December 18 1661 – Many Scottish historical records were lost when the ship Elizabeth of Burntisland sank off the English coast. The records had been taken to London by Oliver Cromwell and were being returned to Edinburgh.
December 18 1780 – Society of Antiquaries founded.
December 18 1870 – Birth of Hector Munro. He wrote short stories under the pseudonym “Saki”.
December 18 1969 – Death penalty for murder was formally abolished in Britain.
December 19 1904 – The “Scotsman” newspaper moves to new offices at North Bridge in Edinburgh, remaining there until 1999.
December 20 1560 – First General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
December 21 1846 – Robert Liston, who was born in Linlithgow in 1794, performed the first operation in a British hospital using anaesthetic(ether).
December 21 1988 – Pan Am 747 blew up and crashed at Lockerbie, Dumfries, killing 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 Lockerbie residents.
December 22 1715 – James Stuart, the Old Pretender, arrived at Peterhead. He stayed for only a few weeks.
December 22 1965 – Maximum speed limit of 70mph was imposed on all roads unless a lower limit was in place.
December 22 2000 – Pop mega-star Madonna married movie-producer Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle, putting Dornoch into the media spotlight.
December 24 1165 – King William I (Lion) crowned at Scone.
December 24 1650 – Edinburgh castle surrendered to Oliver Cromwell.
December 24 1856 – Writer and geologist Hugh Miller died.
December 24 2004 – Priest in Charge Ruth Innes fell backwards off the altar step at St Peter’s Linlithgow just before the service was to begin and hit her head off a pillar, requiring 8 staples without the help of any anaesthetic. What an old pro!