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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


50 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Edinburgh Castlc. brother Sir James, with two burgesses of the City, were drawn backwards in carts to the market cross, where they were hanged, and their heads were placed upon the ruined castle walls. Within the latter were found twenty-two close carts for ammunition, and 2,400 cannon balls. The whole gamson were thrust into the dungeons of adjacent castles in the county; and four soldiers- Glasford, Stewart, Moffat, and Millar-?declared traitors ? for having assisted Kirkaldy ? in the demolishing and casting down of the bigginis, showting great and small peissis, without fear of God or remorse of conscience,? had to do public penance at one of the doors of St. Giles?s for three days ?? cleid in sack cleith.? * The Regent made his brother, George Douglas of Parkhead (one of the assassins of Rizzio), governor, and he it was who built the present half- . moon battery, and effected other repairs, so that a plan still preserved shows that by 1575 the fortress had in addition thereto eight distinct towep, facing the town and south-west, armed by forty pieces of cannon. exclusive of Mons Meg, arquebusses, and cut-throats. Over the new gate Morton placed, above the royal arms, those of his own family, a fact which was not forgotten when he lost his head some years after. In 1576, Alexander Innes of that ilk being summoned to Edinburgh concerning a lawsuit with a clansman, Innes of Pethknock, met the latter by chance near the market cross-then the chief promenade-and amid high words struck him dead with his dagger, and continued to lounge quietly near the body. He was made prisoner in the Castle, and condemned to?lose his head; but procured a remission from the corrupt Regent by relinquishing one of his baronies, and gave an entertainment to all his friends. ?If I had my foot once loose,? said he, vauntingly, ??I would fain see if this Earl of Morton dare take possession of my land!? This, though a jest, was repeated to Morton, who retained the bond for the barony, but, according to the history of the Innes family, had the head of Innes instantly struck off within the fortress. So odious became the administration of Morton that, in 1578, James VI., though only twelve years of age, was prevailed upon by Argyle and Athole to summon the peers, assume the government, and dismiss Morton, an announcement made by heralds at the cross on the 12th of March, under three salutes from the new half-moon ; but it was not until many scuffles with the people, culminating in Keith?s ?Register?; ?Maitknd Club nIiiellury.? a deadly brawl which roused the whole city in arms and brought the craftsmen forth with morions, plate sleeves, and steel jacks, and when the entire High Street bristled with pikes and Jedwood axes, that Parkhead, when summoned, gave up the fortress to the Earl of Mar, to whom the Ezrl of Morton delivered the regalia and crown jewels, conformably to an ancient inventory, receiving in return a pardon for all his misdemeanours-a document that failed to save him, when, in 1580, he was condemned and found guilty of that crime for which he had put so many others to death-the murder of Darnley-and had his head struck off by the ?Maiden,? an instrument said to be of his own adop tion, dying unpitied amid the execratidns of assembled thousands. Calderwood relates that as he was being conducted captive to the Castle, a woman, whose husband he had put to death, cursed him loudly on her bare knees at the Butter Tron. His head was placed on a port of the city. From this period till the time of Charles I. little concerning the Castle occurs in the Scottish annals, save the almost daily committal of State prisoners to its dungeons, some of which are appalling places, hewn out of the living rock, and were then destitute nearly of all light. From one of these, Mowbray of Barnbougle, incarcerated in 1602 for slaying a servant of James VI. in the palace of Dunfermline, in attempting to escape, fell headlong through the air, and was dashed on the stony pathway that led to the Royal Mews 300 feet below. His body was quartered, and placed on the Cross, Rether Bow, Potter Row, and West Ports. In May, 1633, Charles I. visited the capital of? his native country, entering it on the 16th by the West Port, amid a splendour of many kinds ; and on the 17th, under a salute of fifty-two guns, he proceeded to the Castle attended by sixteen. coaches and the Horse Guards. He remained in the royal lodgings one night, and then returned to Holyrood. On the 17th of June he was again in the Castle, when the venerable Earl of Mar gave a magnificent banquet in the great hall, where many of the first nobles in Scotland and England were, as Spalding states, seated on each side of Charles. To that hall he was conducted next morning, and placed on a throne under avelvet canopy, by the Duke of Lennox, Lord High Chamberlain of Scotland. The peers of the realm then entered in procession wearing their crimson velvet robes, each belted with his sword, and with his coronet borne before him. The Chancellor, Viscount Dupplin, addressed him in the name of the Parliament. Charles was then conducted to the gate, from whence began a procession to Holyrood
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