Reported 280 years ago (March 1739): The death of a brigadier in his room in Scotland is the source of much talk

From the Belfast News Letter of February 23 1738, which is equivalent to March 6 1739 in the modern calendar. The new year did not begin until late March, and so December and January and February were all considered part of the same year:

Friday, 8th March 2019, 10:32 am
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 11:45 am
The front page of the Belfast News Letter of February 23 1738 (March 6 1739 in the modern calendar)


WE learn from the North, that on the 23d ult. in the Morning, Major White, of the Hon. Brigadier Howard’s Regiment, was found dead in his Room at Fort-Augustus; the manner of whose Death is Subject of all Conversation.

And from Strathspey, that the fine lately built House of Alexander Grant of Delrachey, Esq; was burnt down to the Ground by accidental Fire, whereby the whole Furniture, Plate and about 3000 Merks in Cash were consumed.

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Tuesday last the Lady of James Wauchop Don of Edmonston, Esq; was safely delivered of a Daughter (and first Child,) to the great Joy of that good Family and the Hon. Families and their Allies.

It blew a tempestuous Gale Yesterday till after Midday; so that some People fancied the magnificent Steeple of St. Giles’s was ready to tumble down, while others were even so wild sa to alledge that one of the Arches of the August Imperial Crown was actually giving way, tho’ indeed there was no Ground for such Conjecture. — The Presbytery met in the Burrough-room, and had under Consideration an Act of the Right Hon. the Lord Provost, Magistrates and Town Council, past in Consequence of a Petition from the Kirk Session of the New-grey-fryars, setting forth, ‘That the Presbytery had taken away their Rev. Pastor Mr. Robert Wallace (with whom they had lived in great Friendship) without giving them a legal Citation to object, and in an unprecedented manner removed him to a Collegiate Charge: and seeing the Rev. Mr. William Wishart, though a Minister of this City, has yet no particular Charge; Therefore, &c.’

(The Account to be continued in my Next.)

Feb 5.

By a Letter from the Isle of Mull we learn, Capt. Roe was arrived at Tobourmoury, to make a second Trial in fishing on the Wreck of one of the Ships of the Spanish Armada, which perished there Anno 1588; and from the distinct Accounts the Capt. has from the Registers in Spain of the Treasure that was aboard her, together with the Help of a fine Machine, and that Genleman’s Capacity, it is confidently hoped he will succeed.

’Tis said, he is also to fish upon the Wrech (sic) of another Ship of that Armada, which sunk betwixt the Isle of Corna and Pencorse in the Shire of Air.

Feb 6.

On the 11th January last, died the Rev. Mr. John Gilchrist Minister of the Gospel at Urquhart in Murray, in the 34th Year of his Age.

He served in the Ministry 8 Years, whereof the first 3 in the Parish of Boharm, the other 5 in that of Urquhart. He was universally esteem’d and belov’d as a Minister, being a faithful and successful Preacher of the Gospel, making Christ crucified the chief Theme and Subject of his Discourses, which he delivered in a serious Scriptural Strain, always agreeable and edifying to his Hearers of all Ranks. An early and unaffected Piety, an extensive Charity and Benevolence, and uncommon Sweetness and Affability shone with the greatest Lustre in the Whole of his Conversation, and wanted no social Virtue which might render him an agreeable Member of Society, whether sacred or civil.

WHEREAS it has been found by Experience, that Flax-seed when thick sown is apt to rise in tall and slender Stems which being too weak to support the Head, in wet Seasons especially, is the occasion of its Lodging, by which means the Flax is often damag’d, and the Seed always lost.

The Trustees of the Linen Manufactuary do hereby notify to all Persons concern’d, that three Bushels. or at most thirteen Pecks, of Flax-Seed are Sufficient for sowing a Plantation Acre of good Land, and about nine Packs of sowing an English Acre. And they do recommend it to all Persons to sow one 4th Part of their Seeed thinner than the rest, and to suffer the same to grow to be fully ripe, as being the most effectual way to prevent its Lodging, and to secure a Provision of Seed, by which means great Sums of Money will be saved to the Nation, which are yearly expended in Foreign Seed.

The Trustees do likewise notify to all Persons who shall receive Seed out of their Stores, that they are to expect four statutable Bushels compleat for every Barrel of home grown Seed, granted together in a good new Sack which is paid for by the Board, and that they may expect three Bushels, and nearly one half in one Cask of Foreign Seed, and if upon Measuring they shall find it considerably short of that Quantity, they may conclude that there has been some Embezzlement committed by Persons, thro’ whose Hands such Seed has passed, in which case they are desired to notify the Measure of such deficient Cask, to some one of the Trustees in their Neighbourhood, or to Arthur Newburgh, Esq; at the Linen Board in Dublin Castle, to the Intent that the said Embezzlement and Fraud may be traced and detected.

Dublin-Castle, Signed by Order, 16th of Feb. 1738 9. ARTHUR NEWBURGH.