Events in Scottish History
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1 May 1690
Battle of the Haughs of Cromdale. Jacobite Clansmen under  Colonel Cannon defeated by Government Forces under Sir Thomas Livingstone.
1 May 1707
Act of Union brought together Scotland and England under a united Parliament at Westminster.
2 May 1558
Mary Queen of Scots escaped from Loch Leven Castle.
3 May 1679
Archishop James Sharp killed on Magus Muir near St Andrews.


3 May 1768
Charles Tennant, chemist, discoverer of bleaching powder and industrialist, born in Alloway.
3 May 1860
John Scott Haldane, physiologist, born.
4 May 1799
Major General Sir David Baird led the final assault against Tipu Sultan capturing Seringapatam. He was Sir John Moore's second in command at Corunna.
5 May 1646  
Charles I surrendered to Scottish Covenanters besieging Newark.
6 May 1870
Sir James Young Simpson, who introduced the use of chloroform in childbirth, died.
7 May 1711
David Hume one of the most important figures in Western Philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment, born in Edinburgh. 
7 May 1890
James Nasmyth, engineer and inventor and builder of the first steam hammer, died.
8 May 1854

Captain Robert Barclay Allardice, the famous exponent of "pedestrianism", precursor to race walking, died. 6th Laird of Ury, commissioned in the 23rd Regiment of Foot he was ADC to the Marquis of Huntly in the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition in 1809.
The Celebrated Captain Barclay: Sport, Money and Fame in Regency Britain, Peter Radford ISBN 0747272220
8 May 1945
VE (Victory in Europe) Day. On May 7 1945, General Jodl signed with the Allies for the unconditional surrender of German forces on all fronts, which was to take effect on 8 May  at 1101 hrs.


9 May 1645
The Marquis of Montrose's Forces defeated Covenanters at Auldearn, near Nairn, remembered in verses of the song "The Haughs of Cromdale", which was actually 45 years later.
9 May 1860
J M Barrie, the Scottish playwright and novelist, born. Mainly remembered today for "Peter Pan" his works include "A Window in Thrums" and the "The Admirable Crichton".
9 May 1909

Robert Garioch, poet and translator who wrote mainly in the Scots language, born.  He died on 26th April 1981.


10 May 1307
 Robert the Bruce defeats the English Army at the Battle of Loudon Hill.
10 May 1941
Hitler's Deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland surrendered to farmer David McLean, and asks to see the Duke of Hamilton.
11 May 1672
Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline died. A devoted Royalist he left the country after the execution of Charles I and returned with Charles II.
11 May 1685
Covenanter Martyrs Margaret Lauchlane, or McLachlan, and Margaret Wilson drowned in the Solway Firth after refusing to acknowledge Charles II's authority on religious matters.
12 May 1999
The Scottish Parliament which adjourned on 25th March 1707 reconvened.
13 May 1568
Mary Queen of Scots defeated by Regent Moray at the Battle of Langside..
14 May 1689
Cameronians , (Scottish Rifles), formed. Their first Commanding Officer was William Cleland, who would be killed weeks later at the Battle of Dunkeld, 21st August, and their Colonel, was the Earl of Angus. The Regiment chose disbandment rather than merger, in 1967.
14 May 1752 The Appin Murder. Colin Campbell of Glenure "The Red Fox" shot, allegedly by Alan Breck Stewart (of "Kidnapped" fame). James Stewart was later found guilty and hanged, despite a lack of evidence. In 2001 a descendant of the Stewarts of Appin, 89-year-old Anda Penman, identified young Donald Stewart of Ballachulish as the real killer, a secret that was passed on by word of mouth through generations of the Appin Stewarts.
15 May 1567 James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney, 4th Earl of Bothwell
Mary Queen of Scots married the James Hepburn, Duke of Orkney, 4th Earl of Bothwell at Holyrood.
16 May 1568 Mary Queen of Scots crossed the River Solway into exile landing at Workington. She spent her first night at Workington Hall owned by a friend of Lord Herries.
17 May
Norway's Constitution Day is celebrated each year in Kirkwall, Orkney with a procession to the Norwegian built cathedral. It is also celebrated in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
17 May 1810
Robert Tannahill, poet, died in Paisley.
17 May 1870 David Octavius Hill, photographer, died, Newington, Edinburgh.
18 May 1313
Robert the Bruce invaded the Isle of Man.
See also pp 056-059 - Manx Soc vol 15 ANTIQUITATES MANNIAE
18 May 1843
Formation of the Free Church of Scotland.
19 May 1795
James Boswell, biographer of Samuel Johnson, died.
20 May 685
Battle of Nechtansmere, south of Forfar in Angus, Picts, under Bridei son of Bili, defeat the Angles effectively halting their northern progress.
20 May 1303 France and England conclude peace allowing Edward I to turn his attentions to Scotland.
20 May 1469
Christian I of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, having raised only 2,000 of the 10,000 florins of the dowry for the marriage of his daughter Margaret to James III and due before her departure, pledged Shetland for the remaining 8,000.
(Other sources say 28th May)

A Source Book of Scottish History: 1424 to 1567, William Croft Dickinson, p 57
Scottish historical documents, Gordon Donaldson p. 86
Shetland - Shetlopedia - The Shetland Encyclopaedia

The Annexation of the earldom of Orkney and lordship of Shetland to the Crown, 20th February 1472
20 May 1747
James Lind began experimenting with citrus fruits as a preventive measure for scurvy, a condition which affected sailors on long voyages. The lime juice issued subsequently to the Royal Navy gave rise to the term "limey", particularly in North America.
21 May 1424
 James I crowned at Scone.
21 May 1650
The Marquis of Montrose, having been betrayed at Ardvreck Castle by MacLeod of Assynt, after the Battle of Carbisdale, was hanged at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh.
21 May 1940:
Prints are obtainable from the artist, David Rowlands
1st Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders in action at the Escaut Canal. The Camerons were the last Scottish Regiment to fight in kilts.
22 May 1859
Birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Edinburgh.
22 May 1915
214 members of the 7th Battalion, The Royal Scots were killed en route to Gallipoli when their train crashed into carriages of a local train, and then the northbound express collided with the wreckage at Quintinshill.
  23   May   1308   The date is uncertain but the 700th Anniversary of  Robert the Bruce's defeat of the Earl of Buchan at the Battle of Inverurie, otherwise known as the Battle of Barra was  celebrated locally on this date in 2008.
24 May 1616 John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, Scottish politician, born. He was Charles II's deputy in Scotland.
24 May 1819 The future Queen Victoria, last of the House of Hanover, born.
24 May 1852 Robert Cunningham Graham, organiser with Keir Hardie of the Scottish Labour Party born.
25 May 1660  Charles II returned to The United Kingdom, and the date became known as Royal Oak Day.
25 May 1713  John Stewart, Earl of Bute born.
26 May 1424 Act of Parliament of James I banning football: Item that it is  statut and the king forbiddis that na man play at the fut ball under the payne of xl.s to be ratit to the Lord of the Land, as oft as he be taintit, or to the Schiref of the land, or his Ministers.
27 May 1532 College of Justice (later Court of Session) established by James V, held its first sederunt in Edinburgh.
27 May 1661
Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll and Covenanter beheaded in Edinburgh.
26/27 May 1940
1st Battalion The Royal Scots and 2nd Battalion The Royal Norfolk Regiment fight to hold the La Bassée Canal Line protecting the corridor for the BEF to evacuate at Dunkirk over the following few days Ordered to fight to the last man and the last round (bullet), they did so.  By the end of the fighting on 27th May nearly all the survivors were wounded.
28 May 1546
David Beaton the Archbishop of St Andrews was murdered by leading Protestants avenging the execution of Protestant Martyr, George Wishart.
29 May 1630
The future  Charles II born.
29 May 1848
Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, author, contributor to Blackwood's and Tait's Edinburgh magazines, died.
30 May 1847 Thomas Chalmers, first Moderator of the Free Church
of Scotland died.
31 May 1367  
Robert III married Annabel Drummond.
31 May 1756 Dr James Currie, biographer of Robert Burns, born.