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March 14.


St. Maud, or Mathildis, queen, A.D. 968. Sts. Acepsimas, Bishop. Joseph, and Aithilahas, A.D. 380. St. Boniface, Bishop of Ross, about 630.


1733. The Excise scheme was first moved in the House of Commons, by resolutions, which were powerfully resisted, but on the 16th finally carried, and the Excise bill brought in. On the 4th of April the bill was read a first time, and carried by a majority of 36; the majority being 236, the minority 200. There were petitions against it from every trading town of the kingdom, and great tumults in London; the obnoxious members were attacked on their way to parliament. The measure was so unpopular that it was for that time dropped, whereon public feeling was manifested by generally illuminations, and other rejoicings.

1757. Admiral John Byng, second son of lord viscount Torrington, was shot at Portsmouth, under the sentence of a court martial, for not having done his duty in an action between the British and French fleets on the 20th of May preceding. After he had made his defence, and conducted himself throughout the trial with coolness and courage, he was so sure of acquittal, that he ordered his coach to be in wiating to convey him to London. He suffered on board the Monarque with undaunted firmness, walking out of the cabin with unchanged countenance to the quarter-deck, where the marines were stationed to execute the sentence. He desired to die with his eyes uncovered; but on its being represented that his intrepid looks might intimidate the soldiers, and frustrate their aim, he tied a handkerchief over his eyes, and then dropping another, five musket balls passed through his body, and he fell dead instantly. An historian of the day says of him, that "Whatever his errors and indiscretions might have been, he seemed to have been rashly condemned, meanly given up, and cruelly sacrificed to vile considerations." It is believed that popular fury had been excited against him by various arts, and especially by the suppression of important passages in his official despatches. He delivered a paper to the marshal of the admiralty on the morning of his death, wherein he expressed his conviction, that he should hereafter be regarded as a victim to divert the indignation and resentment of an injured and deluded people from the proper objects, and that his very enemies believed him innocent.

1797. Courtney Melmoth died at Bath, aged 89 years; he translated part of "Cicero's Works," and "Pliny's Epistels," and wrote "Fitzosborne's Letters," and the "Memoirs of a late eminent Advocate;" his father was the author of "The great Importance of a Religious Life."

1803. Frederick Klopstock, a German writer, author of the "Messiah" and other works, chiefly poetical, died at Hamburgh, aged 80. His funeral was a public one, and conducted with a marked solemnity, denoting affectionate respect for his talents and character.


Mountain Soldanel. Soldanella Alpina.
Dedicated to St. Maud.