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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


162 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Parliament HOUSC to the High Street scarcely one stone was left upon another. ?( The Parliament House very hardly escapt,? he continues, ? all registers confounded ; clerks, chambers, and processes, in such a confusion, that the lords and officers of state are just now met in Rosse?s taverne in order to adjourning of the sessione by reason of the disorder. Few people are lost, if any at all ; but there was neither heart nor hand left amongst them for saveing from the fyre, nor a drop of water in the cisterns; 20,ooo hands flitting their trash they knew not wher, and hardly 20 at work; these babells of ten and fourteen story high, are down to the ground, and their fall very terrible. Many rueful spectacles, such as Crossrig, naked, with a child under his oxter, hopping for his lyffe; the Fish Mercate, and all from the Cowgate to Pett-streets Close, burnt ; the Exchange, vaults and coal-cellars under the Parliament Close, are still burning.? Many of the houses that were burned on this occasion were fourteen storeys in height, seven of which were below the level of the Close on the south side. These Souses had been built about twenty years before, by Thomas Robertson, brewer, a thriving citizen, whose tomb in the Greyfriars? Churchyard had an inscription, given. in Monteith?s Theatre of Mortality, describing him as ?remarkable for piety towards God, loyalty to his king, and love to his country.? He had given the Covenant out of his hand to be burned at the Cross in 1661 on the Restoration ; and now it was remembered exultingly ? that God in his providence had sent a burning among his lands.? But Robertson was beyond the rexh of earthly retribution, as his tomb bears that he died on the zIst of September, r686, in the 63rd year of his age, with the addendum, Yivit postfunera virtus- (? Virtue survives the grave.? Before we come to record the great national tragedy which the Parliament House witnessed in 1707-for a tragedy it w3s then deemed by the Scottish people-it may be interesting to describe the yearly ceremony, called the Riding of the Parliament,? in state, from the Palace to the Hall, as described by Arnot and others, on the 6th of May, 1703. The central streets of the city and Canongate, being cleared of all vehicles, and a lane formed by their being inrailed on both sides, none were permitted to enter but those who formed the procession, or were officers of the Scottish regulars, and the trained bands in full uniform. Outside these rails the streets were lined by the porch westwards ; next in order stood the Scottish Foot Guards (two battalions, then as now), under Zeneral Sir George Ramsay, up to the Netherbow Port ; from thence to the Parliament House, and :o the bar thereof, the street was lined by the :rained bands of the city, the Lord High Constable?s Guards, and those of the Earl Marischal. rhe former official being seated in an arm-chair, at :he door of the House, received the officers, while :he members being assembled at the Palace of Holyrood, were then summoned by name, by the Lord Clerk Registrar, the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and the heralds, with trumpets sounding, ifter which the procession began, thus :- Two mounted trumpeters, with coats and banners, bareheaded. Two pursuivants in coats and foot mantles, ditto. Sixty-three Commissioners for burghs on horseback, two ind two, each having a lackey on foot j the odd number Nalking alone. Seventy-seven Commissioners for shires, mounted and :overed, each having two lackeys on foot. Fifty-one Lord Barons in their robes, riding two and two, :ach having a gentleman to support his train, and three ackeys on foot, wearing above their liveries velvet coats with the arms of their respective Lords on the breast and lack embossed on plate, or embroidered in gold or silver. Nineteen Viscounts ils the former. Sixty Earls as the former. Four trumpeters, two and two. Four pursuivants, two and two. The heralds, Islay, Ross, Rothesay, Albany, Snowdon, md Marchmont, in their tabards, two and two, bareheaded. The Lord Lyon King at Arms, in his tabard, with chain, obe, bfiton, and foot mantle. The Sword of State, born by the Earl of Mar. +I The Sceptre, borne by the Earl of Crawford. 8 Borne by the Earl of Forfar. b The purse and commission, borne by the Earl of g 0 Morton. 6 d THE CROWN, THE DUKE OF QUEENSBERRY, LORD HIGH $ s COMMISSIONER, With his servants, pages, and footmen. Four Dukes, two and two. Gentlemen bearing their trains, and each having eight Six Marquises, each having six lackeys. The Duke of Argyle, Colonel of the Horse Guards. A squadron of Horse Guards. The Lord High Commissioner was received ;here, at the door of the House, by the Lord High Constable and the Earl Marischal, between whom he was led to the throne, followed by the Usher of the White Rod, while, amid the blowing 3f trumpets, the regalia were laid upon the table before it. The year I 706, before the assembling of the last Parliament. in the old hall, was peculiarly favourable lackeys. Scottish Hcrrse Gremdier Guards, from the Palace to any attempt for the then exiled House of Stuart
Volume 1 Page 162
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