Events This Week in Scottish History

13 October 1506
James IV ratified the charter of the seal of cause of the Guild of Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh, forerunner of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
14 October 1633
James VII and II born at St James' Palace, London.
14 October 1881 Eyemouth Fishing Disaster: a storm killed 129 of the East Berwickshire town's fishermen.
14 October 1939 Memorial to HMS ROYAL OAK in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney
German submarine U47 commanded by Gunther Prien sank HMS ROYAL OAK in Scapa Flow, Orkney, with the loss of 833 lives. Shortly before 0100 hrs Prien fired his first salvo, causing minor damage to the bow. 20 minutes later, having reloaded the second salvo hit amidships. The U47 escaped through the narrow channel through which she had entered.
15 October 1686
Poet Allan Ramsay born in the village of Leadhills, Lanarkshire. He was the father of portrait painter, Allan Ramsay.
16 October 1430
James II born. His father, James I, was murdered when he was 6. He was crowned at Holyrood in 1437, and killed by an exploding cannon at the siege of Roxburgh Castle in August 1460.
17 October 1346
The Battle of Neville's Cross.  The English Army of about 700 men at arms, 10,000 archers and other troops had picked the favourable ground and the Scots invaders, between 10 and 15,000 were at a disadvantage from the start.  About 1,000 Scots were killed and many captured, including David II. He wore the Black Cross of Scotland to the Battle and lost it to the English. For the next 200 years the cross was given pride of place in Durham Cathedral's relic collection.
17 October 1821  


Alexander Gardner, renowned photographer of the American Civil War, born in Paisley.
17 October 1921 George Mackay Brown, Orkney poet, author and dramatist born.  He died on 13th April 1996.
18 October 1541
Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII of England and wife of James IV, died.
19 October 1914
The first day of the First Battle of Ypres. The 7th Division (which included 2nd Bn The Scots Guards, 2nd Bn The Gordon Highlanders and 2nd Bn The Royal Scots Fusiliers) fought the advancing German Army to a standstill during the Battle.
20 October 1713 Archibald Pitcairn, physician, died in Edinburgh. He was buried at Greyfriars.
21 October 1805
The Battle of Trafalgar. 7% of Nelson's force were Scots.  5 of his 27 captains were Scots, the surgeon who attended his fatal injury was Scots, as was the woman who embalmed his body, and the youngest sailor a 10 year old cabin boy from Leith.  Many of the fleet’s sails were from the jute mills in Dundee, and a number of the fleet’s cannon were from the Carron iron works in Falkirk.

Other events in September and October
Click here for further events.

Updated 13/10/2018