Scotland is the birthplace of golf: a game that has gone on to conquer the world. In April 1744, the first 'official' game was played, according to a set of 13 rules that still form the basis of the game as it’s played today. The winner of that first game, which was played at Leith, was appointed Captain of Golf for the next 12 months and had the honour of signing the first official rule book. The book is now kept safe by the National Library of Scotland.

April is also the month in which a Scottish icon, the Loch Ness Monster, appeared twice in the news. The first time was in 1934, when surgeon Robert Wilson took a picture of what he claimed was the monster emerging from the deep. Despite its authenticity having since been questioned, it remains one of the best-known images of the creature. The second, in 2001, was news of an expedition to trap a smaller specimen of Nessie's family with the aim of extracting a sample of its DNA.

The Stone of Destiny, on which Scottish, and subsequently British, monarchs have been crowned for many centuries, was recovered in April 1951. It had been removed from Westminster Abbey on Christmas day the previous year, and transported back to Scotland. This had led to the border between England and Scotland being closed for the first time in more than 400 years. The stone would eventually be returned to Scotland on a permanent basis, on the understanding it would remain available for future coronations, on St Andrew’s Day 1996.


Also in April…

The Radical War begins 1st
The first ever winner of a round of golf 2nd
Highland Airways Ltd is founded 3rd
Leith petition fails to save a man 4th
The River Dee ferryboat disaster 5th
Stand collapse kills 25 at Ibrox Park
Declaration of Arbroath asserts Scotland’s independence 6th
Death of the founder of St Andrews
The Scottish National Party is founded 7th
Campaigner Willie McRae dies after being shot in the Highlands
Prince Charles opens Berneray causeway 8th
Princes Street Station’s foundation stone laid 9th
Scottish MPs call for an independent BBC Scotland
SS St Sunniva wrecked off Shetland 10th
The Stone of Destiny is recovered 11th
The SNP wins its first parliamentary seat 12th
The Edinburgh Duck is revealed 13th
The University of Edinburgh is granted its royal charter 14th
Actor Robert Carlyle is born in Glasgow
Inventor of the fridge is born in Hamilton 15th
Jacobites fight in the Battle of Culloden 16th
Livingston is designated a New Town
Seven killed in the Paisley Rail Crash
The Kelpies are unveiled 17th
Actor David Tennant is born 18th
Lord Byron dies in Greece 19th
Queen Victoria’s would-be assassin stands trial 20th
The surgeon’s photograph of Nessie is published 21st
John Muir Way opens on John Muir’s birthday
Leith-built steamship is first to cross the Atlantic 22nd
Rebus actor John Hannah is born 23rd
Swedish explorer hunts for Nessie
Titan becomes the world’s first electric crane 24th
Inventor and astronomer James Ferguson is born 25th
Lord Cockburn dies in Edinburgh 26th
First episode of Rebus is shown on ITV
Artist and embroiderer Jessie Newbery dies 27th
South Glasgow University Hospital takes its first patients
Scotland’s last Protestant martyr is burned 28th
Rebus author Ian Rankin is born
Skiffle singer Lonnie Donegan is born 29th
Ochil Hills are struck by an earthquake 30th
French destroyer destroyed in the Firth of Clyde