 July 1880 Miss Duthie, noted Aberdeen benefactor, stated her intention of presenting Aberdeen with a public park to perpetuate the memory of her uncles and brothers. The Duthie Park was officially opened in 1883 by Princess Beatrice. 
23 September 1880 Birth of John Boyd Orr 1st Baron Boyd Orr, biologist and Nobel Peace winner (1949), at Kilmaurs near Kilmarnock.  He established the Rowett Research Institute at Bucksburn, Aberdeen and was the first Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the newly founded United Nations in 1945.
28 October 1880 Dr Henry Faulds, a Scots medical missionary working in Tokyo, published a letter in 'Nature' which produced the first evidence that fingerprints taken directly from suspected persons and prints left at the scene of a crime could be used as medico-legal proof of guilt or innocence.
5 February 1881 Death of Thomas Carlyle, Ecclefechan-born historian, essayist and philosopher in London. Rector of the University of Edinburgh (1866) he was one of the outstanding Scots of his generation and was buried beside his parents at Ecclefechan.
21 July 1881 A freak and violent summer storm claimed ten (sixareens) and 58 men, mostly from the village of Gloup in the north of the island of Yell, Shetland. The hurricane-force winds took the crews out to sea and only seven bodies were eventually recovered. The men who drowned left behind 34 widows and 85 children.
27 July 1881 Founding of first ‘Carnegie; library in Andrew Carnegie’s home-town Dunfermline. In recognition of his gift, Andrew Carnegie was made a Freeman of Dunfermline. Between 1881and1917, Andrew Carnegie financed 2,307 libraries world-wide.
27 August 1881 Thousands of people attended the ceremony of cutting the first turf at the Duthie Park, Aberdeen, including the benefactor Miss Duthie and the full-town council. Miss Duthie donated the public park to the city in memory of her uncles and brothers. The park was officially opened in 1883 by Princess Beatrice.
14 October 1881 Eyemouth Fishing Disaster, known locally as 'Disaster Day', some 129 men and boys, one in three of the Berwickshire town's fishermen lost their lives in a hurricane.
22 January 1882 Glasgow’s St Andrew Halls was packed to hear American evangelists Moody and Sankey. 
6 April 1882 Statue of Robert Burns unveiled in Dumfries - Scotland's National Bard resided in the town from 1791 until his death in 1796.
11 April 1882 Battle of the Braes in Skye between a posse of 50 Glasgow policemen, drafted in by the Sheriff of Inverness-shire, and tenants of Lord MacDonald threatened with eviction. In 1881 the crofters of Braes inaugurated a fight for crofting rights by withholding rents until Lord MacDonald or his factor returned to them the grazings on neighbouring Ben Lee. Retaliation came in the form of eviction notices leading to the battle between the crofters and policemen who were forced to withdraw to Portree.
3 November 1882 Scottish suffragettes held a ‘Scottish National Demonstration of Women’ in the St Andrews Halls, Glasgow, after the passing of the Married Women’s Property (Scotland) Act by Westminster. The hall was packed to capacity with women being admitted free and men’s tickets selling at 2/6d.
17 January 1883 Birth of Sir Compton Mackenzie, author and founder member of the National Party of Scotland in 1928. In 1931 he was elected as the first ever Scottish Nationalist Lord Rector of Glasgow University.
1 March 1883 Death of George Webster, noted sheriff and criminal officer in the county of Aberdeen, at the age of 83. In the course of his career he arrested seven murderers.
17 March 1883 The Crofters Commission was appointed by Royal Warrant to inquire into farming conditions in the Highlands and Islands.
19 March 1883 Statue of David Livingstone, the Blantyre-born missionary, was unveiled in Glasgow’s George Square on the 70th anniversary of his birth.
3 July 1883 The SS Daphne capsized after her launch from a Linthouse ship yard, 124 workers were drowned in the Clyde's worst accident of its type.
27 September 1883 The Duthie Park, Aberdeen, was officially opened by Princess Beatrice. The public park was donated to the city by Miss Duthie to perpetuate the memory of her uncles and brothers.
4 October 1883 The Boys' Brigade founded in Glasgow by Sir William Alexander Smith. Its stated object was 'the advancement of God's Kingdom among Boys and the promotion of habits of Reverence, Discipline, Self-Respect, and all that tends towards a true Christian Manliness'.
28 January 1884 Scotland defeated Ireland 5-0 in the first football international  between the countries in Belfast.
1 July 1884 Death of Allan Pinkerton, Scots-born founder of the American Pinkerton Detective Agency.
28 August 1884 Birth of Peter Fraser, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1940-1949), at Fearn, Ross and Cromarty.
20 September 1884 Nearly 16,000 Dundonians marched to a demonstration meeting on the city's Magdalen Green against the House of Lords' rejection of William E Gladstone's Bill to improve the electoral system.
16 February 1885 Birth of Will Fyfe, music hall character comedian, in Dundee. Best remembered for his playing of a Glasgow drunk singing ‘I Belong to Glasgow’, he also had successful appearances in the USA and acted in films such as ‘Owd Bob’ and ‘The Brothers’.
12 September 1885 A world record score was established when Arbroath FC defeated Aberdeen side Bon Accord 35-0 in the first round of the Scottish Cup. Arbroath forward John Petrie scored 13 goals. On the same day Dundee Harp defeated Aberdeen Rovers 35-0.

11 December 1885

Statue of Alexander Selkirk, Robinson Crusoe, was unveiled at Lower Largo, Fife, by Lady Aberdeen, following a speech by Lord Aberdeen. The bronze statue was designed by Stuart Burnett ARAS and paid for by David Gillies of Cardy House, Lower Largo, a relation of the Selkirks.

The inscription under the statue reads –

“In memory of Alexander Selkirk, mariner, the original of Robertson Crusoe, who lived on the island of Juan Fernandez in complete solitude for four years and four months. He died in 1723, lieutenant of HMS Weymouth, aged 47 years. This statue is erected by David Gillies, net manufacturer, on the site of the cottage in which Selkirk was born.”

13 March 1886 A new railway at Killin, Perthshire, was declared open. Branching off the Callander and Oban railway at Ardchyle, it ran for five-and-a-half miles and cost £30,000.
15 March 1886 Opening of Glasgow's Queen Street low-level system, the first of the city's three undergrounds.
25 June 1886 Crofters Act became law. Following on from the Crofters Commission or Napier Commission, the Act gave crofters security of tenure, the right to inherit, bequeath or assign crofts, fixed rents and the right for compensation for 'improvements' when they removed. The Act also set up a Crofters Commission to safeguard rights of crofters and deal with disputes, allocation of land, etc. One member had to be a Gaelic speaker.
23 July 1886 Birth of Sir Arthur Whitten Brown, aviator and companion of Sir John Alcock on first transatlantic flight in June 1919, in Glasgow.
15 May 1887 Birth of Edwin Muir, poet and translator, at Durness, Orkney.
28 May 1887 73 miners died in a firedamp explosion at Udston Colliey, two miles from Hamilton, Lanarkshire. As at near-by Blantyre, ten years previously, unauthorised shot-firing was suspected as having triggered the disaster.
20 June 1887 The second Tay Bridge, the longest railway bridge in Britain, was opened.
19 July 1887 Some 5,000 spectators watched the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Lord Lieutenant of Fife, and descendant of Robert I, King of Scots, unveil a monument at Pettycur marking the 6ooth anniversary of the death of Alexander III (1249-1286). The audience included Andrew Carnegie and US Senator Blaine.
1 December 1887 Beeton’s Christmas Annual went on sale and featured ‘A Study in Scarlet’ by Edinburgh-born Dr Arthur Conan Doyle, which introduced his detective creation Sherlock Holmes.
3 January 1888 Birth of James Bridie (born Osborne Henry Mavor), leading dramatist, screenwriter and surgeon, in Glasgow. He was the main founder of the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.
3 February 1888 Sixteen crofters were jailed for their part in land-use protest raids on Lewis in January 1888.
13 August 1888
 
John Logie Baird, the inventor who developed the first workable television system, was born at Helensburgh.
25 August 1888 Scottish Labour Party (1888-1893) was inaugurated, with Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham as President and James Keir Hardie as Secretary, in Glasgow.

‘Resolved that its object be to educate the people politically, and to secure the return to Parliament and all local bodies of members pledged to its programme.”

7 December 1888 Scottish veterinary John Boyd Dunlop received a patent for the first practical pneumatic tyre, which he had developed for his son’s tricycle.
15 July 1889 New National Portrait Gallery for Scotland was opened in Edinburgh by Marquess of Lothian.
20 July 1889 Birth of Lord Reith, first director general of the BBC 1927 - 1938: Minister of Information and of Transport 1940 and of Works and Planning 1940 - 1942.
5 September 1889 Sixty-three miners died in an underground fire at Mauricewood Pit, Penicuik, the cause of which was never discovered. Most of the miners died from suffocation when smoke entered the ventilation shaft.
17 October 1889 Parisians witnessed a spectacular meeting of Scottish athletes and musicians, advertised as a ‘Gathering of the Clans’. The event was staged in heavy rain in the grounds of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
21 January 1890 A 2,000-ton train was used to test the strength of the Forth Railway Bridge, prior to the opening in March.
4 March 1890 The Forth Railway Bridge, designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker, opened for traffic. Total length : 1 mile 1005 yards. Main spans : 1710 feet long, the track 156 feet above high water, the cantilever towers 361 feet high.
 

Death of linoleum manufacturer and Provost of Kirkcaldy Michael Beveridge. He left £50,000 for the purchase of land to create a public park, library and hall in Kirkcaldy. The Beveridge Park was opened in 1892 and the Beveridge Library was established in the Adam Smith Halls with the Beveridge Hall above.

16 June 1890 The Caledonian Railway station in Edinburgh was destroyed by fire.
28 June 1890
 
At least 60 lives were lost as severe gales battered the Scottish fishing fleet off the north and west coasts.
16 August 1890 The first Scottish Football League programme took place and four matches were played – some 4,000 spectators at Ibrox watched rangers beat Hearts 5-2, 10,000 saw Celtic lose 4-1 at home to Renton, Cambuslang overwhelmed Vale of Leven 8-2, and Dumbarton and Cowlairs drew 1-1. Both Dumbarton and Rangers finished the season on 29 points and after a play-off ended 2-2 they were declared joint Champions.
30 April 1891 An Comunn Gaidhealach, the Gaelic or Highland Association was formally instituted at Oban.
25 June 1891 First Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle was published in the Strand magazine.
29 September 1891 Three painters were killed when scaffolding collapsed on the Forth Railway Bridge which had opened for traffic in 1890.
7 November 1891 Colonel William Frederick Cody, ‘Buffalo Bill’, and members of his Wild West Show attended a football match between Rangers and Queen’s Park at Ibrox. At half-time the legendary American showman was introduced to both teams. The Glasgow Cup tie resulted in a 3-0 victory for Queen’s Park.
16 November 1891 Colonel William Frederick Cody’s, ‘Buffalo Bill’, Wild West Show opened in the East End Exhibition Building, Dennistoun, Glasgow, with stars such as sharp-shooter Annie Oakley. The show ran until 27 February 1892.
4 July 1892 Founder of the Scottish Labour Party James Keir Hardie became the first Socialist to win a seat at Westminster when he took the Essex constituency of West Ham from the sitting Conservative member in the General Election.
11 August 1892 Birth of Christopher Murray Grieve in Langholm. As the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, he set in motion the Twentieth Century Scottish Literary Renaissance.

'A Scottish poet maun assume
The burden o his people's doom
And dee to brak their livin tomb.'

8 September 1892 Launch of the 12,950-ton Cunard liner Compania at Govan. Built by the Fairfield Engineering Company, she won the coveted Blue Riband trophy for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic (five days, seventeen hours and twenty-seven minutes) and was converted to an aircraft carrier in World War I.
13 January 1893 The Independent British Labour Party was formed by James Keir Hardie.
22 April 1893 Fairfield-built Cunard liner SS Campania entered service. She set a transatlantic record time of five days, seventeen hours and twenty-seven minutes, arriving back from the United States as holder of the coveted Blue Riband.
11 July 1893 Birth of Harry Gordon, outstanding comedian and music hall entertainer, at 7 Powis Place, Aberdeen. Much of his humour, material and recordings were drawn from the imaginary Aberdeenshire village of ‘Inversnecky’.
8 February 1894 Death of Robert M Ballantyne, Edinburgh-born author, in Rome. He wrote more than 90 titles, mostly adventure stories for children, the best known of which was ‘The Coral Island’ (1857).
24 October 1894 A programme of moving pictures was presented for the first time to Queen Victoria at Balmoral Castle.  In response to a royal request William Walker of Aberdeen gave a Command Performance of his cinematograph programme including film of that year's Braemar Gathering.
6 June 1895 Birth of staunch suffragette and Scottish Nationalist Annie Knight in Glasgow.  She died in 2006 at the age of 111, the oldest women in Scotland, in Aberdeen.
17 June 1895 Birth of Very Rev Lord MacLeod of Fuinary, founder of the Iona Community.
12 September 1895 The first successful controlled glider flight in Britain was made by Percy Sinclair Pilcher at Wallacetown Farm, Cardross, where he rose 12 ft in a 45lb monoplane which he built himself.
2 February 1896 Socialist Sunday Schools started in Glasgow.
26 February 1896 Waterloo Bridge, Inverness, was opened by Mrs William MacBean, wife of the town’s Provost. The iron bridge replaced a wooden bridge, The Black Bridge, which had stood since 1808. The name ‘The Black Bridge’ lives on for its successor.
14 December 1896
The opening of Glasgow District subway's six-and-a half mile system with 15 stations.
18 February 1897 Kathleen Garscadden, Aunt Kathleen of BBC Children's Hour and a pioneer of early broadcasting, was born in Glasgow.

25 March 1897

The Scottish Trades Union Congress was founded.

“The Congress was not, as some imagined, got up in opposition to the British Trades Union Congress, but because they believed that they wanted anything well done they had to do it themselves, and in doing their own work they were in some degree lightening the work of the British Congress. Then there were many questions which affected Scotland particularly, to which their English fellow unionists could not be expected to devote the amount of time and attention they deserved.”

                           From the speech of a delegate

6 June 1897 The Dundee barque Tay Mount foundered and sank off Cape Horn on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to San Francisco. The Tay Mount was a 16141-tonne vessel built at Port Glasgow at a cost of £12,550 for Robert Ferguson & Company, Dundee.
20 August 1897 Ronald Ross, first Scot to win a Nobel prize (1902), dissected an anopheles mosquito and discovered the link with malaria.
26 April 1898 Birth of John Grierson, internationally-renowned documentary film-maker, at Deanston in the parish of Kilmadock, Perthshire.
25 August 1898 Under the Aberdeen Corporation Tramway Act control of the private Aberdeen Tramway Company passed to the City of Aberdeen Council. The manager of the tramway company David Moonie continued in the same role with the council and steps were taken almost immediately to convert the horse-drawn system to electric traction.
9 September 1898 Birth of Sergeant John Meikle, the only 4th Seaforth Highlander to win a VC during the First World War, at Kirkintilloch.
26 July 1899
 
Memorial statue to the Highland heroine Flora MacDonald was unveiled on the Castle Hill, Inverness.
23 December 1899 The first-ever electric tramcar in Aberdeen made its first run between St Nicholas Street and Woodside. By 1902 the whole system was converted to electric traction in place of the original horse-drawn system.
30 December 1899 Rangers played their first-ever match at their new Ibrox ground in Glasgow with a 3-1 victory over Heart of Midlothian.
27 February 1900 British Labour Party was formed with Lossiemouth-born Ramsay MacDonald as secretary.
25 August 1900 Edinburgh-born writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, playing for MCC in his first first-class match, bowled out the legendary W G  Grace who was batting for London County.
13 February 1901 Birth of James Leslie Mitchell in the Croft of Hillhead of Segget, Auchterless. As the writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon he is best known for his trilogy "A Scots Quair".
21 March 1901 Launch of RRS Discovery from the yard of Alexander Stephen & Sons, Dundee. The ship associated with Captain Robert F Scott, of Antartic fame, returned to Dundee in 1986 and is now a tourist attraction at Discovery Point.
30 April 1901 Glasgow was reported free of smallpox after a sixteen months outbreak which claimed 288 lives.
2 May 1901 The Second International Exhibition opened in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, to promote trade and industry. Crowds flocked to see the Patent Self-Closing Armoured Fire Door, and the American ‘March King’ John Philip Sousa conducting his band.
6 May 1901 Birth of Sir John brown, naval architect and designer of the 80,000 tonne Queen Mary, Cunard Order No 534, launched in September 1934. Four years later he was head of the design team for the Queen Elizabeth.

7 June 1901

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland was formed by Andrew Carnegie.

“I, Andrew Carnegie, of New York, and of Skibo in the County of Sutherland, deeming it to be my duty and one of my highest privileges to administer the wealth which has come to me, as a trustee on behalf of others, and entertaining the belief that one of the best means of my discharging that trust is by providing funds for improving and extending the opportunities for scientific study and research in the Universities of Scotland, my native land, and by rendering attendance at these Universities and the enjoyment of their advantages more available to the deserving and qualified youth of that country to whom the payment of fees might act as a barrier to the enjoyment of these advantages, hereby undertake to deliver bonds of the United States Steel Corporation of the aggregate value of ten million dollars to be held by the Trustees…”

            From the Deed of Trust 

26 August 1901 Donibristle Mining Disaster in Fife, part of Mossmorran peat bog near Cowdenbeath collapsed on sixteen miners 360 feet underground. Four miners were lost, as was a four-strong rescue party. All the bodies were recovered between September and December.
1 December 1901 As a storm swept up the Forth, the Bass Rock Lighthouse was lit for the first time.
16 January 1902 Birth of Eric Liddell, sportsman and missionary, in Tientsin, China, where his parents were Scottish missionaries with the London Missionary Society. He won 16 caps for Scotland at rugby but is best remembered as a runner. In the Paris Olympics in 1924 he refused to take part in the 100 metres because the heats were to be on the Sabbath but went on to win Olympic Gold in the 400 metres. After 16 years of missionary work he died in a Japanese internment camp in China in February 1945, just a few months before the end of the Second World War.
25 March 1902 Death of Maj-Gen Sir Hector Macdonald, crofter's son who rose through ranks of Gordon Highlanders and became known as 'Fighting Mac' for his exploits.
5 April 1902 The stand at Ibrox Park in Glasgow collapsed during  Scotland v England match, killing 20 and injuring more than 200. The match in front of a crowd of 70,000 ended in a 1-1 draw and was declared an unofficial international.
10 November 1902 Percival Spencer and the Rev J M Bacon made the first-ever hot air balloon flight from the Isle of Man and landed safely in Dumfriesshire.
9 March 1903 East Fife Football Club were formed at a public meeting in Methil. In 1938 East Fife entered the record books by becoming the first and only ever Second Division team  to win the Scottish Cup. 'The Fife' defeated Kilmarnock 4-2 in a replay following a 2-2 draw at Hampden park. East Fife also became the first team from the Second Division to win the Scottish League Cup in 1947. They went on to win the League Cup again in 1949 and 1953, becoming the first club to win the trophy three times, a record not matched until the 1960s by Glasgow Rangers. 
1 April 1903 First order placed with Glasgow North British locomotive works which was to build 28,000 locos and become the world's third largest manufacturer.
10 June 1903 The first floral clock in the world was set in motion in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.
14 July 1903 Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was made an Honorary Free Burgess and Guild Brother in Dingwall.
31 October 1903 Hampden Park, Queen's Park Football Club's stadium, opened in Glasgow. The third football park bearing that name, Hampden became the established venue for international and important Scottish Cup matches.
28 December 1904 Premier of Kirriemuir-born James M Barrie’s play, ‘Peter Pan’, at the Duke of York Theatre, London.
31 December 1904 The steamer Stromboli, outward bound, collided with the Glasgow steamer Kathleen, loaded with iron ore, at Garvel Point, Greenock. Both sank and two of the Kathleen’s engineers drowned.
4 January 1905 Death of the Revd James Yuill, the last surviving minister from the 1843 Disruption which saw the creation of the Free Church of Scotland, at Aberdeen. 
19 April 1905 Birth of James Mollison, record-breaking aviator, in Pollokshiels, Glasgow, the only child of Hector Mollison, consultant engineer, and his wife Thomasina Macnee Addie.
22 April 1905 Kinclaven Bridge opened on the Tay at Meikleour, replacing a ferry service.
19 October 1905 Dunfermline-born self-made multi-millionaire, Andrew Carnegie, who made his fortune in the American steel industry, received the Freedom of Montrose.
19 November 1905 Thirty-nine men died when fire broke out in the early morning at a model lodging house in Watson Street, near Glasgow Cross.  There were between 300 and 400 occupants in the converted warehouse at the time.
27 February 1906 Paddle-steamer St Peter was launched at Grangemouth for service on the Russian lakes.
7 April 1906 The first football international match was played at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Scotland defeated England 2-1.
13 October 1906 Forward, Scotland’s first Socialist weekly newspaper, started publication.
6 November 1906 Birth of Andrew Logan, pioneer of cardiothoracic surgery, in Daisie, Fife. A surgeon of international repute he carried out the world’s second lung transplant in Edinburgh.
28 December 1906 Twenty-two people were killed in a railway disaster at Elliott Junction, near Arbroath. Heavy snow had brought down telegraph lines and also made a signal droop so that it appeared ‘clear’. In the confusion, with single-line working in operation because of a derailed goods train, a south-bound express travelling tender-first ran into a stationary local train.
23 May 1907 The Hector MacDonald National Memorial at Dingwall was officially opened in the presence of his widow Lady MacDonald and son Hector.
9 July 1907
 
Launch of the 8662-ton SS California by D & W Henderson, Glasgow.  Built for the Anchor Line, she was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in 1917.
18 September 1907 World-renowned industrialist Andrew Carnegie formally opened Burntisland Public Library, in his native Fife, which he had funded.
10 October 1907 Maiden voyage of Clyde-built SS California took her to Moville, Ireland, and on to New York. She was sunk by a German submarine in 1917.
17 December 1907 Death of Sir William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin of Largs, physicist, engineer, professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University (1846-1899), and inventor. He devised absolute temperature scales, cable-signalling and developed the law of conservation of energy and the theory of thermodynamics. 
20 January 1908 Suffragettes demonstrated at several Scottish police courts protesting that women should not be tried using ‘man-made’ laws.
26 January 1908 The 1st Glasgow Boy Scout troop was registered, the first  to be officially formed, only ten days after Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting For Boys began publication in fortnightly instalments. Originally formed in 1907 as a band of schoolboy cadets from the Officer Training Corps, the adult in charge Robert Young was persuaded by Baden-Powell to rename the group as a Scout Troop.
28 January 1908 Internationally renowned accordianist and Scottish Country Dance Leader Sir Jimmy Shand was born at East Wemyss in Fife.
11 March 1908 Death of fiddler Peter Milne, ‘The Tarland Ministrel’, in Aberdeen’s Old Mill Poorhouse. Although he only wrote around some thirty works he composed some of the finest pieces of Scottish fiddle music.
30 June 1908 Following a WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union) demonstration in London, Scottish suffragette Mary Phillips was sentenced to three months imprisonment in Holloway, making her the longest-serving suffragette prisoner. On her release in September the WSPU organised a ‘fine Scottish welcome for her, with tartan and bagpipes’.
12 January 1909 The Scottish Rugby Football Union cancelled an international with England, planned for March, because the English Union had approved money in addition to expenses for visiting New Zealand and Australian teams.
17 April 1909 A riot by both sets of supporters followed a drawn (1-1) Scottish Cup Final replay between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park. 45 people were injured and the cup was with-held by the Scottish Football Association. The first game played on 10 April 1909 finished 2-2. 
30 June 1909 Glasgow's new tramway link between Pollokshaws West and Rouken Glen was approved by Board of Trade, except for an 'exceedingly dangerous' corner at Spiers Bridge.
8 October 1908 ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Edinburgh-born writer Kenneth Grahame was first published and has never been out of print since.
9 October 1909 Scottish Suffragettes staged a grand and impressive historical pageant along Princes Street, Edinburgh, in order to persuade the public that Scotswomen were worthy of enfranchisement. The Representaion of the People Act passed by Westminster in January 1918 granted the vote to women over the age of thirty.
23 November 1909 Birth of Nigel Tranter, historian and author, in Glasgow. From 1935 to 2000 he wrote some 140 books and became well-known for his Scottish historical novels; he also wrote a famous series on Scottish castles; westerns under a pseudonym (Ned Tredgold) and a series of children’s books. He was a member of the Scottish National Covenant, the Forth Bridge Committee and The Saltire Society (honorary president).
21 May 1910
 
Birth of educational pioneer John Aitkenhead at Knightswood, Glasgow.  Founder and headmaster of Kilquhanity House School, Dumfriesshire.
27 January 1911 Opening the Scottish Motor Exhibition in Edinburgh, Sir John Macdonald predicted that the car would cause the gradual disappearance of horses from our streets.
9 May 1911 The Great Lafayette, illusionist, nine members of his company, a lion and a horse were burnt to death on stage at the Empire Palace Theatre, Edinburgh.  An illusion went wrong and scenery was set alight, but the safety curtain was lowered and the audience escaped.  Doors leading from the stage had been locked on the instructions of the secretive Lafayette.
21 July 1911 A crowd of 20,000 saw Samuel Franklin Cody, cousin of ‘Buffalo Bill’, land his aircraft on Paisley racecourse during the Great Air Race.
4 October 1911 Death of Dr Joseph Bell, Edinburgh surgeon and prototype for Sherlock Holmes.
24 October 1911 Birth of Sorley MacLean, poet and teacher, Oagaig, Raasay. The greatest Gaelic poet of the Twentieth Century.
11 September 1912 Birth of Robin Jenkins, leading Scottish author of the 20th century, at Flemington near Cambuslang, Lanarkshire.
26 November 1912 Ten people died as a severe south-westerly gale hit the west of Scotland.  Troon suffered the worst flooding in its history, with four feet of water covering all streets in the vicinity of the Cross.
13 March 1913 Birth of Professor Robert S Silver, engineer, poet and playwright. A world renown scientist he was, in 1968, the first recipient of the UNESCO Science Prize for his work on desaliation. His play 'The Hert o Scotland', a dramatic account of medieval Scotland's struggle for independence from England, was staged as part of the official Edinburgh International Festival in 1991. he died in his native Montrose on 21 March 1997.
2 April 1913 Birth of Benny Lynch, first ever Scottish boxer to win a world title (at flyweight) in 1935.
28 April 1913 Birth of Dr David Murison, Editor of ‘The Scottish National Dictionary’ from 1946 to 1976, in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. He was a former editor of the ‘Scots Independent’.
22 August 1913 The Suffragettes were blamed for two fires in Edinburgh at Fettes College and a mansion house at Grange.
15 December 1913 Birth of Robert D. McIntyre, elected as first-ever Scottish National Party MP in the Motherwell and Wishaw by-election 1 April 1945. Recognised as the "Father of the modern SNP", he was Party Chairman 1948-56 and Provost of Stirling 1967-75.
21 February 1914 Ethel Moorhead was the first suffragette to be forceably fed in a Scottish prison. She was imprisoned in Calton Jail, Edinburgh, for attempted fire-raising.
25 February 1914 Suffragette Ethel Moorhead was hurriedly released from Calton jail, Edinburgh, after developing double pneumonia as a result of being forced feed and food getting into her lungs.
14 April 1914 The driver and fireman of the Edinburgh to Aberdeen express were killed in a collision with the engine of a goods train at Burntisland Station in Fife. Twelve passengers were injured.
4 July 1914 The 1514 Memorial in Hawick was unveiled by Lady Sybil Scott, younger daughter of the Earl and Countess of Dalkeith. Now a well-known Hawick landmark, known as 'The Horse', it commemorates the Battle of Hornsole in 1514 when local youths defeated a raiding English force from Hexham outside the town and captured their banner 'The Hexham Pennant' which was proudly brought back in triumph to Hawick.
10 July 1914 Suffragette Rhoda Fleming leapt on the footboard of the king and queen's limousine at Perth and tried to break the windows. Police saved her from an angry crowd who threatened her with a 'rough handling'.
4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany. The First World War resulted in Scottish losses of 110,000 lives; equivalent to 10% of the Scottish male population aged between sixteen and fifty years of age.

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