This Week in History: 1-7 January


1651: Charles II was crowned King of Scots at Scone. It was the last coronation in Scotland.

1760: Carron Ironworks near Falkirk was started by Roebuck & Garbett of Birmingham and Cadell of Cockenzie. The small naval guns known as carronades were among the company’s products.

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1783: Glasgow Chamber of Commerce was founded, the first in Britain.

1800: The New Lanark Twist Company was founded, with Robert Owen as first manager.

1919: Britain’s worst peacetime naval disaster this century happened when the naval yacht Iolaire, carrying 260 Lewis men returning from war service, and 24 crew, struck a reef on approach to Stornoway Harbour at 2am. Within 20 yards of the shore, 205 died as the overloaded vessel foundered.

1923: Most of the Scottish railways merged into the LMS and LNER. The Caledonian Railway followed suit later in the year.

1996: As mopping up in homes continued across Scotland after flooding from tens of thousands of burst pipes, householders faced water shortages and factories were urged to stay closed.


1971: Ibrox Park disaster in Glasgow as stair barriers collapsed – 66 died and 200 injured.


1958: Sir Edmund Hillary reached South Pole with a New Zealand party, the first to do so overland since Captain Scott.


1856: Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland was constituted.


1993: The Liberian-registered tanker Braer, with engine out of action, was driven ashore in a storm at Quendale Bay, Shetland, after her crew had been rescued. Over the next few days, her cargo of 84,000 gallons of Norwegian crude leaked from her tanks, but the potential consequences of the world’s biggest oil spill were alleviated by the force of the waves which broke her up.


1957: Five members of crew lost when fishery cruiser Vaila sank off Lewis.

2011: The pies at Ayrshire bakery Irvine’s of Beith were judged the best in the world at the World Scotch Pie Championships.


1451: Glasgow University was founded by a bull of Pope Nicholas V, at the suit of King James II and Bishop William Turnbull.

1978: Glasgow’s 100-bedroom Grosvenor Hotel was destroyed in six-hour blaze which could not be controlled by 60 servicemen standing in for firemen who were in the ninth week of strike. Earlier the same day, three members of a family died in a house fire at Linwood, Renfrewshire.

2006: Charles Kennedy resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats two days after admitting to having a drink problem.

2008: After spending nearly 21 years on death row in Ohio, Scot Kenny Richey, 43, who won a long legal battle to have his murder conviction overturned, was set free. He had been sentenced to death on 1987, for killing his former girlfriend’s two-year-old child.