Scotland was hit by its largest ever earthquake in November 1880. Measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, the tremor was felt right along Scotland’s west coast, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, and as far afield as Northern Ireland.

It was also the month during which 4000 spectators gathered at the cricket ground at Partick to watch what has since been recognised as the first ever international association football match. The game, between Scotland and England, caused some confusion among the spectators, who were more familiar with the rules of rugby. Newspaper reports of the time recorded the players’ weights, which would have been more important in a rugby meet, and the local spectators were sure their team had scored when the ball sailed over, rather than finding its way into the goal. Several years later, Celtic FC was founded in November.

The Surgeon’s Hall Riot, in which male students protested the right of the first female students to study on the same basis as themselves, occurred in November, a man in Livingston had a close encounter with what sounded very much like a UFO, and BBC Radio Scotland went on air for the first time.

Among those who died during this month were the inventor of Speedos, the originator of Bovril, and ‘Gentleman Johnny’, who spent around two thirds of his life in prison while earning a reputation for his politeness and good behaviour. Singer Lulu, the owner of the Isle of Lewis, and comedian Billy Connolly were all born in November.


Also in November…

John Knox is appointed minister in Geneva 1st
The Highlands and Islands Development Board opens
Scottish National Antarctic Expedition embarks on an ambitious voyage 2nd
Singer Lulu is born 3rd
US and Soviet submarines crash in Scottish waters
The death of Gentleman Johnny 4th
Doctors awake after accidentally discovering anaesthesia 5th
Celtic FC is founded 6th
Singer Sharleen Spiteri is born 7th
SS Seniority sinks after running aground 8th
The Livingston UFO incident 9th
Paisley canal disaster kills 84 10th
Scottish spy James Bond is born 11th
Edinburgh Waverley Station granted Grade A listing 12th
King Duncan II dies in battle
Author Robert Louis Stevenson is born 13th
Dounreay fast breeder reactor goes online 14th
The Great Fire of Edinburgh destroys 500 homes 15th
Open University founder Jennie Lee dies 16th
Galloway Forest Park becomes Britain’s first Dark Sky location
Birth of James Matheson, owner of Lewis 17th
Painter Jack Vettriano is born in St Andrews
University rocked by the Surgeon’s Hall Riot 18th
Architect Basil Spence dies 19th
Scotland Act gains royal assent
Nicola Sturgeon becomes Scotland’s first female First Minister 20th
End of the first recorded walk between John O’Groats and Land’s End 21st
Mary of Guise, regent Queen of Scotland, is born 22nd
BBC Radio Scotland goes on air 23rd
Death of the inventor of Bovril 24th
Comedian Billy Connolly is born
First edition of The National is published
Birth of nationalist Lewis Spence 25th
Medical pioneer and women’s rights campaigner Elsie Inglis dies 26th
Death of the inspiration for Tarmac
Hypnotism demonstrated for the first time 27th
Inverythan rail accident kills eight
Scotland is hit by its largest ever earthquake 28th
Caledonian Airways makes its inaugural flight 29th
John Balliol is crowned King of the Scots 30th
Scotland hosts the world’s first ever international football match