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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


survivors of the corps would make their last actual appearance in public at the laying of the foundation of his monument, on the 15th of August, 1840. The last captain of the Guard was James Burnet, their ancestors and successors, were attached to most royal foundations, and they are mentioned in the chartulary of Moray, about 1226. The number of these Bedesmen was increased by one every CHAPTER XV. THE CHURCH OF ST. GILES. St. Giles?s Church-The Patron Saint-Its Origin and early Norman style-The Renovation of &-History of the Structure-Procession of the Saint?s Relics-The Preston Relic-The Chapel of the Duke of Albmy-Funeral of the Regent Murray-The ?Gude Regent?s Aisle?- The Assembly Aisle-Dispute between James VI. and the Church Party-Departure of James VI.-Haddo?s Hole-The Napicr Tomb- The Spire and lantern-Clock and Bells-The KramesRestoration of 1878. THE church of St. Giles, or Sanctus Egidius, as he is termed in Latin, was the first parochial one erected in the city, and its history can be satisfactorily deduced from the early part of the 12th century, when it superseded, or was engrafted on an edifice of much smaller size and older date, one founded about? IOO years after the death of its patron saint, the abbot and confessor St. Giles, who was born in Athens, of noble-some say royal -parentage, and who, while young, sold his patrimony and left his native country, to the end that he might serve God in retirement. In the year 666 he amved at Provence, in the south of France, and chose a retreat near Arles; but afterwards, desiring more perfect solitude, he withdrew into a forest near Gardo, in the diocese of Nismes, havjng with him only one companion, Veredemus, who lived with him on the fruits of the earth and the milk of a hind. As Flavius Wamba, King of the Goths, was one day hunting in the neighbourhood of Nismes, his hounds pursued her to the hermitage of the saint, where she took refuge. This hind has been ever associated with St. Giles, and its figure is to this day the sinister supporter of the city arms. ( ? I Caledonia,? ii., p. 773.) St. Giles died in 721, on the 1st of September, which was always held as his festival in Edinburgh; and to some disciple of the Benedictine establishment in the south of France we doubtless owe the dedication of the parish church there. , He owes his memory in the English capital to Matilda of Scotland, queen of Henry I., who founded there St. Giles?s hospital for lepers in I I 17. Hence, the large parish which now lies in the heart of London took its name
Volume 1 Page 138
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