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Alexander II. appears to have been frequently in Aberdeen between the years 1222 and 1235. Old Wynton says that, in the former year, "He held his yule in Abbyrdene." 

Aberdeen was the occasional residence of Alexander III., John Baliol, Robert the Bruce, and David II. The unfortunate Baliol was taken captive here by John Comyn, Laird of Strathbogie, and delivered up to Edward I. of England at Montrose. Edward himself came to Aberdeen on the I4th of July 1296, and remained in it for five days. On the 5th he received the homage and oath of allegiance of the Burgesses and community. For this act, however, the citizens afterwards made so ample an atonement to "The Bruce," that that illustrious monarch conferred on them many privileges, which are set forth in what is justly called the Great Charter of the Burgh.  In some of the battles which he fought, in vindication of his title to the Crown, the citizens of Aberdeen seem to have afforded him signal assistance. We may here mention incidentally that the citizens gave undoubted proof of their loyalty and bravery at the Battle of Harlaw, July 1411, when their gallant Provost, Sir Robert Davidson, and many of the Burgesses, were slain in defending the rights of the Crown against the usurper Donald of the Isles. 

The unfortunate Queen Mary visited Aberdeen about August 1562, when she was received with every mark of loyalty and attachment.  She was also here in the end of October that year, when the Earl of Huntly \vas defeated by the Earl of Murray, in the Battle of Corrichie, fought in one of the glens of the Hill of Fare, in this county. The Gordon Chief and many of his followers were slain; and many prisoners were conveyed to Aberdeen, including Huntly's 2nd son, the gallant and handsome Sir John Gordon, for whom the Queen is said to have had at one time a strong attachment. He was beheaded in Castle Street on the 2nd of November, to the profound grief of the Queen, who was so situated as not to have the power of saving his life. 

ABERDEEN,  may more strictly be designated New Aberdeen; and it is here necessary to observe, that the Old and the New city have each a distinct Municipal jurisdiction, a separate Magistracy, and what is more singular, a separate and distinct University. New Aberdeen is situated on a rising ground at the mouth of the Dee, about a mile distant from Old Aberdeen, which stands pleasantly on the mouth of the Don.  Of course the term new is merely relative, and by all accounts the time when it was first applied to this place, for the sake of distinguishing it from its rather more antique rival, must have been about the close of the 9th century.  It has some spacious streets formed by substantial houses built of granite from quarries in the neighborhood.  In virtue of an act of Parliament passed in 1800, several new streets have been added, which pass over the others by arches, and facilitate the approach to the town in different directions. The various charitable institutions are honorable to the memory of the founders, and to the public spirit of the inhabitants who sustain them. The Harbour is situated at the bottom of the eminence, on which stands the bridge; it is a sort of curved inlet, partly separated from the river by a low island. The access to it was formerly interrupted and rendered precarious by a continually shifting sand-bank: but the inconvenience has been remedied by the erection of a pier, on a plan communicated by Mr. Smeaton. It is 1206 feet in length, and gradually increases in thickness and height as it extends into the sea, where the extreme head or rounding is 60 feet in diameter at its base, and the perpendicular elevation 36 feet. It is constructed of huge blocks of granite, at an expense of about £20,000, which was defrayed by doubling the Harbour dues. Near it are 2 batteries, mounting 10 x 12 pounders, which were erected in 1782 for the defense of the Harbour and shipping. The chief imports to Aberdeen are from the Baltic and the West Indies; and there is much intercourse between this Port and that of London, where the salmon fisheries of the Don and the Dee find an advantageous market. The principal exports are stockings, thread, and grain."

Loss of the Titanic 15th April 1912
As indicated on Monday, there were no Aberdeen passengers aboard the ill-fated vessel, but we learn that a Torry Engineer was a member of the crew. About 10 days ago Mr. James Fraser, 85 Menzies Road, received a letter from his son, Mr. James Fraser, intimating that the writer, who is an engineer of the White Star Line, had received a transfer to the Titanic. Mr. Fraser's fate is, of course, as yet unknown.

Mr James Fraser, 29, was born in Aberdeen and served his apprenticeship with Barry, Henry & Co. in that town. He served at sea for 2 years in ships owned by Langlands & Sons before joining White Star as 6th engineer aboard the Adriatic in October 1907. Following several promotions he was appointed to the Titanic. Fraser held a First Class Engineer`s certificate. A resident of Southampton, Fraser left a widow and 2 young children.

Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund : James Fraser

(From: Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913)
Number 99. Fraser, Florence, widow. Children: Florence Stephen and James. Stephen, Jane, widow's mother. All class B dependants.

(From the Titanic Relief Fund Minute Book number 2, Southampton Area)
Date June 27th 1923.
Case number C698. Committee authorised payment of Educational allowance of 10/- per week for six months.
(From the Titanic Relief Fund Minute Book number 3, Southampton Area)
Date December 12th
The Committee authorised an extra 10/- per week allowance for a period of six months
(From the Titanic Relief Fund Minute Book number 32, Southampton Area)
Date July 4th
The Committee recommended that the special allowance of 10/- per week be continued.

On board the Titanic there were in all 2, 358 passengers and crew. The numbers when she left Queenstown, including those from Cherbourg were:

  • 360 first class passengers.
  • 305 second class passengers.
  • 800 third class passengers.
  • 903 crew and stewards.

The owners announce definitely that there are 868 survivors. The total death toll from the disaster is thus 1, 490.

1896: Aberdeen: A SHOWMAN’S ILL-TREATMENT OF A HORSE. Hugh Smith, showman of no fixed residence, was charged before Baillie Edwards in Aberdeen Police Court yesterday with having Cruelly ill-treated a horse by working it in a caravan while it was in a weak and emancipated condition, and while it was suffering from open sores. Accused pleaded not guilty. Inspector Macrae, of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, stated that when he saw the horse going along St Nicholas Street, he stopped it, and on examination found 2 open sores under the collar and 2 on the back. The sores were inflamed and seemed to have been covered over with grease. He took the horse out of the harness, and told the showman that it was not in a fit state to be worked, to which remark Smith replied that he could not feed the animal on beef steaks. A policeman corroborated. Chief Inspector Wallace, of the S.P.O.A., who had subsequently examined the horse stated that he found it in a shockingly poor condition.  It had two open sores on the shoulder, one on the back and one on the rump. They were discharging matter and had been dressed with black grease. The load the horse had to draw was about a 1-1/2 ton in weight. The Baillie characterised the case as an exceedingly bad one, and imposed a fine of 40s, with 24s 6d of expense, the alternative being 10 days imprisonment. (Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 8 May 1896 ; Issue 12879)

1897: Aberdeen: ATTACK ON A SHOWMAN. In Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday – Acting Sheriff J. C. Dove Wilson on the bench – William Nelson, horsedealer; Janet Nelson, his wife ; and Sarah Nelson, his mother, residing in a van on Fraserburgh Links were charged with assault and breach of the peace.  It was alleged that on 2nd August, on the public road leading from Fraserburgh to Strichen, they had severely assaulted James Smith, a showman. The man pleaded guilty, and was fined £2, the option being 15 day’s imprisonment; his wife, pleaded guilty to striking the man once, and she was fined 15s, with the alternative of 7 day’s imprisonment ; while a plea of not guilty by Mrs Nelson,  was accepted and she was discharged. (Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 7 Aug 1897; Issue 13270)

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Last modified: 01/09/2013