BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

29 October 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Scottish History

BBC Homepage
Scottish History
»On This Day


Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!



James II

Today in 1430 King James II was born.

Another of Scotland's boy kings, he was crowned aged only 6, and, after a quite horrific childhood at the hands of various scheming nobles and regents, at the age of 19 James took control of the country. He married well, and quickly proved himself a strong, confident king: his wife, Mary of Gueldres, was an intelligent woman from a sophisticated and rich Flanders family. She bore him three healthy children, and it was doubtless partly her influence that led to his strength in dealing with the many troublesome nobles, especially a long-running bloody battle with the powerful "black Douglas" family. He made many sound political moves, creating alliances, and ruthlessly dealing with those who opposed him, as was necessary to rule effectively. However, James's interest in artillery ultimately led to his early demise, as he was killed aged only 30 at a siege when a cannon exploded.

Robert Fergusson

Today in 1774 saw the death of Robert Fergusson, poet, in the Edinburgh Bedlam. Though they never met, Robert Burns was greatly influenced and inspired by the works and life of this young poet whose potential was never fulfilled. A notorious drinker and carouser, his mental state deteriorated after a period of religious obsession and he was committed to the nightmarish asylum, where he died aged only 24.

Twelve years later Burns arranged for the erection of a headstone at Fergusson's unmarked grave in the Canongate Kirkyard, and the tragedy of his untimely death helped to hasten the reform of the terrible asylum's conditions.

Today's recipe: introduce the flavours of South America into your evening meal.

October calendar
Send as an e-postcard1 October2 October3 October4 October5 October6 October7 October8 October9 October10 October11 October12 October13 October14 October15 October16 October17 October18 October19 October20 October21 October22 October23 October24 October25 October26 October27 October28 October29 October30 October31 October

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy