Scottish Literary Calendar: 6. June

                Epigraph: Of the day Estivall

              The rivers fresh, the caller streams,

                  O’er rocks can softly rin;

               The water clear like crystal seems,

                   And makes a pleasant din

                                  Alexander Hume [1557-1609] 

1|6|1863  John McGrath, dramatist, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire. He becomes Artistic Director of the 7:84 Theatre Company, and in 1971 his play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil takes Scotland by storm. Ref:  0601.01(LS)       


2|6|1789  John Wilson (1720-1789), Lanarkshire-born author of the epic descriptive poem The Clyde, dies at Greenock, Renfrewshire. Ref:  0602.01(LS)       

2|6|1863  Neil Munro, novelist, is born at Inveraray. His highly successful historical novels will include John Splendid (1898), and The New Road (1914). Ref:  0602.02(LS)   

2|6|1899 Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980), American naturalist and writer with literary interests, is born in Illinois. In Springtime in Britain (1970) he will describe hunting for James Boswell’s last resting place at Auchinleck. Ref: 0602.03

2|6|1935 Carol Shields, American novelist author of The Stone Diaries, is born. In 1963 she will meet her future husband, a Canadian, in Aberfoyle, Perthshire. Ref: 0602.04

3|6|1771  (Reverend) Sydney Smith (1771-1845), clergyman and wit, born at Woodford, Essex. With Francis Jeffrey, Henry Brougham and Francis Horner he starts the Edinburgh Review in 1802. Ref:  0603.01(LS)       

3|6|1774  Robert Tannahill (1774-1810), poet, born at 8 Castle Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire. His enormously popular songs will include Jessie, the Flower o’ Dunblane. Ref:  0603.02(LS)       

4|6|1724  (Reverend) William Gilpin, apostle of the Picturesque in Scotland, born in Cumberland. His enthusiastic brand of tourism is later satirised by William Combe in Doctor Syntax (1812), and in Doctor Prosody (1821), which describes a visit to Scotland. Ref:  0604.01(LS)        

4|6|1948  Valerie Gillies [née Simmons], poet, born Edmonton, Canada. She is brought up in Edinburgh and will write much-admired poetry providing new insights into the Scottish countryside. Ref:  0604.02(LS)  

4|6|1955   Val McDermid is born. She grows up in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and will write successful crime novels.    0604.03(LS)

5|6|1747  Record of books borrowed from the Innerpeffray Library, near Crieff in Perthshire (founded in1691), begins. Ref:  0605.01(LS)       

5|6|1913  Douglas Young (1913-73), poet and translator, born at Tayport in Fife. Ref:  0605.02(LS)        

5|6|1928  James Kennaway (1928-68), novelist, is born at Auchterarder. In 1956 he will publish his first novel, Tunes of Glory, which, as a screenwriter, he will turn into a highly successful film in 1960. Ref:  0605.03(LS)        

6|6|1912  William Douglas Home (1912-92), playwright, born. His comedies of manners will include The Chiltern Hundreds, and a play about the dilemma faced by his brother who became Prime Minister of  the United Kingdom. Ref:  0606.01(LS)       

6|6|1918  Tom Scott (1918-95) is born in Glasgow. In 1952 he will attend Newbattle Abbey College and meet Edwin Muir.  In 1953 he will publish translations into Scots of the poems of François Villon and embark on a career as a poet. Ref:  0606.02(LS)       

7|6|1835  George Birkbeck Hill (1835-1903), headmaster and authority on Boswell and Johnson is born in Tottenham. In 1889 he follows his heroes to the Hebrides, and writes Footsteps of Samuel Johnson (Scotland), illustrated by Lancelot Speed. Ref:  0607.01(LS)       

8|6|1768  Andrew Millar (1707-1768), a London publisher who was born in Scotland, dies. He has published both Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary and David Hume’s History.  In 1755 his generosity to authors led Johnson to say: ‘I respect Millar, sir; he has raised the price of literature’. Ref:  0608.01(LS)        

8|6|1882  James Thomson (1834-82), the Scottish author of the melancholy epic poem about Victorian urban life, The City of Dreadful Night, dies. Ref:  0608.02(LS)         

9|6|1881  Andrew Wilson (1830-91), author of one of the first books about the Himalayas, The Abode of Snow, dies. Ref:  0609.01(LS)          

9|6|1938  Giles Havergal, successful director of the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, is born. Ref:  0609.02(LS)        .

9|6|1946  James Kelman, novelist, is born in Glasgow. He will tranform the Scottish literary scene with his realistic novels about Glasgow life, The Busconductor Hines (1984), A Disaffection (1989) and the Booker prizewinning How late it was, how late (1994). Ref:  0609.03(LS)        

10|6|1901  Robert Williams Buchanan (1841-1901), poet and critic, at one-time resident at Soroba House, Oban, dies. Ref:  0610.01(LS)       

10|6|1920  James Allan Ford, civil servant and novelist, born, Auchtermuchty, Fife. Ref:  0610.02(LS)       

11|6|1793   William Robertson (1721-93), the historian who was a central figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, dies Ref:  0611.01(LS)        

11|6|1903   William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), the poet, dramatist, editor and critic, dies. An amputee, in 1873 he had gone to Edinburgh where he was cared for by Joseph Lister. There he met R.L.Stevenson, a lifelong friend. His most famous poem, Invictus, was written in 1875, and contains the line “my head is bloody, but unbowed.” Ref:  0611.02(LS)       

12|6|1759   William Collins (1721-59), the English poet who wrote an Ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands, dies  Ref:  0612.01(LS)       

13|6|1922  James Logie Robertson, the poet who, as ‘Hugh Haliburton’, was the author of Scots versions of the poems of Horace, dies Ref:  0613.01(LS)       

13|6|1951  William Power, the leading Scottish literary critic of his generation, dies Ref:  0613.02(LS)       

14|6|1794  John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854), lawyer, novelist and critic, is born at Cambusnethan in Lanarkshire. He will marry Sir Walter Scott’s daughter, and write his father-in-law’s biography. Ref:  0614.01(LS)       

14|6|1908  Kathleen Raine, the daughter of a Scottish mother who will become Britain’s most important twentieth century nature poet, is born. She will enjoy a tempestuous relationship with Gavin Maxwell, and much of her finest poetry will be inspired by the landscapes of Wester Ross. Ref:  0614.02(LS)       

14|6|1914   Ruthven Todd, poet and novelist, is born, in Edinburgh. Ref:  0614.03(LS)       

15|6|1844  Thomas Campbell, poet, dies. It was Campbell – a Glasgow man – who first said, supposedly inspired by a view of Edinburgh, “’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view.” Ref:  0615.01(LS)        

16|6|1807  Rev. John Skinner (1721-1807), the Aberdeenshire song writer, dies Ref:  0616.01(LS)       

16|6|1872  Norman Macleod, the influential editor of Good Words, dies.  Ref:  0616.02(LS)       

17|6|1911   James Cameron (1911-85), inspired foreign correspondent, is born. His first job as a journalist is in Dundee. Ref:  0617.01(LS)       

17|6|1943   Annie Shepherd Swan, prolific popular novelist, dies Ref:  0617.02(LS)  

17|6|2006   Jackie Kay (b.1961), poet and novelist, becomes an MBE. She born in Edinburgh and raised in Bishopbriggs. Her early collection The Adoption Papers (1991) wins great acclaim.  Ref:  0617.03(LS)     

18|6|1827  Alexander Balloch Grosart (1827-1899), author and editor, is born at Stirling.  Ref:  0618.01(LS)       

18|6|1942   (Sir) Paul Macartney, Liverpool singer/songwriter who is to later make a home in Kintyre in Scotland, is born  Ref:  0618.02(LS)       

19|6|1566  James VI, minor poet and King of Scots, is born. He becomes known as ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’. Ref:  0619.01(LS)       

19|6|1931 Sir James Barrie  (1860-1937), novelist and dramatist, dies. Ref:  0619.02(LS)       

19|6|1937   Tom Buchan, poet, is born in Glasgow Ref:  0619.03(LS)       

20|6|1723   Adam Ferguson, philosopher, is born at Logierait, Perthshire. He becomes a professor of philosophy and a friend of Sir Walter Scott  Ref:  0620.01(LS)       

20|6|1823   Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849), Irish novelist, visits the Trossachs, and thinks of Sir Walter Scott and her feelings on visiting the scenery he has made famous in The Lady of the Lake. Ref:  0620.02(LS)       

20|6|1887   The new Tay Bridge, like its predecessor the subject of an ode by the notorious poet, William McGonagall, is opened  Ref:  0620.03(LS)       

21|6|1998   Aestival, midsummer day, subject of a memorable poem, Of the Day Estivall (1599), by the courtier-poet Alexander Hume (c1556-1609), published in 1599 Ref:  0621.01(LS)       

21|6|1818: William Edmonstoune Aytoun (1813-65), poet and humourist, is born in Edinburgh.  Ref:  0621.02(LS)       

22|6|1812  Henry Mackenzie, the famous novelist, reads his account of the life of John Home, the famous dramatist, before the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Ref:  0622.01(LS)        

23|6|1903  Frank Fraser Darling (1903-79), naturalist and author, born in England. He will work in Edinburgh and the Highlands and write the definitive Natural History of the Highlands and Islands (1947). Ref:  0623.01(LS)       

24|6|1795  William Smellie, editor of and key contributor to the first Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1768, dies.   Ref:  0624.01(LS)       

25|6|1684   Archbishop Robert Leighton (1611-84), who was so modest that he refused any of his works to be published while he was alive, dies at the Bell Inn, Warwick Lane, London. He leaves his valuable library to the diocese of Dunblane where he was Bishop after the Restoration. It is still open to the public. Ref:  0625.01(LS)       

25|6|1816  Hugh Henry Brackenridge, the Argyll-born author who became one of the first American novelists, dies. Ref:  0625.02(LS)       

25|6|1897   Margaret Oliphant, a leading Victorian Scottish novelist, dies. Ref:  0625.03(LS)       

26|6|1769  Thomas Pennant leaves Chester to embark on his first Tour of Scotland. Ref:  0626.01(LS)        

26|6|1791  John Mactaggart (1791-1830), encyclopædist and civil engineer, is born in the parish of Borgue, Kirkcudbrightshire. Mactaggart’s Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, is published in 1824, and is a clever medley of local history, etymologies, verses, and biographies Ref:  0626.02(LS)       

27|6|1843  John Murray, publisher, dies Ref:  0627.01(LS)       

27|6|1885  W. L. Lorimer, author of The New Testament in Scots, is born. Ref:  0627.02(LS)       

27|6|1949  F. S. Smythe, the author and climber who believed that he saw the remnants of a  supernatural army above the Falls of Glomach, dies. Ref:  0627.03(LS)       

28|6|1802   Thomas Garnett, professor at the Andersonian Institution in Glasgow and author of a significant Highland Tour, dies Ref:  0628.01(LS)       

28|6|1935   The first ten Penguins, which include Compton MacKenzie’s  Carnival, are published  Ref:  0628.02(LS)       

29|6|1787  Robert Burns (1759-1796) is made a freeman of Dumbarton at the end of his West Highland tour.  Ref:  0629.01(LS)       

29|6|1833  The Schoolmaster and Edinburgh Weekly Magazine, a  journal, conducted and almost wholly written by the novelist Mrs. Christian Johnstone is converted into ‘Johnstone’s Edinburgh Magazine,’ published monthly Ref:  0629.02(LS)       

30|6|1709  Edward Lhuyd, the Celtic Scholar who first recorded many Hebridean folk stories, dies Ref:  0630.01(LS)       

30|6|1761  Thomas Sheridan (1719-1788), the famous Irish actor and teacher of elocution, commences a series of lectures on ‘The English Tongue’ in Edinburgh. Ref:  0630.02(LS)       

30|6|1798   Alexander Dyce (1798-1869), scholar, is born in Edinburgh. He will edit the works of Shakespeare and others, and leave a valuable library of books and manuscripts to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Ref:  0630.03(LS)       

30|6|1922    ‘Molly Hunter’, novelist, born Longniddry. She will write many exciting Scottish stories for children.  Ref:  0630.04(LS)       

Louis Stott Database: 62 entries                                                  Updated: 280998

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: