Today in 1788 the first steamboat experiment was held on Dalswinton Loch.
Robert Burns was farming at Ellisland, just outside Dumfries, when he was invited by his landlord, Patrick Miller, to go out in a small experimental steamboat. The boat, which was fitted with an engine designed by William Symington, was the first paddle-propelled steamboat in the world, and Robert Burns was one of its first passengers.
Today in 1285 Yolande, the youngest daughter of France's Robert IV, married Alexander III, King of Scots, in Jedburgh. Alexander's first wife, Margaret, died in 1275 after bearing him three children who had also died young, so he (and the rest of the country) were desperate for an heir. It was while returning to his young second wife from Council in Edinburgh that Alexander fell from his horse at Kinghorn and died.
Once it became clear she was not pregnant, Yolande was shipped back to France. Alexander's death was a tragedy for Scotland: the throne was left without an obvious successor, and the resulting lack of leadership ultimately led to years of bloodshed and oppression at the hands of Edward I.
Today's recipe: a meal bursting with autumnal flavours. Wild duck with apple, rosemary stuffing and sherry sauce.