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29 October 2014
Scottish History

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Devolution "Yes Yes" campaigner.

On this day in 1999, the reconvened Scottish Parliament was officially opened.

After a devolution referendum showed resounding support for the reconvening of the Scottish parliament, plans were put into motion for the creation of such a body. The parliament would sit in the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall in Edinburgh. Elections were held on May 1 1999 and the first sitting of the body took place on May 12 of that year. The official opening on July 1 saw the Queen transfer full constitutional powers to Edinburgh.

This date in July 1731 saw the birth of Admiral Adam Duncan, the Scottish sailor.

A native of Dundee, Duncan was born into a mercantile family but left home at fifteen to become a midshipman in the navy. Duncan went on to command 'HMS Blenheim' at the relief of Gibraltar in October 1782, but his greatest moment was the victory over the Dutch at the battle of Camperdown in 1797.

Camperdown was a disaster for the Dutch, with their fleet being crushed and their commander, Admiral de Winther, being captured. Duncan returned to great acclaim and was awarded the title of Viscount Duncan of Camperdown.

On this day in 1884 Allan Pinkerton, the Scottish-born detective, died.

The son of a Glasgow policeman, Pinkerton trained as a cooper before emigrating to the USA in 1842. Rumour has it that he fled for fear of imminent arrest. After serving as a sheriff in Chicago, he set up the Pinkerton detective agency. He was responsible for guarding Abraham Lincoln and saved him from assassination in 1861. Pinkerton also served as chief of US Secret Service during the American Civil War.

The Pinkerton company logo was We Never Sleep, and emblazoned above the logo on the company headquarters was a huge black and white eye, which gave rise to the expression private eye.

Today's recipe: the mighty mackerel is crammed with goodness; serve it with pea pilaff and pesto for a delicious lunch for one.

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