Born: Dr. Philip
Doddridge, eminent English Nonconformist divine, 1702,
London; George Morland, artist, 1763, Haymarket.
Died: Julian, emperor,
slain near Samara, upon the Tigris, 363; Innocent V,
pope, 1276; Francisco Pizarro, assassinated at Lima,
1541; Archbishop Robert Leighton, 1684, Warwick Lane,
London; Ralph Cudworth, English 'latitudinarian'
divine, author of the True Intellectual System of the
Universe, 1688, Cambridge; John Flavel, eminent
Nonconformist divine, miscellaneous writer, 1691,
Exeter; Alexis Czarowitz of Russia, died under
sentence, 1718, Petersburg; Cardinal Julius Alberoni,
Spanish minister, 1752, Placentia; Rev.
naturalist, 1793, Selborne;
Samuel Crompton, inventor
of "The Mule' (spinning machine), 1827; George IV of
England, 1830, Windsor; William Smyth (historical
writings, poetry, &c.), 1849, Norwich.
Feast Day: Saints John
and Paul, martyrs in Rome, about 362; St. Vigilins,
Bishop of Trent, 400 or 405; St. Maxentius, Abbot in
Poitou, about 515; St. Babolen, Abbot in France, 7th
century; The Venerable Raingarda of Auvergne, widow,
1135; St. Anthelm, Bishop of Bellay, confessor, 1178.
The ordinary biographies of
Archbishop Leighton fail to make us acquainted with a
strange escapade of his youth—namely, his being
temporarily expelled from the University of Edinburgh.
The provost of that day, Provost Aikenhead—who ex-officio was rector of the University—having in some
way provoked the wrath of the students, one of them,
Mr. Robert Leighton, the future archbishop, formed an
epigram upon him, turning upon the name Aikenhead (q.d.,
head of oak), and the pimpled visage borne by the
'That whilk his name
pretends is falsely said,
To wit, that of ane aik his head is made;
For if that it had been composed so,
His fiery nose had flamed it long ago.'
For this the young man was
called before the faculty of masters, and solemnly
expelled. His guardian, Sir James Steuart, was absent
at the time, but on his return was influential enough
to get him reponded.
Another semi-comic anecdote of
the amiable prelate is quite as little known. It
chanced to him that he never was married. While he
held the see of Dumblane, he was of course a subject
of considerable interest to the celibate ladies living
in his neighbourhood. One day he received a visit from
one who had come to a mature period of life. Her
manner was solemn, yet somewhat embarrassed: it was
evident from the first that there was something very
particular upon her mind. The good bishop spoke with
his usual kindness, encouraged her to be
communicative, and by and by drew from her that she
had had a very strange dream, or rather, as she
thought, a revelation from heaven. On further
questioning, she confessed that it had been intimated
to her that she was to be united in marriage to the
bishop. One may imagine what a start this would give
to a quiet scholar who had long ago married his books,
and never thought of any other bride. He recovered,
however, and very gently addressing her, said that 'doubtless these intimations were not to be despised.
As yet, however, the designs of heaven were but
imperfectly explained, as they had been revealed to
only one of the parties. He would wait to see if any
similar communication should be made to himself, and
whenever it happened he would be sure to let her
know.' Nothing could be more admirable than this humour but the benevolence shown in so bringing an
estimable woman off from a false position.