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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


to him an intimation that he was to be made prisoner, and advised him to lose no time in assuming the defensive. On this he sent his uncle, the ?fambus Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, to remonstrate with the archbishop, Arran, and others present, ? to caution them against violence, and to inform them that if they had anything to allege against him he would be judged by the laws of the realm, and not by men who were his avowed enemies.? Meanwhile he put on his armour, and drew up his spearmen in close array near the Nether-Bow Port-the Temple Bar of Edinburgh -a gate strongly fortified by double towers. When the Bishop of Dunkeld entered the archbishop?s house in the Blackfriars Wynd he found all present armed, and resolved on the most desperate measures. Even the archbishop wore a coat of mail, covered by his ecclesiastical costume, and in the dispute that ensued he concluded a vehement speech by striking his breast, and asseverating-?? There is no remedy ! The Earl of Angus must go to prison. Upon my conscience I cannot help it 1 ? As he struck his breast the armour rattled. ? How now, my lord ? ? said the Bishop of Dunkeld ; ? I think your conscience clatters! We are priests, and to bear arms or armour is not consistent with our profession.? The archbishop explained ? that he had merely provided for his own safety in these days of continued turmoil, when no man could leave his house but at the hazard of his life.? Numbers of citizens and others had now joined Angus, who was exceedingly popular, and the people handed weapons from the windows to all his followers who required them. He barricaded all the entrances to the steep wynds and closes leading from the High Street to the Cowgate, and took post himself near the head of the Blackfriars Wynd. Sir James Hamilton of Finnart came rushing upward at the head of the Hamiltons to attack the Douglases. Angus, who knew him, ordered the latter to spare him if possible, but he was onc of the first who perished in the fierce and bloody fray that ensued, and involved the whole city in universal uproar. ?A Hamilton ! a Hamilton ! Through ! Through ! ? such were the adverse cries. The many windows of the lofty and gable-ended houses of the High Street were crowded with the excited faces of spectators ; the clash of swords and crash of pikes, the shouts, yells, and execration: of the combatants as they closed in fierce conflict added to the general consternation, and killed and ?A Douglas ! a Douglas !? vounded began to cumber the causeway in every iirection. The Hamiltons gave way, and, sword in hand, he exasperated Angus drove them headlong down be Blackfriars Wynd, killing them on every hand. r?he Earl of Arran and a kinsman hewed a passage )ut of the m t e , and fled down an alley on the north iide of the High Street. At the foot they found I collier?s horse, and, throwing the burden off the tnimal, both mounted it, though in armour, swam t across the loch to the other side, and escaped tmong the fields, where now Princes Street stands. Many Douglases perished in the skirmish, which was long remembered as ?? Cleanse the Causeway.? 3f the Hamiltons eighty were slain on the spot, including Sir Patrick son of the first Lord Hamilton, and the Master of Montgomery, according to Hawthornden. The archbishop fled to the adjacent Blackfriars church for sanctcary, but the Douglases dragged him from behind the altar, rent his episcopal habit from his back, and would ? have slain him had not the Bishop of Dunkeld interfered; and he was permitted to fly afoot to Linlithgow, sixteen miles distant. Towards the termination of the fight 800 border troopers, under the Prior of Coldingham (Angus?s brother), came galloping hi, and finding the gates and wickets closed, they beat them in with hammers; but by that time the fray was over. This was but a specimen of the misrule that pervaded the whole realm till the arrival of the Regent Albany, when the Parliament at Edinburgh named four peers as guardians of the young king and his infant brother, permitting the queen to name other four. On this being adjusted, the Duke of Albany and these peers in their robes of state, attended by esquires and pages, proceeded to the Castle, at the gate of which they were received by a singular tableau of an imposing description. The bamers were thrown open, and on the summit of the flight of forty steps which then gave access to them, stood the beautiful queen of that heroic king who fell at Flodden, holding by the hand the little James V., while a pace or two behind her stood a noble lady, supporting in her arms his infant brother. With real or affected sweetness of manner she asked their errand. ? Madam,? replied the royal duke, ? we come by the authority of Parliament to receive at your hands our sovereign and his brother.?? Margaret Tudor stepped back a pace, and ordered the portcullis to be lowered, and as the grating descended slowly between her and the four delegates, she said :- ? I hold this Castle by gift from my late husband,
Volume 1 Page 39
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