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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


Castle Hill. well-known in his time as a man of taste, and the patron of Runciman the artist. mond, of Megginch, who jilted him for the Duke of Athol. doors and panels that are still preserved. Over one of the former are the heads of King James V., ? For lack of gold she left me, O! And of all that?s dear bereft me, 0 I For Athol?s Duke She me forsook, And to endless care has left me, 0 I ? The Doctor died in 1774, in his house at the northwest corner of Brown Square; but his widow survived him nearly twenty years. Her brother John, twelfth Lord Semple, in 1755 sold the An ancient pile of buildings, now swept away, but which were accessible by Blyth?s, Tod?s, and Nairne?s Closes, formed once the residence of Mary of Lorraine and Guise, widow of James V., and Regent of Scotland from 1554 to 1560. It iS conjectured that this palace and oratory were erected immediately after the burning of Holyrood and the city by the English in 1544, when the I up her residence for a few days after the murder of Rizzio, as she feared to trust herself within the blood-stained precincts of the palace. Over its main doorway there was cut in old Gothic letters the legend &us Aonor Deo, with I. R., the initials of King James V., and at each end were shields having the monograms of the Saviour and the Virgin. The mansion, though it had been sorely changed and misused, still exhibited some large and handsome fireplaces, with beautifully clustered pillars, and seven elaborately sculptured with his usual slouched bonnet, and of his queen, whose well-known beauty certainly cannot be traced in this instance. A portion of this building, accessible by a stair near the head of the close, contained a hall, with other apartments, all remarkable for the great height and beauty of their ceilings, on all of which In the de- I were coats armorial in fine stucco. widowed queen would naturally seek a more secure habitation within the walls of the city, and close to the Castle guns. In this edifice it is supposed that Mary, her daughter, after succeeding in detaching the imbecile Dmley from his party, took corated chimney of the former were the remains of one of those chains to which, in Scotland, the poker and tongs were usually attached, to prevent their being used as weapons in case of any sudden quarrel, One chamber was long known as the
Volume 1 Page 92
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